I have been reading and thinking about Sam Mustafa's new game rules Freejumper
, spaceship combat, and Aurelian
, the crisis in 3rd century Rome. They are both very interesting and likely make for enjoyable play. They both use game-specific cards for activation and (almost) no dice. In my mind they are both boardgames without a board and with figures. I have nothing against games that use card activation, resource management, or other game mechanics. I really enjoy playing SAGA
, for instance, and it is also a boardgame without a board and with figures.
I think what bothers me about these games is that there are too many parts that must be had. To play a dark ages games using the SAGA rules each player must have the faction's "battle board" and their customized dice. To play an ancients game using the Aurelian rules each player needs to have its deck of cards and the unique tokens. These kit are not cheap. For SAGA the rules are $30 and 2 sets of dice are $36 for a total of $66 before playing the first game. For Aurelian the rules are $29 (PDF) and 2 sets of cards are $40 (or, if you print them yourself, $20 in inkjet ink and $10 in sleeves) for a total of $69 (or $59) before playing the first game.
I don't think my aversion is to the cost, our hobby is expensive, but there is ample difference between a high entry cost vs a moderate ongoing cost. Clearly that is where my mind is. I believe that to play a wargame it must
be enough to simply have a copy of the rules, figures for both sides, a few rulers, several generic dice, and some generic tokens.