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Re: [DBA] Re: make the rules understandable

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  • Robert Beattie
    Bob does not playtest anymore because all of his group do not like the new rules. They long for the simple game of 1.1, but will play 2.2 in a pinch. I got
    Message 1 of 194 , Nov 27, 2012
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      Bob does not playtest anymore because all of his group do not like the new rules. They long for the simple game of 1.1, but will play 2.2 in a pinch. I got them to do some giant games as a favor. I reported that they did not like the recoil rules, where an element does not just recoil its own base depth, and they did not like the Big Moves. They did not like Hordes that were tied would recoil but when just beaten they stood.

      There are two important considerations for developing rules. One is to see how they play out. Second, and of equal importance, is determining editorial how they read. I pretty much do not care anymore how a rule plays out, others can test that. Others with more historical knowledge. I just want to understand what the rule means. I am only interested in removing complexity and vagueness in the rules. Much progress has been made. Some of the" Nit Pickers" have contributed long commentaries on the clarity of the rules. Too much of this has been ignored.

      "Does not force text over on to another page" This is the heart of the complexity issue. More attention to formatting than to clarity. The text on recoil interpenetration, for example, logically belongs in the section on recoils. When a player is looking up how to do recoils, why isn't all the needed information in one place. Is it a formatting issue?

      By the way, half of the Nit Pickers have been at this for two (2) years. Some for much longer :) If we stay with it I hope we will have rules that are brilliantly clear.


      Bob




      On Nov 27, 2012, at 5:31 AM, Phil Barker wrote:

      > I make additions infrequently and in response to nit picks. The instance Bob
      > mentions arose when one such nit picker thought that Elephants, War Wagons
      > and Artillery should not be able to disembark for 1 PIP in the first bound.
      > Since it is possible to throw 1 (as some of us know only too well), if those
      > types were to cost an extra PIP to disembark, 1st bound had to be changed to
      > 1st bound in which there are enough PIPs. A brief period of discussion and
      > testing showed that it was better to ban those types from ships completely,
      > which is how it now stands. The function of a test group is to test even
      > sometimes outlandish ideas... Some such ideas have been very successful, for
      > example "fast"/"solid".
      >
      > There are indeed people among the 30 who do not send reports. This is
      > because they are part of the testing group of a player who does and report
      > through him. They are included in the address list so that they are kept up
      > to date and the group leader does not have to resend. For example, all the
      > leading members of the prolifically test gaming Denver group are on it and
      > read reports, but John Brown does the reporting, succinctly and completely.
      >
      > There is also Bob, who emails a lot with nit picks (many of which are
      > useful), but does not report any test games.
      >
      > One constant thread on this list is that the rules are not clear enough for
      > some players. To these I offer a challenge. Specify the line or sentence
      > that is giving you trouble, say what that trouble is, and suggest a form of
      > words that is better, does not force text over on to another page and has no
      > horrible unforeseen side effects. If you are successful, the rules will have
      > been improved in a small but measurable way. If enough people do this, the
      > rules will become brilliantly clear. However, the group of 30 has now been
      > doing this for a year, so either they are dumb clucks or it is not easy to
      > improve the current wording.
      >
      > Phil
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Robert Beattie
      > Sent: Monday, November 26, 2012 5:47 PM
      > To: DBA@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [DBA] Re: make the rules understandable
      >
      > Peter, well put.
      >
      > The rules are now getting quite good. Almost all of the vague or ambiguous
      > or out of sequence parts are fixed. The "nit-pickers" have been doing good
      > work, picking away at Phil's frequent additions ( like allowing Littoral
      > landings after first bound),
      > It should be noted that only about 10 of the 30 provide continuous feedback.
      >
      > There are still a few strange things to fix, like putting all the conforming
      > and turning to face rules in one section, and putting all recoil rules
      > together. There are many rules I do not like but if I can understand them,
      > I stop being bitchy about them.
      >
      > What I consider the problem now is that there is no simple explanation of
      > how to play a game. If a newbie picks up the rules, he/she should find a
      > simple description of what to do: get an army, get a board, get terrain,
      > determine defender who sets out the terrain, deploy troops, roll for PIPs,
      > move, do distant combat (make outcomes), do close combat (make outcomes),
      > alternate sides and repeat until winning conditions are met, shake hands and
      > play another game.
      >
      > I have given the book to many people of better than average intelligence
      > (God or as Phil says, the universe, has move them forward) who say, after
      > reading, "sorry Bob but I just do not understand what to do." They
      > understand that for combat, each side rolls a die (dice) and adds factor and
      > high number wins. But they do not know how to get organized to play a game.
      >
      > I fully agree with Pete's point about the FOW bootcamp (including the
      > distaste for costumes) and while perhaps not Phil and Sue, someone should
      > make a Boot Camp video for DBA. Not one that interprets the rules for
      > those whom God has kept behind, but for all who want to see how to get set
      > up to play. This may be included in Sue's book, but not in the chapters
      > that she shared earlier. Those were good on how to get an army and paint
      > it, and how to make terrain (that chapter will now be double in size), and a
      > sample game (also now needing to be more more extensive).
      >
      > So I am still trying live up to Phil's pet name for me (sexist as it is)
      >
      > Bitchy Bob
      >
      > On Nov 26, 2012, at 6:36 AM, PJ wrote:
      >
      > >
      > > Different approaches to learning a rulset are valid.
      > >
      > > I learned DBA by reading rather than bysomeone showing me. Thats a rare
      > > experience for me and I suspect for others. In reality we can only
      > > really learn a set of rules by playing, but an experienced opponent can
      > > speed that process and deepen the experience...
      > >
      > > FOW has some interesting training videos "Boot Camp" see
      > > http://www.flamesofwar.com/default.aspx?tabid=106rather
      > > <http://www.flamesofwar.com/default.aspx?tabid=106rather> odd and in
      > > Nazi uniforms mildly offensive to some of us but still handy to learn
      > > the basics. Maybe Phil & Sue can be persuaded to dress up as Claudius &
      > > Boudiccea to do the equivalent for DBA 3.0 but I rather hope not...
      > >
      > > It would make an interesting project for someone with a good video
      > > camera and some lovely figures. Once of course the rules actually get
      > > published. Lets hope that day comes soon...
      > >
      > > Regards
      > >
      > > Pete D
      > >
      > > --- In DBA@yahoogroups.com, "renegade_dalek" <timjmoore@...> wrote:
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Danny,
      > > > I agree with you 100%.
      > > > This is recognised by specialists in SEN teaching and called
      > > multi-sensory learning. My wife is such a specialist (with a string of
      > > letters to her name) and has been successfully using multi-sensory
      > > methods for many years.
      > > > We have a profoundly dyslexic member of our family who was taught in a
      > > 'traditional' way at school and failed to progress although the school
      > > condescendingly insisted that the pupil was 'very average'.
      > > > My wife organised tests that disclosed profound dyslexia. She was then
      > > able to deploy her own multi-sensory teaching skills with the result
      > > that the pupil progressed, obtained a good degree, and subsequently an
      > > impressive career.
      > > >
      > > > In this case someone who is very bright could not learn easily by
      > > 'traditional' methods. I'm certain that the style of DBA as currently
      > > written would be a barrier to such a person trying to learn the game.
      > > >
      > > > The posts here that have implied that the inability to understand
      > > densely worded text, like DBA, is a sign of lower intelligence or
      > > conversely those that can understand the text are of higher intelligence
      > > are foolish. In fact they only expose the ignorance of the poster.
      > > > If the publication style of a book becomes a vehicle for groundless
      > > prejudices I will simply walk away from the game and not look back.
      > > >
      > > > Tim Moore
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --- In DBA@yahoogroups.com, "Danny Weitz" grognard@ wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > One of the things that I learned in 42 years of teaching was that
      > > different people learn differently.
      > > > > Some learn best through text; some through visual displays; some
      > > aurally, and some even are tactile learners who in our case actually
      > > that have to have the figures and terrain in front of them.
      > > > > This does not mean that anyone is ´┐Żbrighter´┐Ż than
      > > someone else; it merely means that they learn differently.
      > > > > Danny Weitz
      > > > >
      > > > > From: brian.fritz1@
      > > > > Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2012 6:43 PM
      > > > > To: DBA@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > Subject: [DBA] Re: make the rules understandable
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > For the most part I can understand Phil Barker's rules quite
      > > adequately
      > > > > and accurately on my own or with an opponent's collaboration.
      > > > >
      > > > > I don't need the equivalents of "DBA For Dummies" or "Cliff's Notes
      > > For
      > > > > DBA" summaries. They are for people who are too lazy to carefully
      > > read
      > > > > the entire rule book.
      > > > >
      > > > > I very much like wargame rules that are written for reasonably
      > > educated
      > > > > adults.
      > > > >
      > > > > I don't like wargame rules that are written as if I was a twelve
      > > year
      > > > > old child. I didn't like when I was a twelve year old child, and the
      > > > > older I get the less I like it and the more I resent it.
      > > > >
      > > > > I don't like wargame rules that are formatted like juvenile
      > > whiz-bang
      > > > > comic books. It insults my intelligence on both intellectual and
      > > fiscal
      > > > > levels, which is why I only own any FoW publication if I can get it
      > > for
      > > > > free.
      > > > >
      > > > > When I find a set of wargame rules I really don't like, I generally
      > > > > don't play them and I certainly don't spend my money on them. I also
      > > > > don't hector, heckle, hound or harass the author(s) to change the
      > > rules
      > > > > to my opinion of what they ought to be.
      > > > >
      > > > > I like what you are doing, Phil, just the way you are doing it. Keep
      > > > > doing what you are doing, just the way you are doing it.
      > > > >
      > > > > When will some of you people finally accept "No" for an answer?
      > > > >
      > > > > Brian
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In mailto:DBA%40yahoogroups.com, Roberts Beattie <beattie@>
      > > wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Your attempt then I'm sorry to say is failing. While some people
      > > seem
      > > > > to catch on to the rules with close study, most players cannot catch
      > > on
      > > > > to the rules by reading them, without some sort of guide or, even as
      > > you
      > > > > say Using an experienced consultant to help them.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > A few readers have said that with close reading they are able to
      > > > > figure out the rules. Why is it so tedious for them. It worries me
      > > most
      > > > > that newcomers who may not know much about ancients or W RG style
      > > games
      > > > > have almost no comprehension of the game.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > The rules contain no comprehensive overview of what a person needs
      > > to
      > > > > do to play the game. Get an army, make a battlefield, make terrain,
      > > get
      > > > > a partner, placed a terrain, deploy the troops, move, shoot, combat,
      > > do
      > > > > outcomes. Win or lose the game or start a new bound. Put this on the
      > > > > inside cover.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I do truly believe that you want to make these rules
      > > understandable by
      > > > > people, but you are not succeeding with the vast majority of people
      > > who
      > > > > want to play the game.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > DBA is a wonderful game,I have enjoyed hundreds and hundreds of
      > > games
      > > > > over the past 20 years. Always struggling to understand what the
      > > rules
      > > > > are supposed to mean. And playing with people whom I have taught as
      > > best
      > > > > I could how to play. I want more people to play.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Please forget about page format and content in terms of numbers of
      > > > > words, and write the rules to explain what you intend. Don't use
      > > complex
      > > > > and compound sentences; make the rules straightforward, maybe with
      > > an
      > > > > example of what you mean now and again. Make DBA three the most
      > > > > understandable and enjoyable ancients game to date.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Bitchy Bob
      > > > > > Dictated and sent from my iPhone
      > > > > >
      > > > > > On Nov 21, 2012, at 4:30 AM, "Phil Barker" pc.barker@ wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > > I do try to make the rules understandable even to bitchy Bob...
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Phil
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > -----Original Message-----
      > > > > > > From: Roberts Beattie
      > > > > > > Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 6:37 PM
      > > > > > > To: mailto:DBA%40yahoogroups.com
      > > > > > > Cc: mailto:DBA%40yahoogroups.com
      > > > > > > Subject: [DBA] DBA needs a real introduction.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Yes Vincent this is exactly the problem the book is a book of
      > > Rules
      > > > > but no
      > > > > > > explanation. Notice how in the hott .
      > > > > > > Rules at the beginning there is a little introduction that told
      > > you
      > > > > how to
      > > > > > > play the game a little bit.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > I hope Sue's book will do this somewhat but I haven't seen that
      > > in
      > > > > the early
      > > > > > > drafts.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > The current introduction to 3.0 is pretty much worthless. Nobody
      > > > > wants to
      > > > > > > know the history of DBA or overlap with DBMM and all the other
      > > stuff
      > > > > that
      > > > > > > is there. That should be part of game philosophy maybe.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > A new person picking up the book has no idea what is going on!
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Bob
      > > > > > > Dictated and sent from my iPhone
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > On Nov 20, 2012, at 1:05 PM, vincecholewa vincecholewa@ wrote:
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Hi Ben
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > I thoroughly enjoy playing WRG rules but know many people who
      > > do
      > > > > not use
      > > > > > > > them because they find the language so difficult. That
      > > includes
      > > > > people who
      > > > > > > > own DBA 2.2 but did not play because they could not understand
      > > it.
      > > > > Part of
      > > > > > > > the issue is the rules seem to describe game mechanisms but do
      > > not
      > > > > explain
      > > > > > > > how to play the game.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Vince
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Sent from Samsung Galaxy Noteknowledge_is_my_weapon
      > > > > > > > knowledge_is_my_weapon@ wrote:
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > --- In mailto:DBA%40yahoogroups.com, "Martin" smiffft@ wrote:
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > --- In mailto:DBA%40yahoogroups.com, "kundong2012"
      > > <kundong2012@> wrote:
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > "I, and others in my group, have found that all of the
      > > answers
      > > > > are
      > > > > > > > > > there in the rulebook if you simply read the book... But
      > > > > beyond that,
      > > > > > > > > > the rulebook is very user friendly."
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > Ben, this claim is absurd.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > The nearest thing to consensus that the DBA community has
      > > > > reached is
      > > > > > > > > > that the DBA rules are difficult to understand.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > Even a short amount of time spent on this forum or at
      > > > > Fanaticus will
      > > > > > > > > > show countless players struggling with the DBA rules, and
      > > > > finding the
      > > > > > > > > > WADBAG guide a helpful compliment to the rules.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > It is demonstrably untrue that the rule book is clear.
      > > Even
      > > > > setting
      > > > > > > > > > aside the ambiguous sentence structures, there was neither
      > > > > clarity nor
      > > > > > > > > > consensus as to what the ZOC and conforming rules meant
      > > for
      > > > > over a
      > > > > > > > > > decade! How can it be claimed that the answers could be
      > > found
      > > > > by
      > > > > > > > > > "simply read(ing) the book"? Everyone was running with
      > > their
      > > > > own
      > > > > > > > > > interpretation.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > Well said, that man!
      > > > > > > > > M
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > How exactly is it absurd? If you can read at anything beyond a
      > > > > grade
      > > > > > > > school level, then you should have no trouble whatsoever
      > > reading
      > > > > the DBA
      > > > > > > > 2.2 Rulebook. The sentences are lengthy, but if you actually
      > > > > *read* them,
      > > > > > > > as opposed to just glancing over the rules then there
      > > shouldn't be
      > > > > a
      > > > > > > > problem. If it helps, try reading them out loud.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Best,
      > > > > > > > Ben
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > ------------------------------------
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      > >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Robert Beattie
      Wouldn t it be wonderful if a player could read the rules and understand them by him or herself? They would not need someone to teach them. However once having
      Message 194 of 194 , Dec 11, 2012
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        Wouldn't it be wonderful if a player could read the rules and understand them by him or herself? They would not need someone to teach them. However once having learned the rules by themselves they could then teach someone else. The number of players could be infinite then.

        If this notion of "each one teach one" is crucial to the propagation of the game, then there should be a statement on the cover of the rules that says "do not try to understand these rules by yourself , you need to find someone who already knows how to play to teach you."

        Bob
        Dictated and sent from my iPad Which (explains Spelling errors and weird grammar!)

        On Dec 1, 2012, at 5:04 AM, Phil Barker <pc.barker@...> wrote:

        > There seems to be an assumption that many pairs of players start with
        > neither having any previous experience and first sitting down and memorising
        > the book. My belief is that most players get in by being tempted or
        > dragooned by an existing player. If each existing player went out and did
        > this, the number of players would double. Go forth and multiply!
        >
        > Phil
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Mark Burton
        > Sent: Friday, November 30, 2012 11:37 PM
        > To: DBA@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: rules or riddles Re: [DBA] Diagrams again
        >
        > I say, that it would be a very interesting experiment to find a card
        > carrying member of Mensa, who grew up with English as a first language
        > and who has never played any tabletop wargaming to read the rules.
        >
        > Then tell us how they game is to be played.
        >
        > Now THAT would be quite interesting and TELLING!
        >
        > Mark Burton
        >
        > On 11/20/2012 11:13 AM, knowledge_is_my_weapon wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In DBA@yahoogroups.com <mailto:DBA%40yahoogroups.com>,
        > > "knowledge_is_my_weapon" <knowledge_is_my_weapon@...> wrote:
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > --- In DBA@yahoogroups.com <mailto:DBA%40yahoogroups.com>, "Martin"
        > > <smiffft@> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > --- In DBA@yahoogroups.com <mailto:DBA%40yahoogroups.com>,
        > > "kundong2012" <kundong2012@> wrote:
        > > > > >
        > > > > > "I, and others in my group, have found that all of the answers
        > > are there in the rulebook if you simply read the book... But beyond
        > > that, the rulebook is very user friendly."
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Ben, this claim is absurd.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > The nearest thing to consensus that the DBA community has
        > > reached is that the DBA rules are difficult to understand.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Even a short amount of time spent on this forum or at Fanaticus
        > > will show countless players struggling with the DBA rules, and finding
        > > the WADBAG guide a helpful compliment to the rules.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > It is demonstrably untrue that the rule book is clear. Even
        > > setting aside the ambiguous sentence structures, there was neither
        > > clarity nor consensus as to what the ZOC and conforming rules meant
        > > for over a decade! How can it be claimed that the answers could be
        > > found by "simply read(ing) the book"? Everyone was running with their
        > > own interpretation.
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Well said, that man!
        > > > > M
        > >
        > > And let me ask this question and then I'm going to wash my hands of
        > > the whole argument:
        > >
        > > If the rules for DBA were so ambiguous, so hard to figure out, then
        > > why are there so many people playing the game? If the rules were half
        > > as difficult as you claim and you believe the community at large
        > > claims (which is clearly not true, even if you could define the DBA
        > > community), wouldn't people have stopped playing the game? It happens
        > > all the time. I've seen dozens of games flounder because their rules
        > > were too open to interpretation, ambiguous, or whatever other label
        > > you want to attach to it.
        > >
        > > Instead, the whole argument against basic 2.2 seems entirely fueled by
        > > ego. Abrasive people who want something to complain about, and
        > > complain because they have to read something instead of having rules
        > > spoon fed to them. And when they find themselves in disagreement with
        > > one another, instead of trying to compromise or say "We'll work out
        > > later", they would rather start a pitched battle with anyone who
        > > disagrees with them, including the games creator.
        > >
        > > If I had known this was what I was getting into when I got into DBA, I
        > > wouldn't have joined.
        > >
        > >
        > > Best,
        > > Ben
        > >
        > >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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