Sunday, 29 December 2013

2013 Year In Review - thoughts

Mmm. An interesting year. The major things from a change point of view I think concern WAB and Chain of Command.

With regard to last year's comments, I'm still torn over WAB. To be honest, I think it seems to be very opponent-dependent. It does suffer badly from special-case rules that potentially interact in complex ways, not least because it attempts to cover every possible army before 1500, pretty much. Of course, the other issue with special-case rules is that unless you're bloody good at your job as a game designer, and you do analyse every single possible interaction, somewhere down the line you hit a problem with the interaction of two army lists' sets of special-cases that cause nasty balance issues.

Which of course takes us into the realms of point systems, which I'm not going to steal Neil and Henry's thunder and discuss... yet :D Perhaps part of my issue with WAB is that it is point-driven for "balance", and thus we tend to play 'a 2000 pt battle' rather than a scenario per se.

I'm kind of interested in exploring the 'real-world' version of Jake Thornton's "God Of Battles" - I picked up a copy at Foundry last month, and I do have to reiterate - the man can sure design game mechanics. In fact, I'm turning into a big fan. Someone else suggested taking a look at Impetus last time I brought the future of WAB up, as well, which I may well do. Dux Bellorum has some nice touches, and there's also Phil Hendry's "Augustus to Aurelian", which takes a similar approach of not trying to be all things to all men (and all periods).

Now, of course, if you want, you can argue that Chain of Command, which is the main thing that cropped up new in 2013 for me, has a points system - after all the approach it uses to generate platoon supports is generally designed around adding up numbers. However, I think the key thing with CoC is that the 'points' are akin to how you spend your last, say, 500 points in a 2500 point WAB army where your core army is already decided for you. It also has the advantage that the army system doesn't kick in until you know a lot more about the terrain your fighting on and the opponent you're facing, and you can happily pick and choose (as would a real-world platoon CO) what supports will best help you deal with the problem at hand.


2 comments:

  1. So how about this idea?

    Use the WAB core rules for a set period, scenario based campaign.

    Us the CoC idea of a core force, which is fixed for the campaign - and constricted.

    Allow for additional Forces (units) as per the CoC scheme and these can be used in varying scenarios dependent on the scenario rules - some constraints will apply, but allow for a choice where possible.

    Some of the varying forces will be campaign dependent - so for example allow for the purchase of mercenary forces - from a treasury (or money lenders)!

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