Sunday, March 29, 2015

But I forgot to study!

One thing that I like about several modern game companies is they have realized that the fans can do more play testing of the new stuff than any in house staff, or even small set of people.  A public playtest can generate a lot of good feedback from the actual players, as well as to help reveal anything that might be abused.

Paizo did this initially with their Pathfinder RPG, which went on to eclipse Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition in sales.  (as an aside, when Mantic decided to name their volunteers who do demos and events for them Pathfinders, it was no big deal in the UK, but keeps causing confusion for me when I go to Origins and Gencon.  When I wear my shirt (because I'm running events) I invariably get asked questions about the RPG (which isn't big in the UK, but is here)).

Mantic recently did a kickstarter for Kings of War 2nd Edition.  In preparation for this new version, they put together a committee of fans to help with it, and then put up a public beta test version for everyone to play and give feedback on.

We did some playtest games yesterday, and the new rules seem to work very well.  They are generally minor changes, so switching will not be a big deal (well, all the armies have been repointed and some stats changed, so you will have to redo your lists).  The games actually went pretty smoothly, and we were able to generate some feedback that I believe they will actually listen to.

The release timing isn't what I'd like personally.  I'll be teaching the game again at Origins, which is before the scheduled release date.  However it doesn't make any sense to teach a version of the game that will soon be gone, so even if it is just a beta version, I will be teaching it.  They do want the new book released before Gencon, so of course it makes sense to teach it there.

What will be a little awkward is that the big battle and tournaments I'm running through Gencon will be using the old rules.  So I have to be careful as I'll be keeping two sets in my head.  Also the great tools I use (Easyarmy online list builder kow.easyarmy.com, and the great free unit cards Unit cards on Matic forums)won't be available yet.  I have redone my own single page reference sheet, so that is good.

One of the other things that Mantic is doing, that I do not believe there is ANY other game company that does this, is to allow other manufacturers miniatures to be used in their official events.  Not only that, they are actually going to make a book of proxy lists that will be balanced and tested for armies they don't even make, thus allowing people that play Warhammer Fantasy Battles to easily pick up Kings of War using their existing miniatures (and hopefully like it so much they will start to buy Mantic's miniatures).

1 comment:

  1. Yes, playtesting the rules is a great idea. So far Mantic seem very keen to have the feedback, and are showing a willingness to incorporate it.
    Due to try the new rules on Wednesday.

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