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Toxic_Rat

Exploding d13's

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I'm with @alextroy that complex weapon types can slow the game down.   That's one issue.   I'm pro keeping some weapon types but their effects should should be simple and powerful.   Examples: ignoring Terrain (Grav and Torps) or Exploding 6s (Nuclear). 

The other issue is 2.0 weapon types are not sufficiently well-differentiated to justify being a "type".    Example:

  • Scatter are basically Primary that ignore +/- to hit at certain ranges - that's not a "type" IMHO, that's a MAR or a "coherence effect" like Biohazard.
  • Beams reroll 1's is negligible effect on gameplay ( and practically nearly the same as a cleaner +1 to hit, or just giving RB1 an extra die)
  • The difference between 8" and 10" bands is insignificant when most ships move 6+ inches.  You cannot effectively outrange a target that can easily close with you from your optimal range band to their optimal range band in a single activation

 

 

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Have to 100% disagree on this one.

The key question is: do these differences affect gameplay?

The answer to all of these is yes, they do.

Scatter weapons are only effective at close range - Sorylians want to close fast, not stay at range - this is a core piece of how they play in game

Beams re-rolling 1s being negligible - not in the many games I've witnessed. It might seem a small difference, but again it affects how ships are moved in the game (whether it's desirable or not is another matter)

Difference between 8" and 10" is definitely NOT insignificant - anyone who thinks this is missing some nuance of the game or hasn't played Relthoza. At RB3 that's 6" of difference, which (given a large ships movement restrictions) is usually more than enough to dance around the edges without getting caught-  again a direct gameplay effect.

In game design it's important to consider that how games are played in your area (the local meta) may or may not be the way games are played everywhere. Your experience thus becomes anecdotal, which is why games companies use larger (often global) groups to explore beta tests...it brings up things that have simply not been thought of, because we often find it difficult to take a different mindset.

 

There's another thing here, and I think it's expressed by what happened with a certain RPG involving Dragons and underground vaults... ;-) v4 of that game was a horrible, bloated monstrosity filled with so much "difference" and variance that everything almost became the same. when they released v5, they streamlined - small differences often provide the best opportunities for interesting play. Just because the difference between X and Y is small doesn't necessarily mean the effect of that is.

 

For example, take the Nereid Class Light Frigate - a DR4, CR4 ship...which most people didn't get to start with, except it has the Elusive Target and Reinforced Fore MARs. Now that means Capital class ships are only hitting on 6s, so two 6s destroys them, right? Not if you hit it from the front, when it's suddenly CR5 and will survive that shot - you need another 6. This makes them hard to swot on their fast, direct approach to a capital ship, to get into RB1 and use their rereoll 1 beam weapons to slice and dice...

 

Now there are a bunch of subtleties there that come into that design, using small nuances of existing design rules. Differentiation of weapon types was a huge leap forward for Firestorm, I don't think a v3 needs to go backwards here.

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I agree with Alex for the most part. The weapon classes opened up in V1 to V2 were a massive and well received change and added a lot to the game. That certainly needs to be retained. 

Personally I think V3 is the perfect opportunity to shake things up further and maybe step away from the comfort of range bands.  I wouldn't mind seeing range bands independent of weapons type with range bands done maybe more like those found in infinity; close, effective, long ranges. this could give a more interesting spread in weapons within fleets. Larger ships then have another variable to differentiate their giant laser from those found on cruisers other than just the number of dice. (type of dice open for debate!). You can have weapons with very long effective ranges, very short or non existent close ranges, short effective range but incredibly long long range.

I'd like to see each weapon have a box to state its type and additional MARs/WARs, just to keep things a bit tidier. The core weapon types are practically MARs anyway. This also allows for some more potentially interesting weapons combinations. Scatter Kinetics for firing a submunitions cluster on a railgun via a sabot round, Grav Beams, etc. 

Weapon Name* | xxx stats xxx | Beam, Biohazard, etc

* good for building fluff too. Beams Beams Beams is a bit dull. Class 16** Cherenkov Emitters sound much cooler!
** Class 16 Emitters are large weapons, frigates etc can only normally mount up to Class 7 Emitters. Hey I just mad some fluff!

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I hope they don't go this way for a couple of reasons:

  1. As evocative and background supporting as this is, I don't think the game is improved by jamming even more information into the Stat Block helps. Have you looked at how cluttered a Planetfall Statblock is with all that data?
  2. I think we already have too many Weapon Effects (Types and MARs) than the system needs to function quickly. Too many are effectively meaningless to play or niche in effect. Less is more!
  3. After playing both 1.0 and 2.0, I much preferred the unified Range Bands of 1.0. The game was simpler and a bit more tactical (for me) when things were more symmetrical.

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@Alex Mann Hi.  My experience is of course my own and anecdotal, as it is for everyone.   That's why I'm a big proponent of WC doing a big worldwide online survey of the player, former player, collector and would-be player.   Disagreement is a-ok, just making sure you didn't misunderstand that I'm not suggesting weapon types are completely meaningless, or RB increments don't matter at all, and therefore both should be eliminated.  I mean IMHO each needs to be more significant by being reworked in some way.  I'm also remembering what Stuart@WC has said about need for increased differentiation in the podcast.    I have no opinion on D&D4, but I get the idea that too much change could piss off what's left of FSA's customer base.  That concern is to be balanced with the growth needed to create a sustainable FSA customer base, I'd imagine.   PS. I've played many many games (incl Adepticon x3) so I'm aware of  nuance, the Relthoza (a regular opponent), and as primarily Aquan player myself, the Nereid too.  So thanks, but I get it, and we can fast forward a bit, is all I'm sayin...  :) 

@Kaptyn Krys yep - I'm not suggesting removing weapon types.  I'm for keeping them yet making them more distinct.  There's only one weapon type I would suggest gets removed, Primary, because the word is a misnomer and it's boring.   "Primary" is like saying "Race: Human.  No special abilities."  ;)   I think your idea is interesting that range bands and weapon types aren't necessarily tied together any longer.  And I'm all for fancy/fluffy names of weapons like X901 Demoleculizer so long as it doesn't clutter up my statline when I'm trying to play a game.  With the exceptions of Torps, the Destroyer class, and a few like the Sapper, ships from every faction seems to be overly focused on RB2, which I think offers room for improvement.

@alextroy I never played 1.0 sadly, but I do think that a single range band inch"measurement might be boring for some, unless it was combined with another really distinctive difference.

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Hey I was going back to the OP and had an over-arching concept that I think could work with any kind of dice: d6, d8, d10 with custom printed fanciness: blank facings mean auto-miss.  And then there are other facings that auto-hit and/or explode.  And then there are a series of numbers or symbols inbetween representing various degrees of difficulty.  These dice could be then used for more than just attacks, but for other things like repair and terrain, even initiative.

That said I did an informal in-person survey of 6 people yesterday who have played Firestorm.  I asked them if they would be excited about a dice for FSA other than d6.  5 out of 6 said "no".   The one who was "maybe" said he just liked d8s cause they look cool and because of Xwing, and that was the end of my survey.  A small sample size (certainly more opinions needed) but just FYI. ;)

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5 hours ago, Stoobert said:

That said I did an informal in-person survey of 6 people yesterday who have played Firestorm.  I asked them if they would be excited about a dice for FSA other than d6.  5 out of 6 said "no".   The one who was "maybe" said he just liked d8s cause they look cool and because of Xwing, and that was the end of my survey.  A small sample size (certainly more opinions needed) but just FYI. ;)

...And that's why the game needs a 20 sided dice.

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@Kaptyn Krys that’s a funny show.  We get it in the states on Netflix.  

I wonder if the appeal of Cool Dice outweighs the cost of buying them, and think it would be a good survey question.  While I love me a d13 just as much as the next geek I wouldn’t want someone who had a fleet gathering dust in the closet to avoid dusting it off and trying v3 just because it requires buying new dice.  

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2 hours ago, Stoobert said:

@Kaptyn Krys that’s a funny show.  We get it in the states on Netflix.  

I wonder if the appeal of Cool Dice outweighs the cost of buying them, and think it would be a good survey question.  While I love me a d13 just as much as the next geek I wouldn’t want someone who had a fleet gathering dust in the closet to avoid dusting it off and trying v3 just because it requires buying new dice.  

Dice are pretty cheap. you can get 20 D10s for under £5 on amazon. 

I dont consider that much of a cost and it would be even better for general customers if Warcradle sold packs of dice too. maybe special firestorm branded dice.

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Don’t get me wrong as a diehard like yourself *I* would buy special dice no problem. :)  But I guess it ultimately is a business decision that’s not ours to make. 

Is the current FSA player base fincaially sustainable?  If not, does that matter?  If it matters, how can WC best re-engage customers and gain new ones?  Do they survey people if  different dice help or hinder growth, and most importantly, would the survey response change plans?   So many questions that aren’t mine to answer. :lol:

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Don't be afraid to make bold decisions about dice! One of tabletop's longest running franchises has ten different dice for different weapons. This is a fascinating thread, I can think of a lot of potential for weapon mechanics that would certainly need a smarter head than mine to determine if it was a smart change. For example, what if d8's got involved for indirect fire weapons and they didnt explode? Like I said before I can't speculate yet on a lot of ideas in here yet but I see a lot of potential in changing the RNG parameters.

One of the most interesting points was brought up in page one of this thread. In Stoobert's post he mentioned that the most common result of a massive dice explosion was an apology from the attacker and that rung very true in my own firestorm experience. It kind of sucks to completely annihalate an enemy's tier one choices with a couple great rolls. I think we inherently desire more of an even game than that. With that in mind, I absolutely agree that some limiting effects could be put on the exploding mechanic by changing how we calculate and weigh those rolls. 

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I have a question and this a genuine question. Which would work better, different die types or different types of rolls (as in heavy or exploding)? Do we really gain anything by using different die types? 

Okay I guess that was two questions.

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27 minutes ago, Skyhawk said:

I have a question and this a genuine question. Which would work better, different die types or different types of rolls (as in heavy or exploding)? Do we really gain anything by using different die types? 

Okay I guess that was two questions.

You know, after doing the math it turns out not a lot in terms of raw paper probability. Assuming a hit chance works on 50:50 principle like it does now, when you compare a d6 with a +1 to hit modifier and a d8 with a +1 to hit modifier, the difference is 2/3 and 5/8 chances for success. Or 0.666 vs 0.625 in decimal value. I made the assumption it would make more of a difference

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The interesting thing comes from what you can do between the top and bottom number.  A 50/50 chance is a coin toss, so why don't we just use a bunch of coins to determine hits?  Because then we couldn't use the difficult target with its -1 mod.  When you start looking at using a d8, d10, d12, etc., you may be able to account for many more conditions than before.

So, @Skyhawk, it depends on what (if) the designers want to do with that extra "space" between the numbers.

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The +1 on a d8 isn't the much different than the d6, but the +2 is. There is a significant difference between 83% (d6 on a 2+) versus 75% (d8 on a 3+).

Still the big question is how much space are the designers looking at for roll modifiers and how willing are they to use different systems. The Spartan Engine has used the following in the past:

  • HALF
  • Hit Modifiers
  • Exploding, Heavy, Black Dice

Used in conjunction, they do give some space on the old d6.

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One idea from this thread that I was testing was limiting the exploding dice to one success. This was judt throwing dice idly, using 12 dice for my battleship's kinetic fore weapon because its my favourite. 

Counting one success per 6 rolled tends to push your hit range around 6-9 fairly often, and a little above or below of course. The highest amount of hits in thirty rolls was 11. Counting two successes, I got as high as 16 hits and found my hits in the double digits quite a bit more than counting a single success. 

In terms of eyeing stats and deciding whether or not to link a shot, in my head I'd be looking to overpower my enemy's DR about 2:1 to comfortably make an attack and score a hit. A critical hit against another battleship would be rare but I could certainly crit a cruiser no problem. 

 

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Using different dice really comes into its own when it’s combined with opposed dice rolls.  Rolling a d8 to beat a d6 is a really big deal, and rolling a d4 vs a d6 really sucks.

Also, if your barrier to entry for a miniatures war game is buying customs dice or templates or whatever gaming aid, I think you’ve forgotten how expensive those models are to obtain, especially ones worth painting.

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Ive often mulled over using combinations of D4/6/8/10/12. part DnD memories, part reading the rules for tomorrows war.

in  Tomorrows War you always pass on 4s. however crappy n00bs use D4s. general guys use D6/8 and super duper elite marines use D10s. its interesting for sure. dice types are adjust for things like cover etc. Targets hunkered down?  your D8s become D6s when rolling to hit. Its interesting for sure.

However, you can acheive more or less the same statistics by using less or more dice. So the same effect can be acheivedin different ways. 

I do like D10s. a +/-1 is just a 10% shift in there chance to roll a target number. (not accounting for any exploding mechanics) D10s also give a much broader range of potential adjustments. 2D10 as tens and units also allows for a 0-99 spread on a table. 

Some people are not keen on exploding dice. D6s can often "run away". Exploding D10s would tone it down a bit but still keep the flavour. 

I think theres an RPG based on exploding D10s? Vampire the Masquerade or similar?

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