Wow! What a busy day.
Yesterday Quirkworthy had the most page views it’s ever had in one day, which is very heartening. I thought the Alpha might get some interest, but this was wonderful. Thanks to everyone who’s already commented and especially the super keen folks who’ve had the game on the table already and found the time to come back and let me know they enjoyed it. All in only a couple of hours. Outstanding!
Naturally there are some people that DZ doesn’t suit and that’s fair enough. One size does not fit all in the gaming world. Mind you, I’d love to be able to encompass more folk in the Deadzone fold, and we’ll see how I do if I get round to adding all the play format variants I’d like to. There’s actually quite a list now: current 2-player version, experience based campaign, narrative campaign, solo, multi-player (with more than one per side playing cooperatively), multi-mat, etc.
Anyway, just a few ideas 😉
Pretty much. The Alpha is, obviously, very much a WIP and I’ve asked for comments and feedback so critique is a good thing. Please keep those comments coming. It all helps to make the end result more robust.
Anyway, when I say I want feedback and I’m listening that’s because I do and I am. From reading comments on the Kickstarter, Quirkworthy and a few other places (though not all, I’m sure) here’s what I’m hearing:
1) Most folk understand that it’s a WIP and that there’s lots more to come. The general vibe seems very positive. Thank you 🙂
2) There are a handful of bits I missed off cards or in qualifying rules (Interrupt Actions on cards, overwatch being knocked off by Pinning). I’ll add these to the FAQ and/or do an update for the Alpha next week when I’m back in the office. WOn’t be monday though as I’m down in rainy Essex with the Beasts of War.
3) Explaining the moving about and throwing grenades in 3D needs more diagrams. Yup.
4) LOS is still much discussed. I’ve been chipping in here and there and have thought a lot more about it and considered the suggestions made. I’m writing another post revisiting that topic in more detail. Might go up tomorrow.
5) Some people want more detail and others think the complexity level is just fine as it is. I think I can add more grit and detail without significant complexity or extra rules. Let me explain. The Alpha is the bulk of the rules footprint. Some of it needs to be explained more fully – the core is there though. So if, say, 85% of the core rules are present it’s not going to get over-complex as a system, keeping those who like this level of detail happy. However, within those mechanics I’ll be adding a lot more options. Instead of 5 stat cards you’ll have two, three or four dozen. Still not sure how many. This won’t add to the game’s complexity in terms of rules as you already know how to read a stat card. A few elements need the full version to replace the Alpha, for example missions. The Alpha version is very close to the full version in terms of rules, but is restricted to one mission. The major addition is the number of possible missions each faction will have – but mechanically it’s only slightly different from what you have seen. Each faction will eventually have 8-12 missions or so. Again, you learn to read one mission card and you can read them all. Specific play formats such as solo or campaign are easily ignored if you don’t want to play them so the people that want simple can play the game in the normal 2 player format and those who want the extra options can dig in. Like I said, I think I can have my cake and eat it 🙂
6) Turn sequence and the possibility of alternate activations is the only really chewy rules question I can see. As I’ve said, i-go-u-go is not my favourite mechanic, but using that as a basis has worked pretty well and does tick pretty much all the boxes. Specifically, the current Alpha system does a number of good things. It’s…
- Interactive (opposed rolls, overwatch)
- Works well for coordinated small unit tactics, fire and movement, overwatch and suppression
It also avoids:
- the “cheerleader” problem
- staccato turns where coordinated plans are broken up into single models.
So the current system isn’t at all bad. However, I do agree that alternative action systems have a lot of good things about them. You can tell I like them because I’ve used them in several games I’ve designed…
The first version of DZ I put on the table had alternate actions, and though it worked to play out a game it was more gamey and far less able to show off small unit tactics. I’m very keen to include those in DZ and so I had a fiddle about with some parameters and tried a number of variant systems. The only ones that worked at all well to do everything I wanted required a major abstraction at the heart of the turn mechanic and it just felt wrong and randomly imposed to make things work (which is exactly what it was).
Not being satisfied with that I went back to the drawing board and started from a different direction, ending up with the system we have now.
Currently, one of the few mechanical bits that isn’t in the Alpha is the command system. I’ve been working on this for a while and what struck me as we were preparing the Alpha was that I could use this to solve the problem I had with the original alternative action system. At least, I think I can. I’ll not have a chance to get it on the table till tomorrow at the earliest (out all day today at Foundry teaching folk God of Battles).
You can be sure that I’ll let you know how it goes once I’ve kicked it about on the tabletop. If it does work and is better then I see no reason to stick with Plan A. We shall see…
So I’ve got a few bits and bobs to add to my pile of homework. For your part, please keep those comments coming. I’ll be back this evening.