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Feedback on FSA rules from new players, ideas for change, from a tournament

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you can bet that either the Dindrenzi, Tarakians and Xelocians will have to be nerfed into the ground, or those factions will become auto-wins over night.

Oor they'd be balanced with that aspect in mind? I mean, other space games manage, and "fore fixed" is uniquely Spartan and uniquely awkward solution.

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I do not see a huge need to restat ships with FF that were changed to the Fore Weapon Arc.

That is a knee jerk reaction with no play testing to back that up.

The down side for all of those ships with FF is far weaker broadside weapons or Gun Racks(mostly Dindenzi).  That has always been the balancing factor, not movement.

 

I play Dindrenzi on a regular basis and it is fairly rare for me not to be able to line up a FF shot....  It is just terribly time consuming for squadrons of Murmillo or Secutor.  The Tier 1 ships have not been an issue to find a viable target, mainly because I always to the -1 TL Hardpoint.

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quite1, as a Terran player I know the vast majority of ships in almost every fleet have FF weapons.  Those with Fore are more the exception than the rule.

For Dindrenzi, the FF and poor turn value are is offset for the long range band and good AD on those weapons.

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 The balance concern for changing forward fixed isn't the required movement to line up forwarx fixed.   Forward fixed weapons cannot use split arc firing with P/S Arcs.  If you have ever played against Aquans, you should know how strong split arc firepower can be.

 To illustrate, imagine that the Dindrenzi Heavy Cruiser had Fore Arcs on the Rail Cannons.  At 16", each  could throw eight A.D. at two different  enemy models in the same squadron. That's potentially 2x 16AD shots into an  enemy cruiser squadron.  CR six cruisers generally die to that, so you could easily destroy two cruisers in one activation… And you still have Torpedoes to fire at something.

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If you replace fore fixed with just fore in a race like Dindrenzi, you have to drop the AD significantly to keep them from becoming OP, as well as increase side arc AD to prevent them from being helpless. At that point you've taken away everything that made them unique.

Removing fore fixed is a step towards a homogeneity that I think we should strive to avoid.

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Hey Nay-sayers, have you actually stopped and spent time thinking changing FF to Fore through or just twitched and jerked with reactions?

Of the core six, only the Aquans would have no benefit. The Relthoza, Directorate, Sorylians, and Terrans would all receive the same "unbalancing" benefit.  

On the Kurak Alliance side, only the Terquai would not benefit. 

On the Zenian League side, only the Ba'Kash loose out(I'm not counting the Disco balls of death either ;) )

 

Is not as lopsided as everyone claims. 

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It doesn't really matter who "loses out." The ability to corner shoot feels unintuitive for most factions, dramatically increases the rate in which squads of ships die as opposed to single large ships (oh yeah, that Battleship-in-Patrol-Fleet meta...), and doesn't solve any real problems with movement, just offloads them to the corners. And then what? You have to go through and change the AD numbers of every ship in the game to rebalance? I mean, don't expect the fleet you played in 2.0 to resemble the fleet you have in 3.0, I guess, but that seems like you're talking a "simple change" that invites a complete overhaul, and for what gain?

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25 minutes ago, Hive said:

It doesn't really matter who "loses out." The ability to corner shoot feels unintuitive for most factions, dramatically increases the rate in which squads of ships die as opposed to single large ships (oh yeah, that Battleship-in-Patrol-Fleet meta...), and doesn't solve any real problems with movement, just offloads them to the corners. And then what? You have to go through and change the AD numbers of every ship in the game to rebalance? I mean, don't expect the fleet you played in 2.0 to resemble the fleet you have in 3.0, I guess, but that seems like you're talking a "simple change" that invites a complete overhaul, and for what gain?

What do you mean by "corners".

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With an open fore weapon, you can point the corner of a base at a squad and hit one ship with the forward arc and one with a side, and for the factions that currently can it is hugely advantageous to do so. So instead of lining up fixed fores, you'll just see people doing the same with corner lines, the lines that divide firing arcs.

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As has been said before, wouldn't going to a 45 degree pivot rather than a hard turn be a solution that helps speed up the process while keeping the flavour? Can't see it being that much of a problem. The one HFB player I know (he also plays FA) says he'd be overjoyed at the prospect.

FA needs to remain it's own thing, but keeping onto features that prove unpopular because they've always been there, or throwing the baby out with the bathwater, will solve nothing.

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Ok Nay-sayers..... 

The Stats.... For this quick discussion, the Battle Ship is the scariest thing on the on the table at Patrol fleet level.

I am leaving the names off for this discussion and only using "Broadside" and not Gunrack or Turret to list AD Values.  The AD values are for RB2 and at full value without any modifiers.  In parenthesis is the average hits, rounded down.  Torp AD average hits not factored.  One of the ships has the Turret weapon Linked with the Fore weapon for comparison purposes(otherwise one ship would have three attack values). 

1. Fore 14(11), Broadside 8(6), Torps 7

2. Fore 16(12), Broadside 10(8), Torps 7

3. Fore 7(5), Broadside 14(11), Torps 8

4. Fore 8(6), Broadside 14(11), Torps 7

5. Fore 9(7), Broadside 14(11), Torps 6

6. Fore 7(5), Broadside 15(12), Torps 7

 

So, are there really any outliers that throw the sacred cow of "balance" out the window?

Take this into consideration also.  Most players would argue that the Aquans are Overpowered.  The stated reasons are variable and arguable.  HOWEVER, if all the factions had Fore weapons rather than Fixed Fore weapons, wouldn't they all be more balanced against each other?

 

If anything, I would argue the AD values are just fine... BUT many of the ships in the game should have Points Cost adjustments(both up and down!!) to better reflect the abilities of a given ship/squadron.

 

Going back to the OP.  Too speed up the game, something must be sacrificed.  Either Movement or Dice Mechanic are the big ones.  Doing away with FF will Speed up movement and the game.  The other movement change would be to move Squadrons in "formation", I.E. move one, place the rest in the same "formation".  The problem is that ships on the "outside" of a turn will gain extra movement and therefore move a greater distance.  Does this really matter in a game that is focused on blowing ships to smithereens?  

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Lets pretend that balance is perfect and you could easily switch FF to Fore without any change in points.  You still wouldn't fix the movement speed issue because now instead of spending time lining up FF, you would be spending time getting movement "just right" to split Fore and Broadside firepower against the same squad.  Not only does this not make movement any easier / faster, but once you succeed, you'll actually kill ships faster than the current system. 

The easiest way to address movement to make it faster is to do squadron movement.  Measure 1 ship, move the rest without measuring.  This might require always moving the outside ship during moves, or a vectoring system that allows some quick lateral movement.  

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12 minutes ago, Endgame said:

Lets pretend that balance is perfect and you could easily switch FF to Fore without any change in points.  You still wouldn't fix the movement speed issue because now instead of spending time lining up FF, you would be spending time getting movement "just right" to split Fore and Broadside firepower against the same squad.  Not only does this not make movement any easier / faster, but once you succeed, you'll actually kill ships faster than the current system. 

The easiest way to address movement to make it faster is to do squadron movement.  Measure 1 ship, move the rest without measuring.  This might require always moving the outside ship during moves, or a vectoring system that allows some quick lateral movement.  

That is one of the weakest arguments I have ever read.  Site one old post where some one complains the Aquans play slow.  I dare you.

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Wait, an anecdote would make the argument stronger? Aquans have mitigating factors in the form of increased movement and reduced turn limit on most ships. I can throw an anecdote of my own out, though- once Ba'Kash close distance movement takes forever with them for that reason. I don't redo movement or rethink actions for my Relth the same way as I do for Ba'Kash. It's one of the reasons I prefer my Relth to my Ba'Kash even though the Ba'Kash more consistantly get results.

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23 minutes ago, Hive said:

Wait, an anecdote would make the argument stronger? Aquans have mitigating factors in the form of increased movement and reduced turn limit on most ships. I can throw an anecdote of my own out, though- once Ba'Kash close distance movement takes forever with them for that reason. I don't redo movement or rethink actions for my Relth the same way as I do for Ba'Kash. It's one of the reasons I prefer my Relth to my Ba'Kash even though the Ba'Kash more consistantly get results.

Hyperbole does not make any ones point.  However I would expect a critically thinking person to understand and infer that not one person  has ever accused the Aquans as playing "slow" because of the arcs.  Most lamentations revolve around "lining up" Fixed Fore, bacause the target channel is only 40mm wide and we know how precise gamers must be.

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It's just when the game gets slow.  Nearly every faction gets slow in a furball (optimize three arcs and a mine drop as Aquans, it's slow as molasses), but Dinz and Xelocians are slow a turn earlier, so they stand out and people think they need "fixed".  Its been said over, and over, and over again; this game is won and lost (and therefore IS) the movement system.  A friendly and fair system to move squadrons (outside representative model, farthest mover) is probably the best solution.  Trying to fix the movement system by eliminating fixed fore is like designing a car where you have to disassemble the engine to replace the oil - extremely complicated and fraught with unnecessary risk. 

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My objection to changing Fore Fixed to Fore Arc comes from playing Halo Fleet Battles for a short time. That game has the 45o pivot system and Fore Arc railguns (that's what a UNSC MAC is apparently) already, and I can safely say that it feels wrong. Movement and manoeuvre in HFB in general seems to be just about getting as much firepower into range as possible and letting rip. The only planning that is required is how long it'll take to get into range. In FSA, I'm often thinking about where my squadrons have to be up to three turns ahead, especially for factions with Fore Fixed and strangely enough, Turrets. That is missing from HFB, which I have to say (though it'll inevitably sound harsh, glad I still have that B Rating warning in my sig...) feels like it has been dumbed down. 

Now to answer the question of "is it a knee-jerk reaction or not?", I tested out what happens when a Xelocian Hulaka Dreadnought goes from Fore Fixed and Broadsides to Fore Arc and Broadsides with no AD drop or price hike. Being able to land a Crit on a cruiser at about 30o to port, and then Crit another cruiser in the same squadron with the port broadside... 

Yeah, lets not... 

 

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What about if, god forbid, we nixed fore fixed and didn't feel like rebalancing everything, just make it so if you fire FF kinetics, that it's the ONLY weapon system you can fire that turn? That would get around people splitting arcs with a massive railgun.

I'm still all about keeping FF, but just a thought.

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Heretic thought:

1) Wouldn't it Speed upthe game, if you would skip prmeasureing while moving your Ships?

2) Why not using a Chessclock and give each Player 5min per 400 Points and maximal game turn (aka 1 h for 800 Points and 6 turns).
    [We played this rule last WE at home and it was real fun]

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I apologise if this comment seems a bit out of the blue, or appears against suggested rules changes. My desire is not to offend any one, nor is not against anyone's specific rules change, but seeks to caution against rules changes that are not adequantly tested.

However I am biased in that I'm concerned that the game might lose something of itself in the demand for a speedier game (the reason I understand for the creation of Firestorm Taskforce).

Now, if you accept that approximately half the game is movement and the other half is shooting then changing how movement works is a momentous modification to the Firestorm Armada.

Changing Fore Fixed to Fore Arcs is also a significant change, both a decent chunk of the shooting phase and closely-related to how movement works.

My hope is all changes will be tested by many hundreds of battles before they replace any standing rules.

Theory can only go so far, with so many variables there could be many unforeseen effects, in the end any changes should be defended by extensive trials.

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So now that I have trolled everyone for a few days with the FF routine.... :D

 

I think you can see that there are very few ways to speed up Firestorm Armada, some other them are:  

1. A better movement template would help a little.

2. Changing the AD/Dice/Combining/Linking mechanic may help.

3. Improving the SRS mechanic and PD mountain(kill ships faster).

4. Some of speeding up the games falls on the players(know the rules, be familiar with the Ship and Stats) :o

 

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3 minutes ago, Ryjak said:

Three mechanic changes to speed up gameplay is a lot of mechanic changes. 

I see two actual game mechanic changes in my list(I do not count the movement template as one.  The outcome is virtually the same, it is just faster).

Are we reading the same list?

If you think they are major changes.  Ok then.  

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