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Polyversal on Meeples & Miniatures podcast

 Post subject: Polyversal on Meeples & Miniatures podcast
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:06 am 
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Let me be the first:

Meeples & Minatures chat with Ken Whitehurst about Polyversal on their podcast:

http://meeples.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/meeples-miniatures-episode-124-polyversal/

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 Post subject: Re: Polyversal on Meeples & Miniatures podcast
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:11 pm 
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I listened to the whole thing. It was quite enjoyable to listen to Ken, who sounds like a really reasonable, passionate guy who loves what he does. This is good news!

He made a comment that they are harassed/criticized daily on their pages for being so tight lipped about their product, and I am definitely guilty of this. I apologize :) As players, this is a day and age of reveals, and it's hard being patient when the "next big thing" doesnt tip its hand much! However, I get why they are doing this, and it is applaudable even if it is frustrating.

So...what did I take away from the podcast?

The game sounds like it is designed to be 3 to 5 companies of units, with 5 being the max before it starts to break down. I could not tell how many commanders are supposed to be on the field per side, but each commander controls 6 units that are attached to him...therefore we can assume that 1 commander per 6 units is reasonable.

At 53 minutes in, the discussion turns to rules; more specifically, at 59m when they actually start discussing details. Before that he discusses his love for the genre and scale, etc, and can be skipped unless you've got nothing better to do.

He referenced a few rulesets as "good" that made me realize, prior to his comment at 1:06, that I might be in trouble - Warmaster, Future War Commander...he said that he likes randomness, that (like Two Fat Lardies, he believes) not every model should move 6", etc. A little part of me died at that point.

Just last weekend I played a bit of Chain of Command, a Two Fat Lardies WWII game, which had some REALLY cool aspects to it (and shooting was a breeze), but all units moved with d6...a "Move and No Shoot" move for infantry was 2d6". My opponent had a commander who was in LOS to one of my advancing units, but the commander was only like 3 inches from the nearest building. He rolled his movement and got a 3 on 2d6...in short, he barely made it. Now, cinematically we can imagine that he was looking elsewhere, maybe directing his forces and not noticing the advancing threat, or maybe was struck by a sudden case of nerves and in his haste he tripped and fell, barely making it to cover...but this stuck in my craw like a bad chicken bone, and soured what otherwise could have been a good system for me.

The shooting mechanic actually sounds really cool. You roll 3 dice, which appear to be different types (d4, d6, d8, etc) based on the type of unit and firing control systems your unit has, maybe your weapon type, and what you're shooting at. You leave the result on the table and use the same dice to determine damage, which was a neat idea. I started to realize, however, that this could be even clunkier than Strike Legion or Gruntz, because not only are you rolling multiple dice per unit, but you cannot quickly determine "hit or miss" and pick them up and toss them again.

This is pure conjecture: is it conceivable that every unit in a group has different dice types? I imagine the author has limited this possibility, but it might exist. If my 5 tanks fire on your 5 tanks, I have to roll 5 separate times, resolving each shot before going to the next. I cannot batch roll, I cannot shoot all at once...and I am guessing that this is another "declare who you are firing at" system, so there isnt any quick damage resolution either (E:A, with it's "remove casualties from the front first" is so elegant!).

The "build your own" is always a fun concept. Some systems make it too math intensive, and Polyversal wants to reverse that trend. The system sounds "near future" so I'm wondering what kind of variety in weapons and systems the game really has.

Another concern I have is the hex cards the game uses. As I mentioned, each unit card is on a hex-shaped unit card, and the commander has 6 units "attached" to him by being placed around his own hex. It is unclear whether, if a unit is destroyed, its card can be removed and replaced by another unit on the board or not. My concern is, this sounds like a lot of real estate for a 3 Company game. If Epic has 10 to 12 units, then this game might have 2 full Hex-blossoms (my term, made up on the spot...) and depending on how big each individual card is, those blossoms could be 12 inches across or more? On a 6'x'4' table, where do those go? Imagine gaming down at your FLGS...not everyone has room off to the side for extras. It just gives me something to ponder, really.

Lastly, timing. If the Kickstarter happens this Q3 or Q4, there is no way we're seeing the rules before Summer 2015. So...with well more than a year before we can game this, find other things to entertain yourself. This one isnt any time soon.

Overall, I was excited to listen to the design aspects and visions of the author. I still want to see it and play it, but I have enough concerns that I will really have to think about my level of monetary commitment for the KS (yes, I absolutely will support it, even if its only at the rulebook-only level). I detest randomness in games, as well as klunkiness, which makes this sound like it might not be for me. Oh well...it could very well surprise me and be the Best Game Evar. Who knows...I've got quite some time to temper and adjust my expectations!

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 Post subject: Re: Polyversal on Meeples & Miniatures podcast
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:41 pm 
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As a hearing impaired, thank you for your break down.

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 Post subject: Re: Polyversal on Meeples & Miniatures podcast
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:01 pm 
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One other thing: the author describes this as an upgraded Dirtside II. I havent played DS2 yet, though I've read the rules a million times. It sounds like a good thing...

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 Post subject: Re: Polyversal on Meeples & Miniatures podcast
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:08 am 
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i listened to the podcast today. very informative and the silent death mechanic is nice, i like activations its seems it can be random. no point list though so this will be interesting. definitely not a tournament game though i wonder if its objective based or scenario driven. 18 months is a long time to keep the interest, probably more nuggets of info to keep it on the forefront otherwise people might move on or otherwise not keep interest. i hope demos occur at the various cons on the east coast NJCON, Historicon, Mechanicon, Barrage. I would love to see it played.

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 Post subject: Re: Polyversal on Meeples & Miniatures podcast
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:58 am 
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You clearly didnt listen properly. He hasnt finalized the points system, is all. There definitely will be one.

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 Post subject: Re: Polyversal on Meeples & Miniatures podcast
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:14 am 
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I thought it was a great piece although I found the opening intro pretty annoying. The presenters seem to find themselves more amusing than is justifiable.

Thankfully though Ken is far more interesting and worth listening to. I enjoyed hearing him talk about how he got into wargaming (I can't imagine many others getting into it the same way!) before he talks in much more detail about the Polyversal project.

As a NetEpic fan I was more disturbed by the idea of the stress rules which sounds like E:A's suppression rules which I am not keen on. I prefer stuff blowing up...

I thought the firing system that Kealios had issues with sounded great! It's all about personal preferences I suppose!

On a side note, part of the discussion mentioned about Net Epic and why GW hasn't sued for IP infringement. My understanding was that it was because the rules were completely rewritten, but it did make me wonder why there hasn't been any action over the use of GW trademarked terms such as "Space Marines". Why is that? Is it because there is no profit in the project (as the podcast speculates)? I'm interested to know after the debacle last year where GW sued the writer of some kiddies book that used the same term.

Look forward to hearing more about Polyversal in due course! ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Polyversal on Meeples & Miniatures podcast
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:48 am 
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Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of the firing resolution, but are you really keen to roll each individual unit's firing dice? Can you imagine a simple Close Assault in E:A being done 1 roll at a time? And not only that, but having to stop and resolve each roll before moving on?

I'm hesitant to play Gruntz which makes you roll 6 pairs of colored d6's at once...I think this just sounds so much more time consuming...

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 Post subject: Re: Polyversal on Meeples & Miniatures podcast
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:04 am 
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I do that all the time, that's how we roll in NetEpic! I use a lot of colour coded dice to speed up play. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Polyversal on Meeples & Miniatures podcast
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:06 pm 
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Gotta say this has peeked my interest all over again - just a shame its still going to be such a long wait.

It does need a good stock of off the shelf army lists using "generic" names (either in the box or downloadable) to avoid loads of list building time (otherwise getting new players involved could be a struggle) but otherwise it looks exactly what i and my random assortment of minis are looking for. Bring on the kitckstarter...


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 Post subject: Re: Polyversal on Meeples & Miniatures podcast
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:29 pm 
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What a spectacularly awkward way to try to convey rules/game overview information.

Thanks for the overview Kealios, tried listing to the podcast at several different points and gave up, you have more patience than I!

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 Post subject: Re: Polyversal on Meeples & Miniatures podcast
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:47 pm 
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Apocolocyntosis wrote:
What a spectacularly awkward way to try to convey rules/game overview information.

Thanks for the overview Kealios, tried listing to the podcast at several different points and gave up, you have more patience than I!


Heh...I normally cannot do podcasts either. I dont have the patience usually, but for this one I laid in bed with a tumbler of brandy (refilled a few times) and just closed my eyes and rested. It worked ok...I actually stayed awake!

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 Post subject: Re: Polyversal on Meeples & Miniatures podcast
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:19 pm 
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Apocolocyntosis wrote:
What a spectacularly awkward way to try to convey rules/game overview information.

Thanks for the overview Kealios, tried listing to the podcast at several different points and gave up, you have more patience than I!


Sorry Apoc! If you have any suggestions for future appearances, or how I could better explain the game concepts, let me know.

Ken

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 Post subject: Re: Polyversal on Meeples & Miniatures podcast
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:25 pm 
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Kealios: I hear you on the issue of rolling for each attack. What happens in practice is that most rolls are very quickly determined to be hits or misses. Miss? Easy, move on. Hit? For most targets it is immediately apparent if you killed it from a glance. If it is a bigger target, like a superheavy or titan-sized walker, you will have to check its damage track to see what effect the hit had. But for the vast majority of attacks, it moves quickly, especially once you get the hang of the one-roll-to-hit-and-damage mechanism.

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 Post subject: Re: Polyversal on Meeples & Miniatures podcast
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:02 pm 
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Sounds good. I knew you'd drop by :)

How exotic are your weapon/unit abilities that are available, given that you've been writing a near-future universe? Teleports, plasma cannons, lasers, massive rocket barrages...do you cover most things that Epic/40K can do?

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