Jump to content
Dataphract

Speeding up the game

Recommended Posts

I'm just curious what kinds of techniques you use, or house rules you implement, to speed up the game. My group is still new, and I know speed will come with experience, but Firestorm seems like a slower game to begin with.

What kinds of shortcuts or rules could speed up gameplay without taking away from the complexity?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The main things that slow down gameplay are movement, and calculating AD pools.  The latter speeds up with practice, but when there's multiple rangebands, weapons, and damage, it's often easier to simply count out with the dice.

Movement is where the game is lost and won, so I think it never really gets faster, as you'll spend more time trying to move every model to just the right spot.  The best you can do is be fairly liberal with your opponent's movement in the interest of time.  Work together to speed up movement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We greatly encouraged people to start measuring out their next move as soon as the active player stats figuring out dice totals.  While there will be some adjustment to be made once you actually start moving things and have the template, having a solid move at least notionally planned out makes movement much faster. If the active player is still figuring out dice for his shot at that point, you can go ahead and start figuring out your probable dice pool as well (assuming he isn't shooting at the unit you want to move). I generally have activations down to just a couple of minutes by knowing where I'm going and what I'm shooting (and often having the dice pools laid out too). The game really can move along quickly if you use your time wisely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a few things that have been discussed in another thread, I think, here in general discussion.

The ideas are generally all related to having to calculate your AD pool.:

1) Modify attack pools for damage in a slightly different way.  Instead of having to recacluate the whole linked dice pool, just subtract damage from the final value.  So if your undamaged linked attack pool is 16 dice, and you've taken 3 damage to ships in your squadron, your new dice pool is 13.  

2) Use the closest ship to determine range band.  This again would save you having to calculate the AD pool in situations where you have 1 ship at RB 1 and 2 at RB2, but would lead to situations where its easier to get extra AD or take an AD penalty. 

These 2 items would allow you to determine your linked pool for your squadron / model before the game begins, and only have one simple subtraction to follow for the rest of the game, until you lose a ship anyway.

Movement is tricky to speed up because any drastic changes to movement would really change the game.  A different movement tool helps to a certain degree, but only some.  There have been some suggestions to allow additional models in a squadron to follow the lead ship without having to have use the same precise measurement for every ship, but I don't think there was a specific conclusion reached as how to best resolve that fairly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mk3 Armada should follow Planetfall's damage effect and have each damage on every participating ship subtract 1 success from the final tally of their linked fire.  That way you don't sit there subtracting damage from each weapon contributing to the pool, or even take it off the final pool count at the end.  Instead you just quickly tally, cut in half, add to the first weapon, roll, and then after counting your final hits, subtract your damage from it.

So if you scored 12 hits off of your linked fire, and one participating vessel had 2 damage and a second had 1 damage, you'd end up with 9 hits. 

Movement is harder to speed up in terms of how its done.  The template adds to the feel of the big ships moving through space.  However, I really think Spartan needs to take another look at a "Power to Engines" order that lets ships forfeit attack for an increase in movement.  Essentially the equivalent of a run order in most ground games.  It was considered for Mk2 but dropped before it was finalized.  I think it would really speed up when ships get into effective range bands and are maneuvering around each other--the meat of the game, and reduce the number of turns where it is just a wall of ships moving towards one another firing torpedoes and hoping to pierce undamaged PD. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see a problem with discounting the damege from the pool or hits. My problem is, that you still have to remember, how many weaponsystems are involved. so if I link 3 Broadsides and 3 Turrets and my supporting ships have taken 2 and 1 damage, I would have to remember that I have to subtract 6 not only 3 (and I think this could be a problem to some players).

To speed up movement I would encourage you to try this rule: Increase TL by 1''; Measure the movement from the flightpeg of the modell using a stick. After reaching the TL you are allowed to turn the base up to 45°. We tried this and it played very smooth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Endgame said:

There are a few things that have been discussed in another thread, I think, here in general discussion.

The ideas are generally all related to having to calculate your AD pool.:

1) Modify attack pools for damage in a slightly different way.  Instead of having to recacluate the whole linked dice pool, just subtract damage from the final value.  So if your undamaged linked attack pool is 16 dice, and you've taken 3 damage to ships in your squadron, your new dice pool is 13.  

2) Use the closest ship to determine range band.  This again would save you having to calculate the AD pool in situations where you have 1 ship at RB 1 and 2 at RB2, but would lead to situations where its easier to get extra AD or take an AD penalty. 

These 2 items would allow you to determine your linked pool for your squadron / model before the game begins, and only have one simple subtraction to follow for the rest of the game, until you lose a ship anyway.

Movement is tricky to speed up because any drastic changes to movement would really change the game.  A different movement tool helps to a certain degree, but only some.  There have been some suggestions to allow additional models in a squadron to follow the lead ship without having to have use the same precise measurement for every ship, but I don't think there was a specific conclusion reached as how to best resolve that fairly.

I think 1) is very much the way forward, or as others have suggested, remove X damage from the number of hits a-la planetfall. I don't like number 2 however. Initially I did but it is far to easily broken. If a squadron is stretched widthways as much as possible, say 6" between ship 1 and 2 and 2 and 3 for 12" between ships 1 and 3. They could then conceivably hit squadrons to both their port and starboard, with the maximum number of dice. The squadrons could be over 44" apart (assuming the edge of RB2 from the closest of the firing ships) You can suddenly project a lot of firepower over a very wide area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Kaptyn Krys said:

I think 1) is very much the way forward, or as others have suggested, remove X damage from the number of hits a-la planetfall. I don't like number 2 however. Initially I did but it is far to easily broken. If a squadron is stretched widthways as much as possible, say 6" between ship 1 and 2 and 2 and 3 for 12" between ships 1 and 3. They could then conceivably hit squadrons to both their port and starboard, with the maximum number of dice. The squadrons could be over 44" apart (assuming the edge of RB2 from the closest of the firing ships) You can suddenly project a lot of firepower over a very wide area.

For 2) we are talking about a rework to the core rules, so if they went this way there could be other complimentary changes.  They could lower command distances, or increased disorder penalties.  If you spread your squadron wide to get a maximum effective fire, you risk having the center ship destroyed and being out of command distance.  Or, alternatively, you could always calculate from the furthest ship, thus reducing AD in some cases.

The question is, how much would it speed up game play to always use the best case / worst case AD by range?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

54 minutes ago, Oramion said:

I see a problem with discounting the damege from the pool or hits. My problem is, that you still have to remember, how many weaponsystems are involved. so if I link 3 Broadsides and 3 Turrets and my supporting ships have taken 2 and 1 damage, I would have to remember that I have to subtract 6 not only 3 (and I think this could be a problem to some players).

To speed up movement I would encourage you to try this rule: Increase TL by 1''; Measure the movement from the flightpeg of the modell using a stick. After reaching the TL you are allowed to turn the base up to 45°. We tried this and it played very smooth.

Nope.  Don't subtract successes from damage on a per weapon basis.  Just model.  Regardless of how many weapons are firing in your example, the subtraction would be 3. 

However they end up doing it for mk3, the work we have to do should come off the final tally, not have us micro-manage each weapon's contribution.   That's what eats up time: me having to think "Ok, RNG band 2, I get 15 dice, and my Turret is 8, and his squad mate is linking both weapons together for four total, but wait, I have 3 damage and the squad mate has 4 damage, so I really start with 12 dice, and my pool is (8 - 3) + (8 - 4) + (15 -4) = 20/2 = 10."  It seems so simple on paper, sure, it's not complicated, but you sit there doing it in your head for 5-10 seconds, when ideally we should be striving for situations where we just go point and say "this ship is attacking this ship with these weapons.  *rolls dice*." 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Subtracting the full damage on ships from successes will greatly reduce the effectiveness of fire since two points of damage on a linked (non-lead) ship will cost 2 successes rather than 1 AD under the current rules.  Better to model the effect closer to the current effect:

  • Option 1:  Remove Damage on Lead Ship + HALF (Total Damage on Linked Ships)
  • Option 2:  Remove HALF (Total Damage on all Ships)

Note that these simple formulas work for either quickly reducing AD, reducing successes, or a radical idea I had of giving your opponent defense dice (like free Shields/PD) while still maintaining the approximate effect of the current rules (the HALF Rounding actually reduces the effects of damage slightly).  It does get a bit more complex if you bring multiple weapon systems on one ship into the calculation.  You could either count those ships as additional linked ships (current effect) or use the new rule to eliminate double degradation currently suffered by such ships by not taking it into effect.

In case you are wondering how this plays out, here is a sample of 3 Dindrenzi Cruisers (1, 1, 2 HP Damage) unleashing their Kinetic Railgun at RB 2.

  • Current Rules:  (8 - 1) + [(8 - 1)+(8 - 2)]/2 = 7 + (7 + 6)/2 = 7 + 13/2 = 7 + 6 = 13
  • Option 1:  8 + (8+8)/2 - [1 + (1+2)/2] = 8 + 16/2 - (1+ 3/2) = 8 + 8 - (1+1) = 16 - 2 = 14
  • Option 2:  8 + (8+8)/2 - [1 + 1 + 2]/2 = 8 + 16/2 - 4/2 = 8 + 8 - 2 = 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Ryjak said:

 

This gets my vote.

Agreed, the end result is very close to the current mechanic and retains the squad size/firepower resilience attributes, but feels like a lot less mental lifting. 

How do you roll in impairment on this mechanic without replicating the existing mechanics?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/10/2016 at 8:26 PM, alextroy said:

 

  • Option 2:  Remove HALF (Total Damage on all Ships)

 

I like this. It's the simplest in terms of algebra, though it does seem to make picking your focus less important. For me though, that loss is acceptable. It still keeps the spirit and feel of linking and firing,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, alextroy said:

Another thing that could be done with Option 2 to make it a bit more "damaging" would be to round up instead of down.  That way 1 Damage would cause you to lose an AD and 3 Would cause you to lose 2 AD.

If you did this, weapon shielding could round down instead of up.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

47 minutes ago, alextroy said:

Another thing that could be done with Option 2 to make it a bit more "damaging" would be to round up instead of down.  That way 1 Damage would cause you to lose an AD and 3 Would cause you to lose 2 AD.

Wouldn't option two already be more damaging? If anything, I'd like to see ships a bit MORE survivable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.