Forum Replies Created
Brilliant. I especially like the little pile of planks. I might steal that idea.
Also: happy birthday, Ali!
A few people have cited examples of games that they think handle gender well, either by being entirely gender-neutral, or by effecting a natural transition between genders or by adopting an entirely female assumed gender.
Horizon Wars (natch), Timeline 300, Hordes of the Things and Dungeons & Dragons have been named. I believe Malifaux 2E and Kings of War also manage it. I’m going to have a look through my pile of rulebooks to see how I think others do on this scale. Could others do the same and report back on the successes? It’d be interesting to curate a list by way of example to the community at large that gender-neutral wargames don’t have to be difficult or awkward to write or to read.
My day job in Human Resources involves writing a lot of policy documents. In the last five years I’ve worked for three different organizations, re-writing their HR policies from scratch. In the workplace, sex discrimination is a big deal. Seriously, it can cost companies unlimited damages if they are found to be directly or indirectly discriminating against not just women, but any of nine different protected characteristics.
As you might imagine, this makes me hyper-sensitive to poorly-worded official documents. Now, I have some very strong feelings about this issue, but I respect (and share) zippyfusenet’s desire for this not to be another TMP-style hub of misdirected ire, so I’ll restrict myself to saying this. Game designers who do not phrase their rules in gender-neutral terms are just being lazy (sorry, Craig). From having carefully composed the whole Horizon Wars rulebook in gender-neutral language, not to mention the estimated 300,000 words of HR policy I’ve written over my career, I can assure you that there is no gender-specific phrase in any miniatures wargame that I could not re-phrase in gender-neutral terms with two seconds of thought (and without mangling my grammar, either).
I’m not about to pretend that it’s the most important thing in the world. It really, really isn’t. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t still worth writers of all stripes taking the handful of extra seconds needed. Doing so makes no difference at all to those white, cis males who already know it’s their hobby. Not doing so is sending the message to everyone else that it isn’t theirs.
EDIT – Incidentally, I took my original guidance on the correct composition of gender-neutral policy from JSP101, the Ministry of Defence Guide to Service Writing. So it’s not namby-pamby modern liberal bull****. Serious people with guns have thought this was important for the last twenty years at least.
EDIT 2 – I went and found the original advice:
“k. Avoid sexist language. Do not use traditional single-sex terms. Try to use words such as ‘person’, ‘people’, ‘staff’, ‘officer’, or ‘colleague’; or use plurals such as ‘managers’, ‘commanders’ or ‘colleagues’. For example ‘Officers (instead of ‘An officer’) must communicate effectively and they (instead of ‘he’) must ensure no misunderstanding is possible.’”
To be fair to the armoured camel concept, they only blow up when actually shot by flying door stops.
Going back to John’s answer, I completely agree that IFVs and reconnaissance vehicles would need to unbutton (although possibly not from a turreted position). But the OP was specifically about tanks. Unsupported tanks might well need to unbutton, but otherwise, why risk it??
Although I can foresee a time when “eyes on” will be technologically superfluous (because the commander will be permanently immersed in a simulated environment that perfectly replicates all the available sensory data), I would say that for as long as tanks are tanks as we see and understand them, there will be a need for commanders to occasionally unbutton.
That said, I think we are on the verge of, if not already at, the point in technological advancement at which the need for a commander to be unbuttoned when he or she knows that a fight is underway has been done away with. When you already know that the enemy is present, the data provided by close-support drones, satellites and the good, old Mark 1 eyeball of your supporting reconnaissance units will be functionally superior to anything you’re going to glean from putting your own neck on the line.
Although I’m not totally au fait with the platform, I think the T-14 Armata doesn’t even have a commander’s cupola.
Updated. Many thanks for all the questions.
Best place to find the HW collective is on Facebook. I see such rules as being very much part of the damage process. However, I did trial (and abandon, I hasten to add) some morale rules that applied only to infantry type elements. These allowed these elements to acquire negative M through damage. They could move a (positive, obviously) distance equal to their -M as long as it was towards a building and didn’t take them closer to an enemy element.
My thinking is that STOVL aircraft pilots aren’t dumb enough to land in a hot zone. However, I suppose then I have to justify why regular aircraft have rules for TO&L, to which the answer is: because people expected them. It should be quite easy to make up your own STOVL rules by amalgamating the rules for regular and rotary aircraft (Mb of +2, cannot hover for more than one action and able to perform a bank as a take-off action, say, just off the top of my head).
I’m working on a set of advanced rules, so this could be something to incorporate.
No, they can’t, and I’ve updated the OP accordingly. It’s not a balancing mechanic per se so much as a mechanical to make players think tactically about how they choose and use their aircraft upgrades.
Rotary aircraft can operate as gunships and spotters, which is what rotary aircraft do IRL, whilst VTOL aircraft can swoop in at low altitude, drop a bunch of SF and then rocket out of there at high speed to provide air support, but they can’t so easily hang around in VTOL mode, because they have to do it at altitude 1, making them much more vulnerable to enemy fire.
Thank you for asking, Sid. I replied on YouTube as well. Katie is correct: there are no absolute weapon ranges (I detest such things!). You roll your Facebook dice, and try to beat the range, plus Armour, plus cover, to the target. For each dice group that succeeds, you get one hit. If you just follow the rules in the book, you should work it out, so I’ll not update the questions.
Q. In the wording for the stealth suite upgrade for mechs, it refers to “opposing mechs”. Should this be “opposing elements”?
A. Yes, it should.
The first question is answered. The second question is answered by the first. The third question refers to a rules currently in beta-testing, so I won’t provide an answer in the OP, but you’re right: it should be possible to take all-drone/robot armies. I think in my head I’d already changed those to free upgrades to some extent, so I’ll review it for the final version.
Main delay to finalizing a lot of these rules is that I want to illustrate them properly with painted miniatures, but I don’t own suitable miniatures…
I’d write a supplement for Horizon Wars allowing players to take superheavy tanks with transport bays. No, wait. I already did that! Damn.
Well, in honour of the fact that it looks a bit like a hovercraft, I’d use it to playtest and illustrate my rules for landing craft and other “routes to battle” that I’m writing rules for at the moment to go into the Operation Plantagenet expansion. I love the idea of this baby ploughing up a beach, laying down brutal firepower on enemy positions before going firm and unleashing a P3 mech from the back to go stomping further up the beachhead.26/09/2016 at 15:31 in reply to: Precinct Omega 12 of the Best Entry – Earthlight Division Kill-Team #49323
Where’s your FLGS, McKinstry? I’m always keen to know where people are enjoying HW, in case I can send some practical appreciation their way.
Updated. Yes, they can. It’s an exception to the “if F=0, you can’t shoot” consequence of reaching F0. But the element still counts as being ineffective.
Yes, they can. OP updated.
On the grounds that that isn’t really a question, I won’t update the OP. However, if you’re foolish enough to let sci-fi infantry, with their fancy short range anti-armour weapons get closer enough to charge your mechs and tanks then you deserve everything you get.
😉28/08/2016 at 19:12 in reply to: Horizon Wars: Precinct Omega "12 of the Best" Contest Entry #47572
Nice. I really like the alt-historical use of the rules. I’ll give more detailed feedback once the competition is finished.
Updated 16 August 2016.11/08/2016 at 18:21 in reply to: HorizonWars – Hard SF Wargaming from Osprey Publishing/Precinct Omega #46356
Fairly sure everyone did, Mike.11/08/2016 at 16:48 in reply to: HorizonWars – Hard SF Wargaming from Osprey Publishing/Precinct Omega #46342
OK, let’s look at the AA question first.
No, in principle there’s no reason not to give the AA upgrade to non-mech elements for house-rule purposes. It’s not an option for them in the rules because dedicated anti-aircraft elements have no good reason for being involved in battles that are supposed to represent the “big hand/small map”, Cold War style of open warfare. Review the use of AA elements in history and you’ll find that they are positioned in the rear echelon to protect logistical assets or on the home front to defend against enemy strategic strikes.
However, I recognized that people would want them in the game, so I added rules for mechs to be upgraded to AA elements. Mechs are wacky, experimental elements to begin with, so it isn’t so odd to find them on the front line. But it also means that there’s a hint there for people who want to design fixed AA batteries or AA conventional elements for home-made scenarios representing the defence of the logistical rear echelon.
As for tac-nukes…
I really decline to believe in any such thing, even at 2mm or 3mm. A nuke is a strategic asset, and there’s plenty of evidence to illustrate that being behind hard cover isn’t going to save your arse from the effects of having all the air sucked from your lungs and replaced with molten, radioactive dust.
However, given that this is *your* fictional universe, feel free to have nukes operate differently (or call them something else). Still, for an example of why you might not want to unleash a strategic asset on a tactical battle, I would refer you to Warhammer 40k 2nd Edition and the thing of beauty that was the vortex grenade. It’s not that you can’t write rules that will work or that you couldn’t make an argument for the presence of such a monstrosity in your army list. It’s that doing so is basically creating a honking great fun vacuum that will render your (or your opponent’s) carefully planned strategy and finely judged tactical decisions null and void, because someone decided to press the big red middle finger button.
If you want to embed nukes into your game’s idiom (to use your word, because it’s a *good* word), I’d recommend making it part of the game’s situation: this battle takes place immediately *after* a nuclear strike, so everyone’s in full CBRN mode, running around in Noddy suits. The terrain would all become treacherous. All buildings would be ruins and hazardous. Infantry would lose its Alert ability (due to the Noddy suits).
That’s my thoughts, for what they’re worth.
Not so much a rules question, but:
I seemed to have a much stronger force then my opponent who just chose Mechs and Conventional forces. A Conventional Force CHQ can take Mechs as well – no other restrictions?
Obviously, it depends a bit on what conventional forces your opponent took. But mechs really are very good. If a mech-heavy force can’t win against a force with no mechs, then someone isn’t designing or using his mechs properly.
Updated 23 July 2016
For an effective digicam/MTP effect, use a sponge and apply blotches of dark brown, pale green and black over a dark green base. Each new layer should be applied more lightly than the previous one. Pick out weapons in black, visors in yellow or blue and bare faces in flesh tones. Wash the whole with a dark brown wash. Quick and surprisingly good-looking. I’ll try to post an example later.
R.17/07/2016 at 21:43 in reply to: HorizonWars – Hard SF Wargaming from Osprey Publishing/Precinct Omega #45067
Yes! Me. I treat the little mini tank bases as heavy infantry. Otherwise, out works pretty well. Airships aren’t covered very well by the game, but you can just about get by using the super-heavy supplement.14/07/2016 at 17:02 in reply to: HorizonWars – Hard SF Wargaming from Osprey Publishing/Precinct Omega #44979
I guess this is one of those times when I look at my own design work and just have to accept that I did a poor job of executing a good idea.
I played various versions of this scenario and tweaked them as I went in response to experience. Reading over it now, I would make three simple adjustments to make the game balance better.
The first is – yes – to restrict the “only one order per turn” for the civilians to the Patrol version of the game (with a 2′ wide board, an 8″ move per turn is plenty!). The second is to change the “W” on the table size to “L”. The third is to reduce the table size for a Squadron to 6’x4′. Of course, the key issue is how far civilians can move per turn, not the size of the respective opposing forces.
That said, I would also emphasize the tactical advice given in the rulebook. The defender’s best solution to having civilians die too quickly is not to let them move on their own. Surround them with punchy protectors to block LOF (two per civvie element will usually be enough), make good use of cover and aggressively close with enemy elements. Charging is a very good option for the defender, because the critical thing is to degrade the attacker’s ability to close with and kill the civilians. The massive damage that a good charge can inflict will often be enough to either crush movement or firepower – either of which is a good option for the defender.06/06/2016 at 22:09 in reply to: HorizonWars – Hard SF Wargaming from Osprey Publishing/Precinct Omega #43005
they look good. Only comment to make is that you need to separate the Mv and Mb for your aircraft. Different rules affect each, so they need to be individually stated.
R.09/05/2016 at 17:15 in reply to: HorizonWars – Hard SF Wargaming from Osprey Publishing/Precinct Omega #41793
Annoyingly, I wrote a blog article about this but it got lost in the transition to my new website. We’re in the process of recovering it.
Bascially, the broad doctrines of mechanized infantry are covered either by Mobile Infantry or by using a combination of Light Cavalry and Light Infantry.
There are no battlefield taxis in Horizon Wars.
R.09/05/2016 at 12:45 in reply to: HorizonWars – Hard SF Wargaming from Osprey Publishing/Precinct Omega #41772
strictly-speaking, just mechs. This is due to how upgrades are bought for conventional elements (using CR), which would mean you would have to upgrade all the elements of that type to all be squadron commanders, which doesn’t make any sense at all.
But if you felt inclined to experiment, I’d be interested to hear the results.24/04/2016 at 12:10 in reply to: HorizonWars – Hard SF Wargaming from Osprey Publishing/Precinct Omega #41165
Yes. That’s an embarrassing editing failure in text copied from MechaWar material. For “mech” read “element”.23/04/2016 at 19:50 in reply to: HorizonWars – Hard SF Wargaming from Osprey Publishing/Precinct Omega #41152
A lot of reasons.
The D value represents, amongst other things, an element’s organic support assets. It’s a lot easier to give integral or close support to an infantry squad than it is to a tank. If a soldier loses his rifle or a radio, another one can be handed up the line very quickly (and the sergeant major will pencil in a severe bollocking to the offender, if he or she survives to receive it). But if a tank so much as throws a track – a comparatively quick and simple fix – it will still usually have to wait until the battle is finished before it can be addressed.
It also represents that whilst infantry are squishy – only A1 in some cases – they possess a different kind of resilience to mere armour that comes from the fraternity of a battle squad.
Less poetically, it’s also a balancing mechanic. But I wouldn’t have used this as a reason if I hadn’t already felt that the true resilience of combat infantry was accurately represented by a high D stat.23/04/2016 at 16:16 in reply to: HorizonWars – Hard SF Wargaming from Osprey Publishing/Precinct Omega #41145
It seems to be a good rounded out ruleset. Me and my mates are mustering forces (old space marine and epic minis) and looking forward to the first games. Am I right in the assumption, that it is not intended for the CAV to get rid of the vanguard rule (by command recources upgrade)?
Not only not intended, but also not implied, suggested, hinted at or otherwise permitted. If you want a tank to not have the Vanguard upgrade, take a mech.
Am I assuming right, that a conventional element can get more than one command recources upgrade?
No reason it can’t. Saw someone dump 8 CR into two elements yesterday. Now that was a recon element from nightmares!
A glut of HW AARs? Ooh, I do hope so!23/04/2016 at 08:44 in reply to: HorizonWars – Hard SF Wargaming from Osprey Publishing/Precinct Omega #41126
Yes, D is not an active stat. It’s ability to help you repair is already degraded by your damage track.
R.22/04/2016 at 17:06 in reply to: HorizonWars – Hard SF Wargaming from Osprey Publishing/Precinct Omega #41092
Thaddeus – yes, although it’ll be fairly useless before then. Plus, critical hits will usually see for a seriously damaged element long before that point.
Also, there is an oft-overlooked rule covering “ineffective” elements that applies in several missions.21/04/2016 at 06:58 in reply to: HorizonWars – Hard SF Wargaming from Osprey Publishing/Precinct Omega #41001
Faster, more resilient, more flexible.20/04/2016 at 20:06 in reply to: HorizonWars – Hard SF Wargaming from Osprey Publishing/Precinct Omega #40986
The definition of what constitutes a “mech” is somewhat loose. But I don’t mind saying that just running up some “mech” stats for a non-mech and calling it a mech isn’t really in the spirit of the game.
Of course, don’t let me tell you how to play! But without being technical about it, there are thematic reasons why conventional elements are built differently to mechs.
that said, the super heavy expansion gives rules for building super tanks at P4+.20/04/2016 at 17:35 in reply to: HorizonWars – Hard SF Wargaming from Osprey Publishing/Precinct Omega #40970
Just a reminder that the Horizon Wars Facebook page is the best place for regular updates, FAQs, clarifications and a heads-up on new material coming soon for Horizon Wars:16/04/2016 at 22:42 in reply to: HorizonWars – Hard SF Wargaming from Osprey Publishing/Precinct Omega #40788
if you’ve got three or four hours to play, you could comfortably play up to battalion level. That’s three companies of three platoons of three elements, plus support, so 30-ish?
R.16/04/2016 at 15:15 in reply to: HorizonWars – Hard SF Wargaming from Osprey Publishing/Precinct Omega #40774
playing in cm is definitely a way to approach the 2mm game if playing on a 2×2 board or smaller. If you want a “grand sweep of battle” game, though, play it in inches over a 4’x6′.