blut_und_glas

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About blut_und_glas

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  1. Regardless of how the medical ships announced for several factions will look stats- and ruleswise in the end, there is something that is bothering me about their impending introduction: What they say about the fluff and the war that is being fought in the Firestorm galaxy. Now this might obviously be just me, but one of the things that drew me into Firestorm is that the central conflict that forms the backdrop to our games is neither a straight up good versus evil space opera nor is it a dystopian (ahem) vision of neverending war and everchanging allegiances. It is instead portrayed as something springing from galactic history and politics, with all factions (bar the Pathogen) having some sort of understandable motivation and aims and with stable alliances or at least co-belligerents. For me, that also implied that this war of ours was in some fashion governed by some set of rules of war. With all the nukes and biohazard munitions flying about obviously not exactly the ones we are familiar with, but still a step removed from a genocidal massslaughter without limits, rhyme or reason. Or to describe it differently: The Burning of Dramos to me always read as a singular war crime, not as something cited in Terran Alliance training manuals as standard operating procedure for successfully dealing with enemy population centres. With medical ships on the table, I foresee this take on the background losing a lot of its current feasibility. Purposefully attacking and destroying hospital ships, targeting enemy wounded and singling out medical staff for killing will sudenly become part and parcel of every battle. That alone paints a very different picture of the conflict and of the people involved in it. If I am honest, I am not sure what to make of that yet, but more than any of the retcons or new mechanics this changes the game on a very fundamental level.
  2. And the way they are tied together depends mainly on the scoring and scenario system. That is all I am saying.
  3. I think we will have to agree to disagree on that count. A bonus to hit is not going to do you any good if by the time you are done hitting the enemy, you already lost because they scored their objectives and you did not.
  4. I still don't get why the criticism gets focused on the focused fire option. To my mind, the issue is not the option itself but its interaction with scoring. And of those two, it's the scoring that is in more need of improvement, at least in my eyes. Make winning less a function of destroying enemy units and more of achieving other objectives, and focused fire becomes just one more tool in the box. That goes for both Planetfall as well as Armada.
  5. @CoreHunter While I do not agree on all of the points I really enjoy the creativity and reading about your ideas of where the game/factions could go. Some specific comments: The image you evoke of the school of fish makes me think of sharing a Difficult/Elusive Target modifier more than Shields. Maybe make it so that in a squadron of maximum size (battle ready in the new nomenclature) ships which do not have Difficult Target gain that MAR, and ships with it upgrade to Elusive? Once the squadron is down a ship for any reason, this bonus is lost. The increasing Fleet Tactics Bonus is gold! Like that a lot. The crit negation in exchange for a single HP seems strange. I would have imagined that damage goes up with the transfer, e.g., avoid 1 damage by assigning 2 damage to another vessel/avoid a critical by assigning a damaging critical to another vessel. Or just make it a straight redirecting of targets. After your opponent declares he is targeting a ship, you may force him to target a different ship instead. The new target may not be behind intervening terrain and has to be part of the original target's squadron, it may not have a higher DR/DR than the original target (to avoid a battleship tanking weak attacks originally meant to take out its escorts - does not appear very Directorate anyway). Instead of a straight assault bonus with increased range, wouldn't this be an ideal place to reintroduce ramming? That would also keep with the theme of sacrificing an asset to gain an advantage you introduced with the inhumane tactics above.
  6. Would you say that part of this may be down to misleading nomenclature? Calling the resource you pay for these options "Command Orders" surely implies that this is meant to somehow simulate the admiral directing their fleet. But looking at many of the effects, this image does not hold up very well. It certainly is not the admiral yelling "power to the shields!" which suddenly makes shield systems across multiple ships increase in efficiency, neither will "target their bridge!" make weapons miraculously hit more precisely. If I had to give in-universe reasons for such effects, I would probably ascribe them more to excellent work by the maintenance crews making sure the shield generators perform at peak efficiency during the mission or to extensive gunnery drills (in combination with commanders knowing when to apply either, obviously). So, what if instead of "Command Orders" we would be talking about "Training Levels" or "Logistics and Maintenance" or "Drill" or even - keeping the command connotations but stepping back from attributing it all to the person of the admiral - "Officer Corps Quality"? Would you say that this would alleviate some of the issues you have? Or does that make no difference to you. For some reason, I am really curious about this. PS: The disconnect you describe when you think about formerly free options suddenly having a CO cost associated with them is part of the reason I specualted about moving to a system where the activation itself would already cost a CO. But seeing that Spartan are unlikely to adapt that, it may be a bit beside the point but I still felt like reiterating it. So, there.
  7. And another suggestion - as before, I am mainly looking at the other (new) mechanics for inspiration (like die types, CO, linked fire values) -: How about firing at a cloaked target/firing while cloaked causing a point of Disorder? (Background rationale if needed: Extreme strain on systems and crews.) This would not change the hit probabilities but make it inherently risky to engage cloaked targets/engage targets while cloaked. Bonus points if you give Relthoza nanite repair systems a way to remove Disorder (perhaps only when cloaks are inactive?).
  8. This may sound dumb, but... what does it do? Yes, it provides an initiative bonus, but beyond that? We already know Cyber Defense is being removed, but is there anything else FTB is used for now? I am asking because I see repeating comments concerning the balance between FTB and CO, but I am not sure we have the full picture on FTB yet.
  9. I'd say yes, though I would make activations optional (so you do not have to activate every squadron every turn, with the unactivated ones handled as you describe) and include running out of CO as a trigger for ending the game.
  10. Yes, you should. Do I want a large task force which my logistics will barely be able to keep supplied, so that if my initial attack fails I will have to quickly fall back towards my own lines of supply/friendly bases? Or do I want a smaller task force in good supply, operating free of logistical constraints and thus able to outlast my enemy? Very viable.
  11. As said above, I think it should perhaps be even more universally applied. Make paying a CO a prerequiste for squadron activation. Then have additional CO payments for specific actions taken by the squadron (already implemented). Apart from everything else, that should also help to reduce the cognitive disonance with some basic maneouvres being free (like moving forward) while other, equally basic maneouvres cost CO (like coming to a stop). (Just add in a step where unactivated squadrons make a mandatory move during the end phase, and you even kept the aspect of continual forward motion.)
  12. The more I think about the CO mechanic, the more I wonder whether it would be good to make it even more universal, e.g., by moving to a system where a basic squadron activation costs a CO. That would introduce a timing aspect as well as a distinction between big, powerful fleets with a need to quickly achieve their objectives (else they run out of steam/COs for activations) and smaller fleets with significant amounts of staying power. (Thematically, that would push COs more in the direction of logistics, with a fleet low on CO having reached the end of their logistical tether with little room for prolonged engagements (Pearl Harbor comes to mind as a real world naval example).)
  13. Nooo. ...which brings us back to the brainstorming of third options. Going back over my own quickfire ideas, I think the CO one (need to spend a CO to fire into/out of cloak) or having the lead ship reduced to its linked value AD are my favourites. But that's just me.
  14. What I am concerned with is the loss of variability. The core exploding dice mechanics makes it so that there is always the outside chance of freak rolls. In all likelihood, your lone, damaged frigate will not kill the enemy dreadnought bearing down on it - and then you roll that string of sixes... Love it or hate it, that is still central to the way Firestorm Armada (and other Spartan games) plays and feels. With the new cloak (both blue and black versions) this has been taken completely out of the picture. The off-chance isn't there any longer. On a very fundamental level, cloaked ships play a different game from everybody else with that rule. It also has the follow-on effect that Relthoza move from being the most inherently risky faction to actually being the most predictable (the changes to shunting just reinforce this). You can certainly do that, I just think it is the thing one needs to be most aware about, not merely how much better/worse cloak got in terms of averages and percentages.
  15. Book keeping on a central sheet or track is different from tokens. You can like the one but not the other. Where is the problem? (I like both, by the way. :P)