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Zond

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Zond last won the day on October 12 2016

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About Zond

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  1. I'm probably going to regret this but I ordered the set. I'm not sure I'll even like 2.5 or fully trust Spartan Games but I suppose at this point were at fool me 27 times so definitely shame on me.
  2. As the Black Friday sale is fast closing I was looking at picking up two Alliance/League or Mercenary fleets to mix and match. I blame my love for the League of Non Aligned World's from Babylon 5. I'm a bit stumped as to what to pick however. I'm turning to the community for suggestions on what two Alliance/League or Mercenary fleets complement each other, be it with sexy aesthetics, cool background or fun mechanics. Just made a similar thread for Dystopian Wars so you can spend all the money. You get none of the reward but you do it guilt free.
  3. As the Black Friday sale is fast closing I was looking at picking up two Minor Nation or Mercenary fleets to mix and match. My favourite painting project has been the Italians so far so I'd like to continue along the small players theme. I'm a bit stumped as to what to pick however. I'm turning to the community for suggestions on what two Minor or Mercenary (preferably naval or air choices) complement each other, be it with sexy aesthetics, cool background or fun mechanics. Probably also going to make a similar thread for Firestorm Armada, so help me spend all my monies.
  4. The more I think about the survey results the more cynical I am. A snap weekend survey was sent out with a bunch of predetermined options and the results were released with no transparency. In my mind that's not enough time for a broad range of customers to respond. Frankly many of the options were for increased product lines. You want to add RPGs to your repertoire whilst entire game lines are dying? All this while GW outsourced their RPGs and Privateer Press and Wyrd have two game systems so have the resources to support it and background already written. All I can say to that thought process is Whisky Tango Foxtrot. And lastly all that's came of this is Spartan is going full steam ahead with the Kickstarter anyway, and I keep harping on about this but who is the audience? What's the goal and plan for the Kickstarter? At this rate I honestly think that Spartan sees other successful kickstarters and simply wants a slice of the pie without any real semblance of understanding how they work. Look at the attempt to fund modular terrain. Honestly I wish them success but I think any monetary gains at this point will be due to blind luck. I'm being incredibly negative I realise. However deep down, how many people are going to be reinvigorated by new Dystopian Wars factions and ships at this point? If what exists isn't drawing in the crowds, then more of the same is not a solution. I'm blatantly jaded with what currently counts as support, why would I throw more money at admittedly no doubt shiny models for the same level of support. Fool me once shame on me, fool me eight "active" game lines... The game needs an overhaul, and not in a almost pointless version 1. whatever to 2.0 way. The changes that were made were so miniscule as to basically not exist. Streamline the game, get rid of bolded text and clunky wording, generator options that will never be used and tackle the SAS and drone problems that have developed. And then put out a PDF. The whole point of PDFs was to allow quick responses and a living ruleset. Why was the option in the survey for printed material only? Campaigns, scenarios, random bits of fluff can go online. I don't have access to facts and figures and I'm certainly not a games designer. This is all armchair quarterbacking and my very biased opinion. Spartan fundamentally don't seem to understand they have to earn trust before they earn more money across their game lines. Their stance towards customers seems to be invest in the new and shiny. Spend £200 on a Brittanian fleet? Well, we've moved on, it's Xelocian release time. Want more? Time to pick up a Kurak Planetfall army while the going is good. Oh, you wanted more fleet action? Well what company has two thumbs, a Halo license and a promise our production facilities are now TARDIS sized? Spartan does. I'm being flippant, but there's an inherent lack of respect towards the customer in that approach. Whatever you invest is not valued, you're almost expected to pay full price to ride the Spartan train and make a purchase at every stop. Sure this attempt at community feedback is a step in the right direction, but ultimately we're just going to do what Neil wants. And hey that's fine, I respect that this is his company and I'm an upstart on his forum being pissy. However it looks like despite a frantic pumping of the brakes and a quick consultation of the map, we're still going to be directed down the same road.
  5. I've got no problem with Spartan Games using a kickstarter but again: who is the audience? Fundamentally the problem isn't that specific rules or models are lacking from Dystopian Wars or any other game range (although I admit I would enjoy having more support and options for plenty of factions across all game lines). The problem is communication. Spartan love to promise the world, they love to tell you next time will be better. And from the technical standpoint it is. I can compare the old 1.0 Japanese starter set models to the new Shadow Hunter ones and the difference is night and day, and it's not like the original models are **** either. However time and again we've heard x is coming, y release won't affect our schedule, z game is definitely a core release we do not plan to discontinue... And it's ultimately been lies. I don't think it's malicious, deliberate attempts to obfuscate what's going on, however when mistakes are made Spartan generally don't update and communicate well and stick to the original line, doubling down on the mistake. I can ***** and moan about more fluff as it's my passion but I'm starting to wonder who wants to actually read it outwith this tiny forum. Spartan has a terrible reputation online. A quick Google gives you the same complaints and jokes that everyone trots out. And Spartan does not communicate or have a presence on other forums or websites at all. For example: http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/704748.page;jsessionid=111051E41F84DE712A1714BE85EC5932 We've got a front page thread on dakka complaining about Spartan. In the News and Rumours section. A few threads down there's people discussing how to find Halo model proxies because they don't like what Spartan is producing or how they operate. These are the folks you need to convince. For all my bitching ultimately I'm still here trying to find ways to get Spartan to engage with me. Others just quietly walked away long ago. I don't know how you solve that now to be honest. I think it's with a Dystopian Legions relaunch or revamp (Not technically new game, getting support and attention in the spotlight, 35mm is still in standard wargaming comfort range, and if run right can become a stepping stone to other products) but I'm honestly concerned the damage is done, and Spartan will limp from new game or IP each time, attracting and shedding a player base until no one buys in any longer and it becomes unprofitable.
  6. I'm just baffled. Support for all of Spartan Games rulesets has been spotty at best, going through periods of a deluge of releases then a drought of non communication. The Dystopian range has been feeling the bitter drought recently. We've had the abortive launch of quick play rules and the complete lack of support for Legions. The game struggles to gain support in 3mm or 35mm, why should 15mm change anything? I'm also confused as to who this is aimed at. Existing Dystopian Wars players who want to recollect the range in a different scale? Legions players who want half sized versions of units that never materialised? Or the average wargamer who is put off by unsupported tiny and standard scales and thinks if only 15mm was available? Honestly all power to Spartan and I hope they succeed, however like their last Kickstarter for modular terrain I don't have a clue who this is aimed at. Coupled with the reputation that Spartans 1.0 rules are generally to be avoided and the inability of the company to stay focused on what will now be 9 separate lines (10 if you really want to count Armored Clash), I just see this creating further problems. I do however hope to be pleasantly surprised and proven wrong.
  7. Ah good, a sarcastic response. Yes, that's war. One facet of war. So much of the book is described from omniscient third person narrative. Frankly if I wanted to read a dry boring account of war there are plenty of terrible historical accounts out there. More newspaper clippings, interviews with soldiers, civilians, news from the home front. War takes place during people's lives. The media creates heroes and villains. That's why settings like Warmachine and Warhammer 40k endure. They have been fleshed out so that you understand the impact on the average life, whether it be from a man sentenced to Trencher duty gaining respect or a scribe pointlessly transcribing orders and dying pointlessly in the grim darkness of the future. Even if you simply come for the bolter, lightning or ironclad battles, a good setting should be reinforcing the impact on the average Joe. Which is what the majority, including myself are. That's how we feel connected and invested, by identifying how someone who has similar circumstances to us feels. The fiction can reinforce this in a number of ways with point of view characters, civilians and even the giant personas we all wish we were. For me it needs to be like Battletech. I can crack open a manual and enjoy the battalion breakdowns, the description of life in the Free Raselhague Republic or read about the interpersonal politics of Steiner and Davion. Every itch is scratched. The building blocks ate sadly lacking in Dystopian Wars. In Firestorm when you browse the blog entries the races are quite cool, simply needing personas to make them a little more relatable or reinforce their mysterious alien nature. When it's all humans in Dystopian Wars, the building blocks of the nations need fleshed out more. I think the most interesting description so far has been Italy. If you love the books, awesome, more power to you. Maybe I'm just not Spartans target audience. Maybe I'm reading the wrong campaign books. I don't have them any more. Or maybe what you're describing in vague terms as "superb" and "decently realistic" simpy... isn't, and it's barebones at best.
  8. The fluff is dry and so centered on battles it hurts. I'm not opposed to the description of battles and the heroics of ships and troops but the world doesn't feel alive. In a few blog posts the world is briefly touched upon outside of naval, ground or air combat. Also the Operation... Something book was designed like a historical encounter. There are these fixed sides in the fight from these factions. It seemed like it was written by someone who loved re-enactment of historical scenarios. Which is fine, you can totally cater to those folks but maybe if you're going to create multiple core, alliance and mercenary fleets a campaign should find a compelling way to involve them all if possible in the first instance.
  9. I'll wait and see. Spartan when they do communicate talk a good game however the follow through is lacking. Whilst it's nice to see some new models and talk of an Africa campaign, past campaign books have been pretty bad and their handling of the background when it comes to an alternate version of these massive events isn't stellar either. I'm not convinced new models for all their game lines is really the solution (excluding dead as doornails Legion), meaningful campaign books would possibly do more I feel. However an update is an update so kudos there.
  10. I am by no means an expert on balanced game design but I would like to clarify my position somewhat. I find the Dystopian Wars rulebook to be a clunky and ponderous tome. That does not mean I want the game dumbed down or streamlined. I want the rules to be more clear and precise. Some of that is due to clunky interactions in my limited experience, however the majority of issues come from clunky language, poor indexing and bolded words. That's what I want fixed mostly for a new edition. Call it 2.whatever at this point. I'm not interested in gutting the mechanics or playing Fleet Action. If we were stealing Armoured Clash mechanics however...
  11. I personally find the game clunky and hard to understand in 2.0. However this does lead to me playing it very little so in terms of actual balance I can't comment. It does feel like the game could be so much easier to comprehend and I'd welcome a fan led initiative to create a new edition along those lines. My huge bugbear is background. Frankly there's not enough of it and what does exist id stale, dry and in my humble opinion focused on entirely the wrong aspects of the setting. The best wargame settings have depth. Whilst it's nice to show me awesome steam to diesel punk ship models and tell me they have shield generators or the ability to distort time I'm left a little cold. What does this technology mean for the greater world? What is it like to be a normal person where massive robotic behemoths make the ground tremble, in a time period where in many ways the upper and ruling classes of nations oppressed the common people? With the automated revolution striking even earlier, do factory workers stand a chance if Britannian police can disrupt their industrial action by equipping shield generators and applying a truncheon directly to the problem with no danger to the establishment? The South won the US Civil War and yet emancipation occurred. Did this happen through radical Sturginium fueled change and what does it means for the average FSA citizen? With time manipulation Covenant scientists can create bubbles where they have longer to work on a problem, or jump forward to see the fruits of their labour. Does this begin to make them something more or less than human? I'm spitballing ideas, and perhaps these questions have answers (buried in an old book or on a web page) but Dystopian Wars can be so much more than just naval, air and land theatres. It could also use some actual dystopia beyond very cut and dry sides in a global conflict. That's not to say we can't have compelling fiction about ironclad leviathans slugging it out, but we need a greater focus on the human aspects of the setting. The setting also needs more characters. Big names with big exploits. There's a few lurking, threatening to be interesting but never quite making it. And again they shouldn't all be war heroes. Every successful wargame setting appears to have these personalities. I'm reminded of Battletech at the height of its popularity. The Clan Invasion had so many twists and turns, famous characters, alliances, betrayals and romances. At the same time the excellent manuals broke down what mechs were designed for, their successes and failures and hinted at how the technology would progress. We had an ideal blend of a human focused conflict with advancing fictional science to create a nuanced setting. The same can be said of Warmachine, 40k, Infinity and so on. This is a flaw I feel is very pronounced over all Spartans game lines (excluding Halo obviously) and again, any fan steps in lieu of official ones to correct this would be greatly welcomed by myself.
  12. I've doodled some background but it's not very focused so I've never shared it. System and navy composition write ups seem to be very popular, or more narrative after action reports. I'm more interested in narrative than world building.
  13. If it gets more support than Taskforce then great, maybe. Otherwise it's another way to get cheap models so that's always good I guess.
  14. I'd be all over Leviathans as Titans from EVE. There are other things I'd like to see first from Spartan, howevet that's a pretty good idea for any large Leviathan, Super Carrier, whatever it may be.
  15. Instead of not so subtle jabs, why not civil chat? I'm not claiming to be any managerial, financial or gaming guru, nor do I claim to have access to any sort of insider information.
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