All gone weird

The game for the battle report I mentioned went a little strange. Well, rather more than a little strange. It was an excellent game and lots of fun, just not quite what we needed to showcase what we had in mind, so we’re going to have to fight another. Now you might think that’s no problem: just fighting another game. Ah well, batreps are different. This one took 3 people all day, and that’s not counting any writing. Not that we were being slow, just that you need to be very clear about what’s happening and pause frequently to ensure that whoever is taking notes is up to speed. Then you’ve got to take photos and draw maps to record what went on so you can recreate it in pretty versions for the final printed article.

My total work day yesterday started at 4am and finished about 10pm, so it was quite tiring. And now I’ve got to find another day to fit in what I would have done when we have to do the refight, so all told it was an interesting day, but not one I’d have chosen. It would have been better if we’d got the battle we needed, but then the dice cannot be cajoled. Which brings me to the point about fudging games for reports. When I was Editor of White Dwarf I was often asked whether we made bits up or changed things for battle reports, and the answer is no. I’ve seen other people try it, and it always seemed to end in tears, causing more problems and work than simply doing it again. When I was in charge my brief to whoever was fighting it was usually very simple: play an interesting game. have something to say when you write it up. If it was dull, then play another. It’s much easier to start from scratch and fight a new battle than to fiddle with the game and fudge loads of rolls. Luck comes and goes, and if you start making up dice results then the odds have a habit of messing you up when they try to balance themselves naturally.

Once in a blue moon we’d have to make changes when it came to writing them up and someone noticed that we’d made a mistake. If it had got too far down the line for a refight to be possible (usually because of time pressures) then you had no choice but to make the minimum changes you could to fix the error and work around it. Thankfully we knew the games so well that this hardly ever happened. The only time I remember specifically was when there was a mistake in the army build and someone had a character they shouldn’t have. As it happened, he’d been killed on turn 1, so all we did was remove all mention of him, and have that unit shoot someone else and miss. Not ideal, but could have been much worse. Apart from that it was just refights. As long as they’re done early enough you can just fight it again.

Which brings me back to this one. We’ll use the one we fought somewhere else, so the time isn’t wasted, it’s just inconvenient that we have to find the space to do our original plan again. And I’d written such a grand intro for it as well…

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