From: Milan, Italy
There isn't even much "syncophant drooling", certainly for that particular forum. I thought it was quite an interesting discussion, actually. The guy concerned knows his stuff
Not at all, IMHO, and this is not because I'm "partisan". He fails to grasp the basic (and factual) point that TOAW is a *tool* to write wargames at operational level - and not a wargame "per se". Since the nature of TOAW is open to all who make the simplest inquires about the game, this is enough to say that he doesn't know stuff beside the one he has memorized.
Notice how I used the word "wargames" and not "scenarios": TOAW is flexible enough that, even if keeping a general core of rules, it allows to the designers to portray a specific situation the way they feel is better - almost like if they were writing the specific rules for an unique title. You can have a "Stalingrad" where you can try to pull out the Sixth Army in a big what if, another one where the Sixth Army is fixed and the race is to save it from the outside, yet another one at a different scale and covering all the Southern Front in 1942, and so on.
So, truth is that when you launch a "scenario" in TOAW, you are actually opening a new wargame box, complete with unique rules (the attached docs) - which you have to study so to understand the situation, the designer's intent, the "chrome bits" (ex. high attrition level at Stalingrad to simulate the unusual disease levels in the kessel) and other factors specific to that scenario. Only then you can start thinking about how to play it. The dude at Battlefront is right when he writes:
"Game design is a process in which an intelligent person with a clear thesis about the key aspects of some strategy game subject, models those key aspects, and puts control over them in the hands of the players. Leaving the outcome to their respective wits and getting his own tush off their table - but having selected the key variables and parameterized their control."
...And, ironically, it is here where his "criticism" of TOAW crashes and burns, since this is exactly what TOAW as a tool allows you to do - the end product being the specific scenario you either give out to play, or you play courtesy of some one else's efforts. Instead, he does seem to believe that TOAW is a wargame based on wild assuptions, vagueness and arbitrary rules - which is like to say that MS Word, as a novel, lacks focus and is too vague.
I think that I'll stick with *my* opinion of TOAW for a little while more
< Message edited by Vincenzo Beretta -- 3/17/2007 1:50:46 AM >