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Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42» Forums » Rules

Subject: Rules consolidation direly needed rss

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Here in the BGG forums, but also in other, more "inofficial" places I am experiencing an increasing confusion about the several rule sets for AtB and SoS that are on the market. In my view, new customers (but also long-time fans) are being turned off from this otherwise superb game by the fact that there are some versions of the "old rules" around, now intermixed with the new SoS ruleset, that will also be updated and corrected (erratas and maybe further improvements) somewhen in the near future.

While I want to stress that I absolutely support Uwe's efforts to improve the CoH constantly via freshly worked-in errata and new rule mechanism improvements (hooray to living rules!) I also see that it is getting more and more confusing to clear the rule version level your new opponent is up to. Even in the forums it is getting more and more difficult to support new player's questions due to this ruleset confusion, so that every question is answered with the stereotype "If you play with the old AtB rules, then... blabla BUT if you play with the new SoS rules then .... blabla ..., yes, but you are talking about the 2008 AtB, rules not the 2009 AtB which have changed that.. etc etc".

I am not demanding anything, but I would strongly suggest two things to be made:
- Declare an official "living ruleset" by fusion of AtB and SoS rulesets or rework and publish a (downloadable) updated AtB ruleset with the SoS updates included, and also valid for all future game boxes
- Introduce version numbers to the ruleset, so that people discussing rules know what they are talking about.

Especially the fusion of all modules into one "living core ruleset" is of great importance at the actual situation, even more if you consider the further game boxes that are coming up on the horizon. This would make a clear position of where the designer wants CoH to be rulewise, and where it is going to - before too many people giving up to this confusion, or the fan base starting to create their own "rule compendiums" with the designer losing control about it.

There are many examples how other companies are handling this problem, e.g. Lock 'n Load series with their living ruleset that is re-taken and expanded in version numbers by every new box. Something similar in the CoH series would be what is needed to get a streamlined and inter-compatible game system to be carried into future expansions, in my opinion. Am I alone thinking like this?
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Mike M
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I agree completely.

At least for all the WWII games, I'd like to see one ruleset with just "Conflict of Heroes" on the cover, and have it apply for all the games and expansions. I know this ruleset will be added to with each new game, but we'll still just have one ruleset.
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Vasilis
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I believe that the "core" rules have been finalized and no more big changes will be made. Only minor additions related to specific theaters and time periods as the Conflict of Heroes series explores them.

So go to http://www.academy-games.com/index.php/rules-a-updates and download the new rules. Notify your friends to do the same and play using the new rules since they are so much better. Problem solved!

I seriously cannot believe that it is so difficult for some people to just download the new ruleset and play the game. Just forget the old rules and never bother with them again. If you meet someone that still plays with the old ruleset, direct them to download the new one. If you meet someone that wants to play only with the old rules then it's their problem and not CoH's.
I really don't understand why this is so much of a problem.



Also see this:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/3985699#3985699
 
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I don't think it's quite that cut & dry.

There are still rulesets for both AtB & SoS and not a unified core ruleset.

From what I can tell, and how I've been learning the game, the SoS rules supercede the AtB rules.

Based on the post you linked to from Uwe it appears that future game rules will offer theater specific variations and perhaps small refinements to existing rules, but the question is...will they be cumulative?

Will, for example, the Normandy game feature the paratrooper rules, in addition to the air rules presented in SoS? Will future games feature the paratrooper rules and air rules in addition to the theater specific rules for that game?

I think the initial request was that the rules be modularized in a way that the core ruleset was always standardly published across games and on the website. The supplemental rules for each module would be contained in a separate document perhaps that got bigger with each release so that someone who owned all the modules wouldn't have to lug around 4 or 5 12"x12" books to take the rules with them...
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James Palmer
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Yalnin wrote:
There are many examples how other companies are handling this problem, e.g. Lock 'n Load series with their living ruleset that is re-taken and expanded in version numbers by every new box. Something similar in the CoH series would be what is needed to get a streamlined and inter-compatible game system to be carried into future expansions, in my opinion. Am I alone thinking like this?


You're not alone in thinking like this. We will probably see something similar to this going forward.
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Vasilis, I am sorry that obviously my writing is so bad that you did not understand what I want to say. I will quote from you, answering in an effort to explain more precisely what my problem is. (In fact, it is not my personal problem, but that of people quitting the CoH game system - if you want I can link to those threads)

Quote:
I believe that the "core" rules have been finalized and no more big changes will be made.


I am not talking about "core rules", but about different versions of the same complete rulebooks that have evolved parallel since the publishing of AtB back in 2008. New Boxes in the future will add new rules while old boxes will be corrected and streamlined in parallel version lines if Uwe does not consolidate them into a ruleset for all. You will have AtB rules Sept. 2008, then AtB rules Feb. 2009, SoS rules Sept. 2009, then maybe AtB 2010, then SoS rules Feb. 2010, then FMI (First Men In) Sept 2010 making a AtB and SoS 2011 necessary, etc. etc. This is not including new features of the small expansions to come like the Poland Set (new cavalry rules), which I suppose will not be the last expansion in the WW2 environment.

Quote:
So go to http://www.academy-games.com/index.php/rules-a-updates and download the new rules. Notify your friends to do the same and play using the new rules since they are so much better. Problem solved!


When I go to this page, I find a list of 2 (English) rulesets with one valid ruleset missing (the one that went with the printed boxes Sept. 2008, see also the international language translations) where there should be only ONE. Many people do not only play always with the same friends, but at conventions or online with a large number of strangers. I do not believe they are not happy having to start a "what ruleset should we play after"-discussion, and keeping the changes of those rulesets readily memorized to switch between them. The problem would be solved if there would be one ruleset for the complete system (or at least war era) which is updated from time to time with increasing version numbers between the boxes.

Quote:
Just forget the old rules and never bother with them again.


A considerable part of the rule questions (or even tactics) discussed here on BGG are ruleset version dependent. Ask James if you do not believe it. I am not sure how often he wrote "You can do it like a) with AtB rules, or b) with SoS rules, I recommend you to switch to the SoS ruleset...etc". I think that a good solution to make this problem stop would be by providing a unified ruleset that does not make difference between the game boxes. It is impossible to "forget" the old rules, because in SoS there are things left out that are particular of AtB (e.g. walls as cover).

Quote:
I really don't understand why this is so much of a problem.


Now imagine, the next box (I believe it will be D-Day) comes out with again new features... if it goes on like before, Academy Games will need to rewrite the AtB AND the SoS rules, and so on. One document to rule them all - much easier, no? Please understand that I am not against rule improvements. I would just like to know if they want to keep on individual game boxes which are standing for their own or go for a backwards compatible game system which would need a compendium (do I hear "ASL rulebook"?). It seems to me that actually Academy Games is going both ways, which may confuse the fan base.
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Mike M
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One consideration in going to a single rulebook is the programmed instruction.

I'd think the guidelines for what parts of the rulebook need to be read for each scenario could be moved to the scenarios themselves.
 
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James Palmer
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Sheep wrote:
One consideration in going to a single rulebook is the programmed instruction.

I'd think the guidelines for what parts of the rulebook need to be read for each scenario could be moved to the scenarios themselves.


I don't think it would be difficult for each game to have the first 3 or 4 firefights to progress the same way, rules-wise. I think Storms of Steel matches up with Awakening the Bear in this regard.
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medlinke wrote:
I don't think it's quite that cut & dry.

There are still rulesets for both AtB & SoS and not a unified core ruleset.

From what I can tell, and how I've been learning the game, the SoS rules supercede the AtB rules.

Based on the post you linked to from Uwe it appears that future game rules will offer theater specific variations and perhaps small refinements to existing rules, but the question is...will they be cumulative?

Will, for example, the Normandy game feature the paratrooper rules, in addition to the air rules presented in SoS? Will future games feature the paratrooper rules and air rules in addition to the theater specific rules for that game?

I think the initial request was that the rules be modularized in a way that the core ruleset was always standardly published across games and on the website. The supplemental rules for each module would be contained in a separate document perhaps that got bigger with each release so that someone who owned all the modules wouldn't have to lug around 4 or 5 12"x12" books to take the rules with them...


I think you hit it right. The Operational Combat Series just has a core rules set with version numbers, and then each specific game in the series has it's own game specific rules. I think it works great for learning and each game specific rules set for CoH would be tiny anyway. It would probably all just fit on sheet of paper rather than a booklet.
 
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Felkor wrote:
Sheep wrote:
One consideration in going to a single rulebook is the programmed instruction.

I'd think the guidelines for what parts of the rulebook need to be read for each scenario could be moved to the scenarios themselves.


I don't think it would be difficult for each game to have the first 3 or 4 firefights to progress the same way, rules-wise. I think Storms of Steel matches up with Awakening the Bear in this regard.


Having just done this myself, they do indeed line up.
 
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I think this discussion is humorous because when FAB: The Bulge came out with its separated series rulebook and game-specific rulebook, people complained about that. So it seems that whichever way you go, people are going to be unhappy.
 
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Quote:
So it seems that whichever way you go, people are going to be unhappy.


This assumption should not lead you to choose just any random way, but to try and find the way which will make the least people unhappy. I am suggesting an approach with one rulebook that covers all boxes (of the same era) and is updated and carried over into every new box release containing the new features as well as all the old features and errata of previous boxes, to have a unified and single reference source for everybody. I do not think this is a stupid or humorous way of rule management since many other wargame systems handle it this way successfully (even Memoir'44 has started a rules compendium that gathers and combines all the rule bits spreaded along several expansions together, in the new air pack).

The downside is that with time, the rulebook will increase in size and will contain rules that may not be used in a certain new game box (like wall cover rule or light woods in SoS). This could be then easily marked on the rulebook so that new players or people with exclusive interest in this particular game box can ignore what they do not need and go on reading only what they need for this game box. Given the relative elegance of this game system and low complexity level I do not see a unified living rule book growing out of hand anyway, even if you include all features from previous boxes.
 
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True that there is always a "damned if you do/don't" aspect to such issues, but it often becomes clearer as the progression of the series unfolds.

Given the success of AtB, the recent release of SoS, the evolution of the rules, and the forthcoming planned expansions, moving to a modular approach for the core rules makes a lot of sense.

As did the original decision not to go modular with the initial release of AtB.

There's often never one right answer, and the flip side of the coin is that the best answer can change over time, not necessarily obviating the original decision....
 
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I think the games are more accessible if each one is complete and stand-alone.

CoH, while a good game for any level player, is one of the few of its type which would be good for newbies. I think it should stay that way!
 
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Reading all this I'm seriously starting to wonder if I should bother buying any CoH game at all.

All this AtB versus SoS rules is confusing to someone who doens't own the game as yet.
For now I've allready decided that the worst thing I can do is buy both, I mean, I'll probably only get confused by which rules go with what game and I don't fancy having to look thinks up all the time.

I sure looks like that if a number of years, you'll have a huge ASL style (I've heard about that) rulebook, with new rules and exeptions for every new game.

Yes I'm serioulsy wondering if I should bother..
Maybe it's best to have another look at this in say 4 years...?
 
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Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
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Then don´t read this thread (apart from this post of course )

There is no rules confusion or trouble at all.

Buy both games and get two really awesome games that you can play and enjoy with the same set of rules. The only thing to remember is that the countervalues from ATB are slightly different than the ones from SOS as not all counters from ATB are rated with both a red and a blue firepower (and even this very minor problem will soon change as the counters will be upgraded with the Poland expansion)

The differences between the ATB and the SOS rules were minor and all consisted of clarifying things that had proven to be confusing to some people or the, apparently infamous, change to the turn structure that has made the game easier and much more interactive to play.
ATB can easily be played with the SOS rules, and there has even been made a short list of all! changes to make the transision easier for ATB veterans.

The only confusion left is the standard BGG confusion caused by people who want everything to be as it always was, and don´t want their game to change/improve (even though no one is prohibiting them from playing with the old, and awardwinning, ruleset)

Brian
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Well I for one am all convinced to simply buy both.

All that is going to stop me is availability at shops.

Thank you all for your advise.

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brian asklev aursen wrote:
The differences between the ATB and the SOS rules were minor and all consisted of clarifying things that had proven to be confusing to some people or the, apparently infamous, change to the turn structure that has made the game easier and much more interactive to play.

The change to the activation rules are not minor because they have a very dramatic effect on how much can be done by the player without the initiative. A change of this magnitude is more than a minor tweak.
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ATB can easily be played with the SOS rules, and there has even been made a short list of all! changes to make the transision easier for ATB veterans.

I'd say that AtB should be played with the SoS rules because of the important changes to activation as noted. For this reason I'd have to agree that an updated AtB rulebook is an important goal for Academy Games, but I guess that's something that'll have to wait for a new print run, don't you think?
 
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well.... I think you'd better not to hold your breath waiting for it.
 
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I'm going to have to agree with the OP here that some sort of consolidation is needed. Seeing as how I'm no hardcore wargamer and only play COH occasionally, I decided to download the SOS rules to see what all the fuss about. I currently only have AtB and have only played it 3 times.

To be honest, the new activation method from SOS makes a lot more sense so I'll be using it. However, upon scanning through the rest of the SOS rules, I had a lot of questions. Mostly related to counter issues.

example, in the SOS rules, it says that ALL counters have a blue and red FP value and that when firing, FP colors that match the color of the targets DV must be used. This is where I am now lost. Lots of counters from ATB do not have both red and blue FP values. So what do I do when firing upon a unit with a DV of the opposite color? Do I go back to the AtB rule and just halve the FP value?

Do I now have to keep BOTH rule books on hand for reference for situations such as these? This is going to be a huge pain in butt when it comes time to look up a rule because I do not know them all by heart. Do i look in the SOS rule book first and then, if not found, or not clearly applicable to my AtB game, then go look in the AtB rulebook? OR do i just go straight to the AtB rule book and hope what i read matches the latest rule update from SoS? Or do i just pick and choose what rules to use from each so that it suits my fancy?

Doesn't this all just seem a little crazy?
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James Palmer
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For the AtB counters, yes, you are to use the AtB rules for them, including halving the FP, as well as remember which units get CC bonuses or penalties.

You can use this document, combined with the SoS rulebook, to play AtB, and thus should not need the AtB rulebook:

http://docs.google.com/View?id=dhg82fg5_13hd2m9vkf

In the future, updated AtB counters will be made available that match those of SoS. Currently the plan is to release them with the Poland expansion (as a lot of those units will be in that expansion anyway.) While AtB is fully playable with the current counters, many people will certainly prefer the consistency that updated counters will provide.

Also being discussed is having rulebooks more like the Lock 'n' Load series, where there is one main rulebook, with each module having a short one or two page rulesheet that goes over module-specific rules.

 
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thanks James. You really are helpful. But I must ask: Why is this sort of document not available on the Academy website? I'd be pretty lost if I wasn't a frequent visitor of BGG.

Secondly, it is nice that the counters will be made available to us in a future expansion, but, it does seem rather odd to have to spend more money to get our counters updated because the rules for the game have changed. Isn't that why many people have given up on games like warhammer? New rules making old units obsolete? Yes, i know that's pushing it. My counters are not obsolete.. they're just not quite accurate according to the "new" rules.

Now, don't get me wrong. I do like the new activation rules. But something just seems very mishandled with this game in regards to the rules and changes that have been made.

I really think the wisest thing to do is to consolidate the rules and make them freely downloadable so that a) we have no need to spend more money to upgrade our counters in order to match the new rules and b) don't have to reference 2 seperate documents searching for answers to our rules questions.
 
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GamerAtom wrote:
Secondly, it is nice that the counters will be made available to us in a future expansion, but, it does seem rather odd to have to spend more money to get our counters updated because the rules for the game have changed.
The rules have not changed. There is a new game with new rules. The old game can be played with it's own original rules perfectly well, or can be played with the rules from the new game without new counters, or with. Take your own choice, but get your facts right.
 
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Felkor wrote:
You can use this document, combined with the SoS rulebook, to play AtB, and thus should not need the AtB rulebook:

http://docs.google.com/View?id=dhg82fg5_13hd2m9vkf


I went through your document just now and the statement I quoted from you is just not true. If i showed up to a game night with AtB, the SOS Rules and the Summary document, I would not have an answer on what to do when firing upon a target with a mis-matching color of DV. That answer is ONLY in the old AtB rulebook.

It is now necessary to have BOTH rule books on hand and I think this is why people are upset.
 
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James Palmer
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GamerAtom wrote:

I went through your document just now and the statement I quoted from you is just not true. If i showed up to a game night with AtB, the SOS Rules and the Summary document, I would not have an answer on what to do when firing upon a target with a mis-matching color of DV. That answer is ONLY in the old AtB rulebook.


I'm not sure why but you're the second person to miss it. It's actually in there:

"Multiple Target Types
If a unit has a red and blue FP, it must use the same color as the target DR to attack, just as stated in the SoS rules. A unit from AtB that only possess one FP type, either red or blue, can still attack a DR of the opposite type. Add all relevant modifiers to the given FP, halve the total, and then make the attack."

Perhaps I will have to edit the document for it to be more clear, or easier to find.
 
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