- It is not really a dissection of the rules sets so much as just seeing how a battle developed and the extent to which both sides' battle plans succeeded or failed.
- I think it is an integral part of the hobby; wargames are story-telling games. So the write-up is for me part of the satisfaction of the whole gig.
- So the Traditional battle narrative can be a useful tool to promote this [historical] association.
- My personal favorite version is that which blends narrative with game mechanics, partly as it helps to understand what actually happened, partly because it helps me feel that I was there, saw and did etc and partly because it can help open a window on rules that I haven't seen.
- I particularly like ones where you can glimpse a bit about the players behind their little 3 dimensional avatars.
- For me a really well written narrative without any reference to the game might as well be pure fiction but can be rescued to some extent by extensive pictures of a game to allow you to guess at what really happened.
- A report which features inanimate descriptions of events and die rolls with no infusion of imagination can be useful to understand mechanics but won't dram me back.
- Even a mediocre blend of narrative and reference to actual game mechanics will hold my attention again and again. Charles Grant was a master of this sort of blended report. Lawford & Young's Blasthof game in Charge! is a superb example.
- Put the game-mechanic stuff in footnotes.
- [The report] describe[s] the action generally in real life terms but introduce the rule details where necessary.
- One of the things that either approach must have is a map or photos with captions.Otherwise I'm lost and lose interest.
All of this got me to thinking about my own reports. Especially for DBA (the ones I write up the most) or DBA derivatives, the elements are not named they are just a type. Maybe that needs to change. Maybe a narration of the turns. I've definitely decided to stop doing one picture per player bound (with the occasional two pictures - move then combat outcome - per player bound); it is too much and doesn't really convey enough information.
I am leaning towards using maps to show the overall movement and results, with pictures of the miniatures to support some specific action in the narrative, such as a critical melee.
During the games, I still take a picture at the start of the attacker's turn; it helps me remember the action and count the dead. But, as I look back on them, I don't see the "eye candy" value of a wide-angle shot of the whole board, the troops, and my opponent's belly.
I'd like to hear what you think on this.