Bonedaddy from a Player’s Perspective

I’ve been following Erik Battle’s Bonedaddy updates since, well, the 90’s, and BWS was a wargame I cut my teeth on. I liked the playability, narrative, and customization, which I much preferred to commercial games at the time.

So far, as I anticipate it, Erik’s Bonedaddy 2012 system sounds like it harkens to elements of Clue, Squad Leader, and 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars. I have no way of knowing if it will be like any of these, but in my defense, new games are well described in terms of mechanics borrowed from existing games.

Clue: Also called Cluedo, the game consists of players moving around of free will from location to location. This reminds me a lot of Erik’s concept of Zones in BWS. Instead of worrying about how many inches my soldiers move, I can allocate troops or squads to adjacent zones, interacting with other players and accomplishing objectives.

Squad Leader: Along with Advanced Squad Leader, this game is a classic of wargames. Each unit has an inherent list of actions to choose from, and substantial modifiers to each. Although it feels freeform, the bonuses and penalties to each action for each unit compel players to use units carefully.

316 Carnage Amongst the Stars: Departing from the normal paradigm of U Go/I Go turns, this system introduced a simpler set of command based die rolls, unintentional or uninformed movement, narrativist roleplaying, and was in general an interesting tactical system. In reading Erik’s design notes I keep thinking he’s shooting for similar goals.

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