Recommend
23 
 Thumb up
 Hide
58 Posts
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: Wargamer : Have you reached your personal Complexity Ceiling (Poll) ? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Roger Hobden
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I dropped out from "serious" wargaming for over twenty years. In the distant past I had played what I considered at the time be "light to moderate" complexity games. Examples of games I used to play : Squad Leader (the initial game, not the expansions), CityFight (Basic and a few advanced rules), Nato Division Commander (only the simple to moderate level rules), Up Front (not all the scenarios), etc.

I returned to wargaming through super-easy "family" games such as Memoir'44 and Command and Colours: Ancients, and then after that I started to tackle progressively "harder" games : COH, CC: E, CC: P, LnL, Here i Stand, Vol de L'Aigle, La Bataille de Leipzig, It Never Snows, Heights of Courage, etc.

Recently I played a scenario from Saints in Armor, from the Musket and Pike Series, and this weekend a scenario from The Blitzkrieg Legend: The Battle for France, 1940, my very first OCS game.

Reflecting on these recent experiences, I find that these two games exemplify the maximum level of complexity that I wish to find in a wargame, given the time that I will be able to put aside for wargaming in the upcoming five to ten years or so.

In other words, I believe I have reached what I would call my "Complexity Ceiling", the level beyond which I cannot or wish not go higher.

I am curious to know how other wargamers have in the past or are presently tackling this issue ?

EDIT : In this thread, complexity = intellectual effort necessary to be able to understand correctly the rules. For example, the complexity of the rules of Go is "super-easy", even though it is a game that is very hard to win against someone who is very experienced.

The following poll describes a few possible situations :

Poll
Which situation best describes your own ?
Been playing for ever and the complexity level keeps on increasing.
Been playing for ever and the complexity level is stable.
Been playing for ever and the complexity level has dropped significantly.
Just returned to gaming and the complexity level keeps on increasing.
Just returned to gaming and the complexity level is stable.
Just returned to gaming and the complexity level has dropped significantly.
New to wargaming and I believe I have already found my complexity ceiling.
New to wargaming and the complexity level keeps on increasing.
New to wargaming and I already want to bail out. :P
Other (please specify)
      259 answers
Poll created by Mallet


What is your favourite Complexity Level ?

Poll
My favourite Complexity Level is :
Need a PhD in Nuclear Physics to figure out the rules
Very, very high
Very high
High
Moderate-High
Moderate
Moderat-Low
Easy=High
Easy-Moderate
Super Easy
Easier then that
Other (please describe)
      263 answers
Poll created by Mallet




11 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
michael connor
United States
Berkeley
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Mallet wrote:
....In other words, I believe I have reached what I would call my "Complexity Ceiling", the level beyond which I cannot or wish not go higher.


It's called getting old. Something we all go through.
21 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lance McMillan
United States
Lakebay
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I used to play a lot of relatively complex games, but over the years my tolerance for complexity has dropped significantly. I figure that if the designer can't come up with a simple way of showing me what was important in that particular battle/campaign/war, then he really doesn't understand it himself. To me, distilling information down to the essentials is what makes for a good game -- if the system layers on a ton of extraneous details and pointless chrome, all in the name of trying to capture some unachieveable sense of "completeness," then I've little interest in it. Show me what mattered, not the fact that you've read a ton of different books about the topic and (presumably) know more about it than I do.
18 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Lawson
United States
Rutland
Vermont
flag msg tools
I drink and I know things
badge
Night gathers and now my watch begins
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
None of your choices really fit for me. I would add sometimes and it depends............
My choices on complexity vary depending on whether its a good game and or an interesting topic.

30 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Brown
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
Rally Well!
badge
My Toyota War
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
xmfcnrx wrote:
Mallet wrote:
....In other words, I believe I have reached what I would call my "Complexity Ceiling", the level beyond which I cannot or wish not go higher.


It's called getting old. Something we all go through.


Better to get old then the option...as long as you don't take getting old to much to heart
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Cote
United States
Maine
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My personal ceiling has nothing to do with complexity. It has to do with my inability to read the mind of the person writing the rules (eg Richard Berg).
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Enrico Viglino
United States
Eugene
OR
flag msg tools
Slowed - BGG's moderation policies have driven me partially from here
badge
http://thegamebox.byethost15.com/smf/
Avatar
mb
xmfcnrx wrote:


It's called getting old. Something we all go through.


Maybe. I feel like my ability to concentrate was at a high when
I was in my thirties. I attributed it to smoking, but I'm still
smoking, and now I find myself suffering from ADD-like effects
again.

Maybe I just got out of the habit of concentrating. Definitely
feeling that I can't (or don't care to) crack down on rules
as much as I once did though.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randall Shaw
United States
Kennesaw
GA
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

My family wouldn't consider the Commands and Colors games either 'super-easy' or 'family games' and neither would I. cool
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Vasey
Scotland
Mortlake, London
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
xmfcnrx wrote:
Mallet wrote:
....In other words, I believe I have reached what I would call my "Complexity Ceiling", the level beyond which I cannot or wish not go higher.


It's called getting old. Something we all go through.


Better than the alternative.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Delp
United States
Franklin
Tennessee
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I answered "other" for 1. because my taste for complexity is all over the map, depending on my mood and what I last played. I play a variety of complexities and I like it that way. After a brain burner, I usually want something light(er). And then ramp it back up, and so forth. Or maybe hang out for a few games somewhere in the middle before moving on. Completely arbitrary.

Re 2., I answered moderate-high, because I appreciate the complexities that come with something meatier, but I have no desire to play Campaign for North Africa. Also, working out the mechanics of (what I perceive to be) a REALLY complex game tends to suck the fun out of the first go round. When I don't know if there will be a second, it makes it hard to motivate myself to go through that. I found La Bataille to be a nightmare, but I think that was more rule edition confusion than anything else. I've really got to give that another shot.

That said, I am completely excited about playing War of the Suns, despite its "High" complexity rating on the box. Really, I don't think it's going to be that bad.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Moles
United States
Idaho Springs
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For me, its not a matter of pure complexity, but how clear the intent of the rules are and if the "crunch" adds interest to modeling the situation. Also complexity in the number of and granularity of the rules is different("chrome") than complexity due to the openness of the system, ie how much of a sandbox do I have to play in.

The idea of having a very open playground with lots of options is what I love about wargames, and sometimes(certainly not always) I have to put up with a dense ruleset to accommodate and I'm ok with that.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
Who's the master?
badge
"Just get that sucka to the designated place at the designated time and I will gladly designate his ass...for dismemberment!" - Sho Nuff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I got back into this in 2009. I had to exercise the wargame muscles when I tried out GMT's Saratoga and thought it was difficult. Since then, I stretched them bit by bit. I would say my practical limit on complexity is Paths of Glory and only if I have an experienced teacher to play with (thanks Lars!). I have stretched beyond that somewhat: For the People (Thanks Lars!). I tried Vietnam 1965-1975 but decided that was a bridge too far unless I could get a face-to-face game with Bill. It's just too much by e-mail. I did slay Empire of the Sun and even though I love it enough to put it in my top 3, I'll never try something like that again.

I guess I'll push the envelope if Mark Herman designs the game But I did give up on Gulf Strike because of the size of the rule book and the comments that the best way to enjoy it is to play the campaign. I'll be taking on The Civil War later this year, because I have been assured it's not as tough as it looks.

I find myself gravitating to games whose complexity level resemble Columbia block games, be it a Hammer of the Scots on up to EastFront. When I look at a game these days, complexity level plays the biggest factor in the decision. I just don't have the stomach to stretch those complexity muscles.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Enrico Viglino
United States
Eugene
OR
flag msg tools
Slowed - BGG's moderation policies have driven me partially from here
badge
http://thegamebox.byethost15.com/smf/
Avatar
mb
Charles Vasey wrote:
xmfcnrx wrote:
Mallet wrote:
....In other words, I believe I have reached what I would call my "Complexity Ceiling", the level beyond which I cannot or wish not go higher.


It's called getting old. Something we all go through.


Better than the alternative.


I agree. Immortality sucked.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Kluck
United States
Hudson
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
billyboy wrote:
None of your choices really fit for me. I would add sometimes and it depends............
My choices on complexity vary depending on whether its a good game and or an interesting topic.


Exactly. With the caveat that once I understand a game I like I tend to long for a richer experience and wouldn't mind learning more rules.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Vasey
Scotland
Mortlake, London
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
calandale wrote:
Charles Vasey wrote:
xmfcnrx wrote:
Mallet wrote:
....In other words, I believe I have reached what I would call my "Complexity Ceiling", the level beyond which I cannot or wish not go higher.


It's called getting old. Something we all go through.


Better than the alternative.


I agree. Immortality sucked.


Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Galer
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have always been in the moderate to high level - ASL, SFB, Air Superiority, 18XX, Assault - but now it really depends more upon how much effort it is to get a game started (both learning rules and setting it up)

being older (wiser is very debatable) I have less time in general for gaming (dang kids), and if it takes an hour just to setup I probably wont bother. Having a 4 year old, and 2 cats pretty well means no leaving a game setup for later play (although I have dreamed of table designs that have a recessed area under a removable top).

Having started to explore the world of VASSAL more is leading me down the dangerous path of getting back into bigger games (do I see the return of OCS games to my collection?).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have an old saw that I repeat to myself while playing a game: "How hard does it have to be?" The best games take complex situations and streamline them into something playable and fun.

But where complexity can't be helped (folks are jonesing to play or there isn't a streamlined game on the subject), the amount of complexity I'm willing to put up with depends on the game and who's playing it with me.

I won't play complex games with the AP-prone or those who turn every question into an argument. But I'll play almost any game with intelligent, amiable company. Even if the game isn't all that, the time spent will be fun.

There are two or three people in my gaming circle who are wargame try-athletes: they'll try anything and (for them) the more complex the better. It's all I can do keep up sometimes.

I prefer moderately complex games. Games of the "Commands & Colors" genre and level of complexity are where I'm at.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
michael connor
United States
Berkeley
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
calandale wrote:
Charles Vasey wrote:
xmfcnrx wrote:
Mallet wrote:
....In other words, I believe I have reached what I would call my "Complexity Ceiling", the level beyond which I cannot or wish not go higher.


It's called getting old. Something we all go through.


Better than the alternative.


I agree. Immortality sucked.


Not according to our legends.

27 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Enrico Viglino
United States
Eugene
OR
flag msg tools
Slowed - BGG's moderation policies have driven me partially from here
badge
http://thegamebox.byethost15.com/smf/
Avatar
mb
Charles Vasey wrote:
calandale wrote:
Charles Vasey wrote:
xmfcnrx wrote:
Mallet wrote:
....In other words, I believe I have reached what I would call my "Complexity Ceiling", the level beyond which I cannot or wish not go higher.


It's called getting old. Something we all go through.


Better than the alternative.


I agree. Immortality sucked.


Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n.


I love being quoted.

But, as you pointed out, both get pretty boring after a bit.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Enrico Viglino
United States
Eugene
OR
flag msg tools
Slowed - BGG's moderation policies have driven me partially from here
badge
http://thegamebox.byethost15.com/smf/
Avatar
mb
xmfcnrx wrote:
calandale wrote:
Charles Vasey wrote:
xmfcnrx wrote:
Mallet wrote:
....In other words, I believe I have reached what I would call my "Complexity Ceiling", the level beyond which I cannot or wish not go higher.


It's called getting old. Something we all go through.


Better than the alternative.


I agree. Immortality sucked.


Not according to our legends.



The webs on my hands were much worse back then.

And the little c'thenticles on my face more pronounced.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kyle Seely
United States
Carmel
IN
flag msg tools
badge
Winner of the C. Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Complexity isn't what gets me. It's poorly-written rules that cause my concentration to totally lapse when trying to read them, and make game experiences frustrating.

I played 1914: Twilight in the East, a game I thought looked overwhelmingly complicated at first glance, and indeed is incredibly intricate in its sequence of play, and supply and combat processes. Because the rules were so well-organized, and had such a good example of play, and the play aids were so thorough, I was able to play through it and find myself thinking "why did I think this would be so difficult?"

A Dark and Bloody Ground, on the other hand, a magazine game with a fairly broad strategic view, which looks like it should be simple, I found to be a real headache to figure out. Same thing with Summer Storm: The Battle of Gettysburg, which didn't look like it would be too complicated, but wound up giving me fits, because the rules just would not come together into any sort of coherent fashion.

I understand that assessment of rulebooks is entirely subjective - but for me, no game is too complicated if the rules are well-written. I can learn the most complicated game in the world with the proper rules, while finding myself throwing up my hands in surrender for the simplest game with an inscrutable rulebook.
19 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Hoyt

Butte
Montana
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I want the minimum complexity necessary to cover the topic.

I want the rules so well organized and written that the complexity itself doesn't really matter.

I want lots of examples right in the rulebook.

I want a short, tense, illustrative scenario I can play to get a feel for the game.

Complexity, per se, is not an issue. Give me my four "Wants" and we're talking about a game I can learn and play regardless of how complex it might be.

Playing Time, on the other hand, can start to figure into my thinking. My kids are older, and I don't have a cat, so I can leave a game set up for long periods of time if necessary. But I am gravitating to games that can be played more quickly.

Perhaps you are somewhat equating complexity with playing time?
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger Hobden
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sokadr wrote:

My family wouldn't consider the Commands and Colors games either 'super-easy' or 'family games' and neither would I. cool


It's a "family game", because you have to mobilize the whole family be able to put the stickers on all the units in a single evening.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Humphries
Philippines
Unspecified
Metro Manila
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The complexity level of games I enjoy covers the spectrum from SPI Quads to ASL.

The quality of rules editing and development is far more important to me. I have a 'sloppyness' threshold.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kev.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
Read & Watch at www.bigboardgaming.com
Avatar
The pain we are prepared to endure is related to the value we perceive in the topic or era or theme.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.