Uncle Chestnut. Trying out our Squirmish Wars rule variants.
THE SIMPSONS NEWS
Not much new to report. Had some very complicated scenes to do that really slowed me down. I don’t feel I’m pulling my weight this time around. Hopefully, by the end of today, I would have gotten enough done to feel better about it all.
My G.K. Chesterton drawing, from a few posts back, got the attention of a much bigger Chesterton fan, Paul Nowak. As well as being a Chesterton enthusiast (and who isn’t, once you start reading his works?) he is also the author of three books, a freelance writer, a fellow board game enthusiast, a philosopher, Christian Apologist and he runs a darn good website. He was good enough to send me two of the books he wrote. Both of which are right up my alley: The Way of the Christian Samurai: Reflections for Servant-Warriors of Christ
and The Inconvenient Adventures of Uncle Chestnut.
I’m a fan of G.K. Chesterton. Some of Chesterton‘s books that I’ve read include: Heretics, Orthodoxy, The Man Who Was Thursday, The Everlasting Man, some of his Father Brown Mysteries, and some of his essays from What’s wrong with the world. I highly recommend all of these works.
I read The Inconvenient Adventures of Uncle Chestnut this weekend. It’s really great. It’s geared for kids and the stories are really fun. They’re inspired by some of the writings, thoughts, and real life experiences Chesterton wrote about in this books and articles, as well as some of his biographies. I found the stories to ring very true to the spirit of Chesterton’s writings. As I read this book, my brain was playing out the stories as if they were animated cartoons. I’ve always thought Chesterton was a great living cartoon, but reading this book really proved it to me. The book is a great way to introduce Chesterton to kids and even to parents, if they don’t know anything about Chesterton. It’s also a great tribute to the man. It captures that lovable thing about Chesterton that makes you keep coming back for more.
The other book, The Way of the Christian Samurai, I haven’t read yet, but I started to. I really can’t believe no one had ever thought to write about this subject before. I’m a big fan of the “mythology” of the Samurai. I’m a fan of Samurai movies (Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Lone Wolf and Cub, Lady Snow Blood, etc…) as well as some Samurai literature and Manga (Japanese comics). Though I know that the reality of the Samurai may not have been as glamorized as the mythologized figures they have become, the mythology of the Samurai is something quite fantastic and awesome. Paul Nowak has taken the Samurai’s code of Bushido and it’s examples and plugged it into Christianity. Suddenly you have two great tastes that taste great together. Holy Cow! They fit together so well! The small taste I got from the small part of the book that I’ve read so far has got me drooling. As an artist, my imagination is going crazy over the imagery of a Christian Samurai. Urge to draw…rising…
Get these books!
So Andy and I tried out playing Skirmish Wars: Advance Tactics (SWAT) with the new variant end game rules we borrowed from other games. We also tried out some random map placement rules that add a small “fog of war” aspect to the game.
First, the end game rules we used where borrowed from two games. (1) We borrowed the HeroScape rules of ending the game after a certain amount of turns, if the other official end game conditions were not met. This way, we tried to cut down the play time and keep it to about an hour to an hour and a half. We failed. At first we picked 20 turns but it was too long. Once we had hit turn 5 we realized we needed to cut the turns down so we decided to end the game on turn 10. It took us about 2 hours to play the game. (2) The next rule we borrowed was from the game Manoeuvre. Turns out SWAT and Manoeuvre have many things in common. I don’t own Manoeuvre but I do have the rules for the game on pdf. From those rules, I borrowed the “controlling enemy territory” victory point conditions, from the game. It worked great and it was a great motivator to not turtle in the game.
Second, the rules for map tile placement, we borrowed from Dungeon Twister. We placed map tiles face down, took turns putting face down buildings and terrain as we set the game up, and as we played the game, (as in Dungeon Twister) we revealed the upside down map tiles and placed the buildings and terrain we had originally place face down on that map tile. We also gave the Recon unit special powers just to add to the theme and to try to keep the game playing like the video game. It worked great. If there is one thing I would change, it would be that the placement of buildings when revealed by one player, would be done by the opposing player. As it was, because we didn’t do that. The person who got lucky enough to reveal map tiles that had buildings close to their home base, namely me, had a very unfair advantage since I was able to place the buildings near me and therefore ended up with tons of money, which won me the game. Had we done it the other way, the game would have been a much closer match.
Most of our additions really helped make the game even more enjoyable. Not sure if we’re going to play the game this Friday. I think Andy got disappointed that I won again. We might play a game of Dreamblade. We’ll see. It will also depend on how many players we’ll have since I’ve invited another friend of mine over to play with us.
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