The rules of every game have to answer two questions: What am I trying to do? and How do I go about achieving my goal? For games involving the movement of pieces, be they cardboard representations of people and arms on a hex map or abstract plastic extrusions facing off across a field of squares, we need rules to tell us how to move.
Wargames often solve the question of “How do I move?” with the Movement Point, an allocation of potential effort possessed by each of the game’s pieces during a specific time continuum. A game’s definition of the Movement Point, of how I can and cannot exploit my potential, sets the stage for the rest of the game’s rules. The game designer’s most basic decisions about where I can move and when I can move inform the higher order questions of why I would move there and when I should move there.
Put more directly, knowing what we can do with a Movement Point lets us know how to play the game. Strategy is often written into the rules of any game, if we know where to look for it.
(Movement Point favicon and navigation arrows from Silk Icon Set 1.3, courtesy Mark James.)