Coffee Break #17

Year of Our Lord 2021, the seventh day in June.

I’ve broke the rules of 3 myself and I should be flogged.

Having only played 2 different games, a couple sessions of Dawn of Battle and three scenarios of Skirmish! I did acquire more games to the collection. Two already shipping prior to the rule writing and two afterwards.

One of them I didn’t “need” but it slowly grew on my interest due to system and how I can use it to drive an entirely different period warfare. Also on my defence when i wrote the rule of 3 it was already being shipped so nothing I could do.

Yesterday, after the D-Day celebration game and the beach walk, finally got to put it on the table and it took me a while but was extremely gratifying. I’m not extremely savvy in the explicit historical conflict being portrayed by the game but understand well enough the period and what are the particularities of it to be able to, at first look, understand the game elements. Lords, vassals, retinues, levies and all the logistics.

I’m not an engineer and always get fascinated at those minds managing to strip a game to its essence, removing all the historical chrome and narrative fluff and able to see the game as a system. I am not sure how they can reconstruct the entire thing in their minds when playing and watching the narrative unfold, like they would be the director of a movie and their decisions at the table be like the epic cinematic sequences in the screen.

And that’s where ‘Nevsky: Teutons and Rus in Collision 1240-1242’ comes in. More than wanting to strip it down to its core system, because that would mean reducing it to an inhuman beast form, what I’m looking forward the most is understanding how the human relations, in a feudal system, are designed in the pieces.

This is paramount for using games as methods for story writing by other means as one needs to be able to feel, by moving a piece or playing a card, in a sense, what it meant for that particular lord or commander to do that action. The responsibility unto others that carried with the decisions made and how that would affect all other intervening aspects of the universe being played, directly or indirectly.

Is a funny thing as I usually I go for the individual story type of games, tactical in nature, the lost tales that never make the history books but something is different with Nevsky and is not the graphical presentation albeit being quite competent.

Took me around a couple hours to go through preparing all the pieces and setting up the example play. I didn’t go through the process of – put this here, put this there – but wanted to understand what and why should I place there and everywhere. Why is this piece here !? Oh, that makes sense. What does it mean !? Oh I see !! – that was my entire session of game play in which I didn’t even play but travelled back and forth in the rule book and background book while placing pieces around the board.

Whenever I wasn’t sure of anything, especially the why, I did try to read the important entries where mentioned and sometimes it felt a bit like a technical manual where it would be conceived that the players would be comfortable with the WHY but overall, by paying attention to the history support booklet one could link A and B and get the sense of it.

Note that I have yet zero clue how everything will flow, game wise, and I have no interest in the competitive nature of it, so stripping the system naked to its engineering core is not my aim. I always get confused when other players talk to me in terms of numbers and factors, but I am extremely grateful when they tell me the story that is happening and by looking at their tables, even if I don’t know the game they are playing but I can understand the game they are playing.

Yes, I did break my own rule. I did buy two games on top of the ones that were shipping already when I only played two and the rule is, play 3 then buy 1.

Helsinki 1918 and W1815 are due to arrive in 24 hours.


Dawn of Battle is a game system designed by Mike Nagel and published by Worthington Publishing

Nevsky: Teutons and Rus in Collision 1240-1242 is a game designed by Volko Ruhnke and published by GMT Games

Helsinki 1918: German Intervention in the Finnish Civil War is a game designed by Hannu Uusitalo and published by U&P Games

W1815 is a game designed by Hannu Uusitalo and published by U&P Games

2 Comments

  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself, it’s not easy adjusting to a new routine of playing and collecting!
    For myself, I am in the middle of moving across the country and I still ordered Dawn of Battle after seeing you play in the Accursed Solo vids!

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