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Urlock Gaur

Dystopian Wars needs a second edition

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Yes, that's right, I said that Dystopian Wars needs a second edition.  After playing some games of Armored Clash and Dystopian Legions, I am convinced that many of the elements from those games can improve Dystopian Wars.  I like the command point system and the colored dice especially.  Something like a frigate in Dystopian Wars is the prime example of the need for an improved dice color system.  As of now the frigate has exploding 6's that also count as 2 hits.  While it is rare, a frigate on a dice rolling frenzy could sink a Dreadnought with one shot.  The odds are immense, but there is just an unlimited factor there.  If the dice were kept to Black dice (6's are one hit with no explode), or Blue dice (6's are 2 hits with no explode), then the maximum amount of damage is calculable.  These are the kinds of things that I'd like to see.  As of right now, I won't play Dystopian Wars.  I enjoy Armored Clash right now.  It has a few issues here and there, but it feels right.  The guys at Spartan need to evolve their game using the best of their new ideas.  I believe that Dystopian Wars 2.0 could be the best game ever and I'd play the hell out of it.

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I'm enjoying Armoured Clash and the multi-colored die effects but the scale and results application are quite different. The models simply have a kill rating and all but the largest are either dead or fine with the largest simply getting more vulnerable in 2-3 steps of damage.

A DW version that uses those mechanics might be interesting but probably as an alternate game for very large scale clashes where cruisers on down move by squadron and are either dead or alive simply based on a single kill rating and the large/massive can take a couple of steps of damage. It could well work but not as a substitute for DW but simply a large scale game that stands on its' own.

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A few rules from AC are unwanted in DW. Coloured Dice being chief among them. Not least because it would require a re-write in many of the core rules, and a complete re-write of the Stats.

 

+1

 

Way too many people have bought dice that 'match' their fleets in some way.

 

Just want the common sense bomb dropping rules from AC thank you very much...

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The other rule I dislike, after coloured dice, is the Activation Card mechanic.

 

I dislike it so much, that if I had the money, I would pay Spartan £1m just to remove it from their games and never consider bringing it back.

It's such a stupid rule...

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We should be getting a new MAR PDF soon and depending on how those are we may only need a slight stremlime of the rules, like boarding and mines (from naval ships), oh and I will say this every time, a better index lol. I don't think we need a 2.0 though and have not played AC yet so can't really comment on incorporating their rules but from the small amounts I have seen I am not "excited" about colored dice.

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Well, Dystopian Wars DOES need an update. But one that cleans up the rulebook to make it a bit less of a mess (AC rules are tightly written, so Spartan can do it), and the rules could probably do with some trimming too. A 1.2, if you will.

 

A 2.0 isn't needed, don't fix what isn't broken. Especially since there would be no point to DW if AC was just the same thing, but better.

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Dice mechanic is great IMO. Gives different levels of possibility and limits. 5AD in black has a very different potential than 5AD in red. Those two dice systems are already in DW to some degree. Blue is the middle. The colored dice actually make sense after using them. I didn't care for it until I tried it.

I absolutely hate fixed channels. They make sense but are just a pain in the ass. Sometimes detail makes for bogging. I could do without them.

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Yes, but the coloured dice were introduced so that you didn't need to roll extremely high numbers to kill a certain set of models.

 

For example, a small class model vs a small class model with 5AD using the Black dice. the Kill rating is only 2-3 hits? 5AD is more than enough to get 2-3hits.

The coloured dice are just there to limit what a model can shoot at in a very large game. But, considering the amount of models and squadrons your bringing, it balances out.

 

 

DW, by comparison, is a much smaller game, and so everything needs to be able to hurt everything. If you add coloured dice, you've instantly unbalanced the game.

 

 

No. Without a full stat re-write and some pretty huge changes to the core rules, coloured dice just cannot get into DW. DW just wouldn't be DW anymore. It would just be AC/DL.

 

That is not something I would want to see, and I would guess a lot of others wouldn't either.

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The other rule I dislike, after coloured dice, is the Activation Card mechanic.

 

I dislike it so much, that if I had the money, I would pay Spartan £1m just to remove it from their games and never consider bringing it back.

It's such a stupid rule...

It's not that stupid, it's about anticipation. The idea is not bad at all, it's supposed to reveal which player have the better view of events but it has limits.

 

2 years ago, I made a prototype using the same system in a tabletop game. It was finally removed in less than 1 month of playtests because it has weaknesses:

- The more you have things to activate, the more it breaks the rhythm and the more it increase the duration of the game.

- Implying people were reluctant to play with high points army games.

- There are so many combinations that the efficiency is often due to randomness, not really anticipation, except in specific and rare situations.

- Implying a too high amount of frustration among gamers, even if about 50% of them liked that system.

 

I think the "I activate everything, then you activate everything" we can see in 80's games and actual clones is way more stupid! ;)

 

When I played Dystopian Legions as demo, it worked fine, but I played with 4 Squadrons (and my opponent with 5)... but yeah, there are some limits. =)

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Honestly, the game already has a bad reputation for putting out a load of sub-editions in quick succession.  Spartan should wait at least another year or two before releasing another Dystopian Wars rulebook.

 

Wait until the current crop of playtesting has gone through and taken a good look at all of the factions, the MARs and even the core rules that may need it.  Sure, the game will be patchwork for a while (and even potentially unfriendly to new players because of it).  But when the dust settles, we will be looking at a much tighter game.

 

I feel Spartan rush in to printing rules revisions too fast without testing the waters with PDF revisions and other updates.  They did in the case of, well, every re-release of the DW rulebook and the recent FS: A re-release, though long overdue, was not the best received.

 

I said it back before v1.1 was on the market, they need to take there time to fix things before commiting it to print.  Now that they are finally going full-force in to properly balancing things (and by the looks of things, doing a good job of it; I actually kind of want to dig my PE stuff out again after looking at the playtest data) it would be a bad time to do another one of their "push a new and improved rulebooks out!" acts.  Games should be going 4-6 years without an edition change, and while I think DW needs a lot of revision (that it seems to be getting), jumping the gun and printing a new edition before the work has finished would be bad.

 

For now, I am content to make due with PDF updates as things progress.  Then in a year or two, when the playtest team has had it out with the rules and things are good enough, Spartan can take their time to release a proper 2nd Edition (and hopefully take the time for proper proof-reading and editing passes to avoid the typos of releases past).  With the density of releases combined with the perceived quality drop, Spartan was starting to become what Dream Pod 9 turned in to during the late 90's and early 00's.  That is the kind of reputation that is hard to climb out from under (and not helped that HG Blitz has the same revision-itis problem as DW).  Taking the time to produce a set of rules that can last 4-6 without need for constant tinkering should be the name of the game.  Hopefully on this go around, Spartan can manage that with the help of their excellent play testing team.

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Actually I agree with Durandal about the timing. I'm willing to wait for play testing to iron out some things. I do think that DW will inevitably head towards a system that includes some of their new ideas though. It may be a long ways off and may not be exactly the same, but I'm sure they are already considering it. Then again that's what play testing is for. One thing that we can all agree on though is that no matter what, someone will always opt for house rules because they don't like something about it.

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V2 should I feel have both clash rules and standard :)

Both have advantages

Mostly tightening up on the bad English , rules explanations and at its core a damn good index !! It's not the most friendly game to learn from scratch

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2x for keeping the DW and DL/AC game mechanics separate. They not only provide for different scales, but allow for different player preferences.

Better to adapt AC to add naval units than to combine the games. The consensus seems to be that DW better adapted for the air/naval game. It makes perfect sense to add another system to promote land units.

I find it interesting that both DL and AC have been released as PDF "living documents" while DW retains the traditional format. It would seem likely to me that the Arch Fiend and his minions are testing the relative business benefits of both approaches.

I would like to see DW as a "living document" where errors in the print edition are immediately corrected, errata and addendum are incorporated into the document and rules adjusted on an on-going basis.

Unfortunately, the cost of having staff perform that kind of work on an on going basis might be judged too high compared to doing large overhauls all at once. While the benefit of adding an employee to cast more models is immediately apparent, the benefit of having a creative overhaul old product rather than produce new is much harder to quantify.

When all is said and done, if SG doesn't make money, my ability to buy new, cool swag is reduced. That cannot be tolerated!!!!!

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It's not that stupid, it's about anticipation. The idea is not bad at all, it's supposed to reveal which player have the better view of events but it has limits.

 

2 years ago, I made a prototype using the same system in a tabletop game. It was finally removed in less than 1 month of playtests because it has weaknesses:

- The more you have things to activate, the more it breaks the rhythm and the more it increase the duration of the game.

- Implying people were reluctant to play with high points army games.

- There are so many combinations that the efficiency is often due to randomness, not really anticipation, except in specific and rare situations.

- Implying a too high amount of frustration among gamers, even if about 50% of them liked that system.

Rules that cause more frustration than fun should never be added to a game. And frustration is all you get from that mechanic, and so it should never have been allowed to go to print.

 

It also doesn't add anything useful to the game anyway. So I would be a happy man if that rule just died, just like it should.

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I for one will go on the record saying that I love both the colored dice mechanic and activation card mechanic.

Hear me out. I think it should also be known that I strongly feel that the colored dice mechanic would be horrible used for Dystopian Wars. It is great for DL and AC because the scale of the games are squads/battalions of models fighting and dying as one. When you start attacking single models who have many structure points and critical hit effects the colored dice mechanic just harms the gameplay.

I think that the exploding dice also greatly represents the extreme luck that happens in actual naval battles.

The frigate shell destroying a dreadnought represents the 1:1,000,000 chance that it had just the right trajectory and crashed through a vulnerable part of decking and bulkheads to detonate a magazine, fuel supply, or sturginium.

That said, I play a lot of DL now and one of my favorite aspects of the game is the strategy and psychological aspects of trying to plan out the order of activation every turn. I think that it is great as a mechanic that actually rewards using strategic thought without just giving a straight statistical aspect to it like many games flank attacks do.

To me it seems that many of my games hinge on how well I read my opponent and guess his plan and the correct way to circumvent it. I feel that this is a much more satisfying system than strictly relying on the luck because as the straight alternating activation that DW uses i feel is much to forgiving and doesn't capture the hectic nature of actually trying to carry out a strategy on a battlefield.

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