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LeperColony

Shadows?

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Maybe it's the crews I play against, but I feel like the terrain shadow rules are one of the worst examples of reward/use vs complexity in the game.  Many, if not most, ranged actions seem to lack :ranged, which in my experience makes concealment far more important than cover in terms of game mechanics.  And yet the rules for the shadow are probably the most difficult for new players to grasp.  

Because blocking terrain can completely stop LoS it's difficult to say blocking is "worse" than conceal in terms of defense, but I can't help but feel that they should have made terrain work against all ranged attack actions rather than just :ranged actions.  In most other wargames I've played, "hard cover" like walls are better than "soft cover."

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I agree concealment feels way stronger on most matchups, but there'll be some matchups where you're facing loads of gun icons (guild..?)

I also wonder if part of the problem with the shadow complexity is just wording. I suspect it can be summarised into 3-4 bullet points.

It may also help to think of it as:

Hard cover (walls) blocks ranged entirely.

Soft cover (bushes) makes you hard to see and increases miss chance.

Softest cover (ducking behind hard cover) is the weakest of all, as part of you is clear as day. There is just less of you.

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16 minutes ago, LeperColony said:

against all ranged attack actions rather than just :ranged actions

Interesting idea. I suppose you could say it affects all non-:ToS-Melee: attacks. Cover is much weaker this version so I'm not sure if it would cripple ranged crews or not. Too big a change for now though. If you made it affect everything there is a big possibility that it would have made ranged attacks much less useful and shifted things too far to melee. It's a tricky balance, but overall I think this edition is pretty close. 

Cover is less useful than 2nd, yes. Concealing is much better most of the time, but Cover still has it's uses. Part of me does miss the simplicity of 2nd Cover though.... 

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18 minutes ago, LeperColony said:

Maybe it's the crews I play against, but I feel like the terrain shadow rules are one of the worst examples of reward/use vs complexity in the game. 

Your core point is solid though. They are definitely a clunky/complex set of rules and I hope they have a more streamlined set of cover/concealment rules next edition.

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1 hour ago, LeperColony said:

Just to be clear, I'm not proposing a core rule change.  I just think Cover is a little underwhelming as a mechanic, especially compared to its complexity.

Understood. Something to keep in mind next edition or 3.5. 

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To me the decision to add :ranged to an Action or not seems deliberately balanced around cover only affecting those actions. 

Making cover apply to all ranged actions seems like it would only result in a proliferation of "this action ignores cover" cluttering the backs of cards. 

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5 hours ago, CD1248 said:

To me the decision to add :ranged to an Action or not seems deliberately balanced around cover only affecting those actions. 

Making cover apply to all ranged actions seems like it would only result in a proliferation of "this action ignores cover" cluttering the backs of cards. 

Yeah, that wasn't really my point though.

To me, the shadow rules are too involved for the game play pay off, especially since the fact that they only impact some (I'd guess a minority, but I haven't done the math) ranged attacks.

This was more just a commentary/thought I had as opposed to an effort to affect change. 

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I don't see shadow as very complicated either. Its 3 simple Bulletin points:

Blocking Terrain with a height casts a shadow equal to it (max 3") in any direction .

If you are completly within the Shadow and the Terrain is at least as high as you it blocks every Sightline (even if the Attacker is bigger)

If you are at least partially within a Terrains Shadow and at least one Sightline is blocked you gain cover.

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8 hours ago, Tors said:

I don't see shadow as very complicated either. Its 3 simple Bulletin points:

Blocking Terrain with a height casts a shadow equal to it (max 3") in any direction .

If you are completly within the Shadow and the Terrain is at least as high as you it blocks every Sightline (even if the Attacker is bigger)

If you are at least partially within a Terrains Shadow and at least one Sightline is blocked you gain cover.

It's arguably actually 4, because you need to know cover only impacts :ranged actions.  And in fact you have to know that while all LoS effects are impacted by the sightline rules, if there is at least one clear sightline, then only :ranged gain cover.

Is it rocket science?  Okay, no.

But as someone who runs a lot of demo events, I have noticed it's one of the more difficult concepts for new players.  Even having prior wargaming experience isn't all that helpful because Malifaux's LoS rules differ significantly from those used by other games, such as the commonly employed "true" LoS.  

And it's a very detailed mechanic with ultimately a fairly reduced utility, which is the point of my post.  I feel the mechanical complexity outweighs the game play benefits.

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8 hours ago, LeperColony said:

Yeah, that wasn't really my point though.

To me, the shadow rules are too involved for the game play pay off, especially since the fact that they only impact some (I'd guess a minority, but I haven't done the math) ranged attacks.

This was more just a commentary/thought I had as opposed to an effort to affect change. 

I think you will find that the majority of attacks that do damage at more than 3" away come with a gun. Those that don't are pretty rare. Even in Neverborn, a faction famed for not having Gun actions, the majority of the actions that deal damage at range have :ToS-Range:. (I made it 13 vs 9 but I might easily have missed a few).  For guild (a gun heavy faction) it was 43 vs 13.

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5 hours ago, LeperColony said:

It's arguably actually 4, because you need to know cover only impacts :ranged actions.  And in fact you have to know that while all LoS effects are impacted by the sightline rules, if there is at least one clear sightline, then only :ranged gain cover.

Is it rocket science?  Okay, no.

But as someone who runs a lot of demo events, I have noticed it's one of the more difficult concepts for new players.  Even having prior wargaming experience isn't all that helpful because Malifaux's LoS rules differ significantly from those used by other games, such as the commonly employed "true" LoS.  

And it's a very detailed mechanic with ultimately a fairly reduced utility, which is the point of my post.  I feel the mechanical complexity outweighs the game play benefits.

As someone who has organised and conveyed 3 malifaux game days, centered on players without experience in m3e and wargaming in general with around 16 persons each day (over 30 alltogether) in the last 8 weeks; and as someone who organises a tournament next saturday for those players (20 confirmed attendees at the moment)., not one of them has had any problems grasping the shadow concept.

It's just a matter of how you explain it. Of course when you ad stuff like "arguably 4 inches" you tend to confuse people. Keep it simple, break it down to the basics and structure your explanation.

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Your inability to grasp the central pillar of the entire thread doesn't exactly inspire confidence in your analysis.

Which, to spell it out again, is an opinion that the shadow rules involve more complexity than the value they add to the game play experience.  

"I think they're fine" is a perfectly valid opinion to have as well, it's just not mine.

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