11 Historical Wargame Tricks Infographic

Have you ever wanted to rewrite history, one battle at a time? By designing historical wargame scenarios, you can do just that. It’s a chance to delve into legendary battles, understands their tactics, and then bring them to life on your tabletop in an informative and exciting way. Keep reading to explore tips and advice on how to design historically accurate and engaging scenarios for your game.

1. Know the Past

When you’re creating a scenario for a historical wargame, the first step is to clarify the basics. Who are the opposing sides? What are their reasons for fighting? How did the conflict ultimately conclude? You can quickly obtain this information by conducting an online search for a reliable article or summary.

2. Explore Different Viewpoints

To get a realistic sense of a battle, it’s best to look for first-hand stories such as letters from soldiers or reports from the scene. These give you a more personal and emotional understanding of the events. You can also incorporate information from history books or expert analyses to round out your understanding. These sources can offer different angles and perspectives, allowing you to zoom out and see the bigger picture.

3. Choose Your Battle

Look for a battle that piques your interest and offers enough depth to make for a compelling game. Consider factors such as the battle’s complexity, the strategies employed by both sides and the impact the battle had on history.

4. Lay Out the Map

Consider how key features such as hills, rivers, and urban areas shaped the battle. The layout of the map is crucial as it directly impacts game strategies and player decisions.

5. Balance the Forces

Maintaining balance is a critical aspect of historical wargames. It is necessary to ensure that both sides have an equal opportunity to win. This may require some deviations from historical accuracy in favor of gameplay. The primary objective is to create a scenario that is both challenging and engaging, offering players various strategic possibilities to explore.

6. Consider Pacing and Game Flow

If you’re designing a historical game, it’s essential to provide players with a glimpse of those long and intense battles. However, it’s crucial to keep the game engaging. You can incorporate unexpected events such as night attacks or abrupt weather changes to make it feel more realistic and keep players on their toes without making it too lengthy.

7. Set Time and Turn Limits

Imposing time and turn limits in a game can simulate the pressure that commanders experienced in real battles. For instance, you can create a scenario based on a famous battle where a crucial target had to be captured before dawn. This way, players can experience the excitement of racing against time while balancing the historical challenge with keeping the game fun and engaging.

8. Incorporate Tactical Flexibility

Throughout history, winning battles didn’t always require having the largest army. In some cases, it was the army that utilized smarter tactics that emerged victorious. You can apply this concept to your game by creating scenarios where players can leverage the environment to their advantage. For example, you could include opportunities for ambushes in forested areas or encourage players to hold the high ground for better defense.

9. Focus on Supplies and Logistics

During actual battles, ensuring that your troops are supplied was a crucial aspect. It would be a good idea to incorporate this aspect into your game. Players should not only focus on fighting but also consider maintaining the provisions and weaponry of their soldiers.

10. Make it Interesting

Let’s add some historical flavor to the recreation. If there’s a famous general from the battle, give the player leading that side a special move or bonus in honor of the general’s renowned abilities.

11. Test it Out

It’s important to playtest it to see how it will perform. You will never know how it’ll go until real players interact with it. Observe how players react, what strategies they use, and where they struggle. Use this feedback to make necessary adjustments to your scenario. The more you refine it, the better it will become.

Designing historical tabletop wargames involves the art of bringing history to life. It requires solid research and creative gameplay, balancing realism with fun, and continuously refining the game. Each game takes you on a thrilling journey through history, right on your tabletop. Observe and play, make adjustments as needed, and most importantly, enjoy the battle.

source: https://wargamesdelivered.com/blogs/wargamesdelivered/gaming-the-past-tips-for-designing-historical-wargame-scenarios


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