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"Musings on Game Design.." Topic

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13 Dec 2019 7:09 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Talk boardRemoved from 15mm Sci-Fi board

13 Dec 2019 7:10 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from Warhammer boardRemoved from Wargaming in the United Kingdom boardRemoved from 15mm Sci-Fi boardCrossposted to Warhammer 40K board

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Skinflint Games13 Dec 2019 3:53 p.m. PST

..or, can 40k ever be "good"? When a company depends on an ever expanding model range, with new rules to boot, is power creep and "unbalancing" an inevitable? How much "support" is not enough, and how much is too much?

Don't have any answers, but I'm intrigued to hear others views. Drop us a comment with your thoughts!

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2019 4:49 p.m. PST

Link doesn't get me anywhere useful, Skinflint.

In this context, I get a little hazy on the whole good/bad thing. We're talking hobby--something done for fun--and presumably all those 40K and other GW franchise gamers are having fun, or they'd stop doing it. So it's good for them.

But yes, of course: when the same company which sells the rules sells figures--and on paper the only figures to be used in the games--there is a built-in financial incentive to tinker with rules and army lists in such a way that long-time players wind up with castings they can't use and a need to buy others to continue to game. Management which doesn't do this is just leaving money on the table, and will be replaced by management which does. We could probably have figured this out just by looking at the system, and now we have decades of real world experience to confirm it.

But (a) no one HAS to play the game, or keep upgrading to the most recent version. See Oldhammer. And (b) no one but GW and their (almost equally) evil twins at Battlefront have been able to make the system work. Everyone else who has tried to invent a gaming system with a linked figure line seems to go bust within ten years, and usually within five, leaving behind incomplete armies which can now only be played with generic rules. (I think Malifaux may be nearing the ten year point, and maybe Dystopian Wars, if it's still around. But if we did a memorial service for failed ones the next Historicon, we wouldn't skip too many years.)

So it's not good for me--but clearly it's good for tens of thousands of young people. There's a lot of music like that, too.

d88mm1940 Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2019 4:58 p.m. PST

Wow, Robert, you conveyed my feelings exactly! Although I may add Warlord to the successes (the main man used to work at GW).

tsofian Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Dec 2019 4:59 p.m. PST

It doesn't matter if 40K is a good game or is not. the rules are like lettuce in salad. Lettuce is there to provide a vehicle to get dressing and the cool bits to the mouth. For GW the rules get the good bits The miniatures to the consumer. Just like most people don't pay much attention to lettuce, the rules just need to be good enough

The H Man13 Dec 2019 5:11 p.m. PST

Mantic been around over ten years now. Warlords Close??

I'm sure many GW buyers do so to keep up with the Jones's or may other have an addiction or feel compelled to buy. Like ladies (mostly) with fast fashion. If you've been in a GW store it has the atmosphere of a football change room (I assume) with loud blokes talking over each other and such. It can be quite intimidating. The pressure to be part of the crowd and keep up must definitely be there for some (or to just get out of there, like myself). When there's only one or two in there, it can be pleasant, assuming shrink wrapped boxes are your thing.

(Had to check the topic again)

I can see the issue with making both rules and Minis. Especially SciFi fantasy where you can just blow up the world and start over (then regret it and announce a new edition of the old game). I can see how comps that don't continue releasing new product fail. The idea (like mantic) maybe to keep bringing out new games. GW do this, but still they muck with the old ones (like mantic).

Got me.

DesertScrb13 Dec 2019 5:52 p.m. PST

The OP's link was messed up. Try this: link

Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP13 Dec 2019 6:57 p.m. PST

+ Robert.
I think you can add the ever 'evolving' Heroclix to that list where the rules keep changing, adding / revising rules, figures being tournament legal or not because of it etc.

JimSelzer13 Dec 2019 7:24 p.m. PST

isn't it hard to tell a warlord greek from a foundry greek since they are basically the same but a chaos knight has a distinct look

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Dec 2019 2:15 a.m. PST

If folk enjoy the activity and it does nor harm anyone else or cause offence; then it is a good game.

The players who play it would probably call it a brilliant game. This is a very very very subjective matter and we need to be aware of that.

Otherwise we really need to ask and confirm which is the best colour.

Skinflint Games14 Dec 2019 3:56 a.m. PST

Sorry about the link guys, try this

Interesting to hear the different takes on how much "support" a game needs to keep it ticking over, whether it needs a constant influx of new things or if it's best left alone. For example we play quite a bit of Epic SM2, that's not exactly current, but great fun. That said, it's impossible not to be tempted when you end up window shopping on the GW site!

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP14 Dec 2019 7:16 a.m. PST

There is the draw of collecting figures, units for the novelty. Friends who have played Fire & Fury for more than a decade will still buy new figures for new units. That rule set has never had the 'support' of GW or Warlord. It has had one revision in more than ten years?

Certainly, GW, Warlord have a marketing strategy that plays on the collection/novelty aspect right down to their 'evolving' rules. Like many marketing ploys, they have 'reved up' what is already a typical gamer tendency. The blatant manipulation of normal hobby behavior is what I find crappy.

joedog14 Dec 2019 9:57 a.m. PST

The discussion focus has been more on marketing a product line than on actual game design. And that is the same way GW – and others following their corporate marketing/sales strategy – think.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP14 Dec 2019 11:22 a.m. PST


If it works… Money talks… etc. etc. etc.

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