A Question of Basics.

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A Question of Basics.

Post by S W Dickson on Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:51 pm

So, here we are now.

Gaming system 101. (my personal wants)

1. Limited "book-keeping" - No desire to play a roleplaying game - for scalability of game, it must be quick to learn and play. Excess damage tables, confusing rules are out. Looking stuff up kept to a minimum.

2. Clear and concise. If it isn't required, it isn't in. This also counts for stuff that just "feels" wrong.

3. A picture says a thousand words - clear illustrations of what is meant by a rule so no misinterpretations.

4. Playtested. Make sure that it is a Game system in it's own right. Not just bits and bobs cobbled together from a variety of sources.

5. Accessibility. Not just for fanbois/TTGeeks. Fun and games. They should go together.


That's what I want.

I like D6 myself as well. No-one likes having to search about for D20s or D12s. If the D10 took off I'd be happier with that, but how many people have got them sitting in a drawer really?

Statistics reflect unit. Don't be afraid to make it suck - if it should.

Balance. Not essential at this stage, but everything should have appropriate pros and cons to using them. If it sucks, and you want balance, you should get to take loads of them. If it's fantastic, they won't be easy to justify. There should also be the chance that most everything can make an impact - it's still a game, and who wouldn't want a well ordered team of 2 foot tall pygmy nutjobs be able to take down a dragon. I say if you roll 6s', it's a bonus to you, friend.
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Re: A Question of Basics.

Post by sucramreverse on Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:31 pm

1. Very much agreed. Though sometimes book-keeping can't be avoided, it should at least be aimed for. A lot of "damage tables" are unnecessary, but it may be more complicated sometimes to get rid of them?

2. Agreed on clear and concise. though "If it isn't required, it isn't in" sounds a bit much. how about "If it can be debated, it should be rewritten"? I'm all for special rules, IF they are clear and even a person playing for the first time can understand it. None of those crazy things that start heated debates of RAW and RAI etc.

3. Pictures are nice, but IMO shouldn't be required if the above is taken into account first.

4. shouldn't be a problem, though I might have trouble getting others to playtest with me, I tend to playtest things against myself for the hell of it.

5. Should come naturally if numbers 1-3 are followed out. The main deterrent to any game is confusion. (though for some reason monopoly is popular Suspect )

d6. (lol) agreed as far as keeping it to d6's, IMO should be taken to the extreme. only d6's period. And no special dice that you can only buy from one place (you know which one's I mean Rolling Eyes )

as far as statistics and balance, that should come easily enough after playtesting. although I might add that internal balance should be taken into account as well. For a tactically complex game vs. strategically complex, between two forces that are exactly equal, the better 'commander' should win fairly consistently (Like in chess). The randomness of the dice should be cut down a bit from other games IMO.
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Re: A Question of Basics.

Post by Lucas on Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:13 am

Just a quick reply (you're all welcome to read my proposal for the fantasy setting) ... I'm all about simplicity. Not oversimplification mind you, but I'm one of those weirdos who like their mini games fun. I'm a great fan of Ganesha Games' Song of Blades and Heroes (and other games based on the said engine). I can't recommend checking it out enough (and for a 4$ a PDF for the base book you can't really go wrong). I'm not saying one should copy the concept, but the rules are an interesting example of how just a couple of stats for a mini can give you great tactical depth and flexibility to stat any miniature you own.

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Re: A Question of Basics.

Post by Kane on Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:44 am

S W Dickson wrote:
1. Limited "book-keeping" - No desire to play a roleplaying game - for scalability of game, it must be quick to learn and play. Excess damage tables, confusing rules are out. Looking stuff up kept to a minimum.
Absolutely agree. Tracking wounds on a monster are ok, but THATS IT. Would rather not have to keep track on every little unit. Also think that models that can take multiple wounds should suffer negative modifiers for having them. Also think that a heroic action could take one out in a single blow. See War of the Ring.

S W Dickson wrote:
2. Clear and concise. If it isn't required, it isn't in. This also counts for stuff that just "feels" wrong.
I think this is pretty basic. No reason to confuse people with rules that aren't needed.

S W Dickson wrote:
3. A picture says a thousand words - clear illustrations of what is meant by a rule so no misinterpretations.
Clear illustrations could also be clearly worded examples and concise writing of the rules in the first place.

S W Dickson wrote:
4. Playtested. Make sure that it is a Game system in it's own right. Not just bits and bobs cobbled together from a variety of sources.
With a public game like this especially. The more hands you have in it, the more likely something is going to break. Alternately, the more eyes you have on it, the easier it is to see issues.

S W Dickson wrote:
5. Accessibility. Not just for fanbois/TTGeeks. Fun and games. They should go together.
Yes please!

S W Dickson wrote:
That's what I want.

I like D6 myself as well. No-one likes having to search about for D20s or D12s. If the D10 took off I'd be happier with that, but how many people have got them sitting in a drawer really?

Statistics reflect unit. Don't be afraid to make it suck - if it should.
Six siders is fine by me. Cuts into the randomness a bit bringing tactics to the forefront. Also, everyone has sixers. I LIKE tens for the fact that its easy to calculate odds, but they are much more random and not necessarily standard.

Their should absolutely be "crap" units that you can take tons of for low value and "hero" units that you can't take many of but will kill just about anything. As long as their is flavor and this does not turn into HOTT, I'll be happy.

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Re: A Question of Basics.

Post by Lanrak on Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:40 am

Hi all.
Could I put forward some basic guidlines for game development on here?

The most important one ...Focus on GAME PLAY requirments!

To achive this I would suggest finding a real world annaloge to keep the rules intuitive.
(All the great games I have played have intuitive rules that follow expectations of the players, Eg No 'WTF moments!')

Decide what factors you want to include in the game play.
Mobility , attacks ranged/close, moral ,command and control, fog of war/ awarness, etc.
And also the importance of each , and how each impacts on the gameplay.

You dont have to include everything to get a good game .
(Lots of games are 'over engineered' they have overcomplication that adds NOTHING to the gameplay.)
But the primary factors you focus on should be able to deliver the gameplay , and over shadow any abstractions made in the name of gameplay.

After deciding these primary guidelines, decide which game mechanics deliver the best game play to written rules ratios.
A good indicator of if something is right , is there will be NO exceptions to the rules.

EG.
All units MAY move up to thier M value in inches when taking a movement action.
HOW the unit moves determines how it interacts with the battle field terrain.
Legs(L),Wheels (W) ,Tracks(T), Hover (H), Flyer.
Some units have special abilities,Jumpjet (J) , Amphibious(A), or Dozerblades(D)

How this effects movement is detailed in the terrain table below. (List terrain types with I for Impassable , +1or2 for good going(roads,), -1 for poor going, and -2 for very poor going.depending on movement type vs terrain type.)

All units must keep unit coherancy or count as 'disorganised'.Infantry units have a coherancy range of 2".All other units have a coherancy range of 4". (A disorganised unit MUST spend the next movement action moving back into coherancy range.)

One paragrapgh and ONE simple table .(Plus a few simple diagrams?)

As opposed to 'forteekays' 4 pages covering basic movement.(Pgs 11 to14)
Exceptions for;-
MCs (pg 51)
Jump infantry ,(pg 52)
Bikes (pg 53)
Beasts abd calvalry (pg 54)
Artillery (pg 55)
Vehicles (pg 57,64,66,68,70,71,72,)
Special rules(pg 75,76)
Rolling Eyes

ANY DICE can be restrictive IF they are used in a deterministic way.EG resolution is roll a dice to determine the result.

If D6 are used a multiples for comparison, or multiples for scalable sucess rates, or as simple modifiers.They allow a far greater range of results. Cool

Ill stop there for now ....for C&C.

TTFN
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Re: A Question of Basics.

Post by Lucas on Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:17 am

What do you guys think about that; every aspect of the game (movement, ranged attack, close combat, offensive magic) should be explained in the rules in no more than a single typed page of text? Obviously some stuff requires some more and some things can be explained in less (and diagrams and pictures add to it), but do you think it's a doable goal, or stupid restriction? It can also be two (opposite) pages or whatever, but I wonder if it's possible to come up with a cool and workable system, that is streamlined also because something like this is the "mantra" during it's making.

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Re: A Question of Basics.

Post by CCotD on Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:28 am

I would also keep the use of charts to a bare minimum.

WHFB and WH:40K have lots of charts (BAD)

Confrontation:AOR and AT-43 have a very simple chart (GOOD)

Warmachine and Hordes have no charts (BEST)

Charts suck. We should be able to either do a quick calculation or a very simple chart that's easy to remember.

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Re: A Question of Basics.

Post by Kane on Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:36 am

Agree that no charts is best. Most things can be represented with a simple formula ANYWAY so I'm not sure why GW chooses to use complicated charts instead.

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Re: A Question of Basics.

Post by sucramreverse on Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:44 pm

To make you buy the book instead of being able to learn everything from a mentor in one game.

since we're not a company focused on selling useless items, I am a strong advocate for no charts/tables/required reference material. as much as is possible without oversimplifying. And one page for each mechanic/facet should be an easily obtainable goal.
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Re: A Question of Basics.

Post by S W Dickson on Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:06 pm

Gotta love dem books!

How much money have we frivolously frittered away on paper with pretty much the same rules printed on?

I may check out to see how much it would be to set up a quality book print? Might be a cool item for people to grab a hold of once we reach a version 1.0. Use proceeds for setting up proper website and stuff. We'd need a name first though.

Oh yeah, not saying I approve of having people fork out for books all the time, just some people like to have them for posterity. It'd be quite good to see ours next to a GW, or Wizards Tome o Doom.

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Re: A Question of Basics.

Post by sucramreverse on Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:22 pm

I prefer a nice crisp book actually, but if I can get an online version for free as well then I am more likely to play. since I am not the richest person in the world, I can't fork out for books upfront. And people like seeing what's in a book to know whether or not they should buy a new one.

BTW, torrents are bad, don't use 'em tongue

And a PDF version is always a nice compromise, a printed version but without the full cost of a proffesional print copy. still I wonder how much, say a 50 page paperback, magazine size book costs to print.

This thread is also way off topic, lol.
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Re: A Question of Basics.

Post by Lanrak on Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:16 am

HI all.
If I may drag this back onto topic... Smile

My point was most gameplay can be covered with a small group of simple mechanics and resolution methods.

If everything is covered in a similar fasion it makes for intuitive rules.

EG,
ALL stats are either the number of D6 you roll,(Skill values, 1 D6 to 6D6,) OR a distance value.(Range of movement-weapon effects ets.)
AND all resolution is simple comparison of stats .

It is also important to establish the level of interaction too.
If a game is all about unit interaction , the rule should be written for UNITS, not individual elements within the unit.

Anyhow , the prefered order of gamemechanics is,
Game turn,
Weapon and target interaction,
Combat resolution,
Moral effects,
Awarness,
Command and control.
Other.

Its possible to cover all factors in a simple , if slighlty abstract way, or focus on some factors to give them more depth and simiulation of percived events to carry the game play.

Alot of people confuse complicated rules with complex game play.

A good rule set has simple rules and complex game play.

A bad rule set has complicated rules and simple game play.

I think is very important to focus on the end game play, and as such use mechanics and resolution methods that allow the rules to be expanded upon.

Ill stop there for C&C.
TTFN
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Re: A Question of Basics.

Post by Lanrak on Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:36 am

He is my starting characteristic for a game I am currently working on.
(I have sperated the characteristics out under different heading to show what is covered.)

(Mobility.)
Mobility type.(legs, wheels, tracks, hover etc.) Maximum distance moves in inches.
EG.
Infantry, L5"
Attack bike W 12"
MBT T6"

(Survivability.)
Armour/Resistance.(How hard the unit is to damage.)

Wounds(organic)/Structure points(mechanical.)(how much damage the unit can take.)

Stealth.(How hard the unit is to spot on the battle field.)

(Command And Control.)
Morale Grade.(How willing the unit is to fight on.)

Command Value,(Dice modifier, and effective range in inches.)

I am proposing to have a Weapons stats under the unit stats on a unit info card.

(Offencive capability.)
Name, Effective range,Damage ,Effect, notes.
EG.
Combat knife, 2"/5/1/CC weapon.

Las rifle , 24"/5/1/small arms.

Flamer , temp,6,temp, support- ignores cover.

Missile launcher , exp, 42"/ 5/3"dia/fire support-D3 supression.
-------''-------------armour piercing 42"/10/1/fire support- D6 penetration .

This is just a rough outline ,what do you think?
I can show examples of how these stats can be used with just 2 resolution methods to get at complex game play with simple rules.


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Re: A Question of Basics.

Post by S W Dickson on Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:26 am

Sounds good. I was wondering about Commands in general - I've played many games that can go from Strategic to luck based on a set of very poor command rolls - is there a good way to make command "scalable" for bigger fields of battle.

Battlefield commanders that can overturn Command rolls?

(Oh yeah, hi again!)

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Re: A Question of Basics.

Post by Lanrak on Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:54 am

Hello again,
Well in the system I am developing , I have 3 levels of command and control!

The top level is the player decideing what actions (orders) to give the units.
EG .
Actions are,
Move , move up to maximum movement rate.
(Modified by terrain types , obviously.)

Attack.Use weapons to attack unit within effective range.
(Ranged or assault as apropriate.)

Ready, Prepare to perform an action to better effect.
(set up heavier weapons, use cover more effectivley /go hull down etc.)

This give the following orders.(Set of 2 actions.)

Advance move then attack.

Double , move then move.

Evade, attack then move.

Fire suppport, ready then attack.
(The only way fire support weapons can fire.)

Infiltrate, ready then move,(Increses stealth value )

Game turn.
Command phase.
Place order counters face down next to units on good morale .
Request off table support.(Reserves and artliiey/air strikes.)

Primary action phase,
Player A takes 1st action of order, and turns over order counter.(One at a time.)

Player B takes 1st action of order, and turns over order counter.(One at a time.)

Secondary Action phase.
Player A takes 2nd action of order , and removes order counter.(One at a time.)

Player B takes 2nd action of order , and removes order counter.(One at a time.)

Resolution Phase.
Attempt to rally units on poor morale.
Plot arrivals of off table support.(As necissary.)

Then we have the second level, where the unit leaders can influence ONE action per game turn with thier dice modifier.(Add +X to aquire OR damage OR save )

And finaly I was going to use 'special ' abilities to allow a FEW character leaders to re roll certain dice.

EG a commander with 'Righteous Fury ' forces opposing units to re-roll sucessful saves in assault.(Once per game turn.)

A commander with 'Shadow Walker ' forces opposing units to re roll sucessful Aqusition roll.(Once per game turn.)
(Aquisition to see /hit enemy unit.)

A few playtests using WWII minis , gives pleasing results.(IMO.)
The majority of the interaction is controlled by the players, unit leaders have influence,and characters special abilities make them useful in a characterful way.

Becuse the 'orders' given to units are generic, they can scale from representing a leader ordering squad members,up to Corps commanders ordering brigades and regiments ....

Anyhow, ill leave it there so you can ask questions-comment .

TTFN
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Re: A Question of Basics.

Post by S W Dickson on Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:48 pm

Are we talking a more 10-15mm affair here? I can see it in that scale - less bases than actual models kinda thing. I like the concept - "you have your orders soldier".

I like the "Intervention" by commanders. I'll have a wee go with the combat system I'm working on.

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Re: A Question of Basics.

Post by Lanrak on Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:25 am

Yes.
I have been using this for 10mm and 15mm.(Firefly and FoW.)

However, a few games using individualy based '28mm' minatures grouped into units still gives good results.
(I simply used the unit leader as the focus ,similar to Warpath.)

The basic system can scale up and down quite well.
(I have tried it with 2mm to 54mm minatures.Squad skirmish ,(order for each model,) right up to corps level command, (order for each battalion-regiment.)

The resolution methods I am using are comparative values, and modified target score.

EG damage resolution.(Comparative values.)
Attackers weapon damage - targets AR value =save roll required.

EG (40k units.)
Ork shoota, Damage 7, SM AR value 4.
7-4=3+ save.

SM bolter Damage 7 ,Ork AR value = 2
7-2= 5+ save.
(Higher damage weapons reduce save , higer armour increases save.)

The other resolution is simply rolling over a target value.
(For aquisition and morale.)

EG Land raider has a stealth value of 3.
Enemies have to roll over 3 on a (D10) to aquire the land raider.(See identify and target .)

Stealth value is modified by ;-
In prepared position/hull down +2
Using cover /smoke +1(Infiltrate order.)
Over 36" away.+1
Using stealth equipment +1.

Dice roll is modified by;-
Under 12" away +1
Returning fire +1
Attacker stationary +1(Fire support order,)

(Add as many modifiers as you feel necisary.)

This covers disposition of target and attacker, and all the relevent factors.

Let me know how you get on with the game turn mechanic....

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