Home Forums General Game Design Faster play?

This topic contains 31 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by grizzlymc grizzlymc 1 week, 4 days ago.

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  • #98725
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Just wondering which rules/system do you love/really like but you wish were reworked to be “fast play”?

     

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #98726

    Tony Hughes
    Participant

    Can’t think of any that I’d want to go any faster than they already are.

    Most rules that go down that path sacrifice more than I’m prepared to accept in the way of ‘reality’ – though some do have interesting mechanisms that I’m quite happy to work on to make something I find more acceptable.

     

     

    #98727
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    I’ve given up playing rules that are a slog, with 5 pages of charts, 3 pages of modifiers and all that tat. Life’s too bloody short and I’ve learned to accept compromise.

     

    Besides, one man’s ‘fast play’ is another man’s death by boredom.

    Madness.

     

     

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #98729
    kyoteblue
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    I don’t need fast rules, I need easy rules. I’m old now damn it!

    #98731
    Rhoderic
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Generally I’m content with the state of rules design these days, at least in regard to the gradual drift from the detail and crunch of older rulesets to the moderate fast-play philosophy of newer ones. There are exceptions, of course, but I’m talking about averages. Overall, I think the current generation of rules designers is hitting the golden mean well enough.

    #98734

    Thomaston
    Participant

    I’m open to faster lay rules but considering the rules I use currently only need 1 roll, faster than that might just me deciding on the spot how the game goes.

    Naval and air combat rules could benefit from faster play though.

    Life's too long.

    #98744
    norm smith
    norm smith
    Participant

    I have rules that I wish were simpler, but I have some fast play that I wish had more substance.

    The greatest impact upon what I perceive as being in need of ‘making faster’ is the fact that I mess around with too many systems. I play a lot of games and do boardgames as well as figures and so I never spend enough time with one rule set to get to ‘know them’ properly. If I did, I might be less inclined to want them to be simpler / faster.

    http://commanders.simdif.com

    #98752

    Like kyoteblue, speed is generally not the issue.  Simpler is what I want.  That said…

     

    Neil Thomas, has gone a step too far with his One Hour Wargames.  I think those rules are a bit too simple!  All of his rules based on Wargaming: An Introduction are great!  Simplicity in Practice is also a fine set of rules.

     

     

    John

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    #98759
    irishserb
    irishserb
    Participant

    I guess the simple answer is “none”.

    “Fast Play” is one of those things that scares me to death.  It is sort of like “New and Improved”, which means they’ve taken away what I liked about it, and  are sticking me with the crap that remains.

    In gaming, “fast play” too frequently translates into lack of detail, and/or abstractions that defy physics and reason.  So I don’t want anything that I play re-written to be “fast play”.  I like simple mechanics, and tons of detail.  My options are too often, rules that read like tax law  (and often still lack detail, or attention to the boundaries of space and time) , or require so little investment, that I need to have something else to do, to keep me occupied during the game.  The quest for faster play has driven me away from some re-writes of rules that I used to play, and actually has contributed to my increase of solo play, and the my decrease in attending conventions.

    If you want to sell me rules, go for simple mechanics, pragmatic, realistic, and technically detailed.

    #98774
    Mike
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Just wondering which rules/system do you love/really like but you wish were reworked to be “fast play”?

    I only like those that are fast play these days.

    😀

    #98776
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    Horses for courses. Napoleonics is my go-to period. I prefer a moderately dense rule set for them. Do I believe this makes them somehow more valid? No. But I’m willing to invest more time & thought into rules for the period.

    Other periods find me a bit slap-happy. For example, I really don’t care about the relative velocity of differing types of gun in WW2 etc so the Blitz Krieg Commander fast play set provides me with a satisfying game.

     

    So the answer to the OP’s question for me is if I want fast play, I’ll find fast play. If not, a more complex set suits.

     

    donald

     

    BTW did anyone else find the facsimile rules CS included above to be terrifying?

     

    #98777
    Mike
    Mike
    Keymaster

    BTW did anyone else find the facsimile rules CS included above to be terrifying?

    Can’t say I was enamoured with them… 😐

    #98780
    Abwehrschlacht
    Abwehrschlacht
    Participant

    Was this inspired by the Star Wars Miniatures Battles/Legion discussion we had?

    I prefer simpler rules these days. Looking at Not Connard Sage’s post above made me feel physically sick… I prefer to replace charts with dice pools. It was Square Bashing 2nd Edition that shifted me over to this form of gaming and a mate rewrote Rapid Fire into a bucket of dice game, doing away with the charts.

    I have always avoided Napoleonics for the simple reason that rules tended to be dense until Blucher was produced and it’s perfect for my needs. I know there’s other fast play Nappies rules out there as well, but Blucher also appeals to my interest in abstracted strategy over nit-picking tactics.

    http://stormofsteelwargaming.blogspot.co.uk

    #98781
    Abwehrschlacht
    Abwehrschlacht
    Participant

    Naval and air combat rules could benefit from faster play though.

    Wings of War/Glory? None more simpler than those.

    http://stormofsteelwargaming.blogspot.co.uk

    #98818
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    nit-picking tactics.

     

    Horses for courses. This is what I love about my Nap rules.

     

    donald

    #98819
    Abwehrschlacht
    Abwehrschlacht
    Participant

    Horses for courses.

    Indeed, and if we all liked the same thing the world would be very boring. 🙂

    http://stormofsteelwargaming.blogspot.co.uk

    #98821

    Tony Hughes
    Participant

    I played Newbury rules twice. Didn’t have any issues with the tables and modifiers, coming from WRG they were familiar, but the rules had some very strange outcomes and were poorly worded  in critical places. Playing against a rules lawyer who refused to be corrected, even when obviously wrong, didn’t help. Calling them ‘fast play’ was a bad joke though.

    I hate buckets of dice games. I’ve seen the 6 sixes v 5 ones too often to accept that they do anything but encourage players to expect and play for the extreme events rather than anything approaching realistic or historical tactics. Fast play games that rely on too much chance simply don’t attract me.

     

     

    #98830
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Was this inspired by the Star Wars Miniatures Battles/Legion discussion we had?

    That was part of it, but mostly because I just finished and sent in the draft of FNG3 for Two Hour Wargames.  the fan base has been pushing for “faster play” which has led to some core mechanic changes that I am not happy with as it has taken away the interesting detail and I and some of the posters above enjoy.  To me, a skirmish game is supposed to be detailed as you’re dealing with individuals and on more personal level than you do with companies and battalions (where the detail of the formation is what matters, not the individuals).  I get wanting to play more games in the time you have, but to me a “satisfactory outcome” isn’t just about the results of the victory conditions, but what happens to the troops involved and fast play rules mostly strip that away.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #98946
    MartinR
    MartinR
    Participant

    I spend quite a lot of time tearing apart rules systems and rewriting faster versions of them which focus on the essentials. Effectively games of games. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. My greatest triumph was converting VGs Hells Highway (which normally takes a week to play) into an area movement figure game which let you fight all ten days of the entire Arnhem campaign in two hours.

    I do this because I find it Intellectually stimulating, and because we are such old fogies that we generally like to pack up at 9. Some people at the club are still setting up then….

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #98949
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    My greatest triumph was converting VGs Hells Highway (which normally takes a week to play) into an area movement figure game which let you fight all ten days of the entire Arnhem campaign in two hours.

     

    I’d like to see that.

    I own Hell’s Highway. It’s not Highway to the Reich, with tower blocks of counters, but it’s still a bit of a slog.

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #98954
    Whirlwind
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Just wondering which rules/system do you love/really like but you wish were reworked to be “fast play”?

    The Fighting Wings air combat boardgames

    The Shadowrun RPG

    Quite a few strategic wargames

    The “Bodycount” Vietnam rules

    Most rules could use a few judicious crossings out, mind.  I think Neil Thomas is the main exception, in that his rules tend to need more stuff added in than crossed out to work well.

    IIRC, the various iterations of 40K did okay in becoming progressively more fast play (although I stopped playing it because of the background changes).

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by Whirlwind Whirlwind.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #99138
    Phil Dutré
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    The concept of “fast play” is a misnomer. I think what players want are gaming mechanisms whose duration is in proportion to the actual effects on the gaming table.

    I think we can all name rulesets in whch you roll dice, more dice, even more dice, … only to result in a single hit for  a unit that needs 24 hits to be killed. That is bad games design, because the complexity and length of the procedure does not stand in relation to the importance of the outcome. On the other hand a procedure can be complex and lengthy if it would result in the annihilation of entire units … because the outcome is important, gamers expect the procedure to reach that decision should at least feel “important” as well. And that means taking into account a lot of sgnificant modifers instead of simply rolling a 50/50 die.

    On the other hand, there is not much we can do about the physical manipulation and movement of the toys, so we will always have an upper bound on how fast our games can go.

    #99146
    Blackhat
    Blackhat
    Participant

    Newbury Fast Play rules are called that because they WERE faster and simpler than the previous version!

    I prefer rules nowadays that don’t interfere in the game – that is, the games mechanism aren’t blatantly on show to the extent that I feel I am playing the rules rather than a game set in that period.

    Games that would fall into this type for me are Chain of Command, Grande Armee, SAGA, etc  All very clever in their way, but too “gamey” in the sense of having too complex games mechanisms that distract from the game.

    I prefer The Portable Wargame, Neil Thomas,  Bolt Action, etc

    Mike

     

    Black Hat Miniatures -
    http://www.www.blackhat.co.uk/

    #99147
    Phil Dutré
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    A google image search on “fast play wargaming rules”:

    https://www.google.be/search?q=fast+play+wargaming+rules&client=firefox-b&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj_o9C2_o_VAhUPK1AKHTCGDSsQ_AUICigB&biw=1920&bih=924

    Would any ruleset ever market itself as “slow and tedious rules for the <insert favourite period here>”?

    #99149
    Whirlwind
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Would any ruleset ever market itself as “slow and tedious rules for the ”?

    Probably not.  But they might market themselves as ‘detailed’, ‘accurate’, ‘comprehensive’ and so on.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #99151
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Newbury Fast Play rules are called that because they WERE faster and simpler than the previous version!

     

    Yes, I know. I own a copy of the ‘previous version’..

    Not for the faint-hearted. Or anybody with a life…

     

     

    These are A4 pages. In 8pt type

     

     

     

     

     

     

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #99156

    Chris Pringle
    Participant

    I prefer rules nowadays that don’t interfere in the game – that is, the games mechanism aren’t blatantly on show to the extent that I feel I am playing the rules rather than a game set in that period.

    Seconded. There are even games where their central mechanism is such that you feel it is playing you rather than the other way round, and you’re too busy serving the system rather than actually trying to implement a plan and use some real-world tactics.

    I think what players want are gaming mechanisms whose duration is in proportion to the actual effects on the gaming table.

    Absolutely.  Or to put it another way, gaming mechanisms that let us finish a sensible-sized game in a sensible amount of time. If the aim is to refight Waterloo, then how fast-play you want your rules will depend whether you want to get it done in two hours or two days. For some, the former will be too much like fast food, and the latter is the richer and more desirable experience; for others, a 2-day wargame is a waste of a day and a half, and all they have is a short slot of an evening.

    Seems like these days there is so much pressure on people’s time that a short evening is the popular slot, hence both the pressure for rules that are sufficiently fast-play to fit that slot, and the popularity of skirmish-type games that are small and quick to set up and fight through.

    (BBB was specifically designed to make it possible to fight the largest 19th-century battles, in their entirety, with 4 players on 6’x4′ in an evening. I think we succeeded in stripping the rules down enough for the necessary fast play while retaining plenty of flavour. But it’s all a matter of personal taste in the end.)

    Chris

    Bloody Big BATTLES!

    https://uk.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/BBB_wargames/info

    http://bloodybigbattles.blogspot.com/

    #99158
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    I prefer rules nowadays that don’t interfere in the game – that is, the games mechanism aren’t blatantly on show to the extent that I feel I am playing the rules rather than a game set in that period.

    ^ This.  When I game it is not competitive in the tournament sense, but more in the friendly sense and I do not want mechanics that are there to be gamed, where I need to compute my best moves based on what the rules result will be.  I want to command my troops rather than plot the system.  I need the flavor and the sense of the game to fit the period. I do not want my Vietnam game to feel like Kursk, nor do I want my Civil War game to feel like WW1.  Fast play games to me too often get generic and gamey.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #99163
    Rhoderic
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Seems like these days there is so much pressure on people’s time that a short evening is the popular slot, hence both the pressure for rules that are sufficiently fast-play to fit that slot, and the popularity of skirmish-type games that are small and quick to set up and fight through.

    In fairness, I think this is also a case of miniatures wargaming adapting to a wider market, or perhaps rather, a case of the people in a wider market proactively adapting miniatures wargaming for themselves so that they may also partake of the hobby.

    I know that I for one would have immense difficulty securing the preconditions to play a game that takes two days, not only because of time constraints but also (and perhaps mainly) because of resource constraints. I’d probably have to get a larger residence just so I can have a room to set aside for that activity alone, which is a far-fetched proposition given the realities of my life.

    The difference between today and the “old days” is that the established forms and conventions of the hobby are more inclusive today (including faster-playing rules and the trend toward skirmish-type games), enabling more people like myself to also take part. I suspect people like me were also around in the old days; they just didn’t get to wargame, at least not unless they had the further preconditions to be able to pool resources in a club.

    #99167
    John D Salt
    John D Salt
    Participant

    “Should you find any part of these rules unlcear due to brevity…”

    Made oi larrf.

    In my mind the term “Fast Play” is entirely an invention of Newbury Rules, and a grievous misrepresentation of the rules in question other than by comparison to the Byzantine intricacy and rococo curlicues of Newbury’s mainstream rules. I wonder if anyone outside Newbury ever managed to complete a game with them.

    I have encountered many sets of wargames rules that I dismissed because I considered they did not believably represent the subject they purported to, or because the best line of play was screamingly obvious, or because they didn’t offer the player any interesting decisions, or because the rules were simply incomprehensible. But I can’t recall ever rejecting any because they are “too simple” or “too fast”.

    All the best,

    John.

    #99171
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    “Should you find any part of these rules unlcear due to brevity…” Made oi larrf. In my mind the term “Fast Play” is entirely an invention of Newbury Rules, and a grievous misrepresentation of the rules in question other than by comparison to the Byzantine intricacy and rococo curlicues of Newbury’s mainstream rules. I wonder if anyone outside Newbury ever managed to complete a game with them.

    We certainly didn’t ever complete a game with them.

    This is the full fat version, for those that considered Newbury’s ‘Fast Play’ rules insufficiently detailed, that I posted examples from above. There are no illustrations within, it’s all text. A4 pages, 8pt type remember. 😉

    and the contents page. Note the list of tables 🙂

     

     

     

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #99329
    grizzlymc
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Well, I prefer a little more granularity than each roll a die, the result is the game, win, lose, or draw.

    I am not allergic to charts, but I would like them to be legible on both sides of an A4 page. BLOODY ALL OF THEM!

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