Battle School


An ancient battle

A Civil War battle
Earlier today, I spent time talking to some of my fellow mechanics about the history of the Gamestar schools. Although I have read many of the books on the history of the schools and their philosophies of game design, I wanted to find out what my fellow mechanics thought about them. I discovered that many mechanics are extremely grateful for the fact that all-out war has never broken out between the schools. There have certainly been disagreements among the mechanics from the different schools, but it has never escalated into anything more serious. Some of the mechanics believe that the guidance of the Council of Master Mechanics has prevented a conflict, but I believe the schools have avoided a war because of an unspoken agreement to settle their differences through games.

After speaking to many of my fellow mechanics, I started thinking about other cultures and the wars that have been fought between them. Although I am a great believer in diplomacy and peaceful negotiation, I have always been fascinated by famous battles because of the strategic thinking that goes into creating a victorious battle plan. In fact, these battle strategies are not unlike the strategies that players develop while playing a game! So I thought to myself, “Why not combine this idea with my experiments in game-making? Why not simulate famous historical battles to learn more about them and to reflect upon the strategies that were planned and used?” Unfortunately, I could not start working on this idea today, but I did want to write down a few questions to think about before I forgot.

What kind of battle could I simulate?

- Land battle
- Sea battle
- Air battle

What details of a battle should I include?

- The opponents
- The reason or conflict
- The length of battle

What strategies were used in the battle?

- Winning strategy
- Losing strategy
- Troop movement
- Other techniques—ambushes, spies, et cetera