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S.Derek

Firestorm Armada 3.0 Designer Feedback Thread

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Hello all!

Here is an update of where we are with the v3 Testing.

I was wildly optimistic to say I would be able to drop into this thread once a day!....sorry about that...but she-who-must-be-obeyed puts a moratorium on mt Spartan Time in the evenings!....so I will pop on every day to look, then will collate and comment every week instead!

 

So far the rules are firmly in the Beta Test Stage, with all bar Movement being locked down.

  • The new Fleet Building percentages have led to some interesting build styles especially with the 40% Allies addition [....my Noble Terrans have had more than half my 60%-Core side-lined in favour of new Hawker Industries ships ...with Sorylians being used as my 40%-Allies in a few testing games!],
  • Command Point purchasing levels are working well, although we are still tracking the proportion of Command Points<->MFV that we would recommend to starting players.
  • The new Critical Hit table, is nice and stable [...try saying stable-table-stable-table-stable-table 3x real fast!...] with all results more relevant to their point on the distribution.
  • The new SRS Rules flow into being a tactical part of the game without them dominating. With the testers moving at pace I am know turning my attention to the statists for repair ships+repair craft, medical ships/med-shuttles and assault ships+assault boats - the original intent was to leave these vessels and SRS out of the core rules and bring them in out in the first supplement scheduled for early next year...but with the testers moving forwards at pace, I am inclined to add them in anyway!
  • The new Boarding rules are testing well, and despite there being no more capturing/prizing in the game, the pace of boarding hasn't slowed down. Strike Teams can potentially attack any location on a ship now, allowing them to cripple targets ready for the kill shot later...which is much more thematic I feel.

 

A few notes on tests:

Power Rating - Under further testing and feedback we are side-lining the Power Rating system for the moment. Its a very thematic idea, with lots of potential going forwards, however I feel that the binary-outcome from weapons being online-then-offline, along with the obvious issues surrounding ship balance and future proofing, that the system will ultimately lead to a rule that the community would be unhappy with....besides...it plays havoc with my maths...and I got stats these things!

Movement - As mentioned previously, I left the proposed changes to the Movement System out of the FSA synopsis. I wanted to stimulate ideas, and would like to thank those who submitted their thought on the forum or directly to me. Movement is a hot topic amongst the beta team, but all are in agreement that the present system is a barrier to new-players and faster gameplay. We are looking at a few alternatives, some drawing from the Halo: Fleet Battles game, others looking at the ergonomic aspect of movement, etc. However I will be putting the short list of Movement Options up on this thread for the entire community to comment on. I want everyone's gaming feedback on this vital part of the rules.

 

More to follow....possibly with a small stat release...depending on the beta testers...

I will of course be collating questions to answer them directly in my data-spurt next week.

 

Cheers + chat soon!

d

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Hi Derek

I just want to post some rules for SRS I posted somewhere else long time ago, so some ideas can be taken for the new FA version. The idea was about increasing the number of SRS tokens in the game, specially fighters that are the staple on many films and series. Currently, a typical game of FA have one SRS token or two (unless playing Aquans and the like) that is usually a bomber token. Like in films I wish the game to have several fighters, then some specialised SRS.

Here are the suggestions:

1) all carrier squadrons (ships with wing capacity) come equipped with a fighter token by default with a number of wings equal their wing capacity (max 6 wings!) then they can also purchase a number of other specialized SRS tokens (or include more fighters) equal to their wing capacity. Each carrier squadron can have up to 3 SRS tokens, one of them MUST be a figher token

2) Unllike interceptors, fighters lose their capacity to combine their PD with parent ship OR they have severe restrictions to do that (must be touching base, must return to base after comining, etc) NOTE: because fighter will be more numerous, this will prevent reducing the usefulness of torpedo-specialized ships in the early game

the rest of the rules regarding them is like 2.0, some specialized carriers cannot take a third figher token (assault carriers for example)

 

other SRS

- Interceptors: Can make attack runs, but only against SRS. This allows for your bomber token to pass through a screen of interceptors or fighers, for example, because there will be more SRS tokens on table)

- Assaulters: lose their ability to combine PD with models (they just aren't built for that!).this increases the importance of interceptors

- Bombers: can combine PD with models but must return to base after that (they spend they ordnance in destroying torpedoes and must return to base to relodad)

 

I hope that helped

 

Dan ;)

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10 hours ago, Spartan Derek said:
  • The new SRS Rules flow into being a tactical part of the game without them dominating. With the testers moving at pace I am know turning my attention to the statists for repair ships+repair craft, medical ships/med-shuttles and assault ships+assault boats - the original intent was to leave these vessels and SRS out of the core rules and bring them in out in the first supplement scheduled for early next year...but with the testers moving forwards at pace, I am inclined to add them in anyway!

Wonderful! Interceptor's disproportionately powerful affect on the field is definitely at the top of my list for things I'd like to see revised in 3.0.

10 hours ago, Spartan Derek said:

Power Rating - Under further testing and feedback we are side-lining the Power Rating system for the moment. Its a very thematic idea, with lots of potential going forwards, however I feel that the binary-outcome from weapons being online-then-offline, along with the obvious issues surrounding ship balance and future proofing, that the system will ultimately lead to a rule that the community would be unhappy with....besides...it plays havoc with my maths...and I got stats these things!

So does that mean you're sticking with the current methods of AD reduction, or are you looking at other ways to streamline the process? I'd personally love to see a system that made it easier to calculate the numbers at a glance.

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So I'm going to be a negative nancy here. 

So you haven't figured out the movement system? Whether you are keeping it as is or making changes? 

Movement should have been locked down far in advance, it should have been at the beginning of the new version alpha, not the end of the beta. It is a fundamental aspect of the game and altering movement impacts every faction in the game, factions were/are balanced around the current system. Everyone knows the weakness of Dindrenzi. Yet only now are you tinkering with it? Making ships more maneuverable for example will increase Dindrenzi power and decrease Aquan (lol I know), make them more sluggish and it goes the opposite way for Dindrenzi. 

Movement should have been nailed near the start as it impacts so many things, bringing arcs to bear, ability to close, ability to stand off, mine laying flexibility (Aquans can do it easily, the Ares finds it harder, because of base movement differences), terrain avoidance and utilisation. So many things altered by adjusting the core movement system. Addressing it now while also saying we are working on expansion content does not bode well, movement should've been one of the first things reviewed and tested. Stating you wanted forum feedback? That feedback should have been gathered MUCH sooner, not now when the potential for ripple effects across faction balance is boggling. Have mines been altered in v3? If so how did you test that? Using v2's movement? How is that going to be valid in if you go with a v3 movement system? You are going to need to retest mines from scratch. Assuming of course they were altered. 

If they weren't and you alter the move system you still need to test mines, see how they're impacted, and I'm only talking about mines. 

Im sorry for my negative post but it doesn't bode well to me when v3 is looming and movement at this stage of the process hasn't even been touched.

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13 hours ago, Spartan Derek said:

So far the rules are firmly in the Beta Test Stage, with all bar Movement being locked down.

So which is it? You can't have both here, dude. Either you have a figured-out Movement system that's in Beta testing, with maybe a few adjustments to make, or you're still trying to nail down how the system itself works, which is Alpha testing at best.

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can we not just keep the current one and just allow 0 turn models to move a peg to peg distance with a 360 turn at the end. It would speed up large frigate squads and a very few others and allow the other units to continue as they are now. it also removes snaking from the more abuse capable ships.

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with command points I hope you aren't just moving the planet fall system over and basing cost off faction initiative as this causes a massive imbalance depending on game size vs accessibility to points to certain factions. I also hope you are not bringing placed shots anywhere near this game.

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Hi Meatshield - To be fair,.... In my professional work I am a project manager with over 20 years experience in bringing large multi-facet outcomes to fruition....I designed games 10+ wargames games before....and I'm not worried  :D

Movement is important, it true, but I know my scheduling, I know my design team, my alpha team, my beta team and [hopefully] my fellow gamers on the forum are strong enough to cope with a binary choice being put in front of them for Movement resolution. The placement of models on the tabletop is simple vectoring in a 2-d space, with the eventual method being chosen via a pre-design development path that can be set once consultation has occurred. It does not need to be set down 'before everything because everything stems from it' because everything would stem from it no matter what system you went for.

I have the two systems I am looking to use already mapped, and will steer my teams [including the forum] towards them - see the binary choice I cited above. Neither changes the deliverable vectors on the tabletop, just the process of delivery.

 

Hi Flamebeast - Its both dude. And yes you can! :P The Beta Team are testing two different movement systems and giving feedback.....its their job.

 

Hi Commodore Jones - I would take that up with Spartan Linde, as he was in charge of building the Beta Team.

 

Hi CoreHunter - I'm not sure what you are talking about? Placed shots are in FSA3 through the weapons system. And the Command Points system functions the same way in both games [for the most part]. I will respond to your comment regarding Planetfall Command Points purchase in the relevant thread however.

 

 

Cheers,

d

 

 

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On 11/05/2017 at 7:09 AM, Spartan Derek said:

Movement is important, it true, but I know my scheduling, I know my design team, my alpha team, my beta team and [hopefully] my fellow gamers on the forum are strong enough to cope with a binary choice being put in front of them for Movement resolution. The placement of models on the tabletop is simple vectoring in a 2-d space, with the eventual method being chosen via a pre-design development path that can be set once consultation has occurred. It does not need to be set down 'before everything because everything stems from it' because everything would stem from it no matter what system you went for.

That statement, right there (bolding mine), betrays a disturbing level of ignorance of how FSA is played. It's a game of movement and counter-movement. Movement is the absolute basis for every single strategy and playstyle for every race, and if you're basically planning to approach that with the blase approach you're alluding to, then I'm genuinely concerned for the game. 

The fact that your back catalogue is littered with poorly written rules, balance issues and terrible launches (Planetfall 1.0 and Taskforce spring violently to mind here) doesn't fill me with confidence regardless of whether you have "designed games 10+ wargames games before", or whether or not you're worried - actually, given the two rulesets I've just mentioned, plus the lack of a coherent sentence in your little bit of "I'm great and have so much experience" self-trumpet-blowing up there, it is somewhat concerning that you're not worried.

Now, I'm perfectly willing to be proven wrong on this and intend to withhold judgement until I've seen actual rules, but it sounds an awful lot like FSA is about to become homogenised with Planetfall in terms of the rulesets, and I can't think of a worse way you could ruin it.

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58 minutes ago, CoreHunter said:

Placed shots? That ruined planetfall might make it in wow.

I mean, placed shots are just 3+ instead of 4+. What made them suck was that all you needed to do was find a nice place to sit and spam them.

 

Hey, @Spartan Derek, any info/clues on how things like Cloaking Fields, Stealth Systems, Shunt Matrixes, Retractable Plating, y'know, the kind of stuff that defines while factions (Relth, Kedorian, and Ba'Kash respectively, in this case) will change?

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59 minutes ago, Hive said:

I mean, placed shots are just 3+ instead of 4+. What made them suck was that all you needed to do was find a nice place to sit and spam them.

 

Hey, @Spartan Derek, any info/clues on how things like Cloaking Fields, Stealth Systems, Shunt Matrixes, Retractable Plating, y'know, the kind of stuff that defines while factions (Relth, Kedorian, and Ba'Kash respectively, in this case) will change?

He meant to say Pathogen...tell us more....

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On 5/11/2017 at 7:09 AM, Spartan Derek said:

Hi Meatshield - To be fair,.... In my professional work I am a project manager with over 20 years experience in bringing large multi-facet outcomes to fruition....I designed games 10+ wargames games before....and I'm not worried 

This seems to be just saying "trust me", yet we have all seen rulesets written by you for Spartan that have had big problems from release day 1 - Planetfall is the big one here, so forgive me if I do not trust you or Spartan in this way at all. I do not care what your "profession" is, only that the existing game is not changed into something I do not like or want - that it grows with "tweaks" as was promised or is completely redesigned as seems to be the case here. Spartan (and therefore you) have to do better than say "trust me" once more - you need to provide evidence and be convincing, or your customers will continue to move to companies who can be trusted. Good models is not enough today.

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and now you do not even need that as you can move and use placed shots making them worse. unless you have hard target or cloak placed shots will destroy planet fall models outright.

now just think about what Dindrenzi, Aquans, and Directorate will do with their command points: placed shots. Why bother with anything else with the range they have.

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3 hours ago, Archer12 said:

This seems to be just saying "trust me", yet we have all seen rulesets written by you for Spartan that have had big problems from release day 1 - Planetfall is the big one here, so forgive me if I do not trust you or Spartan in this way at all. I do not care what your "profession" is, only that the existing game is not changed into something I do not like or want - that it grows with "tweaks" as was promised or is completely redesigned as seems to be the case here. Spartan (and therefore you) have to do better than say "trust me" once more - you need to provide evidence and be convincing, or your customers will continue to move to companies who can be trusted. Good models is not enough today.

Spartan doesn't have to do anything 

provide any evidence

Or convince anyone

 

the product will speak for itself once released 

everything else is superfluous 

 

and all all companies understand they cannot please everyone 

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9 minutes ago, fracas said:

1. Spartan doesn't have to do anything 

provide any evidence

Or convince anyone

 

2. the product will speak for itself once released 

everything else is superfluous 

 

3. and all all companies understand they cannot please everyone 

1. Yes, yes they do - given how thoroughly they've been flushing their own reputation down the toilet over the past couple of years, they need to show some commitment to something other than random whimsy, otherwise who is going to open their wallets if/when they half-heartedly sneeze out another release?

2. The product *might* speak for itself on release, but it won't help Spartan if nobody has any confidence in their ability to deliver it (remember the Black Friday sale fiasco, only 6 months ago?). Or if it's ****. Or Spartan give people the impression that it's *going* to be ****. Pretty much any such outcome would kill sales, and would seriously hurt the company.

3. But they probably should make the effort to please the entirety of their target audience.

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I'd imagine movement really didn't need much changing in the first place so they've either;

a. Left it the same but revised the templates to be easier to use - I don't have any problem with movement ONCE you get a small acrylic template (1" forward, 1" 45degree angle for example) that can fit in the gaps etc. I imagine this is the way forward. If Spartan redesign and give players something similar, that will go a long way in helping.

b. Tweaked it slightly in such a way that it makes no effect on tactics but better game play.

I can't really see it going CRAZY as it seems some are predicting.

Regarding the attacks on Dereks rules and what he didn't get right (PF and TF - although I've had a lot great PF games and don't see it as this awful game some do. TF however...) lets not forget DW2.0 and the two Halo games which are all very good games (maybe not deep enough for some but for many they are great). So the guy can obviously do a good set of rules given the support. In PF and TF I know he didn't get it. It was literally "design game, you have a matter of weeks" but there are people in the beta team that I have a lot of faith and trust in, who've played A LOT of FSA/PF and will support Derek in its design process.

 

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4 hours ago, fracas said:

and all all companies understand they cannot please everyone 

Yeah, so they go for what the large majority want, which isn’t what I want, and which isn’t what Spartan once promised the FA universe would be.

So lets have another 40K-ish universe governed by the rule of cool, and thus full of ridiculousness, aimed to please the short attention span crowd.

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4 hours ago, Flamebeast said:

otherwise who is going to open their wallets if/when they half-heartedly sneeze out another release?

That would be me, I guess. I like random whimsy and I do not care overly much for continuous support and/or competetive balancing. :):P

(Then again, it might not. As fracas said, the final product will be the deciding factor - perhaps their whimsy produces something that does not line up with my fancy. Or perhaps they do.)

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