Jump to content
S.Derek

Firestorm Armada 3.0 Designer Feedback Thread

Recommended Posts

4 minutes ago, Archer12 said:

Looks like a large redesign to me...so no reason to buy into FA now when everything seems so much in change. I hope it desn't become too much like the other games SG have, otherwise what's the point in getting into FA rather than DW or HFB?

You would have hated V1 then. It was basically the same as dystopian wars which was basically the same as uncharted seas, but IN SPAAAACE!

I wouldn't mind something along the lines of the Halo movement system (maybe with more turns). Maybe turn limit could literally be the limit of the number of turns you could make in an activation (thought that would mean we need to effectively inverse all the current numbers). BB type things could only make 2x45 degree turns for example, frigates could turn 6 (and stop the doughnutting tactic...). Change values up or down to flavour for race. Just spit balling ideas. Hopefully the beta team will know more the end of the week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember the last time we've got a wholesale transplant of rules from DW to FA? That was a good time.

I'm not saying this new edition will be an exact copy of DW 2,5, or that the ideas presented are all bad, but I feel like it's a change for the sake of change. AD-degradation appears to be switching one method for another, reducing no complexity. I will wait and see, but it seems so far we're just swapping rules for the sake of swapping in many places.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Derek alluded to in the blog the crit table and sub crit table for boarding/targeted strikes will be taking inspiration from Dystopian 2.5. (I never did like the extra tables to look up for both boarding/targeted strikes, especially as they are so similar).

Anyway, some DWars 2.5 stuff dropped over on face book, here is the low down on critical hits.

Quote

CRITICAL HIT TABLE CHANGES

- Hard Pounding now does 3HP loss instead of 2.

- Mag Explosion deals 2D6 HP loss
- Sturginium Flare deals D6 instead of D3 HP loss

Existence of a "Damaging Critical Hit"

if you deal successes which is lower than double the CR, but equal to or greater than the CR+DR, then the target lose 1 additional HP in addition to what u roll on the crit chart.


INCLUSION OF A "FOCUSED CRITICAL COLUMN"

This is a D6 column that you roll when Colliding or hit by Piercing Ammo. It affects 4,5,6,8,9,10 results on the crit chart.


Thats:

Shredded Defenses
Gen Offline
Weapons Dmg
Engine Failure
Nav Lock
Chaos Disarray


Hard Pounding doing 3 is... interesting.... light cruiser can potentially popped in one go. With the crit plus extra damage if hits>CR+DR doing another point there is an outside chance a 4 hull point cruiser being instakilled by a big hit. Not sure I would be a fan of that in FSA. Snake eyes and Box cars dont look much fun. I dont think we in the FSA universe were a fan of V1 snake eyes being an auto kil. 2D6 damage will surely be a death sentence for most ships.

The focused critical hit table looks ok to me, less other tables to look up. All it needs is an extra column on the current table. 

A mixed bag, generally like the idea. I hope the extreme case are not so, well, extreme. 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi All!

Thanks to everyone who has commented here so far

At present, most commenters are open to the ideas I proposed but it doesn't hurt to provide more information to stimulate the debate further...:)

Apologies for the length of this post. I know its a lot of information to process for everyone, but I think its important to show people where the development path for the new game is going at as early a stage as possible.

 

Command and Control – Command Points (CP) and their purchase within Fleets allow commanders to improve their firing depending on their range to the target and the core weapon types. The CP rules also allow vessels to perform unusual movement action such as fold-space escapes, belly up moves, etc, they can be used to alter the result of an Opposed Tactics Test (using a secret bidding process), They also permit the repair of vessels (removing Critical Effect Markers). And most importantly, execute Command Orders at the start of each Game Turn.

Replacement of TACs for Command Orders - This leads nicely to another change in 3.0. TACs are very much a 'marmite' mechanic at present...you either love 'em or you hate 'em...From a design point of view I must confess I am not a fan - game balance is problematic, putting new cards into player's hands is very difficult, and from a living-game perspective, TACs are immutable rather than the flexible mechanic it needs to be in the modern gaming-environment. I am looking to put 8 Factional Orders into each Force List that are bespoke to each Faction in FSA to give us the mobility to change  This also make the FSA games' transition into making it app-capable much easier. 

------------

Range Band Notation – This is a light change, and cosmetic for the most part, allowing us to cite a Range Band by a proper name rather than a prosaic number. Remember, no range band ranges have changed....just the 1/2/3/4.

-------------

Creation of Core Weapon Types – To give more information to you all on the Primary/Secondary/Tertiary Weapons mechanics - this naming policy allows for commanders to use coherency effects in conjunction with Command Points expenditure to gain a +1 to hit effect when firing provided the coherency attack fulfils the range stipulations.

So... 3x Dindrenzi Cruisers firing their Primary Rail Gun Weapons would get +1 to hit, provided the Attack had 1xCP spent on it and all Cruisers were within either Short or Medium Range (RB2/3 in 'old money').

Or... 4x Directorate Frigates firing its Secondary Beam Weapons would get +1 to hit, provided the Attack had 1xCP spent on it and the firers were at Point Blank Range (RB1 in 'old money').

Or... A Terran Battleship firing its Tertiary Torpedo Weapons would get +1 to hit, provided the Attack had 1xCP spent on it and the Terran Battleship was at Long Range (RB4 in 'old money').

-------------

New Ship Classifications and Sizes – This essential if we are to grow the game beyond its present state. I don't agree with some posters suggesting we should be simply releasing more mediums and call them all cruisers or destroyers or gunships. We need to differentiate these ships to allow them to hold a different functions within the game - otherwise players will rile against the fact that older models are wall-flowers and ultimately Spartan are perceived to be invalidating previous purchases through a process of replacement.

So creating a framework of consistencies that build the reasoning for Heavy, Standard and Light Cruisers/Gunships/Destroyers (along with Armoured, Support, Repair, Logistics/, R+D, Assault Cruisers, etc) to exist and feel different is vital in my view. If players look at the Force Lists as they stand it isn't difficult to see where certain models could live...but at the same time, look at the gaps in each list were the framework permits innovation.... this is the structured design space I seek to develop to allow faction to grow under an aegis of balance and control.

As reddwarf noted, certain vessels with a larger squadron size should expect a notation shift - So, Aquan Isonade Cruisers are indeed moving into the Light Cruiser bracket.

-------------

New Crit Table(s) – The table allows for Targeted Strikes, Cyber Attacks and Boarding Assaults to use the Focused D6 roll (Green Column), with all other Critical Hits using the Standard 2D6 (Yellow Column)

To give folks more information on the new Crit Table, here is a sample graphic*:

FIRESTORM ARMADA CRITICAL DAMAGE TABLE

Standard

2D6

Focused

D6

Damage

Effect

Effect Rules

Repair?

4

1

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

5

2

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

6

3

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

7

-

3

xxx

xxx

xxx

8

4

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

9

5

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

10

6

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

*forgive the crudity of this image, but the forum has its limits*

This permits a 2D6 and 1D6 distribution to exist within the same framework, meaning that a single graphic reduces referral (as we have currently in Targeted Strikes). Players will notice the 7 result (6/36 distribution) allocates 3 Damage to the target! ...this is intentional.

-------------

Removal of the AD-Degradation System – I appreciate this change might have folks gasping! The AD-reduction system has been integral to the previous Firestorm Armada rules sets, but its clear given our feedback from new starts and those tasked with teaching the game to prospective new players and the status quo is confusing and time consuming - especially when dealing with multiple ships firing multiple weapons in multiple arcs. The Power Rating system as proposed is one of many that we have identified. Theses include:

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

Fortunately we have ample time to explore all design paths. At present I favour version 2 or 3, but am holding off until my test teams have a chance to throw dice at them all.

-------------

Short Range Spacecraft (SRS) – Your replies we not as contentious as I was expecting (I was half expecting the meta-munchers to throw a fit citing I was targeting one of their 'auto-win/I'm the greatest wargamer mechanics'....which gives me confidence that we are on the right track). Nevertheless I'm going to put a bit more meat on the bones here.

Carriers (and any other vessel that gains Wings via a Hard Point) will now have the types of SRS they have available as a MAR named SRS Contingent (Types) - in the case of Hard Point-only Wings this default to just Interceptors. This allows us to tailor the SRS deployed by each vessel to ensure that the default of Interceptor, Interceptor, Interceptor OR Bomber, Bomber, Bomber doesn't persist across the game. Under the current test, certain Escort Carriers or Battle Stations simply wont have access to Bombers at all, and will instead perhaps find themselves with a SRS Contingent (Interceptors) MAR. Likewise Assault Carriers will have only Bombers allocated as their contingents, meaning its a good idea to buy them escorts or attachments such as Escort Carriers!

We also have certain larger vessels with access to Heavy Interceptors and Heavy Bombers.....these will be allocated to Fleet Carriers and alike who might have the SRS Contingent (Heavy Bomber, Heavy Intercpetor) MAR. Heavy Bombers/Interceptors are more resilient than Standard SRS, and are also more likely to pack a punch....they DO cost more however!

A Note on Assault Craft, Medical Shuttles and Repair Craft - Most vessels in the Firestorm Galaxy will no longer have access to these elements, and their use will be reallocated to larger carrier models that have an expressed function - such as a Medium Repair Cruiser for example. This model might have the SRS Contingent (Repair Craft) MAR to represent its focused activity within the game.

---------

Boarding – These changes are the most pronounced from the previous game. We have removed the possibility of capturing ships as the rules as written were very wordy, essentially a vestigial layover from the original 1.0 rules. Instead we have focused the Boarding Action to be a Special Forces (Spec Ops) Raid rather than a Massed Boarding Assault, using the Focused Crit-Table as a launch point for the damage mechanics. This is intended to give players the feeling that they are launching their forces at a specific part of a ship (the weapons arrays, the shield generators, etc.). Boarding will also no longer be a one-stop-shop, and so can be launched numerous times (assuming a ship has enough Crew Points of course!) – This will allow boarding to be a tactical choice for some fleets without feeling overpowered or underpowered… it should simply facilitate the engagement of the Fleet in general

Of course I mentioned in the Blog that I thought folks would be upset at the removal of Capturing Battleships, Dreadnoughts and Leviathans. The thing is that in game, these effects are notional for the most part, rather than frequently realised, and so I have to look at the game in general when making design changes. Ship Prizing takes up a large part of the rules, requires additional tokens to realise, and in truth isn't really very thematic as we move away from the massed boarding idea towards targeted boarding mechanics. 

Having special forces target a dreadnought's weapon targeting arrays in a lightning strike seems more reasonable than saying that they can somehow subdue 2000+ crew....

Infiltrate->Execute->Extract principles are more in-keeping with the grand fleet battles that Firestorm Armada's imagery throws up into my mind. Those Spec-Ops assaulters that roll more hits (or the same number of hits) than the defenders may then roll on the focused Table (see above) applying the Damage and the Effect allowing them to be effective against the core systems on a ship...and if they roll twice as many hits (or the enemy roll none!) they don't roll at all and instead CHOOSE their preferred crit....think of this as being a perfect execution of the mission.

Of course the defenders aren't passive and if they roll twice as many hits as the assaulters (or the assaulters fluff it and roll no hits) the surviving assaulters must immediately extract without rolling on the table, suffering another round of defensive PD fire as their transports are gunned down by the dogged defenders!

As many of you have mentioned, boarding is a bit of a tightrope in the design of Firestorm Armada...too many rules and it becomes clunky and (often through that clunkyness) underused. However too simple a system and the rules become 'gamey' and open to abuse. We will be paying very carful attention to the Boarding parts of the rules over the months ahead and I will keep you all posted as we nail down the core rules.

----------

Finally, a note on Movement - I am not surprised that folks are still looking for a faster Movement system. At present I have held back on commenting to gauge where the community sits on the issue. I obviously have my own point of view and a number of rules in the background to smooth things out, but none of this should be cited until you have had your say IMO. Firestorm Armada is at its core a Movement->Firepower game....that is to say that good tactical Movement generates situations whereby strong Firepower can be applied... of course after that we are all in the laps of the Dice-Gods... but for the most part it is true that movement forms a cornerstone of the game's tactics.

One method I have pitched to our teams is to change the 45-degree template to being a straight line one with 3x1" integers on it (possibly with a 45-degree cut-out edge to assist LoS questions)...this allows us to keep the tactical movement without having to find space for a pesky 45-degree template between our models.

  • All turning is done on the spot, with the Movement Template being used to determine how many inches you have to move directly ahead before you can perform your next turn.
  • Turn Limit 0" 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

But this is only one of the ideas being swirled about in the design team. There are ideas ranging from using the DW Template system, Curved Templates, Halo: Fleet Battles Turning Mechanics (although I will accept that my method is quite similar to that, but with more of an old Firestorm Focus) and of course keeping the status quo!

 

I guess my question to you all is....if you don't like the current Movement system, how would you like to see it change?

 

 

 

 

OK. I think I'll leave it there as I have clearly talked enough for today!

.....I have a test with 3000pts of Relthozans vs Aquans to get started!

Feel free to comment and continue to ask questions. I will revisit the thread again tomorrow.

 

Cheers,

Derek

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My two quick thoughts for now:

Removal of the AD-Degradation System - Like I said before, Power Core could make this work if well executed. Otherwise it will be just another costly time sink. I'm much more inclined to support Post-Roll Success removal since it allows you to quickly calculate your AD pools. Back in one of the many discussion threads, I remember calculating that reducing Hits by 1/2 the Hull Points damage of all contributing ships was remarkedly close to the current result with much less effort on the player's part.

Movement - A hard nut to crack for sure without losing the FSA focus on movement and application of firepower. The one thing I think would be good is rotation in place rather than the current template. It prevents the gaining of distance by use of turns and allows measuring from the flight peg (for one peg ships at least) to determine just how far a ship can move. Will certainly speed things up in that respect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My comments are in the quote. personal thoughts in red. balancing things in green :D @Spartan Derek i think i would love some more insight to the power core mechanic. is it ship wide with other systems involved or just weapons? having it involve engines and shields aswell makes it great. just weapons could be meh. how are u picturing it?

1 hour ago, Spartan Derek said:

Hi All!

Thanks to everyone who has commented here so far

At present, most commenters are open to the ideas I proposed but it doesn't hurt to provide more information to stimulate the debate further...:)

Apologies for the length of this post. I know its a lot of information to process for everyone, but I think its important to show people where the development path for the new game is going at as early a stage as possible.

 

Command and Control – Command Points (CP) and their purchase within Fleets allow commanders to improve their firing depending on their range to the target and the core weapon types. The CP rules also allow vessels to perform unusual movement action such as fold-space escapes, belly up moves, etc, they can be used to alter the result of an Opposed Tactics Test (using a secret bidding process), They also permit the repair of vessels (removing Critical Effect Markers). And most importantly, execute Command Orders at the start of each Game Turn.

Replacement of TACs for Command Orders - This leads nicely to another change in 3.0. TACs are very much a 'marmite' mechanic at present...you either love 'em or you hate 'em...From a design point of view I must confess I am not a fan - game balance is problematic, putting new cards into player's hands is very difficult, and from a living-game perspective, TACs are immutable rather than the flexible mechanic it needs to be in the modern gaming-environment. I am looking to put 8 Factional Orders into each Force List that are bespoke to each Faction in FSA to give us the mobility to change  This also make the FSA games' transition into making it app-capable much easier. 

In general i like the idead of orders more than cards. Thats particularly because i play sorylians and i regularly throw the cards out of the window anyway. having orders could be a better solution for me then? some cards are really good for listbuilding though (like regroup if you do not have the greatest frigates) it balances some weeknesses of some fleets better than cards could do it.

------------

Range Band Notation – This is a light change, and cosmetic for the most part, allowing us to cite a Range Band by a proper name rather than a prosaic number. Remember, no range band ranges have changed....just the 1/2/3/4.

i always said point blank, short, medium, long range anyway^^

-------------

Creation of Core Weapon Types – To give more information to you all on the Primary/Secondary/Tertiary Weapons mechanics - this naming policy allows for commanders to use coherency effects in conjunction with Command Points expenditure to gain a +1 to hit effect when firing provided the coherency attack fulfils the range stipulations.

So... 3x Dindrenzi Cruisers firing their Primary Rail Gun Weapons would get +1 to hit, provided the Attack had 1xCP spent on it and all Cruisers were within either Short or Medium Range (RB2/3 in 'old money').

Or... 4x Directorate Frigates firing its Secondary Beam Weapons would get +1 to hit, provided the Attack had 1xCP spent on it and the firers were at Point Blank Range (RB1 in 'old money').

Or... A Terran Battleship firing its Tertiary Torpedo Weapons would get +1 to hit, provided the Attack had 1xCP spent on it and the Terran Battleship was at Long Range (RB4 in 'old money').

I like the Idea. Balancing that could be a Problem though. with that the game could get very bloody very fast. i like that but it could possibly go very wrong seeing a dindrenzi just 1 shoting a battleship with his kinetics^^

-------------

New Ship Classifications and Sizes – This essential if we are to grow the game beyond its present state. I don't agree with some posters suggesting we should be simply releasing more mediums and call them all cruisers or destroyers or gunships. We need to differentiate these ships to allow them to hold a different functions within the game - otherwise players will rile against the fact that older models are wall-flowers and ultimately Spartan are perceived to be invalidating previous purchases through a process of replacement.

So creating a framework of consistencies that build the reasoning for Heavy, Standard and Light Cruisers/Gunships/Destroyers (along with Armoured, Support, Repair, Logistics/, R+D, Assault Cruisers, etc) to exist and feel different is vital in my view. If players look at the Force Lists as they stand it isn't difficult to see where certain models could live...but at the same time, look at the gaps in each list were the framework permits innovation.... this is the structured design space I seek to develop to allow faction to grow under an aegis of balance and control.

As reddwarf noted, certain vessels with a larger squadron size should expect a notation shift - So, Aquan Isonade Cruisers are indeed moving into the Light Cruiser bracket.

I can get behind that, i like more ships. spaceships are serious business, so go ahead. new ships for everyone even if its just the size of the base that changes.

-------------

New Crit Table(s) – The table allows for Targeted Strikes, Cyber Attacks and Boarding Assaults to use the Focused D6 roll (Green Column), with all other Critical Hits using the Standard 2D6 (Yellow Column)

To give folks more information on the new Crit Table, here is a sample graphic*:

FIRESTORM ARMADA CRITICAL DAMAGE TABLE

Standard

2D6

Focused

D6

Damage

Effect

Effect Rules

Repair?

4

1

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

5

2

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

6

3

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

7

-

3

xxx

xxx

xxx

8

4

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

9

5

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

10

6

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

*forgive the crudity of this image, but the forum has its limits*

This permits a 2D6 and 1D6 distribution to exist within the same framework, meaning that a single graphic reduces referral (as we have currently in Targeted Strikes). Players will notice the 7 result (6/36 distribution) allocates 3 Damage to the target! ...this is intentional.

i love the new crit table. i like the idea seeing 2 different systems applied to the same table. targeted strikes have way more impact with that. Whats with 2-3 and 11-12? does a crit of those still do damage? how much, one? ye that can balance out the former mentioned thing about getting really bloody very fast. 3 damage on 7 seems legit but its getting bloody again. still very good change here.

-------------

Removal of the AD-Degradation System – I appreciate this change might have folks gasping! The AD-reduction system has been integral to the previous Firestorm Armada rules sets, but its clear given our feedback from new starts and those tasked with teaching the game to prospective new players and the status quo is confusing and time consuming - especially when dealing with multiple ships firing multiple weapons in multiple arcs. The Power Rating system as proposed is one of many that we have identified. Theses include:

  1. No change Legit. i dont see a problem with the system how it is right now. but changing it to something else could be ok.
  2. Success-Removal AFTER dice rolls well, that makes the "problem" (is there one?) with the "confusing" (?) system very easy to comprehend. and it can balance out the +1 to hit from CP if done right. boost your already damaged ships to get them to have enough dice to damage a ship seems a legit approach.
  3. Power System I really like the idea of a power system. i would like to see how that would work though. if the power system spreads to the whole ship like: power core 5, you can distribute them to the 3 weapons/ 1 shields/ 1 engines and every of those needs 1 to work properly i love the idea. if it only affects weapons its getting wierd. most of the times some arcs never fire anyway because of positioning so it is possible that it wont have an effect at all? Could balance things out quite well if done right. some of the red comment is viable for balancing issues aswell.
  4. Full-AD Reduction Removal nope. nope, that just gets way to bloody and if damaged ships can still fire their full ad it just gets really really bloody and game ends in turn 3 max.

Fortunately we have ample time to explore all design paths. At present I favour version 2 or 3, but am holding off until my test teams have a chance to throw dice at them all.

-------------

Short Range Spacecraft (SRS) – Your replies we not as contentious as I was expecting (I was half expecting the meta-munchers to throw a fit citing I was targeting one of their 'auto-win/I'm the greatest wargamer mechanics'....which gives me confidence that we are on the right track). Nevertheless I'm going to put a bit more meat on the bones here.

Carriers (and any other vessel that gains Wings via a Hard Point) will now have the types of SRS they have available as a MAR named SRS Contingent (Types) - in the case of Hard Point-only Wings this default to just Interceptors. This allows us to tailor the SRS deployed by each vessel to ensure that the default of Interceptor, Interceptor, Interceptor OR Bomber, Bomber, Bomber doesn't persist across the game. Under the current test, certain Escort Carriers or Battle Stations simply wont have access to Bombers at all, and will instead perhaps find themselves with a SRS Contingent (Interceptors) MAR. Likewise Assault Carriers will have only Bombers allocated as their contingents, meaning its a good idea to buy them escorts or attachments such as Escort Carriers!

We also have certain larger vessels with access to Heavy Interceptors and Heavy Bombers.....these will be allocated to Fleet Carriers and alike who might have the SRS Contingent (Heavy Bomber, Heavy Intercpetor) MAR. Heavy Bombers/Interceptors are more resilient than Standard SRS, and are also more likely to pack a punch....they DO cost more however!

A Note on Assault Craft, Medical Shuttles and Repair Craft - Most vessels in the Firestorm Galaxy will no longer have access to these elements, and their use will be reallocated to larger carrier models that have an expressed function - such as a Medium Repair Cruiser for example. This model might have the SRS Contingent (Repair Craft) MAR to represent its focused activity within the game.

beautiful. yes please.

---------

Boarding – These changes are the most pronounced from the previous game. We have removed the possibility of capturing ships as the rules as written were very wordy, essentially a vestigial layover from the original 1.0 rules. Instead we have focused the Boarding Action to be a Special Forces (Spec Ops) Raid rather than a Massed Boarding Assault, using the Focused Crit-Table as a launch point for the damage mechanics. This is intended to give players the feeling that they are launching their forces at a specific part of a ship (the weapons arrays, the shield generators, etc.). Boarding will also no longer be a one-stop-shop, and so can be launched numerous times (assuming a ship has enough Crew Points of course!) – This will allow boarding to be a tactical choice for some fleets without feeling overpowered or underpowered… it should simply facilitate the engagement of the Fleet in general

Of course I mentioned in the Blog that I thought folks would be upset at the removal of Capturing Battleships, Dreadnoughts and Leviathans. The thing is that in game, these effects are notional for the most part, rather than frequently realised, and so I have to look at the game in general when making design changes. Ship Prizing takes up a large part of the rules, requires additional tokens to realise, and in truth isn't really very thematic as we move away from the massed boarding idea towards targeted boarding mechanics. 

Having special forces target a dreadnought's weapon targeting arrays in a lightning strike seems more reasonable than saying that they can somehow subdue 2000+ crew....

Infiltrate->Execute->Extract principles are more in-keeping with the grand fleet battles that Firestorm Armada's imagery throws up into my mind. Those Spec-Ops assaulters that roll more hits (or the same number of hits) than the defenders may then roll on the focused Table (see above) applying the Damage and the Effect allowing them to be effective against the core systems on a ship...and if they roll twice as many hits (or the enemy roll none!) they don't roll at all and instead CHOOSE their preferred crit....think of this as being a perfect execution of the mission.

Of course the defenders aren't passive and if they roll twice as many hits as the assaulters (or the assaulters fluff it and roll no hits) the surviving assaulters must immediately extract without rolling on the table, suffering another round of defensive PD fire as their transports are gunned down by the dogged defenders!

As many of you have mentioned, boarding is a bit of a tightrope in the design of Firestorm Armada...too many rules and it becomes clunky and (often through that clunkyness) underused. However too simple a system and the rules become 'gamey' and open to abuse. We will be paying very carful attention to the Boarding parts of the rules over the months ahead and I will keep you all posted as we nail down the core rules.

i am fine with it. seems legit with the new table.

----------

Finally, a note on Movement - I am not surprised that folks are still looking for a faster Movement system. At present I have held back on commenting to gauge where the community sits on the issue. I obviously have my own point of view and a number of rules in the background to smooth things out, but none of this should be cited until you have had your say IMO. Firestorm Armada is at its core a Movement->Firepower game....that is to say that good tactical Movement generates situations whereby strong Firepower can be applied... of course after that we are all in the laps of the Dice-Gods... but for the most part it is true that movement forms a cornerstone of the game's tactics.

One method I have pitched to our teams is to change the 45-degree template to being a straight line one with 3x1" integers on it (possibly with a 45-degree cut-out edge to assist LoS questions)...this allows us to keep the tactical movement without having to find space for a pesky 45-degree template between our models.

  • All turning is done on the spot, with the Movement Template being used to determine how many inches you have to move directly ahead before you can perform your next turn.
  • Turn Limit 0" 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

But this is only one of the ideas being swirled about in the design team. There are ideas ranging from using the DW Template system, Curved Templates, Halo: Fleet Battles Turning Mechanics (although I will accept that my method is quite similar to that, but with more of an old Firestorm Focus) and of course keeping the status quo!

 

I guess my question to you all is....if you don't like the current Movement system, how would you like to see it change?

i like it how it is. most of the time we move just one ship with the template and the rest approximately and accordingly ^^ frigates are moved most of the time with tape-measures anyway. the template is just used for the turns. we made our own plastic card ones just for turning with 1 inch/turn/2 inch/ turn /1 inch. see the red. i think the system how it is right now is fine.  

 

 

 

OK. I think I'll leave it there as I have clearly talked enough for today!

.....I have a test with 3000pts of Relthozans vs Aquans to get started!

Feel free to comment and continue to ask questions. I will revisit the thread again tomorrow.

 

Cheers,

Derek

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From demos, tournaments etc. I found out three things makes it hard for new and occasional players:

1) Movement - It feels gritty and complicated. They try to do it too precise and calculate every move not to make a mistake. Currently you have to calculate two things: 1. how far have you moved the ship and 2. how far have you moved before each turn. This makes it complicated as they need to remember two things and try hard to figure out how to move a ship with a system that just doesn't feel natural. I have tested tweaking the system and the best method was simply adding a curved template for each turn limit. Ships could turn at any point during their movement. All ships would still need the same amount of inches to turn 45 as the manoeuvrability was based on their TL. So TL 0 ships could make 45° turns like now, TL 1 ships only 22,5° turns which in reality meant they needed 2" of movement and turn twice to get the 45°. They would reach it a bit differently, but on a much more easily imaginable path and you would only need to count how many inches you moved the ship. It allowed much faster and fluid movement.

2) Degration system - Simple but complicated with some factions. Even experienced and regural players take insane amount of time to calculate final AD. Most players report "their brain hurts" after several hours of counting AD and so won't attend any longer event etc. We need to change it somehow. It has to be easier and faster, but not too simple and dumb. It has to still offer game complexity, reasons for target selection etc. Touching this is not easy at all, but it has to be done if we want to bring people into the game. Tried several options and finally pretty much ended with the same system with one big difference, weapons themselves don't degrade. Simply put you would apply damage per ship not per weapon. For one ship firing one system it would end the same, but for linking it's much easier where you would apply damage of all ships to the linked pool. It doesn't sound that much easier, but it is and it's much easier to do visually. Helped players a lot. Thrown AD pretty much remain the same, so a win win. But after hearing this Power Core system I have to say I am really interested as it sounds great. It might avoid any complicated calculations altogether and bring an energy consumption feel into the game.

3) SRS - Their spread through command and movement (both primary and secondary) makes their rules hard to explain and for a lot of players to grasp without troubles. They need their own SRS segment where they do everything...from launch, movement to attacks etc. Using same PD rules here wouldn't hurt either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great news.

From my point of view, as FA newbies (only 3 or 4 games in 2 years), the main issues were :

- movement

- And firing calculations

 

For the movement issue, which is quite the same in DW, I have developped a paper articulated movement template. With some carboard and "plastic pressure button" for dressmaking (like this : pressure button), I was able to do this :

20170112_204644.jpg

We still have the tactical movments but it's realy quick! Could Spartan Games develop something close to this?

 

For firing issue, well, I prefer the PF system (or Taskforce system).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started this game last month and i don't really get those "complexity problems".

Now granted movement can be a bit finicky, especially in dense formations, but having a special turning template (like Neratius' 1"/45/2"/45/1" or the spectacular one by icarius) helps a lot. Nevertheless Kurgan's idea of a round template sounds very intriguing as well, but then you need at least 3 templates (up's the cost of the game, the chance to forget one etc.^^) and the most difficult thing for newcomers isn't remembering two digits, it's -in my experience- the turn limit (things like: you can only turn ONCE after you moved your turnlimit, turning costs 1", etc.), but they get the hang of it after their first 1-2 games and you are not supposed to know everything perfectly after your first game, we do not play  "Mensch ärgere dich nicht", do we?

On the other hand the AD "calculations" are a fairly simple business are they not? Especially if you visiualize them by actually forming pools with your dice and manipulating those (add dice for every ship,half secondary, throw both..) and after 3-4 games it's not really more time consuming than calculating it in your head and counting the dice.

Now for the powercore thing, i am -like all of us i guess- very interested what lies behind it and would love something like dedicating power from the weapons to the shields etc. as well.

 

P.S.:Oh and i think it is a great move to have your community discuss it with you, have it thoroughly tested and to get their feedback, it always makes for great games and indicates good business-pratices!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, devil's advocate on movement: Does movement take too long, or do people take too long to move?

With a thinner template (cut down the card ones!) it all becomes easier. As for bigger squadrons, move the first 1 or 2 and shift up the others accordingly. obviously tounaments would need more stringent adherence to the rule.

A tool for checking arcs is not really needed. SG bases have fixed and open arcs on them, and laser tools are cheap as chips to get.

As for stuff hitting on 3's....can't say i want every unit in the game able to have this ability, but then testing is underway. Time will tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for putting all the effort to communicate to us Derek. 

My Questions:

  • Can you expand further on C&C? Whats a typical number of 'points'. Are these one use only or do they regenerate each turn. How many special things do you see us doing each turn with command points? I wouldn't want it to be every squadron, that would slow the game down I think. I like generally like the idea, things like Siren escort targeting arrays and other effects could be neatly rolled in to this, and indeed there is then the option to expand upon more C&C type support ships! 
  • How is disorder or degrees of disorder going to work? Currently a battleship doesn't really care if it is disordered! I could see the acrewing of disorder tokens as temporary "damage" tokens for the purposes of working out AD a way forward.
  • Similarly can you tell us more about SRSs? Stopping interceptor/bomber spam is good, as long as limiting ships to some types doesn't then makes them feel pointless or less useful to some players/factions. I would not be in favor of removing or limiting options other than for the Heavy types and possibly assault boats. Sometimes it is good to spend the last 5pts on a random interceptor or repair shuttle. If the standard wing types are balanced with regards to one another then there will not be such a drive to take the most gamey choices. Currently fighters are rather pointless.
  • Are SRS still tied to their parent ship in the current yo-yo format or do they have a bit more of a free reign? How have you stopped interceptors just sitting around making PD mountains? Your mention of heavy types being harder sounds similar to Dystopian wars tokens having a DR2 or DR3 with big fuel tanks? Are we adopting a similar approach, It would allow for the same PD rules to be used for everything, hitting on an exploding 4+? I would be quite up for this. I never liked the 6s to kill, 5s to drive off BUT only if you had more 5s than wings left. Quite hard to stop big wings. 
  • On a related note on carriers/SRS/Dystopian wars will carriers be limited to the tokens they have until they get shot down or will deck crews or similar become more prevalent? Proper Escort/Battle/Assault/Regular carriers do need something more to distinguish them from other ships that just happen to have wings. Deck crews all round I'd say. Seems silly dedicated carrier type vessels don't have repair facilities, spare parts, etc. Only Carrier variants can take the Heavy craft. Only Assault carriers or similar can take assault boats. (and with the naming convention you could drop the "assault" key word on to Relthoza/Sorylian ships to flavour. Dedicated repair vessels could grant re-rolls to or something to shuttles
  • Care to talk about any changes to mines/cyber/grav? on a sclae of 1 to Stilton how cheesy is Grav now?
  • Whats your favorite biscuit? (so I know your paying attention!)

Random Thoughts

  • Anything to speed up movement!
  • AD-Degredation. I'm torn between having this power core concept and A modified dice removal system. The power core idea needs careful work to stop big ships still firing main weapons and full blast late in the game, whilst also not ending up as a pointless mechanic. More often than not you are only interested in firing out of one side of your squadron. Then deciding whether to power port or starboard because a no brainer and any damage sustain is irrelevant. Staying with a dice-removal system is fine with me really, though could be simplified. I think the best 2 options would be,
    • 1) link as normal, roll all the dice, remove success based on damage. cons, I feel it could break up the tempo of the rolling a bit. roll, count damage, remove success, then tell opponent how many hits, they roll their sheilds/PD etc.
    • 2) link as normal, remove 1 dice per damage on lead ship and per 2 damage on linking ships, roll those dice. pros, no more messing around with taking dice of pools to add together, to then half, to then add on. Can be done more at a glance and dont have to drill down in to each ships pool. Numbers will be broadly similar to what they are now. Stops double degradation. Weapon shielding could easily just be add +1 to both those numbers, so -1AD per damage on main ship and per 3 on linking ships. Cons. Stops double degredation? would this make terran cruisers too nasty for example? need to think about crew damage also...
    • 2) is what I have been dabbling with myself and seems fairly similar to what @Kurgan has suggested. 
  • Bonus's to hit, Hard pounding cause 3 HP damage, ships potentially shooting harder later into the game. Initially I was a bit "aaagh" but thinking about it, if things die off faster we wont be stuck with useless zombie ships stuck in turning battles near the end of the game. If ships are removed that little bit quicker and movement/linking are sped up then there exists the possibility to have either quicker or larger games! I for one would welcome that. It's all well and good have a vast fleet but its a little sad that no more than 7 squadrons ever see the table at once if you want to finish within a reasonable time. I've got all these damn cruisers, gunships and destroyers, I'd love to plonk them all down! pew pew!
  • Dindrnezi Ablative Armour... Having DR/CR drop when below half hull points is fairly pointless on any thing cruiser sized, its only applicable when they are on 1HP. The only time I see people buy to get rid of it is to on battleships and dreadnoughts. Even then with 7+ damage their weapon systems are fairly neutered, although I think a lot of the time it is largely forgotten. The MAR also feels like quite a "negative" rule. Where as the the DWars equivalent on the Russians feels like quite a "positive" rule. Hey, your stats are improved until X! rather than "Oh, your stats get worse when X... I'd like firestorm to adopt a similar Ablative Armour (X). al though I am more of a fan of the DWars Retardant Armour(X) rule. Dindrenzi are the only race with out some form of shields, and I know and understand that, Retardant Armour(X) would almost feel like a shield, it gives them a chance to go "oh hey!"and wag a finger to stop run away 6s instead of just having to sit there and take it. Strapping large chunks of material to your ship between battles doesn't make much sense to me. That's a rather costly way of running a fleet! Now if it was some special meta material layered up... It still retains the same sort of faction flavour.
    • In short I think Dind Mediums should generally have Retardant Armour (1) and the bigger ships Retardant Armour (2). With damage output up slightly from bonus' to hit and the main crit doing 3 I dont think this changes with the current DR/CR would make the Dindrenzi too crazy

 

21 hours ago, Presidente said:

Not sure I like the idea of ships being able to hit on 3s:mellow:

*Hides the RSN escorts*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hooooooo boy. 'Ere we go.

 

First, to get it out of the way...

1 hour ago, icarius said:

For the movement issue, which is quite the same in DW, I have developped a paper articulated movement template. With some carboard and "plastic pressure button" for dressmaking (like this : pressure button), I was able to do this :

20170112_204644.jpg

We still have the tactical movments but it's realy quick! Could Spartan Games develop something close to this?

 

That is simultaneously an atrocity and a work of art. I love it.

 

Second...

I see a lot of people citing movement and AD calculations as the most time consuming items. For movement, I am in the 

36 minutes ago, Bessemer said:

Ok, devil's advocate on movement: Does movement take too long, or do people take too long to move?

With a thinner template (cut down the card ones!) it all becomes easier. As for bigger squadrons, move the first 1 or 2 and shift up the others accordingly. obviously tounaments would need more stringent adherence to the rule.

camp. At NoVa last year, with a lot of good players and nice and dense boards, no game took more than the allotted time, which I believe was 2.5 hours. We actually finished rounds early, in some cases. One of the things that I believe helped that was that no one used the default template, instead opting for a laser-cut template, of varying descriptions. The one Dan brought was pretty clever, being a stick with a 45 degree angle at the end, but most were just the default template, minus the interior of the template to make it thinner and easier to place between ships. Nikki and I also have had great success, prior to getting a laser-cut one, adding a nob to the paper template to make it easier to place and move around on the table. I would not be opposed to changing how the turns are done, say to a pivot, but the core of the movement system should stay the same. I believe what Derek is describing is just that, movement and then pivot, with the associated numbers changed so that the move then pivot method gets a little closer to the 2.0 method in final location, which I am all for. I still don't believe the change is necessary, but it wouldn't be awful.

 

As for AD... I find myself liking the removal of AD degradation in favor of another method. HOWEVER, there are a couple of people advocating for the removal of the linking method of squads firing together. I cannot stress enough how linked fire impacts the game's numbers from a player choice standpoint. The biggest impact of linking is that individual ships can have relatively high AD numbers without the squad throwing a bucket of dice when it fires at a single target. This is great, because it means that there are situations where individual ships might want to risk taking independent shots, rather than it being a good idea to always link fire. This, in turn, allows some really clever interplay of rules and create more gameplay diversity (can explain with an example if necessary, but this post is going to be pretty long already), and also means that lone ships are never in a situation where their only impact is an absolute crapshoot.

 

@Neratius, I'm gonna psuedo-steal your format here. Thank you.

4 hours ago, Spartan Derek said:

Hi All!

Thanks to everyone who has commented here so far

At present, most commenters are open to the ideas I proposed but it doesn't hurt to provide more information to stimulate the debate further...:)

Apologies for the length of this post. I know its a lot of information to process for everyone, but I think its important to show people where the development path for the new game is going at as early a stage as possible.

 

Command and Control – Command Points (CP) and their purchase within Fleets allow commanders to improve their firing depending on their range to the target and the core weapon types. The CP rules also allow vessels to perform unusual movement action such as fold-space escapes, belly up moves, etc, they can be used to alter the result of an Opposed Tactics Test (using a secret bidding process), They also permit the repair of vessels (removing Critical Effect Markers). And most importantly, execute Command Orders at the start of each Game Turn.

Replacement of TACs for Command Orders - This leads nicely to another change in 3.0. TACs are very much a 'marmite' mechanic at present...you either love 'em or you hate 'em...From a design point of view I must confess I am not a fan - game balance is problematic, putting new cards into player's hands is very difficult, and from a living-game perspective, TACs are immutable rather than the flexible mechanic it needs to be in the modern gaming-environment. I am looking to put 8 Factional Orders into each Force List that are bespoke to each Faction in FSA to give us the mobility to change  This also make the FSA games' transition into making it app-capable much easier. 

I mean, fair enough. You're basically making TACs into a non-card element. I like that there's more diversity here, with each faction getting 8, but... perhaps six per faction is more realistic, with a handful of common orders, like "Go Fast" and "Do Turning Better"? Honestly, though, the command points system is pretty... meh? From a Planetfall perspective, the bidding is cumbersome, and everything down to knowing how many points to purchase is super unintuitive. Some groups barely use them, others buy as many as they can... there really doesn't seem to be an in-between. Using them as a gateway for Orders, Repairs, and Fold Space Escapes just arbitrarily shifts them to the "Buy as many as possible" side. 

Honestly, instead of a purchase, these should be arbitrarily tied to FTB, with a pool that refreshes every game-turn, maybe leave the Ops Center MAR as a way of snagging another point using your MFV. Points are for buying ships and upgrades, there is no reason to impose an arbitrary "CP Tax" for something less intuitive than TACs were.

Side note, very few people seem to hate TACs... just specific ones that are either useless or way too good. When 2.0 first dropped, people seemed concerned about their usage being non-optional, but that didn't seem to last very long. 

------------

Range Band Notation – This is a light change, and cosmetic for the most part, allowing us to cite a Range Band by a proper name rather than a prosaic number. Remember, no range band ranges have changed....just the 1/2/3/4.

-------------

Creation of Core Weapon Types – To give more information to you all on the Primary/Secondary/Tertiary Weapons mechanics - this naming policy allows for commanders to use coherency effects in conjunction with Command Points expenditure to gain a +1 to hit effect when firing provided the coherency attack fulfils the range stipulations.

So... 3x Dindrenzi Cruisers firing their Primary Rail Gun Weapons would get +1 to hit, provided the Attack had 1xCP spent on it and all Cruisers were within either Short or Medium Range (RB2/3 in 'old money').

Or... 4x Directorate Frigates firing its Secondary Beam Weapons would get +1 to hit, provided the Attack had 1xCP spent on it and the firers were at Point Blank Range (RB1 in 'old money').

Or... A Terran Battleship firing its Tertiary Torpedo Weapons would get +1 to hit, provided the Attack had 1xCP spent on it and the Terran Battleship was at Long Range (RB4 in 'old money').

This is arbitrary at best... If Primary means Short/Medium, Secondary means Point Blank, and Tertiary means Long range... Shouldn't those weapons just kind of already have better AD numbers at those ranges? This doesn't seem to make any sense to be adding; it's a layer of complexity without rhyme or reason.

-------------

New Ship Classifications and Sizes – This essential if we are to grow the game beyond its present state. I don't agree with some posters suggesting we should be simply releasing more mediums and call them all cruisers or destroyers or gunships. We need to differentiate these ships to allow them to hold a different functions within the game - otherwise players will rile against the fact that older models are wall-flowers and ultimately Spartan are perceived to be invalidating previous purchases through a process of replacement.

So creating a framework of consistencies that build the reasoning for Heavy, Standard and Light Cruisers/Gunships/Destroyers (along with Armoured, Support, Repair, Logistics/, R+D, Assault Cruisers, etc) to exist and feel different is vital in my view. If players look at the Force Lists as they stand it isn't difficult to see where certain models could live...but at the same time, look at the gaps in each list were the framework permits innovation.... this is the structured design space I seek to develop to allow faction to grow under an aegis of balance and control.

As reddwarf noted, certain vessels with a larger squadron size should expect a notation shift - So, Aquan Isonade Cruisers are indeed moving into the Light Cruiser bracket.

Again, completely arbitrary. There is nothing that says there cannot be multiple Cruiser profiles, ect. In fact, I will personally advocate for NOT expanding the classification list because the Mixed Cruiser Squadrons rule was cool and does fun things to list building, particularly when there were multiple Heavy Cruiser types to slot into a given Cruiser squad. Further, no one complained about ships sharing designations before unless the topic was one being completely better than the other; Tyrant vs Razorthorn is a good example, where a good portion of players see the Razorthorn as being a black sheep because of its range focus, AD numbers, and the fact that it will have to take more shooting before getting to be effective compared to the similarly costed Tyrant. Nothing, I mean nothing, about a given ship's classification can make it better or worse than another ship; this does nothing for balance.

-------------

New Crit Table(s) – The table allows for Targeted Strikes, Cyber Attacks and Boarding Assaults to use the Focused D6 roll (Green Column), with all other Critical Hits using the Standard 2D6 (Yellow Column)

To give folks more information on the new Crit Table, here is a sample graphic*:

FIRESTORM ARMADA CRITICAL DAMAGE TABLE

Standard

2D6

Focused

D6

Damage

Effect

Effect Rules

Repair?

4

1

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

5

2

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

6

3

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

7

-

3

xxx

xxx

xxx

8

4

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

9

5

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

10

6

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

*forgive the crudity of this image, but the forum has its limits*

This permits a 2D6 and 1D6 distribution to exist within the same framework, meaning that a single graphic reduces referral (as we have currently in Targeted Strikes). Players will notice the 7 result (6/36 distribution) allocates 3 Damage to the target! ...this is intentional.

I like this very much. 

-------------

Removal of the AD-Degradation System – I appreciate this change might have folks gasping! The AD-reduction system has been integral to the previous Firestorm Armada rules sets, but its clear given our feedback from new starts and those tasked with teaching the game to prospective new players and the status quo is confusing and time consuming - especially when dealing with multiple ships firing multiple weapons in multiple arcs. The Power Rating system as proposed is one of many that we have identified. Theses include:

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

Fortunately we have ample time to explore all design paths. At present I favour version 2 or 3, but am holding off until my test teams have a chance to throw dice at them all.

I've already said my piece on this. I think the Power Core is the way to go IF the numbers can be done well with certain intentional thresholds in mind.

-------------

Short Range Spacecraft (SRS) – Your replies we not as contentious as I was expecting (I was half expecting the meta-munchers to throw a fit citing I was targeting one of their 'auto-win/I'm the greatest wargamer mechanics'....which gives me confidence that we are on the right track). Nevertheless I'm going to put a bit more meat on the bones here.

Carriers (and any other vessel that gains Wings via a Hard Point) will now have the types of SRS they have available as a MAR named SRS Contingent (Types) - in the case of Hard Point-only Wings this default to just Interceptors. This allows us to tailor the SRS deployed by each vessel to ensure that the default of Interceptor, Interceptor, Interceptor OR Bomber, Bomber, Bomber doesn't persist across the game. Under the current test, certain Escort Carriers or Battle Stations simply wont have access to Bombers at all, and will instead perhaps find themselves with a SRS Contingent (Interceptors) MAR. Likewise Assault Carriers will have only Bombers allocated as their contingents, meaning its a good idea to buy them escorts or attachments such as Escort Carriers!

We also have certain larger vessels with access to Heavy Interceptors and Heavy Bombers.....these will be allocated to Fleet Carriers and alike who might have the SRS Contingent (Heavy Bomber, Heavy Intercpetor) MAR. Heavy Bombers/Interceptors are more resilient than Standard SRS, and are also more likely to pack a punch....they DO cost more however!

A Note on Assault Craft, Medical Shuttles and Repair Craft - Most vessels in the Firestorm Galaxy will no longer have access to these elements, and their use will be reallocated to larger carrier models that have an expressed function - such as a Medium Repair Cruiser for example. This model might have the SRS Contingent (Repair Craft) MAR to represent its focused activity within the game.

Ugh. I say "Ugh" even though I actually like this, allocating what SRS a carrier can have, because you make it sound like the good, unique stuff will be relatively rare. It is my hope that certain factions will have a more open policy on these specialist types (I would assume most Directorate carriers SHOULD have access to Assault Craft, as should most Relth vessels, and having the Sorylians need a specific Carrier for Repair Craft when one of their few defining characteristics right now is that they repair critical effects...) and it's more an issue of factions who aren't specialized to such things will need special ships for it.

---------

Boarding – These changes are the most pronounced from the previous game. We have removed the possibility of capturing ships as the rules as written were very wordy, essentially a vestigial layover from the original 1.0 rules. Instead we have focused the Boarding Action to be a Special Forces (Spec Ops) Raid rather than a Massed Boarding Assault, using the Focused Crit-Table as a launch point for the damage mechanics. This is intended to give players the feeling that they are launching their forces at a specific part of a ship (the weapons arrays, the shield generators, etc.). Boarding will also no longer be a one-stop-shop, and so can be launched numerous times (assuming a ship has enough Crew Points of course!) – This will allow boarding to be a tactical choice for some fleets without feeling overpowered or underpowered… it should simply facilitate the engagement of the Fleet in general

Of course I mentioned in the Blog that I thought folks would be upset at the removal of Capturing Battleships, Dreadnoughts and Leviathans. The thing is that in game, these effects are notional for the most part, rather than frequently realised, and so I have to look at the game in general when making design changes. Ship Prizing takes up a large part of the rules, requires additional tokens to realise, and in truth isn't really very thematic as we move away from the massed boarding idea towards targeted boarding mechanics. 

Having special forces target a dreadnought's weapon targeting arrays in a lightning strike seems more reasonable than saying that they can somehow subdue 2000+ crew....

They don't have to subdue 2000+ crew. They just have to lock themselves in the bridge and shut it down.

Infiltrate->Execute->Extract principles are more in-keeping with the grand fleet battles that Firestorm Armada's imagery throws up into my mind. Those Spec-Ops assaulters that roll more hits (or the same number of hits) than the defenders may then roll on the focused Table (see above) applying the Damage and the Effect allowing them to be effective against the core systems on a ship...and if they roll twice as many hits (or the enemy roll none!) they don't roll at all and instead CHOOSE their preferred crit....think of this as being a perfect execution of the mission.

Of course the defenders aren't passive and if they roll twice as many hits as the assaulters (or the assaulters fluff it and roll no hits) the surviving assaulters must immediately extract without rolling on the table, suffering another round of defensive PD fire as their transports are gunned down by the dogged defenders!

I dislike this. I think this is the kind of rule that will cause players to not board, for fear of "wasting" their chance. If the attackers fail, they should just fail, the end; the 2.0 book has that little fluff snippet saying that boarding is a one-way trip for most soldiers anyways. If boarding in space seemed hard to visualize anyways, having a boarding team attack and then extract anything close to mostly intact seems even less probable. 

As many of you have mentioned, boarding is a bit of a tightrope in the design of Firestorm Armada...too many rules and it becomes clunky and (often through that clunkyness) underused. However too simple a system and the rules become 'gamey' and open to abuse. We will be paying very carful attention to the Boarding parts of the rules over the months ahead and I will keep you all posted as we nail down the core rules.

Here's my proposition. Do whatever you're going to do with boarding, but add the option to all-or-nothing the bridge, requiring a major success. Nothing happens in a fail, but in a major success you've captured the ship. Get rid of the ship getting a turn of movement and spooling up FSD. Get rid of the option to scuttle, because no one did that anyways. The ship full stops, does not activate again, and if it survives to the end of the next game turn, remove it from the table and award an extra point or whatever to the player who captured it.

The main reason I advocate this is that there are factions for whom capturing enemy ships on the regular was a part of their persona- Directorate, to be sure, is the primary one, but Sorylians and Relth were both known for being factions that could or would actually go for prizing a ship, and in the fluff their BFFs the Veydreth and Ba'Kash also seem to have a fondness for looting. I don't think it makes sense to trade something somewhat complicated for something only a little simpler if the cost is going to be some of the identity of these factions.

----------

Finally, a note on Movement - I am not surprised that folks are still looking for a faster Movement system. At present I have held back on commenting to gauge where the community sits on the issue. I obviously have my own point of view and a number of rules in the background to smooth things out, but none of this should be cited until you have had your say IMO. Firestorm Armada is at its core a Movement->Firepower game....that is to say that good tactical Movement generates situations whereby strong Firepower can be applied... of course after that we are all in the laps of the Dice-Gods... but for the most part it is true that movement forms a cornerstone of the game's tactics.

One method I have pitched to our teams is to change the 45-degree template to being a straight line one with 3x1" integers on it (possibly with a 45-degree cut-out edge to assist LoS questions)...this allows us to keep the tactical movement without having to find space for a pesky 45-degree template between our models.

  • All turning is done on the spot, with the Movement Template being used to determine how many inches you have to move directly ahead before you can perform your next turn.
  • Turn Limit 0" 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

But this is only one of the ideas being swirled about in the design team. There are ideas ranging from using the DW Template system, Curved Templates, Halo: Fleet Battles Turning Mechanics (although I will accept that my method is quite similar to that, but with more of an old Firestorm Focus) and of course keeping the status quo!

 

I guess my question to you all is....if you don't like the current Movement system, how would you like to see it change?

 

 

 

 

OK. I think I'll leave it there as I have clearly talked enough for today!

.....I have a test with 3000pts of Relthozans vs Aquans to get started!

Feel free to comment and continue to ask questions. I will revisit the thread again tomorrow.

 

Cheers,

Derek

 

 

I believe I've been fair here. I realize I've been very vocal, and intend to continue to be, but Firestorm 2.0 is a well-designed game. It has a lot of clever threshholds, a lot of nuance, and I want to see a 3.0 that respects that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hive said:

They don't have to subdue 2000+ crew. They just have to lock themselves in the bridge and shut it down.

Exactly my thoughts, just lock them in their sections and turn the respective lifesupport systems off...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Derek,

-Will there be new Ships in 3.Edition Starter Fleets?

-Will the new Ship clasifications have affects to the composition of 3.Edition Starter Fleets?

-Which Factions will be included in the 3.Edition Two-Player Starter Set? (please Terran vs. Dindrenzi)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎18‎.‎04‎.‎2017 at 10:09 PM, Warmaster said:

I doubt it, but it would be cool when we could see with the 3.0 Edition of the Game new Starter Fleets & and a 2-Player Set (please Terran vs. Dindrenzi) with plastic Ships and Stat Cards.

please don't do any plastic, a reason why I still stick to spartan are the high Quality resin models.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just here for the Pathogen spoilers, hoping for something completely dynamic and tactical.

To be honest the test models were not my cup of captain morgan. #tentacles

Great job Derek!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Quote

Command and Control – Command Points (CP) and their purchase within Fleets allow commanders to improve their firing depending on their range to the target and the core weapon types. The CP rules also allow vessels to perform unusual movement action such as fold-space escapes, belly up moves, etc, they can be used to alter the result of an Opposed Tactics Test (using a secret bidding process), They also permit the repair of vessels (removing Critical Effect Markers). And most importantly, execute Command Orders at the start of each Game Turn.

Replacement of TACs for Command Orders - This leads nicely to another change in 3.0. TACs are very much a 'marmite' mechanic at present...you either love 'em or you hate 'em...From a design point of view I must confess I am not a fan - game balance is problematic, putting new cards into player's hands is very difficult, and from a living-game perspective, TACs are immutable rather than the flexible mechanic it needs to be in the modern gaming-environment. I am looking to put 8 Factional Orders into each Force List that are bespoke to each Faction in FSA to give us the mobility to change  This also make the FSA games' transition into making it app-capable much easier. 

 

sounds good and I can understand that TAC would be hard to Change in a living rulebook enviroment, so factional orders should be the better way to go.

 

 

Quote

------------

Range Band Notation – This is a light change, and cosmetic for the most part, allowing us to cite a Range Band by a proper name rather than a prosaic number. Remember, no range band ranges have changed....just the 1/2/3/4.

-------------

Creation of Core Weapon Types – To give more information to you all on the Primary/Secondary/Tertiary Weapons mechanics - this naming policy allows for commanders to use coherency effects in conjunction with Command Points expenditure to gain a +1 to hit effect when firing provided the coherency attack fulfils the range stipulations.

So... 3x Dindrenzi Cruisers firing their Primary Rail Gun Weapons would get +1 to hit, provided the Attack had 1xCP spent on it and all Cruisers were within either Short or Medium Range (RB2/3 in 'old money').

Or... 4x Directorate Frigates firing its Secondary Beam Weapons would get +1 to hit, provided the Attack had 1xCP spent on it and the firers were at Point Blank Range (RB1 in 'old money').

Or... A Terran Battleship firing its Tertiary Torpedo Weapons would get +1 to hit, provided the Attack had 1xCP spent on it and the Terran Battleship was at Long Range (RB4 in 'old money').

Does this mean all Torpedos get better to hit values at Long range? There are ships out there with short range Torpedos. 

Quote

-------------

New Ship Classifications and Sizes – This essential if we are to grow the game beyond its present state. I don't agree with some posters suggesting we should be simply releasing more mediums and call them all cruisers or destroyers or gunships. We need to differentiate these ships to allow them to hold a different functions within the game - otherwise players will rile against the fact that older models are wall-flowers and ultimately Spartan are perceived to be invalidating previous purchases through a process of replacement.

So creating a framework of consistencies that build the reasoning for Heavy, Standard and Light Cruisers/Gunships/Destroyers (along with Armoured, Support, Repair, Logistics/, R+D, Assault Cruisers, etc) to exist and feel different is vital in my view. If players look at the Force Lists as they stand it isn't difficult to see where certain models could live...but at the same time, look at the gaps in each list were the framework permits innovation.... this is the structured design space I seek to develop to allow faction to grow under an aegis of balance and control.

As reddwarf noted, certain vessels with a larger squadron size should expect a notation shift - So, Aquan Isonade Cruisers are indeed moving into the Light Cruiser bracket.

Sounds cool;

Quote

 

-------------

New Crit Table(s) – The table allows for Targeted Strikes, Cyber Attacks and Boarding Assaults to use the Focused D6 roll (Green Column), with all other Critical Hits using the Standard 2D6 (Yellow Column)

To give folks more information on the new Crit Table, here is a sample graphic*:

FIRESTORM ARMADA CRITICAL DAMAGE TABLE

Standard

2D6

Focused

D6

Damage

Effect

Effect Rules

Repair?

4

1

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

5

2

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

6

3

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

7

-

3

xxx

xxx

xxx

8

4

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

9

5

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

10

6

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

*forgive the crudity of this image, but the forum has its limits*

This permits a 2D6 and 1D6 distribution to exist within the same framework, meaning that a single graphic reduces referral (as we have currently in Targeted Strikes). Players will notice the 7 result (6/36 distribution) allocates 3 Damage to the target! ...this is intentional.

I like the 3HP damage, at this Moment buying the 5 HP for cruisers is an Auto buy if you can, and this (especially that it is on 7s) will take care on that and therefore opens up the oher Options in ship design.

Quote

-------------

Removal of the AD-Degradation System – I appreciate this change might have folks gasping! The AD-reduction system has been integral to the previous Firestorm Armada rules sets, but its clear given our feedback from new starts and those tasked with teaching the game to prospective new players and the status quo is confusing and time consuming - especially when dealing with multiple ships firing multiple weapons in multiple arcs. The Power Rating system as proposed is one of many that we have identified. Theses include:

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

Fortunately we have ample time to explore all design paths. At present I favour version 2 or 3, but am holding off until my test teams have a chance to throw dice at them all.

-------------

I never saw the dice calculation as a Problem or time consuming, (I studied math ;-))
We also uses dice to Count and Show the single shoots and with experience you will get faster.  So I would vote for one but will test all Options you throw at us.

 

Quote

Short Range Spacecraft (SRS) – Your replies we not as contentious as I was expecting (I was half expecting the meta-munchers to throw a fit citing I was targeting one of their 'auto-win/I'm the greatest wargamer mechanics'....which gives me confidence that we are on the right track). Nevertheless I'm going to put a bit more meat on the bones here.

Carriers (and any other vessel that gains Wings via a Hard Point) will now have the types of SRS they have available as a MAR named SRS Contingent (Types) - in the case of Hard Point-only Wings this default to just Interceptors. This allows us to tailor the SRS deployed by each vessel to ensure that the default of Interceptor, Interceptor, Interceptor OR Bomber, Bomber, Bomber doesn't persist across the game. Under the current test, certain Escort Carriers or Battle Stations simply wont have access to Bombers at all, and will instead perhaps find themselves with a SRS Contingent (Interceptors) MAR. Likewise Assault Carriers will have only Bombers allocated as their contingents, meaning its a good idea to buy them escorts or attachments such as Escort Carriers!

We also have certain larger vessels with access to Heavy Interceptors and Heavy Bombers.....these will be allocated to Fleet Carriers and alike who might have the SRS Contingent (Heavy Bomber, Heavy Intercpetor) MAR. Heavy Bombers/Interceptors are more resilient than Standard SRS, and are also more likely to pack a punch....they DO cost more however!

A Note on Assault Craft, Medical Shuttles and Repair Craft - Most vessels in the Firestorm Galaxy will no longer have access to these elements, and their use will be reallocated to larger carrier models that have an expressed function - such as a Medium Repair Cruiser for example. This model might have the SRS Contingent (Repair Craft) MAR to represent its focused activity within the game.

---------

A good Change, lists with 24 or more Bombers at 1k points are bad, and should be countered by the rules.

The only Counter strategy against this typ of list will result in a very boring game.

 

 

 

Quote

Boarding – These changes are the most pronounced from the previous game. We have removed the possibility of capturing ships as the rules as written were very wordy, essentially a vestigial layover from the original 1.0 rules. Instead we have focused the Boarding Action to be a Special Forces (Spec Ops) Raid rather than a Massed Boarding Assault, using the Focused Crit-Table as a launch point for the damage mechanics. This is intended to give players the feeling that they are launching their forces at a specific part of a ship (the weapons arrays, the shield generators, etc.). Boarding will also no longer be a one-stop-shop, and so can be launched numerous times (assuming a ship has enough Crew Points of course!) – This will allow boarding to be a tactical choice for some fleets without feeling overpowered or underpowered… it should simply facilitate the engagement of the Fleet in general

Of course I mentioned in the Blog that I thought folks would be upset at the removal of Capturing Battleships, Dreadnoughts and Leviathans. The thing is that in game, these effects are notional for the most part, rather than frequently realised, and so I have to look at the game in general when making design changes. Ship Prizing takes up a large part of the rules, requires additional tokens to realise, and in truth isn't really very thematic as we move away from the massed boarding idea towards targeted boarding mechanics. 

Having special forces target a dreadnought's weapon targeting arrays in a lightning strike seems more reasonable than saying that they can somehow subdue 2000+ crew....

Infiltrate->Execute->Extract principles are more in-keeping with the grand fleet battles that Firestorm Armada's imagery throws up into my mind. Those Spec-Ops assaulters that roll more hits (or the same number of hits) than the defenders may then roll on the focused Table (see above) applying the Damage and the Effect allowing them to be effective against the core systems on a ship...and if they roll twice as many hits (or the enemy roll none!) they don't roll at all and instead CHOOSE their preferred crit....think of this as being a perfect execution of the mission.

Of course the defenders aren't passive and if they roll twice as many hits as the assaulters (or the assaulters fluff it and roll no hits) the surviving assaulters must immediately extract without rolling on the table, suffering another round of defensive PD fire as their transports are gunned down by the dogged defenders!

As many of you have mentioned, boarding is a bit of a tightrope in the design of Firestorm Armada...too many rules and it becomes clunky and (often through that clunkyness) underused. However too simple a system and the rules become 'gamey' and open to abuse. We will be paying very carful attention to the Boarding parts of the rules over the months ahead and I will keep you all posted as we nail down the core rules.

Reasonalble, but we will Need some cineastic effect (like capturing the fleet admirals ship), the few games where somethin like this or a early double 1 crit happend are the games People will remember.

Quote

----------

Finally, a note on Movement - I am not surprised that folks are still looking for a faster Movement system. At present I have held back on commenting to gauge where the community sits on the issue. I obviously have my own point of view and a number of rules in the background to smooth things out, but none of this should be cited until you have had your say IMO. Firestorm Armada is at its core a Movement->Firepower game....that is to say that good tactical Movement generates situations whereby strong Firepower can be applied... of course after that we are all in the laps of the Dice-Gods... but for the most part it is true that movement forms a cornerstone of the game's tactics.

One method I have pitched to our teams is to change the 45-degree template to being a straight line one with 3x1" integers on it (possibly with a 45-degree cut-out edge to assist LoS questions)...this allows us to keep the tactical movement without having to find space for a pesky 45-degree template between our models.

  • All turning is done on the spot, with the Movement Template being used to determine how many inches you have to move directly ahead before you can perform your next turn.
  • Turn Limit 0" 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

But this is only one of the ideas being swirled about in the design team. There are ideas ranging from using the DW Template system, Curved Templates, Halo: Fleet Battles Turning Mechanics (although I will accept that my method is quite similar to that, but with more of an old Firestorm Focus) and of course keeping the status quo!

 

I guess my question to you all is....if you don't like the current Movement system, how would you like to see it change?

 

At this Moment in our case the thin templates do the trick I got them laser cut myself. but turning 45 degrees on the spot  and then moving x Inch would remove snaking, so i believe this Option will Speed up movement.

 

Please no Halo Movement!

 

Quote

 

 

OK. I think I'll leave it there as I have clearly talked enough for today!

.....I have a test with 3000pts of Relthozans vs Aquans to get started!

Feel free to comment and continue to ask questions. I will revisit the thread again tomorrow.

 

Cheers,

Derek

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few points that we may need to consider...

1) Some concerns over "ships will die fast" - maybe that is the point and that points levels will be changing so that, 1000-1200, becomes the norm and can be played in a reasonable amount of time? I've always been an 800 or below fan but it can look and feel sparse with little options occasionally. I guess opening it up to the big numbers and increasing model count, whilst keeping play time the same, is a fair route to go down - they need to sell more models and it gives us more choice. Also - statistics could change around for ships? I can't imagine Light Cruisers sticking to 3HP!!!

2) Movement - lets keep away from Halo movement. Halo has that and that's its bag. FSA needs to stand out and away from that BUT does need speeding up. Something between Halo and FSA somehow? Maybe ships can turn 45 degrees on the spot and then have a turn limit to represent how many times they can pivot throughout their allocated inches of movement. So a Frigate could move 13" and be allowed to pivot 4 times etc. I don't know...it's not great but I believe this is the hardest AND most important area to get right. FSA is ALL about planning, movement and application of firepower in the right place at the right time to critically disable your enemy. I'd be really against more templates or curved templates - this is not X-Wing and I don't want to shell out for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Spartan Derek said:

 

Command and Control – Command Points (CP) and their purchase within Fleets allow commanders to improve their firing depending on their range to the target and the core weapon types. The CP rules also allow vessels to perform unusual movement action such as fold-space escapes, belly up moves, etc, they can be used to alter the result of an Opposed Tactics Test (using a secret bidding process), They also permit the repair of vessels (removing Critical Effect Markers). And most importantly, execute Command Orders at the start of each Game Turn.

 

Replacement of TACs for Command Orders - This leads nicely to another change in 3.0. TACs are very much a 'marmite' mechanic at present...you either love 'em or you hate 'em...From a design point of view I must confess I am not a fan - game balance is problematic, putting new cards into player's hands is very difficult, and from a living-game perspective, TACs are immutable rather than the flexible mechanic it needs to be in the modern gaming-environment. I am looking to put 8 Factional Orders into each Force List that are bespoke to each Faction in FSA to give us the mobility to change  This also make the FSA games' transition into making it app-capable much easier. 

 

Interesting idea, I'd like to see more before I pass sentence on whether or not I like it. But right up front I don't like the idea of what should be basic maneuvers (belly up, shunt out, etc) being tied/limited by this.

 

Quote

 

Range Band Notation – This is a light change, and cosmetic for the most part, allowing us to cite a Range Band by a proper name rather than a prosaic number. Remember, no range band ranges have changed....just the 1/2/3/4.

 

Cool, this has only been a minor problem with teaching the game to new players.  Out of the 12+ people I've taught/demoed the game to, only two had issues/confusion over the numbered range bands.

Quote

Creation of Core Weapon Types – To give more information to you all on the Primary/Secondary/Tertiary Weapons mechanics - this naming policy allows for commanders to use coherency effects in conjunction with Command Points expenditure to gain a +1 to hit effect when firing provided the coherency attack fulfils the range stipulations.

So... 3x Dindrenzi Cruisers firing their Primary Rail Gun Weapons would get +1 to hit, provided the Attack had 1xCP spent on it and all Cruisers were within either Short or Medium Range (RB2/3 in 'old money').

Or... 4x Directorate Frigates firing its Secondary Beam Weapons would get +1 to hit, provided the Attack had 1xCP spent on it and the firers were at Point Blank Range (RB1 in 'old money').

Or... A Terran Battleship firing its Tertiary Torpedo Weapons would get +1 to hit, provided the Attack had 1xCP spent on it and the Terran Battleship was at Long Range (RB4 in 'old money').

 

Sounds almost needlessly complex, and maybe even a bit overpowered.  Have to see more to decide.

 

Quote

New Ship Classifications and Sizes – This essential if we are to grow the game beyond its present state. I don't agree with some posters suggesting we should be simply releasing more mediums and call them all cruisers or destroyers or gunships. We need to differentiate these ships to allow them to hold a different functions within the game - otherwise players will rile against the fact that older models are wall-flowers and ultimately Spartan are perceived to be invalidating previous purchases through a process of replacement.

So creating a framework of consistencies that build the reasoning for Heavy, Standard and Light Cruisers/Gunships/Destroyers (along with Armoured, Support, Repair, Logistics/, R+D, Assault Cruisers, etc) to exist and feel different is vital in my view. If players look at the Force Lists as they stand it isn't difficult to see where certain models could live...but at the same time, look at the gaps in each list were the framework permits innovation.... this is the structured design space I seek to develop to allow faction to grow under an aegis of balance and control.

As reddwarf noted, certain vessels with a larger squadron size should expect a notation shift - So, Aquan Isonade Cruisers are indeed moving into the Light Cruiser bracket.

 

Understandable, I can see the potential need for this, if done right.

 

Quote

-------------

New Crit Table(s) – The table allows for Targeted Strikes, Cyber Attacks and Boarding Assaults to use the Focused D6 roll (Green Column), with all other Critical Hits using the Standard 2D6 (Yellow Column)

To give folks more information on the new Crit Table, here is a sample graphic*:

FIRESTORM ARMADA CRITICAL DAMAGE TABLE

Standard

2D6

Focused

D6

Damage

Effect

Effect Rules

Repair?

4

1

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

5

2

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

6

3

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

7

-

3

xxx

xxx

xxx

8

4

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

9

5

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

10

6

2

xxx

xxx

xxx

*forgive the crudity of this image, but the forum has its limits*

This permits a 2D6 and 1D6 distribution to exist within the same framework, meaning that a single graphic reduces referral (as we have currently in Targeted Strikes). Players will notice the 7 result (6/36 distribution) allocates 3 Damage to the target! ...this is intentional.

Don't like certain aspects of this. Fixing the non-effect crits is VERY good, I don't like the 3 HP damage on the table, especially in the most common slot.  I especially don't like the the Focused thing and how it affects Cyber/Targeted strikes.  Right now it seems like a randomized screw-over. I try attacking with Cyberwarfare now in V2 and I call it against Defensive Systems, ok fine, maybe I only get a Hazard Marker but I got to choose what I went for.  At first glance this looks like 'you make a Cyberwarfare attack and then roll random to see what you get.'  NO! F&@# that random B.S.  (I may be completely wrong on this, but this is how it looks to me right now. This is the only the first whiff of the stench of what I hated most about V1.5, Taking Away My Options! )

 

Quote

Removal of the AD-Degradation System – I appreciate this change might have folks gasping! The AD-reduction system has been integral to the previous Firestorm Armada rules sets, but its clear given our feedback from new starts and those tasked with teaching the game to prospective new players and the status quo is confusing and time consuming - especially when dealing with multiple ships firing multiple weapons in multiple arcs. The Power Rating system as proposed is one of many that we have identified. Theses include:

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

Fortunately we have ample time to explore all design paths. At present I favour version 2 or 3, but am holding off until my test teams have a chance to throw dice at them all.

Right now I lean more towards 1 and 2 with a slightly stronger favor to 1.  If my dyscalculic math-retarded brain can handle to the current system, I don't see where the trouble comes in for new players. (I instantly took to the concept when I was first introduced to it back in V1.0, no problems).  Option 2 (like in Planetfall) would be a good second choice, I've seen newbies to Planetfall grasp the concept of it quickly.  Option 3, I'd have to see more on how it works to decide, but 4 is a hell no, it'd break the game.

 

Quote

Short Range Spacecraft (SRS) – Your replies we not as contentious as I was expecting (I was half expecting the meta-munchers to throw a fit citing I was targeting one of their 'auto-win/I'm the greatest wargamer mechanics'....which gives me confidence that we are on the right track). Nevertheless I'm going to put a bit more meat on the bones here.

Carriers (and any other vessel that gains Wings via a Hard Point) will now have the types of SRS they have available as a MAR named SRS Contingent (Types) - in the case of Hard Point-only Wings this default to just Interceptors. This allows us to tailor the SRS deployed by each vessel to ensure that the default of Interceptor, Interceptor, Interceptor OR Bomber, Bomber, Bomber doesn't persist across the game. Under the current test, certain Escort Carriers or Battle Stations simply wont have access to Bombers at all, and will instead perhaps find themselves with a SRS Contingent (Interceptors) MAR. Likewise Assault Carriers will have only Bombers allocated as their contingents, meaning its a good idea to buy them escorts or attachments such as Escort Carriers!

We also have certain larger vessels with access to Heavy Interceptors and Heavy Bombers.....these will be allocated to Fleet Carriers and alike who might have the SRS Contingent (Heavy Bomber, Heavy Intercpetor) MAR. Heavy Bombers/Interceptors are more resilient than Standard SRS, and are also more likely to pack a punch....they DO cost more however!

A Note on Assault Craft, Medical Shuttles and Repair Craft - Most vessels in the Firestorm Galaxy will no longer have access to these elements, and their use will be reallocated to larger carrier models that have an expressed function - such as a Medium Repair Cruiser for example. This model might have the SRS Contingent (Repair Craft) MAR to represent its focused activity within the game.

No, no, no, no, no, NO! HELL NO!

This is what I hated about V1.5 all over again. You're Taking Away My Options!!  I am now not allowed to choose how I load out my carriers anymore! And even worse, I now get shoved down my throat what I can/can't take!!!  You're taking away my Support Shuttles, now I'm going back to being forced to take some specific ship I probably don't even want just to have 'em.  Sorry, but I DO NOT like having to spend points on an entire ship/squadron just to have Medical Shuttles, it's complete bull$h!t! This whole fraking section is complete bull$h!t !!!

This has got to be one of the most retarded cures for the SRS issues! This alone has already got me on the edge of a total no-go for this edition!

And don't ANY of you DARE point the meta-munchkin finger at me!!! I am not a all-Bomber-munchkin, nor a PD Mountaineer, you can ask anyone in our gaming group, I mix it up, Fighters, Bombers, Support Shuttles, the occasional Assaulters when needed, Interceptors whenever I have the odd Wing slots leftover.

 

Quote

Boarding – These changes are the most pronounced from the previous game. We have removed the possibility of capturing ships as the rules as written were very wordy, essentially a vestigial layover from the original 1.0 rules. Instead we have focused the Boarding Action to be a Special Forces (Spec Ops) Raid rather than a Massed Boarding Assault, using the Focused Crit-Table as a launch point for the damage mechanics. This is intended to give players the feeling that they are launching their forces at a specific part of a ship (the weapons arrays, the shield generators, etc.). Boarding will also no longer be a one-stop-shop, and so can be launched numerous times (assuming a ship has enough Crew Points of course!) – This will allow boarding to be a tactical choice for some fleets without feeling overpowered or underpowered… it should simply facilitate the engagement of the Fleet in general

Of course I mentioned in the Blog that I thought folks would be upset at the removal of Capturing Battleships, Dreadnoughts and Leviathans. The thing is that in game, these effects are notional for the most part, rather than frequently realised, and so I have to look at the game in general when making design changes. Ship Prizing takes up a large part of the rules, requires additional tokens to realise, and in truth isn't really very thematic as we move away from the massed boarding idea towards targeted boarding mechanics. 

Having special forces target a dreadnought's weapon targeting arrays in a lightning strike seems more reasonable than saying that they can somehow subdue 2000+ crew....

Infiltrate->Execute->Extract principles are more in-keeping with the grand fleet battles that Firestorm Armada's imagery throws up into my mind. Those Spec-Ops assaulters that roll more hits (or the same number of hits) than the defenders may then roll on the focused Table (see above) applying the Damage and the Effect allowing them to be effective against the core systems on a ship...and if they roll twice as many hits (or the enemy roll none!) they don't roll at all and instead CHOOSE their preferred crit....think of this as being a perfect execution of the mission.

Of course the defenders aren't passive and if they roll twice as many hits as the assaulters (or the assaulters fluff it and roll no hits) the surviving assaulters must immediately extract without rolling on the table, suffering another round of defensive PD fire as their transports are gunned down by the dogged defenders!

As many of you have mentioned, boarding is a bit of a tightrope in the design of Firestorm Armada...too many rules and it becomes clunky and (often through that clunkyness) underused. However too simple a system and the rules become 'gamey' and open to abuse. We will be paying very carful attention to the Boarding parts of the rules over the months ahead and I will keep you all posted as we nail down the core rules.

 

I can see this, though not really keen on the removal of capture.  I think that the current boarding assault system works just fine. You're going in specific system in mind, it just so happens that if you roll really good then you can capture the ship. The thing that currently makes ship capture too easy is the absurdly high rate of crew loss hits on the Critical Hit Table.

As mentioned above in the Critical Hit, chart I absolutely don't like the random roll on the Focused Table. I'd rather take what we have now with inflicting just a Hazard Marker on a bad roll, than some random WTF!?! system is going down?

 

Quote

----------

Finally, a note on Movement - I am not surprised that folks are still looking for a faster Movement system. At present I have held back on commenting to gauge where the community sits on the issue. I obviously have my own point of view and a number of rules in the background to smooth things out, but none of this should be cited until you have had your say IMO. Firestorm Armada is at its core a Movement->Firepower game....that is to say that good tactical Movement generates situations whereby strong Firepower can be applied... of course after that we are all in the laps of the Dice-Gods... but for the most part it is true that movement forms a cornerstone of the game's tactics.

One method I have pitched to our teams is to change the 45-degree template to being a straight line one with 3x1" integers on it (possibly with a 45-degree cut-out edge to assist LoS questions)...this allows us to keep the tactical movement without having to find space for a pesky 45-degree template between our models.

  • All turning is done on the spot, with the Movement Template being used to determine how many inches you have to move directly ahead before you can perform your next turn.
  • Turn Limit 0" 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

But this is only one of the ideas being swirled about in the design team. There are ideas ranging from using the DW Template system, Curved Templates, Halo: Fleet Battles Turning Mechanics (although I will accept that my method is quite similar to that, but with more of an old Firestorm Focus) and of course keeping the status quo!

 

I guess my question to you all is....if you don't like the current Movement system, how would you like to see it change?
 

To me Movement is fine just the way it is. I don't think there is anything 'klunky' about it, it's just a matter of the person/player being more efficient in their move. (and the examples of the skinny turn template help a bit too.)  It's fine the way it is don't frak with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And now some more comments:

  • Replacement of TACs for Command Orders – I rather like this idea, if correctly implemented. Gives nice design space for focused options. Devil will be in the details. How many Command Points do you get and at what cost? One-time points or per turn budget? What can you do with them and how much do they cost? A miss on any of these points can make this fail, but I see lots of space for a good addition to the game.
  • Creation of Core Weapon Types – I’m still not seeing how this will work. I just wait for the first sample ship stats to come out to see if it is an enhancement or a waste of ink.
  • New Ship Classifications and Sizes – Not opposed to new class names as long as it is clearly defined how it fits into fleet construction in advance. That being said, unless the classes have a concrete effect on fleet selection, the difference between a Light/Standard/Heavy/Armored/Assault/Torpedo/R&D cruiser is in the stats, not the name.
  • New Crit Table(s) – I like the Focused Crit Table, which I see tailer made for Cyberwarfare. I always found it rather odd that you get to target a weapon that really should be looking for the weakest part of your defenses and then screwing with that regardless of what it is. Not so sure about making the most common role a superior result, since no Critical Effect is better than a dead ship. Still, moving extra damage to the middle of the table will speed up the game.
  • Short Range Spacecraft (SRS) – I am half-way onboard with restricting ships to specific SRS choices. I like the idea if it includes the possibility of options via Hardpoints/Upgrades. For example, Terran Ares Carrier has SRS Contingent (Heavy Bomber, Interceptor) MAR with Hardpoint Options of Interceptor becomes Heavy Interceptor, Lose Heavy Bomber to gain Assault Craft, and Gain Medical Shuttles or Repair Craft.
  • Boarding – It looks like we need to track AP values in this system given your comments about rolling PD against unsuccessful attackers. I don’t like that idea. We don’t need another thing to track. KISS. Either you can assault again or you can’t. If you get massively beat while Boarding, the ship gains a Boarding Expended token and can’t Board for the rest of the game.
  • Movement – My first thought was Curved Template is a silly idea. On reflection, a curved template that sits at the side of the base (flat section lines up with rear of base up to the center and then curves outward) and shows the most extreme turn possible is not a bad idea.  You can quickly judge just how far you can go and go less without needing to slavishly use the template.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Command and Control – I'll have to wait and see I guess.  I don't like how they work in Planetfall so I hope it's not similar, I guess.
  • Creation of Core Weapon Types – If the only impact is how they interact with C&C, then, meh.  Wait and see, again.
  • New Ship Classifications and Sizes – Still trying to understand what you mean here.  Are you tying certain attribute values to a class type?  For example, is a "Light Frigate" always something like DR 3, CR 4, Elusive, and SQ 6; while a regular Frigate DR 3, CR 5, Difficult Target, and SQ 4; and a Heavy Frigate DR 4, CR 5, DT and SQ 3?  If this is the case, how would you deal with "faction traits" like Dindrenzi having higher than normal CR across the board?  
  • New Crit Table(s) – A bit puzzled by the focused crit-table.  Mechanically it makes perfect sense, but it seems to indicate you can't do a targeted strike, cyber assault, or boarding attack against a particular target area.  IE instead of attacking "Defenses" with a range of results just for that area, you are using a restricted section of the regular crit table, which means you never know until the roll where your "targeted strike" is actually going to target ;)   I assume I'm misunderstanding something somewhere.
  • Removal of the AD-Degradation System - Personally I'm a big fan of option 2.  It's simple, clean, easy to explain, and doesn't need additional tracking or pre-planning.  It's what I would have gone with had I been in charge of 3.0 :)  A few judicious +1's to AD's and you can get almost identical damage curves too.
  • Short Range Spacecraft (SRS) – No problems at all with restricting SRS on certain platforms. V2 already has at least one example of that, and it's an obvious way to encourage true carrier use as opposed to battleships with wings.  I've also thought it would be a good idea to restrict certain wing related MAR's (like Quick Launch or Deck Crews) to true carriers, and even add new ones (a MAR to allow 3 tokens instead of 2?  Or >6 wings in a flight?).  Which could again fold into the ship classifications.
  • Boarding – Not a fan of going back to tracking AP like we did in v1, but not a big deal to me either way.
  • Movement – Are you reading my mind?  +1 to all turn limits and pivot movement is my preferred solution there too.  It ends up being way faster to play, and has minimal impact on final positioning and arcs (worst case is something like Dindrenzi BB with fixed fore, but if you actually measure it out at current 3" TL plus move during turn, to 4" TL plus pivot, the bases end up overlapping; ditto if you play it out using the -1 TL hardpoint).  Anything with full firing arcs basically doesn't care at all.  It's a little different, but doesn't change the "feel" of movement in the game at all. That said, a usable curved template (or set of them, since I imagine the radius of the curve would have to change by TL) would be really cool and much more inertia/space like.  I'd love to see how that could work (just make the templates THIN please).

 

Share this post


Link to post
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.