Friday, February 26, 2016

Melee Phase: Deux Redux Two

Yeah, it's changed again. For the better though. :)

The thing about wrapping up the last turn phase in a game where you've already written 3 tightly-bound phases (and a couple of intro chapters) already, is that every little change you make to the final one has to be checked and propagated against the first three.

Or more simply put... I keep having to edit stuff in 3-5 other chapters every time I work something out in the Melee Phase. Usually because I want to avoid having 2 only slightly different versions of the same rule in different places.

The last page in the Movement Phase rules.
Take model engagement in buildings as an example.

Previously, there was no explicit rule that said that opposing models in adjacent building sections were engaged with one another. I could say this in the Melee chapter easily enough, but there would then be issues/questions about movement and shooting. Movement because models outside a building can't engage in the Movement Phase, and shooting because if we allow an exception for buildings you'll have units firing heavy weapons at each other just before melee happens.

So off to the "Models & Units" section to leave a note to add "adjacent building sections" to the definition of engagement later.

Then on to the Movement section to say that models can't move into or through a section adjacent to an enemy section in that phase. Meaning they have to charge there, which aligns how assault works both inside and outside a building. Yay! Then I note that a rule in that section forbids moving through an opening into an enemy occupied section, though two other rules make that redundant. Edit... edit... edit.

Then in the Action Phase, I have to do a few edits to clear up how many models can charge an opening. Along the way I notice 3 other possible unrelated rules issues, which I leave notes for to examine later. Then I notice that the mostly-final version of the Action Phase is seriously lacking in explanatory diagrams. So I insert a page, drop in a couple of diagrams that were done already, and leave placeholders for a few more probably-needed ones that I'll work on later. At some point I'll have to redo the layouts in the whole chapter to accommodate these.

Along the way I keep thinking "what if...?" on various things, and then have to go checking to see if the rules handle those cases already. About 85% of the time they do, which fills me with warm fuzzies. Still, it takes time.

Then I'm back to the Melee Phase, where I think of a cool counter-rule to the gang-up one based on an action-movie cliche, find the TV trope page for it, and incorporate it in. Ponder whether it's an improvement or not for a bit, and then note that it screws up the current page layout. First because the next subject in line fills most of a page by itself, and because it needs another diagram to explain it well.

Make Diagram. Plop it in. Switch out illustrations (two fighting robots fits both rules nicely), and fill the leftover space on the previous page with another already-done illustration that was last in the book months ago.

Then move on "Rolling Your Attacks", which I thought was done already, but which really needed more work. I'd tried to get by with a "talk to your opponent" bit, as the lazy way out of explaining something potentially complicated. But I buckled down and wrote 5 rules to explain it, which after many passes became just two rules.

And on and on...

As the old saying goes, the last 20% takes 80% of the time.

Or... That's why it took me 2.5 days to publish changes to a page that now has fewer rules on it. :)


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