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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

"KOG light" is a 1/144 tactical battle game for armored "Knight Operations Gear" battlesuit mecha.

"Final" Beta 7 rules:
https://www.dakkadakka.com/s/i/at/2017/2/KOG_light_rules_B7-20170110-26020402.pdf

Terrain pack:
http://www.dakkadakka.com/s/i/at/2016/10/KOG_light_terrain_-_20160930-01023423.pdf


KOG light is a minimalist tabletop miniatures wargame.

Table of Contents
1. basic game preparation, setup & deployment;
2. game rounds, player turns (movement, fighting, shooting) & victory conditions;
3. combat resolution, LOS, damage, specials, infantry & tanks
4. alternate scenarios & game size
5. background, model description & unit selection
6. German forces
7. Russian forces
8. summary of play & designer's notes


Design Concepts & Objectives

Conceptually, KL is AoS-like in the sense that it radically streamlines a more complex version of a wargame in favor of straightforward rules that are more accessible to the layperson, burying and hiding unnecessary complexity into single player target die rolls. Thematically, KOG light is a direct replacement for Heavy Gear, retaining focus on the armored battlesuits and weaponry, but without the calculations, tables and acronyms.

design objectives
- Keep It Simple, Stupid!
- minimal page count (maximum 4 pages of core rules, one guiding concept per page)
- English, not acronyms
- standard d6 dice and Imperial measurement
- no tables or +/- modifiers, just straight rolls and re-rolls
- Thorpian 1s & 6s for special effects
- retain core Heavy Gear gameplay notions
- one thing at a time
- limited steps / options / variants active at any given time to minimize mental workload


Development History

Alpha 1 - Oct. 23, 2015: initial release with AoS-like rules for battlefield creation and N/S HG core lists.

Alpha 2 - Nov. 20, 2015: minor cleanup and streamlining of Dice & Re-rolls, Battlefield creation, Game & Player Turn details. Morale was changed to be more akin to Combat Resolution. Combat resolution had additional cleanup, extending the Critical Concepts, and adding Infantry. Building an Army was added, along with a placeholder for Scenarios. Army List descriptions were also cleaned up.

Alpha 3 - Jan. 3, 2016: major reorganization to clarify Setup / Turns & Actions / combat resolution. Reorganized Field of Battle to move Terrain effects into Movement / Combat resolution, and break up Order of Battle to clarify Attacker / Defender steps. Distinguished (Player) "Turns" vs (Game) "Rounds"; separated movement rates from movement modifiers and Charges; clarified FO as a shoot-equivalent action like Hold Objective, revised Crushing Loss. Added Cover modifier and Indirect to Ranged Shooting; simplified Piercing, added Sniper and Pinning in lieu of Burst (redundant effect). Addressed Hard Cover under Damage; revised Critical Hit to a re-roll. Cleaned up Infantry.

Alpha 4 - Jan. 5, 2016: terminology and minor editing cleanup; rules deemed "final".

Beta 1 - Feb. 15, 2016: initial re-scaling of stats for consistent relative power/effectiveness. (unreleased)

Beta 2 - Feb. 25, 2016: further re-scaling of stats (unreleased)

Beta 3 - Jun. 22, 2016: major cleanup of rules: streamlined Cover and Range, removed Morale, added Command effect, added Counterattack v Defend. Added scenarios. Added background fluff. Moved from not-South v not-North to German not-South v Russian not-CEF.

Beta 4 - Aug. 31, 2016: major cleanup of rules: revised Game Round to give Attacker an immediate double turn; restructured Player Turns as Movement & Action; removed Defense when (Counter-)Attacking. streamlined Replaced Defend with Concentrated Attack. Removed Hull stat & Spray weapons. Cleaned up Infantry & Tank special rule. Streamlined Unit selection. Refined German & Russian unit stats. Added summary of play.

Beta 5 - Sep. 26, 2016: major re-balance of all German & core Russian units; added Status Markers.

Beta 6 - Dec. 15, 2016: minor rules & stats cleanup; LOS-based unit coherency. Replaced asymmetrical Linebreaker with Search & Recover, unbalanced missions. (unreleased)

Beta 7 - Jan. 10, 2017: "final" rules & stats cleanup.

This message was edited 22 times. Last update was at 2017/02/28 00:42:12


   
Made in ca
Martial Arts SAS







Neat! Nice streamlined HG rules!

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Check out my Blog at Guerrilla Miniature Games 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Thanks!

What surprised me was just how much gameplay I could squeeze into 3 pages:
- uneven ground & climbing;
- regular vs top speed move;
- hard vs soft cover;
- indirect fire & forward observers;
- flamer & blast.
I think there is a fair amount of tactical play opportunity, despite the brevity.

Anyhow, as I read the PDF, quite a few things jumped out at me, and I'll have an update over the weekend. Sorry for the typos and such - I'll try to fix them as well.

   
Made in ca
Deadshot Weapon Moderati




So do you suppose to be the core Heavy Gear gameplay notions?

   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

As I interpreted it, HG is supposed to be about robot tanks running around and shooting at each other, a pseudo-military simulation. I kept the Gear classes and unit type categories, along with the weaponry. Movement speed also matters, along with IF / sensors, so I kept those things. I just streamlined the game by folding duplicates and repeats into a single concept, single test.

What I didn't do was have a lot of EW stuff or Veteran levels, as I felt it overcomplicated things unnecessarily. I never liked the opposed test / multiplication / subtraction resolution mechanics, as I feel that they take away from the fun part of running the Gears around the table and shooting at each other. Not having to tie it from the HG RPG allowed me to move away from all of that stuff.

To me, HG is "run & gun", so that's what I want KL to be about. Something that a pre-teen (or wife!) can easily grasp and play correctly with minimal coaching.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/10/28 17:54:41


   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Select any one of your units and move each model in that unit. When finished moving the desired models in that
unit, select a different unit and move those models,
repeating until all desired units have been moved.
After movement is complete, each model unit must finish within
2” of another model in that same unit.


I'd probably put the bolded part as the second sentance instead of at the end. Also, I assume you want the first model in a unit moved to have an exemption from the 2" rule but RAW it too must finish its move within 2" of another model in the unit.

Speed Move–If not moving within 1” of any enemy
model, a model can move twice as far along flat ground
(<1” vertical), but will not be able to Fight or Shoot for
the rest of the turn.


Can you do a speed move through rough ground?

Assault Move–If
planning to engage the enemy in close
combat, the unit may add +d5” to its movement and
attempt to move models within 1” of any enemy
models it can see.


Is the d5 a typo? I only saw a mention of a d6 previously. Out of curiosity, why is that distance random instead of just a fixed number (say half your movement rounded down or a flat number for all)?

Any unit with any models within 1” of any enemy models
may attack any of those models.


Should that be "attack with those models"? Otherwise, you could have a unit of 5 guys strung out over a 15 inch line (with their 1" bases) and all of them get close combat attacks because 1 guy is within 1" of an enemy model.

Any unit losing more than half of the models it started the
turn with must test morale by rolling a d5 against the
Command stat. If the result is equal to less than the Command stat,
then no further action is taken and the unit
continues on unaffected
.
If the result exceeds the Command stat,
then one model is shaken for
each point that the result
exceeds the Command stat.


Same D5 question as above. Also, if the crappies model like a Jaeger has a command 6+, when will you ever roll above that on a d5 or even d6? Is it supposed to be under you're shaken instead on a d6? Better models get lower command stats making them more likely to run as per RAW.

Autocannon: 2 Shots (24” 4+)
Combat Blade: 1 Attack (4+)

Rocket Pod: 2 Shots (24” 4+)


For Jaegers/Hunters or any model with the HG equivalent of an LRP and LAC, when would you ever use the LRP? It doesn't have indirect and it has the exact same stats and the LAC which doesn't run out. Since you're going with a rules light system, I'd either differentiate the rocket pods somehow from identical autocannons or just get rid of them from the stat line if they're identical.

Hope that helps. I didn't read in detail every part (just up to page 3 so far) but these are some of the things I picked up on that caught my eye.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/10/28 21:04:12


   
Made in us
Thermo-Optical Tuareg





California

I get that you want the focus on the Gears, but maybe have a statline for infantry and ground vehicles like tanks?

I would also suggest including somewhere what an average cost game would be.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/10/28 21:27:30


   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






The LOS section needs some clarification IMO.

Partial Line of Sight

exists if one can draw an
unobstructed line from any part of the shooting model
to any part of the target model, including its weapons.
The shooter counts as having Line of Sight, but the
target counts as having Soft Cover


Technically a model completely in the open counts as both LOS and partial LOS because even in the open the partial LOS conditions apply . I think you mean "if one cannot draw an unobstructed line from any part of the shooting model to EVERY part of the target model" instead. For hard cover, you only get it for indirect fire without LOS and behind destroyed models. Is the intention to never have tabletop terrain like a mountain provide hard cover?

Also, in reference to the above previous morale question, since you're going for a rules light system and the KISS principle I'd highly recommend keeping an overriding "rolling high is good for the person doing the rolling" system for everything and not switch back and forth (like with morale versus other things). If you changed to "high is good" for morale, you'd have to reverse the stats with crappy gears at say 4+ and the best gears at 2+ for instance.

After a model has been hit, roll a d6. Each
result that is greater than the target’s Defense
results in damage removing 1
hull point.


I suspect you mean "roll a d6 FOR EACH HIT" judging from the second sentance. I know it's pedantic but for clarity... in the definition of hard cover, should people be rerolling "damage" or "defense"? Judging from the stat names, I suspect you're rolling (or rerolling in the case of hard cover) defense which results in damage.


I hope you don't take offense at the above as I'm just trying to clarify a few things in the hopes of being helpful.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2015/10/28 21:42:45


   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

OK, first, thank you all very much for the comments. All of them. At this stage, I hope I've not missed something important, as now's the time to address it. But that's totally OK, because any feedback is still helpful. Again, much thanks!

...

And now, onto the comments!

 warboss wrote:
After movement is complete, each model unit must finish within
2” of another model in that same unit.


1. I'd probably put the bolded part as the second sentance instead of at the end. Also, I assume you want the first model in a unit moved to have an exemption from the 2" rule but RAW it too must finish its move within 2" of another model in the unit.

2. Can you do a speed move through rough ground?

3. Is the d5 a typo? I only saw a mention of a d6 previously. Out of curiosity, why is that distance random instead of just a fixed number (say half your movement rounded down or a flat number for all)?

4. Should that be "attack with those models"? Otherwise, you could have a unit of 5 guys strung out over a 15 inch line (with their 1" bases) and all of them get close combat attacks because 1 guy is within 1" of an enemy model.

5. Same D5 question as above. Also, if the crappies model like a Jaeger has a command 6+, when will you ever roll above that on a d5 or even d6? Is it supposed to be under you're shaken instead on a d6? Better models get lower command stats making them more likely to run as per RAW.

6. For Jaegers/Hunters or any model with the HG equivalent of an LRP and LAC, when would you ever use the LRP? It doesn't have indirect and it has the exact same stats and the LAC which doesn't run out. Since you're going with a rules light system, I'd either differentiate the rocket pods somehow from identical autocannons or just get rid of them from the stat line if they're identical.

Hope that helps. I didn't read in detail every part (just up to page 3 so far) but these are some of the things I picked up on that caught my eye.

7. Technically a model completely in the open counts as both LOS and partial LOS because even in the open the partial LOS conditions apply . I think you mean "if one cannot draw an unobstructed line from any part of the shooting model to EVERY part of the target model" instead. For hard cover, you only get it for indirect fire without LOS and behind destroyed models. Is the intention to never have tabletop terrain like a mountain provide hard cover?

8. Also, in reference to the above previous morale question, since you're going for a rules light system and the KISS principle I'd highly recommend keeping an overriding "rolling high is good for the person doing the rolling" system for everything and not switch back and forth (like with morale versus other things).

9. I suspect you mean "roll a d6 FOR EACH HIT" judging from the second sentance. I know it's pedantic but for clarity in the definition of hard cover, should people be rerolling "damage" or "defense"? Judging from the stat names, I suspect you're rolling (or rerolling in the case of hard cover) defense which results in damage.


I hope you don't take offense at the above as I'm just trying to clarify a few things in the hopes of being helpful.


1. It's not worded right. There is an implicit concept of unit coherency because it usually works better on the tabletop when units physically move and group together as an organizing principle. I need to re-word "when the unit completes movement, all models must finish within coherency" so that the first model can move at top speed, and the rest catch up, rather than require leapfrogging to move a unit forward. The problem that I had is that managing coherency is less fun than blowing stuff up, and I'm not wanting "broken coherency" rules here. Most likely, I need to change this to Sensor range from the unit leader.

2. Yes, if the ground is relatively flat. Speed move costs you the ability to fight or shoot. Consider traversing a sandy beach or icy sidewalk - you can walk slowly and throw rocks, or you can run slowly.

3a. d5 is from when I was customizing dice. Then I realized that forcing players to hack their dice was contrary to the minimalist game design (also why AoS doesn't have Scatter, Artillery or Sustained Fire dice). It'll be ordinary 6-sided dice to keep things simple. I also need to readdress the implicit use of the GW flamer template for spray, as this should be a straight dice & ruler game (that happens to support templates as a simplifying tool).

3b. The +d6" charge distance is a GW holdover, to reduce the charge stalls that I saw in WFB. However, as there's no particular penalty for leaving combat (for now!), and the emphasis on "run & gun", it may not be an issue. I'll have to reconsider.

4. Yeah, that's the intent (within 1" can fight), thank you.

5. Command / morale is another GW holdover that maybe I don't need. I like the idea that units can be broken, or pinned, but I also note that players really *HATE* it when their models are out of control. I think I need another mechanic that is clearer. If I keep it, it will be a "roll high = good". Also, the stats are crossed up, because that was carryover from a previous concept of continuing Command-based activations a la Warmaster, but that got scrapped because making this a Command game was again counter to the "run & gun" idea.

6. The weapon stats are a little messed up in places, and the direct fire Rocket Pods are the worst of it. What you're seeing there is a mix between the HG stat conversion and WYSIWYG tweaks. The Jaeger/Hunter LRP is looks like it should be a single-use fire & forget weapon, whereas the Spitting Cobra has an indirect fire vertical launch system on its back. The LRP should hit more/harder than the LAC. Balancing stats is the worst.

7. I'll clarify PLOS as unable to see the entire target model.

8. Yeah, "roll high = good" should be an overriding concept.

9. Yep, /each/ hit is correct, thanks. Conceptually, I have the d6s working as wonky d3s doing 0-1-2 points of damage against hull. I'll align "damage" and "defense" for Hard Cover to remove confusion.

Really, it's all very helpful. You did an awesome job of fishing out all of the wishy-washy bits in the rule set where I had been going back and forth on various versions of things. Having this as black-and-white feedback helps a lot in terms of focusing the next set of edits and revisions.

Also, translating HG units into an Army is a little ugly - GW does this way better, hence the FOC-like setup versus HG UA!
____

 Barzam wrote:
I get that you want the focus on the Gears, but maybe have a statline for infantry and ground vehicles like tanks?

I would also suggest including somewhere what an average cost game would be.


I can do that infantry and tanks in the next iteration - the number ranges were selected to do that within a min 1 to max 6 stat rating scheme.

That's an AoS holdover, where GW deliberately removed points, and I'm keeping them. In general, I like the new HG TV points ratings, whereby core units are <10 points and uber elites are <20 points. I'll expand page 4 to include discussion of points and game sizes.
____

Next Steps
1. fix obvious mistakes as ID'd above
2. revisit coherency concept
3. de-emphasize Command, as it detracts from the core playing
4. add army creation details beyond "make a platoon".
5. add basic infantry, strider and tank to complement gears.
6. reassess ranges and firepower based on 1/144 scale

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/10/28 22:47:13


   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Thanks for the answers. As for the army building, I have the same question that I had for DP9's Dave during the pre-alpha proof of concept testing... what purpose does having those different squads (strike, recon, fire support, etc) serve over having either a true open system (take anything within the points and a model/action limit per squad) or a semi-open system (one or two squad types like "standard" and "elite" only)? The answer I got for HG was legacy support in a nutshell but you get that with the open and semi open system as well. I suggested only ever having max 2 squads of any vehicle type (instead of the dozen gear UAs the current HG rules have). For your rules, that would meant that you have standard gear squads or elite and label the gears (or variants so a Jager might be std but the flamm jaeger is elite for instance) for each. The only other complication I see off the top of my head for your rules is that you'd have to move "recon" into the individual gear description as a special rule to keep the rule valid.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/10/29 00:12:43


   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

In going through the current HG army building rules, it was confusing and unclear why things were they way they were. My sense is that the Unit Allowance stuff in the HGB rules carry over from the RPG, where if you're RPing a hand-picked A-Team specialist squad of 3-5 Gear pilots on a 1:1 player:model basis. It still feels very unstructured to me.

After much thought and teeth gnashing, it didn't seem that this would hold as you scaled up to multi-squad formations, much less something like a military platoon, as military units tend to have a lot structure, a chain of command, and so forth.

As a result, I started moving things over to a GW-like approach, with a rudimentary FOC and squad composition. Love or hate GW, they do make it easy to figure out what models you should buy to make a unit.

Going forward, I was focused on the 4 Tactical-era types: core GP vs. Strike / FS / Recon elites. Those, I actually understood.

You are correct that Recon is an implied keyword, and it probably should be called out as such on a model basic for clarity, although it bothers me that I don't have a lot of other model specific keywords (because I deliberately buried them as implicit to the stats and rules).

The notion of collapsing the units down to just standard & elite is an interesting one, especially if similar units get folded together. Certainly, it fits well with the notion of "play stuff!"

   
Made in us
Thermo-Optical Tuareg





California

Or, I suppose you could eliminate the classifications and just class them on their weight type: Light, Medium, and Heavy and work in elite status as a special rule or something?

   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

I actually kinda like points as a stand-in for production + logistics + training cost.

Battletech weight classes is not something I'd really considered.


Per your query about typical battle scales go, I'm thinking
- Duel of 1 or 2 models, X points
- Clash of 3-5 models, 2X points
- Skirmish of 2-3 units, 3X points


Why Initiative-based Igo-Ugo? Turns?

BTW, with alternation being all the rage for small scale games, it's an obvious question why I went with uneven initiative Igo-Ugo turns. I understand command-based activations and alternation, but just hadn't made a version I liked for this game.

I kinda like strict Igo-Ugo, because it simplifies the "taking turns" concept. I do my stuff in my turn, you do your stuff in your turn. As a time-motion proxy, it's not bad. There is a very high level of clarity here and it scales very cleanly across multiple players, and everybody mattters.

The problem is that strict alternations (AB-AB-AB-AB) gives a clear initiative advantage to the first player, always a half step ahead, which is not something I wanted in a nominally "even chances" game.

OTOH, AoS has initiative, where keeping / stealing the initiative makes for an additional risk-reward strategic element whereby the reactive player for the round has the potential advantage of a doubled turn for a powerful play, against the risk of continuing on as the reactive player. Rather than go with a fixed ABBA schedule, nor a 50-50 coin flip, I used a weighted 21-15 split in favor of a steal each turn. This promotes AB-BA-AB as the most likely pattern, but doesn't guarantee it.

I had considered deeper skews, like stealing on 3+ or keeping on a 6, but I felt those outcomes were a bit too predictable, not dynamic enough.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2015/10/30 21:05:06


   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut




I feel that you are starting at the wrong place. I would step back and ask:

What is this game about?
How should this game play (and reinforce what the game is about)?

These are fairly open-ended questions but really should be answered thoroughly in the beginning.

So far the game is a stripped-down infantry take and control game, what I would call a "40k heart-breaker" (I'm guessing that Heavy Gear itself probably falls into this category), which is fine for what it is, but doesn't really reflect piloting big mecha around.

A good example is to look at Battletech, as cumbersome as it is, really reinforces piloting these big lumbering mechs. For instance it has rules for: chipping away at armor, damaging internal systems, blowing off limbs, falling down damage, the heat system, etc. Again, very cumbersome and definitely could use stream-lining, but play made it feel like you were piloting and managing these big mechs around.

Heavy Gear isn't Battletech and doesn't have the same flavor obviously. My understanding is that it's more anime based, and so the Gears aren't so-much big lumbering behemoths. They are cool in different ways (What ways are they cool to you?). The game should capture the essence of what makes a Gear interesting beyond being a walking tank and have rules that reinforce that.
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Actually, I'm pretty sure I have a fair idea of what I want the game to do, and how I want it to play. As above, I want a hyper-streamlined game with emphasis is on moving and shooting for tactical combat. Draped around that are rudimentary close combat and morale rules, with non-mech units coming soon.

The game is indeed a "stripped-down infantry take and control game", because that's the main sort of game I want. I want a stripped down game, because I am sick to death of overcomplicated games with giant rulebooks overladen with rules on rules. KOGs (Gears) are giant armored suits, so KL is an infantry game. I want the primary mission to be a strategic "take and hold", with Kill Points being secondary. That is the exact design brief I am targeting, so you hit the nail on the head in your assessment.

I don't like Battletech, at all. But if you look, it's there. Chipping at armor is damage against Hull. Crippled represents internal damage. Falling and Heat are unnecessarily cumbersome, and I don't want the game to be that way. Remember that I am on a page limit, and every rule that I add basically trades off against another rule. So if I add heat, then I need to have a stat for it and rules to manage it. That's not interesting or fun. It's bookkeeping, which is the opposite of fun. You'll note that other armored machine games don't necessarily do those things either. GW does just fine with the Thorpian "Gets Hot!" rule, and I note that players *HATE* that rule. And I don't want rivers and lakes to be the dominating terrain features, so that players can focus on parking their multi-PPC mechs in them...

Heavy Gear is ripped off from the A.T. VOTOMs mecha anime. AT VOTOMs stands for Armored Trooper Vertical One-man Tank for Offense and Maneuver - or "walking tank". Heavy Gear took made it into a ludicrously overcomplicated RPG like RIFTS and the other crap at the time. KOG goes back to the roots of a military game of walking tanks. And quite frankly, I think a walking tank is plenty interesting enough just being a walking tank. I also think that the core rules of defense (armor) and hull and various guns and such reinforce that theme nicely.

What's cool to me is that I can put down these 3 pages of rules, with a single stats page per player and be playing very quickly and easily, without fighting a giant rulebook and doing calculations all the time. I can get a newbie up and playing pretty comfortably very quickly. The 2-page spread tells what to do right there. No memorization, no cross-references, not table lookups. Put the unit stats on a separate page, and they have their faction reference right there!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/10/29 19:10:09


   
Made in us
Skilled SDF-1 Pin-Point Barrier Jockey






carboncopy wrote:
So far the game is a stripped-down infantry take and control game, what I would call a "40k heart-breaker" (I'm guessing that Heavy Gear itself probably falls into this category), which is fine for what it is, but doesn't really reflect piloting big mecha around.


Pretty clearly no, I'd say. A Battletech heartbreaker would be another question, though, but 40k? Pretty sure not.

The funny thing it that back in the day HG got big enough that Btech introduced Protomechs into their mix.
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Anyhow, getting back to page counts, I'm thinking final page layout like this:

"Rulebook"
1. Setup
2. Game & Player Turns
3. Combat Resolution
4. Force Selection
As a double-sided document, it flips open to the turns & combat resolution.

"Codex"
f. Army Construction
b. Unit Reference
As a double-sided document, use the front to build the army, the back to play it.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/10/29 18:39:20


   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut




 JohnHwangDD wrote:
Actually, I'm pretty sure I have a fair idea of what I want the game to do, and how I want it to play. As above, I want a hyper-streamlined game with emphasis is on moving and shooting for tactical combat. Draped around that are rudimentary close combat and morale rules, with non-mech units coming soon.

The game is indeed a "stripped-down infantry take and control game", because that's the main sort of game I want. I want a stripped down game, because I am sick to death of overcomplicated games with giant rulebooks overladen with rules on rules. KOGs (Gears) are giant armored suits, so KL is an infantry game. I want the primary mission to be a strategic "take and hold", with Kill Points being secondary. So that is the exact design brief I am targeting.

I don't like Battletech, at all. But if you look, it's there. Chipping at armor is damage against Hull. Crippled represents internal damage. Falling and Heat are unnecessarily cumbersome, and I don't want the game to be that way. Remember that I am on a page limit, and every rule that I add basically trades off against another rule. So if I add heat, then I need to have a stat for it and rules to manage it. That's not interesting or fun. It's bookkeeping, which is the opposite of fun. You'll note that other armored machine games don't necessarily do those things either. GW does just fine with the Thorpian "Gets Hot!" rule, and I note that players *HATE* that rule. And I don't want rivers and lakes to be the dominating terrain features, so that players can focus on parking their multi-PPC mechs in them...

Heavy Gear is ripped off from the A.T. VOTOMs mecha anime. AT VOTOMs stands for Armored Trooper Vertical One-man Tank for Offense and Maneuver - or "walking tank". Heavy Gear took made it into a ludicrously overcomplicated RPG like RIFTS and the other crap at the time. KOG goes back to the roots of a military game of walking tanks. And quite frankly, I think a walking tank is plenty interesting enough just being a walking tank. I also think that the core rules of defense (armor) and hull and various guns and such reinforce that theme nicely.

What's cool to me is that I can put down these 3 pages of rules, with a single stats page per player and be playing very quickly and easily, without fighting a giant rulebook and doing calculations all the time. I can get a newbie up and playing pretty comfortably very quickly. The 2-page spread tells what to do right there. No memorization, no cross-references, not table lookups. Put the unit stats on a separate page, and they have their faction reference right there!


Nope. I'm not suggesting it should be like Battletech or have heat rules, etc. Those rules work for Battletech, but I imagine not the same for Heavy Gear. I've used Battletech as an example because those rules really reinforce its theme. Battletech is about managing, repairing, and scavenging for your mechs so its rules are appropriate for its feel. It might feel cumbersome to some, but it's also the main draw for those that like it.

For the current KOG rules, about any theme could be pasted onto it with very little modification. It could very easily be Infantry, tanks, fantasy, etc. Yes "walking tank" would be cool, but I'm not seeing anything specific that makes it feel like "walking tanks" either. What you have, a quick strip-down wargame, has a draw in itself and has its place, but it's being billed as a replacement for Heavy Gear. And so If I was a Heavy Gear player what's the draw for me?
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

I'm not quite sure what your objection is. KL is *my* replacement for HG. I have no illusions that the Pod will adopt it, and I have no intention of trying to capture all of the stuff that the Pod has created. I just want something that I can use to play a simple series of battles with my HG minis.

You are 100% correct that nearly any theme could be pasted onto the KL engine with very little modification. That's intentional. Assuming I get this squared away, there's a Car Wars game that I've been itching to write. And maybe even a gang skirmish game as well.

If you don't see the artillery - hull - crippled / destroyed as "walking tank", I'm not sure what I can do for you, because the rules are about as complex and detailed as they're going to get. If this were a gang skirmish game, none of that would apply.

If I were a HG player, the draw is having a ruleset that you can use to get other people to play against, versus having them walk away shaking their heads in confusion. I game with some smart guys, and we love the models, but have issues with the rules. I've tried this when Blitz first came out (ugh), and I tried it again when the KS Beta came out. They're still working on their rules, but they're still an order of magnitude more complex than what I'd call newbie friendly. Make it easy to play, and it's easier to get players, simple as that.

It seems to me that you might be looking for something far more detailed than what I am trying to create. And that's fine, because there are plenty of detailed rulesets out there. I just want to do something small and elegant as counterpoint.
____

It occurs to me that I failed to communicate this as a deliberately lightweight, streamlined game, and I apologize for such confusion.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/10/29 20:31:36


   
Made in us
Thermo-Optical Tuareg





California

Well, I suppose you could always have it play more like VOTOMS were even the slightest scratch blows up your mech and the key to survival is who has the thickest plot armor

   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

No, painting one shoulder red will not make you invulnerable!!!

But it is good fun...
Spoiler:


Again, note the emphasis on moving & shooting - that's what VOTOMS is!

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2015/11/21 21:07:46


   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut




 JohnHwangDD wrote:
No, painting one shoulder red will not make you invulnerable!!!

But it is good fun...


Again, note the emphasis on moving & shooting - that's what VOTOMS is!


I like it. There's a lot of good fun and theme in that small clip alone that could be captured and emulated.
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Sure, tho as Barzam notes, most VOTOMs are way more fragile than one might expect of a walking tank. Plus, most of them use really crappy tactics.

   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






IIRC they have in the fluff only about 20mm of armor which is the same thickness as outdated light tanks at the START of WW2. While I suspect the composition of the armor is more advanced than simple rolled steel, it still isn't much and should easily be penetrated by modern weapons let alone space capable tech.

   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Gasaraki, I choose you!
Spoiler:




Super effective!



If I had to pick something to build around, Gasaraki would be my choice.
____

spoilered. Also, too bad Gasaraki minis aren't available...

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/11/21 21:07:12


   
Made in us
Thermo-Optical Tuareg





California

Ah Gasaraki. So much potential squandered by focusing on extreme right wing politics, xenophobia, and conspiracy theories. I don't think a show has pissed me off quite as much as that one did.

   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

But the models and battles are so good. If you could just cut out the rest...

I have a couple of the 1/35 Shindens, and they are so cool.

   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Getting back to KOG light... with Halloween this weekend, I am thinking to publish Alpha 2 Sunday or Monday, depending on how things go.

I've got revisions in for most of Warboss & Barzam's comments, and it's definitely a better document.

Adding new units and balancing weapon stats are still a little bit up in the air, and the likely cause of any publishing delay. Or I could just share where it sits to focus on the rules portion.

   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

It turns out that the cleaning up the rules was a lot harder and took a lot longer than I expected. Even when I thought I knew what I was doing. While I had (very) rough language in place for the army building and other pieces weeks ago, getting them into a form that I liked took quite a few more revisions. It's a crazy amount of effort to make a mere 4 pages of rules, when each page and/or column needs to be well-focused.

Anyhow, enough whining and excuses... Alpha 2 is uploaded!

http://www.dakkadakka.com/s/i/at/2015/11/KOG_light_rules_a2-20151120-21204500.pdf

In general, Alpha 2 tries to fix the conceptual gaps and unify gameplay concepts so that the game plays clearly and consistently. It has an all new section on creating forces, and a bit on Battle Scenarios, plus it has hooks for Infantry. From a gameplay perspective, I ended up not addressing Tanks, because they're functionally identical to KOGs (I couldn't think of a strong differentiator in how the rules would distinguish them).

Getting into the changes, the actual rules are pretty much fixed to a 4 page layout:
1 - general stuff & creating a battle
2 - game & player turns
3 - combat resolution
4 - battle sizes & army lists
Ergonomically designed to print as 11x17, with pages 2 & 3 to lay open as in-game reference sheet; folded page 4 lays flat while creating an army, and page 1 lays flat when setting up.

For the army lists, I'm thinking to lay this out on Legal paper, 8-1/2x14, with the model reference on top, and army list creation on the reverse. Not quite sure if I'll have space to add Striders. The army lists are also intended to lay flat as in-game reference as well.


Of course, there's still the issue of what models / units to include, and how to balance them. There's also a question of whether Striders and Tanks are appropriate alongside the KOGs & Infantry. Beta 2 is likely to take a while, and I'll probably split the Army Lists off from the Rules when KL moves to formal playtest. With the holidays, this could take a while...

Thanks again for the comments.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/11/21 21:39:34


   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

In re-reading KL Alpha 2, I'm thinking that maybe enhanced Shaken effects need to be revised to Crit Shake = 2 models, with a Pinning weapon option.

   
 
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