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WL System Discussion (Split from Karkarions)

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To improve a game, it is necessary to look dispassionately at the strengths and weaknesses of the game. If, for example, you change from a D10 to 2D6 you are fundamentally dismantling the statistics that underpin the game. Not only is the spread wider, it's gone from flat to bell-curved IIRC. So I'd call that not a "change to improve" but a total gutting.

 

Psyberwolfe's later comments provide a bit more meat. If the game is fun, what makes it fun?

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Its a concern because I need to read the rules and be sure of a few things, but in principle there are issues with diagonal vs side length creating inconsistencies in the distances between miniatures according to what is facing where.

 

Honestly, I'm still not seeing where you find this an issue. What is it with regards to measurements that you are actually concerned about? The AoE of a spell? LOS? Perhaps if you explained more fully exactly what your concerns are, I can try to provide you with some information. I could make generic statements about how base size and shape interactions were accounted for during the design process, but that really doesn't get anyone anywhere without understanding and addressing the root of your concerns.

 

~v

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In simple terms for a single model a 25mm round base is 12.5mm from center to any edge and a 25mm square base is 12.5mm to the center of each edge increasing to a maximum of 17.7mm at the corners. Or in terms of area a 25mm round covers 490mm2 while a 25mm square covers 625mm2.

 

Depending on how measurement, movement, AoE and engagment in melee all work in the game these things can make a significant difference.

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I think you are over-thinking this. The differences between a round base and a square are largely irrelevant, because the game is internally consistent. While you quoted the difference in surface area between a 25mm round and a 25mm square, what you didn't look at was the differences between 25mm, 40mm, and 50mm round vs. 25mm, 40mm, and 50mm square (they are exactly the same ratios - 1 : 2.5 : 4). With that being said, here are a few other relevant things about Warlord's rules and how they interact with base size and shape that may help with your concerns:

 

Any base contact in Warlord is legal, including corner to corner (this changes the maximum number of models that can interact in base-to-base with one another, but rarely impacts the average situation). To affect a model with a spell, you need only contact any portion of a base. For targeting a spell (in most cases) you must either target a point on the ground that is within LOS, or the center of a model. All calculations about model and spell costs were figured with these (and other factors) in mind.

 

I wish I could be more specific about the actual calculations and the like, but that is probably a little too "behind the scenes" for what I feel comfortable discussing in a public forum. I can say that the design team that helped retool Warlord for the second edition included several people with math- and statistics-heavy backgrounds. You can take that for what you feel it is worth.

 

~v

Edited by Shakandara

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Psyberwolfe 1,

 

You have joined this forum since 2007. All your issues did not come over night. All these times, you had plenty of opportunities to raise your concerns on this forum leading to a meaningful discussion. I am sure that other players would have corrected your misinterpretation on unique spells. Instead, you keep your peace until now and then bash the game to say that it is bad. Worst of all, you fail to suggest any useful changes. For someone who has played the game so many time, it is not acceptable. So far, you have clearly stated your preference but showed no good reason why this game is bad. This is not appropriate.

 

Warlord is not going to please everyone no matter how you change it. Even if you manage to, your friends will probably maintain their preference on other systems, like Warmachine/Hordes. Like CAV, it is built on the D10 system and this cannot be changed. Otherwise, you will have to design a whole new game again.

 

Given the fact that you hate the D10 system and mulitiple stat cards and that you have interests in other systems, I suggest that it is time for you to drop Warlord and move on to play some other games. If Warlord is still a fun game for you, I am sure that you will come back. With exception of Hordes, I personally have tried them all.

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I gave my input after the first edition. Lots of things I suggested found their way in, so I'm pleased. I have no more input to change the game. The game isn't perfect, but it's plenty fun.

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I spent a lot of years playing Warhammer and watching the progression of that system. What I primarily saw was a pretty good system that was "broken" with each successive army book having a more powerful army than the last. A pretty good marketing strategy, I guess. I also played some Warmachine/Hordes. I was very disheartened when I started seeing the power-creep with each new, spiffy thing they wanted to market. I'm really glad that Reaper hasn't gone down that path.

 

One of the problems that I saw with that the GW systems was when you added a +1 bonus for whatever, it made a HUGE difference on a d6. I then played the Heartbreaker Warzone system which was based on d20 and thought that was a pretty good fix for that particular problem ( a +1 or +2 on a d20 was a little bump but didn't create unbalanced characters).

 

All that to say that I like the d10 system as a happy medium.

 

Now to my problems with Warlord: 1) It is difficult (especially for new players) to remember all of the SAs and how they interact with each other and when they apply

2) DR seems to me to be underpointed, especially when applied to a high DEF character (Ironskin anyone?)

3) I'm ok with SA ASSASSIN ignoring SA TOUGH as its mostly Elites/Solos that have it. I'm not very happy with SA FIRST STRIKE, I dislike that Troopers can ignore SA TOUGH.

4) There are a few issues that have been identified but Reaper has stated that they won't do an errata to fix: Fliers not needing space to land before using SA QUICK STRIKE, Demon daisychain and a couple others I can't remember. It would have been nice for Savage North to have errata-ed system.

 

Overall, I have a good time playing Warlord and don't mean this as a bash. Just my two cents worth.

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Psyberwolfe 1,

 

You have joined this forum since 2007. All your issues did not come over night. All these times, you had plenty of opportunities to raise your concerns on this forum leading to a meaningful discussion. I am sure that other players would have corrected your misinterpretation on unique spells. Instead, you keep your peace until now and then bash the game to say that it is bad. Worst of all, you fail to suggest any useful changes. For someone who has played the game so many time, it is not acceptable. So far, you have clearly stated your preference but showed no good reason why this game is bad. This is not appropriate.

 

Warlord is not going to please everyone no matter how you change it. Even if you manage to, your friends will probably maintain their preference on other systems, like Warmachine/Hordes. Like CAV, it is built on the D10 system and this cannot be changed. Otherwise, you will have to design a whole new game again.

 

Given the fact that you hate the D10 system and mulitiple stat cards and that you have interests in other systems, I suggest that it is time for you to drop Warlord and move on to play some other games. If Warlord is still a fun game for you, I am sure that you will come back. With exception of Hordes, I personally have tried them all.

 

Oh Wildger... your condescending attitude is tiring. First off opinions don't have a statute of limitations. My joining in 2007 is as irrelevant as your post count, and actually a pretty lame stab. But do whatever makes you feel good about yourself.

 

I don't play WL because NO ONE HERE IN AUSTIN likes the game. The premise of two player games is that it requires another player. I like the game fine, but I can't play the game by myself. Your opinion is that I've offered no evidence of what makes the game bad, when in fact I have. Whether or not you agree with my evidence is irrelevant. You don't agree that is fine. However I live in town that has a HUGE gaming community. The fact that no one wants to play this game while picking up every new game that comes to town IS evidence that this game is not as good as you believe. My FLGS barely stocks any Warlord stuff because the game doesn't perform in a retail setting. You can have the greatest game in the world and if no one plays it then your game is obviously not as great as you believe. On the same note just because everyone is playing GW games doesn't mean that they have a great game either, but it does indicate they are doing something right.

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Personally I respect your opinion, psyber. But what are you saying would improve Warlord, without requiring a complete rework from the probabilities on up? I know enough about probability to know I can't design a valid game-engine that respects statistical effectiveness. That's a huge task. I think we can basically rule it out... far out... far, far beyond the realms of possibility... unless Reaper got a math major on the payroll who's going to rework the entire game for free.

 

Also, have you ever played any builder-style games, ie., ones that let you make your own troops and even special abilities from the ground up? I ask because they let you see a lot more of their guts.

Edited by smokingwreckage

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Keep it civil, please, everyone. Stay on point and lay off the personal attacks.

 

Back to the topic at hand...

 

You can have the greatest game in the world and if no one plays it then your game is obviously not as great as you believe. On the same note just because everyone is playing GW games doesn't mean that they have a great game either, but it does indicate they are doing something right.

 

This underscores that there is a major difference between the success of a game and the quality of a game. There are plenty of games that do well despite a poor ruleset, and other games with good rulesets that founder for one reason or another. A game's popularity does not necessarily mean it well-constructed, nor does the unpopularity of a game mean it is poorly designed. It is illogical to use such statements to support a position about a game's quality.

 

I declined to directly address the points in your earlier post in hopes of avoiding a messy and heated conversation like this. I stand by my earlier assessment that most of the points you raised about poor game design are actually rooted in game-play preference, as opposed to mechanical issues with how game play functions. And while I believe wildger has been out of line with the tone of his comments, he has raised some valid points in questioning the extent that you understand the full scope of the interactions of Warlord's core mechanics. This, in turn, calls into question your basis for arguments that focus on the facets of the game that you believe to be under/over powered.

 

Finally, I will restate that I am fully aware that the game is not perfect. Given the opportunity to go back and tweak some things during design, there are certainly a few things that I would change (the nature of the changes would probably surprise most people). That being said, it's my belief that the design team got the majority of the game right for the goals is set out to achieve, and there is very little wrong with the majority of the game. None of this precludes the possibility of the game from foundering for other reasons, such as promotion, the lack of in-store support (read: the dissolution of the Black Lightning program with no replacement), the volunteer nature of on-going support, or a failure to engage players with a deeper sense of attachment to the setting. There is a laundry list of reasons that Warlord will likely never reach wide acceptance; the mechanics of the game doesn't come close to making that list.

 

~v

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A lot of people will tune out the instant they have to do much book-keeping, which is why GW have moved further and further towards a model where you just roll a dice and it happens or doesn't and thereafter is irrelevant. So there's something that I think is not necessarily bad design, but is narrowing your audience due to a design decision.

 

I think perhaps this could be partially overcome by emphasising the relatively small scale of Warlord. In 40K you might have 5 or more squads of ten or more men as a routine occurrence. WL might play out with 2 squads of 5. The problem then is that Mordheim has an extensive campaign system. Then people will dismiss WL for not having enough book-keeping! I think it's largely about expectations. And I might add, for my own money, that extensive tracking of points and upgrades was something I only expected to want; when I went back to Bloodbowl a few years ago I didn't stay long ;)

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Shak the point you and Wildger are missing that when complaints about certain aspects of a game come up again and again then it does mean that aspect is not good regardless if it is opinion about game preference. If this is why people are not playing your game then you have a barrier to entry. Furthermore if you have a large enough group of people who don't like aspects of your game they poison the well, which is my local battle.

 

It is illogical to use such statements to support a position about a game's quality.


Untrue. The raison d'être of a game is to be played. As a game designer you must concede that the imperfections of your game and/or its quality is keeping people from playing your game. It may not be the only reason, and it may not be the primary reason. However, the only solution that a game designer can work on is what in the game is keeping people from playing.

 

... he has raised some valid points in questioning the extent that you understand the full scope of the interactions of Warlord's core mechanics.

 

 

That is an unfair statement, and you know it considering my friend and I copy edited your rules. One of the problems is that you, being the designer, have in your head how things should work, but the rulebook and experience doesn't play out that way. Which, by the way, you and I have gone round and round about. ::):

 

 

This, in turn, calls into question your basis for arguments that focus on the facets of the game that you believe to be under/over powered.

 

Absolutely not. Let's look at my favorite under-costed spell Teleport. Teleport can reliably place a survivable model in a position to act as a sticking force. Thus negating archers, spell casters, or holding up troops just long enough for the rest of my force to attack. Furthermore It can deliver a reliable damage source. I would say even more reliable than the equally costed Fireball and Chain Lightning. Here is why I say reliable. Teleport cast on a friendly model needs a to hit a target value of ten. With the exception of two arcane casters this is accomplished on 3 and with focus a 2. Now I will grant that of the 16 spread across nine factions who can cast 13 are unique casters , but my experience has been I only ever need to cast the spell once. The effect of the spell is such that it does more than the five points would say it does. This spell should cost at least 6 because it does more than the single effect of moving a model.

You have your reasons to disagree with my analysis, but it doesn't mean I'm wrong or that I haven't made a cogent point. I can see my way to why my analysis may not be spot on too, but I believe if the experience is poor then adjustments must be made. Furthermore the fact you have access to deeper underpinnings of the game is meaningless unless you can and/or are willing to disclose those underpinnings. All I can trust is the rulebook and my experience. I can't trust, "I just know more than what you can divine from what you have."

 

it's my belief that the design team got the majority of the game right for the goals is set out to achieve, and there is very little wrong with the majority of the game.

 

The fact that virtually all of our copy editing made it into the book virtually unchanged, including our diagrams, tells me the game needed more work before let out into the wild. We were told we didn't have the time to delay printing to finish the work we started. Is the game bad? No. Bad is hyperbole. It is, however, far from great. I'm personally annoyed that we aren't even given the ability to fix problems through a well thought out Errata, which Warlord desperately needs.

There is a laundry list of reasons that Warlord will likely never reach wide acceptance; the mechanics of the game doesn't come close to making that list.

 

This is faulty assumption because the mechanics are the only thing you can affect. It's position on the "laundry list" is irrelevant. The reason it isn't on your list is because then it means you might have some responsibility in why the game isn't as popular as it should be ... a jagged little pill to swallow. I know this all too well.

 

Part of the reason I presented my ideas here was to show that there are other like minded people. If it were private it becomes easy to dismiss what I'm saying and you and I but heads with no real resolution. Your ideas stay unchanged and I continue to be upset by a game that has so much potential. I know I'm not 100% right, and I'm clearly not presenting my ideas in a manner that meaningful. The truth is this discussion is academic for me. No one I know locally wants to play this game with me and thankfully I play other games. I'm not stuck with albatross and thankfully all of my Warlord factions are RPG useable So having them is no big deal.

Smokingwreckage: Real life is demanding my attention I will address the question you presented SoonTM. ::):

 

Kristoff65: Thank you for your thoughts. I'll be happy to discuss my thoughts on why the d10 is the inferior die type for this game.

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This is faulty assumption because the mechanics are the only thing you can affect. It's position on the "laundry list" is irrelevant. The reason it isn't on your list is because then it means you might have some responsibility in why the game isn't as popular as it should be ... a jagged little pill to swallow. I know this all too well.

 

/sigh. And this is the other reason that I didn't want to address your items point-by-point. Automatically, the assumption becomes that if I disagree with you about something, that it must be because I am defending a game that I helped design and take some personal offense to what's been said. Instead of, oh, i don't know... the fact that you are wrong. Remember that I was only a part of the team that helped redesign the game, so my emotional investment in it was only ever fractional, at best. I am so far removed from the design of the core rules (3 1/2+ years ago now), that I find it pretty easy to be as impartial and dispassionate as possible when having conversations about the game's flaws. What I get passionate about, is when people clearly misunderstand, misrepresent, or misplay the rules from how they are written, and in turn, draw fallacious conclusions about how the game works. Let me place a slightly finer point on this for you.

 

p.34, Warlord 2 core rule book, 4th paragraph, 2nd last sentence:

"Some spells state that they are 'UNIQUE', meaning a Spellcaster may only cast it once per game."

 

p.21, Warlord 2 core rule book, 4th-6th paragraphs:

"To determine if there is LOS, simply draw an imaginary line, 1/2" wide, from the attacking model to the defending model. This is called the LOS corridor. The entire 1/2" width of the LOS corridor must be touching the bases of the attacking and defending models.

 

If there is an intervening terrain piece or model anywhere in the LOS corridor, and that terrain or model is the same Size or bigger than the larger of the attacking or defending models, then LOS is blocked.

 

There is one exception, however: If the attacking model is standing behind, and in contact with, a wall of the same Size as the attacking model, LOS is not blocked by that terrain piece during the attacking model's Activation (i.e. the attacker is hiding behind the wall while shooting)."

 

These are word-for-word, unambigous passages quoted straight from the rulebook that directly contradict two of your issues mentioned in your posts. There is no question here about what was intended vs. what was put into print. You have these things incorrect, either because you have not read the book very thoroughly, or because you have forgotten what you read at one time and have been playing it wrong since. When you make points about rules based on incorrect information that is available in a clear and concise manner in the book, it demonstrates to me a fundamentally flawed understanding to the basic mechanics. There is no way for me to know how far this extends, so when you try to make points about higher level functions of the game (like how ranges, movement rates, SAs, and the draw deck impact the balance of Warlord), when your experience conflicts with nearly everything I've experienced, I tend to assume that your understanding of these things are flawed as well. This is much akin to wrecking a high-performance sports car because you are not qualified to drive it, and then blaming the crash on the handling, the braking, or the horsepower of the engine, and saying that it is a bad vehicle design because of these things.

 

I asked for your feedback so that I could see what was being said, in the context it was being said, so that I could measure it against what I know about the game. And the fact that I know more about the design of the game than I can share publicly on the forums in no way means that such knowledge is meaningless or irrelevant to the conversation at hand. The fact that I've demonstrated that comprehensive knowledge of the game repeatedly over the years should give you the basis to trust me when I tell you, "although you think that you have found a way to break X in the game, I can assure you that X is not broken". Sometimes, these are things I can give specific examples for; other times, the internal game balance is not readily apparent, and explaining it would involve dilvulging game design, which now belongs to Reaper.

 

~v

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As for Unique spells. I have never played them wrong. I mis-remebered it here when I corrected wildger. I didn't even bother to crack open my book at that time. That doesn't mean that everything I say is wrong, or that my understanding of the game is fundamentally flawed. It means I was wrong about that.

 

This is the discussion I am referring to on LOS being badly written. Since no FAQ has been written to clarify I will continue to contend that rule is badly written. Once again never wrongly played, but the rules on this matter are clear as mud.

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Well aside from the 1/2" corridor thing being overly cumbersome (do you have a 1/2" wide ruler handy before you play Warlord?) it seems pretty clear to me.

 

Mind I do come from the land of CCGs where language is particularly precise and yet obtuse, so I tend to find RPG and wargame language pretty straightforward.

 

Rules text clarification is a good reason for FAQs and ultimately new editions of the game.

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