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

Subject: Very disappointed rss

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Obsolete Man
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I have to say that I am very disappointed with the constant tinkering that goes on with this game. When I bought the first AtB one thing that held me back was that it was the first one, and I was really hoping that it wouldn't become obsolete due to a total overhaul. That being said, by I think my second play I had already house-ruled the activations to be simultaneous, exactly where they went with it in SoS.

So I welcomed SoS. And I was even willing to go for PoH, on the grounds that it presented a non-programmatic rulebook and updated counters for AtB. However, unfortunately, said rulebook actually differs somewhat from the SoS rules. That is irksome.

Now, with AtB2 coming out... the rules are tweaked again. And not just rules... counters will be different, too (a change in the way gun shields are handled, right?). So now everything I own, a huge investment, is obsolete again. I'm sure that I'll have a chance to re-buy all the SoS and PoH counters, too.

When and after how many hundreds of dollars per player will we see the final version of anything? It's maddening. There's no point in playing with friends from different parts of the country, or who own different versions of the rules. How much does a turret traverse cost in *this* play... 1 or 2? Whose ATG counters will we use? Are you using iteration 2.2.1 or 2.2.2?

I get the impression that it will never stop, and the same game will be sold to the same people over and over and over again. I personally am quite done with it. The point of having a rulebook is so that we all know what we're doing. If I make a move that holds back X APs or CAPs and then find out that to traverse and fire costs X+1 that's a big deal... the game is designed so that these decisions are big and that's a nice thing about it. But at this point there's no way to know without sitting down and going over a checklist before play. Too much trouble for what is supposed to be a simple game.
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Mr G
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I bought the original ATB and posted years ago about being really annoyed that I had to print off new rules and so on so soon after launch. But I liked the game and particularly the ethos of the business. So I bought SoS and PoH.

Oh dear I am such a fool.
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Jacovis
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I can understand your concerns, but many wargames have Living Rules that consistently correct themselves and change as the system refines itself. As to coming out with a 2nd ed before the rest of the expacs, I'm glad they are settling up some of the major rules changes into this before releasing them. It means that the newer games will benefit from this extra playtesting the game has gone through in the past 5 years.

The completionist in us maybe wants to keep getting everything that gets published, but ultimately each of these games is fine as a self-contained thing. I still use 1st edition AtB rules for solitaire games or when my wife wants to play, and switching to the newer rules set is not that difficult if I play with others.

I guess my point is that ultimately no one is forcing you to purchase new stuff, but it's there if you want it. I don't have a problem with that.

Cheers,

Jacovis

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Чебурашка, ты настоящий друг!
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Jacovis wrote:
[...] many wargames have Living Rules that consistently correct themselves and change as the system refines itself. [...]


Living rules are fine when they deal with unforeseen (and unforeseeable) situations that crop up when a large number of people finally get their hands on the game. However, with the CoH system, it seems that core concepts are constantly being tweaked and the counters repeatedly changed.

I've been looking over The Strike of the Eagle recently, and it seems there, too, there is a lot of indecision about the rules (for example, whether one can issue a reorganise order on both fronts or only one in total). Considering that the game's now been published twice in different forms, I think it's getting a tad silly, to put it mildly.
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Ty Snouffer
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Jacovis wrote:


The completionist in us maybe wants to keep getting everything that gets published, but ultimately each of these games is fine as a self-contained thing. I still use 1st edition AtB rules for solitaire games or when my wife wants to play, and switching to the newer rules set is not that difficult if I play with others.

I guess my point is that ultimately no one is forcing you to purchase new stuff, but it's there if you want it. I don't have a problem with that.

Cheers,

Jacovis



Well stated. I find a lot of with the OP wrote valid in that the changes are hard to keep up with. There are no living rules or printed errata. And rulebook to rulebook there are some inconsistencies for labeling, headings, etc.

However, I own the entire CoH range and can pull down any of those games and have an *amazing* gaming experience using the PoH rules as printed.

Point is, the idea that the prior versions of the game are obsolete is quite an exaggeration.


I'm pretty sure that anyone smart enough to have and play the games in the first place can handle the communication needed to work through any differences. Even the example of gun shields is misleading. Yes there was a change, but the change is *printed on the counter.* The rules on how to handle those values haven't changed.

Enjoy the game you have. Academy Games has taken nothing away from you by releasing updates.
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Geo
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Salo sila wrote:
Jacovis wrote:
[...] many wargames have Living Rules that consistently correct themselves and change as the system refines itself. [...]


Living rules are fine when they deal with unforeseen (and unforeseeable) situations that crop up when a large number of people finally get their hands on the game. However, with the CoH system, it seems that core concepts are constantly being tweaked and the counters repeatedly changed.


That's my main problem too! Living rules are fine, but the constant upgrading of components is not. I am not willing to constantly upgrade and buy the same things again and again just to get the new counters/cards/maps, e.t.c. Not to mention the rules confusion between players of different editions.

With 1775: Rebellion going the Kickstarter way, i suspect that the CoH series will probably follow on the same path.

I think that i am done with the CoH series...
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Ty Snouffer
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Salo sila wrote:
. . . it seems that core concepts are constantly being tweaked . . .


Outside of the change during 1st ed AtB related to actions, which core concepts are you talking about? Maybe I've missed some.
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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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There seems to be two camps with this issue.

Those who don't mind repurchasing the games as changes are made (living rules/counters) and those who want a locked/non-changing system.

I am concerned that future CoH games will not have interchangeable counters or rules. Which begs the question... Should each release of CoH be its own standalone game?

I see Acadamy's current method of marketing and production sliding into the way Days of Wonder has been treating Memoir '44. Some releases/expansions/counters/boards/terrain tiles will be required to play future scenarios. Those who do not grow with the system or get in early will find it cost prohibitive to catch up. The risk of alienating current and future gamers is growing.

As I understand it now the rules and counters from Awakening the Bear 2 and Price of Honor are fully compatible while the counters from AtB 1 and Storms of Steel are not (yes they can still be used but the formatting is different). I seem to remember reading that SOS counters will not be updated. Am I correct on these points?

I fear there will be many future design changes (rules and counters) that will require back revisions. I really do enjoy the CoH system and Uwe's great support but I find the constant fidgeting with the rules and counters troublesome...

"Better is the constant enemy of Good Enough"

I am in the camp of wanting a locked core system and counters.
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I'd feel MUCH better if an upgrade kit were sold. (is there already?)

I tend to agree with the OP, though for different reasons.
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Garret Arcoraci
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People always find something to complain about. Games evolve over time, this is nothing new. Many gamers even come up with their own rules (house rules) because they think it improves upon the game. In my opinion anyone who complains about a game changing is just being petty. It's like refusing to play Risk because Hasbro released Risk Legacy.

If you bought all the previous versions and think they are obsolete that's because you've never played them. You can still play the older version with the existing rules, that doesn't make them obsolete it makes them outdated.

As far a companies goes, Academy games does far better than most, even going so far as to include new updated counters with new expansions (Price of Honor), there's your upgrade. And making the rules available online along with the firefight books so they are able to be viewed electronically (yes, you don't have to print them out). I also applaud Academy Games because their flexible enough to launch improved versions of the games rather than stick with the old versions and just re-release them.
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Lewis Karl
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One thing you have to remember is that AtB was out of print. Academy Games had the choice to reprint the original version or update the components to match the rules changes in the later games. It chose the latter course which makes perfect sense. There is no reason someone owning AtB Ed 1 needs to purchase Ed 2, although I did.

Playing AtB Ed 1 with SoS rules requires very little effort. So AtB Ed 1 owners aren't really missing anything if they don't buy AtB Ed. 2, except for the extras that are not necessary and are simply incentives to upgrade.
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Ty Snouffer
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StevenE wrote:
There seems to be two camps with this issue.

Those who don't mind repurchasing the games as changes are made (living rules/counters) and those who want a locked/non-changing system.



There's probably a third camp . . . those who bought each successive release simply for the new content; firefights, regions, maps, new counters . . .
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Salim Khoury
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I really don't understand this victimized position some people take. It's irritating and now that I'm seeing it pop up here as well (seems to be a hot topic in the Puzzle Strike forums), I just felt compelled to chime in.

These guys (Developers/Designers/Publishers) are in the business of selling games. They are trying to sell as many as possible, all of them, and always.

With that premise, my hope is to buy games from developers/designers which I trust, that trust is built over time, and thanks to BGG there is tons of info in the forums to aid in my buying assessments.

I decide what, when, & how frequently I buy anything in my life.

When it comes to games, I seek out "the best" (I know this is subjective, but I decide what is "the best") and that's the beauty of it, I decide. I'm happiest when I find companies that seek quality first (because they are seeking to produce the best product possible), and thus, the stars align if they are achieving their goal.

Constant innovation is highly desirable in every aspect of life. Change for the sake of change clearly sucks, but change which improves, moves the needle, kicks up efficiency, etc. is highly desirable.

The annoying and over used quote "If it ain't broke don't fix it", is for the lazy, and meek. When Henry Ford would walk his factory and ask the line workers how many screws went into a part to secure it, he would always ask if they felt it could be just as secure with one screw less. Seeking to save cost without sacrificing quality and hoping to be as efficient as possible.

I could go on, but, I think the point is made.

Here's the problem as I see it. Many companies do not put quality above all else, many companies seek quantity first.

No one, and I mean no one at senior levels of Google thinks for one second that they have the best phone on the market. They may soon, and they are much closer than they have ever been, I'm sure it's a goal, but it's not true right now, they get closer every year. But, there are hundreds of droid models and they sell the most phones, and likely always will. I'm certain they are quite pleased with their plan.

I decide what to buy, and in the case of games, if I feel duped one day (haven't yet) then I will stop buying. But, I want all designer/developers (the good ones, at least) to always be making the best game they possibly can. The one's I respect will have a great play-testing process, and focus on efficient mechanics that allow for complex games to be played be reasonable people in reasonable time frames. Then as a game releases and ages, and new learnings occur, I want them to take copious notes, and warehouse improvements until there is a nice set of changes that warrants a new edition, I want it thoroughly play-tested, and I want it released with better quality than it's predecessor. Then, I'll decide if I'll buy it.

If I buy it, I'm grateful that the game is improving and still has life. I am also grateful that I had the previous edition. You see, nothing lasts forever, when something ends be grateful for the time you had with it.

I take my used older edition and decide if it will be of future value, if so, I hang on to it. If not I decide if there is someone I know that might appreciate it as a gift and thereby also grow the community. If I'm in the mood to be really analytical, I might think about my cost per play. Was any value extracted, of course there was, huge value. If you don't consider cost per play then you can't really make financial arguments about buying board games. Play any game more than 10 times and you have probably saved money as your cost per play is likely $10 or less and if you calculate what you may have done instead, if you didn't have the game (movies, dinner, club, bar, golf, whatever), you probably saved money. Then I put it on ebay for a fair price gain even more value back and move on as happy as ever with a new, improved game.

What a world we live in. Everything's amazing, and nobody's happy!

For the record, I don't even own the game yet. It's on pre-order and all indicators seem to reveal Academy Games as a place where the best is born. I can't wait for the 3rd edition!

Edit(s) - English
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uwe eickert
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Hi guys. Sorry for those of you that are frustrated. I would like to state the changes made in the series so far. I cannot get into this deeply, since I just had eye surgery and am still a bit out of focus.

Awakening the Bear - Rules Version 1
The counters for infantry only included red (soft target) firepower values. Players were told to halve the red firepower rounded down to determine blue (anti-tank) firepower.

Storms of Steel - Rules Version 2. The big difference is a 2 paragraph change in the unit activation rule (secton 2.0) that allows both players to activate units at the same time. Otherwise the rules stayed relatively the same.
We added both the blue and red firepower values to the infantry counters.

Price of Honour - Rules Version 2. We wrote the rulebook in a reference format, instead of the programmed learning format. The logic behind this was that this was an expansion game and players requested this type of rule book format. Very few minor rules adjustments were made. Nothing major.
We supplied updated counters for the 1st edition Awakening the Bear owners free of charge.

Awakening the Bear 2nd Edition. Rules Version 2. Very few minor rules tweaks. Ex: Trucks may not use bonus movement on a road that has other vehicles in it. This models road congestion. Ex: Infantry may no longer build roadblocks during a game. Ex: Firing outside of a turreted tank's arc now costs 2APs instead of 1AP. That is about it.

Counter changes: After much player input, we changed the defensive values for AT guns from blue to red. This defensive value was also lowered, so that medium tanks still had roughly the same hit probability. But now these AT guns are more susceptible to MG fire. Players convinced us that this was more historically accurate and we agreed.

Counter changes: Many of you requested a solo system for Conflict of Heroes. So we got the grand master of solo play, John Butterfield, to work with us to create an incredible solo system. Instead of waiting for a full blown game, we decided to make this game compatible for future solo modules. We did this by adding small symbols to each unit. There is no other difference between these counters and previous game counters.

In addition, we offered this first solo module FREE ($35 MSRP) to all pre-order customers.


I hope that this alleviates some of the concerns that you have. We made every change with the intent of making the system better. It seems that we have not conveyed well enough that the changes are not game breakers and that every game can be played with the v2 rules system.

Thanks for your continued support.
Uwe
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Obsolete Man
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uweeickert wrote:

Awakening the Bear 2nd Edition. Rules Version 2. Very few minor rules tweaks. Ex: Trucks may not use bonus movement on a road that has other vehicles in it. This models road congestion. Ex: Infantry may no longer build roadblocks during a game. Ex: Firing outside of a turreted tank's arc now costs 2APs instead of 1AP. That is about it.

Counter changes: After much player input, we changed the defensive values for AT guns from blue to red. This defensive value was also lowered, so that medium tanks still had roughly the same hit probability. But now these AT guns are more susceptible to MG fire. Players convinced us that this was more historically accurate and we agreed.



All of these constant rule and counter revisions just cause confusion and irritation. Example: a friend comes in from out of town. He wants to play CoH. Which rules do we use? How much will turret traverses cost this time? Will we use road congestion? Also, will we use his set or my set? His set has the new AT gun counters, mine has the old ones. How does this affect play balance for the scenarios?

The thing is, that's all a big irritating hassle to work out. I'd rather play another game that has *one* current set of rules and *one* current set of counters. It doesn't matter if it's all technically compatible... it matters that it isn't worth the time to hash out exactly which variation of the rules we're using today.

AtB came out in 2008, right? That is four years ago. We're already on the fourth version of the rules and counters. That makes me want to give up on CoH entirely and play something else. It's too much trouble keeping it all straight.
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Brandon Fraley
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Requete wrote:
uweeickert wrote:

Awakening the Bear 2nd Edition. Rules Version 2. Very few minor rules tweaks. Ex: Trucks may not use bonus movement on a road that has other vehicles in it. This models road congestion. Ex: Infantry may no longer build roadblocks during a game. Ex: Firing outside of a turreted tank's arc now costs 2APs instead of 1AP. That is about it.

Counter changes: After much player input, we changed the defensive values for AT guns from blue to red. This defensive value was also lowered, so that medium tanks still had roughly the same hit probability. But now these AT guns are more susceptible to MG fire. Players convinced us that this was more historically accurate and we agreed.



All of these constant rule and counter revisions just cause confusion and irritation. Example: a friend comes in from out of town. He wants to play CoH. Which rules do we use? How much will turret traverses cost this time? Will we use road congestion? Also, will we use his set or my set? His set has the new AT gun counters, mine has the old ones. How does this affect play balance for the scenarios?

The thing is, that's all a big irritating hassle to work out. I'd rather play another game that has *one* current set of rules and *one* current set of counters. It doesn't matter if it's all technically compatible... it matters that it isn't worth the time to hash out exactly which variation of the rules we're using today.

AtB came out in 2008, right? That is four years ago. We're already on the fourth version of the rules and counters. That makes me want to give up on CoH entirely and play something else. It's too much trouble keeping it all straight.


wow, look at aaaall those rules changes, how can you POSSIBLY work it out with your friend And who's set should you play with, your's or his? Is this seriously even a complaint? I suggest you play with the newest one, if only because it's even prettier than previous sets, which were already considered the prettiest wargame components ever released. Or, if you really want to play with the older rules, reference the 3 sentences Uwe posted on the changes and just play it.

Academy Games goes above and beyond in every regard as far as I can tell. Good on them.

-B

P.S. The new set looks unbelievable. I want it.
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Paul Brillantes
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Example 1: A friend comes in from out of town. We argue about which rules to use for CoH. I no longer care when that ex-friend comes to town.

Example 2: A friend plans to come in from out of town. We actually communicate prior to arrival and figure out which rules to use. I still care next time that friend is rolling in.

Luckily, example 1 is unlikely since I don't have friends that are super-dedicated to one specific set of rules.

I will admit to some hyperbole but I feel safe in my assumption that I was not the first and at least mine was intentional.


Edit: spelling
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Wojciech Pawlus
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As much as I do appreciate the new content and I recognize the fact that it is my choice whether to follow up or not, I still think that too much effort has been put into updating the first game. This delays the new COH titles, which, in my opinion, are more interesting and well worth the money than updates. I was very enthusiastic when POH was being developed (understandably, since I am Polish) and it looked like COH will get a boost in development, but now it stagnates. I am looking forward to Guadalcanal and France and Africa and... who else knows what?
Regards to all
 
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David Brown
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Quote:
All of these constant rule and counter revisions just cause confusion and irritation. Example: a friend comes in from out of town. He wants to play CoH. Which rules do we use? How much will turret traverses cost this time? Will we use road congestion? Also, will we use his set or my set? His set has the new AT gun counters, mine has the old ones. How does this affect play balance for the scenarios?


Does it really matter, as long as you enjoy the game - the key word here is game, it's not real life and no one will really care which set of rules you use.

BTW ATB 2ed is on my Chrsitmas list
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Ty Snouffer
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Re: Very disappointed (about things that are really no big deal)
Requete wrote:

All of these constant rule and counter revisions just cause confusion and irritation. Example: a friend comes in from out of town. He wants to play CoH. Which rules do we use? How much will turret traverses cost this time? Will we use road congestion? Also, will we use his set or my set? His set has the new AT gun counters, mine has the old ones. How does this affect play balance for the scenarios?



Since you and you friend seem to have trouble communicating I'd suggest the following. Use the POH rules and counters.

I give you permission to copy and paste my response in an email to your friend as you work out your struggles.

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JE SUIS VENU. J'AI VU. JE SUIS PARTI.
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These games are amazing. The fact that they keep improving adds value in my opinion. And I'll happily continue to support Academy Games by purchasing their exceptional products.

As a consumer, and a gamer, I couldn't be happier with Conflict of Heroes.
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Tim Densham
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When a game's rules stop getting tweaked, the game is dead...

Having survived truly dramatic changes to each version of Squad Leader, these CoH changes are hardly anything. I didn't even realize Memoir 44' had any significant changes with each expansion.

I had no idea there was such a "conservative" element to wargaming.

I do understand being concerned about the other games in the series getting delayed. However, since I joined this series recently, I missed the chance to get the original version of AtB. So I'm very happy this version came out. And with updated rules/counters, even better! The new maps are fantastic as well.

Can't wait for the rest of the games in the system. Actually, I can, as I've barely touched the three sets of scenarios available right now. I'm just excited about my Marines in action at Guadalcanal!

Regards
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densham wrote:
Having survived truly dramatic changes to each version of Squad Leader, these CoH changes are hardly anything.

That is the biggest irony in this thread since the OP sports an ASL fan badge. No trying to fan the flame, but I gotta QFT this.

There's been one significant rules change, some edge case updates, and the counter updates. Each revision was done with the release of a new separate product, and there is nothing wrong with playing with the rules that came in the box. Or you have the option to play with the updated rules if you prefer. And the updates were done with the interest of making the game better and making the fans happy. It's not just change for the sake of change. How can anyone complain about the way this has been done?

Not trying to be a fan-boy here, but count me in the group that appreciates the effort to improve the series with each new product without making the already released products obsolete. Maybe this is a case where you can't keep everyone happy. Do I wish my 1st ed. copy of AtB had all the bells and whistles of the new one? Sure. Do I begrudge owners of the new version or blame Academy? Big NO.
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Michael Spinella
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I'm also going to jump in here. As Uwe stated above, the first edition is out of print. It makes perfect sense to get the initial game of a series back in circulation prior to continuing development of sequels. A lot of people are completists, or at least want to buy the first game in a series. This is for them.

In addition as many people, if not more would complain if they didn't update AtB to current series' standards. It would be idiotic to simply reprint the first edition AtB to get it back in print. So really, this is a no-brainer in my eyes.

Finally if you read Academy's updates on their website and read what many of their designers have posted on BGG, they consistently state the purpose is to keep the game simply and not add many new rules. Looking at the two versions of the rules already in existence, they haven't really added much. Therefore updating existing rules (as opposed to adding new ones) is the only way the game can evolve. In CoH: Guadalcanal, Academy Games indicate they will add most new rules in the Firefights and only update the main sections of the rulebook in a few instancec. They intend to keep the overall ruleset additions to a minimum.

Personally I prefer that methodology to an ever increasing ruleset.
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speltor wrote:
densham wrote:
Having survived truly dramatic changes to each version of Squad Leader, these CoH changes are hardly anything.

That is the biggest irony in this thread since the OP sports an ASL fan badge. No trying to fan the flame, but I gotta QFT this.


Dude, the counters in ASL have been the same since 1985.

Look, I thought my use of the first person singular would be enough to indicate my intent in this thread, but I guess a lot of people find it confusing. For the record, in my native language "I am disappointed" does not remotely mean the same thing as "you are disappointed".

Nor do I think that Mr. Uwe Eickert is an emotionally fragile person who will have a nervous breakdown if he hears a negative reaction from one of his customers. So in either case I don't see the point of all the jihading that some posters seem interested in pursuing. If you're reading this and are *not* disappointed by the way CoH has been going, that's fantastic.

For me there have been too many rules revisions, and, crucially, too many counter revisions in too short a time. Let's say that I prevail upon Mr. Eickert that the front armor value of the SU-152 in SoS is 1 point too high (which I actually believe to be the case). Well, when (I am supposing) SoS2 comes out in, say, 2014, perhaps the counter will be revised to correct this 'oversight'. I think that's a terrible idea! It should be left as it is unless changing it is absolutely necessary. For how will players get the new one? By dropping $90 on the second edition, of course.

Call me back when the R&D process is complete and I'll buy the finished product. The price to be a beta tester has become too high for me.
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