PDA

View Full Version : Simplification is nothing to aspire to.



Bishops finger
06-07-2015, 22:32
Ok been reading the reaction to Aos over these last few weeks and one thing keeps being mentioned that I think needs challenging.
Time and time again I see people posting,”Its great simpler rules!’ ‘it needed to happen,that the old rules were over bloated’.


As i said in another post for clarification, making rules ‘simpler to understand’ (if that is what is meant) is a desirable thing no doubt! Its hard to disagree
with that,but thats not what has happened here.


Going back further to defining what makes good tabletop strategy wargame. Games that simulate battles/conflict through the use of figures,rules and dice. Simulating conflict as if the fantasy was real cinematic experience where our decisions (and luck!) effect the events taking place.


The more detailed and deep the rules, the more involving a game can become..sure chess has strategy but do you really think your king is trying to save the queen,,no of course ,its abstract. A good wargame has strategy and DETAIL . A good wargame adds deapth through different layers of mechanics to simulate physics and effects etc. THE most important part, a good wargame makes these mechanics work with flowing intuitive ease, that is both easy to understand and works without difficulty, creating the desired cinematic event. That for us gamers i think is the fun imaginative experience we are seeking.Its ok to have options and complexity if the rules work in an efficient way.


Aos didn’t steamline warhammer it just removed stripped down and took many mechanics out.


Making things simpler should be left for things in our life that actually need to be simple. Like using the internet,government tax forms heh!. Wargames are meant to have many complex.options and effects,thats the point. So ask yourself if you think that past editions of warhammer or 40k were to complicated or hard to understand, maybe your in the wrong hobby.


I thought as gamers we were the sort of people who aspired to a more intelligent creative hobby or maybe im just getting old. Simple in Aos is just lazy, unintelligent and nothing I Iwould aspire to. Where is the challenge. Ask yourself why would you not want challenge in life!?

Shandor
06-07-2015, 22:44
Well i think the time is over where you need stuff like "thinking" "Tactics" and "Strategy". Thats oldschool stuff.

Whats left? Rolling some Dice for quick and easy "fun"

But you can see that in every entertainment elements. Movies today dont need a story they need Special effects only. (Look at Transformers)
Compare Heroes of Might and Magic 3 and 6. Reduced the Recources you can gather from 5 to 1.

And now we got this so called "Game" where you just can do what you want, move your troops in the middle of the board and roll dice till someone wins.

I guess we are just getting Old :)

KurganFr
06-07-2015, 23:13
X-Wing has simple and streamlined rules - in fact I could teach the entire ruleset to someone else after a single game - but what these rules provide is a set of trade-offs between movement, firepower and defense that provides the framework for all the interesting tactical decisions that players will be able to make. Pretty much all the extra ships and upgrade cards are focused on providing variety on those core mechanics.

The problem with AoS is its only core mechanic is "roll dice". Although people bemoan its lesser variety compared to WHFB, Kings of War proves that you can streamline a mass fantasy battle ruleset while allowing players to make interesting decisions. It also proves you can have a points system and still be reasonably balanced.

09philj
06-07-2015, 23:33
There are ways and means to make simple mechanics go a long way in terms of tactical depth. However, they don't fit in with the Games Workshop school of rules writing.

Snake Tortoise
06-07-2015, 23:39
I don't deny AoS appears to have gone too far in stripping away the rules, but on the other hand with 40k and WFB there is just so much to learn in order to play even a simple game with a few units each side. It must be a big deterrent to many starting out in the hobby- if you don't have a store nearby or a friend willing to teach you how to play how do you even get into it?

Maybe there's a bigger picture to all of this. Maybe GW are resetting WFB with this basic version to get a new generation involved, and then future editions may reintroduce points costs and some of the complexity that has been lost

Mudkip
07-07-2015, 00:18
If the game was easy to learn and hard to master then the game's accessibility would be an advantage. It seems like a very shallow game, however, which lacks longevity. The flip side to difficulty and challenge in games is that they keep people interested. It's not just about getting people into the game but keeping them playing it.

Gork or Possibly Mork
07-07-2015, 00:43
"Simplification is nothing to aspire to"

That's subjective depending on a lot of factors.

Bede19025
07-07-2015, 01:05
To sum up the OP's post, stripping away all the rationalizations, "I like more complex games , and if you don't you're unintelligent and/or lazy."

What an arrogant, useless opinion.

Panzeh
07-07-2015, 03:48
Simplifying a game while keeping that layer of interesting decision making is what good game design is- it's why FFG had to go through so many variations to get X-Wing to work well. A lot of companies do it, but GW considers the task of game design beneath itself. You're expected to come in and do all the legwork.

Drakkar du Chaos
07-07-2015, 03:50
Simplification is mandatory when your target audience is 12 years old.

Ayin
07-07-2015, 03:51
A lot of companies do it, but GW considers the task of game design beneath itself. You're expected to come in and do all the legwork.

Maybe you haven't heard, but Games Workshop is a Model company, not a "game company". :)

Panzeh
07-07-2015, 03:55
Maybe you haven't heard, but Games Workshop is a Model company, not a "game company". :)

My bad. Strange, all these books coming out of it, though. Makes you think...

Ayin
07-07-2015, 04:10
My bad. Strange, all these books coming out of it, though. Makes you think...

Books? You must be talking about some other game, this is the Age of Sigmar.

The Marshel
07-07-2015, 04:26
Ok been reading the reaction to Aos over these last few weeks and one thing keeps being mentioned that I think needs challenging.
Time and time again I see people posting,”Its great simpler rules!’ ‘it needed to happen,that the old rules were over bloated’.


As i said in another post for clarification, making rules ‘simpler to understand’ (if that is what is meant) is a desirable thing no doubt! Its hard to disagree
with that,but thats not what has happened here.


Going back further to defining what makes good tabletop strategy wargame. Games that simulate battles/conflict through the use of figures,rules and dice. Simulating conflict as if the fantasy was real cinematic experience where our decisions (and luck!) effect the events taking place.


The more detailed and deep the rules, the more involving a game can become..sure chess has strategy but do you really think your king is trying to save the queen,,no of course ,its abstract. A good wargame has strategy and DETAIL . A good wargame adds deapth through different layers of mechanics to simulate physics and effects etc. THE most important part, a good wargame makes these mechanics work with flowing intuitive ease, that is both easy to understand and works without difficulty, creating the desired cinematic event. That for us gamers i think is the fun imaginative experience we are seeking.Its ok to have options and complexity if the rules work in an efficient way.


Aos didn’t steamline warhammer it just removed stripped down and took many mechanics out.


Making things simpler should be left for things in our life that actually need to be simple. Like using the internet,government tax forms heh!. Wargames are meant to have many complex.options and effects,thats the point. So ask yourself if you think that past editions of warhammer or 40k were to complicated or hard to understand, maybe your in the wrong hobby.


I thought as gamers we were the sort of people who aspired to a more intelligent creative hobby or maybe im just getting old. Simple in Aos is just lazy, unintelligent and nothing I Iwould aspire to. Where is the challenge. Ask yourself why would you not want challenge in life!?



I'd like to start my saying your font is painful.

Unimportant tangents aside, I very much disagree with you on simplification being a bad thing. It is not universally good, but nothing is. A simple ruleset done well is imo, the best way to achieve a balanced and easily accessible ruleset that can be quickly learnt, but greatly rewards those who take the time to master the finer points of gameplay

You forget that in simulating battles and conflicts, not only do we need to consider models, rules and luck, but the actual actions of the players themselves. Rulesets that rely to heavily on highly detailed, specific rules limit the relevance of player choice by turning the game into arbitrary activation of special rules. Games that allow more advantage to be gain purely from player decision making tend to see a lot less "power creep" and "easy mode" armies, as the rules that allow the tactical gains and loses attained purely from player interaction are typically firmly rooted in the core rules rather then the unit or army rules, making such advantages more universally available regardless of who uses the more recently updated forces.

LOTR SBG is not a complex game rules wise, but an emphasis on the movement phase and the importance of depletable resources such as Might (allowing dice modifications and out of sequence actions that can turn games) remove reliance of specific units and special rules, allowing players to gain more advantage from knowing how best to manoeuvre their forces and manage their resources. Army differences remain relevant, but with greater importance placed on the gameplay itself rather then the rules, LOTR SBG is widely regarded as the most balanced ruleset gw has ever produced.

Wargame rules themselves do not have to be complex to create complex gameplay. This is the main problem with your argument. Fire storm armada uses a simple combination of firing arcs and variable optimal ranges for each unit to create a wide range of unique approaches to the gameplay. Neither of these concepts are complex at all, but when actually applied in combination they create a highly detailed gameplay. when moving my fleet i have to consider my range relative to my opponent's movement, my facing and my opponents facing, whether attaining my optimal range is worth risking moving into my opponent's optimal range etc. A few simple concepts creates a game play situation where my decisions are the primary determining factor in how successful I am or am not. A slightly different angle, or a few inches more or less can make a huge ingame difference, and that is entirely down to me, as the player to judge, and my opponent, as another player to pick up on and take advantage of.

Gameplay should be complex. Rules do not have to be complex to achieve this. IMO simple effective rules tend to create more balanced gameplay, but that isn't to say complex rules are incapable of doing so.

This is not a defence of AOS, which honestly looks very confusing and random to me, but a defence of simple rulesets as a concept

sixfthoneybadger
07-07-2015, 04:33
People on this forum have put more into their posts than GW did with their rules for AoS!

Dr.Clock
07-07-2015, 05:03
I come at this form an angle widely divergent to that of many of the likely readers of this post...

As a ~20 year vet of 40k, however, I have to say that I feel conflicted, but cautiously hopeful. I also kind of want to use these rules for a 'War in the Eye' campaign using my Khorne vs. my friend's Nurgle Daemons.

GW has PICKED A LANE for its Fantasy property, and it is unfortunate that their decision is leading to lots of additional acrimony from a community that remains deeply committed to the Hobby. Mostly, however, I feel like people have to choose, eventually, between games that are accessible to many, and games that are accessible to few. Fantasy in its current paradigm had failed to make a valid business case largely it seems to me as a result of the legacy cost and drag of continued support of assets that had already ceased significant contribution to the bottom line. While we all want to see the Bret book because we'd like people to have sanctioned rules for their armies that they bought three editions ago, I can almost guarantee that such a book would barely manage to move the dial for GW.

Malifaux, Infinity, all the Blood Bowl knock-offs, and even Warmahordes have proven that there's room a the 'bottom end' of the scale for thriving, detailed backgrounds with support in the form of small add-ons. To their credit, GW is also apparently not going to charge for Fantasy rules at all... ever again (if this model works out for them).

If you're going to build one big army and want GW, you're now stuck with 40k. If you chose the other side of the fence 20 years ago, I can't even imagine how you're feeling right now. I have an inkling that anyone who bails on 20 years of collecting altogether will regret it in another 10... but maybe not... and I know it's cold comfort. All I have to say is use the models you love, no matter the ruleset... if your collection is now DONE, at least you know it, and can try and move on in light of the knowledge that the wait is over, come what may.

With 'no more support from GW', Mantic may be a viable alternative... but the bigger opportunity IMO is to develop the rules you want to use from the 'wreckage' of the Old World.

This game is simpler, it's true, but GW did not lose its way in simplicity... it did so not merely from complexity but from bloat and creep. All of these problems have apparently been flipped on their heads with this release - ongoing, expect things to be self-contained, simple and potentially time-limited in availability.

At the end of the day, it looks we've gone from a 23-wheel, 17-gear monstrosity to a dirt bike on lease. I've really never been off-roading before tho... looks like it might be fun enough.

It's a move aimed squarely at people who don't even PLAY mini wargames, though... and I totally get that that's a kick in the teeth for many.

Cheers,

The Good Doctor.

Mawduce
07-07-2015, 05:20
i think there are things we can glean from KoS to figure out to play this game.

Col. Tartleton
07-07-2015, 05:25
Age of Sigmar is more complicated, but shallow, and boring.

Mudkip
07-07-2015, 05:38
If I played Age of Sigmar as a newbie I think my impression would be that it's a very simple game that requires a big investment in time (painting) and money. I don't see who this is supposed to appeal to besides abnormally patient 12 year olds with high amounts of disposable income (it's still expensive); I don't think they have really expanded their niche demographic here. If you're a casual adult then you may as play play X-Wing or something. The god-awful "nounverb nounverb nounverb" fluff certainly isn't going to attract the more cerebral types that the old historical- and cultural tropes-derived WHFB did so; without the fluff or the complexity or the price point of much cheaper casual games, what you are left with is a bunch of people who just like to "roll dice" and who have more money than sense. But I think AoS is too stupid even for casual types and after a month of playing with it they'll start to realize and drift off.

Despite all this talk of accessibility and expanding the playerbase, I reckon AoS is going to be very disappointing from GW's perspective and they'll start drawing down resources for a few years before scrapping Warhammer entirely in favour of 40k. It should be noted that just because Fantasy sales have been poor the past few years doesn't mean they had to revamp it in precisely this way. They could have gone in a dozen other directions instead.

fishound7
07-07-2015, 05:47
I think this game has a lot more depth then people are giving it credit. I've played 4 games so far and find it very interesting and Granted the rules are simple but the warscrolls are not simple at all. There is an intense amount of strategy and synergy in there. We are given utter complete control of movement. You can actually create formations that matter and are not limited too block combat. Meaning you can make spearhead formations. Circle formations to protect units. Retreat Strategies. Create invul dmg units through stacking mystic shields. People are just pisst about 8th changing and AoS being stupid different. I was too but played the game a bit and it got the wheels turning.

Also. I suspect that factions have the I win button for sudden death. If someone is being a douche just take a carrion TK unit.

Actually everyone has access so maybe everyone take that unit. If your opponent starts dropping Cheese stop deploying and go for sudden death. He cannot get afford to get sudden death now. Drop the carrion as your first unit. If he starts dropping cheese stop deploying get sudden death and win with endure. Actually that semi balances it out.

I put down carrion. you put down a bloodthirster. I put down whatever. opponent goes 2nd bloodthirster. I stop deploying. he stops. It basically turns into a non game. I might not win he maybe gets a minor victory. Carrion will never come out of the sky. I think that actually semi balances it. kinda? I dunno find a unit that makes it easy to win sudden death and that will limit the opposing player to only playing a fraction less then 30% but you get first turn.

Darnok
07-07-2015, 06:00
I disagree with the OP. If done well, you should always keep things as simple as possible. The real point is: GW did not do it well.

Two of the oldest and most tactical boardgames in humanities history have incredibly simple rules: Chess and Go. Both also have a long history of being played extremely competetive, and (in the case of Go) on levels where computers are still not able to beat the best professional players - and both have huge communities of players ranging from "extremely casual" to "professional". These two examples should show that "simplicity of rules" is no obstacle whatsoever for a game of complex tactics and competetive (as well as casual) play.

The other thing is that what makes a "good wargame" is a very personal opinion. Some people love pages upon pages of rules, covering every possible case that could come up during play. Others prefer easy and quick-to-read rules. Both can lead to good and bad games.

Simplicity on its own is just no criteria for a good game.

Pacman
07-07-2015, 06:40
This is true. The holy grail of games design is that elusive "elegance", where simple mechanics generate complex results.

However, there are some minimum requirements for a tabletop wargame. Ignoring things like rules for generic scenery (eg: woods, hills) is a baffling decision.

Bishops finger
07-07-2015, 07:01
Thanks for replies,some great thoughts here. its 7am and i got to go work:( ill try to reply tonight:) sorry about font in op!

Ayin
07-07-2015, 07:21
However, there are some minimum requirements for a tabletop wargame. Ignoring things like rules for generic scenery (eg: woods, hills) is a baffling decision.


My take on the explanation would be that GW sells guys with hammers and guys with axes, so those get rules. They don't sell a lot of generic hills, rivers, or woods, so they don't get rules, because the game is about the cool models and not the rules. Make a cool terrain piece model and plan on selling it? It gets rules.

TremendousZ
07-07-2015, 07:30
I have to agree with the OP. That complexity is needed to emulate a battle. A spear has different benefits than a sword. Arrows are different than bullets. So on an so forth.

Now the biggest difference for me is that WFB emulated a real form of battle (rank and file). Then you add in different races with different technologies/magic and specialties, and you get an experience that is not offered anywhere else. You need the flanking benefits and templates(falling giants is a must!) to represent the craziness of war.

AoS feels like a wounds grind. My biggest grief is that when my units attack, your units weapon skills and toughness don't matter. Unless you have a special rule which is +1/-1 at best. Only your save and bravery determine your survival. So it doesn't matter if my zombie fights another zombie or a dragon, I'm still hitting and wounding on the same roll. Yay fun........

Face it they could have reduced unit count by changing rules/encouraging other formations. Or just adding a bigger skirmish system to the existing world. Think of the reason why you were first excited when you heard Warhammer was being made into a Total War game. That is what I feel people are missing with this new game system.

Darnok
07-07-2015, 07:42
My take on the explanation would be that GW sells guys with hammers and guys with axes, so those get rules. They don't sell a lot of generic hills, rivers, or woods, so they don't get rules, because the game is about the cool models and not the rules. Make a cool terrain piece model and plan on selling it? It gets rules.

But their very own RoB board has "generic hills", and they sell a "generic wood" kit. So following your argument they should get rules.

Your argument also assumes that GW believes in their players only using "GW certified" terrain. I think that's actually the case (GW being GW...), but it should not be that way. Most people have terrain not coming from GW, and would appreciate "generic rules" for that. GW not catering to this simple fact is only another oddity of AoS.

Pacman
07-07-2015, 07:51
My take on the explanation would be that GW sells guys with hammers and guys with axes, so those get rules. They don't sell a lot of generic hills, rivers, or woods, so they don't get rules, because the game is about the cool models and not the rules. Make a cool terrain piece model and plan on selling it? It gets rules.

This is pretty obviously the case, but it's so far out of step with the hobby it beggars belief. I don't think I've ever played a game of warhammer that used 100% GW terrain. The design team aren't stupid, they know most people use generic terrain, which means somebody somewhere made a conscious decision not to support it properly in the rules. That's just weird, and smacks of commercial considerations overriding common sense game design.

Bring back proper game designers like Rick Priestly, or even Allessio. I'm not a fan of much of the latter's work, but at least he seems to treat his fellow gamers with a bit of consideration.

The Marshel
07-07-2015, 08:40
I have to agree with the OP. That complexity is needed to emulate a battle. A spear has different benefits than a sword. Arrows are different than bullets. So on an so forth.

I wouldn't call allowing you to fight in deeper ranks/support friendly models, parry saves, differences in strength, range and ability to penetrate armour complex concepts, all can be used to adequately represent the weapons you describe and a whole lot more