Home Forums General Game Design Fast Play Rules?

This topic contains 12 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Steve Johnson 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #67685
    Phil Dutré
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    (also posted on my blog http://snv-ttm.blogspot.be/2017/07/fast-play-rules-again.html )

    I recently saw an advert for a new set of rules: “Fast Play Rules for the <insert period here>”.

    It reminded me of notorious rulesets of the past that were also labeled as “Fast Play Rules”. Just do a Google search on “fast play wargaming rules”, and you get a whole series of results.

    Now, according the the designer, the rules might actually be fast to play. But that’s as seen from his point of view. Other players might not think the rules are fast at all, and might consider them a terribly slow and painful exercise. Actually, the whole adjective of “fast play” is meaningless if you lack a common fame of reference.

    Would any ruleset ever advertise itself as “Slow and tedious rules for … “? Sure they are all fast play? Or do some wargame designers specifically aim for slow play?

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Phil Dutré Phil Dutré.
    #67690
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Ahhhh, Newbury.

     

    🙂

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #67691
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Would any ruleset ever advertise itself as “Slow and tedious rules for … “? Sure they are all fast play? Or do some wargame designers specifically aim for slow play?

     

    Ever played Empire? 😉

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #67692
    Howard Whitehouse
    Howard Whitehouse
    Participant

    Are they ‘Fast and Furious’?

    I demand that my rule be not only speedy, but also very bad tempered.

    I do all my own stunts.

    #67695
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Autodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    I always assume ‘fast play’ just means a higher level of abstraction. Usually any game I play has a fair amount of socializing, eating and whatnot. A simple game can take all day. Much like good barbecue, it’s best done over the course of hours with good friends and good beer. A more detailed set of rules can actually enhance that experience.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff

    #67698

    Fast play is a vague term that could mean anything.

    DBA and games like it are fast play because the game is over in an hour or less….usually.  That’s pretty fast.

    Games that move along at a clip where no player is bored and by the end of an evening the game is done could also be fast play.  I suppose that is pace.

    Games that are done in an evening in general are fast play, regardless whether the player is bored or not.

    Empire was incredibly slow.  Never finished a game in a weekend.  Newbury fast play rules were probably a step up simply because they could be played in a day where a day equals 8-12 hours.  Or, maybe the author was just being cheeky with his title.  I suppose someone who knew Mr. Halsall or even the author himself if he is still with us would be able to answer for sure.  😉

    John

     

    John

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    #67699
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Newbury fast play rules were probably a step up simply because they could be played in a day where a day equals 8-12 hours. Or, maybe the author was just being cheeky with his title. I suppose someone who knew Mr. Halsall or even the author himself if he is still with us would be able to answer for sure. 😉 John

     

    Newbury’s ‘fast play’ rules were much reduced versions of their ‘full’ rules.

    I still own a copy of ‘A Thousand Years of Medieval Warfare: 500AD – 1500AD’. 42 A4 pages of small type for the main body, and 8 pages of 18 tables and charts.

    I’ll scan you a page or two if you like. 🙂

     

     

     

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #67700
    McLaddie
    McLaddie
    Participant

    I doubt that any game designer would advertise his rules as ‘slow play’, but like books, that ‘fast’ can mean anything.  A book can be 150 pages and be a fast read, or 1050 pages and be a fast read because of the pace.  Obviously, the reader is done with the former long before he is done with the latter.  Unfortunately, like books, the number of pages in a rule book is not necessarily an indicator of how fast a game will play, either in hours or experienced pace.

    What indicators [other than playing the game, naturally] do folks have in gauging how ‘fast’ a game will play?

     

    #67701

    Newbury’s ‘fast play’ rules were much reduced versions of their ‘full’ rules. I still own a copy of ‘A Thousand Years of Medieval Warfare: 500AD – 1500AD’. 42 A4 pages of small type for the main body, and 8 pages of 18 tables and charts. I’ll scan you a page or two if you like. 🙂

    8 (Eight!) pages of charts!  Thank you for the kind offer but I think I shall pass. 😀

    John

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    #67714
    Tim
    Tim
    Participant

    What the dinosaur guy said!  🙂

    #67716

    Chris Pringle
    Participant

    In the 1970s and early 1980s, in the UK at least, slow play was a positive virtue, wasn’t it? Mass unemployment, limited pub opening hours, no shops open on Sundays … a game that could take up a whole weekend was exactly what a lot of people wanted (or so my mate who is a refugee from Hull tells me). But those days are gone, there’s so much competition for people’s time and attention, a game needs to fit into a 4-hour, or 3-hour, or maybe only 2-hour slot.

    I suppose one objective measure of fast play would be the number of player-hours required to play through the whole of the most famous historical battle of the period in question. Thus for ACW the yardstick would be how long it takes to fight all three days of Gettysburg; for Napoleonics, Waterloo, and so on.

    But then the other dimension, which is harder to measure, is the question of how many interesting decisions a player gets to make in the course of the game. You might have something that is so slick, quick and abstract that it reduces a game to too few decision points.

    For my own “Bloody Big BATTLES!” rules, I don’t think I ever just claimed “fast play”. The claim is much more explicit: four players can fight any major battle of the nineteenth century, on a 6’x4′ table (or very occasionally, 8’x4′), in an evening. Certainly that’s true for Gettysburg, Solferino, Koniggratz, Waterloo, Leipzig, all done in under 4 hours. Call it 16 player-hours, while there are also plenty of smaller battles that can be played through proportionately more quickly.  (I’d like to think that the command and control mechanisms, the large move distances and the swift combat resolution all contribute to generate plenty of interesting decisions along the way too, but that’s harder to measure.)

    Chris

    Bloody Big BATTLES!

    https://uk.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/BBB_wargames/info

    http://bloodybigbattles.blogspot.co.uk/

    #67719
    norm smith
    norm smith
    Participant

    When I read fast play, I feel like I am reading ‘only 4 pages’.

    What I hope fast play means is that a result is typically available from a single evenings session.

     

    http://commanders.simdif.com

    #67734

    Steve Johnson
    Participant

    I agree with you Norm. I’ve read reviews of some interesting rulesets this year, but have been put off by the general length of time to finish a game. For my friends and I, we’re lucky if we can get together for more than 3 hours, when time permits. A whole days gaming is no longer of interest for us; BBB allows us to fight large historical battles in a few hours and (generally) reach a conclusion. What’s not to like?

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