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Tycho / on Wed, Dec 15 2010 at 12:00 am

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Things, Part Two

My cohort feels bad about his regular Monday game going on hiatus - I would submit - because he hasn’t seen or run enough tables to know that far from being a statistical anomaly this is actually the most likely outcome.  The misshapen wreckage of promising campaigns is heaped in smoking pyres, charred and unrecognizable.  Whole realities are thrown away or put on hold, and the mortals that strove to win them find obliteration instead of a hero’s rest.

Happens all.  the.  time.

Sucks for those heroes, maybe, and the children of living crystal they were in the middle of saving probably wish things had turned out differently.  Quite often in these cases, searing magma is the real winner, slipping out of the cracks in the narrative, the faultlines between friends, and by the time it cools maybe people are ready to invest themselves again.  Maybe.

Having some experience in these matters, I directed him toward a bulbous and straining cache of ancient aggression circa ‘89.  Vintage wrath, and it was a good year.

The main advantage of playing games on a computer, whether they be native beasts or some fanciful Eurogame conversion, is the addition of an unsparing, wholly impartial adjudicator who is really good at math and doesn’t ever wrong.

The inauguration of a fully-functional Warmachine night that spanned four factions allowed me to achieve a state which was beyond human exhilaration, but the inherently analogue nature of wargames in general made us long for some kind of Battle Magistrate to resolve disputes.  Dungeons & Dragons (at least, as played these days) might have some interpretations that people can argue about, but people very rarely argue about something like range or the area affected by a template.  And even if they did, and I’ve seen this happen at Gabe’s table, I think I may even have been the agent of this dissension, the DM just reminds you who has the fucking reins of this shit and the fight is over.

You get used to someone (or something) answering questions like this for you in the background; you look at your hotbar in World of Warcraft and if shit ain’t gon’ work, it’s greyed out.  Not so here in Warmachine Town, which I think is technically called Caen, but whatever.  You commit scarce resources and commit attacks based on your estimation that an enemy is within range, and whole games can turn on these maneuvers.  That’s something you don’t get in a digital arbitration engine, I suppose; a possibility space which is as wide as human frailty.

(CW)TB out.

kind and good


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