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Author Topic: Is over collecting driving us to lower complexity systems?  (Read 5248 times)

Online Elbows

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Re: Is over collecting driving us to lower complexity systems?
« Reply #45 on: August 11, 2022, 05:53:01 PM »
Sure, but that's the whole new can of worms - the IGOUGO debate, which is similarly awful in games the size of 40K.

Back in 2nd edition Warhammer 40,000...models fighting in close combat both rolled simultaneously, comparing dice and trading successes/fumbles, etc.  Later it became "higher initiative goes first" and yeah your entire unit/army is wiped out before you get to fight, short of rolling armour saves.

I'm a huge fan of mitigating IGOUGO in anyway possible.
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Offline Mammoth miniatures

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Re: Is over collecting driving us to lower complexity systems?
« Reply #46 on: August 11, 2022, 06:14:10 PM »
It's odd, though - because the saving throw just delays the lower-initiative side from getting its own attacks. So if you resolved everything with a single roll each for the attackers and defenders, the combat is resolved quicker with each side getting to roll the dice once, rather than having each side roll the dice three times.

You're preching to the choir mate - I'm of the opinion the the rules side of 40k needs a good age of sigmar-ing. The core game at the very heart of all the bloat is so unfit for what GW try to make it do.

Online Elbows

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Re: Is over collecting driving us to lower complexity systems?
« Reply #47 on: August 11, 2022, 06:20:37 PM »
Not to go off topic, but unfortunately for companies like GW..."poor rules" are part of the business plan.  It's how they sell you updated books and FAQ's every 6 months for your army, etc.   lol  They have no vested interest in efficient or well-written rules...that would actually be bad for business.  They need "just good enough" to keep people scraping at every corner for an advantage or better rules, etc.

Offline Codsticker

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Re: Is over collecting driving us to lower complexity systems?
« Reply #48 on: August 11, 2022, 09:12:54 PM »
More modern "buckets of dice" games (Lion/Dragon Rampant and Kings of War, for example) just have one roll of however many dice to decide things, which is a huge improvement. They still take into account aggressiveness/weaponskill, toughness and armour, but they achieve far more elegantly with target numbers, etc.
This is exactly the kind of thing I was thinking of.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Is over collecting driving us to lower complexity systems?
« Reply #49 on: August 11, 2022, 10:03:44 PM »
You're preching to the choir mate - I'm of the opinion the the rules side of 40k needs a good age of sigmar-ing. The core game at the very heart of all the bloat is so unfit for what GW try to make it do.

Oh, yes, I know! I was just trying to parse RP's statement. Actually, don't Warhammer rules always have shooting listed and explained before melee?

*Checks rulebook*


Well, they certainly did in the beginning ...

So maybe the design was originally to provide interactivity in the shooting phase (a positive thing) - but it then ended up as clutter in the combat phase.

I'd never noticed before tonight that first-edition Warhammer has a different turn structure to the established game, in that both players shoot in the shooting phase. That seems an altogether better and more engaging sequence - I wonder why they dropped it?

I also wonder if the 'to hit/to wound' thing comes from the early game's foot in the RPG camp; from what I've read, it was in part designed to encourage people to buy more orcs, etc, than they'd need for D&D encounters. After all, many earlier wargames acknowledge only those hits that do damage. But while that was the case in D&D, it introduced variable damage in personal combat - so that there was a 'to hit' roll and a 'how hard' roll too.

So the set-up does make Warhammer more like an RPG (in the level of detail), which is one of the things it was trying to be at the start (alongside the Ziggurat of Doom, the first edition's other scenario is a full-blown RPG adventure).

If memory serves, a lot of the 'classic' Warhammer tropes - champions, musicians, standard-bearers, etc. - didn't appear in Forces of Fantasy. But a lot of the rules were fully formed - including that protracted combat system, which makes much more sense in those early scenarios with their emphasis on single combat.

As you say, the subsequent editions were piling an awful lot on a system that seems to have originally been designed for skirmishes in ruins and dungeons! Mind you, I doubt the authors have many regrets!  ;)

« Last Edit: August 12, 2022, 07:16:22 AM by Hobgoblin »

Offline bishop2k7

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Re: Is over collecting driving us to lower complexity systems?
« Reply #50 on: August 11, 2022, 11:11:54 PM »
I don't think it has anything to do with over collecting, but I do find myself leaning towards simpler systems. But I would define simpler as something you can just play without your nose in the book the whole time. I don't mind slogging through an overly think book as long as in plays intuitively on the table. Occasionally I need to get out some units out and roll some dice before a new set of rules really clicks.

Offline Mammoth miniatures

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Re: Is over collecting driving us to lower complexity systems?
« Reply #51 on: August 12, 2022, 08:41:56 AM »
Oh, yes, I know! I was just trying to parse RP's statement. Actually, don't Warhammer rules always have shooting listed and explained before melee?


I'd never noticed before tonight that first-edition Warhammer has a different turn structure to the established game, in that both players shoot in the shooting phase. That seems an altogether better and more engaging sequence - I wonder why they dropped it?


I used to play 40k with my mates like that for years until I played in an actual GW store and had it pointed out to me that I was doing it wrong. we always did it as I move, you move, I shoot you shoot, I melee you melee.


On the subject of simpler systems and the link between early Warhammer and roleplaying, It is also perhaps possible that as fantasy wargaming has established itself more and drifted away from its roleplaying game influences, so other systems have followed? As many gamers now get into the hobby through fantasy and sci fi in the forms of warhammer, They aren't bringing the same kind of granular attitudes that older gamers who maybe got into things via roleplaying or went directly to the more complex historical board wargames might have been prone too.

I know for myself I never played D&D until I was already a wargamer, And the whole thing seemed like an overly cumbersome mess to me. so when I started designing my own games I wasn't starting from that point, but instead trying to smooth out wargaming itself, not adapt roleplaying to larger encounters.

Offline Dr. Zombie

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Re: Is over collecting driving us to lower complexity systems?
« Reply #52 on: August 12, 2022, 09:02:59 AM »
For me i think it is a matter of experience. I have played all sorts of games from hypercomplex almost simulations/reenactments to very simple ones. Very often the very complex games often end up being roundabout longwinded ways where you end up needing to roll 4+ anyways. The simple ones get boring with no flavor and not many options to impact events.

I have come to the conclusion that rules like Hail Ceasar and Lions Rampant. Hit the sweet spot between complexity and simplicity. At least for me. They give me just enough "game" and I can then focus on adding flavor with my miniatures, terrain and scenarios.

Offline tikitang

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Re: Is over collecting driving us to lower complexity systems?
« Reply #53 on: August 12, 2022, 12:15:52 PM »
first-edition Warhammer has a different turn structure to the established game, in that both players shoot in the shooting phase. That seems an altogether better and more engaging sequence - I wonder why they dropped it?

You're making me nostalgic! Not because I played it "back in the day" (I was a literal baby in 1983), but because in 2011 I went on a quest to collect and play the early editions of Warhammer after reading Zhu Baijee's The Oldhammer Contract. I have a great fondness for first edition, with its simple structure, complete lack of in-built fantasy world (because why would you play in any world other than Middle-earth?) and quaint black and white illustrations that look like the doodles I populated my high school work books with.

If I'm not mistaken, the simultaneous shooting was very quickly replaced with 'only the active player may shoot', even before 2nd Edition came out the following year. I'm pretty sure the version I bought came with this printed on an errata sheet, and the person I'd bought the copy from had already made the adjustment in the book with a Biro.

There are still some distinctive oddities about first edition, such as the 'countercharge' move which means both charging units meet "somewhere in the middle", but without specifying where exactly in the middle that is, and the optional 'follow on' rule, aptly demonstrated by the example character SOLOMON KLOMP (vs a giant rat), who bears no resemblance whatsoever to a certain Puritan swordsman created by Robert E. Howard.

Personally, I've always found the hit>wound>save sequence a little odd: first you roll to see if you hit (which I interpreted as landing a blow on the target without it being parried) -- so far so good -- then you roll to see if your hit actually caused an injury, as opposed to a glancing blow -- so far, still so good -- THEN your opponent rolls to see if their armour stopped the blow, after it's already been established that a wound has been caused? So a blow is landed and a wound is caused, but then -- surprise -- none of that really happened because the weapon actually hit the armour?! Odd indeed.

One of the more recent systems I've tried -- ACIDSHOCK! (which uses D10s for all rolls) -- simply adds armour as a value to the target's defensive roll, with the added value amount corresponding to the type of armour worn. Example: peasant with spear attacks enemy knight wearing plate armour. Peasant's attack roll = D10 + 2 (peasant skill level) + 2 (spear damage level), Vs Knight's defense roll = D10 + 4 (knight's skill level) + 4 (plate armour value). Seems far more logical than rolling for an armour save after a weapon has already both landed and caused potentially fatal injury!


In answer to the original question: I don't think over-collecting (certainly not in my case) has anything to do with the simplifying of rules. I think it's just a natural evolution of rules-writing: as time has gone by people have found better and more streamlined ways to write rules for wargaming, learning from the ones that came before and making gradual improvements. Everyone having (probably) busier lives with more distractions now, in addition to the widening of the market to younger and less 'grognardy' players, are possible contributing factors.

Some good points have been made about how it's much preferable to play a game without constantly having to refer to the book. I have trouble remembering if I started with Song of Blades & Heroes, or Warhammer Historical: Legends of the High Seas as my first wargaming system (it was one or the other), but I distinctly remember having to constantly flip around the book of LotHS to find out how to handle almost any situation, which became highly annoying, whereas SoBaH I was able to remember the whole thing with relative ease, without having to reference the book at all once I'd picked up the basic system. In my experience, ACIDSHOCK! scores the highest on that front (memorisation of rules), but I concede that it doesn't have the range of potential outcomes that SoBaH offers.

This is also a great point:

The simple ones get boring with no flavor and not many options to impact events.

My initial goal in finding the perfect rule system was one which was dead easy to learn (and remember), could be adapted to any setting, any miniatures, any scale, any table size. A complete sandbox, essentially, without any irritating restrictions (e.g. "this unit only uses this weapon"). But I have observed that some of the simpler sets, while very easy to learn and memorise, do in fact seem to get boring very quickly. It's almost as if the stripping out of elements that appear to make the system too tied down to a particular theme or setting also make it too bland, unless you have a great imagination and a ton of self-motivation.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2022, 04:46:31 AM by tikitang »
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Offline Shahbahraz

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Re: Is over collecting driving us to lower complexity systems?
« Reply #54 on: August 13, 2022, 08:09:31 PM »
I suspect I am an anomaly - played D&D in the 70's - but thereafter mainly historical. Never played Warhammer, in any of its guises.

For me, I played some of the 'bottom up' sets, thousands of factors, hundred page rulebook, 5 minutes on the battlefield took hours to play, yes 'Empire' and 'Newbury fast-play' (hah!) I'm looking at you. No thanks. There are rules where I am prepared to use bottom up mechanisms, where combat is quite mechanical, eg Naval, but for the most part, I would prefer DBA to WRG 6th, etc.

The Lardy games I find tricky, their older sets are written for a bunch of blokes playing down the club with the author. Holes you could drive a truck through etc. But CoC and SP2 are solid and simple to play.

Currently I'm playing Iron Cross, 7DttRR, CoC, SPII and (occasionally) DBMM. I suspect that says more about me than anything. I also have dabbled with Black Powder, TMWBK, Lion Rampant, WAT, SAGA, Infamy, O Group, various dreadnoughts and aeronef.

Typical wargamer butterfly I suspect.
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Offline Shahbahraz

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Re: Is over collecting driving us to lower complexity systems?
« Reply #55 on: August 13, 2022, 09:13:38 PM »
The Lardography is an interesting case.

Full disclosure: I have never played one of their games. The couple I've read were off putting for their complexity and odd editorial choices. They look like a lot of fun, and in the right hands the right GM can really make them sing.  You wouldn't know it from reading the rule books though.

People I trust have explained that they are best learned directly from someone that already knows how to play.  Shades of Gygax style D&D there, if you ask me.  Regardless, the complexity of a game in play can often be exacerbated by the complexity of a game in presentation.

The older Lardy rules are absolutely like that. Developed to play between mates with the rules author present. Sharp Practice II in my view represented a watershed when the Lardies 'went professional' - and the quality, playtesting and support since then has been a quantum leap forward.

Offline WorkShy

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Re: Is over collecting driving us to lower complexity systems?
« Reply #56 on: August 14, 2022, 01:13:00 PM »
I'm back into wargaming after a 15 year + absence and I have to admit I feel it's gone backwards in terms of rule systems. I came from background of AD&D, then Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, WFB and finally WAB. I then went off to mod Total War computer games.

I never ever really played vanilla Total War - it became increasingly like a terrible arcade game where the battle was over in 10 minutes. Instead I modded everything about it to improve graphics, script better campaigns, improve battlefield AI etc. I want a battle to last for hours. Every turn to take many hours etc. I want complexity.

I want the same from a wargame. I want a simple system but one that can be scaled into a highly complex one, which can handle big tables, thousands of miniatures, massive variation of troop types etc. So far I've been depressed by recent systems I've bought. My idea of awful is DBA and it seems that everything is now more DBA like and less WAB like.


Online Elbows

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Re: Is over collecting driving us to lower complexity systems?
« Reply #57 on: August 14, 2022, 02:51:09 PM »
Admittedly there's nothing stopping you from playing the same old games you like.  I also believe there are quite a few "old school" style games available, you just won't find them from big companies like GW, etc.

Dig around on Wargame Vault and read some reviews - you'll probably find what you're looking for.

Online Daeothar

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Re: Is over collecting driving us to lower complexity systems?
« Reply #58 on: August 14, 2022, 03:44:17 PM »
The original question was if over-collecting is driving us to simpler game systems, and in my personal case, I think this is partially true.

I came into this hobby, like many in my age bracket I suspect, with the release of both Hero Quest and Star Quest/Space Crusade. I had previously bought some RPG starter boxes, like D&D and Oog des Meesters/Das Schwarze Auge, but they did not come with miniatures, just standees.

I did read the rules over and over though (at the time, I had nobody to play with at any rate), but always got confused with the combat rules; so many (types of) dice and tables!

Then the above board games came along, and those rules were nice and simple. It turned out I vastly preferred the painting and modeling aspect of the hobby over the actual gaming side and for years, I happily hobbied along on my own.

Oh; I did try a game of Battletech at one point with a friend, but it took us an entire afternoon to play through 3 or 4 turns of a Cityfight scenario (infantry versus one mech) and the rules-heaviness of it all was a bit of a let-down.

This changed when I went to live in a different city to go to uni. There was a thriving community of wargamers there, an FLGS, and I finally started playing actual wargames there, even if it was mostly a skirmish game; Necromunda.

Not because I didn't want to play larger games, but money was tight, as was time to paint (time enough to go out drinking though ::) ), so I didn't have the budget to start on larger games.

Fast forward a couple of years, when my then girlfriend and I are living together, both with a steady job, and I decided to take up painting again. And this time, I went for the whole shebang. In many ways, this was when I actually started wargaming.

I joined the local club, housed above the FLGS, and went all in on playing Warhammer 40K. In many ways, 40K formed me as a wargamer. And this means I do not have the negative feelings many appear to have in regards to GW's systems; they were after all the foundation of my wargaming 'career'.

This went on for quite some years. I had joined a Space Marine-centric forum called the Bolter and Chainsword and eventually became a mod there. Basically, I found myself in a tight niche (Space Marines) within a niche (40K) of an already niche hobby (miniature wargaming) and I spent many years happily gaming within those confines.

40K was my wargaming world. Quite literally, because my FLGS only offered GW products, with a (locally hugely impopular) sprinkle of Warzone, plus a tiny bit of Confrontation (which looked nice enough, but was also weird and unknown to us).

Such was the state of the wargaming scene locally, that any other system than GW's was considered strange, scary and unwanted. And I'm sure there were many local groups like that around, especially in the Netherlands, which (certainly back then) was a wargaming desert.

This was thrown into disarray when somehow Warmachine was introduced into the store and me and several other club-members decided to each buy a starter set (I got Khador). The rules were both different, simpler, more difficult and not to my liking at all.

With that I mean the absolute bonkers way one had to build up combo's to finish off the opponent. ('I use this unit to buff up this unit's stats, then I use my caster's feat to improve their attack and this spell to throw them across the board next to your Warcaster. No, you can't interupt that. I now roll... 63 dice, and each 2+ causes a wound.')

In other words; I hugely disliked the whole complex mess the game quickly became, even though I really love the setting and background, and I walked away from it.

But the apple had been bitten into, and I was now curious to see what other systems were out there. By chance, I stumbled onto the Lead Adventures Forum and I was nearly blown away by the insane amount of different systems and miniature ranges out there. Something I had not even been remotely aware of when still ensconced in my Space Marine niche-niche!

Then came a flurry of revelations and discoveries, and I quickly became enamoured by the wealth of different ranges and systems out there. Pandora's box gaped wide and open so to speak...

And then I discovered that there were both better and simpler systems than my trusty 40K (which had progressed three or four editions since I had started out by then), so over the years we picked up Infinity, Dropzone Commander and X-Wing.

But only the latter got any traction. In fact; it was basically the only game we played for several years. Only thinking about it now, I realize that this was mostly due to the rules being intuitive and simple, where the others were as heavy as 40K or even heavier in the rules department.

I now have shelves of rule books, for a plethora of different systems, all of the Osprey blue books, a range of historical games, you name it; occupying about 4 meters of shelving...

But because of ever diminishing energy levels and spare time, very few of those games actually get played; the only ones that see the table are easy and fast games, like skirmish ones. There's simply no opportunity to play them all!

I feel it's a matter of having too many choices. Like a buffet with the best foods available, and your plate only being so big.

Of course gamedesign (and -fashion) has changed dramatically over the years, and things have absolutely become better, more streamlined, more engaging and quicker; there's no denying that.

But the crux here is that demand has changed due to us changing as well. I used to be the biggest fan of the X-Com PC-game from the nineties. I can't recall how many times I played through it back then; I couldn't get enough. I picked it up again several years ago and rage quit halfway through the first tactical mission; I found it to be nigh unplayable!

So yeah; in my case, due to small windows of opportunity to game, and the unending range of games being released, the only ones that stand any real chance of being played are simple systems, which can be played from the book(let). Because knowing all rules by heart like we used to back in the 40K days is impossible when there's so many games to be played...
« Last Edit: August 14, 2022, 03:47:31 PM by Daeothar »
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Offline tikitang

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Re: Is over collecting driving us to lower complexity systems?
« Reply #59 on: August 15, 2022, 04:39:47 AM »
The original question was if over-collecting is driving us to simpler game systems...

This is a good point. I think I misunderstood the original question as being "Is the abundance of rules out there driving the creation of simpler systems?" But, looking back, I am not sure why I thought that's what was being asked...

I would say, in my case, I was on the lookout for a very simple rule system right from the start; I didn't have to collect my way to that point! I have never found learning tabletop game rules particularly easy. In the 90s I struggled -- to an embarrassing degree -- to understand the rules of even quite simple family board games. I think that this must have been some kind of learning difficulty, as I struggled with schoolwork just as much.

As such, I got into this hobby later in life by learning simpler systems and I have generally preferred rules that err in that direction. I have never been much of a collector of rules, though. I have tended to learn one set, try it out, then discard it if I haven't got on with it in some way.

A number of years ago I did take an interest in slightly more complex rule systems (e.g. I transitioned from Song of Blades and Heroes to the combat system from Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay), because I was looking for something that had a bit more "crunch", but when Ravenfeast was launched in 2020, I realised that sort of "entry level" ruleset was actually much more my cup of tea, and I have been pursuing systems of a similar low-complexity ever since.

« Last Edit: August 17, 2022, 04:50:03 AM by tikitang »

 

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