Homebrewing with Two Hour Wargames
My hardcopy of the new 5150 New Beginnings Quick Play has arrived. It is the slimmest Two Hour Wargames (THW) title to date and is bound to elicit three responses:
- OMG, this is the best thing ever.
- Wait, there’s not even Battle Boards anymore?
- Cool, more toys.
I’m squarely in camp #3 at this point in my THW play style. I don’t think I’ve played a game of THW that was straight out of a single title - I’m frequently mashing up different bits from the different titles I own. Typically these days I’m pulling what I need from:
- 5150 No Limits
- 5150 New Beginnings 2022
- Future Tales
- Universal Challenge and Interaction Table (forum freebie)
- and now 5150 New Beginnings Quick Play
What’s nice about the new Quick Play rules is that they don’t require counters, minis, or maps. What’s also nice about the THW rules is that the mechanics are scalable. What do I mean by that? Well they scale on several axis for me:
- The way the games typically generate opposition is balanced against the size of your “band” or the number of player characters in your party.
- The mechanics can be scale down to entirely theater of mind or all the way up to a complete tabletop with scenery & miniatures.
- You can throw out or absorb just about as many rules as your game needs so as long as you keep a few of the core bits that power the game loop (so carefully balancing rules that interact with Decreasing & Increase Rep.)
The core of the Quick Play game is extremely appealing to me because I typically only have time to game in 30 minute or 1 hour bursts. Not enough time to setup a full tabletop and while the Battle Boards are quick, Quick Play is even faster - more gaming.
One thing that has always bugged me about THW games is that the Encounter rules are typically all over the place. Some have layers upon layers of nested rolls, some seem to have a “roll high” on a random table approach, while others use the tried & true “pass” rolls (roll equal or under Rep.) It requires a lot of repetition to develop mastery and for some titles I’ve played them for years now and I still have to “page flip” to remember the proper sequence. For the last few days I’ve experimented with swapping out the Encounters system entirely with the new Mythic Gamemaster Emulator Second Edition scene system. It is working shockingly well. This is the beauty of THW’s system - it is extremely friendly to this sorta of hacking.