Home Forums General Game Design What is a narrative wargame? Reply To: What is a narrative wargame?

Brian Handley

Craig Cartmell,

proably gives one of the best definitions too me of a Narative wargame in some cases.  However in our own games, most of the talk is about where where one or othereof us went wrong.   That is about tactics, identifying or not doing so key terrain or failing to bring reserves in in a timely manner.  However is that realy just a narative game? or is it that some miniatures games have less flexibility to do anything novel.  My own experience is that may games once deployed fail desperately to allow any individualism in play.  The classic 6″ infantry 12″ horse/tank does this.  There are better examples DBM with the book level of points and regular armies does allow for tactical surprise by both parties.

I see no real reason more randomness or event cards are needed to make a narrative game  IF the game allows credible flexibility to the opponents to write there own creativity into the play.

I see no reason whatsoever why rules really feature in the definition of narrative play provided.

  1. the rules allow credible decision making and a credible scenario.  Two sides lined up seems the most boring and no amount of story telling or event cards can substitute for an interesting and challenging scenario with lots of credible solutions.  These complex and stories allow the threading of not just a story but a Saga for which the skilled among us could torn into a saga
  2. The players have a credible understanding of the period (real or fantasy) and the rules so that they can concentrate on what they need too, the management of the strategy and not on die rolling and daft often un-representative events.  Beginners are never going to cope initially with truly interesting games they do not have the experience.