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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple?

 
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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/11/2017 11:40:57 AM   
Crossroads


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That's a great opening post. I do however agree with Wings7 that computer and board games have never been in better shape

For boardgames, crowdsourcing has allowed for all types of game designers to gauge a popularity of their idea, and to actually go and produce the game once they have the bids in. There's a reneissaince of new games, even. It is just awesome.

Ditto for computer games, with relatively small teams being able to bring new games into market. Special nod of appreciation to Matrix Slitherine for hosting such a plethora of game design studios in their portfolio.

Tactical, Grand Tactical, Operational, there's quite a selection available each, and with varying complexities, including mid-level difficulties.

Cowed by War In the East? Try Decisive Campaigns Barbarossa instead

As for the beer and pretzels thing.

For one, I guess what you know is easy. Is Chess a beer and pretzels game? Sure, if you know the rules and some basic (even) tactics to use. It is very Tactical too, just two little battle groups facing each others on a simple little map, with just a few unit types and no supply. And, Chess has survived for centuries, and will so in future as well.

But yeah, I don't much like the beer-and-pretzels term in itself either. Simple games (like Chess) can and ofter are just awesome. As are the well-designed more complex games too, once you've found what level you like. And navigated through the first barrier of becoming familiar with gaming mechanics

Finally, as for the opening post, I guess the real issue is nowadays it is way too easy to buy too many interesting and cool wargames, and never have the proper time to play them. I speak of experience too.

Damn Steam Sales! Damn Matrix Sales! Damn the large hard drives with their terabytes of storages!


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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/11/2017 1:25:36 PM   
MrsWargamer

 

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"Damn Steam Sales! Damn Matrix Sales! Damn the large hard drives with their terabytes of storages!"

I hear your pain :)

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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/11/2017 2:51:35 PM   
durangokid


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MrsWargamer

"Damn Steam Sales! Damn Matrix Sales! Damn the large hard drives with their terabytes of storages!"

I hear your pain :)


It's comforting when others feel the same way you do. War in the East - magnificent game. Well I'm sure it will be when I find the time to study the guide. Bought last Christmas in a burst of enthusiasm and a sale.

Maybe time to start a society? GA - Gamers Anonymous for people who just can't help themselves.

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Post #: 33
RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/11/2017 3:08:37 PM   
Crossroads


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quote:

ORIGINAL: durangokid

Maybe time to start a society? GA - Gamers Anonymous for people who just can't help themselves.



Nah. I see no need to be cured

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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/11/2017 10:03:56 PM   
ncc1701e


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tesuji

quote:

ORIGINAL: MrsWargamer

Quote Matti "You should also try SPWAW or WinSPWW2"

Actually, I've been with Steel Panthers since it was created, been with Matrix Games since 2000 and have been playing the SP Camo versions for almost as long. My favourite is SP3 Brigade Combat. Always thought it felt like Panzer Leader.



Yes, SP3 is nearly great, except for 2-3 things:

1) Tanks can´t be damaged or immobilized, it´s either kill or no scratch.
2) AI is excessively stupid. My favourite is tanks are always closing in, even if they have range advantage and should by all means stay at a distance.
3) AI buys are always the same for a given random battle; no variance.


SP3 was my first Steel Panthers game until I discover SP2. I did like the 1-1 scale for vehicles much more.
Right now, I am very tempted to rediscover the series. Steel Tigers seems not anywhere from near.

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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/12/2017 9:17:43 AM   
aaatoysandmore

 

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Heroes of Normandie is a beer and pretzels game. Empire is a beer and pretzels game.

Games that do not require much thought other than pressing a button to roll the die or move an fire are beer and pretzels games

Games where you have to think about the terrain and supply with still mostly die rolling and move an attack are intermediate games. These "can" have abstract supply and diplomacy etc. but, not in the complicated nature of an Advanced game nor any at all for that matter.

Games like War in Flames where you have to decide how many toilets you are going to install for your troops and if you have enough coal and food and fuel an ammunition and toilet paper and track and diplomacy, spying, detailed research,air warfare and logistics an above all military equipment are your more advanced games. Games with a lot of break up and break down of units in armies, corps and divisions all the way down to squads

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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/12/2017 9:31:21 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: aaatoysandmore

Games like War in Flames where you have to decide how many toilets you are going to install for your troops and if you have enough coal and food and fuel an ammunition and toilet paper and track and diplomacy, spying, detailed research,air warfare and logistics an above all military equipment are your more advanced games. Games with a lot of break up and break down of units in armies, corps and divisions all the way down to squads
warspite1

I think you are perhaps confusing World In Flames with one of the GG monsters. World In Flames in complex but is not complex in a logistics sense.


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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/12/2017 10:22:48 AM   
wings7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: aaatoysandmore

Heroes of Normandie is a beer and pretzels game. Empire is a beer and pretzels game.

Games that do not require much thought other than pressing a button to roll the die or move an fire are beer and pretzels games

Games where you have to think about the terrain and supply with still mostly die rolling and move an attack are intermediate games. These "can" have abstract supply and diplomacy etc. but, not in the complicated nature of an Advanced game nor any at all for that matter.

Games like War in Flames where you have to decide how many toilets you are going to install for your troops and if you have enough coal and food and fuel an ammunition and toilet paper and track and diplomacy, spying, detailed research,air warfare and logistics an above all military equipment are your more advanced games. Games with a lot of break up and break down of units in armies, corps and divisions all the way down to squads



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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/12/2017 11:14:53 AM   
rico21

 

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So, if I have well understand,
We have Champagne and petits fours game,
The Beer and pretzels game,
And the little last,
The Toilet paper game.

< Message edited by rico21 -- 11/12/2017 11:15:39 AM >

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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/12/2017 11:36:23 AM   
durangokid


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rico21

So, if I have well understand,
We have Champagne and petits fours game,
The Beer and pretzels game,
And the little last,
The Toilet paper game.



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Post #: 40
RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/12/2017 11:21:25 PM   
MrsWargamer

 

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I think we have a winner.

From now on, I'm calling them Toilet paper games :)

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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/13/2017 9:44:00 AM   
Red2112


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I agree with Crossroads for the most part! Darn sales for sure too! But I think our BIGGEST enemy is TIME! We just don´t have the time to dedicate, or we have more things to dedicate our time to! We also have the distraction of to many games available (maybe due to sales), and we just can´t focus on only ONE game like we used to!

Either way, I think the most interesting part of wargaming back then and now, was/is the "learning" the manual! That alone back then made you just a bit smarter! Same happend with reading simulator manuals! Both made you a better reader, educated you in some way, and made you understand other things to come in life! It enriched who was interested, which in turn also led you to discover other things!

Add to it that it works better in the boargame side, as there isn´t any other way to play the game, either you learn the rules, watch a video or the game/board will just stare at you! There´s no easy way around it (same goes for sims). Some PC games you can get away with NOT reading the rules...

Then we have the rule format, some rules are layed out in a way that only the one who wrote it understands them! Personally I find it easier to understand GMT´s or old Avalon Hill rules, alot better then the actual MMP rules! Which sometimes makes it hard to get into some games! Even some tutorials are poorly made, which just don´t help you learn the game. More thought should be put into these things. Not everybody is "technical"!

I think some are forgetting the "golden" rule for wargaming and life it´s self... "learn, adapt, survive". But a good design is always that, "good". It dosen´t have to be over-complex or the like, just like with good songs, a good song will always be good! (chess example). I for one love ALL the "Screwfly Studio" titles (Zafehouse Diares, Fear Equation and Deadnaut), a clear example of design, Inovation and Imersion! Or we have games by "Zachtronics" like "Opus Magnum"!

Overall IMHO we are in a golden age with games and such. Competition leads to evolution which in turn becomes Inovation, and that´s what is happening in the industry for most gender´s. Take flight simulation as a example, we now have most platforms on 64bit and with new simulators to choose from, with out the mention of the inovations that are being introduced lately. A whole plethora of additions to choose to make our flight more realistic and enjoyable

So, yeah I think we come along way now day´s and more and better things to choose in the future. Can we handle it? Well, if you remember not to long ago we still had to "dial" on a analog phone, then came internet with 56kb! Soon McDonalds will deliver at home via drone Welcome to the "space-age"...

Remember "The "Jetsons"



< Message edited by Red2112 -- 11/13/2017 12:40:33 PM >


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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/22/2017 4:44:35 PM   
BeirutDude


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quote:

To me, when someone refers to a game as being a beer and pretzels game it just means the game is a casual one that can be played without spending too much time in the planning and execution phases. I don't feel the term is detrimental at all.


Exactly, thank you.

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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/22/2017 4:49:50 PM   
BeirutDude


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quote:

I guess the real issue is nowadays it is way too easy to buy too many interesting and cool wargames, and never have the proper time to play them. I speak of experience too.


Yes it is. Trying to decide whether to buy TOAW IV and I was a scenario designer for past versions. Maybe when it goes on sale ;-) but right now engrossed in Command.

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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/22/2017 5:14:54 PM   
jwarrenw13

 

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I think some of the games we have today are just brilliant designs that can be played and enjoyed immensely without even knowing all the rules. That tends to be the way I play games like WITE and WITW, for example. There are entire layers of those games I have never ventured into, but I still enjoy playing them, while gradually learning more detail.

I should add here I play entirely solo. I have NO desire to play a human opponent and am unmoved when someone goes on a rant about that being the only way to really enjoy a wargame. Playing at a simpler level works well against the AI, but I know it would not work against a human opponent who knows all the rules and exploits.

I think TOAW IV is another one of those games that can be enjoyed at many levels, including a basic level against the AI without knowing all the details. I still remember what is probably my favorite computer gaming moment ever, playing my first real scenario of TOAW I, against the computer, the 1950 Korea scenario. I was just amazed at the game. And I was just getting to know it.

My point is we have some games available today that are both simple and complicated. It isn't too hard at all to get started on TOAW IV, for example. But if one reads the forum and tries to understand everything about the game at once, I can see that it can be frustrating and perhaps overwhelming for someone new to the TOAW system.

Right now I'm playing a game of Dominions IV and having a ball, but I still don't understand a great deal about the use of magic in the game. I kind of flounder around with it. I would be destroyed by a human player who understands all the systems well. But playing the computer, I'm having a great time.

I think games like that, that can be enjoyed on different levels, are just brilliant.

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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/22/2017 8:11:47 PM   
balto

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wings7

Gaming, computer and board have never been in better shape now and for the future!


I agree with this. I like intermediate and complex games and to me, I think the most important things are (1) a comprehensive non-changing manual, and (2) an awesome UI that you hardly have to refer to the manual, but if you do, well, see my bullet #1. Therefore, it is a quality of life issue in that I like to play tons of games and there is only so much free time. I do not like games where you have to be a forum dweller and the manual is either sparse or changes so much that the one that comes with the game is useless, or a combination of sparse and useless.

To me the God of Wargaming (Vic) is the best. Look at all of his works or art (Decisive Campaigns, Advance Tactics). The manuals he creates contain everything you need to know, and the UI.., come on, it is a 10. Therefore, when he puts out a game, I know that if I sit and study his manuals for say 6-10 hours, I am good to go..., forever. And the UI takes over and guides you down the rest of the road. Next to Vic, there are some that are close (Endless Space 2 for example, though not high in complexity). Europa Universalis has a great UI, but fails in that with every DLC, it brings new rules and changes to the base rules – so you need to be a forum dweller to function properly. Same with HOI 4 (which I love and follow anyway). An example of a total fail is TOAW, Admiral’s Edition, etc.., The manuals suck, and the UI suck so you must live the forum and You tube to become functional, and throughtout this painful process, things change. Check out TOAW forum that just came out.., see how many pages and pages of questions.., that will never stop. So if you do not read it every 2-3 days, you will forever be hopelessly behind.

Go to Vic’s site and check out Shadow Empire, there is not much information there but when you see his past work and he methodically asks for input from all who have valid points (not arrogant like the creators of TOAW), you know his products are a must-buy because the time you spend will pay you back 100 fold with enjoyment.

So yeah, I think the war game world is better than ever.

< Message edited by balto -- 11/22/2017 8:13:56 PM >

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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/23/2017 2:39:34 PM   
BeirutDude


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It's interesting, all of the games you tout as successes I have never played

and all of the games you tout as (lets say) less than fully successful are my main fare

That might explain my original post, I go for games that are complex and continually updated but then am stymied by the time, huge complexity and continual changes (But I do like games that are updated and are living games). I just think there is a middle ground on some, I know people say you can play games like WitE/WitW/WitP without all the gory details but doesn't seem to be as full of an experience if you don't send the Grossdeutchland Division 32 & 1/2 tons of benzine, 46 tons of beans and a full "VS" of bullets!

< Message edited by BeirutDude -- 11/23/2017 2:40:48 PM >


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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 11/23/2017 2:52:42 PM   
BeirutDude


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You might have sold me, I've never looked at Decisive Campaigns but with the sale might drop $20 on Barbarossa. Thanks!

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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 2/12/2018 7:56:45 PM   
Kuokkanen

 

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Interesting video about war game realism

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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 2/12/2018 8:18:58 PM   
Zorch

 

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quote:

Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple?


Yes.

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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 2/13/2018 1:13:11 AM   
Rosseau

 

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After many years, I recently went back to playing SSG's Battles in Italy and Battlefront. The former is circa 2005. I admit to playing games more than I should be, but the first thing that struck me was the strength of the AI versus some of the more modern operational wargames.

In my youth, I loved reading the manuals. Now I have a WitE manual 334 pages (updated with the patches, no less!) and it sits unread (so far). In the SSG games, you must read the manual. Many will recall the purple, blue and yellow dice; roundels and symbols of every description, colored bars and numbers everywhere. And each element is important in communicating what is going on with your units in the game. Keating and the late Trout were geniuses, but you had to work to understand their UI.

Anyway, someone created a scenario (TAO5) and in slowly playing as Axis, I cannot find another game that comes close to depicting the Ardennes battle. There is just so much realistic stuff included in the editor you need to consider when playing the game. My next game will be one of the great TOAW IV Bulge scenarios. While the TOAW system is infinitely more flexible in terms of creating content, imo no game has done a better job depicting Hitler's last gamble in the West.

On the down side, SSG was never able to provide us with documentation on editing the AI (that I know of), but it's fairly easy to figure out.

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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 2/13/2018 8:42:05 AM   
IainMcNeil


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I think the problem is that games with a satisfying level of complexity for most players are hard to learn. Whether you get in to it can depend how much time you have to invest, if you have someone to help you learn, etc. Games that are easy to pick up and play rarely have the depth to keep experienced wargames hooked for too long. Once they get familiar they want something more.

The ideal is to have a ramp up in complexity so you can teach players the basics and introduce complexity as you go but its very difficult and time consuming to do and wargames just don't have the budgets to do it as well as you'd like.

I don't think games are more or less complex than they used to be, but I do find I skew towards simpler games these days due to lack of time to learn and play.

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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 2/13/2018 9:05:44 AM   
altipueri

 

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Chess is beer and pretzels - no fog of war; no combat resolution table; 3 page manual
War in the Pacific - 300 page manual.

I've just played a game of chess on one of those electric boards - actually moving physical pieces, followed by an electronic beep or squeal. First time for ages I've used it - so long the batteries had gone mouldy.

Also here where I am this week - an old XP Sony Vaio circa 2002. Games on it include: Shogun and Medieval Total War, Europa Universalis 1 & 2, Hearts of Iron 1 & 2, Imperialism, TOAW - ACOW. So much for a quiet week of research, I'm going to be playing games all day.



PS - Has anybody thought of adding combat resolution to chess - e.g. queen vs pawn 90% ; rook vs rook 50% ?

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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 2/13/2018 10:45:06 AM   
Crossroads


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quote:

ORIGINAL: altipueri

Chess is beer and pretzels - no fog of war; no combat resolution table; 3 page manual
War in the Pacific - 300 page manual.

I've just played a game of chess on one of those electric boards - actually moving physical pieces, followed by an electronic beep or squeal. First time for ages I've used it - so long the batteries had gone mouldy.

Also here where I am this week - an old XP Sony Vaio circa 2002. Games on it include: Shogun and Medieval Total War, Europa Universalis 1 & 2, Hearts of Iron 1 & 2, Imperialism, TOAW - ACOW. So much for a quiet week of research, I'm going to be playing games all day.



PS - Has anybody thought of adding combat resolution to chess - e.g. queen vs pawn 90% ; rook vs rook 50% ?



Boardgames have evolved so much, with all types of new systems like activation chits and event cards added to basic boardgaming. How about adding event cards system to Chess. Each player gets a select amount of cards: Black player three because they are so bad*ss, while White player only two (but their Morale is higher for combat resolution table results).

Oh, the event cards. Everyone wants the rare Polygamy event, for they get to add two more Queens to the map.



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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 2/13/2018 12:43:25 PM   
altipueri

 

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Two queens has always struck me as un-natural. :)

--------

Said XP machine above also has Civilization 2, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Gettysburg, Waterloo; and Chessmaster.

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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 2/13/2018 1:43:38 PM   
jack54


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Crossroads

...

Boardgames have evolved so much, with all types of new systems like activation chits and event cards added to basic boardgaming. How about adding event cards system to Chess. Each player gets a select amount of cards: Black player three because they are so bad*ss, while White player only two (but their Morale is higher for combat resolution table results).

Oh, the event cards. Everyone wants the rare Polygamy event, for they get to add two more Queens to the map.




I remember an 'equal rights for pawns' movement. They're the only piece that cannot move backwards.


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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 2/13/2018 5:03:39 PM   
Crossroads


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jack54


quote:

ORIGINAL: Crossroads

...

Boardgames have evolved so much, with all types of new systems like activation chits and event cards added to basic boardgaming. How about adding event cards system to Chess. Each player gets a select amount of cards: Black player three because they are so bad*ss, while White player only two (but their Morale is higher for combat resolution table results).

Oh, the event cards. Everyone wants the rare Polygamy event, for they get to add two more Queens to the map.




I remember an 'equal rights for pawns' movement. They're the only piece that cannot move backwards.



PLA - Pawn's Liberation Army. To be feared for sure.


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RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 2/13/2018 5:56:42 PM   
z1812


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To partially answer the question. Matrix has released 17 games since August 10, 2017 which is roughly 6 months ago.

Of those 17 games there are none that are listed as beginner. 12 are intermediate, 1 intermediate advanced, 1 advanced, 1 advanced expert.

Levels of complexity are very much different for different people and depend upon a lot of variables such as age, experience and education.

As with most things, when you are learning, it is wise to start simple and move on from there.

There are a lot of wargames to choose across the companies that produce them. Many are, as the cliche goes, easy to play and hard to master.

Most games have a choice of difficulty levels but you still have to read the manual. With tool tips and pop ups games are easier to understand than they were many years ago when you had to play with the manual beside you.

To enjoy a game I find reading the manual, doing some historical research, and following the forums to be helpful. A good cup of tea or a nice glass of wine or beer also helps.

(in reply to jack54)
Post #: 58
RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 2/13/2018 6:18:01 PM   
zakblood


Posts: 18711
Joined: 10/4/2012
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for me i'm more different than most, as i approach a game or alpha and or beta / full released game wanting to be able to pick it up without reading the manual or doing that much in game regarding learning along the way, with the game fully teaching me on how to play and win without the need of anything else, while i love a good book, same as anyone, a manual isn't something i find the same as something i love like Raymond E Feist book etc, or watching a video for that matter, as if it's a training video on how to play, i'd prefer to watch a marvel film anyway, or like this morning even before i started testing, i watched the red baron, for the first time, and why not :)

so while i no longer player the beer and pretzel type much any more, i do from time to time still test them, with most of my time now spent and enjoying the mid to grog standard games, not that i'm more than average at either.

i used to be very happy with games with a 100 keyboard commands but now i find it harder and harder to remember much from one game to the next, so for me, ease of use comes before a real sim any day of the week, so if a given game or test involves too many keys or to much of my brain, i mention it as such, as we aren't all the same, enjoy the same things or can take in or keep as much information as we used to do, or some of us can't do it at all, then the fun part begins to become a bind, and we no longer play it, as it's to complicated etc.

the AI needs to make you feel your playing another human without also making you think it's cheating in the process, and a good to great AI also scales with you, so plays like a baby at the lowest level and gives you more of a challenge at the mid to high setting and plays like a pro on the highest.

so i don't want much, lol.

(in reply to z1812)
Post #: 59
RE: Are the games becoming too complicated/Simple? - 2/13/2018 6:28:51 PM   
Kuokkanen

 

Posts: 2784
Joined: 4/2/2004
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: zakblood

i used to be very happy with games with a 100 keyboard commands but now i find it harder and harder to remember much from one game to the next, so for me, ease of use comes before a real sim any day of the week, so if a given game or test involves too many keys or to much of my brain, i mention it as such, as we aren't all the same, enjoy the same things or can take in or keep as much information as we used to do, or some of us can't do it at all, then the fun part begins to become a bind, and we no longer play it, as it's to complicated etc.

One reason for that is right now we have more games available to us than before. Therefore we play more of different games now than before, which means we spend less time for a given game and its rules. But if you want to play a number of different games and still get familiar with them, focus on one game series or developer. Steel Panthers games have lots of similarities across the board: take time to master 1 of them, and you'll learn other games in short order. I can guess same goes for AGEOD and John Tiller games.

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(in reply to zakblood)
Post #: 60
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