Chris Kemp's Not Quite Mechanised

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General Chestikov is told what to think by his Commissar.

What is a Wargame?                                            H <- Get Tombats to read this Glyph in Tombats Four

Most people understand a Wargame as a recreation of a historical Battle. You can do this using a Map, Toy Soldiers, or a Computer. The Army wargames to practice its job. Otherwise sane adults wargame for entertainment; so do children. Nothing in this website should be construed as promoting War as a Good Thing. In a long history of Bad Ideas, War is up there at the top. Wargaming however, is a useful tool for promoting an understanding of War. It is also an excellent social activity. Through the hobby of wargaming you will meet some interesting people. You will almost certainly find that the more you study War, the more certain you become that we should only play wargames, and not resort to the real thing.

Why make an Operational Level Wargame?    i

The idea for NQM began in the 1980's when there was a dearth of fast games that allowed large multiplayer games to flow smoothly with a minimum of fuss. My experience of large cloth-model games at RMA Sandhurst with Dr Paddy Griffith and others, created a yearning to be able to re-create the vast sweep of those games, but with a far less intrusive umpire load. The players would be able to handle all the low-level combat themselves, leaving the umpire(s) free to concentrate on the high level decisions. Oh, and just to make it harder, the game had to be able to handle a couple of players wanting to have a knock-about on a Friday evening. Whether or not I succeeded, you can judge for yourself.

Why call it NQM?                                 P

The title of the game comes from the main period modeled - WWII. Away from the armoured divisions of the UK and USA, most combatants were not really that mechanised. The Germans and their allies mostly marched into the USSR, and their supply lines followed the railways as much as the roads. The horse was still very much a part of the battlefield on the Eastern front, as the Germans were pleased to call it. 

I play Wargames. Will I like this one?                    J

Gamers used to more detailed sets of rules will find these Umpire Guidelines lacking in the sort of detail that they are used to. Tanks are Light, Medium or Heavy in their effect. You have to make value judgments about the relative effectiveness of troops. If you are prepared to let go of the tactical detail then your reward is the ability  to fight vast sweeping battles with attacks and counter attacks. Victory goes to the General who marshals his reserves, husbands his logistics, and smashes his enemy with a well-timed counter offensive. The army with the shiniest toys does not always win in this game!

I like most of it, but not the Rule about.....            u

The important thing to remember with these rules is that there is no definitive version; they are guidelines. If you want to change some aspect that you do not like, then you are free to do so. Call your rules something else, and acknowledge NQM in the credits. If you do not like the hybrid that you have created, then change it again. Be aware that sometimes quite minor tweaks will change the balance of the game dramatically, and quite innocuous additions can slow the game down a lot. Don't say that you haven't been warned. We have had a lot of fun with these rules over the years - several of us have been using them for getting on for 20 years now. And no, things are not going well for the Germans on the Eastern Front!

How far can I bend the Rules?          m

The NQM principle works for big games set as far back as WWI, and as modern as you care to push it. Have fun; real megalomaniacs will want to use 54mm Toys out in their private paddock!

Chris Kemp

 December 2003

"NQM" and "Not Quite Mechanised" and all contents of this website are copyright Chris Kemp Dec 2003 except where otherwise noted. They are free for personal non-commercial use.

Tombats Three and Four, and Tom's New Roman by kind permission of Tom Murphy - See Links. If you want to see Tombats and Tom's New Roman, you will need to download them from Tom's site on the links page

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