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Kings & Chronicles: Getting Close to Open Play Testing

Posted June 5th, 2013 at 10:54 PM by jbbnbsmith
I was hoping to have everything ready to post print & play files for Kings & Chronicles by now, but the process is taking a little longer than I had hoped. I didn't realize just how bad my rules were! I had made so many revisions over the past two years that they were woefully out of date. Rather than simply cleaning them up I've been pretty much writing them from scratch.

I also realized that some of my terms were confusing. For example, the cards used by the players to drive the game forward were called Event Cards. But an Event Card may be played in one of three ways, activate the Event, spend the Point Value of the Card, or use the Battle Effect to impact combat. After writing the phrase "Event Card Event" several times I quickly realized that this doesn't work. I am changing the name to Action Cards, which not only better describes what they do, eliminates the redundancy and the confusion. This means I have to update the backs of all the two decks.

So between rewriting the rules and more general editing than I had expected this is taking a little bit longer. But I'm getting there.

I also hope to put together a video or two that demo's the game and explains how it is played to serve as an aid for those who would like to play test.

Some time this summer, I guess.
Total Comments 6


flameslayer93's Avatar
Good luck!
Posted June 6th, 2013 at 05:55 PM by flameslayer93 flameslayer93 is offline
chas's Avatar
Good for you. Good projects always takes more work than you think, and not everyone is up for all that effort. I'd be glad to look over your latest rules draft with comments once you 'finish' it, if you'd like a fresh eye on it!

Even Chariot Lords was improved, but unfortunately after publication, with much needed scenarios and other fixes, etc.
Posted June 7th, 2013 at 09:31 AM by chas chas is offline
jbbnbsmith's Avatar
Chas, I will definitely take you up on that offer! Even after reading more rule books than I care to count, both good and bad, it's quite a different thing to write rules for a game you've developed yourself. Of course I know what I'm trying to say! But it may be complete confusion for someone else.

I'm finding it challenging to decide how much detail to include. I want to be clear, but I also don't want to create a 100 page rule book that insults people's intelligence.

My process at the moment is simply writing sections that cover all of the rules in enough detail to at least begin to flesh them out. I've also been doing a lot of cut and paste in an attempt to organize the sections in the most logical format, while also being aware of the terminology I use to try to be consistent throughout. It's funny how already I've had to tweak a lot of terms like "turn", "action", "activate", and "move" because I was using them in different ways or using two words to mean the same thing.

I still am not sure what the ultimate formate will look like. I was raised playing Avalon Hill and other war games that used a very formal outline format (Section 8, rule 5, part c). Most modern games use a more conversational/narrative approach. Currently I'm leaning toward the latter.

But my first step is simply to capture all the rules in one document. Once that's done and I've had a chance to do at least a quick proof and edit I'll send you a copy. Something to read at the beach this summer!
Posted June 7th, 2013 at 12:09 PM by jbbnbsmith jbbnbsmith is offline
quozl's Avatar
I've done some rulebook editing. When you send me playtest files, I'll definitely look over the rules too.
Posted June 7th, 2013 at 05:33 PM by quozl quozl is offline
chas's Avatar
Yes, I started out with the old Avalon Hill games back in the Sixties too, and used to write a column on miniatures called Those Fightin' Fifty-Fours for the old Plastic Figure and Playset Collector magazine (ed. Tom Terry).

I'm getting ready to sell about half of my 100 boardgames on ebay, and so have been going over them, looking in the boxes at the bottom of my closet, etc. I'm even more interested in going back to the games I'm keeping and re-exploring them. I just downloaded "new" files of player aids, etc. for about 13 designs from boardgame geek. And for Memoir 44 which I play often, I've updated by printing out about 70 pages of FAQ from 2010/11! Its good to be retired.

One old game which I've never played, Troy (Chaosium), is still complete, although I just "rescued" the counters from my last old style SPI plastic and cardboard box, which was truly disintegrating. So the counters for the game has been "promoted" to a new Plano box! Seeing such old two color counters in a new hi tech box is bizarre.

Here's a note I found that I made years ago you'll like, from Rommel In The Desert, which also remains unplayed, but is soon to be tried out. "In this (rules section) the phrases 'turn,' 'phase,' and 'round' are used interchangeably! Do they all mean the same thing?"

I also have large miniature collections, not to mention DVDs and books, and having just cleared out my deceased parents house in NJ, and so now have more stuff from there too. So these days I can hardly turn around in my NYC apartment...

And I've professionally edited newsletters, my own game rules (and those of any I play as needed), etc. The only reason I didn't volunteer to playtest is that, sadly, I'm finding it hard to get groups of players together these days.
Posted June 8th, 2013 at 07:09 AM by chas chas is offline
Updated June 9th, 2013 at 04:02 PM by chas
jbbnbsmith's Avatar
Impressive qualifications, Chas. You're hired!

It's refreshing to find someone older than me online. I am a mere 49 years old.

I still find the terms turn, round, segment, and phase to be confusing as there is no universal agreement on how they are used or even the hierarchy.
Posted June 8th, 2013 at 10:17 AM by jbbnbsmith jbbnbsmith is offline
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