Games

dice, dragons and soldiers

There's nothing better than the sight and sound of a winning dice roll! Then again there's nothing worse than never being able to roll higher than a one. Unfortunately, as much as I liked the many games available of the war game and fantasy genre I tended never to be able to roll much better than a one!
I've always had a fascination with games, or at the mechanics of games, particularly the science fiction and fantasy role-playing and war-games. Perhaps it goes back to the days when I would look at all those mysterious Dungeons & Dragons tomes - The Dungeon Masters Guide, Unearthed Arcana, The Monster Manual etc. All those tables, statistics, characteristics, attributes, and different spells. And the other long forgotten games such as Traveller, Role Master, Middle Earth Role Playing, the classic Paranoia, and of course the Fighting Fantasy game books. Then there were the many different Games Workshop games and the hundreds of different miniatures that went with them. Warhammer, Warhammer 40000, Space Marine, Space Hulk. All those funny multi-sided dice! Perhaps the allure of the games was the escapism, being a Gandalf or a Bilbo Baggins, a hero for the afternoon?
Of all the games I've played my favourite would have to be a toss up between Blood Bowl - fantasy American football, and Space Marine - epic scale futuristic war. Both of these are or were produced by Games Workshop. A few years ago I converted the Blood Bowl rules from American football to soccer. I posted the rules on the Blood Bowl mailing list and using the feedback provided by test gamers, revised the rules to the state you will find here with the following disclaimer:
This Blood Bowl Soccer version is not sponsored, sanctioned or supported by Games Workshop Ltd, although it has been looked at by GW (hence this disclaimer). For more information please visit the Games Workshop legal pages.
Another favourite game is Diplomacy. This is a board game best played by seven people. It's set in 1900 Europe, you play one of the great powers of the time, the goal is to have dominion over Europe. The difference with this game is that you can form alliances with other players, in fact you have to! The result of this is that friendships can get tested, especially when promises get broken and allies are made enemies! Once, when playing a turn at the union bar a passer by commented "Agh diplomacy - the devil's game". Whilst I liked Diplomacy, I always thought it could have other features, such as air power, political power, neutral forces for the taking. The result of these thoughts culminated in my own version called 1930!