Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

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alasdair2204
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Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by alasdair2204 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:07 pm

I am sorry to say that I am extremely worried that we are ruining my favourite set of rules without it being thought through properly. These seem to be driven foward by a small group of players. Renaissance has always been a small pool of players but FOG R had attracted a large amount of players as it was widely accepted that by most people that FOG R worked, with all these proposed changes we will be as far as I am concerned creating a set of rules that dont, we have always changed small things to ensure they worked (Dave Allens expanding Keils come to mind) and I was happy with this but there was definitely no need for the widespread changes in rules that are being suggested / implemented.

I know that next year I will run a few FOG R competitions which will play FOG R as it was without any of the current changes, as Renaissance has always been my favourite period and FOG R as they were my favourite set of rules.

Just my thoughts

Cheers

Alasdair

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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by Vespasian28 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:34 pm

Nice to hear from you Alasdair.

I think a few things needed officially tweaking, like artillery and some of the lists. I see the logic of the commanded shot changes; dragoons being super troops never occurred to me and pretty much everything else I can live without. I can only base my experience on the one club I attend and the vast bulk of them are unaware of any change being necessary.
One thing worries me is our round of the Southern League. If the changes are adopted and we go with them most of our club members will probably bow out. If we don't go with the changes how many of our potential "guests" will continue participation. Difficult to play a game beyond your club if the rules fracture into different varieties.

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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by viking123 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:55 pm

That is the reason we need lots of play testing before any changes are made permanently.

Alasdair we have been trying out the changes at the Club and will play test them at the Oxford Round.

Bob

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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by timmy1 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:17 pm

Alasdair

Your opinion is most welcome.

Are there any specific changes that you think we should not proceed with at any cost?

I see the sense in Commanded Shot being a marker on the BG to avoid the abuses seen with Reg Guns and cheap MF BGs, Dragoons no longer moving they are on Pegasus, 4 bases Average Mounted BG, and making 2 melee dice mounted better. Bows outshooting arquebus armed foot behind fortifications needs a fix too. Artillery vs mounted always being the preferred target probably needs something done.

Almost all the changes are not required IMO, unless they are points to balance things up.

Your input would be most welcome.

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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:22 am

alasdair2204 wrote: with all these proposed changes we will be as far as I am concerned creating a set of rules that dont,

It would be useful if you could expand on this bald statement and explain why you think any or all of the proposals will create a set of rules that won't work.
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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by jonphilp » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:37 pm

Last Saturday 13 games set up at our club. 5 renaissance games , 4 FOGR & 1 Gush ,( and it was so slow) . It would help if we can have an official beta rule change summary so we are all trying things out in the same manner. I think we all are looking forward to how Oxford finds the amendment's. However the initial comments starting this thread have been expressed by several members so any feedback on how things are going would be very welcome.

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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by madaxeman » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:13 pm

Why are we (again) discussing the idea of only making a handful of superficial, 'corner case' tweaks to one of my favourite rulesets, when it appears that, at least from a competition standpoint, they are now approaching the seemingly inevitable played-out stage in their evolution...when history shows us that rulesets benefit from periodic upheavals that serve to change the balance of power between armies?
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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by quackstheking » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:33 am

Having only just seen this post, I am broadly in agreement with Alasdair here, albeit I think some changes are needed (artillery, dragoons, average break points and some list changes), but as Alasdair said these have been faced in the past by applying some sensible tweaks such as with keils and artillery deployment.

However there are some "fixes" that are being applied to issues that were not broken purely because they make the "open list" better. FoGR covers a period of warfare when many technological changes were changing the face of warfare. However in geographical and timescale limits things work well.

An example is the hotly disputed topic of bow ranges. In eastern periods bow ranges and warrior move rates work well; in Early Western Europe bow ranges and Keli and arquedus interactions work well; in Eastern Europe bow ranges and shot only BG interactions work well. However bow and P&S interactions (something that historically was rarely seen - if at all) don't work well because P&S get outshot. So for something that was rarely historically seen and is only a problem in open competition or non geographically themed games, we make a major change based on no historical evidence which significantly weakens the historical match-ups.

Unfortunately, although FoGR is my favourite rule set too (I have circa 22 armies, excluding morphs for it!), it is a dying rule set! Why? Simply because the pool of players will not get bigger as the rules are no longer available, even in PDF (unless you know where to look in the dark web :wink: !). Even if we attract a new player, they can't get the rules and with the comprehensively rewritten points values the Army List books are toilet paper (god help any list checkers for future competitions!). Any changes which are so controversial they split the player pool kills the period even more - this what happened to Gush and DBR.

In competition terms, events like the Southern League and Campaign worked well because of tight theming. However in the current scene, the FoGR Doubles was cancelled; at Roll Call we cancelled the 15mm event and only just have enough to run the 25mm event; I suspect Campaign won't get enough teams to run; Devives FoGR has been cancelled and Tim P has already flagged that Challenge and Britton look lightly attended!

If we're not careful Art de la Guerre will piggy back and cherry pick bits from DBR and FOGR and will publish a rule set that will be inferior yet available! If FoGR is to continue then a PDF of the rules is the minimum requirement and one that includes all the amendments. Secondly (and this behoves all tournament organisers!) stick to tight, historical and/or imaginative theming and move away from Open Events. Lastly players need to have a variety of morphable armies - if all you have is a TYW/ECW army you WILL be outshot by non historical bow opponents until you turn up with an early European Keli and gendarmes army when you'll roll the bow over!

BTW Britcon last year was dominated by late armies, not bow and I faced two Western Sudanese with my Later Swedes and rolled them both over.

Rant over and ta-ra!

Don (ex FoGR player) :cry:

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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by Jhykronos » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:24 am

quackstheking wrote:However there are some "fixes" that are being applied to issues that were not broken purely because they make the "open list" better
I'm not sure how you get this idea. Just about every change on the list (*) exists largely because of a -perceived- issue with a historical interaction. Including the bow change.

Now you may not agree that the issue in question is historically legitimate. You may not think the issue is a big enough deal to justify the complication of the fix. And you may even be of the opinion that the proposed fix doesn't address the issue or causes additional issues. Each of these points can have merit.

What doesn't seem right is all this 11th hour second guessing that the update team has spent the last six months throwing together a bunch of ill-considered proposals just to facilitate a-historical interactions in open tournaments. Give them a bit more credit than that, OK?

(*) Obviously with the exception of changes to the points system, whose whole purpose is to facilitate competition...

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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by jonphilp » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:13 am

To be fair to Don these changes, apart from the artillery rule change do appear to be driven by competition concerns. This rule set has been heavily used at our club and we never had issues with the way commanded shot and dragoons were portrayed in the rule set. We are trying out the changes but from what I have seen so far the response is not that positive. The way some of the changes look like they change the way the early armies interact may actually reduce the number of competition players this year. I hope this will not happen as I really enjoy FOGR games even in a competition environment l just hope that their is no rush to finalise any changes.

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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by Jhykronos » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:50 pm

jonphilp wrote:To be fair to Don these changes, apart from the artillery rule change do appear to be driven by competition concerns."
Funny, I've been partaking in the discussions on them for months, arguing the pro-side on a lot of them, and I have never even played in a FOG-R competition.
This rule set has been heavily used at our club and we never had issues with the way commanded shot and dragoons were portrayed in the rule set.
I would be willing to wager that most of your club probably would never have had any issues with the way commanded shot and dragoons were portrayed if the original rules had them portrayed like the changes either (that's not an indictment, that's pretty much the attitude of most gamers who are comfortable with a system).

But follow the arguments in the discussion threads... neither change you mention was prompted by "competition concerns", they were prompted by concerns over the historical behavior of the troops compared to how they were used on the table. Of course, you may very well have a good reason for disagreeing with those concerns on that basis.
We are trying out the changes but from what I have seen so far the response is not that positive.
There is a fair chance that that ends up being the overall verdict, even with the competition crowd that's wrongly getting all the blame here.
The way some of the changes look like they change the way the early armies interact may actually reduce the number of competition players this year. I hope this will not happen as I really enjoy FOGR games even in a competition environment l just hope that their is no rush to finalise any changes.
My guess is that the only thing that's going to reignite the Renaissance competition scene is the next "Big Thing" rule set to take the mantle of DBR and FOG-R. Out of Print, barely supported games don't usually stay around, and outside of Sengoku Samurai, this isn't the most popular period anyway (kind of a shame, really).

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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by jonphilp » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:02 pm

Hi,

As per Jhykronos

"but follow the arguments in the discussion threads... neither change you mention was prompted by "competition concerns", they were prompted by concerns over the historical behavior of the troops compared to how they were used on the table. Of course, you may very well have a good reason for disagreeing with those concerns on that basis."

The discussion in the club is the commanded shot changes will change the way they were used historically by especially the Swedish TYW army. Dragoons is a different issue as from my research and group discussions with those much more historical Knowledge they were used in various ways by different military systems. I can see what is intended by the proposed changes but personally, i would have dragoons shown as mounted & foot each having different movement etc with dragoons being only a small number of units rebasing should not be an issue. We have never seen the "super snipers " in action we must all be rubbish in our dice throws.

I am looking forward to taking part and reading the reports regarding the test games to see what the overall impression will be regarding the changes.

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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by Vespasian28 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:44 pm

What doesn't seem right is all this 11th hour second guessing that the update team has spent the last six months throwing together a bunch of ill-considered proposals just to facilitate a-historical interactions in open tournaments. Give them a bit more credit than that, OK?
Again to be fair to Don he was raising this issue, specifically about bows and historical interactions back in January.

And if there is a perception that some of the changes are being driven by competition concerns is that in part due to the volume of disccussion about bow units outshooting Western 6 pack P&S units, an interaction most commonly found in open tournaments?

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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by urbanbunny1 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:18 pm

I do agree with Don's comments about part of the death of FoGR is due to the books not being available.

You can't buy a copy of the rules or the lists at your friendly local gaming store, Amazon or most other places. So, if you were to get into renaissance, you would struggle to get into FoGR.

I saw DBM die a death in a matter of months in Australia like this. When the DBM 3.1 errata came out, you had to cut it out and paste it into your book, but if you were a new player, you couldn't buy the rules anywhere.

then a new rules set in colour came out......

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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by urbanbunny1 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:24 pm

I welcome some changes to FoGR, there are a few things in it that I disagree with and like most wargamers, if the rules don't change, after a while you get bored.

Like many of the players, I've now racked up hundreds of games of FoGR over the last six years and after Britcon last year realised I'm bored of the same set of rules.

Part of what makes competition rules interesting if their evolution, we all try to break them and win. There are a few renaissance rules in production other than FoGR, but they don't have the breadth of army lists or aren't tight enough to use at a comp.

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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by hazelbark » Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:56 pm

quackstheking wrote:Secondly (and this behoves all tournament organisers!) stick to tight, historical and/or imaginative theming and move away from Open Events. Lastly players need to have a variety of morphable armies - if all you have is a TYW/ECW army you WILL be outshot by non historical bow opponents until you turn up with an early European Keli and gendarmes army when you'll roll the bow over!

Don (ex FoGR player) :cry:
I think there is an interesting tension here that you need a comprehensive player survey to answer. Do people like history and historical matchups or do they like the intellectual challenge of the historically silly open tournaments. I find myself in different moods and different periods. To take an extreme example I have zero interest in a French vs French Napoleonic civil war. I rather read a book than play that game. But I have also engaged in a number of open period competitions and in FOGR tried to make Indian armies work vs TYW armies. But I settle back to really wanting my FOGR periods to be more tight. The reality is when FOGR was viable in US comps it was pretty much historically focused and dominated by either Italian Wars of TYW armies. The same was somewhat true of DBR too. I see the competition style in the UK (never having witnessed, so please excuse the pejorative description) of fantasy mounted high maneuver making the TYW battles less enjoyable for all. Now I ran my TYW German with max pistol cuirassier and probably had a similar style of mass of force deployed at key vulnerability so maybe I shouldn't throw stones. I think from a US player pool (not really representative) there is a bias in favor of historical matchups.

I think a lot of what I would describe as the weakness of FOG is the appeal to the open 800 points tournament. If that is your target audience survey them. Now that said in the tournament scenes there has a been a pretty clear history of a need for new editions and new rules over time as a revitalization tool and a change up as players find holes in the system that can be exploited. I think the ideological commitment to 3.5 hours, 800 pts on a 4x6 table is also part of the problem. It is clear from myriad other rules that broader options are enjoyed. Every time the "authors" state an organizer can change, but then make all the rule design modifications based on that format.

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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by Vespasian28 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:55 pm

Like many of the players, I've now racked up hundreds of games of FoGR over the last six years and after Britcon last year realised I'm bored of the same set of rules.
Maybe that is the simple reason for the unexpectedly (to me) rapid death of FOGR competitions, along with the unavailabilty of the rules. I have not yet racked up hundreds of games which might explain my lack of boredom as well as antipathy toward most of the proposed rules changes. I don't see the need to refresh a set of rules I am quite happy with.

Is there a tendency amongst some wargamers to get interested in a period( especially when there is a new set of excellent rules) and then flog them to death with constant games? Certainly appears to be a magpie mindset amongst some to get the new shiny thing, wear it out then move on. Same with all the tech gadgets from what I see.

Is there a correlation between people who stick to "old" rules and phones(mine just makes phone calls and texts) and those who are always seeking out the "new" thing?

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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by madaxeman » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:33 pm

The UK has a long tradition of going to the new shiny thing. DBM collapsed from 400+ regular players to under 50 over something like a 3 year period when FoG came along at a time when for many people DBM was 'played out' and more than a decade old
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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by madaxeman » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:42 pm

Vespasian28 wrote: Is there a tendency amongst some wargamers to get interested in a period( especially when there is a new set of excellent rules) and then flog them to death with constant games? Certainly appears to be a magpie mindset amongst some to get the new shiny thing, wear it out then move on.
I started FoGR in 2010 (http://www.madaxeman.com/reports/Oxford_2010_1.php) and my most recent battle report was in October 2016 ( http://www.madaxeman.com/reports/Derby_2016_1.php ) - in that 6 years there are 37 competitions that I have published battle reports for, so probably the thick end of 160 games in competitions, plus some I didn't do reports for and not too many at the club ... still I would bet its easily over 200 games over 6 years, or more than 30 games a year.

At that rate I'm not sure its fair to call it as magpie-ing around, and 6-8 events per year is not really flogging it to death either. It might just actually be "a lot", and pretty close to "enough" to decide to try and let some of my other non-renaissance figures get out of the box a bit more often.
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Re: Why are we ruining my favourite set of rules

Post by Vespasian28 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:07 pm

I must admit to actively trying to juggle my armies around and play different periods over any given year. That said I would say 80% of my gaming is FOG bound either Ancients(from Biblical to Medieval) to a more focussed Renaissance period. My AWI and naval stuff put in rare appearances and the rest of the time is boardgames. Going to the club once a fortnight and playing at home, more rarely, I would guess to be playing about 30 games a year which I hadn't considered before to be a lot either.

Interestingly, five out of the nine games at our club this Saturday were either FOGAM or FOGR so at least at our club they remain popular in their current form.

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