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Subject: Transfer weapon without movement? rss

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Chris Colapietro
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If Squad A with a weapon is in the same hex with squad B, can you activate squad A with a Move order, then spend the 1 MP to transfer the weapon to squad B, and end the order with both squads staying stationary?

This seems to violate the rule (which I cannot seem to locate in the latest online rules at the moment...) that states that when a unit or units are activated for a Move, at least one unit must move at least one hex.

If this transfer without movement is allowed (which makes sense to me), does the 1 MP expenditure allow an OP fire action into the hex?
 
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Chad Jensen
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If Squad A with a weapon is in the same hex with squad B, can you activate squad A with a Move order, then spend the 1 MP to transfer the weapon to squad B, and end the order with both squads staying stationary?


No. This is covered explicitly in rule O14.4 (especially the gray box).

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If this transfer without movement is allowed (which makes sense to me), does the 1 MP expenditure allow an OP fire action into the hex?


If this were allowed (which it is not) the Op Fire would not be allowed according to rule A33.2: "...MP expenditure in each hex as it is entered..."

Hope this helps!
 
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Chris Colapietro
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Thanks for the quick response!

Can you explain the rationale behind this? This means that you cannot transfer a weapon within the same hex - even at the expense of a full Move order.

The situation where this came up is not an uncommon one - I had a squad with a LMG in a building with a leader. The squad gets broken, thus making the LMG useless, and the leader doesn't have range to the threats. I simply want to transfer the LMG from the broken squad to the leader without breaking cover and get some fire going until I can rally - seems reasonable.

Requiring the squad to exit the hex to transfer the weapon seems artificial and unreasonable. Worse yet, the transfer would be allowed if I activated the leader to activate the squad with the weapon, and a squad outside the building, then moved the unrelated squad outside - even more artificial. Is there some other way I am missing to transfer the weapon? If not, could this be considered for a rule update?

By the way, we're having a ball with this game. The 'feel' is just right for this scale of combat IMHO, and every game so far has left us with great stories to tell!
 
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Chad Jensen
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Can you explain the rationale behind this?


To keep things simple. Rule O14.4 thus covers everything and needs no specific exceptions.

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I simply want to transfer the LMG from the broken squad to the leader without breaking cover and get some fire going until I can rally - seems reasonable.


It always seems reasonable to the player wanting to perform the action in question. In this particular instance, maybe they're on opposite sides of the 30-meter hex ... maybe in different rooms ... maybe the Leader already has his hands full ... maybe the LMG is out of ammo ... etc

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Requiring the squad to exit the hex to transfer the weapon seems artificial and unreasonable.


The rules aren't requiring A to happen in order for B to happen: ANY activated unit may move 1 hex to satisfy the Order's requirement.

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- even more artificial.


ALL wargames are artificial. Overall the rules to CC work as intended to deliver the aesthetic feeling of WWII infantry combat on a tabletop. No person in the world will agree with every design decision that I made - except me.

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By the way, we're having a ball with this game. The 'feel' is just right for this scale of combat IMHO, and every game so far has left us with great stories to tell!


Awesome! Glad you enjoy it.
 
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David desJardins
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The3Furies wrote:
If Squad A with a weapon is in the same hex with squad B, can you activate squad A with a Move order, then spend the 1 MP to transfer the weapon to squad B, and end the order with both squads staying stationary?


No. This is prohibited by O14.4. (This could be pretty annoying. E.g., you have a broken team with a weapon, in a hex with another squad. You can't activate the broken team to move, and have it give the weapon to the squad, because you haven't moved a unit one hex. On the other hand, this is a rare situation; usually, you will be activating multiple units using a leader, and one of the others can move to fulfill the requirement. I find it's quite rare that I use a Move order on just a single squad or team.)
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Could I move out of a hex and then back in to cheat this rule? All signs point to yes.
 
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David desJardins
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BagpipeDan wrote:
Could I move out of a hex and then back in to cheat this rule? All signs point to yes.


Yes, you can move out and back in, if you have enough movement points. No, that's not a "cheat".
 
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Cheat enough for me
 
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BagpipeDan wrote:
Could I move out of a hex and then back in to cheat this rule? All signs point to yes.

Not a cheat as this is exactly what the rule intended. Remember that moving out and back into the hex may trigger Op Fire...
 
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Mark Christopher
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On a similar note, can one leave weapons behind? We found provisions in the rules for eliminating them and transferring them. If a squad wanted to leave a weapon (say, because the weapon slowed it too much), can the squad leave it? Or must it be eliminated?
 
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Chris Colapietro
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DaviddesJ wrote:
On the other hand, this is a rare situation; usually, you will be activating multiple units using a leader, and one of the others can move to fulfill the requirement.


It's really not rare at all - in fact it's quite a common situation on defense. In the example I presented in my second post, if the leader is used to activate the units to move, he is no longer available to fire that turn, which nullifies the advantage that the unit receiving a weapon does not need to activate.

BagpipeDan wrote:
Could I move out of a hex and then back in to cheat this rule? All signs point to yes.


Generally, a broken squad will not have the MP available to do this.

I agree that the rules as written prohibit this type of transfer, but I guess I think it should be considered for revision. The argument that it would be adding an exception to the general rule doesn't really sit well with me as the rule for spending 1 MP in place to transfer a weapon is an exception anyway.

The way we chose to play this (as a house rule) was to allow the transfer at the cost of 1MP (the real cost being that is was a full move order), and then allow op fire into the hex where the transfer took place (people are moving around and breaking cover within the hex) - kind of a compromise. I do realize this violates another rule (A33.2).

At this point though, having given it some though overnight, I'm no longer sure where I stand on the issue. I think there is a lot to be said for Chad's desire to keep the rules streamlined and as free of exceptions as possible, and the question of Op fire raises additional issues - both for allowing it or prohibiting it. For now, I guess we will play with the rules as written but I would ask that Chad give it some serious thought at some point.

 
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David desJardins
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markus_kt wrote:
On a similar note, can one leave weapons behind? We found provisions in the rules for eliminating them and transferring them. If a squad wanted to leave a weapon (say, because the weapon slowed it too much), can the squad leave it? Or must it be eliminated?


Eliminating a weapon is how you "leave it behind". In Combat Commander, a weapon never exists on the board except in the possession of a unit. Note that there are no rules for "picking up" unowned weapons (because they don't exist).
 
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David desJardins
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The3Furies wrote:
It's really not rare at all - in fact it's quite a common situation on defense. In the example I presented in my second post, if the leader is used to activate the units to move, he is no longer available to fire that turn, which nullifies the advantage that the unit receiving a weapon does not need to activate.


I said that it's rare that you can't transfer the weapon at all. I agree that it's more common that you can transfer the weapon, but the rule limits your other options (e.g., you have to move units you wouldn't want to move, so those units can't fire also).

If I were writing the rules, I think I would have allowed any expenditure of MP to satisfy the Move order requirement (and also to trigger op fire opportunities). As far as I have noticed, transferring weapons is the only way to expend MP without physically moving between hexes (but I might have missed something). But I definitely don't think it's a big enough problem to start forking the rules.
 
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DaviddesJ wrote:
markus_kt wrote:
On a similar note, can one leave weapons behind? We found provisions in the rules for eliminating them and transferring them. If a squad wanted to leave a weapon (say, because the weapon slowed it too much), can the squad leave it? Or must it be eliminated?


Eliminating a weapon is how you "leave it behind". In Combat Commander, a weapon never exists on the board except in the possession of a unit. Note that there are no rules for "picking up" unowned weapons (because they don't exist).

Thanks, David. That's what we figured, but wanted to make sure.
 
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David desJardins
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markus_kt wrote:
Thanks, David. That's what we figured, but wanted to make sure.


No problem. I found it confusing at first, too. It would have beeen nice to have one sentence, either in the Glossary under "Weapon", or in rule section 11, that explains that weapons are always in the possession of a unit.
 
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Chad Jensen
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For now, I guess we will play with the rules as written but I would ask that Chad give it some serious thought at some point.


I have given this serious thought - two years of development worth. This rule isn't going to change.

What I see is folks thinking about this issue backwards: transferring a Weapon isn't a right, it's a priviledge. IF you are able to perform a Move Order legally, then you are allowed to ALSO transfer a Weapon, NOT the other way around.
 
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David desJardins
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Well, I agree with Chris that it doesn't make much sense that the "privilege" of transferring a weapon depends on whether another squad, in a different hex, moves, or not. It's not a big problem, but it seems quite strange.
 
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Chad Jensen
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Well, I agree with Chris that it doesn't make much sense that the "privilege" of transferring a weapon depends on whether another squad, in a different hex, moves, or not. It's not a big problem, but it seems quite strange.


Again, stop thinking about this in real-world terms - this is a game: an artificial construct utilizing artificial means to produce an artificial outcome - and instead think about how this particular rule meshes cleanly and simply with the CC rules and mechanics as a whole while imparting a modicum of reality and things will all work out in the end.
 
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Colin Lewis
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Arg, there were a lot of big words in there. We're but humble pirates. arrrh
 
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David desJardins
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Chad Jensen wrote:
Again, stop thinking about this in real-world terms - this is a game: an artificial construct utilizing artificial means to produce an artificial outcome - and instead think about how this particular rule meshes cleanly and simply with the CC rules and mechanics as a whole while imparting a modicum of reality and things will all work out in the end.


Honestly, I think it would mesh more cleanly if the rule said "must expend one MP" than if it said "must cross one hexside". The basic rule is that one unit has to perform the activity enabled by the order. To me, the activity enabled is "expend MPs", not "cross hexsides". That's why a single unit can just expend MPs to transfer items, without crossing any hexsides. If it were really the case that transferring weapons were only incident to physical movement, then I wouldn't expect a unit to be allowed to transfer a weapon unless that unit is also moving one hex.

But I don't want to belabor the point. It's just interesting to discusss the underlying philosophy.
 
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To me, the activity enabled is "expend MPs", not "cross hexsides".


But this is incorrect from a design standpoint. The Move and Advance Orders exist on the predication of units entering new hexes. The Move Order is different mainly because it entails a mechanism by which this process is achieved via a certain expenditure of assets: in this case, Movement Points.

If you look closely, most every individual mechanic in CC looks rather unrealistic, ridiculous and/or unintuitive when studied in a vacuum. But all of the CC mechanics work AS A WHOLE to bring you a singular gaming experience.

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But I don't want to belabor the point. It's just interesting to discusss the underlying philosophy.


I agree; design theory is very interesting.

If you'd like, let's do an experiment: show me a rewrite of the relevant rules concerning Weapon transfer -- exactly as you would like to see them appear in a 2nd edition rulebook. Let's see if you can't talk me into it.

 
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David desJardins
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Chad Jensen wrote:
If you'd like, let's do an experiment: show me a rewrite of the relevant rules concerning Weapon transfer -- exactly as you would like to see them appear in a 2nd edition rulebook. Let's see if you can't talk me into it.


OK, I'll give you an absolutely minimal change. Replace the boxed text in O14.4 with the following:

If a Move Order is given, at least one activated unit must expend at least one MP. This could be to move to another hex, or to transfer a weapon to a friendly unit (O21.1.1).

(I imagine the possibility of subsequent expansions creating other ways to expend MPs, at least for certain units. Thus the separation of the explanatory second sentence from the definitive first sentence.)

I don't see anything else that needs to be changed.

By the way, this discussion triggered a thought in my mind. It might sometimes become impossible to fulfill the requirement of O14.4. E.g., suppose that I activate a unit to Move, then I give it an Assault Fire action, then that action triggers a sniper, which breaks my unit, and then I no longer have enough MPs to enter any adjacent hex. I guess I'm off the hook, if I have no way to comply with the rule?
 
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Chad Jensen
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Replace the boxed text in O14.4 with the following:

If a Move Order is given, at least one activated unit must expend at least one MP. This could be to move to another hex, or to transfer a weapon to a friendly unit (O21.1.1).


This doesn't work. Movement is "entering new hexes" (this what it does) not "expending MPs" (this is the means). This is reinforced in the very first sentence of the Move Order rule and is also my design intent. So O14.4 can't change: you have to create a new mechanism for Weapon transferal. Try again.

For argument's sake, however, let's say that I went with your proposal:

If all you do is transfer a Weapon, I suppose I don't get any Op Fire opportunity at you?

If all you do is transfer a Weapon, I suppose I can't play Hidden Mines or Hidden Wire against you?

If the answers to both questions is "no", and all you do is transfer a Weapon, then you effectively get a "free" discard by just doing this back and forth between two different units in the same hex with no drawback and zero risk. Movement in the midst of combat is supposed to be very risky - thus the requirement to at least enter a new hex so that you can't just use Move Orders as free discards in the middle of giving other Orders (the reason O14.4 was added early on in development: the "free" discard was milked into brokenness).

Here's an interesting (not-so-rhetorical) question for all to ponder: If transferring a Weapon didn't cost 1 MP - that is, if it had no MP cost involved: like throwing Smoke Grenades or making an Assault Fire - would this discussion have even begun in the first place? I don't see a similar thread about how unrealistic it is to not be able to chuck a smoke grenade unless you also move 100 feet....
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David desJardins
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Chad Jensen wrote:
This doesn't work. Movement is "entering new hexes" (this what it does) not "expending MPs" (this is the means). This is reinforced in the very first sentence of the Move Order rule and is also my design intent. So O14.4 can't change: you have to create a new mechanism for Weapon transferal.


With respect, the changed rule does "work". The modified rules are internally consistent and completely clear. The first sentence of O21 doesn't say that units that are activated to Move must move from hex to hex, it only says that they can do so.

I do think of Movement as "expending MPs". That's what it is in most games. If you prefer something different, I have no problem with that---it's your design---but I don't agree that the other possibility "doesn't work". I also don't think that you have stated anywhere in the rules that transferring weapons is not a form of "movement". In fact, until now, I thought that transferring weapons is a form of "movement". Rule O21.2 says that "the movement of one unit" must be completed, before another unit moves. If transferring weapons is not movement, then this would seem to allow one unit to move into a hex, a second unit to move into that same hex, and then the first unit to expend additional MPs to transfer its weapon to the second unit, and then the second unit could keep moving. Is that allowed?

Quote:
For argument's sake, however, let's say that I went with your proposal:

If all you do is transfer a Weapon, I suppose I don't get any Op Fire opportunity at you?

If all you do is transfer a Weapon, I suppose I can't play Hidden Mines or Hidden Wire against you?

If the answers to both questions is "no", and all you do is transfer a Weapon, then you effectively get a "free" discard by just doing this back and forth between two different units in the same hex with no drawback and zero risk. Movement in the midst of combat is supposed to be very risky - thus the requirement to at least enter a new hex so that you can't just use Move Orders as free discards in the middle of giving other Orders (the reason O14.4 was added early on in development: the "free" discard was milked into brokenness).


If a player really wants to use a Move card to do nothing, I think there's usually some unit which is located so that it can be moved back and forth without exposing it to significant op fire. I'm dubious that the additional possibility of handing weapons back and forth makes a significant difference.

However, I would have no trouble with changing the rules to say that op fire can be taken whenever a unit expends MP in a hex, whether to transfer a weapon or to enter that hex. And/or the same for Hidden Mines and Wire. Actually I think that might be a desirable change in its own right (but that's because I think of any expenditure of MPs as a form of movement).

A33.1 A Fire Action may only be played during an opponent's Move Order, and only just after the expenditure of one or more MPs by an enemy unit.

A33.3(3) A moving unit (or group moving together) can only trigger one Fire Attack per hex, no matter how many MPs it expends to enter that hex, or expends within the hex. [No change to boxed text.]

A35.2 Hidden Mines may only be played by the scenario Defender just after one or more units expend MPs in a hex, or Advance (not Retreat) into a hex.

A35.5 Hidden Wire may only be played by the scenario Defender just after one or more units expend MPs in a hex, or Advance (not Retreat) into a hex.

(By the way, I see that A35.2 and A35.5 don't say "enemy" unit. So you could play Hidden Mines, or Hidden Wire, on your own units. Is that intentional?)

Quote:
Here's an interesting (not-so-rhetorical) question for all to ponder: If transferring a Weapon didn't cost 1 MP - that is, if it had no MP cost involved: like throwing Smoke Grenades or making an Assault Fire - would this discussion have even begun in the first place? I don't see a similar thread about how unrealistic it is to not be able to chuck a smoke grenade unless you also move 100 feet....


I think it's quite different, because Assault Fire or Smoke Grenades are things that you do in addition to a Move order. So it's clear and natural, from the rules, that you have to separately satisfy the requisites of the Move order. While transferring a weapon is part of a Move order.

One important question for this whole discussion is whether there will ever be, in future expansions to the game, other ways for units to expend MP without moving from hex to hex. For example, there might be special units that could expend MPs to construct or destroy fortifications. If you're sure there will never be any other ways to expend MPs, then the design decisions might be different than if it's likely that more could come.
 
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Chad Jensen
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If transferring weapons is not movement, then this would seem to allow one unit to move into a hex, a second unit to move into that same hex, and then the first unit to expend additional MPs to transfer its weapon to the second unit, and then the second unit could keep moving. Is that allowed?


No. O21.2 states that "The movement of one unit must be completed in its entirety before another activated unit can begin moving."

Quote:
If a player really wants to use a Move card to do nothing, I think there's usually some unit which is located so that it can be moved back and forth without exposing it to significant op fire


You are correct that this situation can be engineered during play, and IS something that we specifically tested. We found that the benefit of having a unit that is out of LOS of all enemies so as not to draw Op Fire in this manner has an equal drawback of not being able to Fire at any of its enemies in return. Plus, a unit facing a Scenario Defender cannot perform this maneuver with complete immunity because of the possibility of Hidden Mines and Wire.

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I'm dubious that the additional possibility of handing weapons back and forth makes a significant difference.


Zero chance of Op Fire against it.

Zero chance of Hidden Mines or Wire against it.

Quote:
However, I would have no trouble with changing the rules to say that op fire can be taken whenever a unit expends MP in a hex,


And neither would I ... in a different game. ASL does this exact thing, for instance, and this "expend MP" trigger works better in that game then it does in CC (I know: we tested it that way for a while).

Quote:
(By the way, I see that A35.2 and A35.5 don't say "enemy" unit. So you could play Hidden Mines, or Hidden Wire, on your own units. Is that intentional?)


Yes. I've done this as the Scenario Defender: Activate a Squad in the key Objective to Move; Move one hex forward and plant Wire there; Advance the Squad back into the Objective on your next Turn. You now have a bit of Wire guarding one of the approaches to an important hex.

Quote:
I think it's quite different, because Assault Fire or Smoke Grenades are things that you do in addition to a Move order.


Incorrect. These two Actions can ONLY be played DURING a Move Order and thus are only ever PART OF a Move Order. You cannot play a Smoke Grenades Action, for example, unless the unit using it is currently activated to Move - and at least one of those activated units WILL have to enter at least one new hex to make the Order legal.

Smoke Grenades, by the way, used to be an Order: you simply activated a unit with boxed Move and it popped Smoke in or adjacent to its hex. I specifically changed it early on in development to be an Action triggered by Movement so as to give it more flexibility in its use.

Ditto for the Weapon Transfer, except that the Weapon Transfer lost its card effect altogether and became a base rule....with Weapon Transfer simply having "expend 1 MP" tacked on as its cost rather than "expend 1 card from your hand".

Anyways, your proposed rules modifications seem quite well thought out and would work well in another game (perhaps I will utilize this modified system in my CC-like Platoon scale game). For CC, however, I am nowhere close to wanting to devote the time and energy needed to test these changes thoroughly - which any change, no matter how trivial it may seem in theory, would require - nor confuse or alienate existing players by having to issue the necessary errata for something wasn't broken to begin with.

This particular mechanic works well within the confines of CC and its intentions and needs no fixing, even if some may not agree with certain design decisions that I chose to make along the way. Basic design and development of CC is done; warts and all. zombie

[and I'd love to ramble some more with you in person next Sunday at Endgame, David! You have some interesting thoughts and insights that I would certainly like to explore some more for possible inclusion in my future designs.]
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