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Vader
Posts: 388
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Re: Abstraction level

Fri 16 Oct 2020, 09:49

And these simple and self-evident, yet crucially important, factual circumstances disappear completely in the typical Ammo Die system, where all consumption is abstracted into a single probability-based representation.
The top part I can't agree with, since there are already systems in place that we've seen that allow you as the player to control your ammunition expenditure to one degree or another. So it's a pretty clear misrepresentation to imply they've left it all up to the roll of the die. You have choices. You can use them. In my own designs for similar systems I have allowed troops of certain training levels to be more selective in their fire (either stingy with ammo or let-it-rip, with corresponding effects to both the to-hit/to-suppress odds and the ammo usage) and I hope that FL is tracking along those lines.

I did say "the typical Ammo Die system" ... it is true that what we've been told about the WIP system so far does seem to have more choice and complexity. But the thing is, it still yields unreasonable results, partly in enabling hero mag's — which of course is fine in a more Hollywood-esque setting, but to me, just feels wrong in T2k. (Still curious to hear a good rationalisation for how a 10-round magazine every once in a while can turn out to last for 11 ... 12 ... 15 shots, btw...)

And partly in that while you'd realistically know you have five grenades for the M203 — you'd really keep track of something like that, and you really do only load and shoot them one at a time — an Ammo Die system doesn't allow you to "know" anything of the kind! You have "d6" [or whatever] grenades left, and that may turn out to be any number of shots between two and six, or eight, or more, with a certain statistical bell curve.
It removes player agency in planning how to deploy that ammo, or give two to another character and still know you have three left...

So yes, a more complex Ammo Die system does allow more control over ammo expenditure. But it still, like all other attempts to reduce simple, quantifiable processes to statistical probability-based models, inevitably gives weird results at the fringes. Modelling complex processes that have or seem to have a large random element — like weapon hit probability — with die based systems is certainly appropriate, but the random element in how much ammo I have for my M203, and how I consume them, is relatively speaking minute.

There certainly are situations and circumstances that can introduce a greater random element to ammo consumption, as has been mentioned here and there on this thread, but to me, a good system would introduce random outcomes as and when those situations and circumstances arise; not have them be the status quo.

Under normal circumstances, a magazine isn't a "Schrödinger's Cat" box, where the content is impossible to know, until you actually try to use it, thereby collapsing the random waveform.
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Vader
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Re: Abstraction level

Fri 16 Oct 2020, 10:35

I suspect that a lot of the concern comes from the Youtube playthrough of the early Alpha rules where ammo dice were used. I have heard it said that the rules were not correctly applied in that scenario, but again until we see the alpha rules we do not know.

We do not know what version of pre-Alpha rules the demo play on YouTube used, but it was clearly evident that they did not reflect mechanisms as described in the 30 August Update (e.g. hit locations, etc). If this is because they simply weren't properly read up on the material, or just because they had a much earlier pre-Alpha rules set, is of course unknown — but in some form it is clear the system aims to incorporate Ammo Dice, as they even unlocked a custom set as a Stretch Goal.

But it was recently mentioned in the Comments that there should have been a new live play on Discord last night, using a more recent version of the rules set. Hopefully we'll see it posted on YouTube soon.
I'm just a little nonplussed that Fria Ligan hasn't posted an official update about this.
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Vader
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Re: Abstraction level

Fri 16 Oct 2020, 11:03

Okay — new update, with slightly updated timeline:

We're working hard behind the scenes to complete the Alpha PDF, which we aim to share with you before the end of November.

So, still November.

No mention of a Discord live-play ... although, the vast bulk of this new T2k update seems for some reason to be about promoting Coriolis, not about T2k... :shock:
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AEB
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Re: Abstraction level

Fri 16 Oct 2020, 14:23

Three Skulls Tavern Playthrough #3 is up on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORBgRwbn3Uk

The guy running the session mentions that each of the three Playthroughs used different Alpha variants, and that opportunity fire had been added in the last one.

Guess we'll just have to wait and see.
 
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Vader
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Re: Abstraction level

Fri 16 Oct 2020, 15:11

Thanks for that ... doesn't seem like the Ammo Die is supposed to be invoked at every shot with every weapon. Perhaps it's just for suppressive fire, nothing else?
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Arrigo74
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Re: Abstraction level

Fri 16 Oct 2020, 15:19

I admit these playthroughs have left me cold... not about the rules... mainly because I got the impression these people are neither very conversant in them, nor on the background... and that they are basically making stuff up...

Having designed some games by myself... at times, looking back at my initial scribbles... looks like they were from a different game!

Said that... I have never really been taken by playthrough videos... except some from TFL's Rich and Nick. Ehy I even think Arnaudo and Stuka Joe are just blabbering along... (and I consider Arnaudo reviews subpar...).

Let's wait for the real alpha.
 
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Vader
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Re: Abstraction level

Fri 16 Oct 2020, 17:28

Can’t say I disagree ... but until then, this is what’s available in terms of even second-hand information.

That said, our own (more or less) informed speculation is not seldom, at least, more satisfying ...
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omnipus
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Re: Abstraction level

Fri 16 Oct 2020, 22:54

I think it makes sense to use something like an ammo die exclusively for small arms (and other small perishable items where exact knowledge takes unusual effort. Construction supplies, gas, that sort of thing), and I agree that applying to something in relatively small, easily counted, critical supply like grenades is probably a poor choice.

On the other hand, it all really depends on supply. If you have lots of ammo and a Mk19, well then, counting each 40mm grenade has kinda gone back to feeling silly and inauthentic. This is probably an exception and not the rule in T2K though.

And yeah for whatever reason I find almost all let's plays of RPGs to be challenging to watch, at best. I do watch them when I want to get a handle on a new rule set, but usually they plod along at a miserable pace and often, ironically, implement the rules incorrectly anyway! So I have to say it's not something I really enjoy in any case.
 
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Vader
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Re: Abstraction level

Sat 17 Oct 2020, 13:46

I’m thinking, having an ammo die activated specifically when there is a potentially significant random factor affecting ammo consumption, would probably be the best approach overall.

So for instance, automatic fire with no burst limitations, whether it’s 5.56mm, or 12.7, or 9, or 40, or anything in between — regardless; the ammo dice are invoked.
Single shots, whether it’s with a bolt action sniper rifle, a grenade launcher, or a hunting crossbow (btw; you don’t just hunt bunnies with them; you can kill a moose with one), then you count individual shots.
Semi-automatic fire ... I’d want to judge from situation to situation. I can see situations where either approach could be appropriate.

And I assume the ammo die system will then adjust both consumption and effect according to whether I’m “letting ‘er rip” or “trying to fire tightly controlled bursts”.
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aramis
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Re: Abstraction level

Sun 18 Oct 2020, 03:20

I’m thinking, having an ammo die activated specifically when there is a potentially significant random factor affecting ammo consumption, would probably be the best approach overall.

So for instance, automatic fire with no burst limitations, whether it’s 5.56mm, or 12.7, or 9, or 40, or anything in between — regardless; the ammo dice are invoked.
Which is what the recent vid shows and strongly implies
Single shots, whether it’s with a bolt action sniper rifle, a grenade launcher, or a hunting crossbow (btw; you don’t just hunt bunnies with them; you can kill a moose with one), then you count individual shots.
Semi-automatic fire ... I’d want to judge from situation to situation. I can see situations where either approach could be appropriate.

And I assume the ammo die system will then adjust both consumption and effect according to whether I’m “letting ‘er rip” or “trying to fire tightly controlled bursts”.
I can confirm that a crossbow can kill a moose; a buddy defended his brother with one from an angry bull moose. He was charged with poaching because it fell over dead about 4 houses down, with only target points on the bolts.
For comparison, the one my dad got hit by (doing 65 mph on the Glenn Highway) hit his car on the driver's side just in front of the door... totalled the compact car, caved the roof in (The top of the pillar was touching the steering wheel), and the moose got up, walked about 1/4 mile, THEN finally fell over, dead. (THe one that hit me hit in the same spot on my minivan, but I was down to 15 mph at that point; it kept turning to hit me... and dended the driver's door a bit, and was hit by someone else a mile away...)

Note also, another friend of mine got a bow-hunting tag for Kodiak Grizzly (brown bear). He was able to one shot it, with a 90lb compound bow.

I had been complaining about how slow my sunday group sometimes is... but watching that video? Ugh... I generally don't enjoy watching other groups anyway, so that was just excruciating...

Anyway, it is pretty clear ammo dice are for burst or full; crossbows don't have them, but the G3 has 1.

There appears to be a mag size, but they avoid showing the bottom of the sheet most of the time. The shotgun's mag is 2 (double barrel, I'd assume).
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