Home Forums General General Is there a market for microgames?

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  • #21605
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    A small, concise set of rules, about 10 pages or less.
    Some innovative mechanics, but kept fairly broad of course (in 10 pages you can’t hope to cover everything) and without a lot of the snazzier bits we tend to expect from games (lots of scenarios, army lists etc.)

    I imagine it’d be aimed at quick games with smaller armies. Cheap and quick gaming in every regard. Maybe also a good way to try a new period or a really specific setting.

    If something like that existed, would you be interested in it?
    Id love to try something like that, though I’d need to do it commercially since I need to pay bills.

    Maybe for 2 dollars or so per game. The price of a small coffee nowadays.

    What do you say?

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #21606
    shelldrake
    Participant

    Depending on how good the mechanics were, something aimed at quick games with smaller armies would appeal to myself, especially being on a budget.

    #21607
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    One of the advantages would be that a game like that could focus on relatively unique or interesting mechanics.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #21608
    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    On reading this, I immediately thought of One Hour Wargames by Neil Thomas. That’s not exactly what you’re talking about (the mechanics aren’t particularly innovative, it includes a bunch of scenarios, etc), but there are some similarities.

    I expect there is a market. I’d certainly be interested.

    Military history author
    Website : Twitter : Facebook

    #21609
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    They wouldn’t /have/ to be cleverclever rules wise, but I think it’d be more interesting that way.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #21610
    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    I agree, I’d probably be interested whether they had new/interesting/clever mechanics or not.

    Military history author
    Website : Twitter : Facebook

    #21614
    John D Salt
    Participant

    I’d suspect there should be.

    Way back when Jim Dunnigan’s S&T ruled the world, the SPI range of “foilo” games enjoyed consoderable success. Originally the half-size map and 100 counter limit was for reasons of economy, and subscribers did seem to have a preference for bigger “free” games in the magazine, but the discipline of producing a game with these restrictions produced some gems, such as “World War One”, “Battle for Germany”, and “Arnhem”.

    Before that, in the SF world, Steve Jackson’s “capsule” games seemed pretty successful, and last year I picked up my annversary edition of “Ogre” (in the original format and at the original proce, as near as dammit) for three quid.

    DBA’s spectacular and enduring success shows how a deliberately-small miniatures game can change the face of ancient wargaming.

    In the non-wargaming field, I very much enjoyed the producsts of Cheapass Games of Seattle; they were deliberately designed to cost as little as possible.

    It would make sense to me if designers were forced to think innovatively because of constraints of size — a bit like composing a haiku. Certainly it should compel them to simplify. I would also expect buyers to tolerate the unusual to a greater extent in a game that represented a small investment of money and time.

    All the best,

    John.

    #21615
    Rules Junkie Jim
    Participant

    I’d definitely be interested, and so would my printer.

    I’d completely forgotten about Cheapass Games – Kill Doctor Lucky was fantastic fun!

    #21619
    JozisTinMan
    Participant

    Count me in!  DBA got me into miniatures, and I have personally set a goal of playing all my games on a table no larger than 4′ x 4′.

    I was also a fan of S&T and Command Magazine back in the day.  I would rather have a fun, small game I actually play than a huge mega game I can never get around to. I had a nice copy of Hell’s Highway for years and was never able to get past 3 or 4 turns in the introductory scenario, much less the entirety of Market-Garden!

    http://jozistinman.blogspot.com/

    #21620
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    “Microgames” is a very broad concept. It’s everything from DBA to Bommerz Over Da Sulphur River. The former is a microgame in the sense of covering a very broad scope with a set of simplistic catch-all rules. The latter is one in the sense of only covering a very narrow scope, which allows for tailor-made rules that wouldn’t work well in a broad-scope catch-all sort of game but are all the more conducive for a specific pre-determined scenario.

    Which variety of microgames is this thread about?

    #21621
    Norm S
    Participant

    I think there almost certainly is a market. Plenty of people do not have the room, budget or lifestyle for bigger games.

    BUT this same group of people do not want second best, so I think you DO have to be clever etc to be able to get the right feel into a small body of rules, with clever mechanics that can simply   encompass a lot of doctrine, firepower, morale etc for few pages. The ghost Panzer boardgame (WWII tactical) is a very good example of some clever mechanics, they use a proficiency value that drives much of the system, cutting out a swathe of the sort of rules that otherwise appear in other similar games.

    I will probably buy the DBN download over the next couple of days and am hoping that this delivers much for a short ruleset.

    The only note of caution I would sound is that I think people make better rules when it is a system or genre that they have an interest and base of knowledge in – so those companies that do ‘small games’ tend to have a range of such and come from a position of understanding the gamer that the rules will serve, it might even come from their own personal needs.

     

    #21658
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    So a lot to ponder here.

    Appreciate the feedback and please do continue sharing your views.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

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