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Collected FAQ/Errata Round 2

Stuck on a rules interpretation, get it answered here!
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Cry of the Wind

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Re: Collected FAQ/Errata Round 2

PostTue May 02, 2017 1:48 am

I dont disagree that this is what the rules say. I also think you're solution is the easiest Lordprinceps. The biggest problem with this games rules is that things are not really defined ever and use similar wording for different rules.
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Lordprinceps

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Re: Collected FAQ/Errata Round 2

PostTue May 02, 2017 2:58 am

Cry of the Wind wrote:I dont disagree that this is what the rules say. I also think you're solution is the easiest Lordprinceps. The biggest problem with this games rules is that things are not really defined ever and use similar wording for different rules.


Agreed; from having read the rules over several times over, I think the biggest and most concerning issue is that they're just too vague and ambiguous. It would do Hawk some good to have a Lawyer (or at least someone with lawyerish tendencies!) to go through and review the rules, editing them to be explicit and unambiguous.
While I'm not sure if DFC is complex for it to be possible, it's often said that the best game rules are Turing Complete. :D
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Bistromatic

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Re: Collected FAQ/Errata Round 2

PostTue May 02, 2017 10:07 am

This reminds me of an old argument i had with Lorn. :P
I never did get around to making a Philosophy of Rules thread but in my mind the ideal is much closer to a programming language than laws. The real world is almost infinitely complex, what is possible and expected is constantly changing but in a game like this you have a very limited set of well defined phases and possible actions. In fact, i think a Finite State Machine would be ideal to describe set of game rules. Couple a model like that with a very strict usage of keywords, well defined hooks for abilities and technical writing guidelines and i think you can get something that comes close to what i might view as ideal. For an example, i think the Attack Main Sequence in Warmachine still holds up.

Of course this is heavily coloured by my education in computer science, much like i strongly suspect Lorn has a background in law. :D Maybe i should make that thread after all...
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Re: Collected FAQ/Errata Round 2

PostTue May 02, 2017 1:13 pm

Pretty much exactly what I had in mind, Bistro. While I'm sure its audience and wargaming's doesn't necessarily overlap, Magic: The Gathering is a perfect example of unambiguous, well-defined rules. Everything is based on exact keywords with set interactions and processes. I mean, it even has a stack as a core gameplay mechanic!

Regardless of the difference between a CS or a Lawyer writing the rules, I think it's agreeable by everyone that they need to be put into hard, unambiguous language.
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Re: Collected FAQ/Errata Round 2

PostWed May 03, 2017 5:08 am

Lordprinceps wrote:Pretty much exactly what I had in mind, Bistro. While I'm sure its audience and wargaming's doesn't necessarily overlap, Magic: The Gathering is a perfect example of unambiguous, well-defined rules. Everything is based on exact keywords with set interactions and processes.

Have you ever seen the errata for Magic? It's literally a small book! I printed it out way back, over 14 years ago, and it filled a moderate sized binder.

Point being, they eventually got things straightened out, but initial releases of many, many cards over the years were full of flaws and ambiguity. It's hard for any game system to get it right the first time out of the chute. The difference here being, Dropfleet came out about 7 months ago or so, and Hawk have already come out with an Errata/FAQ that, while not complete, did address many of the worst inconsistencies; we are just peeling another layer off of the onion. Things like this are best resolved in an 80/20 fashion, which is what it appears Hawk is doing. In addition, Hawk have produced an initial version of optional, alternative Experimental Rules to 1) deal with an unforeseeable issue (tournament turns taking too long), and 2) what turned out to be some really bad ship stats and rules, correcting them. (I'm reminded of Dave's comment to me that he had to forcibly override Andy over PHR firepower, and what we initially ended up with Andy thought was "way too powerful; he wanted the number of dice per weapon cut in half." This, to me, is "Too Many Cooks" Syndrome, and why so many things in DFC rules seem jumbled compared to DzC's ruleset.)

It's a start. And getting the next wave of Errata done, tested, checked and worded properly is not something that can be "done in a day". It takes time and careful consideration on Hawk's part, for if they get the Errata wrong, they merely cut off one of the Hydra's heads, and all that that implies...

Lordprinceps wrote:I mean, it even has a stack as a core gameplay mechanic!

Last I heard, they'd removed the Stack. Too confusing for some idiots, erm, I mean, newer players. (Sorry, but I think LIFO is a pretty simple concept, but then again, I'm a computer guy -- I passed up going to law school because I found that I preferred logic to the law! Ha!)

Lordprinceps wrote:Regardless of the difference between a CS or a Lawyer writing the rules, I think it's agreeable by everyone that they need to be put into hard, unambiguous language.

Agreed.

However, an artificial sense of urgency about doing so, and doing so completely (whatever that means, it's very subjective, obviously), is not helpful. The sky is not falling, the bed is not on fire, the game is very playable as it is, with far fewer rules conundrums than I recall from my 12+ years immersed in 40K. That was a nightmare -- compared to that, what's left to be clarified is a minor annoyance that, IMHO, can be resolved in a friendly manner, even in a tournament situation; it just depends on the parties involved. It is, after all, just a game. No one is going to not be able to pay the mortgage, or not feed their kids, if they lose a $10 entry fee tournament over a ruling of a situation that no one in their gaming group has ever come up against before. Right?

I also get the sense, Cry, that what you're pushing for is a v1.1 release of the rules in the immediate future, so that people don't have to deal with a multi-paged Errata/FAQ document. I'm sorry, but does any company, of any size, have the financial resources to put out a complete revision (albeit "just" a v1.1) of a game that is just barely 7 months old? While it is true that the argument could be made that they could save future sales revenues that might otherwise be lost from people rage quitting over some ambiguity, the practical reality is they probably have thousands of copies of the current Rulebook in stock now, plus those already packaged in 2-Player Starter Sets, and it's just not a financially sound decision to write off all of that inventory when the entirety of their Errata and FAQ, no matter how large it gets, fits comfortably on the cloud and is accessible via a technology that is nearly ubiquitous -- the smartphone.

Right?
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J.D. Welch

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Re: Collected FAQ/Errata Round 2

PostWed May 03, 2017 5:12 am

BlackLegion wrote:Under the "Crippling" rules it said "when you score one or more critical hits in addition to any normal Hull Damage". You can only receive Hull Damage after you failed a saving throw (or can't save it at all). So no Hull Damage = no extra Crippling Damage roll.

Fine. I was merely pointing out the difference between "Hit" and "Damaged", I wasn't trying to apply it specifically to the Crippling rule in that previous post of mine. In some cases something just needs to be Hit, and in others it needs to be Damaged, for an effect to take place -- or, at least, that's how it can be set up, but some people confuse the two, and think they are the same thing. That's all...
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Re: Collected FAQ/Errata Round 2

PostWed May 03, 2017 6:45 am

J.D. Welch wrote:-snip-


Nah, last I've gone through, Wizards have gotten all the rules straightened out to a lawerly standard. I wasn't joking when I said it was Turing complete!
As for the stack, it still exists, It's just that damage no longer goes onto the stack.

Anyhow, enough about children's card games, and back to plastic spaceships!

While I do think Hawk is being very proactive (and rightfully so) with their errata and FAQ's, I do have to say that in terms of overall quality of life, a "total rules refurbishment" is easier to do the earlier you do it. If Hawk were to do it, they ought do it earlier and design their OS (so to speak) before a bunch of stuff has been added, simply for the sake of providing an extensible and regular framework for further additions.

I do want to point out one thing, though; the argument "it's only been 7 months" doesn't sway me as much as it should, if only for the fact that there's such a huge amount of industry wisdom already out there.
It would have been entirely acceptable 14 or so years ago, but I'd argue that the standard level of quality (in terms of unambiguity and so forth) of rules in wargaming should have raised in that time.
That's not to say that DFC's rules are bad (they're not, they just have the potential to kludge together like most other wargames), but rewriting them in a more logical and explicit manner is far easier task than actually writing new rules, a task that can be shoved off to someone who isn't the actual rules writers (in or out of company), and the final product is easy to compare and verify relative to the original rules.

But, I digress, you are right; it's not a critical issue, but one nonetheless that should be kept in mind. I trust Hawk to not kludge their rules, but it's always good to ensure it's not even a possibility :)
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Cry of the Wind

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Re: Collected FAQ/Errata Round 2

PostWed May 03, 2017 3:50 pm

How long did it take for Phase 1 version 1.1 to come out? I never even knew it was printed until someone pointed out that infiltrate is a rule in that book and I couldn't find it in my copy. You don't need to burn existing stock, just sell it off and then release the next version. Hawk has done this many times for DZC so I don't see the issue of DFC 1.1 within this year.

What I have proposed to Liam is to have a Living FAQ thread much like we had from DZC. It doesn't require a document to be made and distributed and can be updated after each event where a grey area was identified by Hawk staff. The old DZC one was treated like word of god until the real FAQ came out and it was used as the base for it. DFC could use the same treatment as it is newer and has more issues to be sorted.
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Re: Collected FAQ/Errata Round 2

PostThu May 04, 2017 6:01 am

IIRC, v1.1 of the Core Rules of DzC came out between 12 and 18 months after the game was initially released, but I think closer to 16 months, when the new plastic 2-Player Starter Set debuted (Christmastime, 2013).

v1.1 of Reconquest: Phase 1 came out last year, almost 2 years after the original book was released at GenCon, 2014.

In both cases, I believe, they waited until stock levels had reached a low enough level of the latest printing to not be too painful to write off the existing v1.0 versions. Obviously these v1.1 books were planned for well in advance.

Every vendor has to keep the news of such "upgraded" versions of existing books, etc, close to their vest, so as to not jeopardize sales revenue leading up to the release of the next version, but I wouldn't say that Hawk intentionally sold older copies after the latest ones came out (although I do know of a few distributors who did, which I find a bit shady).

What would solve a lot of problems is an electronic version that is regularly kept up to date, but once again, the economic realities of when to hire people with certain capabilities vis-a-vis projected revenues is the fly in the ointment. As Dave told me in February, he does not want to be in a situation where he has over-hired, and then has to let people go, or otherwise not be able to meet his payroll obligations. They have to be able to meet their future payroll and benefits obligations with the staff they already have on hand, and be fairly certain that they can sustain their current staff level before they can grow their staff. It's a double-edged sword -- hire too many, too fast, and the whole thing could collapse; hire too few, too late, and needed enhancements and new development can't happen in as timely of a manner as they might, and sales subsequently suffer, potentially leading to a decline in growth and/or existing players. Kinda like juggling Ginsu knives... ;)
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Re: Collected FAQ/Errata Round 2

PostTue May 09, 2017 5:42 am

Based on that I was sold a v1.0 Phase 1 months after it was a v1.1 but that isn't surprising given how hard it is to get anything stocked in Canada. Toronto has gotten better recently but there are no stores in Calgary that stock it and asking for a special order I was told the distributor literally only had Scrouge Starters, Activation Cards and Glass Corvettes for DFC.

Sounds like there won't be any living FAQ on the forums like before according to Liam but that isn't all that bad if they are putting out a new FAQ this month. The experimental rules should be reality within that frame as well which would make DFC almost complete as far as serious FAQ/Errata needs. Space Stations and Planetary Rings are the only two major sticking points that I can think of that impact most games and need FAQ.
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