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"Putting the rules on a wall mounted TV?" Topic

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1,256 hits since 3 Jan 2018
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4th Cuirassier03 Jan 2018 3:42 a.m. PST

I'm probably going to upgrade the TV set shortly which will leave me with a surplus 42" flat screen. It has all the HDMI ports etc so I am pretty sure I can plug a laptop into it.

I am sorely tempted to hang on to it with a view, one day, to putting it on the wall of a wargame room and running a Powerpoint or perhaps Excel document on it with all the rules on. Voila! No table clutter! The paperless wargame!

Has anyone ever done this? The paperless office never happened is this doable?

MajorB03 Jan 2018 4:03 a.m. PST

Can't see the point.

Black Hat Miniatures03 Jan 2018 4:08 a.m. PST

We have done it the old fashioned way using the Wargames Holiday Centre rules for a WSS game written out on a whiteboard. Worked pretty well.


Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 4:30 a.m. PST

Excellent idea.
I'm sure there are still some older wargamers, resistant to change, who have their rules carved on stone tablets but technology is there to improve our experience.

XRaysVision Inactive Member03 Jan 2018 4:33 a.m. PST

It's a great idea! It would be nice to have the QRS on display. It may not get rid of paper all together, but I would relieve some table clutter.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 4:42 a.m. PST

I am all in favor of rules which, displayed on a 42" screen, are visible to every wargamer in the room.

Please share them.

4th Cuirassier03 Jan 2018 4:50 a.m. PST

@ robert

That's why I said Powerpoint :-)

In fact how I would do this is have a "home screen" slide which has buttons on it; each button then takes you to another slide which has the relevant table or data on it and a "home" button that takes you back to the home screen. The font size would be tailored to the size of room and the most distant viewer I guess.

In this way you can easily access whatever other slides you need. As XRaysVision observes, ideally you'd have the QRS up there but if anything else was required the above is how you'd handle it.

This non-linear way of using Powerpoint originally occurred to me 12 years ago at work. We had pitched for a piece of work and were invited to do a follow up presentation. There was potentially more to discuss than would fit the time allotted, so I just built it from a home screen, with 15 or 20 topic areas, and said OK gents, what would you most like to talk about? and then followed the links to the relevant bits.

For rules that have a one-page QRS you could probably just scan it in and orient the screen in portrait format.

Jim Selzer Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 5:14 a.m. PST

must be nice to have a SURPLUS 42" TV bigger and probably better than my main one

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 5:15 a.m. PST

Our club has put on games for the history department at West Point and we have written out the main rules and tables on the chalkboard. Same general principle and it has worked very well. I won't comment on the fact that the US Military Academy is still using chalkboards :)

4th Cuirassier03 Jan 2018 5:24 a.m. PST

@ Jim

I can remember when 28" was huge. We bought this one for a smaller room in a smaller house. Now we sit twice as far from it, the damn thing looks too small.

According to the THX website, for a viewing distance of 12 feet and to fill the standard field of vision of 40 degrees, one should have a 130" screen. I don't think that even exists and if it does I can't afford the screen or the house that would fit round it.

Marc at work03 Jan 2018 6:33 a.m. PST

Projector 4th. Think big!

But I think it sounds a great idea. We played our post Christmas big-bash Naps on Friday and I mooted the idea of getting the play sheets printed A1 or A0 sized and blue tacked up for all to see. Your idea sounds better. And you could play Waterloo on dvd in between turns 😀


Balin Shortstuff Inactive Member03 Jan 2018 7:33 a.m. PST

Yeah, putting up the most accessed charts as a wall poster was well received when I did it.

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 7:38 a.m. PST

Sounds like a great idea. I'm still using static posters.

Along the same lines, years ago, I did The Battle of Isandlwana and for the opening and during breaks I ran cuts from Zulu Dawn.

Mick the Metalsmith03 Jan 2018 8:28 a.m. PST

Featherstone always liked a big poster of the combat table, on an easel well visible from all the way on the other side of the table of the battlefield. I concur that this tech would have been fully embraced for that purpose. Searching for the paper table can add to friction, especially if it got taken into the restroom by a player!

I would still want some hard copies of the rules available for multiple players vbecause it is more efficient for searching in multiple places simultaneously. Or tablet PDFs instead of paper..

RobSmith03 Jan 2018 8:57 a.m. PST

Especially good for teaching people the rules, rather than just having them experience the game.

I mean, if it is a one-off game that I'll never play again, then I'm fine just saying what I want to do and rolling the dice with the ref telling what happened.

However, if I want to play the game on my own, having the charts available so everyone can see how we got to a certain result it super!

I have a big TV in my game room. All my charts are already on PDF. Need to just plug it in!

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 9:12 a.m. PST

I do charts this way on white boards, never bothered to do the actual rules….

MajorB03 Jan 2018 11:30 a.m. PST

Featherstone always liked a big poster of the combat table

Featherstone's rules had combat tables?

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 11:35 a.m. PST

Well, it might work, 4th Cuirassier, but I'll about guarantee you'll find your players needing multiple pages at the same time. It's why we generally want more than one copy of the rules.

DeRuyter Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 11:41 a.m. PST

I like the idea of showing clips from relevant movies to the period being gamed. Short clips to avoid distraction of course.

Andy ONeill03 Jan 2018 12:06 p.m. PST

If it's got hdmi you can easy connect a laptop.
You could show pictures for pre game recce.
Record location of hidden units for map deployment.

Jim Selzer Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 12:24 p.m. PST

@ 4th
That's why my brother and I descend on my Mom every Sunday. Football is much better on a 50+ hd flat screen

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 12:33 p.m. PST

I agree with some above that displaying "the rules" isn't really feasible, unless you play rules that fit easily on one page. Rules lookups during game play usually involve multiple pages, often with references to a table of contents and/or index. That's a one-person activity and displaying it on a huge TV will just slow down the game while multiple players stand agape watching the GM page through a PDF.

OTOH, displaying a one-page quick reference sheet is totally doable, and would save a lot of effort creating giant blown-up 11x17/A3 (or bigger) sheets of paper. I make large-format display cheat sheets on 11x17 paper to display on a white board during big games, and it does help. A large TV would save the trouble of printing, and would be a godsend for games that suffer QRS updates every game or three.

A two-page QRS displayed side-by-side might also be doable, but only on a high-rez TV. Many HUGE TVs have pitiful resolution. An old TV with 720p (1280 x 720) or 1080i would be blur city for more than one page of reading material. A 1080p (1920x1080) TV might be adequate for 2 sheets side-by-side. A newer UHD TV would be best, but you said this was an older TV, so… probably not.

An even better use for a large screen TV might be displaying interactively updated paraphernalia that are best done in a central place campaign map movements, unit rosters, countup/countdown timers (e.g. the turn number, army morale points, reinforcement schedules, whatever), and so on.

- Ix

Mick the Metalsmith03 Jan 2018 2:01 p.m. PST


Yes, at least one table was used in his Napoleonic rules included in his Peninsular Campaigns book. It was a matrix of different formation states and unit types that gave a percentage chance causing a unit to become shaken when confronted by another.

Last Hussar03 Jan 2018 3:47 p.m. PST

Black Hat, were they the Black Powder conversion rules?

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 4:01 p.m. PST

Sounds good in theory. But I would bet that everyone will still use their rules books and charts. For some players looking the rules up on paper would be quicker than to go over and stare at the monitor. Can you look up different rules at he same time or do you have to wait your turn? This can slow the game down. Has little to do with age.

The best thing I have ever heard of in terms of technology and rules is downloading a PDF to a Kindle or other small flat screen device. Trying to find all the rules for going prone? Just search the PDF using prone as the key word and there you have them. Quick and easy and no one has to know which rule you're looking up.

Sobieski03 Jan 2018 6:25 p.m. PST

We usually have rules and lists on a computer screen on a table adjacent to the main one. Some players prefer it that way, and one of our regulars uses his tablet as well.

Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 8:02 p.m. PST

I just took the important bits of rules, the Quick reference sheets, and had them printed on A1 size sheets of paper. Stick one of them a wall and Bjorn Stronginthearm's your uncle. It's a wee bit cheaper than a TV.

coryfromMissoula04 Jan 2018 7:28 a.m. PST

I use a 36" flatscreen for the same purpose.

We have only done charts for a couple of games, more used with chromecast to play videos or to put up portions of a pdf for everyone to read on the odd rule. Chromecast is a nice feature that allows everyone at the game to put up something from their phones.

TMPWargamerabbit04 Jan 2018 9:25 a.m. PST

Maybe several game or scenario charts on a powerpoint slide show which rotates through the charts on a timed interval…. say 30 seconds for each chart. Maybe two charts side by side if the PP slide has both and the TV is large to read.

Wolfhag04 Jan 2018 10:40 a.m. PST

A big screen TV is a great idea if you can handle the logistics and space. I'll have to try it.

I use PostRazor to take a QRS image and scale it to any size you want. It will then convert it to multiple PDF pages to print off on your printer. Then it is just assembling 2+ pages for a large size poster. It takes some time but is much cheaper than Kinkos.

I assign specific parts of a units data card to be recognized like a QRS image by your cell phone camera. Pointing your camera at the image streams a short video and/or takes you to an image or PDF of the rules for that section (gunnery, movement, spotting, etc). The player gets the exact rules when he needs them without looking them up.

I'll be using another app called Periscope to GM games remotely and interactive with the players.


Doctor X04 Jan 2018 11:59 p.m. PST

Wolfhag – that sounds interesting. Please post when you've had time to get a good feel for it and let us know how it works out.

Personal logo Blackhorse MP Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2018 12:34 p.m. PST

Went to Kinko's and had my Spearhead QRS and vehicle data charts blown up to 2' x 3'. We mount the relevant ones on the walls for games and they can be seen from anywhere in the room.

Not exactly high tech but very effective, which I believe is the desired result.

Lucius06 Jan 2018 5:38 a.m. PST

Not a bad idea for a QRS. For the last couple of years, I've used a spare Ipad 2 that is useless for anything else, loaded with a pdf of the QRS, scenario, and the rules.

Beats shuffling papers around.

Doctor X06 Jan 2018 3:35 p.m. PST

I have a fairly large gaming room and with the aged eyes of most of our group I think I'd need about a 120" TV to make putting rules on a screen viable.

I do have a large whiteboard that we do use occasionally for tables, scores, turn summary, etc. It seems to do the trick and was free.

Otherwise to keep clutter off my gaming table there is a -1 to all rolls if you leave stuff on the table. That rule works quite well and allows everyone to enjoy the spectacle a bit more.

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