How the West Was Won

We took a break from all the playtest launch mayhem and started another Microscope game. The concept? Settling the American frontier. Go West young man! It’s a real world alternate history setting.

We’re only one session in, but we’ve already had the hanging of an innocent man, gold in them thar hills, war with Mexico, a sheriff gunned down by outlaws after the townsfolk turned their back on him, and a reverse Louisiana Purchase (yep, they sold the midwest to England).

Oh, and we had our very own Alamo analog. Except a bit darker. Y’know how there are all those famous moments of history where everyone fights to the bitter end? If everyone dies, how do we know what really happened? Hmm? No survivors, right? Turns out when you look closer at the last moments of the last stand of the fearless heroes of your very own Alamo analog, maybe everyone is not so certain that what they’re doing is going to make a difference. Maybe they think they’re just some unfortunate souls doomed to die in the Texas dirt. Who’s going to remember them or care? It’s good stuff.

Alternate history is a whole bonus realm of Microscope fun. We already did a classic “what if the Nazi’s won WWII and took over the world” (no really, it turned out lighter than you’d think). The trick is just being very clear where your game history diverges from the constraints of real history — bingo, that’s your starting period.

    Ben Robbins | June 24th, 2009 | microscope actual play | show 2 comments