After much thinking (maybe even some agonizing) I have decided to put the development of my own, rather eccentric, home-brew rules in abeyance for the foreseeable future. It isn’t that I am not happy with them (they do exactly what I want after all) but making all the edits, new pages, play testing – as much as I enjoy it – interferes with doing what I like the most: designing historic (or cryptohistoric 🙂 ) scenarios AND actually playing the games!
It is also hard to talk to other wargamers if you have to explain the intricacies of your own custom system. Far better to adopt a standard rules set that everyone can get a hold of, play and discuss. For these reasons I have decided to adopt Baroque as that rules set. Is it perfect – no – but is it serviceable – yes. I have tweaked it slightly to conform to the tactical level at which I want to play – but, as much as possible – I want to try to conform to its structure.
I am keeping all the original pages of the In Red-Coat Rags Attired rules (as incomplete as they are) for reference and to prevent breaking myriad links on this blog. Perhaps one day I will revisit them.
Most wargamers like to fiddle with rules. Granted, to play games in pickup groups at conventions we (generally) stick to well-known and well-tested rules sets (with a game master to interpret the more ambiguous parts) but when playing solo (as I do most of the time) EVERYTHING gets customized. My rules development obviously fits my best understanding of how things worked in Musket and Pike warfare of the Seventeenth Century. This is, of course, a never ending process. I learn constantly from historical reading, the multitude of existing rules, gaming forums, and anything else that catches my attention. Sometime it seems hopeless but it is always fun.
It is entirely possible when playing solo to make it up as you go, to let a narrative drive the game. I suppose that this is what pure play is about, the play of childhood where we could simply move our toys around and make up a story about what was happening! That’s still pretty much what I do except I impose some order on the chaos of imagination with my ever evolving rules.
I use this blog to more or less explain to myself what the current rules are. There is no end in mind only the process. Most of the ideas I use come from the work of others but a few, I think, are original. Should anyone actually find them and like them they are welcome to them with no strings attached.