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I have mixed feelings about this topic. On the one hand, the merits of easy-to-play rules are self-evident. On the other hand, in practice I find that rules designers all too often have to make problematic sacrifices for the sake of simplicity. It’s interesting that Gaslands has come up, because I was meaning to mention it myself. There’s one rule in it that aggravates me to no end. It’s the rule that allows a vehicle in motion to ignore and “phase through” obstacles (like, say, a wrecked tank or 20 feet of solid concrete) under certain circumstances, for no other reason than to not break the flow of the game. I don’t have other qualms about the relative simplicity of Gaslands. The juxtaposition with the complexity of Car Wars doesn’t really mean anything to me. But I hate that one rule so very, very much.

Increasingly, I’m thinking about modifying a setting-agnostic RPG rules system for miniatures gaming, so I can get clear of rules design decisions that I disagree with in “conventional” miniatures game rulesets. The problem with that is that I do still enjoy exploring and sampling different approaches to rules design in different rulesets.