The rules are written so precisely, and there are so many rules, a zoomed out explanation at the very outset should have been done. Instead, they dive straight into the details without ever giving the new player a broad view of what they’ll actually be doing. Simple things like clearly describing HOW and WHEN ARO’s happen and Face to Face rolls occur (a fundamental aspect of the game) should be laid out so clearly but they’re not.
A good example of poor organization starts on page 9 of Operation Icestorm. The third section defined is Line of Fire (LoF), then after that is Roll, along with a description of Modifiers..then Criticals! Criticals!!! Line of Fire and Modifiers and Criticals all occur mostly during combat, which the rule book hasn’t even discussed to this point.
So they probably talk about combat next right? Nope. Next is Initiative, then Deployment…..THEN!!!!!……Game Sequence. I shit you not.
Here’s how I would have liked it to read.
1 = Here’s is generally how a game will go. Discuss Game Sequence…
2 = Here is how a round will go. Each player will take a turns a.) as the active player, then b.) as the reactive player
When you’re the active player, your opponent is the reactive player.
3 = Here is how the active player’s turn will proceed. (Talk about the order pool and spending orders and Line of Fire)
4 = Here is what the reactive player will be doing. (Talk about ARO and reemphasize Line of Fire being reciprocal)
5 = Here is how movement works. (Here you would point out the troop’s movement stat)
6 = How combat works (Here you would point out the troop’s combat stat/stats, modifiers and criticals)
6a. Unopposed rolls
6b. Opposed (Face to Face) rolls
6c. Cover (full and partial)
7 = Now let’s walk you through setting up a basic mission. (discuss table layout, deployment, victory conditions, etc.)
8 = Now that you know the basics, know that every troop has its own unique set of abilities and features. An in depth
appendix contains descriptions of all the abilities and weapons load outs available for your army.
Or better yet, since we’re talking about Operation IceStorm, how about a page for each troop laying out his stats and all
of his special abilities? That way, the new player can easily associate certain abilities with his new shiny minis. “Oh! This one is the doctor. It has the “doctor” skill. Here’s what the “doctor” skill does.”
But that’s just me. . .
After spending a LONG time with the full rule book, UH, I totally agree, the game is very technical and over written. A great many of the abilities are annoying and redundant, because they’re essentially upgraded versions of another ability. And instead of wrapping all the various versions of an ability into one definition with maybe a subsection for the benefits of each upgraded version, each individual version has it’s own completely separate entry, with all of the previous language written again, so distinguishing the difference between one version and another is incredibly cumbersome.
Like I said, I really like the idea of the game, and the theme is spot on for me. I understand it’s not for everyone. I LOVE the models, and if my time and money were infinite, I would collect and paint them all just to have.
At least my hopes of getting an occasional game in here and there are helped by the fact that my area has quite an active Infinity community, and as previously stated plenty of people who can know the rule book for me instead of me having to deal with it all.
Still curious how other rule books approach the noobie explanation.
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