Pictish Wilderness
GrimFinger - Printable Version

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+--- Thread: GrimFinger (/showthread.php?tid=2)



GrimFinger - GrimFinger - 09-22-2017

I am GrimFinger, also known as Charles, and I welcome you to this site and this forum.

Come and go as you see fit, or just lurk among the shadows of the trees, if you wish to not be heard. If you see fit,t hen go ahead and introduce yourself, at the very least.


RE: GrimFinger - Malik Sardonis - 09-28-2017

Hi, Grim! Thanks for setting up this site! Both as a backup for the RoK, and as additional exposure for HyWar! I assume that Suspense & Decision will be hosted or linked here as well?

I'm a newbie to PBM and to HyWar, about halfway through my first game, so I don't have much advice to offer, but I am enjoying myself quite a bit and I'm happy to chat.

See y'all on the battlefield!

Malik


RE: GrimFinger - GrimFinger - 09-29-2017

Hi Malik,

Suspense & Decision magazine is hosted on another domain name, but on the same server, as I use the same web host for both. I could post a link, here. Do you have a preference as to where to put the link?

Since you're new to Hyborian War, I would encourage you to write an article about what you think about the game, thus far. It isn't just about advice about how to play the game that is important, but the sharing of experiences, as well.


RE: GrimFinger - Malik Sardonis - 09-30-2017

(09-29-2017, 11:29 AM)GrimFinger Wrote: Hi Malik,

Suspense & Decision magazine is hosted on another domain name, but on the same server, as I use the same web host for both. I could post a link, here. Do you have a preference as to where to put the link?

Since you're new to Hyborian War, I would encourage you to write an article about what you think about the game, thus far. It isn't just about advice about how to play the game that is important, but the sharing of experiences, as well.

I see that you've added S&D to the forum site!  Hopefully you can use PW as a feeder site for contributions to the magazine.  When I was researching HyWar I devoured S&D for relevant articles, so it's certainly an asset to players, as well as raising awareness of the PBM hobby as a whole.

I'd also link to S&D on the main Hyborian Tome page.  That page appears prominently on any search for Hyborian War; not everyone will click through to the Pictish Wilderness, and it may take a while for the forum to be a high-profile search result.

I'll be happy to write a short piece on my "newbie" perspective.  May take a few days.

Malik


RE: GrimFinger - GrimFinger - 10-05-2017

Hi Malik,

I'll look forward to receiving your article, whenever you finish it.

I've been dealing with some extended family issues (an aunt and an assisted care facility), of late, so I am sort of out of the loop on e-mails and forum postings and the like, of late.

I'll try to add a link to S&D on the main page, here, too, as suggested.


RE: GrimFinger - Malik Sardonis - 01-07-2018

(10-05-2017, 12:40 AM)GrimFinger Wrote: Hi Malik,

I'll look forward to receiving your article, whenever you finish it.

I've been dealing with some extended family issues (an aunt and an assisted care facility), of late, so I am sort of out of the loop on e-mails and forum postings and the like, of late.

I'll try to add a link to S&D on the main page, here, too, as suggested.

OK, it took more than a few days!  Hectic holidays, etc.  But here is a short piece about my intro to HyWar.  Hope it's useful.
--

Fresh Blood:  A Newcomer to Hyborian War

I discovered Hyborian War last year, and now I am about 2/3 through my first game.  Grim suggested that I write a short account of my experiences so far, so here it is!

How did I get here?

I did not find Hyborian War through gaming interests.  While I do remember the early advertisements for HyWar and other PBM games in Dragon Magazine, at that time I considered them part of the background between the articles - mildly interesting in passing, but not something I would ever consider playing.  In the intervening years I forgot that such things existed.
Instead, I (re)discovered Hyboria via literary channels.  I have been a longtime fan of H.P. Lovecraft’s writings, and through him found R.E. Howard’s contributions to the C’thulhu Mythos, which led into the Conan stories, which I devoured!  Of course, my internet searches for Conan kept turning up RSI’s Hyborian War PBM, and the associated fan-created websites.  My enthusiasm for the world of Conan’s adventures was high, and my curiosity for HyWar was piqued.  So in mid-2016, I signed up for a game.  Shortly thereafter, I received the familiar RSI packet in the mail…and I have been eagerly watching my mailbox for them ever since!

The Game

Here are my general impressions of the game itself.  First, the combat system is simple, with a powerful random component.  Not necessarily a negative, since a simplified combat system encourages an emphasis on grand strategy rather than tactics.  However, I was surprised to discover that the force multipliers I was accustomed to using in other games – leadership, terrain, combined arms, etc. – were much less significant on the HyWar battlefield.  Even magic was an unreliable ally.  The result is a game where players have limited control over the outcome of battles, and where war – outside of concentrations of overwhelming force - is a highly unpredictable affair!

Likewise, the economic system is simple, based wholly on control of key territory, with the option for minor tweaks (via rulership or magic).  The interactions between a kingdom’s economy and their armies are easily understood and force impactful choices.  The concentrations of overwhelming force that I mentioned above bear a significant cost!  Again the game emphasizes strategy over the tactics of winning an individual battle.

HyWar is thick with the fog of war, and it costs resources to discover the intentions of one’s neighbors, the locations of hostile armies, the strength of defending forces, or the movements of powerful individuals.  How much more so in the pre-internet days!  I can only imagine the mysteries and surprises that early players encountered on each turn, before Hyboria’s lands were surveyed and mapped, and every kingdom’s court and troops were cataloged.  To fight Hyperborea’s undead warriors for the first time, or to march blindly against the wizards of Zamboula’s Scarlet Circle!  Discovery must have been an exciting aspect of the game which is mostly lost today.  I regret having missed that era, and I credit RSI for keeping as many secrets as they have.  However, that scarcity of knowledge would also have given significant advantages to experienced players, and today’s easier access to information helps to balance the playing field for new players such as myself.

Even so, information is still precious currency for diplomatic negotiations, and HyWar has a robust diplomatic element, both within and outside of the game.  Here is the joy of the game for me.  The pace of the game allows me time to send careful messages to a delicate web of allies and enemies, and to meddle in regions that are far distant from my kingdom’s borders.  Alliances can change the outcome of critical battles, and betrayals can change the map!  And reputation can be a beautiful weapon…

The Community

Which brings us to the players, and where they gather.  HyWar enthusiasts have provided a great deal of support for the game, to include online libraries of useful information.  HyWar’s player base does not seem to be large, and games will often begin without every kingdom being actively played.  However, many HyWar players (perhaps most?) are signed up at The Road of Kings (RoK) website, which (in cooperation with RSI) organizes games with full rosters and randomized kingdom assignments.  The Road of Kings also archives more than a decade of player discussions and discoveries about HyWar, provides public forums and private messaging to players, and is altogether an invaluable resource.  I frankly cannot imagine a new player being competitive without visiting the RoK.

As to the community itself, so far I have found it to be open, helpful, and pleasantly hostile.  Any question I have asked, has been answered freely and without condescension.  I have exchanged snail mail letters, debated strategy with allies and negotiated agreements with rivals - which were mostly honored.  I have also been ambushed, attacked by assassins, and invaded through friendly borders.  In short, I have encountered friendly, knowledgeable wargame players.

I’m glad that I discovered Hyborian War.  After my current game concludes, I plan to play again.  And I look forward to connecting with more HyWar players, as allies and as opponents.

See you on the battlefield!

Malik