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Made in us
[ADMIN]
President of the Mat Ward Fan Club






Los Angeles, CA

We need your help!

Hey everyone,

One of the complaints we got during our initial launch of Maelstrom's Edge is that we didn't take your feedback into consideration. To a degree, that is true. The way the whole kickstarter process worked out meant that, in order to deliver a whole box set of miniatures and a rulebook in a timely fashion, we had to have most of the work done on the project before we even launched it to the public. Which unfortunately meant that there just wasn't room to make any major changes to the rules/miniatures by the time they were made public.

Well, we now are hard at work on revising the Maelstrom's Edge rules for a version 2 release, and while we will still have to get things finalized many, many months ahead of time before we release, there is definitely a window right now where we can take your feedback and utilize it. I know some of you didn't love the models we put out. Others may not have loved the ways the v1 rules played. All of that is totally understandable. Not everything can be everyone's cup of tea. However, regardless of how you feel/felt about certain aspects of the game or our company, we certainly need/want your help now. If you have any interest in being part of helping make our game better, now's your chance!


What are we looking for?

Attached to the bottom of this post is a pre-alpha glimpse at just the core of the v2 rules (no mission rules or rules for setting up the game included).

This is a super rough/early version of the rules, which is just written up in google docs. I've stolen diagrams from the v1 rulebook (where they still worked), but in many cases there are missing diagrams and all the references to page numbers just have a temporary 'xx' there. The last page of the PDF is a sample unit entry, so you can get a feel of how unit entries will look in v2.


Here are the kinds of things we are looking for feedback on:

• Do these rules flow and make sense? Or could they be organized in a different way to make better sense (and if so, how)? For example, do you think one section of the rules would make more sense coming before another section of the rules?
• Are there any areas you feel really need an example and/or diagram to clarify what they're trying to say?
• Do you think these core rules seem like they'll produce a fun game? Or do you think they have some fundamental flaws that you can help address?
• Can you already spot any huge 'holes' in the rules that will produce game-breaking issues? If so, let us know.


Here are the kinds of feedback we aren't looking for:

• Minor spelling/editing errors. This document hasn't even been properly edited yet, so there will be grammatical and spelling errors in it. There's no reason to call these kinds of issues out to us at this point of the process.
• "Your game/models suck, I hate them, they're not my cup of tea." We understand that not everything made will be loved by everyone. However, we're looking for constructive criticism of our work. Feedback that we can use to improve. If you just want to let us know that you hate what we're doing without offering us genuine advice on what could be tweaked to make things better, please keep it to yourself.
• "You should totally redo the models/rules." We've already done a fair amount of work on getting the v2 rules to the point where they are, and we generally like the way things are progressing. Its highly unlikely that we could, even if we wanted to, totally throw out all our work and start over from scratch again at this point. Therefore, we are looking for iterative feedback...stuff we can use to tweak/perfect where we're currently going, rather than advice to completely start over again.


Thanks everyone! We truly appreciate anyone who takes the time to read this PDF and especially appreciate anyone who takes the time to respond!


So what's new?

For those who are familiar with the Maelstrom's Edge v1 rules, if you're looking for a quick recap of the big things that have changed (so far) in the v2 rules, here's a primer:

Spoiler:
VS Rolls Are Gone
While I was super, duper proud of the fact that in v1 we were able to make all rolls in the game follow the exact same format (the VS roll). At the end of the day, it did mean that with every single roll you made, you had to do a (albeit, quick) calculation in your head to figure out what that roll needed to succeed or fail. When you multiplied this out over the course of a game, it meant a lot of extra mental calculations that didn't contribute towards the fun of the game. Plus, the changes to the Suppression system meant that we were going to have to include at least one major non-VS roll in the game, which meant the elegance of having every roll calculated the same way throughout the entire game was already going to be compromised.

These factors really opened the door to explore other, even simpler methods of calculating the basic rolls that are used throughout the game, but while still having both the attackers and the defenders attributes matter to most of them, by using a 'dice flip' system. I'd go into more detail here about what that means exactly, but its probably honestly easier if you just download the PDF and check it out yourself!


Simplified Suppression
Part of making the VS roll work in v1, meant that units needed to be able to accrue a lot of individual suppression tokens. We got a lot of feedback that putting on and taking off a ton of suppression tokens for each unit felt like a chore. Part of the original intent of handling suppression this way was because we wanted to create a rules system where your models weren't just blown off the table immediately (because you don't have that many models in your force with MEdge), and if models weren't dying, then causing suppression on an enemy unit was supposed to feel like progress was still being made. However, the suppression system just wasn't impactful enough in v1 (didn't affect units all that much), which meant that placing/removing all these suppression tokens ultimately felt like busywork to a lot of people.

In v2, Suppression has been greatly simplified down to just 6 suppression levels (which can be conveniently tracked with a single die next to a unit). We've gotten rid of activation checks completely, instead suppression just has an immediate/direct impact on the unit: for each suppression level a unit has, its Skill is reduced by -1 and the cover value of any cover it is in is reduced by -1. This really makes suppression an integral part of the game, and no will no longer feel like busywork. Plus, now when a unit is at max suppression level and suffers anything that would cause its suppression level to raise again, it instead suffers an injury on a model. So there are now real penalties for allowing one of your units to sit with too much suppression on it.


A la Carte Actions
In v1, we had a half dozen actions that were complete packages: each one had full rules telling you if the unit was allowed to move, shoot or do anything else special. The nice thing about this was there were relatively few actions (so easy to list out), but the bad thing was that each action essentially had its own little list of rules, which meant it was harder for players to memorize what each action allowed you to do.

For v2, we're going with an a la carte action system, where when a unit activates you're able to perform 3 actions, and you can pick those from a list of (much more simple) actions. There are still some limitations on what order you can make these actions in (movement before shooting, for example) and how many times you can perform an action during an activation (no more than one movement and one shooting action, for example), but overall its a system that we think will be much easier for players to memorize after a little time playing it.


Simplified Rules
Coming from a background of writing unofficial FAQs for 40k, my goal with v1 of Maelstrom's Edge was to make a rules set where you could not get into an argument with your opponent about what the rules said. Unfortunately, when it comes to writing rules, every choice you make also has a negative impact, and not surprisingly when you write rules to cover every possible issue, those rules are going to be super complex and hard to read, especially by new players.

For v2, we've tried to throw out every possible little exception in the rules unless we felt it was really critical to gameplay. So exceptions where units can't do something because they're 'on the move'? Gone. Exceptions where special rules don't work into/out of a building? Gone. Any fiddly little tidbit that could go, is now gone. And yes, we now have a characteristic listed for melee attacks in close quarters fighting!

We've also drastically cut back on the special rules in the rulebook (just to avoid brain meltdown of new players). Instead, we're striving to put most of the special rules onto the unit profiles themselves (like GW did with 8th edition 40K and AoS) so that the core rules are much more simple, but there are still plenty of interesting special rules found on the units themselves.
 Filename MEdge_v2_CoreRules_PreAlpha_20190506.pdf [Disk] Download
 Description
 File size 1450 Kbytes

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/05/07 19:02:21


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Made in gb
Hulking Hunter-class Warmech





Bristol, England

I have to say, having spent a few days playtesting the v2 ruleset over the Salute weekend, I'm really excited to play more - I loved v1 but the new changes make it play so much quicker and more dynamic, and I've gone out and bought a new table of terrain to get more involved in our v2 development.

As lead fiction writer of Maelstrom's Edge, I'd just echo what yak says here -I'd love to hear what you guys liked and didn't like in the background fluff, short stories and novels we produced for the Kickstarter, and what excites you about our universe. We've got plans about where we want to develop the story, factions and setting of Maelstrom's Edge in the future, but dakka is the greatest forum for wargaming out there, and it would be great to hear more about where you think we should go next.

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

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

and

Maelstrom's Edge: Sacrifice 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Courageous Space Marine Captain





SoCal

 darrkespur wrote:


As lead fiction writer of Maelstrom's Edge, I'd just echo what yak says here -I'd love to hear what you guys liked and didn't like in the background fluff, short stories and novels we produced for the Kickstarter, and what excites you about our universe. We've got plans about where we want to develop the story, factions and setting of Maelstrom's Edge in the future, but dakka is the greatest forum for wargaming out there, and it would be great to hear more about where you think we should go next.


Off the top of my head, I loved the scope of the background. It felt like a large universe with a lot of secrets and ancient mysteries, as well as many small, competing subfactions who could conceivably become big players withing their respective factions. I like how lived in the universe felt, and would have liked to explore it more. There were the main "wargame forces" in the fluff, but also enough variety of "offscreen" entities/cultures to avoid feeling stale so far.

What I did not like was the sense of hopelessness and grimdark. There was no hook on how the Maeslstrom might be stopped or reversed. There was no reason to root for any faction long term, because they were all going to die fairly soon. I don't want to read any more stories about desperate, suffering people trying to survive in an ever-worsening universe.

Also, your handling of the Karist faction came across stilted, unconvincing, and ultimately unsatisfying. The text features a religion that felt anything but "lived in" while the subtext indicated they were all just space juice addicts. One of the books has Space Bin Laden take down the Space Elevator Tower and kill millions without facing any comeuppance or moment of doubt--which makes her unsymapthetic as a faction protagonist. She does not come across well enough versed in her religion, which is never portrayed as having any moral high ground by the writer, for me to buy her as a true believer or to justify her crime as a hard decision made for the greater good. As a result, the Karists are just kind of repulsive. The Epirians are already not a goodguy faction, and the setting really doesn't need to be another grimdark Snyderverse.

I find the Gates of Antares setting hits a lot of the same notes as Medge, but their universe is more lighthearted (usually), which makes it more compulsively readable.

   
Made in us
[DCM]
Drag on Society





Armpit of NY

I would disagree to an extent on the Maelstrom - it is the 'hook' and driver of conflict in this universe. No pun intended, but the setting would lose a lot of its 'Edge' if it were toned down to where it was possible to stop or reverse its effects readily.

The Karists would not even exist without it, after all, embracing the Maelstrom as their form of ascension.That said, I do agree that the Karists are not terribly engaging as they have been written so far. There needs to be a kernel of something to like about them so the reader can relate, and I don't think we've gotten that yet.

I had medical problems develop back during the Kickstarter, and regret having had to drop out, but I've picked up stuff and been following the game since then, and I will be looking forward to V2.
   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps







I don't think the Maelstrom needs to be "stoppable", I always thought it was more of a matter of getting ahead of it. It isn't going to consume the whole galaxy, right? I didn't read it as that all the factions were doomed, at least in the short to medium term. It is also is the only thing that really sets MEDGE apart from other sci-fi, so I'd hang onto that.

Haven't read the V2 rules and won't have time for a few days, but my major wish from V1 was for Vehicle rules - even if just cars to drive around in. Scratchbuilding is a thing, after all.

I would agree that the Karists were the weak link in the factions - the Eps are engaging and the Broken even more so, but looking at the Karists the only thing I thought was kind of neat were the "angels".
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut




Allrighty, after reading through the PDF, I will say that I would not be inclined to play the ruleset presented.

Dice Flips: I understand the intention here, to move away from the calculations of the VS roll while retaining two opposing values for determining the outcome of an action and avoiding fixed rolls. To me, it's a rather "gimmicky" method that also reduces my immersion in the world of the game. In any system there will be tradeoffs, and I think VS rolls are so elegant a system that it is worth the drawbacks. Is there a way to make them easier for people using the quick reference sheets?

I would prefer for characters to be able to continue to join or leave units during the game, rather than the beginning of the mission yes/no choice presented, especially as I have this image of my Kaddar Nova dashing around the battlefield supporting his troops and leading from the front, battle-priest that he is.

I already touched on this in the other thread, but I don't quite care for the CQC characteristic, at least in this form- the thing I like about the current formula is that the # of shots in CQC is determined by the physical and mental characteristics of the soldier. It's an immersion thing, and I'm open to alternatives that can preserve that aspect.

Please no 40k-style character targeting rules. I understand the dilemma, but imo a hard-and-fast rule preventing characters from being targeted is not the way to keep them alive if they are not currently joined to a unit. Are there other ways to make independent characters more survivable when going solo, without leading to mini deathstars?

I can't comment on suppression too much, obviously, but I do like the current activation system, I think it's a healthy amount of unpredictability, and I like that failing a check causes a mandatory action instead of utilizing modifiers (more passive). MEDGe's current incarnation is quite dynamic, and I would love to keep as much of that as possible.

I don't understand the intent behind the proposed changes to cover and on-the-move. I think I would have more fun adding/removing STs as it is now, than using suppression, cover, and on-the-move tokens.

Must on-the-move carry over to the unit's next activation whenever it moves?


I'm unsure about the critical hit/critical failure mechanic, but I'd like to try it before I come to a conclusion.

Suppression reducing cover seems weird to me, as taking cover is what troops who are being suppressed would want to do.

Rolling to PEN against your own models- I'd rather not. I know it gives the player being shot something to do, but they still don't have agency to affect the outcome, really, and I know I would rather the other player just get it over with.

Please keep blasts and templates as they are. I think placing the template without scatter and then rolling to hit is a happy medium. I enjoy placing templates for their visual aspect if nothing else, and would not enjoy the proposed system more.

The changes to buildings look like a good start. (I always thought the base-contact-with-the-window thing was a touch strict) I would suggest requiring los to be drawn to windows/doors, etc.

I realize I'm saying "keep it the way it is!" But v1. is a superb ruleset, and imo, would be better served by tweaks than large changes. I know these proposed changes are in response to feedback (which is appreciated) but they read like solutions looking for a problem. Is this necessarily a mechanical issue? Or maybe presentation and communication? Perhaps this could be alleviated by changes in organization and reference sheets/cards, etc?

On the lore: I haven't yet read the novels or ebooks (not a digital guy) but I find the background compelling- it is one of many reasons I backed the Ks. The maelstrom, a non-sentient (so far as we know) entity being the main antagonist makes the game much more distinctive. I enjoy the background as setting, which is always my preference as it allows my to tell my stories within the universe of the game. I agree/disagree on the Karists. They're my favorite faction (at least until I assemble some lorrican champs) and I like the crazy-religious thing, although my guys are all "heretics" because they heal their cybel scars and aren't quite as big on the getting-themselves-killed-to-ascend part of the faith. I can see Bobtheinquisitor's point. Going forward it might be nice to see a bit more nuance with them. Theological differences, anyone?
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut







Rules feedback:

Spoiler:

- Moving.
1. The rules don't specify how the player is supposed to place the remaining models in a unit if they don't all fit in coherency (which could reasonably happen if moving along a narrow path between enemy units, or along a narrow path between buildings.

2. The statement "You cannot use this as an excuse to move these additional models through or into anything their squad leader wasn’t allowed to move through/into during its move" appears to require each model to be moved rather than placed. In particular, the additional models aren't moving "through" anything according to the current rules because they're being simply picked up and placed in their positions.

For example: The squad leader moves into a position that is bracketed by two rows of enemy models. If the other unit members traveled along very long paths, it would be possible for them to reach the other side of those rows of enemy models. Is that permitted?



This seems like an attempt to greatly simplify unit movements which is great, but it needs to be specified much more rigorously. And I think at some point you hit a metaphorical cliff--it's more work to place models and then try to enforce "reasonability" standards than it is to just make everything subject to the same movement rules.

Edit: And if Infinity 3rd edition is any indication (speculative fire shot paths, Crazy Koala attack paths, Engage movement paths do this sort of thing), that sort of switching between measured and non-measured movement is really, really jarring for some players.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/05/08 05:10:42


 
   
Made in au
[MOD]
Cutting stuff up and bunging it back together in new and interesting ways.






Under the couch

Blastaar wrote:

Dice Flips: I understand the intention here, to move away from the calculations of the VS roll while retaining two opposing values for determining the outcome of an action and avoiding fixed rolls. To me, it's a rather "gimmicky" method that also reduces my immersion in the world of the game. In any system there will be tradeoffs, and I think VS rolls are so elegant a system that it is worth the drawbacks. Is there a way to make them easier for people using the quick reference sheets?

For what it's worth, in our initial brainstorming sessions I was totally against dice flips as a mechanic and had initially argued strongly for keeping the VS system, for precisely the reason you mention above. We spent a while working through alternatives (including the current system) before I finally gave the dice flip system a go... and I found that after the first couple of rolls it became surprisingly intuitive, and it felt nice to have that feeling of being able to directly control your rolls, if only a little in some situations.

This also touches on your point about rolling against PEN, as you get your AV-worth of dice flips, which does give you some control over the 'save' process.

   
Made in us
[ADMIN]
President of the Mat Ward Fan Club






Los Angeles, CA

 solkan wrote:
Rules feedback:

Spoiler:

- Moving.
1. The rules don't specify how the player is supposed to place the remaining models in a unit if they don't all fit in coherency (which could reasonably happen if moving along a narrow path between enemy units, or along a narrow path between buildings.

2. The statement "You cannot use this as an excuse to move these additional models through or into anything their squad leader wasn’t allowed to move through/into during its move" appears to require each model to be moved rather than placed. In particular, the additional models aren't moving "through" anything according to the current rules because they're being simply picked up and placed in their positions.

For example: The squad leader moves into a position that is bracketed by two rows of enemy models. If the other unit members traveled along very long paths, it would be possible for them to reach the other side of those rows of enemy models. Is that permitted?



This seems like an attempt to greatly simplify unit movements which is great, but it needs to be specified much more rigorously. And I think at some point you hit a metaphorical cliff--it's more work to place models and then try to enforce "reasonability" standards than it is to just make everything subject to the same movement rules.

Edit: And if Infinity 3rd edition is any indication (speculative fire shot paths, Crazy Koala attack paths, Engage movement paths do this sort of thing), that sort of switching between measured and non-measured movement is really, really jarring for some players.


This is definitely great feedback, thanks!


1) This is covered by the rules for coherency, which state that a unit has to end its move in coherency (or as close as possible). To me, that means if you can't fit a model within 3" of the squad leader, but they'll fit at 3.1", that's where the model has to be placed. But honestly, with squad size maxing out at 6 models in this game (and most squads being less than that), not being able to fit all the unit's models within 3" fo the squad leader is pretty unlikely, no matter what the position.

Do you not think the 'as close as possible' is clear enough? Is there another interpretation of what that could mean I'm not thinking of?


2) I've made a few tweaks to the movement rule text (in spoiler tags below). The thing I've changed is in italics.
Spoiler:
In order to move a unit, first move only the unit’s squad leader, measuring distance along the path the squad leader travels (as opposed to just measuring a straight line between where it starts and ends its move). A squad leader's movement can pass freely through friendly standard-sized models (they step out of the way to let their comrades by), but may not pass through large models, enemy models or through the gaps between enemy models that are part of the same unit. A moving model can never end its move on top of another model, and may not typically end its move in contact with an enemy model, though certain types of move, such as a charge (page xx†), allow this.

Once you’ve finished moving the unit’s squad leader, place the rest of the unit’s models in coherency (see below†), facing the same direction as their squad leader. These models still count as moving, and therefore cannot be placed on top of another model, etc. Movement distance is only ever measured for the unit’s squad leader, not for the additional models which are placed after the squad leader finishes being moved.

The nuts and bolts is that in the first paragraph it, at first, mentions a few things you can and cannot do when moving the squad leader model. But then in the last sentence of the first paragraph it switches to 'a moving model...'. Those prohibitions (ending a move on top of another model and in base contact with an enemy model unless charging) are the two rules that the italicized sentence in the second paragraph now (hopefully) clearly reference.

For example: The squad leader moves into a position that is bracketed by two rows of enemy models. If the other unit members traveled along very long paths, it would be possible for them to reach the other side of those rows of enemy models. Is that permitted?

When I wrote the v1 MEdge rules, I tried to think of every crazy situation that I'd ever seen occur in 40k and attempted to write rules that could withstand all those instances. But the funny thing is, MEdge is a different game. You will always have a lot less models on the table and your squads are always much smaller (and there are never any plans to change that), which really does mean a situation like the one you describe is incredibly unlikely. But yes, I think I'm okay with allowing a slightly strange situation like models being placed on the 'other side' of an impassable wall from their squad leader (but still within 3" of him), because having playtested some using these rules, I can say that changing to just moving the squad leader is really, really freeing (and speeds things up, for sure). Its definitely worth an oddity here or there to keep it.

   
Made in us
Nasty Nob





SoCal

You'll find the alternating activations is enough for players to do, you don't need to have them roll against their own models just to give them a roll.

The whole weirdness with suppression lowering cover might work better if you renamed the effects. It's why I used the term Disruption and Defenses, where Disruption lowered Defense, and while Cover contributes to Defense, a unit's own defensive equipment could be worn down by attacks, leaving a unit further at risk. This works well with high tech settings where the tech level is so high that simplistic Cover is not as effective.

Coming from Team Yankee/FoW characters outside units are fine, although maybe do something similar where a character being shot at can temporarily join a unit?

Overall, great work on the new rulseset. I understand the concept of dice flipping, and agree with its effects when you look at the rules on the whole. It seems like individual hits mean little, especially since Cover straight up negates a number of hits (similar to SW Legion). But the board gamey dice flip may not appeal to your core as weird as that seems.

   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut







 yakface wrote:
 solkan wrote:
Rules feedback:

Spoiler:

- Moving.
1. The rules don't specify how the player is supposed to place the remaining models in a unit if they don't all fit in coherency (which could reasonably happen if moving along a narrow path between enemy units, or along a narrow path between buildings.

2. The statement "You cannot use this as an excuse to move these additional models through or into anything their squad leader wasn’t allowed to move through/into during its move" appears to require each model to be moved rather than placed. In particular, the additional models aren't moving "through" anything according to the current rules because they're being simply picked up and placed in their positions.

For example: The squad leader moves into a position that is bracketed by two rows of enemy models. If the other unit members traveled along very long paths, it would be possible for them to reach the other side of those rows of enemy models. Is that permitted?



This seems like an attempt to greatly simplify unit movements which is great, but it needs to be specified much more rigorously. And I think at some point you hit a metaphorical cliff--it's more work to place models and then try to enforce "reasonability" standards than it is to just make everything subject to the same movement rules.

Edit: And if Infinity 3rd edition is any indication (speculative fire shot paths, Crazy Koala attack paths, Engage movement paths do this sort of thing), that sort of switching between measured and non-measured movement is really, really jarring for some players.


This is definitely great feedback, thanks!


1) This is covered by the rules for coherency, which state that a unit has to end its move in coherency (or as close as possible). To me, that means if you can't fit a model within 3" of the squad leader, but they'll fit at 3.1", that's where the model has to be placed. But honestly, with squad size maxing out at 6 models in this game (and most squads being less than that), not being able to fit all the unit's models within 3" fo the squad leader is pretty unlikely, no matter what the position.

Do you not think the 'as close as possible' is clear enough? Is there another interpretation of what that could mean I'm not thinking of?


2) I've made a few tweaks to the movement rule text (in spoiler tags below). The thing I've changed is in italics.
Spoiler:
In order to move a unit, first move only the unit’s squad leader, measuring distance along the path the squad leader travels (as opposed to just measuring a straight line between where it starts and ends its move). A squad leader's movement can pass freely through friendly standard-sized models (they step out of the way to let their comrades by), but may not pass through large models, enemy models or through the gaps between enemy models that are part of the same unit. A moving model can never end its move on top of another model, and may not typically end its move in contact with an enemy model, though certain types of move, such as a charge (page xx†), allow this.

Once you’ve finished moving the unit’s squad leader, place the rest of the unit’s models in coherency (see below†), facing the same direction as their squad leader. These models still count as moving, and therefore cannot be placed on top of another model, etc. Movement distance is only ever measured for the unit’s squad leader, not for the additional models which are placed after the squad leader finishes being moved.

The nuts and bolts is that in the first paragraph it, at first, mentions a few things you can and cannot do when moving the squad leader model. But then in the last sentence of the first paragraph it switches to 'a moving model...'. Those prohibitions (ending a move on top of another model and in base contact with an enemy model unless charging) are the two rules that the italicized sentence in the second paragraph now (hopefully) clearly reference.

For example: The squad leader moves into a position that is bracketed by two rows of enemy models. If the other unit members traveled along very long paths, it would be possible for them to reach the other side of those rows of enemy models. Is that permitted?

When I wrote the v1 MEdge rules, I tried to think of every crazy situation that I'd ever seen occur in 40k and attempted to write rules that could withstand all those instances. But the funny thing is, MEdge is a different game. You will always have a lot less models on the table and your squads are always much smaller (and there are never any plans to change that), which really does mean a situation like the one you describe is incredibly unlikely. But yes, I think I'm okay with allowing a slightly strange situation like models being placed on the 'other side' of an impassable wall from their squad leader (but still within 3" of him), because having playtested some using these rules, I can say that changing to just moving the squad leader is really, really freeing (and speeds things up, for sure). Its definitely worth an oddity here or there to keep it.



Fair enough point about the squad sizes. I wasn't sure whether you all were planning on releasing hordes of the flying void creatures or something.

I think my remaining issue is with the phrasing "place the remaining models in coherency". I'm not clear on what the rules for the remaining models that you're shooting for are:
1. Can the remaining models be put somewhere where there isn't a legal (according to the movement rules the unit leader would use) path between its starting and end position?
2. Can the remaining models be put somewhere where there isn't a legal (according to the movement rules the unit leader would use) path between where the unit leader is and the model's end position?

The way the rules are written, you could take a squad of three or four models, and surround an enemy model without being in base contact. If that model isn't a squad leader, does it just teleport out of there when the its squad leader moves away?

There's another interaction concerning movement. It's Charge vs. the statement "A squad leader's movement can pass freely through friendly standard-sized models (they step out of the way to let their comrades by), but may not pass through large models, enemy models or through the gaps between enemy models that are part of the same unit."

Say you've got an enemy unit of four models. I want to charge your unit with my four models. When I try to move into base contact with the back side of your square of models, why can't I go through the gaps between those models? If enough models survive, we're going to be stuck in a situation where gaps rule prevents either side from moving very far. But is it a game of "box in the opposing unit's leader"?

Say you've declared a charge against that unit of five models in the diagram shown in "Movement paths and unit gaps". Are you supposed to make base contact with the trooper in the middle when you charge?

To be fair, I suppose it's more likely to come up as: Unit A (four or so models) moves up near Unit B. After some shooting is done, there are two models left in Unit B, one of them is surrounded by models in Unit A. Can Unit B move away if it's not B's leader that's surrounded? (A 3" coherency bubble is enough for four 30mm base figures to surround another 30mm base figure without base contact).

   
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 solkan wrote:

I think my remaining issue is with the phrasing "place the remaining models in coherency". I'm not clear on what the rules for the remaining models that you're shooting for are:
1. Can the remaining models be put somewhere where there isn't a legal (according to the movement rules the unit leader would use) path between its starting and end position?
2. Can the remaining models be put somewhere where there isn't a legal (according to the movement rules the unit leader would use) path between where the unit leader is and the model's end position?

Based on the way the revised rules are written, you are allowed to put the additional models anywhere within 3" of the squad leader, just not on top of any model, in contact with an enemy model (unless you were charging) and not within impassable terrain (unless moving dynamically onto impassable terrain that has a flat top to it, like a building).

So yes, the additional models could theoretically end up on the other side of an impassible wall that the squad leader couldn't move through. I know that could be wonky in a few situations, but since line of sight is drawn only from the squad leader, putting one model on the other side of an impassible wall is only going to open your squad up to being shot where you couldn't fire back. Of course, it could allow you to capture/contest an objective marker that your squad leader otherwise wouldn't be able to get to, but again I think its probably worth the odd situation here or there for the massive improvement in general gameplay this type of simplified movement brings.

The way the rules are written, you could take a squad of three or four models, and surround an enemy model without being in base contact. If that model isn't a squad leader, does it just teleport out of there when the its squad leader moves away?

Yes. The whole rule about a squad leader not being able to move through the gaps in an enemy unit is mainly about being able to (slightly) restrict enemy movement via the existence of your units. If an odd model from a moving unit is able to be placed on the far side of one of your units (but still within 3" of their squad leader), then that's okay by me.

There's another interaction concerning movement. It's Charge vs. the statement "A squad leader's movement can pass freely through friendly standard-sized models (they step out of the way to let their comrades by), but may not pass through large models, enemy models or through the gaps between enemy models that are part of the same unit."

Say you've got an enemy unit of four models. I want to charge your unit with my four models. When I try to move into base contact with the back side of your square of models, why can't I go through the gaps between those models? If enough models survive, we're going to be stuck in a situation where gaps rule prevents either side from moving very far. But is it a game of "box in the opposing unit's leader"?

Say you've declared a charge against that unit of five models in the diagram shown in "Movement paths and unit gaps". Are you supposed to make base contact with the trooper in the middle when you charge?


Remember: only the squad leader's movement path is prohibited from going through the gaps of an enemy unit, so if you're charging with your unit, you'd just move your squad leader into contact with any of the 'outside' models of the enemy unit, and then you're free to place the rest of your charging models within 3" of your squad leader, though you must put them into contact with an enemy model from the unit they're charging, if possible.


To be fair, I suppose it's more likely to come up as: Unit A (four or so models) moves up near Unit B. After some shooting is done, there are two models left in Unit B, one of them is surrounded by models in Unit A. Can Unit B move away if it's not B's leader that's surrounded? (A 3" coherency bubble is enough for four 30mm base figures to surround another 30mm base figure without base contact).


Yes. As long as its not the unit's squad leader, the unit would be able to move away in that situation.

In the very unlikely situation where a unit's squad leader is totally surrounded by the enemy (but not touching them), and the unit isn't able to move dynamically, you're right that they'd, by the RAW, be unable to move (not even charge), as any movement the squad leader made would technically be between the gaps of models from an enemy unit. However, this situation is *so* unlikely that I'm fine with not writing extra rules to cover it up...plus the surrounded unit would still be able to fire, so its not like it would be completely useless.

I *could* add this type of line to the end of the charging rules:

"Note that when moving your charging squad leader, its path of movement may pass through the gaps between the models of the enemy charge target."

But honestly I don't think its worth it because I do think that situation isn't going to happen like it can in 40k.

   
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Fair enough.

I’ve played enough WHFB that the idea of treating the rest of unit as sort of a cloud effect while moving seems reasonable enough. But for any scenario involving movement, it seems like “trapping” lone big models or smaller units using cheap three or four model units is going to be a thing. Especially if big models or vehicles don’t have a way of crossing the model gaps.

For a five turn game, running up, “trapping a unit”, and then doing something else seems plausible enough to use during games, if there are cheap swarm units available. I don’t know that it’s more effective than just running up, lining up in a row, and shooting; but it does prevent it going anywhere.

It certainly seems like it’s what those sample three model spider drone units would do to tie each other up.
   
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Shadeglass Maze

Below is my first impression from reading through the document. However, first I'd like to note what kind of gamer / rule-reader I am

Even for games I frequently play, I have trouble getting through dense rules. Examples would be Waramahordes, 40K and Underworlds, where I read through the rules originally, but resist combing through the rules subsequently to find details. Obviously, this isn't a great trait, but I think it might be one a fair percentage of gamers share


With that in mind, here is my feedback:

1. First and most importantly - I live and die with a "Quick Reference" sheet! My usual expectation is that the rules will be presented sequentially (I.e., here's what Turn is, here's how you Move, here's how you Shoot, here's how you resolve Close Combat - a term I highly prefer to CQ, by the way).

What I see in your rules is somewhat the opposite. I get an overview which is fairly detailed, but with a LOT of "(See page xx)" in parantheses. I find this really, really daunting, and wanted to suggest organizing it differently.

When I compare Page 2 to Page 14 (Unit Activation Overview compared to Unit Activation) I honestly don't find Page 14 that much harder to understand / get through than Page 2. What I DO find difficult, is being expected to read Page 14 after reading Page 2. Page 2 is pretty darn thorough, but not completely. So, in my mind, I would rather just see Page 14 where Page 2 is - in which case you can simply delete Page 2, and make the whole thing that much shorter!

-------------------------


2. So, in my case, if you do away with the overview pages and simply begin progressing through each section, it would all be less daunting. As I read through the first overview page, I began to earmark in my mind all the things I'd want to check on ("See page xx") for things that weren't fully explained. To continue the Unit Activation example, to have charging explained but leaving out that what really matters is that the UNIT LEADER makes contact with the enemy (and then everybody else just piles in) is leaving out critical information. And again, Page 2 just isn't much shorter than Page 14. Just get right into it! A timid rules-reader such as myself would honestly prefer that, than having to cross reference my understanding of the 90% summary with the full rules page later on.


3. To continue this theme, I would like to see you reduce/remove as many ("Page xx") parantheses as possible. Ideally, if these are needed, they would be referencing something already explained, just as a reminder. But if Close Combat is the very next section, you might be able to simply not put ("Page xx") at all, knowing that I'll simply get to that section next and then understand it. You don't want your reluctant rules readers (me) being directed to jump around, as then they just give up.


4. Regarding examples, I'd love to see a full example of a fight - two units squaring off, alternating actions and moving / taking cover / shooting / charging / having a close combat. This could be placed after the rules, to illustrate all of them together (and conveniently demonstrate any sticking point, without having to call it out as such). For the diagrams that are already existing, honestly some of them seem un-needed to me - for example, not being able to place a model where it cannot stand could simply be stated, this isn't as critical to understanding the rules as the correct order of activations is, for instance. You could also put an example at the end of each "Main" section (for example, one at the end of Shooting, one at the end of Close Combat, etc) and I think saving pictures for illustrating these would be the most useful.


5. As for whether the rules look like they will be fun, I think for me to really have a good understanding of that, I'd need the above to happen. Right now, it does look quite streamlined - but for how streamlined the gameplay is, it seems like there should be room for either an example battle at the end, or an example at the end of each section. With the whole thing followed by a REAL quick reference sheet (which just lists everything you can do, but doesn't do much explaining - a guide to use while playing) which would be so much more useful for me than the current "Overview" sections.


I hope this helps - I am really impressed by what I see so far (despite my comments above) and if you're able to take any of this feedback onboard, it would certainly make it easier for someone like me

Cheers!

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2019/05/09 21:11:00


 
   
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Blastaar wrote:
Allrighty, after reading through the PDF, I will say that I would not be inclined to play the ruleset presented.

Sorry for the late reply. Its just your post has a LOT of feedback, so it took me a while to find the time to properly respond!

---

I am super flattered that you like the v1 ruleset as much as you do. Obviously its my baby and I thought it was as perfect as I could make it when I wrote it. However, the thing about rules for miniature games is that there are so many different types of players who appreciate different things about different rulesets. I believe you and I probably have very similar tastes when it comes to what we like/dislike in our rules. I had thought/hoped that the complexity of the v1 rules sat right in a sweet spot where they were complex enough for people (like us) that appreciate a little 'crunchiness' in their rules to enjoy, but simple enough that the 'average' player would still find themselves drawn in.

However, the reality is that the v1 rules certainly didn't set the world on fire. While a few people (such as yourself) had nice things to say, we got much more feedback that the rules were too complex for a lot of people and contained a lot of needless busywork (such as placing a bunch of suppression tokens and then having to remove them shortly thereafter).

So there is a definite goal for v2 to try to streamline the system as much as possible while still retaining most of the tactical choices that existed in v1. Obviously since you enjoyed the v1 rules so much, your gut instinct is going to be to mourn the loss of everything we decide to cut out or change for v2, but I'd implore you to try to keep an open mind and give this new system a try (once we get full playtest rules out) and see if you can't at least 'tolerate' the changes if they do (hopefully) make the game more accessible to a wider spectrum of players.

Dice Flips: I understand the intention here, to move away from the calculations of the VS roll while retaining two opposing values for determining the outcome of an action and avoiding fixed rolls. To me, it's a rather "gimmicky" method that also reduces my immersion in the world of the game. In any system there will be tradeoffs, and I think VS rolls are so elegant a system that it is worth the drawbacks. Is there a way to make them easier for people using the quick reference sheets?

As Insaniak mentioned in his reply to you...he was very, very skeptical about the dice flips early on, but once we started playtesting them it became clear that they were a pretty darn big hit. We even did a 'reality check' and tried playing a version of the v2 rules with the VS rolls back in the game afterwards and even Insaniak had to begrudgingly agree after that game that the dice flips created a faster and more interesting game.

The problems with the VS rolls are basically:

1) Like I said in a previous post, even when people memorize the formula (which isn't hard to do), they are still a little mental calculation that you have to preform for every single roll. Which adds a tiny bit of time (to each and every roll) and gives players a tiny bit of mental fatigue that is repeated over and over and over throughout the game.

2) The system is very similar to what GW has used for years for their Strength vs. Toughness rolls, and therefore many people simply wrote MEdge off as feeling 'like 40k' because of that.

3) We definitely knew we needed to simplify the suppression system, and once that happened, there was always going to be at least one stat/roll that wouldn't properly fit into the VS roll criteria anymore (rolls against the unit's WP). One of the big appeals to me about having VS rolls in v1 was that EVERY roll was a VS roll, which had a lovely elegance to it. Once I knew we were going to have to make at least one common roll in v2 a non-VS roll, then there was definitely much less of a reason to keep the entire system.

I would prefer for characters to be able to continue to join or leave units during the game, rather than the beginning of the mission yes/no choice presented, especially as I have this image of my Kaddar Nova dashing around the battlefield supporting his troops and leading from the front, battle-priest that he is.

Please no 40k-style character targeting rules. I understand the dilemma, but imo a hard-and-fast rule preventing characters from being targeted is not the way to keep them alive if they are not currently joined to a unit. Are there other ways to make independent characters more survivable when going solo, without leading to mini deathstars?

Its a compromise, for sure to only allow characters to start the game joined to a unit or on their own. But essentially any single rule in v1 that took up nearly a whole page to explain just isn't worth keeping. With alternating activation, its just too difficult to have 'clean' rules that allow characters to join and leave units during the game, especially when you have persistent unit status like suppression.

I do think it is possible to have a rule which protects characters from being sniped out without turning it into a mini 'deathstar' rule like what happened to 40k. I can certainly tweak the wording of the rule to clarify that characters cannot protect each other. Plus, the requirement for having to keep your character within 3" of a friendly unit to get protection means they are (essentially) having to stay within coherency of that unit anyway.

I already touched on this in the other thread, but I don't quite care for the CQC characteristic, at least in this form- the thing I like about the current formula is that the # of shots in CQC is determined by the physical and mental characteristics of the soldier. It's an immersion thing, and I'm open to alternatives that can preserve that aspect.

I too liked the fact that if a model's characteristics degraded, it would affect the number of melee attacks they got to make too, but as I said in another post, that was the biggest complaint people had, so it really did have to be changed for v2.

I can't comment on suppression too much, obviously, but I do like the current activation system, I think it's a healthy amount of unpredictability, and I like that failing a check causes a mandatory action instead of utilizing modifiers (more passive). MEDGe's current incarnation is quite dynamic, and I would love to keep as much of that as possible.

That was again another super common piece of feedback we got: that players spent a LOT of time placing and removing suppression tokens from their units, but that the suppression itself did very little...only causing units to pass/fail discipline checks more/less frequently (unless the unit had a ton of suppression on it, of course). That meant even a unit which had quite a bit of suppression could still behave at 100% capacity if they just got lucky passing their discipline checks.

I don't understand the intent behind the proposed changes to cover and on-the-move. I think I would have more fun adding/removing STs as it is now, than using suppression, cover, and on-the-move tokens.

Thje way v2 works now is that a unit each activation has to essentially choose what status they want to be in (aiming, taking cover, on the move) and each status gives them specific bonuses and penalties. In our playtesting so far, we've found this to be a very pleasurable/taxing experience, as you know picking one will deny you from taking another (for the most part)...so if you want to have your unit taking cover to protect it, then you lose out on being able to 'aim' with that unit.

While it does mean you have to put a token by each unit to designate their status, the v1 rules already had tokens for 'on the move' and 'pinned' (which is what 'take cover' basically is now), so we're really only adding an 'aim' token to the mix now.

Must on-the-move carry over to the unit's next activation whenever it moves?

In v2, when a unit is 'on the move' it keeps that status until it next activates or it moves/takes cover (whichever comes first). That last part (the bit about moving/taking cover) is just there in case the enemy does something that 'forces' the unit to move or take cover, which would essentially 'knock it out' of being 'on the move'.

Suppression reducing cover seems weird to me, as taking cover is what troops who are being suppressed would want to do.

Think of it like this: A unit which is highly suppressed is just not thinking straight. They're panicking and even when they're taking cover, they're not doing it as effectively as an unsuppressed unit.

Rolling to PEN against your own models- I'd rather not. I know it gives the player being shot something to do, but they still don't have agency to affect the outcome, really, and I know I would rather the other player just get it over with.

Not only does it get the other player involved with every roll (instead of the same player just rolling twice), but the player rolling the defense dice also gets to use their AV to 'flip' these dice as well. So they definitely do have agency to affect the outcome of those rolls!

Please keep blasts and templates as they are. I think placing the template without scatter and then rolling to hit is a happy medium. I enjoy placing templates for their visual aspect if nothing else, and would not enjoy the proposed system more.

This was definitely a tough, but needed change. I too, really love using templates for this scale of game (they're just FUN). But they do create a bunch of additional rules you have to write for those 'weird' situations like when a unit inside a building is being shot at (and you can't actually place the template). And honestly, 95% of the time, the small blast was equating to half the number of models in the target unit being covered and the large blast was equating to all the models in the target being covered anyway. Yes, by removing the templates you do lose the ability to hit multiple enemy units at the same time, but again I think its overall worth the loss to have everything a little bit sleeker and simpler.

Thanks again for all the great feedback! Hopefully you'll stick around to try out the v2 rules when we're ready to have the public playtest them.


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 RiTides wrote:
Spoiler:
Below is my first impression from reading through the document. However, first I'd like to note what kind of gamer / rule-reader I am

Even for games I frequently play, I have trouble getting through dense rules. Examples would be Waramahordes, 40K and Underworlds, where I read through the rules originally, but resist combing through the rules subsequently to find details. Obviously, this isn't a great trait, but I think it might be one a fair percentage of gamers share


With that in mind, here is my feedback:

1. First and most importantly - I live and die with a "Quick Reference" sheet! My usual expectation is that the rules will be presented sequentially (I.e., here's what Turn is, here's how you Move, here's how you Shoot, here's how you resolve Close Combat - a term I highly prefer to CQ, by the way).

What I see in your rules is somewhat the opposite. I get an overview which is fairly detailed, but with a LOT of "(See page xx)" in parantheses. I find this really, really daunting, and wanted to suggest organizing it differently.

When I compare Page 2 to Page 14 (Unit Activation Overview compared to Unit Activation) I honestly don't find Page 14 that much harder to understand / get through than Page 2. What I DO find difficult, is being expected to read Page 14 after reading Page 2. Page 2 is pretty darn thorough, but not completely. So, in my mind, I would rather just see Page 14 where Page 2 is - in which case you can simply delete Page 2, and make the whole thing that much shorter!

-------------------------


2. So, in my case, if you do away with the overview pages and simply begin progressing through each section, it would all be less daunting. As I read through the first overview page, I began to earmark in my mind all the things I'd want to check on ("See page xx") for things that weren't fully explained. To continue the Unit Activation example, to have charging explained but leaving out that what really matters is that the UNIT LEADER makes contact with the enemy (and then everybody else just piles in) is leaving out critical information. And again, Page 2 just isn't much shorter than Page 14. Just get right into it! A timid rules-reader such as myself would honestly prefer that, than having to cross reference my understanding of the 90% summary with the full rules page later on.


3. To continue this theme, I would like to see you reduce/remove as many ("Page xx") parantheses as possible. Ideally, if these are needed, they would be referencing something already explained, just as a reminder. But if Close Combat is the very next section, you might be able to simply not put ("Page xx") at all, knowing that I'll simply get to that section next and then understand it. You don't want your reluctant rules readers (me) being directed to jump around, as then they just give up.


4. Regarding examples, I'd love to see a full example of a fight - two units squaring off, alternating actions and moving / taking cover / shooting / charging / having a close combat. This could be placed after the rules, to illustrate all of them together (and conveniently demonstrate any sticking point, without having to call it out as such). For the diagrams that are already existing, honestly some of them seem un-needed to me - for example, not being able to place a model where it cannot stand could simply be stated, this isn't as critical to understanding the rules as the correct order of activations is, for instance. You could also put an example at the end of each "Main" section (for example, one at the end of Shooting, one at the end of Close Combat, etc) and I think saving pictures for illustrating these would be the most useful.


5. As for whether the rules look like they will be fun, I think for me to really have a good understanding of that, I'd need the above to happen. Right now, it does look quite streamlined - but for how streamlined the gameplay is, it seems like there should be room for either a real example battle at the end, or an example at the end of each section. With the whole thing followed by a Real quick reference sheet (which just lists everything you can do, but doesn't do much explaining - a guide to use while playing) which would be so much better for me than the current "Overview" sections.


I hope this helps - I am really impressed by what I see so far (despite my comments above) and if you're able to take any of this feedback onboard, it would certainly make it easier for someone like me

Cheers!

When I wrote the v2 rules, pages 14-17 *was* where page 2 currently is. However, there is a lot of information on pages 14-17 that first time readers won't have any info about until they get past the 'intro' and get into the 'core game concepts'. For example, pages 14-17 talks a lot about characteristics, and characteristics aren't covered until 'core game concepts'. There's references to 'standard round of shooting' and 'modified round of shooting', but of course new readers don't find out how to perform a round of shooting until the 'shooting' section (which is after 'core game concepts'), and so on.

So my question to you is, and this comes back to your points about getting rid of the 'see pg xx' references from the intro pages...would you REALLY prefer if the introduction pages contained NO page reference numbers (which are also hyperlinks to that page in the digital version)? Because just seeing those page # references kind of freaks you out more than it helps? You'd rather see references to rules that you have no idea what they are yet (and have no indication of which page to go find them)?

Because in my mind, I always imagine a first time reader just reads through the 'intro pages' and ignores the page # references (just reads the book straight through). Its only after digesting the rules for the first time do you then start using the page number references to go figure stuff out that's still not making sense in your head. But in your point #3, it seems like you feel the exact opposite as me. My inclination is always to put page reference #s for stuff that's mentioned BEFORE you get to that section in the rules. Whereas you suggest only using page reference #s to jump BACK to sections you've already read.

To me, it seems like once you've read a section, you can kind of remember to jump back to that section anytime its mentioned later in the rules. The point of rules reference #s in my mind is to let readers know when/where they need to jump AHEAD to find rules that haven't been presented yet.

So I'd love to hear more about your thoughts on this subject, and if anyone else has opinions on page # references, please jump in!

---

As for your point #4, there will definitely be a well-illustrated example of the activation for a couple of units (and their shooting) for sure in the final rulebook. We didn't have that in the v1 book and that was a huge mistake.


 Vertrucio wrote:
You'll find the alternating activations is enough for players to do, you don't need to have them roll against their own models just to give them a roll.

The whole weirdness with suppression lowering cover might work better if you renamed the effects. It's why I used the term Disruption and Defenses, where Disruption lowered Defense, and while Cover contributes to Defense, a unit's own defensive equipment could be worn down by attacks, leaving a unit further at risk. This works well with high tech settings where the tech level is so high that simplistic Cover is not as effective.

Coming from Team Yankee/FoW characters outside units are fine, although maybe do something similar where a character being shot at can temporarily join a unit?

Overall, great work on the new rulseset. I understand the concept of dice flipping, and agree with its effects when you look at the rules on the whole. It seems like individual hits mean little, especially since Cover straight up negates a number of hits (similar to SW Legion). But the board gamey dice flip may not appeal to your core as weird as that seems.

Having the defending player roll against the Penetration characteristic wasn't an attempt to get the defending player involved in the shooting process (though I do think that's a nice side-benefit), its actually that the defending player gets to use their model's Armor characteristic to 'flip' the results of this defense roll...having the attacking player make the roll and then the defending player apply their 'flips' was really odd. It makes so much more sense to have the defender make the rolls once you start playing.

I totally get (and respect) what you're saying about suppression affecting cover. Like I mentioned in my reply above, I'm okay with it because I don't see it as the cover actually being reduced, but rather its the unit's ability to properly utilize that cover which is suffering.

Unfortunately, based on the way the mechanics work, cover is its own special defense, not added to anything else, so it really doesn't work to try to change its name the clever way you did...but I'll certainly mull it over and think about if renaming some of the mechanics could/would help to sell them to the reader.

I hope you're wrong about people not liking 'dice flips' because I do think once you try playing with them, they are quite pleasurable and create a fun/quick game. Its funny you say that, of course, because many people complained that the v1 'VS rolls' felt too much like 40k and wrote off the rules because of it. So if now people also don't like a very different approach like 'dice flips' its almost like a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' situation!

Thanks for the feedback!



This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2019/05/09 21:33:51


I play (click on icons to see pics): DQ:70+S++G(FAQ)M++B-I++Pw40k92/f-D+++A+++/areWD104R+T(D)DM+++
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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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Dankhold Troggoth






Shadeglass Maze

Regarding page number reference "previews" - if it's useful to include them for some people, that's fair and of course something to consider based on feedback you get from others - but there are a lot of them in the overview / introduction, and I at least think they don't belong there!

The very first sentence of the document ends with a page reference - not an ideal intro (even if there was another intro before this section). The next is for rolling off, which doesn't seem like something critical that needs to be referenced / previewed - if you do it for that, you have to do it for almost everything else that's coming up.

You also mentioned that your thinking was that on the first read-through, people would ignore the references, and then use them on the following read-through. But I don't think this is how people usually use an overview / introduction section. In fact, when I think of rulesets I've read, I tend not to need to re-read all the basic starting stuff on subsequent read-throughs at all (how to measure, how to set up a table, etc) and skip directly to the section I'm interested in - for instance, the shooting section if I have a question on shooting. I wouldn't go to the start of the document for that at all.

So, maybe it's a case of just re-organizing the document (since your basic setup stuff, interestingly, comes after this overview section). But I still don't think the Overview section benefits from these references. And I harped on Page 2, because it's formatted so similarly to Page 14, but just slightly slimmed down - so not really acting as an Overview, but just a slightly incomplete version of the same thing.

My ideal overview / intro would be much more of a summary - and I guess that means it's formatted differently than the actual rules page it is summarizing. You can mention at the start that the rules will be described more fully in the relevant sections - but you're just giving people an idea to start with. To give a terrible crack at it to show what I'm saying:


"A game of Maelstrom's Edge is fought between.............

Here's how a turn of Maelstrom's Edge is broken up (and will be described in the relevant sections), with alternating activations, each consisting of a move, status, or shooting action.....................

To start with, we'll need to define some basic things - model types, how to measure, and how to set up a table. These should be familiar to most wargamers. This will be followed by a set of Core rules, and then more advanced rules including ____, _____, and _____."


Obviously not That brief, but I just wanted to show what I was thinking. If you rearrange things and put this after your basic setup pages, perhaps it is something people would use. But I just can't imagine myself ever looking at / using Page 2 on subsequent rules checking, when it's so similar to Page 14, just without all the information I need. The overview / intro serves a different purpose, to me, and really should be aimed at the first read-through.

Hope this explains my thoughts a bit better

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2019/05/10 02:20:14


 
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut







As far as the organization of the rules go, I think it really, really depends.

For a game like Infinity, for me it was a case of reading straight through the rules section once, and then from then on reading through isolated sections at random using the index (printed index or wiki links) to jump between sections.

The turn overview page with page references in the v1 rules is weird because it's all of the information that you want for a turn quick reference and three somewhat chatty text callouts. It's the sort of thing where you could take that page, and completely rewrite it in two different directions:
1. A one page detailed outline with reminders for each step
2. A several page "First turn" introduction.

But it is really well written for what it is, and doesn't fall into some of the traps that I've seen other rulebooks fall into, like mixing rules paragraphs into step outlines.

Don't let anyone tell you that page 37 (Game Overview) was a bad idea. But the space taken up by those callouts probably could be better used for summaries, and less advice. Better short explanations than the "it's okay to feel confused reading this the first time" note.

The rewrite of Game Overview as the first two pages of the v2 core rules is better than the Game Overview page in the v1 document. The "The rules for ..." text looks like it's just left over text from v1. If the rest of the rulebook was there, I think it would look better.
   
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Dankhold Troggoth






Shadeglass Maze

That's a great post, solkan - really cool to see someone's take on that with experience from v1!

Could you just clarify what you meant in your last sentence? Here (including both sentences for context):

 solkan wrote:
The rewrite of Game Overview as the first two pages of the v2 core rules is better than the Game Overview page in the v1 document. The "The rules for ..." text looks like it's just left over text from v1. If the rest of the rulebook was there, I think it would look better.

I see that "The rules for..." text in the opening sentence of the document, but that doesn't seem to make sense with what you commented about it, so I wasn't sure if there was another?
   
Made in ca
God-like Imperator Titan Commander




Halifax

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.
   
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A few minor points, based on a brief readthrough. (It will take more time to go through carefully)

The description of the action phase on page 1 is a bit clunky. I understand it, but such clunkyness makes learning rules more burdensome. Specifically, it states in section 2)B. that players alternate activating units. Then section C overrides that by saying that the non priority player can make the last move, thus giving them an option to pass in section 2)B.

The description of the DASH movement action on page 2 was unclear. I would recommend that you state that the model can still take any status or shooting actions, but that the shooting actions are resolved using the fire wildly rules.

Is there any reason that recovery is not an action? (You are already ordering actions, so recovery could come last) The more types of things there are, just makes more things to remember. If it is an action, then people could simply remember a list of 4 things, rather than 3 things, plus something else.

The core game attributes are presented in somewhat of a vacuum on page 3. Thus, players are left wondering what effect the size of a model has on the gameplay. I think it is easier to remember concepts when their function is also presented.

On page 6, under nominate a target, it says they need to be in line of sight, then there are the special rules for attacks without line of sight. I think that all of this should be taken care of in the nominate a target section. I dislike it when a rule I just learned is invalidated in a separate section.

I know that the unstable footing is a carry over from version 1, but it is a rule that I dislike. Some models are top heavy and some terrain that looks cool is not suitable to models standing.








   
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Tacoma, WA, USA

This is an interesting rules set, but two things jumps out to me about actions

Action Economy

A unit is allowed 3 actions a turn
There are 3 Movement Actions, but you can only use one
There are three Status Actions, but two can only be used once and are also mutually exclusive
There are three Shooting Actions, but you can only use one

This is just messy to me. Why isn't this just presented as a Unit can Move (with options), Shoot (with options), and select a Status? The only things you seem to be able to do under the current rules without this setup are Aim/Take Cover/Shoot or
Aim/Aim/Shoot. Those could easily explained with special clauses in the other rules (if the unit doesn't Move, it may either benefit from cover or double the effects of Aim).

Status Action Penalties
All three Action Status have penalties. Why? Why not have each just give a bonus and move on? Seems to be unnecessary complexity and leaves you wondering if you should not take a Status to avoid a penalty if the bonus isn't good enough.
   
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i'd guess the statuses have penalties as well as bonuses for just that reason, it means you may not always want to use one

 
   
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 RiTides wrote:
Spoiler:
Regarding page number reference "previews" - if it's useful to include them for some people, that's fair and of course something to consider based on feedback you get from others - but there are a lot of them in the overview / introduction, and I at least think they don't belong there!

The very first sentence of the document ends with a page reference - not an ideal intro (even if there was another intro before this section). The next is for rolling off, which doesn't seem like something critical that needs to be referenced / previewed - if you do it for that, you have to do it for almost everything else that's coming up.

You also mentioned that your thinking was that on the first read-through, people would ignore the references, and then use them on the following read-through. But I don't think this is how people usually use an overview / introduction section. In fact, when I think of rulesets I've read, I tend not to need to re-read all the basic starting stuff on subsequent read-throughs at all (how to measure, how to set up a table, etc) and skip directly to the section I'm interested in - for instance, the shooting section if I have a question on shooting. I wouldn't go to the start of the document for that at all.

So, maybe it's a case of just re-organizing the document (since your basic setup stuff, interestingly, comes after this overview section). But I still don't think the Overview section benefits from these references. And I harped on Page 2, because it's formatted so similarly to Page 14, but just slightly slimmed down - so not really acting as an Overview, but just a slightly incomplete version of the same thing.

My ideal overview / intro would be much more of a summary - and I guess that means it's formatted differently than the actual rules page it is summarizing. You can mention at the start that the rules will be described more fully in the relevant sections - but you're just giving people an idea to start with. To give a terrible crack at it to show what I'm saying:


"A game of Maelstrom's Edge is fought between.............

Here's how a turn of Maelstrom's Edge is broken up (and will be described in the relevant sections), with alternating activations, each consisting of a move, status, or shooting action.....................

To start with, we'll need to define some basic things - model types, how to measure, and how to set up a table. These should be familiar to most wargamers. This will be followed by a set of Core rules, and then more advanced rules including ____, _____, and _____."


Obviously not That brief, but I just wanted to show what I was thinking. If you rearrange things and put this after your basic setup pages, perhaps it is something people would use. But I just can't imagine myself ever looking at / using Page 2 on subsequent rules checking, when it's so similar to Page 14, just without all the information I need. The overview / intro serves a different purpose, to me, and really should be aimed at the first read-through.

Hope this explains my thoughts a bit better

When writing v1, it originally just went into 'core game concepts' to essentially lay out the framework for the rules, thereby minimizing the amount of references to things that hadn't been presented/explained yet. However, the feedback we got over and over again was that people hated that. They wanted to first see an overview of how the game played in general before getting stuck reading the nitty gritty about how to move, measure, etc.

So while I do think it is good to have more of an overview of the game upfront before getting into details about the rules (it helps people have some framework for what they're reading about), but I could jettison the page # references and just trust people will keep reading along and figure it out, especially as we do have a 'rules finder' at the back of the book that people can always go check on to find out where a specific rule is explained if they really want to do so.

I had just never thought of page # references as being much of a detraction (I think of them as more of a positive), so its a useful bit of feedback to consider.

And yes, I could reconfigure the summary pages to be a bit more like you describe...the interesting thing is that the 'game overview' page actually contains a bunch of info that isn't found anywhere else (mainly the alternating activation rules), so it is important for that bit to be pretty robust (and not just a summary).


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 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 ocasionally 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.




Automatically Appended Next Post:
 spaceelf wrote:
A few minor points, based on a brief readthrough. (It will take more time to go through carefully)

The description of the action phase on page 1 is a bit clunky. I understand it, but such clunkyness makes learning rules more burdensome. Specifically, it states in section 2)B. that players alternate activating units. Then section C overrides that by saying that the non priority player can make the last move, thus giving them an option to pass in section 2)B.

Any suggestions for how you think it could be more clearly presented while still containing the same information?

The description of the DASH movement action on page 2 was unclear. I would recommend that you state that the model can still take any status or shooting actions, but that the shooting actions are resolved using the fire wildly rules.

Definitely agree that info can be tweaked to be better.

Is there any reason that recovery is not an action? (You are already ordering actions, so recovery could come last) The more types of things there are, just makes more things to remember. If it is an action, then people could simply remember a list of 4 things, rather than 3 things, plus something else.

Originally in the v2 rules, it was exactly that way. Units could perform 4 actions and recovery actions were just one of those 4. But all the internal team that playtested the rules up to this point said that they hated having 4 actions...it just seemed like too much to remember. For some reason, 3 actions was the sweet spot that just felt right for everyone, and therefore recovery was pushed into being a slightly separate kind of thing. I do/did agree with them that thinking of your units being able to do 3 actions is somehow just much nicer.

The core game attributes are presented in somewhat of a vacuum on page 3. Thus, players are left wondering what effect the size of a model has on the gameplay. I think it is easier to remember concepts when their function is also presented.

I could definitely leave that section out of the 'core game concepts' and wait to even introduce the concept of large/standard models in the rules section for 'large models'...however that does mean that all the references throughout the rules to 'standard' and 'large' models would be potentially confusing to new readers that haven't gotten to the large models rules yet. Would you think of that as a improvement, despite the potential for confusion throughout the rules at the mention of 'large' or 'standard' models?

On page 6, under nominate a target, it says they need to be in line of sight, then there are the special rules for attacks without line of sight. I think that all of this should be taken care of in the nominate a target section. I dislike it when a rule I just learned is invalidated in a separate section.

That info is a 'box-out' so it can certainly be moved around a bit in the final rules. Though I have to say I'm a little confused as to why the placement of this info is considered poor by you. I get what you're saying, but the 'target' rules say that you require line of sight to a target, but then are immediately followed by what line of sight is and how that is achieved. It seems better to know what line of sight actually is before learning that there are some weapons out there that ignore line of sight, no?

I know that the unstable footing is a carry over from version 1, but it is a rule that I dislike. Some models are top heavy and some terrain that looks cool is not suitable to models standing.

I totally understand what you're saying, but one of my largest pet peeves when playing 40k was how many times as players we had to say 'my model counts as being there', floating in mid-air or on the side of a hill.

With MEdge, generally speaking, your units are able to move further than in 40k, and (and this is important) there are a lot less models on the table, which means there is really much less of a need to ever have your units end their move halfway up a hill. Not sure if you've had a chance to play MEdge or not before, but I certainly never found this rule to feel prohibitive at all from what I was able to do with my units for those two reasons.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 alextroy wrote:
This is an interesting rules set, but two things jumps out to me about actions

Action Economy

A unit is allowed 3 actions a turn
There are 3 Movement Actions, but you can only use one
There are three Status Actions, but two can only be used once and are also mutually exclusive
There are three Shooting Actions, but you can only use one

This is just messy to me. Why isn't this just presented as a Unit can Move (with options), Shoot (with options), and select a Status? The only things you seem to be able to do under the current rules without this setup are Aim/Take Cover/Shoot or
Aim/Aim/Shoot. Those could easily explained with special clauses in the other rules (if the unit doesn't Move, it may either benefit from cover or double the effects of Aim).

As you surmised, the reason for having 3 actions listed the way they are is to allow a unit to do things like:

• If it doesn't move, it can 'take cover', 'aim' and 'shoot'.
• Sometimes units will/do have special status actions they're allowed to make. In that case, a unit is able to 'move', be 'on the move' and then still perform their special status action. Or alternatively, that same unit can 'move', make its special status action and then 'shoot'.

So yes, if you're just looking at the actions available in the core rules, it could appear like there is needless complexity there. But if you consider that units will sometimes have special status actions, that little bit of leeway makes a big of difference.

Status Action Penalties
All three Action Status have penalties. Why? Why not have each just give a bonus and move on? Seems to be unnecessary complexity and leaves you wondering if you should not take a Status to avoid a penalty if the bonus isn't good enough.

That is something I'm definitely still on the fence about, so I'd love to hear other people's opinions on this matter as well.

Unsurprisingly, the main idea is that every status you choose has both positive and benefits, so they're not always a no-brainer to make. There might be sometimes where you don't want to make a status action because of the negative. And this does, I think, help out with any special status actions we want to make up for units to have in their special rules. Because if the basic status actions don't have any penalties to them, then obviously you have to make a unit's special status actions really, really good to make them worth taking over the standard ones.

However, I could *definitely* be convinced to drop the negative effects off of the status actions if people think its just too much. The only one that would really bother me would be the -1 SKL penalty for being 'on the move'...because having a unit which is on the move being able to fire at the same accuracy as a unit which is standing still and taking cover just doesn't seem right.



This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 2019/05/10 19:45:13


I play (click on icons to see pics): DQ:70+S++G(FAQ)M++B-I++Pw40k92/f-D+++A+++/areWD104R+T(D)DM+++
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Dankhold Troggoth






Shadeglass Maze

Thanks for the detailed reply, yak!

Also, did you see solkan's post? It's the only one you didn't directly reply to above, so just checking . I think it's a more "intelligent" take on the overview ideas (including where it was previously versus where it is now) than my ramblings

Spoiler:
 solkan wrote:
As far as the organization of the rules go, I think it really, really depends.

For a game like Infinity, for me it was a case of reading straight through the rules section once, and then from then on reading through isolated sections at random using the index (printed index or wiki links) to jump between sections.

The turn overview page with page references in the v1 rules is weird because it's all of the information that you want for a turn quick reference and three somewhat chatty text callouts. It's the sort of thing where you could take that page, and completely rewrite it in two different directions:
1. A one page detailed outline with reminders for each step
2. A several page "First turn" introduction.

But it is really well written for what it is, and doesn't fall into some of the traps that I've seen other rulebooks fall into, like mixing rules paragraphs into step outlines.

Don't let anyone tell you that page 37 (Game Overview) was a bad idea. But the space taken up by those callouts probably could be better used for summaries, and less advice. Better short explanations than the "it's okay to feel confused reading this the first time" note.

The rewrite of Game Overview as the first two pages of the v2 core rules is better than the Game Overview page in the v1 document. The "The rules for ..." text looks like it's just left over text from v1. If the rest of the rulebook was there, I think it would look better.

I really like the idea of the first turn introduction, and the separate one page outline of steps. That might be what you're already going for here, but just wanted to make sure it didn't get missed!
   
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President of the Mat Ward Fan Club






Los Angeles, CA

 RiTides wrote:
Thanks for the detailed reply, yak!

Also, did you see solkan's post? It's the only one you didn't directly reply to above, so just checking . I think it's a more "intelligent" take on the overview ideas (including where it was previously versus where it is now) than my ramblings

Spoiler:
 solkan wrote:
As far as the organization of the rules go, I think it really, really depends.

For a game like Infinity, for me it was a case of reading straight through the rules section once, and then from then on reading through isolated sections at random using the index (printed index or wiki links) to jump between sections.

The turn overview page with page references in the v1 rules is weird because it's all of the information that you want for a turn quick reference and three somewhat chatty text callouts. It's the sort of thing where you could take that page, and completely rewrite it in two different directions:
1. A one page detailed outline with reminders for each step
2. A several page "First turn" introduction.

But it is really well written for what it is, and doesn't fall into some of the traps that I've seen other rulebooks fall into, like mixing rules paragraphs into step outlines.

Don't let anyone tell you that page 37 (Game Overview) was a bad idea. But the space taken up by those callouts probably could be better used for summaries, and less advice. Better short explanations than the "it's okay to feel confused reading this the first time" note.

The rewrite of Game Overview as the first two pages of the v2 core rules is better than the Game Overview page in the v1 document. The "The rules for ..." text looks like it's just left over text from v1. If the rest of the rulebook was there, I think it would look better.

I really like the idea of the first turn introduction, and the separate one page outline of steps. That might be what you're already going for here, but just wanted to make sure it didn't get missed!


Yep, I saw this post, but it seemed more of just some general feedback rather than specific advice for me to act on (so I wasn't sure what or if to respond to it).

But just to be clear: there will be a summary of the game/turn available for download/printing just like there was in v1 that people can have near them when they're playing to help remind them of how the game flows in general.

The game & turn summaries on pgs 2-3 are not meant to replace that kind of supplement in any way.

The point of the summaries on pgs 2-3 are again, because the feedback pretty strongly when we made v1 was that jumping straight into the 'core game concepts' without some kind of overview of what the game was like had people get bored and give up. By providing a brief summary up front of what the game is like then gives some people context for what the 'core game concepts' are going to serve. I could just put the full rules for unit activations (currently pgs 14-17) right up front before 'core game concepts'...in fact I actually had it there when first writing this document...but there ended up being so many things in the unit activation rules that made absolutely zero sense until you had gotten through the 'core game concepts', the 'rules for shooting' etc.

So what I'm saying is:


A) If people would really prefer no summary of the turn and/or unit activations up front before 'core game concepts' then I could most certainly do that, but I'm just warning you that its the exact thing that people asked me to change in v1.


B) If you like the game/unit activation summary up front but just hate the page references and find them distracting, I am totally fine with getting rid of those and just letting people be temporarily confused by a few bits and bobs until they get further into the rules. the table of contents at the front of the book and the 'rules finder' index at the back of the book will always be there for people that want to find something specific.


Oh and for anyone who hasn't downloaded a free copy of the v1 rules, you can do so from this page:

https://www.maelstromsedge.com/35/Rules/

That can be a good reference if you want to compare how things were laid out in v1 vs. how they look to be laid out for v2.


   
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 yakface wrote:
Automatically Appended Next Post:
 alextroy wrote:
Status Action Penalties
All three Action Status have penalties. Why? Why not have each just give a bonus and move on? Seems to be unnecessary complexity and leaves you wondering if you should not take a Status to avoid a penalty if the bonus isn't good enough.

That is something I'm definitely still on the fence about, so I'd love to hear other people's opinions on this matter as well.

Unsurprisingly, the main idea is that every status you choose has both positive and benefits, so they're not always a no-brainer to make. There might be sometimes where you don't want to make a status action because of the negative. And this does, I think, help out with any special status actions we want to make up for units to have in their special rules. Because if the basic status actions don't have any penalties to them, then obviously you have to make a unit's special status actions really, really good to make them worth taking over the standard ones.

However, I could *definitely* be convinced to drop the negative effects off of the status actions if people think its just too much. The only one that would really bother me would be the -1 SKL penalty for being 'on the move'...because having a unit which is on the move being able to fire at the same accuracy as a unit which is standing still and taking cover just doesn't seem right.
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.
   
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I want to reiterate, that these are minor points.

Here is potential wording for activattion:
"The player with priority activates one of their units

Their opponent must then select one or more of the following options:
The player activates one their units that has not already activated this turn
That player may then elect to activate another of their units that has not already activated this turn
The player may elect to activate none of their units if they only have a single unit that has not activated this turn, they are the non-priority player, and their opponent still has units that have not yet activated this turn
The player may pass, if all of their units have been activated this turn

Play then passes to their opponent who must select one or more of the above options
"

In terms of concepts such as large models, I suppose that I would keep them with the descriptions of core concepts. However, I would in the very least describe how they effect gameplay. Thus, someone would know that model size effects things such as cover, the number of weapons they can fire, etc. You could be more specific and state that large models can fire all of their weapons.

My objection to the line of sight targeting rules on page 6, is that the 'target' heading specifically states that the model must be in line of sight to be a valid target. Then later it states that there are attacks without line of sight, thus there are valid targets without line of sight. The target section should not make the line of sight statement. You could say something to the effect of unless otherwise specified, the target must be in line of sight.

Again, these are minor points. They keep the logic tight, and I think they make learning the rules easier, as there are fewer contradictions. (You do not learn something, such as the target must be in line of sight, only to discover there are exceptions.)
   
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Bristol, England

BobtheInquisitor wrote:
 darrkespur wrote:


As lead fiction writer of Maelstrom's Edge, I'd just echo what yak says here -I'd love to hear what you guys liked and didn't like in the background fluff, short stories and novels we produced for the Kickstarter, and what excites you about our universe. We've got plans about where we want to develop the story, factions and setting of Maelstrom's Edge in the future, but dakka is the greatest forum for wargaming out there, and it would be great to hear more about where you think we should go next.


Off the top of my head, I loved the scope of the background. It felt like a large universe with a lot of secrets and ancient mysteries, as well as many small, competing subfactions who could conceivably become big players withing their respective factions. I like how lived in the universe felt, and would have liked to explore it more. There were the main "wargame forces" in the fluff, but also enough variety of "offscreen" entities/cultures to avoid feeling stale so far.

What I did not like was the sense of hopelessness and grimdark. There was no hook on how the Maeslstrom might be stopped or reversed. There was no reason to root for any faction long term, because they were all going to die fairly soon. I don't want to read any more stories about desperate, suffering people trying to survive in an ever-worsening universe.

Also, your handling of the Karist faction came across stilted, unconvincing, and ultimately unsatisfying. The text features a religion that felt anything but "lived in" while the subtext indicated they were all just space juice addicts. One of the books has Space Bin Laden take down the Space Elevator Tower and kill millions without facing any comeuppance or moment of doubt--which makes her unsymapthetic as a faction protagonist. She does not come across well enough versed in her religion, which is never portrayed as having any moral high ground by the writer, for me to buy her as a true believer or to justify her crime as a hard decision made for the greater good. As a result, the Karists are just kind of repulsive. The Epirians are already not a goodguy faction, and the setting really doesn't need to be another grimdark Snyderverse.

I find the Gates of Antares setting hits a lot of the same notes as Medge, but their universe is more lighthearted (usually), which makes it more compulsively readable.


totalfailure wrote:I would disagree to an extent on the Maelstrom - it is the 'hook' and driver of conflict in this universe. No pun intended, but the setting would lose a lot of its 'Edge' if it were toned down to where it was possible to stop or reverse its effects readily.

The Karists would not even exist without it, after all, embracing the Maelstrom as their form of ascension.That said, I do agree that the Karists are not terribly engaging as they have been written so far. There needs to be a kernel of something to like about them so the reader can relate, and I don't think we've gotten that yet.

I had medical problems develop back during the Kickstarter, and regret having had to drop out, but I've picked up stuff and been following the game since then, and I will be looking forward to V2.


kestral wrote:I don't think the Maelstrom needs to be "stoppable", I always thought it was more of a matter of getting ahead of it. It isn't going to consume the whole galaxy, right? I didn't read it as that all the factions were doomed, at least in the short to medium term. It is also is the only thing that really sets MEDGE apart from other sci-fi, so I'd hang onto that.

Haven't read the V2 rules and won't have time for a few days, but my major wish from V1 was for Vehicle rules - even if just cars to drive around in. Scratchbuilding is a thing, after all.

I would agree that the Karists were the weak link in the factions - the Eps are engaging and the Broken even more so, but looking at the Karists the only thing I thought was kind of neat were the "angels".


Thanks all for the thoughts on this. We've had similar conversations within the MEdge team about the level of 'grimdark' in the universe and where we could take it next to give people a reason to be fighting besides simply survival. I think hopefully the fluff and stories we have coming for v2 and beyond will address that, as will the new factions who have very different motivations to the Epirians and Broken (who are mostly stuck on doomed worlds and trying to get away) and the Karists (who want to stick around).

The feedback on the Karists in the novel is one that I can take on board as one of the two writers of the book - I definitely feel like for Faith and Sacrifice we got the Epirian side of things right as a nuanced faction, but I do agree that we could have done more to portray Zafah's choices and those of the Karists as more based on a moral stance. We are close to finishing out the initial print run we did of the novels and one thing I was considering doing was going back and re-editing the books into one volume (which is how they were originally written) and making some of these subtle tone adjustments to give the Karists more depth. If we were to rerelease a new version would that be of interest to people or are we just regurgitating old news at this point?

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

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

and

Maelstrom's Edge: Sacrifice 
   
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Focus on putting that depth into future fiction, you can update older fiction later, or just ignore it. One look at how 40K handles fiction shows that it's more useful to push forward and keep making good looking miniatures, people will easily forgive a few retcons along the way.

   
 
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