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Toxic_Rat

The Beta Lives!

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As for the previous comment @Overread, I don't think I can drop the old Spartan memories.  I can only compare this version to the older version done by said.  That may be my failing here.

As for stat cards, printer friendly sheets like the site had for 2.0 worked best for me and my group.  We didn't need images or colors, just stats for the units we had that stayed up to date.  And if we had the equipment, a dropbox folder on our smart phones or tablets loaded with all the relevant information.  I am against mass produced unit cards by the simple dislike of having to get new cards for old units for every new change.  Version 1.0 and 1.1 were bad at this, with each new campaign book or faction upgrade revealing new rules, weapons, MAR's, and commodore abilities that would change old tactics and games.  Does any one remember the first seven core nation upgrade boxes?  They had a large, medium squad, small squad, and a change to an old unit.  And 2.0 was released, some of THOSE units got changed as well.  When Spartan moved over to a webpage with download faction stats, all I had to do was check each week, see the version number, copy what was new, and play the next game.  It may make people who don't have a printer or internet game-wise life harder (and I know a few), but the ease of use access to stats that would/should change over time is a big point.

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We are working towards an app. We are also considering printed card sets. We have discussed the issues with printed cards before. If we need to make changes then someone somewhere will just have purchased them. One of the possibilities in the app is that it partners with a print on demand service that you can order the cards you need from within the app.

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What about providing a simplified personalised stat card for Crown battleship with 2 gunnery turrets and two torpedo turrets that we can then download and print off ourselves having built it on the app?  There seems an awfully large amount of extra purchases over and above that seem a little unnecessary.

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2 hours ago, Warcradle Richard said:

We are working towards an app. We are also considering printed card sets. We have discussed the issues with printed cards before. If we need to make changes then someone somewhere will just have purchased them. One of the possibilities in the app is that it partners with a print on demand service that you can order the cards you need from within the app.

An application could work really well if it is well made and maintained.   Something along the lines of Warroom 2 by Privateer Press.  If you do printed cards and people have to buy new cards everytime they are updated you will lose customers.

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4 hours ago, Warcradle Richard said:

We are working towards an app. We are also considering printed card sets. We have discussed the issues with printed cards before. If we need to make changes then someone somewhere will just have purchased them. One of the possibilities in the app is that it partners with a print on demand service that you can order the cards you need from within the app.

Are there any considerations regarding the management and finance side of this? Mostly in terms of bulk print ordering. I'm aware most places use printers in China and order a big shipment for cheaper prices and then ship them out to distributors and customers from their warehouse. 

If you're going to do print on demand does this mean that WC will have their own card printing or that you'll do smaller order runs from China with a view to possibly having higher prices/less profit on the cards? That might be viable if the game launches or at least has an app by the time the first revisions come around. 

 

From what Im' aware its the costs and logistics of cards that made PP start to abandon them in boxes (esp since it left old cards which needed instant replacing in the distribution network). 

 

If anything the card era is slightly giving way to the fast update era in wargaming and that almost nudges things back to codex style books being more viable and then an FAQ/update sheet being printed every so often. It at least cuts down a lot on material costs. 

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52 minutes ago, Overread said:

Are there any considerations regarding the management and finance side of this? Mostly in terms of bulk print ordering. I'm aware most places use printers in China and order a big shipment for cheaper prices and then ship them out to distributors and customers from their warehouse. 

If you're going to do print on demand does this mean that WC will have their own card printing or that you'll do smaller order runs from China with a view to possibly having higher prices/less profit on the cards? That might be viable if the game launches or at least has an app by the time the first revisions come around. 

 

From what Im' aware its the costs and logistics of cards that made PP start to abandon them in boxes (esp since it left old cards which needed instant replacing in the distribution network). 

 

If anything the card era is slightly giving way to the fast update era in wargaming and that almost nudges things back to codex style books being more viable and then an FAQ/update sheet being printed every so often. It at least cuts down a lot on material costs. 

Without boring you to tears :) And not an exhaustive response.

Re print on demand, there are some services with a global presence that we can tie into. And they can print and ship from somewhere relatively local.

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The following feedback will also be submitted via the feedback button on the site with the documents, but here's some thoughts and ramblings now I've gone through the rules document in detail. Impressions of gameplay will follow once I've played a game this afternoon (hopefully!):

  • where's the encounters (listed in p7)?
  • Could we not refer to it as dive-planes, please :| (p10)
  • is there a way to dump V/V cards? considering you get your max size back each turn...
  • Crippled carriers dont change SRS carrier stats although the rulebook says they... Might? Seems strange that none do.
  • The rules for the SRS now say "you can't attack submerged units, and defenders acn use submerged defenses". That is probably not what you were going for!  This because it has both the submerged and aerial traits. I think the aerial trait is supposed to say something else? I dunno.
  • Disengaging says that if it is the last model in a unit that leaves the table, the opponent gets 1 VP. That seems strange, since you dont get points for otherwise blowing up other people's ships. Is this an error in the rule set?
  • All turning templates have the same size (large!). This makes maneuvring very hard for small ships!
  • The CHAAAAINSAW submarine can now be rammed by normal ships
  • Gunnery is better at shooting submarines than torpedoes??
  • "a model can see through other models in its Unit" I hate this. So much. It simplifies movement, yes, but it also breeds very strange formations -- even without modelling for advantage, it would mean they can be moved so close together that they'll always be in reach of the same cover/islands and have guns in the same range band. Not to mention it will make stuff look less cool on the table; at this point, its almost easier to abstract and put a single ship per squadron on the table!
  • I thought staggered fire was removed from the game in order to simplify it, earlier! So if I understand it now, all your different attacks are done sequentially, including all damage steps. This could be... Ok, but means extra bookkeeping steps as a model goes from uncrippled to crippled.
  • minor, but the manual refers to the cleanup phase for getting rid of critical markers, while the repairs in fact made in the previous step, titled "repairs"
  • needing at least 2 a defense of 2 to assist others seems unnecessarily iffy. You went from not having to check stats at all, to still having to check all stat blocks to confirm their def value.
  • I am tentatively in the camp of disapproving of the fact that defense dice do not explode. It made for very tense situations, which is excellent in a beer & pretzels game like Dystopian wars.
  • Wait. Does the defender add dice for each 6 rolled? If so, curious, interesting, and still really finicky.
  • "friendly models may add +1 action die to an assault..." -> Does this count as a launched assault for the activation? I.e., can I launch 3 assaults of 3 dice, or only one of 5?
  • being able to use sub defense against ground attackers seems finicky -- I'd say just stick with the aerial defense, period. Also, thematically, what if there are SRS involved? You blast them with... concussion charges?
  • prioritizing repairs doesn't make any sense, since all of them get removed right after anyway (by jury rig or otherwise).
  • VERY hidden (p24), but being able to reallocate remaining attacks to other squadron members is A HUGE DEAL.
  • Themed and/or capital unit battlegroups have not been released yet but seem to be a core part of the gameplay. Could we please have those, or some way to build fleets without this?
  • Can you take PARTS of a battlegroup? Considering you can take only the Large Capital unit
  • Available outfitting cards are not listed on the stat cards yet, meaning we cant take any of the goodies listed in the separate documents
     

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My friends and I played a couple games of 750 points on a  4x3 table and the game ended turn 3 with someone being tabled.  It says to play on a 3x3 and the game would have ended quicker if we did.   Is it supposed to be that fast?  Really it comes down to who does damage  first.  Things usually die when attacked.  Defense dice are basically useless and had no affect against torpedoes or boarding.  We didn't use anything else that gave defense dice in our games.   As for the turn template it looks like a medium and that is what we used.  Worked eell enough, although I would rather each size used different size turn templates.  The beta rules make for completely unrealistic scenarios.

By the way Destroyers with heavy torpedo salvo are great.  I had 3 and they destroyed a Cruiser and crippled 3 more Cruisers in 2 turns before finally being destroyed.  Heavy mortars are terrifying especially when using twin screws to stay behind terrain.

 

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There's a sweet spot between dealing damage and destroying things and dealing damage and crippling. Personally I find that games where you expect to put 50-100 models down per side work better with weaker chaff that dies fairly fast but not too fast; and a few big heavier things that might take a lot of punishment before going down.

Meanwhile smaller games where there might only be 10 models a side or 20 you really want more of a tarpit experience than an outright killzone. That way you're not losing huge portions of your fleet every turn and it makes the crippled status have more of an impact. Plus for warships its more realistic that one-shot kill is rare whilst the rest of the time you're fighting with cripped/damaged ships that are still afloat even if half of the ship has been blasted off the top. 

 

 

Turn templates are always a bit of contention, but I'd agree, a smaller ship should have a much smaller turn circle than a larger one; at the very least two templates would be ideal for the sea vessels. It gives you room to have nippier ships that can weave in and out; whilst giving bigger ships more of a feeling of size and power. 

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6 hours ago, Overread said:

There's a sweet spot between dealing damage and destroying things and dealing damage and crippling. Personally I find that games where you expect to put 50-100 models down per side work better with weaker chaff that dies fairly fast but not too fast; and a few big heavier things that might take a lot of punishment before going down.

Meanwhile smaller games where there might only be 10 models a side or 20 you really want more of a tarpit experience than an outright killzone. That way you're not losing huge portions of your fleet every turn and it makes the crippled status have more of an impact. Plus for warships its more realistic that one-shot kill is rare whilst the rest of the time you're fighting with cripped/damaged ships that are still afloat even if half of the ship has been blasted off the top. 

And a lot of that goes in to basic mechanics as well.  WarmaHordes is a game in which the organization can actually support the number of models one sees in Age of Sigmar or 40K, but the basic mechanics turns it from a 40K-length game to an Apocalypse-length game.  WMH still has all interactions based on the model, even in the largest units, while AoS and 40K concentrate on the interactions between units as a whole, making numerous model interactions not as much of a chore.

To put it in to fleet standards, if you had to model every broadside gun as a single interaction each of a battleship instead of modeling them all together, your game will go take longer the more battleships you have.

As to ship damage, a lot will depend on the class and size of the ship.  Corvettes, frigates, and destroyers are rather fragile in the line of battle, while cruisers, battlecruisers, carriers, and battleships are designed to absorb punishment.  I wouldn't expect a destroyer to take a lot of hits from a 14 inch gun, but it should be able to handle 5 inch guns far more easily.  Comparatively, a battlecruiser is designed to handle taking those 14 inch guns a bit longer (unless its unlucky like the HMS Hood).

Those types of consideration will determine game size as well as game length.

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Agreed there should be a healthy spread. That Dreadnought should be able to take pounding hit after hit and still make it through most of the game dishing out damage even if it loses guns and features and control. IT might even have damage tables broken down by segments and such.

Meanwhile the destroyer doesn't need all that, it might have a crippled state but otherwise its going to die if it comes under big fire. The trick then is ensuring that the game features bigger targets so that early on you don't want to fire your big guns at the little boat - or even have it so that bigger weapons track smaller scale targets worse - land a hit with your main gun on a destroyer and its gone but its a very lucky shot - better to fire it into that big battleship and use smaller weapons for smaller craft. 

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Large ships last longer than Medium ships and Medium ships last longe than Small ships.  Having lower armor and less hull makes them die quicker.  Also, the non-capital ships don't have a crippled side they just die.  A Battleship has effectively 10 hull points, a Cruiser 6 and a Destroyer 2.  The damage output does not go down when crippled.  There is actually little difference between crippled and battle ready.  The movement goes down and defense goes down as well as different changes throughout the fleets.  To be honest with the siz3 of the tables you play on having your movement reduced is not that bad.  You will have targets in range when you activate the unit and just position for firing arcs and line of sight.  

Also, who plays 50 to 100 models?  I played with 6 models with the beta rules.

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Just a reminder ladies and gents that it's always worth submitting your feedback on our official portal so we can keep all of our feedback in one place for consideration when doing revisions. The portal is on https://www.dystopianwars.co.uk There's been a lot of good discussion on this thread and i'd hate for it to get lost in the chatter so please make sure you submit that form ;)

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2 hours ago, Jsiegel1983 said:

50 to 100 per side or total?

It depends on the players.

Back in the 1.1 days, my friend and I had a couple of days off, so we tried out 4000pts a side. The game took 9hrs (plus breaks) to play.  During initial play testing of 2.0, we found that games below 750 points, or over 3000pts a side started having "problems" (which was why Fleet Action came into the picture).

Sure, most people will stick to 1500 (+/- 500) points, but there will still be people who will want to play "mega" games, with several thousand points per side. There will also be players wanting to play small "patrol encounters" with only a dozen or so models. The beta period is good for testing out both before the rules become set in stone. (For example, a battlecruiser or support ship should be able to be used instead, as a substitute for a large vessel, in games under 1000pts)

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1 hour ago, Nazduruk_Bugzappa said:

It depends on the players.

Back in the 1.1 days, my friend and I had a couple of days off, so we tried out 4000pts a side. The game took 9hrs (plus breaks) to play.  During initial play testing of 2.0, we found that games below 750 points, or over 3000pts a side started having "problems" (which was why Fleet Action came into the picture).

Sure, most people will stick to 1500 (+/- 500) points, but there will still be people who will want to play "mega" games, with several thousand points per side. There will also be players wanting to play small "patrol encounters" with only a dozen or so models. The beta period is good for testing out both before the rules become set in stone. (For example, a battlecruiser or support ship should be able to be used instead, as a substitute for a large vessel, in games under 1000pts)

I normally did 2,000 or 2,500 in 2.0 and 2.5.  My friends and I did some quick small games to get the basics and will play some bigger games.  Depending on how fast the games are will determine how many points we play.  Have you tried heavy mortars out?  A friend of mine tried them out and almost tabled his opponent turn 1.  It was a small game though.

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Update from the Beta Facebook group

 

"

Ahoy fellow Dystopian Wars Beta Testers! The plan going forward is to update the Beta document regularly. We are aiming for the second and fourth Thursday of each month. 

The latest update to the Beta is now online. Changes from the previous revision are numerous but are as follows: 

General clarification and grammar/typo corrections. 

Added more terms to the glossary 

Revised images for Action Dice Symbols and Critical Damage symbols to more closely match the products already being manufactured. 

Changed Short Range to Closing. Unit cards have not had that terminology change as yet but will do in the next update. 

Clarified Fire Arcs and Line of Sight 

Updated Obscured Condition to give an additional benefit when stacked. 

Clarified SRS token use and that they literally stack as well as figuratively. New illustrations to reinforce that point. 

Increased range of SRS tokens. 

Changed Generator Power Up to happen on a 'Counter' result. Generators made more easy to Power Up through Victory and Valour cards. 

Update to the Victory and Valour deck to increase the variety and add new in-game effects. Particular note are two new Valour abilities that make repairing and generator activation easier as well as introducing the ability to piggy-back an additional activation. 

Updates to generic ships to include obscured rule on Aerial and Submerged units as well as Attribute corrections. 

Modifications to the effectiveness of Support weapon values and Mortars in general. 

Tweak to Rockets and Torpedo effectiveness. 

Revised how Initiative is earned and added an additional benefit for those that want to 'Hold Their Nerve'. 

Clarified that attacks are not simultaneous. 

Units can now stop and move backwards! 

Revised the Escort rule. 

Removed Twin Screw and Homing Torpedo Outfitting Cards 

Expanded Squadron rules and explained multiple model units. 

Expanded more detail on Fleet building rules. 

Added two Common Encounters to the Beta. 

Added the Blast/Torrent Template and resized the Turning template. It is now the same size as the second edition Medium template. 

Made Boarding more deadly and broadened results. 

Made criticals more effective against both Activated and yet to Activate units. 

Updated Ramming profile (value of Ramming will be added to unit cards in next update, the profile is given in rules doc already)."

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Do defenders roll counter or explodey dice in boarding? Also boo to silly dice going into production.  I shall mourn you 3+, you were a fun roll, as was exploding defensive dice, sacrificed on the altar of dice that look nice but limit gaming capability.

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Anyone know what they mean by Unit?  I am not sure if it refers to a single model or a squadron.  The outfitting cards says it adds the cost to that of the unit.  If I pay for lets say 4 Destroyers and upgrade all of them with a Heavy torpedo salvo do I pay one time or for each one?  I would imagine you would have to pay for each model, but some clarification would be helpful.  

Overread I don't see Aerial or Submerged being obscured anywhere in the rules.  Where did you see that?

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On ‎9‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 3:25 PM, Jsiegel1983 said:

Anyone know what they mean by Unit?  I am not sure if it refers to a single model or a squadron.  The outfitting cards says it adds the cost to that of the unit.  If I pay for lets say 4 Destroyers and upgrade all of them with a Heavy torpedo salvo do I pay one time or for each one?  I would imagine you would have to pay for each model, but some clarification would be helpful.  

Unit is defined in the first paragraph on page 27 - it can be a single model or a squadron.

The points cost of outfitting cards is per model (see page 'Outfitting Cards In Squadrons' on page 27)

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2 hours ago, Jambobskiwobski said:

Unit is defined in the first paragraph on page 27 - it can be a single model or a squadron.

The points cost of outfitting cards is per model (see page 'Outfitting Cards In Squadrons' on page 27)

Probably easier to say activation or squadron rather the vague and easily misreas unit then?

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I've always felt that Unit as a word is iffy to use. It can refer both to a single model and to a group of models (often of the same type). Whilst it can be defined its a term that casually can mean both. It might be better to use terms that are more universally specific  - so model for a single model (as it can't be interpreted any other way) etc... 

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