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Suggestion -- Campaign Books


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#1 Manchu

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:27 AM

There is no doubt that this game is very strong in terms of 1v1 competitive play.  But there are a lot of SW fans interested in the narrative aspects of the game, too.  As a separate matter, I've been concerned as a customer about the lifespan of this product line considering the extremely limited ship selection.  I'm a proponent of this game staying OT-only but I'm also ready and willing to buy and play with more ships, both competitively and casually.  In fact, I'm so excited about this game that I'd like to be spending more money on it than FFG seems able to support regarding the manufacture of plastic ships.  You can see the market space on this booming with a variety of third party companies offering everything from plastic movement templates to custom-printed ship models.

I think one answer to all these issues lies is the campaign book.  Talking with a friend about this over email, I came up with these basic ideas:  It's the apogee of the New Order.  The Alliance is on the run in the Outer Rim, trying to shore up support in systems like Mon Calamari.  Meanwhile, Imperial leaders are only beginning to understand the conflict as a war rather than a police action.  The book would consist of 20 or so linked missions such that the outcome of the preceding missions would affect the successive ones.  This could be two-pronged.  One prong could be branching narrative:  If the Rebels win Mission 1, then play Mission 1A next; if the Imperials win, then play Mission 1B next.  The other prong could be set-up focused:  if the Rebels win Mission 8, successfully rescuing General Dodonna, then the Alliance player may use A-Wings in his lists for subsequent missions.

That would be the first campaign book, something very war-focused.  Then I would have a second fringe-focused campaign where the two players take the role of a smuggler with a price on his head and a ruthless bounty hunter looking to bring him in.  And of course, just like in the movies, this game of cat and mouse gets tangled up in larger issues of galactic politics.  To me, these are the two iconic uses of space ships in the OT:  (1) fighter planes in the war for freedom and (2) hot rods piloted by mercenaries and scoundrels.  In fact, I would write the second campaign book so that it could optionally interweave with the first one.  And of course I would sell repaints and/or POD cards to support these epic storylines!
 
So there you go, campaign books could (1) provide more mission concepts generally, for casual or competitive play, (2) shore up narrative-focused play for the many SW fans in it for the story, (3) support the existing model line, (4) create opportunity for campaign-specific repaint models, (5) create opportunity for new pilots and upgrades which could in turn be supported by the POD channel, and (6) generate product that minimizes the uncertainties of overseas miniatures production to sustain the line between model waves.  The beauty about points (4) and (5) is that these would be totally optional from a consumer stand-point.  If you want to play the mission with red X-Wings and A-Wings, you can do it.  But if you're like me and you want three of everything then a green X-Wing and a blue A-Wing are awesome.  And for those who don't want to buy repaints just to get cards, FFG could do them POD.
 
What do you guys think?


#2 OhBee

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:16 PM

Hats off to you, for both an interesting idea and a well-worded delivery.  I think this is a fantastic idea, and I hope that my advice can help see this to fruition.  I think the idea is gold.  Campaign books have always added an exciting flare for a game and can offer an experience to players they can't achieve through conventional play.  If anybody can deliver an a book that draws its players into a story, it's Fantasy Flight.

 

However, there a couple of issues you're going to have to address.  The first is that some players may be unwilling to start at one end a book and play straight through to the end.  It means that, probably, they're going to be playing with the same person and that might detract from some of the enjoyment of any game; being able to play with multiple people and expand your gaming "wisdom."  The second is depending on how specific each mission could be, barring ships from a player's list could carry a negative tone.  I may be erring on the side of sensitivity when pertaining to this topic, but you might try listing must-include ships as opposed to cannot-include.  Rather than saying "Players can't include A-Wings until Mission 8," you could say "Players must include at least 1 Y-Wing for Mission 3."  I can certainly see the merit in your example, but the latter carries a different, more positive, connotation, in my opinion.

 

The primary goal is to fill this book with missions that are fun and exciting both as parts of a whole and individuals.  I really think this is a fantastic idea and hope that this sees forward progress.  Also, I'm more than willing to assist in any way I can.



#3 DingusFett

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:54 PM

Great idea! I would certainly like to see the options of different coloured minis, mostly because I lack the time to do it myself (ie: Gray Squadron Y-Wing/Blue A-Wing for Prototype pilot).



#4 DoubleNot7

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 01:05 PM

A campaign/scenario book would be most welcomed.


Enimo Et Fide


#5 Hank

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 01:20 PM

I would like to see  nice large book with a reprint of all the rules (faqed), including the large ship insert rules, and all the card based special rules (boost, bombs, ions, etc).  I would like to see the original 5 missions as well as new missions and if that included a campaign system…awesome.



#6 Gullwind

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 03:22 PM

I downloaded the pdf of the rulebook and copied the text to a Word document. I cleaned it up and put in the graphics from the pdf and added the FAQs at the end. When I got the Falcon and Slave I, I scanned the text from those and included the missions, so I have as complete a rulebook as possible.



#7 Salcor

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 03:34 PM

Manchu,

        I completely agree with your suggestion of campaign books.  We can already see a few people developing short campaigns to do something other then endless tourney battles.  To me tournaments are pretty boring, although they definitely teach you how to get the most out of your force.  I have actually been pondering working the SW: X-wing computer game campaign scenarios into a series of X-wing miniature scenarios.  Although I really think it might take one more wave of ships to really have a big enough selection to run one of these campaign games.

 

Salcor



#8 magadizer

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 03:48 PM

 

Hank said:

I would like to see  nice large book with a reprint of all the rules (faqed), including the large ship insert rules, and all the card based special rules (boost, bombs, ions, etc).  I would like to see the original 5 missions as well as new missions and if that included a campaign system…awesome.

Absolutely. At the VERY LEAST they could make this available online as a PDF. If there was value-added content (new missions and a campaign) it would be worth buying hard copies.

Already at this point the number of cards, rule books, and printed FAQs necessary to play the game correctly is unwieldy. Even if all those pieces are themselves short, to play the full game it requires 7 different documents I think (8 including tourney rules) : Core rule book, Falcon Rule sheet, Slave 1 rule sheet, FAQ, and 3 reference cards for Boost, Ion, and Bombs.

A single source would most definitely be welcome.


Be seeing you.

#9 Pure Mongrel

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:27 PM

Great idea mate.

Having battles mean something in an overall campaign would give added weight, exhilaration and enjoyment to an already great game.



#10 Manchu

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 05:56 PM

Thanks for the responses and the great feedback!

OhBee, you're right to suggest any campaign book be friendly to all customers.  There should be casual, narrative play along with new competitive options.  To that end, I think at least several of the missions should be written from a campaign perspective and also from a standalone perspective.  Designing twenty or so completely different scenarios without relying on some list restriction/requirements might be a stretch.  But the folks who are mostly interested in competitive play should get some novel missions that they could play on a pick up or tournament basis.  Now, you can meet part of that goal by designing wholely novel scenarios.  But you could also design elements that could be added to existing scenarios.  For example, the senatorial shuttle can be dropped as-is into other missions.  Instead of a standard escort mission, the shuttle could be used as the focus of a rescue mission as I hinted above.

Another example is random asteroid movement, which a lot of fans have Talked about and taken a stab at designing for themselves.  Personally, I would like to see these rules in a sort of "terrain box set" with new templates and dice as well as more suitable game pieces.  The asteroid scenario is also a great fit for this product line because it is an iconic OT moment.  But that's a topic I'll come back to momentarily.

Hank, I agree that a central rule book would be super handy not just for publishing post FAQ rules but also collecting all the ship and upgrade info together, which would be a great list building tool.  The question is whether that should be a standalone product or packaged with a campaign book.  My thought is it would make better sense to combine it with the campaign book to further serve all play preferences with one product.  This is slightly different than the asteroid issue because it doesn't entail new game components.

Salcor, I think you bring up a good point about maybe needing one more wave.  This product line is all about iconic OT fun, as with my idea of having an Asteroid Field terrain box set to recreate the awesome scene from ESB.  I proposed a war-focused campaign book but we don't have B-Wings or TIE bombers yet.  On the other hand, I think one of the strongest arguments for a campaign book is supporting the existing line with a product that is not based on selling a new miniature.  Getting the models out of China and heck maybe even designing them at this scale in the first place seems to be a lengthy process subject to a lot of time table uncertainty.  Printing a book in the meantime might give us customers something to stay engaged with while we wait for a new wave.

Another topic I wanted to bring up as potential new rules for a campaign book is the issue of solo play rules.  Some fans have already worked out a series of AI-like programmed responses to simulate someone else controlling the opposing forces.  Maybe FFG could polish up some version of that idea for inclusion?  This would potentially also allow for co-op play as programmed enemies in games like the recent D&D board games.

Pure Mongrel, I agree that carrying through results of previous missions could make for an exciting and different feel. As it stands, the game does a great job of addressing competitive play and I think that is a huge part of its success.  I think that it could support even more and Star Wars is ultimately less about the tech and more about the story.

Finally, I want to emphasize and ask for everyone's opinion on the issue of a campaign book not just incorporating preexisting SW characters as the game does now but also introducing new characters and story lines about the Galactic Civil War, a big conflict about which fans have limited knowledge.  That said, maybe the license doesn't cover creating new content but only simulating existing characters and generic situations.  Personally, I hope not.  I'd really like to see this line as well as the RPG line make a contribution to the wider franchise, kind of like how West End Games did long ago in what now feels like a galaxy far away.

Maybe the best example would be the fringe-focused campaign book I mentioned.  Sure we could run a campaign about Boba Fett chasing down Han Solo but we already know that story.  As the various SW RPGs demonstrate, there is room for more than one story about a merciless bounty hunter after a rougish smuggler.



#11 Karon

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:58 PM

Since the card game and rpg both incorporate stuff from the extended universe I'm hoping to see similar with x wing

#12 DarthBart

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 12:53 AM

The idea is quite similiar to what I have been thinking. But….

I would make the Full Rulebook as a separate component as there are some poeple with a tight purse or just unwilling to pay once again for the rules that they already have and that are free just to have them printed in one bigger better book. This should be an option for those who want it and not included in an expansion because then it would make it more expensive.

The "Campaign/Mission" Expansion could be made in three types.
First one as a card expanion with just additional rules, pilot and ship cards, tokens, manouver dials, etc. Cheap and the size of a small ship expansion. Imagine expansion with complete Obsidian Sq or Rogue Sq, with new skills and a few missions they are so famous for. Some of us already have the ships for them, but now we might need MORE to field them all. Then it could have new version of old good YT-1300 ship with title card, different smuggler/mercenary pilot, some new crew members and a mission or two to fly it against some "law enforcement".
The second type in addition to cards, pilots, etc. would also contain a set of miniatures for this particular event (like Drizzt & Wulfgar vs Icingdeath Dragon in D&D). It could use large ship box and price. Those could be repaints or completly new sculpts. Obi-Wan's Jedi Interceptor chase after Jango's Slave-1 in asteroid belt near Genosis is a stretch, but this could do just fine.
Third one could come in a core set box and price. With a gaming mat or double sided card tiles and miniatures of for example space mines, cargo containers and a patrol craft. Or a map/tiles divided in sectors but not to play on them with minis but to track who controls which region and to plot attacks on the neighour systems (like in DoW or Dune 2, C&C, etc). Tiles would be better if they were made compatibile to each other so you could arrange them in any way.

The single and campaign missions could have two sets of requirements each, in one would be the requirements for strict "harcore" play and in the other for casual/trournament play. One campaign could have missions streamlined, another could have multiple choices along the way in a "tree" design. There are so many posibilities.



#13 Redbranch

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:25 AM

This is similair to Campaign: Parasdiso that Corvus Belli released for the Infinity Miniatures game. There are a ton of missions that form a narrative campaign arranged in chapters. You can play them as a stand alone mission, a chapter or the whole thing. The outcome effects what you play next and there is an experince system that lets you either upgrade a single special-ops miniature OR buy perks that give  your whole army advatanges. You earn experience based on meeting objectives, so you could lose the game but still earn some experience. 



#14 Macnme

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 01:59 AM

I'd just like to chime in to say this is exactly what I want to see at some point in the future.

 

A Descent 2ed style campaign playbook.

 

Yes please! 



#15 Olethros

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 03:04 AM

They released one book lke that for descent. It was awesome and you could also just run the campaign or take the missions as a standalone thing. I would be really amazed with such a product.

 

 



#16 SiCK_Boy

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 03:09 AM

I support the generic idea of a campaign book as well.

I think scenarios offer a variety that you just can't find in regular dogfight / tournament style games.

Such a product should not replace a net Wave of ships, but being as it would only consist of cards and a book, it could very well be released between the 2 waves of ships, focusing on the various ships from the latest release (the idea of first a war-themed campaign then a smuggler one is great!).



#17 DarthBart

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 11:08 AM

Scenarios also happen to change the fleet (army) list composition from the ones used in regular dogfight type of play. You must focus more on the objective than on shooting down oponents crafts. There can happen a situation like this:…"oooo you killed all my ships, …a pity that your primary objective is not achived and still you loose the game, …I am so 'sorry' that I win…."

Regular dogfight is a lot of fun, really, especially when we have more ships and therefore more fleet setup variations than when only the 1st wave was available. But… after so many dogfights I would love to play a game more oriented on story than just shooting and yet balanced so that no one is handicapped

There are many games that even in tournaments use scenarios, 40K, WFB, etc….

Of course destroying enemy soldiers/vehicles might help but you must consider many things, like: fielding scoring units (not all units can score, mostly the basic ones), deployment, who and when take objective or contest objective taken by the enemy, etc.



#18 heychadwick

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 05:32 AM

I'd be happy to have something that wasn't as involved as improving characters.  I'd be happy for something that just had some scenarios for a cohesive plot line.  Each game affects something.  Four battles with the last one a big battle.  Maybe whoever wins the first small point game with scouts gets the iniative for the last round.  The next two scenarios will give bonuses in the last game to whoever wins.  Maybe special characters, upgrade options, or even ship types.  






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