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Is the game getting too complex?

Discussion in 'Access Guide to the Human Sphere' started by Space Ranger, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. Space Ranger

    Space Ranger Well-Known Member

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    I’ve been doing demos and trying to get some new blood into our game group but have had a hard time keeping people. Infinity is pretty easy to get into with a low cost to have a ready army to play, free rules, and the store we go to has some good terrain, and of course the miniatures are spectacular! But once we get some people started, they stop doing it after a while. I was told strait-up by one guy that he started doing Kill Team because the rules are easier. He just couldn’t have fun with Infinity because it was bogged down with too many rules. I’ve also been told by people that I demo that they’ve “heard” that the game is complex and not easy to do get into. It’s getting to be a bit more of a problem I think. People are too intimidated by the amount of rules.

    For me, a good example of adding rules is the new Liu Xing. Instead of keeping it simple by giving him 2 wounds like normal HI, he was given 1 wound with No-Wound Incapacitation and then giving him Bioimmunity. But that’s 2 rules added that didn’t need to be added. I’m not arguing that it’s a good or bad rule. I’m arguing that it’s too many rules! And that’s not even taking into account that each of those rules includes more rules! NWI also has Courage as a part of it. Bioimmunity you need to know how it interacts with both Shock and Viral. Then it gets weird when it’s something like DA+Shock or AP+Shock.

    I’ve also heard the complaint, and I’m starting to have this too, that no one is playing fun casual games. Everyone is using ITS missions to “practice” for a tournament it seems. And the ITS is more rules on top of what they already have. It’s starting to get to be too much and keeping new people away. Personally, I liked that it was a bit more complex than other games because you do more. But now it’s starting to be adding rules for the sake of it. I’m also starting to feel like I’m lying to new people by telling them it’s not that difficult and the base system is fine. On top of that, telling them they don’t need to worry about ITS stuff, but everyone plays those missions. I’m actually starting to dread the new book coming out. Because it’s going to have more rules that contradict or don’t interact well with existing rules. And even though it’s not out yet, I have a feeling it’s going to be the case as it always seems to be when there’s new rules.

    I also don’t think it’s right that I need tell people to go to the wiki all of the time. Trying to tell someone that the Army Builder is incorrect and to ignore that part of an “official” list and to look it up on there is stupid! Case in point: ISS have CSU’s in the Army Builder with Duo as a skill. And yet I’m being told No they don’t have Duo because it’s not in the Army List PDF that they don’t have Duo. We’ll if you actually go by the PDF, ISS can’t have CSU’s in the first place because they are not there! Again, this is confusing even to me and I’ve been playing for years! How am I supposed to explain all this to new players?

    So am I wrong? I guess we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t like some of this. But I also try to see things from their point of view as well. I thought Infinity was bit much with 1st edition and it’s just gotten more and more.
     
  2. Xenophontis

    Xenophontis Member

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    I've only been playing about a month now and I do not think the rules are needlessly complex, I had a fairly easy time getting into it. Just went 3 - 0 in my first tournament the other day! I do agree however that some of the rules/interactions seem pretty pointless/could be tweaked. I am not strictly against simplification but I also would not want to see the game overly simplified. I enjoy the rule set immensely.

    I feel like the issue of "no fun casual games" is more of an issue that is specific to certain playgroups. My FLGS meets once a week, and sure sometimes we play ITS missions for practice, but it's not strictly try hard or non-casual. Plenty of times we have just played old missions/home brew missions.

    The 2nd half of your post is of much greater concern to me, however. Having competing sources of information, both "official" is nonsensical and confusing. If you have an easily update-able app, keeping a bunch of PDFs updated seems pointless. In any business, adding additional points of failure that offer no realistic payoff, is a recipe for trouble. Also in the same vain, since the last android Army update, half of the TAK units reverted back to blank profiles with Spanish text for their link rules. I think those issues need to be resolved much more quickly, it's been several weeks now.
     
    #2 Xenophontis, Oct 30, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  3. mothman

    mothman Well-Known Member

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    I think the example you gave of the Liu Xing is a fine level of rules complexity as those are just 2 fairly common skills combined, I think for me the actual issues are not profiles having complex combinations, but actual bloat in some areas

    -Hacking
    as much as ive loved hacking being expanded in n3, and ive made use of it alot and from my experience with it, you could cut it down alot and still have it complex enough

    Killer
    -Redrum-Skullblaster-trinity-Cybermask
    basic
    -Support suit-brain blast-blackout-gotcha-spotlight-hack transport=u-turn-fairy dust-exorcism-jump-lockpick
    plus
    -same as above just the current improved stuff
    assault
    -Same as currently
    evo
    -Same as currently but bring in white hacking device + white noise
    tohaa

    split defence and white hacking devices between the evo and basic, as atm no one really cares about them. And some of the attacks from each could probably be culled as some are rarely used. Most good hackers
    that ppl will actively fight with come with better than basic programs anyway so most sword and shield skills are pointless.


    Some skills just bring more tables than needed
    -Guard is a meh skill due to being more tables, id change it to be 6th sense+Martial arts level or ODD in CC
    -same with Protheion to an extent id just swap it to be just health drain

    There are around 71 special skills on the wiki, which sounds like alot but I think its more a how you are looking at it, all skills are used across most factions, if you were comparing competetive 40k or other wargames to infinity, infinitys tons of rules is fine
    cause you would know them all for yourself rather than knowing each armies codex's that each has an inidivual set of rules for each unit. Now it does make it tricky to get started and memories them alll. I think alot of the issues with grasping them
    is the rules themselves can be tricky or complicated to get your head around for a few of them due to timing of how things work, but that is arguably from the ARO system than the rules themselves, and would require either all rules become very simple
    buffs or nerfs to basic attacks or adjustment to ARO style gameplay, you go I go of 40k allows for less precise rules because you dont have to worry about timings.

    Now the display of these rules could be improved, a 3 page cheat sheet for rules might also be very useful, especially when it comes to skills nested within. id actually kind of like all nested skills displayed on the unit profile, so a REM would list all its natural buffs
    from remote presence.

    Equipment+weapons could probably drop 3-4 things, or a few of the special weapons like Ojotniks trench hammers and other things could be just combined into generic guns


    The mess ups in the army builder are a CB mistake and should be fixed and is not really technically an issue with complexity
     
  4. Zewrath

    Zewrath Nordic Master

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    I don’t think Infinity is getting too complex but I do think it’s getting well past the point of becoming bloated. They keep going on and on with adding new rules to the game and some rules like the newest rules you have to look up on wiki because they haven’t been released yet and then there’s all the rules that has been added from ITS which has been stacking up recently: Bravery, Landing assistance, Long Service, Ironclad and Reduced Combat Groups. And this isn’t even mentioning things like Datatracker extra order, Xenotech, Designated targets etc.

    Also I want every pseudo martial arts tables axed from this game and replaced with the actual martial arts table plus a corresponding bonus. Like, the Umbra Samaritan would have Martial Arts 4 and Protheion and Protheion would say something like “CC Attacks made by a model with Protheion uses its PH attribute as damage and causes saves on BTS”. That’s it! Why remember a nearly identical table when you could just use the damn Martial Arts table...
     
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  5. MindwormGames

    MindwormGames Well-Known Member

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    Infinity is a solid game.

    I typically say that it is a game that I should absolutely hate on paper.

    I don't like Anime. I don't like overly complicated games. I don't like games with lots of special rules. I hate 'gotcha' games. I don't like games that take forever to play. I don't like playing in tournaments. I 'capital H' Hate high heels on combat armor (get your %$#^ together, CB).

    I should not like Infinity. I should hate it. I should hate the rules and I should hate the aesthetic.

    But I love it. It has become my favorite game.

    Here is why:

    Infinity is, at its core, a reasonably simple game. Order Pool, Face to Face rolls, AROs. That's the game.

    If you know that, and if you play that, you will do well.

    Sure, CB writes its rules like crazy people. Sure, there's plenty of ambiguous wording and weird interactions and outright gaping holes in the system. But that's all edge case stuff. Even this Super Jump shoot into your back arc malarky is situational at best. And when crap like this comes up, you deal with it and move on. Look it up later, maybe have an ah-ha moment. And you CAN look it up, because the rules are freely available in a searchable format.

    The reason why you CAN just deal with it and move on is because it isn't costing anyone the game. If you played better, then 99% of the time it just doesn't matter. Just. Doesn't. Matter.

    And although there's lots and lots of skills and special abilities and weapons, it almost exclusively comes down to factions having different access to common rules. Once you know cammo, you know it, regardless of which faction you are playing.

    500 different guns? Whatever. The only truly relevant question is are you at +3, 0, or -3 range. Because Infinity is a game of stacking modifiers. It doesn't matter WHERE the modifiers come from. All that matters is that you know what they are, and that stuff is all open information. Ask your opponent.

    Stacking mods, optimal engagements, whatever you want to call it, Infinity is a game of movement and positioning. And in that respect, the way models move and position feels right. Ninjas feel like ninjas. Robots feel like robots. Werewolves feel like werewolves. Snipers feel like snipers. Snozzberries feel like snozzberries! Win or lose, your models felt 'right'.

    And it happens fast! Jesus, Infinity happens fast. For a game as 'complicated' as Infinity is, it plays super, super fast. Sure, you can screw around and play a 3 hour game, but if you came to play, the game takes about 90 minutes. It plays as fast as most skirmish level games, but it feels as deep and crunchy as a full scale wargame.

    Infinity has a tempo, which is set by Order Pool, Face to Face Rolls, and AROs. A lot of times you're itching to get to that next Order. And before you know it, your Order pool is gone and your turn is over.

    That tempo also involves communicating with your opponent; constructively, helpfully, collaboratively. In a lot of wargames, your communication comes down to merely demanding necessary information.

    In infinity, you are constantly giving your opponent information. I'm spending this Order on this Model. I'm declaring this Short Skill. All good? Yes. I'm declaring this Short Skill. All good? Yes. Let's resolve. I'm now spending this Order on this Model.

    This may seem like a really fine distinction, and it is, but as a decade+ wargaming veteran I can say that it is a meaningful distinction.

    Infinity is a collaborative experience. The game is a constant stream of open information exchange, models move and feel like you want them to, and the player that plays a tighter game is usually the one that wins. This keeps players engaged in the game, invested in the result of die rolls, and satisfied with the outcome of the game.

    If you win, you know you played a better game. If you lost, you looked cool doing it.

    On paper, Infinity sucks. But I would never, ever, have a problem telling a new player or a prospective player to grab whatever they think looks fun or cool and start playing games.

    And when it comes to ITS, this gameplay format functions as a universal language. You don't have to play ITS missions, but the system serves as a common reference point for a diverse community of players.
     
    #5 MindwormGames, Oct 30, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  6. Sedral

    Sedral Invincible Officier

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    While it's entirely possible to play infinity with beer and pretzels, you need people with the same state of mind to do so. And the truth is, it's not that easy when a lot of aspect of Infinity straight-up railroad it into an hyper-competitive kind of game with a very steep learning curve: lots of rules, gotcha mechanics (TO, AD, Impersonation), the near infinite combination of action induced by the order system, etc...

    It takes a lot of time for a new player to get a firm grasp of the complexity of the game, and make it it's own. It gets even worse if he's starting to play with old timer who won't always see (or care) about his struggles, and let him drown. In the end, those who are left are usually those with a highly competitive spirit that helped them make it through a bunch of one-sided game, discovering new tricks and tactics every time, without giving up.
     
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  7. Sanjuro

    Sanjuro Active Member

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    "Is the game getting too complex?"
    Christ, yes. and the nested rules thing is nuts.
    every deep game has the same basic idea of a few fairly simple rules that combine in ways that are too difficult to foresee. NOT more rules for weapons skills and equipment. Infinitys basic mechanics are already really solid and enjoyable
     
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  8. Sanjuro

    Sanjuro Active Member

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    ...but what's wrong with Alephs Marut - surely everyone likes giant anime rabbits with MSV2 and high heels ;-^

    280807-0242-maruts-tag.jpg
     
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  9. DaRedOne

    DaRedOne Morat Warrior Philosopher
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    I agree the game is too complex. But at the same token I disagree that that is a problem that's keeping new players away.

    One thing I noticed watching people talk about Infinity and 40k is basically this, and it's a huge generalization so bear with me: 40k Players talk about scenes, Infinity players talk about rules.

    What do I mean when I say this? Well, when I see someone talking 40k, they talk about how their terminator squad survived getting hammered by enemy fire for 3 turns. They talk about their Imperial knight blowing through enemies like a hot knife through butter. They talk about that epic duel their chapter master had with a tyranid monstrous creature... And they never even mention how all those things are done through stupidly overcomplicated rules and dice rolls that take forever.

    When I see Infinity players talking about their game, they talk about how TAK is more effective at bringing camo than ISS. They talk about how they can abuse fireteam composition in Tunguska. They talk about how broken Tohaa and its annoying as fuck pokemon are. And they never mention how their Rasail tore through a whole army on its own, taking fire left and right, they never mention how their Musashi cut his way through several giant hairy wolfmen in a single turn. They never talk about the cool stuff.

    I think the point I'm trying to make is that we, as players, are often predisposed to focus on the complexity of the game because we are part of the community. And it's easy to forget that newcomers aren't. We need to learn how to boil down things to the basics, how to get back to the basics ourselves. I've had this conversation with my friends a lot: we need to be more casual about the game.
     
  10. Ben Kenobi

    Ben Kenobi Well-Known Member

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    Sry, I can you understand completely, even if I have a different opinion.
    But complexity and GW doesn't fit together. When Infinity is RISC (the game) then Kill Team is "Mensch ärgere Dich nicht" (a very simple board game).
    Yes, Infinity is complex, but I don't think of the causes you named. Strategically it is harder to learn then cause you don't have TIER 0 units and you can lose every model due to crits. You don't win only through your list you bring to the table.

    But streamlining wouldn't be a bad thing for Infinity. MA/I-Kohl/Guard is a good example, like @mothman mentioned.
     
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  11. dlfleetw

    dlfleetw Well-Known Member
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    Infinity is not a game you can play casually once a month and hope to mesh in past the vore mechanics.

    It needs to be your main game or the veterans/dedicated learners will constantly surprass/dominate you.

    In our area, for every 4 'new players' we get 1 that gets really hooked and plays long enough to get to the level where it isn't complex anymore.

    It does hurt the growth of the player base numbers wise, but we rarely have to issues finding opponents.
     
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  12. Space Ranger

    Space Ranger Well-Known Member

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    I think maybe I could have been more specific. “is the game getting too complex for beginners?” My problem is getting new people and keeping them going.

    Obviously those of us here and others that have played for a long time don’t have much of a problem. Though I hate nested skills. Martial Arts should not include Courage and Stealth. Just do it separate!
     
  13. DaRedOne

    DaRedOne Morat Warrior Philosopher
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    This type of thinking means you're losing roughly 2/3rds of the players that could be playing the game. You can be a competitive player, it's good if you are even because highly competitive players are the ones that help keep the game balanced, but demanding others to be as competitive as you are is not good.

    If people want to paint and play casually, they should be able and incentivized to do so. Even the warcor chart says it's a good idea to organize get togethers for painting and other hobby activities, so why not do that? Play some silly scenario every once in a while, or play a blatantly unbalanced 3-5 games mini campaign. Or organize days to play for the global campaigns when they show up.

    There are ways to attract casual players that we, as a community, have been ignoring because everyone is locked on the competitive mindset.
     
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  14. Brother Smoke

    Brother Smoke Contractor for Bureau Aegis

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    Is the game too complex?

    I don't think so. There is no need to memorize every rule that ever existed, only the ones that concern your units
     
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  15. Space Ranger

    Space Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Here’s another thing, I think due to the complexity, is that it takes a long time for anyone new to win against a more experienced player. It really should be the case but it doesn’t make the game fun at all for new players. I try to make sure that people are paired up with the same levels but it can’t always be done. I’ve started purposely loosing so that I don’t make them feel bad.
     
  16. MikeTheScrivener

    MikeTheScrivener O-12 Peace Kepper

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    The game isn't "too complex"

    In any ITS game you probably use around 10-15 pieces of equipment/skills.
    a third of those are die-roll modifiers
    another third cancel die-roll modifiers
    the last third are exceptions to the core rules

    It's no fun playing against someone pulling punches. a win against someone playing their hardest or even a good game you end up losing against someone who is actually playing is always more satisfying.
    no one likes feeling like a child.

    the best way to teach someone the game is to play them, probably beat them, then go over and discuss what could have been done differently, what was luck vs what was a mis-play, and how they can improve.
     
  17. Vanderbane

    Vanderbane Well-Known Member

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    One thing that I have noticed is that it helps a lot if you have multiple new players learning together. Infinity favors tactical thinking to stack those modifiers, and an experienced player will see things that a new players just can't. Having two new players play each other while an experienced player provides advice and rules resources helps these tactical decisions come about more naturally.
     
  18. DaRedOne

    DaRedOne Morat Warrior Philosopher
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    The only thing I would add to this is that a veteran should avoid giving people too many instructions. Remind them of AROs and movement rules, but let them screw themselves if they make a tactical blunder. If it's two new people playing the other person is less likely to capitalize on small mistakes as a veteran would
     
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  19. Space Ranger

    Space Ranger Well-Known Member

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    I agree but because they don't know they game, they have no clue that I'm pulling punches.
     
  20. Ben Kenobi

    Ben Kenobi Well-Known Member

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    First: Yes it is to complex for EVERY new player.
    But the reason is not the bloat of Rules. Like @dlfleetw wrote, it's not a casual game like 40k, where your strategy is to roll more dice/better modifier then your opponent.
    You have to deal with the rules and with the strategy. If you don't do it, you will lose till you do it. That's too complex for many players.
    And at the beginning WTF moments belong to the game.
    "It's not the list, it's you" is the truth of Infinity. You can netdeck a list, but if you don't really understand, what to do with it, you will not win a game.
    That's the bitter truth about Infinity.
    I have the luck of a very nice community, where you are told, what you have done wrong. Therefore you learn much even when you lose.

    But I'm the player, not the painter type and therefore I don't match some new player who where mentioned here. And I'm playing to get better, not to beat every other player.
     
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