Important Announcement about BKC-III - Please Read

Started by Leon, 01 May 2017, 09:10:41 PM

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Which option would you prefer to fix the issues?

Option 1 - Errata
9 (7.8%)
Option 2 - New PDF Army Lists
43 (37.4%)
Option 3 - New Printed Army Lists
5 (4.3%)
Option 4 - Full Reprint
58 (50.4%)

Total Members Voted: 113

Voting closed: 08 May 2017, 09:10:41 PM


Leon - thanks for the honest and prompt feedback.

Gone for PDF army lists as the errata in the main rules is minor and some of the comments on FO for examples are really down to house rules for me.


I have never played BKC so I am in the dark but just put the corrected stuff on a separate post and I will download them to quote a Meer cat "Simples" :D :D


Having bought these at Salute but only having skimmed through them since then I was pretty surprised by this announcement!
I have the previous BKC1 and 2 so I am keen to support BKC3.

Like others I would like to thank Leon for his post, that can not have been easy.
Its a shame that some things went wrong with the testing, etc but its now important for Pendraken to move forward with how they eventually deal with the issues and this thread is a good start.

I voted for pdf army lists and would also be ok with online errata as I never have a problem writing any changes in my rules books.

If a reprint happens I would agree with others that the book only contains the rules + a couple of test scenarios, with the army lists kept online and therefore easier to update.
I only use the NW Europe lists, adjusted to historical orbats, and I would guess most people only use a selected few out of so many so downloading and printing is not really an issue.

Either way good luck going forward whatever way you decide.


Quote from: fsn on 02 May 2017, 08:03:30 AM
*Yes they are minor. It's a set of wargames rules, not the constiution for a new democracy. If you don't like a bit - change it. If you're favourite (and little used) vehicle isn't included - add it. If you know that a PzIV should be armour class delta instead of armour class epsilon, then you can work out that a Crusader AA should be armour class Beta.

I could.

I guarantee that the three guys I regularly play BKC with would be playing Bolt Action or Flames of War within a fortnight if that was their only option. I remember the time, early on, when they disliked the removal of hits at turn end I suggested we keep hits from turn to turn but reduce them gradually over time - they were a heartbeat away from screaming "Burn the witch!" and fleeing the house at such heresy. Won them over eventually, to be fair!
Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!


Quote from: Grimheart on 02 May 2017, 02:31:35 PM
If a reprint happens I would agree with others that the book only contains the rules + a couple of test scenarios, with the army lists kept online and therefore easier to update.

I only use the NW Europe lists, adjusted to historical orbats, and I would guess most people only use a selected few out of so many so downloading and printing is not really an issue.

One of the big selling points of BKC for me was "everything you need in one book."

I struggle to get the guys I play with regularly to check their emails in a timely fashion. Just download the latest pdf armylists .... aye, right!

PDF armylists might be a short term fix but not really a long term one, I think.
Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!


I should say that I am coming back into miniatures wargaming after many years (decades) out of it, although I have had a few board based wargames.  So I am looking for a fairly straightforward set of rules that give the flavour of WW2 wargaming without excessive complexity.  I am not worried about totally accurate simulations of exact weapons and infantry capabilities and composition, just a reasonable approximation thereof providing that there are no glaring errors.  Consequently I am fairly happy to go with the rules and lists pretty much as they stand provided the rules are reasonably easy to understand and make sufficient sense to be playable.  Of course, I would expect any errata should be easily accessible and posted promptly but beyond that I am happy to implement them myself.  A separate set of downloadable pdfs for corrected army lists might be helpful though, and in fact I bought the pdf version of the rules as well as the printed version precisely so that I could print off and laminate those in which I am particularly interested.

I would say that scrapping the current rulebooks and reprinting them does seem to me to be an overreaction though, while I can see that the producer and possibly some purchasers might feel that the current state of things is undesirable (the producer is obviously a perfectionist) I don't really see the need for such a 'nuclear' response.  There are some downsides to this course, as well as the implicit cost I imagine there would be a considerable delay before a new set could be made available particularly if further extensive play testing is required.  Furthermore there is no guarantee that even after a new set is produced there might not still be problems, in something as complex as this set of rules covering so many WW2 theatres it is not possible to cover all possible combinations of organisations and weapons in testing.  If some people feel that the rules as they stand are totally unplayable to their standard then perhaps they could return them for a full refund.

I think at this stage it would be better to accept the rules (with errata) as they stand and work with Pendraken to develop them into an even better set as BKC-IV, with the provisos that I have suggested above.  This is an increasing trend in board (war)games where several pages of errata are not uncommon and the producer maintains a set of 'living rules' online for people who have bought into the system.
I'll bring up the rest of the brigade.


Hi there

One reason I bought BKC3 was so I could have a book with everything together in one place.  Army lists are important for me as I rarely have a lot of time to prepare a game so points matches are the way to go. Another reason for buying BKC3 was to have the start of a family of rules for me to play games from WW2 up to moderns (and possibly sci-fi with epic figures) for when CWC and FWC new editions are released, to save me having to learn more sets of rules.

If the rules are as broken as people say (and I am not convinced they are - perhaps people are not liking the changes made) then that is one matter as it is always thus in rulesets.  You may or may not like all the rules, no one forces you to play them, they are not gospel truth.  You bought a set of rules to try out, if you like them great, if not then they look good on the bookshelf (and BKC is a good looking book).

However, if there are many contradictions in the text, mistakes in explanations etc then that is another problem - are the rules fit for purpose?  Can they be used as stands to play a game of toy soldiers?  I don't mind the odd mistake (which can be corrected in an errata and penciled into the book).  As a consumer then I don't buy things that don't work on purpose! I also don't spend £20 lightly!  If the rules are not fit for purpose then perhaps those so inclined could get a refund?

I really want these rules to survive and be a success but (as we will find out on Thursday when we have a game with the new rules) if they are broken then they need to be fixed.

I really would not be happy with PDF army lists.  That is not the reason I bought the book.  If I wanted PDF army lists I would have bought a PDF copy of the rules!

It is great of Pendraken to own up and say they are not pleased with their product, and this stance is to be applauded.  How they deal with it now is up to them but I do feel a free revised copy of the rulebook for all the people who purchased a set would go a long way to helping out regaining the trust of consumers (and would perhaps generate more sales in the future of the other rules in the family).

Anyway, that is my 2p-worth.



Oh dear, where to start?

Firstly many thanks to Leon for his comments above, and perhaps I should say that I'm coming from the point of view of a long term supporter and advocate of Pendraken figures.

'Hopes' for BKC 3rd Edition:

I started using BKC not long after the 2nd edition came out and always thought that they were a good set of WWII rules and in particular had a good balance between playability and realism (in my opinion what any good set of wargame rules should aim for). I would also like to emphasise that I thought the 'core' mechanics were pretty 'sound' and the only problem that I have had with BKC-II is my understanding of certain aspects of the rules around visibility, concealed troops and fighting in built-up areas. Regarding BKC-III, I was not looking for or expecting any changes to these rules as such, just a clearer explanation within the rule book of how they were meant to work. Unfortunately there have been fairly major changes (IMHO, and you might want to refer to my two recent posts in the BKC-III Rules Queries section) which in my opinion are poor and do not seem to have been thought through (and in fact as I said in my other posts are for me at least 'show stoppers').

I do wonder after reading through the new rule book (twice), then re-reading sections again to try to understand them better and the comments in the various posts since the publication of BKC- III; whether there has been some misunderstanding or a 'mix up' somewhere down the line regarding some peoples wish for 'simpler' rules and a clearer explanation in the rule book of some of the rules as they were (which is what I was looking for, and with all due respect to Pete Jones).  Some rules do really seemed to have 'changed for change sake'. e.g. the combination of FAO's and FAC's into one for instance, the rules regarding these in BKC-II were hardly complex or difficult to understand, as someone else has commented, a poosible case of "dumbing down"?

The Way Forward:

There seem to me to be three main issues that are of course all connected. The mistakes, missing units etc in the army lists, the mistakes, omissions etc in the text of the new rules as written, and the changes to the 'core' rules.

Firstly (and I'm suggesting this as being heavily involved with 'Managing Change' in my professional life) I believe Pendraken should not rush into any 'quick fixes' to the issues raised by myself and others without thinking them through. That said I do think 'Old Smokie's idea above, regarding a reprint of the main rules only and a PDF of the revised army lists (which would presumably save on costs?) sounds like a possible way forward.

Regarding the 'poll', I do think which option people pick rather depends on what they think of the new rules and I think people do need time to understand them and think them through (and I mean the 'core' mechanics here not just changes to the stats) before deciding where to vote.

To summarise, for me at least (and not just me judging by the number of people commenting that they intend to carry on using BKC-II), the main issue is the changes to some of the core rules which I think have been poorly thought through (IMHO). So I will only be using BKC-III in the future and recommending them to others if these are changed in any reprint (as I said above all I was looking for was a clearer explanation of the rules as written). Therefore options 1, 2 and 3 in the poll do not work for me.

Apologies for the rather long response.

Cheers Paul
T13A Out!


Its certainly good to have admitted that there are issues, and to be looking into those issues. I'd suggest not rushing to fix stuff, it can be too easy to roll in 'fixes' that break stuff further. Also make sure you are only fixing errors, not things that people merely don't like.

I would suggest going for PDF errata + corrected army lists in the short term. Once you have collated these you will have a try picture of the scope of the problem.

Then for a second print run, look to fix the issues in the hard copy. If the fixes are extensive, then it will be necessary to make sure that this is marked as revised edition or something similar.

I do think that you will need a hard copy that is largely correct, many gamers don't spend much time online, and it is always hard work with a gaming group when some have all the latest online updates, and some just have the book they bought on day 1.

I'd definitely avoid option 3 - this will be expensive and not that helpful.
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Quote from: paulr on 02 May 2017, 12:07:46 AM
Leon, thank you for your honesty. I know the great team, small as it is, at Pendraken will put this right.

AJ, as I don't play BKC I will not be voting. I suspect others will be considering the options and have a few days yet to vote.

Well that pretty much speaks for me! Never go near the modern stuff so can't really vote in the poll.
In general terms, however, I think in these times everything should be done in PDF (watermarked if you like) and the rules, FAQ's and lists supported by a collection of "living" documents. Once in a great while print a glitzy hard copy as a commemorative, limited edition sort of thing. But, hey, that just me.

I have now added a copy of BKC3 to the celebration order I'm preparing to send when the new website is up (May 6th?)
Once all this is sorted out, as I'm sure it will be, I suspect the first edition will become a valuable collector's item.  :)
Sleep with clean hands ...


Just voted after reading all the posts!

Thanks to Leon for a full and very honest answer and I'm sure that the Pendraken name will not suffer.

I voted for option 4, as in the long run, a concise and complete rulebook was the aim of BKCIII.

PDF errata and lists will help with the current print, and help with ironing out the current issues etc. but eventually a 'new' book will most likely be the end result.

To Leon and all at Pendraken, " Keep Calm & Carry On"

All the best



Leon / Dave, this must be an emotionally and financially fraught time for your team, so my thoughts are with you in that regard.

If I could put a slightly different perspective on what has been posted so far. Generally the forum voice has come from those who bought BKC-III.

I am left wondering what potential future customers will make of all this and whether the damage caused so far to the reputational integrity of the ruleset will have its greatest impact on units yet to be sold. I obviously have no idea of what your break even figure would be, but it strikes me that your biggest obstacle to recovering the situation is further sales. I have not previously bought into BKC, but having recently enjoyed similar rule systems, I had been following the BKC story with the intention of buying, but if I am to be honest, I would not want to buy against the present background.

Taking that as a line of thought, taking the set out of circulation, developing for a further 6 months or so, with the help from a small group who are willing to offer their services and then re-printing does have its merits, though whether the financial implications are simply too punishing may be the paramount factor in deciding a way forward.

Anyway, just a thought and in some respects I imagine the one that you would want to avoid the most. Since my money is not involved (yet) I have not voted. Whatever path is chosen, I have been buying from Pendraken since the early days of Dave acquiring sculpts from other companies and so I sincerely hope that this has a satisfactory outcome for you.


Quote from: Norm on 02 May 2017, 08:05:49 PM
Leon / Dave, this must be an emotionally and financially fraught time for your team, so my thoughts are with you in that regard.


Thanks Norm, I have been struggling to find the words to express those thoughts

Quote from: terry68 on 02 May 2017, 07:21:26 PM
To Leon and all at Pendraken, " Keep Calm & Carry On"

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Can I also give my support to the guys at Pendraken.  Having spoken to them a few times at local shows they have always been pleasant, knowledgeable and helpful, and they produce brilliant miniatures (I wish I had started out in 10mm not 20mm so that I could buy lots of their stuff).

It is a shame this has happened and I truly applaud their initial statement - it takes a lot of courage to own up to mistakes like this.

I wish them well for whatever they decide to do and hope this does not put them off developing rules in the future (I really am looking forward to CWC!)



Hi Leon,

Thanks for the honest summary, it is greatly appreciated, honesty like this is always going to help good customers stay with you through thick and thin.

Until I read your post I was not going to mention anything, but I feel your honesty deserves my silent feedback. I am not a previous BKC player and neither is my gaming buddy, but we have been playing for over 30 years each nearly every rule set in most periods every imagined and we have done lots of WW2 gaming. We were both looking forward to the release of the new rules for months as we both have been chomping at the bit to do 10mm WW2 since the last time we did 1/200 WW2 was with Command Decision a number of years back now.

I pre-ordered the BKC rules and when they arrived had an evening reading them before spending a second evening with my buddy discussing and reviewing. In summary, we were both very disappointed in a lot of what we saw and it has probably killed us doing any 10mm figure purchases of the WW2 range until we find an acceptable rule set. What turned us off can be summarised as:
- Despite the nice paper and use of full colour which we appreciated, a lot of the internal graphics and especially things like the LOS we thought were well below par for a modern printed rule set.
- Various game mechanics we felt were not up to scratch - this really turned us off.
- The scenarios for newcomers like us were a big let down, though we like building our own forces, the scenarios might as well say design your own scenario.
- The army lists were a major let down with things like the obvious Tiger 1 and Tiger 2 having the same stats(!) and the in service dates on the Tiger 1 a full year out - looks like an obvious copying mistake. However, the more we looked through various lists the more we were disappointed and disagreed with what we were reading.

While I accept many might not agree with our views here, they are our honest views which have now sent both of us looking for a decent WW2 rule set for playing mass armour games again. BKC may have its fans but in its current incarnation it left us both cold.

There is no intention to upset anyone with these comments, and we both will continue our support for Pendraken and keep buying the many other great ranges you do which we enjoy and appreciate so much. You do a great job and we always find your service and flexibility a great attraction and asset.