I've started the Historical Helles Campaign Scenario three times now -- not to mention the intro scenarios -- and I just don't have what it takes to play this game.
It's not just that it's complex. I like that. It's that the rules are poorly organized. And when you do find what you're looking for -- and that usually entails scouring the entire two rulebooks to piece together all the bits and bobs that go into each action you're trying to execute -- it's written in such a way that you simply can't understand what it's trying to say.
As far as the rules themselves go, the Orders system is poorly integrated into the game. Orders, Objectives, Routes of March and Battalions in Support all need massive streamlining, a major undertaking that cannot be fixed with a few forum posts or emails. It's a re-do.
Just like some of the sentences in the rules. They are unfixable. It's like "Nope. Try again. In English this time."
|Ridges and elevation contours. The LOS rules are among the most opaque in the game.|
The British stack just captured a Beach hex trench. They're fired at, fail a morale check and are now "confused." They are subsequently fired at again, so they "hide" inside the hex (they're taking cover inside the trench) which makes them immune to fire. Next turn, W Beach is Activated. Here's what happened:
1) The units spend an Officer Point (OP) to Rally. This costs 3 MPs (1/2 their allotment). They remove their confused marker, but they are still Hiding.
2) They spend another OP to take a MC to see if they can Assault the adjacent hex. They pass.
3) They come out of hiding to move.
4) They take Opportunity Fire for coming out of hiding. They survive.
5) The stack moves into the enemy hex.
6) The moving stacks now takes 0-range Opp Fire.
7) They survive and place an Assault marker.
Not really so bad...once you know it. But, for me, this represents about three play sessions of effort to piece together. You have to consult the OP rules, Rally rules, Move to Assault, Hiding, Trenches and Opp fire. Half the damn rulebook to move one hex. And I still don't know if a stack that loses a step has to take 1 MC or 2. (1 for the fire itself and 1 for the loss. I think that's right but the rules never say so specifically, typical of the entire rules.)
You also have to work out for yourself the benefits of moving units individually as opposed to stacks by combing through various rules to glean clues on the matter. (It costs 1 OP per Assault, so you're multiplying OP costs [bad] but you're assaulting in Waves [good]. But you're on your own figuring this out as the rules never specifically address it.)
Here's an example of what you're up against with these rules. Let's say you want to delay the landing of one of your units.
Good ol' 103.6.3: "Visualize the streams of landing units as a queue." Awesome, I know what a queue is! Let's read on...."a replacement use of Beach Capacity...?" I don't think those words mean what you think they mean. Let me rephrase that: I don't know what the hell you're talking about! And you started out so well, too, with the queue analogy and all. Read on from there and your eyes just start to glaze over. (Go ahead, try it. I dare you.)
But wait! There's more:
We turn the page to find the rest of the delayed landing rules. I honestly don't think I've ever made it all the way through that paragraph.
I think what it all boils down to is this: Every beach has a Beach Capacity. When you delay landing a unit this turn, it bumps one of the units from next turn.
There's a little more to it than that, but there shouldn't be. Streamline, simplify. Know what is necessary and what ain't. Complicated Landing Delay rules ain't. I don't care how much of a grognard you are!
You literally have to diagram some sentences to understand them. Try this one, from the Line of Sight rules:
You can see some of my own scrawlings trying to make sense of this thing. The word "Otherwise" simply doesn't belong, but that's the only actual correction I can make. Delete the whole damn thing and try again, James Joyce. Remember: You don't have to say everything in one sentence. You don't need slashes, and/ors, parantheses etc etc. Simple declarative sentences. Who do you think you are? William Faulkner?
I leave you with this. See the bold CFAC heading? Read along and you will see that all will be explained in 103.16. Awesome. Now, locate your "Game Book," not the "Series Rules." Oh, where did I put that? Ah, here it is. Thumb through, 103.13 ... 103.14 ... 103.15 ...
103.16 does not exist.
How do I get out of this chicken outfit, anyway?