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Firestorm Armada 3.0 headed our way?

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With all the base size inconsistencies measuring everything from the stem would be better indeed.

 

Claiming that exchanging miniatures for empty bases will result in playing on a table filled with empty bases is exaggerating to say the least, we have always played like this, and seldom needed more than three or four spare “stand in” bases.

 

Most ships have better firepower at range band two than at range band one, so merging range bands one and two isn't going to improve any crowding problems.

 

And having the miniatures steadily grow in size, the compatibility issues that creates aside,  doesn't help improve on crowding problems either of course.

 

The game rules do recommend to have at least a quarter table worth of scenery in play, which is fine, but this shouldn't be advertised as the average space combat environment, because it is not.

Amounts of scenery like this are more at home in skirmish games than space combat games.

Would be better if the game was balanced for a lower scenery density than it currently is.

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I think personally that terrain amounts required have to stay the same or similar going forward from 2.0 to 3.0. Firestorm is a space combat game, yes, but it isn't a space simulator. Space simulators these days tend to be mainly computer game based. Too little terrain on the board, and you'd inevitably have to address AD values across the board to avoid shooting gallery problems. Firestorm also has the ability to scale from 'skirmish' to 'mass battle' pretty easily (oddly for a space combat tabletop game, Firestorm appears to do this much better than most 'skirmish' and/or 'mass battle' games on the market, including Battlemallet 40 Warhammers, Wallethammer Fantasy, Bolt Action and Bolt Action - Tank Parking Lot, Age of Nerd Rage and many others). 

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Thanks for the considered response, we may disagree on *small* but that's no big deal.

 

My club much prefers the old Full Thrust rules so I don't get to play FSA much either.

 

What you are highlighting (and I agree with) is that an FSA game can be very congested with large models on awkward bases and a huge reliance on terrain (more than in Planetfall?). I think one of the key things that needs to be addressed is to make the game feel more spacious rather than some kind of cross between long range sniping and a knife fight in a telephone booth.

 

EG:

  • ALL effects, including movement, should be measured to the (nearest) flight peg, base size should not matter.
  • The *no touching* rule for models should be removed and players be allowed to just use flight pegs when space is tight.
  • Combine range bands 1 & 2 so there is less incentive to get close, boarding & SRS distances would also need to be adjusted. As most weapons, or at least their sensors, are going to subject to some kind of *inverse squared* rule this makes some scientific sense.
  • Maybe terrain could be in concentrated in a smaller number of larger areas to simplify the battleground?

Smaller models would help too but then the game would not look so impressive :(

 

 

Yeah that's pretty much the case. There are too many times when models pile up for that template to be anything but a hindrance. People end up hovering it above the ships and doing rough movements anyway. I just think getting rid of the template would be much smoother. My 2 cents. 

 

Agree on most of your points though, the peg should be the standard measurement point for all parts of the game. The no touching rule also makes no sense. I'm not sure about combining bands one and two, but it might be better to only have to remember two bands short and long range for the sake of simplicity. 

 

Terrain can stay as is.... if you get rid of the template  :P

 

 

 

When FSA v1 came out the club played a few games using a mixture of tape measure and turn templates, we found it slightly slower than using just the templates (YMMV).

 

Because the game has spine mount weapons any move-pivot system will need to use some kind of template otherwise the Dimdrenzee (rebel scum!) will get an unwarranted boost. I agree the published templates are awkward and have not changed significantly since v1 despite the models getting bigger.

 

 

Anyone who *snakes* their models to gain an advantage should be forced to play Attack Vector Tactical until their brain melts and flows out of their ears  :angry:

 

 

Yeah using both tape and template really slows it down best to stick to one measuring method and if you have to use a template, makes sense to use it for everything. The Litko template is nice and thin, but it still gets awkward to use in tight clusters...

 

I never understand the argument that it would boost dindrenzi, you don't have to turn the full 45 degrees when you turn so sometimes to are eyeballing it anyway....

 

No template, no snaking  :D  ;)  

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Is snaking really that bad of an issue? So what if you gain a little extra movement. Is not like only one race gets that advantage.

It's an artifact of the template for sure, but it's hardly a game destroying one.

Most games I just measure and go. It's usually pretty obvious how far you can turn to easily reach most of the board. I only bust it out for hard turns or if you need to watch out that you don't clip terrain.

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Is snaking really that bad of an issue? So what if you gain a little extra movement. Is not like only one race gets that advantage.

It's an artifact of the template for sure, but it's hardly a game destroying one.

Most games I just measure and go. It's usually pretty obvious how far you can turn to easily reach most of the board. I only bust it out for hard turns or if you need to watch out that you don't clip terrain.

 

Not a game breaking issue, just slows down what is already a slow process

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Not a game breaking issue, just slows down what is already a slow process

 

It's simply misusing the rules against the intention of those rules.

 

There are names for people making a habit of doing that...

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But FT also has spot pivoting?

I didn't say I liked FT ;)

The club use a (quite playable) vector movement option that makes movement much more *realistic* and has no maximum speeds. You could probably adapt to use with FSA if you wanted to.

 

My quibble with FT (and its a BIG one) is that the OUDA loop (response times) for ships is too slow to be credible for high tech spaceships.

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My beef with FT is that the big ships are so bullet-spongy there's almost no reason to ever take anything below battlecruiser, cause as you activate individual ships, you're just not doing enough damage before those bazillion batteries on the big ship blow all of your frigates out of the water in one turn. FA is much better at it due to linked activations.

 

But I'd gladly get rid of the turn template in favor of 45/90o pivots per distance moved.

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My beef with FT is that the big ships are so bullet-spongy there's almost no reason to ever take anything below battlecruiser, cause as you activate individual ships, you're just not doing enough damage before those bazillion batteries on the big ship blow all of your frigates out of the water in one turn. FA is much better at it due to linked activations.

Several guys at the club have been playing and designing fleets for FT for decades and there is no single consensus on ship design.

 

Big ships risk having all your points in one target and can only attack a limited number of targets per turn, small ships evaporate under fire but must be picked off individually which takes time. I'd say that battleships are less reliably effective in FT than they are in FSA.

 

Neither game has got SRS/carriers right (yet),

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no single consensus on ship design.

Have they tried breaking the game? Thrust 2, only power 2 batteries, all the armor, 40% hull points and a BB is almost impossible to kill like that, at least in my meta it proved to be the case. And also a reason it's not played much anymore...

 

As for SRS, at least FA srs are usable if you only brought a single flight of 6, FT small craft are useless in small numbers, and will break the game if you spam them.

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So what do you think SRS should do that it doesn't?

My comment is in summary of the debates going on here with regard to the different types of SRS.

As an experienced gamer I'm happy to contribute to those debates but would not attempt to champion a specific solution.

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My comment is in summary of the debates going on here with regard to the different types of SRS.

As an experienced gamer I'm happy to contribute to those debates but would not attempt to champion a specific solution.

I'm not asking for a solution, I'm asking what your personal opinion is about what you feel SRS should do that they don't do know. You can be as vague or specific as you like.

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Have they tried breaking the game? Thrust 2, only power 2 batteries, all the armor, 40% hull points and a BB is almost impossible to kill like that, at least in my meta it proved to be the case. And also a reason it's not played much anymore...

 

As for SRS, at least FA srs are usable if you only brought a single flight of 6, FT small craft are useless in small numbers, and will break the game if you spam them.

In the 20+ years they have been playing FT they have *broken* the system several times and contributed to the online community that unofficially maintains the rules.

 

Using vector movement a *slug* like the one you describe would be very easy to avoid or outmanoeuvre and would be horribly vulnerable to any of the weapons that ignore armour. It might not die in one turn but a well designed swarm could probably force it to take a threshold check every turn.

 

The FT small craft rules are the area that has changed most, the one the club currently use make small craft useful, but not overwhelming, in small numbers but are rather time consuming (like FSA v1 SRS). In terms of balance it's definitely the weakest area of the rules.

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I'm not asking for a solution, I'm asking what your personal opinion is about what you feel SRS should do that they don't do know. You can be as vague or specific as you like.

My personal view:

  • It might help to rename the 5 types as *bomber* is too specific on *how* it performs an attack (keep the initial letters unique).
    • Fighter -> Patrol (like WW2 PT boats and the USAAF *P* designation for fighters)
    • Interceptor -> Interceptor (or Fighter)
    • Bomber -> Striker
    • Assault Craft -> Assault (craft)
    • Support Shuttle -> Utility (shuttle)
  • Only Patrol and Interceptor SRS should be able to use their PD offensively.
  • The ability to make combined attacks by multiple SRS tokens should be a faction specific upgrade*.

*At the beginning of WW2 this was probably Japan's biggest advantage over everybody else.

 

I can think of many other detail changes (spotters, jammers etc.) but most of them would just clog up the game.

I don't feel qualified to talk on overall balance as I don't have experience of playing enough different factions and none of playing competitively.

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I would. We need less of the SRS, not more. If i wanted to play "planes ruin big ships' day forever" i'd go play some Pacific War game or X-wing. Ideally, they'd get rid of the srs altogether as absurd and unrealistic, but we all know that ain't happening, so just cutting down on the number to leave two or three most effective makes the most sense.Interceptors, bombers, shuttles if they can have more use than just CP/crit fixing.

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I would. We need less of the SRS, not more. If i wanted to play "planes ruin big ships' day forever" i'd go play some Pacific War game or X-wing. Ideally, they'd get rid of the srs altogether as absurd and unrealistic, but we all know that ain't happening, so just cutting down on the number to leave two or three most effective makes the most sense.Interceptors, bombers, shuttles if they can have more use than just CP/crit fixing.

It would have to be early Pacific War later on, with advances in defensive capabilities, huge numbers of aircraft to have any effect at all.

 

I also agree that, from a scientific/engineering point of view SRS (and boarding) make no sense but thanks to Mr. Lucas we are stuck with them.

 

Repair and assault could probably be handled by abstracted MARs than pushing counters around which would leave 3 types of SRS:

  • Attack
  • Defence
  • Mixed

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<p>

It would have to be early Pacific War later on, with advances in defensive capabilities, huge numbers of aircraft to have any effect at all.

I also agree that, from a scientific/engineering point of view SRS (and boarding) make no sense but thanks to Mr. Lucas we are stuck with them.

Repair and assault could probably be handled by abstracted MARs than pushing counters around which would leave 3 types of SRS:

  • Attack
  • Defence
  • Mixed

Boiling the SRS down to three units with boring names really doesn't help things.

The v2 nomenclature is more evocative and gives a more immersive feel.

The name can be just as important as as what the unit does.

And if we want to keep referencing WWII, then it is very safe to acknowledge that late war would be the appropriate analogy. B29s would be a fairly accurate way to describe v2 SRS bombers to a history buff.

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B29s would be a fairly accurate way to describe v2 SRS bombers to a history buff.

 

Not this one.

 

B29's were great for levelling cities, not for attacking ships at sea.

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Not this one.

B29's were great for levelling cities, not for attacking ships at sea.

Size and defensive capacity(virtual none) are analogous.

Besides, by the time the B29 entered service, the Japanese navy was mostly neutralized. This left land based aircraft and military production facilities were primary targets. But, as a history buff, I'm sure you knew that already.

The other analogy, B29s did not receive fighter escorts because of range, much like FSA Interceptors.

I would append that carpet bombing factories is not unlike bombing ships that are several kilometers long....

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