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Skyhawk

Improving Taskforce

42 posts in this topic

I am relatively new to the forum, and I have puttered around the various threads on here. Something that I couldn't help but  notice is that there are a lot of poeple who dislike(in some cases downright detest) Firestorm Taskforce. I personally enjoy Taskforce. But I do think it could be better.

 Personally I think a quick reference page in the rulebook would be a great adition. Some clarification on the rules would not be amiss either. 

 How do you all think it could be improved, while keeping it a simple fastplay/massed fleet battle game?

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 I know how you feel. I am always flipping through the book looking for the ranges , the damage table. Which yes I agree with you the damage table should go. I and my friend had a battle where he scored a massive 21 hits on one of my ships, and he barely hurt it. With 21 hit it should have been dead. Of course I can't remember if that was when I got the really good shield roll..... 

What would be a good method to replace the damage table with though?

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If you listen to the Podcast @Ruckdog does (exploding dice radio, under the Freebooters Network Podcast) you would have heard of the new Distopian Wars Table. I think it is pretty much the Attacker rolls 2D6 for each hit. Usually less than 21 Hits. 

The old table was wild in its variation. 

I really like the Hex built battlegroups and the idea that both sides don't need the same battlegroups. I want the Main book to have more though. R&D Battlegroup, Escort Battlegroup, Planetary Defence Ballrlgroup, Planetary Assault Battlegroup,  ETC. 

I personally wish Cloaking systems were more powerful and cost a bit more. The Heavy Dice is too weak. Plenty of ships can get wiped out anyway. 

I would prefer if the Range band distances were on the Ship card, not just PB, EF, LR. Also would have preferred varied Ranges not Standardised ones

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No I don't listen to the podcast.

I do see what you mean about the different battlegroups being listed and their builds.

It seems to me that you should be able to turn cloaking on or off, but thats just me. And cyclic shielding, I don't fully understand it. I think I would rather have regular shields on all my ships rather than cyclic sheilding. Terran shield cruisers are useless against the Dindrenzi. They let you use exploding dice, but the Dindrenzi's kinetic weaponry take that away.

The ranges on the card would be  nice. I they were trying to keep things simple for new players by standardizing the ranges. 

I hope more people post besides just us two.

WestAustralian likes this

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Main fix as I see it will need to be squadron AD drop off due to casualties as this system uses the combine method to generate AD pools. They could list each models attack and arcs for fire but list the unit as a whole for hp so when a unit is killed its the whole squad. May remove the lost one ship unit screwed element from the current system.

range bands are all the same because "different measurements for the weapons are hard" and is exactly why most taskforce is so simple and utterly lacking any in depth tactical decision making.

trying to be constructive but i will keep my can of gasoline on hand if we get to the point of burning this section down :)

WestAustralian likes this

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The damage chart needs to go, but I'm not going to lie and say I have a replacement for it, seeing as it is really the only major source of disorder. Fleet Action for DW got a revision that got rid of a similar situation, any one want to weigh in on that?

Subtracting dice is far fairer than successes. With exploding dice, a small pool can hurt a big target, but subtracting successes nullifies this.  

Speaking of damage, one of the problems with TF is the "zombie ship" thing. after a certain point, ships just end up doing nothing but hanging around.

To be fair, all pondering is academic. TF will be revised as part of 3E, so really just play on as is and see what comes.

WestAustralian likes this

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Ugh. No burning. Some people happen to like the game, myself included. It is what got me and my friend into Firestorm in the first place. 

Yes the damage chart is a bit of a conundrum. It will certainly require some head scratching. So will the zombie ship thing. Though the carnage table and being able to combine weakened squads would help this a bit I think.

1 hour ago, Bessemer said:

To be fair, all pondering is academic. TF will be revised as part of 3E, so really just play on as is and see what comes.

Look I quoted someone! Don't laugh I am not a techy person.

Yah I know. I guess I got tired of everyone detesting it and few coming up with ways to fix it. Just thought I would start this thread so people could be constructive and maybe give Spartan some ideas.

WestAustralian likes this

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What TF needs is Fixed size squads. Where they have a block of stats that slowly reduce/become penalised as the squad is "Wounded". They move and act as a squad, they attack other Squads not single ships. Ships always combine attack and defence within a squad. So one single stat block and cost for the squad, no maths for combined fire. When they shoot at a squad of small ships they might remove multiple models, shooting at a big single model (Dreadnought etc) wounds it. 

Yes the future of taskforce has probably already been written, in the form of DW fleet action. But that's only Taskforce 2.0. We are plotting out 3.0.     ;) 

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On 04/26/17 at 11:52 AM, WestAustralian said:

We are plotting out 3.0.

Agreed. 

On 04/26/17 at 11:52 AM, WestAustralian said:

Fixed size squads.

Sounds like a good idea, that would speed up gameplay and perhaps help with ships becoming ineffective.

I came across another thread a while where it was suggested that when the damage rating was equalled the target would receive a disorder marker but not damage. If the damage rating was exeeded it would recieve damage. I cannot remember all the details however.

I've been thinking about cyberwarfare and it is very random in Taskforce. What if the attacker had the ability to choose if he added disorder or removed attack dice? Based on the above system? It would simplify things if there was a token for dice loss.

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I think that just about everyone agrees that the damage table must go. So now my question is how do we replace it? Ideas?

Ruckdog likes this

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There is already a 2D6 chart that the attacker rolls on. I believe there is an example of what it would probably look like under the FSA design thread. I think that FSA, Taskforce and PF will all share the same table. It is from the new DW.

I don't know why the attacker's success vs defence can't represent damage. Why do we need another roll at all?

 

I suspect that the Core Rules Engine will look similar between all of Spartan's games. They will all have differences, and a different flavour, but they will be similar to encourage players to learn a new game easier. Which would be nice 

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20 hours ago, Skyhawk said:

I think that just about everyone agrees that the damage table must go. So now my question is how do we replace it? Ideas?

As Western Australian mentioned, there is a new damage table in the version of DW Fleet Action that is going to be included in the DW 2.5 book. In that version, pretty much everything works the same as in Fleet Action, except the attacker rolls 2D6 on a different damage table. if you exceed the DR, it's one roll, 2x DR is two rolls, etc. The table looks like this:

2D6 Roll-Effect

2- 1 Disorder

3- 1 Damage

4- 1 Damage, 1 Disorder

5- 2 Damage

6- 2 Damage, 1 Disorder

7- 3 Damage

8- 2 Damage, 1 Disorder

9- 2 Damage

10- 1 Damage, 1 Disorder

11- 1 Damage

12- 1 Disorder

So, the big thing you notice looking at the above is that this new table is somewhat more deadlier than the old; the only results which result in only disorder and no damage at all are 2 and 12! To be clear, the defender no longer rolls when it comes to the damage table, just the attacker.

Granted, this has been put out with DWFA, but FA and TF are so similar that I see no reason why this couldn't be "copy and pasted" into TF.

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Just wondering how it did in Fleet action thats all. 

How could we make the game more tactical without making it take forever when you use larger fleets. WesternAustralian mentioned adding the ranges to the stat cards, that I think would make it easier to have the different weapon ranges which would add more tactics.

Thoughts?

 

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For the table It would be worthwhile asking that question under the Distopian Wars Threads.

 

Minimal rolls for each action. - Too many rolls takes more time and causes everything to average out anyway

simple but accessible movement. - I have found that alowing a player to turn at any point of their movement, makes them more relaxed and act quicker. Locking them to only turning at the start of their movement causes lots of rethinking.

Lots of Fun, but simple MAR's

The most fun, "Mass Scale" games I have ever played actually had a single miniature and stats for a flight of models. So a dreadnought was 1 model and 1 block of stats to represent the Dreadnought and Escorts, also  Squadron of 6 Frigates was 1 model and 1 block of stats. But I don't think Spartan would want to go this way 

WA

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If we could find a way to remove any damage tables from the game I think that would speed things up a bit.

On 05/01/17 at 6:47 PM, WestAustralian said:

simple but accessible movement.

Tier 1s could turn once at any point during their movement, tier 2s twice at any point in their movement, and tier 3s three times. This would be easier and more realistic than the current method. 

The ability to be at full stop would be nice. 

On 05/01/17 at 6:47 PM, WestAustralian said:

So a dreadnought was 1 model and 1 block of stats to represent the Dreadnought and Escorts, also  Squadron of 6 Frigates was 1 model and 1 block of stats.

This would speed things up, but I think that it would lessen the need for proper positioning which is part of the game.

Had an idea. Allied battlegroups. All requisite squadrons would be made up of the core fleet, all optional squadrons could be taken from allied fleets. 

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nothing i got as far as ideas will leave the game as taskforce. the single ship profiles are too week to do much with you may as well turn this into single ships representing squads. instead go for a epic or mass combat style game instead of squadron and single battle force setup. the game could be based around using 3-4 helix with similarities to planet fall. Each type of helix having inbuilt bonuses to their units or special orders the teir 1 can issue.

each helix could gain 2 specials having to choose one to use.

recon: gaining a free move before first turn or can flank deploy.

ambush :  (X) uints can: deployed as (X) markers revealed after they are activated or can reserve and jump in.

main battle groups: issue d3 commands a turn or being able to issue commands to other helix units.

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recon can be: 1  teir 1 or 2 and 2 teir 3s, with the optional extra 1 teir 2 and 2-3 more teir 3s.

Each force could a couple of their own fleet organizations to represent specific doctrines.

so you can have maybe 8 initial formations in the main book with each main faction having 1 additional and 1 modified and each minor group having 1.

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it would basically be going from fighting around a planet and maybe a moon to fighting across an entire system somewhat. 

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On 05/06/17 at 5:57 PM, CoreHunter said:

instead go for a epic or mass combat style game instead of squadron and single battle force setup. the game could be based around using 3-4 helix with similarities to planet fall.

You would have and command multiple battlegroups. 

On 05/06/17 at 5:57 PM, CoreHunter said:

Each type of helix having inbuilt bonuses to their units or special orders the teir 1 can issue.

Having battlegroups would certainly make things more interesting.

On 05/06/17 at 5:57 PM, CoreHunter said:

nothing i got as far as ideas will leave the game as taskforce.

Any ideas are welcome.

Seems to me like you have some good ideas.

What are your thoughts regarding my movement idea?

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There's two things I don't like about that DW chart. One is that the mode result is 3dmg. That's a lot of dmg for the most common result of a hit. The other is that it requires rewriting all the MARs that involve giving pluses or minuses on the Damage Roll. I think you need a chart where the defender wants a low result and the attacker wants a high one, but just scales a little less insanely than the original. My gaming buddy and I are getting ready to test an alternate damage chart that should address both of those concerns. If yinz want I'll post it here after we've had a chance to play a game with it so I can give impressions on how well it worked (or didn't!)

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