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Author Topic: What are the Top Things that Attract You to a Rules System?  (Read 5983 times)

Offline Easy E

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    • Blood and Spectacles
What are the Top Things that Attract You to a Rules System?
« on: March 24, 2023, 06:39:45 PM »
Greetings all,

I more I try to figure out what people like to play, the more I realize that I have no idea what people like to play! 

That being said, what are the top 3 things that attract you to a rule system.  That EXCLUDES things like the model line, the local player base, etc.  I am wondering what do you see in a rule set itself, that makes you think..... Hmmmm, I think I want to give that a whirl?.... let's try to keep it downt o three things. 

For me, I think they are:

1. Scale and model agnostic because I all ready have a lot of models and I am NOT rebasing them to play.

2. No casualty removal.  I spent a long time painting these, I want to see them on the table.

3. Opposed dice pools.  I like rolling decent amount of dice, but not obscene amounts; and I like being able to do something when the other player is doing stuff.   

Before, I used to put a lot of stock in activation systems as well, but my interest in that has died down a lot lately.

How about you? 
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Offline FifteensAway

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 4706
Re: What are the Top Things that Attract You to a Rules System?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2023, 07:39:22 PM »
1. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!!!!!!

2. No saving throws - it just slows down the action, incorporate into casualties.  I like to use casualty figures so I don't have an issue with casualty removal but see how its absence can speed play which is a good thing.

3. Minimal to zero use of cards of any kind (though I do use some systems with them) combined with minimal use of dice, I absolutely LOATHE buckets of dice rolling.  (And if that counts as two responses you can refund what you paid me to participate in your 'survey'!  lol )

And just because it matters - well organized rules that make it easy to reference and presented in a logical manner.  And, ESSENTIAL, a minimalist but practical Quick Reference Sheet.  (Uh-oh, do the extra responses mean I owe you a multiple of what you paid me?   :D )
« Last Edit: March 24, 2023, 07:43:34 PM by FifteensAway »

Offline Fitz

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 940
    • The Website of Fitz
Re: What are the Top Things that Attract You to a Rules System?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2023, 10:21:14 PM »
Fun, and the assumption that the players are going to be emotionally mature friends and not pettifogging loophole-seeking babies. I do like to win, but losing a really enjoyable game can be almost as good.

I know there are quite a lot of people who enjoy competitive tournament play, but it turns me right off. A real red flag for me is a system that prioritizes micro-managed "faction" building with oodles of special rules for any given army.

That doesn't much address the mechanics of rules sets I know, but there it is.

Offline Luigi

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 300
Re: What are the Top Things that Attract You to a Rules System?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2023, 11:05:05 PM »
The number of people near me that play it.
Or better said: the ease with which I can get games done.

Offline DivisMal

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  • Posts: 3311
  • Ghazkull‘s Favorite Brainboy
Re: What are the Top Things that Attract You to a Rules System?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2023, 11:22:11 PM »
1. simplicity and fun!
2. no meta games (I’m looking at you, Warhammer magic!), no special dice, no cards (at maximum a standard skat or poker deck), not too many tokens.
3. the game should be slightly unpredictable, tell a story, be fun for both/all players. If I want chess, I play go!

Offline Codsticker

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Re: What are the Top Things that Attract You to a Rules System?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2023, 12:22:06 AM »
1) Can I play this game with models already in my collection?
2) Does the rule set reasonably cover all the aspects of the period/war it is written for (I don't have to 100% like how a rule set deals with specific aspects of warfare but there should be a reasonable attempt to model them on the table).
3) I don't want to see a myriad of different mechanics being used. IE. draw cards for activation, roll low on 2D6 for moral, roll high on XD10 for melee, consult the flight of birds for random movement, etc..

Offline ithoriel

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 413
Re: What are the Top Things that Attract You to a Rules System?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2023, 01:19:20 AM »
Things that attract me:
General Principal: "Rules are for the advice of wise men and the adherence of fools" - attributed to Douglas Bader

1. Easy to learn, hard to master.

2. Either innovative mechanisms or interesting takes on old ones - otherwise why change from the rules I already use?

3. Modelling a genre/ period/ theatre I'm interested in in a way I find believable


Three things I don't care about:

1. Base Sizes - if the rule suggestions don't suit I change the rules. Hence my Strength and Honour stuff is based on a 50mm grid not a 75mm one and bases are 80x40mm not 120x60mm

2. Specified figures - I use whatever figures I want. Hence my having a Warmaster Lizardman that contains a Nazgûl, two Mûmakil and a couple of flocks of crebain.

3. Others having the rules/ armies/ whatever. I'm happy to play solo if I can't find any other opponent
 
There are 100 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who can work from incomplete data.

Offline FierceKitty

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1735
Re: What are the Top Things that Attract You to a Rules System?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2023, 01:59:54 AM »
1)   Accuracy. I am particularly turned off by stupid rationalisations ("No distinction is made between lead and stone sling shot, since the greater availability of the latter cancels out range and penetration advantages, and crack ancient slingers went to the trouble and expense of metal ammunition only because they were bored in the evenings"; likewise heavier bombards, bigger shields...), and by decisions that history takes second place to dogma ("Sengoku troops did not use pikes, and the innumerable pictures and examples saying otherwise are in our index of forbidden books").
2)   Understanding of the mathematics involved. If I'm instructed to subtract a negative number from the melee score of the enemy facing deep pike blocks, guaranteeing that my massive Swiss block can be thumped by a line of levied skirmishers in good going, I lose confidence in the set I'm looking at. Likewise with one that requires me to roll two D6s, with doubles equaling a special result (instead of just rolling for a 6, which gives exactly the same odds at less trouble).
3)   Intelligibility. OK, not everyone can write a grammatical sentence, punctuate to clarify meanings, or turn on spell checker (it seems). But if you want me to pay for a rule set, get the dam' thing edited by someone who can read and write. I might add that pedantically using Latin terms when there are English ones available moves from irritating to maddening if the writer gets the Latin wrong as well.
4)   Attention to historical records. Many of us rapidly gave up on DBM when we realised that Caesar's battles, using the right troops and the same tactics, led to reliable Roman defeats. I've lost count of the number of horse and musket rulesets where advancing assured one of annihilation, and cavalry were either utterly useless cannon-fodder or scythes in a field of ripe corn.
5)   Economy of equipment. If two normal dice and one D20 can't handle it, there's something wrong with the system. A ruler, preferably using both major systems (and not paces!) and perhaps a protractor should be enough in the line of playing aids.
6)   At most one simple army or fleet list, and no writing down minute damage effects. Lots of little dice all over the table are an unacceptable detraction from the spectacle.
7)   Practical simplicity. I think the "hit-wound-save" system is a sign of madness, equivalent to describing respiration as "breathe in - now inhale - now draw oxygen into your lungs...".
8 )   If I can't do Gaugamela or Leuthen in three hours with an experienced opponent, that set of rules is on its way out.

I have spoken.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2023, 07:19:32 AM by FierceKitty »
The laws of probability do not apply to my dice in wargames or to my finesses in bridge.

Offline eilif

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2384
    • Chicago Skirmish Wargames
Re: What are the Top Things that Attract You to a Rules System?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2023, 02:47:36 AM »
1. It's got to be rules lite
2. Well written is important as I find it hard to grok otherwise
3. Mechanics that are both simple and interesting

All that said I probably won't even look at a ruleset in a genre I'm not interested in and I'm far more likely to pay attention if it's a niche for which I don't already have a ruleset I love.

Offline Inkpaduta

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Re: What are the Top Things that Attract You to a Rules System?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2023, 03:21:42 AM »
No cards!

Figure removal. Can't stand suppression rules. I am here to kill things.

Short rules. No 40-60 pages of rules

Offline pieface paul

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 34
  • International man of mystery
    • Pauls Wargames Blog
Re: What are the Top Things that Attract You to a Rules System?
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2023, 12:54:46 PM »
1/ Lots of charts and tables.
2/ Detailed rules for every concievable eventuality.
3/ Written orders and rosters for casualties in numbers of men, not figures.
4/ None of this "fun" malarky, wargaming is a serious pastime for serious people!.



 ;)
Enough of this talking, let's get on.

Offline Comstr

  • Student
  • Posts: 13
Re: What are the Top Things that Attract You to a Rules System?
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2023, 01:43:12 PM »
Is there someone else I can play it with?

Is it in an era I'm interested in?

Can I get the figures for it easily? Can I get them already painted?

Are the rules well laid out in a book (I do not want to print out an entire rule book from PDF).

No area templates in game- I should not need to keep units 2" apart to avoid some random explosion. No angles on "you cannot fire here".

Can the non-active player do something during the other players turn? IE- if it is not my turn, is there any point to be being at the table?  I'd much prefer having some activity to do during it.

Are there YouTube video's showing me how to play. Yes, ALL THE RULES.

Are the army lists varied and able to give many options in building the army so I can play the army and style I like?

Can I build an army using excel or online web page and print it on one page.

A minimum of counters on the table, but some are ok - orders and 1(!) unit condition is fine.

Not too many dice to roll per action - more than 6 or so is too much to count.

Avoid the use of cards ideally - I shouldn't have to play a game of poker or Magic the Gathering in my wargame.

Avoid off board templates for orders- I should not need a separate table for that.

Are these in built solo rules?

Are there campaign rules, and do they allow the loser of the battle to recover in the next one (because every campaign rules I see seems to end in a deathball/death spiral).
« Last Edit: March 25, 2023, 03:05:21 PM by Comstr »

Offline Elbows

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 9505
Re: What are the Top Things that Attract You to a Rules System?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2023, 05:03:04 PM »
1. Fun
I mean this is kind of obvious, and also hugely subjective - and that's why we have so many different games.  Some people want simulations, some people want absurdity, some people want grime, some people want 'Hollywood' portrayals of stuff, etc.  It's all meaningless if you don't genuinely enjoy the game.  I see way too many people playing a game because they're invested in it...but have long since stopped having actual fun playing it.  A lot of people trick themselves into thinking they're enjoying a game, when really they enjoy all the ancillary things surrounding it - but not playing the actual game.  So, if you're not genuinely smiling, laughing, having a good time...why bother?  Now, that "fun" can be a very solemn, stern, concentrated effort during a serious simulation...but you're still having fun?  Good.

2. Non-Manipulative Marketing/Design

Some people may get up in arms over this, but I despise modern sales tactics/methods of "keeping" a customer.  I also understand there are some people who ignore this, or pretend it doesn't exist, but all of the modern sales tactics will keep me from buying into a game instantly.  Limited releases, the use of FOMO, new editions every three years, power creep to "sell" newest product, manipulative rules engineering, "buy this to get that", etc.  Now obviously the biggest offenders here are companies like Games Workshop, Fantasy Flight, Hasbro (with D&D), etc.  I will never play a game which is designed from the ground up to churn out purchases/money rather than deliver a solid, reliable, enjoyable game.  The tactics exist because obviously it works.  I have friends who won't blush at spending $500 on Warhammer models to replace the $500 worth of models they bought six months ago.  I don't begrudge the companies, it's a free world.  I just will not partake in the kind of manipulative game design stuff.

3. Cost.

As an adult, I have disposable income and can "afford" any game I've encountered, even the ridiculously priced ones.  However, that doesn't mean they're "worth" it to me.  People who disagree will use the argument 'oh so you can't afford...'.  Oh, I can afford - but I won't afford.  There are plenty of games or books or miniatures which simply aren't worth the cost to me.  I'm not a bargain bin gamer - I spend a lot of money on gaming stuff (a lot...), but paying $45 for a single plastic 28/32mm miniature?  Get stuffed.  You're out of your god damn mind.  So while price is not a big deal to me, you can easily ensure I'll never buy your product if you have stupid prices.  I don't care how/why you justify them - as a consumer I look solely at the value of what I'm getting.  "It's limited edition..." - don't care, it's still a small plastic figurine.

Bonus 4. Full Project Value
When I begin a gaming project I tend to go pretty hard.  This means fully painted large range of miniatures, fully finished terrain, probably several environments, neoprene gaming mats, hills, trees, storage containers, custom dice, etc. etc. etc.  I don't dabble in games.  So while I think a ton of other genres, concepts, theatres would be cool --- I always ask myself "Am I willing to invest hundreds of hours and potentially many hundreds of dollars into doing this...".  It helps keep me from diving into "here and now" projects that I know I'll lose interest in.  So it has to be something I'm dead serious about collecting/building/painting.  I've learned this the hard way from years of having a dozen small projects I was never going to finish.  Now I'm much more disciplined.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2023, 05:08:23 PM by Elbows »
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Offline Luigi

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 300
Re: What are the Top Things that Attract You to a Rules System?
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2023, 03:33:14 AM »
This is a really good question and these are some really good answer.

Offline tikitang

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 611
  • A shadow out of time...
Re: What are the Top Things that Attract You to a Rules System?
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2023, 10:06:45 PM »
1. Small Playing Area
2' x 2' max. Only have a 3' x 3' table and I don't wanna take up the whole area with a game. I like there to be room for rulebooks, phones and casualties on the same table.

2. Low Model Count
3-5 per side? Yes please! I'm all about characters, not armies.

3. Rules Light
Don't have a lot of free time or headspace... but no rules gaps. The system should be light, but watertight.

I despise modern sales tactics/methods of "keeping" a customer.  I also understand there are some people who ignore this, or pretend it doesn't exist, but all of the modern sales tactics will keep me from buying into a game instantly.  Limited releases, the use of FOMO, new editions every three years, power creep to "sell" newest product, manipulative rules engineering, "buy this to get that", etc.  Now obviously the biggest offenders here are companies like Games Workshop, Fantasy Flight, Hasbro (with D&D), etc.  I will never play a game which is designed from the ground up to churn out purchases/money rather than deliver a solid, reliable, enjoyable game.  The tactics exist because obviously it works.  I have friends who won't blush at spending $500 on Warhammer models to replace the $500 worth of models they bought six months ago.  I don't begrudge the companies, it's a free world.  I just will not partake in the kind of manipulative game design stuff.

Absolutely spot-on. I agree with every word of this.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2023, 04:14:30 PM by tikitang »
https://a-descent-into-the-maelstrom.blogspot.com/

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

 

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