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shad0wb0w

Logistics Points:

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So...I've noticed that the logistics point thing offers NO advantage to a side with 'cheaper' points.

We have 3 patterns Right:

Dindrenzi:

+3 with 30 points to upgrade

 

Almost Everyone Else
+2 with 25 points to upgrade
 

Directorate

+1 with 20 points to upgrade

 

 

Only directorate has an option to get a +1 everyone else for 0 points.

 

For 20 points directorate can tie everyone and still loose against Dindrenzi, meaning that in 3 turns you've spent 60 points to tie everyone, that's another tank on the field for your enemy in most cases.

 

To tie the Dindrenzi Everyone other than directorate has to spend 25 points. Tying them for 3 turns is 75 points. Directorate are looking at 40 points a turn for a whopping 120 over only 3 turns.

Now we get into the realm where everyone has to be trying at +4. The directorate are aching at 60 points a turn. non Din forces are at 50 points and the Din, while catching up in cost are sitting on only 30 points.

+5 is costly for anyone but it should be noted that it should garner a highly likely chance of owning the field initiative against most foes. The directorate are still behind by miles spending 80 points. non-dins otherwise are only spending a painful 75 a turn, and the din are spending a major but not as large 60 point bubble of points.

 

+6 This is where most forces max out. Din can fork up a hackishly large 100 points along with 'everyone else'. The din, still have a 10 point advantage at only 90.

 

+7 is the absurd point where 'everyone else' almost catches the din's initiative bonus with a slap to the face in the form of 125 points a turn for terrans and 120 for the Din.

 

 

Now I know if you're trying to win initiative with a bid every turn you're being a fool. Those point values were to help 'mark' the assigned points values of everyone's bonuses.

The problem I have with the current layout is that initiative bonus's are 'handed' to the sides that have most use for them. However with forces like Aquans and Din having clear cut advantages while they have the initiative greater than their foes with the hit and run and over MARs providing them with a solid number of options other sides don't have. Closer ranged factions have to seize the initiative when their foe makes a mistake then and comes in too close or misjudges firepower advantage, fumbles a role ect.

 

Not only is it not possible to do this so long as your opponent does not remain completely blind to their gamble, but having the capacity to try if they do drop the ball costs you more the worse your chances were to begin with.

 

I would like to suggest that play testers try out tweaking initiative strategy in the game, I believe it will bring the for-runners of over the top strategic advantage into the fold a little without other challenges.

 

 

A suggested starting point:

 

Nations that start with +1
10 points per logistic point up to seven points

 

Nations that start with +2
15 points per logistic point up to five points
 

Nations that start with +3
25 points per logistic point up to three points

 

Terrans to maintain their logistic points flexibility can spend one more point than other +2 nations

 

This will also reduce the cost overall of logistic points to encourage their use further and make them a more active part of strategy.

 

The pattern with this is

+1 only Directorate 0pts
+2 everyone else other than din, tie at 10 pts a turn for Directorate

+3 Din, everyon else ties 20 for directorate 15 for 'others'
+4 Din spends 25, everyone else including directorate spends 30
+5 Din Spends 50, Directorate ties at 40 everyone else is at 45
+6 Din spends 75 and everyone else 60, Directorate leads at 50

+7 Din can't get here so they'd better make sure they haven't face palmed so hard their opponents want this so bad. 'everyone else' spends 75, Directorate is spending 60.
+8 Directorate and terrans only. Terrans can spend 90 to push hard and Directorate is still spending a substantial 70.

 

With Directorate and terrans plagued by slow speed and short range the ability to buy up their initiative could give them a more significant chance to have an edge once they do get in close instead of leaving the initiative game a painful loss.

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You're presenting Logistics Points as though you add them to a Factions Tactical Bonus. That's not how they are used. You first roll make your initiative roll, and then if you lost your initiative roll but they were close and you feel you want to win that roll, you then initiate bidding. The amount you bid is done secretly. The Logistics Points are applied to the Initiative roll, the result of which can vary greatly between opponents due to dice being involved.

 

There are several factors that determine the usefulness of Logistic Points and whether or not you will gain an advantage from them, its not a simple one-case-fits-all measurement.

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I haven't trudged through the numbers but what I think he's saying is average rolls being what they are, average, even with the increased cost per point some forces just straight forward outclass their opponents with logistics points on the initiative roll statistically.

 

That said I don't use the bloody things my Din cost too much as it is.

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Thank you for the detailed and well illustrated post Shadow. It is a well thought out analysis and clearly presented and sadly it does illustrate many of the problems with the system in place for factional logistics.

Plain and simple, they just do not work.

When I first got into the game I was so thrilled to see such a resource available to a roster at creation, it's a rather unique concept. But as you so expertly illuminated, the numbers don't add up in any way that "helps" as most of the time investing the volume required to aid in conquest would hamper your ability to physically annihilate!

I actually want these logistic points to have an impact on the game and I think that the answer sadly isn't going to be a purchase power system as most of the time just bringing a few more guns will always be the better play, especially for certain factions (Directorate just loves the boot on thier neck!)

Perhaps we as a community can use this space to spitball concepts that might help improve the logistic asset rule concept? So that the rule might still exist, yet have a better impact thematically and effectively in the game instead of just being a sink in points?

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I think the argument is thoroughly overstated.  Why on earth would you even be trying to spend the points every turn?  They are meant to be used at a strategic moment, not turn after turn after turn.  And as was pointed out, after you see the initial die rolls.  It's not enough to acknowledge that in a single sentence ("Now I know if you're trying to win initiative with a bid every turn you're being a fool") when you've emphasized the whole preceding argument around the "per turn" disadvantage some factions would suffer if anyone was that foolish. 

 

Plus stating that 60 points is the same as "another tank" is complete hyperbole as well--it's a single light recon base, not a "tank" (ie, a main combat unit) the way most people would think of it.

 

I'm not averse to changes, and I even see some value in the neat symmetry of shad0wb0w's alternate idea (+10 per point up to 7 points for the factions that start at +1 init, etc...).  But the  argument that precedes that concept...eh.  I think it actually hurt his case--yes, some factions have an initiative advantage in the game.  That's the way Firestorm has always built it's factions and, at least in theory, is part of the overall faction balance (certainly I know it was a concern in the Armada beta, though I wasn't part of the Planetfall team).  For a low-initiative faction to overcome that it SHOULD cost.

 

I'd also argue they are a resource intended for larger games, not smaller ones.  Trying to steal initiative in a 1500 point starter box game isn't worth the points, I agree.  By the time you're playing 5000 or 6000 points though, jumping initiative could be huge--and the point investment to do so is the same as in a much smaller game, and is also a much smaller percentage of your force.

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Guest Delboy

Thank you for the detailed and well illustrated post Shadow. It is a well thought out analysis and clearly presented and sadly it does illustrate many of the problems with the system in place for factional logistics.

Plain and simple, they just do not work.

When I first got into the game I was so thrilled to see such a resource available to a roster at creation, it's a rather unique concept. But as you so expertly illuminated, the numbers don't add up in any way that "helps" as most of the time investing the volume required to aid in conquest would hamper your ability to physically annihilate!

I actually want these logistic points to have an impact on the game and I think that the answer sadly isn't going to be a purchase power system as most of the time just bringing a few more guns will always be the better play, especially for certain factions (Directorate just loves the boot on thier neck!)

Perhaps we as a community can use this space to spitball concepts that might help improve the logistic asset rule concept? So that the rule might still exist, yet have a better impact thematically and effectively in the game instead of just being a sink in points?

I too think you are overstating the focus of Logistics Points, V.M. Grozny .

Also, I wonder if you are using them in the same way as I've seen players do?

Logistics Points are spent in secret, so this means there is space for bluff with the players.

Take the example of 'average rolls' throughtout the game where Table Side, Recon Phase, First Turn, Second Turn, etc are contested.

We both roll 2D6 and add our Force Bonus.

You get 7+2 = 9.

I get 7+1=8.

Having lost the roll off, I get the opportunity each time to bid LP in secret, as do you.

I cover a die at the side of the table, bidding 6 (an impossible level)..... and you?

Can you afford for me to pay 2LP and win at a stage I deem to be important?... Or do you spend an LP or two (assuming you have any?!?).

What happens if I do the same thing again at the next opportunity, and again, and again?..... will the pressure on your LPs prove too much for you to cope with? Will YOUR spend of LPs to win a roll off you were alrady winning return to haunt you later in the game?

In my experience the answer is invariably YES.....and I've played quite a few games now.

Logistics Points DO work. I disagree with your "Plain and simple, they just do not work." comment, based upon the experience of gameplay.

Looking at Cost:

MAX=Dindreni - cost 30, Min=Directorate - cost 20....which is a pretty big swing.

Now ask yourself, do I want lots of LP or lots of Squadrons?

The answer is Squadrons IMO, but what happens if you have sent close to your allowance?

In this case the Directorate have an advantage, garnering more LP per 100pts than their counterparts. This is off-set of course by their low Force Bonus, but with the psychological pressures involved in the bidding process, I still feel it is a solid mechanic and a good trade-off.

Add to that the TAC that improves the Initiative Roll Off, and you have a notion of where I'm going with this.

 

Pressure - that's what logistics really is in terms of the scale of game we are playing. Pressure to affect your opponent's desire to commit reserves (in this case LPs). If logistics is the discipline of getting assets in the right place at the right time to execute a plan of engagement, given the game setting, I would make the case that this has been largely achieved (armies are chosen, assets are in place etc.) as Logistics Points represent the ability through preparation to influence the engagement through a mixture of pressure and initiative.

Cheers

d

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Whilst I certainly cannot make any claim to having the volume of experiance that the larger portion of this community has with the system, and certainly the game designers! I can say that in the games I have played with me group that the system does not work. The reason certainly isn't as cut and dry as my flat and ill explained statement provides, so my apologies for that, allow me to expand more on my thoughts with some more depth...

It's a great idea to have a sort of "non element" asset that gets purchased in list building. It was an immediate flag of excitement when I was first delving into PF and I completely understand the incredible exciting feature that is the bluff and counter bluff in gaming. It's an element that is all too scarce in the miniature gaming worl. I want to apply pressure and force my opponent t to second guess actions whenever possible and yes I do see the potential in this. However I feel that as the system stands it doesn't provide a player enough pressure to bare down on thier foe, for some factions more than others (obviously as designed! BTW I love that some races don't have the assets to back them thematically etc). The problem is that it just isn't enough Umph for my opponent to care about.

At a pivotal turn at best I might be able to close the gap if, hopefully, we have rolled a right enough gap that the player in deep might be able to close it. The range is so great and although we can yield to probability it often times doesn't fall the way we want, the turn we want (yes random I know bare with me). So we in this game of chances we can push and attempt to alter fate, possibly in our favor MAYBE if the cards then give us the right situation to alter it, or go with what is a constant. More stuff.

Because when the dice fail, more dudes will typically stand superior. I've had too many games where the fate altering power and bluffing literally mattered in no way. Sometimes my opponent had the logistic points to fight back and didn't need them, other times he just said "hey man F it" let me have it and in the grand scheme of things it didn't matter. That comes to the second part of the whole issues for me. Having the swing as random as it may be, it still is just a single activiation. Now I understand this could be major during recon (I'm not wrong right they can be used for recon?) but during a turn it's the first activiation. It might be major, but it might not mean much. Such is games yes. But again, paying for such a random element just never seems to stack up when I could add a few more bells or whistle to an infantry team or maybe beef up a light squad.

This is just my personal thoughts from a still newerish-type player. And as stated, I love the concept, but I just keep feeling that it's a shame that I don't "want" and "need" to take them. It's a cool feature and I want to feel like it has a little heavier impact or maybe felt like something I didn't feel ok to ignore.

I would also like to note that it has been mentioned that in larger games they might be worth playing, but having played only 4kish games I honestly havnt felt bad when I leave them out, or anyone in my group in the games discussed or spectated. Perhaps at a larger game? Is 4k about "standard"?

Thanks for taking the time to weigh in with your experiance and design expertise. I find that the most helpful part of the community is picking the brains of everyone and the Spartan team. It goes a long way for our group to have such discussions here!

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I've not had a great deal of experience with the game, but I have gotten a few games in (Directorate player).  Initially, my list building was - take all the toys, spend my last few points on a couple of log points.  However, the last game I played, against Aquans, I made a concious decision to take a good supply of them in order to test out the fact that I get them cheaper than most.  

 

I took 14 logistics points.  I spent them all during the course of the game.  Spending them allowed me to go first every turn 1-3.  Was that worth 280 points in a 4000 point list?  It was to me.

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Guest Delboy

Wow. 14 LP is a lot SMDVogrin, but if it worked it worked! ;)

 

That a Heavy Tank worth of Logistics....lol. :o

 

How big was the game you were playing?

 

d

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4000 points.  IIRC, my aquan opponent had 3.  As it turned out, I had just enough to win every initiative roll for the first 3 turns (granted, I was lucky that our rolls were within 5 points each time).

 

As I said, it was an experiment.  :D

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I think the argument is thoroughly overstated.  Why on earth would you even be trying to spend the points every turn?  They are meant to be used at a strategic moment, not turn after turn after turn.  And as was pointed out, after you see the initial die rolls.  It's not enough to acknowledge that in a single sentence ("Now I know if you're trying to win initiative with a bid every turn you're being a fool") when you've emphasized the whole preceding argument around the "per turn" disadvantage some factions would suffer if anyone was that foolish. 

 

Plus stating that 60 points is the same as "another tank" is complete hyperbole as well--it's a single light recon base, not a "tank" (ie, a main combat unit) the way most people would think of it.

 

I'm not averse to changes, and I even see some value in the neat symmetry of shad0wb0w's alternate idea (+10 per point up to 7 points for the factions that start at +1 init, etc...).  But the  argument that precedes that concept...eh.  I think it actually hurt his case--yes, some factions have an initiative advantage in the game.  That's the way Firestorm has always built it's factions and, at least in theory, is part of the overall faction balance (certainly I know it was a concern in the Armada beta, though I wasn't part of the Planetfall team).  For a low-initiative faction to overcome that it SHOULD cost.

 

I'd also argue they are a resource intended for larger games, not smaller ones.  Trying to steal initiative in a 1500 point starter box game isn't worth the points, I agree.  By the time you're playing 5000 or 6000 points though, jumping initiative could be huge--and the point investment to do so is the same as in a much smaller game, and is also a much smaller percentage of your force.

The point of measuring out every turn was to give an illustration of the sort of point value a +1, +2 ect advantage sits at as to what can be brought to the table with it.

 

Currently Din is mentioned as the 'most over the top' of the factions. Their powerful brawling capacity, ability to bring in forces where they need them, hover and access to the hit and run move combined with overall solid stats have been a common complaint. Using hit and run with their CQB values they even have the ability to hit one unit, move and CQB a different one even without the battle being a complete brawl. Or, importantly enough from hit and run, reduce enemy model count with their primary guns, move in CQB the reduced unit.

 

Removing a unit before an opponent can utilize it is naturally very powerful, not only do you remove a threat but you don't loose anything in the deal. A smart opponent won't be engaging such that only one unit has the chance to fight you obviously, and also shouldn't be so reliant on the utility of one unit that they can't afford to loose it. So in a well played game the loss of the squadron that was destroyed shouldn't cripple the one player's capacity to retaliate entirely and he should be able to use an abused unit to hit an unactivated threat before things get bad so the advantage of a single turn of initiative victory should not stretch too far beyond the one squadron sniped efficiently in a game of two experienced players.

The problem arises when an advantage is gained turn after turn. Last turn one player's firepower was slightly less because of a premature loss the turn before. It happens again and once again they are slightly 'less'. Quite quickly that slightly less starts to add up, particularly against a cannily used force like the din that can use hit and run to hammer two choice units.

 

When you do take the opportunity to use your points to break this cycle on a close roll, the retaliation had better be worth it. You need to preserve models equal to the extra points spent (possibly) or really do more than that if you want to do more than fight a cycle to a stand still.

 

The last punch line is that, the large the game the less initiative matters given two players that are good at hedging their bets, build equal forces and understand when and when not to push forces to take cover even if it would result in a lack of firepower or when to allow a hit unit to die in order to pass commands to a high powered unit ready to go before it is stricken. So the games in which the points are most important are the small games where their cost is most crippling.

1/2 points of damage every turn before you can act in 6000 points is pretty 'whatever'. If you're a better player otherwise you can deal with that, or if the dice are just a little more on  your side you're ok. 1/2 more points of damage every turn at 1500 points is pretty huge. Well used units may even be putting out 3/4 points of damage in either situation. at 6000 points maybe both sides will have more, and the points will be a smaller % of what you're putting out...but then you've also lost a smaller % of your force on any given turn due to initiative rolls.

 

My problem is not that it 'costs' to use the points. It's that they are less important by far in the big games and beyond reach in the small games where the ability to at least try to jocky for initiative is very important. In those small games the sides that have the initiative penalty are punished hard for trying.

 

Lastly, Why does a bonus of +1 exist? Why aren't the bonuses +0, +1, +2. It's not a huge thing at all...but is there ever going to be a faction that has less than a +1? And even then why bother calling a +1 a bonus when everything else gets more from the core set? Not really an important arguement mind you as it's a trivial simplification. I just don't get why you'd bother assigning everything an artificially inflated number other than it might make someone feel better about having unenthusiastic mercs because their number sounds bigger.

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It sounds like you play a +1 faction that frequently plays against a +3 faction, which also happens to generally be considered the strongest faction in the game anyways.  So if you want to argue that Planetfall isn't fully balanced yet, I'm right there with you.  I sympathize with Delboy and his team--they have orders of magnitude more units (and thus interactions) to deal with than we did with Armada, AND a 1.0 rules set to boot.  But I've pretty much come to think of the units stats as in an "open beta" stage, which can be a bit frustrating, I agree.  They are changing every release (Dindrenzi infantry got reduced in power pretty significantly this morning, for example).  Since it's really hard to separate out unit effects from rules on things like logistic points, I'm happy with Spartan focusing on one (units, obviously) before they circle back too much to basic rules that may or may not be broken when the units are stabilized.

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The shock Delboy posted in using points to buy that many Logistic Points that COULD have equated a heavy tank, certainly illustrate the concept that worried me about the rule as he had designed...

It doesn't work enough to care about it. Just get more tanks.

I want LPs to have a cool and important impact. But it's random and not a tank... So it seems it's better to just leave fate as it was and fire more guns.

And as another note... It's only pressure for my opponent if he cared enough to take any points. And certainly when someone invest 14 and stacks up against 3, I imagine the opponent wasn't sweating it, just accepting it. Which is something he could have done had he not taken them to begin with!

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I agree that LP's are a very exciting and fresh concept to miniature wargaming, but need to be ironed out more. V.M. Grozny hit the nail on the head. I would like to see that bidding moment be more intense. Like a Chessmaster or poker play. Right now it's like who cares. It's a great concept that hasn't quite been executed correctly. Imagine instead of buying logistic points you paid for them by sacrificing your victory points. How much do you really want to go first??? You could bluff your opponent into lengthening the game an extra turn where you might have the advantage. Just a thought!

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After reading this I'm not sure how the LP work.    As far as I know after reading the rulebook I thought they are played this way:

 

1- you can increase the initiative race bonus by adding LP attempting to win the roll.

2- if you lose, you can start a bid. if you win the bid, you get the initiative (no roll is needed)

 

but after reading Dellboy stating "the LP expediture is secret" it means step 1 cannot be made. So i think now the LP expediture is this way

 

1- you roll d26+race bonus

2- if you lose you can start a bid

3- the points you used in your bid are added to the roll in step 1, if the result is higher than your opponent´s you win the test (so you can bid more points than your opponentand still lose)

 

Is that correct?

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Yes, that's correct. I too have found little use for LP other than filling out a list that was 20some odd points short. I've never wanted to short a squad, or skip an upgrade just for more points. As others have said...it's always better in my experience to just bring more guns.

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I agree that LP's are a very exciting and fresh concept to miniature wargaming, but need to be ironed out more. V.M. Grozny hit the nail on the head. I would like to see that bidding moment be more intense. Like a Chessmaster or poker play. Right now it's like who cares. It's a great concept that hasn't quite been executed correctly. Imagine instead of buying logistic points you paid for them by sacrificing your victory points. How much do you really want to go first??? You could bluff your opponent into lengthening the game an extra turn where you might have the advantage. Just a thought!

Bidding victory points is an interesting thought...

 

Not sure even that would be worth it though?

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