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Future FA rules

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22 hours ago, Warcradle Stuart said:

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

That would, in FA 2.0, be about 800 points, so Patrol Fleet level...

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4 hours ago, Ryjak said:

#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.

More like infinite different ways it can move.

And the X-wing route represents a sort of board game movement, with the templates replacing the game board grid.

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Chess is also a much more precise game in that the movement of a given piece is very specifically defined- in terms of rules a piece fills a space on the board, no matter where in that space the piece sits. This makes it a poor comparison point against games like FSA where no predefined spaces exist, just regions, no standard unit of movement exists (though I'm certain someone's going to blast me about turns using an inch as a standard movement distance...), just a maximum distance, and with everything from the tiniest degrees of facing difference to whatever vaguely "about a millimeter" sized gap players won't accept as in range anymore, and buckets of dice rolling  to add imprecision to the game... while I get what you're getting at, @Ryjak, personally my  inclination is to say that in execution the decision making process for each game is fairly alien to the other, it seems like a moot point. Essentially what is being demonstrated is that the current conditions of the battlefield will guide the player's response. In chess, this can become more complicated later in the game, particularly where players are spending turns trying to jockey for position and set up favorable trades/win conditions, while in FSA as units die, lose effectiveness, as players gamble on attacks and make risky decisions (particularly since the payoff partially comes from the luck of the dice, not just how your foe moves and countermoves) things move towards an extended cleanup where players aim to take what they can get from the rest of the match. I don't think this is a problem, not in the slightest, but you've got to understand that the comparison would make more sense the closer the games got- say, adding ships blocking LoS to Firestorm opens up a lot of trade-plays and bodyblocking, making the enemy's Admiral a wincon brings the focus into positioning to get to that piece and protect your own, and so on.

My point is, I guess, that unless you adjust the goals, the granularity, how much influence you can have with a turn, ect., then a move towards simplification CAN remove depth of play. Granted, if you are simplifying with an endgoal in mind, I think you can also avoid that, but "chess has simple rules and is deep" is kind of... it's not a non-argument, but it's not exactly an argument that will matter unless you're discussing things in a manner of "if x changes this way, players will react by doing y during the game."

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1 hour ago, Wolfgang Jannesen said:

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.

Yep, pages and pages of off-topic posts...

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Just now, Frans said:

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.

I would love to be able to do both, and have the mechanics work so that what I know from playing smaller games scales up into the bigger ones, and bigger ones down to smaller games. I don't think that is impossible, and a good deal of what's being discussed addresses that. As long as the goal isn't "simpler" but "less time to do, with mostly the same results" then we're moving in a direction that will likely keep most people happy.

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1 hour ago, Frans said:

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.

The fact that 40K IS a tournament game, albeit not one designed for it, is the point that you seem to be missing.  There are actually very few tabletop games that are designed for competitive play, and even fewer designed for tournament play.  Usually the tournament play develops on the side of the competitive play and at the direction of the community's drive.  WarmaHordes is a good example, it is designed to be a competitive game, and has tournament play as a side development (Steam Roller was actually designed by a community group, not PP).  It may not seem that way because most of the local metas dedicate themselves to the tournament side to the detriment of new player development, but that doesn't change the designed purpose of the game.

And while you may prefer FSA to be the detailed game and FSTF to be the tournament game, that's not how you were presenting them.  You were presenting them as being designed that way from the beginning, which they were not.

I have not seen anything presented by GW that anything they have ever made was tailored for tournament play, new or old.  They have specifically stated otherwise on numerous occasions that they do not develop competitive games of any stripe, however (and their bad rule writing bears this out).

Of course, much of this may be a cross in definitions.  When I read something is designed or tailored for something, that means it was part of the write-up, not something that was tacked on after launch.  You seem to be looking at it from the end result being what fits your standard of a tournament game and declaring it designed and tailored from there.  Consider your statement about Task Force.  Spartan Games specifically stated it was for games on your lunch break, but you stated it was designed for tournament play.

1 hour ago, Frans said:

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.

I rather disagree.

If you take the decision-making time out of Chess, it moves really fast.  If you added several dice rolls to every move in Chess it would slow it down remarkably.  There was a PC game called Archon that was very close to a Battle Chess type system, but you controlled the fights.  It ran on a 9x9 grid, so added 2 more "models".  It was very similar to Chess in that you had pawn-types, rook-types, etc.  I set up a board game version of it, and to recreate the fights, I added a simple dice roll and comparison rule to it.  Guess what, it ran longer than a standard Chess game would have.

I should also point out that I said that dice rolls are part of the mechanics of the game, because they are.  I didn't say anything about the quantity of dice rolls, that is an assumption you made (you seem to be doing a lot of assuming in your posts, about a great many things).  But let's face it, the complexity of Linking Fire combined with Exploding Dice introduces a lot mechanics which slows the process down when compared to a Roll To Hit, Roll To Wound, Roll To Save.  DFC even cuts out the Wounding aspect (the fluff is that the weapons are designed to damage other warships, so they will do damage), but adds on a Signature system to see if you can even target the opponent's ship.

Yes, requiring a Movement Guide to restrict movement will slow things down as opposed to the free wheeling of a loose skirmishing group of Infantry, nor have I stated otherwise.  Guess what, those skirmishing Infantry move a lot faster than a rank & file block of Infantry, too.  I can tell you that DFC doesn't use a Movement Guide, and most of the time spent in their turn isn't movement, but figuring out what to do with what they have, determining Signatures, and going through their resolutions.  And I think that is what was being tested by another group here was using something other than the template to handle movement.  The Movement Guide isn't some holy grail that you should bother dying on a hill for.

1 hour ago, Frans said:

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”.

No, I am not assuming you play in tournaments.  You are making grand statements about tournament games, and I have asked you how many that YOU would like to see in those tournament environments.  Your desire to participate in them, or lack there of, was never part of the equation.  My question was more to get a frame of mind of what capacity of fleet that is in your head when you think of Firestorm models in future tournaments. 

You still haven't bothered to answer the question, which leads me to think that you are objecting just to be objectionable or to keep these kids off your precious lawn that died out last year.

1 hour ago, Frans said:

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.

Part of the problem with having two systems is that one will get played a lot, and one won't.  If they are in separate books, then Task Force rules will sell quickly while FSA will sell at a snail's pace, if they are set up as you are suggesting.  FSA will end up being seen as the spin off to anyone but a grognard.

Which are these "new tournament games" are you speaking of, and can you provide any evidence from the producer that they were expressly designed for tournament play as part of the write up?

Most of X-Wing's mechanics aren't really that new, by the way.  It is a reskin of an airplane game called Wings of Glory.  The numbers have to be low because each ship added increases the chances of collisions and slows down the game's progress.

Infinity uses small numbers because their mechanics are so complex that you have keep the numbers low just to handle it within a proper time frame.

I can't really address Malifaux's complexity (I honestly haven't been able to see many games), but it was always intended to use small groups.

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1 hour ago, Frans said:

 and you can’t have a decent space combat game without a fiddly time consuming movement system.

On the first page of this thread Stoobert posted a phenomenal movement system that's quicker, easier and much less clunky on the tabletop. 

https://community.warcradle.com/topic/21748-movement-changes/

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Thanks @Wolfgang Jannesen and dare I say my prior move proposal is more accurate as well, especially when moving through/over other models which happens frequently in FSA.  

Frans I think you may be reaching the point of "agree to disagree" with some people.  I've got no problem with differences of opinion and I respect yours.  My opinion that a spaceship game does not need to to have a fiddly and/or time-consuming movement system to be decent, it just needs to feel more like I'm flying a spaceship in space than steering a boat on water.  This was a shortcoming of 2.0 IMHO.   I am not interested in Taskforce nor SW:Armada but I am not suggesting anyone else play anything.  Their game is their choice.  FSA 2.0 is available for play now and forever for anyone.

If someone wants design fiddly and time consuming they may consider more 'real physics' or 3D movement system, as it might feel a whole lot more like spaceships than boats.  But that's not my call, again.  Example: There are games like that such as Attack Vector: Tactical which are highly detailed (Newtonian) and that one could draw inspiration from.   

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For the love of all that was Spartan dont make 2 versions of the same game in tbe same scale. Lets just have FSA. Warcradle can shoe horn in the Taskforce name for IP as a campaign system or new fleet building mechanics or something. FSA compeating with FSTF is a big no no for me.

Stooberts movement system is great. I hereby declare that the latest FSD engines on all Dindrenzi ships will be called Stoobert Drives. 

Now if we could come up with an equally silky smooth idea of doing damage and working out AD im up for it. from the ground up if needed. And fix zombie ships whilst were there.

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3 hours ago, Kaptyn Krys said:

For the love of all that was Spartan dont make 2 versions of the same game in tbe same scale. Lets just have FSA. Warcradle can shoe horn in the Taskforce name for IP as a campaign system or new fleet building mechanics or something. FSA compeating with FSTF is a big no no for me.

Yeah, 2 versions of a game never really fly.  One always takes precedent and leaves the other by the way side.  The closest you should get to it would be how 40K handles the regular game, Kill Team, and Apocalypse.  The big differences are what is allowed and Kill Team trades unit cohesion for Sergeant auras.  The base rules for the models really don't change, it's more about handling the different quantities of models and the scenarios associated with them.

That was my biggest let down with Task Force.  The ships had different stats when going between the two systems, even sometimes having completely different weapon sets.  This disconnect does not help the game progress properly.

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The other 'Armada' game has a boiled down rule set which one of their forum users turned into a quick play game.  The stats are the same, point levels are much lower and you're not allowed to have Admirals.  I'd have to pull it up to be sure but I don't think it plays the full six turns a regular game is suppose to run.  Plus the board size is like half the size, 3x3 instead of 3x6 (much like x-wing).

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Alright I've been discussing it a bit around the hometable and I'm ready to see what you think of my revised repair mechanic. The purpose is to let crew represent the actual repair crews onboard, and allow players some opportunity to deal with critical-effect heavy fleets without making a vain repair on one of several effect markers. Its also meant to give crew losses more effect in-game.

There are two methods I've been considering and I'd like your feedback. They both start by using a pool of repair dice equal to the ship's Crew Points and succeeding repairs on a 5 and 6. 

Method 1: Roll as a pool, remove markers on total successes 

Method 2: Draw dice from the pool for specific repairs. Example: I use three dice to get my PD back online and two dice on either hazard marker, depleting my pool of seven dice 

Experienced Engineers would allow repairs to succeed on a 4+ instead of the regular 3+

 

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@Wolfgang Jannesen cool idea.  Method 2 is a neat idea and not dissimilar to a suggestion I heard from a friend at my FLGS.   It gives a great feel of "assigning damage control teams".    Any engineer will tell you that there is no guarantee a problem gets solved, no matter how many on the team... and inversely sometimes just one engineer gets lucky on the first try.  I like it.  If the numbers need a little adjustment for balance, that's fine, but this method seems fun and conceptually doable.

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I like option #2. Id be tempted to initially balancd repairs to 5 or even 6+. Even a cruiser only has a single crit often and 3CP. 3CP on 4+s, only a 1/8 chance you dont make that repair. on a 5+ its 8/27 (~1/3) of the time you fail

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I have a game this weekend and I'll give it a shot to see if it has any desirable effect on gameplay. Just going to do method 1 to see how that feels. I'm on my phone otherwise I'd go scroll and find who it was, but I'm going to test the idea of the 'Swinging Activation' in that game too 

EDIT: @Kaptyn Krys Ah that was you, should have known :P

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3 hours ago, Kaptyn Krys said:

I like option #2. Id be tempted to initially balancd repairs to 5 or even 6+. Even a cruiser only has a single crit often and 3CP. 3CP on 4+s, only a 1/8 chance you dont make that repair. on a 5+ its 8/27 (~1/3) of the time you fail

Actually thats the primary motivation behind method 2! Folks have rightly brought up that a critical effect is only fun if it doesnt immediately disappear and it feels like 50:50 chances are the do-not-cross realm when it comes to repairs. 

The big downside is this thread's background theme which is streamlining. Extra repair rolls does not equal a quicker game by any stretch, especially not doing repairs for several ships

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I think it is also down to when the critical effects are resolved. Currently you resolve all of your ships effects in the Turn end step. The problem here is you can inflict critical effects on a ship after its activated, it then repairs at the end of the turn and is ready for its next activation without any repercussions. So not only are crit effects repaired easily but often the ship never really has to suffer it effects. Repairs are often "instantaneous" as it were. Squadrons are activated in turn, command checks are taken at the start of a turn etc, everything is built on an activation. Always jarred me a little to have all the crit repairs lumped together at the end of the turn, except for the Self Repair MAR which was at the end of an activation....!

Id suggest moving the repair step to the end of the activation, so after moving and shooting and boarding, then you do the squadrons repairs (in what ever form that takes). This way if you are suffering from a critical effect the ship will actually have to put up with it for an activation. This way post activation crits are not ignored so readily and the crits will actually effect game play more. It also adds a pressure to deciding what to activate next, a healthy squadron or the squadron that has some PD down? if you activated them maybe you can repair the PD before they get hammered by torps?

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Why not just have the repairs at the beginning of the turn? 

Another alternative would be that Repairs in this activation don't take affect till the squadron's next activation, but that could be a problem with book-keeping that some do not want to deal with.

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15 minutes ago, Charistoph said:

Why not just have the repairs at the beginning of the turn? 

Another alternative would be that Repairs in this activation don't take affect till the squadron's next activation, but that could be a problem with book-keeping that some do not want to deal with.

Do you mean do your repairs at the beginning of your next activation? That definitely makes every critical effect a lot more useful in that it doesnt disappear immediately. I fight Relthoza regularly and I'd certainly prefer not to suffer every corrosive marker for that turn BUT at the same time that is the bread and butter of one of his fleet compositions, and I score more crits on him than he does on me so it evens out.

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Whether repair happens at the beginning or end of each turn seems relevant mostly for TAC cards and FSD escapes.  Whether repair happens at the beginning or end of activation is more relevant, particularly for Effects like Main Drive Failure if you're headed for a planet.

I don't necessarily think there's a right or wrong way to do it, and you could even do both.   For instance repair attempts could happen at the beginning of each activation, but you could optionally play a TAC card at the beginning of each turn to get a guaranteed repair.

It's kind of just a matter of game balance and how it feels. 

Regardless I really like the idea of crew running around in "damage control teams" and I think the extra time spend on this mechanic is worth the trade off.

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1 hour ago, Wolfgang Jannesen said:

Do you mean do your repairs at the beginning of your next activation? That definitely makes every critical effect a lot more useful in that it doesnt disappear immediately. I fight Relthoza regularly and I'd certainly prefer not to suffer every corrosive marker for that turn BUT at the same time that is the bread and butter of one of his fleet compositions, and I score more crits on him than he does on me so it evens out.

The first suggestion would be that the Repair attempts would be made at the beginning of the turn, some time before the Reserve Phase, it may even be part of the TAC Phase, if that sequence still applies.  This doesn't really change much for overall sequencing, except maybe allow for TACs to be used on it faster. 

The actual conclusion is still up in the air if it would be more balanced to have it affect when the attempt is made, or not until the squadron's next activation.  There are pros and cons to both approaches.  There is more of a decision tree if any result of repair attempts do not result until the squadron's activation the next turn, no matter when the attempt is made.  If a squadron has an activation in the turn after damage is made, but before the next turn, maybe it can have a trade off to gain a bonus on the attempt for the next turn, like moving at half speed, using one less weapon, not Assaulting, whatever.

From a fluff stand point, it is REALLY hard to get something back online quickly after battle damage has taken it out.

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I like the idea @Wolfgang Jannesen. It makes crew points more important than they are currently.  I think that having it at the beginning of the turn will not be much different from how we currently do things. Having the repairs done during the activation thought will force the player to be more careful about his activations while giving more time for an critical to take effect. 

On 4/26/2018 at 10:05 PM, Wolfgang Jannesen said:

The big downside is this thread's background theme which is streamlining. Extra repair rolls does not equal a quicker game by any stretch, especially not doing repairs for several ships

I think it would be well worth the time though.

Speaking of criticals. When I came up with my success based critical hit table there was some talk about lowering the number of critical effects, which ones do you think should stay?

I really need to come up with a name for my table.

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@Skyhawk. You can certainly consolidate Reactor Leak into Reactor Overload, giving it an effect if the critical shot itself doesn't destroy the ship. Otherwise the only effect that I want to see on an enemy ship least of all is Security in Disarray, but I have a few problems with boarding that need a lot more thought and experience before they're worth discussing

Alternative to something like Security in Disarray I'd rather it do something like force a command check or become disordered

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