The Rules of wargaming

on 08.03.2020

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Read and heed these rules to improving gaming for yourself and community.

I found a “15 Rules of Wargaming” back in the 90’s and decided it was time to rewrite them.

  1. The most important rule is “The object of the game is to win. The purpose of the game is to have fun. Never confuse the two.”
  2. Beardy min/maxed armies aren’t fun for your opponent: If the only way you can derive pleasure from Wargaming is by abusing the army lists to the maximum amount, please go away. Most of the enjoyment one should receive from a face-to-face battle is from the enjoyment of the mutual experience with your opponent from a good, well-fought battle. If you derive pleasure from the merciless crushing of your opponents, don’t play me or anyone I know.
  3. No one likes this kind of beard: Trust me; you never want to play Star Trek Attack Wing and face a Borg Picard commanding USS Voyager with multiphasic shields and quantum torpedoes. It will not end well for you. All games have a “glass hammer” that is nigh unstoppable unless you use the specific list to nullify it.
  4. Huge armies of the most expensive models you can get hold of, suck. This doesn’t make you cool; it makes you look like a fool with more money than sense. Especially if they aren’t painted (see #7).
  5. Armies should make sense: Just because you can put an army together in a certain way doesn’t mean you should. We play a particular game usually for its’ lore and factions. To violate this makes me question why you play this particular game at all.
  6. No one cares about your army’s history: Really. You can give each miniature a name and write long stories about all their glorious battles. Knock yourself out. But this is a thing that is best kept private because no one else is interested. If someone asks you, give a brief summary, like 10 seconds or less. If you really want to share your stories, put them on a website or publish them in a book. Let it be important to you and leave it at that.
  7. Painted miniatures fight better: Half of this hobby is the modeling and painting of your miniatures. Take your time to enjoy that and bring painted miniatures to the table. The quality of the paint job doesn’t matter, only that you spent the time and effort to do it. That gets you respect from your fellow gamers.
  8. Always strive for WYSIWYG: Some games require WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get), some allow proxies. If WYSIWYG is the standard, don’t proxy. Don’t complain about it, do it or don’t play. If you can proxy, strive for WYSIWYG and provide a copy of your list to your opponent so you don’t have to explain it every 8 seconds, slowing down the game. Again: Don’t be unreasonable.
  9. Don’t be a dick in RPG’s: The last time I played D&D, one player had a character that everybody hated, including the NPC’s. The DM “let him” find a lamp with a Djinn inside, who gave him a single wish. The character’s wish was “I wish all of my enemies were dead.” The DM put away his D&D books and got out his Traveler books, as we were teleported several thousand years into the future, where he got his wish, all of his enemies were dead. Also, don’t turn up with your super-high level ultra-specialized character of doom and expect to fit neatly into the current party. The aim of Role-playing isn’t to win or accumulate ‘points’ so as you can ‘level up’. It’s to play an interesting character in a realistic way and enjoy cooperative problem-solving with other people.
  10. Know the rules, but don’t be a rules lawyer: Games that take forever because every rule has to be looked up, interpreted and fought over are boring. Play to the spirit of the game, not the letter of the rules. Decide by dice during the game, look up the rule afterwards.
  11. “Woulda Coulda Shoulda” doesn’t mean squat: Any attempt to complain about the lack of reality in the game is the first resort of the loser. Also, giving voice to regret about what you “should have done” last turn does nothing but lower the enjoyment for everyone playing the game. Repeat after me “it’s fantasy, it’s just a game”.
  12. They’re only inanimate miniatures: Remember folks, these are toys, not real life. I’m calling the guys in white jackets if I see you caressing your miniatures and whispering your latest battle plans to them.
  13. We need better players, not better rules: If you can’t figure that one out, stick to Battleship.

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