I have been wargaming for over 40 years. Many times I would look at a military atlas with its maps showing bars for units and wondered, “Why doesn’t anyone make a game that looks like this? I want to play the map!”
Many games came close, but then they buried you in rules. I was never afraid of rules; heck, I played Advanced Squad Leader for years! The problem was, I had this very definite picture of what playing the ideal wargame would be like. I pictured two players at a wooden table with high back leathern chairs, sipping wine from glasses and peering over a canvas map with wooden blocks. And that was it. No charts and tables scattered about. Just the map and the troops. It may have been a dream, and not a very realistic one, but it was my dream.
As I have played wargames over the years, I have always hungered for that authentic experience. So many games that want to be more realistic try to accomplish this by being more complicated. The rules become a barrier between you the player, and you the General. I had assumed this was how it had to be.
Then came the day I saw Command Post Games’ “Brandywine” on Kickstarter and my heart almost stopped. Here it was! Canvas map and Wooden blocks combined with a simple fast playing system. It wasn’t until I received my copy and read the rules that I saw the potential for a really authentic system.
You see, I had been studying assymetrical post-modernism in literature. It was at the right time for me to appreciate the genius of the chit draw mechanic and the simultaneous movement that it captured. I had just written a paper on the ordering of near simultaneous events in a linear story. This is exactly what the chit draw mechanic accomplished. It wasn’t just a way to move, but a way to sort out a million delays and coincidences, small skirmishes and lost orders, any of the myriad of happenstances that can occur in any given 90 minute turn.