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Chaosium Interviews: Miniatures VS Theatre of the Mind


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Interesting interview. With the grouos that I have been we have mainly be theater of the mind but have switched to minis on several occasion when we thought the combat warranted it (mainly when we needed to defend against hordes). Funnily enough, my most memorable minis combats were with GURPS. When it comes to the breadth of possibilities, from "let's roll attack, defense and damage only" (note 1) to full blown using maneuvers, reach, extra-effort, steps and moves, tactical maps and all (note 2), I still believe GURPS has the best system out there.

Note 1: For those believing GURPS can only be complex, combat including damage, healing and recovery, takes only 5 pages in Basic Set: Characters.

Note 2: Basic Set: Campaigns adds a ton of options, including tactical, map combat, and Martial Arts brings even more. One rule that always strike as super fun is the extra effort maneuvers you can take in combat. Yes, you can push yourself and yes sometimes it feels you have to push yourself if you want to survive but it comes to a point where exhaustion gets to you and you feel the urgency of finishing things up because the end is near. One memorable minis combat, where the characters were defending a temple against a horde of beastmen started from a solid defensive position to slowly and then quickly gettin the defenses overrun to pockets of small, gritty engagements. The fight ended not a moment too soon and all the characters were on the brink of collapse (some had) yes because of wounds but even more so but they had to spend all their fatigue to make it through.

One game that impresses me when it comes to theater of the mind, simple combat and interesting choices, is none other than Call of Cthulhu 7E. The way opposed rolls, the maneuvers and major wounds work make it both simple and interesting.    

Edited by DreadDomain
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