So, a few months back, I went through the Necromunda, Mordheim, and Inquisitor rules and looked for ideas to modify, incorporating ideas from a WWII skirmish game my friend Lance and I developed a few years back (initially based on Games Workshop's Lord of the Rings game, but since modified beyond recognition). I got the basic battle rules worked out, but never got into the nitty gritty of the point-buy character and warband creation.
Along the way, I think I succumbed to feature bloat and ended up with a bunch of cruft that the game doesn't benefit from. So now, I'm starting "from the ground up" trying to come up with rules from base principles of what I want to happen in the game, consciously working to avoid falling back on old GW based habits.
Once I finish this, I figure I'll compare the two rulesets and take the best of both worlds. That's the theory at least. So, some high level design goals:
- Ideally suited for forces of 6-15 guys per side, but hopefully allowing for simplified rules to run larger battles
- Quick, smooth play that doesn't bog things down in endless rolling or rules look ups or the like
- At the same time, enough detail to make each individual fighter interesting and individual
- Again, aimed at doing games set in the 40k setting, but hopefully applicable to any modern/sci-fi setting
The main pitfalls I'm worried about are falling into extreme and over detailing of options. I have a tendency to do this, as has recently been pointed out with the clan creation rules in The Book of Threes and from my prior experience with modifying wargames rules. One of the solutions to this I plan on is intense modularity: give a simple, basic set of rules with a number of layers of optional add ons that provide more and more detail, and can be used or discarded by individual groups of players as they like. This is also how I intend to tackle different "levels" of game play, such as campaigns and individual battles, play with a game master or without, and so forth.
Going forward, I'd appreciate any insight into these or other pitfalls I may be blindly stumbling into.