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Subject: Beginning Rules Rewrite rss

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Glen Oberhauser
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I have begun rewriting the rules of Up Front. The intent of the rewrite is to make the game simpler to learn, incorporate the FAQ and corrections, and reference the artwork of the redesign.

Preliminary efforts can be seen here
http://www.canyonpointstudios.com/upfront/UpFront.pdf


Feel free to comment.

I am by no means an Up Front expert. I'm just trying to learn the game myself. I DO intend to rewrite the entire rulebook, but so far I have just enough to get someone started playing the Americans vs. Germans. I am continuing the programmed instruction from the original rulebook, so the next milestone will be to write enough to play Scenario A.

This rewrite is proving to be a LOT of work, so be patient.

UPDATE 1:
Lots of progress made over the past 2 weeks. Still to do:
AFV's
More weapons
Prisoners
Wounds
Entrenching
Artillery
More examples

In it's current state, these rules can get you through the first four scenarios (A through D). Have fun! I'm giving out GeekGold if you report any errors in this thread.


UPDATE 2: The end is near!
Done:
Section numbers
A start of a glossary
First attempt at AFV's (these rules need some examples and images)

Still to do:
A few more weapons
A few miscellaneous rules
More images and examples
Index
Table of contents
Scenarios E-L


UPDATE 3: Done but not finished
I'd like to say that the rules are finished, but it will be some time before they are truly completed. Yet, today is a major milestone! All rules from the second edition are now rewritten in this new document. We have all the rules, the new terrain appendix, the new weapons appendix and the scenario appendix.

Rules have been slightly reorganized but I have left the previous programmed instruction in place. Hopefully, this new rule book enables players to learn the game quickly but is also a good reference rule book.

I added a version number in the top left of the rules so that we know which ruleset we are referring to when we make suggestions. As always, suggestions are not only appreciated but rewarded.

Here is the list of future tasks:
a) Proofreading for both grammar and spelling as well as completeness
b) Clarifying difficult rules
c) Examples
d) Table of Contents
e) Index
f) Glossary
g) Incorporating all errata and important FAQ
h) DYO rules
i) Team play rules
j) Campaign game rules
k) Expansion rules

I plan to do a through g but would love any help you can provide. I don't expect to do h through k anytime soon.
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Timothy Burke
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Just a thought but have you explored the legality of this rewrite? Is it Wizards of the Coast who now own the copy write??
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Glen Oberhauser
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bactrian5 wrote:
Just a thought but have you explored the legality of this rewrite? Is it Wizards of the Coast who now own the copy write??


If I hear from any lawyers, I'll let you know. Until then, let's keep this thread focused on the content of the rules.
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Timothy Burke
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Looking forward to your rewrite, long overdue
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Glen Oberhauser
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bactrian5 wrote:
Looking forward to your rewrite, long overdue


Thanks. BTW, I'm trying not to use any verbatim text from the original rules, though I'm not sure it matters.
 
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Hidden Among the Leaves
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Seems very interesting. I will support this endeavor.

M.
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David Muñoz de la Peña
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Great news! I have taken a quick look at the first pages and they look great. I see that you are doing a complete rewrite with lots of examples with a step-by-step approach. Have you considered to do a CC:E like rulebook? For example, with an Orders sections in which all possible orders (including AFV and all weapon related orders) are presented at once. This would help looking for an expecific rule when playing. In the current rulebook, because of its structure, is always a pain to look for rules.

David
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Glen Oberhauser
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Oops. I meant to ask you before posting the images. Thanks for approving my efforts. (Awesome work, by the way!)

I would like to ultimately model the CC rulebook as the games are very similar and the CC rulebook is fantastic. The terrain appendix is a step in that direction. I may go back and redo the Action cards section so that it looks like the Order card CC rule book.

It's tough, because I *think* Up Front is complicated enough that it needs the programmed instruction. However, once I get more on a paper, it may be that a good reference rulebook and then a playbook will do the job.

We shall see.
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Rob Rob
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It certainly could use and deserves a rewrite. I do suggest to avoid issues you avoid verbatim text and use "generified" art in any graphic examples. There are certainly enough scans and DOC copies of the original rules on the net that a rewrite of this sort (crediting the original and requiring ownership of the game) shouldn't violate any copyright laws.
 
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Jon Kolman
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Now THIS is gonna kick ass! Have some GG to help you along!
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Mike NZ
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manhattandoctor wrote:
I have begun rewriting the rules of Up Front.


YOU ARE A SAINT!
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Mike NZ
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Wish it was more GG...more later as I really think this act of dedication deserves at least GG. I have struggled for 20 yrs with the damn rules love the game though!

Did u have u posted them anywhere yet i guess you'll wait?

Also there is a great way to play others online with Vassal: http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module:Up_Front
 
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Joshua Patterson
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I actually started type setting the old rules as an excuse to learn LaTex along with updating the examples with the redone version. So I greatly commend you.

Just out of curiosity, what are you using to type set it?
 
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Dan Owsen
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Nice work. Even though I am one of those that doesn't have a problem with the current rule book, I commend you for taking on this task. Although, by the time you get through all the rules for all the scenarios, the rule book may be 100 pages or so.
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Glen Oberhauser
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mummykitty wrote:
Nice work. Even though I am one of those that doesn't have a problem with the current rule book.


I agree. The original rulebook is usable. Its not Fields of Fire awful. It has several problems I would like to correct:

1) Poor organization for the intended programmed instruction. For example, crew served weapons and commissars are introduced well before being needed. Details of terrain's effects on AFV's and infiltration are included before being needed. It's hard for a beginner to wade through all that stuff.

2) Concepts are not motivated before the details are taught. For example, readers are forced to read the gory details of Smoke and Wire before completely understanding their purpose.

3) Examples would benefit from more images.

4) It's hard to locate the steps of algorithmic rules such as resolving fire effects or resolving sniper attacks.

5) Exceptions should probably be listed in the sections explaining those concepts instead of in mid-paragraph.

My (hopefully achievable) goal is to create a good reference rulebook that also works as a programmed instruction for new players.

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César Moreno
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Glenn, I'm very happy with your work, I've started doing the same -in spanish, though- a couple of days ago. Now I'll just sit and wait (maybe play meanwhile)

I'm no expert at UF, and reading your text I've noticed a couple of things I assume and play differently.

A very minor issue, after deploying and drawing initial hand, I though the 1st terrain card of each player had to be played on enemy groups. Only after that, a player coudl place terrain cards on his own groups.

In the "Resolving attacks" section, point 2.2, I thought a personality had to be pinned to qualify for panic. Reading your text, and the example you provide it seems one of us has it wrong.

Not sure of any one of the points, I'd be happy to be corrected.





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Mark Bigney
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Great work so far, Glen. You are to be commended.
 
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Paul Buckle
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Jeezuz this looks good. I might even end up playing this game after reading this !

Shame someones not done it for Fields of Fire yet

Buks
 
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Kevin Riekki
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Good Stuff, I played my first game of this a few months back. Can't wait to see more. Keep it up
 
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Richard Irving
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I think you are misdiagnosing the problem. Programmed instruction fails in Up Front's case because it doesn't SHOW players HOW to play the game and by ordering rules in an illogical order based on when a rule is introduce so it cannot be effectively used as reference for in-game look ups.

The tutorial was to be a turn by turn example of play. Each page would show a player's tunr, showing the personality cards in play, the action card they chose to play on the turn, why they are allowed to play them (Movement cards needing all men to be unpinned, fire cards needing firepower at the current being => the circled numbers on the card, etc.), any processes the player has to do (completing a fire attack) and any cards drawn.

The reason a tutorial is absolutely needed is that Up Front has rules like no other wargame. In other wargames, movement rules are pretty similar from game to game: MP allowance, use that many MP's per (no saving over), each hex has a type of terrain in it with different costs from each terrain, some terrains may cause a unit to stop if entered, etc.) In Up Front, movement firing, range between units etc. are all handled in unique ways.

The reference would sort the rules in a logical order, grouping common rules together:
- various special weapons (crew served FP (ie. machine guns), ordnance or other To hit # weapons (mortars or AT rifles), demo charges, etc.,
- terrain cards
- AFV related rules

What needs to happen is to dump programmed instruction entirely.

UF2000 was to have a well ordered reference with separate tutorial (basically turn by example of play). Combat Commander uses this system with excellent results.


manhattandoctor wrote:


1) Poor organization for the intended programmed instruction. For example, crew served weapons and commissars are introduced well before being needed. Details of terrain's effects on AFV's and infiltration are included before being needed. It's hard for a beginner to wade through all that stuff.


Crew served weapons are required for the very first scenario. And the rule is not that difficult--the crew cannot his firepower, but the crewed weapon with an unpinned crewman uses the firepower shown larger unbracketed numbers and the crewman cannot use his firepower.

Commissars and other rules which only occur in specific scenarios (i.e. flame throwers, pillboxes, radios, demo charges, reinforcements, elite/2nd line troops, night scenario, desert, etc.) are practically scenario specific rules. When said item is not present in the scenario, they can be ignored.

In the original PI format, there was no reason you could not play scenario D (which introduced mortars) before C or B (demo charges, pillboxes and flamethrowers.)

Granted, mentioning terrain affects on AFV or infiltration does make the rule read very choppily, it serves a purpose for reference. When you look up a rule for infiltration from marsh, you can find the relevant rule by looking up either the marsh or the infiltration rules.

Quote:
2) Concepts are not motivated before the details are taught. For example, readers are forced to read the gory details of Smoke and Wire before completely understanding their purpose.


The rules should NOT be presented that way because any card can be played on any turn.

They are certainly 2 of the items that must be explained in a tutorial--mainly the differences between smoke & wire and other terrain cards (modifies, not replaces existing terrain; can be played without a movement card on the group, multiples can be on the group, how they are removed, etc.)

Quote:
3) Examples would benefit from more images.

No problem there. But the proposed tutorial solves many of these issues.

Quote:
4) It's hard to locate the steps of algorithmic rules such as resolving fire effects or resolving sniper attacks.


Actually, that is something NOT true with original rules: All of the Fire rules are included in Rule 6, all sniper rules are in Rule 14. Neither are spread around the rulebook.

Quote:
5) Exceptions should probably be listed in the sections explaining those concepts instead of in mid-paragraph.


Cleaning up the writing will help, but you are removing numeric references. Numeric references ARE handy--especially if you are NOT going to include references to later rules the first time rules the first time they come up (I.e. AFV's and terrain.)

Quote:
My (hopefully achievable) goal is to create a good reference rulebook that also works as a programmed instruction for new players.


What you are doing will only referencing the rulebook worse. PI needs to go altogether.
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Colin Hunter
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Sifting throught the rewrite now. The most glaring problem initially is the lack of numeric reference. If possible could you add these, they help immensely with oranization and later look up of rules. Oh and thanks for this, it may inspire me to play some upfront again.

edit: I see Richard as actually already mentioned this, I'll just add my agreement.
 
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James
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I've played the first scenario but then I find it gets complicated once they start mentioning the following in later scenarios.

1. Infiltration
2. Flanking

Perhaps if there was a walk-through diagram or something it would make it easier to understand.
 
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Glen Oberhauser
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Thanks for the encouragement, guys.

Yes, I will put back section numbers in the final version, but I'm not sure of final order yet.

I'm still not sure how I feel about programmed instruction for Up Front, but I do generally like programmed instruction. (I realize that puts me in a minority, but I want to get a game and start playing as painlessly as possible.) However, I also like a good reference manual.

Can rules be both? I'm not sure. My instinct says they can if the rules are well-written, well-organized and have a very good index. We shall see. For now, it's simplest for me to mirror the existing rule book while rewording, reorganizing, adding modern typesetting, adding examples and images from the redesign, and so on.
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Glen Oberhauser
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rri1 wrote:

Crew served weapons are required for the very first scenario.


Oops. I shall fix that.

rri1 wrote:

Quote:
4) It's hard to locate the steps of algorithmic rules such as resolving fire effects or resolving sniper attacks.


Actually, that is something NOT true with original rules: All of the Fire rules are included in Rule 6, all sniper rules are in Rule 14. Neither are spread around the rulebook.



You're right, locating the rule is easy. What I meant is that it's hard to follow the steps because they are often written in paragraph form.
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Glen Oberhauser
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grahamj wrote:
I've played the first scenario but then I find it gets complicated once they start mentioning the following in later scenarios.

1. Infiltration
2. Flanking

Perhaps if there was a walk-through diagram or something it would make it easier to understand.


Check the latest edition for flanking rules.

Infiltration and Close Combat are coming next week. (I hope.)
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