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Firestorm Armada 3.0 headed our way?

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I'm still hoping if System Wars scenarios get updated for 3.0 that the invasion planets will be much larger for default.  I'd personally like them to be 12"  at least to represent a habitable world.  Still way too small technically but at least able to hint at the scale of a planet.

 

And why would the current planet template size be "way too small technically" ?

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As was pointed out above if a flight peg is a mile in diameter that would make a habitable planet "like Earth" 78 ft wide on a battlemap.

Space is really big. We're not going to achieve simulation levels of realism (and who would want to) but a bit more sense of scale wouldn't hurt.

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The problem with "to scale" stuff is that it makes for poor terrain. You need to have a variety of terrain, and there's only so much you can come up with- hence tiny planets, asteroid fields which have 100000x the density of a real one, and gas clouds that are more like gas sneezes.

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The problem with "to scale" stuff is that it makes for poor terrain. You need to have a variety of terrain, and there's only so much you can come up with- hence tiny planets, asteroid fields which have 100000x the density of a real one, and gas clouds that are more like gas sneezes.

This is very true.

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As was pointed out above if a flight peg is a mile in diameter that would make a habitable planet "like Earth" 78 ft wide on a battlemap.

Space is really big. We're not going to achieve simulation levels of realism (and who would want to) but a bit more sense of scale wouldn't hurt.

I don't think any space table top wargame has managed to get close to 'simulation' level realism. I don't think it's a realistically attainable goal outside of playing the game on a computer instead of on the table top. 

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As was pointed out above if a flight peg is a mile in diameter that would make a habitable planet "like Earth" 78 ft wide on a battlemap.

 

And where is this wisdom based on, that a flight peg is a mile in diameter?

 

The only thing the rules say is that the flight peg represents the position of the ship, and a position is a point in space, it has no dimensions.

 

The templates show planets with an atmosphere, which means they must have enough gravity to retain one, and thus must be pretty big.

 

So we can argue if these planets are as big as Mars, or as big as Earth, or even bigger, but even if they are relatively small, say 5,000 km diameter, table scale would already be 1 : 52,000,000 or so.

 

And even at that scale a 1 kilometre long FA ship would be just 0.02 millimetre long at table scale.

 

Up those planets to Earth size, and you're talking about 1 : 134,000,000 table scale, and that FA ship shrinks further to less than 0.008 millimetre.

 

So there's actually nothing technically wrong with the representation, you just have to understand that the actual ships on the table top are the size of specks of dust...

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Our asteroid fields tend to be ring system components. Makes them more reasonable and tgey look good in linear patterns. Gas clouds have been spots where energetic emissions from the system star for exp. interject with the plane of the tabletop. Big asteroids tend to be represented singly by an asteroid model, perhaps with a satellite in tow. Treated like a planetoid for thematic sake rather than realism. It's 'in' the plane that you're fighting on and ships 'near' to it are near to it, somewhat..! It's all fun. This kind of terrain setup does seem to help those 'gamers' cope who can't get their head around the fact that you're essentially playing with model starships on a pseudo 3d wedge of space and enjoying it without worrying about up and down concepts. Though all I ask for is rules to allow 'over the top' turns.. In a rulebook..!

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Well, the terrain piece is called a planetoid rather than a planet, Frans. :P

planetoid. Astronomy. any of thousands of small celestial bodies that revolve about the sun in orbits chiefly between those of Mars and Jupiter ranging in diameter from one mile to 480 miles. Also called asteroids, minor planets. — planetoidal, adj.

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When it comes to terrain, you have to REALLY be willing to suspend disbelief for this game.

If you wanted a 'realistic' simulation, there would usually be 0-1 pieces of terrain on the table - great for theme, not so good for a tabletop wargame.

 

I quote Douglas Adams:

Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space.

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Well, the terrain piece is called a planetoid rather than a planet, Frans. :P

planetoid. Astronomy. any of thousands of small celestial bodies that revolve about the sun in orbits chiefly between those of Mars and Jupiter ranging in diameter from one mile to 480 miles. Also called asteroids, minor planets. — planetoidal, adj.

 

Opinions vary on what a planetoid exactly is, but in general it is seen as a dwarf planet, a roughly spherical object with a diameter of about a 1,000 kilometre and up, it is also defined as orbiting the sun and not having cleared it's orbit from floating materials.

 

But with Spartan redefining a lot of established terminology this definition isn't worth the paper it is written on of course.

 

The templates that come with the planetfall fleet boxes however, to link FA to that other Spartan game that is pretty clearly fought on full sized planets, show, guess what, full sized planets.

All four of them show the clear halo of an atmosphere, and planets that are much smaller than earth can't retain an atmosphere because their gravity is to weak.

Small planetoids can only retain an atmosphere if they orbit a large planet with an electromagnetic field strong enough to protect them from the solar wind, but as soon as they are orbiting such a planet they aren't planetoids any more, they are moons.

 

But even if those templates would depict small planetoids, lets say with a diameter of 950 kilometre to ease up on the math, that still gives a 1 : 10,000,000 table scale, at which a 1 kilometre long starship would be 0.1 millimetre long.

 

For the big FA ships to become as long in table scale as the diameter of the peg, those “planetoids” would have to shrink in size to less than 50 kilometres, which would make them asteroids, and asteroids don't look anything like those “planet” templates we are talking about.

 

Anyway, as long as Spartan doesn't enlighten us regarding table scale I'm assuming an easy to work with 1 centimetre equals 1,000 kilometres.

That gives the current templates a 9,500 kilometre diameter, and a maximum sized 8 inch “planetoid” a 20,000 kilometre diameter.

And that actually makes sense because that results in a useful range of planets to fight over, from small low gravity worlds to big worlds at the upper gravity limits of what bipedal lifeforms can handle.

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The rulebook itself seems to place Planetoids in the "extra large not-planet space rock" category- just look at the Planetoid they use in all of the pictures. System Wars also calls the terrain piece an "Objective Planet" and then specifies that for game purposes it's treated as a Planetoid. My terrain collection includes both types, because variety is good and while I personally think that the irregularly shaped Planetoids are better for gameplay (offering more varied LoS and therefore more reason to hug the terrain as well as more risk to doing so) sometimes a good spherical microplanet is what you need to set the dramatic mood of the game. I've got one or two painted up somewhat moonlike so that they can fit in with my irregular planetoids and not look terribly out of place- having a habitable world and then halfway across the board an irregularly shaped super rock that's even bigger than the planet looks... odd.

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If we're being completely honest FSA terrain is fraught with horrible inconsistency and bad. Physics. But it is fun and cinematically consistent.

We just need to accept that the FSA universe has different physical laws than our own (as far as we understand them). The important thing is that they are internally consistent.

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As I've said before : gameplay > realism

It's why I don't care that you can board ships no matter how unrealistic it is, or why I like walkers in Planetfall - they are cool and fun in play. I don't care how silky any of that is. As long as it's consistent in the universe, it's all good.

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Uummm....

IT'S A GAME!

Not a simulation. Table scale, terrain scale, and miniature scale are irrelevant for game play, as long as the rules are fun to play and you enjoy the game.

You can argue back and forth about what is what and the Razorthorn mini is approximately a scale 1.7km long.

To my amazement this subject rears it's head about as often as Leviathans(thar she blows! I can't believe I did that.).

Can we get back to the subject of the OP?

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Can I add a stupid sort of wishlist item? I know it's not something you'd ever really try to take, but can we get the Ghost Station and any other non-Overseers generic terrain-ships that come up in the future added to the Maurauders and Mercs document? It bugs me in an odd probably-only-I-care sort of way that we can bring Defence Platforms and Battle Stations, but outside of the Trader's station there aren't any other generic stations, even though the models available and discussion in the background of those models seems to indicate that generic installations like T-4 and Gemion are both semi-common and used by a wide variety of organizations.

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I don't think you understand the discard mechanic in Dirty Secrets. Page 94:

Playing TACs

At the beginning of each Turn, during the TAC Phase, you may play one Tactical Ability Card. Place it face up in front of you as a reminder of the effects it can have throughout the turn. If multiple players are playing TACs, they should place them face down and then all reveal them simultaneously.

At the end of the Turn, the Card is discarded and its effect expires. Unless retrieved as detailed below.

Nothing in the rules indicates Dirty Secrets prevents a buyback/retrieval.

Dirty Secrets

For each Squadron in your Fleet with Dirty Secrets, once per game, when an opponent attempts to use a Tactical Ability Card, you may choose to lower your Battle Log by one to cancel

the effects of the Card.The Card is discarded, and any effects, including any required Battle Log adjustment, are ignored.

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I think they mean: Player A plays a TAC. B loses one BL and activates Dirty Secrets, stopping the TAC having any effect that turn. Player A then spends the buyback cost - during the same TAC phase they originally played it in - to get the TAC back and play it again.

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