Why Open combat works so well with young people.

An area to discuss Open Combat related matters not covered in the other sections.

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Why Open combat works so well with young people.

Post by fransotto » Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:25 am

Here is an small article where I present the reasons why I believe that the Second Thunders Open Combat is an excellent miniature game for the younger generation, but also for those who are less familiar with miniature games. I had a similar discussion the other week and thought I should share my ideas.

Surrounded by people of different ages and a few professional educators, I find it interesting to discuss different plays and games. It is from this experience that this small article is written.

I will start to write about why I see a difference in how excitement is created in three different game formats; board games, miniature games and role playing games. Then I will go more into depth in how the excitement is created in miniature games and the importance and unique relationship between the visual on the table top and the rule set. Finally, I will write about why I believe that the Second Thunders Open combat is so excellent in introduce players to miniature gaming.

For the non-familiar board games, miniature games and role plays seems quite similar, but I think the three formats are completely different in how they are achieving excitement and keep interest. The board game is about winning. The rules are written in such way that a person wins in a fair way the rules are few and clear. A role playing game requires other types of rules where goal or "winning" is not important, but the narrative during the session. The rules in this case are written with fluency so that the game is not disturbed. A miniature game is also about winning and loosing like the board game but thanks to the visual appealing on the table, a narrative game is formed and the players can enjoy the game in the same way you are doing in a role playing game. My definition of a really good miniature game is a game that incorporates the best of both worlds; board game and role playing game.

An important part in miniature game is what visually happening on the board can be anchored in the rules, and vice versa. In a role-playing game a player can to sometimes be forced just throwing a dice at random to keep the flow of the storytelling, while in a board game you have time to browse through rules in order to play the game as it should. An example of miniature game rule is when a character takes damage for various reasons, on many occasions you simply put the figure down. A visually powerful way of showing the status directly on the figure. You can instantly recognize what have happened. How to make use of dice are almost more important than in the role-playing games or board games. In role-playing games you can increase the drama by the number of dice used by something powerful (such as automatic gun fire), but unlike the role play games there additional dice roll can be rolled in order to enhance the narrative with for example wounds and damage, a miniature game might not need such details as the figure (in this case with a machine gun) is enough to show the danger.

What makes Second Thunders Open combat such excellent miniature games for young people then? It is often mentioned that Open combat is not tied to any specific age or miniature range, it's really a rather strange argument as it is not a crime (as far as I know) to play any miniature games with miniatures that does not belong to the game rules. I would rather say that Open combat is not tied to a specific scale. It is just as easy to play with 15mm miniatures as with 40mm figures, but above all it is perfectly possible to play with the old action figures, toy figures or even LEGO. This is excellent for young people in that period of life where the play is not interesting anymore (happens round age 12, a little earlier for girls and according to some, earlier in today's generation). With Open combat old toy collections can be "reused". The game is mathematically simple game, it uses the four basic arithmetic calculations, but usually occurs only in one step and stays within normally within a single digit.

Moving figures straight at each other, rolling some dice and then record the damage until someones figure is removed from the board quickly becomes static, the storytelling is left entirely to the players imagination and the point of having miniatures on the table lose purpose. Open combat solves this by so-called "force back" a result that does not count as a normal "injury", but not as a "miss" either. With this result the miniature is pushed a little bit and terrain around the game board have great impact and importance in the storytelling. A miniature can for example be pushed down a bridge or be surrounded and cornered. A melee in open combat can start in the middle of the floor at an inn continue between the tables and chairs to be completed on the second floor with one of the characters falling down the stairs. The example is extreme, but the point is that the models rarely stands in the same place during a battle (just like in movies or reality). This simple way to visualize the dice result, and it does not require much imagination to make sense and be exciting.

Finally, I would like to highlight Open combat way of handling the rules. The game can be played perfectly fine without any "additional rules" or as the game calls it "abilities". You can be taught the mechanics in just five minutes, have a game and then dive into the book to discover more if you liked the game -excellent for impatient youngsters.

This is my view of miniature games and why I think Open combat is so great for younger people. I hope you enjoyed it even if you not agree with me. :)
Quote Yuma; probably not if you follow rules as written.

but i say, do it anyway ;)


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