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New summoning rules and rules bloat.


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Most people I've talked to with concerns about the new rules focus on how clunky they are. I worry about this resulting in 'rules bloat' over time, with more and more complexities are added in to try to balance it.

What perfectly encapsulated it all was when I was talking to my friend and we raised the issue of what we are going to do with new players trying to learn the summoning rules. They are SO clunky, I can't imagine trying to teach them to a new player on top of everything else in Faux, already one of the most complex games I play.

For example, think of a situation where...

  • Guard Patrol 1 (which was hired), can do everything normally.
  • Guard Patrol 2 (which was summoned this turn) can't do anything for friendly schemes and strats, and can't interact, but the opponent can score off of them.
  • Guard Patrol 3 (which was summoned last turn) can't do symbols or break the line, but can do half of turf war and anything on corrupted leylines.

I was going to list out a whole bunch of other complexities, like going through interactions with the schemes, but I realised this probably already makes the point.

There's the additional complexity, where if someone asks "can my summon do leylines", they now need to go read multiple parts of the rules (the main rules and the GG2 section on summons).

In my view, what they should have done was just do each strategy and scheme on a case-by-case basis for summons. If Break The Line said that summons can't interact, that would then make it really clear. If someone asks "can my summon do leylines" the answer should ideally be as close to "read the strategy" as possible.

Anyone else worried about the rules bloat issue (nothing to do with balance, just how clunky it is to learn and track all this)?

P.S. Overall great job, Wyrd. Really looking forward to the season :)

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21 minutes ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

In my view, what they should have done was just do each strategy and scheme on a case-by-case basis for summons. If Break The Line said that summons can't interact, that would then make it really clear. If someone asks "can my summon do leylines" the answer should ideally be as close to "read the strategy" as possible

I don't like it in each strat because that sets you up for a diff issues instead of 'can my summon interact with strat markers in gg2' it's 'what version of turf war are we playing?'

I know this is effectively the same if only the gg2 version changes, but I don't like having to remember which schemes / strats slightly change over gaining grounds (and I like to make games of all ggs rather than just sticking to gg2).  So for me it's way easier to say 'oh were in gg2 for this game? Good. No strat interacting for summons'

Strat based rules regarding who can interact could be ok, but I don't like how in the same GG a strat marker could/couldn't be interacted if it was written that way, and that's also confusing (specially for new players).

I think if anything the biggest miss on this was that there wasn't a Wednesday post talking about the changes to summons so everyone knew what was going on / that there were rule changes in this GG.  instead everyone had to hunt around which makes it feel a lot more 'how is anyone expected to know / find this info?'

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Personally I wish the summon change went into the core rules (not because i think it's perfect but more for ease of finding all the rules), but I get that putting it in the gg let's them decide if it works/doesn't without forcing them to amend core rules next year if they decide it was too much.

Hilariously since the summon rule is in the gg rules section rather than the strats + core rules themselves I guess metas + to's could just decide not to use em....

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10 minutes ago, muraki said:

I don't like it in each strat because that sets you up for a diff issues instead of 'can my summon interact with strat markers in gg2' it's 'what version of turf war are we playing?'

I know this is effectively the same if only the gg2 version changes, but I don't like having to remember which schemes / strats slightly change over gaining grounds (and I like to make games of all ggs rather than just sticking to gg2).  So for me it's way easier to say 'oh were in gg2 for this game? Good. No strat interacting for summons'

Strat based rules regarding who can interact could be ok, but I don't like how in the same GG a strat marker could/couldn't be interacted if it was written that way, and that's also confusing (specially for new players).

I think if anything the biggest miss on this was that there wasn't a Wednesday post talking about the changes to summons so everyone knew what was going on / that there were rule changes in this GG.  instead everyone had to hunt around which makes it feel a lot more 'how is anyone expected to know / find this info?'

This is a bit of a separate issue, in that I think they should just update the strategies. There's no reason to have 2-3 versions of the same strategy.

3 minutes ago, muraki said:

Personally I wish the summon change went into the core rules (not because i think it's perfect but more for ease of finding all the rules), but I get that putting it in the gg let's them decide if it works/doesn't without forcing them to amend core rules next year if they decide it was too much.

Hilariously since the summon rule is in the gg rules section rather than the strats + core rules themselves I guess metas + to's could just decide not to use em....

Yeah, but that just makes it even more awkward to prepare "here's several different ways of playing the rules. Good luck figuring out which one you're playing when you visit the neighbouring city!"

Overall, I've also just heard the opinion that summons are now more trouble than they're worth (although I think summons were fine in GG0). There's just a lot of layers of complexity getting added.

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7 minutes ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

Yeah, but that just makes it even more awkward to prepare "here's several different ways of playing the rules. Good luck figuring out which one you're playing when you visit the neighbouring city!"

Hehe didn't say it was a good idea, just a funny one.

7 minutes ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

Overall, I've also just heard the opinion that summons are now more trouble than they're worth (although I think summons were fine in GG0). There's just a lot of layers of complexity getting added.

It's possible.  I don't play summoners as often so it hasnt hit my bread and butter as much yet. 

I do think this pushes summoners a bit farther away from my 'youre a new player and you like a summoner? Go for it' list (they were already a bit far from that with the cost of entry).  Now that they require you to understand the rules better / remember interactions on your models it's even tougher for a new player.  That said a lot of summoners are already a bit of a burn (with the variable tn and all) so I'm sure summoner players will be up to the challenge.

I think the thing I'm most interested in is if the weakening of summoners will have people pushing for summoners with more worthwhile non-summon actions/be upset over masters who are super invested in their summons.  I know m3e isn't as bad as m2e was in this way, but if I'm playing a summoner now, and I already hired 1/2 my schemers and my hand is junk. I may reach for other actions over the summon rather than fishing / stoning / etc. 

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2 minutes ago, muraki said:

Hehe didn't say it was a good idea, just a funny one.

It's possible.  I don't play summoners as often so it hasnt hit my bread and butter as much yet. 

I do think this pushes summoners a bit farther away from my 'youre a new player and you like a summoner? Go for it' list (they were already a bit far from that with the cost of entry).  Now that they require you to understand the rules better / remember interactions on your models it's even tougher for a new player.  That said a lot of summoners are already a bit of a burn (with the variable tn and all) so I'm sure summoner players will be up to the challenge.

Yeah, I think that there a lot of players that start that I'd now just say "look, playing a summoner as your first master isn't a good idea" at this point. As you say, it was always a bit of a stretch, but now it is even moreso. Seems really punishing for the casual community.

4 minutes ago, muraki said:

I think the thing I'm most interested in is if the weakening of summoners will have people pushing for summoners with more worthwhile non-summon actions/be upset over masters who are super invested in their summons.  I know m3e isn't as bad as m2e was in this way, but if I'm playing a summoner now, and I already hired 1/2 my schemers and my hand is junk. I may reach for other actions over the summon rather than fishing / stoning / etc. 

Yeah, this is a bit of a different topic, but with Dreamer for instance I've always found the "summon 2 models, run in with the cricket bat" is a good way to handle turn 3. After that, you really don't need your summons anymore, as it just isn't as efficient to summon a model for 1-2 turns vs. 4-5.

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5 minutes ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

Yeah, I think that there a lot of players that start that I'd now just say "look, playing a summoner as your first master isn't a good idea" at this point. As you say, it was always a bit of a stretch, but now it is even moreso. Seems really punishing for the casual community.

Agreed.  I always try and think about the casual community, cause even tho I know I'm not playing tourneys, I'm here on this forum a lot, which means I'm definitely not what anyone would consider a 'casual' faux player.  When gameshops open back up I'll have to see how some of the folks who haven't played faux in 6+ months feel about some of these rules / what people coming in feel regarding what's easy / hard to understand.  I hope I'm overly worried regarding summoners and I feel fine recommending Dreamer / etc to new players (cause they'll still be drawn to the sculpts.  Hopefully this is a case of 'we played so much without these rules, it feels tough to understand but new players will just learn it this way and roll with it (much as there were a lot of things about the M3e switch that were difficult for me as a m2e player to understand).

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1 hour ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

Yeah, I think that there a lot of players that start that I'd now just say "look, playing a summoner as your first master isn't a good idea" at this point. As you say, it was always a bit of a stretch, but now it is even moreso. Seems really punishing for the casual community.

Which is supposed to be more punishing for a "casual" player, the fact that they'll have to buy far more models than a non-summoning master (and want to become familiar with far more models), or that the mechanics for summoning are more complex than a non-summoning master?

 

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4 minutes ago, solkan said:

Which is supposed to be more punishing for a "casual" player, the fact that they'll have to buy far more models than a non-summoning master (and want to become familiar with far more models), or that the mechanics for summoning are more complex than a non-summoning master?

 

Well, experiencing both issues is certainly the most punishing option 😜

Summons were already a dice-y idea, but if people were into it I would just tell them about the purchasing obstacles. Now it'll be something I recommend more strongly to avoid.

Also some casual players LOVE big crews. Like a lot of new players are drawn to Dreamer's gorgeous keyword and don't mind painting up the whole thing (and I think you only need 3 big boxes + Teddy to basically have the keyword).

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There certainly is more rules bloat to it, I don't disagree. My first question would be why are you teaching new casual players with the optional rules in the tournament pack?  ( there are perfectly valid reasons why, but to an extent gg is not intended for casual players. It is to provide more variety for regular players that have played 20+core rules and looking for a change, so adding extra rules is less an issue

I'm not sure that just putting it in certain strategy rules rather than the gg document is any less complicated, I would have thought it was more so. 

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4 hours ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

Most people I've talked to with concerns about the new rules focus on how clunky they are. I worry about this resulting in 'rules bloat' over time, with more and more complexities are added in to try to balance it.

What perfectly encapsulated it all was when I was talking to my friend and we raised the issue of what we are going to do with new players trying to learn the summoning rules. They are SO clunky, I can't imagine trying to teach them to a new player on top of everything else in Faux, already one of the most complex games I play.

For example, think of a situation where...

  • Guard Patrol 1 (which was hired), can do everything normally.
  • Guard Patrol 2 (which was summoned this turn) can't do anything for friendly schemes and strats, and can't interact, but the opponent can score off of them.
  • Guard Patrol 3 (which was summoned last turn) can't do symbols or break the line, but can do half of turf war and anything on corrupted leylines.

Don't forget Patrol 4, who was previously Mounted Guard 2 (summoned), died and replaced, but retained the summoning token...

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50 minutes ago, Adran said:

There certainly is more rules bloat to it, I don't disagree. My first question would be why are you teaching new casual players with the optional rules in the tournament pack?  ( there are perfectly valid reasons why, but to an extent gg is not intended for casual players. It is to provide more variety for regular players that have played 20+core rules and looking for a change, so adding extra rules is less an issue

I'm not sure that just putting it in certain strategy rules rather than the gg document is any less complicated, I would have thought it was more so. 

That's a fair point, you can always put it up further on the learning curve.

But it is a bit awkward to teach someone how to play and then be like "oh, but this isn't how it is actually played in the tournament next month."

EDIT: Fair point about complexity, it may not be a great solution either!

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7 hours ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

Yeah, but that just makes it even more awkward to prepare "here's several different ways of playing the rules. Good luck figuring out which one you're playing when you visit the neighbouring city!"

Which will absolutely be the case considering the route Wyrd is going (GG2, Titles) - we already kinda have this situation, now when it comes to dual Masters and it will increase; maybe even exponentially. 

While it's no big deal for competitive play (rules/variables for the mode are usually officially anounced before) it might become a relevant issue when trying to promote the game and/or geht/keep in touch with other metas.

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3 hours ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

That's a fair point, you can always put it up further on the learning curve.

But it is a bit awkward to teach someone how to play and then be like "oh, but this isn't how it is actually played in the tournament next month."

EDIT: Fair point about complexity, it may not be a great solution either!

How different is it to all the various variants that GG suggest, such as Singles, Classic, Bans which you might be running in the upcoming tournement?  (singles probably being the most common change you are likely to see).  

I'm coming from a very different place, so I can't really say. Last edition they changed the Reconnotre strategy to Interference and it only changed counting unengaged models in a quarter instead of all models, and kill strategies change from points killed, to models killed to a sliding scale based on points fairly often,  so this rule is not clunky to me. As a new player that hadn't seen several different things that can be done to change the scoring of the game this may well seem like a huge thing. 

Whilst I am a big advocate of people playing in events as soon as possible, if you are teaching someone the rules and expect them to play an event you probably want to teach them the rules to that event. (Even to the extent that if the strategies and schemes are revelaed in advance you might want to play one of the rounds of the event to help. )

 

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40 minutes ago, Adran said:

How different is it to all the various variants that GG suggest, such as Singles, Classic, Bans which you might be running in the upcoming tournement?  (singles probably being the most common change you are likely to see).  

I'm coming from a very different place, so I can't really say. Last edition they changed the Reconnotre strategy to Interference and it only changed counting unengaged models in a quarter instead of all models, and kill strategies change from points killed, to models killed to a sliding scale based on points fairly often,  so this rule is not clunky to me. As a new player that hadn't seen several different things that can be done to change the scoring of the game this may well seem like a huge thing. 

Whilst I am a big advocate of people playing in events as soon as possible, if you are teaching someone the rules and expect them to play an event you probably want to teach them the rules to that event. (Even to the extent that if the strategies and schemes are revelaed in advance you might want to play one of the rounds of the event to help. )

 

I think the thing with all those other funky formats is that they're pretty unusual, but yeah, it's true you can treat the GG as something separate from the core rules and then it all sort of balances out.

It helps to see it as special tournament modifications.

And after playing Break The Line against Kirai, it definitely is good that you can't use summons for that strategy xD She'd have cleaned up otherwise.

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7 hours ago, Maniacal_cackle said:

Summons were already a dice-y idea, but if people were into it I would just tell them about the purchasing obstacles. Now it'll be something I recommend more strongly to avoid.

I don't get it. Aren't most Summoners actually good purchases in that they tend to make good use of their keyword models? I mean, no matter the Master you kinda need three or four boxes for a "full" crew. I suppose you can make do with two but those will be quite weak crews for the most part.

Looking at Summoners, Dreamer is four (plus Teddy, I suppose), Somer is four, Dashel is four, Hamelin is four, Kirai and Asami are five which is kinda a lot admittedly, and Sandeep is awkward but I don't see that as a massive downside and definitely not something I would strongly recommend to avoid. I mean, most keywords are four boxes, I believe. I would far more suggest avoiding the weaker keywords as those are much more likely to result in sadness and frustration down the line. (I remember someone asking for help with his Wong crew against his buddy's Tara and they both had only those crews :()

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3 minutes ago, Math Mathonwy said:

I don't get it. Aren't most Summoners actually good purchases in that they tend to make good use of their keyword models? I mean, no matter the Master you kinda need three or four boxes for a "full" crew. I suppose you can make do with two but those will be quite weak crews for the most part.

Looking at Summoners, Dreamer is four (plus Teddy, I suppose), Somer is four, Dashel is four, Hamelin is four, Kirai and Asami are five which is kinda a lot admittedly, and Sandeep is awkward but I don't see that as a massive downside and definitely not something I would strongly recommend to avoid. I mean, most keywords are four boxes, I believe. I would far more suggest avoiding the weaker keywords as those are much more likely to result in sadness and frustration down the line. (I remember someone asking for help with his Wong crew against his buddy's Tara and they both had only those crews :()

I think part of it is you can play some masters quite well with 2 (like Molly), or even just 1 box + versatiles.

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While the rules did get clunkier, it may actually make summoners better first masters. Summoning has been decreased in value a lot, so that actually means the choice of what to summon is simplified. You don't have to worry about scoring the strat, or the schemes that turn. It makes you use the models you hired for scoring. Summons are mostly there for denial now.

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I think rules bloat is something to watch out for. But, I think it's also worth noting that Malifaux is probably the most complicated skirmish game on the market, even after the 3rd Ed simplification. If complexity is going to put a new player off, they are not likely to enjoy Malifaux. 

Complexity for complexity's sake is bad. But here it was for balance. 

I'm significantly more worried about stuff like Cadmus getting an upgrade at deployment which exists because there just wasn't enough space on her card to explain all her abilites. Or EVS and cheating using stuff in the opponent's discard which opens up a whole new, complex set of rules and interactions for things that previously were not important.

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23 minutes ago, Thatguy said:

 

I'm significantly more worried about stuff like Cadmus getting an upgrade at deployment which exists because there just wasn't enough space on her card to explain all her abilites. 

I assumed this was because they wanted some "permanent" rules in the crew, not just relient on you leader being alive to create them. Which is why it's an upgrade rather than on the card. It lets them make token creating models that don't use the tokens in anyway, which was not the case in any of the other token crews. 

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5 minutes ago, Adran said:
35 minutes ago, Thatguy said:

 

I assumed this was because they wanted some "permanent" rules in the crew, not just relient on you leader being alive to create them

I'm 90% sure yet added that abilites after realizing it wasn't going to fit on the card. Otherwise it could have been an upgrade that attached when she died like Asami's Soul keeps Emerald Shimmer in the crew after she is killed.  It's an essential part of the crew's function. 

Conversely Parasitic Grasp is an essential part of the crew. But Connected Conciousness isn't.

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10 hours ago, Thatguy said:

I'm 90% sure yet added that abilites after realizing it wasn't going to fit on the card. Otherwise it could have been an upgrade that attached when she died like Asami's Soul keeps Emerald Shimmer in the crew after she is killed.  It's an essential part of the crew's function. 

Conversely Parasitic Grasp is an essential part of the crew. But Connected Conciousness isn't.

I imagine it went the other way. Parasitic grasp is essential ( even more so than emerald shimmer) so they knew they were having an eternal upgrade, and decided it wanted something else to be interesting so added connected consciousness which may have expanded in space since it was on the upgrade. After all while it is wordy it is just a worst " adrift in time" so the " power" isn't in its size. 

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With most games, you tweak rules, faq+ errata, then it becomes too much and you up version releasing everything fresh.

I would imagine we have errata for explorers coming then errata for titles then we will see M3.5e.

The forum is filled with little tweaks people want to see - wyrd seem surprisingly good at making a small change that affects more than expect, in a good way. But there's only so far that can go.

I'm sad to see nothing to fix Rasputin (although never played her, so can't be sure if everyone saying she's terrible is something I should worry about).

 

As far as summons go, it looks like the card errata generally nerfed summoners, then the core rules errata nerfed summons, then GG2 nerfed summons again. I would have been happy with summon tokens and the nerf to summoners - it would have make playing games much easier than the current mash up! Most games you could have ignored the tokens because most crews won't have a model which could have taken advantage of them.

 

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7 hours ago, Adran said:

I imagine it went the other way.

That's definitely a possibility.

My only real evidence is how wordy Nexus's card is. I'm not sure what card in the game has the most text, but Nexus has to be close. She definitely takes it if you include upgrade. Unless maybe Yan Lo includes all of his. 

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