Update on Desperation Morale Update

Jumbo

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Mark, regarding 'that' other TPP let me help you so you don't have to do all the heavy lifting. In the future just cut and paste from some of these as needed:

  • Not worth the paper it's printed on.
  • Buyer beware.
  • Probably wasn't playtested.
  • Probably renamed from a previous pack.
  • Pulllllease, Star Wars versus Star Trek?!?!? (Oops licensing, the Kirk vs. Luke pack)
  • Could have been stolen from another publisher.
  • Please don't pay full price for this.
  • Was NOT playtested.
  • Some assembly required.
  • We've seen this one 17 times before.
  • Refurbished, rehashed, replayed, reprinted... reliable?
  • Batteries not included.
  • $89.95 for ONE magazine?
  • Play and test are just words.
Every time I read this, I laugh harder...
You nailed it.
Or, as Dan Jenkins might have said, "dead solid perfect."
 

holdit

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You could also take the approach of doing updates sans CH first and get to it if you can (though I think it's obvious that would end in a similar place). While I deeply appreciate DM and its value personally and to the hobby, this is, after all, a hobby and it's meant to be fun, even the adjunct stuff. And if it's not, life's too short.
Alternatively, just list the CH stuff and, if the scuttlebutt is suggesting that something is actually a worthwhile offering, then do a review of it. If there's no review, people can draw the obvious conclusion...
 

RobZagnut

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Just wish he was honest like this company was and name his next module...

12031
 

Michael Dorosh

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What astounds me, honestly, is how many ASLers there are who simply don't care whether or not a product was playtested.
It astounds me that you think you can tell if a product was playtested just by unwrapping it.

Might be an interesting experiment, though. Have a group play an ordinary scenario, one that was extensively tested, in both original draft and final form and see how many can correctly distinguish which is which.
 

RobZagnut

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It astounds me that you think you can tell if a product was playtested just by unwrapping it.
Let’s make a wild guess...

One company publishes 27 modules/scenario packs in a year. Every year. Designers and other scenario submitters have stated that their scenarios were published with ZERO playtesting.

All the other companies publish one maybe two products in a year, sometimes every other year. Each of these companies has large lists of playtesters, proofreaders and designers.

You’ve got a halfway decent mind, I think. What products are being playtested and which are not?
 
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TopT

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It astounds me that you think you can tell if a product was playtested just by unwrapping it.

Might be an interesting experiment, though. Have a group play an ordinary scenario, one that was extensively tested, in both original draft and final form and see how many can correctly distinguish which is which.
How about you try that experiment? Let us know what you come up with.
 

TopT

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Maybe people like the maps and counters, and scenarios are secondary.
That used to be my draw (maps) and then he switched to the map panels and I couldn't even come close to pulling the trigger anymore. I have played quite a number of CH scenarios, most of them were a blast.
 

Sparafucil3

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One company publishes 27 modules/scenario packs in a year. Every year. Designers and other scenario submitters have stated that their scenarios were published with ZERO playtesting.
To be fair, maybe the first version was tested and the subsequent versions were not. Or it could be the first version sold WAS the playtest and the changes were incorporated into versions 2+. Or it could be version 2 was playtested but version three changes to a new historical map and it is now no longer balanced.

Of course, balance is an illusion anyway. If you and I play it, the game will have a level of balance commensurate with our skill level and how well we played that day and how fair the dice were. If GorGor and Brett Hildebran play it, it will have a whole different level of balance. So maybe, all of Ray's stuff was playtested several times, by ATS players making their initial foray into ASL. Not all playtesting is equal. -- jim
 

Tuomo

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To be fair...
This interpretation doesn't fit with CH's business practices.

What actually does fit, at least to me, and also answers Mark's question upstream about why people would buy stuff that hasn't been adequately playtested, is that some people get enough enjoyment out of having the raw material to play around with, rather than wanting a more curated product. They don't necessarily need balanced scenarios, they just want the counters, maps, and some rules. They don't mind filling in gaps where necessary, because that's fun/interesting/enjoyable for them.

If I recall, that kind of "tinker with it yourself" concept was far more common back in the early days of wargaming - maybe with ties to miniatures? You didn't have huge rulebooks back then or online compendiums of Q&A. So you took the raw materials and recreated history as best you could.

To me, that's a reasonable reading of why some people don't feel ripped off by products that seem to provide little but the raw materials to cover a battle. I don't feel that way myself, but I can understand it.

Now, to be clear, I don't for a second think that this is anything but a convenient excuse for CH to rapidly churn out low-quality stuff that they can sell. As someone who doesn't want their gaming time wasted with unplaytested stuff, and as someone who spends a lot of time trying to make high quality stuff, I strongly disagree with what I have seen CH do over the years. But hey - I can see how some might enjoy themselves. It's their money and their time, and I'm not their parent.
 

Sparafucil3

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This interpretation doesn't fit with CH's business practices.
I don't believe my post had anything to do with their business practices. WRT their business practices, PT Barnum would be impressed. Their obvious reselling of things under a new name that they have sold before under a different name is nothing but reprehensible IMO. -- jim
 

Sparky

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No profanity outside the political forum
What astounds me, honestly, is how many ASLers there are who simply don't care whether or not a product was playtested.
Of course there are. As alluded to earlier Mark. I think there is a good sized subset of the ASL playing world that probably doesn't care. All that really matters is if they are fun to play or not.

Whether that means they are indeed playtested .. and done without your express knowledge... or not playtested which probably makes the designers genius for some of the best, most fun, challenging and creative stuff I have played has been from CH. But at the end of the day what matters is .. is it fun to play or not. Why would waste the time considering whether was it playtested or not if they are fun and challenging to play.. what really is the point of caring.

Seems those who don't play CH are far more concerned with it than those that do play it. Which says it all really....
 
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Jumbo

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Heh... yeah, man... pure f----- genius, man... heh... yeah, man...
Re: Critical Hit's products: where are the AARs (lol)?
Where are the glowing product reviews (lol x 2)?
"Uh, it's not that bad, putting together 32 map panels."
"Who cares about not being able to properly trace an LOS because it's nigh-impossible to align all the map panels precisely?"
"I don't care that all the scenarios in CH's (insert ANY CH product name here) weren't play tested and are unplayable due to missing/poorly written/conflicting scenario SSRs without writing my own SSRs... I get validated every Friday by CH's stream-of-word-salad email."
"And, and, and, I was allowed to join CH's own super-secret forum, and, and, and I even got my own Boxcars, Inc. decoder ring."
One AAR.
Just one.
One AAR of something Boxcars, Inc. published SINCE Clinton was president.
 
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RobZagnut

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Of course there are. As alluded to earlier Mark. I think there is a good sized subset of the ASL playing world that probably doesn't care. All that really matters is if they are fun to play or not.

Whether that means they are indeed playtested .. and done without your express knowledge... or not playtested which probably makes the designers genius for some of the best, most fun, challenging and creative stuff I have played has been from CH. But at the end of the day what matters is .. is it fun to play or not. Why would waste the time considering whether was it playtested or not if they are fun and challenging to play.. what really is the point of caring.

Seems those who don't play CH are far more concerned with it than those that do play it. Which says it all really....
Ummm... NO!

If you paid attention it's about the ethics of the company. When I owned half of CH. Yes, I created CH and I'm the one who came up with the name CH. It's about ethics and how CH treats its customers. I was in charge of articles. He was in charge of scenarios. When I sent him a bunch of scenarios for consideration to be playtested, he published EVERY single one as is, without playtesting, without looking at them for design flaws, without checking anything. Designers expressed concerns about this to me and asked why. When I asked him why, he told me his philosophy behind scenarios:

"If you throw enough shit up against the wall, some of it is going to stick."

I left CH immediately after that. I wanted no part of a company with that as its philosophy behind designing ASL products. I take pride in my work. His further actions later on confirmed how correct I was for leaving and not wanting to associate my name with shit.

1. - The ripping off of Time on Target scenarios. When called on it by Mark he changed the titles, some wording and a few of the units, so it wouldn't be 'copying'. It is still stealing.

But, to you "they are fun and challenging to play.. what really is the point of caring." correct?

2. - Scott Holst submitted a scenario pack with 7 scenarios and was told he needed 8 scenarios. When Scott said he only had seven, an eighth was created out of the air by taking one of the seven, copying it, choosing two different boards and PRESTO! a new scenario!

But, to you it's all just "pure white noise man."

3. What's Deperation Morale readers #1 reason for Mark continuing to write about CH? Because they are desperate to know which CH modules and scenarios are purposely being renamed, so they don't spend their money buying the same product over and over.

Some of us choose to draw a line in the sand, while some look the other way. I choose to support companies that don't blantantly rip people off. It's has ZERO to do with playtesting! Lack of playtesting is just a symptom of a much greater disease.

But Sparky dude... to you, "... at the end of the day what matters is .. is it fun to play or not."

Ummm... NO!
 
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