An exercise in worldbuilding led me to develop a new forum game in which posters detail the technologies developed by two factions at war in order to get an edge over the other. The rules are delightfully simple, yet lead to oh so much complexity and fun in the end!
Here's how it works: Faction Alpha and Faction Black (A and B) pick up sticks and start beating on one another. In following posts, each side uses what means they would have available to create new weapons, countermeasures and doctrines to win the never-ending war. Here is an example of that in action:
Poster 1: Faction Alpha picks up big sticks and uses them as clubs.
Poster 2: Faction Black counters by picking up stones and throwing them at Alpha club-men before they can get in swinging range.
Poster 3: Faction Alpha reverse-engineers Faction Black's stone-throwing technology and arrange their rock-throwers in front of their club-men.
Poster 4: Faction Black develops methods of banging rocks together to produce sharpened implements that are good for cutting. They incorporate this with stolen stick-wielding technologies to produce string from wood skins, stone-tipped spears, bows, and axes.
Poster 5: Faction Alpha steals a stone toolkit from Faction Black and starts their own stoneworking industries. Using string, they create an experimental device for causing combustion within flammable materials (a bow drill) and create torches, which are carried by torch-runners to burn Faction Black's forests down.
Poster 6: Faction Black develops shields and wooden armors to create armored infantry units, alongside wooden boats from logs cut down by their axes. They create a basic navy filled with bowmen to block off rivers and creeks.
Poster 7: Faction Alpha uses fire to create superior canoes armed with flaming-arrow launchers with very simple crossbows engineered to not require metal components and fastenings. Using a special stone element in front of their arrows, the flaming projectiles' payloads can be split into a cloud of flaming sub-projectiles for increased fire spread.
Poster 8, 9, 10, 11, etc. : Large siege engines for sinking canoes, metalworking with fire and metal armors, ironclad boats, explosives, battleships, shaped-charge impact-fused shells, electric munition detonation fields...
DISCLAIMER: To prevent this from devolving into a roleplay and getting shut down, posts that include worldbuilding elements (e.g characters, personal relationships, specific actions) are invalidated. Keep it purely technological, folks.
Faction Alpha picks up big sticks and uses them as clubs.