Recently I've been pondering actually publishing the rules of my game WW2 The Big One. There are nine manuals plus additional material and enough of that to equal a tenth. The current method of delivery is in the form of MS Word documents. It occurred to me that this work deserves to live beyond the playing of the game.
Thirty years of work has gone into this project, writing and revising. That is four or five complete re-writes as new ideas and concepts come up. I think the finished product would be the size of a large novel, around 300 pages.
Why would anyone want it? The answer is that it is a very unique game system that, to my knowledge is not in use by any game but mine. It does away with the need for dice, random number generators, and similar systems. The results of engagements are decision-based and modified by situations, circumstance, and unit mix. In other words, players on both sides of a battle can determine results by comparing details.
A given force attacks a location which is defended by another force. Each player has his unit types and can deploy them to try and gain an advantage based on types. For example, having more infantry on a flank. Players can choose where their artillery will fire, left, right, and/or center. Individual tactics for each type of unit are chosen by the two sides, but sent secretly to the moderator. Also sent secretly are the number of Command Points each player will invest in the fight, and allotted to left, right, and/or center battle area.
Command points are spent by players to win an advantage. Higher command can lend points to the Tactical Officers to represent their interest and focus on an important engagement.
The moderator compares points spent and tactics used, each of which could give an advantage to a player.
Additional advantages are earned for weather, time of day, air support, naval gun support, terrain, experience of the units, past victories of each player.
In the end, the side with the higher total advantages wins the engagement.
Having said all that, by way of explanation of the system, I feel such a technique for settling battles could be applied to other games whether table-top, pbem, or miniatures. It can be used to settle land, sea, or air actions as it is used in my game. However, if nobody knows of the system it will die with the end of the game I am running.
If I put these rules into a book form, suggesting in the introduction that the system is very flexible and that the WW2 game can be viewed as an example of how to implement them, would it be of interest?
For instance, a modern war game might use the advantage and command point system too. The many devices used with modern weapons systems can be translated into advantages. A warship equipped with a surface-to-surface missile could gain one advantage for the type of missile fired, another for the fire-control system in use. Perhaps the missile has mid-course correction ability = advantage. The defending ship could have false target generation and IR flares, each an advantage if certain types of ECCM measures are not in use.
Adding up the advantages for each side and a last one for Command Points used would result in the hit or miss of the missile salvo. It works as well as rolling a die.
My target audience for such a book would be game designers. Players of my game might like a copy, of course. The work involved in producing a proper book is not insignificant. There is also the cost of doing so, at my own expense.
I continue to ponder this idea.