15/02/2021 at 09:38 #15096215/02/2021 at 10:26 #150971deephorseParticipant
Frankly I have zero interest in battle reports. When wargame shows existed I would look at the demo/display games just to check out the modelling of scenery and miniatures. I wouldn’t stand there watching the people play. Likewise a video of someone’s game. So a text with photos version of a battle report wouldn’t interest me at all. This even applies to games played with rules that I use. A FB group I belong to that is dedicated to my favourite WWII rules has featured many battle reports during lockdown. I look at the photos but don’t bother to read much, if any, of the text. But this is just me, YMMV!
Trust science, not the scientists.15/02/2021 at 11:28 #150972Chris PringleParticipant
I’m a big fan of the Post Game Thoughts with which Steve J always finishes his AARs on his “Wargaming Addict” blog. I like reflections on rules, scenarios, history, or gaming generally, as prompted by the game in question.
I like some eye-candy: nice terrain, well-painted figures, and especially when they show something unusual.
I don’t generally read blow-by-blow battle accounts.
For my own AARs on the BBBBlog I favour a very brief synopsis of the history (I almost always fight historical battles), a fairly brief summary of the main points of the action, and maybe a closing insight or comment. One photo of the game, or sometimes another relevant image, is the typical ration.
Chris15/02/2021 at 11:56 #150973Guy FarrishParticipant
I would once have been almost as down on battle reports as Deephorse (never quite – it was the extended reports on The Battle of Blasthof Bridge and Sittangbad in Charge! which started me off on wargaming after all).
That negativity was probably because of the style of many reports as much as anything:
A blow by blow description list of the modifiers for each charge, each combat calculation, each post combat morale test, with dice throws. Repeat for every move.
The alternative – purple prose descriptions of charges across the green baize steppes and Regal Cinema Saturday morning B picture dialogue were possibly worse.
But I have come to value reports that describe a battle simply, with useful dips into the mechanics to explain/discuss rule sets unfamiliar to me.
Some reports can break all the rules and still entertain. How? Good writing. What’s that?
If I knew that I’d be on the phone to Joss Whedon telling him he’d have to pay me double for the rights to my latest book for having been mean to Charisma Carpenter, instead of writing this.
To answer the question:
Why the battle is being fought (scenario – even if you make it up to contextualise a throw down, one off, battle, it is better than a pointless gladiatorial bash).
What the result was and how/why this fits into the above and how it would affect future events(who would omit this!? – lots of people – ‘we didn’t work out who won cos went to the pub after turn four, but we had a great time’).
A (brief) description of the pivotal moments of the battle (as purple as you like if it avoids cod archaisms, didactic speech in the middle of a melee and musings on the justness of X’s cause – God is on no-one’s side in battle), a comment on unusual rules events (why do they say cavalry have to pursue but don’t tell you what happens when an enemy unit is right in the path of the pursuit? Ideas/thoughts/ curses?). A quick thought on why it panned out as it did.
Perhaps a thought on whether the result by the rules reflected what you thought would have/should have happened really (difficult in a fantasy type battle but if in your head three elves should always defeat a hundred orcs you may consider why they didn’t this time, and if you want to tweak the rules accordingly, without breaking the rest of the rules, how you propose doing it).
On the other hand – you’re writing it for your enjoyment as well as ours, so go with you want out of a batrep.15/02/2021 at 12:13 #150974
For my two penneth:
Back fluff on why the battle is being fought, so it sets the scene.
OOB for both sides so I know the troops on show, command qualities, special rules etc where applicable.
An over view of the table and the deployment of both armies.
Turn markers and depending upon how you write up the game, an overview shot of each Turn as per the above, so you can keep track of what’s going on. Depending upon the game and rules used, I will either go for a Turn by Turn run through, or an Opening Moves, Middle Game and End Game, with annotated captions to the photos.
Post Game Thoughts as Chris has already kindly highlighted. I like to reflect upon the rules, the scenario, what worked, what didn’t etc.
Not as important, but I like to see consistent figure and terrain basing so there is a nice visual look to the game.
Hope this helps?15/02/2021 at 12:29 #150975Geof DowntonParticipant
I’m also of the ‘don’t like battle reports’ school. However, I do like stories, so if you’ve created a story by playing a game I want to read it as a story, as with your Chronicles of Erland. How about Stefan’s reports to his employer/editor?
One who puts on his armour should not boast like one who takes it off.
Ahab, King of Israel; 1 Kings 20:1115/02/2021 at 12:44 #150976irishserbParticipant
Regarding photos, I like to see an overview of the battlefield to help orient me. Otherwise, a mix of close up and wider views as needed to convey the story of the battle.
In the text, particularly if part of a campaign, a little backstory to put it all into perspective, some sort of description of the size of the forces, a brief presentation of the plan of battle, and a narrative that tells the story of the battle. I don’t care about details of your rules, unless maybe they are a set of house rules. I don’t need turn by turn, step by step description of the execution of the rules and dice results, I’m more interested in the story of the battle, than a description of playing the game, if that makes sense.
A closing discussion touching on losses, and how the results of the battle fit into the narrative or impact the campaign (when applicable) are nice too.15/02/2021 at 14:27 #150982
Another thing to bear in mind is the time taken to write up an AAR. Based upon my experience, even a relatively simple one takes longer than the game itself.15/02/2021 at 14:28 #15098315/02/2021 at 19:55 #15100315/02/2021 at 20:08 #151004Phil DutréParticipant
Don’t write battlereports if you don’t enjoy writing them 😉
But anyway, I like reports mainly consisting of photographs, with only 1 or 2 lines caption with each photo.
Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/15/02/2021 at 20:23 #151005PatriceParticipant
Regarding photos, I like to see an overview of the battlefield to help orient me. Otherwise, a mix of close up and wider views as needed to convey the story of the battle. In the text, particularly if part of a campaign, a little backstory to put it all into perspective, some sort of description of the size of the forces, a brief presentation of the plan of battle, and a narrative that tells the story of the battle.
I like pictures of what happens in the skirmish, or battle, or adventure (…not necessarily very nice pictures of superbly painted figures, but a view of what happens) and a story (“narrative” they call it now?) telling us why these people are here on this gaming table (which we suppose is a small part of the real world) and why are they fighting for.
I don’t care about rules and explanations of how gaming situations were resolved (…even once when someone with very good intentions wanted to do it using my own ruleset, I found that… it gets in the way of a good story) (or then it can be useful in other posts discussing the rules, not in an AAR).
Yup. My Burning Sands reports were a good 5 or 6 hours straight work
Seems a long time? Yes you need to choose the best pics, and to adapt their size etc. and write the comments, and post all of this, but you already know the story it should flow quite easily?
https://www.anargader.net/15/02/2021 at 21:52 #151008
I suppose when I read an AAR, I’m done within about 5 minutes, but this largely depends upon my interest in the scenario/period/rules along with the amount of detail included. The post game musings I tend to find the most interesting, assuming they are included of course.16/02/2021 at 14:34 #151043
I think you should just produce the type of battle report you want to read and leave it at that. This thread clearly shows the wide range of opinions on the topic. Clearly no way to appeal to everyone or even a large portion of the audience. So just write something you enjoy16/02/2021 at 14:39 #151044Guy FarrishParticipant
As it echoes what I said in my last sentence – I agree with what Zac said!16/02/2021 at 16:47 #151055
As it echoes what I said in my last sentence – I agree with what Zac said!
The internet is so much easier when we just agree with each other16/02/2021 at 18:52 #151058Jemima FawrParticipant
I’ve always liked the ‘story of the game’. Details of die-rolls bore me to tears and always remind me of Arnold Rimmer recounting his great Risk victory. However, I’ve had complaints in the past from people who want that sort of detail. You can’t please everybody… However, rules such as Fire & Fury help to please both sides of the argument, as firing, melee and manoeuvre/morale results are described in terms such as ‘Withering Fire’, Desperate Struggle’, ‘Tardy’ and ‘Swept From The Field’. If you play the rules, these mean very specific things (e.g. ‘Withering Fire’ means ‘The modified die-roll exceeds 10 and the target unit suffers 2 casualties’), but if you don’t play the rules it doesn’t detract from the narrative.
My wargames blog: http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/16/02/2021 at 22:39 #151061
I’ve always liked the ‘story of the game’. Details of die-rolls bore me to tears and always remind me of Arnold Rimmer recounting his great Risk victory.
I have done a battle report like that but it was part of a review and also meant to introduce people to the game so it had a lot of that detail.
I do like knowing when the dice are important or wildly random. Or when a player gets good results even though their chances are abysmal. Sometimes the dice are part of the narrative of the game.16/02/2021 at 23:50 #151062Mr. AverageParticipant17/02/2021 at 20:34 #151108ThuseldParticipant
I like big photos that highlight the action. Sometimes, where appropriate there may be arrows or symbols drawn onto the picture to highlight something also. I also like narrative style text that gives extra life to the action happening. I also like the author’s musings mixed in that comment on certain game mechanics or events outside of the in-game narrative.
If I see a comic strip style batrep, or a video, I pretty much scroll on.18/02/2021 at 07:07 #151113
I agree, the video AAR puts me off straight away! Ditto the comic book style.18/02/2021 at 10:59 #151127Don GlewweParticipant
In regard to “…the author’s musings mixed in that comment on certain game mechanics or events outside of the in-game narrative.”
If I’m interested in the rules and how they specifically created an event on the tabletop I’d like to know those details, but agree that such an interruption is a drag on the narrative. A solution may be in software that allows annotation in a sidebar of a highlighted word/phrase within the narrative? That way a reader could click/explore an explanation, or just breeze on by if not interested. dunno…
Along the same “if wishes were horses…” vein, I recall seeing a report where units in photos were identified by hovering the cursor over them.
…and while you’re at it, refill my glass…there’s a good chap. ; )
No matter the end result, I always appreciate the time/effort put into creating/posting an AAR.
https://brawlfactory.net/19/02/2021 at 01:41 #151142John D SaltParticipant
For my Conan style games I did comic book style reports, but they took forever and I am not sure that style suits WFB.
What do like / dislike in a battle report?
I usually line up with the folks who don’t like battle reports, but I really liked the comic book format.
What would you like to see in a Warhammer fantasy report?
Brevity. Word count no greater than a dozen, say.
All the best,
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.