Skip on Our
Matrix Game

It's worth noting that the kind of monster bash Jonathan and I ran (with several players running small groups of monsters in a free-for-all) was never played in our old Chainmail group in Lake Geneva. Heck, it was never even considered. Mass battles were the name of the game for us, and we used fantasy creatures as special units. Occasionally two of these special troops would meet and they would fight each other using the matrix.

Under this environment, drive backs often were significant, since there was no telling where a creature would wind up if driven back, nor what it would be in a position to do next after belong driven back. Nor was it a big deal that the tougher creatures could just be knocked out with a single die roll. Once a giant has plowed through two or three units of heavy cavalry, it could be a great moment when a superhero arrives and cuts it down. It just goes to show that any set of rules must take the play environment into account.

All in all, this old, old bit of "gaming technology" stood up pretty well. The only serious drawback it had was the questionable point values for the troops—hardly surprising, since they were assigned for mass battles, and not monster smackdowns.

—Skip Williams
December 2002