Author Topic: The Post Mortem  (Read 2016 times)

Vermillion

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The Post Mortem
« on: November 16, 2013, 07:52:51 PM »
What: Storms and Shadows Post Mortem Event
When: Saturday, November 23rd at 6:00 pm
Where: Battlegrounds Games & Hobbies Abington
Who: All are welcome.

So after some time to gather our notes, this is it. We've learned a lot during the course of this campaign, both about how we run things and what the population of the store is looking for in an event like this. We can take a lot from what we learn in order to produce another event but we'd also welcome feedback on particular issues.

For those of you not familiar, a Post Mortem event is where we recap our experiences with the event and discuss what went right, what went wrong and what can be changed. It's not so much an open forum as much as a bullet pointed event where we look for direct feedback on particular issues. As such, we will have an itinerary of what we will be discussing and looking for feedback on. I will post that itinerary prior the event.

For those of you unable to make the Post Mortem I will be creating a form for which you can provide us feedback. These forms will also be available at the Post Mortem itself so you can write down your opinions if we are unable to get to your comments during the course of the discussion. The form should follow mid to late next week.

We welcome feedback not only from players of the campaign but also from any of you who were watching from the sidelines, interested in how the event was unfolding. A neutral perspective to us can be just as useful as those who were directly involved in the campaign. So if you'd like to attend, please do.

Derek Lloyd will be there with me to assist with the Post Mortem as well as mediating the discussion and representing Battleground Games & Hobbies vested interest in the future of this event. We only ask that everyone behave in a courteous manner during the discussion so we can take your valid feedback into consideration. To everyone who played in, assisted with or even shared insight with us during the course of Storms and Shadows, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your participation and consideration.
Good men hear the call; Great men answer.

Sam Butler

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Re: The Post Mortem
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2013, 10:43:15 PM »
Well   I'll be at Da Boyz  that weekend...   so I'll type up my bit   and post it here tomorrow.

The_Chef

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Re: The Post Mortem
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2013, 09:20:40 PM »
Are the forms done? at BG? Not all of us can make a saturday night sadly
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I do have a problem with Vulcan twin-linking every non-UltraMarine whatever-gun on the table.
Thank you for this Chase

Vermillion

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Re: The Post Mortem
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2013, 11:29:54 PM »
I'm bringing them with me tomorrow but I'll have extras, so if you can get down after you can fill one out and leave it behind the desk for me. Conversely, I'll make a word document if you prefer to do it from home and email it to me. But those will all be tomorrow things.
Good men hear the call; Great men answer.

The_Chef

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Re: The Post Mortem
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2013, 11:33:09 PM »
Yeah ,thats fine I'll just drop in after work. Its on the way home
Quote
I do have a problem with Vulcan twin-linking every non-UltraMarine whatever-gun on the table.
Thank you for this Chase

Vermillion

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Re: The Post Mortem
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2013, 04:29:48 PM »
Here's the Itinerary for people interested:

1. Core Systems
    A. Administration
    B. Money
    C. Flyers

2. Nuts and Bolts
    A. Variable Point Armies
    B. Resolution Table
    C. Buildings

3. Finer Points
    A. Planetary Rules
    B. Racial Traits
    C. Scenarios
    D. Planetfall

4. Q&A
Good men hear the call; Great men answer.

The_Chef

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Re: The Post Mortem
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2013, 04:47:03 AM »
I'd love some form of summary of what was actually said.  ;)
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I do have a problem with Vulcan twin-linking every non-UltraMarine whatever-gun on the table.
Thank you for this Chase

Sam Butler

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Re: The Post Mortem
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2013, 11:42:44 PM »
Since I was in Rochester for Da Boyz GT  I couldn't be there for this...

So here are my proverbial two cents.   as I wasn't there, and there was no summary posted I do no know if anything I have to say was already addressed.  If it was I apologize for rehashing.

I will begin my critique of the Storm of Shadows League/campaign with a set of definitions intended to provide clarity to my statements.   I will in as much as is possible also offer a suggested plausible solution to any Issues noted if I can do so.

I will be dividing my critique into three sections, Mechanical, Structural, and Morale.


Definitions

Mechanical:   The Rulez, under which the campaign was run (specifically the rule packet)

Structural:  Logistical and administrative concerns

Morale: community engagement

Logistical:  Planning and executing the campaign rules

Administrative:  Follow through on logistical planning, as well as communication to and from players.

Lore:   the non game mechanical background (aka "fluff")

Buff:  non core rules effect intended to enhance or increase the abilities of an army or force.

Mechanic:  Rule affecting play.

Bottling:  Voluntarily abandoning territory.

Attrition:  Loss of effectiveness due to combat damage

Economy:  system of exchanging points for in game things (armies, buildings etc)

The active critique begins below.

Part I   Mechanical issues
             A. Racial abilities
                 ISSUE:  some racial abilities were or are perceived to be far superior to others.  Whilst this may accurately reflect in game lore it can detract from "fun"  of players.
                 Suggestion 1: Offer a "menu"  of abilities to players to choose from equally.
                 Suggestion 2: Have unique buildings (one per planet/province) that provide benefits similar to the racial ability "buff" to the player that controls it.

              B Racial abilities affect on campaign balance
                 ISSUE:  The blood angels racial ability of +1 movement unbalanced the point generation of the campaign.  This buff gave Blood Angels a max move speed of 3 hexes as opposed to 2 hexes for every one else. (Note this was solely due to the size of starting areas, theirs shape/layout,   and how the point generation mechanic was implemented.   Point generation specifics will be addressed in a later point)
                 Suggestion: Lower standard movement to 1 hex. (making Blood angels a 2 hex max speed preserving the character of the original racial bonus whilst avoiding the part that made it a potential issue.)

               C Reaction distance of defending armies.
                  ISSUE:  The distance which an army can defend territory was not well defined if read as written it could very easily be understood that an army on one planet could defend territory on another one.
                  Suggestion:    Define "empire"   and "territory"

               D Army Attrition rapidly unbalances the campaign.
                  ISSUE:  The attrition rate of army forces in the campaign led to an extreme polarization of players.  This was both due to and exacerbated by a combination of the point generation mechanic and the army creation mechanic.
                  Suggestion:  create a "recovery" mechanic to mitigate degree of losses,  or abandon the individual unit tracking dynamic.

                E  Point generation
                   ISSUE:   The emphasis on generators as the sole source of additional point generation combined with inherent scaling issues of 40k led to an extreme attrition curve, and effectively broke the campaign economy.
                   Suggestion:  Allow each tile or hex to generate points intrinsicly, and allow generators to multiply that amount.
               
               F  Map Issues
                 F1   Planetary traits
                   ISSUE:  It was hard to identify (visually)  by looking at the campaign map what planet had what special rules.
                   Suggestion:  Add a graphical key to denote planetary traits.
                 F2  Interplanetary travel
                   ISSUE: The transit time of armies moving from one planet to another caused at least me to be uncertain as to when things would arrive.  (this in part led to the communication failure that led to my not taking part in the closing part of the campaign.)
                   Suggestion:  cap transit time to a single amount (one week, being my suggestion) regardless of "MAP"  distance traveled. 
                 F3  Map depiction
                   F3.1 ISSUE:  the pictorial rendition of the map was largely useless for remote viewing.  This was caused by blurry pictures, and insufficiently contrasting army markers.
                   Suggestion:  Use a virtual map for forum posts.
                   F3.2 ISSUE: changes from the original virtual map to the analog one posted in BG. altering the numbering scheme resulted in erroneous orders and unnecessary confusion.
                   Suggestion:  Keep numbering of map tiles/hexes  consistent.

               G Empire founding after bottling, and elimination.
                 ISSUE:  The process to restart an empire after either being  eliminated or voluntarily bottling off of a planet needs to be more clearly stated.  It was not clear to me what were valid orders to issue when I had no planetary tiles, as well as what format to use when issuing orders.
                 Suggestion:  create a table with check marks to show what orders are valid when.
               
               H Hammers blow
                 ISSUE:  It was not clear wether there were multiple hammers blow battles or one big one.
                 Suggestion: set a specific date for the end mega battle with planet specific objectives. (one fight different objectives for the empires on different planets)

Structural issues.
             
               A. Fog of war
                 ISSUE:  It was unclear as to who should be sent orders and questions regarding the campaign, as well as the preferred means of contact. 
                 Suggestion:   Have the same person be "in charge" for the duration of the campaign. 
               
               B.  Player to Player communication
                 ISSUE: no list (public or non) of player contact information to set up games as needed.  This led to confusion as most folks forum name does not really indicate much of anything. 
                 Suggestion:  have a list of contact info for campaign participants at BG behind the counter  (name, Forum handle, Email addy, telephony information)
               
               C.  Staff to Player communication
                 ISSUE:  it was very difficult to get information when issues did arise.  This would largely be mitigated by the creation of the contact list from the above point, especially if the staff contact information was equally though on the list.  not every one has all of the above info (Email, telephone etc.)
                Suggestion:  None really other than improve the "phone book"  of participating parties.

              D:  book keeping
                ISSUE:  Tracking army attrition and point generation was not clear.
                Suggestion:  simplify the presentation of information. Leave prior weeks out of it, and just give a total for the current week.


Morale
              ISSUE:  no real ability of the non campaign community to interact with the campaign as either spectators or participants.
              Suggestion:  integrate more open "special" events like the monster mash day Chase participated in, or the Zombie crawl, or such into the campaign to allow folks to not have to join the campaign to participate.

I have tried my best to only offer positive suggestions.  Again I'm sory that I was unable to attend the in store debrief as I would have very much liked to hear what others saw as issues.

Sincerely,
  Samuel Butler