How to grow 9th Age - Thoughts of a 20+ years competitive gamer

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  • JimMorr wrote:

    DJWoodelf wrote:

    The whole issue is that the management has defined QS as a "separate" game and that the whole project structure is defined around QS being treated as autark.
    IMO that not only is a big mistake but also does not sell the truth to current and new players.
    Either you are making a new game, designed on purpose to play differently and address different needs. Or you create 'How to play guide'. Now it seems you are trying to be just a little bit pregnant... Possibly 'selling strategy' is to blame.
    I disagree.
    IMO, it's much easier and player-friendly to have a reduced ruleset than having a (how big?!?!) guide to make new players learn 100pages of rules!

    With QS, you can play your first "real" battle after not more than 30min of instruction.
    That's different from playing x "how to play"'s.

    I really like the approach @piteglio is going with his kickstarter.
    But imagine how many missions you need to have until you have been shown 80% of the FB rulebook.
    @piteglio: btw, have you already designed mission 100, "The epic challenge of the dragon-rider against the skeletton champion?" ;)

    Honestly, a full how to play guide for FB would NOT be much shorter than the rulebook itself.

    Quick Starter Team

    Playtester


  • DJWoodelf wrote:

    Honestly, a full how to play guide for FB would NOT be much shorter than the rulebook itself.
    True that :)
    docs.google.com/document/d/1dT…PRU/edit#heading=h.gjdgxs

    That is why I would go on your place into a fully competitive, rapid, simplified game sharing something like 40% of BRB concepts.

    I've watched a few demo games by @piteglio on youtube and I am afraid the problem is our rules are not good for small number of models... the game results seem to be terribly random. At the same time game retained a lot of hidden complexity like redirecting units by single models.
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  • DJW: one mission at a time! now we're almost clear on what to do with Line of Sight. then we'll introduce more missions, one by one, up to the "frustrating duel" : D

    JimMorr: if you're talking about my QS videos, i'm really interested in your perception here. disclaimer: i have spent the whole morning doing statistical modelling for my day job, so i might be biased towards a "big picture" point of view. but i wouldn't agree that "game results seem to be terribly random". have a look at the scoreboard of the QS playtesting league - each cell is a match, if it's blue it means that game hasn't been played yet (e.g. WDG vs DH), one symbol indicate who's the winner (e.g SA won against EoS), two symbols mean draw (e.g. OnG vs KoE):




    out of 28 matches, we played 25 so far. 1 of these (4%) is a massacre. 5 of these (20%) are draws.
    armies which are known to be a tad stronger in the QS (DH and WDG) have a consistent record of 5 wins out of 6 games played.
    also (admittedly: anecdotally), the majority of the games i played got decided at the very last turn.
    as a guy who works in data modelling, i might have strict standards, but this doesn't look "terribly random" to me.


    click the logo and reach the KickStarter page!
  • JimMorr wrote:

    ...

    I've watched a few demo games by @piteglio on youtube and I am afraid the problem is our rules are not good for small number of models... the game results seem to be terribly random. At the same time game retained a lot of hidden complexity like redirecting units by single models.
    The most random thing is passing or failing a Discipline-Test.
    While the BRB with reroll Dis 10 (Gen+BSB) is awfull, I admit that without BSB there are also problems.

    But that is no QS problem but a basic problem how Dis tests work in T9A...namely exactly like WHFB.
    Passing/Failing by 1 can mean standing and winning next round or fleeing and being completely destroyed.

    The problem of redirecting units by single models IMO only exists when playing the premade army lists and scenarios where points dont count.
    The good thing: new players will hardly think about that shenanigans.
    When playing with points, you will think twice if sacrificing a character is worth it.

    We might also solve this be having the player to decide during deployment, if a character wants to join a unit or be a single model during the whole battle.

    Quick Starter Team

    Playtester


  • and since i had R already up and running, i said to myself: why not.

    @Valknut : the QS is fine and dandy, but some premade armies lack flavour, they'd need some army-specific rules
    @Findolo : yeah, for example EoS. it could really benefit from something like Marshall's Orders.
    piteglio : [imitates John Bercow] [imitates Hodor] [goes back to serious mode] well, we do have armywide rules for practically half the armies already... we skipped the others because they were too wordy and complex
    findolo : what about something like the following? is this too complex?

    Orders wrote:

    Once per turn, a character with Orders can give an Order to a single unit within 6", choosing one of the following effects: reroll failed Hit, or reroll failed Armour

    valknut : what the hell is this? leave the writing of EoS rules to Eos players!
    piteglio : introducing differences between FB and QS is not appreciated. also, when do you give the order? can you give it to knights as well?
    findolo : and maybe reduce only to the Movement (OnTheDouble) and Shooting (ReadyAimFire) effects, without bothering with Combat (BraceForImpact) and Discipline (SteadyMen)?
    piteglio : i agree with no Discipline effect, because that one evokes other rules. but again, let's keep differences to a minimum (and include the Combat effect).

    Orders wrote:

    At the start of each friendly Player Turn, a non-fleeing Marshall may give a single Order to a single Light Infantry or Heavy Infantry unit within 8". The effect applies immediately to the target unit, and lasts until the end of the next Player Turn. Declare one of the following effects:
    On The Double! - The unit gains +1” Advance Rate and +4” March Rate.
    Ready! Aim! Fire! - The unit ignores the −1 to-hit modifier for shooting at Long Range.
    Brace For Impact! - The unit can make Supporting Attacks from the third rank.


    piteglio : still, this means we have to counterbalance this extra ability by weakening something else. probably removing the "implicit" halberds from the heavy infantry, or the implicit knightly orders upgrade from the cavalry. but more importantly, this rule is more than 100 words long (in its italian version)!!!

    ...because yes: if you exclude the necessary (absolutely necessary) complications for UD, VC and DL, in QS basic, all special rules are shorter than 50 words



    Orders might be a great idea for the QS advanced. it's not like the QS ruleswriter don't care about faction iconicity. it's that, unless strictly and absolutely necessary, we really shouldn't add rules which are twice as long as the longest rules length (~complexity) we have now. for veterans, simplicity can be frustrating. especially if you are familiar with complexity, and you love it. but for beginners, simplicity is a must. it lets you enjoy the game. especially if you know that further juicy complexity is only one "download button" away.

    we are making a product for beginners. you can't evaluate it with veteran's eyes.
    stop being like adults telling little children that training wheels are dumb.
    stop being like omnivores telling vegans that their cuisine is boring.
    if you are evaluating a product that's intended to intrigue someone else,
    make the effort to see the world through this someone else's eyes.





    EDIT: damned be this forum's auto-formatting preferences! : D
    also, note that Aegis is treated as a separate rule for Shieldwall, Healing waters and Daemonic purposes.
    and in case you want to double-check (and for my own archiving purposes), here's the code:


    click the logo and reach the KickStarter page!

    The post was edited 9 times, last by piteglio ().

  • JimMorr wrote:

    Maybe I am biased as I watched KoE played. With very high model cost, 1hp. Grails felt like 2 unlucky d6 rolls could cost you a game.
    Thats how they naturally are. Lol.
    I am going to offend you. You are not going to like it. You will survive.

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  • I like QS for T9A because it shows what the big game will be like. It is a tactical dance to hold the objective after 4 rounds. Outright destroying the opponent or going for a dice brawl in the center will not help you. I did not win a single game, but was challenged to think on how to win.

    To get T9A compatible product in stores is up to companies.

    What the T9A community can do is to support the best (and only) official promotion team out there. Since companies stopped any form of promotion at clubs or shops with voluntary promoters because of potential legal problems with payment schemes based on points. For beginners QS is a good start, it needs some lipstick but I think it is on the right track.

    Going one step bigger, T9A must work out how to support players that want to go to conventions or clubs and show off the big game. This is quite a challenge since it is global.
    That brings me to the other global factor, the internet. On the internet there are many secondary targets we should aim for. Let me give you a few examples:
    1. Control the art scene. Just as we like to hobby, there are many people who like to draw. @Karak Norn Clansman is very active on Deviant Art and any artist that finds us to get inspired by the T9A lore is an online advertisement. It is time to rethink and broaden what inclusion means for T9A.
      Basically take control of the Google search engine.
    2. Continue to have precise and good rule sets. Disconnect the rules from miniatures and evolve them, keep the gaming experience as the main driving factor. This is important for the tournament scene, but playing the same all the time, even for training gets boring and makes you loose focus. Add global campaigns on the internet, combine them with driving small contained stories and incentives to make art and text materials. Just as we work on official materials, support the community with controlled bursts of activity and give players subjects to talk about.
    3. Become the friendliest and nicest bunch on the internet, make T9A a place that is the best to go to for hobby materials, ideas and provide space to explore. T9A is here to last, so go for the patience game, accept and embrace all the other games out there. Not just to grab their miniatures. Be open to assimilation for evolution. Life is change and change is life. This does not mean that the main game needs to radically change every iteration. Just leave room for the game to breathe.
    4. Support the industry, by talking, showing and working on products from many companies you create value for yourself as a hobby hub. Become the best secondary market for the industry by showcasing and discussing them. This includes all companies out there.
    5. Identify future technologies now and adapt before anyone else does. Get the best apps, web features and videos. Make a feature like CMON with app support but not with ego voting, come up with a fresh idea. Make a pre game app to help with setup and open up to more complexity that way. Go science by supporting research with raw data, then run feedback loops and showcase that science on the forum, have fun with it. Work on features to make the best video battle reports out there. Go build an augmented gaming table.
    T9A is rules, but it is supposed to spark and support creativity. T9A is what you make of it and what you do with it. Creativity comes on many levels and can be anything.

    EDIT: take this post as someone rambling on things that could be.
  • JimMorr wrote:

    Maybe I am biased as I watched KoE played. With very high model cost, 1hp. Grails felt like 2 unlucky d6 rolls could cost you a game.
    thats one of very few exceptions.
    Indeed I have experienced Grail Knigts running away after one casualties from ranged attacks.

    BUT:
    that you only happen using the basic QS rules because there are no special rules except from adding such a rule as unit special rule.
    In first instance we decided only to give undeads and daemons fearless because otherwise there would be too many units with a unit-specific rule.

    Quick Starter Team

    Playtester


  • Giladis wrote:

    T9A will only grow in this day and age if we people who like the game actively proselytise
    Yes, because of what we have chosen T9A to be.

    Little Joe wrote:

    It is time to rethink and broaden what inclusion means for T9A.
    I wonder why this would happen. T9A is all about people doing what they enjoy doing, and if someone outside happens to like the results then yay.

    There was a line that I found hilarious in the Executive Board Statement about RT being empowered to delegate power to empowered teams. I don't think T9A is ready to let go of the power and make a change to a highly networked organization.
  • dragonravioli wrote:

    Giladis wrote:

    T9A will only grow in this day and age if we people who like the game actively proselytise
    Yes, because of what we have chosen T9A to be.I'm not sure what you mean by this, or who the "we" are in your sentence.

    Little Joe wrote:

    It is time to rethink and broaden what inclusion means for T9A.
    I wonder why this would happen. T9A is all about people doing what they enjoy doing, and if someone outside happens to like the results then yay.
    Yes and no. This statement is less true now than it was historically. The project now has semi-explicit goals to appeal to a wider audience, and there has been substantial staff churn amongst those who had a very specific view of what the project should be and didn't believe it could, or should, be anything else.

    There was a line that I found hilarious in the Executive Board Statement about RT being empowered to delegate power to empowered teams. I don't think T9A is ready to let go of the power and make a change to a highly networked organization.
    It is already happening, see for example the LAB structure (e.g. the new ID book). The relationship between RT and the book team is VERY different to previously. The LAB teams really "own" their books; last time I looked, the book team even get to mostly set their own points (before release), so there can be no "BLT ruined our design" issues.
    Being supportive & giving useful criticism aren't mutually exclusive.
    Are you supportive of the project? Do your posts reflect that?

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  • DanT wrote:

    dragonravioli wrote:

    Giladis wrote:

    T9A will only grow in this day and age if we people who like the game actively proselytise
    Yes, because of what we have chosen T9A to be.I'm not sure what you mean by this, or who the "we" are in your sentence. "We" as opposed to blaming "them".

    Little Joe wrote:

    It is time to rethink and broaden what inclusion means for T9A.
    I wonder why this would happen. T9A is all about people doing what they enjoy doing, and if someone outside happens to like the results then yay.Yes and no. This statement is less true now than it was historically. The project now has semi-explicit goals to appeal to a wider audience, and there has been substantial staff churn amongst those who had a very specific view of what the project should be and didn't believe it could, or should, be anything else. I know. My point is, that we think of T9A as the people that make stuff. The audience, as you said, is very passive apart from complaining about the rules. In this sense, how much more would you say we can include under "officially T9A"?

    There was a line that I found hilarious in the Executive Board Statement about RT being empowered to delegate power to empowered teams. I don't think T9A is ready to let go of the power and make a change to a highly networked organization.
    It is already happening, see for example the LAB structure (e.g. the new ID book). The relationship between RT and the book team is VERY different to previously. The LAB teams really "own" their books; last time I looked, the book team even get to mostly set their own points (before release), so there can be no "BLT ruined our design" issues. The line just highlights our obsession with hierarchical coordination, that's all.

  • Purely hypothetical,

    Knowing that setting set timelines may impose delays on release as you would add buffer, would having something like the below be of interest? E.g. if we said for the ID Legendary Army book, currently in the works, that we hypothetically were targetting the public beta in Feb-March and Gold LAB release in the september slot. Still with the risk of delays

    The alternative, is that we dont give dates but just complete as fast as possible (which is probably faster).

    Product Owner - ID LAB

    Alone you may go faster but together we go further ;)
  • DanT wrote:

    ninepaces wrote:

    Not sure, maybe because he thinks its not a serious organization. Professionalism goes a long way. Its been a while since I talked to him.
    Interesting, ok. Let us know if you speak to him again.

    Porw wrote:

    His 'friend' shop owner is right in his own way for not letting people to play in unknown whfb clone game & there is no way to change that situation unless there will be some official products on the store shelves.
    Interestingly, you seem to know this guys' mind better than the person who mentioned him.Good trick :)
    I'm going to resurrect this thread because I did have the conversation. It was a long one, but essentially it came down to not being a smart business move from his part. His business depends on GW's cycling of books and content, drastic nerf/buffing so people keep buying miniatures to stay relevant. T9A is such a good game for longevity that there is no money to be made there (not to mention ebay). Armies are cheaper than ever to get. There is no margin in something like the rulebook to be worth the effort for him. I did point out that gamers buy other things beside models, like paints, brushes, dice, food, etc. At this he did say that I'm personally welcome to bring people in to play t9a because I am a regular customer there, but he won't go out of his way to try to host tournaments for it or actively promote it.

    So I guess that's one step up from last time, but not great either. I can't actually fault him for any of what he said because for the most part it's true. T9A is terrible for making money. Maybe thats the way to approach this... advertise the game as a cheap way to play a fantasy war-game. I don't know what the T9A organization's official stance is when it comes to advertising. There are probably some legal obstacles.

    My personal opinion is still the same regarding growth: play the game with nicely painted models in public venues. Show the game off at conventions when possible. Highlight how easy and cheap it is to play the game. Highlight model choice flexibility. Partner with stores willing to help the game out.

    Edit: I should mention this particular store doesnt support KOW, the new game of thrones game. Basically the GW games, warmachine, star wars and card games.

    The post was edited 2 times, last by ninepaces ().

  • One step is one step.

    After some time it could be another step to ask if you could / may hel one tourney there.

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  • ninepaces wrote:

    DanT wrote:

    ninepaces wrote:

    Not sure, maybe because he thinks its not a serious organization. Professionalism goes a long way. Its been a while since I talked to him.
    Interesting, ok. Let us know if you speak to him again.

    Porw wrote:

    His 'friend' shop owner is right in his own way for not letting people to play in unknown whfb clone game & there is no way to change that situation unless there will be some official products on the store shelves.
    Interestingly, you seem to know this guys' mind better than the person who mentioned him.Good trick :)
    I'm going to resurrect this thread because I did have the conversation. It was a long one, but essentially it came down to not being a smart business move from his part. His business depends on GW's cycling of books and content, drastic nerf/buffing so people keep buying miniatures to stay relevant. T9A is such a good game for longevity that there is no money to be made there (not to mention ebay). Armies are cheaper than ever to get. There is no margin in something like the rulebook to be worth the effort for him. I did point out that gamers buy other things beside models, like paints, brushes, dice, food, etc. At this he did say that I'm personally welcome to bring people in to play t9a because I am a regular customer there, but he won't go out of his way to try to host tournaments for it or actively promote it.
    So I guess that's one step up from last time, but not great either. I can't actually fault him for any of what he said because for the most part it's true. T9A is terrible for making money. Maybe thats the way to approach this... advertise the game as a cheap way to play a fantasy war-game. I don't know what the T9A organization's official stance is when it comes to advertising. There are probably some legal obstacles.

    My personal opinion is still the same regarding growth: play the game with nicely painted models in public venues. Show the game off at conventions when possible. Highlight how easy and cheap it is to play the game. Highlight model choice flexibility. Partner with stores willing to help the game out.

    Edit: I should mention this particular store doesnt support KOW, the new game of thrones game. Basically the GW games, warmachine, star wars and card games.
    It is interesting that the shop owner's reasons for not wanting t9a... are a large part of the reason that i play the game:
    "T9A is such a good game for longevity that there is no money to be made".

    To be honest, this just reinforces my hypothesis that strong gaming clubs and a club network are the way forward.
    Being supportive & giving useful criticism aren't mutually exclusive.
    Are you supportive of the project? Do your posts reflect that?

    List repository and links HERE
    Basic beginners tactics HERE
  • ninepaces wrote:

    DanT wrote:

    ninepaces wrote:

    Not sure, maybe because he thinks its not a serious organization. Professionalism goes a long way. Its been a while since I talked to him.
    Interesting, ok. Let us know if you speak to him again.

    Porw wrote:

    His 'friend' shop owner is right in his own way for not letting people to play in unknown whfb clone game & there is no way to change that situation unless there will be some official products on the store shelves.
    Interestingly, you seem to know this guys' mind better than the person who mentioned him.Good trick :)
    I'm going to resurrect this thread because I did have the conversation. It was a long one, but essentially it came down to not being a smart business move from his part. His business depends on GW's cycling of books and content, drastic nerf/buffing so people keep buying miniatures to stay relevant. T9A is such a good game for longevity that there is no money to be made there (not to mention ebay). Armies are cheaper than ever to get. There is no margin in something like the rulebook to be worth the effort for him. I did point out that gamers buy other things beside models, like paints, brushes, dice, food, etc. At this he did say that I'm personally welcome to bring people in to play t9a because I am a regular customer there, but he won't go out of his way to try to host tournaments for it or actively promote it.
    So I guess that's one step up from last time, but not great either. I can't actually fault him for any of what he said because for the most part it's true. T9A is terrible for making money. Maybe thats the way to approach this... advertise the game as a cheap way to play a fantasy war-game. I don't know what the T9A organization's official stance is when it comes to advertising. There are probably some legal obstacles.

    My personal opinion is still the same regarding growth: play the game with nicely painted models in public venues. Show the game off at conventions when possible. Highlight how easy and cheap it is to play the game. Highlight model choice flexibility. Partner with stores willing to help the game out.

    Edit: I should mention this particular store doesnt support KOW, the new game of thrones game. Basically the GW games, warmachine, star wars and card games.
    The shopkeepers stance makes sense from a business perspective. But i think it's also our responsibility as a community to keep (good) local game stores running. It's in these stores where alot of people get their first introduction into the wargaming world, and they are great hubs for the local communities.

    Perhaps work out some sort of system where you pay a small fee to play t9a on their tables? or something else that allows you to play t9a and generate revenue for the shop.
  • T9A is viewed from outside as a free game to use with old minuature collections. Little business here for shopkeepers. We need to build image of T9A as a living hobby where hundreds of new armies are created every year and collections are expended. A hobby with new armies and new modelling opportunities (magic terrain, auxiliary books).
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  • ninepaces wrote:

    DanT wrote:

    ninepaces wrote:

    Not sure, maybe because he thinks its not a serious organization. Professionalism goes a long way. Its been a while since I talked to him.
    Interesting, ok. Let us know if you speak to him again.

    Porw wrote:

    His 'friend' shop owner is right in his own way for not letting people to play in unknown whfb clone game & there is no way to change that situation unless there will be some official products on the store shelves.
    Interestingly, you seem to know this guys' mind better than the person who mentioned him.Good trick :)
    I'm going to resurrect this thread because I did have the conversation. It was a long one, but essentially it came down to not being a smart business move from his part. His business depends on GW's cycling of books and content, drastic nerf/buffing so people keep buying miniatures to stay relevant. T9A is such a good game for longevity that there is no money to be made there (not to mention ebay). Armies are cheaper than ever to get. There is no margin in something like the rulebook to be worth the effort for him. I did point out that gamers buy other things beside models, like paints, brushes, dice, food, etc. At this he did say that I'm personally welcome to bring people in to play t9a because I am a regular customer there, but he won't go out of his way to try to host tournaments for it or actively promote it.
    So I guess that's one step up from last time, but not great either. I can't actually fault him for any of what he said because for the most part it's true. T9A is terrible for making money. Maybe thats the way to approach this... advertise the game as a cheap way to play a fantasy war-game. I don't know what the T9A organization's official stance is when it comes to advertising. There are probably some legal obstacles.

    My personal opinion is still the same regarding growth: play the game with nicely painted models in public venues. Show the game off at conventions when possible. Highlight how easy and cheap it is to play the game. Highlight model choice flexibility. Partner with stores willing to help the game out.

    Edit: I should mention this particular store doesnt support KOW, the new game of thrones game. Basically the GW games, warmachine, star wars and card games.
    I can understand the reasoning of the shop owner, it is his living after all. You sell what sells best and depending on how long he does the job, he will know his customers better. In the end he will sell what customers actually pay for.
    Space is limited and fast sellers reduce dead capital. Does he accept custom orders as well?

    You are thinking about it the wrong way. You are a regular customer, why is that? That might be the way to a solution. T9A is far from being cheap, even relative in wargaming. To get fully painted armies a lot of hobby products will be needed, the store has a paint and hobby evening? Not everyone likes to become an autodidact on the internet.

    The limitation to a few games and forcing customers to comply does not have a future in the age of the internet in my opinion. Just as new ways to support a game with rules like T9A will emerge, new concepts for clubs and stores will be needed. As a customer I want quality product.