Forum Replies Created

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Author
  • in reply to: Rules Support #156784
    Stephen Holmes

    I don’t expect much, but in the 21st century, I’d expect a commercial publisher to maintain an online presence where.

    a) Players can raise queries and have them answered (especially concerning glaring typos or contadictions that escaped the editing process).

    b) Publisher maintains a live Errata, so they don’t have to answer the same question multiple times in full.


    Anything over and above that is good marketing, but not expected.

    in reply to: The averaging dice effect myth #156782
    Stephen Holmes

    Just three observations.


    1. Some gamers suffer form “magical thinking” around their dice. I’d expect regular gamers to understand fundamentals like 5,6 on a d6 being one third probability.
    2. Most games have one or two critical rolls: Usually a save, or the break test after a unit takes a drubbing. Even if dice did “even out” (They don’t) these are the rolls that make or break the army.
    3. “Luck” as a proxy for all the random factors in a game, is not the opposite of “Skill” (another nebulous term). Reducing the number of die rolls does not make a more skillful game. Eliminating all randomness makes for an extremely dull deterministic game. Learning to work within the bounds of probability is one of the higher levels skills in wargaming. I’d put it that “Luck” and “Skill” inhabit orthogonal axes.
    in reply to: List Limits #156762
    Stephen Holmes

    The designers of Hail Caesar didn’t really want to do lists. They make it plain they wanted a set that allowed you to put your toys on the table and play. But, having done lists, they seem to have gone out of their way to make life difficult for those of us that, GIVEN a set of rules to work to, feel uncomfortable breaking them. Their basic approach is ‘at least / up to’ and this causes a lot of juggling, even before you hit the list where they made a mistake and made it actually impossible to adhere to (Sassanid Persia) The (Goths) list I am painting for now demands no more than 25% cavalry, of which at least half must be heavy cavalry, at least 75% non-skirmish infanty of which at least half must be warband, and so on. so I start with 12 warband, 4 units of archers, a couple of skirmish units…. so I can have 6 cavalry…. oops I am a few points over, I will remove a skirmisher unit… dammit now I am over on cavalry…. and so on. It’s a pain in the calculator is what it is. what is your own preference for the most elegant way these sorts of limits can be applied? (Just for the record, I am very much of the ‘I think I know what they should have had in their army, let’s do that and check the lists are happy with that’ approach, but I recognise there are different strokes for different folks.)

    Ancients is heavily list oriented, probably due to its close relationship with competition gaming.


    I think that the WRG (5th?) edition lists are pretty good where the army is a simple one.

    The same lists run into real trouble when you start to combine early/middle/late era armies into one list, or incorporate other exceptions like regional or rebel armies.

    The model persisted through DBM, and has clearly influenced Basic Impetus and To the Strongest in the ancients Genre.


    I really have no idea what the Hail Caesar guys were thinking when they assembled their lists (or indeed points system).

    in reply to: d8 vs d10 #156761
    Stephen Holmes

    Depends. D10 is I would say better than D8 for the reasons stated by Mr Average, ie granularity, I think is the term. D2 is a 50-50 coin toss and D6 is stuck with increments of 17%. That’s why D% makes sense to me. Does what it says on the tin and can replicate the rolls of all other commonly used dice systems.

    I guess the clarification here is “Why is granularity a desirable thing?”

    Does it bring anything to the game?

    in reply to: What is a narrative wargame? #156760
    Stephen Holmes

    Relatively new member, and late to this conversation.

    I have seen “narrative” used in a different context where it is often used interchangeably with “cinematic”.


    Games of this type tend to draw from a few common features, which help players follow the developing story.

    The scale of the game is frequently “Large skirmish” with around half a dozen smallish units.

    One or more officers, often with specific traits, are represented, and can add their traits to units they accompany.

    Turn sequence tends to interleave, opposing units may alternate, or there may be an activate until failure mechanism.

    Rather than formal phases for movement, shooting and melee; units have a choice of actions when activating. They tend to do their thing, and sometimes trigger responses for the enemy units they interact with.

    Combat results are applied immediately, and are often more decisive than actual history would indicate.


    The result is a game where the “story” follows the activated units, and events occur in a clear sequence.

    Some games are designed to have this quality (Several of the Osprey Blue Books), others have different design objectives, but also embody a narrative play sequence (Arty Conliffe’s Crossfire).

    Stephen Holmes

    I’m a very occasional naval player.

    Mostly GQ1 – which still gets the job done.


    Downloaded find Fix and Strike 2 days ago, and am still assimilating the rules.

    There’s a lot to like there with Air and Torpedoes presented in a manageable way for tabletop play.

    The campaign system also looks promising for folks who want to conduct carrier battles.

    in reply to: Firing small arms at aircraft #156337
    Stephen Holmes

    The RAF considered 8 browning machineguns (1150 rounds per minute each) necessary to knock down enemy aircraft.

    The bullet is the same as the PBI’s rifle, but you would need a lot of Tommies to match that volume of lead.

    Light AA fire served more to hurry enemy aircraft and prevent them loitering over a target, there was little expectation of causing kills.

    Only automatic weapons were provided with specialized AA sights.


    Weird Fact: The Japanese service rifle (Arisaka) was issued with a crude anti-aircraft sight.

    in reply to: 15mm Pulp WW2 sailors #156335
    Stephen Holmes

    On a similar theme (but 28mm)

    Count Binface (Recent London Mayoral Candidate).

    He’s coming to a pulp League on my tabletop soon.

    Count Binface


    in reply to: 15mm Pulp WW2 sailors #156303
    Stephen Holmes

    A great pulp setting, full of adventure opportunities.


    New York, New York, a helluva town
    The Bronx is up, but the Battery’s down
    The monsters come from hole in the groun’
    New York, New York, it’s a helluva town!

    in reply to: Pulp Alley Solo Play — Smash & Grab #156302
    Stephen Holmes

    Thanks. How do actions work? Jungle Girl seems to have infinite dodges with no penalty for each successive one?

    Yes, when attacked, a character can shoot or brawl back, or dodge.

    Needless to say you cannot brawl against an enemy who is shooting you from distance.

    Shooting or brawling suffers a 1 die penalty for each additional use in a turn, but a winning result can damage the enemy assailant.

    Dodges don’t suffer the multi-use penalty, but you cannot hurt your assailant. Useful for staying alive, but not for writing down the enemy league’s strength.

    in reply to: Old Man Yells At Rules #156295
    Stephen Holmes

    Something that seems to have accompanied the move to “Starter Boxes” is the demise of house rules.

    Grognards of more than 3 decade of “proper” gaming will recall house rule discussions on Usenet and the like. No self respecting gaming group played “rules as written” and house rules were barely worth the name unless their page count rivaled the actual rules.

    Modern gamers seem to have avoided that obsession with “fixing” their rules. Maybe they are better indexed and edited, or maybe the trend is to play the game and quit grumbling.

    We do still see the tinkerers, but these days their energies seem better spent extending or adapting rules: There’s a War of the Roses adaptation based on original WW2 rules. Also a cowboy gunfight based on some WW2 tank rules.


    The main thing is to have fun!

    in reply to: A none violent game for a change. #156293
    Stephen Holmes

    I’ve played a couple of non-violent games.

    My entire army failed to activate, or suffered a morale failure; before the armies came to blows.

    in reply to: Frostgrave 2 – Anybody indulged? #156199
    Stephen Holmes

    I wanted to get into Frostgrave when it first came out, but d20 put me off. Those dice roll forever, never seeming to stop until they rolled off the table.

    Have you tried rolling them into a box lid, a tray or something similar.

    in reply to: Old Man Yells At Rules #156198
    Stephen Holmes

    I think that asking about rules / scale compatibility is a far more credible question.

    Some rules are very flexible in a “Fill the base with figures” sort of way.

    Rules that deal with individual figures are more inclined to favour figures matched in scale with the games move and shooting ranges.

    in reply to: Frostgrave 2 – Anybody indulged? #156154
    Stephen Holmes

    I have the book, but lockdown has intruded and prevented any play.

    Impression on reading through is that v2 balances a lot of the problems of v1. Notably:

    Range limits on the artillery like spells of the Elementalist.

    Better balance between the power/cost of henchmen.

    Less of the “Experience points for killing your enemies”.

    A few other spells buffed/nerfed for balance.


    The game is still quite similar, and won’t require players to replace their miniatures or scenario books.

    in reply to: Old Man Yells At Rules #156148
    Stephen Holmes

    A bit of fun, and very funny too.

    I recognised several opponents, but mainly myself.

    But that’s cos we old-uns have achieved self awareness; not like them young-uns with their portable telephones and their tik-toks…… (Nuuuurse, he’s up again).

    in reply to: Old Man Yells At Rules #156119
    Stephen Holmes

    The marketing model of starter packs and expansion boxes is fairly well established now.

    Players below a certain age are likely to consider this the default method to consume the hobby.

    Meanwhile plenty of independent rule authors, figure manufacturers, and companies that provide rules and figures continue succeeding with their buy what you want, from whom you want approach.

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)