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Slowburner

Measuring for Movement

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Myself and friend @MeVz took up the game in October, but have since had a lot of difficulties trying to get rules straight within our play-group; especially measuring for movement. So we devised this video (here in it’s third incarnation …) "Infinity - Measuring for Movement" to try to establish some baselines about what we think players are obliged to do, and what is and isn’t in the rules

 

To paraphrase, we’ve suggested that to be rules-compliant, players must at very least clearly declare their intentions, specify their entire route precisely, and estimate all those distances and positions before they can use a measuring tape. 

 

A lot of the opposition to that notion has been pettifogging and discursive arguments that estimates are not always necessary or desirable, and that they slow the game down, etc. So we leaned heavily on that word ‘estimate’ throughout (which critical sense I think the translators missed), and try to distinguish what’s actually in the rules, leaving the rest to the viewer to decide.

 

Feedback from previewers so far is that we didn’t address some common situations, such as how the opponent interacts with player declarations - how they can assist with decisions by providing Line of Fire information, or perhaps their own estimates about Zone of Control, etc.

 

Our apologies for this, because we had included it the first version we shot, which was a two-hander with myself and MeVZ playing together, and staging situations like that.  We evolved it into the monologue version we’ve published here, and which is intended to discuss only the active player’s obligations. Perhaps viewers think we do still need to cover it?

 

Otherwise, and if the community generally think it’s accurate and representative enough, we can have portions of it subtitled to clarify the situation here for native Japanese speaking players, and leave it up on YouTube to be discovered at need. We could shoot a second video that covers FAQ type situations. What do people think, please?

https://youtu.be/e1ZvEsuDCA0

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You declare "this model is going to move to this point by this path" 

Then you get the tape measure and see how far along the path you get. You're not allowed to measure anything in any way before you have declared the end point and the route you're taking to get there. 

This doesn't need to be exhaustive, millimetre by millimetre description, just "I'm moving to the corner of this building so I poke the model around it" 

Some people find it helps to put a marker or silhouette template at the proposed end point of the move. 

Sometimes you'll come up short, that's part of the game. 

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I use extra bases i have laying around to place end points to move orders, eyeballing everything. Not sure if we do this right, but we don't declare distances verbally (i.e. model A moves 4 inches) but just say where we want models to end up (by placing markers). If a question comes up about whether a model is visible, we break out silhouette markers. Only once all orders/AROs have been declared do we start measuring and figuring out if we got to the end points specified. 

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46 minutes ago, P-Chan said:

I use extra bases i have laying around to place end points to move orders, eyeballing everything. Not sure if we do this right, but we don't declare distances verbally (i.e. model A moves 4 inches) but just say where we want models to end up (by placing markers). If a question comes up about whether a model is visible, we break out silhouette markers. Only once all orders/AROs have been declared do we start measuring and figuring out if we got to the end points specified. 

This isn't quite right, you measure (and move the model if you wish) immediately after declaration, before AROs are generated. 

http://wiki.infinitythegame.com/en/Move

MOVING AND MEASURING

You can measure immediately after declaring Move and before determining where the trooper ends his Movement.

The sequence of events would be: Move declaration, clarifying the direction and the intention of the trooper's final location, measuring, and declaration of the real movement's ending point.

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Well, learn something new every day! So I would measure for every short order move made, before making a second?

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30 minutes ago, P-Chan said:

Well, learn something new every day! So I would measure for every short order move made, before making a second?

Yes, essentially for a move-move it'd be:

Declare destination and route of first skill 

Measure and determine final position 

Check for AROs

Declare destination and route of second skill 

Measure and determine final position 

Check for new AROs.

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56 minutes ago, P-Chan said:

Well, learn something new every day! So I would measure for every short order move made, before making a second?

What you described was the 2nd edition way of doing things.  3rd edition changed how movement is declared and executed during the order.

In second edition, you declared a movement without measuring, AROs get declared against the declared movement, and then at the end of the order you measured to see how far you got.  So consider what happens if a model is 5" from a corner with MOV 4-4 and declares a move to corner, receives AROs, and declares a shot from the corner.  Then you measure and discover it didn't get there.  I'm planning on continuing to repress my memories of how this was resolved in 2nd edition, but there's all of the old threads in archives if anyone wants to see it.  But for good measure, have the active model jump so that it has multiple potential movement paths in different directions...  :scared-(-nahh-):

That sort of situation is why the order declaration sequence gained the lines specifying that the movements are measured after being declared and before AROs are declared.  So both players find out how far the model actually gets before declaring AROs or the next skill of the order.

 

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12 hours ago, solkan said:

In second edition, you declared a movement without measuring, AROs get declared against the declared movement, and then at the end of the order you measured to see how far you got.

That sounds like a whole barrel-load of hurt. Do veterans of 2nd Edition get to wear skull ear-studs or something? (Classic sci-fi literary reference there ;)

But it's fair to say then that estimating distances for movement, as well as for shooting and Zone of Control was always a part of the game?

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7 hours ago, Slowburner said:

That sounds like a whole barrel-load of hurt. Do veterans of 2nd Edition get to wear skull ear-studs or something? (Classic sci-fi literary reference there ;)

But it's fair to say then that estimating distances for movement, as well as for shooting and Zone of Control was always a part of the game?

Hexagon tattoos.  It's the future.  B)

I've not personally seen a 1st edition rulebook to know for sure about the earliest versions, but I think it would be fair to say that about 2nd edition.

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So, 3:38 to 4:07 describes the differences in playing style previously mentioned, or was that another measuring issue entirely (like leaving rulers lying around on the table in sight)?

 

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Infinity does not allow premeasuring at all.  I think that's what the second thing being described is.  You have to make your decisions just based on your ability to eyeball it.

Leaving tape measures (or other items of known length) lying around where you can visually compare them is more of an issue of etiquette or sportsmanship.  It's a way of trying to skirt a rule without actually breaking it, which is generally taken (in any game) as disrespectful.

That being said, I'm often sloppy and don't really do my movement by these rules.  I'm going to do a bit of an experiment to tighten that up and see if it makes any sort of difference.

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Here are some time points that might be useful to clarify our intentions for the video, and what issues are supposed to be illuminated

Part I - General Points about Measurement for Movement in Infinity

  • Opening remarks
  • 3’ 40” - two general types of illegal measurement
  • 4’ 09” - specific declarations as a basic requirement for rules compliance
  • 5’ 12” - a very simple example of a rules-compliant declaration and measurement  
  • 5’ 43” - rules-compliant declaration and measurement for moving up under cover
  • 6’ 56” - resolving that example and its incorrect estimate for final position 

Part II - Resolving Estimates with Solkan’s Counters Method 

  • 8’ 04” - resolving over-estimates
  • 9’ 05” - resolving under-estimates
  • 9’ 40” - resolving the move up under cover example with counters
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I know that premeasuring can be a somewhat contentious subject in the wargaming hobby, but I personally don't think it makes games better to forbid it.  However, I generally try to respect the rules and culture of the game I am playing, and either premeasure or don't based on what the relevant book says.

I knew a Warmachine player who had one glass eye, and he sometimes had a hard time estimating distances.  And I dare say that a good carpenter's eye is more critical in WMH than it is in Infinity.

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38 minutes ago, ToadChild said:

I generally try to respect the rules and culture of the game I am playing, and either premeasure or don't based on what the relevant book says.

Yeah, I generally want to play the rules provided before inventing rules of my own; but I really don't mind if people want to play a game one way or another.

My frankly dogged fixation though, is with being as clear as possible about what rules mean; whether or not they're being used, and if not, what everyone's doing instead. 

I mean, when I was about 13, myself and a friend invented a card game called Plebbage which had no rules until one player or another introduced ithem. After the rule had been introduced (often only by implication of the play) both players had to stick with it, or invent another one to work around it*.

It sounds ridiculous, but it actually worked pretty well, because - this being the point of the anecdote, both players were agreed about what they were doing, and both knew exactly what they could and couldn't do.

So once the rules are all clearly agreed upon, it doesn't really matter whether they're right or wrong, or good or bad, because there'll still be a game there. Until everyone's agreed, it's not a proper game, is it - it's something else.

 

* this idea for a ridiculous card game that's continually changing, and that no-one ever really understands was eventually developed and successfully brought to market by a much smarter man than me. He called it Magic: the Gatherimg ;)

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First thing, great video @Slowburner! It explains rules in easy way understandable to most.

I've took the liberty to reposting it on my blog, crediting you as the author. I know too many players which play in this semi-premeasuring way not to care about the issue.

 

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I think the video is accurate, though it is very common in my experience for players to play more sloppily (more or less in the way you describe as against the rules) without any ill intent. Without marking way points on a route with markers as you demonstrate it can be finicky to declare a route exactly and measure exactly that route in two seperate steps, so it often devolves to one as a matter of convenience - since the tape measure itself physically outlines the route. I'm not saying that is technically correct, just that it is common to see.

Also one thing I think you missed is that it is perfectly legal in practice to declare that you move your troopers maximum distance in a certain direction - with your intention of the troopers final location being - "as far as he can go that way". So you don't have to guess a location at the exact maximum distance and potentially undershoot - you can always guess a location which is clearly further than your movement distance and therefore stop where your movement runs out.

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48 minutes ago, Hachiman Taro said:

I think the video is accurate, though it is very common in my experience for players to play more sloppily (more or less in the way you describe as against the rules) without any ill intent. Without marking way points on a route with markers as you demonstrate it can be finicky to declare a route exactly and measure exactly that route in two seperate steps, so it often devolves to one as a matter of convenience - since the tape measure itself physically outlines the route. I'm not saying that is technically correct, just that it is common to see.

Also one thing I think you missed is that it is perfectly legal in practice to declare that you move your troopers maximum distance in a certain direction - with your intention of the troopers final location being - "as far as he can go that way". So you don't have to guess a location at the exact maximum distance and potentially undershoot - you can always guess a location which is clearly further than your movement distance and therefore stop where your movement runs out.

Some of this is simple expedience; a lot of the time describing the route without reference to a ruler and then subsequently measuring it takes longer with no real effect on the outcome.

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One useful trick some people use is to pop a silhouette template down at the intended final location with their declaration (instead of a flat marker). This has the advantage of helping clarify LoF at the intended location in the same step, as well as preserving the exact initial and final position in case it becomes important for range determination / template weapon placement etc. That seems to work well, again it only makes a practical difference in some cases, but in those cases it can be quite helpful.

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As someone who is still in the kninda new camp I don't get what the big deal is. If you haven't noticed all the official manufactures MDF terrain has walls that are almost always in a factor of 4" (4", 8", 12" ect) meaning that being to picky about getting the right final position is more about exploiting one individuals knowlegde of the terrain involved. I think a general, I want to move to here and then measuring is fine, and I have never come accross anyone who would try and do some sort of exploit by doing it any other way.

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Declaration of movement becomes very important when hidden deployment comes into play.

One instance of you sloppily moving without declaration only to have a HD trooper nail your model in the open when, if you'd declared your route, you could have claimed cover, will swiftly fix bad habits.

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So, I take it that most/all of the answers above are about the pre-measuring-movement example, rather than the using-a-ruler-to-check-out-your-best/valid-options?

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You can't measure to figure out your best options (so using a ruler to check out your options is a no-no), but you can pop a silhouette down in a location you want to reach to check LOF etc.

Once you've decided on an end point (and route to get there), and declared as such, you can then measure to see if you make it to your desired spot or if you come up short.

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16 hours ago, SamboR said:

First thing, great video @Slowburner! It explains rules in easy way understandable to most.

Thanks @SamboR! The aim was to produce something that would make sense to beginning players who might encounter the same sort of difficulties we'd had ourselves.

16 hours ago, SamboR said:

I've took the liberty to reposting it on my blog, crediting you as the author.

I'm flattered you'd repost it, thank you; can you provide us a link to your blog, please?

16 hours ago, SamboR said:

I know too many players which play in this semi-premeasuring way not to care about the issue.

As indicated, this particular situation in our locale seems especially fraught; and there are certainly different characters here with different play styles and different attitudes. However, since I've been at pains to avoid suggesting that anyone might have anything but the purest motives, we can also afford a moment to privately wonder why there's been so much hue and cry about just clarifying the darn rules, eh?

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13 hours ago, Hachiman Taro said:

Also one thing I think you missed is that it is perfectly legal in practice to declare that you move your troopers maximum distance in a certain direction - with your intention of the troopers final location being - "as far as he can go that way". So you don't have to guess a location at the exact maximum distance and potentially undershoot - you can always guess a location which is clearly further than your movement distance and therefore stop where your movement runs out.

Absolutely. It stands to reason that if the distance to be travelled AND the vector is clearly defined then you've been rules-compliant by implication. Because an exact intended finishing location can be extrapolated from the statements you made, even if neither of you knew exactly where it was before the ruler was used. 

Note that there's plenty of scope for abuse if you do allow statements as vague as "as far as he can go that way" literally, because the vector hasn't been defined. But if the vector is clearly understandable in the statement, such as "as far as he can go along the wall" then we do have a vector, and you could even work out unintended overshoots, etc.

I must say though, once you've used Solkan's method in a game or two, you'll never go back to anything else. When we were doing the first videos a couple of weeks ago, he clarified that use of the 'actual position' counter to me, and so you see it used in that final example. It's really good, because all the counters can stay in place until everyone's happy. 

So even in that simple example of moving your dudesman along a wall, it's effortless to throw a counter down against the wall and clearly out of range, and then as always, you both know exactly what you're doing with no room for abuse.

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8 hours ago, Cartographer said:

Declaration of movement becomes very important when hidden deployment comes into play.

Yes, I agree. And we know that the guys who're usually wringing their hands and saying "Oh, but you don't need to go to all this trouble; we're happy with the rules as they are; there's no need for all this extra effort!" are also the ones who bleat the most when the position they fudged their way to turns out like this:

"Ok, first Short Order ... move my dude up to ... "
<points vaguely><measures><realises he has enough range to get over the low scenery he'd been moving along>
"... There. Now second Order he's ..."
"Hang on, since you're now over that scenery, I think I'd like to declare an ARO"
"ARO? From where?"
"From my Swiss Guard... with Missile Launcher... here in Hidden Deployment... let's look up that ammo again ... mmmm, choices, choices..."
<humming "Your Tears are Sweeter than Wine" by Go-Go Marlene - the R&B Remix>

:)

Whereas what we've noticed in our games, is that when we started estimating moves as the rules intended, we became a bit less attached to the outcomes of situations and started enjoying it a bit more. I guess estimating makes us realise we have a bit less control over things than we usually flatter ourselves to think, so we worry about it all a little bit less. Then when we started using Solkan's Counters ;) we found we were laughing at ourselves and one another more too, and stuff like that Missile Launcher scenario become funny.  

Trust me, if you're not laughing, you're not playing the game properly.

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