Four in one
Spheres of War (SoW) is an umbrella for four traditional (non-computer) war games. Each game covers a ‘sphere’ of conflict, these being: Technical, Tactical, Strategical, and Political.
- Technical Sphere – management of single combatants within a duel, or a small skirmish where each combatant is controlled by a Player (RPG party). Detailed HEMA (Historical Western Martial Arts) based combat.
- Tactical Sphere – management of units within a battle; from skirmishing war-bands, to full armies. Also includes mechanised units such as tanks, aircraft, and ships (and sub-marines, inspired by the Western Approaches Tactical Unit (WATU), the Wren wargamers that help defeat the U-Boat menace).
- Strategic Sphere – managing armies within a campaign. Ideal for clubs; to use the Strategic sphere to organise Tactical games for other club players. Ancestor is Kriegsspiel.
- Political Sphere – War by other means, diplomats, spies, subterfuge – all to gain resources and allies.
The Spheres are interoperable, as they share a common core. This flexibility allows you to switch between Spheres or combine them as needed. For example, while playing a Tactical skirmish game, you could zoom into the action of an epic duel between leaders by switching to the Technical Sphere and resolve it using detailed single combat rules. You can combine Spheres to form hybrid games, such as joining the Technical and Political Spheres, to create a Role-Play Game.
Currently working on: Tactical Fragment 1
This Sphere is all about personal combat, and duelling, based on HEMA studies and gets into the ol’ fight books of Talhoffer and modern re-creationists like The Arma. This Sphere is combined with the Political Sphere below to create the basis of the SoW Role-Play Game rule set. As mentioned above, it can also used when playing the Tactical Sphere games below to zoom into the clash of heroic champions in the midst of battle.
Each player controls a single combatant. Conflict is resolved using the common core Serial Match System, with the M.A.R.S. Dichotomy Attributes driving Actions and Reactions in D100 detail. This game allows you to explore the techniques, weapons and armour used during the middle-ages in context. All rooted in HEMA, and trying to create a ruleset that explains how combat actually works as a system.
[in development] Link
This is a table top war game using miniatures using scales 6-28mm. It can handle small skirmisher warband games of a single unit aside, all the way up to great battles where the armies number in the hundreds and even thousands, thanks to the innovative scaling rules.
Table top battles
Spheres of War eschews the monolithic movement system of many table top wargames and takes a more chess like approach. I’m attempting to replicate simultaneous movement, by breaking down the conflict into bite-sized pieces; pairing opposing units into matches, and resolving these matches in series. Combat is quick, using ‘stacked values’, so you only have to role once per Action. Fast and bloody :)
This is a D10 game, a generalised version of the D100 Technical game above.
War [campaign] management. It uses markers on a map and not miniatures. This is the game with the greatest scope. It can be played in its own right or used to organise game sessions for other Players in a club, who would use the other Spheres.
Core of the club
Using the Strategy Sphere, you could send an army, an envoy, or commandos to take a location or gain allies. If sending an army, the actual battle can be resolved quickly in the Strategy Sphere of handed off and fought in the Tactical Sphere (as a traditional campaign manager). If sending an envoy/ spies, again it can be resolved quickly in Strategy Sphere, or handed off to the Political Sphere and played as an RPG. If sending in commandos, it can be resolved quickly in the Strategy Sphere of handed off and Played in the Technical Sphere. Along with these, the Strategy Sphere supplied background and context for the mission within the Spheres, and takes into account many variables – production capacity, propaganda and other factors.
[in development] Link
As Sun Tzu said: “politics is war without bloodshed and war is politics with bloodshed“. The Political Sphere covers social interaction, managing alliances, political influence and power plays. When combined with Strategy is can run whole cities and states, where political manoeuvring has an effect of Strategy and can change the face of war. When combined with the Technical Sphere, it forms the basis of a role-playing game (RPG). The results of these RPG sessions can be fed back into the Strategy Sphere, giving access to new alliances, troops and funding.
[in development] Link
Each sphere can be played in isolation from the others, or combined into a massive, sprawling, inter-connected game covering all aspects of war. (ideal for a gaming club).
Clubs: This interconnection makes it ideal of gaming clubs. The result of a game in one sphere can influence the games played within another sphere. This allows players of the Strategy Sphere to hand off battles to players of the Tactical Sphere, who can fight the actual battles and report back to their general. Zooming in on detailed, to cover pivotal moments, can be handled within the Tactical Sphere. Such pivotal moments could be duels between champions, or a battle commander handing over commando/ scouting missions to players of the Technical Sphere. Combining the Tactical and Political spheres produces a Role-Play Game (RPG). The results of RPG ‘intrigue’ sessions can affect Tactical and Strategy spheres.