A few of my favorite blogs are my favorite blogs in part because from time to time they issue a post consisting entirely of pointers to other blog posts that find interesting. Those always tickle my fancy because they expose me to cool ideas and bloggers that I might not have found on my own.
It is high time I returned the favor for anyone out there with the excellent taste to share my tastes. So, welcome to the Wednesday link dump. That’s enough ado, let’s get to it.
First up, from the “Books About Elves Are Serious Business” files:
That Woefully Incomplete Sampling of Appendix N (Jeffro’s Space Gaming Blog), “When John C. Wright wrote an essay about some points I raised in my Appendix N series, the folks at File 770 had a field day. The overall effect was not unlike raw meet being dropped into a piranha pool.
Who knows how long this would have gone on?! It could have been pages upon pages of righteous indignation, but Brian Z. spoiled the fun shortly after this by pointing out that I had actually covered the book…. The entire discussion gets tabled, with only Jim Henley even acknowledging the link.”
Next up, a great point about taking things just seriously enough:
Sincere silliness (Dungeon Fantastic), “It’s not ironic enjoyment, but sincere enjoyment of something twisted ironically. It’s a hard difference to explain in words, but I can feel the difference between “make it a joke” and “enjoy the jokes.” We and the game are in on the same jokes – laughing with the game elements, not at them.
That’s why I think it keeps going. No ironic enjoyment here. Nostalgia flavored but looking back for inspiration not elusive fun that was never really had.”
Big battles always make me want more time, space, and money. Or at least a decent local convention scene:
The Big Game XV – Clearing the Viper’s Nest (Dropship Horizon), “I must be doing something right. I was invited to host a second participation wargame this year, at my local gaming club TableTopNorth in Belfast…The scenario was a continuation of an ongoing campaign between the rebelling human forces of the RPK republic (near future Arabs) and their evil galactic overlords the Naga (snake like aliens). The RPK regular army forces had support from their air cavalry wing the muster troops and Ikwen militia who had been brought to earth by the Naga as agricultural slaves. The Naga had support from Malig space goblins, a conquered race and various droids.”
Deep thoughts on scenario design:
Game Design #57: Asymmetry (Delta Vector), “Whilst I’m not saying to abandon attempt to balance games nor points systems are evil (in fact I am in favour of points systems to “help” balance – without accepting them as a perfect solution) – I think asymmetrical battles should play a bigger part in the already overlooked areas of scenario/mission design. After all, how many historical battles were precisely balanced? It’s not an either/or situation. Asymmetry (whether we acknowledge it or not) is a key factor of warfare both before (whether it is through meta gaming the points system) and during (as you attempt to quickly neutralize your opponent and gain battlefield superiority) the battle; so why not consider it in scenario and mission design in conjunction with “balanced” points systems?”
Speaking of inspirational, this thread has some outstanding simple and evocative terrain:
Old Ben is Going To Play More Games (Lead Adventure Forum Thread), “After contributing to another thread on this forum called ‘I’m a Lead Hoarder’ I’ve realized I have become a hoarder. I am recently new to the war game world (8 years or so), and I have amassed a huge range of miniatures. Most of the miniatures I have are painted, so that’s not the problem. The issue that I have is the same issue that a lot of collectors have-I own too much stuff that sits unplayed in copy boxes. This will be the thread where I’ll sort it all out and actually play some games!”
And for you terrain-o-philes out there, another highly inspiration thread featuring some outstanding pulp sci-fi terrain. This is the sort of thing I tried to do with my sci-fi city:
Planetoid 51 (Lead Adventure Forum), Hi, here is my project that I’ve been working on nearly three years. I was able to glean ideas and resources from others here, so thank you. Anyways my theme involes an earth colony that was invaded by a previously unknown alien race. Earth forces are trying to reclaim the colony.
There’s also a great thread on the Lead Adventure Forum talking all about how great Osprey’s Black Ops is, but I wouldn’t know because my copy still hasn’t arrived from Amazon yet. Not that I’m bitter about it, it’s just that I’m bitter about it. Razzin’-frazzin’ shipping time to Hawaii…