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Rule clarification 1.6.1 Overwatch

 Post subject: Re: Rule clarification 1.6.1 Overwatch
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:12 pm 
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Yes it is an inevitability that the game will be fragmented if we start down the road of changing rules we don't like. People will disagree, it is the way of things. Using the same rules is very important for anchoring the community around the game, and without a universal central authority (like GW was) there is no strong motivation for people to stick to arbitrary amendments. It is hard enough to navigate the variations amongst lists, for it to be like this with the rules too would be a blow IMO.

Bear in mind though that our practice is not to change rules via FAQs. It is to play by the rules, official errata and official FAQs. New FAQs will resolve genuine ambiguities. If FAQs have changed rules in the past I would suggest they were mostly GW's doing, but even if they happened afterwards there is quite a clear consensus now that changes to the wording of rules are off the table. There are quite a lot of FAQs that make rulings that are not in the rulebook, but they are generally areas where the rulebook neglects to say and sometimes even contradicts itself.

However, I do think one day there might be document that rewrites the wording of the rulebook without changing its meaning. Anything further than that would be more like trying to write Epic 5th edition.

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 Post subject: Re: Rule clarification 1.6.1 Overwatch
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:29 pm 
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kadeton wrote:
I don't understand this. If the rules that came from GW in ancient times aren't the rules that we actually play by, why not update them?


They are, at least they are here. As far as I know all the groups play with them as written. The only differences are where there was no clear GE ruling, and those are 5-min warmuped.

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 Post subject: Re: Rule clarification 1.6.1 Overwatch
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:28 am 
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I think a list of the rules which were unclear / open to interpretation would be useful as a checklist for the 5min warm up.

I think the old guard know the history and back story to some of this stuff but forget how much of a mine field it is for newer players. (And as Ive found at tournaments recently, not all the experienced players play all the rules the same way.)

Even I items are marked "agreed to differ" with ruling from the main groups around the world it would at least add some clarity about the areas which require a warm up chat.


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 Post subject: Re: Rule clarification 1.6.1 Overwatch
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:26 am 
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That's what we did:

http://www.tp.net-armageddon.org/faq/#t ... te-warm-up

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 Post subject: Re: Rule clarification 1.6.1 Overwatch
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:07 pm 
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Hena wrote:
The issue with changing rules is that then different people would play different game eventually (eg as in EpicUK, France and who ever else wants to create their own lists).


People already play different games, based on their scene's answers to the usual 5-minute warmup questions. Making the most common "house rules" into actual rules would result in more consistency, not less. Putting the FAQ "clarifications" (new rules in all but name) into the actual rules would reduce confusion. Both of those things would immensely help new players.

To me, the absolute tip-top #1 super-dooper advantage of having a fan-run game is the ability to create living rules which mature and improve over time. Arbitrarily shackling yourself to a "carved in stone" ruleset (especially one created by GW's frankly sloppy design studio) seems like such a strange ideal to pursue.


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 Post subject: Re: Rule clarification 1.6.1 Overwatch
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:50 pm 
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The community's fractured enough between the different play lists, we don't need to further that by saying "Now you have to play Epic like this". For one, anyone trying to do that is just going to look like a turd. Beyond that, there's absolutely no way to enforce it, nor a need to.

We're already listing parts of the rules that were never covered by GW (see the 5-minute warm-up). I don't need Onyx's group to start playing completely within for disembark because that's how we do it in New England, it won't help me sleep any better at night. Play by the rules as written, in the cases where they're not written do what you want, just be aware that another group might play it differently.

Also, to reiterate, we're not writing "new rules in all but name". Any clarification in the FAQs was passed down by GW. Anything that was never clarified we noted and threw in the 5-minute. It might sound strange to you, but we're attempting to preserve the community by not rocking the boat. You do that by working with the community, not telling them how it's going to be.

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 Post subject: Re: Rule clarification 1.6.1 Overwatch
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:43 pm 
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Yep, the mistake is to think that writing new rules would mean that people would all follow them. There are already some areas of disagreement within official rules that are unambiguous (CAP-a-CAP for instance). So it's not that we don't want people to all play by the same set of unambiguous rules, it's that writing them will not actually achieve it.

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 Post subject: Re: Rule clarification 1.6.1 Overwatch
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 2:07 am 
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Dave wrote:
Also, to reiterate, we're not writing "new rules in all but name". Any clarification in the FAQs was passed down by GW. Anything that was never clarified we noted and threw in the 5-minute. It might sound strange to you, but we're attempting to preserve the community by not rocking the boat. You do that by working with the community, not telling them how it's going to be.

It sure does sound strange to me! I've never come across any game community that has suffered from having a clear and unambiguous set of rules. I've come across several where "When the rules don't cover it, play however you want" has shattered communities.

Also, you're making it sound like no rules or FAQ clarifications have ever come from anyone but GW. People in this thread suggest otherwise:

jimmyzims wrote:
I'll note that we've changed core rules before (AC disengagement and consolidation moves being the most prevalent example) so it's not verboten, just it needs to discussed specifically.

If rules have changed for the betterment of the game before (and apparently without destroying the community or having anyone "look like a turd") then why the knee-jerk "Change is heresy!" reaction whenever incorporating clarifications into the core is suggested?

Bloodbowl seems like a great model for this sort of thing - a living rulebook system, with a seemingly healthy community. Clearly, it's an approach that can work.


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 Post subject: Re: Rule clarification 1.6.1 Overwatch
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:18 pm 
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I believe that was actually done WITH the GW official FAQ, not in spite of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Rule clarification 1.6.1 Overwatch
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:38 pm 
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I'm not sure what Jimmy's referring to specifically, but any post-POST FAQ isn't changing rules for the simple reason that getting universal support is unlikely.

This also isn't a knee-jerk reaction. Tim, Steve, Onyx, PFE and I talked about it a few years backs and it was the consensus we came too. It be one thing if the rules didn't cover most situations, but that's not the case with EA (and probably why there's still a community to speak of). I don't know the particulars of Blood Bowl's history, but I'm guessing it works for them because it's either a smaller community or has a central authority that hasn't changed since GW dropped it.

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 Post subject: Re: Rule clarification 1.6.1 Overwatch
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:30 pm 
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As Jimmy said, the 'clarification' regarding consolidating into an air-transport was made shortly after the rules were published, specifically to limit the 'eternal air-assault' (win an air-assault, consolidate, rinse and repeat) which was found to be far too powerfull. This was done with the specific agreement of GW, who also vetted and agreed the 2008 FAQ that were presented by the ERC led by Neal Hunt. Neal later started an exercise to tidy up the FAQ (published in 2012) which Dave took over and incorporated in the current electronic version of the rules that can be found in the tournament pack link here.

So much for history.
There are three main reasons why the rules have not been 'updated', quite apart from the fact that this is the fourth iteration of Epic as a game.
  1. GW have always pursued a fairly aggressive policy towards infringement of their copyright and IP, and considerable concern was expressed over whether GW might take legal action including closing down this site (as they have done with others in the past) should someone undertake a re-write of the rules.
  2. When E;A was written, I do not believe that Jervis Johnson or the other SG designers had formal tournament competitions in mind and many of the inconsistencies have only become apparent with the introduction of later army lists. Also, a number of the FAQ are much more controversial and some issues remain unresolved.
    Either way, these issues are best discussed / resolved on a game-by-game basis in the 5 min warm-up or by other friendly means during the game (as recommended by JJ in the rules - it is supposed to be "fun" after all . . . :) ) In a formal setting, that is where the umpire or TO comes in.
  3. Finally, rules for this level of complex game are extremely difficult to write, and almost impossible to write without any form of ambiguity. While it might be tempting to try to re-write the E:A rules incorporating the 'accepted' FAQ (whatever that means), this would be a long process involving considerable effort and dedication with little or no reward for a relatively tiny body of people . . .

Basically, although there may be some issues with the E:A rules and FAQ in their current presentation, this is a good as it is likely to get.

That said, if you print off the stats for relevant army lists, have an internet connection to the tournament pack link, and possibly any tournament or scenario specific rules, that is really all you need. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Rule clarification 1.6.1 Overwatch
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:46 pm 
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Yup nailed it Ginger (writing on my phone, I was disinclined to tap out more on the history of that :) )

As to "re-writing" the rules, basically Dave and the ERC are saying that NetEA is not going to undertaken by them as the risks/rewards are not there, especially when things are working fairly well as it. Yes if Neal Hunt had decided long ago to take the reins of the game a similar outcome to the Blood Bowl and Inquisitor communities could likely of happened. That's all in the past now.

Now if you feel inclined to create a rule set performed in a "clean-room" fashion that uses highly similar mechanics without infringing on GW IP, then more power to you. Game mechanics cannot be copyrighted, just their unique expression. That means in essence, Epic v5.0 is no-go. However you could create your own game using D6, a command and control system, a competency mechanic, etc all you want on your own.

At that point however I'd be far more inclined to say that you should just take the EW Rules (with permission from SCP of course) then and run with them on your own OR locally produce a fan-edition you all use in house. When working on the EW game it took me little time to successfully port EA lists to that system (as can be found in the EW board). Something similar could be done with your own/another system and organically grow it.

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 Post subject: Re: Rule clarification 1.6.1 Overwatch
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:31 am 
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Cool, those explanations make a lot more sense - saying "We can't change the game because GW will shut us down" or "Re-writing the rules would simply be too much work" is a lot easier for me to get behind than "We're not changing the rules because we don't think they need changing."

Thanks for the history, it's really interesting!


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 Post subject: Re: Rule clarification 1.6.1 Overwatch
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:56 am 
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This thread has been a interesting read, It answers SOME of the questions I have been pondering recently about why can't Epic players all get on the same page about being a true global community in regards to the rule sets played. I would love to think that i can play a game of epic anywhere in the world and the rules will be the same as it currently is for Blood bowl for example, a good example being they have a worlds comp and the format is globally in line. So i guess what i am wondering is if anyone could give me a history lesson as to how we came to what seems to be this Trio of "In house" communities we have with NetEA, EpicUK and the France division.
And wondering if there is a united global Epic rule unification don the track?
Just a disclaimer, I am not here trying to insight anything or stir up old rivialries (if there are any), just looking to appease my own thoughts.

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