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How I Write Skirmish War Games: Campaigns

In my anecdotal experience the journey from gamer to game designer goes something like this; New weapon/character/unit; New Scenario; New campaign. Typically, the new weapon is considered horribly over powered by your opponents, you always win your own scenario and everyone drops out of your campaign. Those of us dumb enough to persist then write weapons/characters/units for forces that we don’t use (but our opponents will use and we don’t mind facing) and scenarios that we don’t play to learn objectivity and balance, then we write campaigns that everyone drops out of. Writing a campaign that a group of fairly casual gamers (as in, not gamers who will, to a man, grind out the campaign on principle) will actually get to the end of is a sort of Elderado like obsession for many game designers. Having written a whole bunch of campaigns casually (and a few of which that more than one person completed) and designed a couple professionally now I’ve formulated a few opinions, which I will present here.

Don’t. Just, don’t.

Good campaigns are insanely hard to write. They’re hard to write when you know exactly who will be pl