This is How, and Why we enjoy the game: 'will the play pay off?'

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

The brand new army book for Infernal Dwarves is finally available, along with a small surprise! Remember that it is a beta version, and provide us your feedback!

  • This is How, and Why we enjoy the game: 'will the play pay off?'

    So here's a lecture, thanks for tuning in.

    Let me explain my theory how and why we enjoy the game, and I'll finish up with why its important. But first a sport analogy.

    We (almost) all enjoy watching sports, and the most enjoyable part is when our team or player scores (goal, touchdown, try etc), or more importantly, achieves what they are bending their back and their mind to achieve. So why don't we just watch highlight videos on youtube (10 best goals of all time etc)? Because it doesn't mean anything, or specific we don't have the context of the player(s) effort, their endeavouring to find a way through the myriad of possible factors and outcomes to achieve, but its not a given. A corner kick, a big play on the line, where the player(s) bend themselves to the task, but its has to have the drama or 'will they/won't they'. Randomness is needed (will the goalie leap left or right) in order for the play to pay off or not.

    What we want is: the drama of people applying themselves to a task, with question hanging overhead 'will the play pay off?'

    So to 9th. We enjoy playing the game for these same reasons. We are applying our mind to a multitude of questions (where to move, to buff or damage, how many dice, who to shoot). What we enjoy is the challenge of the decision, and the drama of whether the play will pay off. Without randomness, its not a 'play', is a move. its a given. So that why dice are important- they are the variable that determines if the play will pay.

    So why is this important? Its critical to game design. Game design should focus on enabling plays, while preserving the pay off question. We want army books that have a wide range of options that could pay off, but a) require a play (e.g. devastating cav, but you need to arrange the charge), but still give the drama of 'will it work out' (e.g. feigned flight, but will you pass the leadership check). The more plays the book enables the better, so long as it preserves this unknown of whether it will pay off.

    This is what broken is: a broken unit is a unit that doesn't need the player to make a tactical play with, nor is there a chance it won't pay off.

    What this means we don't want: we don't want randomness that doesn't require a play (or specifically a decision), such as animosity, or 'look out sir' rolls. Why? because this randomness is not prefaced by a meaningful decision (where else are you going to put your characters if not units, or what else are you going to do with your orcs?). The doomrocket is a clear example of why randomness is not fun. There was no effective play the skaven player needed to do, nor was there an effective play the opposition could make to stop it. On the board it was pure random.

    Thats for reading, I'm probably wrong, but happy to discuss. Also as a little test to see if subsequent thread readers are responding to this or derailing to side debates, please mention cake so we know if you read the OP post or not. cheers!
  • New

    Well...

    Very good post, but, there's a lot more to this when it comes to games. You sound a bit like an Agoner! :D

    But a true Aleatory player LOVES those totally random effects that don't really require any decision. They just want to play on a slot machine.

    Here's a starter on these terms btw :) But it goes deep into game design & game studies...
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man,_Play_and_Games

    (cake)

    Product Search Team

    My gaming website: Agoners | | My gaming twitter: Agoners Gaming | | Contributor at: Collecting Green
    Sheffield, UK | | My T9A Quickstarter Written Battle Reports Thread | | My Miniature Painting Gallery | | My T9A Painting Blog
  • New

    Damo wrote:

    What this means we don't want: we don't want randomness that doesn't require a play (or specifically a decision), such as animosity, or 'look out sir' rolls. Why? because this randomness is not prefaced by a meaningful decision (where else are you going to put your characters if not units, or what else are you going to do with your orcs?). The doomrocket is a clear example of why randomness is not fun. There was no effective play the skaven player needed to do, nor was there an effective play the opposition could make to stop it. On the board it was pure random.
    There are people that enjoy this stuff. Randomness is a lot of fun to me. Chaos either for you or for me!

    Goblin Lunatic

    Translation - ES

  • New

    After the briliant intro, I hoped you were going for a more advanced scoring system...! Scoring-wise (secondaries) 9th Age is still stuck in the dark ages.

    Themes like first blood, first charge, first pole, first mark aren't implemented yet. There are brilliant options here to keep MSU lists real, and/or deathstars. By varying with secondary objectives.
    Booooooaaaaaarsssss .... Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge !!!
  • New

    Pellegrim wrote:

    After the briliant intro, I hoped you were going for a more advanced scoring system...! Scoring-wise (secondaries) 9th Age is still stuck in the dark ages.

    Themes like first blood, first charge, first pole, first mark aren't implemented yet. There are brilliant options here to keep MSU lists real, and/or deathstars. By varying with secondary objectives.
    I’m not pushing solutions, just establishing foundations. Your ideas are fine by me if a) they encourage players to make plays, and b) they create drama by whether or they come off.

    but:

    is a first charge an interesting play? Either a) its an easy thing to do but your just throwing away a unit, or b) your discouraging plays as players avoid to deny opponent opportunity.
  • New

    I am not in favour nor against the proposed option, but in the example of the first charge, as you say, you have to value the risk of charging first for that extra 1(?) point. You also have to take into account that the enemy might flee and countercharge you instead, failing to get the extra point. And the consequences of such move.

    What it is worth taking into account is how to track these extra options, in case they were to be implemented. At the moment, the secondary objective is not missable, since you finish the game and see where is what. But these kind of "first" events can be completely forgotten.

    Plus, to the first charge option, you could maybe get a +1 if the unit actually survives the game. Or just get the points if you survive. I have no clue, but that wouldn't mean just send a suicide unit for extra points.

    Goblin Lunatic

    Translation - ES