View Full Version : Would you be interested in an AAR Writing Contest?

Michael Dorosh
31 May 08, 11:44
I'm thinking of sponsoring a contest to promote the writing of AARs. I'd be willing to put up a substantial prize of some sort. I'd like to consider doing it as a cross-platform contest - i.e. any "modern" tactical wargame, PC game or miniatures game would be eligible such as Steel Panthers, ASL, Panzer Grenadier, Command Decision, etc.

Poll is simple - would you be interested in participating in such an AAR contest?

Looking for feedback on the following questions:

a) when would the best time to do this be? I'm thinking not summer in the northern hemisphere, and Christmas is bad too, and winter here is summer in Australia and South Africa. Given you would need a lengthy amount of time to play and write, maybe an eligibility period of from August 2008 to January 2009?

b) would anyone be willing to donate a first prize or additional prizes? I don't know what would appeal to the winner. Would, say, 150 dollars US be an incentive to participate in such a venture?

c) would it be possible to write a set of parameters in order to fairly judge AARs for differing platforms against one another? I think it would be. I've seen some really creative AARs for Combat Mission, for example - some done in comic book style, others strait-laced. Seen a lot of ASL ones, on blogs and private websites and done here on these forums.

Goal would be to generate some ideas on what makes a good AAR - criteria would be readability (is it well written), entertainment value (it is boring, or is it fun to read), education value (does the AAR teach anything useful about the game that others players can take away with them) and recruiting value (would non-players of the game see the value in learning to play/entering the hobby/community?)

Not planning anything definite, just thinking out loud for now. See a lot of very brief AARs and think that it is a largely overlooked part of the community. It can be an extremely important tool. The Series Replays in The General were often used to sell games to people who had never seen the title before, just as the Fionn-Madmatt AAR for Combat Mission was a great marketing tool circa 1999. For scenario designers, seeing how two players attack a given situation can also be very beneficial.

Looking forward to discussion on this.

01 Jun 08, 08:05
I think this is a good idea for sure...not sure about mixing games, but to get a decent turn out that is probably a must.

02 Jun 08, 03:00
Voted yes, conditional - conditional based upon personal workload; at present and the near run future it doesn't look feasible for me.