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Less Dice Rolls, More Game

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I think cards can work if combined with clear and bright tokens. If the card itself is purely the base stats of the ship, or is nothing more than a name and icon (stats being on a single race sheet to allow easier updating of a single document rather than reprinting and mixing up ships with different card versions); then bright tokens on the card can easily show if a ship has status effects active upon it. 

One thing that would be worth considering with regard to tokens early on is the colour choices based upon colour blindness. It would be a very neat feature to make the tokens colour blind compatible (as much as is humanly possible and dealing with the most common forms of colour blindness). Another angle is, as always, to use creative shapes so that each token effect has a clear physical shape, giving both colour and shape as  reference points. 

On-ship info is great, but the space is always limited even on custom bases; if they can at least show shields and health that would be a big step forward in at least showing the ships most basic stat. 

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1 hour ago, Wolfgang Jannesen said:

Cards are totally unnecessary when services like battlescribe or even a notepad exist

I rather disagree.  With Battlescribe, the printouts can get busy, so someone may accidentally attribute one thing to another model, and that's assuming the person who wrote the Battlescribe file was perfectly accurate.  When Battlescribe or the notepad are not accurate, it throws things off.  Having an accurate card that you can pick up and provide to your opponent to look at with no misunderstanding is a great help.

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Aye, but battlescribe requires a 3rd party machine to operate and power to function during the game, and as said are not always as obvious to the other player. Notepads have always existed, but visually will never look as good as either cards or a tablet app

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We're going to have to agree to disagree here. I didn't find the cards that came with my blisters as useful as a printed battlescribe sheet, and having picked this game up during a stall in its life it wasn't easy for me I get my hands on everything all the old time players have. TAC cards and the like make me nervous because if you can't find them around you, it's off to the printer. If it doesn't sound like a big deal printing those off, that's why I don't see the need for cards.

Rather than bother with another extraneous thing to ship with each pack, I'm CERTAIN you're all capable of keeping track of a battlescribe-esque sheet (I know you have concerns with battlescribe, there is a dedicated Firestorm program made by a community member). I don't see how that would be any more or less complicated than a card, BUT it keeps warcradle from printing something we could be printing out at home with more detailed information. I'll be using these 3rd party list maker programs purely because I like having all my MAR and cohesion rules in front of me, and I like changing the upgrades and hard points depend on on the fight, which was another thing the pre-printed cards suffer for.

 

 

 

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Agree with @Wolfgang Jannesen  and others on a few points.  Summary:

- a tool that builds fleets math is useful. We have 2 volunteer efforts already and one or both can be improved. A ledgible paper printout is no less easy to read than cards. 

- 12-30 ship cards consumes too much needed space in table 

- it’s difficlt to print MAR definitions  and account for varied upgrades on single ship cards  

- apps are not cool for tracking ship status/damage.  Both players must see status/damage on the table to enable them make game decisions  

- tactical fleet actions (now TAC cards) are good but cards aren’t necessary either:  players could simply choose, write down on secret paper, then reveal  

- when 3.0 comes out, want it easy for people to dust off models, download rules, play, say “this is better!” and then buy newer/more models, play again. I feel strongly that community does not need a barrier that they have to buy new tools/cards/bases, etc to even try 3.0

 

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6 hours ago, Wolfgang Jannesen said:

We're going to have to agree to disagree here. I didn't find the cards that came with my blisters as useful as a printed battlescribe sheet, and having picked this game up during a stall in its life it wasn't easy for me I get my hands on everything all the old time players have. TAC cards and the like make me nervous because if you can't find them around you, it's off to the printer. If it doesn't sound like a big deal printing those off, that's why I don't see the need for cards.

Rather than bother with another extraneous thing to ship with each pack, I'm CERTAIN you're all capable of keeping track of a battlescribe-esque sheet (I know you have concerns with battlescribe, there is a dedicated Firestorm program made by a community member). I don't see how that would be any more or less complicated than a card, BUT it keeps warcradle from printing something we could be printing out at home with more detailed information. I'll be using these 3rd party list maker programs purely because I like having all my MAR and cohesion rules in front of me, and I like changing the upgrades and hard points depend on on the fight, which was another thing the pre-printed cards suffer for.

Battlescribe sheets can be as busy as (if not more then) your notepad.  This is where the confusion can come in.  All it takes is your opponent accidentally looking in the wrong spot (or you accidentally pointing to the wrong spot) for confusion to occur.  All that information is great for look up, but it increases the business of the sheet, and can be misinterpreted.

Moreover, the problem with Battlescribe and your notepad is that they aren't official.  We are dependent on you or a 3rd party to be accurate.  Battlescribe is dependent on the author to keep it updated, so we have to hope they stay interested in the game and maintaining it.

That isn't to say cards aren't superior in every case.  One can easily pick up the wrong card to show to your opponent, after all, and keeping up with erratas and edits are a pain in the arse.  Privateer Press also has had misprints of their cards from time to time.

My point was just to be aware of the issues along with it.  Cards are useful for many reasons, including a place to put tokens to avoid cluttering up the game space (I have seen people do this for X-Wing and WarmaHordes).

1 hour ago, Stoobert said:

Agree with @Wolfgang Jannesen  and others on a few points.  Summary:

- a tool that builds fleets math is useful. We have 2 volunteer efforts already and one or both can be improved. A ledgible paper printout is no less easy to read than cards. 

- 12-30 ship cards consumes too much needed space in table 

- it’s difficlt to print MAR definitions  and account for varied upgrades on single ship cards  

- apps are not cool for tracking ship status/damage.  Both players must see status/damage on the table to enable them make game decisions  

- tactical fleet actions (now TAC cards) are good but cards aren’t necessary either:  players could simply choose, write down on secret paper, then reveal  

- when 3.0 comes out, want it easy for people to dust off models, download rules, play, say “this is better!” and then buy newer/more models, play again. I feel strongly that community does not need a barrier that they have to buy new tools/cards/bases, etc to even try 3.0

1) I disagree.  On a printout, you can have multiple ships on the sheet with multiple MARs.  It is a very busy document.  True, there is no room to detail each MAR on a card, but they can be listed, and you are just as likely to need to be looking things up from the Fleet Manual as the card.

2) It didn't seem too much for Privateer Press games before last year.  Admittedly, they are going more and more to the War Room app these days, but the cards are still an option for the grognards or those whose battery life is limited.

3) True, but why do you need to have every MAR definition on a card?  In most cases, they are universal, and easily referenced.  Also, it is no more difficult to keep track of upgrades on a single ship card then it is on a squadron card.

4) Apps are very cool at tracking damage as they don't forget, and are very good at math.  Showing someone the damage on a ship in an app is just as easy as showing them on a card or on a Battlescribe sheet.  In addition, going app doesn't mean you have to get rid of tokens.  Heck, I've used both playing WarmaHordes with War Room 2.

5) Wait, you can write the TFA on a paper, but you can't write a MAR on card?  This is a bit of a double standard.  More to the point, no one has stated that cards are necessary, just very useful.

6) Then what are they going to review the rules on?  The same thing that they were going to run an app with?  The same paper that they can print a card on?  What about Tokens, either on the base, a card, or a printout?  There are always barriers to starting any game.  And for the most part, the people who have Firestorm stuff now can proxy most of the new stuff with what they already have.

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I think you misunderstood me on a few points but I’ll shrug or say “different strokes” to all but one: I’m not suggesting people track damage and effects on an app nor a paper printout.  I think ideally both need to be tracked visibly on the table, using dice or tokens ...and I think that computers being good at counting HP isn’t the point - people can forget to click a button or click it twice just as easily as they can make a mistake on paper or card. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Stoobert said:

I think you misunderstood me on a few points but I’ll shrug or say “different strokes” to all but one: I’m not suggesting people track damage and effects on an app nor a paper printout.  I think ideally both need to be tracked visibly on the table, using dice or tokens ...and I think that computers being good at counting HP isn’t the point - people can forget to click a button or click it twice just as easily as they can make a mistake on paper or card.

Very true, a lot of personal preferences regarding things is being presented on both sides, but you seemed to miss my point regarding the app.  Going with an app doesn't mean you don't have to do away with Tokens or HP dice on the table.  Having an app is actually considered the "cool" thing these days.  Even though there are apps for WarmaHordes and Warhammer, people still use their dice and tokens for many of those things, even if the app handles it.  Some people like to have that tactile connection to what is happening on the table, and it is a lot quicker to see it on the table.  Heck, that is half the reason Dropfleet has their bases set up to provide a lot of that information.   In the end, that doesn't mean an app couldn't still be very very useful or cool.

If properly set up, an app will provide a fleet creation tool as well as a edoc version of the rules and Fleet Manuals.  The Fleet Manuals can have links in the MARs to the rules edoc for quick access.  War Room does this, and aside from having to open a very large and cumbersome PDF, is actually quite convenient.

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While you can do a lot with a smart phone, I can’t see a way to use it to directly facilitate and improve gameplay.

Best way I could see using a phone (beyond as a portable document holder) for 2.0 is to have it help with AD Pool math.  However, even with a great interface, there are potentially a lot of variables to input (rangeband per weapon per ship with damage) which takes time.  Sure, if you front-load all the Squadrons, and also track damage as it happens, this process can be faster, but in the end, you’ll end up doing a lot of game bookkeeping twice... unless both players are using the app in a way that allows information sharing.  That would eliminate the need to track all that in the playing space with markers/tokens.

If you took this all the way, I can see it being something like clicking on a Squadron from the digital fleet list (built within the app), clicking on available weapons, clicking a target for the attack, clicking rangebands for each weapon... then both players receive the results as an update.  Eliminates all dice-rolling and book-keeping for damage/effects.

Hmm, maybe something like that would speed up gameplay enough to make it worthwhile.

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An augmented reality game would be pretty cool.  If you viewed the table through your phone/tablet, you could actually see the ships on fire, fighters being launched, etc.

But, if we need a phone to help out with AD calculations...that pretty much says to me that the AD method is wrong.  In the end, I tend to agree with @Ryjak's first statement; there is a lot you can do with a smartphone, but it's hard to see how they improve the actual game play.  There are just too many barriers (cost, development time, wi-fi access, players having correct version of the app, everyone having a device, battery power, etc) to making it all work together.

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Cost of development and development time is the only real barrier at this point.  Most people who have access to this game also have access to a smart phone in one form or another.  The development across platforms is the biggest cost issue, unless you use a convenient language like HTML that can be used across them all.  Unfortunately, the more flexible a language, the less powerful it is.  Even if we just went with a reference guide , that would be a huge help, but being able to do AD calculation would also be helpful.

Now, I do not suggest that we consider the app as the only solution, just as a useful tool to be used alongside everything else we bring to the table.

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Id steer clear of apps. Ive played against folk who have loaded their battlescribe lists onto their 'pads and the fights have dragged on as he scrolled left and right, zoomed and unzoomed etc. I think the more common problem with app based gaming, as opposed to forgetting to press a button or track an event, is to fully charge your 'pad for the evening!

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I like the exploding 6's on defence it adds an element of tension and luck and on offence 

Seen 1 shield stop around 4 damage to save a ship  - seen 3 shields I think it was fail to save 1 

Seen a 2 dice shot nearly double  crit a dinzi BS 

It's a 5 second task - it probably adds a few minutes to a game but can swing it around and makes things more exciting 

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