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Author Topic: Arguing when money talks: Der Soldner. A Review  (Read 3550 times)

Offline JW Boots

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Re: Arguing when money talks: Der Soldner. A Review
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2024, 07:08:56 AM »
Let me know when this becomes available in the U.S.  you have a Customer.

It should be available in the US via Amazon.com. A friend of mine checked it if he could order it and he could…

Offline mweaver

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Re: Arguing when money talks: Der Soldner. A Review
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2024, 09:53:25 PM »
Excellent, thanks!  I just ordered it thought the U.S. version of Amazon.  $22.73 and eligible for Prime free shipping.  Amazon claims a Monday delivery.  Not sure about that, but I hope so.

Offline mweaver

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Re: Arguing when money talks: Der Soldner. A Review
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2024, 11:01:19 PM »
My copy, ordered Friday through Amazon, did in fact just arrive.  Yay!  Just started reading it.

-Michael

Offline JW Boots

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Re: Arguing when money talks: Der Soldner. A Review
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2024, 06:25:32 AM »
My copy, ordered Friday through Amazon, did in fact just arrive.  Yay!  Just started reading it.

-Michael

Wauw, interesting. My publishers has a Print on Demand setup and it normally takes a few weeks… I was just about to reply that to your earlier message, but this is most interesting to learn. Thanks!

Offline jon_1066

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Re: Arguing when money talks: Der Soldner. A Review
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2024, 09:33:37 AM »
It looks like they are using the Amazon print on demand system.  Mine arrived within 48 hours of ordering in the UK. 

I've had a first peruse of the rules and they are making my head hurt!  It looks like one of those systems where if someone showed you it would be easy but trying to write it clearly and turn that into actions on the board is much harder to grasp.

To that end do you have any "how to play" or walk throughs of a game on the blog?  Also how do you track info between ROSES - I'm specifically thinking previous combats (casualty figures?), ongoing events and current orders. 

Offline JW Boots

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Re: Arguing when money talks: Der Soldner. A Review
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2024, 03:18:20 PM »
It looks like they are using the Amazon print on demand system.  Mine arrived within 48 hours of ordering in the UK. 

I've had a first peruse of the rules and they are making my head hurt!  It looks like one of those systems where if someone showed you it would be easy but trying to write it clearly and turn that into actions on the board is much harder to grasp.

To that end do you have any "how to play" or walk throughs of a game on the blog?  Also how do you track info between ROSES - I'm specifically thinking previous combats (casualty figures?), ongoing events and current orders.

I added examples in the text to illustrate. The Blog has many AARs, also of games played during development and testing.  I like the suggestion of doing a “how to play”, but I need to find the time. Right now I am planning to do a participation demo at the Joys of Six in Sheffield in July…

A friend of mine suggested starting a Facebook group… would that be of help?

Offline jon_1066

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Re: Arguing when money talks: Der Soldner. A Review
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2024, 04:29:15 PM »
I'm not on Facebook but if you are willing to answer questions on here that would be awesome.

I'm a bit confused by movement.  Lets take the example in the book of the 4 Reiters ordered to advance on the Spanish on page 28.  The order takes 4 minutes to be delivered and then they act on it.  They have 2 minutes left of the ROSE so do you roll a time check for the Reiters for each 100 paces covered?  eg they are advancing at the walk so roll 2D6 and if they have time left roll again 2D6 for the next 100 paces?  Or do you measure the distance to the target and roll that many 100 paces, eg its 400 paces so roll 8D6 to determine how long it will take?  If you roll 3 minutes they get 2/3 of the way there and are marked as an ongoing event?  Do they stay in formation or do you roll separately for each unit?  What is the purpose of the likelyhoods on the measuring stick?  Is that just if you want to go over the standard pace? Is that only if it is argued against? 
« Last Edit: May 22, 2024, 04:34:04 PM by jon_1066 »

Offline JW Boots

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Re: Arguing when money talks: Der Soldner. A Review
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2024, 09:13:19 AM »
I'm a bit confused by movement.  Lets take the example in the book of the 4 Reiters ordered to advance on the Spanish on page 28.  The order takes 4 minutes to be delivered and then they act on it.  They have 2 minutes left of the ROSE so do you roll a time check for the Reiters for each 100 paces covered?  eg they are advancing at the walk so roll 2D6 and if they have time left roll again 2D6 for the next 100 paces?  Or do you measure the distance to the target and roll that many 100 paces, eg its 400 paces so roll 8D6 to determine how long it will take?  If you roll 3 minutes they get 2/3 of the way there and are marked as an ongoing event?  Do they stay in formation or do you roll separately for each unit?  What is the purpose of the likelyhoods on the measuring stick?  Is that just if you want to go over the standard pace? Is that only if it is argued against?
[/quote]

I am more than happy to answer any question. And any channel is OK for that. You may also reach out to me via email at: janwillemboots@gmail.com.

On the Reiters. Time checks, like argument-counterargument resolutions, have the full disputed part of a proposal in scope. In this case the Reiters moving some 200 paces. The time check is on the full 200 paces. If they pass the check they move 200 paces. If they fail they move 0 paces. You may propose they move more than 200 paces. Actually as much as you like, but this will increase the number of D6 in the time check and as a result lower the probability of passing the check, and hence moving at all.

The measuring sticks use colour gradients to emphasise this is not a game in which moves are exact. No competition-like millimetre discussions. The colours are suggestions for judging proposals that have units move more than typical. Green being what a given unit may typically move in 1 minute, and in my own experience players then often accept the proposed move distance. In fact, I find that at my club we hardly use the sticks anymore. Eyeballing working just fine for proposals and others deciding to dispute or not.

Note that in the example the initial proposal is on Philip issuing an order followed by, and including, the Reiters moving some 200 paces. The other player may also simply accept the Reiters moving after being given the order to do so, in which case they simply move.

I have kept all tests, checks, etc. as straightforwards as possible with only simple pass or fail, happens or doesn’t happen, outcomes. No partial successes, or failures, or “if this than that” sort of results. No broad spectrum of possible outcomes that, I find, are mostly hard to remember. The game is based on a proposal being made that is being checked for it to happen or not all. In case of a counter-proposal either the proposal or the counter-proposal happens in full. Note that only parts in the proposal that are being disputed are checked for it to happen or not. Those parts that are accepted happen as proposed.

Offline JW Boots

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  • Posts: 38
Re: Arguing when money talks: Der Soldner. A Review
« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2024, 09:59:16 AM »
how do you track info between ROSES - I'm specifically thinking previous combats (casualty figures?), ongoing events and current orders.
[/quote]

Der Söldner is designed with, ideally, a tabletop without any clutter in mind. I am not a fan of putting dice next to a unit, or chips, or whatever. But that is me and the game does allow one to do so for marking/noting/remembering anything relevant. Like for example ongoing events, orders, etc.

Note that ongoing events are marked at the start of each ROSE. At my club we do this by making a mental note, but one could use something more tangible like a token of some sort. If any proposal impacts the ongoing event as marked the token can be removed to indicate it is no longer relevant. If not than in the closing step they can be picked up one by one when each ongoing event is being resolved in turn.

On casualties. The keyword PREVIOUS COMBAT can be used to refer to that in any subsequent argument. Der Söldner focusses more on the overall effect of a combat - like fall back, flee, etc -  and less on the casualties that lead to that effect. In other words, its line of reasoning is that a unit has suffered, for example, a fall back and therefore may have lost an x-amount of casualties instead of a unit has lost an x-amount of casualties and therefore falls back. In a next combat the keyword PREVIOUS COMBAT can be used to argue that the unit is less likely to prevail because it has previously suffered a fall back which means it will have lost a certain number of men, or its morale is impacted, etc. My thinking here is that the exact number of casualties inflicted on a unit in a particular combat would not have been as exactly known as many other rules suggest. On the other hand, how a unit eventually reacts is for all to see.

Offline jon_1066

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  • Posts: 949
Re: Arguing when money talks: Der Soldner. A Review
« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2024, 02:00:52 PM »


I am more than happy to answer any question. And any channel is OK for that. You may also reach out to me via email at: janwillemboots@gmail.com.

On the Reiters. Time checks, like argument-counterargument resolutions, have the full disputed part of a proposal in scope. In this case the Reiters moving some 200 paces. The time check is on the full 200 paces. If they pass the check they move 200 paces. If they fail they move 0 paces. You may propose they move more than 200 paces. Actually as much as you like, but this will increase the number of D6 in the time check and as a result lower the probability of passing the check, and hence moving at all.

The measuring sticks use colour gradients to emphasise this is not a game in which moves are exact. No competition-like millimetre discussions. The colours are suggestions for judging proposals that have units move more than typical. Green being what a given unit may typically move in 1 minute, and in my own experience players then often accept the proposed move distance. In fact, I find that at my club we hardly use the sticks anymore. Eyeballing working just fine for proposals and others deciding to dispute or not.

Note that in the example the initial proposal is on Philip issuing an order followed by, and including, the Reiters moving some 200 paces. The other player may also simply accept the Reiters moving after being given the order to do so, in which case they simply move.

I have kept all tests, checks, etc. as straightforwards as possible with only simple pass or fail, happens or doesn’t happen, outcomes. No partial successes, or failures, or “if this than that” sort of results. No broad spectrum of possible outcomes that, I find, are mostly hard to remember. The game is based on a proposal being made that is being checked for it to happen or not all. In case of a counter-proposal either the proposal or the counter-proposal happens in full. Note that only parts in the proposal that are being disputed are checked for it to happen or not. Those parts that are accepted happen as proposed.

Thanks for the replies - very helpful. 

I see, so If I propose that Philip gives the order and the Reiters will advance to shoot at the enemy in this ROSE that would imply they have to leg it and as such may be very unlikely since they only have 2 minutes after the order time check. 

If I propose Philip gives the order for them to simply advance on the enemy at normal pace you roll the time check for Philip's order and they simply proceed forward at their standard pace in whatever time is left. 

If Philip's order had been given in two minutes rather than six then they will have enough time to get there.  In the example they don't so it is marked as an ongoing event and therefore at the end of the next ROSE they automatically advance the remainder (assuming the ROSE itself was long enough). 

If the ROSE was only 1 minute either a narrator has to propose they get a move on and canter (which could be disputed and hence you make a roll) or they just plod on a further 100 yards if they aren't involved in an event in that ROSE. 

I presume also that the Spanish player could propose an event for the moving Reiters (ie the Spanish cavalry will charge the Reiters) in the next ROSE.  Or even the Reiters are filled with fear when gazing upon the magnificent mustaches of the Spanish and therefore halt (Nearly Impossible).  The limits on action dice prevent players proposing silly/highly unlikely events when they are the narrator as they presumably have other better things to do?

Offline JW Boots

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Re: Arguing when money talks: Der Soldner. A Review
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2024, 07:52:31 AM »
Thanks for the replies - very helpful. 

I see, so If I propose that Philip gives the order and the Reiters will advance to shoot at the enemy in this ROSE that would imply they have to leg it and as such may be very unlikely since they only have 2 minutes after the order time check. 

If I propose Philip gives the order for them to simply advance on the enemy at normal pace you roll the time check for Philip's order and they simply proceed forward at their standard pace in whatever time is left. 

If Philip's order had been given in two minutes rather than six then they will have enough time to get there.  In the example they don't so it is marked as an ongoing event and therefore at the end of the next ROSE they automatically advance the remainder (assuming the ROSE itself was long enough). 

If the ROSE was only 1 minute either a narrator has to propose they get a move on and canter (which could be disputed and hence you make a roll) or they just plod on a further 100 yards if they aren't involved in an event in that ROSE. 

I presume also that the Spanish player could propose an event for the moving Reiters (ie the Spanish cavalry will charge the Reiters) in the next ROSE.  Or even the Reiters are filled with fear when gazing upon the magnificent mustaches of the Spanish and therefore halt (Nearly Impossible).  The limits on action dice prevent players proposing silly/highly unlikely events when they are the narrator as they presumably have other better things to do?

As I read your examples they are correct on all accounts.

What I have tried to do is to not develop rules that strictly prescribe how things are to be done, in which order, or that put hard and exact limits on how far units can move, shoot, etc. I have more than once found that such mechanics can make it hard to recreate historic situations as they they happened, or at least how they are described as having happened, unless one comes up with a workaround, a “special” rule, or similar. Der Söldner basically just asks you to make a proposal by telling everybody what you think will happen, how, and why. The rules then provide a framework to facilitate that discussion and add uncertainty and friction. In hindsight I perhaps shouldn’t have called it “rules”…

So yes, you are allowed to propose the Reiters to rush forwards and move more than what in other rules would be listed as their movement rate. But it comes at a risk and/or a cost. The choice is for you and your fellow players, not mine as an author.

P.S. I am not sure if it would be nearly impossible in the year 1580 for Reiters in Dutch service to be impressed by magnificent Spanish moustaches… I might judge it slightly more likely. If only because it might suggest to the Reiters the Spanish received better pay. How else to have a moustache like that… It would be another 10 or so years before the Dutch sorted out paying the army properly, but when they did, methinks, they really nailed it. For the Spanish it only got worse. But all that is a whole story on its own.

Offline jon_1066

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Re: Arguing when money talks: Der Soldner. A Review
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2024, 12:41:45 PM »
Thanks for the clarifications.  I have to say these are a very interesting toolkit for fighting out historic battles and I really like your approach. 

I had a mini test battle last night with myself as both players and the umpire and I have to say it worked really well.  It was a 6 mm scale encounter with pike blocks 25 mm square, cavalry 50 by 20 and a ground scale of 1 cm equals 25 yards.  Played quick, gave a believable outcome and was engaging.  An unlikely event came good for one side early on and things snowballed from there.  The dice could have turned things around for the loser but they were eventually swept from the field.

The playthrough highlighted to me a few things to track:
Some way of showing the time for the current ROSE as I kept forgetting. 
A method for tracking time bonus for ongoing events in the next ROSE (eg a commander issuing orders that failed its timecheck).
Remembering to keep the control dice and time check/event dice separate.
Having a place to discard used control dice to not get them confused.

Just some feedback on the rules if you ever do a v2.  On page 20 under time checks the wording is slightly confusing in English.  It states "A dispute may not target the action a unit is being proposed to do".  In English this wording implies that this is prescriptive ie it is not allowed.  eg if I said to my kids they may not go to the swimming pool I'd be rather unhappy if I found them later in the pool.  Obviously your intention is that it is something that may or may not occur.  In this instance "might" would be more suitable.  ie "A dispute might not target the action a unit is being proposed to do"  That is still quite an ugly sentence in English so something like "A dispute might not target a unit's proposed action but only be about whether the unit can complete the action in the time available."

Ultimately though love the rules, the whole idea and can't wait to have a proper go with them.

Offline JW Boots

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  • Posts: 38
Re: Arguing when money talks: Der Soldner. A Review
« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2024, 02:26:21 PM »
The playthrough highlighted to me a few things to track:
Some way of showing the time for the current ROSE as I kept forgetting. 
A method for tracking time bonus for ongoing events in the next ROSE (eg a commander issuing orders that failed its timecheck).
Remembering to keep the control dice and time check/event dice separate.
Having a place to discard used control dice to not get them confused.

I am happy to read you like it, and very much appreciate your questions and feedback. I really would like to thank you for that.

Will there be a v2? Most likely, but it will be a while. I first made a free, pdf-only supplement (The Warrior) covering the ancient and medieval period. Now I am working on a follow-on ruleset (working title Le Soldat) covering the late 17th to early 19th century, in which I want to do a few things different to see if I can get it to work… perhaps even write it in such a way that a sort of pick-and-choose setup between these rules and Der Söldner is possible… it’s a nice but time consuming puzzle.

For tracking the amount of time of a ROSE we use a very, very large and bright yellow D6. More than 6 minutes is possible, on the other hand in a 6 minute ROSE a lot can happen. We therefore usually set a max of 6 minutes on ROSEs as that’s how far the D6 goes…

For ongoing events I note that players tend to put a D6 next to the commander to indicate how many minutes were already spend… As I mentioned, I am no fan of clutter, but this is what players seemingly find OK to do…

Discarding control dice and not mixing them up with time checks is indeed a bit of a thing… I use different coloured dice, but… well, perhaps I think of something while developing Le Soldat.

 

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