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S.Derek

Firestorm Armada 3.0 Designer Feedback Thread

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1 minute ago, hardygun said:

I can understand disliking ships becoming ineffective as they become damaged, but saying that AD reduction due to damage makes "zero sense" is overselling it a bit.  

If you look at most of the ships, their firepower is based on firing multiple weapons into the same arc.  Instead of making you fire 5 to 10ish weapons individually the system condenses this into a single AD value.  As a ship gets pummeled by enemy fire it is going to lose control linkages, power supplies, and weapon mounts.  Rather than make you keep track of all of these things individually the system abstracts this by lowering your AD values to represent that accumulation of damage.  Many of the ships that rely on a single big gun can still be susceptible to accumulated damage.  Take a rail gun, it works by using a chain of magnets to accelerate a slug along its length and launch it at the enemy.  You can have links in the chain fail and still fire the weapon, but the net effect is that your slug will not reach the same velocity as a fully functional rail gun.  Since F=MA, as you reduce A you reduce F and this is represented by a smaller AD pool.

The logic behind the damage system is fine; cluttering up the field with mostly dead ships that are unlikely to contribute may not be.  Personally, I don't have a problem with it.  It fits with a space combat game involving ships upwards of thousands of meters long and gives me the on the fly tactical decision of "what can I do with this crippled ship to help me win?"

Whoops, broke my example.  When I said rail gun what I described was a coil gun o.O

Rail guns would fall more in the "either the gun works, or not" bucket.  The only damage I can readily think of that would make a rail gun less effective would be a reduction in its power supply, which would weaken its magnetic field and have the same effect as removing links from a coil gun.  My bad.

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27 minutes ago, hardygun said:

Take a rail gun, it works by using a chain of magnets to accelerate a slug along its length and launch it at the enemy.  You can have links in the chain fail and still fire the weapon, but the net effect is that your slug will not reach the same velocity as a fully functional rail gun.  Since F=MA, as you reduce A you reduce F and this is represented by a smaller AD pool.

Gonna be *that guy*. You're confusing the induction coils (which are not solid magnetic rings) on a Gauss Rifle or Coil Gun with a Railgun.

A Railgun is 2 conducting rails and a conductive projectile, or more commonly with a conductive sabot of some kind. A current is passed down the rails and, through the round. The magnetic field generated in the round is at right angles to the fields generated by the rails so the round is pushed away. 

A Gauss or Coil gun uses a series of induction coils that are switched on in succession as a round reaches them, each impelling the round faster and faster. But yeah, knock out some coils and the round wont reach as great a velocity. I believe that this is what the Terrans have as primary weapons and PD. I think the V1 or V1.5 book mentions coilgun mass drivers somewhere.

There does also exist the plasma-rail gun...

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Hi! I started to play to this game 2 weeks ago, and after 2 or three games I have some suggerences to the new game, or at least, changes that I think it could improve the game experience.

First, weapons, maybe adding more different kinds of them could help to differenciate the different races.

Second, and probably the most important, the movement. It could be possible to consider to have a big movement base, with enough space to prepare different formations of the ships, but moving all together? I think most of the time spent in the turn is moving each one to achieve a formation in which the different ships are together and oriented to the desired direction, sometimes this means difficult positions in which I unintentionally move other ships with my hands, could be possible to find any solution to accelerate the game speed without losing the strategic point related to this idea?

Regarding to this point, the ship turning system. In taskforce, Tier 3 ships can make 2 turns during their movement, one at the start and one after moving their half of full movement value, while tier 2 and 1 only can perform 1 turn. In FSA, turns allows higher strategic movements, but in addition to the difficult moving of squads of 4-6 ships as I pointed out before, I think this fact makes the game slower, but the Taskforce system is too much simple, could you find something intermediate between these two points of view for FSA 3.0? I think that could be good if ships have number of turns equal to their tier value, with the chance to add an extra turn with an specific MAR (Maneouvrable maybe?). I think it could be a good solution

Third, the critic table and effects, I think it could be possible to find something between FSA 2.0 rules and taskforce, since the critic table of taskforce looks really good, but I think losing all damage effects makes the game so much simple.

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Of course I am a very unexperienced player, so I would like to know from veteran players if they find the same problems related with the movement of the squads...in addition, I would like to know from the spartan staff their opinion about points and average time of an standard game ( I mean, the points that they consider that achieve a balance between time and enough ponts to allow a balanced an strategic game) thank you! :D

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6 hours ago, hardygun said:

Whoops, broke my example.  When I said rail gun what I described was a coil gun o.O

Rail guns would fall more in the "either the gun works, or not" bucket.  The only damage I can readily think of that would make a rail gun less effective would be a reduction in its power supply, which would weaken its magnetic field and have the same effect as removing links from a coil gun.  My bad.

Even with a rail gun there a systems that would degrade damage rather without stopping the weapon from working, eg. the capacitor banks, targeting, sensors, and propulsion. 

I think we need more info on the power core idea, eg. would it affect speed and/or shields as well as weapons?

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On 24/04/2017 at 6:46 PM, Stoobert said:

Combining rather than 1/2-linking additional ships is an interesting streamlining opportunity.  It just causes the "AD inflation" for some squads I mentioned earlier. 

That is why I suggested to drop linking in favour of combining, while at the same time introducing a Command Point cost for this.

This makes combining or not a decision you have to weigh against other uses of your Command Points, while simultaneously strengthening battleships and the likes, because their maximum power attacks do not require Command Points. If a cruiser squadron wants to take on a dreadnought, they can still do so with agood chance of success, but it will require some attention from the admiral to pull it off (Command Point fee).

Also, this would open up options for new models like command ships, say, a cruiser with reduced AD but with some MAR that gives an extra Command Point (perhaps limited to its own squadron). Drop one of those into a squadron of regular cruisers (like you currently do with a heavy or an escort carrier) and they may now effectively combine their fire at will (as long as the lead ship survives), although their individual attacks will be weaker due to the command cruiser's weaker weapons.

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@blut_und_glas with this system, i cannot think of a use for command points that i wouldn't instantly drop for combining my fire...

The problem with combining is that, no matter how you try to balance it, you HAVE to use it. If you lower the effect by lowering every ships firepower, so that combining is comparable with linking now, you will rarely be able to damage ships 1on1. If you reduce the effect by "thoughening up" each ship, you get the same problem. And if everything  else stays the same, then why not use combining all the time, killing everything outright?

I rather like the idea of @Meatshield. Granted it doesn't help with the "problem" of ad degredation, but it adds another layer of depth and complexity to the game strategy wise, which i really like. Having more different stuff and more choices is always great!

I think the last pages have shown: We need more infos about the power core idea @Spartan Derek! Will it be the "feared" version where you can always fire 1 weapon at full power, or something more similar to the ad degredation we have now? Or even something we haven't thought of at all? =)

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I don't understand the Power Core mechanic - it seems to just be changing tracking of one thing to another - in fact, additional, metric (since I'm guessing HP will still be recorded). This also doesn't seem like rules tweaking, but a distinct and separate edition?

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Just a quick word on "zombie" ships, and a little Devil's advocate.

Why aren't you shunting out? If one of my units gets nutsacked, I spool and get it the hell out of there! The BL saving has turned would be defeats into draws for me. Your mileage may vary, of course.

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What Bessemer said. I think shunt escaping Tier 1s is a very important tactic. Their loss to the enemy is so much worse than them just leaving. To me it's been the difference between a tie and a total loss or victory. 

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1 hour ago, BluFlcn said:

What Bessemer said. I think shunt escaping Tier 1s is a very important tactic. Their loss to the enemy is so much worse than them just leaving. To me it's been the difference between a tie and a total loss or victory. 

Well, now we aren't because there's a good chance if things like Belly-Up are gonna cost Command Points, shunting out almost certainly will.

 

In the context of 2.0, a big reason I wouldn't shunt out a cruiser-sized hull is that if I do there's a good chance of it being picked off anyways, if I don't there may be an opportunity to use its firepower to give a leg up to the rest of my fleet before it bites the dust. I'd rather have that choice be an impactful part of the game, rather than having the race to pick off escaping ships be more of a part of the game than it is.

 

In the context of lone T1s, where the squad degrades in AD because of damage more than loss of squadmates, neither switching to Combining nor changes to AD degredation change much, you'll want to get it out either way at that point, and its AD per weapon need not change, unless it's one of the self-linking ships.

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Command Points are not going to be used to allow linking, I think that's almost a certainty. They are a limited resource (though not as limited as TACs) for doing special stuff, drives to maximum, overcharge weapons, improve repair rolls, bost command checks, special racial bonuses etc. Basically think TACs but you will have a crib sheet with standard and fleet specific options to pick from each turn, rather than pre selecting 3 at the start of a game. Greater player decision making, more nuanced. Derek posted over in the Planetfall forum with a sample selection of the core and directorate specific command options so you can get a fell of the way it may work for Armada.

Linking is too core a part of the game to move to the "super special effect" catagory

11 hours ago, Archer12 said:

I don't understand the Power Core mechanic - it seems to just be changing tracking of one thing to another - in fact, additional, metric (since I'm guessing HP will still be recorded). This also doesn't seem like rules tweaking, but a distinct and separate edition?

Speaking to Neil, the proposed power core mechanic value will drop with damage. So all you have to track is damage.

His rough concept was a Dind cruiser has 4HP, and there fore, 4 power core points, PCP(?). The rail gun may require 2 PCP to use and the gunrack 1 PCP. so at 3HP/PCP your ship is probably still ok but when you get down to 2 you have to make that decision to fire the railgun or the gunrack. Aquans wouldn't be quite so discoball as after damage they will have to start thinking about what arcs to fire in. He also mentioned the possibility of a support type ship that could shuttle PCP between one ship and another in a squadron. Again, just a rough concept.

So another metric is added to weapon systems, a PCP rating, but I dont think going PCP-damage, choose what to shoot, look up AD values, linking, rolling would be any more time consuming than looking up AD values, changing due to damage per ship, linking, rolling. 

This whole concept is still very much WIP and its probably 50/50 between some sort of power core idea and sticking with some AD-degradation mechanic. Other ideas for the power core are welcome! Systems Control? Systems Command? Its not necessarily the ability to power weapons specifically but a reflection on ability of the ship to operate.

I think it has potential, may speed the game up a little due to more death, opens up options for more cool ship types and command options and forces more player decisions

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Power core working like that will murder terrans for sure and any other force that relies on multiple weaker guns linking together or strong guns in multiple arcs to fight or provide flexability to counter the more focused gun reliant forces. Aquans, terrans, sorrylians, and relthozans for certain will lose badly from this while dindrezi and directorate will benifit greatly.

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And to make even more systems reliant on the power system pushes this into even a greater disadvantage for terrans Aquans and even relthozans. Terrans and Asians have many weapons and shields to power. Relthozans have cloak and shunt drives probably fighting for Power.

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The more I look at it the more I think going to -1 per damage on the main attack and -1 per 2 damage for linking ships would be a simpler method or just leaving the linking system alone would be best and least problematic.

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25 minutes ago, CoreHunter said:

Power core working like that will murder terrans for sure and any other force that relies on multiple weaker guns linking together or strong guns in multiple arcs to fight or provide flexability to counter the more focused gun reliant forces. Aquans, terrans, sorrylians, and relthozans for certain will lose badly from this while dindrezi and directorate will benifit greatly.

if HP = Powervcore, , you can still make the dindrenzi Rialguns more expensive to use, then an aquan beam, to balance that.

 

 

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Dindrezi have roughly 3 weapons for the most part. A main rail gun with 2 support weapons and occasionally mines. Aquans depend on 4 full arcs coupled with mobility and shields with mines or torps. So that is dindrezi having 4 systems and aquans having 5.

Dindrezi using maybe 2 a round with large hp numbers and aquans aiming to use 5 a round with slightly lower hp numbers. It will be hard to balance as The moment dindrezi cannot use their main weapon they are nearly useless so making it too high will cripple the ships way early.

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If losing one hp means a cruiser loses a weapon or defence the ships will be nearly useless. After 2 hits that would be 2 systems so what would you as a sorylian player cut for The first then second and still want to keep that Shop in for? Will a full hp ship be able to even use all its weapons and shields as a terran or aquan with only 4hp. As the terran ship has 3 arcs and torps with shields.

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45 minutes ago, CoreHunter said:

And to make even more systems reliant on the power system pushes this into even a greater disadvantage for terrans Aquans and even relthozans. Terrans and Asians have many weapons and shields to power. Relthozans have cloak and shunt drives probably fighting for Power.

lol, auto correct! Damn Asians and their shields!

In short I do not know the full varagies of the power core idea. The Beta has not been released just yet, but obviously we know it will require careful thought and balancing to stop some of the situations you have described. Most of those were my initial thoughts as well. It wont be 2 PCP to fire a Dind main battle ship rail gun!

Neil didn't mention anything about powering shields or movement or cloaks with the power core. Maybe we should call it Weapons Control? I would expect things like tertiary systems (torps, mines etc) to not require anything from the power core. I would also like to see weapon systems that are "not powered" to maybe only operate at half of their given AD? So ships are not left completely toothless. These are just my thoughts and suggestions. I know nothing really, and when I do learn more it will be under NDA!

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Which is why I think simply reviewing and altering the current linking equation and AD degradation is the way to go for game updates. People are asking for refinement not re-invention.

Power Cores is adding another stat to track in addition to all the other things already being tracked, it requires as presented to use specialised values per ship archetype/role as simply blanket numbers would substantially shift balance in a way I can't see being healthy. 

Going back to the idea with linked numbers being provided that I mentioned (yes I admit bias to it), it does add a value to be tracked, but it also removes the floating invisible number many players have to track whenever linking is involved. Add in alterations to the linking equation that subtracts damage at the end instead of the beginning/middle and the idea to me meshes very smoothly to the point of easy adoption for experienced and new players. It's a refinement that grows the game and as I previously gave examples of opens design space. 

Now it's just a matter of addressing AD degradation. 

My thoughts? A floor to AD loss, a simple table in the rulebook, something like:

c1: 6

c2: 4

c3: 3

c4: 2

These are classes or categories, a "c1" ship can only ever lose a max of 6AD due to damage (think DNs). 

A "c4" is a basic Cruiser, and so maxes at -2AD. 

Smalls never degrade AD, a change that I feel would greatly speed up certain linking situations and elevates Smalls slightly in terms of damaged ones lingering. 

This is by far not refined and could definitely be, but it is an idea to address "zombie" ships.

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What bothers me is the assault system.

So it won´t be possible to capture a ship.  What happens then with factions that rely on assaults and capturing ships as their "way of life", like Corsairs, Ba'kash, Veydreth and Pathogen.  Special mention goes for the Pathogen, not capturing ships removes most of their mechanics.

 

I think boarding system should be kept otherwise is a downgrade of the rules, in my oppinion.

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yeah directorate is really good at boarding, one of the players on the last tournament really got me scared and perfected Boarding as the means to win.

 but the best thing in Armada is that there is always a counter list.

I played and won against boarding lists!

My regular Opponent also found a way to Counter a 28 wing list, with just 2 sets of interceptors.

We might have the Advantage that between the two of us we have all fleets but sorylians, and both of us can bring a totally different fleet to the next game.


Getting all factions 100 % balanced will be hard, If one Player chooses to use an extrem version of his specific strenghts, the other fleet will struggle. But another race/fleet should be able to counter that list with ease.  That how I see the Balance right now, and thats where it has to be in V3.

 

 

 

 

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