Author Topic: Simplified rules  (Read 6373 times)

roversaurus

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Simplified rules
« on: June 17, 2015, 03:56:25 PM »
I got my new factions from the kickstarter (Alexander vs Persia) and got to play a game. Yay!

I did have trouble. The 3.1 rules have some big differences. One of the big differences is that it's really big!
I had a lot of trouble playing against a quasi new player with it. This player had played once before. Perhaps 6 months ago. And of course that was my last game too and my previous game had been a year or two prior.

The rule set is daunting if you just want to pick up a quick game. There really, really needs to be a shorter version of the rules. I spent a lot of time flipping through the rule book. What the heck are skirmishers? (I figured it out) And this didn't count all the time I had to spend figuring out the special army abilities. That part was at least the part I expected to need to work on. That part is what makes the faction fun. But I completely forgot about telling my opponent that he had units with javelins and what that meant for him.

There are a lot of rules. They are a lot more complicated since I got my first pack of Undead. I have a different version of the rules with every pack I've purchased. There are errata for units. How ranged attacks and cavalry and impact hits work (or impact hits even exist!) seems to change every time.
It is all very frustrating for an infrequent player.

I strongly suggest some sort of streamlined rules. More than what is given for a simple demo but much less than what is done in the 90 page rule book.

Kevin

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Re: Simplified rules
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2015, 04:39:28 PM »
A streamlined, simplified rule set definitely could be made.  At one point I suggested packaging the game with a simple rulebook and putting the full one online.

Speaking as someone who doesn't have a financial stake in the matter, the issue becomes the time/cost to do so.  A couple of years ago someone tried to do a simplified rulebook, but gave up.  It's a LOT of work.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

Gabbi

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Re: Simplified rules
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2015, 04:54:23 AM »
I agree. As the one in my group pushing to play the game, I have to say that teaching the game to a new player seems a bit daunting. In fact, game is not as complicated as it seems as first approach seems to suggest. But it's way more complex to teach as, say, Malifaux, that's a game with lots of special rules, too. Getting how to  properly execute orders seems to be the most difficult part for new players to understand. Incidentally, it is also what makes this game so special and makes it worth of playing even if you wouldn't have any problem in painting toy soldiers. Also, I understand that the game is on the market by more than 10 years and it was constantly tweaked and improved (an aspect that has to be appreciated, really, not criticized), but the situation is that we have now too many corrected cards (both units and command), even worse: coming on the forum is disheartening. Constant proposal of new rules and variations and new takes on old abilities. Tournament rules with different point costs and stuff. Everything sounds like an omen of an imminent new edition of the rulebook. The feeling is that to play Battleground one has to play this game only, to keep pace with the continuous changes.

One thing that could be made, is a consistent FAQ document, and a doc with army lists. All of them. No more checking on the last pages of the rulebook to see if a card is good as it is printed, or some change has to be applied. Let's say "totally ignore back of the unit cards (as most of wrong stuff is there. I can recall of just a couple examples of units with errors/updates on the front) and refer to this doc only for point costs and abilities". There's something unofficial on BGG but I don't know if it's updated. Plus, it is not "official" and not linked from YMG website, that's where people getting the game would start looking for stuff.

Then, please make available as pod the updated command cards and the few units with updated fronts (skeletons, scrutarii). It shouldn't be so difficult, right? I made my own in a matter of hours, starting from scans (so no "layers" for easy edit, and I had to recreate the "bleed") .



Some more tweaking would improve the result, but already good to go as is, imo.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 05:37:28 AM by Gabbi »

gatesphere

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Re: Simplified rules
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2015, 09:05:22 AM »
Gabbi, something like this? http://battlescribe.suspended-chord.info/hawkshold.html

I hacked that together using BattleScribe, saving to HTML, and then massaging things to look the way I wanted (and adding in the errata from the rulebook, and army ability).  Not a super straightforward process, but it would only have to be done once for each faction, and then could be updated as errata happens.

If there's interest, I can look into making the rest of the factions.

(Also, any way I can get a copy of your files for the skeleton unit errata cards?  I was looking into making these myself, but since you already did... that'd be awesome if you could share :))
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 09:57:04 AM by gatesphere »

Gabbi

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Re: Simplified rules
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2015, 03:10:18 AM »
Gabbi, something like this? http://battlescribe.suspended-chord.info/hawkshold.html

I hacked that together using BattleScribe, saving to HTML, and then massaging things to look the way I wanted (and adding in the errata from the rulebook, and army ability).  Not a super straightforward process, but it would only have to be done once for each faction, and then could be updated as errata happens.

If there's interest, I can look into making the rest of the factions.
I was referring to these files: https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/56496/battelground-unit-summaries-june-2010

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(Also, any way I can get a copy of your files for the skeleton unit errata cards?  I was looking into making these myself, but since you already did... that'd be awesome if you could share :))
Sure. I'll have to search for them, as I changed OS a couple times so they're no more on computer's HD, but I should have them somewhere. If you can provide good scans I could re-do them, as my scans weren't good in first place.

gatesphere

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Re: Simplified rules
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2015, 11:44:57 AM »

I was referring to these files: https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/56496/battelground-unit-summaries-june-2010

I knew about those, I was just offering my take on things. :)

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Sure. I'll have to search for them, as I changed OS a couple times so they're no more on computer's HD, but I should have them somewhere. If you can provide good scans I could re-do them, as my scans weren't good in first place.

If it's going to be a hassle, then no need.  Don't need to make more work for you!

Gabbi

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Re: Simplified rules
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2015, 04:11:03 PM »
No hassle at all. I'm not 100% satisfied by the result, so I was already planning to eventually come back tweaking what already done. Getting better scans would just be an additional reason to do it :)

Back on topic, if a streamlined rulebook will ever be really made, I would suggest to entirely drop the Movement Categories part. It's nice and "romantic" in its purpose, but honestly, everyone has a tape ruler at home and I hardly believe someone is going to actually use cards to take measurements in the game. Getting distances increase and decrease by a fixed amount, instead of the silly L and S values would simplify the life of new gamers. I can understand that once you get some game under your belt it becomes second nature, but it's a complication that should not be there in first place.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2015, 04:25:06 PM by Gabbi »

Hannibal

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Re: Simplified rules
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2015, 08:27:17 PM »
I agree the rulebook can be a lot to absorb if you try to absorb it all at once, so my suggestion would be:  don't.  Get a gist of how things play and then refer to the rules if questions come up.  A lot of the bulk comes from uncommon situations that come up with enough frequency as to need a mention.

Then after you play a few games you can flip through the rulebook and go over things that would come up.  That way you learn the rules somewhat organically.

As to the erratas, I feel that in most cases you can play the game without them.  Most of them are tweaks (with the exceptions of actual misprints) and you can play the game without them, frankly.  Just playing what comes with your faction box gives you a pretty decent game.

Gabbi

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Re: Simplified rules
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2015, 05:14:36 AM »
I agree the rulebook can be a lot to absorb if you try to absorb it all at once, so my suggestion would be:  don't.  Get a gist of how things play and then refer to the rules if questions come up.  A lot of the bulk comes from uncommon situations that come up with enough frequency as to need a mention.

Then after you play a few games you can flip through the rulebook and go over things that would come up.  That way you learn the rules somewhat organically.
I agree. The one you describe is the usual process in learning any game. I was just posting my opinion since the discussion seems of interests. As, as said, I'm the one promoting Battleground in my group of friends/gamers, and usually one of the few that reads and explains rules more in general, so I think I have some experience :)


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As to the erratas, I feel that in most cases you can play the game without them.  Most of them are tweaks (with the exceptions of actual misprints) and you can play the game without them, frankly.  Just playing what comes with your faction box gives you a pretty decent game.
Agree to this, too. And again, this is valid for most games, too. Usually, most of the updates, fix and tweaks, become relevant only once players master the game and become able to exploit "loopholes" and "pitfalls". At that point, absorbing the corrections should not be a problem. Nonetheless, new players (me, at least) will check for faqs and erratas right from the start.

Hannibal

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Re: Simplified rules
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2015, 01:51:57 PM »
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I agree. The one you describe is the usual process in learning any game. I was just posting my opinion since the discussion seems of interests. As, as said, I'm the one promoting Battleground in my group of friends/gamers, and usually one of the few that reads and explains rules more in general, so I think I have some experience  :)

Yeah its the way I learn rules too.  I understand that the rules are somewhat complex, and often the thing is that we're trying to clearly explain something that is relatively intuitive when you do it on the tabletop.  We had the conundrum of writing super simple rules then having a ton of vague situations that have to be cleared up in FAQs, or more complex rules that have a steeper learning curve.  We went for the more complex rules, because the vague rules actually can produce the worst of all worlds:  people who don't check the forums for the FAQs end up with their own interpretations that are different than everyone else.  Then they get surprised in the middle of a game.


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Agree to this, too. And again, this is valid for most games, too. Usually, most of the updates, fix and tweaks, become relevant only once players master the game and become able to exploit "loopholes" and "pitfalls". At that point, absorbing the corrections should not be a problem. Nonetheless, new players (me, at least) will check for faqs and erratas right from the start.

Yeah, and a lot of them are in there for a reason.  I imagine that as factions sell out and are reprinted, those changes will make their way from the rulebook to the cards, which will shrink the erratas.  This of course, requires a reprint, which requires factions to sell out.   ;D

gatesphere

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Re: Simplified rules
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2015, 10:42:41 PM »
No hassle at all. I'm not 100% satisfied by the result, so I was already planning to eventually come back tweaking what already done. Getting better scans would just be an additional reason to do it :)

Check your PM inbox :)

Gabbi

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Re: Simplified rules
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2015, 10:01:09 AM »
Here they are. print them at 300dpi and they should print the correct size.







My actual goal was making files to be printed by some "professional" online printing service (artscow, printerstudio, etc) but trial and error to make things right, having to guess bleed amount and the damn services (all of them) inconsistency on trimming from one batch to another make the process a real pain. Also, starting from scans means that for optimal results I'd have to mitigate the moiré pattern by hand. If the damn printers would make their work with precision, I'd be willing to do it, but since they always screw the job in some way, I somewhat lost interest in the project...
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 10:03:26 AM by Gabbi »

RushAss

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Re: Simplified rules
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2015, 12:14:57 PM »
Wow, rather impressive!  I never noticed that some of the individual Skeletons where wearing helmets on the top-down art.
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Gabbi

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Re: Simplified rules
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2015, 12:36:56 PM »
One other thing to notice is that (sadly) shadows were nicer in those old cards than in newer ones.
Look at those skeletons: you clearly see shadows for weapons, arms, shields. Almost no shadow for legs, or they're very close, as they're supposed to be. And this helps, even at a subconscious level, to suggest some kind of depth to the image.

Now look at this card from Wuxing:



Shadow is an exact silhouette of the figure, simply shifted by a fixed amount, be it the shadow of a weapon, the hat or even a feet (!). Shadows under the feet suggests the feet are not resting on the ground, it makes these warrior looks like flying ^^;

Just nitpicking, anyhow, hardly noticeable while gaming.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 01:17:21 PM by Gabbi »

gatesphere

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Re: Simplified rules
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2015, 03:18:06 PM »
Wow, Gabbi... nice work!  Thanks a ton! :)