Sunday, 13 April 2008

Rosewar - a blast from the past

Rosewar was a role playing game, a postal simulation of the Wars of the Roses. I didn't get involved until quite late on, but for the last few turns I was the Earl of Warwick! It was tremendous fun while it lasted, but Steve, the chap who ran it, found the burden too much in the face of his growing family responsibilities, and it came to an end in 2004, just as we were getting ready to have a Parliament.

You may enjoy reading the archives and seeing the alternate version of history.

Those of you who would like to try something similar may enjoy the board game Kingmaker though to get the best results you really need a group of like-minded people who are willing to play for several days. An evening is not long enough. There's also a computer version out there which is probably to be found as a download nowadays - the graphics are ancient though, don't expect anything fancy.

1 comment:

John Foelster said...

If you enjoy that sort of thing Brian, you might want to look at the recent Paradox Interactive title "Crusader Kings II". I haven't purchased it myself yet because I fear the effect it would have on my spare time productivity, and I'm waiting for the inevitable first expansion and the 3rd party saved game converter to Europa Universalis III.

The game doesn't quite extend into the War of the Roses period since there is a hard stop at 1453 with the fall Constantinople, and most players who went for the full 1066-End of Game simulation in the original Crusader Kings game generally jumped ship in 1399 because Europa Universalis II & III, to which CK I & II are prequels, began with the reign of Bollingbroke. (Explicitly to include King Harry and Joan of Arc instead of the more standard original EU I start date of 1453. (Fall of Constantinople again.))

The games are unbelievably richly detailed.

Paradox, a Swedish company is now pretty much the standard bearer for historical simulation games. Also included in their "series" is an industrial revolution franchise called Victoria, and Victoria II just had its first expansion released with a scenario starting in 1861 focused on my own country's ridiculous little war... as well as Hearts of Iron I, II, and III, WWII simulators generally favored by the world's would be Hitlers.

Their games are graphically primitive and feature little in terms of tactical battle as opposed to strategy, but are, as I said, rich in little details and are as a result brutally processor and memory intensive. (They also use an easily editable text-based save game/scenario system that I find somewhat objectionable. I'd rather they allowed save game/scenario by a decompiler of a binary file that would load a bit more quickly, but that's getting a bit too technical...)

Anyway, check them out.

http://www.paradoxplaza.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_Interactive

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusader_Kings_II