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

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My friends and I can finish a full game (1000pts) in around 2 hours,  90 minutes if we whip out the chess clock and concentrate. 

I feel v2.0 is a vast improvement in almost every way (I liked 1+1 and 6+6 being auto kills on the original table).

The linking, movement and fire arcs are key to making the game so good. The MARs and varying range bands add to the flavour of our games.

The universe is well populated now, a great variety of ships and races.

Sadly our gaming group is small, yes very small at the moment. I don't want to see task force changes in 3.0, but I want a bigger community to play with.

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I'm kind of revisiting this thread after several months on the shelf, and acknowledge there are many folks who like 2.0 pretty much the way it is.  Yet many of these same folks also lament there are a lack of players in their area. 

Perhaps they live in a less population-dense region, that is one explanation.  Or maybe other local gamers exposed to FSA do not share their enthusiasm for 2.0 and instead choose to play other minis games.   That is their right.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion here, but there are thousands of gamers who said "no thanks" to FSA who do not express their voice on these forums.  

My voice is that I believe there is a connection between lack of 2.0 players and the 2.0 rules.  I've given too many demos, played too many games, run too many tournaments and heard too many rules complaints dating back to 2014.  I do not personally believe that lack of 2.0 players can be explained solely by the business decisions of the former owners of FSA.

In the FSA Facebook group after the purchase announcement, one of the new owners stated they (I'm paraphrasing here) simply cannot make a game solely for the remaining FSA player base - it is too small.

I'd be interested in ways to bring a voice to folks who demoed FSA, or even bought a starter and played a few times, and then walked away.   I'd like to try not putting words in their mouth by telling them our ideas and asking for their vote.  I'd instead start by asking them why they tried FSA, how much they played, what they liked, what they didn't, what their ideas are... and why they stopped playing.  I'd also like to ask fans of other minis games who have never tried FSA to give us honest feedback about both 2.0 and 3.0.   These are your potential new opponents and potential new customers for Warcradle.

If WC can make old players and new players both happy with 3.0 rules, then everyone has more people to play.



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@Stoobert:  +1 for the thread necromancy.  Timely, too.

I've been going over old posts in this thread, and noted that it get's a bit heated at times.    Just a friendly reminder for everyone to be respectful.  There was one post in particular that caught my eye, again from Stoobert.  There were some underlying assumptions made in his first posting:



1. That Firestorm will, or should, get a 3.0 rules revision, period.

2. That rules revision could be a good thing.

3. That we, as an FSA community as a whole, would like global player base to increase or at least stay stable

4. It would be more fun if more people in our local area played FSA

5. Modification of the rules (be they big/small, or this or that) might help recruitment, period.


I hope that it is clear to everyone that Firestorm is going to be updated.  Whether Warcradle calls it 3.0, 2.785, or whatever, I don't know.   Will the changes be minor corrections, or a ground-up re-write...time will tell there to.   Either way, no one is coming for your ships...they'll still work on whatever edition you want to play.   For both sides...whether you're looking forward to 3.0, or will always play 2nd edition, respect the other side for what they are looking for.


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Based on the common complaints of my group 2 Major points float to the top.

1. Exploding dice, its fine as a mechanic for res dice but red dice should NOT be the default, an escort lucky crit taking the last two hp off a battleship is only cinematic once....

2. Manouvering.... This is a weird one in that it's not actually the movement system we have a problem with, more so the incentive to not fly straight at each other to get rb1 then spend 2 turns having to vector over each other because Terran battleships don't know how to parallel park.


On a more personal note something needs doing with stealth and cloaking I would dearly like to dust off my relthoza one day and give my directorate a vacation

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Exploding 6s is a common complaint.

Personally I would prefer if each die could only explode ONCE. 6s still count as 2 hits, but you only get to roll the adiitonal die once per initial die in the pool. Might need to tweak some numbers a bit to rebalance around this change.

Now, yes, people will tell me that this removes one of the core conceits - that any ship can hurt anything, they're always a threat so they're always relevant.

Except this 'single explosion' rule doesn't really prevent this, it reduces likelihood, sure, but it also reduces some of the fristrating experience of getting one die chaining into a double crit or that single shield die stopping a full broadside, which is where most of the complaints about it come from in my experience.

E.g.: get a standard frigate of each faction, smash them up to only having 1hp and look at what their dice can hurt in optimal RB (because a single frigate should have speed and maneuver to get into optimal RB, potentially even the rear arc once you're in dogfighting range.

Rel: Nidus 5AD, damage = 4AD thus maximum possible result = 16hits (roll 4 6s, each of which turns into a second 6)

Dir: Liquidator 5AD, damage = 4AD thus maximum possible result = 16hits

Ter: Armsman 4AD, damage = 3AD thus maximum possible result = 12hits

Din: Thraex 6AD, damage = 5AD thus maximum possible result = 20hits

Sor: Reaper 4AD (plus potential pack hunters), damage = 3AD thus maximum possible result = 12hits

Aqu: Pirhana 4AD, damage = 3AD thus maximum possible result = 12hits


The second big thing is movement, having some way of only needing to measure one ship per squadron with the move+turn rules would be nice, then just moving the others around that 'lead' ship would help.

For smalls especially their speed and TL0 means they can usually get to where they need to oriented how they need to be so measuring and moving individually is potentially annoying.


Third is calculating AD, especially with different range bands and damage on ships. The 3.0 proposal to have 2 separate 'prime fire' and 'linked fire' stats per weapon was I thought great (it also means you can have more variance per ship by giving better or worse link values for personality). Please keep this.


Other stuff is more niggles and annoyances that I'd like to see changed to tidy stuff up

1. 3.0 style shunt entry that was more reliable would be appreciated (as it's a key tactic for some factions and wrapping their competitiveness around a potentially big random factor is bad for balance, try a Sorylian fleet with 50% shunt troops and watch your fleet refuse to turn up until turn 4 or 5 while the on board stuff gets blown up)

2. please make when you count in terrain consistent - either the base or the peg (please choose the peg!) - don't switch between them. Gas Clouds vs Debris/Asteroids/etc. Same with 'starting in' or 'entering' terrain features, Debris Fields vs Asteroids for example. It's a simplification but not one that I think hurts anything.

3. base size and peg height - please make base size a fixed, known entity for small/medium/large and allow peg height to be varied to whatever length the owner prefers, the area occupied by the base should be the only limit on how close ships should be able to get to each other - get rid of the thing where larger models are limited by not being able to be as densely placed and thus allow people to remove models from their flight pegs in certain fustercluck situations where everything is cramped between terrain features and around the objectives.

4. do something to make 'double degradation' less of an issue for ships that rely on linking their own weaponry to reach their AD numbers

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On 12/23/2017 at 11:06 AM, Xystophoroi said:

The second big thing is movement, having some way of only needing to measure one ship per squadron with the move+turn rules would be nice, then just moving the others around that 'lead' ship would help.

For smalls especially their speed and TL0 means they can usually get to where they need to oriented how they need to be so measuring and moving individually is potentially annoying.

I like your proposal for Exploding Dice.


For movement, I've thought about this- when you move, you can move two ways-

"Close Formation": Pick a lead ship, move it as normal. Place the remaining ships, within command distance, in the rear arc of the lead ship, with the lead ship's closest flight peg in each ship's forward arc. Because the lead ship was partially scouting a path for the rest of the squadron, any AD rolled for passing through terrain or minefields only gets applied to the lead ship, unless one of the other squad members is placed in such a feature.

Now, there are times where you might want to face all members of a squad in different directions or whatever, so you can also move ships in "Loose Formation," which is movement as we know it right now. The obvious downsides are they every ship will have to fend for itself in asteroids and minefields, with the benefit being more freedom with regards to final positioning.

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