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Toxic_Rat

The Beta Lives!

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2 minutes ago, Sebenko said:

I'd say hidden in the rulebook for a totally different game (frankensteinian jamming together of settings notwithstanding) is pretty hidden for anyone looking for DW background.

Needlessly edgy much?

You might say that, I couldn't possibly comment.  

I think though that whilst we may wish to look from perspective of players rather than fans of Classic Spartan games that there is a marketable game of 3.0 but hard to judge how marketable until we get the full game.  

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1 hour ago, Sebenko said:

In before thread locked for criticising WC.

As long as people remain polite and leave out personal insults/bad language and such there will be no locking of threads. 

Critique is the whole point of a beta, both good points and the bad points. The idea being to work on the good and improve the bad so improve the overall product. 

 

So nope no plans to lock anything - just keep the language polite and remember its perfectly fine to dislike something; but don't just shout about it - explain clearly WHY you dislike it. The why is important as it gives an idea of where things have gone wrong and what can be done to fix them not just what is wrong. 

 

Note this comment isn't focused on you, just on the general statement of "in before lock" 

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Throw it in the trash and start again where Spartan left off. 

You mean killing the company? But yeah, this threat mostly proves there is no point in relying on "old fans" when trying to promote a revival of an IP,  they just want the game that failed once already.

 

As for the ever useful comment of "if you didnt like X just dont do X", guess what, opponents could've boarded me even if I didnt board anything, and then I had to play out the confused, slow, unexciting "boarding" process anyway.  It was poorly written, poorly executed, and added no actual depth to the game.

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42 minutes ago, Pok said:

You mean killing the company? But yeah, this threat mostly proves there is no point in relying on "old fans" when trying to promote a revival of an IP,

There's so much wrong with that statement I don't know where to start.

42 minutes ago, Pok said:

they just want the game that failed once already.

I don't think I asked for Halo Fleet Battles, did I?

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42 minutes ago, Pok said:

You mean killing the company? But yeah, this threat mostly proves there is no point in relying on "old fans" when trying to promote a revival of an IP,  they just want the game that failed once already.

 

As for the ever useful comment of "if you didnt like X just dont do X", guess what, opponents could've boarded me even if I didnt board anything, and then I had to play out the confused, slow, unexciting "boarding" process anyway.  It was poorly written, poorly executed, and added no actual depth to the game.

The game didn't fail, the company did, elsewhile WC wouldn't have bought it.  At the same time fan love has been able to help revive other games while rejecting them can lead to tension that can mar a release.  While I accept what WC want to appeal to a new crowd and the simplification makes that easier, some of the absences that simplify certain elements like boarding, shield dice and dogfighting have for me and some others made them less dramatic and interesting.  There is a question of how much abstraction we want in a game.  We could put all our models on the table and roll a die until one of us gets a 6 and they win.  Its very efficient but loses the tactical fun.  I think myself and a lot of fans liked the clunky because it made the battle feel alive, random and rewarded tactical thinking.  Imperfect certainly, but not boring.  Streamlining it too far risks the opposite problem.  

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We could put all our models on the table and roll a die until one of us gets a 6 and they win

I will ignore the fact that this was literally the Spartan games' reputation online, the game where whoever rolls more 6s wins (due to exploding D6 and bucket of dice attacks), but there is nothing non-abstract about how boarding worked.  Nothing about the defender/attacker allocation was realistic, considering who won in which section of the ship had no result on what assault effects you got, and therefore made the whole thing a waste of everyone's time.

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1 hour ago, Pok said:

I will ignore the fact that this was literally the Spartan games' reputation online, the game where whoever rolls more 6s wins (due to exploding D6 and bucket of dice attacks), but there is nothing non-abstract about how boarding worked.  Nothing about the defender/attacker allocation was realistic, considering who won in which section of the ship had no result on what assault effects you got, and therefore made the whole thing a waste of everyone's time.

Yes... this was mainly how I have experienced the Spartan rules for both Firestorm Armada and Dystopian Wars... after you digested some of the finer point of the movement and when to activate what it mainly felt that games was defined by whoever managed to roll those important "6" first a couple of times. I don't think these rules will fix any of that and from what I read in the rules will just make it worse.

 

The things that I might like from the new rules are the focus on scenarios rather than just lining ships up and fire on each other until one lost 50% of their force.

 

What I generally don't like in most games of this character is the high attritional losses in them... from history we know that actual total losses in navy ships was rather low and those cases where they were more than 5-10% (in a particular battle) of a force are exceptions not the rule.

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1 hour ago, Pok said:

I will ignore the fact that this was literally the Spartan games' reputation online, the game where whoever rolls more 6s wins (due to exploding D6 and bucket of dice attacks), but there is nothing non-abstract about how boarding worked.  Nothing about the defender/attacker allocation was realistic, considering who won in which section of the ship had no result on what assault effects you got, and therefore made the whole thing a waste of everyone's time.

I do wonder what attracted you to discussing a game you so obviously hated.  I'm trying to divorce myself from the crunchy stuff I liked and make an effort to respect Warcradles version on its merit, and trying to explain the subjective reasons I think a little more granularity might pep up the system.  I never stated better only my preference and I didn't go out of my time to tell you anything was a waste of time.  This is a sensitive moment and rubbing salt into the wounds of Spartan fans isn't gallant at all.  Better to either discuss like adults where we seek to put the balance of efficiency to character, and don't spend time trashing stuff other people like just because we don't.  As I stated in some early posts I'm not sure this streamlining is as fun for me, but it seems to do a pretty good job at what it wants to be and thats fine.  Sebenko is more passionate, and feels things strongly.  

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The previous editions of Dystopian wars had far more complicated rules that were difficult to learn if you didn't take the time to read them and practice using them in games.  Boarding was not difficult or confusing.  I have won and lost games from boarding.  It was very tactical with a high risk/reward affect.  The rules on general for Dystopian wars 2.0 and 2.5 were very tactical and rollong dice better never won games.   I for one roll terribly and still won a good portion of my games against people who rolled very well.  Uou win by planning several turns in advance with your entire fleet.  You start at list building, deploying terrain, deploying you force and your actions on your turn.  If you deployed directly across from your opponent and ran strait at them then that is your fault.   

If at any time you did not understand how rules worked or what tactics worked best for the faction you played you should have gone to the forum.  It was a great resource then and I hope it will be again.  

The big thing I see from these initial rules is a complete lack of tactics.  That being said this is the beta and I believe it will get better with the full release.  I intend to see the full release before saying that it is terrible and I won't play and I think we should all do that.  We can point out the problems we personally have for it and try to give it a fair shake.  That's my long winded rant.

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I think its good to put the past of Spartan games down now and focus on what is before us with the Beta - it might be worth spreading this out into a couple of threads as clearly there are several issues already being raised that are worth separate detailed discussion:

 

The identity in terms of variety of weapons as well as combat flavour for factions is worth its own thread

Close combat also appears to be touching a sore spot here so I'd encourage those interested to put together another thread for that. 

 

With separate threads we can go into more detail tahn general comments. 

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Lets consider this as an oportunity to submit as much feedback as we can. Right now it is only the basic rules out, lets add more layers.

Although I love DW as a game, I was so dissapointed of 2.5 rules - that rulebook was published in terrible state - that in the end I played only Fleet Action (other reasons for that as well).

So, from my perspective if 3.0 is anywhere between 2.0 and Fleet Action in complexity, I will be happy sailor.

Where I see the ultimate danger right now is the core rules - I am under impression that maneuvering together with how LOS/fire arc works  is not sufficient for challenging game. It is too easy to fire weaponsyou want on targets you want. At this stage of beta I dont care about how firing is done, how many dice, how boarding works etc. I just want to have a game where clever maneuvers give you advantage against your oponent.

So lets work on this.

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I do wonder what attracted you to discussing a game you so obviously hated.

On the contrary, I enjoyed 1.0 and 1.1 a lot. But that was very much despite the rulebook's best attempts rather than thanks to them.  So yes, when I see that the new company  took steps to amend what was in my opinion the biggest stinkers (SRS spam and boarding), I will gladly voice my opinion in it's defense.

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17 hours ago, Overread said:

With separate threads we can go into more detail than general comments. 

Remember though, that only feedback given through the portal (not forums or FB) will be officially reviewed.  So while we can discuss things here, you do need to respond so that WC gets your input.

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4 hours ago, sleeping_squirrel said:

Lets consider this as an oportunity to submit as much feedback as we can. Right now it is only the basic rules out, lets add more layers.

Although I love DW as a game, I was so dissapointed of 2.5 rules - that rulebook was published in terrible state - that in the end I played only Fleet Action (other reasons for that as well).

So, from my perspective if 3.0 is anywhere between 2.0 and Fleet Action in complexity, I will be happy sailor.

Where I see the ultimate danger right now is the core rules - I am under impression that maneuvering together with how LOS/fire arc works  is not sufficient for challenging game. It is too easy to fire weaponsyou want on targets you want. At this stage of beta I dont care about how firing is done, how many dice, how boarding works etc. I just want to have a game where clever maneuvers give you advantage against your oponent.

So lets work on this.

I agree that with the current beta rules it is very easy to get line of sight.  Only needing any part of  the target models for line of sight.  Also, with the range bands, playing on a 3 foot by 3 foot table, and measuring closet point to closest point makes shooting very easy at turn 1.  With the weapons as they are everyone can fire at range band 3 at equal effectiveness.  This will make the game faster, but I feel it will make maneuvering less important.  Setting up the terrain in a mutual way can add to this if very little terrain is used.  I didn't see anything stating how much terrain to use so I am under the assumption it is completely up to the players.  I think using a lot of small pieces of terrain can help add maneuvering back into the game.  What do you all think?

On a side note.  Torpedoes seem to be very effective.  There are fewer ways to add submerged defense than aerial defense and the are effective at range band 3.  They also ignore shields and shrouded on the initial target.

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6 hours ago, Toxic_Rat said:

officially reviewed.  So while we can discuss things here, you do need to respond so that WC gets your input.

Considering WC's lock-happy attitude to discussion so far (God forbid you do anything other than smile and nod on the facebook group), I don't think it matters. I'll be surprised if more than typo reporting gets acted on. I think my previous 'feedback' is as likely to be acted on as any more detailed response, so why bother wasting keystrokes?

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Stat Cards were all the rage a few years ago when Warmachine hit the market. They were neat and still are in that they let you easily track unit stats by putting the cards you need on the table rather than having an army list or a rule book that you flip back and forth in. Esp if the design of the game means that we don't see dedicated army books for each faction (or if we do its a few years off at best before there are enough models and lore to justify such publications).

 

The thing is that any printed media can be updated by changes in the balance of the game. Warmachine found this out and has mostly given up wth printed cards because when they revised their rule structure to one that updated stats a lot faster, it was not economical to keep producing and selling cards; not economical to put cards in boxes which then went out of date and thus left them either having retailers selling old stock or having to have them repackaged (which is a significant cost and hassle to organise with 3rd parties). 

 

I think stat cards might work well for the launch of the game as it might be a year or two before we'd see big updates in the game balance and stats (assuming the beta testing phase goes well in that regard). So cards would work at launch and if WC keeps to a slower 0 even if just annual - update of rules then they could sell printed update packs for players to purchase direct. 

 

Of course app. based game aids help a lot in speeding up delivery of new updated stats; however they are not universally accepted and come with their own downsides (having to own a device to read it - having to charge it pre-game and/or having charging ports at the site - having to deal with overheating, crashes, software slowdown etc...

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8 minutes ago, Overread said:

Stat Cards were all the rage a few years ago when Warmachine hit the market. They were neat and still are in that they let you easily track unit stats by putting the cards you need on the table rather than having an army list or a rule book that you flip back and forth in. Esp if the design of the game means that we don't see dedicated army books for each faction (or if we do its a few years off at best before there are enough models and lore to justify such publications).

 

The thing is that any printed media can be updated by changes in the balance of the game. Warmachine found this out and has mostly given up wth printed cards because when they revised their rule structure to one that updated stats a lot faster, it was not economical to keep producing and selling cards; not economical to put cards in boxes which then went out of date and thus left them either having retailers selling old stock or having to have them repackaged (which is a significant cost and hassle to organise with 3rd parties). 

 

I think stat cards might work well for the launch of the game as it might be a year or two before we'd see big updates in the game balance and stats (assuming the beta testing phase goes well in that regard). So cards would work at launch and if WC keeps to a slower 0 even if just annual - update of rules then they could sell printed update packs for players to purchase direct. 

 

Of course app. based game aids help a lot in speeding up delivery of new updated stats; however they are not universally accepted and come with their own downsides (having to own a device to read it - having to charge it pre-game and/or having charging ports at the site - having to deal with overheating, crashes, software slowdown etc...

DWars classic in the good old days got round it with the yllan stat cards and their continued update.  The many modular boats makes this and balance more interesting along with the need for two versions for normal and crippled.  I'm not sure without a basic stat card and then weapon list how plausible or easy stats will be to access.  More player choice though.

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And doing adjustments to stats is super important.  I do also see the benefit of stat-cards. It makes it easy to track the stats you want.

Printable statscards may be a way to go. But if so, please print the version on the stats them self. Even better, make an army builder which creates a pdf with only the stats you need on it.

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The main issue with home printing is that 99.9% of home printing people have cheap printers and use cheap paper. Ergo the quality is rather low and that's before you get to having to cut them out and perhaps sticking them on a bit of card etc.... Ergo you end up with a formal game tool that is low in quality. That's bad because that is advertising your game to other customers.

 

Most would rather take a neatly professionally printed card with slower stat updates than cheap ones that, eh ok they work for the die-hard fan but won't work for the vast majority of fans nor will they draw in more players.

 

 

Now you can use a combo. An online app that updates automatically; cards in a card pack released each year - sure some will complain about having to buy stats again, but at the same time it means that you've got a professional product that looks good and is updated and in your gamers hands. 

The issue then is unit counts because not everyone is going to build the same fleet. Now the old Helix structure of how Planetfall was sold was a very neat way that could have helped because it basically gave you a known maximum limit - one core and two helix of each kind attached to that core. So you could make a single core and double pack of each helix for stat cards and sell that as a bundle and know that most of the players will have just that. 

 

With more freeform army purchasing it gets a bit trickier to sell cards. Most of the time its not viable to sell one-of cards to the international game market; and selling packs can get tricky if people have specific armies that are not represented by the cards in the pack. 

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I think something closer to ravening hordes with an army list with the stats one side and number of hard points and weapons and gens on the other might work.  Especially if you are cutting things down to generic frigate, cruiser, battleship body.  Then a third page forpatron bonuses.

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Unless Warcradle objects I'll probably end up creating a printer-friendly version of stat cards again. I don't see "crippled" versions of the ships as a big problem. So far, only a few minor statistics change, which means I'll just do something like put the crippled number in brackets. If it turns out to be more extensive, I'll probably put a duplicate card on a next page so you can print double sided versions.

I'd rather Warcradle would invest in a mobile application to keep track of armies though. You see this push in the boardgame markets towards digital aides for boardgames, why not for dystopian wars as well?

RE: the beta, I'm tentatively on board the camp of "this seems too abstracted". I get that the game needed some streamlining, and I think the crippled system is a good start over calculating individual AD losses, but the simplification of line of sight, turning angles and turret placement has me less enthusiastic -- this is where a lot of the model individuality and  tactics came from. I hope to see more (elaborate) versions of the rules as the playtesting continues.

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I don't like the idea of printing out stat cards.  Stat cards are nice, but ultimately they get changed in updates.  I would rather have a pdf or mobile application.  They can update the stat cards on a pdf that you can use as a pdf, print out as high quality or a printer friendly version so people have options on what to use.  That may be the easiest way to keep everything up to date and make as many people as possible happy.

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7 hours ago, Overread said:

With more freeform army purchasing it gets a bit trickier to sell cards. Most of the time its not viable to sell one-of cards to the international game market; and selling packs can get tricky if people have specific armies that are not represented by the cards in the pack. 

This is something that Privateer Press was dealing with their launch of Mk3.  They had numerous decks which were dedicated to a faction.  Mercenary and Minion decks were among the largest, interestingly, even though their cards were also present in the factions that could take them.

War Room 2 also deals with that.  If you want to use anything besides the Battle Box or Prime/Primal units and models, you have to purchase the "deck" of the faction within the app, and they don't interchange between WMH and Company of Iron, nor are the mercenary and minion models "purchased" along with that deck. 

X-Wing is in the middle of launching their version 2.0 of the game, and they had to reprint all the cards to represent the changes.  The decks are absolutely huge and expensive because of all the upgrade cards that can be used by either faction.  They are beautiful cards, but one of my major sticking points with this game.

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