Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I FOUND IT!! (An Accidental Diatribe on the History of Table Top War and Role Playing Games)

See Yesterday's Post First.

I knew I had seen it somewhere recently, I knew I had seen it and that seeing it is what had jogged my memory of it—I couldn't remember where I had seen it though.

The Program is Called Vassel Game Engine.

Looking through the games available, it appears that the reason the program was created, was primarrily for those that play war simulation games. Have you seen these games?

These Games Come With manuals that are books. They come with pages and pages of Chits that need to be punched out. They come with large maps made of hexagons, and you generally have to have a pretty good grasp on war history and be very good at strategy to play them. And they take a long time to play, people leave these things up for months. At least that's the impression that I get—I've never really wanted to play those games.

What's facinating about these historical war strategy games, is that they are the direct ancestry of the Table Top Roll Playing Games that I enjoy so much. Table Top War Gaming has a long history. In 1911 H.G. Wells wrote a book called Floor Games, and in 1913 another book titled Little Wars. These were structured rule sets for tabletop war-gaming. In 1971 Gary Gygax and Jeff Perren published Chainmail, a rule set for Medieval War-gaming in a Fantasy setting, meant to capture the feeling of the Swords and Sorcery pulp fiction of the 1920's (i.e. Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian).

Swords and Sorcery Fantasy is different from Contemporary Fantasy. The main difference is level of magic. Swords and Sorcery is often referred to as Low Fantasy; the Villains are Human, there is a little bit of Magic, and there are some Fantastic Creatures (i.e. Conan). Contemporary Fantasy is often referred to as High Fantasy. Magic is everywhere, Wizards abound and Dragons Fill the Skies (i.e. Lord of the Rings).

Chainmail was a proper war-game, where each figure represented a group of units. Dave Arneson used the Chainmail rules in a setting he named Blackmoor; but instead of having each player represent several units, he had them represent an individual—and thus Dungeons and Dragons was born (originally published by Gygax and Arneson in 1974), the father of Table Top Role Playing Games.

But I didn't mean to get in to a diatribe about the history of Table Top Gaming. I just wanted to mention that in attempting to repair my Windows 2000 machine—I saw a Vassal Windows folder in the Desktop Folder, and knowing the name I could easily find the website. Someone even already started the work and has Zombies!!! and three expansions already available.

By the way, does anyone have a ntfs.sys from Windows 2000 service pack 4 handy?

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