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Chess history (was Re: [DBA] Once again the JERBOA study)

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  • KH.Ranitzsch@t-online.de
    ... Note that there are a lot of Chess variants around that people have dreamed up - variant rules, variant playing pieces, different boards, multiplayer...
    Message 1 of 22 , Jun 1, 2001
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      --- In DBA@y..., Dan Hazelwood <danh@t...> wrote:
      > In fairness, it is safe to say the rules for Chess are fairly stable
      > and unlikely to change any time soon.
      >
      > In fairness also, I don't think a minatures rule set will be that
      > stable any time soon. Minature gamers are too likely to modify and
      > create house rules.

      Note that there are a lot of Chess variants around that people have
      dreamed up - variant rules, variant playing pieces, different
      boards, multiplayer... Some of them are even sold as games in their
      own right.

      It's just that the basic game is so dominant that we easily overlook
      the variants.

      In my experience, there are also a lot of players who play wargames by
      the book and resist any house rules.

      Greetings
      Karl Heinz
    • KH.Ranitzsch@t-online.de
      ... Generally, Phil has an impressive knowledge of military history and a knack for analysing it and converting it into game rules. Some of his articles in
      Message 2 of 22 , Jun 1, 2001
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        --- In DBA@y..., "Ray Rangel" <ray.rangel@w...> wrote:
        > I guess the point is that Phil wrote the rules in a manner that
        > represents *his* opinions...not yours. When you play the game, you
        > are representing history as *he* sees it, not you. You are using
        > mechanics that *he* thinks work well, not you.

        Generally, Phil has an impressive knowledge of military history and a
        knack for analysing it and converting it into game rules. Some of his
        articles in Slingshot discussing the rationales behind WRG rules were
        a very interesting read.

        That said, he occasionally gets totally silly ideas about history and
        argues them with flawed logic, in bad style, rarely citing sources and
        not wanting to acknowledge defeat - even when it's obvious he is
        wrong.

        > After all, it's been over a decade and DBA's in its third revision.
        > It's written in the same language as it was in 1.0 and in the same
        > style as DBM and DBR. What in the world makes you think anything is
        > going to substantially change? And, as far as I'm concerned, why
        > should it?

        Because the style in which Phil writes rules is awful. The games are
        nice, but the rules ARE hard to read.

        There are some reasons Phil uses to defend it:
        - The rules are concise - but he has cut redundancy down to the bones.
        - The rules should be rules-lawyer-proof (indeed, proof against
        'deliberate misunderstanding' - PB in Slingshot). - A valid point, but
        with his style of aiming for this, PB drives off 'normal' gamers.
        - The rules have to fit into the available space, and extra pages
        would make them unacceptably costly - a red gherring, pure and simple,
        but the single worst problem.
        - The rules are precise and you just have to read them carefully -
        This is often true, but you have to watch for every comma and
        semicolon.

        The rules could be more readable. See, for example, the draft rules
        for 'Hordes of the things' on RBS' website:
        http://www.byzant.demon.co.uk/HOTT%20Battle%20Web.htm

        Apparently, these are mainly under control of RBS, with limited
        involvement of PB ;-)

        Greetings
        Karl Heinz
      • Jan Spoor
        ... And sometimes makes the rules confusing and ambiguous in the process. ... And doesn t come close to making them ruleslawyerproof in the process, and
        Message 3 of 22 , Jun 1, 2001
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          At 08:45 AM 6/1/01 +0000, KH.Ranitzsch@... wrote:

          >There are some reasons Phil uses to defend it:
          >- The rules are concise - but he has cut redundancy down to the bones.

          And sometimes makes the rules confusing and ambiguous in the process.

          >- The rules should be rules-lawyer-proof (indeed, proof against
          >'deliberate misunderstanding' - PB in Slingshot). - A valid point, but
          >with his style of aiming for this, PB drives off 'normal' gamers.

          And doesn't come close to making them ruleslawyerproof in the process, and
          several people have pointed out with analysis of the current edition and
          the cheese you could pull off if you really wanted to be a pain.

          >- The rules have to fit into the available space, and extra pages
          >would make them unacceptably costly - a red gherring, pure and simple,
          >but the single worst problem.

          This remains manifestly ridiculous, given the other authors who produce
          longer, larger, clearer sets of rules on shoestring budgets..

          >- The rules are precise and you just have to read them carefully -
          >This is often true, but you have to watch for every comma and
          >semicolon.

          And his bad grammar and poor punctuation make this even more difficult.

          >The rules could be more readable. See, for example, the draft rules
          >for 'Hordes of the things' on RBS' website:
          >http://www.byzant.demon.co.uk/HOTT%20Battle%20Web.htm
          >
          >Apparently, these are mainly under control of RBS, with limited
          >involvement of PB ;-)

          And they're not perfect (certainly the one thing I'll agree with Ray "If
          you meanies don't stop bashing poorly written and confusing rules, I'll
          hold my breath until my face turns blue" Rangel is that no set of rules is
          ever going to be completely perfect), but they're clearer and easier to
          understand than DBA by miles!

          Jan
        • Jerboa
          De: william radetzky [mailto:5hussars@excite.com] What is this JERBOA Study? Let s see, hmmmm, I have been teaching the DBA system to school kids ranging from
          Message 4 of 22 , Jun 1, 2001
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            De: william radetzky [mailto:5hussars@...]

            What is this JERBOA Study?

            Let's see, hmmmm, I have been teaching the DBA system to school kids ranging
            from 9 to 17 years of age for 5 years now. Yep, a class devoted to DBA. Each
            class is 2 and a half hours long and covers a span of 5 days. I teach one in
            the morning and one in the afternoon.

            I really must read this "JERBOA STUDY" ... snip...

            -----------

            Dear Sir:

            There is no such thing as a Jerboa Study, and also Jerboa is not the focus
            of this group. The focus of this group is the discussion of DBA rules and
            other DBA related issues.
            I'm not that pleased to see my name as a subject of messages either 'for or
            against', though obviously you are in no way responsible for that.

            The DBA Study is an analysis of the DBA game, and attempts to reasonably
            interpret the rules as written.
            It is in no way an alternative set of rules and does not include any magical
            solutions to the problems that most players have been facing. You might see
            it as a personal view of the game, on the prespective of the author, and
            only that. It was not approved or even reviewed by WRG, and contains
            acknowlegments to people that have discussed the rules w me, but including
            those that have often - very often - differing views.

            As such you, a DBA teacher, should not look at the study as a way to
            'correct' any of your interpretations.
            Instead it could be interesting reading to know about other people
            prespectives and interpret problems, to get to your own conclusions.

            The main value of this work for me is that it CLEARLY presents the problems
            in a WRITTEN form. A considerable risk that I took.

            It is also a bit utdated from the moment PB has addressed some of the
            issues, confirming some interpret, but not others. A new edition has been
            requested and will be released after I know about PB interpretations at
            HCon.


            Jerboa

            The only one in our group to own Camel elements.
            Is that why no one else, on dry or littoral homelands, uses Dunes?
          • jvia1128@aol.com
            Message 5 of 22 , Jun 1, 2001
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            • Ken Blackley
              ... **** Investigating other games MUST be a good idea. Otherwsie I wouldn t do it so much.:-) ... **** Why, yes. Try playing Warhammer Ancients if you want to
              Message 6 of 22 , Jun 1, 2001
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                On Thu, 31 May 2001, Ray Rangel wrote:

                > Ok you guys. If you don't like it, change it to suit your own particular
                > tastes or go find a game that will give you more pleasure. This is not to
                > say that you have no right to complain or that you should "love it or leave
                > it". It is, rather, a suggestion that you investigate the possibility that
                > another game or author might be more to your liking.

                **** Investigating other games MUST be a good idea. Otherwsie I wouldn't
                do it so much.:-)


                > As in literature, one has his likes and dislikes. For instance, I can't
                > stand reading Stephen King novels. Some people love them. It's a matter of
                > taste. Game rule authors have their views on what constitutes a good game,
                > is historical, and how they present it to others. There are other games
                > whose authors don't see history the same way as PB. Try Armati, Might of
                > Arms, or Tactica. See whether those represent history in a manner which is
                > closer to your own conceptions. I own several Napoleonic, Colonial, WWI
                > Aero, and Ancients sets of rules. Each has its own character and viewpoint.
                > It is interesting to see how different authors approach the issues that face
                > every game author.

                **** Why, yes. Try playing Warhammer Ancients if you want to see the exact
                opposite model of DBA. Or Armati if you want what I consider the most
                realistic, (yet dull) fast-play game out. Or days of Knights if you want
                the best later medieval (IMHO) ...etc

                > Sorry everyone. I just get really weary of the PB bashing. Whether it's
                > cloaked in "I really like this game, but it sucks..." crap or whether its
                > worked in a pseudo-objective "study" crap...it's still crap and contributes
                > nothing.

                **** I've always considered DBA a basic game toolbox, out of which can be
                built many wonderful games. For example, one of our listers, Bruce
                McFarlane, has taken the DBA Humbserside extensions plus some of his own
                stuff to make some truly inventive games covering everything from time
                travel to the Arab-Israeli War (HOTT Gods are great for representing
                airpower!:-)). Or, we use a combination of DBA and DBM to make a very
                entertaining Big-Battle variant.

                What I'm saying is that if you don't like something, change it! You don't
                have to have Phil's permission to make BUAs optional in arable, or to make
                your own definition of what constitutes shooting on a rear edge or
                whatever. Just enjoy this wonderful toolbox we have given; play it
                out-of-the-box, or use it to make your own game. Just enjoy it for
                the ingenious little game it is. DBA 2.0 is a GREAT game.

                Ken



                KEN BLACKLEY email: kblackle@...

                Ken Blackley's Medieval Wargames Page:
                http://fn2.freenet.edmonton.ab.ca/~kblackle/
              • BOB
                Interesting how different groups cover same topics. This was posted to the renaissance yahoo group at about KH s comments to this one, on Phil s expertise. I
                Message 7 of 22 , Jun 1, 2001
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                  Interesting how different groups cover same topics. This was posted to the
                  renaissance yahoo group at about KH's comments to this one, on Phil's
                  expertise.

                  "I am an historian of Renaissance warfare and I just found your
                  >website re wargaming that same subject.
                  >
                  >I am myself not a wargamer, but unlike some professional military
                  >historians I do not think it beneath contempt, etc. and have long
                  >thought that wargamers have a valuable way of looking at the
                  >military past. Phil Barker and the Wargames Research Group are great
                  >examples."

                  snip unrelated text
                  >
                  >Tom
                  >
                  >Thomas F Arnold
                  >Assistant Professor of History
                  >Yale University


                  Bob
                  beattie@...

                  --On Friday, June 1, 2001 8:45 AM +0000 KH.Ranitzsch@... wrote:

                  > --- In DBA@y..., "Ray Rangel" <ray.rangel@w...> wrote:
                  >> I guess the point is that Phil wrote the rules in a manner that
                  >> represents *his* opinions...not yours. When you play the game, you
                  >> are representing history as *he* sees it, not you. You are using
                  >> mechanics that *he* thinks work well, not you.
                  >
                  > Generally, Phil has an impressive knowledge of military history and a
                  > knack for analysing it and converting it into game rules. Some of his
                  > articles in Slingshot discussing the rationales behind WRG rules were
                  > a very interesting read.
                  >
                  > That said, he occasionally gets totally silly ideas about history and
                  > argues them with flawed logic, in bad style, rarely citing sources and
                  > not wanting to acknowledge defeat - even when it's obvious he is
                  > wrong.
                  >
                  >> After all, it's been over a decade and DBA's in its third revision.
                  >> It's written in the same language as it was in 1.0 and in the same
                  >> style as DBM and DBR. What in the world makes you think anything is
                  >> going to substantially change? And, as far as I'm concerned, why
                  >> should it?
                  >
                  > Because the style in which Phil writes rules is awful. The games are
                  > nice, but the rules ARE hard to read.
                  >
                  > There are some reasons Phil uses to defend it:
                  > - The rules are concise - but he has cut redundancy down to the bones.
                  > - The rules should be rules-lawyer-proof (indeed, proof against
                  > 'deliberate misunderstanding' - PB in Slingshot). - A valid point, but
                  > with his style of aiming for this, PB drives off 'normal' gamers.
                  > - The rules have to fit into the available space, and extra pages
                  > would make them unacceptably costly - a red gherring, pure and simple,
                  > but the single worst problem.
                  > - The rules are precise and you just have to read them carefully -
                  > This is often true, but you have to watch for every comma and
                  > semicolon.
                  >
                  > The rules could be more readable. See, for example, the draft rules
                  > for 'Hordes of the things' on RBS' website:
                  > http://www.byzant.demon.co.uk/HOTT%20Battle%20Web.htm
                  >
                  > Apparently, these are mainly under control of RBS, with limited
                  > involvement of PB ;-)
                  >
                  > Greetings
                  > Karl Heinz
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >
                  >



                  Bob
                  beattie@...
                • jblittlefield@email.com
                  ... don t have to have Phil s permission to make BUAs optional in arable, or to make your own definition of what constitutes shooting on a rear edge or
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jun 1, 2001
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                    > What I'm saying is that if you don't like something, change it! You
                    don't have to have Phil's permission to make BUAs optional in arable,
                    or to make your own definition of what constitutes shooting on a rear
                    edge or whatever. Just enjoy this wonderful toolbox we have given;
                    play it out-of-the-box, or use it to make your own game. Just enjoy
                    it for the ingenious little game it is. DBA 2.0 is a GREAT game.
                    >
                    > Ken


                    Here, here! A voice in the wilderness. Finally someone who admits to
                    doing what most players, consciously or subconciously, do on a
                    regular basis. DBA is a great game and a great "toolbox" as Ken puts
                    it.

                    We've used DBA as a anchor point for ACW, WW2 and fantasy games - all
                    were rooted in DBA mechanics and were easily expanded and built upon
                    to produce fun "DBA-esque" games.
                  • KH.Ranitzsch@t-online.de
                    ... I don t think we are really disagreeing here. Phil knows a lot and has good ideas. But occasionally he goes off the deep end. I remember a debate in
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jun 2, 2001
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                      --- In DBA@y..., BOB <beattie@u...> wrote:
                      > Interesting how different groups cover same topics. This was
                      > posted to the renaissance yahoo group at about KH's comments to
                      > this one, on Phil's expertise.
                      > > "and have long thought that wargamers have a valuable way of
                      > > looking at the military past. Phil Barker and the Wargames
                      > > Research Group are great examples."

                      Me:
                      > > Generally, Phil has an impressive knowledge of military history
                      > > and a knack for analysing it and converting it into game rules.

                      > > That said, he occasionally gets totally silly ideas about history

                      I don't think we are really disagreeing here. Phil knows a lot and
                      has good ideas. But occasionally he goes off the deep end. I remember
                      a debate in Slingshot on how pila and other spears were thrown. He
                      had a wacky idea and got totally slaughtered by half a dozen
                      correspondents, and there have been other, less extreme, examples.

                      Greetings
                      Karl Heinz
                    • KH.Ranitzsch@t-online.de
                      ... If you see specific problem points, have you discussed them on the HOTTREVISION Yahoo list or directly with Richard ? Preferably with suggestions on how to
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jun 2, 2001
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                        --- In DBA@y..., Jan Spoor <jspoor@p...> wrote:
                        > >The rules could be more readable. See, for example, the draft rules
                        > >for 'Hordes of the things' on RBS' website:
                        > >http://www.byzant.demon.co.uk/HOTT%20Battle%20Web.htm
                        > >
                        > >Apparently, these are mainly under control of RBS, with limited
                        > >involvement of PB ;-)
                        >
                        > And they're not perfect

                        If you see specific problem points, have you discussed them on the
                        HOTTREVISION Yahoo list or directly with Richard ?

                        Preferably with suggestions on how to make it better ?

                        Greetings
                        Karl Heinz
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