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Future FA rules

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That’s a good concept; trash the randomly generated Effect Table requiring another dice roll by using the results from the dice roll you already have available.  I think there are too many effects though, but your trying to use the too many effects  already in the 2.0 system.

If negative status effects are important in the game, there shouldn’t be that many, and they should all impact gameplay.  For example, having your AP set to 0 usually doesn’t do anything on Turn 1, as it will be repaired by Turn 3, while any effect on your Movement ALWAYS causes issues.

The fact repairing exist is a big part of why Critical Effects generally don’t impact gameplay.

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@Skyhawk I think this is a neat idea, combining two rolls into one, basically.  However it is a little fiddly with the subtraction of Hits minus CR, but worth a playtest.  

The underlying issue as @Ryjak says is that most crit results are meaningless as soon as you receive them, and even if they are meaningful, 50%+ of the time they go away at the end of the round upon repair anyway.

There's a couple of approaches I see here:  1) make crit results less random, such as targeted strikes and boarding choosing certain effects (not Reactor Overload, obviously) rather than rolling for it.  2) making the effects more persistent by, for instance, either making repair rolls more difficult or making the repair at the end of the ship's next activation, rather than end of round.  In this way, the effect is guaranteed to stick around, unless you jump in with a repair TAC card at the start of the round. 

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@Stoobert this might just be me, but I have the opposite. If my opponent lands a few good hits I could have two corrosive markers and a hazard marker to repair out of a single round. This will obviously change depending on you and your enemys' MARs. When facing fleets that make heavy use of Corrosive weapons, Biohazardous weapons and Decimator Warheads self-repair is already a challenge

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Good example, but those Corrosive markers came from a enemy weapon with a MAR, not a rare random roll of '3' on the Crit Chart, is that correct?   Hazard Markers and CP loss (rolls 6, 7 and 8), being the most common effects, are often meaningless because, unless you have Weapon Shielding, the Hull Damage has a equal or greater effect on AD degradation than any CP loss anyway.    I'm not saying CP loss and Hazards are never relevant, but they seldom are. 

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@StoobertHey fair enough. Perhaps the types of effect just need to be seperated by what can cause them. I can absolutely agree that losing two crew doesnt have near the same emotional impact as losing two hull. Of course the Superior Design MAR also comes into play here.

I have been a big fan of the most basic gameplay concept of critical tables for my entire tabletop experience. Im anxious to give this a shot on the tabletop, it fits more in line with what Im used to. That an already weakened enemy is more likely to have a catastrophic effect when hit properly. Thinking about it, is it as rewarding for a player to repair a critical effect as it was for their opponent when they rolled the crit in the first place? Is this an important balancing factor?

Targeted strikes could probably survive without change (aside from the -1/+1 suggestion of mine, which Directorate and RSN players will have fun with :lol:) but if its going to change much, it will be like the last few suggestions. Where its reshuffled and organised to make more sense

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On 4/11/2018 at 5:32 PM, Stoobert said:

What I think you're missing, Frans, a few things:

1. Tournament game vs. 'all day game' -- you can have BOTH but this can go only one way, not the other.   A tournament  game can be both a tournament game and a game takes all day - depending on the fleet size and scenario, but not the other way round.

2. FSA isn't a game in a box for 3-6 players, with an expansion or two, like Twilight Imperium.  With a game like TI the box is sold once and you're done - and the only play option is a game that takes all day.  How often the customer plays after the initial sale doesn't matter to the company, really.

3. FSA is a minis game that, like all minis games, stays afloat due to continued incremental model sales and player retention.   I'm not a marketing genius but I can guess that people who play more frequently (e.g. on a Thurs club/league night) tend to buy more models, expand into new factions, etc. more than people who play once or twice a year.  There are exceptions, of course, such as the guy who buys all 6 factions and never plays, but these are quite rare.  Play produces sales.
 

You can certainly scale a tournament game up to something requiring an entire day to finish, but doing so will just turn a small simple game into a big simple game, it won’t get you something complex and detailed like the current Firestorm Armada.

So you can’t have both, no matter what way you go.

Spartan actually did come up with the right (and only) solution for making FA tournament suitable, they created a second space combat game specifically designed for tournament play.

What you desire isn’t Firestorm Armada 3.0, it is Firestorm Taskforce 2.0

Which is fine by me, but not at the cost of Firestorm Armada please.

 

Regarding the business part; I think it is rather dangerous to assume that what the average forum member wants equals what the average customer wants, and that the average tournament player is also interested in space combat games that don’t float on a very fat long long ago IP.

In addition to that tournament games have, from a business point of view, two disadvantages; the first one being that most of them don’t require that many miniatures to play, and the second one being that they are highly susceptible to trends.

Especially the latter one isn’t desirable for a small company operating in a niche of a niche market.

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Thanks I do see see your point and agree in some respects.  @Frans 

All sorts of play: weekly group, tournaments, and basement with your buddy. An indivudual gamer may partake in some, all, or none. 

I definitely do not want Taskforce 2.0, haha.   :-)

I’m a big proponent (and volunteer) for a survey outside these forums to the 14,000 email list and beyond.  I try not to assume what others may want and find it’s best to ask.   Like you said the forums are a tiny sliver of people who know FSA.

Firestorm 2.0 very well may be the definitive version of the game for all we know,  that people play for decades to come.  Nothing will change 2.0 that I’m aware of.  

One last thing, while tournament games may not reuqire many models on the table, every X-Wing player I know who plays in tournaments has at least one of most every ship in the game, sometimes several!   That’s gotta mean somethin’.  :-)

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1 hour ago, Frans said:

Spartan actually did come up with the right (and only) solution for making FA tournament suitable, they created a second space combat game specifically designed for tournament play.

I didn't think that Taskforce was a tournament play game.  It was designed for a quick get together and bang out a game in a short time with a small number of models.  I don't think it was really designed for the larger number of models that a normal Armada game is supposed to have.  Taskforce seems to be designed to work with X-Wing/Battletech numbers of models at the detail of 40K.  Conversely, Armada seems to be designed with a more a step or two above Warmachine level of detail (but far below Battletech level) with a smaller Warmachine game level of models.

The problem with detail and complexity is that the more you have in your system, the longer it takes to play the game, the more models you include in it.  A good example of that is Battletech.  It has a huge amount of complexity and detail, which leads to having more than 5v5 getting bogged down into a long slog, even with experienced players.  Conversely, you have the detail of 8e 40K and Age of Sigmar which can have literally a hundred models per side (or more, depending on the army) and still move at a good pace.

1 hour ago, Frans said:

In addition to that tournament games have, from a business point of view, two disadvantages; the first one being that most of them don’t require that many miniatures to play, and the second one being that they are highly susceptible to trends.

What are you classifying as a tournament game?  When I see tournaments around here they involve WarmaHordes, 40K, AoS/9th Age, X-Wing, or Infinity*.  Of those, only the latter two qualify as not requiring that many miniatures to play, and only WarmaHordes was actively designed to be a competitive game.  It is possible to do a small number of models in a normal WarmaHordes tournament game, but that usually would involve Collossals/Gargantuans and Battle Engines, which then get outnumbered and skunked on scenario.

* Malifaux never really took off very well here in my local market.  There are some players, but there doesn't seem to be any interest in setting up a regular tournament schedule like the ones I just mentioned.

-------------------------------------------------

The main question for the level of detail and complexity is what is the target size of forces you are wanting to field and the time frame you want these games to be run in.  If you want to field 3 Grand Fleets per side in 2-3 hours, welcome to 40K level of detail.  If you want to run a Task Force per side in 2-3 hours, say hello to Battletech level of detail.  Either of these are fine on a tournament level of game. 

Heck, Infinity has a very small model count compared to anything besides Battletech (and maybe Malifaux), and the level of detail in that game is minimal, but it is a very complex game when it comes to rule interactions.  40K's level of detail is fine for the number of models you are expected to bring, the only problem it has from a tournament perspective is the lazy rule-writing by its parent company.

My suggestion would be to look at your prime competitors and see what people are looking to play at.  Primarily, that would be Dropfleet Commander (DFC) and X-Wing (XW).  Decide if you want the model count of your games to be larger than DFC, in between XW and DFC, or match SWA.  If you want to be bigger than DFC, then the rules are going to have to be simpler than FSA 2.0 rules are now.  If you want to match DFC, then they will still need to be a smidge more simple (though, not by much).   If you want to match XW, then bring on the level of detail and the turn markers etc.

If you want to sell the most, going for GW levels of models and play time should be the eventual target.  Say what you want about the quality of their rules (and I can go on and on), they know what their target is and they hit it pretty reliably.  One of their best strategies is to encourage you to have a large and diverse army.  Their long existence helps to go for that, though.  Right now, if I was WC, I would target to be around DFC's level at the most, and leave it concepts which can be loosened over time to build up to GW's popularity and model sales.

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... Can't we just, like... For crits, I understand there's a pretty big argument about disproportionate effects, at either end of the spectrum, of something like Drive Failure on a Dindrenzi Battleship vs Shields Offline on, say, a Veydreth Heavy Cruiser, right? Any effect that gets applied which does not impact the ship in question- Drive Failure on a Platform, Shields Offline on an unshielded ship, ect., why can't that just get converted to a point of crew damage or something? I know its not much, but its SOMETHING, you know? And leads into something else...

On 4/12/2018 at 5:02 AM, Ryjak said:

The fact repairing exist is a big part of why Critical Effects generally don’t impact gameplay.

This hits on something crucial- when it comes to repairing effects, it either happens or doesn't, at 50/50 odds most of the time, or a TAC gets used to remove it. When an effect sticks around, it can be crippling and arbitrary. I'd prefer some sort of resource allocation-esque solution, something where you know -why- an effect stuck around, and maybe know that you had to make choices and set priorities on what to remove. If we were to use current stats as a starting point, I'd remove crew having an effect on AD and instead say that each point of crew is a 50/50 to remove one status effect. Generally, then, a ship that is healthy will only suffer a single effect until the repair rolls start, but a ship that has lost crew or taken a bunch of effects will start to need to make choices. This is generally consistent with the way the rest of the game is played, in my onion. That's a typo, but I'm leaving it. But yeah.

 

Now. I know what you're going to say- "Does that mean a ship that loses all its crew is stuck with whatever status effects are lumped onto it?" And the answer would be yeah, it would. But the flip side to that would be- even against Directorate, how often do you see a ship that isn't already about to die when its crew hits 0? Against anyone else, how often do you see 0 crew happen at all?

 

As much as this saddens me, I think it inevitable that Corrosive and Hazard (lol jk I'm only sad about Corrosive) will be removed and replaced with something more in line with other status effects. If they aren't, under my Crew Does Repairs rules, I'd have them do their roll separately, before the crew rolls start. A corrosive then could either be removed by its own roll, do the damage but be repaired by the crew, or do the damage and stick around.

 

Anyways. I'm no game designer, but that's what I'd do. I'd also hire a bunch of smart guys to write it up in an easier to understand manner if I was, but that's not the point.

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@Hive Perhaps repairs are rolled as a pool of dice, equal to crew rating? That way crew directly represent personnel ancillary to the bare minimum skeleton crew for combat duties. As they die, your ship's ability to maintain itself also dies.

I'm also no game designer but I'd bump repair successes up to rolls of 5 and 6 only as well. Feels like it rounds things out.

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Just now, Wolfgang Jannesen said:

@Hive Perhaps repairs are rolled as a pool of dice, equal to crew rating? That way crew directly represent personnel ancillary to the bare minimum skeleton crew for combat duties. As they die, your ship's ability to maintain itself also dies.

I'm also no game designer but I'd bump repair successes up to rolls of 5 and 6 only as well. Feels like it rounds things out.

Yeah, as a pool then allocate successes. I might be on board for the 5s and 6s, too, but since most of the game uses exploding, using flat 4+ with no bonus to 6s at all already feels like a downgrade, in the context of the way dice pools function in the rest of the game, you know what I mean? Still, its worth considering.

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On 4/14/2018 at 4:56 AM, Stoobert said:

One last thing, while tournament games may not reuqire many models on the table, every X-Wing player I know who plays in tournaments has at least one of most every ship in the game, sometimes several!   That’s gotta mean somethin’.  :-)

What it means is that most X-wing players are StarWars addicts who would buy my sweaty socks if I told them Obi-Wan once wore them (long long ago etc. etc.) ;)

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Yep and Firestorm players are resin addicts ;)

Thing is I think that most people like tabletop wargames want to use a larger number of ships/warriors/units/models. They want to feel like its a real battle with multiple ships; variety, choices and also the ability to show off more of their collection. 

Also lets face it GW Warhammer 40K and Age of Sigma and Fantasy all manage to have up to hundreds of units per side and still hold competitive events. There's no reason that Firestorm can't adapt its rules to follow suit in a limited form (the mechanics of space moving making super large blocks a bit too tricky to move around). 

 

Indeed it you look at most games they start small scale and as the fanbase and franchise grows the army sizes grow as well. Earlier games of 40K were much smaller with far fewer models - same as Warmachine and many others. Now-a-days the fanbase is bigger and wants those larger games and the model range is larger and players want to use those models.

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On 4/14/2018 at 6:39 AM, Charistoph said:

I didn't think that Taskforce was a tournament play game.  It was designed for a quick get together and bang out a game in a short time with a small number of models.

Sure sounds like a tournament suitable game...

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I don't think it was really designed for the larger number of models that a normal Armada game is supposed to have. 

That's because Firestorm Armada wasn't made for tournaments.

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What are you classifying as a tournament game?

Anything designed to be finished within two hours tops.

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My suggestion would be to look at your prime competitors and see what people are looking to play at.

What you are then likely to see is what the internet shows you…

And what the Internet is going to show you is that tournament play is the most visible part of war-gaming, because those involved in it are over-represented on the internet.

Re tailoring a game like Firestorm Armada to suit a different player-group runs the very real risk of alienating the current player-group.

And that current player group might well be considerably larger than this new target-group.

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Aye its important to realise that the majority of wargamers are NOT online. Indeed in most clubs there might only be one or two members who are actually active online in engaging with the community and talking, and not many more who might regularly read forums (esp in this day and age where a LOT of people only go as far as facebook). 

The online community is very vocal and can often represent some key elements of the community, but the online is still only ever a much smaller proportion of the population. Even in computer games on Steam where you have to be signed up and part of the online system to take part; there is still only a tiny faction that actually engage in the forum side of things. 

 

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22 minutes ago, Overread said:

Also lets face it GW Warhammer 40K and Age of Sigma and Fantasy all manage to have up to hundreds of units per side and still hold competitive events. There's no reason that Firestorm can't adapt its rules to follow suit in a limited form (the mechanics of space moving making super large blocks a bit too tricky to move around).

Those are all games representing forms of combat that can handle very fast and simple movement systems without losing their “simulation” feel.

Space combat is something entirely different, because with space combat, without precise movement, you’ll lose the “simulation” feel.

And that’s why you can’t have a decent space combat game with a table full of ships that’s tournament suitable.

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I disagree with @Frans on just about everything.  What makes a game suitable for tournaments isn’t primarily the length of time, but the quality of the gameplay and precision in the rules.   You don’t see too many Tic-TAC-Toe tournaments, and that game takes minutes to play.

You can tell if a game is Tournament-ready with a simple thought exercise: if $1,000,000 was the grand prize for winning, what would players try to do to win? Mostly, they’ll try to cheat, so imprecise rules introduce space for cheating.  They’ll also find the optimum way to play, and if this is easy to find, the game won’t work for this level of competition either.

If a game has these two components, people would be willing for the game to take 12 hours to resolve, especially for a shot at the grand prize.  However, the only way to have that kind of prize support is to make the game marketable to spectators, which draws sponsors.  Two hours per round is the most spectators are willing to tolerate.

Why do you think Soccer is so popular?

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@Stoobert Just doing some idle rolling this morning, based off the RSN dread's crew rating. In eight rolls, counting successes on 5's and 6's I rolled 3, 3, 1, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1, 4, 3 (<- This is total successes per roll of seven dice)
It got me thinking about how to nebulously define the acceptable parameters of a different repair system. I guess now its experimenting to see what feels like an appropriate crew repair efficiency versus keeping all of the critical effects above that we were trying not to lose to a 50/50 roll 
:unsure: At the very least its an incentive to take down the crew as a first step to finishing a large capital ship in a couple turns. A lot like taking down the PD before you spend the rest of the turn unloading torpedoes into it

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10 hours ago, Frans said:

Sure sounds like a tournament suitable game...

Being tournament suitable doesn't always translate to being specifically designed for tournaments.  It was designed to be played during a lunch hour.  Sure, that's within a tournament's time table, but that doesn't make something people WANT to play in a tournament.

10 hours ago, Frans said:

That's because Firestorm Armada wasn't made for tournaments.

Neither was Task Force, 40K, or Age of Sigmar.  Heck GW openly brags that they are not a game designer, yet people still play gobs of tournaments around the world of both their major systems.

10 hours ago, Frans said:

Anything designed to be finished within two hours tops.

Anyone up for a Solitaire tournament?  No?  Tic-Tac-Toe?  No?  Me neither.  Time of game play is not the only qualifier for a tournament game.

Tournaments for table top games come out of a community desire to play against a group of people over a weekend of a game they are already playing, not because the game is the new tournament game.  Point values are determined based on how many games the tournament organizers plan to have played within the allowed time frame.

10 hours ago, Frans said:

What you are then likely to see is what the internet shows you…

And what the Internet is going to show you is that tournament play is the most visible part of war-gaming, because those involved in it are over-represented on the internet.

Re tailoring a game like Firestorm Armada to suit a different player-group runs the very real risk of alienating the current player-group.

And that current player group might well be considerably larger than this new target-group.

If you want a game to die a slow meandering death only kept alive by the occasional grognards who are fighting a rear action against entropy, sure you can go that route.  I still see people playing 9th Age as if GW completely denied ever creating Age of Sigmar.  I'm a huge fan of Battletech, the original, not that Clix ****.

Yes, the internet only shows you a distilled picture of the market, that is not in argument.  The point was that Dropfleet Commander, as a competitor and a new boy on the street, will show you how much people are willing to buy and bring to the table for a game that is "fresh" to a market.  What is the normal amount of ships for that engagement is what people are normally willing to play on either a game night or a tournament, because of the game's mechanics.  X-Wing's a poor selling mechanic to follow as it is a poke-card game disguised as a miniature game, and the miniatures are used to sell the card packs (true story).

Of course, there are 2 things which determine a match's speed, the ease of applying the mechanics and the familiarity with those mechanics.  Those mechanics in Firestorm which increase turn time are those that need to be addressed to help bring new players in the game who are used to the ease of X-Wing.

As an example, 1500 points used to be the target point for 40K, because 2 average armies of that value could be played within 2-3 hours.  As editions came and went, it went up as the mechanics were made simpler, point values of units went down, and special rules started getting redonkulously powerful so that I see 2000 points as the average tournament point list these days.  Each edition shed veteran players, either due to fatigue (sometimes over the rules which were open to argumentative interpretation, I'm looking at you Independent Character!) or because of the, "This Edition Broke My Army" complaint.  However, as the rules got easier to get in to, it was easier to get people invested in the game, which is actually why 40K is seeing a resurgence.  40K is an important reference point as rumors are flying around in which Battlefleet Gothic will be making a comeback, and that is a direct and powerful competitor to Firestorm Armada, even more then DropFleet Commander is.

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@Charistoph makes some solid points here.  Most pertinent IMHO is that FSA’s most apples-to-apples competitors in the 2019 market will be: Dropfleet and BFG’s likely re-release.    For what it's worth DFC has 2x the members of FSA on their Facebook group (ugh, I know...Facebook).

FSA’s next version IMHO needs to demonstrate differentiated gameplay and value against these offerings.  

FSA 2.0 will always exist and if that is someone’s favorite version more power to ya, and for all we know new models may get backwards compatible stats. (Shrug) 

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