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"Why do we buy new rule books?" Topic

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1,232 hits since 19 Jun 2013
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Who asked this joker20 Jun 2013 1:39 p.m. PST

I've never figured out my addiction to rule books. As a younger man…well teenager really…my friends and I played Fire and Steel (GDW) to death. After that, we played empire for about a year and decided it was too complicated. Switched to napoleons Battles and played a bit of that in my 20s. I found various rules sets for different periods but often stuck to one.

Then sometime around 2005, I started collecting them. I noticed others do the same. I'm really not sure why. I often don't find one more engaging than the other. In fact, usually I find nothing new. A lot of rules are conglomerations of different sets or retreads of old ideas. I've slowed considerably with the purchases of all types and am happy cobbling together my own sets these days.

How about you? Why do you buy many different rule sets that you may never get to play?

ming31 Inactive Member20 Jun 2013 1:43 p.m. PST

I read rule books like some read novels

CATenWolde Inactive Member20 Jun 2013 1:56 p.m. PST

For the most part, I think we're searching for someone with the same vision that we have of what a period "felt" like and how a game representing that should unfold on the table. Given how many different perspectives there are on that rather eclectic mix of fact and fiction, and that they are likely to change over time, it's not strange at all that gamers are in a more or less constant search for what we might call rules-partners in the hobby.



moocifer Inactive Member20 Jun 2013 1:59 p.m. PST

I read rule books like some read novels

Me too.

pauld89520 Jun 2013 2:03 p.m. PST

I read rule books like some read novels

Me too.

and me

pdf rule books are like crack cocaine

richarDISNEY Inactive Member20 Jun 2013 2:08 p.m. PST

I dunno.
I guess I am looking for 'the right fit'.
Either for my or for the Club.

Texas Jack20 Jun 2013 2:09 p.m. PST

We are knights gallant in search of the Holy Grail.

morrigan Inactive Member20 Jun 2013 2:18 p.m. PST

It's a sickness.

Midpoint Inactive Member20 Jun 2013 2:22 p.m. PST

I've always enjoyed reading about systems and processes and associated weltanschauung when modeling them.

macconermaoile20 Jun 2013 2:23 p.m. PST

We should form a support group !!

"My name is Tom, and I'm a rules addict !!

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2013 2:31 p.m. PST

I don't think we have seen all the possibilities by half … Bring on the new rulebooks !!!

vtsaogames20 Jun 2013 2:47 p.m. PST

I can quit whenever I want to… (sniff) … really. Hey, another rule book!

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member20 Jun 2013 3:05 p.m. PST

Addicted as well…

45thdiv20 Jun 2013 3:09 p.m. PST

I only get them for the pictures. ;-)

Seriously though, I like to see other folks handle various eras that I enjoy gaming. I see a lot of trends towards the war hammer model of gaming. Army rosters, point based, d6 games. I don't have a problem with that, but it seems everyone is doing it.

Still, the rule books are nice looking these days.

Mako11 Inactive Member20 Jun 2013 3:16 p.m. PST

Always hoping to find the ONE really good set of rules, to surpass all the others.

Usually, I am disappointed, which is why I frequently ask for in depth reviews now, and purchase far fewer sets.

Yesthatphil Inactive Member20 Jun 2013 3:24 p.m. PST

I only buy the ones I want (so maybe a new one every few years …) … I play anything that comes up but only get my own copy if they 'stick'.


Texas Jack20 Jun 2013 3:39 p.m. PST

So does anyone get rules "just in case"? For example, I bought Force on Force just in case I ever decide to get into moderns (a result of the Korean war scare earlier this year). I have the rules, but I still havenīt gotten into moderns (but you NEVER know!)

Who asked this joker20 Jun 2013 5:10 p.m. PST

pdf rule books are like crack cocaine

You got that right!

It's a sickness.

I still look at my collection and wonder "why". It's like an episode of hoarders.

I can quit whenever I want to… (sniff) … really. Hey, another rule book!

*snicker* Exactly!

chuck05 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian20 Jun 2013 5:43 p.m. PST

Because I read all my old rule books already.

CeruLucifus20 Jun 2013 6:54 p.m. PST

There are many occasions when I can't game. But if I read a rulebook then I can imagine myself gaming.

Joep123 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2013 7:02 p.m. PST

I read rulebooks like novels as well, I also get interested in a period or a war and end up buying a rulebook that covers that period or war.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2013 7:40 p.m. PST

I was, and am still, perfectly satisfied with the Ancient, ACW, and Renaissance rules I played from the 70s and 80s. Unfortunately most of the guys I game with regularly these days are not and are seeking different rules sets. I buy as few new rules as possible. One huge exception is Beneath the lily Banners,a great set of rules except for all the photos.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Jun 2013 8:05 p.m. PST

For the same reason we have more Romans or Tiger Tanks or Red Devils or Zouaves etc. etc. etc than we could ever get in the table.

Personal logo Shaun Travers Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2013 8:26 p.m. PST


John, we are roughly the same age and I only started the obsession about 2007 and have only slowed down this year. Probably slowed down only as there was a huge backlog of 40 years of rules to collect so now only the new ones and the odd older set that crops up. If you could just tell me when you speed up again so I know to put some money aside in the future as I seem to be following in your tracks.

"PDFs rulebooks are like crack cocaine" made me laugh out loud – how so true!

Oh and why? Because I have to.

Space Monkey Inactive Member20 Jun 2013 8:30 p.m. PST

For wargames I never did buy that many rulebooks.
They'd probably fill one shelf on a bookcase with room left over.

I have bought quite a few RPG books though… mostly to mine for ideas.

Thomas O21 Jun 2013 6:33 a.m. PST

Always looking for the "perfect" set of rules!

Ken Portner Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 8:15 a.m. PST

Hope springs eternal.

kreoseus2 Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 10:28 a.m. PST

Goldilocks syndrome. The next set will be just right.

GReg BRad21 Jun 2013 10:56 a.m. PST

Now I thought I was the only one reading rules like others read novels. I only collect the ones that fit my likes and then I tend to read them over and over. My wife often comments that I should know them of by heart.

arthur181521 Jun 2013 1:16 p.m. PST

As Samuel Johnson said of a second marriage, it's 'The triumph of optimism over experience.'

Tazman49684 Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 1:52 p.m. PST

One ruleset to rule them all, My precioussssssss….:)


Personal logo rampantlion Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2013 2:34 p.m. PST

I collect medieval sets, sometimes even after I pick them up and read a little in the store and think that they are not for me. I am not that way with any other time period, but I guess I just like reading other people's opinions on how medieval warfare should be depicted on the table top.


monk2002uk21 Jun 2013 3:12 p.m. PST

I just like the pictures.

Caesar Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 6:43 p.m. PST

I find rules systems interesting, particularly the interesting rules systems!

It's neat to see how authors attempt to model different aspects of what we are trying to represent.

By John 5423 Jun 2013 12:50 p.m. PST

I also think that there is a more 'disposable' aura about rulesets these days. For Napoleonics, I have always played 'In the Grand Manner' which are, what, 20/30 years old? I can remember everyone raving about 'Lasalle' a while back, but, nobody I know plays it anymore. Will they still be being played in 20 yrs time? I doubt it, same with Bolt Action, and 'Maurice' for example.
Is it just the club I go to, that has, what I call 'Ruleset Bleeped texts'? who flit from set to set like a Bee on nectar, and I am talking generally here, so spare me the 'My club still plays 'Napoleon' responses.
Just for the record, Saga, Bolt Action, That stoooopid Dystopian tut, WH40K, WHAB, are all popular at my club.


By John 5423 Jun 2013 12:51 p.m. PST

Oh, The bleepometer bleeped out a word to mean people who sell sex for money.


Long Valley Gamer Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2013 5:19 p.m. PST

My mistake has been buying too many rule books that after I've read them I don't even want to try them out. I have stacks of them….

thehawk23 Jun 2013 7:40 p.m. PST

Most of my recent purchases have been old rules from Noble Knight. I rarely buy new rules, except if they are pdf's. Why? Because the old rules have more hard science in them. Newer rules are often just boardgames, card games or even poker dice in disguise. I steer clear of any gimmick rulesets.

Old rules can often be improved on. Replace the IGOUGO with simultaneous moves. Replace the order writing system with course of action diagrams. Add a realistic order transmission system. And so on.

And for some reason, a set of musty old type-written rules has more appeal than the full technicolor sets being produced now. It's the same with the old Battle For Wargamers and MWAN, they just seem to be like old wine.

OSchmidt Inactive Member24 Jun 2013 4:37 a.m. PST

Never been affected with this. The $60 USD+ / 60+page glossies never did it for me. The lifetime of these things is way too short for the money and I frankly can't be bothered going through the pages.

Besises, I prefer simple easy rules. Complexity adds nothing to the game so when I write my own rules the "Rules of the Rules" are

1 12 pt Times Romand Bold.

2. 3/4" margins on the page

3. Maximum of 12 pages including everything, text, rules, charts, tables, illustations and Game designer driverl. If it doesn't fit on 12 pages, then get out the red pen.


OSchmidt Inactive Member24 Jun 2013 4:41 a.m. PST

Dear "The Hawk"

Agree with you. Sow me the $60 USD+ / 60+ page glossies and I lose interest. Find a pile of some guys notes and his home built rules on typriter or manuscript and you've got my papt attentions! That's why I loked the Courier, and M-Wan and when I scarf the flea-markets I look for this sort of stuff.

The reason is simple. There's not much new or inspired ot innovative in the "60 60's) but in the type of rules you're talking about you can find the most amazing stuff.


fullerena24 Jun 2013 7:27 a.m. PST

You can hide the leadpile(s) behind the bookpile(s). See, those giant tomes are good for something, and glossy full-colour pages inflate the thickness even further! Note to self: obtain old encyclopaedia collection, spraypaint "DBA HOUSERULES" on spines.

There's also usually something worth stealing even from the most mediocre, wheel-reinventing set. At least, that's what I tell myself when I buy a PDF I have no intention of actually playing since I already have a game or five I love for that sort of game.

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2013 6:53 a.m. PST

It is the never ending quest for the "perfect" ruleset that everyone will play and enjoy.

Henry Martini27 Jun 2013 3:03 p.m. PST

Our pack is lead by someone who sutomatically buys every new expensive, glossy, over-hyped ruleset that appears in print. Needless to say, many never get played, and some quickly become objects of detestation; an odd and expensive way to go, considering the high cost of the things. Personally, I have to be convinced by a good number of positive reviews before I'll shell out for a ruleset, and then it usually has to be for a period I already have figures for.

There's also a serious knock-on effect, in that the group can never settle on and thoroughly familiarise itself with one set of rules for any given period; we're forever playing 'learning games'.

Henry Martini27 Jun 2013 3:04 p.m. PST

Correction:'… someone who automatically…'

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