The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby dalek4890l » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:10 pm

Captain Jonah wrote:
msprange wrote:
If your rulings on them are not “Official” then who’s are :?:

If your answers are not the “Official Word” then every game, every tournament or completion, every display is going to have a different interpretation of that rule.
People are going to go to a game and find that the rules work differently to the tourney they were in last week and those were different to the home game they played the week before.

Consider that part of the reason for this list was that many of these questions come up again and again, the rules do not seem clear and we all had differing opinions about what was right or wrong.

:

Here, here

As the rulebook is written there is scope for misinterpretation and someone who could officially rule on it is useful. Maybe we should just ignore what Matt says about not being god and assume he is. After all if I wrote a set of rules and people wanted some clarification I do think that what I said would be official. After all I would have the advantage of knowing the intention behind all the rules. If not Captain Jonah has done a good compilation here so maybe we could make him god :D
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby MongooseMatt » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:24 am

dalek4890l wrote: If your answers are not the “Official Word” then every game, every tournament or completion, every display is going to have a different interpretation of that rule.
Sounds like every 40k tournament I have ever been to (and those are the ones at the head office!)...
dalek4890l wrote: Maybe we should just ignore what Matt says about not being god and assume he is. After all if I wrote a set of rules and people wanted some clarification I do think that what I said would be official. After all I would have the advantage of knowing the intention behind all the rules.
I don't think I am that clever :)
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby Iron Domokun » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:58 am

I don't think I am that clever
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby storeylf » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:54 am

msprange wrote:
dalek4890l wrote: If your answers are not the “Official Word” then every game, every tournament or completion, every display is going to have a different interpretation of that rule.
Sounds like every 40k tournament I have ever been to (and those are the ones at the head office!)...
Another game having badly written rules is not a good excuse for your own badly written rules, nor a reason to not provide clarifications of what you were meaning when you wrote them.
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby Reynard » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:04 pm

I don't know whether I should be impressed or dismayed concerning the volume of misreading and misinterpretaions to two dozen pages of simple rules. The worst part is this overall attitude of "*I* misinterpreted the rule so it's *your* fault I'm not enjoying the game fully!" Really, it seems people are getting more kicks out of nit-picking than playing.

There have been a very few times I needed clarification. I read the FAQ and even took a note from these forums knowing it may not be canon but it sounds right enough until it's made official or not then I went back to the game without fussing. AMAZING how fun the game and it's two dozen rule pages are!

Matt, I love the game as it is! Add new rules in suppliments along with new ships and stuff from the SFU. Thank you for the FAQ but please don't let people turn it into the new Doomsday rules.
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby Captain Jonah » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:28 pm

msprange wrote:
dalek4890l wrote: If your answers are not the “Official Word” then every game, every tournament or completion, every display is going to have a different interpretation of that rule.
Sounds like every 40k tournament I have ever been to (and those are the ones at the head office!)...
dalek4890l wrote: Maybe we should just ignore what Matt says about not being god and assume he is. After all if I wrote a set of rules and people wanted some clarification I do think that what I said would be official. After all I would have the advantage of knowing the intention behind all the rules.
I don't think I am that clever :)
Matt, Matt, Matt. :roll:

You are looking at a world release of Mongoose/ADB presents the "Star Trek" space combat system with detailed miniatures and a quick to learn rule set. World wide release.

The first release swamped your ability to meet demand, you had to swap to metal to keep up with the volume of orders and that’s from something that has not yet had its big release.

Playing in the big league and staying there means providing a service that people expect from a big league company. Blaming another system with rules that are open to massive player interpretation is hardly that world class image. Nor is saying you are not clever enough to answer player questions. :roll:

It’s a new set of rules, most of us mortals have questions. A world wide release is going to bring in a rather large number of new players who have the same questions we did when we first looked at the rules.

You need to have in place a mechanism to deal with this, you say that if a question is asked often enough it will go onto the FAQ. This is the 21st century here. Games companies have on line databases of questions and answers. Any question no matter how odd or unique that is answered should be noted so if it happens again the answer is there to be seen. It doesn’t need to be a vast interaction 3D database, it can be a few pages of documents much as I put at the beginning of this topic. The form it takes is much less important that the fact that it exists.

It doesn't matter if its you personally or a designated ACTA-SF Rules Master. What matters is that there is a single point that can be taken as being The Rule.

As much as you deny it you are the person who wrote the rules, you compiled the play test changes. The book has your name on the front. You are guilty of being the Author. People want a single source of “Official” rules; I asked before and will repeat myself here.

If not you then who?

If you want help with considering rules points this forum is full of people with ideas, a week of hashing something back and forth and you can consider the results, play test them a few times at the in house battles and make your judgement known. It doesn’t have to be you doing everything. It does have to be you making the final decision.

Face it you are the chap that wrote the rules, if you say the rules are intended to work this way we are going to accept that is the way the rules should work.

Do you truly want “Your Rules”, Your Game” to be reduced to the level of 40K. :shock:

Or do you want something better. Stop with the excuses, you are “THE LAW”. :lol: :wink:
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby MongooseMatt » Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:41 pm

storeylf wrote: Sounds like every 40k tournament I have ever been to (and those are the ones at the head office!)...
Another game having badly written rules is not a good excuse for your own badly written rules,[/quote]

Just to make myself clear on this point...

I am a big fan of 40k.

I like to play 40k.

I used to write material for 40k (granted, mainly background, a few rules - the Flesh Tearers were me :)).

I do not consider the 40k rules to be badly written in any way - indeed, I would consider them a good example of how to approach a rules set.
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby MongooseMatt » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:02 pm

Captain Jonah wrote:[If not you then who?
The FAQ and errata.

Seriously, it has to be that way.

I may answer these forums at home, when I don't have a book to hand. I may answer one way one day, then change my mind the next (usually after a player has made a good argument, not often on a whim...).

The items in the FAQ and errata have been inspected, considered, revised and repeated. That is the big difference.

Honestly, taking something I say here and using a print out in a tournament, whether or not it is technically correct, would be the gate to madness!

On this point (and I acknowledge that I am going to get it in the neck for saying this), I spent a fair amount of time hobnobbing with GW games designers of various stripes in my youthful days of writing, and came to understand their philosophy when it comes to rules writing.

It is not the intention of the GW writers (they said to me) to lay out, chapter and verse, every little possible rules interpretation. It would result in a book three times as large with a very high boredom factor - which is the complete reversal of what the game is intended to be. One of them told me (and this is more or less an exact quote) that if there is a choice of writing one paragraph of rules that covers 90% of all doubt, and six paragraphs that remove all doubt, they will choose the former.

And I would agree with them...

Now, I _know_ that some of you reading this will call foul on that approach, that a rules set should be an enclosed structure. But that is not how the guys at GW play their games. And it isn't really how I play them either. It is about a much looser approach that does not rely on tournament style play (not that you can't do tournaments with them, as you quite clearly can), or fixed forces, or even fair forces, or single interpretations of the rules. That is precisely why GW have the 'roll a D6 rule' in their games.

Warlord Games is another company that takes this approach, and it is not surprising they are two ex-GW guys. Check out their Black Powder game (it is a great book, go buy it!). No points values. At all.

That would drive some gamers I know spare!

There will be gamers reading this, I know, for whom this approach is just wrong and the root of all evil. ADB, for example (and I just raise them as an example, though a directly relevant one), take the opposite approach, and try to squeeze every last ambiguity out of the rules set. I know that many SFB and FC players are having trouble with the way CTA handles things, and it is because of this philosophy. We can make a direct comparison between the comments and questions made on CTA:SF and those made for CTA: NA and B5 in the past, and the difference is marked. Same rules sets, different expectations from one segment of players.

The thing is, it often boils down to this. There are certain things in the rules that are critical, either for its structure or its balance. Those go into the rulebook or, if we make a boo-boo, into the errata. The other stuff... well, I'll let you into a Games Design Secret.

It doesn't really matter.

So long as you are _consistent_ (and that really is the key) in the way you play, you will find your games go along just fine. Occasionally you will bump into a player who is not part of your regular group. If (_if_) you hit a sticking point in the game, either agree to go along with one interpretation or the other like gentlemen, or invoke the GW D6 rule. That is precisely what it is there for.

_That_ is why I am reluctant to have my words be taken as though they were inscribed on stone. There are likely to be many groups playing it one way, they read something I said off the cuff and start thinking 'oh, no! We've been doing it all wrong!' when in actual fact, what they were doing is just fine. If it works for them, they should carry on because it will not wreck the game either way.

Umm... I started waffling there, did any of it make any sense? :)
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby storeylf » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:45 pm

I don't have a problem with a FAQ. The problem is you don't seem to have a FAQ, as in 'frequent .. questions'. I see several frequently asked/discussed questions about the rules and none of them are in the so called FAQ.

You talk about balance, rules directly impact on balance. Take the C8, in our last game one of the many questions that came up was how it can distribute its 10 phasers to defend against drones. 10 phasers should be able to shoot 10 drones yes, so its good vs drones. Well no, not if I take this quote as true
And if you use it in defensive firem then all AD in that line are used ina single "defensive fire pulse", not spread out across many of them, so the example of using 10AD of phasers at a single drone is accurate.
So you'll only ever get to shoot at one volley? of say 2 drones, you either don't use the 10 phasers or you use them all in one go. Or is that for the 'simple rules' with no split fire? does the split fire advanced rule allow you to divide the 10 phasers? etc

The thread on klingon shields is another area where the way you play how much of an 'attack' is halved has a significant effect no balance.


Not only that we get players either saying X empire is useless or vice versa and then you saying they are not. How do you know whether they are balanced or not if you don't know what rules they playing with? How do we know what rules you are playing with that results in you seeing everyone as balanced? What rules were your playtesters playing with?

Whats the point of tactics discussions if you aren't aware of how someone is interpreting certain rules?

Clearly people can play with house rules or home grown stuff etc to their hearts content. But I don't expect a game I plonk money on to force me, by design, to do something I expected the game designer to have done (or at least without fair warning). OK I anticipate some queries, but I expect the game designer/owner to answer them, not just say go house rule it! Those who wish to house rule can house rule no matter what clarifications you have issued.


I once tried to get back into warhammer stuff years ago (after last playing it as a teen), but had no gaming group to play with, so ended up playing random people in the local GW stores. I got fed up of so many games ending up with 'debates' about what the rules meant. Such discussions nearly always come up at a potentially decisive point in a game, and usually in a way that someone is going to being serioulsy disadvantaged when just a minute earlier, based on how he previously played it, he thought he was ok. Such games are not fun whether you win or lose.
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby MongooseMatt » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:50 pm

storeylf wrote:but I expect the game designer/owner to answer them, not just say go house rule it!
Well, hang on, that is not what I said.

Whenever I have been asked a question, I have answered it.

The _only_ thing I am saying here is don't take forum answers as the Last Word _until_ they appear in the FAq or errata. That is all I am saying.
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby storeylf » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:31 pm

msprange wrote:Whenever I have been asked a question, I have answered it.

Can I ask what is meant by 'ask you' then, it isn't post on this forum (none of my rule query posts have had an answer from you yet that I can remember), and at least one of my questions was also asked on the rulemasters forum months ago and has still not been answered. Do you mean we actually email/PM you personally if we want a rule query answered?

It may be true that at some point you have answered each question, but for those of us who haven't been into the game since the year dot finding those answers is not easy.

As I've posted before (and has been said by others) this sort of thread is exactly the sort that needs to be stickied, assuming the OP indeed represents your previous rulings (whether they are your random musings or otherwise).
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby Iron Domokun » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:58 am

I do not consider the 40k rules to be badly written in any way - indeed, I would consider them a good example of how to approach a rules set.
I would disagree. In fact, it's one of those cases where I'm so far from agreeing there's simply no basis for any kind of discussion. Having struggled with the (in my opinion) horrific 40K rules, I simply won't invest $ in a ruleset written with the same philosophy. Wish I'd known that earlier, I'd have saved a lot of anguish.
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby MongooseMatt » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:04 pm

Iron Domokun wrote:
I would disagree. In fact, it's one of those cases where I'm so far from agreeing there's simply no basis for any kind of discussion.
Well, that's the conversation done with then...
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby Digger » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:00 pm

I agree with you Matt,

Jaw, Jaw is better than War, War!
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby Captain Jonah » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:33 pm

msprange wrote:
Captain Jonah wrote:[If not you then who?
The FAQ and errata.

Seriously, it has to be that way.

I may answer these forums at home, when I don't have a book to hand. I may answer one way one day, then change my mind the next (usually after a player has made a good argument, not often on a whim...).

The items in the FAQ and errata have been inspected, considered, revised and repeated. That is the big difference.
Fair enough. However….

People hate when I do that. :lol:

Anyway there are a number of points in my original post that have been raised multiple times here. What process is in place to submit them to be included in the online FAQ. Is there a single point where such matters are sent to be disseminated to the FAQ writers and testers.

As other people have mentioned questions that come up fairly often are not in the FAQ.

msprange wrote: Honestly, taking something I say here and using a print out in a tournament, whether or not it is technically correct, would be the gate to madness!
ACTA - Call of Cthulhu. Fantastic, what do the miniatures look like :wink:

msprange wrote: On this point (and I acknowledge that I am going to get it in the neck for saying this), I spent a fair amount of time hobnobbing with GW games designers of various stripes in my youthful days of writing, and came to understand their philosophy when it comes to rules writing.

Snipped ………………That would drive some gamers I know spare!

There will be gamers reading this, I know, for whom this approach is just wrong and the root of all evil. ADB, for example (and I just raise them as an example, though a directly relevant one), take the opposite approach, and try to squeeze every last ambiguity out of the rules set. I know that many SFB and FC players are having trouble with the way CTA handles things, and it is because of this philosophy.
The stake is ready, the firewood is piled high. The rent a mob is costuming up now. There will be heretic burning tonight.

I get what you say, well I Intellectually grasp what you are saying even if it makes about as much sense to me as chocolate teapots.

You are dealing with differing player groups and one group is causing trouble by having high expectations with regard to the rules being tightly defined.

This is going to be a steady problem with a minority of “serious Gamers” trying to remove the ambiguities that a growing majority of GW Muppets have no problems with (I’ll just add here that I don’t hate all GW players, I know some decent ones).

Going world wide will bring in far more GW types than it will ADB types.

I also realise that you are a busy man and your time is limited.

But how bad is it going to be to have your “Unofficial” rulings stickied. Add a note saying that these are not to be taken to in any way change the way that the rules are written in the book and allow people to use them of not.

The War gaming types are happy because they (well we :lol: ) have a nice set of rulings to cover all those questions that have come up. The Muppets (sorry GW players) have a disclaimer that says “It Ain’t Official” and is voluntary to use

Both groups (your paying customers) are happy because both get things there way. Satisfied customers spend money and tell their friends.
msprange wrote: Umm... I started waffling there, did any of it make any sense? :)
Did you want an honest answer or a diplomatic answer. :lol: :wink:



Who Are We GORN

What Do We Want. Cruisers that can turn CORNERS……
Traveller: Nonsense, those rumours about me and crashes, no truth in them at all. I never had a landing I didn't walk away from!

ACTA-SF: Who are we, GORN. What do we want, Cruisers that can turn.... Wait, OK Escorts... Wait. I'll get back to you !
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby MongooseMatt » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:47 pm

Captain Jonah wrote: Anyway there are a number of points in my original post that have been raised multiple times here. What process is in place to submit them to be included in the online FAQ. Is there a single point where such matters are sent to be disseminated to the FAQ writers and testers.
To be honest, while it is not immediate (and there isn't really a system that could be), we _do_ go through these forums collating such questions. That is exactly how the FAQ was compiled the first time.

So, when do I plan on doing it again? Well, before everything goes on worldwide release might be a good idea! So, soon.
Captain Jonah wrote:You are dealing with differing player groups and one group is causing trouble by having high expectations with regard to the rules being tightly defined.
This is just one aspect, though I am pretty comfortable saying it certainly exists. I am not beyond admitting to the occasional brain fade...
Captain Jonah wrote: Going world wide will bring in far more GW types than it will ADB types.
I think you are right. However, this is not the reason we approach games this way. We do them, because this is how we like to play. If the world was dominated by ADB, we would _still_ be writing this style of game.
Captain Jonah wrote: But how bad is it going to be to have your “Unofficial” rulings stickied. Add a note saying that these are not to be taken to in any way change the way that the rules are written in the book and allow people to use them of not.
Well, I could make a noise about not wanting to jump in one camp or the other on some questions, as they may be part of a rules review (don't get excited, we _constantly_ review rules). However, it is more to do with everything being in one place. If the only such answers are in the FAQ, then people know to go there first.

This means there _is_ a lag between a question raised and it appearing in the FAQ (if it is deemed necessary), but that is where I come in, merrily chirping away here on the forums - just don't be disappointed if what I say here on the spur of the moment differs from what later appears in the FAQ after due consideration!
Captain Jonah wrote:What Do We Want. Cruisers that can turn CORNERS……
Yes, but you see, I hates Gorns. I hates them, Captain!
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby Jean » Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:38 pm

msprange wrote:Yes, but you see, I hates Gorns. I hates them, Captain!
* Looks at Matthew *

Be nice to our Gorns, please. :) Remember they are quite large and strong and are quite capable of doing Bad Things to people who annoy them ...

such as sending a recording of one of the extinct purple Gorns (informally called "Barnies") singing a certain little love ditty on a continuous loop.

:shock:

Just a friendly little caution.

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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby Keeper Nilbog » Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:44 pm

Gorn psychological warfare - i wouldn't wish it on anyone :lol:
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby McKinstry » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:51 pm

Keeper Nilbog wrote:Gorn psychological warfare
I thought that solely consisted of trying to hit others with a great big psychology book?

Gorns - A simple, kindly people. Slow to anger and pretty much everything else. :P :twisted:
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Re: The rules as stated By Matthew Sprange

Postby Captain Jonah » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:19 pm

Jean wrote:
msprange wrote:Yes, but you see, I hates Gorns. I hates them, Captain!
* Looks at Matthew *

Be nice to our Gorns, please. :) Remember they are quite large and strong and are quite capable of doing Bad Things to people who annoy them ...

such as sending a recording of one of the extinct purple Gorns (informally called "Barnies") singing a certain little love ditty on a continuous loop.

:shock:

Just a friendly little caution.

Jean
Remember the secret clauses in the Organian treaty before the war.

The Feds are restricted to having one of the Probability manipulating Scottish engineer clones active at any time.

The Gorn are not allowed to use the allegedly still not extinct sanity eating purple ones.

Each of the other races has one thing that is absolutely banned on pain of all the other races turning on them. Unless of course a majority of the other major races agree that the very survival of the race is at stake. Though during the general war getting more than half of them to allow that is a bit hard, given that any one race is fighting at least 3 of the other 6 :roll: :wink:
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