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Author Topic: "If you're playing RAW, it's really just a wargame!"  (Read 1659 times)

Opaopajr

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"If you're playing RAW, it's really just a wargame!"
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2013, 04:18:28 am »
I think what might be lost in that reference is the play state nowadays. War games now are predominantly represented by computer war games, just like roleplaying is predominantly represented by computer role playing games. Outside of turn based strategy and real time strategy, tabletop war games are like tabletop RPGs nowadays, a novelty among a hardcore fanbase.

Note how much of GMC games & Fantasy Flight games are tactical, but very regimented in their play mechanic structure. Fiddling with the structure is not even really entertained anymore; you are expected to buy playtested expansions instead. That might have to do with how so many are now card driven as well, especially with exception-based design from those cards.

I guess in the post-video game, post-CCG world certain expectations are just now generational. If you are of a certain age you seem out of touch with the vernacular. If you are younger, it seems like moon speak to even consider such freewheeling alterations to "should have been play tested before even published" modern products.

Perhaps we're all just old. :(
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jibbajibba

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"If you're playing RAW, it's really just a wargame!"
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2013, 10:56:41 am »
I reckon its a progression thing.
The earlies Wargames, Chess and Go are vry much RAW. You don't get to debate over how we are going to allow the knight to move when you start a game with a new player at the chess club.
A very professional game like ASL if you are playing Face to face may have a menu of options you can turn off or on but it still kind of demands you play RAW. A looser more artisan game might well make you feel like you can tweak rules but that is really because you probably think you have as much knowledge or experience as the designer and so feel the rules can be tweaked.
Most people expect to play rules as written for most games they pick up. I for one am happy to toss a rule if it doesn't make sense many are not.

Now with a referee things change but Wargames with referees these days are really niche-niche and the vast majority are GW stuff where the ref will come over and adjudicate a rule from the book as opposed to one where the ref will track 'variables' inject the fog of war or act as a ref who is fully engaged with the duration of the game, ie the ref is an integral part of the game as opposed to a well infomred interactive rule book.
Computer wargames have simply solved this. they are quicker to set up, they don;t require space, or hundred of dollars of investment you just load the game and voila 40,000 Tracians can battle 30,000 prersians. they provide the fog of war and they eliminate all the arguements that made war games tedious the movement minutia the range setting the LOS discussions etc all gone.

So I reckon wargames are pretty much RAW now although not sure that means that playing an RPG RAW means its anythign like a Wargame.
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jeff37923

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"If you're playing RAW, it's really just a wargame!"
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2013, 04:32:05 pm »
Quote from: Benoist;689329
Do you feel the same?


Yes, my experience with wargames is that the rules are extremely more fiddly than a RPG. I'm comparing the volume of rules and how they are presented in Star Fleet Battles to Last Unicorn's Star Trek the RPG and it is night and day. I think this is another derogatory stab at RPG playstyles that has come out of the 4E debacle.

David Johansen

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"If you're playing RAW, it's really just a wargame!"
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2013, 04:34:36 pm »
The accusation that D&D is a just a wargame was pretty popular in the mid eighties.  I think GURPS and then Vampire moved the accusation on from that to childish teenage boy power fantasy without depth or worth.  But Warhammer was rising to its great heights by then and it too looked down on rpgs by the mid nineties, with the release of =][=nquisitor and White Dwarf 500 both carrying a fair bit of "rpgs are silly" snark.

Anyhow, my oft maligned contention is that being a wargame at its roots is one of the things that have made D&D number one for so long.  Even when other games were doing just about everything else better.  That tactical map mentality and discussion is easier to follow than any abstract range band or scale shift system I"ve ever seen.

RAW on the otherhand has its place in rpgs and I don't have a lot of respect for GMs who don't even know the rules.  And I would generally advise trying the rules as is before fiddling with them.

Games Workshop these days is mainly the province of rules lawyers and tournament fanatics.  And indeed I have trouble imagining any rpg being as complex and nitpicky as Warhammer eighth edition.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 04:36:51 pm by David Johansen »
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TristramEvans

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"If you're playing RAW, it's really just a wargame!"
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2013, 05:13:31 pm »
I learned to play Warhmer 8th a few weeks ago. This system is simpler than Chainmail, by far "lighter" than any number of RPGs I can think of. And just like RPGs, its only the " domain of rules lawyers and whatnot" if you're not playing with friends. One of the roleplayrrs in my group suggested it, we both bought armies, a third friend I GM for is going to get thier own army, and my GF has
 seen it and is interested in playing an army of elves (though I'll prob be painting it for her as she just started her second to last term in school for her doctorate).

It's easily simpler than GURPs, Champions, or D&D 4 th, probably even AD&D.
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Gronan of Simmerya

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"If you're playing RAW, it's really just a wargame!"
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2013, 10:05:29 pm »
Quote from: TristramEvans;689590
I learned to play Warhmer 8th a few weeks ago. This system is simpler than Chainmail,.


Seriously?

The historical part of CHAINMAIL is 17 pages including sieges and uses only a d6.  I've never seen Warhamburger, how can it be simpler?  How much CHAINMAIL have you played?
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David Johansen

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"If you're playing RAW, it's really just a wargame!"
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2013, 10:30:19 pm »
People have very different metrics by which they judge complexity.

For instance, Warhammer's attack mechanic is roll 1d6 vs a target number based on Weapon Skill or Ballistic Skill.  Then roll 1d6 for Strength Verses Toughness.  Then roll 1d6 for an Armor Save.  Easy right? But the target number for Weapon Skill verses Weapon Skill is a table look up but it's an easy table to memorize.  And Ballistic Skill is another easy table look up.  -1 for over half range range, -1 for cover, -1 to move and shoot.  It's pretty easy once you're used to it but it's literally more table checks than Rolemaster.  The tables are much easier to memorize though.

But let's break down the turn sequence.  To look at Warhammer more clearly.

Start of Turn
   Roll to rally fleeing troops.
   Discontinue effects that end at the start of your next turn.

Movement
   Move Fleeing Troops and other Compulsorary Moves
   Declare Charges
   Resolve Stand and Shoot and Flee Reactions
   Move Chargers
   Move Other Troops

Magic
   Generate Winds of Magic (power and dispel dice)
   Attempt To Cast Spells
   Attempt To Dispel Spells
   Resolve Spell Effects

Shooting
    Declare Target
    Check Range & Check Line of Sight
    Roll To Hit
    Roll To Wound
    Roll Armor Save

Melee
    Resolve Attacks In Order Of
      Elves
     Always Strikes First
     Initiative Score Order (Yes in any other phase than initiative score order strikes are similtaneous.)
     Great Weapons
     Always Strikes Last
     Stomp Attacks
     For Each Attack
      Roll To Hit
      Roll To Wound
      Roll Armor Save
  Determine Combat Results
   Break Test
   Flee
   Pursue Or Attempt To Hold
  Move On To Next Combat

Yup dead simple at only half a dozen special case rules, modifiers, and sub sequences per step that I couldn't be arsed to get into and nobody will every give you a break if you miss a step anywhere or at any time because Warhammer is a simple game and only an idiot would struggle to follow it's simple and linear structure.

I played first editon Warhammer, Third Edition Warhammer, Rogue Trader, Fifth Edition Warhammer, Third Edition 40k, Fourth Edition 40k, Sixth, Seventh, and yes Eighth Edtion warhammer.

So Bullshit.  Warhammer is a baroque mess that makes the excesses of Rolemaster, Phoenix Command, and GURPS Vehicles look sane and managible.  But yes, the individual discrete steps are simple as long as you ignore the dozen odd volumes of army specific special case rules that apply to each ever so simple and reasonable little step.

Give me Chainmail any day.
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TristramEvans

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"If you're playing RAW, it's really just a wargame!"
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2013, 10:52:30 pm »
Quote from: Old Geezer;689639
Seriously?

The historical part of CHAINMAIL is 17 pages including sieges and uses only a d6.  I've never seen Warhamburger, how can it be simpler?  How much CHAINMAIL have you played?


WH only uses d6s as well, and the main rules sans optional stuff fits on 10 pages handwritten (as that's what I did). I played chainmail a few times, it wasn't even length so much as cohesion. WH is incredibly streamlined.
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TristramEvans

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"If you're playing RAW, it's really just a wargame!"
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2013, 03:13:23 am »
Quote from: David Johansen;689647
People have very different metrics by which they judge complexity.

Granted, and to be fair the criteria are different, as in an rpg I'm looking for a system to aid in/not interfere with immersion, whereas in Warhammer how I view my troops is closer to the relationship of a GM to an NPC or monster than a player's relationship with thier character.

That said, I certainly found the system simpler and more intuitive than your list implies.

Quote
But let's break down the turn sequence.  To look at Warhammer more clearly.

Start of Turn
   Roll to rally fleeing troops.
   Discontinue effects that end at the start of your next turn.

Like here, I'd hardly even call "discontinue effects" an action in the game per se. If something like magic gave you a special moodier for one turn, the next turn you don't get that modifier.

Quote
Movement
   Move Fleeing Troops and other Compulsorary Moves
   Declare Charges
   Resolve Stand and Shoot and Flee Reactions
   Move Chargers
   Move Other Troops

This again seems an overly complex list to me.

A turn starts with movement. Compulsary moves first, which are rarer and generally either troops forced to flee at the end of the last round or certain specific rare or special models. So, before a unit flees the player can roll to rally the unit. Otherwise they move 2d6 plus thier movement.

Then the player whose turn it is nominated what each unit is doing: standing ground (nothing), moving, matching or charging. Then, going back thru the units, of the unit is moving, it moves up to its Movement rating. If marching, it moves up to twice its movement rating. If charging, the player rolls 2d6 + their Movement rating and is placed an inch away from the unit it's charging. And that's movement.

Magic is basically the simplest system this side of Risus, so skipping that, shooting and then Melee. Both follow the same procedure. Roll to attack, successes refilled to wound, and then the other player can make an armour or ward save. Any successes left are the amount of models removed ( unless specials or rares with extra wounds).

The main difference between Melee and shooting is Initiative, as you say, but again the list you made is just somewhat confusing to me
Quote
Melee
    Resolve Attacks In Order Of
      Elves
     Always Strikes First
     Initiative Score Order (Yes in any other phase than initiative score order strikes are similtaneous.)
     Great Weapons
     Always Strikes Last
     Stomp Attacks
     For Each Attack
      Roll To Hit
      Roll To Wound
      Roll Armor Save
  Determine Combat Results
   Break Test
   Flee
   Pursue Or Attempt To Hold
  Move On To Next Combat

Elves follow regular Initiative rules, they just tend to possess high scores. So do Skaven.
The order goes as follows:
Any characters with the Always Strike First note.
Highest to lowest Initiative rating
Any characters with the Always Strike Last note.

I'm not sure what you meant by Great Weapons or Stomping in your list other than as examples of the Always Strikes Last rule.

Quote
So Bullshit.  Warhammer is a baroque mess that makes the excesses of Rolemaster, Phoenix Command, and GURPS Vehicles look sane and managible.  But yes, the individual discrete steps are simple as long as you ignore the dozen odd volumes of army specific special case rules that apply to each ever so simple and reasonable little step.

Give me Chainmail any day.

Well you're certainly welcome to your own preferences , but 'baroque' sounds odd to me as I found the system easy, intuitive, and runs quite quickly. I'd draw the line of personal preference at a comparison to Phoenix Command, however, which is hyperbolic to the point of comedy.

Quote from: example of play for Phoenix Command

For example, let's say I have an MP5 submachinegun.
Let's say I'm an average soldier. My target is average too, that means 10 for his stats. He's wearing standard body armor. The range is 30 yards. He appears, moving at a rate of 4 yards a second, running, with no cover (for simplicity). He is firing from a standing position, from a proper firing stance. Let's say it's mid-day, for simplicity.

I aim for 2 seconds and fire a burst of 7 rounds. I'll not use time of flight of the bullet, because I haven't learned how yet.

And scrap that body armor too. Too complex for here.

Here's the process:
Add up aim modifiers.

Aim time: 2
Range: 9
Target size: 14
Shooter motion: 0
_______________

Effective accuracy = 25

Now I look up 25 on a table.

My odds of putting the burst in the correct location are at 97%. I roll a 37.
The burst is at the correct elevation, so I look up my minimum arc.
It is .7, so the burst has spread over 1.4 yards. My rate of fire is *7, so I look up on another table the chance of hitting with a ROF of *7 and a MA of .7.

The full-page table says I hit with 1 round.

Now roll for the hit location. I roll a 292 and look up on the Side Hit table ( I hit him in the side ) and the bullet passes through the man's liver and stomach.

Now I look up on one of the 64+ damage tables ( yes, there's a specific table for a side hit to the hip socket ) and find the one for a side hit to the stomach-liver.

It turns out to be table S15 ( Lower Chest - Stomach - Liver ) and I look up my weapon's damage and penetration for the specific range. The table is a 10x26 table.

That's right, 260 numbers, only for this specific angle and location.

My weapon's damage at 30 yards is 3, and it's penetration is 2.3. This is for FMJ ammo.

My weapon does 1200 Physical Damage, according to the table.

The man fails his knockout roll with only a 2% chance of remaining in the fight. He recieves no medical aid and dies after 2 minutes 58 seconds.




That's an example for you. This has accounted for 0.5 seconds of gameplay.
I didn't use shock, time of flight, advanced movement, blunt trauma, ballistic accuracy, effective minimum arc, weapon reliability, visibility, recoil recovery, optical scopes, cover, sound detection, initiative, animals, etc.
There's a lot more rules too numerous to list ( what if your target is running away, at dawn, behind medium smoke coverage from 1,032 yards? ), and the ranges go out to 1,600 yards, which would take 66-1/3 feet of playing space.

If an RPG comparison is made, I'd say WH 8th is roughly as crunchy as DC Heroes.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 05:49:40 am by TristramEvans »
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David Johansen

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"If you're playing RAW, it's really just a wargame!"
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2013, 09:23:08 am »
Keep playing, go to a tournament or two, you'll come to understand.

But I should note that the game used to be simple and tournamentitis infected it horribly around fifth edition and grew into great tumourous FAQs and an extremely fiddly can't make one step out of place sequence hundreds of steps long.  Add to that the army books that haven't been updated to the new edition and the army books that have been made with an eye to the next edition all of which get their own FAQs.

Which is why I play Kings of War now.  Which is roughly on the complexity level of Snakes and Ladders and less expensive by an order of magnitude.
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TristramEvans

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"If you're playing RAW, it's really just a wargame!"
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2013, 04:36:21 am »
Quote from: David Johansen;689727
Keep playing, go to a tournament or two, you'll come to understand.

But I should note that the game used to be simple and tournamentitis infected it horribly around fifth edition and grew into great tumourous FAQs and an extremely fiddly can't make one step out of place sequence hundreds of steps long.  Add to that the army books that haven't been updated to the new edition and the army books that have been made with an eye to the next edition all of which get their own FAQs.

Which is why I play Kings of War now.  Which is roughly on the complexity level of Snakes and Ladders and less expensive by an order of magnitude.

I don't do tournaments in the same way I don't play RPGs at conventions. I don't play to win (I certainly try to, but that's not how I get my jollies. I play to play. And I like the painting and conversion aspect. Plus, my army would never get in, because the most basic rule of all those games is only GW models can be used, and that's not a rule I can follow. I add in any model that I think is fun, and fits the little backstory I come up with for my army. My Skaven hang out with Pathfinder Plague Doctors, Reaper Veer'Myn, Brushfire Hamster Berserkers, and even a dark elf mini from the Bones line that plays the role of rat queen.

Naturaly, if you prefer a game complexity comparable to Snakes & Ladders, I could see how WH could seem slow, complex, or clumpy. I actually prefer what I'd describe as 'medium crunch', in RPGs the descriptor I'd give to games like MSH, SWD6, or DW:AITAS. WH I'd call one step above what would be my preferred crunch level for RPGs, hence the earlier comparison to DC Heroes, but for me that fits wargaming perfectly, because I've dropped the immersion restraint and because the game is hyper-focused solely around combat, rather than trying to represent a consistent and cohesive world or universe. So yeah, I just like a bit more beef in my bun.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 04:48:34 am by TristramEvans »
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David Johansen

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"If you're playing RAW, it's really just a wargame!"
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2013, 02:31:22 pm »
My prefered rpg crunch level is Rolemaster Standard System, T5, and GURPS so I'm at the higher end there.  What I don't like about Warhammer is that its very rigid procedural complexity.  Rpgs tend to have very dynamic procedures with lots of options whereas Warhammer is very rigid and fiddly in its procedure.

Incidentally, do you know, if high elves lost their strike even before "always strikes first" rule in the new army book?  They certainly had it in the last one.  It's exactly the kind of tacked on bullshit that's ruined the game.
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Blackhand

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"If you're playing RAW, it's really just a wargame!"
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2013, 10:37:36 am »
Quote from: Benoist;689365
How about arguments on the Games Workshop's forums? Are people arguing about the RAW of Warhammer Fantasy Battles a lot? Maybe that perception that wargames are necessarily played RAW comes from that type of tournament-style hobby-shop organized events that basically rely on a strict application of standardized rules nowadays because "marketing"?

Just wanted to note - GW shut down their forums in 2005.

Seems that they couldn't be hassled to handle anyone's complaints, and as soon as opinion turned against them, they shut down the whole deal.
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