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Idea: how about warscrolls in Army?

Discussion in 'Infinity Army' started by Varsovian, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Varsovian

    Varsovian Well-Known Member

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    I've recently been looking at other miniature games (not dropping Infinity - just... expanding my wargaming interests :)). And I've noticed that some of them have a feature that seems to be absent from Infinity... One that I actually thought that might be useful?

    Basically: warscrolls!

    *ducks*

    All right, I know - warscrolls are a Games Workshop term, but a few other games (Wild West Exodus, Dark Age, Arena Rex...) use similar accessories: short, printable write-ups of specific units with all the relevant stats, explanation of skills etc. Infinity Army is a *great* army builder, but what it generates are write-ups of the whole team. Yes, these have troop stats, weapon ranges etc. - but skills are listed in name only. It saves space - but you still have to remember how each skills works etc. If you are an inexperienced player (like me), you may still be a little overwhelmed. I'm currently kind of getting into Age of Sigmar and it really does help to have a few pages of write-ups at hand, each providing a point-by-point explanation what each unit can do.

    So, how about implementing something like that in Army? An additional feature that allows you to print out write-ups for each trooper (and weapons). With short explanations: Dogged means... Multispectral Visor 2 means.... Viral Ammo means... And so on.

    What do you guys think? It could be a nice learning tool. I know it'd save me from having to annotate all my listings...
     
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  2. psychoticstorm

    psychoticstorm Aleph's rogue child
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    So you suggest an alternative Infinity army export to PDF with expanded description of skills and relevant weapons under each unit?
     
  3. Varsovian

    Varsovian Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. If I may be excused for linking to CB's competition, here's how an Age of Sigmar warscroll looks like:

    https://www.games-workshop.com/resources/PDF/Downloads//ENG_Stormcast_Sequitors.pdf

    A page and a column of text that explains all the relevant info on the Sequitors unit. Basic stats, attacks, explanation of special skills, everything. You can print out such a warscroll for all of the units you field. Yes, you end up with about ten pages to print out, but you have all of this on hand, nicely organized by unit and you don't have reference books or the wiki when playing.

    Meanwhile, with Army, you can easily check this kind of stuff when you build the list on your PC, but it gets a bit more cumbersome when playing. If you forget what a particular skill means, you either need a smartphone (or, better, a tablet) with wi-fi to check the wiki, or you need to flip through the books. When it comes to weapons, you do have them printed out, but they are all bundled up in a separate table that goes after than the trooper listings. So, if you shoot with a Ghulam and forget the Rifle stats, you need to flip to that other table (which might be on another page altogether) and find the appropriate stat line... It'd be nice if there was a complete write-up for this particular Ghulam in one place, with the trooper's firearm stats right next to the personal stats.

    I was thinking of making such write-ups myself - but that's a lot of work. If Army had a feature to print them out automatically, it'd be awesome. :)

    Here's another example - a stat card for Wild West Exodus:

    https://www.warcradle.com/images/wi...s/main-cards/WEX211110001_RANI_NIMUE_card.jpg

    Admittedly, not everything is explained there - the "Common Rules" are just listed, the same goes for special rules related to weapons. But some of the things are explained in detail.

    And here are some example cards for Dark Age:

    http://dark-age.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/2018_air_caste__web_.pdf

    Again, all info (I think?) is right there, you can pick up a card during play and check everything related to the trooper.

    As I said - I really do think Army is an amazing tool. :) But such a "warscroll" feature would be a good addition, I think. Of course, I see at as optional feature, something you can turn on or off, regarding whether you need it.
     
  4. kanluwen

    kanluwen Well-Known Member

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    Sadly it won't work out too well because the individual rules are across multiple units and many of the rules, quite frankly, are far too wordy for what they really do.
     
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  5. Ogid

    Ogid Well-Known Member

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    It smells like... TREASON! :P

    I don't think it's a bad idea at all... Not per trooper, because it's true that some Infinity abilities/equipment descriptions are quite long (plus the tables for MA and things like that), and there would also be a lot of duplicates. But an optional rules pdf tailored for that particular army could be very nice.
     
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  6. psychoticstorm

    psychoticstorm Aleph's rogue child
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    Not necessarily, depends how well can the essence of a rule be distilled and if a legend BookX pageXX can be added.

    @Varsovian Thanks for the reference links, I know the materials, but are useful for the wider discussion and people not familiar to them, it is something discussed in the past, but only for printed materials and it was not accepted because units can change and the printing material be out of use fast, on the other hand an app approach is something completely different.

    It is an interesting discussion to be had.
     
  7. MikeTheScrivener

    MikeTheScrivener O-12 Peace Kepper

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    I feel as though due to the nature of infinity's "living" rulebook and semi-frequent FAQs citing page numbers/wiki links/ FAQ sections and printing "correct" rules wouldn't really be viable
     
  8. psychoticstorm

    psychoticstorm Aleph's rogue child
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    Wiki links are ok since they get updated, page numbers not so much.
     
  9. MikeTheScrivener

    MikeTheScrivener O-12 Peace Kepper

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    true. Though printed hyperlinks have a their own set of issues....
     
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  10. psychoticstorm

    psychoticstorm Aleph's rogue child
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    You of little faith :smile: there are QRC, on a more serious note if a living rulebook is introduced the pages can be updated as required.

    In general it is an idea to be discussed.
     
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  11. Varsovian

    Varsovian Well-Known Member

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    Gah! And I don't even play JSA!

    Oh, even the AoS warscrolls have duplicate rules for similar units. For example, note the shared content between these two Lord-Arcanums:

    https://www.games-workshop.com/resources/PDF/Downloads//ENG_Lord_Arcanum_Stormcast_2018.pdf
    https://www.games-workshop.com/resources/PDF/Downloads//ENG_Astreia_Solbright.pdf

    I'd say duplicate rules wouldn't be a problem in itself. If you field 3 Ghulams with the same profile, you'd need a single warscroll for them. If you also had a fourth Ghulam with a different profile, you'd need a second warscroll for him... but it'd still be just two pages to print. Yes, there would be an overlap of content, but I'm okay with that. Being able to quickly find all the data during a game would be a priority.

    The beauty of GW's warscroll is the simplicity. You want to do something with your Gryph-riding Lord-Arcanum and don't remember what he can do? You just pick up a print-out with the big "Lord-Arcanum on Gryph-charger" title and there it is: all the info you need. Seriously, if you're new to a game, it helps *a lot*.

    So... I wouldn't be worried about the duplicate rules. I *would* be worried about how to summarize some of the more complex rules. That would require some really precise writing...

    Obviously, with the rules and units evolving, keeping an additional write-up of the rules in the Army database might turn out to be too time-consuming for CB staff... One more thing to keep updated, I know. Still, if it was possible to do something like that...

    Just suggesting, you know :) A few years ago, GW was light years beyond CB in regards to user-friendliness: everything was in the printed (and expensive) books, there were no free rules online etc. I remember that when I first learned of Infinity, I was immensely surprised: free rules? Free unit profiles? Free token templates? Free army builder??? Take that, GW! :) Currently, GW has moved more in CB's direction - AoS basic rules are free, as are the unit stats... Still, they are not CB :) But the warscrolls? As I started to read them, I honestly thought "I wish CB did something like these!". So... here's an idea for you, guys - something to pick up from the competitor :)
     
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  12. Ogid

    Ogid Well-Known Member

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    I didn't propose that because I thought summarizing rules would be too much work, but I really like that idea.
    Most rules could be reduced a lot without losing information; for particular tricky interactions you would need to go to the full text rules, but for most of them a light rules summary would be enough in game.

    And for that matter, the living rulebook would be a great step forward for this game.
     
  13. Ogid

    Ogid Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, if we assume some time invested in the rules to make a "little" version, then it can work well per unit. And that would be a great way to teach and help new players with some short and concise rules before going to the full lenght rules.
    Infinity with all his free material plus the army have a lot of great resources avaliable to players, i also noticed that when i went into this game; plus I really like its rules and mechanics (and the models are high quality too).
    However I do think they need to work in their rule system a bit more. It's a few tweaks from being a good system but very hard to learn and inaccesible to most players* to one of the best wargames rule system. It's a shame they are putting off that for so long.

    * There is no way to play this game how it is suposed to be played only with wiki/books plus FAQs, you need to spend an unholy ammount of time in the forums; the overreliance in good sportmanship and that the players would follow the RAI instead of the RAW make the system exploitable to rules lawyers (so playing versus those kind of players in this system will be a pain); and there are also some spaghetti and confusing rulles that could be reorganized/cleared
     
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  14. Varsovian

    Varsovian Well-Known Member

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    Question: what is a "living rulebook" that got mentioned?
     
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  15. Ogid

    Ogid Well-Known Member

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    I missed this one :P

    A living rulebook is a rulebook that may be edited as much as you want. Traditional rulebooks printed and distributed leave few room for changes, you will have to publish FAQs/Erratas and the players should remember the exception of the rules; so if you have too many exceptions and changes, the rules start to be cumbersome.

    A living rulebook take in count that nowadays the information is very accessible online; so instead of using books, it uses wikis or webpages with the info directly there or in downloadable and printable archives that they can easily edit.

    With this approach they can change the rules as easy as editing text in a web page / text editor, and that change is available to all players instantly. Obviously you need a changelog so the players can see what is being changed; but it’s very powerful if you see some lines are misleading or that a mechanic is not working and want to just rewrite a rule. It would be equivalent to patches in a videogame.

    This have some disadvantages; a closed book would be more pretty with all those images and perfectly fitted examples, boxes and text; and you also miss the income for selling the rulebooks (but the main income source should come from the miniatures anyway).

    But the advantages outweigh the disadvantages imo. It doesn’t matter how well you test it, hundreds of eyes will find broken and misleading rules; with the living rulebooks you can use that feedback to strength your rules. They won’t be that pretty as a physical rulebook, but they will be much more reliable and that will attract more players. The pretty and perfectly edited books could be still be sold, but with content that doesn’t need changes (the lore).
     
  16. Varsovian

    Varsovian Well-Known Member

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    Hm. Isn't CB doing that with Infinity already? I mean, we have the wiki...

    In general, I agree with you... There's one thing to consider, though: rules on a wiki are a great reference, but they can't completely replace a cohesive manual with chapters, examples etc. Meaning, a text that introduces a reader to the concepts and goals of the game, presents rules in an organic way etc. An example: I'm currently trying to play Stellaris (a PC strategy game) which has no manual - just an in-game tutorial and a wiki. And honestly, trying to make sense of this game using wiki pages is impossible. With all those interlinked pages, a new player has it very hard to understand what the game is about, how to start playing etc.

    So, a living rulebook - yes, absolutely. As long as it's a well-written rulebook, not just a collection of wiki pages.
     
  17. daboarder

    daboarder Force One Commander
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    Misunderstood the concept. A writeup of relevant rules as an option for army would be sick
     
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  18. Ogid

    Ogid Well-Known Member

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    The wiki we have right now is just an easy reference of the written rules (very useful tho); but with the exception of some minor detalis, it's identical to the rulebooks.
    But yeah, if this would be done the rules would also need a "book" format for new players with some extra verbose, not only the quick reference like the actual wiki.
     
  19. n21lv

    n21lv SymbioHate

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    It's like requesting each MTG player to have a printed copy of the CR with them when they submit their deck list for a tournament. There's too much rules interaction for this to be implemented efficiently, and while this could be helpful sometimes, it's really difficult to define a threshold for "enough" details.

    Btw, all Skills and weapons are clickable in Army mobile and will open a relevant Wiki page.
     
  20. LankyOgreBP

    LankyOgreBP Well-Known Member

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    I think the one concern with truncating rules is that sometimes the originally wording has something important in it. There are some definite advantages to your idea and there have been some games where I wish that I had something summarizing the models. But I would be worried that a summarized rule would leave some corner case off that comes back to bite a newer
     
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