Friday, 6 July 2012

Borg Again - More Quasi-Philosophical Ramblings

(Samurai Battles - Photo by Dan Eleden posted on Boardgamegeek)

Are Samurai ancient? I'm not really sure myself, but they feature in the original WRG ancient armies list, so I'm taking it that they must be.

Whatever, I am rather excited about the new Samurai Battles game by Zvedza. It features the latest outing for Richard Borg's Commands and Colors system, and unlike the GMT Napoleonic and Ancient versions comes with figures not wooden blocks.

Memoir '44 - C&C's WW2 incarnation - was one of the major influences behind Parum Pugna, not in terms of mechanisms, but in the matter of style. Borg's system is elegant, simple and streamlined. He has integrated, rather than bolted on, and never made the mistake of confusing complexity with depth. M'44 is easy to learn and fun to play. You make decisions, you gamble on the dice, you curse the fact you have no command cards for the right flank, but try not to let your opponent find that out.

Recently a couple of  trendy rules designers dismissed Memoir '44 as " a game". This was apparently meant as an insult. I'm not sure why. Memoir '44 is a game - and a very good one. Chess is also "a game", so is poker. Both enjoy a popularity no figure wargame will ever match. Chess and poker are deep games with simple rules.

In a PS at the bottom of a letter to a friend, George Bernard Shaw wrote: "I am sorry this letter is so long. I did not have the time to make it shorter". Lucidity and concision require work.

Time to shut up, then.


  1. Timely. I'm just trying to shave off 127 words from a secytion in a job application.

  2. Our copies arrived yesterday. It looks very interesting. Off to watch Ran I think.

    1. Did you order from the US? I recently got the Kurosawa Samurai movies boxed set. It's the stuff he did back in the fifties. Throne of Blood is particularly good, with a weird Singing Ringing Tree aspect to it. Ran is really good, but I favour Kagemusha.