Monday, 17 July 2017

"Fast play rules" again?

Just a quick rant:

I recently saw an advert for a new set of rules: "Fast Play Rules for the <insert period here>".

It reminded me of notorious rulesets of the past that were also labeled as "Fast Play Rules". Just do a Google search on "fast play wargaming rules", and you get a whole series of results.

Now, according the the designer, the rules might actually be fast to play. But that's as seen from his point of view. Other players might not think the rules are fast at all, and might consider them a terribly slow and painful exercise. Actually, the whole adjective of "fast play" is meaningless, if you lack a common fame of reference.

Would any ruleset ever advertise itself as "Slow and tedious rules for ... "? Sure they are all fast play? Or do some wargame designers specifically aim for slow play?

It also reminds me of academic papers that list the advantages of certain algorithms (I am a computer scientist working in academics, so I know a thing or two about academic publishing). The adjectives are hyped up with each consecutive paper: "fast" , "really fast", "extremely fast" - or in the case of computer graphics "interactive" or "real time". In most cases - unless actual timings are given on specific machines - meaningless.

And on another note: I managed to clean up my painting desk a bit, so I might actually get some painting done during the next couple of weeks after a hiatus of several months.


  1. Yes I can recall plenty of "fast play" rules that were not, It is as you say BUT to me -these days at least "fast play" often implies "lightweight drivel"- especially if they also purport to be historical- as for fast play fantasy - why would I care as it is simply another game of Dwarf fiddling just like all the others fast or slow !

    1. I think the art of rules design is underestimated in wargaming (historicals or not). Too many rules writers are too happy with putting together a set of disjunct mechanics, and racking up the die modifiers.

  2. Its perhaps time that rule writers found a new way to describe their rules. Being a person who moves his lips to read, I can never use fast play rules because my fingers dont move that fast. Anyway who wants fast. Understandable perhaps, quite historical would be good and also great fun is very desirable.