How often do you re-read your rules.

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UshCha
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Joined: 21 Sep 2016, 12:41

How often do you re-read your rules.

Post by UshCha » 20 Oct 2018, 17:38

We are starting to go over our rules after 10 years (Maneuver Group) and its a bit surprising you think you remember stuff you wrote 10 years ago and realize you remembered it it wrong. Worse still some of the rules are better than the stuff you though you remembered. However there is stuff that with 10 years of continuous play we think can be improved. Mostly its descriptions the underlying mechanisms other than the ones changed in the bulletins have held good. So how often do you re-read your rules properly?

The other question is how much real world stuff do you put in? We have got to be better players so our understanding has grown enormously, but do we put more in. For instance a platoon may put out an OP/scout(s) out 25 to 200m who report and have, hopefully a sensible route back to the parent unit. Looking at most rules this seems to have either eluded them or been simply thrown away as there is no real desire for accuracy as a design goal. This is obvious with rules so daft they have points systems with equal value armies. Most manuals state the obvious need for a level of excess force in some way to make an attack possible. Remarkably Phil Barker as usual was ahead of his time as he was in many ways.

To be honest lots of rules have moved a long way back since the Barker days, the quest for realism seem to have got lost in the quest to put more toys on table at the expense of even vague correlation with the real world (no, I see no point in re-starting debate on "Napoleonic" shoulder to shoulder tank battalions, both side are sufficiently intransigent to make the debate pointless).
So do we add such vital bits of real world in or perhaps just make them an addition for those wanting something that vaguely represents reality.

Richard B.
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Joined: 16 Mar 2012, 06:54

Re: How often do you re-read your rules.

Post by Richard B. » 20 Oct 2018, 18:07

To be honest, we`ve gone to much more free-form system.

Far less thumbing through the rules and dice rolling and more maneuver/position/discussion (and fun).
"“Sir with the compliments of my officer, your shooting was excellent – you killed four of our men”!
Un-named Traillieur to an artillery officer at R`Fakah, Morocco, Feb. 29th, 1908

UshCha
Posts: 157
Joined: 21 Sep 2016, 12:41

Re: How often do you re-read your rules.

Post by UshCha » 21 Oct 2018, 07:23

to be honest I suppose thats what we have been doing. It appears that we were wasting time, the rules were written better tahn our "guesstimates" it took we think about 2000 hrs of work to write the minimum number of usefull rules. A quick guess is no substitute. Afterall thinking where to move and moving models is what ita about, die throwing is just as much an irritant if not worse than too many or the wrong rules.

I am alwasy suspicious of the so,called one page rules, practical experiemce is thay are ill thought out and have not been well tested and cannot cope with the inevitable complexities of real world deployments. The ultimater pits is whem the simulation fails and it takes ages even with co-operating players, to work out what shoul happen, competely destroys the excitement and tension a good game generates.

Richard B.
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Joined: 16 Mar 2012, 06:54

Re: How often do you re-read your rules.

Post by Richard B. » 21 Oct 2018, 08:13

This is generally why I tend towards scenario type games, based (loosely) on an actual battle so you already have a framework of what "must happen" and a timetable of sorts.

The actual mechanics of the game (the dice rolling and distances moved etc) can make or break a ruleset, but I just prefer a simple "to hit" with modifiers and then "effect" with modifiers system so the mechanics don`t ruin the feel, you still get the random chance element, but still a nice simple (if vague) resolution.

We also use common sense and fair play quite a bit "do you really think you can do that?", "line of sight blocks you seeing that, so you can`t react, can you?" - I`ve tried markers to simulate concealed movement, but found they clutter the tabletop.........
"“Sir with the compliments of my officer, your shooting was excellent – you killed four of our men”!
Un-named Traillieur to an artillery officer at R`Fakah, Morocco, Feb. 29th, 1908

Seret
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Re: How often do you re-read your rules.

Post by Seret » 22 Oct 2018, 10:44

UshCha wrote:
20 Oct 2018, 17:38
The other question is how much real world stuff do you put in?
Well, that's the question really, isn't it? All rulesets sit somewhere on a continuum there, and if you ask ten wargamers where is the best place to be on that continuum, you'll get twelve answers. There's no right answer there, it's a matter of taste. Some people want to play a really crunchy simulation that takes forever to get a single turn done, some want to play a quick smash-up that's breezy and gets a whole action done in an hour or two. To be honest I think most people like a mix, sometimes you want to play something really in-depth, sometimes you just want a quick laugh.

It really depends what you want to achieve when you're writing rules. Big, slow game or little quick one? Big, quick one (ie: lots of abstraction), or little slow one (highly detailed).

There's room in the hobby for as many rule sets as are needed to give people the options to play the kind of games they like. I think things have moved on immensely from the WRG days, we've got so much more choice now and some really innovative games are coming through and shaking up some of the old paradigms.

Richard B.
Posts: 594
Joined: 16 Mar 2012, 06:54

Re: How often do you re-read your rules.

Post by Richard B. » 22 Oct 2018, 12:44

That is the hobby in a nutshell :D

I`m old, set in my ways, I`ve found a set I`m happy with that plays the kind of game i enjoy - so i just stopped looking :D

A lot of the newer sets seem to be more product and sale driven - either by actual toys (FoW, Bolt Action) or rule supplements (Battlegroup) of course foW and BA also do this big style too :o

At the end of the day we all want to play what we want to play with the size/scale toys we want.........
"“Sir with the compliments of my officer, your shooting was excellent – you killed four of our men”!
Un-named Traillieur to an artillery officer at R`Fakah, Morocco, Feb. 29th, 1908

UshCha
Posts: 157
Joined: 21 Sep 2016, 12:41

Re: How often do you re-read your rules.

Post by UshCha » 22 Oct 2018, 17:39

There is a bizarre but to me unrealistic association in war games of simulation requiring and excessive detail to work correctly. To me these are not opposites they are potentially mutually exclusive as teail takes time to resolve but not typically with the associated improvement in simulation, they could be said to make it worse as it slows the game down which is a detriment. In say 4 moves you would never get an ebb and flow of a battle. Chess is still a very demanding but the rules remain very simple. However well written rules will require decision making like chess.

Gun-Pit Paul
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Joined: 16 Mar 2012, 07:11

Re: How often do you re-read your rules.

Post by Gun-Pit Paul » 23 Oct 2018, 16:59

Read the rules? I just look at the pictures

Seret
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Re: How often do you re-read your rules.

Post by Seret » 23 Oct 2018, 19:06

Chess is pretty much the polar opposite of a simulation though, UshCha. It's an extremely abstract representation of a battle.

Abstract games can still provide you with plenty of interesting decisions and be fun. Just look at board games, they generally don't attempt to simulate anything and use their own mechanisms. All to great effect.
Last edited by Seret on 25 Oct 2018, 10:36, edited 1 time in total.

UshCha
Posts: 157
Joined: 21 Sep 2016, 12:41

Re: How often do you re-read your rules.

Post by UshCha » 24 Oct 2018, 04:01

I an not paying for expensive models of the real world to play games that have no conection with the real world. :twisted: I play wargames as it helps with VERY bBasic understanding of real battles. Athlough it does show how poorly some "commercial" authors undestand their subject. Ther best books are written by good military men. If I want abstract, Dominoes is a great abstract game, I play once a week and no need to waste hours on painting the Dominoes. :lol:

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