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Firestorm Armada 3.0 headed our way?

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Neil let us know 3.0 is in the works with the latest Taskforce post. Now I would guess this is a year or more away it is fun to speculate and discuss what they might be thinking.

 

While I think 2.0 was a good thing and I personally love lots of options, getting new players on board has been a bit tough as the rulebook is a bit "crunchy" with rules. While trying to get new players interested in the game I leave out a lot of the "advanced" rules just to try to get people playing the game and having fun. I think Taskforce rules will help with this I hope.

 

For the most part I think a lot of things just need to be streamlined. The game does get a little token heavy. I think a bit of consolidation on the token effects would be a good thing if done right.

 

SRS does not quite feel right still. For the most part people go max bombers or interceptors for added torpedo defense. I'm not really sure what the fix is but it almost feels like they are bolted on to the main game and not really integrated into it. For the most part with new players I skip SRS tokens along with 5-6 pages of rules about them.

 

Assaulting and Crew points. This is another thing I skip for new players. I know some factions really like doing this, but for new players the rules are pretty complex and getting your ship stolen is not much fun. Assaulting should be kept, but I'm hoping for more streamlined rules.

 

Mines. I'm not a fan of how they are currently. They really should not be able to be used as a offensive weapon to drop on top of ships. Something like they need a full turn to arm or something. Right now they are used as bombs and not mines.

 

Turning templates. This is more an issue for others than me, but some people just can't get the turning right and think that it pretty much make the game not fun. I personally think that having a dystopian style template (small, med and large) would make the game play much smoother than having people try to figure out forced movement on that template. Also in reality it does not make much sense as things don't turn in 45 degree angles.

 

Cloaking. For the most part this is ok, but I why does this not stack with cover? Isn't hiding behind a tree better than hiding in the middle of the street?

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FSA a crunchy system? Actually I think it's a very streamlined system. Bearing in mind I'm a veteran of Inquisitor and Shadowrun. You think FSA is crunchy, these will make your head explode:D

 

On tokens, to be fair, your mostly using hit, crew and hazard markers, with the odd corrosive and disorder. Others are only used as needed. Still, depending on the forces/weapons used it can get cluttered.

 

SRS could use some tweaks (see the Limiting Bombers thread for this), but on the whole I find SRS to be quite concise.

 

On Assaults, I'd rather they'd be resolved another way than a Targeted Strike, but it works well enough, and uses mechanics in common with the rest of the game. I also like the crew point mechanic.

 

In truth, FSA has any flaws, it's movement and Linking pools that bogs the game down, especially for models with multiple weapons systems. Many have said using mechanics from DW would mitigate these issues. I don't play, so please feel free to elaborate DW players!  

 

The other bugbear is time.Maybe a reduction in points would help speed things up, say patrol fleet being up to 600, battle fleet up to 1000 (no Dreads?), grand fleet up to 1500-1600, Major offensive 2000+. Would making a 4x4 board for patrol and battle fleets be another option? It would skew things in favour of some fleets other others, though.

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While there are lots of areas that they can make changes for the better, there are only 3 areas I think would really benefits from changes:

  • Faster Movement Rules - while I love the gradual direction changes of FSA, the movement rules need a way to be faster than they are as this is probably the #1 time sink in the game
  • Improved Dice Pool Calculation Rules - it takes too long to calculate dice pools with various weapons at different range bands, different levels of ship damage, and hope you don't have turrets to add to the complexity (says the Terran player)
  • "Improve" Mixed Benefit MARS to reduce decision paralysis - MARs like Sector Shielding and Energy Transfer can take too much time to decide on as you have to predict in the Command Segment of your activation something you won't be able to make a proper decision on until the end of Movement or attack declaration on what the proper decision is.  This results in players "preplanning" their turn before actually taking it just to decide on how to use the MAR

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Fsa book is a dream to read if you have ever read the dw rule book (which is a nightmare to read), its nicely set out, easy to read, not too many pictures and also scenarios :D

 

I think its Spartans most balanced game as well, there's only a handful of things I have a gripe with, fighters are a bit dross and mines are just farr too common in the races that have them.

 

I would say aquan carrier capacities should be looked at, my groups aquan player never uses his full srs capacities, just because there's just far far too much capacity and nearly everything is a 'carrier'. Like in the latest release the aquans really didn't need carrier cruisers but there you go :P

 

As some have pointed out, boarding could be simplified :)

 

There's nothing wrong with movement and the turning template, I think its perfectly fine as it is.

 

I much prefer fsa to dystopian wars atm, there's some hideous balancing issues in dystopian wars and I much prefer that the games built for scenario play. Also working out battle log is way more fun than adding up victory points till the trumpets sound :P

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I've yet to play against Aquans, but they definitely look intimidating (except for that AP, maybe).  That said, I play Relthoza and everything looks intimidating to me.  I keep winning, though, so I guess I can't complain.  :P

 

I hate to say it, but time is probably going to be a factor no matter how few points you play with.  Most of the players around my area are pretty green (especially me), and that means looking up rules a lot.  Firestorm Armada, by its nature as a smaller game, is going to attract players who like to try lots of new things, most of which will not be Firestorm Armada.  Such a player's time is likely to be split so many different ways that they may never reach true fluency with the rules.  This is a pity, because I find that the rules simulate big spaceship warfare beautifully.  Hopefully, Task Force will give the players with many divergent interests something more manageable to cut their teeth on so that the full FA rules will come more naturally.

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Maybe i am in the minority here, or maybe I am lucky with the people I game with but I honestly wouldn't change a thing apart from adding a trick to fighters to make them more of a choice.

Everything else just feels right.

 

Ooh, maybe fighters could have the option of making targeted strikes!  That way, they would sacrifice power for precision.

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Ooh, maybe fighters could have the option of making targeted strikes!  That way, they would sacrifice power for precision.

SRS are already able to make targeted strikes.

 

One thing that I feel should be adressed in a new rules set is the scenarios. I like the ideas behind them in general, but it seems to me that in all of them, it isn't really worth it to play by the scenario rules. Instead, you have better chances of winning if you ignore the scenario and just hammer your opponent's ships with raw firepower. Maybe, scenarios should not givebattle log points for destroyed enemies or the scenario points should be much higher so that you actually have a good chance of winning if you concentrate on them, especially in Recover Resources, where searchig for the objectives can be really dangerous.

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Good ideas guys. Time spent: moving and adding dice are major issues IMHO.

Besides that...

Moving can be simplified. Holding a template in mid air over a crowded throng of ships and moving inch-by-inch is not fun, quick nor precise.

Mines could be laid during the command or firing phase, instead of movement. This decreases their fiddle factor and offensive capability. Also they could be a once a game thing. Double mines = twice.

Fighters and support shuttles need a little boost. Not much.

Why three range bands? Two is fine. 8 and 12.

Measure by peg or base? Choose one. All rules apply to that.

Revisit the BL system. Make single ship squads more viable. Variety is life. (And sales)

What I like about 2.0 already and don't think needs a change:

Boarding

Arcs

DR/CR

Cloaking

Torps and PD

Coherency

There's a lot to like about FSA already. I have faith it will only get better

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There are words I could use to describe my reaction to "Firestorm 3.0" being announced 2 years after 2.0 was announced. Those words would probably get me banned from here.

I will have to make do with "really?REALLY?" and a hearty sigh.

To be fair, it's not like Spartan are taking the GW model on this. It's still a relatively young game and it is in need of tweaks to streamline play. Since they will give the rules away for free I don't have a problem with a 3.0 soon, which is realistically more likely to be 3 years after release of 2.0.

Plus given the promise Neil gave to consolidate the background in the new rulebook I'm happy all round. My number one hope is the abolition of the movement template, switch to eyeball turning mechanic to speed up the movement phase as this has been the barrier to getting most of my friends on board with FSA.

I'd imagine work on a new edition starts pretty much as soon as the current edition is released

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Hi All,

 

Always interesting to see the reaction to something I write, such as mentioning FA 3.0. The easiest way to describe the 3.0 book is a tidy up and a chance to update background materials, brand new imagery (we've made a lot more models since the 2.0 book came out) and deliver any new addendums to the 2.0 core engine. So instead of just reprinting the 2.0 book, which we are going to run out of, we are taking the opportunity to look things over, evaluate if we need to tweak/improve anything. The guiding hand on this will be our gamer testers and this isn't about rebooting 2,0. It would be foolish of us not to look at the 2.0 game engine as we move towards a reprint.

 

To Pok - I'm not trying to make you sigh heavily. This is a functional evaluation of the 2.0 book prior to a reprint.

 

Cheers,

Spartan Neil

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I think the new book should have a section in the back (maybe the front) labeled "What's Different in This Edition" or something similar.  People who know 2.0 well are unlikely to read the new rules with as much attention to detail, and I still see people in the forums making rules mistakes because they didn't know a rule had changed with 2.0.

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I think the new book should have a section in the back (maybe the front) labeled "What's Different in This Edition" or something similar. People who know 2.0 well are unlikely to read the new rules with as much attention to detail, and I still see people in the forums making rules mistakes because they didn't know a rule had changed with 2.0.

This is an excellent idea

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I think the new book should have a section in the back (maybe the front) labeled "What's Different in This Edition" or something similar.  People who know 2.0 well are unlikely to read the new rules with as much attention to detail, and I still see people in the forums making rules mistakes because they didn't know a rule had changed with 2.0.

Perhaps in a FAQ of sorts instead of in the actual book? I would rather the money spent on printing those extra pages to be used on more new content.

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