For the few of you who don’t also regularly read Vincent’s Blog, he’s posted some discussion of the campaign rules over there. I’ve put my discussion of the campaign rules below a fold. Warning! Opinions!
To my mind, the major weakness of the current campaign rules isn’t that they make me stressed and anxious, it’s that they require every player to be present for every game. It’s hard for me to imagine a credible scenario in which three sides regularly fight over an issue. I’d much rather have a series of one-on-one games punctuated with a few three-way games make up a campaign. From a logistical point of view that’s better as well, since you don’t have to organise everyone being in the same room at once on a regular basis.
There are other issues with the campaign rules as well. Sometimes you can end up in a battle where you’re better off not fighting at all. If the special objective is not something you care about, you’ve got a good number of initial points, and there are three players or more, often you’re probably just going to lose points by getting into a fight.
I had a lot of fun in the campaign Malcolm and I had when we first started playing, chronicled in this thread on Story Games. We didn’t really have a concrete set of rules when we were playing, but in retrospect our system looked something like this:
1) We work out what stuff we’ve got available for the game – the mechs we’ve got built, what terrain we’ve got, and how many players are around.
2) One player sets stakes for the upcoming battle – they say what their side is trying to achieve. The other player says what their side is doing in response.
4) The winning side achieves what they were trying to do, and everyone agrees to that happening in the fiction of the campaign.
5) Repeat until you’re bored, or to a set number.
6) The player with the most victories wins, and gets to say what happens in the fiction, not overriding what’s already been established during the campaign, and taking into account how many victories each side achieved to decide how much of the overall goals were achieved,
I guess we’re dirty hippie roleplayers at heart. Anyhow, that was a successful way of playing a campaign, and it certainly encouraged a lot of extraneous colour to the games in a way that the new campaing rules are not.