The holiday is over, back to work! Well, maybe work isn't exactly the right word.
While still happy with the over all feel of Hosts, I had some nagging concerns about some aspects. The more I tried to address them, the worse they seemed to get. They seemed to be growing in complexity with more and more special cases without becoming more authentic or accurate and units seemed to be variously too fragile or too resilient.
After a break, I went back to the original requirements. Briefly:
Simple and abstract
Not showing tactical details
Missile fire to wear troops down not to be quickly decisive.
Melee to normally be a grind but with the chance of being quickly decisive.
The core issues seemed to resolve around the number of dice vs the number of hits that could be taken. The bits making me unhappy all stemmed primarily from this.
After deciding to restore melee as a simultaneous struggle (which feels more natural to me) rather than taking turns hitting, I started wondering about using the difference in scores and then had a sudden flash of inspiration to separate hits from strength point loss. After that, it became easy to bring it all back together and closer to the original vision. Neither of these concepts are particularly original but they seemed to be just what I needed.
There were a few other things such as reverting to 2 orders for remote units rather than the die roll. Its just easier and more integrated as well as keeping with the abstract for effect angle.
The rules are available here:
Current version of Gathering of Hosts
A report on the test game tomorrow .