[NetEpic ML] Re: Epic Rules

From: Luca Lettieri <l.lettieri_at_...>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 1999 12:41:16 +0100

On 10 Dec 99, at 14:09, Robert Heitkamp wrote:

> The biggest let-down with the 2nd Edition Rules (and NetEpic) is how
> short the games are. I can't see how you can play a game that will
> only last 2-3 turns and expect to really get much of a strategic
> experience out of it. It seems that the entire game is based on the
> initial deployment and a few dice rolls. Don't flame me for this as I
> don't want to start an argument about the faults of any particular
> system. We each want something different out of the rules and what
> works for one person doesn't work for another.

Flame? Welcome aboard! This list exists for this express purpose.

While I never played with ASL, I've played with the only other game
which I know of with a comparable complexity level (SFB).
The two are not directly comparable, of course, but I can see what
an ASL fan expects from a set of rules.

While you're basically right about the core of Space
marine/NetEpic, there are other factors which should be weighted

The first is playing time. With the current netepic rules, a big
(10.000 + points) battle will last for several hours. Sure, an average
battle lasts for 2-3 turns only, but with such huge number of troops
the turns themselves are bound to last forever (especially the first
one, with the armies intact). If you add complexity to the system,
either you'll have to reduce army size, or you have a lot of spare
time on your hands. Not everyone can afford a weekend-long battle.

The second factor is scale-playability. While scale has never been
really defined in the Epic series (something which will hopefully be
corrected in NetEpic 4), it's rather clear that we're speaking about
massive battles - you don't use 6mm for a squad-level game.
Introducing too many variables will rapidly turn the game into an
unplayable monstruosity. I cannot really comment your idea about
adapting SM units to ASL as I don't know the latter, but on first
impression it strikes me as impossible: ASL operates on a
completely different scale. In Epic, you don't care what is equipped
with the 123th soldier of the 3rd detachment of the 2nd company of
the IG army -- what difference is bound to make in the "grand
scheme of things" anyway?

In the end, you're absolutely right about a rule system: it depends
on what you're looking for. Space Marine was originally developed
to appeal to the mass market GW is aiming to - it turned out the
people who got hooked were the most... how can I say it...
strategically oriented of the GW market. They tried with a dumbed-
down version (epic40k) and failed miserably, because it became
TOO dumb for the original epic fans and (sad but, I'm convinced,
absolutely true) still too complex for the average GW fan ("with
Archaeon I can wipe out half the enemy's army"... ick).
As it is, NetEpic is fun to play, with each army having a distinctive
feel to it. In the 5000-8000 range it also gives some interesting
strategic challenges too - nothing too serious but at least you won't
win with a couple of lucky dice rolls, and if you do mistakes, you'll
PAY for them. Over the 8-9000 points the system begins to break;
besides, the games are just too long for my tastes (and

If you've never tried it, play a couple of battles with Warzone. It's
another miniature sci-fi rules system, but it's squad-oriented: you
play with very few miniatures (20-40 on average), 25mm scale,
each mini represents a man. Interesting system, with every man
having X actions every turn and using them to move-attack-shoot
etc. Don't know its current availability though, the company (Target
Games) it's having serious difficulties, but the adventure division
(which makes the 3D rules systems) was actually turning out
profits so they will likely allow at least that division to live (or
someone will buy the rights and produce the game).

Luca Lettieri
Received on Sat Dec 11 1999 - 11:41:16 UTC

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