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"Rules & Time Scale" Topic

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2,134 hits since 25 May 2013
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Comments or corrections?

Texas Jack25 May 2013 3:19 a.m. PST

I voted false. I think an approximate time is fine, but for the most part I think turn times would vary from turn to turn, and not adhere to a strict time allotment.

And really, it isn´t something I even think about- a turn is a turn.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP25 May 2013 3:31 a.m. PST

I'd agree with TJ to some extent but at least an idea of the average time a move is supposed to represent should be given.

It is possible to have a flexible turn length if the rules are written that way – action driven rules can work as well as turn driven ones but they are more complicated to get right from an authors POV.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2013 6:49 a.m. PST

And really, it isn´t something I even think about- a turn is a turn.

I agree.

SECURITY MINISTER CRITTER Inactive Member25 May 2013 6:56 a.m. PST

I find myself in agreement with youse guys.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP25 May 2013 9:35 a.m. PST

The rules shouldn't contain anything that doesn't affect the way the players experience the game. If you calculated all the actions out to fit a specific fixed time scale, cool. If it doesn't affect the decisions players make, it isn't relevant for the rules. Even as an 'interesting' bit of background to set the stage for players' frame of mind, it would likely fall short. After reading/hearing enough of the rules to play, the players would already haveenough of an intuitive understanding of the time scale that a mention of the number wouldn't add much, if anything.

I did run a STL scifi campaign once where time scale was an important partof the player experience. So, again, it has to be meaningful.

stenicplus Inactive Member25 May 2013 10:33 a.m. PST

Only important if time of day and weather affects your game… like foggy in the morning so shoot at -2 until the sun burns it off by 9.30am, or the ground is wet and boggy due to rain so battle is delayed (a la Waterloo) etc..

MajorB25 May 2013 11:40 a.m. PST

Only important if time of day and weather affects your game…

That's not why you need a time scale. A time scale gives an indication as to the duration of a turn in the designer's thinking. This will then indicate how effective weapons should be how fast units move etc.

Even if it's only an approximate value, it's still useful.

stenicplus Inactive Member25 May 2013 1:17 p.m. PST

I beg to differ, partially.

Weapon effectiveness is not time dependent… in turn time terms, as opposed to velocity of shot of course…Unless of course you are talking about attrition, constant shots taking their toll over time.

Some timescales are arbitery if not meaningless in some games; HOTT reckons a turn is 15mins in real life, but it's a fantasy game. It's a game I love but the timescale has never, ever, been an consideration of play. How is it possibly useful?

Useful yes, but not a requirement in all games.

Angel Barracks Inactive Member25 May 2013 2:33 p.m. PST

If a turn was 10 minutes or 10 days, how would that alter the outcome of the game?
It may well alter your perception of the game in terms of narrative but it would not change the dice rolls or anything.

Lets assume a I play a game and am told a turn is 20 minutes.
I will play in a certain way.
Now let us assume after the game I am told that was a lie and the turns were really 3 hours, would that alter the outcome?
Would it alter how I will play next time now that I know the turns are really 3 hours?

They are often useful in terms of game design.
When I made some black powder rules I worked out how far effective musket fire was, how many times men could fire per minute and what the average amount of time it took for men to walk the effective musket fire range and so on.
This allowed me to determine walking speed in cm and musket range in cm and so on.
I never said in the rules how long a turn was though…

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2013 6:32 p.m. PST

False, because it depends on the game.

If it's an RPG, a basic idea of what constitutes a "round" or "turn" in game time makes sense, as the GM will need to know whether a PC's declared course of action is possible within the round, or needs to be broken across multiple rounds— Example:
Player— "Master Midnight fires his Colt .45 at the Scarlet Spectre and rolls over to the control panel, pulling the release lever!"
GM— "Hmm. A round is six seconds… so, you can shoot and roll, but it will be the next round before you actually pull the lever."

However, if it's a tactical battle game where the unit's actions are largely limited to "move and fight," the length of a turn in "battlefield time" may not be important and might even be considered to be fluid— each turn is simply the amount of time it took for whatever happens in that turn to have happened. A turn is thus more a factor of "a significant series of events on the battlefield" rather than any given amount of time.

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP26 May 2013 5:17 a.m. PST

I prefer a time scale to integrate a role playing campaign with a tactical game. I gives a perspective and lessens debates during play.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian26 May 2013 3:20 p.m. PST

A time scale is useful when you're trying to design a scenario based on an historical event.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP26 May 2013 5:08 p.m. PST

Depends on what you like to game

I like Grand Tactical, so a time scale really does matter – because frequently days end before battles do!

If you game smaller scale actions, probably less relevant

LeonAdler Sponsoring Member of TMP27 May 2013 2:43 p.m. PST

A stated timescale is always important, that way you can interpret the rules when necessary. Absence of scale, time or otherwise sounds like sloppy work to me.

Who asked this joker27 May 2013 7:18 p.m. PST

Scales do not help the game function. The provide a frame of reference. Nothing more. GW games do not have any scales and they play fine.

LeonAdler Sponsoring Member of TMP28 May 2013 11:36 a.m. PST

I need say no more lol

dafrca Inactive Member28 May 2013 2:54 p.m. PST

I believe it would be nice if the game designer gave their assumption in creating the game. Even if that assumption was "time scale does not matter in my game".

Do I believe there are games out there that time scale does not matter, I am sure there are. But there are a lot where it would impact the game as well.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2013 11:22 a.m. PST

For scenario design, you need the time scale. Rules which don't mention time scale, unit scale, ground scale and figure ratio are rules which I will most likely not buy.

Jovian1 Inactive Member31 May 2013 12:54 p.m. PST

There should always be some time scale to reference things to in a wargame, even if the time scale reference is vague and variable from turn to turn. It is more difficult with IGOUGO games to come up with a relevant time scale because the games play more like Chess with each player getting a turn where the opponent does not get to act (in some instances reaction actions are allowed), and there is no set time for the occurrences during the active players turn.

ochoin ceithir Inactive Member11 Jun 2013 4:16 p.m. PST

Not as relevant as people used to think

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