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Author Topic: Core Rulebook Splitting  (Read 32235 times)

Colt Ward

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #120 on: 12 August 2019, 10:54:55 »
Again, I point to HBS's success, the House Arano book, the Beginner Box, and the AGoAC Box.  "New" to new players can totally mean 3025, and HAS for the last year.

And the comments about HBS BT that I have read is about finding those rare +++ systems, getting the Star League tech mechs, and other stuff that sets you apart from the run of the mill opponent you will see in BT.  We joked that the game replayed the old 3025 cliche, finding & defending a Star League cache of advanced designs.  While I wanted some of the story fluff about the AC, I know I was also looking for the stats on the Atlas II.

The best indicator, IMO, would be to see how many GoAC boxes sold retail in the first month and compare that to how many Clan Invasion boxes are sold as part of the KS- though you also have a bit of wiggle b/c someone could have gotten the GoAC box and went straight into using L2 designs having been familiar with those mechs from something like MWO.
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Daemion

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #121 on: 12 August 2019, 11:25:47 »
Ok... new edition it is, then.  I'll shelve my older books as the new ones come out.  At least they'll have that nice spine art to keep them company...

That's the only reason my friend bought the other rule books at all.  We don't really use the rest of them.  It's more often referencing TW and BMR plus whatever we've added to a specific AU campaign.

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kinwolf

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #122 on: 12 August 2019, 11:32:22 »
Unfortunately I get the sense that HBS's game could have been even more successful if it wasn't set in the era and area it was and achieved a lot of it's success by a sheer lack of other options for a portion of the fan base that doesn't always overlap with the tabletop crowd.

The Arano book is tougher to judge because of that.  Obviously TPTB felt there was enough return on investment to put it out but at the same time 3025 is clearly considered no longer economically viable.  At least not for anything but the briefest of stays.

Pretty sure I read in an interview that they only got a licence allowing to create the game pre-clan invasion. 

monbvol

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #123 on: 12 August 2019, 12:04:03 »
Pretty sure I read in an interview that they only got a licence allowing to create the game pre-clan invasion. 

First I've heard of that.

Not sure I'd buy it but does make a certain amount of sense when looking at when PGI introduced Clan mechs/tech.

Daemion

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #124 on: 12 August 2019, 12:10:20 »
Sarcasm/
Makes you wonder how we played the game with the BMR at only 161 pages with rules for mechs, vess, PBI, arty, and areo.
Sarcasm/

I think if TPTB want to lighten the books, take out what does not further a TT game.

Like the fiction snippets?
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Robroy

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #125 on: 12 August 2019, 12:18:14 »
Like the fiction snippets?

I did not mind them at the beginning of the books, but every chapter is getting a bit much.

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Sartris

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #126 on: 12 August 2019, 12:21:47 »
Whether or not the fiction “belongs” isn’t germane to the decision to split TacOps. Even with it removed, it doesn’t make it small enough to stay as one volume.

Daemion

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #127 on: 12 August 2019, 12:28:19 »
TW is in print. This is a thread about reprinting TO. The idea of a vehicle/infantry/etc “BMM” is one we’ve had since day one, but why does anyone feel like any of that has been abandoned if we still have all the information still available?

Ursus Major is 100% right.

Well, the idea of a reprint would be about easy accessibility, would it not? Arguments can, and are, being made that one shouldn't have to haul around a couple hundred pounds of books to have every rule on hand for the select few units I'm running in a particular game.  Equipment is one thing, but different unit types are another.  Taking the vehicles, aero, and infantry rules segments out of Total Warfare, as you've done with the BMM and giving them their own addendum book just seems logical.  After all, I don't know if a new player would be all that keen on having to repurchase the rules he already has in the boxed set or the BMM (core rules section of TW) just to get the new shiny tank toys, infantry toys, or aero toys.

I understand the reasoning behind keeping them lumped - that being that certain ones will sell less well than others - but, in the age of PDF and PoD products, is that really a detriment?

Aside: If updating equipment as new stuff comes out is an issue, might I suggest start double-siding the sheets in a Record Sheet PDF with the appropriate equipment rules for the design in question? A lot of games have such rules built into their units already on their cards, sheets, or what-have-you.  That's why Click-games were so revolutionary from the start, a quick color reference gave you all you needed to know about a certain stat ability.  I personally didn't like that it was physically attached to the miniature on an open table-top game where placement is very important, but the idea about tracking stats was sound.

This might get repeated in a new thread.


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Sartris

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #128 on: 12 August 2019, 12:34:03 »
the idea of the reprint is cost. the nature of the reprints (ie no updates apart from errata, especially changes between 3067 and 3145) to me indicates the decision to keep the current rules in print for those that still want them while they work on something else in the medium term (aka BMM starts a family)


Colt Ward

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #129 on: 12 August 2019, 12:46:47 »
Which is why I suggested taking the BA rules that I think should be in the Clan Invasion Box available as a PDF.  You can do the same with vehicles and infantry, maybe offer it as a pamphlet POD like the fiction in Beginner & GoAC.

With accessibility and ease of use being the current paradigm than all-inclusive omnibus volumes, it makes sense to provide some of the current material as a la cart.  Do they expect people who bought the BMM to buy TW to play BA, vehicles, etc if they wish to use those units?  IMO it would create a significant barrier to people playing how they want if they feel they are 'wasting' money on over half the book repeating what they already have in the BMM.

I expect BMM outsells TW for the simple reason its only mechs.  With new players I would expect TO:AR would outsell TO:AE but it would be interesting to hear how it turns out.
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Daemion

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #130 on: 12 August 2019, 12:49:24 »
If it's not apparent, Johnny-come-lately, here. I'm catching up from the start of the thread.

Combat Vehicles (etc.) aren’t in the box sets or the BMM. We are thinking of new players.

Hmmm.  Speculation: Would you, by chance, be looking at revising how they play in future game rules updates?  Like, coming up with a solidified aesthetic that is reflected in the rules?  Intriguing notion.  One I can get behind.   :thumbsup:


I did not mind them at the beginning of the books, but every chapter is getting a bit much.

Well, the short stories are a bit overdone.  I, for one, would prefer clearer section breaks.  The BMR, for example, had its own section dedicated to equipment, but TW has it all under the combat section.  Hard to reference without knowing that, and even when I know it.

Personally, Total Warfare lacks the one thing we get in every starter box, a universe breakdown and overview.  I'd personally rather the fiction had been more sourcebook oriented, than story.  Something I could reference over and over, like blurbs about how certain factions use each unit type, and what might be common, stuff you find in ye-olde field manual at the start of the units section. Doesn't have to be as verbose or complete, but something I can come back to when designing scenarios.

« Last Edit: 12 August 2019, 13:09:48 by Daemion »
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Sartris

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #131 on: 12 August 2019, 13:15:51 »
fwiw the BMM drifted back toward BMR formatting - namely a removal of fiction, separate sections for weapons and equipment, special case rules, and booting aero. with similar formatting in the new boxes, i think that it's the standard we can look forward to going forward. To me BMM is a response to much of the criticism levied against TW. for that reason as i mentioned before, i think the old rulebooks are reaching the end phase of service life, even as some of them are split into (largely unaltered) pieces

Daemion

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #132 on: 12 August 2019, 14:51:22 »
I'm almost hoping so.  One of the things that TW did, in my opinion, is port over a lot of the things wrong with the expanded BattleTech (or rather City- and AeroTech), and reworked them in the wrong way.  Tac Ops only exacerbated the problem.

I've expressed my views on the failings in many ways over the ages, so I have no reason to rehash them here.

But, one thing I wonder about printing 'advanced rules' separately to begin with is why go only one direction? They're optional rules that can be used or ignored at a whim, right? Well, why not a range of options.  Why not allow for some of the old, discarded or clarified rules to have a place as an option? The  old BMR clearing woods rules, or the even older version?  How about the accidental clearing versus accidental fires?  How about the fan favorite of ignoring skidding rules almost entirely, or with a simple PSR with no real modifier? How about stuff to make Mechs feel stronger against tanks and vehicles, like when the BattleMech first appeared? Or, how about bringing in a modified version of the BattleDroids infantry, or treat platoons like a BA squad, with each squad getting its own line? (IE a little extra detail.)  Or maybe relegating infantry to the same BMR clearing attempts with a tweak? (IE much less detail.) Or applying structural integrity to vehicles? Or the older motive and location hit tables to Vehicles?  Or, applying aero movement to AirMech mode while the LAM is on the ground map?  I could go on, but I hope you get the idea.

These are all optional rules, too, right?

Instead of just splitting up the current 'advanced rules', why not go whole hog and look at giving players different options to dial up or down the perceived strengths and/or weaknesses of different units? 

It makes me think that if the current rulebooks are on their last legs before a new reprint and compartmentalization structure, then why bother at all? Is the cost worth the potential benefit for something that is only temporary?

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Maingunnery

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #133 on: 12 August 2019, 14:57:15 »
It makes me think that if the current rulebooks are on their last legs before a new reprint and compartmentalization structure, then why bother at all? Is the cost worth the potential benefit for something that is only temporary?
Something like this:

Standard Rules (BMM): Always in Print
Expanded Rules (Aero, Vehicles, etc): Print-on-demand
Optional Rules: Print-on-demand
Herb: "Well, now I guess we'll HAVE to print it. Sounds almost like the apocalypse I've been working for...."

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Sartris

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #134 on: 12 August 2019, 14:58:28 »
then why bother at all? Is the cost worth the potential benefit for something that is only temporary?

i'm guessing money? if the books are still in demand (they are), you can sell them and put the profit into other things

Xiwo Xerase

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #135 on: 12 August 2019, 15:57:20 »
It makes me think that if the current rulebooks are on their last legs before a new reprint and compartmentalization structure, then why bother at all? Is the cost worth the potential benefit for something that is only temporary?
There is a demand for print rulebooks.  If you can meet that demand "now", that's revenue you get more-or-less "now".

Let's assume CGL is in the process of reformatting and refactoring the core rulebooks to something in the style of BMM.  (To the best of my knowledge, we haven't heard anything about this so treat this as pure speculation.)  The refactoring of the rulebooks will require x amount of time.  That x is significantly higher than the time cost of reprinting the existing core rulebooks.  Even with the split for TO, rewriting/replacing TO will require much more time than editing/splitting TO.

So now there are two choices: 1. Do they spend the effort to edit/split/update TO and bring it to market as is?  Or 2. Do they not put out TO and instead spend all of our effort on refactoring the rulebooks?

If they choose #1, yes, they put forth effort that might be wasted while they pursue the refactoring for #2 which will happen anyway.  However, they have a product they can release "now."

If they choose #2, they conserve that effort but they lose the income because TO's replacement won't be on the market for however long.  If it were three months, it might not be that bad, but it's probably projected to be closer to two years.  So that's two years in which they don't have a product to release, meaning no revenue for that product.

As long as the effort cost in #1 is less than the projected profit of #1, #1 is clearly the better choice, even if it postpones the refactoring in #2.  It's almost always better to have a product for sale and having a product available gives them more time to get it right.

Sartris

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #136 on: 12 August 2019, 16:05:21 »
especially when the product you put out to sell has development costs relatively low in money and time. if your replacement product is years out, why not continue to sell the rules in force if people buy them?

Colt Ward

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #137 on: 12 August 2019, 16:10:03 »
Daemion- because if I say TacOps vehicle survival rules everyone knows what I am talking about- or BMR vehicle rules.  In addition, some of those 'advanced' rules become 'standard' depending on the era- for example, Artillery Cannons and mixed tech designs are standard for 3100s.

One of the common complaints from a sector is rules/equipment bloat, particularly in scaring off new players.  You want to make the optional rules more complicated & bloated by adding in chunks from past rulesets that were superseded?
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Sartris

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #138 on: 12 August 2019, 16:24:09 »
Of course in a perfect world “can we please also add...?” Would always be answered “yes”

Everyone wants official recognition and validation of the way they play the game. Not everyone can have that. House rules exist, and are indeed encouraged, for that reason

If the goal is streamlining and reducing page counts (desirable to both most players and cgl), adding niche rules that increase both the size and development costs of products is not a desirable course

Ursus Maior

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #139 on: 12 August 2019, 16:26:55 »
Something like this:

Standard Rules (BMM): Always in Print
Expanded Rules (Aero, Vehicles, etc): Print-on-demand
Optional Rules: Print-on-demand
I'm very much in favor for more POD products. Especially if they'd be available in a EU friendly form, e. g. from DriveThruRPG etc.

What I would find neat, is a "Combined Arms Manual" (CAM) that works similar to the old CityTech, i. e. containing all standard rules for conventional vehicles and all types support vehicles, conventional infantry and battle armor. Basically, this would be the BMM of non-mech ground forces, including construction rules.

A lighter version of this could be part of a CityTech Kickstarter in 18-24 months. This KS would deliver a CityTech box, much like AGoAC and Clan Invasion that delivers "Combined Arms Manual" rules without support vehicles, but including construction rules.
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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #140 on: 12 August 2019, 16:31:18 »
Follow-on:

All optional rules, every campaign rules set and especially all the integrations into other BTU products (AToW, BatteForce, Alpha Strike, Inner Sphere at War etc.) could and should go into separate products. They could be POD, but honestly, they could also just go into PDFs specific for a certain rules system and get regular errata. I doubt they sell very good anyway.
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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #141 on: 12 August 2019, 16:35:07 »
I'm very much in favor for more POD products. Especially if they'd be available in a EU friendly form, e. g. from DriveThruRPG etc.

What I would find neat, is a "Combined Arms Manual" (CAM) that works similar to the old CityTech, i. e. containing all standard rules for conventional vehicles and all types support vehicles, conventional infantry and battle armor. Basically, this would be the BMM of non-mech ground forces, including construction rules.

A lighter version of this could be part of a CityTech Kickstarter in 18-24 months. This KS would deliver a CityTech box, much like AGoAC and Clan Invasion that delivers "Combined Arms Manual" rules without support vehicles, but including construction rules.
Well the generic Vehicles could use a redesign, so I would like a vehicle kickstarter (just not as large as the current one).
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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #142 on: 12 August 2019, 16:38:41 »
Well the generic Vehicles could use a redesign, so I would like a vehicle kickstarter (just not as large as the current one).

Extremely unlikely to happen. Too many generic sci-fi and moderns that work perfectly as proxies. CAV bones minis in particular have already filled that niche for me.

Sartris

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #143 on: 12 August 2019, 16:43:05 »
I would anticipate another mech Kickstarter before vehicles


Daryk

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #144 on: 12 August 2019, 17:17:27 »
These things: https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Heavy_Rifle
Right... Rifle Cannons... thanks!  :thumbsup:

Ursus Major: Since I bought BMM, I'd be more than happy to shell out for a Combined Arms Manual...  :)

And yes, I will begrudgingly buy the split TO volumes so I can keep up with the errata.

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #145 on: 12 August 2019, 17:53:20 »
I'm way, way, way late to the party here (at least in Internet-years), but at this point I'm OK with them splitting up TacOps to get it back in print with little or no changes beyond including errata. I'm a PDF-first kind of guy. I only really buy the books as a backup and to help show which products I really like.

In general, though, I think the rules are about ready for a change. The BattleTech game rules have been around long enough that they have become like the tax code: They get tweaked, and patched, and added on to until they become too big to manage. Then every few years, after things have grown to the point of getting out of hand, they get overhauled to simplify and clean things up. Whole sections get thrown out or replaced, and we start the cycle all over. It seems to happen with most of these long-running games like D&D or Warhammer. Total Warfare has been around for quite a number or years now. At this point I'm thinking Total Warfare has gone on about as long as its going to, and I'm expecting a new rules release coinciding with a time jump after IlClan gets wrapped up. I may be reading too much into things, but it would make some sense to do a rules re-write and time jump at the same time.

Daryk

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #146 on: 12 August 2019, 18:06:02 »
If BattleTech goes the way of D&D or Warhammer,  I think it'll lose a number of fans...

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #147 on: 12 August 2019, 18:17:04 »
If BattleTech goes the way of D&D or Warhammer,  I think it'll lose a number of fans...

In what way? Not trolling, honest curiosity.

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #148 on: 12 August 2019, 18:46:53 »
If BattleTech goes the way of D&D or Warhammer,  I think it'll lose a number of fans...

Anything they do will cost them a number of fans. Taking a time jump, not taking a time jump; supporting 3025, not supporting 3025; supporting the Clan Invasion Era, not supporting the Clan Invasion Era; supporting the Dark Age, not supporting the Dark Age...

I imagine they're as tired as I am of vague threats like these, that anything new they try will cost them fans. They need new fans no matter what happens, because eventually the few thousand "loyal" fans they struggle not to offend will die off and leave them with no customers whatsoever. And frankly, they need customers a lot more than they need fans anyway.

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Re: Core Rulebook Splitting
« Reply #149 on: 12 August 2019, 18:59:35 »
In what way? Not trolling, honest curiosity.
New editions every couple of years that invalidate what players had before.  That seems to have been the 40K model for a while.