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S.Derek

Firestorm Armada 3.0 Designer Feedback Thread

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To start, please do not turn FSA into Halo Armada.

With that out of the way I have some concerns over assaulting.  Thus far everything has read that your boarders will target a specific system of the ship, however upon success the crit is a random d6.  Strikes me as far too random to have the idea that the boarders are targeting a specific section of the ship.

 

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To start, please do not turn FSA into Halo Armada.

With that out of the way I have some concerns over assaulting.  Thus far everything has read that your boarders will target a specific system of the ship, however upon success the crit is a random d6.  Strikes me as far too random to have the idea that the boarders are targeting a specific section of the ship.

 

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The movement is more an issue with some. I've had a friend be completely turned off of the game because of it. I have no major issue with it but i've always thought why don't they use the curved templates like DW. Seems more realistic as ships don't just make 45 degree turns plus then you don't have to mess with all the forced moves.

I'm also not sure i like fixed wing types. Taking option away from players is rarely a good thing. You are also going to pick winner and loser carriers that way. Some you will see tons of if they are good other will be regulated to the shelf to collect dust as they will not be "worth taking". I think you are trying to fix the symptom and not the problem. If you think something is too good, make it less good. Don't force force people to take something different. 

The 3 damage on the 7 is also very odd. Maybe on a 12 and 1 on a 2, but 3 damage in the middle just feels wrong. Ill hold judgement until I see more, but my spider sense is tingling on that chart.

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On movement, if you're not adding more newtonian aspects movement then my vote is to not change things at all.  Although the ability to turn at less than a 45° angle potentially provided by the move and pivot system is very tempting.  

 

I have to agree with commodore jones on SRS, but only to an extent.  There needs to be a balance between giving players choices, and prescribing what SRS can be taken.  Maybe assigning each SRS type a size, large or small, and then giving carriers a set number of large/small bay sizes.  I would also like to know what your looking at in regards to the actual mechanics of SRS.  

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I think, no matter Derek does, SRS will be a total Marmite-fest as clearly shown by the comments over the last few pages - everyone wants something different from them! 

My thoughts:

1) The current problem with SRS is that people either take Interceptors or Bombers. You RARELY see anything else as they are just pointless taking. I've played 100s of games and in a handful of big tournaments and pretty much never seen anything but those. They are literally just a big AD attack with little fear of dying on the way in due to how ships fire PD etc.

2) Taking away options is NOT a good thing in my opinion. Taking customisation away from players will go down like a lead balloon - however - it will allow the creation of new ships for new purposes maybe? I can't see why they would take away options other than that. What I would personally like to see is that Carriers can replenish/retask etc. Why does a space carrier get fixed wings but a steampunk carrier can do all sorts of crazy stuff?

3) If PD mountain goes the way of the dodo, I will be a very happy man. I think its a daft part of the game and neuters most factions who rely on early torpedo strikes. Interceptors should still interact with torpedoes but not the way they do now.

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2 hours ago, gr1mdan said:

I think, no matter Derek does, SRS will be a total Marmite-fest as clearly shown by the comments over the last few pages - everyone wants something different from them! 

That's a good point, and having been said maybe it's time to wipe the slate clean, possibly even approach the issue more from a fluff perspective than a mechanics perspective.  

 

Also, does every race need to have the same SRS options, it might be a needless complication, but no harm in putting the idea out there.  

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Hi, thanks for the engagement and outreach Derek.  Your blog post and tone is very welcome in the community and will help a great deal.

So you know who I am: player of 120-150 games of FSA 2.0 and 3rd place three years in a row at the North American Championships.

While your ideas are intriguing and more radical than I expected, I feel that your proposals "add more to the core framework" as you said, rather than focus on addressing the primary reason for non-play (we've all heard a million times) which is: slow play.  In the words of another poster yours are "solutions without a problem."  That said, I have no issue with the 'ship classification' and 'command and control' proposals if they are based on business requirements.  

Time quagmires have two generally-agreed-upon reasons (and many less agreed upon): 1) fiddly dice pool mechanics and 2) awkward movement.  The solution, I believe, is innovative streamlining of the game we love.  No game can stagnate, but adding 'more' will be better once we have a solid rules core.

I've shared a soft/hard fix document with the Alpha Team.  There are lots of details (and even testing) which I can offer but I'll summarize very briefly:

  1. Do away with linked halving, simplify pre-roll dice reduction, with thoughtful AD/PD/CR adjustments to compensate
  2. SRS tokens remain: get their own phase after primary weapons, movement and combat is streamlined. 
  3. Adopt a system that is already a veteran players' movement reality:  choose leader, measure, move, rotate, join up.   Use 'sector based' and "size based" movement restrictions (i.e. medium capital ships move Fore full, Port at half) to ditch the tools without losing tactics and feel.  I swear...it is possible to break free of "ships on the ocean" movement, without turning the game into Newtonian Asteroids.  Hint: if a ship can rotate on an axis to go "belly up" why can it not rotate on another axis just as easily?
  4. General rules clarifications and consistency

As you know, streamlined, balanced rules keep players coming back to buy more models.  As an example, compare player base and rules sets: X-wing vs. Attack Wing.  I'm hoping that with collaboration we can make FSA 3.0 an approachable 2-2.5 hour spaceship game full of tactical depth.

Thanks, hoping my feedback is well received and once again, very much appreciate your outreach.
 

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Thanks for the info and update Derek 

Keep this up and I think you (and the fun game of firestorm armada) will do well 

I for one am liking the sound of command and power points - anything that helps get me to yell things like "all power to shields !" Ect is good for a game 

I seem to find myself a bit different when it comes to what slows me down in a game (admittedly a veteran from all the way back to v1 but don't get to play as often as I would like) 

Is this ship in terrain ? Choose the peg or the base and make it the same for all terrain types. Then make it the same for shooting range. Personally I would prefer from base and let people go mad on the bases (it's amazing how much cooler a squad looks on different height pegs for example) (balancing on extra pegs too) 

Is this squad all in coherency and more than 4" apart ? Yup when nukes and to a lesser extent mines come out to play that formation plus lining up shots on the enemy can be very time consuming. Perhaps making coherent squads link fire/pd rather than individual ships 

Not quite 45 degrees 

Fore fixed weapons for this one mainly. This is where pivoting can come in handy. Two tools max for moving - a tape measure and perhaps a 45 degree template to show your maximum turn - then rotate as required 

I for one am happy to see the amount of tables to roll on (crit / board / cyber) reduced. The 3hp damage as the most common crit and 3hp of damage when you reach cr + dr will soon mount up and games and help make it more fast and furious and bloody !!! I for one can remember the end of pretty much all v1 games 1. Two badly damaged battleships circling each other unable to damage the other 2. One side got annihilated 3. The battleships got destroyed earlier so there are a few lesser ships limping around unable to damage each other ! But then I still found it a fun game back then too (pd range bubbles vs torpedoes was sooo time consuming !) More ships , more damage , bigger games , less time while adding an extra layer of tactics where tacs are now sounds good to me ! 

Thanks for reading my ramble 

Chris 

 

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  1. Command and Control – Could be interesting, could also be more book keeping, and could introduce some issues - overall it could work well so long as it doesn't give too much tot he low tac races
  2. Range Band Notation – Again if this is just a name change it makes sense, so no issues and does mak it easier to understand
  3. Creation of Core Weapon Types – Again part of me looks at this as more book keeping and more crunching, the details will be king but if it adds another thing that needs to be paused and though over....I'm not seeing this currently adding value...maybe the devils in the details
  4. New Ship Classifications and Sizes – Tomatoe tomotoe, this is a naming thing and probably opens up more options for you, and therfore me. Fine with this and can help define factions more, as someones said, aquans only have all light cruisers and 1 heavy, Dinzi only bring heavy or normal, corsairs never have heavies...so  your faction has more 'things' about it....could be very nice long term and short term doesn't take anything
  5. New Crit Table(s) – This could work fine, not overly complex refinded - it's OK - as the flesh gets added to the bones...should shape up ok
  6. Removal of the AD-Degradation System – OK....the current system had flaws, have multiple little guns, 2 solid hits and you're out, taken 5/6 points, likely out....this could work really well....do you leave that battlecruiser with 2HP alone, knowing it can only just about power one of it's main guns and chip off other threats, or finish the job and weather a storm elsewhere - however how much book keeping and number cruching will this add vs simple x dmg -x guns?  
  7. Short Range Spacecraft (SRS) – COULD be another good thing, some factions favour X,Y,Z so your carrier does this, other this...could be a hand holding nanny knows best annoyance that causes friction. I like the sound of it, and if it can make more people take things other then 3 man interceptor wing PD bubbles, 6 man bomber/assasult carrier wings
  8. Boarding – Again, I want to capture - I love it, it's thematic, cause chaos space the crew, weaken the PD  then take my prize....I love it, people love seeing it happen, we loved bording....or hated it but it was part of the universe, this makes it another weapon, and that's dull - come back and make this 'more' and one way is the only way - fling um and forget um 
  9. Cyber? Whats happening on this? Was a pokey and sometime game breaking part in our meta

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I would like to add that with the proposed new critical hit table, the so called "focused" attacks would in fact be more random than the normal critical hits. Every result on 1D6 has got the same probability (1/6), while 2D6 probabilities follow a bell curve with 7 being the most (1/6) and 2 and 12 being the least (1/36 each) likely results. In the current system this increased randomness of 1D6 rolls is mitigated by the possibility to target specific systems. There isn't really any "focus" in spreading possible hits evenly across all of a ship's subsystems.

 

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Focused attacks if still harder to do should result in damaging targeted systems that are declared before the attack. It could simply do a d3 effect penalty to targeted system. Sheilds, point defence, damage control (maybe temporarily drop CR), Drives (affecting turn rates or speed), etc.

As for movement I wouldn't mind turns being reduced, but see no real problem with the current system. Going to a turn on spot would require a well defined means of making the turn and personaly would rather see ships limited to number of turns they can make. This could play into the power system as each unit could have points to spend during their turn to attack, make extra turns,  allocate to repairs, or bolster defence.

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Not going into the math with this, but if, as some have said, dice pool calculation needs further speeding up, and taking into account how the new Command Points are also intended to pay for some things that are basic actions available at all times and to everyone under the current rules, how about removing linking altogether from the game, while simultaneously allowing combining fire after paying a number of Command Points?

Also, regarding interaction between Command Points and disorder, I would expect disordered squadrons to be unable to spend Command Points.

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Replacement of TACs for Command Orders - Looking forward to this.  I like the sound of 8 Factional Orders.

Creation of Core Weapon Types - This sounds interesting, but also like it could be complicated or be too drastically different from the current system.  I like the way that current primary weapons are affected by AD degradation and terrain, while secondary (torpedoes & cyber) weapons are not.  Too keep this interaction it seems like additional rules will need to be added in addition to the proposed Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary in order to capture the same flavor.  For instance would Primary torpedoes still ignore terrain.  If the AD Degradation changes use the new power core stat, would primary torpedoes require 0 power?

New Ship Classifications and Sizes - I'm fine with adding more classes, or defined prefixes for existing generic classes.  However, in the fluff/background section of the rule book there should be a section describing what each class of ship is supposed to do.  Sometimes it is unclear what each class of ship is supposed to do - depending on the era and/or the nation in the historical navy's, different chip classes performed different roles or were even drastically different sizes and "weight classes".

New Crit Tables - I like the idea of 1 simplified table.  However, it sounds like if you want to perform a targeted strike you don't get to influence what sub-system you want to target.  It would be great if you could still have a higher probability of hitting the system you want to target, but still use 1 table.

Removal of the AD-Degradation System – Not a fan of 2 or 4.  I'm really interested in 3, as long it's quicker and easier than the current AD-Reduction method.

  1. No change
  2. Success-Removal AFTER dice rolls
  3. Power System
  4. Full-AD Reduction Removal

Short Range Spacecraft (SRS) – I agree SRS needs a change, though I'm not a fan of the proposed limiting certain SRS to specific ships or classes of ships.  There are a lot of great ideas the SRS rebalance thread.  I would look at some of the supported idea in there.  I do like the concept of the Heavy Bomber and Heavy Interceptor tokens which I don't think are in that thread, as long as they don't slow the game down too much.

Movement - If turning on the spot is used instead of a turning template, I would like to see the smallest fastest vessels (Corvettes, Escorts, and Light Frigates) have a 90 degree turn before moving the minimum distance.  This would provide a little more variety in turning ability and help distinguish the really small ships from the larger Frigates and Destroyers.  For example the entire range of movement options might look like below.

  • Turn Limit 0" 90d turn Models might change their statistics to highlight the use of the 1" integer...meaning they must move 1" forwards before they make each turn
  • Turn Limit 0" 45d turn Models might change their statistics to highlight the use of the 1" integer...meaning they must move 1" forwards before they make each turn
  • Turn Limit 1" Models change their statistics to highlight the use of the 2" integer....meaning they must travel 2" forwards before they make each turn
  • Turn Limit 2" Models change their statistics to highlight the use of the 3" integer....meaning they must travel 3" forwards before they make each turn....etc
  • Turn Limit 3" Models change their statistics to highlight the use of the 3" integer....meaning they must travel 3" forwards before they make each turn....etc

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So I'm basically living on the forum at the moment because Im excited *squeee*, And its Salute tomorrow!

Derek has posted some Planetfall preview stuff over on that forum but i thought I would repeat the interesting points on the subject of C&C. Obviously these are specific to the directorate planetfall forces but with the intended commonality I think we can get an Idea of where we could be heading with both generic and race specific orders. It also showcases how Primary/Secondary/Tertiary weapons may well be handled. 

The command tank brings additional C&C* points with it built in (can we all call them C&C points? not CP? too similar to crew points!.) I am clad to see this, I hope ships with MARs like dirty secrets/ops centre will move towards this. However, I would like to see some basic number of C&C points built into a fleet to start with (3?), maybe a variable number depending on the size of the game. If not poor Dindrenzi players are going to have to fork out 45 points for 3 C&C points in order to enact any drives to maximum equivalent. 45 points is the cost of a whole squad of escorts or 6% of an 800 point fleet. A sizable investment. Having said that I can see how special MARs/Characters/and new C&C ships can be useful to bring more C&C points to the game. 

*command control, communications, computers in the modern navy I think. seems to be various additional items and acronyms

Is PD going to be a tertiary system? if not I would like there to be a '+1 to hit with PD' order. You know, "Intensify forward fire power, I don't want anything getting though" and other famous last words.

FSA-FSP.PNGFSA-FSP 2.PNGFSA-FSP 3.PNGFSA-FSP 4.PNG

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Already saw similar C&C PF tables like a year ago. Hated them before and still hate them. The whole thing about C&C is to give players new fun tools and options to do cooler than basic actions. If some factions will have more toys (PC, orders etc.) they will simply attract more players as they offer more cool things. That is why current TAC system worked decently well, because everyone got the same card amount and got very similar options. The same thing is reason why our community hates FTB system as it just seems randomly assing numbers to fleets without ballancing it elsewhere (at least in how players perceive getting the same leverage elsewhere).

Posted PF system forces players to buy a lot of points to be able to do at least something cool each turn, especially something faction specific. Not cool at all as for some factions it means trading whole units for some points. Another terrible thing is some of those orders allow players to do very basic actions that should be allowed without an order - like overwatch or storming action.

 

Old FFG already created a new C&C system and my community loves it. Simple system using updated TACs as orders with some extra actions like rolling extra dice for repairs, command tests etc. Each faction generates a certain amount of points during creation and then each turn - all this reflects how the faction approaches preparation/planning and how flexible and reactionary it is in a fight. All factions would then generate very similar numbers duirng the course of the game, just in a different way and at different points.

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Command and Control – I'm not really sold on this. Somewhere deep in the back of my mind is the thought "Oh ****. I'm out of C & C points and now half the fleet can't shoot. An I'm not big on more record keeping or tokens.

New Critical Table-  Okay, I'm one of the few that miss the one shot kill of version one. There is joy in watching the opponents unscathed BB blow up just as he was going to drop the bomb on you. Has there been cursing when this happened in the past? Yes. But nobody in our group has stomped off and quit because of it. 

Removal of the AD-Degradation System – Can't say I'm big on the "power distribution" thing at all. 

Short Range Spacecraft -  (Stand by for blasphemy) Do away with Interceptors. Just fighters and bombers. My 2 cents.

Boarding – In version one we played this to capture ships, but as time went along somebody pointed out that we were launching marines from one tiny dot in space towards another tiny dot in space. Now, while to a bunch of ex-Army guys it was considered acceptable to do this to marines, we pretty much decided "This is a space battle. They're not shooting from one hill to the next. So we set the ranges at 100,000 miles to the inch. That's 400,000 miles if you launch boarders when they come into range. At a ship, under power that, let's face it, could run off and leave you while your floating over. We stopped boarding unless assaulters were used. For whatever reason we just don't use targeted strikes. Personally, I'd move assaulters to the boarding portion and take them out of wings.

Just my thoughts on the matter, and I don't expect them to be used. We're just a small group, and we don't go to conventions, play competition, or even play with outsiders.

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Now what i missed in my earlier reply is talking about the "pace" of the game, i.e. how fast will stuff blow up? I like to draw the analogy to games like warcraft and starcraft 2, in warcraft your units die really slow in comparison to starcraft2, this leads to two things: smaller armies and more micromanagement. Now what does that have to do with FA?

Simple: all we do is micromanage our fleet, we control every model individually, rather than whole blobs. If we "speed up" the game by having things die faster, things like tactics, positioning, etc. become more irrelevant and by essentially lowering the number of dice rolled, we give a smaller amount of rolls more importance -> depending on less rolls. Now in my mind, in every wargame you try to maximise your number of dicerolls, to get closer to the average ( 10 50/50 chances on 1 dmg, vs 1 50/50 chance of 10 dmg is more preferable in my mind) and i think we shouldn't stray from that maxime.

Second point is army size: to compensate this lack of dicerolls, we would have to make the game bigger. As it stands now, in my opinion, a 1200 MFV game on a 4x6 table has just the right proportion of models/space where flanking manouvers are possible, you can deny flanks, stay out of the (main) fight, and it feels like a plausible engagement between two mid-sized fleets (a carrier/ dreadnought and its escort group). If we increase the number of models on the table, we would then in turn have to make the table bigger, which -everyone will agree- is a pretty bad idea. A solution to this would be to make the distances between the models bigger. You get twice the sice out of your gaming table if you just half all your inches or measure it in cm^^.

After resolving those "problems" in my mind, we would have a large-fleet game with more models (which is good for selling more, but bad for new players as it increases the cost of entry) that would take the same amount of time, if not longer to play as the current one, which has its own appeals to it (massice space battles are frickin awesome!) but doesn't solve the issue of "game takes too long".

TL;DR:

more brutal games -> less tactical

more models -> saving no time

But that's just my 2Cents, and of course we will have to see what the new rules will actually bring.

 

Also: capturing ships was cool, targeted strikes should TARGET systems, and:

On 20.4.2017 at 9:37 PM, azrael said:

anything that helps get me to yell things like "all power to shields !" Ect is good for a game 

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Just now, Brimat said:

I hope it is the other way. Aquan brought down to the others. :)

Well yes i guess thats what everyone is really thinking im just more of supporter of everyone being made stronger rather than just having aquans nerfed :P But that works as well.

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3 hours ago, Xerkics said:

I hope the weaker races like Sorylians and relthoza are brought more on par with the Aquans in 3.0 stat rebalance

Speaking of, can we get a conformation of a Sorylians/Relthoza 2 player box set with v3.0?

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1.) is AD calculation really that difficult? I mean this is basic arithmetic we're talking about. Our group has never had an issue. 

2.) Maybe it's different for other groups, but ships get captured a lot in our playgroup. Between cyber, biohazard, and rolling 7s on the crit table, Tier 1s aren't that bad to capture. MORE than double the crew in success isn't hard when the crew like 1 or 0.

 

Still, interesting info.

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Nuck, difficult isn't the best word to describe 2.0 linking-AD pool mechanics, and very few people who play miniature war games are bad at math.   "Cumbersome, unnecessary and time-consuming" might be better. AD pools discussed ad nauseum and it's a major complaint. 

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A Stoobert said, it is not a issue of difficulty, but time use.  If I have three Dindrenzi Cruisers attacking at RB 2 and they have 1, 2, and 3 HPs of damage, my attack calculation is:

  1. Ship 1 has 8 - 1 AD = 7 AD
  2. Ship 2 has 8 - 2 AD = 6 AD
  3. Ship 3 has 8 - 3 AD = 5 AD
  4. Total attack is 7 + (6 + 5)/2 = 7 + 11/2 = 7 + 5 = 12 AD

Or we could just say:

  1. 3 Ships with 8 AD each = 8 + (8 + 8)/2 = 8 + 16/2 = 8 + 8 = 16 AD. Which I can now remember for the rest of time, negating the need to calculate on the fly.
  2. Damage on the squadron is 1 + 2 + 3 = 6.
  3. Reduce hits by half the damage on the squadron 6/2 = 3 Hits negated

Note that the average result of 4 Exploding dice is 3.2 Hits!

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