Friday, 27 January 2017

Errata ... but nothing major!

Mea culpa!

A couple of minor errors in the text of my PORTABLE WARGAME book have been pointed out to me, and although they are not significantly serious, I thought that I would bring them to the attention of anyone who has bough the book.
  • On page 65, in the sentence that reads 'However, because it could not retreat, the Egyptian Infantry unit lost 1SP ... and was wiped out!', I have inadvertently typed in Infantry when it should have been Cavalry.
  • On pages 59 and 65 I appear to have given the attackers their +1 bonus because they were attacking an enemy unit in the flank, but did not apply the -1 penalty to the attacked unit. This does not make a different to the outcome of the Close Combat, and was due to me forgetting to apply the penalty in the heat of tabletop battle! As such this seems to be a blatant case of Cordery's First Rule of Wargame Design (see page 96 and the note on page 102), and means that I should consider removing the penalty from the rules. That said, the penalty is there to reflect the fact that a unit that is attacked in the rear or the flank will have to fight at a disadvantage, just as the unit that is attacking them will have an advantage.

I am sure that other minor errata will emerge in due course, but I hope that they will not ruin anyone's enjoyment of the book or understanding of the rules.

24 comments:

  1. Just got my book this morning, after not getting on with the iPad version, and its first opening is to write the errata in :)
    Isn't good that we have a near instant access to amendments? :0)

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    1. Nobby,

      I am pleased to read that your book arrived today.

      At least the errors were not significant ones, although it is very annoying that they happened and were not picked up during the proof-reading.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Yep, nothing important at all and I rather like a bit of purple correction prose in the margins :0)

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    3. Nobby,

      Cheers ... and I hope that you enjoy using the rules!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. If the book is print on demand from Lulu, can you make changes to the document so that later purchases will contain the latest errata?

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    1. Jonathan Freitag,

      I hope to make the changes early next week. I want to see if any further errata turn up over the weekend ... just in case!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. Hi Bob,
    I'm not surprised that the hardback edition has been selling so well, somehow a hardback copy seems so much more collectable. I did purchase the electronic copy, but I will be ordering my H/B copy this week as I much prefer sitting and reading in book form!

    Errata happens in printing/publishing,I worked in the industry for over 30 years. You should have seen the mess that Warlord Games made of 2nd Edition Bolt Action, and that's a professional publishing company (Osprey) employing proofreaders etc. Caused a real outcry among fans who paid £35.00 for the hardback - as I did.

    Well done Bob, I'm sure sales will increase.

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    1. 'Lee,

      When I thought about whether or not to produce a hardback version of the book, I looked along my bookshelves ... and the wargame books that I most highly prized - and use - were the hardbacks written by Donald Featherstone, Joseph Morschauser, Peter Young, Charles Grant etc.

      I much prefer hardback books to paperback ones, and have bought hardback copies of my favourite fiction books even though I may well have Kindle versions of them. Like wargame figures, books have a tactile quality that their electronic equivalents cannot match.

      Thank you for your comments about errata in books. I would have liked to have produced an error-free book, but my endeavours are single-handed and the fact that there are so few mistakes is testament to my wife's proof-reading. Had she been a wargamer (and not just a normal, put-upon wargamer's wife) I suspect that she would have spotted the failure to include the -1 penalty for units attacked in the flank or rear!

      I hope that you enjoy using the rules,

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. Hi Bob,
    Regarding the -1 when flanked, I am considering only applying the penalty if the unit fights through its flank. Thus, if a unit is being attacked from the front or flank, it could choose to fight the unit to the front at no penalty or the unit to the flank at -1. But then again, I have not played a game yet! So maybe rules as written first and see how it works!

    John

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    1. John,

      What you what you suggest makes sense, but as some has pointed out to me in an email, removing the penalty all together would not make the Close Combat too unbalanced. The jury is out at the moment, but if I do produce a revised edition of the rules I may well removed that particular penalty.

      I hope that you enjoy using the rules.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. Hi Bob. I think there may be an error on page 45 (hardback version) under the Results bullet point of the Artillery Fire Rules. It says "Die score = Less than 4" when I assume it means '4 or Less'.

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    1. Alan Charlesworth,

      Thanks for brining this to my attention.

      I cannot check the text at the moment, but I suspect that it should read '4 or less' and not 'Less than 4'.

      Another errata that I will need to correct!

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. This could be 'Cordery's second law of war Games Design': 'Beware of the greater than or less than'. One has always to be careful about defining the boundaries, and what the boundary conditions are. This is especially true of ranges/distances, unit strengths if percentages or fractions are under consideration, and dice scores. There are times I would like to use the mathematics' convention of intervals in which parenthesis {(} means exclusion; bracket {[} means inclusion. An interval zero to one that excludes zero, but includes 1 would be written (0,1]. So (0,1) excludes both boundaries; [0,1] includes both.

      That would work nicely with stepped ranges: (0,100mm]; (100mm,200mm]; (200mm,300mm], say. I wonder if it could catch on?


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    3. Page 73 (hardback) also repeats the "less than 4" phrase.

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    4. Alan Chatsworth,

      Thanks for pointing this out as well. I had suspected that I might have repeated the error and had already noted the need for a change.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    5. Archduke Piccolo,

      It's such an obvious error, I could kick myself for not seeing it! It is easily corrected, however, and will be very soon.

      I like the concept that you propose and understand it ... BUT I somehow think that it will be one step beyond the easy comprehension for many wargamers!

      One of the reasons why I have moved towards the use of a gridded tabletop was to avoid confusion when it came to things like measuring weapon ranges. I remember watching a game where the players almost came to blows because the couldn't agree on what range a unit was from the one firing at it. One corner of the target unit was exactly on the boundary between two range bands, hence the disagreement.

      With your notation, there should be no confusion.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  6. You could just give the attacker +2 and get rid of the penalty.

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    1. That seems a clever thought. Does it have a flaw?

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    2. Phf,

      Thanks for the suggestion. Although this would appear to be the simplest solution to the problem, it would actually change the dynamic of the mechanism.

      The +1 bonus affects the result of the attacker hitting the defender in the flank; the -1 penalty affects the defenders ability to fight back.

      By just enhancing the attackers ability to attack by giving them a +2 bonus, you are not affecting the defenders ability to fight back.

      I hope that explains why I made the choice to have bonuses and penalties in the same mechanism.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    3. Nobby,

      I hope my reply to phf's comment explains why I would rather use the mechanism as it was originally designed and not to just increase the attacker's bonus to +2.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    4. I can't say as I properly understand but that's not unusual in my wargaming so I'll just accept it as it is. :)

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    5. Nobby,

      In Close Combat a side hits its opponent on a score of 5 or more.

      If the attacker has a +2 bonus, it will hit the defender with a die score of 3, 4, 5, or 6, a 66% chance. If it has a +1 bonus, it will hit the defender with a die score of 4, 5, or 6, a 50% chance.

      If the defender has no penalty, it will hit the attacker with a die score of 5 or 6, a 33% chance. If the defender has a -1 penalty, it will hit the attacker with a die score of 6, a 16.5% chance.

      By keeping the existing bonus and penalty, it makes a significant difference to the possible results.

      I hope that this makes the situation clearer.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  7. I hope you are making a list of all this Bob :-)

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    1. Stephen Briddon,

      Don't worry ... I have!

      All the best,

      Bob

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