Further thoughts from Alan Gruber, the Duchy of Tradgardland as we individually read our way through the 1933 booklet Wide Games by Gilcraft of the Scout Association, looking for useful tips for game scenarios.
1. “You could use other figures to represent the scouts as they perceive themselves.
So in a pirate wide game use pirate figures or medieval, use Robin Hood ones.
It is a conceit also to allow to use any figures for those who don’t have model scouts.”
2. Encounter tables for bulls, angry policemen etc
3. Weather tables too, effects on morale, more dangerous to run etc.
Weather like snow and rain would also affect how easy it was to read tracks, leave tracks etc.
Lots of other ideas here to affect character card number ratings or add chance and event cards.
4. Morale, how the scouts are feeling and can they be bothered to continue in terms of fed up, bad weather, skint knees, losing game etc.
5. First aid for minor injuries. Chance of minor injuries when jumping,cycling, going through nettles,brambles etc. affects desire to continue.
6. Small possibility of twisted ankles, broken legs. Obviously affects movement and distracts fellow scouts from the wide games by needing to go and get help.
I think this is an interesting idea for random chance cards or Umpire intervention. Most Boy Scouts and Scoutmasters would have some First Aid training; some Wide Games introduced instructions during the game with ‘casualties’ that would need treating and taking to collection points (where points would be given for their dressings).
The HQ base or Red Cross / Ambulance Base was where Scouts also have to return if they lose a ‘wool life’ and temporarily have left the game.
Alan Gruber goes on to mention even more ‘fantastic’ ideas:
“Years ago I helped occasionally with a friend’s Brownie pack by doing things like being a guest at their hostess badge tea party and with Thinking Day. The leader and girls often sent me a thank you card. They often featured Margaret Tarrant paintings of Brownies with wee folklore figures such as faeries etc. They were charming.”
World Thinking Day, formerly Thinking Day, is celebrated annually on 22 February by all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. This was Baden Powell’s birthday, along with that of his wife Olave, one of the early Chief Guides. It is also celebrated by Scout and Guide organizations and some boy-oriented associations around the world.
“In the Wide Games book there is mention of Puck of Pook’s Hill as a background for games.”
Puck of Pook’s Hill is a fantasy book by Rudyard Kipling, published in 1906, containing a series of short historical fantasy stories set in different periods of English history.
Alan suggests: “What about taking things a step further and having real mythological creatures interacting with the scouts? All foreign scouts could have their own creatures like Tomten for Danish scouts etc.”
There are excellent illustrated Tomten and Gnome picture books available translated into English.
With both our initial thoughts both being that each Scout could have a Role Playing Game Style ratings card for his or her abilities, experiences, success or failures, then introducing suitably national Fantastic Beasts makes sense. Hogwarts territory, this. Girl Scoutes or Boy Scoutes versus Zombies, anyone?
Alan also wrote: “I like the comment on page 40 of the Wide games book
“In playing these games it should be remembered that they improve very much on the second and third trial, as minor rules have often to be introduced to suit local circumstances.” Same applies to us who write Wargame rules…”
This is much my style of gaming: If in doubt, invent a dice roll!
Lots of interesting ideas from Alan.
I have been busy painting and casting today, as I continue to read through Wide Games, along with a reprint of the 1908 Scouting for Boys and the colour reprint of the Ogden Scouting series 5 sets of Cigarette Cards.
Wide Games or Weird Wyde Games rules – very much still Work in Progress.
20 Boy scout figures on the painting table, 2 patrols of 8, leaving four who will become Girl Scout figures with full skirts.
More on British Girl Scouts in a forthcoming blog post.
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN (with comments from Alan Gruber, Duchy of Tradgardland) 5 May 2019.