Special Tanks

Photo: Natalya
From "Assyrian Vanquisher Super Tank"
Elements shown: LEGO, beige carpet

image rights: Natalya, signed 4/20

Uploaded, final

BrikWars is a game with a long history of misconduct and malfeasance, and its continued existence would not have been possible without the begrudging tolerance of a long series of gaming and construction-toy communities who really should have known better.

The Online Community

Photo: Azmi Timur
From "Hyperion Tank [M:Throne Empire Series Ep.5]"
Elements shown: LEGO

image rights: Azmi Timur, signed 7/23

Uploaded, final

The first BrikWars battle report to hit the Internet was the "Guns of Brickston" mech battle between Shaun Sullivan and Eric Joslin in February 2000, and from that moment forward BrikWars has lived through its online community. Hundreds and thousands of players have left their mark on the game and its universe — many more than could ever be listed here. Their names, characters, stories, and photos fill the pages of this book.

Special tanks to the New England LEGO Users' Group and all the LUGs of LUGNET, BrikWars' first and greatest evangelists for its first decade online. Shaun Sullivan, Eric Joslin, Evil Wayne McCaul, Dave and Suzanne Eaton, Jennifer Finch, and all the rest of NELUG were instrumental in hacking and hammering at the game relentlessly in the early years and exposing its every flaw, almost as fast as I could introduce new ones.

Special tanks to the motley crew that straggled along through a long series of community hubs before we finally built our own giant ridiculous boisterous cacophonous home on the BrikWars server for the decade to follow. Our early forum superstars Warhead, Natalya, The Almighty Benny, TheShadowscythe, IVhorseman, Tzan, Blitzen, Zahru II, Dilanski, and dozens more set the foundations for years of convoluted trolling and epic satirical twists. As the community grew, these early pillars took on an ever greater share of community moderation and mentoring, making an impossible mountain of work into a merely extremely inadvisable one.

Special tanks to the new crop of superstars now in 2020, scattered out to Discord and Patreon and Twitch and every social media site you can name, streaming and chatting and creating and driving each other to all-new heights of brick-based destruction. Ninja_bait, Duerer, Quantumsurfer, Kommander Ken, Kaplan, Dienekes22, Bookwyrm, Aoffan23, and so many others are building and staging battles and minifig storylines on a scale I could never have imagined possible when I was typing the first rules drafts into an ASCII terminal in my college dorm.

And a very special tanks indeed to all the Patreon supporters over the past two years whose contributions have kept the rulebook and servers up and available through some lean months.

Game Inspirations

Photo: Kenny "Kommander Ken" Bush
From "The Frostborne Realm"
Elements shown: LEGO

image rights: Kommander Ken, signed 7/23

Uploaded, final

BrikWars has existed in some form or another since our grade-school graphite-on-notebook-paper "Rules for Lego Warfare*" in 1989, but became much less unplayable over the intervening decades thanks to inspiration from several other games and designers.

Much of BrikWars' early philosophy and mechanics were inspired by R. Todd Ogrin and Eric O'Dell's LegoWars* and LegoWars II*, released to online bulletin boards and the Internet from 1991-1995 before being struck down by implacable agents of The LEGO Company who didn't approve in even the tiniest degree of these unauthorized uses of their LEGO® trademark.

LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize, or endorse any of the games mentioned here. LEGO® should always be capitalized and never made part of another word or title as seen here. LEGO® is the name of the brand, not the toy, even if logic and common usage dictate otherwise.

BrikWars' ill-advised attempts at satire were inspired by Vincent Baker and Lumpley Games' kill puppies for satan (2001). As a brutal deconstruction of the tabletop gaming ethos in 2001, the satirical thrusts of kill puppies for satan are uncompromising and surgically targeted, and thus much more successful than BrikWars' tone-deaf mishmash of incoherent swipes at whatever subject comes first to mind.

BrikWars' dice fetishism was greatly inspired by Lumpley Games' Mechaton (2006), later reworked as Mobile Frame Zero 001: Rapid Attack (2012) by Joshua A.C. Newman at the glyphpress. The Mobile Frame Zero community is morally and ethically superior to the BrikWars community, and their periodic callouts over the years when our satire misses the mark (or worse, hits marks it shouldn't have been aiming at in the first place) have been a source of unending mortification. They rightly approve of nothing we do here.

BrikWars' willingness to turn gonzo anything-goes broken game mechanics into a core asset were inspired by Palladium Books' Rifts RPG - 1st Edition (1990). Special tanks to Quinn Murphy of Thoughtcrime Games for his writing on this subject, and for years of foundational game design insight; his Rights of Play (2016) in particular were transformational for the BrikWars community.

Our love of sidebar text and our abject surrender to metastatic scope creep were inspired by Steve Jackson Games' GURPS Third Edition (1986).

Our opposition to our own rules was inspired by the misleading tagline for Mayfair Games' license of Cosmic Encounter (1991), even though "the game that breaks its own rules" turned out to be more of a game that offers a limited selection of minor self-modifications. It was a huge inspiration for us later when Brian Tivol (later of Pair-of-Dice Games) explored the premise for real in Nomopoly (1997).

My Poor Family

Photo: Dilanski
From "Praetoria Rising"
Elements shown: LEGO

image rights: Dilanski, signed 1/10/21

Uploaded, final

Special tanks to my family, who've somehow tolerated the past decade of late nights and disrupted sleep as I tried to stay one step ahead of the unrelenting madness of the BrikWars community. They've served as both playtesters and sounding boards for my half-baked ideas, and suffered through years of terrible jokes over the dinner table as I worked to make them even more terrible in order to meet the rulebook's bottomless standards.

Special tanks to Manda for web design and back end support, and for processing hundreds of pages of online text for print. Special tanks to Skylar and Tabi for their work keeping the newsfeed updated, and for keeping us mindful of how real kids play with real bricks in the age of the Internet. Special thanks to Max for being a crazy baby and reminding us how great it is to stack things up just to smash them down again.

Our Generous Patrons

Finally, special tanks to our Patreon backers who kept the project afloat through a couple rough years of pestilence, famine, and literal plague. Your generosity kept the servers running and made it possible to maintain forward momentum as the whole world came crashing down like so many knockoff-brand construction bricks.

Matt Paulson
Kenny Bush
Alyssa Harrington
Dillan Davies
Keith G Bennett
Asa Harrison
Oswald Hurlem
Morgan Nissen
Jason Potter
Ryan Krauss
Kevin Carter
Cyka Blyat
Joni Ceceri
Barrett Velker
Ben Doran
The Shadowscythe
Davyn Wagner
Geddy Cary-Avery
David Piccinini
Shane Gregory
Ian Kirkland
Paul Swan
Marc Ruhnke
Kat Hartog
Rylan Close
Silas Waltzer
Michael Sisson
Peter Lange
Mr. Man
Ryer Tonic
Anthony Fehr
Bernardo Silva