Jump to content
Frans

Future FA rules

Recommended Posts

I believe it was mentioned earlier in the thread that 900pts is the sweet spot for FA. Whats wrong with getting a 900pts game down to the 2hr mark? I don't remember anyone wanting to make 2000pts of ships fit into the same time frame as 900pts. Its not the larger games we're talking about taking too long, its the smaller games -1000pts that we're talking about. So I am not sure I see your issues with shortening the play time @Frans. Oh and I am not a Tournament player, I just think its ridiculous that it takes 3hrs to play a small battle.

@Bessemer your not the only one who would like to see the Indomitable make an appearance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Frans Take a big step back dude, there are paragraphs of assumptions on your part and they've got nothing to do with anything definitive and real on the development of firestorm right now. 

Skyhawk has the right idea, streamlining a game ~1000pts to be an hour quicker can absolutely be achieved without removing gameplay depth. Stoobert's movement rules for example represent a definite timesaver, just like copying out my own statcards noticably cut down on time compared to checking back in the book for MAR rules. These are the sorts of things that fit with streamlining a game rather than the doomsday prediction you've attached to the word.

Share this post


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

Skyhawk has the right idea, streamlining a game ~1000pts to be an hour quicker can absolutely be achieved without removing gameplay depth. Stoobert's movement rules for example represent a definite timesaver, just like copying out my own statcards noticably cut down on time compared to checking back in the book for MAR rules. These are the sorts of things that fit with streamlining a game rather than the doomsday prediction you've attached to the word.

So here's a funny thing- that's actually one of the points of my idea to use free hardpoints and balance based on how many options you can take and stuff- one of the things that really kind of stood out about Firestorm in the onset of 2.0 was that the way the rules were written, for a pickup game you were completely expected to know the scenario and what the enemy fleet's faction was, THEN build your list. It's normally not very practical to play this way, though, due to time constraints, but if hulls always had a fixed cost it could be a good deal easier to hash out lists on the spot.

For events, I would always bring a printed out version of the fleet manuals, with only the pages I needed for the ships I was bringing. I had a couple of times where my butchered fleet manual included a single page from the Ba'Kash section of the Zenian Support Fleet, and Nikki's almost always included the page with the Ter'quai torpedo cruiser with her Aquan printout. I dunno why stat cards never appealed to me, I think it's 'cuz its easier to tuck a bunch of pages into a rulebook and not worry about them dropping out like with cards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Hive Hey I feel you there, the biggest reason I did it was to have all the rules for each fleet's MARs up on the wall in big letters. That's a very interesting concept, can you elaborate? Is it sort of like the Corsair hardpoint options, where maybe a Weapon MAR would be equal to a hardpoint that effects two stats? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Frans said:

I don’t remember saying that “the longest running wargame run regularly in tournaments” is a game well suited for tournaments, in my opinion the only thing that particular game is good at is selling goods at inflated prices to a thoroughly addicted customer base.

Nor did I say you did.  I am presenting you that your concept is based on a demonstrated fallacy by virtue of very substantiated evidence.  When looking to make a Table Top game you can't ignore the big bad on the market (and 40K is big, and it is bad).  Your standard regarding rules clarity for tournaments falls under the "it is good to have" rather than the "it is a requirement" as you are presenting.

9 hours ago, Frans said:

Your view on what determines game length isn’t correct, there’s a lot more involved than the two factors you see as determining.

Chess, for instance, is a game with very simple rules, and a turn requires but the simple move of a single playing piece, yet the game requires so much time to play they had to come up with something called a chess clock to speed things up a bit.

The two most important factors determining length of play in a decent space combat game are the amount of dice (and dice rolls) required for combat resolution AND the complexity of the movement system.

The actual number of ships on the table only multiplies the result of the combination of these two factors.

And the problem is that you can’t have combat resolution and movement systems as simplistic as those in “the longest running wargame run regularly in tournaments” and still end up with a decent space combat game.

As a matter of fact, any references to “Warhammer” type games where it comes to space combat games, especially regarding things like combat resolution and movement, are totally useless.

That is very true for Chess that the decision is what takes up all the time.  That's where its simplicity runs in to a snag.  That still doesn't change the fact that if you cut out the doubles of the back line the game will progress markedly quicker.

In addition to that, the dice rolls are part of the rules complexity.  The more complex the rules in general, then the fewer models one can field on the board.  You are correct that the number of models are a multiplier, and while I didn't expressly state that in such a manner, I did represent it with the concepts I presented. 

40K games vary in time largely based on the types of armies being employed.  Horde armies like the Tyranids take far more time when you deploy numerous horde units, while armies made up of Praetorian Marines and Imperial Knights take hardly any time at all to handle their mechanics.

Then there is Battletech.  While not a game that sees regular tournament time right now (us grognards are hard to corral when not gathering for something else), it is a game that is so complex that even a 4v4 game can take 3 hours or more, depending on the "era" of the game and the weight of the units being deployed.  Much of that time isn't necessarily taken up with mechanics (though they are a factor), but the fact that the average armor of a model can be around 180 points, with internal strength running about half that (with critical hits reducing the time to kill).  Don't even get me started on the challenge of Battlespace where they involve tracking newtonian physics as well as the high amounts of damage that can be absorbed.

And yes, I can reference several "Warhammer" type games because they are competitor for modeling dollars and playing time (they are the Big Bad in tabletop gaming right now), so one needs to take in to account the accessibility of the game (which result from the mechanics).  In addition, Battlefeet Gothic, their space combat game, is back under development (or at least the reliable rumormongers have stated such).  Dropfleet Command's system is largely based on the original Battlefleet Gothic, which is a current competitor as well.

9 hours ago, Frans said:

Regarding FA tournament game size; as far as I know most tournaments are currently held at the 400~600 points level, and require two hours plus to finish at that level.

What tournament players seem to want for 3.0, however, is a substantial increase in the amount of points, and two hours playing time at the outside.

Now I can understand why they want to be able to have tournaments at an increased points level, because the fact that FA is playable with ~500 point fleets doesn’t mean you’re getting the full FA experience at that points level, far from that.

But having both substantially more ships on the table AND decreasing playing time won’t be possible without reducing the simulation level of the game to a level at which you’re basically playing Warhammer with little space ship models.

Needless to say, that’s not the type of game I, and most other players, bought into, and certainly not something I’m looking forward too either.

You didn't answer the question.  How big of a fleet are YOU looking to have on the table for a tournament of FSA?  Would you only like to see a Patrol Fleet, or would you like the intricacies of a Grand Fleet?

Honestly, if you want people to come in to this game, it should be bringing a Battle Fleet to the average game, at the minimum, if not a Grand Fleet.  Small numbers of models mean that fewer are sold.  In addition, you don't get to show them off except for specially planned events like 40K players do for Apocalypse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My former Manager was a Combat Engenier in a combat zone when a group of soldgers asked him if they could use his shop. They set up a 4ok battle using every known model at the time . The Tournament took 4 day to finish . The Area Commander also stopped in and took a gander at the action . point size of the game is nothing if you have the time ....  FSA tournaments should be limited in the amount of points fielded . I think tournament play should start at 500 points for round 1 if you make it to round 2 that should be a 800 to 900 points. the last round should be 1200 points . I don't know how the games are set up because I've never played in any but I feel that would be a natural progression. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a TO I'd like to see more models being in used in a game that can still fit in to a 2-3 hour slot. I agree with the sentiment that the game should just be more than "patrol fleet starter box" + "1 extra unit" which is what 800 or under really limits you to in the way fleets are built and to have functional units on the table. There is no point having a rulebook that describes patrol/battle/grand/mighty or what ever if its only every played at patrol and occasionally battle. The larger fleet sizes are pretty redundant. Most game play is weighted to the lower end of this range. IMO a "normal" game should be a battle fleet, then patrol fleets are for a quick skirmish throw down and grand/mighty fleets are more for your full afternoon or day long battle. 

There are probably better ways to scale the system than the current method. The 40k Force Org charts are limiting but then in bigger games you just add another X force orgs. Kings of War is naturally self limiting in that you require regiments or hordes to unlock X or Y troops and monsters/warmachines/heroes. I think drop fleet gives you X battle groups, of which there are different types that describe what ships you can take. Not familiar with it. Others have put forward specialist units or formations as ideas, which are interesting but within the current frame work don't work. There is not enough room to manoeuvre in points and/or number of ships in order to allow these sorts of things within a "normal" fleet. 

1 hour ago, murphy'slawofcombat said:

I think tournament play should start at 500 points for round 1 if you make it to round 2 that should be a 800 to 900 points. the last round should be 1200 points . I don't know how the games are set up because I've never played in any but I feel that would be a natural progression. 

Most people are pretty against a tournament with multiple sized battles. There is a general feeling to keep it the same across each round in the interest of fairness. There is also the logistical nightmare it brings in tripling the amount of army lists every one needs and that the poor TO has to check through! It would be nice format for a narrative event, where the pressure is off a little to be number 1 and it comes down to the story and teams. 

There does seem to be a rather large disparity in what different people/metas think of as the sort of game that fits in to 2.5 hours. I'm my experience 800 points is very easily doable in under 2 hours. Warfare runs 1000 points in 2.5 hour games. Most of which finish with time to spare, some even finish 30-45 mins early! Depends in the scenario. There's only maybe 1 game per round where I have to chivvy players up to finish. I always try to give a 30/15/5 min warning as well. Now they are mostly experienced players but still. I'm not sure how some people are struggling to complete 800 points in under 3 hours!

Now for something left of field and more towards the future rules and general spit balling of ideas. Alternate activation... how about a different sort of mechanic? Now there's chit pulling or written orders etc. but how about a variation of alternate activation?

The Swing-o-meter of Doooom

  • There is some sort of swing-o-meter between the players. 3/2/1///1/2/3
  • Initial roll for initiative will set this in favour of 1 player or another. Tom and Harry roll off, Tom wins the marker is set to T-3/2/1///1/2/3-H. 1 point towards Harry
  • Every squadron has a "command ratin" or what ever you wish to call it. Nominal values would be 1 for T3s, 2 for T2s and 3 for T1s. (I'd also propose reversing Tier values to let T4s be super mega big leviathans ships etc).  
  • As the value is pointing towards Harry. Therefore Tom gets the next activation. he decides to move a squadron of frigates with a command rating of 1. So now the swing-o-meter will tick 1 point towards him and now read T-3/2/1///1/2/3-H.
  • as the marker is now pointing at Tom this means Harry gets the next activation. He activates his might Battleship and marker ticks 3 points in his direction so will now read T-3/2/1///1/2/3-H
  • as the marker is now pointing at Harryy, Tom get the next activation. He activates a squadron of cruiser with a command rating of 2. The tracker moves 2 points towards him and will now read T-3/2/1///1/2/3-H.
  • Anyway, just a random idea. could be tied in to other command functions the future might bring or TAC cards or game effects ticking the swing-o-meter 1 point you your favour etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Kaptyn Krys said:

I'm not sure how some people are struggling to complete 800 points in under 3 hours!

Speaking for myself its because I'm often flipping through the book trying to figure out how something works! 

14 minutes ago, Kaptyn Krys said:

The Swing-o-meter of Doooom

I think something like this was mentioned in the Activation thread. Interesting idea but I'm not sure how well it would work in practice. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Kaptyn Krys I don't mind that idea at all! I can't speak to whether or not its a better mechanic than other activations, or just an interesting mechanic but I have a spare starter-set battlelog that I'm going to dedicate to this next time we play on the hometable. I like that these rules have a limiting factor, maybe trying to even out the amount of firepower being activated by a player at once. It will be interesting to see how it can be manipulated in your favour.

It might just be me but I like cardstock game accessories like the battlelog, no complaints about another flashy slider.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Warcradle Stuart said:

I'd imagine a couple of large ships, four to six mediums and six to eight smalls. Roughly. 

Larger than a 900pt game then, by the 2.0 system. Sounds like a good number to me. You get some decent Tier one firepower but have enough Tier 2's and three's to keep things interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Skyhawk said:

Larger than a 900pt game then, by the 2.0 system. Sounds like a good number to me. You get some decent Tier one firepower but have enough Tier 2's and three's to keep things interesting.

That's one of the reasons I avoided point values, they may be going by a different structure and value when they release the new "fleet manuals".  It is easier to just target model grouping at this point. 

A good example of this differentiation is how much WarmaHordes has changed.  During its first iteration, points were quite high for everything.  During second, they went through a draconian price reduction where a Heavy Warjack went from 30 points down to 11.  Now in its third, it's gone in to an inbetween state.  Of course that doesn't include how Warcasters/Warlocks have changed from costing points to giving a free Light to being able to bringing 2-3 Heavies for free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Skyhawk those census figures from Stuart are between 800-900pt v2.0 depending on ships and fleet of course.  You can do a Battleship, Battlestation, some SRS wings, a few upgrades, 6 cruisers, and 6 frigates for 900pt with either Terrans or Aquans.  If you downgrade that Battlestation to a Carrier and take 4 cruisers you've got yourself an 800pt fleet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next step is to decide how many turns should average game have. Game flow is much different if it is 2 or 5 rounds. It is all connected - more rounds provide better chance to execute late game strategies with some nice suprising moves. On the other hand ships needs to  sustain more damage to not explode in round 1 and of course more models on the table for more turns means slower gameplay.

And another level of archievement would be to have a double amount of models and play time 3 hours :-)

As primary DW player I hope these questions are at least asked before any design changes are made.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The number of models on the table isn’t the way to look at things; it’s the number of distinct Units.  A lot of games have multiple models functioning as a Unit; others have each model represent a Unit.

FSA struck this wierd middle ground where each Model was treated mechanically like a distinct Unit except in a few circumstances.  This is one of the main factors for why games take so much time to execute.  If instead multi-model Units were treated mechanically like a single Unit, then you could have a Grand Fleet’s worth of Models on the table and have a reasonable timeframe per game.

But if you do that, you need to really ask why some Units are represented by 1 Model, and others with 30 Models, beyond the aesthetics.  What’s the gameplay advantage to multi-model Units?

As for Chess, the decisions are so hard because each turn gives ~10,000 options to sort through for the ‘best’ one.  Most games of FSA are essentially a decision tree of:

1. Which Unit is best to activate?

2. Where exactly should I place the Models in this Unit?

3. Should I Combine Fire, or use individual shots?

#2 is the hardest, because each Model has ~30 different ways it can Move, and you can’t really know where the Model can actually go until you actually MOVE it.  Probably the best way to streamline gameplay is to use a mechanic where either you know (or can easily find out) where the Model can move, or take the X-Wing route where you guess, but are mechanically bound to this decision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Kaptyn Krys I’d really like to attend Reading Warfare just to see how players move their ships around.  I’m assuming there is a lot of “loose” movement, such as moving one ship in a Squadron, then just moving the other Models to roughly the same position n formation, instead of precisely moving each Model with the movement tool.  Maybe a tape measure is used a lot instead.

Im particularly interested in how people move Models around Turn 3, when Models tend to impede both where Models can legally move (no touching!) and it can be very difficult to precisely move models with the Movement Tool. Im also curious how you resolve illegal moves, which players often attempt when the play-space gets crowded.  These functional play issues at very time consuming for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Kaptyn Krys I’d really like to attend Reading Warfare just to see how players move their ships around.  I’m assuming there is a lot of “loose” movement, such as moving one ship in a Squadron, then just moving the other Models to roughly the same position n formation, instead of precisely moving each Model with the movement tool.  Maybe a tape measure is used a lot instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/23/2018 at 7:10 PM, Wolfgang Jannesen said:

@Frans Take a big step back dude, there are paragraphs of assumptions on your part and they've got nothing to do with anything definitive and real on the development of firestorm right now.

Where I come from it is seen as more productive to talk about things before they become definitive and real than afterwards.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Frans said:

Where I come from it is seen as more productive to talk about things before they become definitive and real than afterwards.

 

Hey fair enough,  I just don't think its worth getting worried about hypothetical outcomes when right here in this thread are pages and pages of ideas to speed up gameplay. I can't speak to your concerns about tournaments but in terms of regular Firestorm I dont think anyone in the community is going to completely rebuild the game from the ground up into an entity that you're not happy with

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Ryjak said:

The number of models on the table isn’t the way to look at things; it’s the number of distinct Units.  A lot of games have multiple models functioning as a Unit; others have each model represent a Unit.

FSA struck this wierd middle ground where each Model was treated mechanically like a distinct Unit except in a few circumstances.  This is one of the main factors for why games take so much time to execute.  If instead multi-model Units were treated mechanically like a single Unit, then you could have a Grand Fleet’s worth of Models on the table and have a reasonable timeframe per game.

But if you do that, you need to really ask why some Units are represented by 1 Model, and others with 30 Models, beyond the aesthetics.  What’s the gameplay advantage to multi-model Units?

A lot depends on the mechanics of the game involved, and yes, models can be a way to look at it, even in 40K.  Praetorian Marines max out at 5 models while a Conscript squad maxes out at 30.  It takes a considerably longer to move that Conscript unit and roll its Attacks then it will be for the Praetorians.

So, too, in FSA, many Tier 2 units are 2 ship units while others are 2-3 ship units.  Tier 1 ships can either be run solo or they can be run with Escorts.  Fortunately, unless the mechanics are very clunky the amount of model difference doesn't make as big a difference as we can see in 40K units.

3 hours ago, Ryjak said:

As for Chess, the decisions are so hard because each turn gives ~10,000 options to sort through for the ‘best’ one.

Chess is also set up that one piece is moved per turn rather than your entire collection.  After an initial pawn move, a queen, bishop, or rook can be the only piece moved for the rest of the game.  Knights don't even need a pawn to move out of the way and just can go on a rampage from there (if the opponent isn't remotely careful).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/24/2018 at 2:54 AM, Charistoph said:

Nor did I say you did.  I am presenting you that your concept is based on a demonstrated fallacy by virtue of very substantiated evidence.  When looking to make a Table Top game you can't ignore the big bad on the market (and 40K is big, and it is bad).  Your standard regarding rules clarity for tournaments falls under the "it is good to have" rather than the "it is a requirement" as you are presenting.

That is very true for Chess that the decision is what takes up all the time.  That's where its simplicity runs in to a snag.  That still doesn't change the fact that if you cut out the doubles of the back line the game will progress markedly quicker.

In addition to that, the dice rolls are part of the rules complexity.  The more complex the rules in general, then the fewer models one can field on the board.  You are correct that the number of models are a multiplier, and while I didn't expressly state that in such a manner, I did represent it with the concepts I presented. 

40K games vary in time largely based on the types of armies being employed.  Horde armies like the Tyranids take far more time when you deploy numerous horde units, while armies made up of Praetorian Marines and Imperial Knights take hardly any time at all to handle their mechanics.

Then there is Battletech.  While not a game that sees regular tournament time right now (us grognards are hard to corral when not gathering for something else), it is a game that is so complex that even a 4v4 game can take 3 hours or more, depending on the "era" of the game and the weight of the units being deployed.  Much of that time isn't necessarily taken up with mechanics (though they are a factor), but the fact that the average armor of a model can be around 180 points, with internal strength running about half that (with critical hits reducing the time to kill).  Don't even get me started on the challenge of Battlespace where they involve tracking newtonian physics as well as the high amounts of damage that can be absorbed.

And yes, I can reference several "Warhammer" type games because they are competitor for modeling dollars and playing time (they are the Big Bad in tabletop gaming right now), so one needs to take in to account the accessibility of the game (which result from the mechanics).  In addition, Battlefeet Gothic, their space combat game, is back under development (or at least the reliable rumormongers have stated such).  Dropfleet Command's system is largely based on the original Battlefleet Gothic, which is a current competitor as well.

You didn't answer the question.  How big of a fleet are YOU looking to have on the table for a tournament of FSA?  Would you only like to see a Patrol Fleet, or would you like the intricacies of a Grand Fleet?

Honestly, if you want people to come in to this game, it should be bringing a Battle Fleet to the average game, at the minimum, if not a Grand Fleet.  Small numbers of models mean that fewer are sold.  In addition, you don't get to show them off except for specially planned events like 40K players do for Apocalypse.

The only thing your evidence proves is that players can be sufficiently addicted to a company/setting that they will put up with anything.

As is the aforementioned company is actually losing customers to companies producing games tailored towards tournament play.

That’s why they have recently started releasing their own games tailored towards tournament play.

They could have tailored their existing games towards tournament play instead, of course, but they didn’t, for good reasons.

Those reasons being that you don’t want to risk alienating your main customer base in order to cater for the wishes of a minority within that customer base.

And that’s why it would be much better to tailor FA 3.0 towards players who like big games taking all day, and tailor Taskforce 2.0 towards players who like tournaments.

 

Regarding rules complexity etc.; simpler rules don’t necessarily result in faster gameplay, and the number of dice rolls needed doesn’t necessarily increase with rules complexity.

Point is that, regardless of complexity, rules can be written to make you work, or rules can be written to do the work for you.

In my opinion good rules belong to the latter category.

The same goes for dice rolls; a more detailed/realistic combat resolution doesn’t necessarily involve rolling more dice more often.

Most detailed/realistic “single die” combat resolution systems utilizing anything from a D20 to a D100 look complex and slow down gameplay at first, but as rules proficiency increases they speed up remarkably, leaving any “bucket full of D6” system behind in the dust.

The main reasons those games the “big bad” represents are fast playing have nothing to do with rules detail and complexity, with these games that's purely the result of extremely simple combat resolution and, even more important, movement systems.

As an example, moving a Squad of SM, with the only restraint being you can’t move them further than six inches, is going to take a whole lot less time than moving the same number of space ships complying to all sorts of precise movement restrictions.

 

And regarding the “How big of a fleet are YOU looking to have on the table for a tournament of FSA?” question; you’re assuming I play in tournaments, which I don’t, I don’t have any interest in tournaments whatsoever, so the answer would be “none”.

 

You’re right that an ability to field bigger fleets will be more attractive to most players.

Still the majority of popular new tournament games don’t involve many models.

That’s because they aim at a very specific target group, which doesn’t represent the majority of war-gamers.

That majority of war-gamers isn’t going to be interested in a space combat game either btw, because they don’t like fiddly time consuming movement systems, and you can’t have a decent space combat game without a fiddly time consuming movement system.

Like tournament games, space combat games represent a niche within the war-gaming hobby too.

And you can’t cater for both these niches without ending up with a compromise that isn’t going to please anyone.

That’s why I think FA would be better served with something tailored towards big games taking all day, which is what the space combat niche likes, and also have a much simplified “Taskforce” spin off to specifically cater for the tournament niche.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • 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.