More Secrets Of Wargame Design

Following on from Wally Simon’s SECRETS OF WARGAME DESIGN: A Tabletop Toolkit of Ideas, Analysis, and Rule Mechanics (Volume 1), Russ Lockwood (of MagWeb fame and now the Center for Provocative Wargaming) has now published a second work in the series entitled: Wally Simon’s MORE SECRETS OF WARGAME DESIGN: A Tabletop Toolkit of Ideas, Analysis, and Rule Mechanics (Volume 2). Wally Simon was one of the founders of the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society (in the USA), and as a statistician he used his mathematical skills to analyse probabilities within wargame mechanics. With 25 years of work to draw on, this is the second in a series of ‘best of’ booklets that explore the nuts and bolts of wargame design as seen through his eyes, via the articles he wrote over the last 40 or so years.

More Secrets Of Wargame Design CoverFor decades, Wally Simon helped shape miniatures wargaming through Potomac Wargamers Review — his monthly photocopied newsletter that analysed the mechanics of wargame rules. First published in the 1970s, PWR ran monthly through August 2002, delving into the nuts and bolts of how rules worked — and how they did not. Published rules, home-grown rules, and even his own rules came under scrutiny as he created, destroyed, and tweaked rules mechanisms to try and ‘produce a game which keeps all players continually busy and interested in what’s going on.’ Volume 2 of Wally Simon’s More Secrets of Wargame Design accents the best efforts of ‘Wally Rules’ with a dozen more top articles pulled from the pages of PWR. Stuffed full of ideas, concepts, and rules mechanics covering wargaming action across all eras, they offer provocative wit, wisdom, and imagination to help you tweak an existing set of rules or create your own rules to make a better wargame.

Volume 2 includes:

  • Movement Procedures in Wargaming: Sequencing, Scales, and Splits
  • Seven Years War Over Six Towns: Importance and Bloody Battles
  • Seven Skirmishing Samurai: Card-Based Actions and Triangular Hit Rosters
  • Pip, Pip, Hooray! An Alternative to Pip Systems Using Cards
  • Points of Command: Attrition and Breakthrough in an ACW Battle
  • Battle-Line Ancient Warfare: Actions, Re-actions, and Concepts in Progress
  • Renaissance Warfare for the Beady Eyed: Distributing Orders, Combat Divisors, and Decisions
  • An Altered WWII Mini-Campaign: Movement, Morale, and Airstrikes
  • Probability and Ploys: Alternative Morale, Firing, and Melee Systems
  • Napoleonic Slugfest in the Peninsula: Fire-Oriented Wargame with Card-Based Variable
  • Fighting Swashbucklers of the Foreign Legion: Skirmish with a Hyper Twist
  • Meet the Clock: A Variable Time Strategy Idea

As noted Wally Simon was one of the founders of HMGS, hosting the first meeting in his basement. Wally’s Basement (at the HMGS ‘Historicon’ conventions in the USA) is named after him. You can order Wally Simon’s MORE SECRETS OF WARGAME DESIGN: A Tabletop Toolkit of Ideas, Analysis, and Rule Mechanics (Volume 2) from On Military Matters in the U.S. Soft Cover Magazine Format, 60 pages, 2012.

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