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When you get to a certain age – with wife and work and children (responsibilities) – the opportunities for gaming become constrained. The heady days of youth are long gone, when I could spend a good 24 or 48 hours of solid drinking and smoking and playing. Now that my sons are getting older I foresee a time when gaming can return somewhat, but it is unlikely that it will ever reach those dizzy heights again. Greg and I have discussed setting up the gamers rest home, where big screens play nothing but old westerns and war movies, where nurses bring you neat drinks that you can nurse for hours while contemplating moves on classic boards. What a dream.

In the meantime, the following is a list of the games that I would really like to play right now.

Buck Rogers, a TSR fizzer.

Of all the TSR flashes in the pan, this is probably the best. Not only did it hardly raise a ripple when it was released, it is a truly clever system, set in a truly interesting setting.

I really fancy the inter-war pulp science fiction settings. Buck Rogers conjures up all those fears of Communism that drive the imaginations of the time.

Technically it is a fine narrative system decades ahead of its time. I’d love to play this. One day, if the Fates allow it, I want to come back to the inter war pulp and develop it some more.

The Savage World of Solomon Kane.

It is no mystery that I love the Savage Worlds system and have a deep love affair with the darkly romantic late Renaissance.

This publication draws the two together in a way that makes me imagine interesting stories and exciting game play.

Next year, Alan and I plan to run a session using this exact system and setting. Hurry up, clock.

Hârn. The most perfectly realised conventional RPG.

We nearly, almost, so many times just about actually started one of these. But circumstances were against it. The major experienced player had too-much background and was sick of it.

Nothing any of the rest of us could do was satisfactory, and he had no interest in running it. Consequently it died. Several times.

Which is a great pity, because it was and remains the most well realised fantasy world with an excellent crunchy though usable system. If offered, I’d play this in a shot.

Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, 1st edition.

You’re kidding me?

I most certainly am not. Back in the old days, when all this was new, I used to play this with my very best friends at high school. We fell out, of course. It was about women, naturally. But I have very fond memories of those times, and regrets about the hurt.

1st ed AD&D was a shitty, clunky system, but it was serviceable. For the right crowd it could be completely playable. I have sooooo many modules and so much source material. All of the original edition core rule books.

In reality I would employ one of the rebooted versions of 1st ed that turn around the combat tables to a more sensible d20 scale. But I’d still keep the class simplicities without all the skills and feat bull. To me, the original system was the fore runner of the Risus cliché.

Rogue Trader/Fading Suns/Savage Worlds (Metamorphosis Alpha)

I mix the names because I would mix the systems. Elements of the Warhammer 40k universe are really compelling. Some of it is total twaddle. Better parts of it can be found in Fading Suns.

To play it, however, I would use a Savage Worlds system.

Does this really count as a category for this post? A bit of this and a bit  of that?

From experience, very little of any role playing game I have ever played is pure. Ideas are drawn from all sorts of places. rules are adopted or dropped as needed. Never have I been constrained by a ruleset: instead I have tried to focus on the rules that evoke the appropriate mood for the setting.

Space 1889.

But not in a ‘going to Mars’ kind of way. I’d like to go to the Island of Kong. This is my Bossa Nova setting, around the general time of the Guerra del Pacfico.

Again, I would probably use a hybrid system. Elements of Savage Worlds or modifications of Song of Blades and Heroes.

Soldier’s Companion was a pretty conventional wargame system with the fantasy chrome pasted on. Lots of it is extremely useful. Many elements seem to be poorly thought out and unworkable. But rules to do not make a feeling – they just either expose or inhibit it…

In any case I would like to tell stories and play wargames in the late 1800’s Steampunk setting.

Weird War II

Most of the survivors of those times have now gone, so I don’t feel like too much of a total arsehole in thinking about it.

Weird War II is a different kettle of fish from the usual fetishising of the Second World War. No chance of accidentally becoming a Nazi apologist when the subject matter is so obviously made up. It is a fantasy story with the clothing of 1940’s technology.

This game, like the Bossa Nova setting above, is primarily a wargaming aspiration. I have the miniatures, and this is the system I will use.

And that is the list of games that I would really like to play. The chances of playing any of them are slim in the foreseeable future. But the future is a slippery beast. All of these are playable as wargames as well as story telling games.