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Thread: Building a better Warhammer

  1. #21
    Banned Chuffy's Avatar
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    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    I don't think most of those things make fantasy, well, fantasy. I think they make it silly.

    Chariots came into being because horses were too small to carry riders. Once horses could be bred large enough, they went the way of the dodo and disappeared - except in backwaters where they were done in by technologically superior armies.
    Well...you're kind of forgetting the Seleukids, they used Chariots and had one of the most technalogically advanced armies of their day. Chariots still weren't very useful...but still....

    And your forgetting this is fantasy, many armies that use chariots aren't very rational or...alive. The orcs don't use horses for one, so you can't apply that rationale to them, to the orcs having a huge spikey wheeley thing, pulled by two or three of the most ferocious beasts in the Warhammer World is a big plus. It's also probably a lot more effective than a normal horse drawn chariot.

    Also the Tomb Kings come are New Kingdom Egyptian, they've also been sleeping for thousands of years, they are kind of out of the loop a bit in military advancements. However they make up for it by having a chariot and crew that can be brought back from the dead and besides, seeing a chariot hurdling towards you is probably very frightening, seeing one pulled by the living dead is even worse!

    But mostly my intent is to let the numbers speak for themselves. My goal is to design a clean, clear system that focuses on core combat, not special rules.

    I know that a lot of people are going to be turned off because I'm not going to blind them with numbers or burden them with dozens of army-specific special rules. Oh well.
    And yet you play 2nd ed 40k?

  2. #22

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurglitch
    It's hard work? I do it as a hobby. To each their own, I suppose.
    Making up rules is easy and fun, which is why we do it.

    But writing, editing and correcting a rule book is a lot different.

    Many hobbies involve hard work. That doesn't mean they aren't enjoyable.

    Okay, you say it works well. What does it work well by comparison to?
    Well, it beats hitting yourself in the head with a hammer. How else can one answer that?

    I want a system that has a fairly accepted frame of reference and is therefore easy for existing gamers to adopt. Like when I did hex game design, I often used zones of control because they worked and were widely accepted.

    How much of the chrome will be necessary to make up for deficiences in the system?
    Ideally, next to none.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuffy
    Well...you're kind of forgetting the Seleukids, they used Chariots and had one of the most technalogically advanced armies of their day. Chariots still weren't very useful...but still....
    Huh? They were a corrupt regime living on the corpse of Alexander's empire. The Romans made pretty short work of them.

    Of course it's also worth pointing out that that area had natural parking lots (called "pediment") that made chariots almost worthwhile. I still think that most units should simply make a ld test and let the damn things through (hey, the Greeks, Romans and everyone else with a brain figured that out).

    And your forgetting this is fantasy, many armies that use chariots aren't very rational or...alive. The orcs don't use horses for one, so you can't apply that rationale to them, to the orcs having a huge spikey wheeley thing, pulled by two or three of the most ferocious beasts in the Warhammer World is a big plus. It's also probably a lot more effective than a normal horse drawn chariot.

    Also the Tomb Kings come are New Kingdom Egyptian, they've also been sleeping for thousands of years, they are kind of out of the loop a bit in military advancements. However they make up for it by having a chariot and crew that can be brought back from the dead and besides, seeing a chariot hurdling towards you is probably very frightening, seeing one pulled by the living dead is even worse!
    Ok, I'll be a bit more clear. I don't own any chariots.

    And realistically, I'm not going to be able to crank out a dozen army lists complete with special rules by next Tuesday.

    My goal is to provide the framework for you guys to adapt it to your favorite armies.

    I'm big on user feedback.

    And yes, I like 2nd ed, but I also cut out a lot of those annoying rules that bog the game down. Virus grenades, jump pack scatter, persistant templates and all that are gone as far as my group is concerned.

    So I'm pretty consistent. I'd also point out that the scale is quite a bit different.

    When you have 200 models marching across the table top you take a different attitude than when you have 20.
    Last edited by Commissar von Toussaint; 03-01-2006 at 00:42.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  3. #23
    Banned Chuffy's Avatar
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    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Huh? They were a corrupt regime living on the corpse of Alexander's empire. The Romans made pretty short work of them.
    According to the Romans. According to the Romans they lost 100 men at Magnesia. Everyone else said they lost 2500-5000 men, making it one of Romes most costly victories. Plus it was mainly the Pergamones who did all the work, the Roman Legion was helpless in the face of Antiochus Phalanx. The Seleukids, along with Epeiros were the ones who gave Rome the most trouble.

    Of course it's also worth pointing out that that area had natural parking lots (called "pediment") that made chariots almost worthwhile.
    And the Warhammer World doesn't have these?

    I still think that most units should simply make a ld test and let the damn things through (hey, the Greeks, Romans and everyone else with a brain figured that out).
    Now thats a good idea, however I'd say if they pass the Leadership check they let the chariot pass through but still suffer some damage. Also if they fail to let them through and the chariot hits them they automatically become disordered?

  4. #24

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuffy
    According to the Romans. According to the Romans they lost 100 men at Magnesia. Everyone else said they lost 2500-5000 men, making it one of Romes most costly victories. Plus it was mainly the Pergamones who did all the work, the Roman Legion was helpless in the face of Antiochus Phalanx. The Seleukids, along with Epeiros were the ones who gave Rome the most trouble.
    I wasn't aware that chariots were an essential element in the battle.

    And the Warhammer World doesn't have these?
    Sure. Out in Khemri, they make sense. Almost everywhere else, they are rediculous.

    Now thats a good idea, however I'd say if they pass the Leadership check they let the chariot pass through but still suffer some damage. Also if they fail to let them through and the chariot hits them they automatically become disordered?
    Hmmm, it's worth looking at. Chariots to me are an add-on. My focus is to make sure the basic stuff works well.

    Since I already have a mechanism for emergency formation changes, that may be one way to do it. If the unit passes, the chariots go clean through. If it doesn't, well, it's pretty screwed anyway (if it doesn't rout, the only other result is disordered).

    So in the face of a chariot charge, you can flee, stand and take it, or open ranks and hope they go on through. If you fail the ld check, you either rout or become disordered and get hit.

    Odds are, poor ld units will just take the impacts while Morale B units and above will let them through.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  5. #25

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Ancient history aside, here are a few things I've worked out so far.

    The way I'm doing point costs is designed to reflect the fact that front ranks do all the killin' and that rear ranks are there for three purposes:

    1. To fill in and give the unit more staying power,
    2. To allow the unit to take more casualties before it is broken, and
    3. To provide a morale bonus for having more ranks.

    That being the case, units are priced in blocks of 20 for infantry, 10 for archers and 5 for cavalry. From here I get their basic cost.

    I'm then allowing infantry and cavalry (but not archers, yet) to buy more models for a discount. To go from 20 to 30 infantry costs 25 percent of the original unit cost, which means that 10 additional models cost half per figure.

    Cavalry goes from 5 to 10, again for 25 percent more. I expect that this may need some work as cavalry units may go with a 6x4 or even 7x3 formation to maximize hitting power. However, since cavalry is already pretty steep, I think this works.

    This should address the problem we've all noticed where buying big elite units is insanely expensive.

    Here are two examples (I'll post the whole lists once I finish off the elves):

    A unit of 20 gitling (goblin) swordsmen with lousy morale and minimal equipment (shield only, no armor) costs 70 points. To bring it up to 30 models is only 85 points.

    By contrast, 20 Arcadian (High Elf) spearmen run a whopping 165 points and 30 are 205 points.

    It goes without saying, by the way that 20 spearelves will utterly massacre 20 gitlings. The elves will hit on 2s, the gitlings on 6s. The points reflect this mismatch.

    Because I'm making MS count for so much, I'm not doing the "high elves get three ranks with spears" thing because frankly, it's overkill. MS 4 (the elven standard) is exceptional, meaning that even elite units will have some problems against them.

    I'll give one final unit as reference. Yagurs (black orcs) with great weapons are 150 for 20 and 190 for 30. Pretty scary stuff and as my last playtest indicated, Yagurs w/great weapons simply munch of heavy cavalry.

    As yet I'm not diving the armies into core, special and rare because I'm still getting a feel for how the units stack up. I figure that is the final stage. Naturally, I want there to be some limits. For example the Red Knights are analogous to the Grail Knights and should therefore be quite scarce.

    On the other hand, I'm going to resist using 0-1 designations because if the battle is big enough, there may well be multiple units even of Red Knights.

    Royal retinues are another matter, and in their case I may come up with a special rule (like stubborn) to set them apart from the other elites.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  6. #26

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    thanks very much for answering the questions. meanwhile an important one. how is fear going to work? its one aspect that undead generally rely on, so whatever it is will have a big effect on them

    * cause the enemy to be disorderly on the failing of a test
    * -2 to leaderships (since both units test now, this would be effective)
    * the 6s to hit on the failing of a test

    or a combination of these, or something i havent thought of.

    btw now were on chariots, they are typically rare already in the game (2 to a 2000pt army at the utter most) anywhere bar tomb kings, so it should stay that way. and as such i think that tomb kings chariots charging would be impossible to dodge causing the hits and disorder automaticly.

  7. #27

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Nurglitch: I've already explained my thought processes on what led me to this point. If there's something specific that you don't understand, I'm happy to elaborate on any given area.

    Crashbang: You're pretty sharp. The -2 to morale is exactly the effect I was planning to use on fear.

    Yes, since both sides have to test, fear means units are unnerved and low morale units will likely run away.

    I think that this eliminates the need for any other conventions and allows units to charge freely, but C and lower morale run the risk of routing even if they "win" the combat.

    At the same time, this completely avoids the problem of fear causing otherwise elite units to break. Units with A and B morale will likely "stick", reflecting the premium they pay for that leadership. I'm pretty happy with this conceptually and look forward to trying it out.

    Undead units will have a special morale state, by the way, known as X, which is "unbreakable." This is huge, and it will be paid for with lower overall stats and higher point values (exactly how high remains to be seen).

    That's the plan, at any rate.

    Nurglitch can say that I'm swapping chrome for different chrome, but I take a different view. By focusing on morale, I don't need a special rule for fear, charging against fear-causing enemies, auto-breaking from fear and so forth.

    Morale X means it always passes morale checks. Now this means undead units can reform on a dime, open ranks and so forth which I feel is completely appropriate. Rather than mindless shambles, I think of them as very responsive robots, the ultimate soldiers, who not only hear every command, but will instantly obey it without question. A lot of what command checks/leadership/morale rules are supposed to simulate is that war is noisy and commands simply can't be heard. The undead hear nothing but the commands of their master and never hesitate.

    That's part of what makes them scary, in my view. And the fact that fear is incorporated right into the core rules indicates that I have in fact made something new and better.

    I expect there will be several criticisms of my game and its system. "Insufficiently different" is not one that I'm worried about.
    Last edited by Commissar von Toussaint; 04-01-2006 at 16:42.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  8. #28

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurglitch
    Unfortunately you haven't defined your terms, or analyzed any of your 'design concepts'.
    What is this, a final exam?

    I'll let you know when you're layed out your design concepts in some sort of systematic manner.


    While it may not be your intention, you're sounding like a lecturing professor. Your credentials for evaluting my "design concepts" are what, exactly?

    My concepts are pretty damn clear: A fundamental reworking of Warhammer. Check out the thread title.

    This is also a bit more: a stand-alone game that doesn't rely on familiarity with Warhammer to succeed. It uses none of the fluff nor does it rely on GW figures to play.

    On the other hand, it is not independent of Warhammer because that is the dominant fantasy rules set. I purposefully designed this to use my existing 28mm models. As a bonus, it will also be backwards-compatible and (hopefully) people on Warseer will be able to do their own Warhammer armies using this system.

    For example, I'm going to do chariot rules because players want them. But I'm also going to do them my way.

    I sense there is a demand for this thing, and I'm trying to fulfill it.

    And frankly, I've wasted enough time on this game designer navel gazing.

    The system is what it is. It works the way I like and that's that. It's similarity and widespread acceptance isn't a bug, it's a feature. Just like how Warzone, Starship Troopers, VOID and other games are tapping into the 28mm scale to appeal to an existing market. People are comfortable with this type of game, as am I.

    I hope that clears things up for you.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  9. #29
    Commander Sybaronde's Avatar
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    Re: Building a better Warhammer



    Nurg, aren't you going a bit overboard? I mean, basically, what you've done in this thread is criticising his work method. One way is to say that 'this is how I think you should do it', but what you've done so far is 'what you're doing sucks, because I don't think it does anything else'.

    Not to discredit you, because I've seen what you've done with DM, but in the spirit of games developers, this is really a farce.

    Oh well,

    Syb

  10. #30

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    The "metric" is the finished product.

    Is it playable? Is it fun? Is it realistic (by which we mean reasonably intuitive and consistent within its own fluff)?

    Those are the metrics of game design that I'm talking about.

    For 20 years I've read articles on game design and the thought that they are actually giving out advanced degrees in this gives me the shudders.

    So my first suggestion to you is this: I'm not your student, so don't address me as one.

    In terms of underlying philosophy, you'll have to go back over multiple threads which I have no interest in summarizing and suspect most folks have even less interest in reading. As I said from the get-go, this project has been a long progression, from debates over spears vs hand weapon/shield bonus to the endless "high elf revision" threads.

    The amazing thing is that most people who've commented on this thread picked up on that right away.

    Since you're all about examples, let me give you one you may relate to. If I tell someone I wish to design a new car, I don't have to explain why it has four wheels, burns gasoline, uses a steering wheel and so forth. Most folks undertstand that a "car" is a "car."

    Were I to launch into a fascinating and deep discussion about the merits of horse-drawn travel, bicycling and such, my target audience would quickly get bored and leave.

    As someone familiar with quite a few systems, I notice that they always leave the philosophy for a short article in the back. That's because the rules are what people want to read, not the game designer's ruminations. These are interesting, but only as an afterthought. A game that is unplayable at any speed is of little interest because even if the concept is great, it has failed in its primary purpose.

    Andy Chambers is able to sell Starship Troopers because he is a known game designer with a proven product, not because legions of Heinlein fans and Warhammer players are dying to read his latest philosophical treatise on game design.

    Since you insist upon a shorthand summary, I will tell you that having played a variety of systems, I find that Warhammer's has much to recommend it and therefore, using the advice given by James Dunnigan, I'm not going to reinvent the wheel but borrow the aspects I like and modify what I don't.

    After six years of posting first at Portent and now at Warseer, my views are pretty well known in terms of what I like.

    I began this thread with a discussion specifically of what I didn't like and what I wanted to improve. Re-read the thread to get a feel of it.

    Then download the rules and see my conclusions. Read through them to see if they are coherent and - if you dare - play them to see if they are fun.

    If you have specific questions, I'm more than happy to explain my decisions, as I was with fear, chariots and so forth.

    Maybe I'm missing something, but given that I've already said why is use a six-point scale, why I use a letter for morale and why I like the IGO-UGO format, what do you really want to know?

    Why I'm using miniatures and not computers? Why I use inches and not milimeters? Why a profile, why those stats? Why 6-siders rather than 12-siders? Go ahead and ask, I have lots of answers.

    Just because I haven't typed all this out doesn't mean I haven't thought about it or discussed it with other folks. I have, quite a bit with folks who have been gaming for decades.

    I'm quite happy to have that discussion, but not if you approach it as a professor handing out grades. Here, at least, we are equals.

    And I will warn you that I'm pretty committed to the framework I've adopted. Playtesting is going well and things are coming together nicely. My armies are performing the way I want them to and the game runs pretty smoothely. The biggest problem is making the points add up and keeping the rule book current.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  11. #31
    Commander Sybaronde's Avatar
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    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurglitch
    Sybaronde: I'd suggest that you've mischaracterized what I've done in this thread. If CvT shares that mischaracterization, then I should probably clear some things up.
    Perhaps indeed I used some colour, but however mischaracterized, you seem to find CvT's work unagreeable simply because his working method opposes yours.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurglitch
    Yes, I have criticized his method. It would be nice if he had a method, for instance. It's impossible to evaluate or judge a work unless some metric or method has been established against which that work may be judged.
    Did the thread's title just pass you by somehow? And did it even occur to you that his work doesn't necessearily need a judge? After all, it inherently bases itself on his intuition of what is 'better' (whether that be a long-winded mutation or a tiny list of tweaks), which he has no need to define, given that this is his own little bird. All we have to do is like it or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurglitch
    What I've done so far is ask: "If your game is an improvement on WFB, by what measure can we judge that claim?" I understand that this can be interpreted as "What you're doing sucks, because I don't think it does anything else." because what he is doing does suck. It sucks because he gives us no measure or standard by which to evaluate his work.
    No, that's not it. You were coming to verbal blows with CvT based on a question that really doesn't need answering. Games development on this amateur plane, is not really a science, but an entertainment. It's not like he is constructing a Theorem for the Calculus book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurglitch
    Since CvT leaves his terms undefined, and the intentions that he cites are either vague or vacuous, we cannot even do the work for him.
    Oh, we can, but since we're not working with mathematics, it boils down to a matter of taste - of what we find agreeable or not. Unless you haven't noticed, that was mostly how other threads on Portent and Warseer went on, even in your Dark Millennium project: Throwing around ideas and using/discarding them according to how people liked it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurglitch
    I suppose we could just throw out suggestions like "This is how I think you should do it", but without a method of comparing those suggestions to his proposals, I don't really see a point to that either. How I think he should do it may not be how he actually should do it. I wouldn't want to burden him with my mistakes.
    All in all, we need only to say what we think of the project, if we agree on it being a better Warhammer or not. I guess my own little quote was a bit odd, if not misapplied in this case. Anyway, it wouldn't really matter if you had a method or not, as he would make the call in the end, and decide how to treat your suggestions.

    I guess you need to learn to sprinkle powdered sugar over your thoughts before you post them, because throughout the thread, you've been borderline condescending and even producing some comments that could be interpreted as insults.

    Syb

  12. #32

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurglitch
    So you're going to measure the finished product by the finished product... Amazing.
    No, I'm going to measure it by how much fun it brings me. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

    If you can't enjoy a movie, a book or a beverage without breaking out an abacus and developing a ten-point objective scale, I feel sorry for you.

    Similarly, if you can't say "Hmmm, I notice you haven't got anything about fighting uphill in there," without 12 pages of backstory and explanation, you're input isn't worth much to me.

    Please, I invite you to start your own thread about game design and its requirements. This one is about my game design. If, as you say, I have provided insufficient material for you to comment on it, I guess you're done here.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  13. #33

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Meanwhile, back on topic, I did a 1,000 point playtest game last night that showed me a couple things, the most important of which was:

    1. 1,000 points is a lot of models.

    Seriously, I was pretty pleased by the way the system worked. the one thing I'm looking at is a sliding scale for captured banners, pegging them to the morale of the unit they come from. It makes sense that the standard of a knightly unit would be worth more than that of bunch of gitling slaves, yet Warhammer gives them both equal value.

    This in turn leads to the debate over whether units should even get standards, which strikes me a silly in the extreme. Standards are an essential element, if only to help guide the movement of the unit. They are a rallying point and a source of pride.

    Characters also seem to be right where I want them. They offer good leadership and can help tilt the battle (with those two higher MS attacks) but they don't win by themselves.

    All in all, pretty promising. I'm hoping to do another run tomorrow night (only 500 points or so) and I'll keep you posted. Maybe even a battle report!

    Oh, and I almost forgot: Latest version of rules, army lists and of course your handy dandy summary sheet can be found here.

    It occurs to me some folks may not be able to read Word documents. If that's the case, let me know and I'll paste them in here.
    Last edited by Commissar von Toussaint; 05-01-2006 at 02:31.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  14. #34

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    This is surreal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurglitch
    Oh, I understand. I just find it amusing when you say things like:
    Especially when you immediately contradict yourself and declare that the metric is actually the fun you have with the finished product. It's even funnier because the metric is what you would measure the fun by.
    Okay, you got me. How do you know if you enjoy a game? Did you analyse the factors you enjoy, build a model of what elements you seek and whether they are present or what?

    Seriously.

    We have a frame of reference and a pretty clear one: Warhammer. That's the game that got me into miniatures in the first place and, having looked at other systems, I come back to it because it's fun. I enjoy playing it.

    But I've noticed problems with it. My first post noted those problems and how I proposed to deal with them.

    Now at this point you can go and say, "Hmmm, is this game easier to play than Warhammer?"

    Being a philosophy major, you'll first get hung up on the term "easy," but here we'll define it as "requires less time, mental energy and dice rolling."

    The next metric we might use would be realism. Does it stay true with the internal background of a fantasy/medieval world? This is big debate, and one I'm happy to have. Indeed, even historians and historical gamers get into raging fights about what is historical and what isn't. I'm happy to lay out my views on what these are, but I do have a job, family and other responsiblities.

    That is why I suggested that you first read the rules.

    It's a pretty simple thing to do. We can talk about analogies, calculus and so forth, but in the end, the game is playable or it isn't.

    I've owned more than a few that aren't. So if this thing can actually be played, that is my first metric of success.

    Surely you can think of a better ad hominem than that.
    You're damn right I can. I was trying to be polite.

    You don't need an abacus or "a ten-point objective scale" to decide whether you enjoy a movie. You say to yourself: "Gosh, that was a good movie. It was even better than Ghostbusters."
    Hmm, sort of like "building a better Warhammer?"

    There you go: The metric is the existing body of movies that you've seen. The measure is "better than x". I can see why you might confuse this with rocket science.
    You mean like Warhammer, which is in the title of this thread?

    I haven't done anything of the sort. I have asked you to elaborate on your design philosophy (post #24), and you've just obfuscated, posted platitudes, and waved hands. A polite refusal would have been just dandy.
    You know, I wasn't the only one who "misconstrued" the tone and content of your remarks. Now when both of the people involved in the conversation think you are being insulting, maybe you should consider the possiblity - however remote, I admit - that you were being insulting.

    I have also carried on a bit about the utility of rigour, and why you should use it. Which, oddly, has only involved about six relatively short posts (#28, #33, #35, summarized in #37, #40-41, and #42). Much of those posts includes a conversation with Sybaronde (who incidentally has a thread you could learn a thing or two from). A wee bit shy of 12 pages.
    First off, I am scared that you bothered to check this thread with such detail.

    Secondly, I've repeatedly asked you to pick a point of reference so we can discuss it. You want to go over movement? Turn order? Name a feature and I'm happy and indeed eager to explain why I'm doing what I'm doing.

    But do keep in mind that many of my answers are going to boil down to "because it works well enough."

    If I don't have an overwhelming need to refine or redesign something, I don't.

    Without that framework within which to evaluate your work, or indeed any substantive statements about your work, I have no input to give you.
    Re-reading the thread, I'm trying to figure out where exactly you lost the plot and started going off about processes. I didn't write a big conceptual essay because I already had the rules. That's what I spent my time doing, wriring the rules, not what I wanted the rules to say.

    I'm a results-oriented kind of guy. I guess I get that from my grandfather, a very talented woodworker. He didn't talk much, certainly not about his carving. He handed it to you and you could tell what it was. "Wow, Grandpa, that's a really cool duck." He would explain to me how he carved it, how he burned the feathers on and so forth, but the "metric" was the duck, not what he said he wanted to accomplish. After hours of labor, he had a beautiful wood carving that looked like a duck.

    My duck is the rules I've posted. Pick them apart - please.

    Find that typo on page 4 or tell me that my rules for morale are still incomplete and confusing.

    That's the kind of input I need. I'm sure you can provide it.

    You want a metric? Are the rules even coherent? is a great one.

    No, you're right. I've completely wasted my time. Enjoy your game. I hope it works out for you.
    I'm sorry you feel that way.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  15. #35
    Commander Sybaronde's Avatar
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    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurglitch
    Sorry, but this is another mischaracterization. I'm not sure how I'm giving you that impression. I thought that I had stated quite clearly that CvT's working method gives me no opportunity to judge whether his work is agreeable or not.

    Well, yes, you made it quite clear. I should've said "CvT's work-method" instead of "CvT's work".

    I did read the title. That's why I'm raising this stink. He says that he wants to build a better Warhammer. Surely we'll want to know if he succeeds. In order to know whether he succeeds in his project, and in order to help him with it and fortify the project against unexpected problem, we need a method for judging the quality of the finished product. I know you feel that intuitive preferences are sufficient, but they aren't. Methods of peer review exists because intuitive preferences are demonstrably insufficient.

    I know it's a great method to establish a goal and perhaps some principles that a person wishes to work by. I usually do so myself. However, what I wanted to convey was that a community like Warseer (or at that, those who go to this sub-forum) most likely have some sort of intuition to work with. And I know it's not the best of methods to go by, but if he leaves no ground for anything else, and repeatedly refuses to establish other grounds, then doesn't it ring a final bell?

    Moreover, while you could say that this thread is really just an opportunity for CvT to think out loud, he seems to want our input. If it is just him thinking out loud, then he doesn't need to do so in a public forum. CvT could just present us with a final product for an unqualified waggle of our thumbs.

    Well, some people might take other people's thoughts into consideration and think aloud differently. Perhaps that's what he wants.

    Me, I think he's onto something and is actually doing something sensible in putting his work out there for public discussion. Given that he has put some of it out there for public discussion, it would be nice if we could publically discuss all of it, and even nicer to discuss it in a productive fashion.
    No, that's actually it. While I appreciate that many people feel that the kind of rigour exhibited in mathematics, and the better kind of academia in general, isn't suited for casual discussion that attitude is wrong-headed.

    Well, I'm not opposed to the notion, but except for a select few threads, that's usually not how it went on in the Portent rules development forum.

    Uh, what people find agreeable or not, a matter of taste as you say, is the essence of mathematics. What the rigour of mathematics allows us to do is give other people good reason to agree or disagree with our tastes. Throwing around ideas and using them according to their utility is what we're doing. It's what I'd like us to do. I'd just like us to do it rigorously so that we don't waste any time or effort.

    Well, the word 'agreeable' might've been a wrong choice of words, but hey, I'm Norwegian and my grasp for context isn't immaculate.

    And for the record I do think that this conversation about the merits of rigour is productive.

    Well, at least interesting.

    So? I can't say that I've found other poster's to be particularly polite, myself. CvT's posts in particular strike me as alternately snotty, condescending, dismissive, insulting, and often all four at once.

    Well, I make it as a point to respect participants in discussions like these and do my best to avoid being interpreted as an insulting aggressor. While it's admirable that you wish to heighten CvT's format of writing and rules development, your approach wasn't exactly what I'd call pedagogic. Also, I think we can agree that the results, so far, isn't what either of us wanted.

    If you feel that I've been insulting, then please contact the moderators. Otherwise please take my comments as the constructive criticisms that they are intended to be.

    No, that'll be up to CvT if he finds you insulting. I only tried to put forth some perspective on the issue, of not meddle a bit for sports.
    Sincerely,

    Syb

  16. #36

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurglitch
    You know if you enjoy the game by comparing the experience to other games that you've played. Notice the plural of 'game'. It's not simply whether you enjoy one game more than another, but whether the game you play shares enjoyable features with other games that you have played.
    I've played a lot of different games, but not all of them are applicable. Indeed, as far as miniatures go, I'm not as well versed as others. Traditional wargames, jeez, I could go on for hours, but my miniatures experience is quite limited, which is why, Dear Reader, I'm posting my stuff here.

    For instance I find minimal dice rolling to be an enjoyable feature of a game.
    Ah, now we're getting somewhere.

    I'm of two minds on dice rolling. What I like about GW's system is that there is a great deal of simplicity in the concept of it: you roll a bunch of dice and count the sixes, or fives or whatnot.

    Columbia Games uses a similar mechanic for their block games and I find that it works quite well.

    What I wanted to avoid was the extra dice that GW makes you roll: the wounding ones.

    Mindful of the problems people have with WS being a minor stat and the balance issues that relate to Strength and Toughness, I decided to drop those stats and go straight to armor saves.

    This also allowed me to ignore most armor save modifiers. It's just pure AP, and that is in the troop description.

    So I've cut dice rolling by 1/3, but preserved the simplicity of the mechanic.

    The alternative to using lots of dice is a cross-referenced table, the old CRT you'll find in every board game since Tactics (ah, for the days of D-Elim).

    At the same time, tables have their uses, which is why I decided to include one for morale.

    As I'm sure you noticed, you don't really need the table at all, you could simply go with numbers and then lots of modifiers. The basic rule would be "If you exceed leadership by 1 or 2, you are Disordered, by 3 or more and you Rout. A modified roll of 2 or less is always a Rout."

    But I think the table is easier and numbers crunchers can always memorize it anyway.

    See how easy that was? You got questions, I got answers.

    In terms of grand concepts, I should think it is obvious: a game that uses the same models and terrain as Warhammer, but, unlike other designs, does not rely on GW's intellectual property for its appeal. Kind of like Stargrunt: you can use it for anything you want, but it will probably appeal to the same audience that likes WHFB.

    Mechanically, it is intended to play faster and smoother, with less time taken for measurement and less emphasis on the minutae.

    At the same time, I think it is more intuitive; rather than a convoluted CR to determine who wins, you simply see who did the most killin'. :skull:

    Chargers force defenders to check first, giving them a clear advantage, but not an overwhelming one.

    Most weapons go simultaneously, allowing players to roll dice at the same time and then apply them. Even for weapons that don't the fact that I allow fill-in ranks to fight means that in most cases, you can both roll at once, saving time.

    Yet I believe that there are cases where priority matters, such as units with a single rank or characters.

    So in that sense, it is an opportunity for me to address what I feel are problems with WHFB. Another example is that I allow cavalry to countercharge, something I feel appropriately emphasizes leadership and that accurately represents that fact that cavalry rarely awaited a charge at a standstill, but instead spurred to meet it.

    Similarly, I've made arrow fire very deadly and archers very pricey. Archers historically were specialist troops, well-trained and highly prized. Crossbows have longer range and better penetrating power, but they cannot win a shooting duel with equally talented archers - the superior rate of fire from bows will take the day.

    That's all I have time for now.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  17. #37

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    now that its progressing really well, i'd like to know: are you going to make the army lists for certain armies (e.g high elves) or are you going to give people tools for converting their armies to this format? once this is all completed that is.

    i might be able to force my mates to playtest these if u do happen to get some lists out (not likely, stubborn asses )

  18. #38

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by crashbang
    now that its progressing really well, i'd like to know: are you going to make the army lists for certain armies (e.g high elves) or are you going to give people tools for converting their armies to this format? once this is all completed that is.
    At present, I'm working on my own lists, but the point values will work anywhere.

    I'm quite happy to do army lists for Warhammer, but they won't be a perfect match because the game system does have some significant differences.

    For example, the High Elves don't need a lot of special rules because the stat lines reflect their skill in warfare.

    A unit of MS 4 spearmen with B morale and 5 movement are scary and fully fit what High Elves ought to be. Were I to give them three ranks of fighting, it would be really unbalancing but more importantly, it would be unnecessary.

    Similarly, Swordmasters have high MS, great weapons and high morale. That makes them excellent troops.

    In my system, great weapons don't strike last, so does that mean I have to give them something else?

    Just thinking about some of the lists we can see how different my game is. Yes, the models translate well, even the concepts for the units, but the actual special rules don't because they rely on GW's convoluted rules.

    Another question is whether you want me to make flawed lists or improved ones.

    If I'm going to do a Conqueror list for High Elves, I certainly wouldn't want to include Intrigue at Court and I'd absolutely want to give spearmen heavy armor. I mean, why use a different system to create an admittedly flawed list?

    So to answer your question, yes, I will make Warhammer lists, but they operative idea is that they will be better Warhammer lists.

    Let me know which one is a priority for you and I'll put something together.
    Last edited by Commissar von Toussaint; 05-01-2006 at 23:38.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  19. #39

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    neither so much, do your style. i just wanna see how it pans out through my own eyes.

  20. #40

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Well, what list do you want? I can put something together fairly quickly.

    Last night I did another game against my nephew and I was very happy with how it went.

    The points calculations seem dead on, the combat resolution went very quickly and the game was a lot of fun.

    I was crushed but I still had a lot of fun. We did a 700 point game in under two hours, including setup and cleanup.

    The armies were:

    Boreans

    30 gitlings w/sword and shield
    30 gitlings w/spear
    30 Tribal Boreans w/sword, shield and light armor
    30 Yagurs w/great weapon, heavy armor and shield
    1 Yagur chief w/great weapon, heavy armor and shield
    1 Tribal chief w/sword, shield and light armor
    1 Gitling boss w/sword and shield

    Red Knights

    30 men at arms w/greatswords, heavy armor, shield
    10 crossbowmen w/light armor
    5 Red Knights w/lance, heavy armor, shield, barded warhorse
    1 Knight Commander on foot w/heavy armor, sword, shield
    1 Knight Commander w/lance, heavy armor, shield, barded warhorse

    Looking the lists over, it may seem self-evident that the Boreans should have won, but actually it was pretty balanced. I made a couple of mistakes (like trying to stop the Red Knights with regular tribals and when the tribals broke, I was in trouble.

    Still, things might have been salvaged if the Yagurs hadn't broken against the men at arms. That was just hideous luck.

    They managed to get away and reformed in time to be hit by the Red Knights, at which point the fight became very even.

    What interested me was that despite the differences between the units, the point costs were almost identical 275 vs 295. The cavalry had the edge on the charge turn, but once the Boreans weathered that, the tide began to turn.

    The game ended before the combat was complete (since it was a late game charge), but overall I was very happy. The rules for unit standards are going to be changed in light of yesterday's game: from now on, they are there for looks, to help indicate front facing and for victory point awards. Otherwise, they have no game effect.

    VPs for capturing banners are as follows: E morale = 0, D = 10, C =20, D = 30 and A = 40. I like this because it encourages players to use leader stands even for lousy troops.

    I should point out that archers and skirmishers don't have banners, which reflects their more spread out fighting style and that routing missile troops isn't much of an accomplishment.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

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