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Subject: POLL: Light Infantry or Skirmishers rss

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Tom Russell
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As those of you who own the game are aware, there is a unit type called Light Infantry which falls into the broader Light Footmen category, not Infantry, something we try to highlight in the rulebook so as to avoid confusion.

Sean has floated the idea of changing the name of this unit to Skirmisher for Volumes II - VI, so as to make it clearer that the units are Light Footmen and not Infantry-type units. Mechanically it's precisely the same, it's only a name change. We've had some back-and-forth discussion about it.

On the one hand, making the change to Skirmisher starting with Volume II may prevent the "oh yeah, Light Infantry isn't Infantry" mix-up from happening in those volumes. But on the other hand, the unit mix is such that players would still need to use Light Infantry counters from the base game, sometimes mixed in with new Skirmisher counters in the expansion volumes, which might potentially be more confusing, and less elegant and consistent, than just keeping the name of the unit type the same. Especially if someone's already gotten used to the rule for Volume I, and would still need to be used to it for that volume. So there's an argument to be made for maintaining consistency throughout the six volumes.

Even if we were to revise the first Volume I to use the Skirmisher designation, that would leave a lot of early adopters with Light Infantry counters for Volume I mixed with Skirmishers for subsequent volumes, and it wouldn't really be economical for us to replace the counters, and it wouldn't feel kosher for us to charge for them.

So, like I said, a lot of back-and-forth and hemming-and-hawing, and being cognizant of the fact that it's you, the fans, for whom the game and its expansion volumes are being produced, Sean suggested we reach out to you to get your take on it.

Poll
Which would you prefer?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Change it to Skirmisher for Volume II on; I don't mind having Light Infantry and Skirmisher counters side-by-side in future scenarios.
50.0% 14
Leave it as Light Infantry; I promise I know they're Light Footmen and I won't mistake them for Infantry.
50.0% 14
Voters 28
This poll is now closed.   28 answers
Poll created by tomrussell
Closes: Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:00 am


This is only open for a couple of days, because we're actually trying to get the game to the printer for its January release.
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Just one thing to add. Skirmisher is closer to what the Light Infantry/Footmen actually are in practice. Although Light Footman might be the best of all possible solutions.
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Steve Carey
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gittes wrote:
Although Light Footman might be the best of all possible solutions.


Agreed, that would be my preference.

Upon reflection and considering treatment in future volumes, either "Skirmishers" or just leave as is would probably be best.
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Tom Russell
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Steve Carey wrote:
gittes wrote:
Although Light Footman might be the best of all possible solutions.


Agreed, that would be my preference.


So a Light Footman that is then classified under Light Footmen (along with Irregulars, Highlanders, etc), from Volume II on?
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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It could be confusing then. I take it Tom you like the word "Light" being in the title?
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Steve Carey
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gittes wrote:
It could be confusing then.


Ah, yes - the original is a bit confusing too, so perhaps best to just leave as is (replacing confusion with confusion is so confusing).
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Tom Russell
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gittes wrote:
It could be confusing then. I take it Tom you like the word "Light" being in the title?


I'm not for or against the word "light", I'm just saying that you already have units classified into four types - Infantry, Light Footmen, Horse, and Cannon - that govern behavior for the units within that group. The initial potential confusion with "Light Infantry" is that they belong to the Light Footmen category and not the Infantry category. Changing "Light Infantry" to "Light Footman" means you have a Light Footman (singular) falling under the group of Light Footmen (plural), which might be more confusing.
 
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Ken
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tomrussell wrote:
Changing "Light Infantry" to "Light Footman" means you have a Light Footman (singular) falling under the group of Light Footmen (plural), which might be more confusing.


Don't you have units that are "Infantry" (singular) in the "Infantry" (plural) group?
 
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Tom Russell
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perfalbion wrote:
tomrussell wrote:
Changing "Light Infantry" to "Light Footman" means you have a Light Footman (singular) falling under the group of Light Footmen (plural), which might be more confusing.


Don't you have units that are "Infantry" (singular) in the "Infantry" (plural) group?


"Line Infantry" and "Elite Infantry" - no unit that's just called infantry.

Whereas Light Footman/Footmen only differs by a single vowel.
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Ken
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Were I to buy the game, I would have not problems with a single letter difference. But if you're worried about it, then "Skirmishers" works quite well. Use the word that gives "flavor" on the pieces, one that fits the category there. It also opens up more possibilities for future games if you run into units that weren't called "Footman."
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Tom Russell
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Thanks, Ken. I appreciate your feedback, as well as Steve's, and Sean's of course. :-) And everyone who's voted, of course.
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fightcitymayor
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Why not this solution:

1) Change terminology to "Skirmishers" to avoid confusion.
2) Make future printings of Vol. 1 with the new "Skirmishers" terminology.
3) Offer a single counter-sheet of replacement counters for Vol. 1 with any purchase of further volumes (Vol. 2 through 5.)

That way you aren't on the hook for every single copy of the game in existence, but the folks who want to carry on with the series can get consistent (and non-confusing) counters going forward.

And since you use Blue Panther for on-demand printing, it isn't like you'll have a huge print-run stack of copies to get through before the adjustment is made.
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Tom Russell
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Mary and I would not feel comfortable charging customers for replacement counters and it doesn't make sense to pack an additional countersheet in every expansion above and beyond the expansion counters already being provided - it would increase the cost of each expansion significantly.
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John Jurena
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I would prefer the Skirmishers term going forward. I also do not see the problem why you could not offer the replacement counter sheet for volume #1 as an OPTIONAL purchase for those who already have volume 1.

I don't know about others, but I would not have an issue spending a little more $ on the volume 1 "skirmisher" countersheet (I am a bit OCD, and would need to have everything match); and this way those who would be fine with having both terminologies on the gameboard are not compelled to spend the extra $.

I just ordered the game, and i look forward to trying it out!
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Bob Minadeo
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Current nomenclature does not bother me but...

May I suggest that if something does need to be done, make the classes in the rulebook consistent by having "Light Footmen", and "Heavy Footmen".

Under those two classes all counters would retain the same name and so no need to add confusion by calling Light Infantry "Skirmishers".

Alternately, if the term "heavy" is just too ahistorical, Light and Line Footmen?

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Gabriel Conroy
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raminad wrote:
Current nomenclature does not bother me but...

May I suggest that if something does need to be done, make the classes in the rulebook consistent by having "Light Footmen", and "Heavy Footmen".

Under those two classes all counters would retain the same name and so no need to add confusion by calling Light Infantry "Skirmishers".

Alternately, if the term "heavy" is just too ahistorical, Light and Line Footmen?



Something like this seems to me the most sensible as well. But I'm also happy with the term skirmishers, particularly as one approaches the Napoleonic era.
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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raminad wrote:
Current nomenclature does not bother me but...

May I suggest that if something does need to be done, make the classes in the rulebook consistent by having "Light Footmen", and "Heavy Footmen".

Under those two classes all counters would retain the same name and so no need to add confusion by calling Light Infantry "Skirmishers".

Alternately, if the term "heavy" is just too ahistorical, Light and Line Footmen?



Bob,

Are you suggesting possibly a unit of Light Infantry and Skirmishers? Asking because it makes some sense. For example, Volume III is going to have siege artillery.
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Bob Minadeo
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I wasn't because I didn't want to add to the counter mix, but yes that would go a long way to distinguish between say well trained Napoleonic era Lights capable of formed or skirmish combat (Rifles, crack Legre), and those troops not quite so well trained who could only be one or the other...if that makes sense.

What I did mean was that if folks are getting confuse because there is a unit type, "Infantry" , but "Light Infantry" are type " Light Footmen", while "Line Infantry" are type "Infantry, it might be easier to rename the type "Infantry" to say, "Regular Footmen" to jibe with "Light Footmen".
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Mike Hoyt

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My copy is under the tree (I think!) so I can't comment too intelligently (other limitations may apply) but it might be helpful to lay out the full set of terms and the hierarchy you envision for as much of the series as you can. This would avoid getting bogged down in a specific example that misses a perhaps larger point.

In particular I don't follow the distinction between Infantry and Foot, which seems to be the root of the question, but the three main divisions I'm familiar with are Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery (with Foot, Horse and Guns also being used, maybe a more British terminology?) Regardless, if you start with those three and then in an outline form define other terms and show to which of the three they belong I think if nothing else it will make the discussion more intelligible
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Tom Russell
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Understood, Mike. Here goes.

There are four categories of Units that Sean defined in the base game, and these categories dictate the general behavior of the Units that fall within that category.

The Infantry category contains:

* Line Infantry
* Elite Infantry

The Light Footmen category contains:

* Highlander
* Militia
* Irregular
* Light Infantry
* Native

The Horsemen category contains:

* Cavalry
* Hussars
* Dragoons

The Cannon category contains:

* Artillery
* Siege Artillery


The Unit Type Light Infantry (in the Light Footmen category) is the one under debate. The series rules take pains to remind the reader/player that "Light Infantry" is not in the Infantry category. The question is whether, for Volumes II onward, the name should be changed to Skirmisher so as to prevent any confusion between the terms "Light Infantry" and "Infantry", and because for future volumes the name "Skirmisher" is more thematically appropriate.

The drawback is that the units are called Light Infantry in Volume I, and that Light Infantry counters from that base set may be used along with Skirmisher-identified counters from the expansions to represent the same type of units. And it doesn't really solve the problem (such as it is; I don't think too many people are confusing Light Infantry for an Infantry-category unit once they've gotten into the system) because they're still going to be using those Light Infantry for the base game.

And I think that's where my own hesitance as a publisher comes into play. It'd be different if Skirmisher was a brand-new unit type with its own rules/name in the future volumes (and so there'd be no need to worry about confusion with the Light Infantry, because they'd be completely separate units). But it's the same unit, with the same abilities, only it'll be called one thing in the base game and another in subsequent expansions, with counters from both potentially being utilized in the expansion scenarios. I think that's more confusing than the original problem.

Right now, the vote is neck-and-neck -- and even if it goes one way or the other, it'll be a squeaker, there's not likely to be a clear consensus and whichever way we go, half the folks will prefer that we go the other way. Which is still helpful to us, because it underlines the fact that it's a case where Sean and Mary and I need to put our heads together, make a decision, and stick with it. And the discussion has been even more helpful - I think the suggestion to leave the unit name as Light Infantry but to change the name of the "Infantry" category might be fruitful, and it's something we'll discuss.

Thanks everybody!
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Tor A
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Maybe I'm blind, but I counted the number of "Light Infantry" counters on the two counter sheets -- and could only find one counter which said "Light Infantry". How expensive would it be to provide this one counter with the text "Skirmisher" as a replacement/errata counter on one of the sheets in volume 2?
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John Jurena
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Tom - after seeing your outline of the units above, now i even think i feel stronger that Light Infantry should be changed to Skirmisher. (just my opinion of course).
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Mike Hoyt

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Thanks Tom,that helps lay it out.

I'd change Light Infantry to Skirmisher and find room in the counter mix of Volume 2 to include the Skirmisher unit(s).

Anybody continuing with the series will use the most recent rulebook and anybody who only uses Volume 1 will never even know there was a change.
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Dmitry Menshikov
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ccxvii wrote:
Maybe I'm blind, but I counted the number of "Light Infantry" counters on the two counter sheets -- and could only find one counter which said "Light Infantry". How expensive would it be to provide this one counter with the text "Skirmisher" as a replacement/errata counter on one of the sheets in volume 2?


Seconded
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Looks like we are getting Skirmishers in place of Light Infantry.
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