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  1. #1

    Default We don't need MK3. What we probably need is MKB.

    Had lots of fun at a Masters very well organised by Cannonball this weekend. And once again, people were talking and discussing "MK3".

    I only asked one simple question: "What's exactly wrong with MK2?" I asked this because I don't know any other tabletop with this depth and balance. And I don't even know anyone who's playing something else but doesn't have to admit that WMH is a very good system. And we all know that WMH has removed other systems from our local metas - more or less completely. So, although I really love change, I can't see what MK3 could make better for WMH?

    The only plausible answer I got was this one: "The current state is too complex for beginners." And let's face it: it is! We all were beginners and we all know current beginners who really need to dig into the game for months if not years to get a full overview. And there's another truth here: PP most likely wants and even we - as the players - demand more casters, jacks, solos, units. Being a beginner will become even more complex from release to release.

    But: the basic rules are simply great! They are clean, easy to understand and plain lovely in my opinion. So, once again: "What's exactly wrong with MK2?" Yes, one could make a reprint (of MK2) including all the erratas. But well, that's it, isn't it?

    Anyway: This - and it most probably will be true for a MK3 ruleset! - won't help a beginner. But we all want more players: PP wants more customers, we want more diversity in our local metas, probably even on tournaments. From whatever perspective: More players are great!

    So, what we probably need is MKB: a ruleset that's a 100% derivative of MK2 but focusing on some parts of the core rules any beginner has to learn anyway. And besides MKB there should be a Steamroller for Beginners as well that allows small and competitive tournaments at small point sizes and with those MKB rules.

    Beginners wouldn't have to learn and build 50 points armies for 6+ months (it's more about 12 +/-3 I guess) to get into their first tournaments. They could easily enter at 15-25 point sizes. Probably with the juniors (instead of "real" casters), a jack and some stuff only. There are already some really good thoughts on these settings in this forum! And even long timers might love this MKB/SRB setting for short games or even 64 players tournaments ... done during one day only.

    EDIT: The challenge for PP would be the design of a limited selection of available forces/faction which would be just as balanced as they are in the "main setting" under these MKB/SRB rules. I'm sure they are able to get this done and make WMH a more beginner friendly game - again.

    What do you think?
    Last edited by @Kriegsspiele; 05-18-2014 at 10:41 PM.
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  2. #2
    Destroyer of Worlds Halcyon Dtier's Avatar
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    Game is complex for newbies, this is why we start them off with Battleboxes and work up.
    Also Journeyman leagues etc.

    I think two rule sets would be more confusing.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halcyon Dtier View Post
    I think two rule sets would be more confusing.
    I'm not talking about two differnt rulesets but a main ruleset and a 100% derivative which focuses on only some of its aspects and especially on only some available forces/faction. The same rules, but only 50% of them. The same casters, jacks, units, solos, but only 20% of them. And all of this just as balanced as the "full game" is. Battleboxes and Journeyman leagues go far beyond this. And they are not at all balanced. Beginners get a pretty wrong picture with lots of these Battleboxes.
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  4. #4

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    The game isn't complex at all, unless you're new AND try to start with a 50pt army. The difficulty would then be extrapolated if said newb goes for a faction like Circle or CoC at those point levels. As Halycon said, Battleboxes are great starting tools (but generally garbage otherwise).

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by CryxMyBits View Post
    The game isn't complex at all, unless you're new AND try to start with a 50pt army.
    But this is exactly what lots of beginners want: They want to get to 50 points "ASAP"! They want to join "the others". They want to join the tournaments. And lets face it: Most tournaments (80%?) are at 50 points and 2 lists. The Masters setting is even getting more popular. Getting to 3 50 points lists is really hard work, isn't it?
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  6. #6

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    As a I-don't-have-my-own-army-yet-type-player, the game is great.

    Whenever I have questions, my "superiors" (read: more experienced) typically help me out with any rules issues I might have and explain the game to me whenever I ask them to.

    There really isn't much wrong with the game to begin with I think, other than taking quite a bit of experience.

    Also, being hard for beginners is kind of unfounded. Considering (PP? Your LGS?) could possibly run 20-25 point tournaments, which are quite small enough I think. Although the game mainly balances out at 35+ points, which could be the happy medium for not being overbearing to beginners and providing good grounds for the experienced players to meet (if they start out immediately, then yes it could be overbearing, but a few games at that point level and they'd be fine I think.)

    Achieving greatness is also never easy, no matter how hard you try to make it so.
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  7. #7
    Destroyer of Worlds
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    It's not that the rules are very complex, it's more the cards. There are SO many of them, and their interaction with a fairly simple rule set means it's very hard to really get a grip on the game.

    What there needs to be is a severely limited set of of models. Like, a basic set. So tournaments can be run with "basic set" as the modifier. Let the faction communities or just the pg'ers come up with say three casters from each faction, and some representative models and units that go fairly well with those casters. Would take a lot of work to develop and balance, but it would mean that people could play against any opponent in the basic set, and hopefully see pretty similar lists.
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  8. #8
    Annihilator cb_crusader's Avatar
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    In my experience, what's really hard for beginners is the huge number of enemy models and abilities that you have to memorize to get a chance at not losing.

    Most casters will be able to kill you / make you lose on scenario using their "standard trick" if you've never seen it before. Even the less competitive casters like Strakhov, Mortenebra, Garryth or Morghoul2.

    The 160+ casters and 600+ models is what makes the game unfriendly for aspiring competitive players.

  9. #9

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    I don't know if it's necessary to mix the early stages of learning with a competitive environment. People seem to transition very naturally from playing the "killbox scenario" with their battle boxes all the way up to 50 point games with using real scenarios and a timer.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zealous_Table_Topper View Post
    Achieving greatness is also never easy, no matter how hard you try to make it so.
    Absolutely! What I'd love to see is a better, faster entry:

    Quote Originally Posted by SmellyTerror View Post
    It's not that the rules are very complex, it's more the cards. There are SO many of them, and their interaction with a fairly simple rule set means it's very hard to really get a grip on the game. What there needs to be is a severely limited set of of models. Like, a basic set. So tournaments can be run with "basic set" as the modifier.
    Quote Originally Posted by cb_crusader View Post
    In my experience, what's really hard for beginners is the huge number of enemy models and abilities that you have to memorize to get a chance at not losing.

    Most casters will be able to kill you / make you lose on scenario using their "standard trick" if you've never seen it before. Even the less competitive casters like Strakhov, Mortenebra, Garryth or Morghoul2.

    The 160+ casters and 600+ models is what makes the game unfriendly for aspiring competitive players.
    This is exactly what I'm talking about. I'm playing since 3+ years. And I don't even know the number of models that've been added during this period. And worse: I still want more of them: Damn, where's this Kossites UA?

    And you're right, SR might be the best place to get this done. Example: Remove all cavalry from the basic set and you're also removing a lot of (more or less: special) rules from MK2.

    Quote Originally Posted by SmellyTerror View Post
    Let the faction communities or just the pg'ers come up with say three casters from each faction, and some representative models and units that go fairly well with those casters. Would take a lot of work to develop and balance, but it would mean that people could play against any opponent in the basic set, and hopefully see pretty similar lists.
    Great ideas! And yes, it'll take a lot of effort and dedication but I'm pretty sure that it would make WMH a better place for beginners.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ullyxes View Post
    I don't know if it's necessary to mix the early stages of learning with a competitive environment. People seem to transition very naturally from playing the "killbox scenario" with their battle boxes all the way up to 50 point games with using real scenarios and a timer.
    This is not my experience: Most beginners want to get to 50 points way too fast in my opinion. They are missing to really learn and understand the core rules and get stuck with lots and lots of "special rules" from the cards ... and the complexity they now face because of all those factions.
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  11. #11

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    I just had an idea, reading through that.

    Commonly speaking, we do have common symbols like,,,, etc.

    Maybe a simpler set of rules could be used using only these commonly found symbols as a start.

    This post is merely intended to help "the system" not to "create the system".

    Cheers!

    EDIT: I'm also talking about possibly ignoring the back ends of some cards too, like Dispel, Chain Weapon, and other "uncommon" that really make some cards a headache to read.
    Denying, Comboing, and Burninating since April '14

  12. #12
    Destroyer of Worlds scout's honor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Kriegsspiele View Post
    But this is exactly what lots of beginners want: They want to get to 50 points "ASAP"!
    Not to be rude, but so what? Jumping to 50 points right away is still a bad idea even when only a basic set of models is allowed. The large number of unknown models and interactions you might run into isn't that big a deal - learning to get your own activations done effectively is the key, and that's best done by starting at lower point levels and building up. I don't really feel a need to protect new players in that regard anyway, and I certainly don't think it's a great idea to encourage players to skip the battlebox through 35 points level on account of there being a simplified ruleset. I also wonder why people so eager to "join the others" would even be interested in playing with what comes across as a dumbed down version of the game. I'd expect that kind of player to feel offended if you even make the suggestion, to be honest.
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  13. #13

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    An issue with removing rules is that new players could become jaded. They might see mediocre models as fantastic and fantastic models as mediocre, which could create a terrible stigma. It also changes the balance of factions, so they might pick up one but realize it is not exactly what they initially thought. Also, the game is balanced based on the entirety of the rules. I can certainly get behind limiting the models used in newbie games, but having a much lower model count to begin with allows players to focus on all of the presented rules rather than cherry picking them.

    I am always strongly opposed to Battlebox entry to the game because they are pretty bad, but playing Mangled Metal and Tooth & Claw is, imo, the best way to learn. New players learn how to allocate and juggle focus, how the FURY mechanic works, and how to protect the warnoun early on. Infantry should be kept off the table until the basics are learned. Solos can be an exception.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by scout's honor View Post
    I don't really feel a need to protect new players in that regard anyway, and I certainly don't think it's a great idea to encourage players to skip the battlebox through 35 points level on account of there being a simplified ruleset. I also wonder why people so eager to "join the others" would even be interested in playing with what comes across as a dumbed down version of the game. I'd expect that kind of player to feel offended if you even make the suggestion, to be honest.
    That's no difference to playing Battleboxes, is it?

    And let's be serious: It would be very helpful if the beginners' basic set would lead a path. You know better than anyone else how often people have asked "What to buy next?". - That's why I really love SmellyTerror's idea to let the faction communities help PP with limiting the available models.

    Anyway: The "core problem" are obviously those cards. And by the way: Does anyone know how many there are currently?

    Quote Originally Posted by CryxMyBits View Post
    An issue with removing rules is that new players could become jaded. They might see mediocre models as fantastic and fantastic models as mediocre, which could create a terrible stigma.
    I've made an example above: remove the cavalry from the basic set. I don't think it would have any negative impact, would it? And I'm definitely with you:

    Quote Originally Posted by CryxMyBits View Post
    It also changes the balance of factions, so they might pick up one but realize it is not exactly what they initially thought.
    This shouldn't happen. And I'm not saying that a limitation is easily done!

    Quote Originally Posted by CryxMyBits View Post
    Also, the game is balanced based on the entirety of the rules.
    I'm not sure about it. Especially not regarding the number of models. In my opinion WMH has been very well balanced 3 years ago. And we didn't have lots of models available at this point.
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  15. #15
    Conqueror
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    This already exists.

    they are called the quick start rules, and are free with any battle box.

    i think they are also on the website, does anyone have the link?
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    Holy crap, i think my Third grade English teacher just had an aneurysm.
    I got a big rules biscuit.
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    Nope; you nailed it. Thank you.

  16. #16

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    As a newer player I see no problem with the battle box entry. Learning the rules was pretty simple and I was already given the heads up that the battle boxes themselves werent the best models (as far as usefulness, quality of the actual models I am fine with). A journeymen league is a great way to bring in new players. There are already quick start rules in the battleboxes that cover the basic stuff. The advanced stuff is something you should be asking fellow players about. If they wont or dont want to answer the questions then you probably wont stick around to play, having a MKB start up rule set wont change that.

  17. #17
    Destroyer of Worlds guspm's Avatar
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    this may have been said. Beginners will still have problems because any one that has moved past MKB will not be playing MKB any more than players are playing 'not 50 point SR" right now. If you want to help new players, play lower points mangled metal/tooth and claw lists. Or run events that are not 50pt SR setups. Imagine a tournament event where you got twice as many games in the day because they were all 25pt lists. New players could join in, people would have lots of games to experience (so one bad game would not account for 25$ of their experience that day), veteran players could play with new builds or list options because they could not bring everything they wanted too, and then discover that what was working great does not hold up in the different meta for the day. Can you see it playing out in your minds eye? . . .
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowSong7007 View Post
    The advanced stuff is something you should be asking fellow players about. If they wont or dont want to answer the questions then you probably wont stick around to play, having a MKB start up rule set wont change that.
    Personally, I'm trying to help out any beginner: I'm playing with them at any point size and I'm coaching them as good as possible. What I see is that they want to join the tournaments ... but can't because they don't own the models yet.

    And the simple truth is: A lot of tournament players don't want to get below 50 points (again). They think the game is balanced only at 50 points, preferably with 2 lists and Specialists or even 3 lists in a Masters setting.

    So what do you think how long it'll take you to get there? And what would you think about SRB tournaments at 20/25/30 points with a limited set of available models that are just as balanced as those 50 points multi-list games?

    Quote Originally Posted by guspm View Post
    Beginners will still have problems because any one that has moved past MKB will not be playing MKB any more than players are playing 'not 50 point SR" right now. If you want to help new players, play lower points mangled metal/tooth and claw lists. Or run events that are not 50pt SR setups. Imagine a tournament event where you got twice as many games in the day because they were all 25pt lists.
    I'd love to see that ... but it doesn't happen. Not because "the 50 pointers" are ignorant, but simply because it's hard to get a lot of beginners together. And there's another problem:

    At 25 points you simply won't have a fair and competitive setting if you're using the standard MK2, SR rules. There are some casters and lists that would simply dominate the scene, just as some dominate Battleboxes.

    This is exactly why I believe that a limitation and a dedicated rule set is a must to get something between: A. I'm a beginner learning the core rules, B. <missing> and C. I'm playing since 12 months and can join tournaments.

    And believe me: Personally I'd love to play at a very well balanced setting at 25 +/-5 points setting as well. It would be great to get 6 games in one day. I can't talk for others but I know at least some who'd love to join this as well.
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  19. #19
    Destroyer of Worlds scout's honor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwars View Post
    they are called the quick start rules, and are free with any battle box.

    i think they are also on the website, does anyone have the link?
    http://privateerpress.com/warmachine...rules-are-here

    Quote Originally Posted by @Kriegsspiele View Post
    And the simple truth is: A lot of tournament players don't want to get below 50 points (again). They think the game is balanced only at 50 points, preferably with 2 lists and Specialists or even 3 lists in a Masters setting.
    Same as with players who want to jump right in at the 50-point level probably not being interested in what they will think is WarmaHordes for Dummies - how much interest will the type of player you describe here have in playing with a limited set of models?

    Quote Originally Posted by @Kriegsspiele View Post
    At 25 points you simply won't have a fair and competitive setting if you're using the standard MK2, SR rules. There are some casters and lists that would simply dominate the scene, just as some dominate Battleboxes.
    You mean like there are some casters and lists that dominate the 50-point SR scene?

    I'm sure I'm sounding like a stuck-up boring old fart, but new players need to learn how to play. Losing is part of that, even if it's losing because you picked a terrible list or got a bad mismatch - both of which will still happen if you dive into 50 points without knowing what you're doing even if it is with a limited set of models, unless what you're talking about is pre-made lists.
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by scout's honor View Post
    You mean like there are some casters and lists that dominate the 50-point SR scene?
    There are some that are played often, but "dominating"? I can't see any auto-win caster currently!?

    Quote Originally Posted by scout's honor View Post
    I'm sure I'm sounding like a stuck-up boring old fart, but new players need to learn how to play. Losing is part of that, even if it's losing because you picked a terrible list or got a bad mismatch - both of which will still happen if you dive into 50 points without knowing what you're doing even if it is with a limited set of models, unless what you're talking about is pre-made lists.
    I'm not sure when you've started WMH. But when I did there were lots of tournaments at 25, 35 and 42 points with one list.

    Today there's more or less one format left: 50 points, 2 lists. And Masters are gaining more and more traction. The gap from Battelbox to 50 points is huge!

    Personally, I don't remember or know how long it would have taken me to join my first tournament if this would have been the case 3+ years ago? I'm not even sure if I would have ever participated in a tournament then?

    What about you?
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  21. #21
    High Command Infernal FearLord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Kriegsspiele View Post
    Personally, I'm trying to help out any beginner: I'm playing with them at any point size and I'm coaching them as good as possible. What I see is that they want to join the tournaments ... but can't because they don't own the models yet.

    And the simple truth is: A lot of tournament players don't want to get below 50 points (again). They think the game is balanced only at 50 points, preferably with 2 lists and Specialists or even 3 lists in a Masters setting.

    So what do you think how long it'll take you to get there? And what would you think about SRB tournaments at 20/25/30 points with a limited set of available models that are just as balanced as those 50 points multi-list games?



    I'd love to see that ... but it doesn't happen. Not because "the 50 pointers" are ignorant, but simply because it's hard to get a lot of beginners together. And there's another problem:

    At 25 points you simply won't have a fair and competitive setting if you're using the standard MK2, SR rules. There are some casters and lists that would simply dominate the scene, just as some dominate Battleboxes.

    This is exactly why I believe that a limitation and a dedicated rule set is a must to get something between: A. I'm a beginner learning the core rules, B. <missing> and C. I'm playing since 12 months and can join tournaments.

    And believe me: Personally I'd love to play at a very well balanced setting at 25 +/-5 points setting as well. It would be great to get 6 games in one day. I can't talk for others but I know at least some who'd love to join this as well.
    I think this sounds like an educational issue rather than a game problem issue. New players are important to the game, so its equally important that experienced players take the time to help them out, but also that new players take the time to learn the game properly.

    I go to a lot of tournaments. If asked, I could probably write a new player a decent pair of tournament lists for any faction in the game - but that won't make them suddenly able to compete in tournaments if they don't have a proper education in the game. While there are clearly better things and worse things in every faction, the actual power gap between models isn't as wide as the forums would have people believe, and playing something that fits your own play style is often more important than only playing the best stuff.

    A Journeyman league is absolutely the best way to introduce new players to the game (even the competing side of it) as it effectively acts as a "slow grow" - players play and learn with a core of models, they get to add things slowly to their army, they see what works and what doesn't, and there is the challenge and thrill of competing with the other players in the league. If you try something and it doesn't work for you, you're free to try something else next week rather than committing yourself to a 50pt army of models that you find you really can't get on with...

    Feel free to tinker with he Journeyman format to suit your player group - we've been running one at our club, but the organisers have made a few changes - each week is 3 weeks to give players a chance to try things and play other things and for the more experienced players to get some 50pt games in when needed, Colossals and Character jacks / beasts were banned to avoid over complications / extreme models and people were allowed to make their own battlebox of 11pts or less. Its worked really well, and we've got a lot of new players keenly painting and playing, and one even came to a 35pt Steamroller I won yesterday (he came last, but he did manage to win a game because he had a solid basis in the game having played up from battlebox). You could add "no cavalry" to this or anything else really if you think it will help your group learn the game better. We're also finishing with as 35pt tournament at the end of it, so the new players can put what they learned to the test!

    The game isn't 100% balanced at the 15 - 25pt level - so? This isn't really an issue for a Journeyman league, where playing is more important than winning - winning and losing are almost as valuable as each other in the league (and this accurately reflects the experience to the player. Its fair to say that Battleboxes rarely demonstrate the core of a "proper" tournament list, but learning to win with the tools at your disposal is a valuable lesson that players miss out on if they net deck the "core" of a faction.

    So yes, the game can be intimidating to a new player, but I'm not really encountering the brand new player who expects to walk straight into a 50pt tournament and compete with people who've been playing the game for years - just like I don't know anyone who's picked up a tennis racket and expected to win a big Open... The game has a steep learning curve, but basically getting better at it comes down to:

    1) Play a lot of games.
    2) Lose to a lot of players / casters / factions.
    3) Learn from it.
    4) More experienced players willing to teach / encourage in order to keep those players interested while they get over the "hump".
    High Command Infernal since 9th September 2013

  22. #22
    Destroyer of Worlds Gavriel's Avatar
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    I think it's an interesting idea. I got into the game back in Mk I when there were only 3 books worth of stuff to learn. Hordes hadn't even come out yet. As a beginner now, it takes too long to learn about all of the unit interactions and the common ability combinations that you need to watch out for. My mantra to most new players is "You can expect to lose your first two dozen games." That doesn't seem very fun at all!

    Overall though, I feel like scaling back the basic rules of the game would be a mistake, all of the rules function together in a careful balance, and mucking around in there would have a fair likelihood of unintended consequences. I do think however that there is merit to the idea of having a published list of army options and scenarios that are specifically tooled for beginner games and tournaments. We used to play games where players were limited only to models that were featured in Prime/Primal Mk. II, but something more carefully chosen and comprehensively balanced would be even better.

  23. #23
    Destroyer of Worlds Lanz's Avatar
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    I think one possible solution for new players would be to have some kind of challenge-index for all the models that categorizes them based on how complex they are to use. Lots of models have uses that are not specifically mentioned or particularly obvious from the rules alone, and it can be a lot for a new player to keep track of. A basic list of the 'simpler' stuff with less complex rule interactions could act as a sort of guide for players to grow their collections without being forced to use the most complex competitive options.

    A good example of this is Exemplar Errants' Self Sacrifice rule. If you knew nothing else about the rules, you could look at the Errants card and recognize that Self-Sacrifice allows you to - plainly put - control where your errants die. However, if you know all the rule interactions and the exact nature of the attack flowchart, you know that Self-Sacrifice also shuts down a lot of other rules, simply by virtue of how it works, not what is actually said on the card. The card doesn't say "Models cannot trigger berserk or collect corpse tokens from Errants", but that is pretty much what self-sacrifice can do, and is one of the real reasons the unit is notorious. A new player taking Errants because that's what the tourney winners take isn't just buying a new unit, they're buying a unit that, to make full use of, will require intimate understanding of how the attack flowchart works down to the minutiae, as well as knowing what kinds of rules self-sacrifice can interact with.

    Those kinds of interactions are not as apparent to a new player, and trying to learn them could result in overloading their plate and learning a bunch of complex factors before they've figured out the basics.

    So having some kind of list that separates the complex options from the simple options could help newer players focus on functional non-complex options until they understand the layers of the rule system enough to work with the complex options. Obviously this wouldn't need to be enforced, and I've met plenty of players who figure out those nuances very quickly. But for the players who might struggle to wrap their heads around the concept (especially if they have lingering influences from other wargames) it would be good to have a list of recommendations that they won't struggle as much with.
    Last edited by Lanz; 05-19-2014 at 01:03 AM.
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  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by FearLord View Post
    The game isn't 100% balanced at the 15 - 25pt level - so? This isn't really an issue for a Journeyman league, where playing is more important than winning - winning and losing are almost as valuable as each other in the league (and this accurately reflects the experience to the player. Its fair to say that Battleboxes rarely demonstrate the core of a "proper" tournament list, but learning to win with the tools at your disposal is a valuable lesson that players miss out on if they net deck the "core" of a faction. - So yes, the game can be intimidating to a new player, but I'm not really encountering the brand new player who expects to walk straight into a 50pt tournament and compete with people who've been playing the game for years - just like I don't know anyone who's picked up a tennis racket and expected to win a big Open... The game has a steep learning curve, but basically getting better at it comes down to
    I'm 100% with you, FearLord, except of this part^: Over the years I've told every beginner exactly what you've written. On top I've almost always encouraged them to join tournaments early to "lose big" but learn big as well.

    Today they simply look at me saying: "Nice idea, but it'll take ages to get to those 2 50 pointers! I need to buy, build, paint and learn them. That's simply too much."

    The gap from 10 to 50 points is simply too huge today. "We" are cutting the beginners off. "We" have - more or less intentionally - built a huge border between "us" and "them". And this, in my opinion, is not at all a good path for all of us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavriel View Post
    Overall though, I feel like scaling back the basic rules of the game would be a mistake, all of the rules function together in a careful balance, and mucking around in there would have a fair likelihood of unintended consequences.
    I'm with you here. But still, I see several things that could be taken away from that "basic set" like the cavalry and their rules. Besides one could take away all huge bases etc. pp. In my opinion there's a lot of stuff (including core rules) that's not really necessary or helpful for beginner(s tournaments).

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavriel View Post
    I do think however that there is merit to the idea of having a published list of army options and scenarios that are specifically tooled for beginner games and tournaments. We used to play games where players were limited only to models that were featured in Prime/Primal Mk. II, but something more carefully chosen and comprehensively balanced would be even better.
    This is exactly what I'd love to see. And, as said above: I'm absolutely sure that PP is able to get this done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lanz View Post
    So having some kind of list that separates the complex options from the simple options could help newer players focus on functional non-complex options until they understand the layers of the rule system enough to work with the complex options. Obviously this wouldn't need to be enforced, and I've met plenty of players who figure out those nuances very quickly. But for the players who might struggle to wrap their heads around the concept (especially if they have lingering influences from other wargames) it would be good to have a list of recommendations that they won't struggle as much with.
    This could be a very, very good first step towards a "SRB" setting for "fair beginner tournaments".
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Kriegsspiele View Post
    I'm not sure when you've started WMH. But when I did there were lots of tournaments at 25, 35 and 42 points with one list
    I started playing right after MKII was released. Got some sound trashings in my first tournaments largely because I wasn't ready for them (I remember entering 50-point softcore after 4 months or so because I'd met some players from another store who invited me: I decided to bring Irusk1 troop spam since I'd just switched to him and got the models - you can imagine how well that went. I absolutely hated beast-heavy Hordes players for a long time after that).

    Quote Originally Posted by @Kriegsspiele View Post
    Today there's more or less one format left: 50 points, 2 lists. And Masters are gaining more and more traction. The gap from Battelbox to 50 points is huge!

    Personally, I don't remember or know how long it would have taken me to join my first tournament if this would have been the case 3+ years ago? I'm not even sure if I would have ever participated in a tournament then?
    Honestly, I think trying to raise the status of of other formats that 50-point SR is a better approach then. I still play a lot of 25-point games simply because it's an enjoyable and fast format, despite potential balance issues. Local events are more commonly 35-point SR than 50-point - for conveniency's sake more than anything else, but the result is the same. We like to throw in some MM/T&C every now and then as well.

    If I can be blunt for a sec, I think this is really more an issue with local metas. Metas where the large majority of players are really focused on competitive play and don't feel like organizing anything outside that 50-point SR are not terribly newbie-friendly. In other metas though, my strong impression is that this is not an issue at all: it's mostly pickup games, at any format that suits the players, and the events that are organized are there more to just to have an event to bring players together for more than just pickup games - not to be part of the competitive scene (note: I'm not saying it's one or the other - I'm sure there are lots of local metas with a healthy mix of the two).
    Last edited by scout's honor; 05-19-2014 at 01:18 AM.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Kriegsspiele View Post
    I only asked one simple question: "What's exactly wrong with MK2?" I asked this because I don't know any other tabletop with this depth and balance. And I don't even know anyone who's playing something else but doesn't have to admit that WMH is a very good system. And we all know that WMH has removed other systems from our local metas - more or less completely. So, although I really love change, I can't see what MK3 could make better for WMH?
    MK2 is a great ruleset, no doubt, but there are still a few clunky mechanisms that could do with a polishing.

    The major issue, however, seems to be less a question of rules and more a question of balance. A lot of models could use a small tweak, either with abilities that didn't work out as intended, or with point costs. It's highly unlikely that such a rebalancing effort will happen without a new edition, which is a shame in my opinion.

  27. #27

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    I don't think we need a MK3, although it could help to make Warjacks more interesting to run.

    As for new players: MKB as has been set is there, if you look for it. That's why PG's are around, to help you with your first few games until you know the basics, and you start to run your own games. Learning to know ALL the rules takes time, yes, but if that's not for you to continue to be amazed at what "the other guy" can do, it's just not a game for you
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Kriegsspiele View Post
    I

    Today they simply look at me saying: "Nice idea, but it'll take ages to get to those 2 50 pointers! I need to buy, build, paint and learn them. That's simply too much."

    The gap from 10 to 50 points is simply too huge today. "We" are cutting the beginners off. "We" have - more or less intentionally - built a huge border between "us" and "them". And this, in my opinion, is not at all a good path for all of us!
    It seems like your experience has been pretty different from a lot of those on here, myself included. Has your meta really been that hell-bent on getting new players up the 50 point level? If so, that sounds like a problem with the players in your meta, not with the game itself.

    When I started I (very deliberately) played a good number of games at 15 points just to get used to activation orders and moving models and all that jazz. There was never any shortage of people to play 15 points with. Eventually, I acquired more experience and more models and moved up to 25 and 35 point games. There was never any shortage of players willing to do that. Now basically all I play is 50 point SR scenarios, and that's great, but 50 points would have just completely overwhelmed me if I tried it anytime within the first month or two of starting.

    As far as I'm concerned, that's the way most people should be looking to learn--start small, stay small till you've mastered the basics, work up from there. In order for that to work, though, you need players willing to teach the new guys, and players willing to play a fair number of games at lower levels over the weeks. In other words, you need new-player friendly people in your meta.

    And that's it, really, that's the bottom line. In order for new people to learn, there need to be people willing to teach them. If you have that, you don't really need a tweaked rule set to do it with. And if you don't have that, it doesn't matter how you monkey around with the rule set, release the most finely tuned MKB rules, if the veteran players in the meta aren't new-guy friendly, nobody would use them anyway and that would be that.

    As for these beginners you seem to be tripping over that are clamoring to join tournaments, I haven't seen much of that. But even if there are where you live, it just boils down to having realistic expectations. You can't pick up any competitive anything and be actually be ready for a tournament. This game is worse than most for that for reasons that have almost nothing to do with the number of models available, or the detailed rules of each--Warmachine as a game has a very large number of mechanical and mental processes you need to master to even try to play at a competitive level: measuring and moving correctly, declaring and executing your charges, marking effects with tokens, declaring shots and measuring range, playing on the clock, leaching, allocating, reaving, upkeeping and many more. There's a crapton of stuff to remember (I still forget things 2 years in). Playing in a tournament increases the impact of all of that, especially if you've only had a little while to get used to it. So these new player that are eager to jump into 50 points just need to cool down and take the time to learn the game first. And the more experienced players need to take the time out from their Steamroller practice to help them.

    That said, there's nothing saying you can't have lower point tournaments catering to newer people in your area. It's great way to get them into the competitive side of the game. Still requires a meta amenable to running them and players willing to play in them.

    As a final note, the idea of pairing down the available models and limiting the complicated rules that appear--that's already a thing. There are, in fact, privateer products that list out just that. They're called Warmachine: Prime and Hordes: Primal, you may have heard of them. They actually seem like exactly what you're looking for--three casters a faction, a handful of warnouns, units and solos, no cavalry, no crazy rules, limited craziness all around.

  29. #29
    Destroyer of Worlds Wishing's Avatar
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    Firstly, no offense I hope, but I think the idea that there is nothing whatsoever to improve upon in the Mk2 rules is a statement based on a lack of imagination and vision. *Everything* can be improved upon, and one of the traits of being a game designer that has actually designed games from the ground up is that you see any games you've designed as always being a work in progress. We fans tend to look at the game only as a game we play, and focus on the way the game is *now*, and how we might tweak that. Game designers (and other designers/innovators) don't focus on the now, but rather on what *can/should/will be* in the future.

    Secondly, I agree with those who say that WM already has a "beginner setting" in the form of quickstart rules, battle boxes and starter sets. Moving beyond those models and rules is the same as moving from the beginner setting into the advanced setting.

    However, I've also seen games that actually have a dedicated "basic rules" part of the rulebook, and then a separate "advanced rules" part of the rulebook later on. GW games used to have this, with advice that you start out only using the basic package and then move on to the advanced package only when you're ready. What I saw was: The division into "basic" and "advanced" was completely ignored, and everyone played with all the rules from the beginning. Nobody, no matter how new, wanted to feel like they were playing on the "baby" setting. Everyone wanted to play with all the toys from day one.

    So I personally think that the MKB suggestion here works only in theory, not in practice.

  30. #30
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    Honestly, I feel the biggest reason for all the MK3 talk is due to how large the Errata document is growing. The Errata Document's grown 5 pages longer in the past two years, and as more and more gets added it becomes harder and harder to remember what's been changed and what hasn't. I don't think the game needs a MK3, but I wouldn't mind a MK2: Remix that adds all the errata and relevant infernal rulings to the main rulebook and updated Faction decks with updated cards.

  31. #31
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    Honestly, I think your premise is flawed.

    First, it's clear that people are making the transition from beginner to experienced player or it wouldn't be "WMH has removed other systems from our local metas".

    Second, there are a number of things wrong with mk II, some of which have reached general agreement. There are a number of units which aren't seeing regular play for various reasons. The large discussion seems to revolve around is the risk of creating a far less balanced and fun system with a transition to mkIII.

    Finally, the biggest problem is learning all the combos to be aware of. The cards themselves are fairly straight forward, you pick one up, look at it, know in a general sense what the model does. However, it generally doesn't clue you in to all the mayhem it generates when X + Y = Z where Z is the wonder combo.

  32. #32
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    My thoughts on the subject:
    Max 35 points.
    Only Faction of... models.
    Only prime models.
    No cavalry, no BEs, no gargossals.

    Experienced players can easily play within these limitations as well, if anyone would like to run a tourney like this anyone could play and have entertaining games, but newer players wouldn't be so ovewhelmed.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Horror View Post
    Honestly, I feel the biggest reason for all the MK3 talk is due to how large the Errata document is growing. The Errata Document's grown 5 pages longer in the past two years, and as more and more gets added it becomes harder and harder to remember what's been changed and what hasn't. I don't think the game needs a MK3, but I wouldn't mind a MK2: Remix that adds all the errata and relevant infernal rulings to the main rulebook and updated Faction decks with updated cards.
    This. Not quite yet perhaps, but we are getting close to the point where it's becomming nessecary.

  34. #34
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    I thought that the basic ruleset was the booklet that comes with your starter set

    It would be kind of cool to have a "restricted" set of models that were finely balanced in order to keep down the "THAT THING DOES WHAT?!" that new players will experience, maybe for journeymen leagues or somesuch? It is kind of hard to /start/ warmachine in its current state just due to the number of different dudes and trying to remember what they all do.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Horror View Post
    Honestly, I feel the biggest reason for all the MK3 talk is due to how large the Errata document is growing. The Errata Document's grown 5 pages longer in the past two years, and as more and more gets added it becomes harder and harder to remember what's been changed and what hasn't. I don't think the game needs a MK3, but I wouldn't mind a MK2: Remix that adds all the errata and relevant infernal rulings to the main rulebook and updated Faction decks with updated cards.
    This right here, in my mind, is the biggest argument for an update of the rules. The errata document is annoying, but bearable, but the fact that there are numerous rules interactions that cannot be determined from reading the rules as written and are only documented in the rules forum is really kind of a problem.

    Don't get me wrong, I like that the rules forum exists, but spend a little time lurking around there, and it becomes all to apparent that there are some kinks to iron out of the base rules. I have, for example, on least one occasion (I believe it was to do with command checks made during a unit's activation, but I don't recall for sure) seen an entire series of knowledgeable posters generally agreeing that an interaction works like X, only to be capped of by an infernal saying "no, it works like Y" with no other explanation given.

    I'm mostly pretty happy with the way the MK II rules shake out in practice (except command checks, screw that noise), but there's a decent bit of stuff that's more opaque and less standardized than it needs to be.

    A great example of this is the turn structure: every turn as a movement and an action. That's great, clear, simple. But then there's a bunch of stuff that can happen before, after and between these, but some of that stuff can't happen at certain times, or if you do other things, and sometimes things appear to be blatantly contradictory, but somehow aren't. Like how you a unit can mini-feat and then run, but a caster can't cast spells and then run (because the "cannot cast spells in an activation it runs" rule apparently applies retroactive to things that happen before you run), or how when you fail a run or charge your activation "immediately ends" and yet doesn't trigger things that specifically say they happen "at the end of the activation."

    To be clear, I'm not saying that how these abilities interact necessarily should change, just that the rules should be written in such a way that these existing interactions fit more nicely within the given wording. Something like, break the turn down into more pieces than 1. Movement and 2. Activation (I think something like 6 or 8 would be needed) with clear instructions for what can be done in each of those, and which pieces are skipped when you do things like run, charge or forfeit.

    Again, this is just sort of an example, but it shows what could be done with a new edition to cleanup the rules. And, before I'm accused of having strayed wildly off-topic, it would make many parts of the game more transparent and easier to learn for incoming new players.

  36. #36
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    If there had been a beginners ruleset (beyond the battle boxes) when I started, then I would not have started.
    I think that what you are looking for already exists in the battle boxes and in the journeyman leagues, both of which are fully supported by PP.

    As for a MKII prime remix, well I remember the last time one of those was published. About three years later MKII came out, so I know that it would be incredibly useful and also a signal that MKII was beginning to come to an end.

    I know what I want MKIII to address and change, but I'm in no rush for it to appear, the current rules are balanced, fun and from a monetary point of view, cheap to both buy and get into. an MKB would raise the cost for no good reason.
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  37. #37
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    As a PG, whose goal is to bring in more new players, a second "newbie" set of rules is not really the answer. While I like the arguements you make for such, it really is the local PG's or the local core veteran group's responsibility to find what works for new players in their area. Not everyone wants to get to 50 pts or even play competitively. Some folks just want a fun skirmish type game to fill that small game void between those larger games they play, some folks just want to paint and play as a side effect of owning models, some folks do want to be competitive and learn every nuiance and rule out there.

    It really boils down to the individuals and you as someone interested in bringing in new players have to be able to focus on the aspect that is most likely to bring them on board and nuture that within your local meta. I'm sure everyone here has a group of Steam Roller junkies, avid painters, the quiet player, the "I only own a battle box" player, and everything in between.

    Now, that being said, you can do exactly what you are proposing on the local meta level. I have tweaked and run events for new players to great success. I made adjustments for single lists, taking the clock out of their hands and running a standard clock, adding in modifiers if they were playing an extremely experienced player. And it worked out great, the new players had a great time and the veterans basically played a more relaxed event than they normally would in a SR setting.

    So while I absolutely agree that we really don't need to see MK3 anytime soon, a new player friendly event is well within your grasp to invent and hold like this one I did in 2013:

    DETAILS: This tournament will follow the 2013 SR packet rules with a few tweaks.

    THIS TOURNAMENT IS MEANT TO BE NEWBIE FRIENDLY!!!

    Two lists: Each player will be required to bring two list, one of which must be a battle box or equivalent of no more than 12 points. As we are hosting this to prep new players for playing in organized events, most will not be able to field multiple 35 pt. lists. So you may be asked to play a game at the battle box level.

    Veteran handicap: You will be considered a veteran player if you have more than six months of WM/HDS gaming experience. I am willing to discuss this with individual players on a case by case basis if you feel that you should not be considered a veteran. Please pm or email me the circumstances before the event. Veteran players are restricted from taking any character 'Jacks or Beasts. Also, no theme list which would grant extra models at no cost, free buffs, or other advantages that new players may not have access to due to being restricted to the few models they do have. Also, if you are the veteran player, in any game you are facing a new player, the initial roll off is suspended and the new player has choice of turn automatically.

    Prizes: There is no prize support for this event outside of the standard certificates and coins for the best finishing "Newbie". If you are a veteran player and you bring net deck lists designed to win major tournaments, you will be asked to revamp your list or asked to not participate. This is not a roll your opponent at all costs event, it is a learning event for new players.

    Coaches: Veteran players who do not want to play, but would like to attend, are encouraged to help "coach" new players. This does not mean play for them, but rather offer suggestions, help keep track of steps, mental reminders that can be helpful during tournament play, and so on. It is asked however that you spread your help and knowledge around the event and not just pick one player to help as this would seem unfair to others.

    Time: Rounds will be timed across the board at five minutes a round. We will have a central time keeper for this event.

    Painting competition: There will be certificates for best single model, best unit, best fully painted army. Anyone, newbie or veteran, may enter the painting comp and will be voted on by those in attendance. Models entered in the painting comp do not have to be models from your lists as long as they are WM/HDS models painted by you.

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  38. #38

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    I think this is a terrible idea. A second set of rules that doesn't represent the actual game is just adding complexity - a newbie would eventually graduate to real games and find that some of his tricks no longer work because of rules interactions that only exist in the real rules, invalidating lots of his experience and at worst some of his purchases.

    This isn't a problem that can be solved by rules. Veterans need to be better ambassadors for new players and explain that jumping right into 50 points is a **** idea because they're going to be overwhelmed, and slow-grow until they feel comfortable is the way to go. Of course, a lot of noobs won't listen to this advice and buy 100+ points right off the bat and wonder why it doesn't work the way they wanted to - a phenomenon that I and I'm sure many other players have personally witnessed. As long as they were properly warned about the right way to go about this, then it's on them when they dive too deep and get overwhelmed. A new player of any game should not expect to be able to dive into tournaments and not get absolutely ****housed.

    Hell, we already have official support for this stuff with the Journeyman rules and the concept of battlebox games. As a vet I despise the restrictions of Journeyman rules but they're still by far the best way to teach new players how to play.

    I think the level of complexity in this game is perfectly reasonable, and trying to hide that from new players is rather disingenuous. Some people just don't like complexity, and those people shouldn't be playing intricate miniatures games. It's a matter of taste and there's nothing wrong with this game not appealing to every last person.
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  39. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by scout's honor View Post
    If I can be blunt for a sec, I think this is really more an issue with local metas. Metas where the large majority of players are really focused on competitive play and don't feel like organizing anything outside that 50-point SR are not terribly newbie-friendly.
    What I see are 2 listers at 50 points (80%, probably more): There's close to nothing else left. And I'm not talking about my local but my "regional" meta (200km+).

    Quote Originally Posted by Straight Line View Post
    As for new players: MKB as has been set is there, if you look for it. That's why PG's are around, to help you with your first few games until you know the basics, and you start to run your own games. Learning to know ALL the rules takes time, yes, but if that's not for you to continue to be amazed at what "the other guy" can do, it's just not a game for you
    Just to clarify this point: I really love complexity and personally I want even more of it in WMH. That's perfectly all-right for all "veterans". What I'm really missing are options for beginners between the Battlebox and 2x50pointers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Erlkoenig View Post
    It seems like your experience has been pretty different from a lot of those on here, myself included. Has your meta really been that hell-bent on getting new players up the 50 point level? If so, that sounds like a problem with the players in your meta, not with the game itself.
    It's not a problem of my meta but the offerings for beginners beyond the Battlebox: They want to participate in the wider scene. But what they get offered are 2x 50 pointers. And for sure, some get there, but it takes so much more time than it took me 3 years ago^.

    Quote Originally Posted by Erlkoenig View Post
    Now basically all I play is 50 point SR scenarios, and that's great, but 50 points would have just completely overwhelmed me if I tried it anytime within the first month or two of starting.
    Exactly this^ is one of the problems I see: especially if this wish becomes reality in the exact same kind of tournaments. And in my opinion this (= "us") is what makes beginners want to step up to 50 point games way too fast - even if we tell them to stay calm and progress step by step. Besides some of us are even telling them that games at 35 points are "totally unbalanced". Yay!

    Quote Originally Posted by Erlkoenig View Post
    That said, there's nothing saying you can't have lower point tournaments catering to newer people in your area. It's great way to get them into the competitive side of the game. Still requires a meta amenable to running them and players willing to play in them.
    Exactly. That's why we should find settings for lower point games that are great for everyone: the beginner and the veteran.

    Quote Originally Posted by Erlkoenig View Post
    As a final note, the idea of pairing down the available models and limiting the complicated rules that appear--that's already a thing. There are, in fact, privateer products that list out just that. They're called Warmachine: Prime and Hordes: Primal, you may have heard of them. They actually seem like exactly what you're looking for--three casters a faction, a handful of warnouns, units and solos, no cavalry, no crazy rules, limited craziness all around.
    Thanks, I'll have a look at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wishing View Post
    Nobody, no matter how new, wanted to feel like they were playing on the "baby" setting. Everyone wanted to play with all the toys from day one. So I personally think that the MKB suggestion here works only in theory, not in practice.
    Probably. And if it's not highly attractive it definitely won't work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenlen View Post
    My thoughts on the subject:
    Max 35 points.
    Only Faction of... models.
    Only prime models.
    No cavalry, no BEs, no gargossals.

    Experienced players can easily play within these limitations as well, if anyone would like to run a tourney like this anyone could play and have entertaining games, but newer players wouldn't be so ovewhelmed.
    This. I think it'd be possible to generate a setting below 50 points that would work for everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grundza View Post
    It is kind of hard to /start/ warmachine in its current state just due to the number of different dudes and trying to remember what they all do.
    Definitely. And it's becoming harder from release to release. That's why I like the idea of some limitations of models for "beginner" or simply: small sized games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spideredd View Post
    If there had been a beginners ruleset (beyond the battle boxes) when I started, then I would not have started. ... I know what I want MKIII to address and change, but I'm in no rush for it to appear, the current rules are balanced, fun and from a monetary point of view, cheap to both buy and get into. an MKB would raise the cost for no good reason.
    Could you please elaborate on this^?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywolf View Post
    Now, that being said, you can do exactly what you are proposing on the local meta level. I have tweaked and run events for new players to great success. I made adjustments for single lists, taking the clock out of their hands and running a standard clock, adding in modifiers if they were playing an extremely experienced player. And it worked out great, the new players had a great time and the veterans basically played a more relaxed event than they normally would in a SR setting.
    That's really a great setting! Very well done! But why limit it to "the local meta"? Why not have a SR standard, just like SR in general, so everyone knows what he'll get when driving to a "Beginner's small points tournament" in another city? Isn't Steamroller so valuable because of this standardisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ostrakon View Post
    This isn't a problem that can be solved by rules. Veterans need to be better ambassadors for new players and explain that jumping right into 50 points is a **** idea because they're going to be overwhelmed, and slow-grow until they feel comfortable is the way to go.
    I think that a lot of veterans are trying this - in their local gaming group. But when it comes to events the requirements are sky high today. As said above: I'm really not sure if I would have gone to any tournament if it would have been a 2x 50 pointers 3 years ago? I luckily started with 25 point tournaments (even outside my local meta). That was fun, not at all overwhelming and perfectly reasonable.
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    So it seems like we generally agree that it is an issue of culture, not of the rules themselves. If we want new players to be able to play in smaller-scale tournaments with less complexity than the standard, all we have to do is organise such tournaments. "Prime only" is already a format that I'm sure I have heard of before.

    Quote Originally Posted by @Kriegsspiele View Post
    That's really a great setting! Very well done! But why limit it to "the local meta"? Why not have a SR standard, just like SR in general, so everyone knows what he'll get when driving to a "Beginner's small points tournament" in another city? Isn't Steamroller so valuable because of this standardisation?
    I think this is a good point. PP already do quite a lot for encouraging new players through journeyman leagues, I figure, but also having an officially PP-endorsed beginner-friendly tournament format (and getting PGs to host these) would seem like a further step in this right direction.

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