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"Proposal for New Scenario Design Contest Format" Topic


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923 hits since 11 Oct 2005
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian11 Oct 2005 9:30 a.m. PST

Thought I'd run some ideas past the group, see what you think.
I'd like to do two things:

(a) turn the scenario design contests into a regular feature at TMP, and
(b) add a game-PLAYING element to the contest, so that we actually see if the scenarios are "any good" (rather than just good-looking on paper)

So, let's imagine that we have a scenario design contest, the contestants send in their scenarios, the scenarios are published at TMP.

Then we have one or more rounds (depending on the number of entries), in which the contestants are randomly assigned to play and write a battle report one of the other scenarios!

After each round (if there is more than one), the readers of TMP vote out one or more contestants. You can vote them out if you didn't like their scenario… or if you didn't like their battle report! (Gives some incentive to give a good test to the other scenarios…)

I'm thinking that this would give us the chance to enjoy both scenarios and battle reports, and would be a very good way to promote a particular genre or subject matter. However, it would require more commitment from the participants.

If this idea meets with general approval, I'd like to put together a schedule for several contests to start over the next several months.

PeteMurray Inactive Member11 Oct 2005 9:58 a.m. PST

Sounds good to me. There were some scenarios in the last couple of competitions that looked okay on paper, but too crazy to sort out in reality. Would like to see some playability put in there, too.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian11 Oct 2005 10:56 a.m. PST

I think the new format would mean some rethinking of the contest themes, though. I'd like the contestants to have a chance of fielding the appropriate figures, although proxies and even paper counters would have to be allowed in some cases.

The contests might need to be limited to a particular ruleset, so that the contestants don't need to run out and by rulesets so they can play the scenarios.

Also, before announcing a contest whose subject might be a bit obscure, I'd like to get commitments from at least three people who promise to participate.

For example, I've been thinking that a contest for Warring Empires scenarios (Chris Pringle's late 18th century ruleset for 2mm or 6mm figures) would both provide support to that ruleset, and give us some battle reports and pictures to see what 2mm or 6mm gaming is all about. But is that such a limited topic that there wouldn't be enough participants? (Although goodness knows, it's cheap enough to get into!)

Old Digger Inactive Member11 Oct 2005 11:31 a.m. PST

So what are the appropriate paper proxies for 2mm? The little dots left over from 3-hole punches? hehe

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian11 Oct 2005 11:44 a.m. PST

At worst case, if someone has no minis that would work as proxies, then use paper cut to the appropriate base size…

The Gonk Inactive Member11 Oct 2005 1:38 p.m. PST

Bill, I might be interested, but have a lot on my plate right now. What kind of time frame are you thinking of for submissions?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian11 Oct 2005 2:13 p.m. PST

I'm flexible. Far as I'm concerned, the first three "volunteers" can set the deadlines for the rest of the contest.

Personal logo Dentatus Supporting Member of TMP Fezian11 Oct 2005 3:49 p.m. PST

I'm game, but my miniatures collection and general gaming experience is limited in genres and scale.

Saladin Inactive Member11 Oct 2005 6:47 p.m. PST

You should ask for "impartial" volunteers to playtest the scenarios.

DAWGIE Inactive Member12 Oct 2005 6:52 a.m. PST

SCENARIO DESIGN THOUGHTS;

SCENARIO writer creates scenario based on what resources he/she has at hand, for use with a certain set of rules.

scenario should be played several times by gamers using the applicable rule, say at least 3 times.

the same scenario should be played several times by gamers using rules of their own choice, say at least 3 times, as ammended for use with the scenario.


any/all player ammendments used that ARE NOT published in said rules, need to be identified, and the reason for the amendments use EXPLAINED in the review of the scenario play test.


time to setup and size of the gaming area required for the scenario as well as the miniature scale required (if any), whether or not the rules require "official miniatures/models" , whther or not the rules can be gamed without meeting with special mounting/remounting requirements (one of my own favorite bugaboos!) for minis/models, or whether or not the scenario can be played with any scale minis/terrain available from any source without causing panties to knot.


actual time spent playing the scenario should be spelled out clearly too, along with ease of play, how much actual fun was had (remember FUN?) and the learning curve EXPERIENCED by first time gamers, with a lot, a little, or no previous wargaming experieince with minis, terrain, etc.


number of gamers involved in the scenario play test (solo, 2 or more players, etc).


types/ numbers of dice required PER PLAYER to well as type/number of measuring devices required for expeditious game play.


each scenario/rules played should be given a "star rating" with 5 stars being best, and 1 star being the worst for all of the above categories, as well as an overall "star rating".

just some DAWGIE thoughts.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian12 Oct 2005 1:44 p.m. PST

You should ask for "impartial" volunteers to playtest the scenarios.

That makes it a bit more complicated. But I'm willing to try that as an experiment with one of these contests…

Zen Ghost Fezian Inactive Member12 Oct 2005 8:13 p.m. PST

Here's a general idea for any type of scenario. Give a number of random things (objects, objectives, environments, physical parameters, different physics, or whatever else you can think up) and have the designers come up with a scenario incorporating all those things in a coherent, and I use the term loosely, fashion.

NBFGH with Attitude Fezian Inactive Member12 Oct 2005 11:57 p.m. PST

Bill, doesn't it make things a bit complicated to have people design a scenario, and then make them play one (or more) designed for a genre/ruleset they're not familiar with ?

As the intent is to have the scenarios playtested, why not have the designers playtest their own scenario, and demand pics of the playtest ?

Sure, they could be falsified, but if we admit it, playtests of scenarios designed by others could also be.

It may be less challenging, but at least, by asking the designers to show pics of the playtest, you are bound to get the best playtesting conditions as they will have the minis/rules they recommend for the game.

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