Tuesday i wrote an article about how weapon profiles relate to how a particular weapon operates, and how the abstractions they represent can create misconceptions, and I thought it would be a good idea to make it inot an ongoing series, so here goes.
To start I think I need to go into what wargaming is, at heart, since that is the heart of what these articles are about. Wargaming is an extension of military practices such as sand tables, simulations, ans wargames played using real equipment. In order to ensure that these activities achieve their goal of enabling officers to plan battles and develop strategies, they need ground rules in order to ensure that any insight they gain is not unfairly influenced by bias.
how this translates for the table top is the math used to represent the abstractions involved in warfare such as terrain, visibility, weather, rate of fire, and other factors. None of these things can be reliably represented using simple rules, and this becomes even more difficult when you add in the fantasy factor present in games such as Warhammer 40k or Infinity. This having been said, most games do a remarkably good job of representing these things, as long as you remember that a good deal of the "action" is in your head.
For example, when you defend in an assault in 40k, a base trooper seems to be doing little more than swinging once, and standing around for the rest of the time, when what that single " attack" they are allotted is not the only action they are taking, but merely the only opportunity to strike a telling blow in that limited time. This is also why the games designers allow a model that has a pistol and close combat weapon to get an additional attack, this is not because they are firing the pistol in the close combat, but are using them as parrying weapons, pistol whipping their opponent, or are performing other manoeuvres that create additional opportunities for striking a telling blow.
So, I Plan on writing more articles on this subject, and examining various parts of the rules, and breaking down what they represent, and hopefully altering perceptions about some parts of the game for the better.