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Notes from Stuart, part 2

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And a bit later, Stuart posted this as well :

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Here's another concern I'd like to address: 

"The new Firestorm is going to get rid of all the old background/miniatures"

The new Firestorm Armada will feature a background that will expand and update the original into a new narrative. So the Dindrenzi will still be there in some fashion (as will the bitter tears for Dramos), the Relthoza will still creep out arachnophobics etc. But narrative concepts that restricted the game in earlier editions will be reworked so that they enhance the faction/gaming options rather than limit them to two and a half alliances. As for miniatures, you will be able to use all of your old miniatures for Firestorm Armada in the new edition. Of course, there will be fleets of new miniatures to get very excited about, but why would we want to stop you using your existing collection?

 

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Ugh, so yeah, pretty much sounds like we're going to get a boiled down generic free-for-all setting just like practically EVERY OTHER setting that's out there.  There's not much real sense in a 6+ way free for all fight anyhow, since it just encourages a deadlock.  You can't commit to a full offensive against any one power without stripping off the defenses to keep the other powers at bay.  

SOme people might have found 2 overall alliances with mercs inthe middle to be a bit small in count but it made SENSE.  If the two biggest powers on the block are starting to slug it out, you don't want to be sitting on the sidelines the whole time, in case when they're done they come knocking on your door wondering why you weren't therte to help them out.  

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From what I've been picking up on the DWars front the setting has been moved from a world war to a heated cold war.  Tension between the major powers but plausibly deniable skirmishes with clear missions that with the exception of limited (e.g. the old Campaign books) outbreaks of fighting, remains small scale and limited.  I imagine that the same thing would happen with Firestorm. 

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As long as it's not boiled down to "Directorate is corporate, therefore the ships have to be freighters with guns bolted on" sort of caricature (which doesn't make sense, logically a corporation would produce something as cost-effective as possible, and purpose-built warship will be more cost-effective than freghter with guns),  or aquan ships being literal dolphins with lasers, and there's enough continuity concept-wise I'll be happy to check it out.

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48 minutes ago, Pok said:

As long as it's not boiled down to "Directorate is corporate, therefore the ships have to be freighters with guns bolted on" sort of caricature (which doesn't make sense, logically a corporation would produce something as cost-effective as possible, and purpose-built warship will be more cost-effective than freghter with guns),  or aquan ships being literal dolphins with lasers, and there's enough continuity concept-wise I'll be happy to check it out.

Dude...LASERDOLPHINS. I love this idea. Let's make that happen!  :D

The game should have a group of fun factions to play with that all feel different.  I know this next concept won't happen, but I'd love for them to not all have the same size and classes of ships as well - again, I know that won't happen, but it would be refreshing to not have that typical homogenization. Two major alliances was boring. I mean really, who cares?  I want to get the ships that look cool and play the way I like and fly them around making pew pew noises the whole while. I hope there's a means to form alliances. Maybe the humans gang up on the aliens or the fish folk gang up on the air-breathers or the lizards gang up on the warmbloods. Maybe they don't even have to be that specific, but the idea of putting the storytelling in the players' hands is far more appealing than some arbitrary "these guys are on the same side" nonsense. 

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2 hours ago, Bad Idea Comics said:

Two major alliances was boring. I mean really, who cares?  I want to get the ships that look cool and play the way I like and fly them around making pew pew noises the whole while. I hope there's a means to form alliances. Maybe the humans gang up on the aliens or the fish folk gang up on the air-breathers or the lizards gang up on the warmbloods. Maybe they don't even have to be that specific, but the idea of putting the storytelling in the players' hands is far more appealing than some arbitrary "these guys are on the same side" nonsense. 

This kind of thing may work well in your area, but in mine it certainly does not.  We've gone through a number of games that are just raw rules without backgrounds and they all wind up shelved after a month or two.  We look at the factions for something that appeals to us about their character, and then suit the play style around that, not the other way around.  

If you decide that you'd rather change things narratively, go for it!  If you decide that Sorylians are no longer lizard people but cybernetic Beetle people pursuing the path to ascending into energy beings, go for it!  

But the fact remains that a good setting will make or break a game.  Hell, people didn't dive headfirst into Battlefleet Gothic because of the rules and ability to manufacture odd alliances.  They wanted in to play in the universe, to be in the lore of it all.  If someone wants to alter thigns in their local group, more power to them, rock on, enjoy it.  The fact remains, a lot of people DON'T.  So if you want the game to be appealing to mroe than a small niche, you need a strong setting.  

 

The idea of the heated cold war sounds...offputting to say the least.  The fact that Firestorm was a full scale fleet action was always a huge draw to me and my area.  Deniable actions don't sound much like something that a battleship and it's accompanying attendants would be a part of.  The game was an ongoing WAR, not an ongoing pissing contest with occasional shots fired.  I'd kind of like to maintain that.  

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I think the way round that could be limited full scale operations, like the old boxed set scenarios or the planned Flashpoint campaigns seeing large scale open warfare, but not constant military action.  Even if the fluff that was conflict was restricted mainly to the Storm Zone.  

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@RageofAeonsYour thinking here is limiting you. I'm talking about a setting that encourages variable alliances or possibly expansions that change alliances.  There are SO many ways to make this more interesting than the original version. In any case, I'm looking forward to what the Warcradle guys come up with. Don't judge anything until you've seen it. That's like salting a dish before you've tried it. Give them a chance to impress you. Keep an open mind and enjoy what comes up next. And make pew pew noises. They make it all worth it.  :D

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4 minutes ago, Bad Idea Comics said:

@RageofAeonsYour thinking here is limiting you. I'm talking about a setting that encourages variable alliances or possibly expansions that change alliances.  There are SO many ways to make this more interesting than the original version. In any case, I'm looking forward to what the Warcradle guys come up with. Don't judge anything until you've seen it. That's like salting a dish before you've tried it. Give them a chance to impress you. Keep an open mind and enjoy what comes up next. And make pew pew noises. They make it all worth it.  :D

It still rankles a little that the couldn't be done by expanding the existing fluff, but I can understand wanting to reshape things.  I would very much enjoy content to wow and gorge on no matter what the seasoning.

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I think one aspect they can play with without a grand alliance system is that they can do a cold-war approach - lots of skirmishes that can then build into staged campaign or key event mission packs. Advancing the storyline is a key part of many lores so starting the game out with as few alliances and ties makes it a lot easier to then mess around and change things up. Shifting alliances and such

I just hope WC keeps alliances and such to a lore side of things - that way they can shift alliances around. They can even release unique and specialist ships that are the result of alliances into specific factions. So say the Soyrlians gain a unique frigate with Relthoza cloaking as a result of an alliance between the two factions. Even if the alliance then dissolves in the story line later, the limited ships can remain and then they've got a history and connection. Far better as then the ships are also balanced specific to a race rather than being a messy "lets ally to whole factions together".

 

Plus done that way its just another ship, so WC don't have ot give every faction an "alliance ship" of their own. The Sorylians get a Relthoza hybrid ship, but the Aquians just get a regular Aquian ship release. 

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A couple of things:

The Firestorm Universe is not going to be a Cold War. If you have an entire galaxy to wage war across, with vast distances of time and space separating the various combatants you can have multiple belligerents actively battling each other in full-scale war while still having the breathing room to explore, exploit and expand.

Let's not get too hung up on notions of 'The Directorate are going to be turned into X or Y.'  We haven't announced any factions yet or even if there will be a Directorate at all (just kidding... maybe). Just lots of lovely speculation from the community. I'm certainly in the camp of being excited about the possibilities rather than worried about what might get thrown out with the bath water. 

 

 

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I was personally never bothered with the "2 Alliances duking it out"-thing. 

Just because Ryushi and Xelocians would never attack each other *fluffwise* doesn't mean that the rules doesn't support them attacking each other on the table top.

In the current (2.0) setting, there being 2 grand alliances makes sense: The races in the Kurak Alliance have their reasons for being part of the Kurak Alliance, and the races in the Zenian League have their reasons for not being part of the Kurak Alliance.


Now the fluff may be retconned or changed by Warcradle (I get the impression that it will be), and if so I expect them to write up new fluff which supports the alliances and/or lack of alliances. Either way, as long as they don't prevent "friendly" factions from attacking eachother rulewise, I'm happy.

 

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16 hours ago, RageofAeons said:

This kind of thing may work well in your area, but in mine it certainly does not.  We've gone through a number of games that are just raw rules without backgrounds and they all wind up shelved after a month or two.  We look at the factions for something that appeals to us about their character, and then suit the play style around that, not the other way around. 

And locally, we're just the opposite.  The guys in the local wargame group don't really care about the fluff and background of the races.  The gameplay trumps the fluff every time...there is just little interest in getting into the history of why the Dindrenzi and Terrans go at each other, etc.

Two different approaches to the game, it's not a bad thing.  I won't mind having more lore and history, but it's not at the top of our wish list here.

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4 hours ago, MinscS2 said:

I was personally never bothered with the "2 Alliances duking it out"-thing. 

Now the fluff may be retconned or changed by Warcradle (I get the impression that it will be), and if so I expect them to write up new fluff which supports the alliances and/or lack of alliances. Either way, as long as they don't prevent "friendly" factions from attacking eachother rulewise, I'm happy.

 

2

The whole point will be that the eight factions in Firestorm will have far more reasons to duke it out than to cooperate. Seeds will be sown to address why same faction battles are likely too. Basically, we want your games of Firestorm to always feel like they are part of the story. 

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6 minutes ago, Warcradle Stuart said:

The whole point will be that the eight factions in Firestorm will have far more reasons to duke it out than to cooperate. Seeds will be sown to address why same faction battles are likely too. Basically, we want your games of Firestorm to always feel like they are part of the story. 

I love the concept of a player-driven narrative for games.  I personally try to create a "story" for each game I play - it's simply more fun to think of a game within a context, so flexible backgrounds are something I crave.. On the flipside, many players, I've found, like to be spoon-fed a storyline (there's nothing wrong with that if that's your thing) - they crave a clear structure and it seems this is what FSA was originally based upon. I think your described approach could actually feed both beasts, with enough structure for the old die-hards and enough flexibility for the schmucks like me.  :D

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Getting rid of the two major alliances is a good thing fir freeing up narratives and storylines, don't throw out blind paranoia just because things are changing. Vast cosmic empires do not operate like hive minds. The changes Warcradle are making push towards real stories in the Firestorm universe rather than some background fluff on each major faction and a blank template otherwise for players to fill in. The opposition acts like without two rule-enforced alliances there is no political structure to the galaxy which is of course totally false.

I like what I see here for teasers. 

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The Directorate was always one of the easiest ones to get out of it.  I was setting my fleet up as a private security interest that was based out of the Directorate, and so procured Directorate tech to use wherever their contracts required them.  So I could be using Directorate ships to defend a Terran Alliance world against the Dindrenzi or a Relthozan raid.  Or I could be the one conducting a raid under contract against any of those three.  It only depended on who I was playing at the time, it wouldn't be hard to draw up a reason for it.

Of course, that may be because my first tabletop interest was Battletech, and they have some fun ways of getting unusual equipment around where it wasn't made.

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