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Dev #28 - Terran Directorate

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A new dev diary has popped up, announcing the unfortunate delay of the beta. It also includes renders for a faction called "Terran Directorate". Will this be our first faction merger? What are your thoughts?

https://blog.warcradle.com/blog/2020/warcradle-studios-diary-28?fbclid=IwAR1BiCc_H-Hs-5Lc4kjym8DncCP3svVZlXuQrFcJC54QNgyU08OHuNovc0g

Update: 

Stuart has posted the following: 

""The Terran Directorate emerged from the ashes of the Terran Alliance. Weakened by the civil war that followed the costly Dindrenzi secession, a consortium of powerful corporations. including Sabulon, Hark-Williams, Melcon and Works Raptor seized control of the Alliance. The subsequent two centuries saw a mercantile and avaricious culture come to dominate humanity. Terra's resources had long been exhausted but now from the fading opulence of its orbital yards great Acquisition Fleets venture out on the hunt for opportunities to bring advancement and power to its commanders."

-Looks like directorate have bough out the old Alliance.

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Definitely a merger, and not one that I was expecting.  Two main factions coming together also makes it more likely that the Veydreth stuff we saw earlier is indeed a promotion into a main faction. 

The overall look does feel like a combo of Terran and Directorate designs.  Overall I'm not opposed to the new direction, but since I one my fleets is Terran and one of my friends fleets is Directorate, we will be interested to know how older models might be used in the new edition.  Can a Terran and a Directorate cruiser proxy for the new cruiser, for instance, or would they be entirely different models, perhaps representing older generation models still in service (in which case the faction would have quite a few options).

EDIT: For those that didn't see this question get answered on FB:

When you build a Terran Directorate Fleet you either choose one of the mega corporations that makes up the Terran Directorate, or you do a joint venture to combo with several.  Classic Terran aesthetic is represented by Kurak Engineering. Classic Directorate is represented by Sabulon Systems.  The new combined look is from Zenian Technologies, which is one of their largest corporations.  Hawker Industries is also in here, along with I believe Works Raptor.

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This is too whacked out of a change for me at the moment.  The whole Terran/Directorate/Omnidyne-hybrid ships are hideous looking to boot.  New Relthoza look OK, new Sorylians have some serious cool factor going for them, Veydreth are weird but I could get used to them, but I really think you need to take some of the verticality out of the Veydreth ships, they look too Relthoza-ish right now. Dindrenzi, I'm with some of the facebook posters, there's a serious WTF?! factor to the new Dindrenzi look.  I'll play all my old ships, or make proxies if I need new ships, you won't see any of the new models in my fleet if they end up looking like that.

I'm disappointed in the delay of the rules testing, I live with two roomies who play Firestorm, and two more friends who play that  live in our apartment complex.  If this quarantine goes on that long we were looking forward  to having new rules to playtest to give us something fun to do indoors.

 

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On 4/27/2020 at 5:58 AM, Commodore Jones said:

Maybe I'm reading between the lines too much, but will 3rd edition fleet construction use a Helix system similar to Planetfall?

No i definitely remember Stuart mentioning that 3rd will use a helix system. I cant be bothered to find the quote right now. Very interesting what direction they will take this. 

 

On 4/24/2020 at 11:10 AM, Commodore Jones said:

This is too whacked out of a change for me at the moment.  The whole Terran/Directorate/Omnidyne-hybrid ships are hideous looking to boot.  New Relthoza look OK, new Sorylians have some serious cool factor going for them, Veydreth are weird but I could get used to them, but I really think you need to take some of the verticality out of the Veydreth ships, they look too Relthoza-ish right now. Dindrenzi, I'm with some of the facebook posters, there's a serious WTF?! factor to the new Dindrenzi look.  I'll play all my old ships, or make proxies if I need new ships, you won't see any of the new models in my fleet if they end up looking like that.

The Terran+Directorate merger was a surprise to be sure. I do understand that we cant have 3 major human factions but i always imagined that Directorate would either stop being solely one race , or merged with Dindrenzi. Im optimistic about the new direction though. A fleshed out Terran alliance might have been cool, but i think that i fleshed out Terran Directorate . I find the new look okay, the paint job will probably decide it for me in the long term. New Relthoza a much more spindly than the old more angular ships, fits they nano mastery fluff so that pretty cool, but they will look very advanced next to the old ships.  Veydreth have a completely new style, but i find it really cool, they are my number one candidate for first new models/fleet. For me the verticality is key in the look, and removing it would make them much blander.  
New Dindrenzi are almost a full 180 from the old look. From minimalistic to ornate. From square boxes to curved archs. I don't find this change appealing at all. The old look was a slamdunk in the department of "utilitarian no frills warships" and they played like they looked, as an army of artillery, a fitting doctrine for a military force. Whats more is with the new style for Terrans, Dindrenzi and several of the minors, no faction inhabits the design space of "minimalistic and utilitarian", which is otherwise both really cool and popular. 
 

On 4/24/2020 at 11:10 AM, Commodore Jones said:

I'm disappointed in the delay of the rules testing, I live with two roomies who play Firestorm, and two more friends who play that  live in our apartment complex.  If this quarantine goes on that long we were looking forward  to having new rules to playtest to give us something fun to do indoors.

It would also have loved to try out the new rules, but i can see why they don't want to release the beta without any ability to control and followup on the process.  I hope they will be generous with their rules reveals in their studio diaries. 

Overall i'm optimistic about the new direction of Firestorm, but i expect it to take a couple of years before it really finds its groove. 
 

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As excited as I am for Firestorm coming back I'm pretty worried by these Directorate changes.  I've got 4 very large fleets, Terran, Directorate, Hawker, and Works Raptor.  If I suddenly now just have one fleet... I'll be super bummed.  

I really loved how distinct the play styles of my two major fleets were.   

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9 hours ago, Fluffhunter said:
On 4/26/2020 at 9:58 PM, Commodore Jones said:

Maybe I'm reading between the lines too much, but will 3rd edition fleet construction use a Helix system similar to Planetfall?

No i definitely remember Stuart mentioning that 3rd will use a helix system. I cant be bothered to find the quote right now. Very interesting what direction they will take this. 

For those of us who didn't get into Planetfall, how did the helix system work?

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4 hours ago, Zephyr Station said:

For those of us who didn't get into Planetfall, how did the helix system work?

So assuming it would function like in Planetfall:

Lists were constructed using a point total, and would be organized into one or more Core Helixes.  A Core Helix would be something mainstay, like I imagine 1 Battleship, a Unit of Cruisers, and 1 to 2 squads of Frigates for an Armada Core Helix.

Each Core Helix could be expanded with additional Helixes, of which there were varying types such as Armored Helix, Recon Helix, Support Helix, etc., and these all included their own kinds of things in it.  So for example, maybe a Carrier Helix would allow a Carrier and some number of cruisers or assault ships.  You could have up to one of each Helix attached to each Core Helix.  Alternatively, you could deny yourself a corresponding Helix to double up on a particular one.  So for example, a list may allow a Core Helix to add two Recon Helixes if it does not have a Support Helix. 

A single Core Helix could be expanded with Helixes to be a pretty good sized force, or multiple Core Helixes each with own customized expansions could form a very large army. 

Activation in the game was alternating, but also based on the Helixes.  You would choose a Helix to activate, which meant that any squadrons in that Helix are what you would be activating over your next few turns, and you could choose the order of which squadron to activate.  Then once each squadron in a Helix had activated, nominate another Helix and go from there, until the entire Core Helix and its expansions had activated.  Then, if playing with more than one Core Helix, you would start nominate another Core Helix to do the same thing until all models have activated. 

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Note that a Helix would contain a number of compulsory elements along with an number of optional or expandable elements. The elements of a Helix often had variable size also. 

For example, the Terran Alliance Core Helix was:

  • 1 Heavy Tank Squadron (1 or 2 tanks)
  • 1-2 Medium Tank Squadrons (2-3 tanks each)
  • 1-2 Light Tank Squadrons (3 or 5 tanks each)
  • 0-2 Infantry Squadrons (4 or 6 infantry with optional transport)
  • 0-2 Support Tanks

This gave you lots of options on exactly how you designed our force, but also placed limits to avoid rampant min-maxing. It also made sales/collecting easy because each Helix box contained either the models to make 1/2 the Core Helix (so 2 purchases gave you all the possible options) or was all the models of the Support Helix.

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It isn't quite like that. Directorate units have the 'Corporate' trait. All Directorate units in a Helix (the building block of an Armada in the game) can replace that trait with a specific Mega-Corporation (such as Omnidyne, Works Raptor, Sabulon Systems, Kurak Engineering etc). That provides access to a specific rule unique to that Corporation which applies to all units in that Helix. So a Terran Directorate Battleship (and the accompanying crusiers, destroyers etc) can belong to the Omnidyne corporation and a player can use classic Omnidyne miniatures to represent that if they wish. In game an Omnidyne corporate Helix has different rules to a Kurak Engineering or even a standard Terran Directorate Helix.

Found this quote from Stuart.  Looks like Helix system is confirmed along with some subfaction trait style rules. Stuart also mentioned that subfactions traits weren't done yet and that they were open to inputs on how to capture the old factions in these traits.

Also found a few thing about the new Dindrenzi background direction.  I have compiled them into one quote for convenience. It also seems that the new timeline is set between three and five centuries after the first war of secession.

Quote

"So you have the resolute, traditionalist and martial focussed Dindrenzi Federation who value bloodlines, service and discipline. Counterpointed by the mercenary and avaricious Terran Directorate who value influence, intelligence and opportunism. In both, it is an individuals responsibility to be accountable for their own actions. In the Federation, your birth and self discipline determines your future. In the Directorate, your instinct and motivation. self-discipline."

"the thing about the Dindrenzi is that if you have people who are born into a life of service, trained, educated, cultured to be the best they can possibly be in the field that they were born to excel at - you get some rather excellent specialists. You must still earn your commission. Earn your command. Nothing is given to you for free. Everything must be earned. But if you are born into a family who have served as marines for generations, then you will strive to serve that branch/institution in the best way you can. Be driven to fulfill your potential however you are able. You may become commander of a regiment, an infantry trooper, a drop specialist or any number of a thousand roles within that branch. But you will never be an engineer, never a diplomat, never a doctor and you'll never be a starship Captain."

"Dindrenzi society is one led by service veterans. The discipline and values of the Federation instilled at an early age. After several centuries, the colonist mentality developed into something different. A society dominated by a military elite. No longer desperate for resources or security, the Dindrenzi have become a society that prides itself on austere living, though is affluent and technologically advanced. Traditions within the family direct their young into particular vocations, though it is not exclusively the case. The expectation of Federation society and kin is a huge influence on young Dindrenzi. The rights of a Dindrenzi Federation citizen, to vote, enjoy welfare, have certain rights for your children, and to serve in governmental roles, are not automatically guaranteed but must be earned through service. Those rare few who do not perform their duty, which usually takes the form of military or social service, are viewed poorly by society and live on the fringes of the culture."

 

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the helix sounds a little confusing .....never got into planet fall money is always limited and wife would blow her top if i got into another game. as it is i'm still waiting on the new rules and beta test. if i get into the beta test i will be doing a lot of testing on my own as i do not have any one to play agents. ............. i don't remember when they said the new date for the beat will be ?????   still hope it will be sooner they later .

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I'm not fond of the Helix system personally.  Why can't I just choose what I want like I can now ?   I'm going to go with the same thing I told Spartan back in the day, Don't take away my options! Give me freedom of choices, not limits!

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I think you can do that @Commodore Jones, as long as all players agree to it.  You could all play with nothing but battleships if you like.  Any kind of organized play is going to have to have some commonly understood limits though.  Until I see more details, a helix is as good as any other method, at this point at least.

ZS

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Not sure about that. Right now I can build a Terran fleet with Battlecruisers, Torpedo Cruisers, Destroyers, whatever frigate combo I want.

Will I be able to do that anymore while being forced to take a core helix of which will presumably be a standard battleship, regular cruiser, and basic frigates of a core/starter box?

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*shrug*  I've no idea how fleet building will ultimately go.  From a marketing perspective, they are going to want to structure the fleet boxes so that a player can open up the box and play right away.  I do agree in principle with what you're saying...more freedom is better.  If it were up to me (and in the rules I've developed) a squadron contains any number and type of ships, subject to a total points cap.  It would be even less rigid than requiring X number of Tier 1's , Y number of Tier 2's, etc. 

There will always be some kind of constraint, just so that there is a framework for a workable game.  Will that framework be large enough to allow for many changes?   I hope so, and I think that it will be.  Time will tell.  Stuart is giving out lots of information over on the Black Ocean FB page...maybe we can get him to talk up fleet building?

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16 hours ago, Commodore Jones said:

Not sure about that. Right now I can build a Terran fleet with Battlecruisers, Torpedo Cruisers, Destroyers, whatever frigate combo I want.

Will I be able to do that anymore while being forced to take a core helix of which will presumably be a standard battleship, regular cruiser, and basic frigates of a core/starter box?

The old firestorm tier system also had restrictions, both on tier and type of ship. No such thing as a fleet of shunt cruisers (unless you did a carrier accompaniment based list). I predict a helix based system wont produce wont produce fleet list that look to different from old firestorm. You will still need a mix of ships sizes and classes.

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On 5/2/2020 at 2:25 PM, Commodore Jones said:

I'm not fond of the Helix system personally.  Why can't I just choose what I want like I can now ?   I'm going to go with the same thing I told Spartan back in the day, Don't take away my options! Give me freedom of choices, not limits!

Given it's a new game, they can't exactly take away anything B)

But seriously, any well designed system will have limitations on that you can take to make it easier to balance the game. The question is how restrictive will those limitations be in a Helix system?

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15 hours ago, Fluffhunter said:

The old firestorm tier system also had restrictions, both on tier and type of ship. No such thing as a fleet of shunt cruisers (unless you did a carrier accompaniment based list). I predict a helix based system wont produce wont produce fleet list that look to different from old firestorm. You will still need a mix of ships sizes and classes.

Of course it had restrictions, and they were reasonable restrictions! At a Terran Battlefleet level I needed one minimum Tier 1, one minimum Tier 2 and two minimum Tier 3 squads to have a legal build.  In the sample fleet I listed above I had that, Tier 1 = Battlecruiser Squadron, Tier 2 = Torpedo Cruiser and Destroyer squadrons, Tier 3 = a Missionary and two  Wayfarer squads, all legal by the current build rules.

Now lets look at the Helix model.  Now I admit I have no clue how Warcradle is going to set it up, but if you use Firestorm Planetfall's setup, as it is, as a basis it might look something like this.

Terran NTSC helix build (using the V2.0 factions as an example)

Core Helix: Battleship, 1 to 2 Cruiser squads, 1 to 2  frigate squads (assuming a basic starter/patrol box of a Terran Apollo battleship, Teuton cruisers, and Armsman frigates)  with the 6 helix slots looking like this...

Heavy Helix: Heavy Cruisers, Gunships

Carrier Helix : Carriers, Heavy Carriers, Assault Carriers, (and maybe Battle-Carriers?)

Battle Helix: Battleships, Dreadnoughts, Battle Cruisers, Battle Stations, (and maybe Battle Carriers could be here instead?)

Cruiser Helix: Regular, Assault, Torpedo, and other alternate cruisers.

Frigate Helix: All the varieties of Frigates and Corvettes as well as Light Cruisers.

Support Helix: Destroyers, Defense Platforms, Space Stations, Escort Carriers, R&D Cruisers (although one could argue that R&D ships should go into the Cruiser Helix)

 

So with the Helix setup being that you must take a Core helix and then build around that, would kinda make that above fleet build impossible, and it would limit your build variety.  Being that no matter what I'd have to take a core of the Apollo/Teuton/Armsman squadrons, eating up points I might want to spend on other things.  Like right now I don't use Terran Battleships in my fleet builds (the Tyrant is a POS and the Apollo isn't my playstyle). So I'll take a carrier or a single battle cruiser as a my Admirals vessel and take a Hawker battleship as my front line combat ship.  Helix system puts a crimp on that.

But I will admit, I don't know exactly how Warcradle is going to implement the Helix system, they may come up with ways around this and make it better, I don't know .   But the preliminary idea of it though, I'm not keen on .

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"A Helix is a building block for assembling your Armada. An Armada consists of one or more Helixes. A Helix consists of a command ship and then up to five other units (squadrons of cruisers, destroyers, frigates, support ships etc)."

Looks like the new helix system will be quite flexible.

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Latest tidbit out of Warcradle is that each Helix will consist of a command squadron  (BB, BC, DN, or CV), cruiser squadron (or equivalent), and a frigate or destroyer squadron (or equivalent). I'm assuming that says more about the models in the box than exactly what miniatures you must take in your fleet.

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I'm fine with helices - it's similar to how some other systems I've gamed in work/ed - but less fine with the lore and aesthetic direction my Terrans have taken. The Terran Alliance was one of my favourite fleets both aesthetically and lorewise. The Directorate (old version) one of my most loathed lorewise. I admit I'm weird, but when I play a faction I need some reason to get behind them, some reason I want them to win. And the Directorate we know? Apart from imagining the enslaved crew had seized the ships and it was operating as a free fleet, like the WWII ones but kinda in reverse? I could not find one iota of my being that wanted the Directorate to win. And aesthetically they were alright, but I much preferred the almost Hiigaran stylings of the Terran Alliance. The Terran Directorate aesthetic appeals to me much more than the base directorate, but what little we know of the lore so far seems to be a dealbreaker. So unless the lore for the Terran Directorate is very different from what I imagine it to be from what we have, looks like I'm up for a new fleet. Wonder how Sorylians play nowadays...

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