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Conventional Vehicles and War Machines?


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#1 Chantilas

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 06:48 AM

Are there any plans to release rules for conventional vehicles and war machines of the WWII era. There are numerous companies that produce models of the applicable scale, it only seems logical since the walkers and such are new to the era, it would be a nice blend. Even online only or print on demand would be a healthy balance to the game.

v/r

Todd



#2 felkor

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 06:59 AM

This is something that many people (including myself) would like.  While possible, it has been implied that it is unlikely we will see such rules released officially, as FFG would prefer to only release rules for miniatures that they themselves sell.



#3 Gimp

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 04:30 AM

I don't know that FFG would be restricting themselves only to rules for vehicles they sell, so much as it not being commercially viable to enter an arena with so many established companies with a mirror product.  FFG has to run a business to let us keep getting DUST stuff, and entering an established market is very hard for a company.

Selling just pdf's, printed cards, or print on demand cards would be nice, but would take away support staff from actual game development to develop balanced stats for a much lower margin product, if it can be done profitably, at all.  Fan created cards are only as good as the fans' attempts to create cards that retain balance, which is traditionally problematic for games.  Pdf's would be easiest, as there is minimal expense once the cards are created, but creating balanced units takes a significant amount of time in development and playtest, which is all expense and not paying bills until the cards start to sell.

FFG may expend resources on such a product in the future, and I would be happy to buy official cards, even if the units were never tournament legal.  I'd prefer seeing the Sino-Soviets put into production first, however, so I'm willing to wait, or develop stats for local play myself.



#4 Hans Chung-Otterson

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 09:01 PM

I dunno, I like Dust Tactics for what it is: a self-contained game. I'm not a "WW2 gamer" so I don't see the need at all for FFG to support outside stuff. If they do, though, you won't see me complaining.



#5 Aldarion

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 03:18 AM

Gimp said:

I don't know that FFG would be restricting themselves only to rules for vehicles they sell, so much as it not being commercially viable to enter an arena with so many established companies with a mirror product.  FFG has to run a business to let us keep getting DUST stuff, and entering an established market is very hard for a company.

Selling just pdf's, printed cards, or print on demand cards would be nice, but would take away support staff from actual game development to develop balanced stats for a much lower margin product, if it can be done profitably, at all.  Fan created cards are only as good as the fans' attempts to create cards that retain balance, which is traditionally problematic for games.  Pdf's would be easiest, as there is minimal expense once the cards are created, but creating balanced units takes a significant amount of time in development and playtest, which is all expense and not paying bills until the cards start to sell.

FFG may expend resources on such a product in the future, and I would be happy to buy official cards, even if the units were never tournament legal.  I'd prefer seeing the Sino-Soviets put into production first, however, so I'm willing to wait, or develop stats for local play myself.

This has been a motive of debate since the beginning of the game being published, with quite an amount of trolling, bitching, and hatin from many parts...

 

In teresting thing, Gimp, is you´ve made the best argument so far, IMO, of why it is an unlikey thing to happen. And I especially agree that, once we agree on the fact that resources have to be devoted to such an endevour, I would rather see those resources dedicated to the SSU, Vrill, Japanese...etc.



#6 BigDogg

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 11:41 AM

I think it would be fantastic if they released a source book for other WWII equipment. It just seems weird that all that equipment would just be ignored. Granted in the context of the board game having a bunch of lumbering tanks running around might not be practical (even though the super heaving walkers coming out are quite large) but small transports or fixed heavy weapons would be cool. Hopefully the Dust Warfare rules will be a little more comprehensive.


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#7 Algesan

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 11:33 PM

Aldarion said:

Gimp said:

 

I don't know that FFG would be restricting themselves only to rules for vehicles they sell, so much as it not being commercially viable to enter an arena with so many established companies with a mirror product.  FFG has to run a business to let us keep getting DUST stuff, and entering an established market is very hard for a company.

Selling just pdf's, printed cards, or print on demand cards would be nice, but would take away support staff from actual game development to develop balanced stats for a much lower margin product, if it can be done profitably, at all.  Fan created cards are only as good as the fans' attempts to create cards that retain balance, which is traditionally problematic for games.  Pdf's would be easiest, as there is minimal expense once the cards are created, but creating balanced units takes a significant amount of time in development and playtest, which is all expense and not paying bills until the cards start to sell.

FFG may expend resources on such a product in the future, and I would be happy to buy official cards, even if the units were never tournament legal.  I'd prefer seeing the Sino-Soviets put into production first, however, so I'm willing to wait, or develop stats for local play myself.

 

 

This has been a motive of debate since the beginning of the game being published, with quite an amount of trolling, bitching, and hatin from many parts...

 

In teresting thing, Gimp, is you´ve made the best argument so far, IMO, of why it is an unlikey thing to happen. And I especially agree that, once we agree on the fact that resources have to be devoted to such an endevour, I would rather see those resources dedicated to the SSU, Vrill, Japanese...etc.

It is an effort that may or may not be profitable.  It would extend a lot of "good will" and be in the nature of an investment.  I'd go with Print On Demand with a stiff markup, so that if you want to run those five Shermans you have to buy five Sherman cards from FFG.  The rules would probably have to be made up just once and could even be done as "official experimental" rules.  Several people have noted that some easy tank rules are:

  1. Tanks have to expend a MOVE action to change facing, otherwise they can only MOVE ahead.
  2. Tanks need to have facings so they can be attacked vs different armor values.
  3. Tanks may be MOVE2 by default and/or may gain a bonus to shooting when stationary for being a more stable platform.

Give them a FFG stamp of "official test rules" and people will play with them, test them and give the data back to FFG.  Now the bulk of the effort falls on the fans, not FFG.



#8 Gobbo

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 05:54 AM

Algesan said:


 

 

It is an effort that may or may not be profitable.  It would extend a lot of "good will" and be in the nature of an investment.  I'd go with Print On Demand with a stiff markup, so that if you want to run those five Shermans you have to buy five Sherman cards from FFG.  The rules would probably have to be made up just once and could even be done as "official experimental" rules.  Several people have noted that some easy tank rules are:

  1. Tanks have to expend a MOVE action to change facing, otherwise they can only MOVE ahead.
  2. Tanks need to have facings so they can be attacked vs different armor values.
  3. Tanks may be MOVE2 by default and/or may gain a bonus to shooting when stationary for being a more stable platform.

Give them a FFG stamp of "official test rules" and people will play with them, test them and give the data back to FFG.  Now the bulk of the effort falls on the fans, not FFG.

Just wait for the Warfare rules.  Facing is important for tanks.



#9 Gimp

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 07:17 AM

Algesan said:

It is an effort that may or may not be profitable.  It would extend a lot of "good will" and be in the nature of an investment.  I'd go with Print On Demand with a stiff markup, so that if you want to run those five Shermans you have to buy five Sherman cards from FFG.  The rules would probably have to be made up just once and could even be done as "official experimental" rules.  Several people have noted that some easy tank rules are:

  1. Tanks have to expend a MOVE action to change facing, otherwise they can only MOVE ahead.
  2. Tanks need to have facings so they can be attacked vs different armor values.
  3. Tanks may be MOVE2 by default and/or may gain a bonus to shooting when stationary for being a more stable platform.

Give them a FFG stamp of "official test rules" and people will play with them, test them and give the data back to FFG.  Now the bulk of the effort falls on the fans, not FFG.

Extending good will can be very nice, but good will that requires company resources for development can be very expensive.  Any unit will require company people for development and playtesting.  Pre-release fan playtesting can find issues, but frequently is lacking in competence as the playtesters are more interested in playing with new shinies than in verifying game balance.  That's why so many games wind up with problems when new units are released.  Developing any new units takes company time and resources.  FFG is a growing company, but they also have a lot of commitments to continue with other games.  They only have so much in resources for develoment of any game, or their other games will suffer.

Tank rules would only have to be made up once, but every hour of company time used to create and balance those units along with images for cards is expense and resources that could instead be used to develop the Soviets, Japanese, and other units.  Which is more important?  I'm a historical WW2 gamer, with lots of historical figures I could use for biger DUST games.  I'd prefer to see the Soviets, Japanese, and more Allied and Axis units, even though I'd like to see historical and VK tech vehicles, as well.

As for tank rules that have been suggested, consider these points:

1) Tank maneuver I think is a nice idea, as tanks do traditionally have issues changing direction.  That's why turrets were developed.  How much that impacts with the facing rules for DUST Warfare, however, we don't know.

2) Tank facings can be very nice, and the historical games I prefer do deal with varied armor, but walkers are likely to have varied armor, yet DUST gives them a base value for all facings.  Armor is varied to improve performance, and walkers would worry about that just like regular vehicles would.  If walkers don't worry about armor facings in DUST, it's likely that tanks shouldn't either.  I could see a future development of something like 'DUST Warfare: Tactical' that enumerated armor values for different target points for walkers and other vehicles, but the game currently does not run with that much detail.  With that detail slowing down game play, and DUST still working as a good tactical game with single armor values, there isn't much need.

3) Tanks do not need to be faster than infantry at the battlefield level.  Cross country performance for tanks reduces their maximum speed, and visibility while buttoned up for combat, even with an exposed crewman on a pintle mount, can keep them even slower.  I would expect a walker at full speed on the move could go much faster than an infantryman, or they would not be as useful for modern warfare, yet DUST acknowledges the battlefield for them, and dropped their speed.  Blitzkrieg works on the speed of units on the breakthrough, but tactical speed moving up to the breakthrough has to be much slower than a vehicle's maximum to attack with maximum efficiency.  A stationary tank is a much more stable platform than a moving tank, or a moving walker, but would not necessarily be any better than a stationary walker.  Since stationary walkers get no bonus to combat other than the ability to use Sustained Attack, there is little justification for giving a vehicle a different bonus for being stationary.  I could see a penalty for some vehicles firing while moving (those with no stabilization), but that would require more resources to verify what vehicles should qualify.  Since VK technology would be added to existing vehicles as possible, there is a good rationale for not applying penalties for vehicles, and thus also avoiding the development expense of coming up with point cost changes for vehicle disadvantages. 

Anything FFG puts out for DUST has an inherent stamp of approval, so I can understand them being slow to add additional material without first doing internal work on it.  As I noted, fan playtesting can give important data, which is why companies use it, but that data is frequently tainted, and has to be verified in house if FFG wants to maintain correct competitive balance.  I've seen too many companies through the years that screwed up their games when adding expanded rules because playtesters didn't do their jobs, and the company didn't verify the playtest data.

Bad units or rules, even if released for 'unofficial' units, can generate a lot of 'negative will,' that could do more damage than the good will generated by adding traditional vehicles.

As I've said, I'd love to see historical vehicles added to DUST, but there are other things I see as more important.  There are players who want historical units, but others that don't.  There are few players, however, who have no interest in the Soviets and more walkers.  If I were FFG, I know where I would be using my development resources.



#10 Algesan

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 12:56 AM

Good points.  OTOH, I know a company can build a group of volunteers to deal with their testing, gamers are like that.  Despite what you say about that being tainted results, could you see you yourself not disputing or refuting bad playtest results reported by a fan-based group you were part of?  I could see you being mistaken about stuff, but not speaking your mind isn't one of your problems. 

OTOH, I could see you resigning from the effort.  Last time I was on a team for a board game, back in the late 90s, I did that.  I couldn't accept an outsider (who happens to be a popular SF writer) sticking his nose in and having some control on which way the game design went.  Oh, I'm stopping there, it would be a rant of epic proportions.  I'll note that even though I read that author's books, I haven't bought one for about fifteen years and I won't. 



#11 Gimp

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 03:12 PM

A good group of playtesters is something a company should cherish.  They are out there, and I've dealt with several through the years. 

How much data is tainted in playtesting can vary considerably, but any data has to be checked.  Sometimes, a different set of eyes is all it takes to see issues, both for playtesters, or for reviewing playtest data.  The advantage of a larger group of playtesters from different areas is exactly because they wil come at the game with a variety of viewpoints.  Obvious issues that come to light after a game is released normally come out becaue the larger player base has people with different thought processes that spot things missed in playtest. 

As you noted, I've never had a problem stating my opinion, and fortunately, I've never had a problem admitting I'm wrong when I find out I am.

Even for the game where I asked to have my name removed from the credits, I'm still willing to do playtesting for them.  I understand their rationale for going the direction they did, even if I don't like the results.  I simply asked for my name to be removed so people who know me don't assume the game works the way I would want it to because they see my name.  The game's ideas were understandable, but created a game I would have much less fun playing.  Those who know me know I'm more of a simulationist than a completely unrealistic cinematic.  I love cinematics for a game, but I want them to make sense to some degree.  Suspension of disbelief is much easier when the structure makes some sense.



#12 Algesan

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 08:07 AM

Sooooo, you don't mind my idea for lightning bolt throwing ninja assassins who can cleave armor with their swords as long as they are using a VK-powered backpack generator to run the field, right? 

Okay, speaking of making sense, I'm wondering why walkers don't get any close combat attacks.  I mean, swing the torso to slam in a gun barrel or simply stomp/kick a target.



#13 Gimp

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 08:53 AM

Algesan said:

Sooooo, you don't mind my idea for lightning bolt throwing ninja assassins who can cleave armor with their swords as long as they are using a VK-powered backpack generator to run the field, right? 

Okay, speaking of making sense, I'm wondering why walkers don't get any close combat attacks.  I mean, swing the torso to slam in a gun barrel or simply stomp/kick a target.

I actually wouldn't mind your ninja, so long as they made sense, and had a point cost to fit their game abilities.  You might have just pegged a Japanese special forces unit...

As for walkers not getting a close combat attack; I can understand.  Nothing says walkers have the mobility of a normal person, so kicking may well be a good way for them to fall over whenever they tried it, if their hips would allow it.  As for swinging their torso to slam somebody, that's a pretty significant feat for what effectively would have to turn like a turret.  Even the modern anti-aircraft turrets might be able to push someone off, but not really hurt them unless they got lucky and caught an arm or leg between the weapon and something else.  With armor as well as flesh involved, slamming someone could also be a recipe for damaging the alignment of the weapon with its sights.  Stomping sounds good, and lots of mecha games use it, but the stomp has to be against an immobilized target, or come very fast, to be able to be an effective attack.

We don't have VK technology, but we've just recently been able to make a walking robot that has reasonable functionality for balance.  VK gives DUST better power, and they've made some huge leaps for other technological applications, but while some walkers can jump, none of them look like they would be good at dancing.  When we get the 'Disco Ludwig,' I'll expect walkers to get close combat attacks.  Until then, I'll be happy to let them keep their balance and dignity intact.



#14 Major Headcase

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 03:34 PM

I could model up a Disco Ludwig real fast! Platform feet ( good for spins and stomping!) covered in bright multi colored lights, (to blind and bedazzle the enemy), a huge pompadore made of razor wire ( to arrange stylishly and perforate would be attackers!), and spikes all over the ends of the barrels, to make minced meat out of the Allied commandos whilst it does the "Electric Slide"!! It would only take me a year or two, and a good place to hide from shame after!



#15 Gimp

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 04:17 PM

Major Headcase said:

I could model up a Disco Ludwig real fast! Platform feet ( good for spins and stomping!) covered in bright multi colored lights, (to blind and bedazzle the enemy), a huge pompadore made of razor wire ( to arrange stylishly and perforate would be attackers!), and spikes all over the ends of the barrels, to make minced meat out of the Allied commandos whilst it does the "Electric Slide"!! It would only take me a year or two, and a good place to hide from shame after!

And after thinking about it, you apparently understand why I said I'd let the walkers keep their balance and dignity intact...



#16 Major Headcase

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 04:39 PM

    Dont fight it Gimp, you know you'd buy one! you may only display it in the bathroom...in the basement.....of your neighbors house, but, being a collector, you couldnt live without one!

   Although, I think the walkers would be faster than the current game implies, if it had open ground to build up speed, and a pilot willing to take some risks. So maybe a sort of "trample" or "stampede" type of attack could work? Move through enemy occupied squares and squash a few on the way over? You would risk getting a mine clamped to your armored butt on the way by though!



#17 Aldarion

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 06:07 AM

 Just a sidenote:

Technical data found in the DUST respurcebook state MAX walkers speed at 33 km/hr for allied, and 35 km/hr for axis.



#18 GorFrag

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 09:22 AM

Odd, in the Real war the Allies were known for their speed VS lumbering Axis tanks. But I guess this isn't the real war.



#19 Aldarion

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 12:38 PM

GorFrag said:

Odd, in the Real war the Allies were known for their speed VS lumbering Axis tanks. But I guess this isn't the real war.

 

But bearing in mind that in Dust the germans are the ones to acquire VK technology the first, it´s fair thta they have the most advanced walkers (wich is clear from the design, also)...

 

Still, the essence of what you inform is still present in the fact that allied faction is more speed specilized, and axis toghness specialized.



#20 Gimp

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 12:50 PM

Major Headcase said:

    Dont fight it Gimp, you know you'd buy one! you may only display it in the bathroom...in the basement.....of your neighbors house, but, being a collector, you couldnt live without one!

   Although, I think the walkers would be faster than the current game implies, if it had open ground to build up speed, and a pilot willing to take some risks. So maybe a sort of "trample" or "stampede" type of attack could work? Move through enemy occupied squares and squash a few on the way over? You would risk getting a mine clamped to your armored butt on the way by though!

I lived through the disco era.  I could resist.

I think walkers have to be able to move faster for non-combat travel, or they would lose tactical and strategic importance, and vehicles would still be more important.  Vehicles don't move at full speed while in combat, either.  I doubt the walkers are moving at M1 Abrams speeds, but being able to go as fast or faster than most WW2 tanks would be an easy idea. 

A walker rushing toward infantry to play bug squash would be as effective as a tank moving toward infantry to do the same thing, however.  Tanks sometimes caught infantry, but the infantry was normally able to get out of the way.  Bug squashing only worked if the infantry was pinned in place by fire, and couldn't get out of the way. 

The worries of mines or sticky bombs stuck on while passing, or grenades shoved in inconvenient places, made it a less appealing proposition, as well.






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