As I wrote in an introductory post last week, I’ll be posting excerpts of the log of the first campaign (2000-2001) of Strategic Primer. (My, how the game has changed!) But, as I introduced the series last week, I’ll forego any further introduction here—here’s the beginning of the log:
The Log of Strategic Primer 2001, for Jon Lovelace’s Science Fair Project
The units that have been discovered by the beginning of the game are the rabble, the legion, the unit of crossbowmen, the unit of longbowmen, the unit of mounted crossbowmen, the unit of mounted longbowmen, and the catapult.
And here—before we even get into the log per se—we note one major difference between this first campaign and every subsequent campaign. While there have been major changes from time to time in what kind of advances the players can discover, until the middle of the first campaign I hadn’t even progressed to thinking of advances as opposed to simply units.
All of these are fairly straightforward except for the first: the “rabble.” The idea there was that you could call up untrained, inexperienced men—your peasant levies, or something like that—and then, after a battle or two, they would be about equivalent to minimally-trained but inexperienced men, and so would convert to another unit type of the player’s choice, generally using the weapons they picked up from their defeated enemies. The ability to change units’ “type” by changing their equipment has endured, as has the ability to improve with experience, but this particular mechanic was dropped after that campaign.
|Player Name||Date||Unit||Attempted Action||Result of Action|
|Napoleon||2/15/01||None||None||None. He is currently building a Rabble with 2 turns to go.|
Construction of new units (or anything else, as you might expect) was something I hadn’t considered, so I made everyone who didn’t give me orders get a Rabble every third turn, and pulled numbers out of the air for those who did. Napoleon was either an “AI” or one of the people who volunteered to be a “test subject” but didn’t actually play in the game; I don’t have the binder of results that I printed to display with the project, and I can’t find the file that included the names and code names of the players, so I can’t tell you which of these two “he” was.
|George Washington||2/15/01||Catapult 1||Move due N 5 mi||Moved correctly.|
|George Washington||2/15/01||Catapult 2||Ordered to move due E||Moved correctly.|
|George Washington||2/15/01||Legion 1||Move due S for 5 mi||Moves correctly, getting out of step|
|George Washington||2/15/01||Legion 2||Move due W for 5 mi||Moves correctly|
|George Washington||2/15/01||Crossbowmen 1||Move NE for 5 mi||Moves correctly, but gets out of step.|
|George Washington||2/15/01||Crossbowmen 2||Move SE for 5 mi||Moves correctly|
|George Washington||2/15/01||Rabble 1||Move SW for 5 mi||Moves correctly|
|George Washington||2/15/01||Rabble 2||Move NW for 5 mi||Moves correctly but gets out of step|
|George Washington||2/15/01||None||None||Note: His fort is empty but is ringed by his units. He is at the moment building a Rabble, with 2 turns to go.|
I suppose that if another player had tried to “rush” the first turn, this might have been a viable strategy.
|Papè||2/15/01||None||None||None. He is currently building a Rabble, with 2 turns to go.|
|Hannibal||2/15/01||None||None||None. He is currently building a Rabble, with 2 turns to go.|
|Panzier||2/15/01||None||None||None. He is currently building a Rabble with 2 turns to go.|
We’ll end this segment of the log here. I began the habit of always noting a player’s turn, even if the player takes no action, in that first campaign; I still try to do that even now, and not just for player strategies as a whole, so that I don’t forget to do something in future turns.
This series of posts, the annotated log of the first campaign of Strategic Primer, will resume in a few weeks. But what do you think so far?