Home Forums General Game Design Computer-Moderated Games: A List?

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  • #147600
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    I was reading a recent thread on The Miniatures Page talking about Carnage & Glory.  It struck me how like Eaglebearer it sounded – perhaps the nature of computer-moderated games lends itself to a certain type of game, or that gamers think that computers will solve the problems inherent in certain types of games.  Anyway, a question for the hive mind: how many computer-moderated wargame rules can you think of?

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #147626
    McKinstry
    Participant

    I think the naval rules Shipbase III are still out there. Berthier the campaign software is in its’ umpteenth iteration.

    The tree of Life is self pruning.

    #147649
    John D Salt
    Participant

    Is there any difference between a “computer-moderated game” and a “game assistance program”?

    All the best,

    John.

    #147664
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Is there any difference between a “computer-moderated game” and a “game assistance program”?

    I suppose there might be…one might have the rules mechanics embedded in the computer program and the other might be to to do away with the rosters and  markers alone.

     

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #147671
    deephorse
    Participant

    I can only think of the two computer moderated games that I was unfortunate enough to play many years ago.  So long ago in fact that I cannot remember their titles.  One was Napoleonic naval and the other Napoleonic land.  I disliked them both because using them was akin to your opponent throwing the dice for both of you behind a screen so that you couldn’t see the result.  And then reading off the results from a chart that you didn’t have a copy of, and weren’t allowed to see either.  As the maths exam paper says,”show your working out in your answer”.  Have such game aids improved over the last thirty odd years?

    Less enthusiasm, please. This is Britain.

    #147745
    John D Salt
    Participant

    Computer-assisted rules, or GAPs that assist with the rules, I tend to think of as products of “many years ago”. Like Deephorse, the efforts I experienced at wargames shows in decades gone by I found to be quite dreadful. Any that are still about I suspect are leftovers from that era, and still bear the stigmata of DOS.

    A couple of pieces on this topic, twelve years old but still treating the idea as dated, are in Nuggets 213 and 214, available at the WD web site for free:

    http://www.wargamedevelopments.org/Nugget2007-8/nugget_back.htm

    The computer assistance I hear of people actually using are the applications like VASSAL and CyberBoard, which are all about recording the game state to support PBM or PBEM play, or just as an alternative representation of a boardgame to physical map and counters.

    A curious class of computer game is the computer implementation of a manual game; Computer DBA was an example of this, although I think that died with Windows XP, and I understand that Memoir 44 can be played on the manufacturer’s web site. I have personally computerised a set of naval wargames rules written by a group of friends, originally with the intention of doing some historical analysis on the Goeben action in August 1914, but now as a means of checking and testing the rules before we publish the 3rd edition. It’s amazing how a set of rules you’ve played for years, and thought to be quite tightly-worded, can be shown to be ambiguous when you try to explain them to a computer.

    All the best,

    John.

    #147746
    deephorse
    Participant

    It’s amazing how a set of rules you’ve played for years, and thought to be quite tightly-worded, can be shown to be ambiguous when you try to explain them to a computer. All the best, John.

    This effect also applies when a set of rules is first exposed to people who are a). not the authors, and b). not the playtesters.  They know the intent of the rules too well, and don’t realise that the rest of us have no idea what they are talking about because they failed to explain it clearly.

    Less enthusiasm, please. This is Britain.

    #147750
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Many thanks all.  I (re-)read those Nugget articles, all seem very cogent.  The game-assistance program will not quite die, I don’t think, because of the strain within the hobby that really wants to play the Quarrie rules or similar – and that will always lead to someone thinking that the best way to do it would be to get a computer to help.  I was quite surprised that an app-based version of Polemos was being developed, but that seems to have been abandoned, for the present.

    A curious class of computer game is the computer implementation of a manual game; Computer DBA was an example of this, although I think that died with Windows XP, and I understand that Memoir 44 can be played on the manufacturer’s web site.

    Computer game implementations of popular board games seem to be very much in evidence at the moment.  Twilight Struggle, Labyrinth, Lord of the Rings, Command & Colors and so on are all on Steam.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #147758
    Etranger
    Participant

    Our group uses Carnage and Glory for our SYW games & find it excellent. There’s a bit of setting up required pregame to get the rosters into the computer but once that’s done it flows smoothly. One player acts as an ‘Umpire’, entering the data as required. He can take a side, but often we have 3 or 4 players. We’d expect to fight a Corps level battle in 3 hours using C & G. We find the results plausible.

    We’re an experienced group including a well known and much published rules author & we find that C & G fits our purposes. I’ve also got the ECW set but haven’t tried them out yet.

    #147762
    John D Salt
    Participant

    Having had a flonk around the interwebs leads me to believe that, while my impression of computer assisted rules as relics from the age of DOS applies to quite a few of the things on offer, there are a few people who persist with this sort of thing, so there are one or two more recent offerings written in Java or Javascript rather than Basic.

    Two enthusiasts for the genre, whose names I swear I’ve heard before, are Arofan Gregory and Clinton Reilly, whose web pages are at

    http://wargamingmachines.org/index.htm

    and

    http://computermoderated.com/

    Arofan Gregory’s page contains a listing of available programs. When compared with the proliferation of miniatures rules, boardgames and computer games, I think it is fair to say that this remains a minority sport.

    One might well imagine that the current Covid kerfuffle would create demand for software to support whatever the Zoom or Teams equivalent of PBEM is, but I’m a little mystified as to what role the toy soldiers then have to play. Presumably what is really needed is a setup with a 3D camera one end and a hologram generator the other, so that images of the opponent’s miniatures can be projected onto the physical wargames table at the other end. Miniatures wargamers will then be able to discover the joys of consistency maintenance between federated terrain models, the kind of thing that has been keeping parallel and distributed simulation modellers awake at night for years. Ah, the benefits of progress.

    All the best,

    John.

    #147892
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    I have just been flicking through the very first issue of Miniature Wargames and it has an article showing in broad terms how to write a computer program to moderate your favourite ruleset (the author uses WRG 1925-50).

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

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