To a large extent, a game is what the players make of it. If there are
enough players who believe that Olympia is _only_ a wargame, then for
all practical purposes that's all it will be.
I played Olympia for a few turns. However, I was handicapped by joining
the game a bit late (turn 12), and by the desire to do exploration,
character development, exploration, and research. When I signed up,
I was already concerned that the game seemed (to me) to give advantages
to a wargaming style of play; but I signed up anyway, just to see what
it was like (it was my first PBM experience) and to see how other
(especially more experienced) players played.
I had a really terrific time in the few turns I played, and I learned
what I wanted to learn. But I also concluded that there were too many
players treating Olympia as a wargame for me to have any realistic hope
of surviving if I played the way I wanted to play. I had a lot of fun
role-playing myself into an untenable situation (no, not deliberately,
but it was still fun), and then I dropped out.
I believe Olympia was indeed designed with the *potential* to be
something more than a wargame, but left it up to the players as a whole
to exploit that potential. I am pretty well convinced that in this
particular game (g1), the "militarists" as you call them are sufficiently
dominant in the player mix that anyone who wants to remain a "little guy"
will be very lucky not to get squashed before he gets to do his "own
thing". While I personally find that disappointing, I wouldn't call the
players who see Olympia as nothing but a wargame "myopic". They're
getting what *they* want out of the game, and after all why shouldn't
I am hugely impressed with Rich Skrenta's work on this game, especially
the game mechanics. I have read his hints about new games and new rules
with considerable interest. (Now if only he'd make some kind of commitment
instead of just saying things like "I've been thinking about...")
In my opinion, Olympia is a great game, with perhaps its biggest flaw
being that it has simply too *much* potential, leading some people to
expect more from it than is really reasonable.
-- << Brent ____________________________________________________________________ / \ ) "Prove all things. Hold fast that which is good." I Thess. 5:21 ( \____________________________________________________________________/