Saturday, 14 June 2008

DBMM – Consistency?

One of my biggest concerns with the current DBMM rule book is the way in which information is scattered around. Today I found an interesting example whilst preparing Part 4 of DBMM for the Befuddled.

Both Light Horse and Elephants suffer from the weather in cold climates: in spring and winter respectively. Both effects are mentioned in the troop definitions on pages 4 and 6 respectively and in the weather effects section on page 25. So far so good.

The inconsistency comes in on page 24 where almost all weather scores are explained except for the impact of a cold winter on Elephants. I assume it’s not included because it’s not dependent on the weather score and so didn’t fit the structure.

All very logical I suppose from the writer’s viewpoint but from reader’s viewpoint it’s confusing. Page 24 looks very like the total list of weather by climate, season and weather score whilst page 25 deals with definitions and effects but it’s not that straightforward if you have Elephants.

In the end it’s a very small thing, unless you’re Hannibal using a elephants during a cold winter, and can easily be rectified by adding an “All or Any” section to page 24.

It matters because it’s an example of the inconsistency of DBMM where a general approach or pattern - in this case the weather score governing the weather – is broken by an exception. Broken patterns add to the game's complexity. There are other examples like superior grading but I won’t bore you with that. Taken altogether these things do make the game hard to learn.

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