Wargaming - and the flexibility of the parser

So, one of the things I am interested in, is historic war campaigns, mainly napoleonic and English Civil War. And one thought I had was to use IF to bring it to the generals point of view, they were often reading reports of troops and their locations and issuing commands. There was a lot of text involved. Could one, using inform7 maybe allow for this type of armchair general type of game.

At the start of a turn, one could read reports of various units, and issue commands to them (via couriers, with a chance of not arriving), then get the results over periods of time. There would be some math, dice-rolling of outcomes, etc, then be presented with a report of new locations and results. Maybe all textually, or maybe with some generated maps.

Has anyone tried this sort of thing?


Haven’t tried it or heard of someone doing it but I don’t see why it couldn’t be done in a parser interface. Would be very curious to see how such an experiment went!

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Sounds like an interesting idea. Maybe something with less parser might be better suited. Ink from inkle comes to my mind …


Entre lĂ­neas de fuego, spanish adventure based on a legend happened in a 19th century european war


I could see that working in either input format: Radio Commander is choice-based, while Radio General is more parser-like, with an (optional?) speech-recognition interface. Edit: at least that’s my recollection from their promo materials and early gameplay reviews: I never got around to actually playing them myself…

Does this “a lot of text involved” means that you have a tremendous breadth of possibilities or the same text patterns repeated over and over? If it’s a small set of choices repeated, then Choice IF is better fit than Parser.

But in my experience, graphics are necessary to act as map. Maybe people are willing to print their own maps, similar to Print-and-Play, so you can do that if you want.

But yeah, I think most Parser system can handle wargaming. Certainly Inform can handle wargaming, RPG, and other board games, such as chess.


Since many computer games started out as text-only with typed in commands at the prompt, it think this could definitely be implemented. Multiple windows onscreen could display updates of information, either text or graphics.

I am a big fan of war games, including the old Avalon Hill games, so please keep me in mind if you every attempt to implement something like this.


You might take a look at The Battle of Walcot Keep, which is in the general niche you’re thinking about. It’s written in TADS, rather than Inform, but there’s no reason why something similar couldn’t be written in Inform.

It’s been quite a while since I played it, but I seem to recall that it’s more in line with the general first-person active-protagonist viewpoint of parser IF than the detached-general who issues order from off the field that you’ve described. There’s no reason why that has to be the case in a game you write, though.

There was actually very playable parser-based wargames, those of Peter Turcan, whose indeed was napoleonic-era wargames:

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

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Thank you Piegiorgio!

From Wisconsin USA.

I hope all is going well in Italy, I am hoping to travel there again this summer.