Author Topic: Why do people do AARs?  (Read 1660 times)

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Offline airboy

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Why do people do AARs?
« on: January 16, 2019, 08:00:49 PM »
Beyond the fame, glory, babes and ducats that come from doing an AAR, why do people do them?

If you have never done an AAR it takes a lot of time and work.  You have to:
a] Play the game
b] Make screen shots
c] Annotate the screen shots (if you care to have your readers understand your work)
d] Write up what is happening.

It takes me about 6x times longer to write up an AAR as it did to play.  This is a minimum amount - it is probably more like 10x.

I'm leaving out video AARs which I find to be almost 100% horrible.  People don't write a script, they ramble a lot, and they have no structure.  I taught outreach marketing classes on video for 30 years and I spent 6 hours outside the class for every one hour in the studio - minimum.  I wrote detailed scrips, had my background material ready to roll, etc....  The quality level of most video AARs is so horrible that I find them unwatchable.  One of the very few exceptions is the work by Seth Skorkowsky who is not really doing AARs but is doing reviews.  But he does do some "how to" stuff on running RPGs that is also really good.

While you are doing this you could be doing something else - like playing another game.

For those of you who do AARs I'm interested in why you do them.  You can PM me, or I could PM everyone who did a decent AAR and bug them.

[Sorry you can make the researcher retire but you can't make them stop wondering why things happen the way they do].


Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Why do people do AARs?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2019, 09:11:07 PM »
I would do one to try to make people think I am really smart. And good at the game, not telling them I lost the same battle 5 times already.
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Why do people do AARs?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2019, 06:46:13 AM »
Mainly I only do them when I think my nieces and/or fellow Grogs would like to see them. That's especially true in multiplayer games, as that way I can give other people an opportunity to shine.  O0

For example, I was suuuuuuuuuper annoyed that four out of my final five 'films' for the Fire in the Grogs Too match, were corrupted in the video (not the audio oddly), because I wanted to be able to show NVA-Dave and even VC-Larry (Arizona Tank here on the forum) coming back to win it all against Rich and myself. Dave's surge for the win was epic: he had come back from literally only one point of score, one base on the board (and maybe a few specs), to lead the way for his team to win. I hate not being able to show that!

(Though notably, not enough to reconstruct my notes about the moves during the final ten or fifteen turns from the Vassal save files, yet...  ::) )

Sometimes, for the print AARs, I have an idea for a story (like in the Survive Harder or PanzOrc Corpz series), which I'm basically generating and writing out. And that can amount to showing off myself.  :coolsmiley:

Mostly though I'm trying to show of other people, whether giving some attention to the game and its devs, or to my multi-player opponents, or providing a demo look; or just because my nieces might like to play the game but can't for various reasons. I'm running a hotseat game of Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic right now (with one of the standard unofficial patch-mod upgrades), which I worked hard to figure out how to import snapshots of the nieces as the portraits, so that even though I'm the one playing the game they'd think it was fun that the game and its developing story are about them. I'm making plans to try a Paradox run for them, too, later this year, starting from the CKII mod "When the World Stopped Making Sense" (set shortly after the fall of Rome) through HOI 4. (And maybe into Stellaris although I can't understand how that would make sense.) "They" would be a set of composite characters starting out as the Catholic princess inheritor of a small kingdom on the northwest coast of Africa -- a former Roman Imperial outpost -- which happens to be that area south of the Atlas mountains where "The Eye of the Sahara" is: arguably the best current guess for the location of the historical Atlantis!
Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Strategic Werewolf Axe-chopping Simulator video AAR!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline W8taminute

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Re: Why do people do AARs?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2019, 07:03:16 AM »
A lot of YouTubers confuse AAR with let's plays.  They pride themselves on providing live commentary to games they're showcasing rather than tell a narrative on the events that occurred in game.

I used to do AARs in written form on gaming forums.  My main reason for doing them at the time was strictly for my own immersion and entertainment.  The story behind the campaign played against a human opponent was much more entertaining to me then actually playing the game.  I would imagine myself to be an everyday citizen reading the daily newspaper on current events.  It was fun!  But it was also a lot of work and I ultimately gave up on doing AARs.
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Offline airboy

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Re: Why do people do AARs?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2019, 07:21:31 AM »
W8taminute & Jason Pratt - thanks for sharing.

Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: Why do people do AARs?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2019, 08:16:11 AM »
I enjoy doing AARs because it gives me an opportunity to showcase a game, while also discussing and exploring the history/lore of the subject matter while also providing an opportunity to express myself creatively.

Doing a preview or a review, I tend to be much more “boilerplate”, if you will and I get overly compulsive about being thorough and accurate. For me, an AAR is much more freeform and subject to my own whim.
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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Why do people do AARs?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2019, 08:36:55 AM »
And I love reading all of your AAR's. Many times I use AAR's to make the final decision on whether or to pass on a particular game as well as how to play the damn things. Hats-off to all you AAR-er's.  :notworthy:
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline airboy

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Re: Why do people do AARs?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2019, 10:04:17 AM »
Thanks Jarhead!

And Sir Slash - thanks for the nice comments on the AAR writers.

Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Why do people do AARs?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2019, 01:20:49 PM »
I’ve enjoyed doing AARs because it lets me tell the “story” of how the game unfolded. I started to feel like the stories being written by the gameplay were too good to keep to myself.

Offline KyzBP

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Re: Why do people do AARs?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2019, 04:16:11 PM »
I’ve enjoyed doing AARs because it lets me tell the “story” of how the game unfolded. I started to feel like the stories being written by the gameplay were too good to keep to myself.
I thoroughly enjoyed your AARs.  They actually made me buy the game.

Offline airboy

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Re: Why do people do AARs?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2019, 04:28:20 PM »
I've bought quite a few games from reading AARs.  I've also played games I already owned because I read an AAR.

Offline Crossroads

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Re: Why do people do AARs?
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2019, 03:07:05 AM »
Nice posts, thanks guys

I do AARs also simply for the reason that I like doing them. Lots of work, granted, but lots of fun too  :))

I don't have that many games going on at any time, H2H games in particular, but once I do they are usually against folks I know and trust to give a good game and not quit nor disappear. We take our time selecting a battle, and I often get immersed quite deep in them. Which is how to do them, of course. Writing an AAR is a fun way to put some of the stuff in writing.

Also being not a native in English it gives some practice, which is nice. This is a funny language you know. I can live with reading and writing, but pronounciation, with not any rules to it, madness!  :uglystupid2: But I digress...

Granted, I do it to give the games some publicity as well, when playing one of the Campaign Series titles. We're not a big crew with real jobs to pay the rent, but then again we're in it because we're fans of the game too. Not a bad deal to get to move the game towards what you like it to become. I grew up playing boardgames with my cousins, and I like the link the CS series has to the platoon scaled boardgames of the old.

I love the AARs you guys have put out as well. I often look for an AAR before buying a new game, the Decisive Campaigns AAR by Jason and Bartheart a good example. Really love what you've done with your AARs too Airboy! Haven't bought CMANO yet as I fear the learning curve, but one of these days...
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: Why do people do AARs?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2019, 11:23:45 AM »
Writing an AAR is also a nice way to speed up the learning process with a new game. That's why I do boardgame AARs, most of them is just me recording all the silly mistakes I did when playing while not just perhaps grasping all the details in play. It is fun, though.

I just updated my signature with links to the small boardgame AARs I've posted here.

Also: I am left with just one character available (from the total of 1 000 chars) for adding to my signature text. What should it be?
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Offline SirAndrewD

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Re: Why do people do AARs?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2019, 11:52:18 AM »
Fame, glory, babes and ducats

I need to start doing more AAR's.

Offline Crossroads

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Re: Why do people do AARs?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2019, 12:30:46 PM »
Fame, glory, babes and ducats

I need to start doing more AAR's.

I haven't seen much fame, glory nor ducats, so YMMV I guess ... Just sayin'

But as for babes...
You need to try it at some time. Just walk to a bar, whisper with a low, masculine voice: "I do AARs", and ... oh boy :smitten:
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CS: Middle East AAR: High Water Mark (Syria 10/12/73) Me vs Berto | Riptide (Libya 8/6/85) Me vs Berto | The Crossroads (West Bank 6/5/67)  Me vs Berto | Into Africa! (Egypt 10/17/73) Me vs Berto
Boardgame AAR: AH D-Day | MMP PanzerBlitz2 Carentan | OSS Putin’s Northern War | GMT Next War: Poland | LnL Against the Odds DIY