Sunday, 2 April 2017
One Hour Wargames Ancients Final Review
So, would I recommend playing these rules with a child? Are they child friendly? Easy to learn? Will they hold both adult and child's attention? Ok, to go back to my original criteria that I said I was going to judge these rules by. What were the criteria again?
1. Does the boy enjoy playing?
2. Is enough thought required to make the game worth playing on a (semi) regular basis?
3.Does the game give an impression of being a representation of a battle of the period it is claiming to represent rather than just a generic game (however interesting that game might be)?
4. Does the game meet my arbitrary, whimsical, undefined and changing ideas of what I want from a game at this moment if time?
Well, the first question is easy to answer - as outlined in the boys review, he loved it. The second question is a longer answer. As previously discussed in my comments in the boys review, it seems that only after a few games he was picking up the tactics and how to play so I am not sure how long they would retain his attention. This may be that I need to try some more of the 'interesting' scenarios, as these may present ongoing challenges. When he was the attacker in the unbalanced defender scenario however he seemed to crack that one pretty quick.
The question about does it gave an impression of a representation of a battle, I would still give this largely a thumbs up. OK, all wargames take alot of willing suspension of disbelief, as does this one. But it does deliver sweeping flanking attacks, grinding melees between heavy infantry, nip and tuck between lighter forces. The narrative in every game I played seemed to fit more or less into an idea of a battle. This started to break down when it was 'take a turn for a charge to sweep away an enemy unit' but overall it all seemed to hang together remarkably well for such a simple to learn game.
As for the final question about does it meet my demands from a game - which is about teaching a child to play and spending time with my children. The answer would be yes it has but would probably run into diminishing returns.
Which leads us into (after many posts and a surprising large amount of months) the big question
Yes, absolutely I would, with a few caveats.
It is an excellent set of rules to start off playing with a child - as I say my boy is seven and he had no dificulties picking up the rules and they gave fun games. So, if you are looking for a first game to play with a child, I would recommend One Hour Wargames - Ancient Rules. Simple rules concepts and does not require much kit so easy to set up. The set up I used took almost no effort and the boy loved it. I could have played with 15mm figures on a one base equals one unit on a table less than half the size and he would have also enjoyed it. Me and the boy had alot of fun playing the games - what more do you want?
The caveat is this - you will probably want to look to move on fairly quickly to maintain interest. This could be in a few ways. One way to develop the game with your kid would be to start discussing adding additions rules to make the basic set your own. This has the advantage of requiring critical thought from your child - which if you are a concerned parent looking to develop your child's mental faculties would be great. You could also push this into developing a campaign as well. As a set of rules they would work well for developing an imagination campaign - requiring imagination and reasoning from your child. This could form the basis of years of toy soldier playing with your child, an idea that I have considered. However, that would be a quite different blog - as this blog is about reviewing different rules for playing with children I will instead look to move on in a different manner. Namely, trying different rules and different periods. Will be posting soon what rules I will be looking at next.
Final recommendation - perfect first set of 'big battle' rules for children that have never played any wargames before. Can be used to introduce the hobby in general before moving onto other rulesets or as a basis to develop your own ideas or a campaign.