Sunday 20 May 2012

Try Before You Buy

I'm sure that I'm like many other war gamers who have, over the years, bought various rulesets only to be disappointed with them after a few games. A couple that spring to mind are Force-on-Force and Black Powder. Now both are beautifully produced books that are a joy to behold but, once tried out on the 'battlefield' have failed to live up to expectations (IMHO). 

Now there is nothing wrong with them per se, but they just did not 'grab me'. Discussing this issue with friends brought up the fact that some companies bring out simple 'Lite' versions that are free to download so that you can 'try-before-you-buy'. The original Blitzkreig Commander rules by Pete Jones are an example of this. Having tried them and enjoyed them I knew that I would like the 'Full-Fat' version.

Another example of this are the new 'Maurice' rules from Sam Mustafa. Having read many positive reviews about the rules (as I had also done with FoF and BP) I thought I'd give the 'Lite' version (also known as Maurice Minor) a try. So my good friend Keith and I duly got together and gave the rules a run out with his lovely Seven Years War figures. Both of us had fun and thought the rules produced an enjoyable game, which is what it's all about after all. So I felt confident that if and when I bought the rules, that they would give me the sort of game that I enjoyed playing (In the end I did by the rules, but more on this in another post). 

So the question is why do more companies not adopt this approach? I'm sure there are many reasons, but I would have thought that it could encourage more gamers to try out their products, with many going to to buy the 'Full-Fat' versions, surely making good business sense in the end.

So there we are. There are several other rulesets that I would like to try, such as 'I Ain't Been Shot Mum', but unless a 'Lite' version is produced or a friend brings along the rules to try, I'm afraid I won't be taking the gamble of buying them with the attendant risk of disappointment. I've been there too often over the past few years to be bitten once again!