AVelie

So what is going on?

435 posts in this topic

From the SG Blog; Posted March 24, 2016...Four months ago.

"With the release of Firestorm: Planetfall around 18 months ago, the game has grown steadily to become a massive and engrossing strategic battle game. From the humble beginnings of a single Core Helix and an Allied Helix for each Faction at time of release, the game has now added Heavy Armour Helixes, Recon Helixes, 2 different types of Aerial Helix, Leviathan Helixes, Field Command Helixes and of course our latest exciting release – the Assault Helix (which is packed with loads of devastating robot goodness!).

The Order of Battles (ORBATS) for every model in the game are currently in the Downloads Section, with everything consolidated into a single document. These documents mark many months of testing, and we are looking forward to players around the world using them.

You can find the PDFs on the Spartan Games Downloads Page

In the coming weeks we will be releasing a new Background Document for each Race that highlights each model/element within the Planetfall game, along with operational and strategic background on the formation and battle tactics of each within the game. In addition, each of these Background Documents will have a narrative scenario that is bespoke to their Faction to give players a launch point for thematic games.

And as if that were not enough, we are just about to release a Tournament Pack for Planetfall to open up the game to the competitive gaming sphere, with the scenarios having been tested by the Planetfall Beta Team. If any of you have seen the Halo: Fleet Battles Tournament Pack, expect much the same… yes… it will be awesome!

Of course, this rapacious release schedule has only been possible with the intensive testing and feedback of our Beta Team, who have given of their time and expertise to help develop and build the game into the unqualified success it is today. So to our Beta Crew we say a hearty THANK YOU!

To be a Beta Tester, you gotta be a Fan!… and be willing to play loads of games!… write down feedback… take pictures… report back to the rest of the team… then start the process all over again when the model stats change. It’s not as glamourous as it sounds: it’s actually a lot of hard work, and those folks who are part of the Beta Test deserve great credit for their diligence (and fanaticism!).

If you think you have what it takes to join their ranks, come find me on the Spartan Games Forum and you never know… you may just be crazy enough to join the ranks!

THE FUTURE
With all 6 surrounding Helixes now in-play for the game, what next for the game of Planetfall?

Firstly, the Alliance Factions will be getting their own Core Helixes, which is a most exciting step forward. We will roll these out in pairs, one from each Alliance, and we’ll be showing you some new Alliance models not long after the Salute 2016 wargames show. We have created a linked campaign in the works that will bring all aspects of the Firestorm Galaxy together for narrative games, leading to a climax that will actually have an impact on the background of the entire Firestorm Galaxy.

There are two new Factions for the game incoming to the Galaxy (we’ll be lifting the lid on these for Firestorm Armada, Taskforce and Planetfall players shortly) and the Beta Team and I are pulling together the updated version of the rules – Planetfall 2.0. We’re hugely excited by Version 2.0, and we look forward to talking to you more about the book as it develops.

The future is looking very rosy indeed for Planetfall, with loads of exciting releases, fantastic background, engrossing scenarios and…. did I mention the 2.0 rules?…. yes… I thought I did!

Looking forward to you all joining us as we rage ground war across the Firestorm Galaxy!

Cheers for now,
Spartan Derek"

 

So my question is..did any of the future things actually happen? Are we getting new Alliance Factions? Rules 2.0? 

So Spartan Derek...has Planetfall been superseded by Halo? Will Spartan be accomplishing the activities you noted in the Blog?  Am I playing a dead game? 

r/-Adam V.

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So, that's not an unfair question. It's actually a good question. As a general rule with Spartan, though, things take longer than you/they/anyone expects. I'm sure there's a lot that happens in the background, I'm sure that managing this many IPs takes its toll as well, ect. ect....

 

Generally speaking, what I see is that Spartan are a lot like a good number of video game studios in terms of their speed to quality ratio in their output... many of the ones I'm thinking of have given up on giving dates or using the word "soon" in their press, and have instead switched to "when it's ready." I digress, though, because while I'm sure it'll all be worth the wait, it is frustrating from the perspective of a player/fan, and a massively repeated problem. I would love to see Spartan set up something like a Trello page, so that we can see where they're going with certain projects, have a better understanding of where their workload is (and from what I've seen, they are a small team working like a large one- I would not be surprised if Derek gets shipped off to the sorting and packing rooms on a semi-regular basis.), and have some idea of what's coming soon. I think I would point to Subnautica's Trello page- the cards they use have enough information that a player can speculate, get hyped, whatever, but not enough to spoil what's coming next, the way too-early press releases with full descriptions and such can kill hype with a too-long wait.

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I would really like to see any of these "promises" come true.

while I am new to Planetfall, I really like painting the awesome miniatures and really like the game style 

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I think that their latest release has simply taken more of their designers time than was expected. 

Having spent time with Spartan Derek (he is one of my regualry opponents at Planetfall) I can assure you that Planetfall is not a dead game, its just got to take a bit of a back seat while Halo GC gets up and running.

 

tansalus likes this

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While I am sure that Halo is important for their bottom line, the longer they leave their other games quiet the more players and potential players they will lose. 

I personally have redirected much of my gaming dollars elsewhere, buy ins I will be supporting. Dollars that will not be put to Planetfall

William Adama likes this

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Planetfall has been slowing down here as well. But I guess we were spoiled with 18 months of near constant releases for Planetfall.

We will wait for the new releases and meanwhile we will continue to play Planetfall along with Dystopian Wars. However most of this years budget will go to Hawk's Dropfleet.

tansalus likes this

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I guess I won't never understand how Spartan can be so bad at communicating and dealing with its organization. Is it impossible without doing it on purpose. I would really love to enter their heads and see why they are doing all this, because from an external point of view, their decisions make no sense at all to me.

Each announced release has been delayed, sometimes for several months... If you can't keep commitments, then don't announce commitments! Dreadbots, Assault Helices, PF ORBATs, Allied Core Helix, TF stats, etc... always the same story.

Moreover, they keep telling us that this is because they are a small team, that they are overflowed with work, but they keep lauching new games again and again! Take a look at this list: Dystopian Wars, Dystopian Legions, Fleet Action, Firestorm Armada, Firestorm Taskforce, Firestorm Planetfall, Halo Fleet Battles, Halo Ground Command, Armoured Clash, Uncharted Seas (ok, this one is a troll...). And I guess they are also working on their skirmish games for Halo and Firestom universes. Seriously, what the actual f**k? How a small company can deal with such a ridiculous amount of distinct games? Simple answer: it can't. As a result, instead of 3 highly followed games with regular releases and rule updates, we have tons of games with little to no support (DW players must be so depressive right now...), and a ****load of frustrated and angry players. Taskforce is borndead because there are no stats to play with, Planetfall and DW are almost at complete stop even if they are two main games for SG, etc... Is there a better way in the world to say to gamers/buyers: "Please, go give your money to my competitors!" ? Hawk Wargames and friends are probably just rubbing their hands looking at this.

Really, I love Spartan Games but this is just driving me crazy. I feel like they are sat on a gold mine but prefer running around in circles instead of digging.

Zeph, Manu_S, fbruntz and 2 others like this

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Spartan doesn't have to put out new content all the time; but I fully agree that they need to get a grip on their schedule. I'm aware that they lost some staff around Christmas and that things like Halo are huge launches for them that seriously impact their production; but I really want them to get into the habit of giving at leat a bi-weekly update on different things they've proposed and advertised to us (yes advertised - each info and snippet of future things is advertising). At the very least that means if something slips on its deadline we are aware of it and its not forgotten. 

 

There are a long list of things like Leviathans for Firestorm and almost the whole end of Uncharted Seas which are littered with promises and hints about things "soon to come" that never do. And without a clear time frame it leaves many sitting on the fence. 

They've a great design team; great products and good skill and a loyal fanbase - but they really need to get a grip with their information and communication. Tell us things only when they are 100% certain to come within the proposed time frame; update us if there are delays; keep their players in the loop. 

Zeph, Aquarius-Camus and Pathogen like this

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Just a thought but an online calendar of releases/proposed release dates might help. It can be added to and changed as things progress and it means players don't miss-remember things and get dates wrong. 

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The problem with an online calendar is that as soon as something hits it, too many people will assume the dates are chiseled into granite, and as anyone who has ever worked on a project of any kind in a business environment can attest, those dates start to change almost as soon as they're set down.

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Erion true but then again Spartan shouldn't really be giving us time frames nor dates without them being chiselled in anyway. They could also do a work in progress list - or any form of collective display of what is being worked on and the latest status and news regarding it. 

At present we get bits here and there in the blog/face book but there's no consistency and furthermore many are propositions or ideas which are years off; or they are estimations on time frames that are widely missed. Worse though is when they do miss they rarely say why and rarely come upfront about it. Instead loyal fans have to hunt down or pester for answers. 

 

This isn't good customer relations and its a frustation for some of the most loyal fans and those fans in the local promotion teams. It's very hard for those fans to help push sales for titles that can appear to be "ignored" by those researching new to the game.

Miniature wargamers are very weary of investing into systems that die because any game system is a big cash and time investment before you even get to play. Many (esp older generations) have also been burned a lot in the past with companies that fold or even just Games Workshop retiring models or whole armies or whole games. So they come with baggage and a desire not to see it happen again. 

 

Spartan has only lost one majorish game so far - Uncharted - but they've a huge range that haven't seen much updated recently which worries some people. Regular news; up to date news and a timeline that keeps updated and is reliable. Fans are more than willing to accept that Spartan is small and things can get tough for them; but when they can't keep us in the loop that's when problems happen. 

 

It's purely a communication issue and really the ball is in Spartan's court to deal with this. 

Aquarius-Camus, Zeph and Mr.ponders like this

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From my perspective, Child9 has illustrated the crux of the challenge.  In fact, my good friend (and FLGS owner) and I were just talking about it last weekend. It seems like the Spartan-ownership is trying to win the lottery...hype and release as many games as possible in the hopes one will make them rich. If one has a good showing but isn't retirement material...they are on to the next one. 

I'm relatively new to Spartan; Planetfall is my first Spartan game.  I love it. I the scale, the models, and the little bit of the fluff that I've gleaned from the books. But when I ask about missed deadlines, poor communication, a lack of focus on the game experience, etc. I hear that they are small, or had some staff turnover, or are swamped with the next "new" game...it seems like tired and trite lines from Spartan apologists, because the same conversations are happening in each forum

At some point, the fact Spartan is a small company has to stop being the customer's problem. The corporate leadership's job is to prioritize and align resources to support products. That is it. If you don't have enough resources either reduce product lines or add more resources. 

Successful game companies focus on the game play and hobby experience. That includes beautiful models, but isn't limited to it.  It includes rules, faction balance, scenarios, organized play support, game universe history and fluff. It takes time and commitment to focus on the experience. The most successful minis game in history didn't get there in 18 months.  

We had a lot of great models released for Planetfall for a long time.  I don't need more models right now....I need an updated rule book/FAQ that addresses some of the disconnects.  I need an organized play effort that gets the 10-12 locals who bought Planetfall to bring their stuff and come play with the local Vanguard.  I need a game structure tweak that allows games to go longer than 2 turns competitively and takes less than (too many) hours to play at the higher points levels.  I need one person at Spartan whose job is to improve my game experience everyday.  Just one.

I'm feeling pretty jaded tonight; the best games I've ever played (of which Planetfall is one) seem to be victims of the "instant success or bust" mentality.  That being said...there is tournament Labor Day weekend (see other post).  I'm playing in it. Hope to see you there. 

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7 hours ago, AVelie said:

I don't need more models right now....I need an updated rule book/FAQ that addresses some of the disconnects.  I need an organized play effort that gets the 10-12 locals who bought Planetfall to bring their stuff and come play with the local Vanguard.  I need a game structure tweak that allows games to go longer than 2 turns competitively and takes less than (too many) hours to play at the higher points levels.  I need one person at Spartan whose job is to improve my game experience everyday.  Just one.

Totally agree with you. Spartan should work on it.urgently...

William Adama and Nuck Fewton like this

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I totally agree with you guys. I currently focussing more on getting to grips with my army then on buying new models. I must say the whole Relthoza issue has seriously put a downer on my Planetfall experience since my only opponent plays Relthoza.

For now, I'm putting new investments in Planetfall on hold. The only spartan stuff I have bought this year is a single Heavy Helix which so far seems to be sort of levelling the playing field against Relthoza a bit. I have bought Dystopian wars stuff, but all of that was heavily discounted or second hand.

What we need is some form of online support from Spartan, and a version 2. From what I have glimpsed from it, it looks really nice!

With yet another Halo game released this month, I'm not expecting anything for the other Spartan games for the rest of the year. 

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I really hope that PF2.0 is still coming and that the ally factions will get more helixes, but I'm pretty happy with how the game plays right now. The latest rebalancing was really well done, appart for a few exceptions. Spartan managed to put out a lot of stuff pretty quickly all things considered and I really can't say that I find the unit selection lacking right now.

Of course, I really do hope that it won't take a whole year before we start seeing something new.

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A feedback from Spartan would be nice...

I think they are releasing too much games and system and they have not the resources and the time to do some good, really good, rule testing and testing games. They have the ideas to be one of the best company in wargaming but I'm very disappointed from Uncharted Sea, Firestorm Armada e Planetfall: what I see is they release games on games without the time necessary to do a good field test.

We quit with Spartan and we are focusing on other games, and I'm very sad because I like their product and their miniatures...:(

I just want to add my voice to the choir, hoping this could change something!

 

 

Nuck Fewton and Zeph like this

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To the question "what is going on?", there is a simple answer: the Gen Con and Halo Ground Command.

Small company + too many products lines = impossibility to follow them all at the same time. That's all. It's impossible to multitask beyond a certain point.

I suspect some of their staff leaving before is partially due to the amount ot work asked for them. There is a limit to passion if you don't spend enough money in your workforce. This is true for anything, anywhere.

As for myself, I turned my attention to other games as well. Future will tell if there is something going for Planetfall or not. Until then, no more money for Spartan Games - and certainly not for another game system. I learned my lesson with Taskforce - there is no point if there are no players and nothing to help the community to grow.

Planetfall isn't different. It's clear Spartan Games expect their customers to do everything they don't in their place - for free, of course. Why should you pay someone to do an actual job when someone can do it for free, after all?

alamo, Corsair117 and William Adama like this

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Its a pitty there isn't even a little bit of support. They put a lot of effort in this game. I really hope this one doesn't just slowly dies.

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1 hour ago, Nicius said:

Its a pitty there isn't even a little bit of support. They put a lot of effort in this game. I really hope this one doesn't just slowly dies.

If Spartan still does/says nothing in the next weeks/months, it certainly will...

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Time isTicking Spartan. Customers are leaving 

I Love Your Miniatures, I Love the Firestorm Games Series, I Love the Whole Firestorm Universe.

 I really hope that Halo is the Cash Cow Spartan wants it to be, because Halo is damaging the Spartan Reputation 

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5 hours ago, child9 said:

If Spartan still does/says nothing in the next weeks/months, it certainly will...

That's what I'm afraid off! I've noticed that forum traffic in all boards except Armada and the Halo boards is really starting to slow down. I think Halo is killing more Spartan games then I like. Since I've never been a Halo fan, I don't care about Ground Command (Planetfall miniatures are way better) or Fleet Battles (their ships look a bit generic). The Firestorm Armada models never quite clicked with me they way Planetfall and Dystopian Wars did, so I'm getting my spaceship game fix somewhere else.

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Goodmorning (at least here in Italy...),

yesterday I spent the entire day in this shop :

https://www.facebook.com/Dragonland-di-Alessandro-Cerenzia-1193754730641707/?fref=ts

the owner,a really nice, NICE person, plays a lot of wargames and his eyes fell for some miniatures of Planetfall. He asked me some demos and we went through two games of Planetfall, one only to understand the dice mechanics and a really serious game, a Dindrenzi core helix vs a Terran code helix 1500 (guess who won...) very enjoyable (even if my problems with the terran core helix...but I think now you known me and hate me for my complaining!

This is a gold opportunity to start Spartan Games here in Italy, to avoid playing with the same 4 friends (we all know if you play with always the same people, you are not growing and you are not understanding the game) and to propose something really REALLY interesting.

In the end he asked me : what do you think? Now, fellow commanders, after all these discussions, is it right to recommend Spartan? Is it right to recommend Spartan to a big group of consolidated Malifaux and Infinity Players (I'm among these...)?

Thanks,

Adama.

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1 hour ago, William Adama said:

In the end he asked me : what do you think? Now, fellow commanders, after all these discussions, is it right to recommend Spartan? Is it right to recommend Spartan to a big group of consolidated Malifaux and Infinity Players (I'm among these...)?

Honestly, it depends from your personnal feeling. If you believe in Spartan Games, then go for it. If you have doubts, maybe a more careful approach is better. What I would advice personnally isn't to put all of your crabs in the same basket. That's because I learned the hard way what it means to fully support a game with all of my passion and suddenly gets it all lost because the game disappears (usually, most players leave the game as soon as the editor kills it, even if they still have all the models and rules - only a few passionate ones will keep playing, and sometimes go so far as to build a new community with their work alone, but that's rather the exception than the rule). Spartan Games has done that in the past, be aware of it. Now, the past is the past and you shouldn't just judge from that only. People can change, and companies are made of people. So...I think it's best to forge your own opinion and decide if it is worth your time or not.

 

William Adama likes this

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