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Maelstrom's Edge v2 rules - We need your feedback!!!  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
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Made in us
Courageous Space Marine Captain


Just give us newer stuff, please.

On a side note, there was a story in one of the collections that hinted at a larger background story involving the Angels, and I would love to see more development along that line.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
For what it's worth, you did a great job with the Epirians characters and their part of the setting. The action and the stakes were well done. I also enjoyed a lot of the stories and would like seeing some characters return.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/05/13 03:21:24

Made in ca
God-like Imperator Titan Commander


 yakface wrote:
 Nurglitch wrote:
Back in 2010 I retrained as a technical writer, and the way we were taught to do manuals was the following:

1st level - Discussion of background, general concepts, how processes covered in each section relate. Stuff like Introduction, Game Concepts, and back-matter like indices and glossaries and stuff.

2nd level - Processes including who was involved, who had oversight, inputs and outputs. They were headed with gerunds "Fighting a combat" etc.

3rd level - Procedures titled with infinitives "To fight a combat" usually done as an ordered list of 9 or fewer steps making sure users know where it's going (aka Purpose) when they start, and what they have when it's complete, or the end-state.

Each of the three levels involved a brief introduction prior to any lists (bullet points) or ordered lists (steps, procedures) involving PCO, or Purpose, Context, and Organisation. Essentially if there wasn't anything in between your headers, you were missing PCO. That PCO stitched the whole thing together and acted as sign-posting to help users find the information they need.

If you wouldn't mind, I'd love for you to write out an example or two as it pertains to the v2 rules document and how you think this format could/would improve it.

The only thing I'm a little cautious about is that when it comes to rules, people occasionally seem to be strangely turned off the more rigid and well-ordered the rules are presented. So you can spend all your time making sure everything is presented in exactly the right format, but that rigid format itself can end up turning off those players who don't enjoy really technical stuff.

So the general concept of this format is that a manual isn't the sort of book that people pick up and read from start to finish, but rather a reference document that reduces the amount of time users spend looking for information to a minimum. So it's less about a rigid and well-ordered set of information as much as helping users find information. Like the 9 steps or less to procedures is because, generally speaking, 7-9 elements is how much people can retain in their working memory at any one time. Any more steps and it's a good idea to break it up into sub-lists.

In particular one of the rules-of-thumb is to go from the general to the specific. So starting with an introduction saying what kind of game Maelstrom's Edge is supposed to be, rather than the high-level Game Overview is one of those things where you're tossing out a bunch of information without giving it an explicit context, purpose, or explanation of how it all relates (organisation). A table of contents wouldn't go amiss either.

Take the overview of the turn. Presuming you explained that it's the sort of game that's broken up by turns in that supervening section's introductory PCO, it's a good 'organisation' part of the PCO of that section where you immediately follow up with an explanation of how the turn organises a game. I think you should start with the Core Game Concepts from page 3, for example. That provides both general information, and context for when players drill down to the third-level information of the Overview of the Turn.

In terms of examples, re-writing that from scratch would have to be billable work (sorry!), but maybe this link will help: http://www.sfu.ca/~whitmore/style/

Made in us
President of the Mat Ward Fan Club

Los Angeles, CA

 alextroy wrote:
Given that a Unit that doesn't move can Aim/Take Cover/Shoot as it's three actions, it will be more accurate that a unit that Moves/On The Move/Shoot even if there is no penalty for On the Move.

And did you notice that of the three Status Actions that the bonus for On the Move is not impacted by the Unit's Suppression Value (giving a penalty to opponent's Skill) while both Take Cover (Suppression reduces effectiveness of Cover) and Aim (Suppression reduces SKL) are both impacted? Not a clarity of rules thing, but something to think about if you hadn't noticed.

Yes, I am definitely aware of that dynamic. Since you as the player is aware of how much suppression your unit has on it when you activate it, choosing to 'Aim' is often done to counteract the effects of 2 levels of suppression will have on your unit's shooting. Similarly, you know full well whether 'Taking Cover' is worth it or not when you take that action depending on how much suppression your unit already has. The option to go 'On the Move' is always like an escape valve for when your unit has a ton of suppression and you need to get out of the area...so making sure that status action wasn't affected by Suppression was definitely an important part of it. Since the ability to 'Regroup' (and get rid of all your unit's suppression) requires your unit be 18" away from the enemy (to not shoot) and Taking Cover, this means if your unit does have a bunch of suppression but you can't make it 18" away from the enemy that turn, you're going to want to put them 'On the Move', which correctly illustrates that the unit is 'running away' trying to get far enough way from the action to be able to regroup.


The one other piece of the puzzle to this particular conversation which you haven't been privy to is that there is a fairly common unit special rule, called 'Mobile'. Mobile units are able to make a Dash action but do not suffer the penalty of their firing being 'wild' for doing so. In return, Mobile units are not allowed to 'Take Cover' and 'Aim' in the same action...in other words, mobile units are designed to always keep moving around the battlefield shooting, and not to sit in cover/aiming.

If we were to get rid of the -1 SKL penalty a unit gets for each 'on the move' token it has, then when it comes to mobile units, they'd be able to make a dash, fire at full effect (no penalties), while the enemy firing back at them would suffer a -4 SKL penalty.

Of course, if we were getting rid of all the penalties off of status actions, we could still build a specific penalty into the rules for 'mobile', something to the effect of: 'A mobile unit which dashes does not automatically fire wildly, but instead suffers a -1 SKL penalty to its shooting for each On the Move token it has'.

So what does anyone else think? Do you believe that getting rid of all the penalties off of status actions seems like a wholly positive idea?

I play (click on icons to see pics): DQ:70+S++G(FAQ)M++B-I++Pw40k92/f-D+++A+++/areWD104R+T(D)DM+++
yakface's 40K rule #1: Although the rules allow you to use modeling to your advantage, how badly do you need to win your toy soldier games?
yakface's 40K rule #2: Friends don't let friends start a MEQ army.
yakface's 40K rule #3: Codex does not ALWAYS trump the rulebook, so please don't say that!
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Made in us
Calm Celestian

Tacoma, WA, USA

Glad to see you are definitely aware of that interaction. Wouldn't want something like that sneaking in by accident rather than intention (Feature, not a Bug).

Personally, I'd rather see less on the Status Actions and more on the special rules modifying them.
Made in tw
Hulking Hunter-class Warmech

Bristol, England

When we were playtesting it worked really well that each status action boosted one aspect of the unit (such as shooting) at the expense of something else. This led to a nice rock paper scissors effect where you were enhancing your ability to achieve a certain goal for that unit on its activation, but potentially making it vulnerable in the opponent's activation. Combining this with the alternating unit activation led to a really tactical game.

Read the first two novels in the Maelstrom's Edge Universe now:

Maelstrom's Edge: Faith - read a sample here!


Maelstrom's Edge: Sacrifice 
Made in nl
Anxious Angel Keeper

 yakface wrote:

So what does anyone else think? Do you believe that getting rid of all the penalties off of status actions seems like a wholly positive idea?

It's definitely one I'm in two minds about. Ultimately I think there's a limit to how many harder to remember details like this a ruleset should have. The ones to keep are the ones that add real flavour and/or meaningful decisions to the core gameplay. These penalties might be that, but I have them flagged as 'possibly scrap or rework'.

Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

I'd prefer that there are just bonuses rather than penalties across a set of rules, but that goes more to the theory behind the game design. If you want there to be an element of good/bad in every choice that's fine.

One possibility is just making every action have a good bonus, so by selecting something anything you are losing the option to do something else great. You're looking at choosing the best thing to do vs. the best thing with the least negative.

With the talk of reducing the mental calculations needed for the "VS Rolls," just making players look at advantages that actions grant may do a similar function.
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