How to get new players (ex. "I'm afraid this game has no way of getting any new players.")

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The latest issue of the 9th Scroll is here! You can read all about it in the news.

  • At the moment I would say T9A has a well written and extensive Reference Document/FAQ but I is missing a Basic Rulebook.
    We had this exact discussion earlier this year and everyone agreed including project management. A basic, easier to read, rulebook is a good thing but can only really be created once the core rules are frozen. (9:th age due to its roots is doing this backwards compared to most other projects, the normal thing is to write the basic rule book first and then spend years writing extensive documents on how the rules really work in all the corner cases not covered by the basic rules)

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Hoffa ().

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  • Happy Aspid wrote:

    matrim wrote:

    I saw that people "think" AoS has 10 pages of rules... That is wrong, what AoS has is 10pages of common rules and lots of supplements to actually play.
    Unit cards are filled with rules, there are 3 types of play and additional books etc to explain how.

    But that's its the power of first impression.

    For some reason T9A decided to follow a failed business idea due to sementics (nostalgia).

    We have a massive rule book, not easy to read (in English) lots of rules that refers some other rules (2 tier is the norm, 3 tiers isn't surprising). But then the project tries to minimise the thickness of army books while making it impossible to precisely understand the unit rules without referring continuously to the BRB 8|

    (I rather have 1 page for each unit explaining all rules relating to the unit without tiered rules. If you want to give 5 special rules to a unit then do so, don't invent a new name to group 3 of them together.)

    In short T9A currently gives the impression of "a lot of work" while in essence it isn't. So why not take a leaf from the successful GW model (AoS) and make the BRB just the basic core rules, written in plain language. (that should reduce the size)
    Dont want to say bad things about AOS, but the above mentioned info is true - small amount of universal rules, but terrific amount of unit (warscrolls) rules, sometimes too much.
    Yes, but at the other hand this method has a very strong point: every armies feel unique and well represented on the battlefield.

    So maybe a compromise between our corrent state and AoS approachs to rules would be the best...
  • elendor_f wrote:

    Would it satisfy everyone to have a "short" and a "long" Rulebook?

    [...]
    I took this idea from the Legend of the Five Rings card game by Fantasy Flight, they have the introductory booklet in the Core box and a free detailed Advanced Rules document in pdf in their website.
    I discovered it when I bought the game and I founded that is a great way to present the rules (except that the advanced rules are not in the box, so they seem to be incomplete).
  • Rellzed wrote:

    So maybe a compromise between our corrent state and AoS approachs to rules would be the best...
    I agree, especially in cases when a common rule gets over-complex to cover a single instance of some special rule from one or two ABs. Devastating Charge (X) is prime example with rule trying to fit into "attack attribute" and cover non-attack attributes boosted by charge at the same time. Sometimes I have the feeling that ADTs have received a hard limit on special army rules (3?) and instead removing the rules they used unofficial channels to smuggle as much as possible of their army-specific rules into BRB.
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  • There's a lot to unpack here and I have a range of emotions to react to, so I'll just unpack this piece by piece:

    Pellegrim wrote:

    .....!?

    Free rules and no dedicated model line is a weakness if you consider new players and entry barrier. Cause no "buy box and play them as intended" but rather "look in none-pro websites database, see vastly different model ranges of various quality levels and materials, no chance to touch / see the models in a nearby shop, try and select a coherent set, order online".

    Think we are thinking wishfull here..
    We do have model lines. Mom, AoW, Fireforge, Mierce, Shieldwolf, and others all openly support our project as a vehicle to sell their amazingly cool miniatures. What we don't have is centralized control between rules and models. Companies release wicked cool new models (Lost Kingdom and their upcoming SA Kickstarter for example) that can still drive inspiration and purchases as well as player excitement.

    Pellegrim wrote:

    @Windelov Thats an excellent idea. A 2.0 smooth running, easy readable, decluttered version for warbands would kick it! (Alas that is not the QS imo).

    This would be heavy compettition for the current 9th Age though .... not sure the fanbase could pull it along .... but worth exploring.
    This will literally be what the Quickstarter with the expanded rules will be IMO
    @DJWoodelf - Would you agree that our work with the expanded/advanced rules would very easily fit this bill?

    StoffenDK wrote:

    I just want to weigh in here with a few points I have observed when I was in the miniatures business:

    • What drives a game forward is the miniatures. Period. Rules are a supplement. New miniatures means innovation, it changes the game by the impact of the new rules they bring along and so on and so fourth. So without new miniatures, a game stagnates and dies.
    • Ease of entry: The games that fare the best, are the games that has the easiest entry. That means 2 things, one is model count and the other is rules complexity. An example that masters this the best, is FFG's "X-wings" game. It requires the lowest possible effort to get started with (you only have to buy the miniatures), has a super simple rules set, but great tactical depth. If you look at the financial success of AoS, you can see how GW has applied to an extend, this philosophy to their own miniatures.
    While I dont play X-wings or AoS, the reason I dont, is probably more the fact that my gaming group doesnt.

    Suggestions:
    In the danish army, we dont point to problems without a suggestion on how to solve them.

    The 9th age needs to adjust their rules to easier play:
    That means things like Unit cards that tells you - specifically - what a model does. Ofc there can be flavour text and so on, but you need to spell out an effect on the unit card. No more looking at a unit, then looking back at the rulebook.

    If you cant have your core rules in 10 A4 pages you are failing. Be harsh in your cutting. What takes up a lot of space in the rulebook? Characters fx, moving in and out of units, charging out of units. What can the unit of after? Can it charge?

    Heres how the rules for a character joining units should be: "If the base of the character fits a unit, in the deployment phase, the character may be attached to a unit. He cannot leave the unit during the game, and will become a single model if the last R&F model dies."


    And lastly, this is the big one:
    The 9th age needs to look at what models are on the market, and write rules for them.
    No more of this "balance balance balance" focus, if a supplier has made a great unit / model, write rules for it/them.
    Be bolder than you are and make rules for flavor characters based on specific models.
    Just because we don't have miniatures doesn't mean that we can't make a successful game.
    Too Fat Lardies dominate a large section of the historical games industry without producing miniatures. We need to approach things like the historicals market does - it suits our model better.

    As for rules complexity - I'll come back to that one.

    StoffenDK wrote:

    While I have no experience with software development, I do know project management and product design and you hit the nail @adam.

    The only argument in favor of coupling is that it works as a common base of reference, meaning that a player can say "lethan strike" and the other player will know what it means. The same for the magic lores.

    However, it limits your design since you cannot divert from the BRB without introducing new "common language" which is counter productive to the purpose in the first place.


    Rulebook should describe Mechanics (How rules interact and are used), whereas the AB should tell you what the rules are.
    IMO I would rather have all (or the majority) of the rules in one book than have to flip through 16 different books, and look at hundreds of unit cards to see various renditions of the same thing tweaked enough to just be different.
    Can we clean up the Special Rules section? Yes.

    Hoffa wrote:

    StoffenDK wrote:

    While I have no experience with software development, I do know project management and product design and you hit the nail @adam.

    The only argument in favor of coupling is that it works as a common base of reference, meaning that a player can say "lethan strike" and the other player will know what it means. The same for the magic lores.

    However, it limits your design since you cannot divert from the BRB without introducing new "common language" which is counter productive to the purpose in the first place.


    Rulebook should describe Mechanics (How rules interact and are used), whereas the AB should tell you what the rules are.
    I work as a software engineer and I have the exact opposite view. This coupling is needed to prevent the number of rules in the game to grow exponentially. Otherwise you wind up with the mess that was the initial AoS release were as example the mechanics for how a shield works was different for different units. One units shields gave them a better save, another units shields made them reroll their saves, the third units shields made it more difficult for the opponent to hit. It was horrible.
    People are not computers and can only keep track of so many things at the same time.
    AoS/40k8e both have hundreds of complicated, unclear, and difficult to understand rules. What GW has done is scattered them to make it less obvious at first glance how complicated/unclear, and difficult to understand many mechanics are.

    IoRi78 wrote:

    Kodos der Henker wrote:

    IoRi78 wrote:

    Absolutly, but is more easy for us to attract players that know what is a wargame with ours strong points than completly new players.
    Warhammer, not Wargame

    IoRi78 wrote:

    I prefer 130 page of rules well written than 10 page and 218 faqs
    Debetableand I have not seen a game yet that needed 130 pages well written rulesthose were either a lot of explanation, including faction rules, fluff texts and pictures or bad written
    1 - Wargame, in general, they know what is to play and that miniatures are needed to play.
    2 - we have 112 pages that cover fairly well any case that could happen in a game. They can be writed better and more clearly, there is Always room for improovment, but i still prefer to have a rulebook that don't left nothing to interpretation or need faqs to work, and in ten page you can not do it.

    Rules Complexity/Difficulty to understand argument...

    I'll be straightforward here; Everyone likes to bash our rules writing and armchair quarterback what we've decided to write and put in the book, but we have a bunch of threads open looking for suggestions and many of them are pretty quiet.

    @Pellegrim and I don't always agree on things here, but out of all those critcizing our rules writing, he at the least has been active on those threads making a concerted effort to adjust the rules.

    The road to 205 - feedback on figures
    The road to 205 - Chapters of the Week: 9 - 10 (community)
    The road to 205 - Chapters of the Week: 5 - 6 (community)
    The road to 205 - Chapters of the Week: 7 - 8 (community)

    So please - join those conversations.

    As far as rules clarity is concerned I've argued for it before and I will again: Layout affects memorization.
    The Slim rules, made into columns, with some minor details added (some rules in a enclosed box, or a small graphic in a blank space) all of these help break the words up and add cues to help with memorization.

    The slim needs more of those. I guarantee that if we do not change a single word, but change those details, the rules will *appear* less complicated.

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  • kisanis wrote:

    IMO I would rather have all (or the majority) of the rules in one book than have to flip through 16 different books, and look at hundreds of unit cards to see various renditions of the same thing tweaked enough to just be different.
    You assume that every player needs to know every army and every unit. It is true only for tournament players. Most ordinary players play in small circles of 5-6 friends and for them it is enough to know half of the rules of 5 armies (as they know exactly what models their friends have). Forcing all players to learn all rules from all armies the way competitive tournament players learn rules makes the rules intimidating for less tournament oriented players.
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  • DJWoodelf wrote:

    Pellegrim wrote:

    Core rules back to a minimum is def worth exploring. And let things like weapons, armour and special rules be a supplement / attachments.

    ...
    you could call it QS?! ;) ?(
    Hahaha, well no, not quiet, the QS wasnt designed to be the next product, but rather as an easy version of the current game. If I remember correctly. Its not suave enough.
    Booooooaaaaaarsssss .... Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge !!!
  • kisanis wrote:

    ...

    Pellegrim wrote:

    @Windelov Thats an excellent idea. A 2.0 smooth running, easy readable, decluttered version for warbands would kick it! (Alas that is not the QS imo).

    This would be heavy compettition for the current 9th Age though .... not sure the fanbase could pull it along .... but worth exploring.
    This will literally be what the Quickstarter with the expanded rules will be IMO@DJWoodelf - Would you agree that our work with the expanded/advanced rules would very easily fit this bill?
    ...
    IMO thats the case.
    But there are different ideas in detail what a warband ruleset should be.

    Warband doesnt necessarily mean that you should have simplified rules.

    E.g. very small point games (in extremum even skirmishers) could even have more complex rules like extended armoury.


    Where is the exact boundary from
    1. Mass battle
    2. Warbands battle
    3. Skirmisher battle
    4. RPG-like rules battle

    The step from 2 to 3 most probably is rnf versus skirmishers.


    I think the only thing that makes playing warbands with current FB not as satisfactory as it could be is the balancing around 4500pts....so no good enough scaling of things like magic, max unit sizes, 0-x restrictions. Fixed restrictions are ciritical for a balanced warband list with FB.


    In the end there could be a point-depending break
    3000+ FB
    2000-3000 warband (needs to be improved)
    1000-2000 QS
    >1000 RPG-like or Skirmish-game

    Independent from that I could even see 4500+ battles played with QS ruleset.
    Similar complexity as KoW. Different gaming experience than FB...namely no deathstar and no herohammer possible.

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  • I think @Blonde Beer 's pirates peril will be a good skirmish T9A set.

    He's done some great work (And yes, I am trying to work on it Jan, I have not forgotten :) )

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    Quick Starter Team

    "...take a step back and remember that we are playing a game where we roll dice and move little people around the board."

    - Grouchy Badger

  • JimMorr wrote:

    kisanis wrote:

    IMO I would rather have all (or the majority) of the rules in one book than have to flip through 16 different books, and look at hundreds of unit cards to see various renditions of the same thing tweaked enough to just be different.
    You assume that every player needs to know every army and every unit. It is true only for tournament players. Most ordinary players play in small circles of 5-6 friends and for them it is enough to know half of the rules of 5 armies (as they know exactly what models their friends have). Forcing all players to learn all rules from all armies the way competitive tournament players learn rules makes the rules intimidating for less tournament oriented players.

    As far as I understand it is an intended design feature that it should be possible to learn "every army and unit" without putting in an insane amount of work. No one is forced to learn all the rules for that matter. It is very possible to skip all the rules not used by the army you are playing. I consider my self an average tournament player and there are lot of rules I have never bothered with. (Mostly because they are not frozen yet)
  • DJWoodelf wrote:

    4. RPG-like rules battle
    This one would require a dedicated team from Background, and an idea which would not be simple "Gangs of Rome Avres". Indeed it could be a mini-game with 3-4 well developed factions in the beginning rather than 16+. Maybe be even single army focused something as bizarre as Paths of Ascension with WoDG followers of different god competing for their patrons attention.
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  • Hoffa wrote:

    No one is forced to learn all the rules for that matter. It is very possible to skip all the rules not used by the army you are playing.
    No it is not. The rules are not structured in any way, important parts mix in the same rule with some rare exception fail-saves, rules refer to each other in spaghetti-like manner. There is no way a beginner player can learn only important rules and less important check while playing.
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  • JimMorr wrote:

    Hoffa wrote:

    No one is forced to learn all the rules for that matter. It is very possible to skip all the rules not used by the army you are playing.
    No it is not. The rules are not structured in any way, important parts mix in the same rule with some rare exception fail-saves, rules refer to each other in spaghetti-like manner. There is no way a beginner player can learn only important rules and less important check while playing.
    true - so help improve it in the appr. threads all of yo!
    Booooooaaaaaarsssss .... Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge !!!
  • on the rules complexity issue - I cannot stress enough that once you spend hours upon hours reading the same rules over and over again it gets harder and harder to find the problems - its why we need the input from those outside the project.

    Head of Lectors

    Quick Starter Team

    "...take a step back and remember that we are playing a game where we roll dice and move little people around the board."

    - Grouchy Badger

  • JimMorr wrote:

    Pellegrim wrote:

    true - so help improve it in the appr. threads all of yo!
    I follow those and suggest tweaks where I can. Yet I am afraid this problem is far beyond repair with simple wording fixing. It requires rule structure redesign...
    Ok. That can help, but very unlikely to happen.
    So rewording / restructuring is the real win-win solution for now!
    Booooooaaaaaarsssss .... Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge !!!
  • Haven't read the full thread, will do later if I can.

    I agree than the rules aren't the easier ones to learn. There should be a "intermediate" brb with less technical rules, like " Crush attack: instead of its normal attacs, the miniature can do a single attac with..." and a "tournament" brb which should be the current one and which also coukd be the faq of the intermediate brb. I know the progect doesn't have the manpower to do this tho.

    Regarding money entry cost, wargames are pretty cheap, IMHO. Army + paints + movement try + dice are like... 1000€? I have friends which do motorbike, hunting, traveling, photography, videogames, board games... I think all of those hobbies are expensivier than wargamming in general and T9A in particular.
  • Pellegrim wrote:

    Ok. That can help, but very unlikely to happen.
    True that. Huge effort and unsupported by projects mission which seems to be under construction. However identifying parts of main rules that really belong to AB and only cause a lot of unnecessary ripples in BRB should be easier and consume less resources.
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