With all its detail and claims of realism, I'm still totally unconvinced that Phoenix Command is anything of the sort.
So many people seem to be fooled into thinking that detail and complexity is
realism, and that you can't have realism without detail and complexity, which is simply not true.
It's possible to have realism with limited detail and minimal complexity, and it is of course possible to have limitless detail and complexity with absolutely no realism to show for it.
Furthermore, while a game may be less detailed and more abstract, that by no means makes it simple or straight forward, or even fast to play.
A game like 40K 4th edition has a huge learning curve to understanding it. You have to get your head around the particular illogic of the rules and understand that what would make sense to you, has no bearing on how things work in the game. That makes for a very counter-intuitive system, which must be learnt by rote, rather than through any logical system of understanding, and can't be helped by any previous knowledge of the given subject matter.
I think this can actualy be seriously damaging to people.
I see no shortage of 40K enthusiasts who first of all, have their understanding of the setting shaped by the rules, and second, have their understanding of the reality of the concepts the game deals with, and the corresponding reality in which they live, again, shaped by the illogic and unreason of that same abstract rules system.
At some time or another, you've probably all met someone who just doesn't quite get
why you don't bring a sword to a gunfight.
It's been a long time since I looked at the mechanics of the Phoenix Command system, and I don't really want to revisit it, because I know I'll be at it for hours.
But the two contentious points I remember noting were that the action/turn sysem was no better than that of any other game, which is often the biggest point in falling short of realism in any system, and the weapon and damage rules still seemed fairly arbitrary.
Phoenix Command wrote:
"Are you tired of your current small arms combat system? Tired of inconsistencies and rules that simply don't work? If so, we invite you to conduct a short test:
Using your current small arms combat system, place the muzzle of a large caliber pistol between your character's eyes. Squeeze the trigger. Continue squeezing the trigger until he falls unconscious. Then have a friend put a band-aid over that nasty .45 caliber dent in his skull, and try not to get him shot too often in the week or two it takes to heal.
Now, using Phoenix Command, place the same pistol in the same place. Squeeze the trigger. You now have a choice: you can either roll up a new character or rush the body to a very sophisticated medical facility and discover the joys of role-playing a vegetable.
If you are nodding your head and smiling, and thinking that it would be nice to have a combat system that really works, welcome to Phoenix Command!"
I'm sure the effect of all the charts and tables and sub-tables will be a highly detailed shoot out and an in-depth description of how the resulting corpses came to be such. But that doesn't make for a realistic game if all of the relevant tactical concerns and contributing factors are not taken into account, and if the rules simply don't let a fight play out like it would in real life.
_________________Warhammer 40,000 5th edition
The least worst rules for 40K.
The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity.
With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog, behind which halftruths and untruths can frolic and procreate unmolested.