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S.Derek

Firestorm Armada 3.0 Designer Feedback Thread

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On Zombie ships, Boarding, CV's, and Mines:

So Zombie ships. Entirely understandable IMO because in comparison to bluewater navies, a ship gets hit with a bomb or shell and it has a few ways of disabling a weapon.

1) Physically break the weapon itself, 2) Kill the men operating it, 3) Destroy internal access to the weapon (Ammunition feeding, manpower access, power supply cables, etc). Either way, it reduces the firepower of that ship.

 

Boarding is quite unrealistic without a doubt. That being said, and echoing what has been said before, one of the big draws for me initially (and I continue to enjoy) is the sheer variety of  options and style offered by FSA.  This also applies to proposed CV changes and locking in Wing types. Half the fun, for me anyway, is building wacky lists and tweaking them. More options are always better IMO as long as they can be reasonably balanced.

 

Mines are another hotbutton and drivebys are of course a problem. Single target mines kind of defeats the purpose. If that's the desire, why not just scrap Mines and give all ships rear arc guns?

My solution: Any ship that begins it's turn in range of an enemy Mine(s) but does not also end it's turn in range of the same Mine(s), does not trigger and is exempt from the damage of said Mine(s). Bonus fluff reason - Time delay fuse to allow the minelaying ship to get out of the danger zone before the Mine arms.

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Today's Dytopian Wars blog may contain a hint on the future of SRS in Armada:

Carriers The rules for Carriers have changed in two main ways. Firstly, the MAR you will see in your unit profiles now has two elements. The First is the Carrier value which, as before, is used for determining carrier actions (more on those in a moment). The second element details the Support Aircraft Squadron(s) that a carrier provides. So, for example, the Imperium Sky Fortress has: Carrier (6, 1X5 Wing). The Seydlitz Mobile Airfield has: Carrier (9, 2X4 Wing).

The second part kinda sounds like the earlier descriptions of having wing composition tied to a specific hull.  As long as the parent ship's cost lines up well with the capabilities of its SRS complement, the fundamental principle seems like it would work to give Carriers a purpose and help curtail some of the worse abuses of the SRS rules.

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The SRS abuses stem from the tokens themselves, not so much the parent vessel.

Restricting the options that SRS capable vessels can take just shifts the problem around without actually solving it, and it will just serve to obsolete the SRS capable ships that don't bring the favorable loadout.

The problems are:

1, Bombers provide PD like Interceptors on the opening turns effectively "double-dipping" in jobs even if they aren't as good.

Solution? Remove the ability for bombers to provide this PD to nearby ships (the bombers can still defend themselves).

2, PD hits against SRS are determined from an individual ship, with any drive off results being discarded before moving to the next ship (essentially clean slate engagement each time), greatly negating the point of overlapping PD defence from something like escorts.

Solution? PD hits against SRS are determined on a per squad basis, so the 3 escorts protecting a BB now actually have a reasonable chance to actually drive off a token.

3, Enough Interceptors completely stonewall anything needing to breach PD, a 6 strong token or multiple 3 strong tokens are adding anything from 6-12 PD against torps, boarding and other SRS.

Solution? Nerf Interceptor PD quantitatively while maintaining a quality edge (otherwise fighter become the new Interceptor). Reduce them to 1 PD like the others, just make it a better PD roll. Maybe they stop hits on a 3+, or reroll 1's, either way with the exploding dice mechanic as the number of dice increases for a roll the likelihood of a blowout result increases, that's why Interceptors are so dominating 12PD is alot to obtain blowout rolls on, reducing to 6 even on a 3+ significantly cuts down on the odds of a chain of 6's and sets a lower cap of successes.

 

The above are examples of attempting to address SRS abuse.

Taking SRS capable ships and slapping loadouts on them won't fix things if you don't deal with the above, again it just shifts the problem around.

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4 hours ago, Meatshield said:

The SRS abuses stem from the tokens themselves, not so much the parent vessel.

Restricting the options that SRS capable vessels can take just shifts the problem around without actually solving it, and it will just serve to obsolete the SRS capable ships that don't bring the favorable loadout.

The problems are:

1, Bombers provide PD like Interceptors on the opening turns effectively "double-dipping" in jobs even if they aren't as good.

Solution? Remove the ability for bombers to provide this PD to nearby ships (the bombers can still defend themselves).

2, PD hits against SRS are determined from an individual ship, with any drive off results being discarded before moving to the next ship (essentially clean slate engagement each time), greatly negating the point of overlapping PD defence from something like escorts.

Solution? PD hits against SRS are determined on a per squad basis, so the 3 escorts protecting a BB now actually have a reasonable chance to actually drive off a token.

3, Enough Interceptors completely stonewall anything needing to breach PD, a 6 strong token or multiple 3 strong tokens are adding anything from 6-12 PD against torps, boarding and other SRS.

Solution? Nerf Interceptor PD quantitatively while maintaining a quality edge (otherwise fighter become the new Interceptor). Reduce them to 1 PD like the others, just make it a better PD roll. Maybe they stop hits on a 3+, or reroll 1's, either way with the exploding dice mechanic as the number of dice increases for a roll the likelihood of a blowout result increases, that's why Interceptors are so dominating 12PD is alot to obtain blowout rolls on, reducing to 6 even on a 3+ significantly cuts down on the odds of a chain of 6's and sets a lower cap of successes.

 

The above are examples of attempting to address SRS abuse.

Taking SRS capable ships and slapping loadouts on them won't fix things if you don't deal with the above, again it just shifts the problem around.

You obviously never been on a receiving end of a Terran torpedo spam if you think that nerfing interceptor PD is a solution to anything.Interceptors are fine its the other types of SRS that need to have a more meaningfull and specialised role like bombers not providing PD being pure attack craft fighters being anti SRS and interceptors being anti indirect weapon like torps and clearing mines.

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I think you're both wrong.  The only real problem with SRS the way they are now is that there is no effective way to counter Interceptors. Fighters, Bombers, Assaulters and Support Shuttles all work perfectly fine the way they are, Interceptors are the problem/broken issue.  The dead-simplest solution in my opinion is to let Interceptors make a limited form of Attack Run/Dogfight, ONLY against other Interceptors.  That way you have something of comparable effectiveness/power-level to counter an opponent who does Point Defense Mountain as a tactic, and since you're effectively making an Attack Run with your own Interceptors, they have to return to base so there's a form of checks-and-balances. Do you keep your own PD cover, or use those Interceptors to try and take down your opponent's PD cover?

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I agree with Commodore that Inferceptors are the only problem.  Let's address this in the most direct way: 1PD not 2PD.  

The 6" bubble (not 4") and Intercept move is still so good that I would still play them, particularly if I had 2-4 wings leftover.  If people weren't convinced give Interceptors 18" or 1AD to sweeten the deal   

That said I'd prefer that there were no bubble at all, that SRS literally attached to a single squad and protected it.  I've developed a whole prototype around this and it works great.  

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2 hours ago, Stoobert said:

 

That said I'd prefer that there were no bubble at all, that SRS literally attached to a single squad and protected it.  I've developed a whole prototype around this and it works great.  

It kind of worked that way in V1.0 Wings could free roam and only gave limited PD  against shots that were in line-of-sight, but could lend their full PD to ships/squadron the Wing attached to.

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6 hours ago, CoreHunter said:

Why not just let fighters hit first in a dogfight. Then they could be used to try and clear interceptors. 

You can already use Fighters to try and clear Interceptors by the current rules. It's the PD difference between the two that makes it almost futile, unless the Fighter player rolls really good and the Interceptor player rolls really bad. Even allowing Fighters to hit first on their PD roll to try and reduce the incoming return PD mountain probably wouldn't do very much.

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On 4/29/2017 at 9:28 AM, Xerkics said:

You obviously never been on a receiving end of a Terran torpedo spam if you think that nerfing interceptor PD is a solution to anything.Interceptors are fine its the other types of SRS that need to have a more meaningfull and specialised role like bombers not providing PD being pure attack craft fighters being anti SRS and interceptors being anti indirect weapon like torps and clearing mines.

12 PD + X PD from whichever ship is the target of the torpedo attack.

We are talking about PD levels that equal or exceed the AD of the torpedo attack in question.

Interceptors providing 2PD are a problem, they need toning down in PD quantity.

As for facing torpedo spam I play Terrans and I have faced torpedo attacks frequently that reach into 12+AD, One token of 6 interceptors carefully placed negates torpedo attacks to the extent that you shouldn't bother. An Ares running 6 Bombers and 6 Interceptors can early game strategically provide 12-18 additional PD to any key ships I care about. I don't say this as theory, I say this as experience. Having played Terrans since v1 and when the Aegis was the only Medium to take it is very easy to maintain tight groupings for coverage, 6" is plenty of space when you factor in that that number is the radius of a circle. A 6" radius means you have a circle with an area in excess of 100". People underestimate just how much space that is and how easy it is to keep 8 odd important ships within that area.

 

Interceptors are simply the biggest thing breaking SRS in 2.0, bombers offensively are fine but defensively they could use a little tweaking to remove the ability to be a little to "all-rounder", A Hydra getting +6PD first turn until those bombers attack is excessive. The PD hits wiping after each ship means it can be almost statistically impossible for a BB plus 3 escorts to actually drive off a 6 strong bomber token, literally the only die result that will have any impact is a 6, as hits are just discarded after each ship is rolled. 

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15 hours ago, Meatshield said:

12 PD + X PD from whichever ship is the target of the torpedo attack.

We are talking about PD levels that equal or exceed the AD of the torpedo attack in question.

Interceptors providing 2PD are a problem, they need toning down in PD quantity.

As for facing torpedo spam I play Terrans and I have faced torpedo attacks frequently that reach into 12+AD, One token of 6 interceptors carefully placed negates torpedo attacks to the extent that you shouldn't bother. An Ares running 6 Bombers and 6 Interceptors can early game strategically provide 12-18 additional PD to any key ships I care about. I don't say this as theory, I say this as experience. Having played Terrans since v1 and when the Aegis was the only Medium to take it is very easy to maintain tight groupings for coverage, 6" is plenty of space when you factor in that that number is the radius of a circle. A 6" radius means you have a circle with an area in excess of 100". People underestimate just how much space that is and how easy it is to keep 8 odd important ships within that area.

 

Interceptors are simply the biggest thing breaking SRS in 2.0, bombers offensively are fine but defensively they could use a little tweaking to remove the ability to be a little to "all-rounder", A Hydra getting +6PD first turn until those bombers attack is excessive. The PD hits wiping after each ship means it can be almost statistically impossible for a BB plus 3 escorts to actually drive off a 6 strong bomber token, literally the only die result that will have any impact is a 6, as hits are just discarded after each ship is rolled. 

Agree with you, but it must be taking into account that interceptors have no offensive rol, so if you spend the wing capacity of your carrier in six interceptors, your carrier has no offensive capacity, and interceptors only can move at 12" of your ship + 6" of interception movement...maybe the solution is related to limiting that distance and just giving total movement of 10-12" maximum, in order to allow interceptors to protect the nearest ship, with of course affect to your strategy and deployment, but keeping the 3+ impacts and pd value

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1 hour ago, Aetius88 said:

Agree with you, but it must be taking into account that interceptors have no offensive rol, so if you spend the wing capacity of your carrier in six interceptors, your carrier has no offensive capacity, and interceptors only can move at 12" of your ship + 6" of interception movement...maybe the solution is related to limiting that distance and just giving total movement of 10-12" maximum, in order to allow interceptors to protect the nearest ship, with of course affect to your strategy and deployment, but keeping the 3+ impacts and pd value

I'm going to have to disagree here; completely shutting down an opponent's weapon system is offensive, as it keeps your ships fighting longer.

As a thought, would interceptors be broken if they had a PD each but hit on a 3+?

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Hi Kurgan

 

I have been active on other parts of the forum and of course busy doing rules writing!

Never fear I am looking in on the discussions being had on this thread.B)

 

I wish to give the forum members a chance to debate the things I have put forwards without me souring their conclusions with comment based upon a fuller picture of the rules in development. I will be adding updates when I have more, or wish to clarify questions being posted. At present we are finishing off a very large test in the design space regarding the Power Rating, and Command Point applicative uses, so if I were to come in with any definitive points here, they might be erroneous if the test goes in a different direction.

I will be taking a few days to redirect onto Armada to look over the Design Team's feedback and then will be able to pitch into this thread with more information.

 

Cheers

d

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6 hours ago, ThePayneTrayn said:

I'm going to have to disagree here; completely shutting down an opponent's weapon system is offensive, as it keeps your ships fighting longer.

As a thought, would interceptors be broken if they had a PD each but hit on a 3+?

Yes, but as i said previously, bombers are much more offensive than interceptors for enemy ships, and the carrier goes in small squads, so their offesnsive power without bombers is limited. Also, their speed an maneouvrability  is not very high, so if you want to be protected by their interceptors, you must deploy together...I usually take 2 wings of interceptors and 6 for bombers, because I think this choice is much better, provides excellent pd and also very high offensive damage. In this sense, maybe, as other post said, is remove the pd of the bombers, giving to each srs a concrete roleplay, but your idea of 1 pd hitting on 3+ is also good, unfortunately it presents the problem of you must use separate or different colour dices to mark the interceptor dices defending vs torpedos or similar weapons...

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1 hour ago, Commodore Jones said:

I'm still leery of this proposed Power Core system.  Is there a chance we could get an Official Optional Rule in 3.0 to use the current Damage Reduction rules instead.

I would support this as well. However, I believe that the Titan Dreadnaught having Torpedo Spook is slightly more important. 

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On 2017-4-28 at 0:48 PM, Presidente said:

Boarding should still be limited, to get a team of marines too say the engine room to do some damage, in the first place it should be almost impossible considering you have to get past an airlock, security personnel then assume the important areas of the ship have more defence troops, then by that time the boarded ship knows which area too send reinforcements etc etc, really boarding shouldn't be a thing or chance of success should be so slim its unbelievable:)

I disagree with you on this. One we have no indication of the size of the marine team going in, given the way boarding works now you could be sending over an entire ships worth of marines.  Two, marines are going to be equipped for a boarding action and, unlike the defenders, boarding parties don't have to restrict themselves to weapons that will avoid collateral damage, both to the ship and it's crew.  Third, we always assume this is a battle inside the ship but, if you remove the chance to capture the vessel, almost every important system has external components a boarding crew could damage to great effect.  Finally, these are space ships, a little damage goes a long way, and cascade effects aren't just possible, they're likely.   So in conclusion there is no reason for removing or weakening such a fun component of the game.  

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So at what speed are these ships traveling and how fast you going to go to get onboard? Boarding is a bit extreme in terms of feasibility out side it just seems neat while honestly being unreasonable. 

A. Weaken it and make it reusable. Or

B. Keep capture and leave it single use.

Even capturing a single controls room of any reasonable sized ship is unreasonable as the amount of built in systems that would be in place to prevent this would be overwhelming in an environment that this would happen in.

If ships being captured focused every battle then you would have things in place to stop it.

As such in a battle you get shot at so ships are protected from guns. Stealth, sheilds, etc.

Torps are fired at ships so PD is in place etc.

If sending a hand full or a city worth of soldiers hurtling through space at The spear of flannel is common place I doubt most ships will simply have a welcome may for them. Most ships Will probably have a mile long corridor for them to have to March down under fire to get to the control room.

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Boarding, as a combat tactic, in space combat is simply ridiculous.

It already starts with a “shuttle” finding and intercepting a fully combat manoeuvrable space warship a zillion miles away.

Next we have a shuttle “landing” on this no doubt evading space warship, something as good as impossible to do without ending up as a smear on the target’s hull.

Then we have the target’s PD, capable of shooting down torpedoes coming in at ridiculous speed, that will just have a field day shooting down some sitting ducks stupid enough to try for a zero-zero intercept.

And even if you do manage to land on the target’s hull without ending up as bug-splash or being blown to smithereens by PD, you still have to get to your target inside the ship.

Will you be able to get through armour intended to stop warship sized weaponry, will you know where to go inside an alien ship, will you be able to recognize the system you came to destroy, will you even physically fit inside the ship’s corridors.

And all this while the target ship’s crew is no doubt trying to kill you or get rid off you, and preferably both.

Hidden remotely controlled defence weaponry and booby-traps in every corridor, and an enemy totally controlling the environment, “Well, let’s vent a bit of reactor plasma through corridor 73B and see how they like that.”

 

The invention of steam power and the machine-gun rendered boarding obsolete as a combat tactic over a century ago, but now we must have it again, in space combat no less, because some movie makers with a film academy degree, and zero knowledge of exact sciences, thought it would look “cool” on the big screen.

And for what?

It adds nothing something greatly more plausible couldn’t add too.

The only things it does manage is to kill of suspension of disbelief for anyone with an exact science knowledge beyond the film academy level, and cause enough congestion on the gaming table to derail the movement system.

So let’s just bury the whole smelly affair six feet under and pretend it never happened...

 

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On 4/30/2017 at 7:09 PM, Meatshield said:

12 PD + X PD from whichever ship is the target of the torpedo attack.

We are talking about PD levels that equal or exceed the AD of the torpedo attack in question.

Interceptors providing 2PD are a problem, they need toning down in PD quantity.

As for facing torpedo spam I play Terrans and I have faced torpedo attacks frequently that reach into 12+AD, One token of 6 interceptors carefully placed negates torpedo attacks to the extent that you shouldn't bother. An Ares running 6 Bombers and 6 Interceptors can early game strategically provide 12-18 additional PD to any key ships I care about. I don't say this as theory, I say this as experience. Having played Terrans since v1 and when the Aegis was the only Medium to take it is very easy to maintain tight groupings for coverage, 6" is plenty of space when you factor in that that number is the radius of a circle. A 6" radius means you have a circle with an area in excess of 100". People underestimate just how much space that is and how easy it is to keep 8 odd important ships within that area.

 

Interceptors are simply the biggest thing breaking SRS in 2.0, bombers offensively are fine but defensively they could use a little tweaking to remove the ability to be a little to "all-rounder", A Hydra getting +6PD first turn until those bombers attack is excessive. The PD hits wiping after each ship means it can be almost statistically impossible for a BB plus 3 escorts to actually drive off a 6 strong bomber token, literally the only die result that will have any impact is a 6, as hits are just discarded after each ship is rolled. 

Its an opportunity cost srs are expensive and interceptors are not the biggest breaking SRS people dont load up on them because they like but because they have to to protect themselves against SRS and torp spam you pay the points to protect yourself from the spam and they dont do anything else and you gimp your offence capability by taking them unlike the other srs its really things like bombers and fighters need to be less of jack of all trades like bombers shouldnt provide any pd at all. IF they were to nerf interceptors they d need to rebalance all indirect weapons. ITs not like Tier 1 are the only ships that get attacked by torp spam and smaller ships have much smaller pd pools. Also nerfing them would severely restrict the usefulness of escort ships. 

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I don't believe boarding would be common place, simply because it would generally be a one way trip whether you succeed or not, and who's prepared to through away lives like that?  That doesn't mean it wouldn't be effective when it is used, quite the opposite.  

 

Getting the boarders on to the ship would be difficult, I don't believe maneuverability would be an issue due to the huge mass difference between even a corvette and a boarding shuttle, but PD definitely would be, which is already represented in the game.  Shields may be an issue here, as well as things like propulsion methods and artificial gravity, but there's not enough fluff available to say either way.  

 

Once aboard the offensive party is trying to damage the ship as much as possible, while the defenders are trying to limit that damage, which means the defenders are limited in their options.  You could vent plasma into a corridor, open compartments to vacuum, or have automated gun turrets with armor piercing rounds, but what are the consequences for your ship and crew? The boarders however are simply trying to sell their lives as dearly as possible which gives them free reign to use any offensive weapon which won't accelerate their own deaths.  A ships marine contingent would also be equipped similarly to a planetfall unit, where as the the rest of a ships crew is unlikely to be armed, and very unlikely to be armoured, which means the main battle would be almost purely between the two marine forces.  

 

If we're aiming for realism, a boarding attack should behave more like an indirect weapon but damaging ships AP and CP instead of HP, allowing for a roll on the critical table for particularly high success.

 

Ships being captured is unrealistic, apart from the effort required to do so, how do you control the ship unless the crew cooperate.

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On 19-4-2017 at 1:17 PM, Spartan Derek said:

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?

The current movement system is troublesome.

To start with, it depicts wet navy movement, which is a bit ridiculous in space.

Next, it comes with a template that’s way to often impossible to place without moving models/bases out of the way.

Last, if fleets get “up close and personal” the movement system breaks down, as in you not being able to move ships the size of dust specks where you want them to go any more because those enormous bases that don’t actually exist won’t fit between those other bases that don’t actually exist.

 

What I would like is something more Newtonian, something in which ships have a recorded speed, an ability to use acceleration potential to change that speed, and a turning ability depending on acceleration potential and speed.

 

What I don’t want is a “loosening up” of the current movement rules; in a world where some are capable to squeeze a U-turn out of three 45 degree turns, in a game in which such “innocent inaccuracies” mean life or death, you really need something that’s both clear and precise.

What the current system needs is a better template (set), and an incentive to keep opposing ships out of each other’s vicinity.

 

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I would get rid of boarding too its a silly mechanic, and its not like the ships that are really good at boarding are bad at shooting, they don't really pay for the ability to board, so what do regular factions get with average or low ap...boarding ships should at least cost more:)

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