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POLL: Which Do You Prefer in a Game...?

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Tom Bryant writes:

Portos nailed it. When it comes down to being "Historically Plausible" (another, perhaps more politically correct way of saying "accurate") or "balanced" (another equally, if not more so fallacious statement) I err toward the plausible. Why? I've seen too many so-called Balanced games that are anything but. 1500 points can be spent a lot of ways and rarely in any "balanced" format other than points selections. From killer and weenie armies or decks in CMGs and CCGs to games like Flames of War or Warhammer Fantasy and 40k we've probable all seen it.

"Balanced" is just as much a relative and subjective term as are "Historically Accurate Simulation" or "Historically Plausible". The real problem is that unless you have exactly the same force structures points wise the forces will NEVER be "balanced". Also "Balanced" games tend to be "arena" affairs no matter how hard you try to add surprise, terrain, delayed deployments, etc into the mix, both sides know that: "I have 'X' points of forces and so does my opponent." With that kind of foreknowledge,a commander can breathe easier and rest a little knowing that he isn't "out balanced" at least. Outnumbered, or over strengthened in some ways, maybe but unbalanced, no. He has the knowledge that his opponent may have chosen different, perhaps radically different forces to his own but they all "balance out" in terms of points and that those point systems were developed to insure play balance. (Ok you guys stop laughing. Come on now! I mean it!)

What I like about "plausible" scenarios is the very "unbalanced" nature of the actions and how commanders face those realities. Last ditch stands can be made very interesting if the victory conditions are set up correctly. Sometimes what seems like a "sure thing" is anything but. Reinforcements don't get there when the history books say so, if at all, communications get fouled up. Orders are garbled or misconstrued, the list goes on.

A shrewd ref will use all these tricks and more to add to the "fog of war" as much as possible for both sides. This is what makes "plausible" scenarios better in my mind than anything "points balanced for fragile egos."

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other (explain)
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no preference
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a balanced game
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an accurate simulation
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Personal logo optional field Supporting Member of TMP proposes:

If we presume that realism does not equal complexity in rules (I know many equate the one with the other, but that need not always be the case), which is more important to you?
  • an accurate simulation of the historic events (or a more plausible explanation of hypothetical events, if you prefer)
  • a balanced game where each side has a reasonable chance of victory
For purposes of this poll, let us presume a balanced game is, by nature, not an accurate simulation of events, and presume that all rules are equally complex and enjoyable and in all other ways equal.

Poll set up by Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian, based on this pre-poll discussion.