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"How do you play?" Topic

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UshCha27 Apr 2021 1:18 a.m. PST

I was idly pondering how folks play. I play our own game normally 1 to 2 times a week, most weeks. Varying between WW2 and Moderns and 1.72 and 1/144 scales. In reallity the changes in tactics don't vary at the fundamantal level though speed and accuracy for vehicles increases dramatically.

How often do you play effectively the same game in related periods?

I am interested as it does affect game desighn. If you played the same game only every 2 months, even with an intuative set of rules youe ability to play complex games would be limited due to this constraint. You cant be an awardwinning golfer playing onece every 2 months.

It's an interesting as there could be a possibility to generate a Maneouvre Group Lite, but the question is would that essentially becone just another Featherstone clone as player familiarity limites it to that. I look at say the use of squares/hexes but taking Advanced Sqauad leader as an example, positions within the "square" are key and that game is certainly for very regular players only, too complex even for me.

GamesPoet Supporting Member of TMP27 Apr 2021 3:36 a.m. PST

Currently I tend to use rule sets that are not overly complex. This seems to help stay up on the rules, and not tough to look something up when there are only so few rules to weed through.

If I get in a couple of games a month, that is a success. Except when attending conventions, then naturally there are more in a weekend than I get in during a month.

Suspect as I develop more projects, and get more miniatures painted, then I could spend less time on that part of the hobby, and hopefully more on gaming instead.

That's what happens when one is running their own business. Time and energy is a limited commodity, and those two items have to be considered accordingly.

Of course when I retire, suspect there will be more time, and hopefully similar energy. Got to keep exercising to maintain mental and physical condition …lol.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Apr 2021 4:11 a.m. PST

Poorly, UshCha. I play poorly.

But as for how frequently I play--weekly in my distant youth, but now with most of my opponents dead or fled, the best I can get with any one system is a game a month.

Doug MSC Supporting Member of TMP27 Apr 2021 4:29 a.m. PST

Our group games once a month. We rotate our games from 60mm WWII in the Pacific, 54mm Ancients and 40mm French & Indian War. All our rules are home grown and not complex. Usually two or three pages long. We have loads of fun. Players are 3 retired marines, retired navy, retired paratrooper, 2 policemen, a school princible, a teacher and students.

advocate27 Apr 2021 4:55 a.m. PST

Hope to get back to weekly soon. We play a variety of games.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP27 Apr 2021 5:53 a.m. PST

I played every week years ago, now I can get in a game or two a month.

jwebster Supporting Member of TMP27 Apr 2021 5:56 a.m. PST


The number of games is irregular. I play DBA mostly, but otherwise all sorts of rules

This means that I don't remember all the details, so an effective quick reference sheet is essential. The QRS must also be in big enough type for old eyes, and does not need pretty pictures or other graphics. It doesn't need to be restricted to a single page. Some of the information can be in the force chart, if there is one

As an example, for Dragon Rampant
Force chart

  • activation targets
  • move rate
  • shoot target and range
  • combat target
  • armour
  • morale
  • list of special capabilities and their benefits, die rolls

Quick Reference Sheet

  • Sequence of play
  • shooting and combat basic mechanics and modifiers
  • morale mechanics
  • spells

I know what you mean by defaulting to a Featherstone clone the other issue is that players are constantly looking up rules in the book, which slows down play. To prevent defaulting to generic, I would suggest

  • setup rules can be complex, but separate from main rules
  • mechanics can be complex, if they can be summarized. Long lists of special cases and modifiers is a problem
  • limit counting and math. Divide by 2 and round up or down is about the limit


Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP27 Apr 2021 7:39 p.m. PST

I play about 3 times a month, but games are really ongoing. All solo. It has taken a long time to write my own rules and solo mechanisms. I say "write" but they are a composite of my too-extensive library of rules that never quite stuck for me or my friends.

I would call my rules advanced simple. They reflect my idea of fun and escape into another era. I am at the age where my playing companions are no longer living. I still seem them in every game I play.

I am never bored or disappointed with my rules and I remember them as they are in use regularly. I tweak them sometimes as I learn something new/historical that I want to change or represent.

I have 4 sets of rules: Horse and Musket (with period variations), 19th Century Ironclads, WW1 Aerial, and WW2 Pacific Naval. I do refer to my charts and manuals at he start of games sometimes, but then usually just roll along. A little background music, a narrative scenario, and off I go – that's what gaming is for me.

Martin Rapier27 Apr 2021 11:24 p.m. PST

We generally play once a week, which we've kept up remotely through lockdown.

We like to ring the changes and play something different every week, so it has to be fairly simple and quick, esp for remote play. The complexity comes from having six to ten players on the call.

UshCha28 Apr 2021 1:20 p.m. PST

Thanks for the reply's. It comes as a surprise to me how few games many of you play and particularly the large variety you play even when you play so irregularly. It must be hell, like being a permanent beginner, never really getting to grips with the system.

It looks difficult given the very limited amount of play some folk have, to make what I would call a useful game. With the time available and the limited time on any one game it seems likely its more social than anything.
Cutting down the rules to fit this sort of slot to make a would take too many compromises.

The command and control aspects requires planning with at least a basic understanding of the rules and the period. Skipping around periods so much is going to make understanding any one difficult. It probably explains why none of the current popular games have zero appeal to me.

We can get something simple running at a convention but that is scripting very limited troops in an overly tight but not very interesting scenario, just an us vs them encounter;rare in the modern period so lacking any sort of credibility.

I cannot at the moment think how you could make a Manoeuvre Group Lite that would be so simple as to be true to its roots.

Thanks for such an enlightening set of reply's.

In reality the game is only about 50 pages. The other 50 or so are engineering which most modern games seem to ignore anyway.

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