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Firestorm Armada 3.0 headed our way?

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I only know of one game that had an in built app to use the game (Golem Arcana) stopped production after a a year or so. It cost the company that made it millions to develop! 

 

If anything, looking at my phone to play a game will distract from playing it anyway! Lets make something that makes people put down the damn phones, not pick them up!

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I'd rather have stat cards back (could be PDF fleet manuals with the unit entries in card form so that you can print them yourself and they can easily be updated) than an app. Although I see the potential usefulness, I want my tabletop games to be made up of hardware. If I want software, I play a video game. But then again, I will be 30 in a few days, so I am basically an old man and don't get those kids today and their technology anymore. ;):lol:

 

PS: I like linking because it seems more interesting to me. Combining everywhere seems dull in comparison. I think that the biggest problem with the AD calculation comes from multi-arc ships like the Aquans. E.g. Directorate is very simple in this regard.

 

 

If 30 is all it takes to be a luddite theres no hope for humanity :P !! I'm also 30 and I am all for a good app for stat references. 

 

PDF stat cards would be a second, but I wouldn't want physical cards. Too much production costs and it would put off tweaking of ship rules. I'd rather they tweak units as necessary and the pdf/digital stats allows for this

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I only know of one game that had an in built app to use the game (Golem Arcana) stopped production after a a year or so. It cost the company that made it millions to develop!

Golem Arcana used its app (and stylus, and model bases with microchips in them) in a way that was far more expansive than what I'm talking about. Two other games, XCOM from Fantasy Flight and Alchemy from Czech Game Editions both made excellent use of mobile apps to streamline a lot of the busy work in their respective games. Admittedly, those are board games and not miniature games, and Fantasy Flight and CGE are much bigger companies than Spartan, but what I'm suggesting is a much more limited use of mobile technology, and basically amounts to a spreadsheet with a glossy UI on top.

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On the subject of Dice Pool calculations:

 

The reason compiling attack dice pools takes so long is the number of steps you need to take and the order they are taken.  Once you have declared your attacks and which ships are linking, you need to do the following:

 

  1. For each ship:

    1. determine range to get base AD

    2. determine which of HP or CP loss creates a higher AD loss

    3. put  a & b together to determine the weapon’s AD contribution to the attack

    4. reduce to HALF if impeded

  2. Determine which ship is the lead ship for the attack

    1.  add together all the others then HALF to get the linked contribution to the attack

    2. Add the lead ships AD to the Linked Ships AD

 

Doesn’t take that long if the ships aren’t damaged and there are no impeded ships.  Gets pretty long if there are multiple damaged ships.

 

There are a number of ways this could be addressed to reduce the complication of the calculation.

 

  1. Take the Planetfall route and reduce the successes of the attack by the amount of damage on the attacking ships (full for lead ship plus HALF the total damage on linked ships).

  2. Move the reduction of AD to the end of the calculation set rather than as part of each ship’s individual contribution, again full for lead ship plus HALF the total damage on linked ships.

  3. Allow an attack that is fully Impeded to just reduce the attack in HALF after linking rather than before.  Ever notice that 3 AD 7 linked Impeded attacks are 6 AD instead of 7 (HALF of the unimpeded 14 AD)?

 

Those are just a few examples that could speed that up.  I’m not going to discuss Energy Transfer and the joy of Turrets on Multiple ship in a squadron that  link with other weapon systems.

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Whilst I think linking works fine as is, trialing the Planetfall method is intriguing. Everything always combining also solves a huge fluff/crunch disconnect for me- how does linking work, fluff-wise?! How does it happen, fluff-wise, that if an Apollo in RB1 links with the broadside leading, it's firing with the same effectiveness as the broadside firing solo?

I understand the necessity of linking at current AD and as I say, it's fine as a mechanic. Justifying it fluff wise though is awkward in my head.

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In my limited experience (very small and now very dead playerbase), people ask if they can ditch the template for all but biggest ships,and 9 times out of 10, the opponent agrees cause it speeds play up. The template is always the first thing people change in the rules. It doesn't make the dindrenzi feel more like aquans, it does make them feel less like a joyless chore to move.

 

I've not experienced any problem with the movement template or dice pools, but everyone is different. I don't believe the FSA rules need revolutionary changes.

 

I do wonder how rigorous/accurate/fair a replacement pivoting system would be? There is a vocal argument for pivoting but pivoting has not been tested to the extent of the movement template.

 

I am not convinced that switching from template to eyeballing is a good idea. Also I feel the issue of "snaking" has been overstated.

 

If the movement template is abandoned. 

 

Would any alternative be tested to destruction?

 

How will the tactical precision and feel of FSA movement be preserved?

Will it be as accurate or as fair?

How will pivots be measured, what is there to stop mistakes or reduce unsportsmanlike play?

Will it adversely affect targeting, particularly but not exclusively in-regard to Fixed weapon systems?

Will it screw up the balance, role, and feel versus different ships and factions?

 

I don't want movement to be a joyless chore, but nor do I want to become so fudged, that players might as well just pick up their ships and place them where ever they like. If the tactics/rigour of manoeuvre is reduced, FSA then becomes an exercise in list-building.

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There are no plans to do this. Combining works for Planetfall, not for Firestorm. Different games, different mechanics.

Thank you for your answer Spartan Alex. Glad to here this. I think both systems work fine in there respective games. I just don't see much room for improvement in FSA without changing the AD Pool calculation drasticly.

 

When I look at the last 2-3 years of tabletop game design, the two most important innovations have been the integration of mobile devices, and the concept of the "Legacy game".  Yet, to my knowledge, neither of these have been successfully integrated into a miniatures game.  This is an area where a game like Firestorm Armada, on the cusp of a third edition, could establish itself as a pioneer.  Integrating aspects of legacy games could create a sense of permanence and emotional investment in different models.  The decision of whether to shunt out or try and take as many opposing ships with you becomes far more difficult and engaging when you've watched the ship you risk losing evolve over several engagements.  Meanwhile, mobile apps could greatly reduce the time and fiddly-ness of looking up ship stats, while also tracking changes to ships over time.

 

Now, the option of having an official app to quickly and easily call up relevant unit stats is probably not controversial, but integrating legacy aspects might be best integrated as an optional game module, as many people will want to play stand-alone games, or might not like the idea of critting a ship or launching a successful boarding assault having permanent ramifications.

 

Still, I feel these are aspects of the game worth exploring, and I think that introducing Task Force as an optional ruleset module opens the way for other, officially supported formats that push the limits of the game's design.

Regarding the App. I don't think a "Legacy" Mode works, mostly it creates an artificial unbalacing. In all Campaigns i played who have done this, at some point noone wants to fight the best player because he has too many bonuses. Not saying i can't work but you have to carefully balance it because it can easily break the game. I do think an app with all the Ship Stats could work but you need a good App design. My friend uses the Age of Sigmar app for his Stats and it can take a long time till he finds his stuff.

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I like the template myself, as an Aquan player it makes my battleship feel more 'meaty' then my cruisers and the decision to take +1 move or -1 TL on my manta (or my nausicaa for 'renzi) a real choice because closing the gap is important but having you in the correct arc or having my 45 line between two of your ships makes the difference in an activation which leads me to:

the rule that actually bothers me the most because I exploit it as do my group is splitting the peg being up to your discretion... so you move badly and your 45 splits the peg? good hes in my front, his squad mate is in my side... you just lost 2 ships... it does balance out because we all do it but i mean i don't know how to fix it

 

To those of you abdicating combining, would you have double crits still in the game? because if so, should we not revisit the crit table? most are 2 hp and a hazzard but some can be quite devastating if im throwing more dice.

 

TL;DR

a ) I would not be opposed to a change in the way that hazard markers work or a slight revision of the crit table for options that don't apply (maybe more coherence effects like kinetics). Especially since gaining hazards is so easy including targeted strikes, high energy and cyberwarfare, they have a 50% chance to do nothing.

 

B ) Splitting the peg can be abused but is very useful when in tight

 

C ) Shunting is too good to really ever choose flanking especially with grav weapons being as they are

 

D ) Perhaps a revision to PD? many posts have been made about srs or boarding or torps... the only thing in common is PD and most ships values are low... perhaps allow PD to combine against srs and link against everything else? or just allow them to link in coherency...

 

E ) Disorder checks when at half strength as a squadron rarely makes a difference unless the ship has turrets... it might help make the game more cinematic if disorder did more or there was a way to break coherency other than by accident. It could be used as part of this ship experience if used with ship types like planetfall with militia, ect as part of a campaign package and could use new admerals to gain boosts or dish out negative to help make a narritive?

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Can you explain what you mean by "splitting the peg", please?

 

I don't think shunting is superior to flanking. In my group, both are used regulary. While shunting in is more flexible with positioning, it is potentially dangerous. Flanking is pretty safe and often allows for good positions, too.

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Yeah... Both have their uses and risks, I think. I will say that shunting looks better on paper, but that 8" no-zone around enemy ships can be more of a hassle than it sounds. If you need to be in close, and your enemy is close to the table edge, flanking becomes way better than shunting- I suppose it also depends on your admiral being on board, too, though.

Why not have a command check for both entry types- a fail leads to being moved or rolling on a shunt misshap table. Now you can make the misshap table a little tougher, instead of having a bell curve that makes safety very likely?

Side note, will we be seeing rules integrating or laying the foundation for the highly controversial and yet also seemingly inevitable Leviathans and whatever rules oddities they create?

Will there be a reason to scuttle ships instead of trying to walk with them? Right now there is zero reason not to try to fsd a captured ship out. Like, if you could half-move the captured ship and then resolve a Reactor Overload on it, then you'd be trading the chance for Battle Log for the chance to hurt more stuff.

Will the missions get switched up? Can we please leave the much-reviled Esc Engagement in? It does a lot of good things for creating unusual lists- maybe switch out the corners deployment for a different mission or allow shunting, because I think the combo of the two is more the reason for the Hateorade people drink when disscussing it than the T1s in reserve attribute is. The size of the scoring zones and denial zones for Hold The Waypoints make it difficult to even play the objectives on purpose. Those are huge bubbles of space. I'm not suggesting that the mission is pointless, mind you, just that the scoring and denial radius should probably be smaller so that scoring by accident happens less and denial zone camping isn't as easy. 4" scoring 8" denial maybe? That's a small decrease of radius, but in square table space the difference is huge. Also, I'm pretty certain it's been discussed to death the Ambush is a completely defunct scenario. Stuff needs to move off the table rather than awkwardly sit in the scoring zone, for one thing...

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I understand the necessity of linking at current AD and as I say, it's fine as a mechanic. Justifying it fluff wise though is awkward in my head.

   It's harder to coordinate multiple ships and/or weapon systems (I.E. the people operating them) to effectively follow the lead of another.

   Have you ever tried to run a 3 legged race? The forced coordination causes problems which reduces the overall effectiveness.

 

   As a Terran, I use both Shunt and Flank. I prefer Flank when my ship can reach prime position from there because less bad things can possibly happen if I fail the roll, while Shunt Entry is used when I need very specific placement away from the board edge.

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   It's harder to coordinate multiple ships and/or weapon systems (I.E. the people operating them) to effectively follow the lead of another.

   Have you ever tried to run a 3 legged race? The forced coordination causes problems which reduces the overall effectiveness.

 

Exactly.

 

What actually is a realism issue with linking is why many factions limit, for instance, their cruiser squadrons to three ships when having four in a squadron would obviously be the smarter choice...

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Exactly.

 

What actually is a realism issue with linking is why many factions limit, for instance, their cruiser squadrons to three ships when having four in a squadron would obviously be the smarter choice...

On the whole I think FSA is a credible cinematic space combat game and that Spartan so a good job of mixing realism for old grognards (like me) and balance for more competitive players. What messes things up is that the linking/combining rules make squadron size a critical part of balancing the factions when, in a sustained conflict, it would probably have more to do with *what is still working?* It also ties SG's hands when it comes to packaging the various ships for sale.

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That's easy to describe with fluff. Their computers only allow x number of weapons to link.

AD would represent individual weapon systems. So a single port weapon is likely many batteries of weapons on the hull. This accounts for why more frigates can link than cruisers.

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What actually is a realism issue with linking is why many factions limit, for instance, their cruiser squadrons to three ships when having four in a squadron would obviously be the smarter choice...

  Actually I chalked up squadron sizes to the same logic as linking.

   A Terran(most of the human factions really) Cruiser commander may only be able to coordinate 3 ships at a time before their effectiveness plummets with the addition of the fourth, making it not worth tacking onto the same squadron. On the other hand, the commielizzards are all about the collective and are therefore able to coordinate more intuitively, which enables them to have 4 Cruisers in a squadron and still maintain a high level of combat effectiveness. Smaller ships are naturally easier to maneuver and position, and maybe their guns track faster too, so the smaller the ship, the easier it becomes.

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  Actually I chalked up squadron sizes to the same logic as linking.

   A Terran(most of the human factions really) Cruiser commander may only be able to coordinate 3 ships at a time before their effectiveness plummets with the addition of the fourth, making it not worth tacking onto the same squadron. On the other hand, the commielizzards are all about the collective and are therefore able to coordinate more intuitively, which enables them to have 4 Cruisers in a squadron and still maintain a high level of combat effectiveness. Smaller ships are naturally easier to maneuver and position, and maybe their guns track faster too, so the smaller the ship, the easier it becomes.

Sorry, I don't buy this, most historical naval formations contained at least four ships, ad-hoc task forces excluded.

 

If any supplier told me that their software could only cope with 3 friendly ships I'd tell them to take a hike or have them shot for treason in wartime…

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I'm admittedly not knowledgeable about historical naval formations but perhaps that third dimension in space makes things more difficult than we assume?

Just trying to help you suspend your disbelief for enjoyment's sake! :)

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Not to mention technology beyond our comprehension and alien intelligence.

Squadrons are an abstraction anyways. Turn activation, and most of the mechanical trappings of turn sequence are for game balance. At the ground level the entire fleet is operating in concert concentrating fire in varying degrees on varying targets. I'm sure ships are firing in all arcs almost all the time but we only roll dice when for the instances when those shots will be effective.

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