In our recent game of Twilight of the Britons, we used markers for the hits taken. But after the game Chris suggested moving to hits remaining. This post explains that element of Game Design and when I’m tempted to use these two contrasting mechanisms.
My mate Chris and I often debate game design, and specifically simulation versus playability. Wargamers typically think of these as opposites, with a set of rules being either realistic or playable. Chris is, for example, an advocate of simulation and is willing to sacrifice playability to get something he considers more realistic. But I don’t think these things – simulation and playability – are opposite ends of a single dimension. I’m an advocate for playability and simulation is also important to me. I want both. Abstraction is the key to unlocking this combination and is an important third dimension.