A Former User last edited by
Why do so many people use house rules? I’m not against them, but I don’t like to use them. Are they used because the box rules not good enough? I personally love to follow all the box rules without making any house rules up. Mabye it is just me. Please elaborate on why alot of y’all use house rules. Thanks!
@Topmat I usually stick with OOB Rules + Bid for serious games. OOB only for friendly games with the playgroup.
I heavily house rule games for my own amusement for solitaire play, mostly. It helps create zany what-if scenarios, mostly.
Wargames run the gamut from simple to complex. There are some things that AxA doesn’t attempt to model in a complex way, such as logistics and physical transport, weather, random events, and so forth. These are all simplified into the movement and money system. I think it strikes a good balance between the simple and the complex, personally.
Then there are some things, such as new unit types, new national objectives, varied production facilities and technologies that are essentially add-ons to the game. These can add fun, but also add some complexity. The full unit pallette seems to work pretty well in my opinion, without many gaps. However, AAA, Cruisers and Tacticals are rarely purchased and push the variety that can be supported in a d6 system to its limit–the unit choices in the Global game seem about all that can be done without making the units compete with one another for the same roles. Conversely, bombers seem a bit overpowered and transports subject to varied treatments. Overall, it feels as though with some units being less efficient, adding more can only really add to the imbalance of the pieces against one another.
Then, we also have extensive rules to change how the game is won, how setup works, and overarching rule changes (such as single blockers cannot stop armies or every team have different unit costs/types). These address balance, but are likely to create new imbalances.
This is a mature game, and so many people are fairly bored with the OOB setup, rich though somewhat imbalanced as it is. This leads people to homebrew rules, event decks, game aides, special unit molds, and a huge variety of rules that cover everything that all wargames do (varied resources, politics, historical events like winter war and spanish civil war). As a result, we could list almost 10 vetted and tested ways you can play (just!) the Global game once you add in the spinoffs of global scope (G40, G40 BM, G41, G42, Sired’s Rules, GW36/39, YG VC rules, YG Deluxe Edition, The War Game), and similar games (Ikusa, Fortress America, War Room, and on and on). That goes even deeper on Tripple A, as people have made d6 “AxA Clones” for dozens of historical and non-historical scenarios, not all based on world wars.
The essence of this is just like DOTA is a modification of Warcraft 3 (1999), and games like Civ and company of Heroes, Cities Skylines etc. have their own Steam based homebrew communities creating new content, so does AxA. In the last 10 years, the movement has gone from one of trying to monetize small changes, to one of allowing the community to mod the game freely, developer tools being shared, 3d printing! etc–you’ll find that this community is where most of the innovation is happening, without any profit margin or motive, and not at WotC. The motives of game designers and large markets are completely different from internet communities, and this has created the Second Golden Age of Gaming–games are no longer limited by mass market appeal, legal trademark ownership, licenses, printed ideas, large companies, but rather by …
Maybe even a better question is why we DONT typically play with more than a few House Rules; 1) not everyone likes or can agree upon any given change 2) remembering exceptions to rules and tracking them causes new mistakes, which tends to slow the game down and adds confusion/redos 3) there has to be a level playing field for tournaments and friendly games, and OOB+bid fits that challenge 4) once you’re familiar with the base rules, which takes years, the exceptions alter all game considerations and require more pondering, which slows the game, confuses less experienced players, and leads to mistakes.
A Former User last edited by
I have never thought about this. It didn’t really occur to me that AA has been around for 35 years. I guess that the regular rules do dry out if you have been playing them for years on end. thank you taamvan for opening my eyes.
AxA has often been called a “beer and pretzels” wargame, I suppose because it is fairly simplistic and available—FOR a wargame. That’s not because AxA is elementary or easily mastered, its because other wargames tend to be even more rules-heavy and detailed, which makes some of them famously and notoriously unplayable. They may have an attractive theme or rules, but the “chit” game era (60s-80s) built up to a crescendo before it burst. PC Computer gaming was a major catalyst for this; the ASL/Avalon Hill/SSI style games BEGGED for a computer to handle some of the more complex calculations, setup, rules etc.
I think AxA has the general appeal and longevity it does precisely because it appeared after this “First Golden Age”, and is not married to overcomplex or overly realistic considerations, its a truly “abstract” wargame, where each step (building, conquering, purchasing, combat, movement) is fairly simple, but all together, they are complex enough to satisfy long-time players while only barely overwhelming the new ones.
And, the fact that AxA doesn’t try to simulate or do everything a wargame possibly COULD do is the very reason why there is enough room left in the game to add more, but that’s not necessarily desirable. If the game was already highly complex, rich and random, it would already have many of the things that people are trying to add to it—but its likely no-one would play it. I think most of the more complex house rules systems for AxA fall into this trap, by pushing the complexity/time investment level out of the Goldilocks zone.
I bought a “political” Avalon Hill chit game in 1992, Republic of Rome (4/4 difficulty rating). When I read the instruction manual, I was blown away-- I understood nothing of what i’d read… until I read it for nearly 2 years. We only played it in college 4 times, and the Republic consistently lost as a group. Its a great game, but its also an example of a highly complex simulation game with a narrow audience from the first era–very few people still play these games because they lack any general following or appeal in the internet age, and have been replaced by computer-style games, like the Total War and Europa Universalis series.