Trebian, over at Wargaming for Grown-ups is an interesting guy. I agree with very little of what he writes regarding wargaming in general (though most posts are about pretty specific stuff, so no worries), but it doesn’t make it any less interesting.

Recently he wrote about battle reports. It is an interesting view, and one that matches what I’ve tried to do in the latest one I’ve published. It’s obviously a battle report, though not a very detailed one. However, designers from Ganesha Games considered it a decent review of the game being played.

I’ve been doing similar things to battle reports for roleplaying games, something we call actual play reports. In a rpg it’s very easy to lose oneself in the narrative of things, even though when things didn’t go exactly like that in the table. And you know what? That’s lying. It doesn’t do any good to a prospective player or the game’s designer to write a wonderful piece of prose which is an idealized picture of the real events on the table. This does not mean you should note the way you throw a die, or how much you drank (unless drinking IS part of the system, like in this game) and ate. It means you should detail how things developed, both in the fictional setting and in the real table. The important things that were said and done in both environments, and how they relate.

In wargaming I like to do the same. It’s true, I’ve got some blow by blow reports with pics that detail every move and die roll. But they’re both boring to make and to read. I much rather take some nice pics that depict the action in general terms. Note the events, detail the most interesting ones, and also speak of the player’s interaction with the rules. Probably that’s why a game’s designer might think that’s an interesting report. And feedback is perhaps the hardest thing for a designer to get, and one of the most useful even for an already playtested and published game.

So there. I am not one for blow by blow White Dwarf like reports, but neither for literary masterpieces which hardly talk about toy soldiers at all. There’s a middle ground, one that has no set rules on how to write them. It’s different for every battle, or even battles if you’re showing a series of games. Now to leave with some pretty pics which are related, I found some pics from games my girlfriend and I played while still interested in the development of Gruntz. I hardly recall those battles and there’s some unpainted stuff in them, something I don’t exactly enjoy showing, but this is as good a place as any to avoid sending them the recycle bin way.

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