the ballad of the sweet warlord and hitler's forgotten shoes
Thrower: Do you find numbers scary? Do you dread the pointy 1, the razor-sharp 7, the misery of an unsolved sum? If you do, you've probably realised that most board games are just fearsome equations wearing friendly grins.
Designers, however, understand this, and more. They welcome it, glory in it, roll in it like pigs in mathematical mud. Because it's what they use to build the foundations of something fun, yet something real.
Take Volko Ruhnke, designer of contemporary wargames Labyrinth and the Counter-Insurgency(or COIN) series. "Most board games and video games that are about something are models," he told me. "Trading games, railroad building games, shooting games, strategic war games. They all communicate the game designers’ model of certain aspects of human affairs."