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BloodyBucket
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  Rules lawyers, intent and parsing Mon, 19 July 2004 09:39
Some rather spirited debates here on the meaning of certain rules and the way cards can be played.

I happen to think it is a good thing, as the FAQ can't exist, or be updated, unless you get some questions that get frequently (or pointedly) asked.

When an issue gets answered by DoW or Mr. Borg, does everyone consider that the final answer, or are there some things that you have continued to play "wrong" because you like it that way?

Does the amount of questions surprise anyone, given the simplicity of the game? I happen to think the rules are pretty tight, and that some questions are going to come up no matter what, because of parsing, etc.

Lastly, if an unresolved question comes up during a game, how do you handle it?
      
GI Joe
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Re:Rules lawyers, intent and parsing Mon, 19 July 2004 09:59
I think it's a good thing, too. It reveals the level of interest in this fine game, and I'm sure that gratifies the designers and publishers.

I myself consider the designer's rulings as the final answer, yes. It's been very rare that my family and friends have stuck with a different rule because we liked it better.

If an resolved question comes up in our games, we read the rules as written, listen to the opinion of everyone at the table, then vote and play it the way of the majority interpretation.
      
ekted
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Re:Rules lawyers, intent and parsing Mon, 19 July 2004 12:23
You can probably guess my answer already. Smile

I take the designer's word as the rules, whether I agree or not. If the rules are too far from my liking, I will stop playing the game rather than use house rules. That is why I debate so much about interpretation and clarity; I want games that I like to work in a way that I can tolerate.

To me, M44 is nearly perfect except for the rules on hills. But however they are resolved, it's unlikely to make me stop playing.
      
jerrytel
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Re:Rules lawyers, intent and parsing Mon, 19 July 2004 13:02
I just want to get the rules right Very Happy
      
Krieghund
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Re:Rules lawyers, intent and parsing Mon, 19 July 2004 15:01
I always try to discern the spirit and intent of the rules as laid down by the designer(s). Sometimes that's harder than others.

I am not opposed to creating house rules, but generally reserve them for instances where I think an official rule just doesn't fit with the rest of the rules or is way off base from my perception of "reality". Of course, before creating house rules it is very important to correctly understand the official rules.

Generally, if there is a disagreement in our group as to a rule that is not answered in the rules or FAQ, we tend to discuss it until a "temporary" solution is agreed upon and play that way until an "official" answer is obtained. It is very rare that such an agreement cannot be reached.

I am quite impressed with the rules for this game. They are well thought out and presented in a clear, organized fashion. Of course there will always be ambiguities of one form or another, but these rules are by far the most clear and concise of any I've ever seen in a game of comparable complexity. Kudos to Mr. Borg and DOW!
      
Ubergeek
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Re:Rules lawyers, intent and parsing Tue, 20 July 2004 10:04
A great war game designer once told me (when I asked him how to interpret a certain rule) "It's your game, you bought it and can play it any way you like, but here's the intent of the rule a I wrote it."

Yes, it's nice to have an official ruling on questions. And, for purpose of tournament gaming it's critical. I, for one, will use an official rule for purposes of teaching a game or public gaming. But ultimately, if both players agree to play a certain way to gain more fun out of a game, there's nothing to stop you. Just remember that it's "your" way and not the "official" way. There's lots of great games out there that have become better by just changing one or two rules, setups, or scoring mechanisms (and some that you just can't fix).

I asked DoW early on whether I could airdrop my units into St. Mere Eglise one at a time by moving my hand across the board. The official answer from Richard Borg was "no, they must all be dropped at the same time". So when I taught the game to others using that particular scenario, that's they way it was done. When I played at home with my son, I created the house rule that I've included in my file as a variant way to perform airdrops, and we agree that the person dropping can do it however they want. Certainly not official, but acceptable to me.

The rules in this game really are tight and most of the problems I've seen arise come from people reading too much into the cards instead of taking them as written. But if a question does come up that's bogging the game down there are a few ways to handle it until an official ruling is given. One is to compromise. Allow your interpretation this time on the rule in question and your oppenent gets to rule the next time on any unresolved problem. Or, roll a die and high roll gets their way. Another is to make the ruling with the understanding that it applies to both players, even if you switch sides and play the scenario again. If all else fails, you can look at what the intent of the rule or card should be. This is a tough one since only the designer can give you the correct intent as they meant it to be. Finally, you can come here, post your question, and get a wealth of opinion from the cheering section. Cheers.
      
eker
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Re:Rules lawyers, intent and parsing Tue, 20 July 2004 20:48
Most of the rules seems odd and not reflecting real life. BUT I think Borg has tried and tested rules starting with "correct" rules and ended up with the official rule set. Borg has tuned rules with playability, excitment and game flow as highest priority.

I think that the rules are crisp and clear - I do not trying to interpret them with real life in mind. Just play the game as it is. No need for house rules. Borg has probably been through them all - and discarded them.

M44 is a perfect game within its own framework.

If I want a wargame with real life rules I pick up an old Avalon Hill game - wasting an evening to brush up the rules.
      
Texas gamer
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Re:Rules lawyers, intent and parsing Tue, 20 July 2004 23:50
eker wrote on Tue, 20 July 2004 13:48

No need for house rules. Borg has probably been through them all - and discarded them.



Well said. Smile
      
boombob
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Re:Rules lawyers, intent and parsing Tue, 20 July 2004 23:53
I think that Mr. Borg wanted to keep the game as simple as possible, hence the fact that some of the situations that players will be presented with will not fall into place with game systems we are more accustomed to.
      
Ubergeek
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Re:Rules lawyers, intent and parsing Wed, 21 July 2004 03:56
Quote:

No need for house rules. Borg has probably been through them all - and discarded them.


On the contrary. I think some of the house rules presented from Battle Cry have made it into M44. Most notably is that units unable to retreat now lose a unit for each retreat flag they are unable to comply with.

The house rules of today will make it into the advanced expansion of tomorrow or perhaps some will be modified into a different game.

Quote:

M44 is a perfect game within its own framework.


Now this statement I can agree with as long as you stay within the framework. However, I was never one to color within the lines as a kid. Someone's always looking to build a better mousetrap. Razz
      
Texas gamer
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Re:Rules lawyers, intent and parsing Wed, 21 July 2004 14:47
Ubergeek wrote on Tue, 20 July 2004 20:56

Quote:

No need for house rules. Borg has probably been through them all - and discarded them.


On the contrary. I think some of the house rules presented from Battle Cry have made it into M44. Most notably is that units unable to retreat now lose a unit for each retreat flag they are unable to comply with.



Obviously the current official rules of the game were once experimental or "house" rules. The original author of the first quote above is referring, I believe, to all of the new house rules folks are now presenting. Many ideas, many similar, but virtually all adding complexity without contributing to the fun of the game.

Notice I said "fun" and "game." I will not argue that some of these proposed rules might not add some "realism" which might be desirable if this was a "simulation."

Again, it comes down to the great probability that Mr. Borg and his playtesters, who have worked on this for years, have been through most any idea that has been mentioned on this forum. That it was not included as an official rule indicates that it is unworkable, unnecessary, unbalancing or for some other reason unacceptable OR MAYBE that it is for an additional level of complexity (and expense, to DOW and the purchasers) to be added later as an expansion.

      
AnglePark
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Re:Rules lawyers, intent and parsing Wed, 21 July 2004 15:48
I agree with you whole-heartedly, Texas gamer.

M44 is very fun, as-is. I certainly don't think M44 is "broken" from any standpoint. I want expansions, just like everyone else, but I want more flavor - historical flavor - not more realism or advanced rules. Some folks are going to want more, and that's fine - we're all different - but I couldn't be happier with the game.
      
eker
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Re:Rules lawyers, intent and parsing Wed, 21 July 2004 17:01
Texas gamer...

Hi - Excatly my point also Smile

I could easy turn M44 into a ultra realistic monster game in a weekend. With + 100 pages of rules. Smoke -indirect fire -interdiction fire -flanking fire - armour slope -rate of fire -morale -panic -pinned......

I have been there with Avalon Hill already, no need to go back.

But the art of game designing is to simplify. R.Borg is a master to simplify and still keep the good feeling of the game.

And M44 is not an evolution of Battlecry. Borg reading BC houserules he did not: "Wow! why didnt I think if this rule tweak - must incorporate it in my next game!"

The evolution from BC to M44 does not reflect game evolution - but more art of war and equipment.

Feel BC gameflow to be very realistic. Incorrect maps - absolutely no initiative - extremely poor communication (no radio - remember).

Beautifully visualised by waiting and waiting for the correct cards while golden opportunities slips away in front of the generals.
      
Ubergeek
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Re:Rules lawyers, intent and parsing Fri, 23 July 2004 02:42
Quote:

And M44 is not an evolution of Battlecry. Borg reading BC houserules he did not: "Wow! why didnt I think if this rule tweak - must incorporate it in my next game!


And you know this how? Not that I'd expect RB to admit it if he did anyway. And, M44 is an evolutionary game. It has evolved out of BC and the Command & Colors system. What it isn't is "revolutionary". Evolution by definition is "A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form." This perfectly describes M44. The changes are mostly cosmetic and as you mention reflect different equipment and art of war.

I don't think anyone is trying to turn this into a monster game, least of all myself. More can be added while keeping the simplicity and furthering the evolutionary process.
      
komichido
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Re:Rules lawyers, intent and parsing Fri, 23 July 2004 04:43
Great thread! I am really enjoying this conversation about design, intentions, evolution, etc. I believe M44 is an evolution of all of the previous games that Mr. Borg has designed. As well as new ideas and concepts. We all tend to create based on past experience coupled with new creative ideas.
I also think that fan input is extremely benificial to desiners such as Mr. Borg as he can better understand what his chief audience wants. I am quite sure that many folks have inputed ideas over the years to him that he has incorporated into his games. It would be great to hear a quick responce from him personally as this is a great topic and a great oppurtunity to talk to some of us budding (poser) designers. LOL

As far as the M44 goes, I find that adding layers of complexity, variation and house rules is quite fun. It is what I like to read about on these forums, in addition to all the regular stuff like strategies, and rules clarifications, etc. And I can understand how some of you just want what came out of the box, that is what you are looking for and nothing else. The great thing about it is we can have both! Hehe....now go win WWII!

Joe
      
    
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