I have always been interested in Kriegsspiel, the wargaming exercises developed by the Prussian Military in 19th century.
For several years, I did own a copy of a translation of the original kriegsspiel rules, but I never used them, since I didn’t have appropriate maps. However, last year I bought the mapsets from Too Fat Lardies. Alas, we didn’t find the time yet to try them out. One of the reasons for that is that the rules of Kriegsspiel themselves are somewhat arcane and complicated, and it wouldn’t pay off to invest time in learning a game with a steep learning curve.
So, I was very much interested to see that John Curry has republished the ‘Beitrag Zum Kriegsspiel by the Prussian General J. von Verdy du Vernois. Published after Von Reissewitz’ version of kriegsspiel, the booke xplains why playing kriegsspiel with a minimum of rules - and more in a freeform manner - makes a lot of sense. I haven’t read the book yet, but will do so the coming days.
In some way, free kriegsspiel is very much related to gamesmastering, something most wargamers are familiar with through roleplaying. We also employed the concept in a demonstration game at Crisis 2005, and of course matrix games are also based on the same idea.
To the members of my gaming group: be prepared for a kriegsspiel scenario!