Monday, May 26, 2008

New Beginning: KublaCon Report

OK, I'm trying to start again. This weekend was KublaCon at the San Francisco Airport. The only game I participated in without running it was Nick Stern's excellent Kris and the Flame Pirates of the South Seas game. As usual for the period and region, it was colorful.

The next day, I ran two games, running the same Wars of the Roses battle using first DBMM and then Field of Glory.

DBMM has been out for a few years, and is the latest offering by Phil Barker. Field of Glory was just released at the beginning of this year. The most prominent name on it is Richard Bodley-Scott. Together, Barker and Bodley-Scott are the Truffaut and Godard of the British gaming world. Or if that's too obscure, they're the Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige. No, wait. That went from a really obscure analogy to even more obscure, didn't it?

Anyhow, the two worked together on earlier rules sets, but have fallen out, each to pursue their own unique, but clearly similar concepts of their oeuvre. People on the DBMM forum spend a lot of time finding reasons to dislike FoG. I haven't been following the FoG forums, but I assume they're spending at least some time complaining about DBMM.

Personally, I find most of the carping fairly silly. I don't generally play tournaments, so I hate to specialize in one rules set or another. Even putting aside the argument over whether games-playing is a serious attempt to simulate military history or an excuse to show off painted figures, every rules set will emphasize and abstract different aspects of history. To insist that one, and only one, set has captured the Truth is to commit the sin of having read only one book.

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