Friday, October 10, 2014

Insider #5

After an uncountable number of hours watching Kevin play test Tiger, we're testing out a new Unit trait called: Large. Having a vehicle with the Large trait means that you need to pay 1 SO for every battle you want to send this vehicle in per week. To compensate, the SO cost of every vehicle with the trait Large was reduced by 4. We'll see how this goes, but I'm hoping that it adds some more historical flavor to Tiger. This simulates the extra supplies, fuel, and maintenance issues suffered by the heavy vehicles like the Tiger and Panther.

Warfighter, its Expansions, and the Deep Dish Counter Trays will be here on Monday! This means that we will have them shipped out, and you will start receiving them shortly. We have no idea why the Port took so long, but we will have them soon!

People ask me why I would bother to write a rulebook before I knew the entire game was finished. It sounds perfectly reasonable to wait. It would save time and LOTS of effort if I just sat back and waited for the game to be done. Well, there are two main reasons I write, and re-write for the entire duration of a game's design.

First, it takes weeks to write a rulebook. It's not just the rules, it's the examples, the graphics, and especially the example of play. Every concept must be covered, clearly and simply. If I waited for the game to be done before I started, it would delay the printing by weeks.

Secondly, it IS more efficient. "How can that be?", you might ask. "You need to change the whole rulebook every time a new rule, concept, counter, card, or system is added."
 Trust me, it's more efficient. Here's why…
Writing a rulebook is like telling a story. When you have retold the story a hundred times, it is easy to accidentally leave parts out.

When I write a rulebook, every detail matters. It's not enough to tell players to roll the dice. I must remember to mention it is a ten sided die they are rolling. If I write while the game is being created, I have a much better chance of typing in all the rules, because they are all NEW to me. As soon as the game changes from a 10-sided die to a 6-sided die, I add it into the rulebook. This keeps me from forgetting a rule or letting the rules run together. Imagine how terrible it would be to know a rule, but to forget to write it.

A rulebook is usually the only conversation with the design team a new player will ever get. It has to be great. It has to be clear. It has to make the game feel understandable, and fun. The best way to do that is to make sure nothing is missed, and the best way to make sure nothing is missed is to keep updating throughout the design.

Having this new Large trait really mixes up how I'm going to play. I used to start off by purchasing a lot of cheap units as their cost was half to a third that of a King Tiger or Jagdpanther. I typically purchased Panzer 35's or Panzer IV's for 8 SO. As the best unit in the game, the King Tiger costs 17. Now that it costs 13, I can either buy a Panzer IV and a halftrack with the Transport ability, or pay an SO cost every week, but have a high firepower, heavily armored beast of a tank. This makes these units amazing in short games, as I technically get the -4 SO cost reduction, but only having the tank in operation for 3 weeks, means by the end of the campaign, I've saved 1 SO. However, having a late war tank is a necessity, as my weaker tanks will be blown up through continuous fire from the Allies.

As a special treat for Insider readers, a first look at the Tiger Leader rulebook was just posted on the DVG site, but not yet announced. The rule book still has many drafts to go, but it is off to a good start! Check back on future Insiders to get advanced notice and new announcements!


  1. Keep up with these insider comments! They are a great read!

    1. Thank you! It's fun to share what happens in DVG, and tell people the fun we have in play testing.

  2. there is a huge difference between a panther and a tiger in logistics, maintenance and reliability so I would not have them be equally penalised. The germans would have fared a lot better cranking out panthers and not bothering with tigers at all (probably even better still if theyd just cranked out panzer IVs in higher volume). Interesting update.