Monday 28 January 2013

The cost of producing computer wargames

Why do manual military board games still get produced.

There are many board games still being produced by makes such as Decision Games. The question is asked why are the best of these games not converted to run on a computer. The answer is cost. A major computer game costs an average of $20 million in 2010 and takes a team of 20-100 people. To produce a military simulation for the computer, of a standard to match a game from Strategy and Tactics, would cost a staggering amount and would never be recouped by selling several thousand copies. So manual wargames continue to be produced in a format that the early developers at SPI and Avalon Hill would have recognised. Paper maps, cardboard counters and printed rules will be with us for a while yet.

Thursday 17 January 2013

Update on Fletcher Pratt Naval Wargame

As a few of you might know I have been hunting down original material on the Fletcher Pratt naval wargame. Over the years, I had enough to publish a book on the subject.

I reckoned there were only three more sources of unpublished Pratt material in the world. Two collections the size of a small shoe box and a large box worth.

Well, at last after a period of tense negotiations and help from some random American wargamers who I have never met, I am now confident the large box of Pratt stuff being dispatched to me from a cellar in the US. It apparently includes an original model ship or two.

I was sent a random page by email and by chance it had the formula Pratt used for his armour penetration. It was in a letter from Doc Clarke (Pratt's umpire). This alone would be good, but I am hopeful of more. Of course, it may just be a duplicate of what I have already found.

Is it going to contain the other half of the Fletcher Pratt Napoleonic Ship game (I have half), will it have the missing optional rules for individual ships (I know they had the rules, I just do not have them)? Will it have new material I had no idea existed? I live in hopes.

One of the really nice things about the project has been ordinary wargamers from around the planet who put pen to paper and send me interesting bits which add to the project.