Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Battle Reportification Part 2 - Preparation

Just thought I'd give Graven Games another shout out, they have been posting some really nice articles on their blog (which you all should have seen if you have been keeping up with your homework, hmmmm?).  One that really caught my eye is their scratch-building the Tau Manta out of cardboard.  That puppy looks massive, complicated, and just plain awesome and I want to applaud them on their efforts with taking on such a massive undertaking for sheer fun and sharing their experiences with the rest of the community, so bravo to them (I have no idea how many people are involved with the blog) for expanding out community and helping it out in such a positive manner!

Now moving back on to my own blog.  Lets assume that you are going forward with a Battle Report in mind.  You've already created your list, but what are the ways that you can record the battle so that you can remember it later and write/create your detailed narrative later?  There is no way to do it.  And if you believed that… don't use the internet.  There are in fact a variety of different methods:  a common one that many people like to do (as you will see if you look on YouTube) is taking a video camera and either recording the entire battle as I do (though I don't post it to YouTube, its entirely for my own use) or make brief videos detailing what happened in a player turn and rerecording at the end of the next player turn, and so on.  What all of these do is first show off the two different armies that are on the table, the table itself, and the mission and deployment.  All of the specifics are necessary if you want your Battle Report to be as accurate as possible.  Even if you like to embellish, at least know where you are coming from so that if you ever want to change one of your later revisions you can remember what actually was the case.  What is good about taking a video is that it will give you a picture of what you were thinking at the time of the recording, predictions that you have can then be analyzed at the end of the Battle Report, also your insights could be used and seem very natural and realistic in your story version if a commander or so had similar thoughts to your own.  Recording the entire battle could also show what the dice were like and so maybe you could choose that set of shooting that you managed to make all but one of your saves to write a detailed account of how epic that unit was as it dodged and withstood nearly everything that was thrown their way, and then to pulverize the enemy in revenge for their fallen comrade etc. etc.

Another popular medium for Battle Reports is taking photos while the battle is progressing, this has a plethora of pros:  you can use any sort of camera you want, even your phones; it is unobtrusive and won't interrupt a turn very much (so long as you do it during your opponent's turn and very quickly on your own); you won't feel awkward about talking to a camera while other people are staring at you; there is no editing for still photos, video you have to sometimes reshoot or cut out some of the overly loud background noise.  People also are more willing to look at your battle report because for some reason people have an aversion to watching a battle report that is a ten minute video (longer ones do exist, and the avoidance of those ones is a perfectly understandable phenomena) when the same amount of time is spent reading a good battle report that is text based with a few pictures.  Finally taking just those pictures can set the scene for your battle and also keep everything in perspective as you tell the narrative; you avoid the trap of simply recounting what happened and not analyzing when you don't take a video because you have given yourself time to reflect and don't have to rely just on the video media to tell the story.

The final option is taking notes on what is going on in the battle (of course you can always just remember what happened, but as far as I know only one person in the world has an impervious memory and I'm pretty sure he doesn't play tabletop miniature war games).  You can take notes in any way that you prefer though I will present you with several different options (as is my place in the life of a blogger).  You could use good old fashioned BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD pencil and paper to help you remember what you want.  You could make brief voice notes in some sort of microphone or portable recording device.  I've never seen anyone do it, but if you have a quick hand and are more artistically inclined you could make fast sketches of important points in the battle as they happen or battle scenes that strike you that you could use for inspiration.  Be careful of this as you do have very limited time and also want to pay attention to what your opponent is doing so that you can plan your own turn out.

If anyone has any other way of preparing for making a Battle Report you can mention it in the comments below.  Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the mention, We're glad you enjoyed our scratchbuilt Manta article ( We're still big fans of your blog, its growing into a really useful resource that I'm sure a lot of wargamers & other creative persons will find really useful.