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Firestorm Armada 3.0 headed our way?

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Can we stop bringing realism into the thing? We KNOW that Directorate has good enough nanotech to turn swimming trunks into a full office suit in a matter of seconds. The fact that the factions aren't just seeding planets with grey goo is already making it unrealistic.

OK, but if you don't want to base it on established principals of the military art what are you going to base it on?

 

I have seen several other rule sets, both historical & fictional, become self referential and drift off into a meta game that may benefit some vociferous players but generally reduces the fun for everybody else :(

 

My reason for referencing back to historical conflicts is not to say that FSA must work like XYZ but to use history as a tangible point of comparison to better inform the discussion :)

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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.

 

 

  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.

 

 

Any “gun” armed warship will have some form of fire control centre controlling all of it's armament, so the actual type and number of weapons systems involved can really have no influence, only the number of ships involved can.

 

And I can't imagine a frigate could have “linking” equipment a cruiser can't have.

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Can we stop bringing realism into the thing? We KNOW that Directorate has good enough nanotech to turn swimming trunks into a full office suit in a matter of seconds. The fact that the factions aren't just seeding planets with grey goo is already making it unrealistic.

 

 

But I thought this was an accurate simulation of future spaceship combat...

 

 

It is, just not accurate representation of World War Two spaceship combat.

 

 

Very funny, but I really don't get this “If we can't have 100% realism we might as well have no realism at all” attitude...

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OK, but if you don't want to base it on established principals of the military art what are you going to base it on?

....

)

Tropes. It is is sci fi war game so it will be based on a combination of science fiction and military tropes. The designers establish the setting with certain established tropes (manned craft, approx. equivalent but variant technology, FTL travel, etc.) once those tropes are established the game needs to emulate a setting where those tropes are validated and entertainment is optimized.

Some of those tropes are easier to accept than others, some of those tropes are reflections of reality but in the setting the tropes are the cornerstone of "how stuff works" not our real world.

So brass tacks: SRS are a thing; how can they be fun?

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Just to add a touch of "realism", odds are none of the weapons in the FSA universe get 'stronger' because multiple ships are coordinating their fire. The strength remains the same. However, they are more likely to cause damage when coordinating their attack... Probably by simply increasing the odds to hit.

For example, three Dindrenzi Cruisers can bracket a target, leaving it no where to really dodge, and guarantee one of those massive rocks they're throwing hits something.

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So brass tacks: SRS are a thing; how can they be fun?

First question: Is the game fun without SRS?

Assuming "yes", is there something that seems incomplete? Maybe SRS can satisfy it.

Or another approach... What's more dangerous in all these Sci-Fi movies and books you read? The big warships, or the tiny one-man craft? With that in mind, why is there so much focus on the small ships? Does this focus make sense within the context of the FSA?

All of your answers can be used as a guide to how you think SRS should function within the game.

Personally, I like how Master of Orion 2 (MOO2) handled SRS. They were basically like Torpedoes, but much slower, tougher, and stronger. They probably aren't going to do much compared to the main ship guns (often they never reached their target, for many reasons) but if they did, it usually took one hell of a beating.

Granted, they were basically over-costed and useless in the game, but the mechanics seems correct. MOO3 did better, but than game was more complicated or better balanced or something and never caught on.

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Tropes. It is is sci fi war game so it will be based on a combination of science fiction and military tropes. The designers establish the setting with certain established tropes (manned craft, approx. equivalent but variant technology, FTL travel, etc.) once those tropes are established the game needs to emulate a setting where those tropes are validated and entertainment is optimized.

Some of those tropes are easier to accept than others, some of those tropes are reflections of reality but in the setting the tropes are the cornerstone of "how stuff works" not our real world.

I sort of agree with this.

The problems arise out when you try to resolve problems of detail, most tropes are simply *too wooly* to bear close scrutiny.

If the Spartan's fluff both referenced back to specific tropes and then provided the Firestorm specific details in a consistent way that would be great…

 

Just to add a touch of "realism", odds are none of the weapons in the FSA universe get 'stronger' because multiple ships are coordinating their fire. The strength remains the same. However, they are more likely to cause damage when coordinating their attack... Probably by simply increasing the odds to hit.

For example, three Dindrenzi Cruisers can bracket a target, leaving it no where to really dodge, and guarantee one of those massive rocks they're throwing hits something.

This is a very good point and would be true all discrete missile weapons.

 

Wave based weapons (EG lasers & cyber) might make use of very precise timing of their weapon pulses to turn an entire squadron into a phased array for attacking a single target. This technique dates from the Vietnam War and is used in several current applications, the only SciFi setting I know that uses it are the flat panel phaser emitters in Star Trek. 

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Very funny, but I really don't get this “If we can't have 100% realism we might as well have no realism at all” attitude...

I don't mean we should no realism, but justifying that ships should come in 4's cause no historical fleet of a certain period came in 3's is no more realistic than saying they should be three cause "Boh trojcu lubiat", roughly translating to "god likes the number three". I'm obviously a fan of defining the setting more, but I just don't think slavishly keeping to historical precedence makes sense in scifi.

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So what your saying is, eradicate all the dirty aliens and everything's A ok :D well thats what I read anyway :P

 

I can't speak for Sorylians and Aquans (nor would I want to), but we Relthoza are a very clean species.  Our bodies are covered in nanites that constantly consume and reprocess dead skin cells, parasites, and mucous discharge.  Very clean, and nothing goes to waste.  Other species are kind of gross, though.  Aquans smell like fish, Sorylians are constantly molting, and humans just look like they're sweating and getting sticky all the time!  Humans also make terrible pets, for what it's worth.  My sister bought one at a Kedorian flea market, and it just screamed all the time!  Eventually we had to flush it.  An awful experience, all around.

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I don't mean we should no realism, but justifying that ships should come in 4's cause no historical fleet of a certain period came in 3's is no more realistic than saying they should be three cause "Boh trojcu lubiat", roughly translating to "god likes the number three". I'm obviously a fan of defining the setting more, but I just don't think slavishly keeping to historical precedence makes sense in scifi.

Who's being slavish? and why shouldn't it make sense in science fiction as opposed to science fantasy?

 

 

The FSA game system, like most of the SG games, dictates that squadron size is a key part of game balance, I accept this, but it is very much a facet of game design and not sustained by the fluff.

 

TBH I don't know why the ships were organised in 4s but I would guess it might be to ensure the squadrons remained effective with one ship out of action due to battle damage or periodic refits. It also allows the squadron to be manoeuvred as two pairs which is recognised as the best way to organise fighter aircraft (I'm not sure this is relevant to ships). From a pseudo-science point of view a squadron of 4 ships operating in a tetrahedron pattern with only 3 ships able to fire in any one direction would make some sense in a larger scale game like Halo.

 

I guess what really bugs me is that squadron size seems so arbitrary, if faction X always used their cruisers in 3's because the president's dog only had 3 legs (or some more sensible reason) I could suspend my disbelief more easily.

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Anything that stops whingeing!. FSA is one game system that in *my* opinion (so not necessarily anyone else's) has nothing that is too over the top. Perhaps a little underwhelming at times but hey as long as it goes on the table it's good for a miniatures game.

Improved thin turn templates are something I'd like to see. I've made my own but the present one seems to put a lot of people off actually using it and even having a go at the game!.

Some kind of limit on SRS PD bubbles. Vessels getting PD against any Torpedo attacks during the turn works well but the little fighters seem to be able to get everywhere at once. It's good they can contribute to Torp defense but it gets a little silly. Solution? Wings can assist against one squadron's attack per turn but you dont have to use all? More record keeping.. Or simply reduce the PD bubble but allow more than 2 SRS tokens for interceptors and fighters. Or just interceptors to avoid attack run PD bleeding. That way you can have a small bubble screen but it's way smaller per token. Just thoughts, nothing playtested.

Squadrons of 2 tier 2,3s shouldn't be so penalised BL wise. Less materiel lost, less morale investment.

Extended flight missions for SRS.

'Over the top' turns?

Mineclearance!

Limited turns at full stop for all, perhaps 22.5` but a move limit when they come out of it? I know people will say that this helps Dindrenzi too much but it does mean they don't get to splot mines that won't hit them also. Also I've found that it keeps you away from THEM. Having them dictate fire by overlap from units further away is imo a successful Dindrenzi tactic. They may be able to put out some dice at 48" but I could manoeuvre to strike at my leisure. Just thoughts again. As Mahoney said 'Please, be gentle..!'

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Oh and please! Put a *whole page* in there about how its a miniatures game with little spaceships and can be many different things for many different people. Play tournaments using RAW or try things that you and your mates want to try. Break the fleet lists, make your own scenarios. This is what's good about miniatures and table top games. They're not computer games, don't have hard code, can be modded by all and are a visual, tactile spectacle. Whether you're playing on a spectacular space mat with intricately painted models or on the living room floor with black sprayed little spaceships!.

There is no right way to play!.

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You don't need to tell players they can make up whatever house rules they want; this is a given. However, it's also not playing the game which is presumably designed to be played the given way (RAW) for a reason... Hopefully balance reasons.

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Things I'd like in the new edition:

 

1) Some way to get rid of mines

 

2) Balancing certain combos and fleets (like biohazard-overload on Directorate, All-the-guns-and-toys syndrome on Aquans)

 

3) Cleaning up the MAR section- some stuff liek Precise Strike is borderline useless, same with Protected Systems

 

4) Targeted Strike mechanics. Currently, it's a page filler with no practical purpose- little gain for crippling penalty

 

5) SRS- making fighters useful somehow, or just rolling them into interceptor class

 

6) Streamlined manouvering, one way or another

 

 

Things I don't want to see:

 

1) More SRS types, more SRS power

 

2) Armored space dinosaurs in flying saucers

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Yeah, they really screwed up the fluff on the Solyrian Leviathan in PF. Makes no sense that the smartest and most ancient of a race would be on the front line just to tote around a gun platform and get killed. Beast of burden would have been fine.

Wait, are you saying someone had what they thought was a great idea, but didn't fully think it through to a logical(hehehe get it?) conclusion?

That never happens in game design!

:rolleyes:

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