From: Sydney, Australia
... I participate in the Battleground forums and when I brought up the MWIF game as looking pretty good the comments were yeah 5 minutes of game time and 55 minutes of every hour rereading rules. ...
I'm not looking to get into the Bo/Andy issue apart from thanking Bo for initiating the kiss-and-make-up session. Well done there.
My post here is about the question of game time v. rule-reading time. There was certainly a steep learning curve for cardboard WiF, but:
a) 55 minutes per hour? Maybe for the first few days of the first game if you were a bunch of newbies but that kind of learning curve is the same for any complex piece of machinery (hardware, software, relating to your girlfriend, doing a tax return, learning to ski etc.). The question is whether the payback is worth the initial effort and IMHO the payback for WiF is astronomical.
b) the learning multipliers that are available these days are phenomenal. Forums, Wikis, instant messaging, on-line tutorials etc, so while reading the WiF rule book is still essential, the learning process it is a lot easier than it used to be.
c) some players are satisfied with simple games - that's an observation, not a value judgement. People have different interests and, just as I will never bother invest the effort to learn all of the settings available in my VCR and Set-Top box, there are some players whose interest level in wargames fades long before they learn to master WiF. If they are content with an Axis and Allies level of wargame then good luck to them. Likewise, if they find a complex wargame more suited to their personal taste than WiF then they should vote with their pocketbook and leave MWiF on the shelf.
I think the whole Battleground v. Matrix v. Paradox fan fight is ridiculous. If you don't like a game then don't play it.