As a random Sunday game, I met up with a couple of friends to play a Zombie game of some sorts. It was a little different, since my wife, Kalissa would not be attending based on some school work she had to prepare for her children. Also, I was a key member to whatever game we were playing, since I have a lot of survivor-like miniatures from Hassel-free Miniatures. I cannot speak highly enough for this company!
According to our game master friend, we were running a zombie game where the goal was to get across the board without dying. Needless to say, zombies are stupid, and I ran away from them across the board and won. Yes, this game was this easy! I, normally, enjoy most games I play, but this was lacking. For one, our friend mentioned that he made up the rules the night before in about ten minutes. Ten minutes seems awfully short. I can't knock anyone too bad for trying to write rules. I believe after playing some time in wargaming, we, wargamers, somehow, have to create a new rule system. We cannot help it! Usually, this happens with that one bad game. I, rarely, hear of a good or great game inspiring someone to come up with a new rule set. It is rare if it does happen!
So what was lacking? For one, we did not have any zombie figures. Several people have them, but have not finished any. Two, the challenge was lacking. The survivors were the only players leading to the GM to run the zombies. In this case, as you will see below, this were demons. I know they have another name, but I am not that into fantasy to find out. Three, there was no real need for combat. It is a wargame after all! Four, it was unorganized, being first time system with no relations to other known systems.
So, to the point of this post, organization! In a typical wargame, organization may not mean much to the normal wargamer. Usually, the organization for the average wargamer stems down to just knowing the rules of the game you are playing. There are lots of games that this is impossible to completely prepare for, such as the extensive rules in Flames of War. If you think this is not true, just read the main Flames of War form. There is always some new issue or situation that arises in that particular game. In our case, everyone playing this Sunday's game had at least twenty questions. Some had answers; some were not thought about yet! For the analytical gamer, this slows the game to a lull. This happened a few times, which detracted from the fun we could have been having. To be truthful, I have fun with near anything, but I know not everyone thinks this way.
As we told our game host, we thought there were a few things that could have gone better. I have experienced these hick-ups in games I had run in the past. For one, you have to have a certain flow in the game. This should be represented in a flow of: Mission, Challenge, and Direction. It sounds simple, but I watched/been in games where this was not really defined. Loose Lucy games are notorious for this. You have to have a mission. What is the point of your game? It can be defined as a simple killfest to taking a few objectives. What is the challenge? If there is not a strong degree of difficulty, why play a cake walk? I found that I end up rolling better and playing better when I think it is hopeless. Yes, I am one of those players! However, you want your player to think and/or take risks in a game. If anything, it would have been nice to want to charge in and kill to pass an area than skate on by. The direction of a game is the most important. If you do not have a direction for the game, there is no reason to move. Some people think the mission and direction is the same. In some cases, this is true. But what can be one and the same are different. You can have a mission that does not need to complete it based on the teamwork of others. This promotes camping in a spot, thus defeating all of the terrain and game building that you would want. However, a single goal for a player motivates movement. Direction also added to the flow of the game. Whether this is moving the game along or moving an actual direction across the board, it is pretty important.
Now, though, our Sunday game was chaotic at best, it is something worth thinking about when you might decided on running a game. Just make you have fun with it! Below was our Zombie/Demon game. Enjoy!