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Subject: compexity rss

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Charles Aguis
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I see bgg rated this game 2.40 out of 5, and victory point games rated it 3 out of 9. Now I would say this is of the lighter complexity rating on both accounts. I downloaded the rules recently and was shocked to see a 32 page rule book with pretty small print. The old rules for this game was about 7 pages. What I would like to know is how this is considered light.I normally stay away from complex games. as they don't get played enough to warrant owning. I have been waiting for this 2nd edition for a long time and I've never played the first edition. Any feed back would be helpful. Thanks.
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Is the complexity factor related to the rules or to the conditions to win a game?
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baylock wrote:
Is the complexity factor related to the rules or to the conditions to win a game?
Valid question and I think people often associate complexity with rules length. Sometimes it is, but sometimes rules length is dictated by (a) unclear rules that need to be explained and re-explained (b) lots of fiddly bits and exceptions that aren't necessarily complex but are just lengthy.

I'm not saying either of these apply here--I haven't seen these rules nor the game--but I agree with your implicit statement: rules length is not necessarily related to complexity.
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The rulebook may be 32 pages, but there are a TON of images and examples in there. The rules don't even start until pg. 10 (or somewhere around there), excluding set up. A 2.40/5 on the BGG scale would roughly be Medium Complexity, which seems about right. I'm not as familiar with VPG's own scale, but I'm guessing the game sits somewhere between Medium-Light to Medium.

I think you'll be fine if you're interested in the game!
 
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Charles Aguis
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adm1 wrote:
baylock wrote:
Is the complexity factor related to the rules or to the conditions to win a game?
Valid question and I think people often associate complexity with rules length. Sometimes it is, but sometimes rules length is dictated by (a) unclear rules that need to be explained and re-explained (b) lots of fiddly bits and exceptions that aren't necessarily complex but are just lengthy.

I'm not saying either of these apply here--I haven't seen these rules nor the game--but I agree with your implicit statement: rules length is not necessarily related to complexity.
I read the new rule book and to me it looks pretty complex to learn, especially compared to the old rule book of 7 pages. Maybe it's hard to learn but easy to play once learned. I would love to here from somebody that has played the game.
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Charles Aguis
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I just checked out some of my other vp games and they all had a rating of 3out of 9. For example--Gem rush has an small 8 page rule book and is rated the same as Nemos war. Also Journeys of Marco Polo is rated 3.19 on BGG with a 15 page rule book and Nemos war is rated a 2.40 with a 32 page rule book. Am I not understanding this rating system? This doesn't make sense to me.
 
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Alan Emrich
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Quote:
I would love to here from somebody that has played the game.

That's a very finite group right now. I've played it more than anybody (as its developer of both editions). The rules SEEM much longer, but the part that matters to you isn't more complicated -- in fact, it's LESS complicated. Allow me to explain:

The first edition game had tight "wargame" rules. Very dense, easy to blip over something, but also easy to find later if you did. The Expansion kit included a second set of equally tight wargame rules, increasing the total number of pages...

The new edition has airy "Euro-strategy" style rules (I call it). Lots of negative (i.e., "blank") space and large, robust illustrations everywhere. They also include the expansion kit material (not in the basic rules for the first edition) plus some bonus Kickstarter material (the most notable bit being the Co-op Game rules).

The complexity of the core game itself, I can honestly say, is actually EASIER in the second edition than the first. This is because the gameplay is more streamlined and presented with wonderful iconography. Artist Ian O'Toole has outdone himself translating the rules, cards, and counters so that they sync perfectly together that way.

Hopefully, that addresses your question.

Best,

Alan Emrich
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Jim Allard
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Hi,

I have played the original game and did not find it particularly complex. I think Alan is stating it pretty well; the rules were designed for wargamers and that is my background. I'm looking forward to the new version and a bit more euro type rule set for some friends. I did the Kickstarter and am looking forward to the game.

I would suspect anyone familiar with most of the medium weight euros would find this game to be similar. It is probably more complex than Catan and less complex than Agricola.

JimA
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Pauly Paul
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It might help to know what your personal definition of complex is. Despite what one might believe, with a "standardize" weight system, here on BGG, everyone views the heaviness of a game differently.

So for you personally, what is it that adds to complexity in a game. Is it the number of steps per turn (regardless of how long each individual step might be)? Is it the number of options a player has on a turn? Is it the time it might take to learn how all the parts come to together (one learning game, two learning games, five learning games)? The number of "exceptions" that can occur to the base rules?

If you can example in more detail, perhaps using examples, that might help us better judge whether the game is too complex or not.

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I've played the new edition and it's got a few more moving parts than the original, but it's not terribly more complex. Alan is also right about the rulebook being more "euro game" style than "war game" style.
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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This tutorial will show you exactly how to play the game, so you can judge for yourself whether it is too complex or not:

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Paweł Bedz
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Complexity is not determined by length of the rulebook... If you would rate it like that - chess or chekers would be very light game
 
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Charles Aguis
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misioooo wrote:
Complexity is not determined by length of the rulebook... If you would rate it like that - chess or chekers would be very light game
I learned how to play chess and checkers when I was 10 years old. Checker rules were written on the inside of the box lid. I learned to play chess without a rule book from my Uncle. Chess rules can also be written on a few pages of rules. If a game needs 32 pages to learn how to play, it is not exactly a simple game.
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Alan Emrich wrote:
Quote:
I would love to here from somebody that has played the game.

That's a very finite group right now. I've played it more than anybody (as its developer of both editions). The rules SEEM much longer, but the part that matters to you isn't more complicated -- in fact, it's LESS complicated. Allow me to explain:

The first edition game had tight "wargame" rules. Very dense, easy to blip over something, but also easy to find later if you did. The Expansion kit included a second set of equally tight wargame rules, increasing the total number of pages...

The new edition has airy "Euro-strategy" style rules (I call it). Lots of negative (i.e., "blank") space and large, robust illustrations everywhere. They also include the expansion kit material (not in the basic rules for the first edition) plus some bonus Kickstarter material (the most notable bit being the Co-op Game rules).

The complexity of the core game itself, I can honestly say, is actually EASIER in the second edition than the first. This is because the gameplay is more streamlined and presented with wonderful iconography. Artist Ian O'Toole has outdone himself translating the rules, cards, and counters so that they sync perfectly together that way.

Hopefully, that addresses your question.

Best,

Alan Emrich


Just following the KS updates I got a real sense they wanted to get it right from the components to the rules. I appreciate all the effort that went into the graphic design, otherwise it's just chits on a board. I ain't afraid of a little complexity. Sure, playing the game correctly with enjoyment is great, but I also enjoy a game that requires some thinking to learn. Sounds like NW will be a winner for me.
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Dennis Ku
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Late to the thread, but here are my thoughts:

Nemo's War isn't really all that complex. Once you've played it once, everything goes quite smoothly. You'll have to check the rulebook for a few rules during your first game, but after that, it should be smooth sailing. I would say it's about a 2 out of 5 in complexity. Fairly light.
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I agree. You move around a few seas, sink a few ships, get waylaid by event cards and manage the morale of Nemo and the crew. In that it's a bit like The Hunters: German U-Boats at War, 1939-43 which has an extensive (and excellent) rule book but is basically a dice-chucker in a succession of similar, successive encounters. I don't mean that disparagingly, though. Both are amongst my favourite games.
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venrondua wrote:
It might help to know what your personal definition of complex is. Despite what one might believe, with a "standardize" weight system, here on BGG, everyone views the heaviness of a game differently.

So for you personally, what is it that adds to complexity in a game. Is it the number of steps per turn (regardless of how long each individual step might be)? Is it the number of options a player has on a turn? Is it the time it might take to learn how all the parts come to together (one learning game, two learning games, five learning games)? The number of "exceptions" that can occur to the base rules?


I agree with your assessment here. Different gamers will view different aspects of a given design as "complex". Standardizing "weight" or "complexity" can be done, but it's a tricky process.

I'd bet this topic would generate some good discussion over in the game design forum. If you decide to post your comments over there as well, I'd be interested in following that thread. Good food for thought.
 
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Wes Erni
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The Second Edition of Nemo's War is really not that complex a boardgame (once you get used to its unusual rhythm), but it is a surprisingly difficult game to master. Around 40 different (viable) strategic paths to victory exist, there is a fascinating operational level to its exquisite gameplay, and some intriguing tactical decision-making. You could know every facet of the rulebook and still have your head handed to you on a routine basis (ask some playtesters). Yet once you plumb the remarkable levels of Nemo 2's depth (much of it not at all visible at first glance), you can develop the skills to be a consistent winner (IMO very satisfying fashion).

Ian's artwork gets much of the press (rightly), the look and narrative of the second Edition are very attractive, but the real surprise is the enhanced gameplay. I starting working on the Second Edition mainly as a favor to Alan (and the fact it was a very special project to him), little did I realize it would become one of my favorite games, period. (for a time Alan couldn't get me to stop talking and tinkering). I normally don't give two hoots about theme or components (though Ian's work even melts my cold soul a bit) -- Nemo's War passes the gameplay "test" with ease.

Complex to learn? Less than you'd think with a 32 page rulebook. Complex to master? More than you'd think from such a themato-centric platform.



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GameBreaker wrote:
Around 40 different (viable) strategic paths to victory exist, there is a fascinating operational level to its exquisite gameplay, and some intriguing tactical decision-making.

Really? I thought player picks 1 out of 4 victory path cards and so only 4 ways to win the game...
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jupiter999 wrote:
GameBreaker wrote:
Around 40 different (viable) strategic paths to victory exist, there is a fascinating operational level to its exquisite gameplay, and some intriguing tactical decision-making.

Really? I thought player picks 1 out of 4 victory path cards and so only 4 ways to win the game...


There are indeed only 4 different "Victory point cards" (one for each motivation), but solid strategic "PATHS" to victory? -- well 40 or so is only what I identified during playtesting.

Consider, each "starting" Motivation has its unique deck construction and upgrade, however one can gain great advantages by playing to maximize other "final" motivations (barring early defeat you WILL have the opportunity to switch). Played optimally, each of the 16 resultant combinations has fair or better victory chances. Usually each of these "combos" has several distinct lines of play to success (I am not saying I don't have my favorites, but I KNOW I can win with all of them). I have never written down each strategic approach to the game, but having 2 or 3 good plans (often VERY different from each other) per "combo" seems a good estimate.

Of course cynically picking an initial Motivation planning all along to do "bait and switch" to another may alienate some people thematically. I was not paid to think thematically however, my job was to dissect the gameplay possibilities (well, actually I wasn't paid, but the project was so cool I acted like it was my job). Balancing these different combinations "multi-dimensionally" looked wildly optimistic, but I think we at one point came remarkably close. Late changes done to ease the difficulty level (mastering Nemo 2 was proving to be quite the challenge), did fray that balance a bit -- now there is indeed one of those 40 approaches that is nearly invincible. But even mastering that one "combo" is not at all obvious -- and even once you have, there are like 39 more "scenarios" to explore (and frequently lose).
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GameBreaker wrote:
There are indeed only 4 different "Victory point cards" (one for each motivation), but solid strategic "PATHS" to victory? -- well 40 or so is only what I identified during playtesting.

Consider, each "starting" Motivation has its unique deck construction and upgrade, however one can gain great advantages by playing to maximize other "final" motivations (barring early defeat you WILL have the opportunity to switch). Played optimally, each of the 16 resultant combinations has fair or better victory chances. Usually each of these "combos" has several distinct lines of play to success (I am not saying I don't have my favorites, but I KNOW I can win with all of them). I have never written down each strategic approach to the game, but having 2 or 3 good plans (often VERY different from each other) per "combo" seems a good estimate.

Of course cynically picking an initial Motivation planning all along to do "bait and switch" to another may alienate some people thematically. I was not paid to think thematically however, my job was to dissect the gameplay possibilities (well, actually I wasn't paid, but the project was so cool I acted like it was my job). Balancing these different combinations "multi-dimensionally" looked wildly optimistic, but I think we at one point came remarkably close. Late changes done to ease the difficulty level (mastering Nemo 2 was proving to be quite the challenge), did fray that balance a bit -- now there is indeed one of those 40 approaches that is nearly invincible. But even mastering that one "combo" is not at all obvious -- and even once you have, there are like 39 more "scenarios" to explore (and frequently lose).

Ouch, I thought this solo game only has 4 victory paths, and so replay value will be somehow limited...
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