|miniMo ||05 Jul 2012 10:43 a.m. PST|
I have no objection to higher production values.
But whatever it is, there should be ample illustrations and/or photogrpahs to support the rules.
|Arteis||05 Jul 2012 10:59 a.m. PST|
I spend a lot of time and money making my wargames figures not only functional, but as good looking as I can.
I also spend a lot of time and effort getting my terrain to not only work in the game, but to also look great.
So I'm not going to begrudge a few dollars more to have a rule-book that not only runs the game well, but also looks the best it can.
| The Tin Dictator ||05 Jul 2012 11:10 a.m. PST|
I like pretty pictures as much as the next guy. But I also play a few older rule sets that are B/W with very rudimentary illustrations.
Production values might help sell the rules but the rule system is what I hope is good.
And I still think I prefer spiral bound over hard cover.
Hard cover rule books are just pretentious.
|darthfozzywig ||05 Jul 2012 11:19 a.m. PST|
While I enjoy a hard bound book as much as anyone, ultimately I want the convenience of a digital copy.
|The Beast Rabban||05 Jul 2012 11:28 a.m. PST|
I love steak, but don't eat it three times a day (even if I could afford to).
I love whistles & bells, I love simple and economical. So long as I get what I pay for. High-quality jobs are a joy to read (or just look at), and an inspiration to get gaming. Simple jobs are easier and cheaper for the publisher to put out, and make practical PDF's.
I was just looking over Wessex' "Land Ironclads", which I bought as a PDF. I am very happy with its level of pretty & practical, and was happy with the cost.
I have a fair amount of old dot-matrix-era rulesets, and I have to admit, it is a chore to read them, so I won't complain too much if a ruleset is a bit flashy.
Unless the text overlays some thematic crap texturing-whatever that makes it a pain in the ass to read!
|Major Bumsore||05 Jul 2012 11:45 a.m. PST|
I've got rules in all those formats. Doesn't matter. It's the rules that matter, not the delivery mechanism.
| McKinstry ||05 Jul 2012 12:28 p.m. PST|
I like the new trend toward high end rules such as Black Powder but given the incredible usefulness of my Ipad, I would like a PDF to accompany the rules and would expect the PDF to be the delivery vehicle for errata (there is always errata).
|Ron W DuBray||05 Jul 2012 12:31 p.m. PST|
I like PDFs but a hard bound super book can be made and sold for less then $30.00 USD just look at the Force on Force and Tomorrows war books.
| Dentatus ||05 Jul 2012 1:18 p.m. PST|
I much prefer solid rules in a concise, legible format with appropriate illustrations to paying extra just for pretty pictures. And too often the gloss is hiding other deficiencies.
|Sundance ||05 Jul 2012 1:19 p.m. PST|
I've got some of both doesn't really matter as long as they are good rules.
|Kent Reuber ||05 Jul 2012 1:24 p.m. PST|
Put glitzy photos on the Web site. That way they serve as illustrations and as advertisements.
|SECURITY MINISTER CRITTER ||05 Jul 2012 1:31 p.m. PST|
Sundance pretty much sums up my feelings.
| Who asked this joker ||05 Jul 2012 1:34 p.m. PST|
|Maddaz111 ||05 Jul 2012 1:44 p.m. PST|
I do not want any photographs getting in the way of rules.
If I cannot play it from the QRS – I am not going to play it.
I cannot stand fluff in the rules, its ok (just) if its in the rulebook, but I am not having two pages of crap about something unrelated in the middle of how to move.
Shock of Impact or DBMM is a rulebook, Black powder is a lot of pretty pictures – and a poor rulebook (IMHO) note I am not saying that Black Powder is a poor set of rules, I am saying that sheer weight of photos and pages of "not history" might make it less suitable to me.
I am assuming that the gamers that are playing it have graduated from some of the fantasy rules that I would not play.
| nazrat ||05 Jul 2012 2:55 p.m. PST|
That's a rather rash assumption. Just because somebody likes a nicely produced and illustrated rule book has no bearing at all on what they have played before. Not that that should matter one bit either, of course. That whole sort of attitude reeks of pretentious snobbery.
| The Tin Dictator ||05 Jul 2012 3:34 p.m. PST|
I generally find that when someone accuses someone else of "snobbery", or any other meaningless and silly term, it says more about the accuser than it does about the accused.
| nazrat ||05 Jul 2012 3:43 p.m. PST|
|Scorpio ||05 Jul 2012 4:09 p.m. PST|
I am assuming that the gamers that are playing it have graduated from some of the fantasy rules that I would not play.
Those fantasy rules happen to be one of the best-selling wargames around, yes?
|Maddaz111 ||05 Jul 2012 5:18 p.m. PST|
Fantasy as in non historical historical – such as FOW etc.
I do not have problems with people playing games and calling them games, I have problems with people not using a wargame set of rules to approximate history. If the results do not simulate anything (so historical input rarely equals historical output) then the game is a game, and no amount of pretty pictures will convince me otherwise.
If historical tactics are able to be replicated by the rules, and produce "realistic" results then I am happy, but I would sooner not buy 50+ coloured pages of photos that show nothing other than how someone can set out a unit and paint well. I will pay for decent rules, I will pay for innovative rules. I will not pay for a new interpretation of charge with lots of pretty pictures in a hardback book without a method of creating an army list from a set of points values like we had to do in the olden times of last century.
I am sorry if this is percieved as a rant, I am not against rules being pretty, but I would prefer having a pull out or downloadable QRS rather than carrying a 300+ page hardback with a poor index or disordered structure. (note I may have exaggerated the page count for comic effect)
|Shagnasty ||05 Jul 2012 6:44 p.m. PST|
I prefer simple and inexpensive. Paying extra for pretty pictures and painting guides is quite irksome.
|DOUGKL||05 Jul 2012 6:59 p.m. PST|
If I play a game and it's fun I don't care if they're printed on a napkin.Lots of gloss and lots of pictures just add additional costs. Unfortunately we've become slaves to marketing and pretty often caries more weight than content.
|darthfozzywig ||05 Jul 2012 7:27 p.m. PST|
|Toshach ||05 Jul 2012 7:32 p.m. PST|
I've purchased some real dogs that were beautifully printed on glossy paper with a hard cover. Whenever you purchase a ruleset, unless you've already played it, you're taking a risk. And if it's hardbound and printed on glossy paper, then you are also taking a pretty expensive risk.
So in order to minimize the cost risk, I prefer a pdf.
|Willtij||05 Jul 2012 9:01 p.m. PST|
pdf., printer friendly, wallet friendly, fun to play, using few brain cells to learn. That about sums it up.
| Rrobbyrobot ||05 Jul 2012 11:27 p.m. PST|
While I'm not against attractive presentation, I'm much more interested in rules that are clearly written. Pictures can be nice, but good diagrams supporting the concepts expressed in the text are more important. As I'm a historical gamer, historical accuracy is a must! Simplicity is important.
| The Nigerian Lead Minister ||05 Jul 2012 11:31 p.m. PST|
It's about the rules and how good they are. Don't have to be in color, but they do need sufficient diagrams so I can figure out the rules adequately. I've got them all.
That said, pretty, glossy rulebooks are more likely to motivate me to read them and play them, and in fact to purchase them in the first place. Doesn't make them any better. However, if they are not to my liking, they offer a chance of reselling them to the other guys who want the pretty books so the price ends up the same as the rest.
|Buff Orpington||06 Jul 2012 2:55 a.m. PST|
I'm perfectly happy with a PDF if the layout is OK. If I'm buying hard copy I want it to look good.
Current pet hate Spartan Games reference cards, black text on brown background. Thankfully there are better versions on their forum.
|TunnelRat ||06 Jul 2012 3:04 a.m. PST|
I would prefer to see rules that are clear & have diagrams to illustrate where required. But, I see absolutely no use for page upon page of photo's showing the writers figure collection. While they are normally great gaming eye candy they add nothing to the rules but, I believe, the increased page count & colour pages would increase costs.
|Scorpio ||06 Jul 2012 4:21 a.m. PST|
I do not have problems with people playing games and calling them games, I have problems with people not using a wargame set of rules to approximate history.
I have some bad news for you then.
I also realized I never actually commented on the poll in my first reply. I like rules to be well-written and easy to navigate, but these days, PDF is just such an attractive option. Two years ago I would have been all about the big fancy rulebook, but times have moved on. Give me a printer-friendly PDF any day of the week.
|Sgt Slag||06 Jul 2012 8:30 a.m. PST|
Selling rule books has always been a challenge from a business standpoint. They cost money to produce, and they sell relatively few copies, so making money on them, is a challenge. The exception, of course, is a set of rule books which actually do sell in the 100,000+ category.
Even with the iconic, RPG rule books, if you look at their corporate history, you will see that a pattern emerged: selling hardback books worked for several years, until the market became saturated, and people stopped buying the expensive hardbacks. The company had to keep selling copy to keep their doors open, so they revamped the rules, and produced a whole new set of a 'revised' version. They sold many thousands of copies of those rules, then the market became saturated, and the cycle repeated itself.
Not only did RPG companies use this 'business model', but the biggest miniatures rule-publishing company followed suit. Then the 'collectible miniatures game' companies came into existence, and they adapted that business model to their product lines. And the drama continues to this day
Bottom line, main point: selling rules is not terribly profitable, so publishers do whatever they can to sell copy. Products that look good, tend to sell better. The, "Oooh, Shiny!", concept is tried, and true. ;-) Cheers!
|myxemail ||06 Jul 2012 2:59 p.m. PST|
I find the hard bound rules with nice color pictures are certainly nice to look at and generally good to read in my nice comfy chair. The nice glossy hard bounds with fantastic eye candy within do not cause me to buy them on appearences. I buy after I have played the rules or at least reviewed them ahead of time.
I find the hard bounds difficult to use during a game as they do not sit open or flat very well. I cannot read them while I am at work. Plain text or pages that are bound in a manner that can lie flat a more practicle for use during a game, and for sneaking to read when work is slow.
|Militia Pete ||07 Jul 2012 4:02 a.m. PST|
Ringbound is the way to go. Like the original MW by Terry gore. Easy to lay flat and not lose a page. All the other rules I have such as Gordian Knot and Guns of Liberty, I put in a three ring binder to keep them from getting lost and for protection/storage.
|Caesar||07 Jul 2012 6:52 a.m. PST|
The content of the rules is what matters. Oh shiny certainly grabs your attention, it may fuel impulse buys at cons but so might an inexpensive price.
| Brent27511 ||07 Jul 2012 6:59 p.m. PST|
I really like PDFs, I can download to my tablet. It is nice to have my rules in one place.
| Grand Duke Natokina ||08 Jul 2012 11:54 a.m. PST|
I like a hard cover book really, but will settle for a glossy cover over good, tho not glossy paper. Drawings are cool instead of high gloss fotos. Less cost=more dollars for troops and vehicles.
|Mako11 ||08 Jul 2012 4:59 p.m. PST|
I voted for plain paper, but would actually like some artwork on the cover, and inside, if available, since it enhances the enjoyment of reading the rules of the period for me, if they are well drawn.
Of course, I'm really primarily interested in the rules, so if that is going to add significantly to the cost, the drawings can be left out.
A glossy cover would be nice, if printed on thicker card, to protect the contents, but I really don't need it.
The more expensive, high-end coffee table books are fine, but I have found that those seem to really lack focus on a good, playable set of rules, and are more for show than practical game play. Usually, they are beyond my price range for rules, so I rarely purchase them.
A perfect example of this is the Trafalgar rulebook. It's a truly beautiful book, and the photos in it are superb, but the rules are only suitable for beginner naval games, and really aren't even very good for that. I have better sets of rules that were available for free, from on-line sources.
Needless to say, I was more than a bit disappointed in that purchase.
I'd much rather have an inexpensive, excellent set of game rules than a coffee table book, that will just sit around and collect dust, after the first read through.
If you want to add more value for gamers, make sure there is a QRS (Quick Reference Sheet), on a separate card, included with the rules; add in a points system, if there is one; provide some advanced rules, or info on setting up some mini-campaigns; and provide a bibliography for more reading on the subject at hand, for newbies.
I'm at the point I almost will not purchase a set of rules, if it doesn't have a QRS for it. That should be mandatory, in my opinion, for all rules sets, in order to help speed play.
PDFs are okay too, if priced inexpensively. However, in my opinion, they need to be bare bones affairs, with just the rules, in black and white (and possibly some light gray, if you need to highlight some important elements).
I hate PDFs that have large blocks of black for page, and/or topic headings, or lots of extra-wide, black ink for artwork, etc. Sorry, but printer ink is priced like liquid gold, and I don't want to pay those kind of prices to the manufacturers for their stuff, so please keep fonts simple, and ink requirements to a minimum.
If you want to be really nice, you can provide both a color print, or fancy version PDF for our viewing pleasure, and then a printer-ink friendly bare bones version as well.
| Inari7 ||08 Jul 2012 7:09 p.m. PST|
I am always afraid of destroying my rule-books from using them so much. So a hardback rule-set is not to my liking. I want something that I can buy again, so expense is a consideration. I am crazy when it comes to my books of any kind.
| Narratio ||09 Jul 2012 4:25 a.m. PST|
I've never liked artwork in rules. Diagrams or annotated pictures explaining a concept, that's fine. Otherwise, leave it out, give me the text. As Mako11 notes, printer ink is expensive so the same holds true for PDF's. Quit with the scrollwork borders and dark headers. Just give me the text.
(One of the things that always hacked me off about RPG rules from the 70's was the handdrawn things slapped on pages, a wobbly sword or some sort of blaster rifle or a badly drawn thundering warrior. Never had anything to do with the text on that page, just used to fill space. ANNOYING!)
| Ratbone ||09 Jul 2012 10:26 a.m. PST|
If I'm getting a PDF, I expect it to be cheaper than a real book. If I'm buying a book, I expect nice stuff. If I'm buying a book that looks cheap, I expect a cheap price to go along with it.
The classic cries of "I want cheap schtuff for my games" doesn't hold up well in real life. I keep going to conventions and looking at pictures of other conventions and strangely I don't see games with cheap crappy rulebooks and flimsy buildings and counters instead of miniatures.
I've seen people skimp on painting their figures though.
| Ratbone ||09 Jul 2012 10:31 a.m. PST|
Great comment above about snobbery. Too often folks who want nice stuff are accused of being snobs. The same applies to folks who cry against people who are willing to pay higher prices.
People who say that gloss and production value hides deficiencies are also using the "sour grapes" argument. Give specifics instead of generalizing.
I've got lots of cheaply produced PDF or black and white rules that are HORRIBLE. I've seen fewer horrible expensive rules sets, likely because when people are spending lots of money they tend to use more editors but I don't know.
Finally, there is a big difference between problems/deficiencies/poor rules and disagreement with the way the rules work or play out.
|Mako11 ||09 Jul 2012 8:45 p.m. PST|
I have no problem with nice stuff, and/or nicely done rulebooks.
However, all of the ones I've seen for sale in the $50 USD – $100 USD range are worth about $2.50 USD for the crappy, poorly thought out, barely playtested rules, and the rest is fluff, lack of substance with lots of pages, a few nice color pics to help sell the book, and a hardcover to make it appear to be worth the outrageous fee being charged for it.
I did provide an example above, and know there are many others, which fortunately, I didn't purchase.
The Condottieri rulebook sounds like another one, from the reviews I've read.
It was apparently looked forward to by a great many people, prior to publication, but sadly didn't live up to the hype from a rules standpoint.
Give me a $5.00 USD – $10.00 USD plain paper, photocopied rules set, with good mechanics, and a QRS any day, over the glossy pubs. Same applies to a PDF, if it is printer-ink friendly.
| Jovian1 ||10 Jul 2012 6:47 a.m. PST|
I don't care how shiney the rule book is, how many pages it has, or photographs. The RULES and the PERIOD are what interest me, and not in that order. If the RULES are not for a PERIOD I want to play, I will not purchase them. If they are for a period I want to play, if they aren't worth the paper they are printed on, I'm not purchasing them.
If the rules are for a period and they have fun mechanics which are not subject to Barkerisms, I probably own them and have played them a few times.
| javelin98 ||10 Jul 2012 8:55 a.m. PST|
Drawing a parallel, I've never liked the newer Dungeons and Dragons editions, partially because the shiny, cluttered pages make it impossible to jot notes in the margins and are non-conducive to easy reading. I loved my AD&D 1E books, with their coarse paper and plain line drawings. They were legible and easily photocopied (for use in having reference tables consolidated and handy). The editions since then have gotten progressively more cluttered and less reader-friendly, and I'm sure some of the pricing has been driven by the printing costs.
|Timmo uk||11 Jul 2012 1:19 p.m. PST|
I like having a PDF. I can print it out to read, scrawl notes all over it as I play, adapt, cut out the army lists or whatever and end up with just the pages I need to play (usually not that many). I can bind how them I like. I've never been able to buy a rule set and not adapt it in some way so the PDF format suits me best.
| Ratbone ||11 Jul 2012 1:35 p.m. PST|
Mako, even 30 years ago I had to pay $12 USD for a hardcover rulebook that had no color pages and was just text. You are saying you want authors to sell for half of a 1982 dollar?
And your comments are vague and loaded. They offer no specifics, merely negative hyperbole. What book cost you $50 USD and how were your comments applicable to it?
You are basically making the case that most expensive books are poor, and your proof seems to be solely the price to prove your point.
|Narcisista||11 Jul 2012 6:03 p.m. PST|
These days I prefer PDF.
Hardcovers are nice because of the resilience, but they don't need all the bells an whistles either
|20thmaine ||12 Jul 2012 6:28 a.m. PST|
Well, common sense prevailed
|Mako11 ||13 Jul 2012 6:44 p.m. PST|
Ratbone, I have paid far more than that as well, for many rulebooks, over the course of the last 40 years, or so, and have found that higher prices don't mean better rules.
Usually, the direct inverse is true, e.g. the higher price for the rulebook, the lower quality of the actual rules provided in them.
Very few of the rulebooks I have purchased over the years have been hardbound, since the added cost doesn't justify the value, in my opinion.
Conversely, some of the best, and most playable rules come in a plain paper format (some with simple drawings, others with not), with perhaps a thicker, cardboard/paper cover, and almost all were sold for less than $10 USD – $20 USD, depending upon when they were purchased, and what was included inside.
In today's pricing, $10 USD – $15 USD for a set of PDF rules seems pretty good, from the best bang for the buck standpoint.
If a PDF gets beyond $15 USD, or so, then I tend to scrutinize the reviews of the rules more, since in many instances, above that price, the value for the dollar diminishes quickly, especially when you start factoring in costs of paper and ink to print them off at home.
Hardcover rulebooks of $50 USD – $100 USD just don't interest me, in most cases.