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

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

    Hi guys,

    first of all I want to say: Thank you for making 9th Age. This is the game, that Warhammer always should have been. Amazing work. Never has been more balanced and fun to play.

    I´m still fairly new to T9A, but have played WH, various other tabletop and boardgames and was both a progamer and professional pokerplayer.
    These years have taught me some important insights, that might help to make 9th Age more attractive to new players. I would loooove to see the tournament scene grow even more.

    I think the biggest problem is fairly "simple". T9A has WAY to many rules, WAY too much text. If I had no experience with WHFB and other games, there would simply be no chance I would have put up with learning T9A. And I´m a huge fan of this type of game. No idea how any total beginner is supposed to put up with this. I don´t know of any successful boardgames/TT games, where people, who have played 20+ games still have to look up rules regularly.

    All the games, that I enjoyed the most, have one thing in common: the rules are somewhat simple, but the strategic depth is huge. About poker there is even the saying "takes a few minutes to learn and a lifetime to master". I feel like T9A takes weeks to learn and a lifetme to master ;)

    I´m not gonna go into the details of all the rules, abilities, etc., that I think are unnecessary, just name a few examples. More important is imo a general way of thinking about the addition of rules. It´s a simple principle that many scucessful artists and designers use. It consists of these simple questions, that all have to be answered with "yes, absolutely" before a new element is added. If there is just one "maybe", it doesnt make the cut.

    - Is this absolutely, 100% necessary to make the system (game) work?
    - Will this significantly improve the product (fun playing the game)?
    - Will anybody miss it, if we don´t add/remove it?

    I think there are some abilities and speficific rules that add nothing to the fun of playing or apply too rarely to be worth the text in the rulebook. There´s even special rules with special rules.
    Three absolutely subjective and non-tested examples: 1. Just give units with Emboldening Boughs stubborn. Or dont. 2. Mummys curse. More text, but does it add REAL value to the game? 3. There is imo too many spells. Makes deciding which ones do cast/disspell very tedious sometimes. I think nothing would be lost, if you limited the max amounts of spells per army or simply removed some of them from the game.

    Hope this helps a little, when working on the next updates :thumbsup:

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

  • wait
    A thing is the unnecessary and wandered rules to dewcribe even a simple concept.

    A thing is,removing spells which average player use stamped from the magic cards in the download forum.

    Aboit the latter, just spend few euros and.stamp them.

    About the first, well search for "parry" for example.
    It s not in the "shield" description. Even if close enough.
    But it doesnt say u must use hand weapon to get it.
    U must know it and.look for hand weapon to find parry. Which is somewhere else.


    Those are not slim rules. To avoid any kind of missinterpretation they tried to cover whatwver possible option. But imho not ergonomically.
    This , a new player struggle to remember.
  • YeahGucciFrisur wrote:

    Hi guys,

    first of all I want to say: Thank you for making 9th Age. This is the game, that Warhammer always should have been. Amazing work. Never has been more balanced and fun to play.

    I´m still fairly new to T9A, but have played WH, various other tabletop and boardgames and was both a progamer and professional pokerplayer.
    These years have taught me some important insights, that might help to make 9th Age more attractive to new players. I would loooove to see the tournament scene grow even more.

    I think the biggest problem is fairly "simple". T9A has WAY to many rules, WAY too much text. If I had no experience with WHFB and other games, there would simply be no chance I would have put up with learning T9A. And I´m a huge fan of this type of game. No idea how any total beginner is supposed to put up with this. I don´t know of any successful boardgames/TT games, where people, who have played 20+ games still have to look up rules regularly.

    All the games, that I enjoyed the most, have one thing in common: the rules are somewhat simple, but the strategic depth is huge. About poker there is even the saying "takes a few minutes to learn and a lifetime to master". I feel like T9A takes weeks to learn and a lifetme to master ;)

    I´m not gonna go into the details of all the rules, abilities, etc., that I think are unnecessary, just name a few examples. More important is imo a general way of thinking about the addition of rules. It´s a simple principle that many scucessful artists and designers use. It consists of these simple questions, that all have to be answered with "yes, absolutely" before a new element is added. If there is just one "maybe", it doesnt make the cut.

    - Is this absolutely, 100% necessary to make the system (game) work?
    - Will this significantly improve the product (fun playing the game)?
    - Will anybody miss it, if we don´t add/remove it?

    I think there are a lot of abilities and speficific rules that add nothing to the fun of playing or apply too rarely to be worth the text in the rulebook. There´s even special rules with special rules.
    Three absolutely subjective and non-tested examples: 1. Just give units with Emboldening Boughs stubborn. Or dont. 2. Mummys curse. More text, no extra value to the game. 3. There is way too many spells. Makes deciding which ones do cast/disspell very tedious sometimes. I think nothing would be lost, if you limited the max amounts of spells per army or simply removed half of them from the game.

    Hope this helps a little, when working on the next updates :thumbsup:
    The core rulebook is frozen, basically by popular demand.
    An easier to read book might be produced, either by the community of the project.
    Feel free to volunteer and help with project, I'm sure the staff would like to have you :)

    Interestingly, the project has got a lot of flak in the past for some of the streamlining etc that you are proposing: many players feel like these sorts of things add much needed flavour/fluff/narrative to the game.

    It is interesting to see how different peoples tastes are, and how the different aspects are considered to be pros by some and cons by others.
    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
  • YeahGucciFrisur wrote:

    ...

    I think the biggest problem is fairly "simple". T9A has WAY to many rules, WAY too much text. If I had no experience with WHFB and other games, there would simply be no chance I would have put up with learning T9A. And I´m a huge fan of this type of game. No idea how any total beginner is supposed to put up with this. I don´t know of any successful boardgames/TT games, where people, who have played 20+ games still have to look up rules regularly.

    ...
    there is one easy answer to players who jump into T9A...no matter if tabletop newbies or coming from another game system:
    read and play this first (several times) before going one step further:


    it's even the first document you will find in the download section.

    Quick Starter Team

    Playtester


  • DJWoodelf wrote:

    YeahGucciFrisur wrote:

    ...

    I think the biggest problem is fairly "simple". T9A has WAY to many rules, WAY too much text. If I had no experience with WHFB and other games, there would simply be no chance I would have put up with learning T9A. And I´m a huge fan of this type of game. No idea how any total beginner is supposed to put up with this. I don´t know of any successful boardgames/TT games, where people, who have played 20+ games still have to look up rules regularly.

    ...
    there is one easy answer to players who jump into T9A...no matter if tabletop newbies or coming from another game system:read and play this first (several times) before going one step further:


    it's even the first document you will find in the download section.
    i disagree.
    game was developed in a way.

    quickstart and 1000p ruleset is something modded by community as alternative.

    fact ruleset is overcomplicated is a fact.
  • The quick starter was developed with rigour and passion- it is every bit as legitimate as the full book.

    9th has ample resources to please all camps: the hobbyist, the competitor, the beginner, and the forum warrior. Choose your favorite, and don't be a curmudgeon about the others!

    @OP:
    One way to advance/develop your thoughts on the subject would be pretty straightforward: try hosting a quick starter rules only tourney! It doesn't only have to be beginners: be persuasive.
  • Dopey wrote:

    The quick starter was developed with rigour and passion- it is every bit as legitimate as the full book.

    9th has ample resources to please all camps: the hobbyist, the competitor, the beginner, and the forum warrior. Choose your favorite, and don't be a curmudgeon about the others!

    @OP:
    One way to advance/develop your thoughts on the subject would be pretty straightforward: try hosting a quick starter rules only tourney! It doesn't only have to be beginners: be persuasive.
    it s still another game
  • Re-ordering all the rules into something that isn't simply focused on being complete(like now), but also as easy to learn as possible is probably(in my opinion) what most of the "it's too complicated" lot who keep advocating for the rules to just be less really want.

    That's a project for later down the road once all the errata and stuff is done though. The rules will then truly be complete and it makes the entire process of turning that into something different much easier, as there won't be further tweaks that might change a bunch of stuff you've already done.



    It's something I may get around to doing if I can find the will/time/energy, or if somebody is already doing it I'm more than willing to lend a hand.
  • It's not a game for beginners and if they want to jump into it they have to be aware it is difficult.

    Best companions are others players that will become friends (and you will find many !) and help you playing better.

    For me this is the Dark Souls of the tabletop game. It requires motivation.

    Yes the rules can be written more simple but at least it is complete !
  • YeahGucciFrisur wrote:


    I think the biggest problem is fairly "simple". T9A has WAY to many rules, WAY too much text. If I had no experience with WHFB and other games, there would simply be no chance I would have put up with learning T9A. And I´m a huge fan of this type of game. No idea how any total beginner is supposed to put up with this. I don´t know of any successful boardgames/TT games, where people, who have played 20+ games still have to look up rules regularly.
    As a now 2-3ish year player I think the BRB rules and magic stuff are many but acceptable (as long a sthey stay sort of stable) - it's all the unique special units, unique character upgrades, unique magical iems, unique army wide rules, unique unit specific of the 15 other unique army books that often bring me into trouble. If unit X gets within 6" of character Y it has an extra 4+ save? And ah .. if my unit has flying my enemy can re-roll to hit? Oh .. that item makes your BSB invulnerable to S5+ hits?

    It's knowing not only the base rule but also thy enemy which is tough in T9A ..
    + :WDG_bw: :HE: :SA: + This forum need polls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • All the complexity of the unit, upgrades, characters, items and synergies is what helps make this game great. Id be up for some more complexity!
    Take a look at my painted army so far. Feel free to share a pic of yours!

    Pics of my ever expanding warriors army

    WastelandWarrior Painting League 2018

    WastelandWarrior Painting League 2019
  • i just re-read the BRB top to bottom again last week - it is a great piece of work, everything is remarkably clear, for a game of this complexity, and for a game for which most players do ask for complexity. it serves it purpose really well: providing clear rules for experienced players, minimising grey areas.

    still, it is not a rulebook meant for the absolute beginner. for them, as Dopey rightly says, we have other products, like the QuickStarter. pace Shukran, these are official products, created by staff, and even high up in the download section, as DJW said. if you want to step into the game, use those. if you want to start with the "advanced calculus textbook" before having read your "basic math primer", sure, go ahead. but i don't think the project should change things to accommodate the needs of players who do not use the documents as intended.

    TL,DR:
    question - "this knife has too many jagged edges, and i can't eat my soup easily with it. could we make it less sharp, and maybe raise its edges, so it can contain liquids a bit better?"
    answer - "we also have spoons, they're in the top drawer"


    click the logo and reach the KickStarter page!
  • I think some of the reactions towards the original poster are downright condescending and often seem to haven't read and/or understand the posting carefully enough.

    While I applaud the efforts going into the Quickstarter and it is certainly a great tool to get into the hobby a major point of the post was this:

    YeahGucciFrisur wrote:

    I don´t know of any successful boardgames/TT games, where people, who have played 20+ games still have to look up rules regularly.
    This is exactly what is not fixed by having a Quickstarter. Regular and veteran players needing to look up rules all the time, even after playing the game for years: This is something that isn't connected to the availability of a Quickstarter at all.

    The most balanced posting IMO, again comes from @DanT. We froze the rulebook, so @piteglio 's post cannot have a short term effect. But maybe it can influence a potential version 3.0

    Tool Support Battle Scribe

    Community Engagement


    My blog with battle reports and painting gallery: bleaklegion.wordpress.com/
  • I think the best way to spread The 9th Age project is trying to create our own way to explain rules.
    Try to produce a simplified sheet for beginners (I mean, we should produce them as fans ^^), or maybe think about the chance to separate the various rules into different steps. In my opinion, if a player understands the logic behind this kind of game, the rest is just a mass of numbers to learn. ;)
  • Ayuvelon wrote:

    I think the best way to spread The 9th Age project is trying to create our own way to explain rules.
    Try to produce a simplified sheet for beginners (I mean, we should produce them as fans ^^), or maybe think about the chance to separate the various rules into different steps. In my opinion, if a player understands the logic behind this kind of game, the rest is just a mass of numbers to learn. ;)
    I've never been a big fan of the quick starter stuff as it's actually a different (if similar) game.

    For beginners I'd rather start off with playing with just core units, to get the hang of manoeuvering around, charging, shooting and such. To get to master the real basics. And make a beginner's rulebook with enough rules to play with the core units - so leaving out a lot of chapters on magic, characters, BSB stuff and such. Simplified, but you are still learning to play the actual game.

    Add in the "advanced" special, magic and characters later.
    + :WDG_bw: :HE: :SA: + This forum need polls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

  • DarkSky wrote:

    I think some of the reactions towards the original poster are downright condescending and often seem to haven't read and/or understand the posting carefully enough. [...]

    thanks for the pointer, DarkSky. i apologise to YGF if i came across as condescending, it wasn't my intention, especially since the original post was written in a nice tone. let me try and illustrate my point with a couple of quotes:




    YeahGucciFrisur wrote:

    [...] There is way too many spells. Makes deciding which ones do cast/disspell very tedious sometimes. I think nothing would be lost, if you limited the max amounts of spells per army or simply removed half of them from the game.
    vs.

    WastelandWarrior wrote:

    All the complexity of the unit, upgrades, characters, items and synergies is what helps make this game great. Id be up for some more complexity!




    my reading is that most of the existing veteran players agree more with WW than with YGF on this point, so no, i would NOT reduce the number of spells in the full game. at the same time, i understand how new players can struggle with all those spells. that's why the QS has only two or three spell per army (in its basic rules). and that is why i mentioned the QS in the first place:

    YeahGucciFrisur wrote:

    [...] T9A has WAY to many rules, WAY too much text. If I had no experience with WHFB and other games, there would simply be no chance I would have put up with learning T9A. And I´m a huge fan of this type of game. No idea how any total beginner is supposed to put up with this. [...]

    he's not.
    a total beginner should start somewhere else. for example, with the QS.
    that's what i meant to say in my previous post - sorry if it was unclear, or if i came across as snarky.




    edit: just saw this new post:

    Teowulff wrote:

    I've never been a big fan of the quick starter stuff as it's actually a different (if not similar) game.
    For beginners I'd rather start off with playing with just core units, to get the hang of manoeuvering around, charging, shooting and such. To get to master the real basics. And make a beginner's rulebook with enough rules to play with the core units - so leaving out a lot of chapters on magic, characters, BSB stuff and such. Simplified, but you are still learning to play the actual game.

    Add in special, magic and characters later.

    yes, that's how work on the QS started out. then we noticed it wasn't enough, and that as soon as you see things from the viewpoint of a learner it makes sense to introduce a couple differences from the full game, because the gain (in simplicity) is way larger than the loss (in similarity). but again: you have to look through learners' eyes. if you look at things as a veteran player, your annoyance for the small differences will be inflated. but, as i tried to convey in the text above:

    the basic QS is not written for you veterans,
    just like the BRB is not written for noobs.


    click the logo and reach the KickStarter page!

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

  • I´m not at all opposed to complexity. In fact it is what makes T9A great. I don´t think it´s possible to create a T9A version, that is still T9A and can be learned in a day. Too little complexity would ruin the game imo.

    I just think there are some rules, that don´t add any real value. I know its REALLY hard to draw a line here and decide which rules actually make the game better and which ones don´t. Maybe its not even the (amount of) rules per se, but just the way they are written and organised in the rulebook. I don´t have the perfect answer and I´m not trying to attack anyone. Just pointing out, that the game can be frustrating to learn, even for veteran players, even moreso for newbies. And trying to help make some future decisions with the questions I posted.

    @DanT Thatswhy I´m very happy to hear, that an easier to read rulebook is planned.
  • YeahGucciFrisur wrote:

    @DanT Thatswhy I´m very happy to hear, that an easier to read rulebook is planned.
    Just to be super clear, I don't think I said it was planned...

    DanT wrote:

    The core rulebook is frozen, basically by popular demand.An easier to read book might be produced, either by the community of the project.
    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