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Erloas

starting out - looking for advice

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So I'm sure there are a lot of threads like this, but I'm hoping this one is different enough to not just be pointed to the search function...

 

A bit of background, I love Battletech and WH Fantasy was pretty good (before AoS) and I played 40k not so much out of liking the system as it was the only game actually being played where I am.

 

My wife on the otherhand doesn't play any table top games, but I've gotten her into quite a few board games now.

I want to get back into playing at least some and would like to get some more models to paint.  However that is going to be a very hard sell if my wife isn't interested in the game.

She loves Steampunk and we both love the asthetics of Dystopian Wars.  So I figure at the very least even if we don't like the game we'll have some really cool models to paint.

 

I know if I handed her the rulebook we wouldn't make it anywhere.  And if I toss 150 pages worth of movement rules, special rules, LOS, damage, etc, etc. at her the game would be over before it started.

 

So I want to start small, get her used to the basics (and since she doesn't have any experience with TT gaming even the movement is going to be new) and having fun.  Once that is done we can start adding in more parts of the game, expanding what we bring and how many rules we're using.

But even though I've read the rules there is a bit of a gap between reading them and knowing how the game will actually play.

 

From a purely astethic point of view she has chosen the Eclipse Company.  That is fixed, it is not going to change.

 

So now I need to figure out what aerial battle group to pick out to face her.  I want something without too many special rules (or at least special rules I can ignore for a while without giving up all of the stregth of the unit) that will give us a fairly even match.

 

This is the point where reading the rules and have a clear and solid foundation of them to judge units and how they will preform doesn't happen without actual experience playing.

 

We're really only looking at picking up the base battle groups at this point.  Though if we need to pick up (and probably split) a naval group so some of the bombers and such have something to do we will probably do that.  (even if it wouldn't necessarily be a legal army list)

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I would humbly suggest the Prussian Empire. Also a fairly straightforward force to play (basically one defensive MAR of Rugged Construction to balance her shields, and one special weapon to learn in the tesla coils - and really, who doesn't want to shoot lightning bolts?!?), and while their aerial battle group doesn't come with bombers (oh, shucks, an excuse to buy more models later to "balance" things out....) just lots of very nice looking blimps - really, the Imperium sky fortress is still one of the most gorgeous and steampunky models in the whole range!

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Hi, and welcome to the game.

 

Firstly, no  you are not asking a silly or obvious question.

 

The Eclipse company fliers are partially set up to hunt surface units, not other fliers. Most of the aerial battle groups fall into this pattern - as you suspect, bombers are designed to bomb stuff, not be swift and agile interceptors! For an opposing aerial group, I'd probably go with the FSA or Blazing Sun. Mainly fairly simple to use, and many of their special rules are simply built into their stats, so are very easy to use.

 

It is worth noting that  you won't be able to ignore support aircraft squadrons (SAS) for long. The air groups are centred on carriers, and fighters are effective tools to deal with opposing fliers. It may be a big block of rules, but

 

The plan of picking up a naval group to split ( to start with) is sound.  Personally, I would go for one of the other mercenary companies- the East India Company or Australians would both work, and are fairly simple to use.

 

James

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I have been teaching my neighbor who is essentially the same way: I cannot get him to read anything rules related. he barely understands the ORBAT's. It's even more frustrating because he is winning and doing well, but mostly because I make plenty of mistakes. He seriously thinks it would take a lot of his time, and that reading the rulebook would somehow change me teaching him the game for the worse. I honestly don't understand it; he's bought a basic fed army and been doing great. He's been excited, even thinking about expanding his army. Yet he demands ignorance of any rules I don't directly teach him due to some fear he has of the rulebook. In reality all I want him to do is look over the rules he should know, like the ones surrounding his ORBAT and strategy. His case is admittedly extreme.

 

Granted he know how to move (sort of) but having re-read the book recently there is a lot I missed and misinterpreted. For instance I took line of sight to mean needing to have range over the viewpoints which appears to be wrong (It's actually if you can reach the base, right?). So far what I have done is printed out a summary sheet, the orbats we use, etc and we have been playing just fine; but we've been playing very simple, no scenery/TAC's, small table, 1000 or less size games. 

 

How I plan on teaching him is to print out more bits I think we need such as the MARS list. I plan on using the new specialist formations (French Chassuers x 2) and otherwise forcing him to stop hiding behind his bunker installation by getting him more familiar with the rules through example. He's seen most of the french land units by now, I plan on introducing him to Skimmers and Scenery.

 

As to being relevant to the OP: Learn the rules best you can and practice explaining them. Most people understand the concept of "roll high to do good" and "more dice is good" so DW is easy to teach in that regard, it's the more subtle rules that have been killing me. Walk your student through small games at first and introduce new mechanics every game. Some people will get interested and invest more time, some won't. 

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I had looked at Prussia, but I thought the Tesla added a bit much to the rules to start out with.  Also with them and FSA they seem to have quite a few robots, I'm not all that fond of the robot aesthetics and they seem to complicate the rules quite a bit, though I know they aren't included in the base sets we are looking at.

 

I'm glad Blazing Sun is a good option, I really liked their look, they were probably my second choice behind PLC but the PLC seemed to have way too many special rules.

 

It looks like the Australian naval group looks like the best option, lot of models and an even number of each so it will be easy to split.

 

 

Thank you for the advice.

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With FSA the robots are really unnecessary. They have by far the most varied aerial forces even with only taking into account the fixed wing and airship options. The only thing is that they have the least varied naval forces and their only non-robot doesn't have any anti air weapons other than its AA... But with the ground focus the HEC have I don't think it's a big drawback.

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I'm painting the Vauban Sky Fortress for my GF, tho I don't expect to run any games with her anytime soon.  Your wife may be the exception.  Some people naturally shy away if something appears to be too complex.  I've had this experience & reaction at times even when attempting to teach Low Complexity games. You'll know better how much patience & tolerance for complexity your wife has.  I'd recommend laying down minis & throwing dice as quickly as possible.  Start with the basics of movement, dice mechanics & stat values like Damage Rating, Crit Rating, Hull Points...Range Bands.  If it were me I'd start with 500-700 of Naval with no aerial units, not even SAS tokens, just basic ship to ship combat.  Using Large, Medium & Small vessels, no Dreadnoughts or Carriers as of yet.  It'll not only make for a less complex game but a faster one...which is Great for teaching beginners.  Hopefully this'll peak her interest and you can gradually increase the complexity.

 

People like what they like and I'll say initially I bought into the PLC Aerial Battlegroup because they looked awesome and were a nod to my Polish ancestry.  Though in actuality I ended up playing mostly Russian Navy...since most DW players I've come across play Naval.  The rules do allow for mixing Naval & Aerial so your money on the Eclipse Company wouldn't have gone to waste & they are Mercenaries that can be combined with other Nations.  Like many others, I'm not particularly fond of the Federated States Naval Vessels but the Operation Shadow Hunter boxed set is an incredible value with everything you need for two players right out of the box.  It's worth considering.  Otherwise you can't go wrong with the Battle Group Boxed sets, especially the newer 2.0 ones.  Your money, your choice, mileage may vary.  Happy Gaming!

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I would reccomend the Australians as a starter fleet.  They are very straightforward, easy to play and learn, and hit really well.  The best part is that they can ally with any core 7 fleet you decide to pick up.  We have done this with our playgroup with incredible success...

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I agree with Tex over here the Aussies are a great starting fleet for its ability to ally with anyone. For her design aesthetics however did you expose her to the Italian league they are very steam punky in both naval and aerial design with less of the game issues of the HEC, speaking as an HEC player. Narrow ships with funnels in odd places, bath tub like decks, narrow & pointy blimp envelopes and lift surfaces everywhere. This is mated with a more complete list of abilities, more model selection and a definite tactical doctrine.  HEC is very dependent to the kindness of strangers  

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I've decided to pick up EotBS and Eclipse company aerial fleets and the Australian naval fleet to split between us.  That seems like a good balance.  Having checked the points I was surprised that the Australian naval group was more points than both our aerial fleets combined, so it will give us plenty of options even if they don't start out as legal lists.

 

Since we came to DW for the really cool airships we're going to stay with that as our focus for at least a while.  I just want to mix a bit and make sure those bomb bays have some use. 

I'm not under the illusion that she'll be into the game as much as I am, but at least if she likes it some that will make it easier for me to pick up more later.

 

I had showed her the starter fleet for every single major and minor power and let her pick, which she did from an entirely visual point of view.  I'm not going to try to change her mind either (as that is more likely to end up with nothing than it is to get her to pick something else). 

 

 

As for her avoiding the game if it seems too complex, that is the case.  Which is why I'm looking to learn the game as best as I can (without actually being able to play) so I can avoid the really complicated bits for a while.  If I can start small and start simple I'm sure she is more than capable of figuring out all the parts of the game.  But if I try to do too much at once it likely won't go well.

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