[messages] [Feature Requests] Feature requests.. simple ones, I think

Michael Kiefte mkiefte at dal.ca
Tue Apr 17 15:42:43 MST 2012

> From the user end, I'd perfer not to have the rule's enforced;
> A. it forces me to learn them

40% of my job is teaching and I've found that reading books and lecturing
is next to nothing compared to hands-on experience.

I believe that learning a game comes from playing it, not reading the
rules.  Personally, I can read the rules two or three times and still not
get all the nuances until I play it.  When I reread the rules afterwards,
then it finally sinks in.  Having a module that speeds the pace of play
accelerates this process.  Paths of Glory is a perfect example.  The
rulebook is much longer than you'd expect given the actual game.  And
reading the rulebook is hopeless without actually playing it.

In any case, the TS module is not fully rules-enforced; For example, if you
play a card that says you must place 2 influence in Vietnam, then the
program places the influence in Vietnam for you.  However, if the card says
that you must place 5 influence in Eastern Europe, the program doesn't stop
you from placing it in Asia.  Why the difference?  In the first case, the
player would have to manually place 2 influence in Vietnam, which is silly,
because the game knows this must happen and doing it yourself is a waste of
time.  However, in the latter case, you have to manually place influence
anyway, so there is no speed efficiency in disallowing the player from
placing influence in Asia.  This is the big difference between this module
and Wargameroom's implementation.

Similarly, if you are required to discard a 2-Op card, the module
enumerates them and lets you click on one to discard -- again it's just to
speed it up. Not really to enforce the rules -- although it does that too.

The other enforcements are more like reminders.  For example, I often
forgot to place influence from NORAD when DEFCON went to 2, so the module
tells you to.  So the rules enforcement is largely to speed the game up.  I
can play TS online in about an hour.  On the table, it can take 2 at least.

So back to your original point, the module is a great learning tool.  In
addition, when debates regarding subtle rules interactions have come up on
BGG, the implementation in TS has often been correct.  There was a
particularly controversial debate that was finally decided by Jason
Matthews that fell in my favour (regarding the samantics of "if" clauses on
the cards)!

> B. it would mean you don't need the rulebook, which I have the feeling a
few publishers might have an issue with

GMT supplied me with the original graphics and posted the module on their
website.  They know it's a very popular module and they have been very

That's not true of another company I've dealt with, but I don't talk to
them any more.

> C. I can tweak them as I feel needed.

Go wild.  Someone asked me for the code once.  It's all there.  The source
is not in the module because of its size, but I'll give it away.
Programming traits and properties is not really that easy anyway!  It's not
really harder to make custom traits.

- M.
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