There is a piece in the new Miniature Wargames by Conrad Kinch about scenario design. The message seems to be that there are a lot of good scenarios out there and no need to write one if an existing scenario will do, but that if you know what you want to achieve, a well-designed scenario is fun to write and rewarding to play. I can't say I've found a mass of scenarios waiting to be downloaded, at least not for the scales and rules we play with. The scenario buckets on the Honour website are curiously thin, except for some excellent Spanish Succession ones on Maurice and a raft of good scenarios for Might and Reason. Why so few? When I think about my own output I begin to see a possible reason. I write a lot of scenarios but they are rarely in a fit state to share. I write them on scraps of paper in a scrawl only I can decipher. I use maps from books or websites, which I couldn't reproduce without breaching copyright. These days I do type up player briefings and orders of battle, but these alone aren't enough to play a game. Plus, I don't show my workings: I know what figure ratios and general logic I am going for when I write the scenario, but if I come back to my scribbles only a few weeks later I can completely forget how I had reached my calculations. In short, my scenarios are good for nobody.
I've decided to try and fix this, by putting more substance into my scenario writing and, crucially, explaining my intentions. As I work through them I will put more up onto the website. So far there is a simple scenario for The opening encounter of First Bull Run, which I am pleased with because it does give a tense game. But it is a slow business making even a simple scenario intelligible for anybody else but me.
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