One of the hardest part of the Game designer/Line Developer job is how you get to be buried with the rules for so long that it never seems like those small incremental changes will ever result in a finished document.
One thing I've noticed though is how its affected my son. He's 7 and is big into Lego and Plasticine and is constantly leaving his creations on my work desk. I doubt there's another kid at his school who could describe the theory of how mecha/robots/vehicle differ from each other. But I'll spare you from the terror that his goal of an army of snake-mecha would bring to the Heavy Gear universe and just focus on the Living Rule Book Beta rules that we are dropping later today.
What's new? Well… A lot really. And then again most of it will look very similar unless you've been there in the trenches watching them change step by step.
There isn't any way to be nice about it, our first attempt at the Beta rules were severely lacking. There were a lot of rules that worked, but didn't work smoothly. There was some outright crazy stuff and yeah, the pendulum had swung just a little too far on the whole melee attacks thing…
But that's the great thing about a beta rules set, you get to fix it. Now that we've officially moved to a living rule book format you'll also see yearly additions to the rules in terms of models and sub-lists. Naturally as a miniature company we want to make awesome new models and sell them to you and those new models will get inserted to the living rule book.
Does this mean that the core rules of the game will change every year?
Ideally this rules set can remain unchanged fro at least 342 years.
But that doesn't mean we won't if it is warranted to fix a mistake, improve the game, or provide space and rules needed for new models and factions..
We always aim to avoid min'max situations like what happened that I will only describe as the great Shaped Charge Chasseur Mk2 rush of 2014. But players are ingenious and when it's broken it will need fixing. The trick is not to fix it if it isn't broken.
It's OK for the rules not to be perfect, in fact your understanding of reality may create a very strong dissonance with some aspects of the game. Height vs range vs speed is one but it's a game and it has to be played in the scale of the tabletop environment so some thing just have to be the way they are.
Plus we have to look at the state of tabletop games today. A lot for us have young families and a game has to end in one or two hours for us to have a chance to play on a weeknight or weekend. Not everyone gets to spend a couple of days a week playing games for testing purposes!
So I've spent the last couple of months with my Grognard* hat on so you wouldn't have to. Play, enjoy, build, and get those friends to jump in on the kickstarter, we only need 30 more backers to give everyone an Ammon for free!
No snake-mecha, promise!
*A Grognard is from the french "grogner' – to grumble and grouch about every little perceived flaw in something. In wargaming parlance a Grognard (usually self styled) is the hardest of hardcore gamers, someone who typically spends more time searching for a game's perceived flaws than actually playing the game and having fun" -paraphrased from So you want to be a Wargamer? article in PC Gamer October 2003 by William R. Trotter, with respect.