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Future FA rules

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Interesting, this has so many potentials...  What comes to mind is plastic base ships with resin modification bits, like a sprue that could be a regular cruiser, a light cruiser and a heavy cruiser but with a resin add-on it becomes an assault cruiser or battlecruiser.

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I'd expect it to be more like they'd aim their starter fleets at being plastic or having plastic components. So that might well be plastic frigates/destroyers or could be everything including a plastic battleship. Then use resin for things like dreadnoughts, experimental, gunships etc.... So that plastic is focused on the big core boxes that are intended to sell in larger numbers whilst the resin remains for items that might sell in smaller numbers; or which are larger or more detailed. 

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I don't think I'll mind the plastic. It just means I get to build the ships! Though I think it would be better to have the battleships in resin. They're not exactly small a would benefit from the extra detail. I could see plastic being used on smaller ships or even as a replacement for the pewter bits on ships. Of course I don't know if it has enough detail to do something like that or not. 

@Warcradle Richard is it possible that we might get to see some Firestorm models this year if all works out well for your schedule? If not I'll understand, but inquiring minds wish to know.

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7 hours ago, northerndragons said:

Interesting, this has so many potentials...  What comes to mind is plastic base ships with resin modification bits, like a sprue that could be a regular cruiser, a light cruiser and a heavy cruiser but with a resin add-on it becomes an assault cruiser or battlecruiser.

Directorate would fit that bill pretty well.  The Annihilation Gunship and Turmoil R&D Cruiser already use two hull portions with a centralized piece to differentiate them.  Making 3 Cruiser pieces and some Destroyer Pieces wouldn't be too difficult to fit in to that process, I would think.  In addition, they would start matching each other in size!

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8 hours ago, Wolfgang Jannesen said:

They just keep dripping poison honey in my ears, and I strip the paint off of some old models to keep myself busy in the meantime. 

It strips the paint off the models or it gets the hose again...

I'm in the same boat, just snagged two huge lots of Aquan and Directorate minis that may end up in the green.

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4 hours ago, Charistoph said:

Directorate would fit that bill pretty well.  The Annihilation Gunship and Turmoil R&D Cruiser already use two hull portions with a centralized piece to differentiate them.  Making 3 Cruiser pieces and some Destroyer Pieces wouldn't be too difficult to fit in to that process, I would think.  In addition, they would start matching each other in size!

Didn't they use the same hull pieces for the Directorate invasion fleet?  On the Assault Cruisers?

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Dare we dream? Of perhaps seeing a ship's hardpoints represented as different modular pieces? Warcradle, the second you put out Firestorm models my wallet is going to disappear into your store like a planet into a freshly collapsed star. But THAT would drive the collector in me nuts to the nth degree

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3 hours ago, northerndragons said:

Didn't they use the same hull pieces for the Directorate invasion fleet?  On the Assault Cruisers?

They did.  I remembered that after I posted, and just didn't want to go back and fix it.  Interestingly enough, those Cruisers are why i picked the Directorate to collect.  Still don't have any, though.

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9 hours ago, Charistoph said:

They did.  I remembered that after I posted, and just didn't want to go back and fix it.  Interestingly enough, those Cruisers are why i picked the Directorate to collect.  Still don't have any, though.

I'd love to pick up a set as well and I did come across a Korean website with it in stock but I couldn't figure out the shipping to the US.

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On 4/15/2018 at 1:31 PM, Ryjak said:

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?

Well, I was talking about war-games, I thought that was pretty obvious.

And the fact that a tournament game ALSO needs clear rules etc. etc. doesn’t change the fact that it will need to be playable within a certain amount of time.

How much time that is will depend on the actual type of tournament; in the popular miniatures war-gaming tournaments format this will be two hours tops.

Now there exist many things you can do within a two hour time frame, but completing a detailed fleet level space combat miniatures game, like Firestorm Armada, isn’t one of them.

You can streamline the rules as long as you like, but you’ll never be able to turn FA into a 90~120 minute game without picking its bones clean.

The point I’m making is that you can’t turn FA into something “tournament suitable” without changing the type of game it has always been entirely, and with that come risks regarding the current customer base.

As an example; from my own current four player FA group only one player might actually be interested in such a game, but he’s already heavily involved with X-wing and Armada, so probably won’t go for a third “tournament” space combat game.

And looking back at BFG times, the majority of players I used to know that were involved with that weren’t “tournament” players either.

So, as far as I can see, going the “tournament” way with FA could easily alienate three quarters plus of the games current customer base, yours truly included.

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4 hours ago, Warcradle Stuart said:

Don't worry, any plastics will be of all new ships, not plastic versions of old ones! 

 

When you say new do you mean new sculpts of core ships (eg the standard cruisers/battleships/frigates); or do you mean that there will be brand new ships alongside the existing ships (existing meaning Spartan designs sold by WC as opposed to current ships owned by gamers)

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@Frans “picking its bones clean” in relation to a 2 hour game sounds sounds pretty disastrous and final.  

Yet the two major FSA tournaments have had round limits of 2.5 hours for the last 4 years.  So if those round limits needed to be comfortably 2 hours that's a reduction of just 20%-30% game time.   To use your bodily metaphor, that’s more like putting FSA on a diet, not picking its bones clean. 

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@Frans as of right now the community is trying to streamline the game, not remove detail. I don't classify that as stripping it to the bone or even giving it a diet, I classify that as cutting off dead weight. Several mechanics have been mentioned as needing streamlining. I think streamlining  will help make the game shorter makeing  it easier to learn the rules,  to play more often, and introduce new people to the game. 

9 hours ago, Warcradle Stuart said:

Don't worry, any plastics will be of all new ships, not plastic versions of old ones!

Glad to read that! I'm not sure I would like a plastic Tyrant if you guys continue making it! Will we continue to see resin ships in the future?

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7 hours ago, Frans said:

And the fact that a tournament game ALSO needs clear rules etc. etc. doesn’t change the fact that it will need to be playable within a certain amount of time.

Aside from Chess, what is the longest running wargame run regularly in tournaments?  Hint, it has some of the biggest lack of rule clarity in any well known game.  It was recently simplified, but there is still a large amount of murkiness in the rules.

7 hours ago, Frans said:

How much time that is will depend on the actual type of tournament; in the popular miniatures war-gaming tournaments format this will be two hours tops.

Now there exist many things you can do within a two hour time frame, but completing a detailed fleet level space combat miniatures game, like Firestorm Armada, isn’t one of them.

You can streamline the rules as long as you like, but you’ll never be able to turn FA into a 90~120 minute game without picking its bones clean.

The point I’m making is that you can’t turn FA into something “tournament suitable” without changing the type of game it has always been entirely, and with that come risks regarding the current customer base.

There are two factors involved in the length a game plays: Complexity in implementing rules, and  the number of models that are fielded.  If you are actually running a tournament, then the attendees should be expected to be sufficiently familiar with the rules to play at an adequate, if not rapid, pace.

If one is sufficiently familiar with a ruleset, then the complexity isn't that large of an impediment and then just boils down to the number of models two can push around in the targeted time frame.  Chess goes MUCH faster if you take out either the left or right 3 squares.  I noticed that you haven't bothered to define what size of fleet(s) you are considering when dumping the "non-tournament game" tag on to FSA.  Are you looking at having two grand Fleets on the table?  One?  Is just a Battle Fleet per side what you are considering when you are making this determination?  Are you going by what the Reading Tournament goes by, or some other 'con's tournament?  More information is helpful.

As a side note, 40K tournaments usually factor 2.5 hours per game, not two.  Most will get done within the two hour time frame, but playing Astra Miliatrum Conscript spam versus a Tyranid Horde will take time just doing movement.  And that demonstrates how much model count plays a part in this determination.

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I'll throw my two cents in here, currently the other Armada game a tournament is allotted 135 minutes per game, for those who don't want to do the math that two hours and fifteen minutes.  The point build it 400 points and typically you see between two and eight ships.  Having been to a tournament for this game in an afternoon you can do two rounds, granted this was a local tournament with about four to six players.

Maybe one of the biggest things that can be done to speed up play is a movement tool.  I played one game of FA and my opponent spent more time fiddling with his ships position than rolling dice, he kept trying to fiddle with them for a double arc.

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On 4/22/2018 at 4:42 PM, Stoobert said:

@Frans “picking its bones clean” in relation to a 2 hour game sounds sounds pretty disastrous and final.  

Yet the two major FSA tournaments have had round limits of 2.5 hours for the last 4 years.  So if those round limits needed to be comfortably 2 hours that's a reduction of just 20%-30% game time.   To use your bodily metaphor, that’s more like putting FSA on a diet, not picking its bones clean. 

This isn’t about what has been in the past, this is about the two main wishes for FA 3.0 I see emerging on this forum; bigger fleets AND shorter playtimes.

Now you might be able to achieve one of those with a diet, but achieving both will certainly require a bit more than that.

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19 hours ago, Skyhawk said:

@Frans as of right now the community is trying to streamline the game, not remove detail. I don't classify that as stripping it to the bone or even giving it a diet, I classify that as cutting off dead weight. Several mechanics have been mentioned as needing streamlining. I think streamlining  will help make the game shorter makeing  it easier to learn the rules,  to play more often, and introduce new people to the game.

Yeah, but simple streamlining isn’t going to result in the substantially shorter games with substantially bigger fleets a certain player group seems to desire for 3.0

And if shorter games with bigger fleets becomes the / an official design goal for 3.0 the result will be something entirely different than the current FA (and something a large part of the current customer base is probably not going to like).

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18 hours ago, Charistoph said:

Aside from Chess, what is the longest running wargame run regularly in tournaments?  Hint, it has some of the biggest lack of rule clarity in any well known game.  It was recently simplified, but there is still a large amount of murkiness in the rules.

There are two factors involved in the length a game plays: Complexity in implementing rules, and  the number of models that are fielded.  If you are actually running a tournament, then the attendees should be expected to be sufficiently familiar with the rules to play at an adequate, if not rapid, pace.

If one is sufficiently familiar with a ruleset, then the complexity isn't that large of an impediment and then just boils down to the number of models two can push around in the targeted time frame.  Chess goes MUCH faster if you take out either the left or right 3 squares.  I noticed that you haven't bothered to define what size of fleet(s) you are considering when dumping the "non-tournament game" tag on to FSA.  Are you looking at having two grand Fleets on the table?  One?  Is just a Battle Fleet per side what you are considering when you are making this determination?  Are you going by what the Reading Tournament goes by, or some other 'con's tournament?  More information is helpful.

As a side note, 40K tournaments usually factor 2.5 hours per game, not two.  Most will get done within the two hour time frame, but playing Astra Miliatrum Conscript spam versus a Tyranid Horde will take time just doing movement.  And that demonstrates how much model count plays a part in this determination.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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