Party Games for Grognards
June 16, 2008
In the second of my series of wargames we're going to look, appropriately enough, at the second barrier that's stopped me from looking into to these sorts of games. The first, as we discussed in last weeks column is the high value many of these games place on simulation. This time we're going to be looking at player numbers and the serious lack of good, playable multi-player historical games.
See as I've said many times before, I thrive on multi-player games. This is partly a practical consideration - I usually find myself in a situation where there are more than two people at the table wanting to play. But there's more to it than that of course. I enjoy the social aspects of gaming, and as far as that's concerned the more the merrier. I also continue to enjoy the diplomatic aspects of multi-player games in spite of all the people who tell me that I ought to be getting bored of it because it makes all games the same. It's this fondness for table talk that puts me off one obvious solution, a team game. Team games have to be extremely well designed to stop them falling into a situation of either one player bossing the others about or of a general team-malaise developing where players become so focused on their individual objectives that they find a team victory unsatisfying. But there are amazingly few multi-player historical games to be found, and once you've put on my previous caveats about team play and agonizingly complex simulations (if it's hard enough learning the rules yourself, try teaching it to other players) it narrows the field even further. Why are there so few?