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Firestorm Armada 3.0 headed our way?

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It's not how I expected the Terran aesthetic to develop from the reinforcement box, it's much taller than I thought it would be, and going with more than two nacelles surprised me, but it's still a beautiful ship. I will be very interested to see how it looks different when built as a battleship: hangars replaced for fore guns or more broadsides maybe?

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It looks like a Perseus, a Tyrant and a Solar had one hell of a good night and somehow this was the result. I get the feeling this ship will be quick, at the very least, just look at all those engines! 

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Personally I'd like to see more optional expanded content.  While I don't mind if core content changes, I think it can be healthier for a player base to keep some rules optional or modular by design.  Terrain movement is an easy example and I think this follows the, sometimes changing, needs of player base.  Even if you do like the rule(s), sometimes you may not be able to spend the time and effort required during a game session.  The requirement for players to agree to use the rules is a bit like house rules to me, and I don't mind that at all.

Players aren't typically good game designers, at least as I see it, so having some, "pre-made house rules," by the developer would be something I'd like to see.  What sounds cool and interesting doesn't always end up that way once testing trials are done.  That said, personally for a campaign setting I'd like something scenario dependent.  While not exactly optional rules, having something like a chosen scenario where the sides and player roles known quantities before the game stats and then the uncertain elements are scenario/objective cards the players use which alters what happens.  Something like how Star Wars Armada has objective cards and these alter exactly how a battle turns out, but with player choice involved, giving another layer of choice and consequence to a given game before it kicks off.

If those cards tied in somehow to the fleets being played and their composition, such whether the fleet is a natural alliance or not, it could give each faction a bit more flavor to bring to the field.  In a sense something like TACs, perhaps with factional cards, but in this instance it can affect how the game plays out overall, strategically.  Giving the player means to make it feel like their fleet really does specialize in certain tactics, but have it so the other player can deny cards and thus make sure it feels like a back and forth game of move and counter move.  Making something like this tied to scenarios would possibly keep widespread problems from cropping up, but this is all just my rambling musing anyway.

 

Edit:  Heh, this may be a bit selfish of a thought train, but I also enjoy the idea of specific tactical maneuvers being born from particular conflicts.  Having this represented in cards that could be used (optionally) elsewhere and makes me feel like there would be character building for the fleet admiral.  Learning strategy from one conflict and then potentially applying it elsewhere in a skill set and history building way.

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Dr_Vector your known scenario sides and roles comment I think speaks to the renewed campaign focus in the facebook article.  I think it's a good idea, one of the things I've noticed in my player pool is that the local vanguards/tournament organizers (thanks Bull99 and Ryjak!) have been great about trying out different point levels and house rule sets in upcoming events to keep the local meta in flux and prevent it from getting stale.  Doing that for the global player base and driving similar conversations by prompting certain matchups/objective sets using campaign scenarios is a brilliant idea to shape the community and test new rule/play concepts.  I find that shared experiences born of the same template can sometimes go to more interesting and insightful places than two journeys that start without any maps or plans in common at all. 

I think it's a fantastic way to keep things fresh without using an aggressive new product release schedule or rule modifications.  The stability and balance of FA is one of the strongest selling points in my local community. 

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More scenarios is always good in my book!

On the SRS front I have just started playing Dystopian Wars 2.0. I had vague memories of Carriers/SAW(SAS)s in V1 being a pain in the arse. V2.0 has been a pleasant surprise. 

For those of you who don't play DWars I'll do a quick run down. Carriers have the the MAR Carrier (X), where X is the number of SAW tokens they can deploy at the start of the game. Typically X=6 to give 1 tray of 5 bombers/fighters/etc plus 1 spotter off on his own. I guess much like the Wing value we currently have. SAWs in DWars have free reign to go off where ever they like. At the start of its activation a Carrier may interact with SAWs with in 4". They again check their Carrier (X) value and may do the following. Repair 1 lost token for 1 point, Reload ordnance for the squadron for 2 points, change configuration (bomber to fighter for example) for 3 points. In this way SAWs can go off and bomb things but must head back towards carriers to reload and repair. One Con of this system is that each squadron of SAWs in DWars is a unit so if you have lots you can out activate your opponent easily.

I'm not suggesting exactly the same for Firestorm, more of using it for inspiration. 

Maybe along the lines of:

Changes to SRS tokens

  • SRS tokens must attach to and fly CAP (or other name) to a squadron, will activate along with that squadron and must stay within command distance unless making an attack run/intercept or moving to the command distance of another Squadron that they wish to fly CAP for
  • .After completing the attack run/intercept they gain a Ordnance Used! marker, and must return to within command distance of the Squadron they are flying CAP for.
  • Ordnance Used! markers reduce AD to 0 PD to 1.
  • SRS Tokens may only help defend the Squadron they are flying CAP for. (looking at you interceptors!)
  • If a squadron is ever left out of command distance of their CAP squadron they must first move to back within command distance before using any remaining move to do as they wish.

Carriers have the Carrier (X,) rule. 

  • X= the number of wings you can buy.
  • In Squadron, if total Carrier X<6=1 SRS token if total Carrier X>6=2 SRS tokens. Max of 6 wings per token.
  • At any point during its may turn use use its Carrier X value in the below ways. (limit to start/end?) You can use each more than once.
  1. Deck Crews, Cost=2, Repair D3 lost wings to the Token within command distance
  2. Reload Ordnance, Cost=2, Remove Ordnance Used! marker from a SRS token within command distance
  3. Repair Shuttles, Cost=2, Make an immediate repair attempt on a ship within command distance
  4. Medical Teams, Cost=2, Recover D3 Crew points on a ship within command distance
  5. Other Ideas? Changes to costs? something that costs 1

Advantages.

  • No more PD mountain covering EVERYTHING, even interceptors need to re-arm
  • Shuttles rolled in to generic carrier role. 
  • Several MARS done away with, Deck crews, quick launch, split berth etc. Im sure new ones can be invented or racial bonuses to the Carrier role. Eg sorylians Shuttles will be better engineers etc, aquans or relth can recover D3+1 lost wings etc
  • Carriers, especially big ones act as key ships, they launch and re-arm SRS, can repair squadrons, support damaged vessels near by. Lots of utility. But you have to decide how to spend their points! Do you repair that damaged token? re-arm your bombers? or re-crew that really messed up ship the directorate hit?
  • Escort carriers wont be so pants on their own in a mixed squadron. Lets be honest, you all spend those 2 wings on interceptors.
  • tokens never leave the table.
  • boosts to command distance on carriers could now be a more serious consideration.
  • Can send SRS's off with other squadrons to do stuff. but they will need to return to a carrier at some point! You could send off a big bomber wing with a cruiser squadron, have one be an escort carrier in the mix to keep the bombers re-armed, though then you have the desicion of re-arming them or repairing them.

Disadvantages

  • Its a bit out there and new so you will probably hate it! :P
  • confusion over what is flying CAP for who.
  • Will have to remember what each tokens starting value was. But I guess we do that to an extent any way?.
  • I'm sure you will think of some!

Launch the alert fighters!

 


 

 






 

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I have to say, that's a fairly big change to how SRS works, and from where I'm sitting it looks fairly comprehensive and has some really good ideas. I like the Ordnance Expended and Deck Crews modifications, those seem straightforward and simple to use in game. Limiting SRS defensive dice to whoever they're flying CAP for is a good idea too. 

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1 hour ago, Chris_Smith2289 said:

Lets be honest, you all spend those 2 wings on interceptors.

Very awesome points, and yes we al spend them on interceptors.

I would love to be able to have truly epic CV battles, with triple the SRS we currently are allowed per ship. I guess that would take the magic away from capital ships though.

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Interesting, I have a question though.  What normally happens in Dystopian Wars when the carrier is destroyed?  Do the tokens supported simply remain on the field and continue to activate, or how does that work exactly?

Frankly it wouldn't necessarily be the end of PD Mountain given alternating activations.  If you want to know why I think this, consider the option of upgrading your T2 cruiser groups with Escort Carriers.  If they can reload any token within their range, they can keep rearming the Interceptor Token supporting the fleet during the cruiser group's activation before the enemy fleet gets an opportunity to fire while the Interceptors are depleted.  With enough escort carrier attached cruiser groups an effective PD mountain could be maintained.

Although, that potential requires a rebuilding and changed emphasis on fleet construction to perform.  Which may not be a wholly unworthy design change.  Escort Carriers aren't particularly known for providing substantial benefits swapped into a Cruiser squadron outside of providing more SRS Tokens / Wings in FSA.

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The SAW remain in play and can head off to other carriers to re-arm and repair. If you lost all your carriers then you obviously cant do either. Neuters bombers. Fighters can still pootle about though. They dont need to re-arm in DWars.

 

As I said. Its a concept and welcome any one else to take it and run with it. Compared to the mess of DWars 1.0 I have been plesently surprised buy this streamlining/simplification. You had to track fuel too!!

I guess if someone is putting all the efforr in to taking loads of interceptors and carriers they wont have many front line ships to hit you with. 

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The concept I considered isn't so much about bringing large numbers of Interceptors with the Escort Carriers, if you can rearm any Token with any Carrier then the alternating activations allows multiple carrier supported squadrons to maintain even a single Interceptor Token as a long term PD Mountain.  Of course, as noted, more Carriers means less actual combat effective models on that fleet's side.

I assumed the cross Carrier and Token potential might be possible beyond the Carrier's destruction, but thank you for confirming.  That does seem like it gives a strong activation advantage to the carrier heavy side though.  Even if all Carriers are gone, the player could still use depleted Tokens to control exact activation order.

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Yeah. Especialy with sungle token spotter planes hanging around on the fringes. Its why I suggested the CAP rule. 

 

Also in Dystopian each side gets 10 tokens for free. Generally done as 2x5. Fighters do have more utility in that they can engage big flying machined as well as other tokens. Now I think about it V1.0 of firestorm gave you 2x5 wings for free too. Ahh. Those were the days.

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I still kind of like just requiring an RTB after using an SRS token in a PD activation. It forces a tactical decision on the defending player without just comfortably clumping everything together under PD mountain, while giving torpedoes a chance to be useful outside of the late game.

Alternatively if ships could fire on SRS tokens somehow, maybe just resulting in drive offs and potentially opening holes in the enemy defenses to allow torpedoes to hit. It would provide choices for the shooting player; fire on the enemy ship and hope to strip HP or score a crit? Or fire on PD mountain to let torpedoes hopefully land a hit.

I'm curious to see how Spartan handles SRS tokens in 3.0.

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