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About Khyros

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    Advocate of A & E Wings Everywhere
  • Birthday 11/04/1988

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  1. Most of my knowledge comes from an engineer in the auto industry, but we injection mold a bunch of our parts and I've spent several years working in our assembly plants. Thus why I don't have as much knowledge on the painting side of things, but know more in regards to the people and what would be a reasonable starting point for operations and cycle times. Of course every plant is unique and has various constraints, so I may be wildly off, but it's where I would start if I was in operations for FFG and looking for a manufacturing facility to source my products. As for cost, I'm pretty sure I've backed out the costs before to come up with a reasonable estimate... But most retail stores will be making 30% profit or so on MSRP. This is supported (especially by the pre-Asmodee) online prices. $35 cost to retailer. Then the distributor is going to make a 5-10% profit and have a distribution cost. Let's assume $5 cost and $3 profit. $27 cost once in the USA. I really have no clue as to duties and oversea shipping costs, but pets assume 15% duty and double the US distribution cost. $18. If we pretend that manufacturing is its own entity, that $18 represents their revenue. The you have inventory, labor, depreciation, core business overhead and R&D (which aren't actually part of manufacturing... but whatever). Chinese labor is negligible, and your material costs aren't that high. I would estimate that would come to be around $3, but it's a pure top of the head estimation. Also, there's a cost to run the machinr. A press that large would normally be $80/hr in the states, but a good portion would be labor, so figure $40/hr in China. And they would have at least 3 presses, more depending on volume requirements. So 1.5min of press time would be another $1. That means FFG would make $14 on each ship, but tooling is going to be ~100K for each tool, plus Alex Davy's salary in R&D, and all of the HR staff they need to keep him from sexual harassment complaints =P. I have no clue as to their volumes, but I would guess its more on the order of 100k ships than either 10k or 1M. So they would make 1.4M on the ISD, pay 300k for a single set of tools, though at 3 per 5min, they probably need a second set of tools, so 600k for tools, leaving 700k for profits, R&D, and overhead. All of these numbers are off the top of my head sitting in my car waiting, so so not take them as fact or gospel, just a guideline as to what all goes into this.
  2. So a few comments on what you said. First, an ISD is not 4 pieces. By my count, it's 10 pieces. Note that in addition to the 8 shown here, the Main Hangar is it's own piece, and the lower half of the bridge is separate from the tower. In the dozen or so that I've taken apart, I've never come across paint in the joints, which leads me to believe that they're all painted and then assembled. I would suspect that the model is sprayed gray, then the panel lines are all screen printed on, and then the dark grey is screen printed on. And then a light wash on the turbo lasers. Engines are going to be masked and sprayed. But an ISD is not going to go through all of the same steps as an X Wing from XWM. It's pretty clear to me that there isn't a wash on an ISD (except perhaps in the turbo lasers and the engine crevice), and there's not as much detailing. Instead, there's a ton of individual pieces and assembly. I also wanted to touch base on your "what consumes the most time" statement. There's several different points of view to discuss. The 3 main ones I want to bring up are tooling design, cycle time, and elapsed time. It's going to take a long while to design and manufacture the tool to cast the plastic. They're going to require slides and cooling jackets and whatnot, not to mention iterations on it all to ensure that there's even cooling and that the pieces don't warp. On the contrary, masks and fixtures for the painting side of things will be pretty easy and quick to make. But that's more on the up front (and to a lesser extent, the setup when you switch from one tool to another), which I'm pretty sure is not what you're referring to. Forgive me if I miss a step here, but someone is going to be working the injection molding machine. The number of pieces made will vary, but seeing as this game is mass produced, let's just assume they're making 4 hull pieces at a time. Two upper and two lower. Doing a quick calculation, that should be about 64sq in. Using a standard 5x multiplier, that means they need a 320 ton press. The cycle time for that is going to vary based on the plastic flow geometry and whatnot, but typically it's about 60 seconds in the machine. There's not much downtime between, let's call it another 15 seconds for the operator to pull the 4 pieces out, which is very generous. Then the machine will start the next pair. Meanwhile, the operator is going to inspect and clean any flash that there may be on the part before putting them in some sort of dunnage (or I suppose a belt depending on the facilities). 75 seconds for 2 ship hulls, 37.5sec each. Then there's probably some more cool off time. This may be hard designed into the production facility, or may just be the by product of having to fill up a rack of hulls. They will may have trays of 4x3 hull pieces (and then more of the smaller pieces on other trays), and there may be 4 stacks of 12 (figure 3in height per tray = 3ft tall stack) to a pallet. So it's going to take the injection molding operator 144 cycles @ 75 seconds, or 3 hours to fill a single pallet. All the while the pieces are doing their final cool down. If the painter at the next step paints them FIFO, then they all get a long rest (though not the full 3hr if the painting is <75sec cycle), even if it goes directly from the mold -> paint. Which is unlikely, but possible. Doing the actual painting on most of the ISD won't take long at all. Now I know less about mass painting than I do molding & assembly, but judging by the video you posted, they're going to do numerous coats of gray (note you can confirm the gray is painted by looking at the interior picture of the hull - it's not the same color as the exterior base color, nor is it a consistent color). My guess would be that they take a tray of 12 hull pieces out, spray it, put it back in the rack, and grab the next tray. I would expect 45 second cycle time for that. That would include 5sec to grab the tray, 5 sec to return the tray, and 30 sec to spray, allowing for 10 3 second passes. There's also 5 sec of slack time there, which adds up to a minute per stack, but that's going to be consumed rotating the pallet, and switching out pallets. This means that a full pallet will take 36 minutes to paint a coat. It also means that they get 36 minutes of drying time in between each coat. The same operator can do a full spin of the pallet for the 4 stacks, and then he's right back at stack #1 for the second coat. I would then expect a mask & paint for the dark gray panels, repeating the above for the dark gray panels, except just 1 coat and with a mask. Putting the mask on/on may make it a 50sec cycle time. And then they need their wash on the turbolasers, which will be done on the trays, and mass produced. Each upper hull is probably 8 sec (1sec/app), plus tray on/off time, for 55sec cycle time. From here though, they're likely to leave their trays. They'll be brought to the next part of the process, where an operator will pick up the hull, place it on a single model fixture, cover it, and then screen print the panel lines. I would expect that he would return the ship to the tray, and do another one. This is probably about a 10sec per part (120 per tray) plus 10sec per tray, plus 30sec per stack, for an average of 11sec cycle time, we'll just stick to 10sec and say he starts with only 9 per part :). And then it gets assembled. We haven't talked about the other parts yet, but I would expect the command decks (all 3) get assembled and installed onto the ship by one person. And maybe a new person (though possibly the same one) would then assemble they bridge and insert the tower. None of those are glued together, they're just all snapped in place. The hangar door is also just pushed in place (but very tightly, it might be done with machine assist). And the engines are also just snapped into place, the operator who puts the two hulls together will place the engines and then dab glue onto the 5 posts (I've never seen glue in the rear 4 posts, they seem to just be for locating) and 4 tabs, then push it all together. My guess is that there's a fixture that holds it all together as it dries - and that fixture probably also snaps the hangar door in place. So, I would expect 3 operators at 45sec each here, and I'm saying the bridge is assembled independently from the command decks (because the bridge requires glue). So... Excluding whatever painting time on the subcomponents and just looking at the hull, you have 37.5sec molding, 7.5sec base coat x3, 8.3sec gray panel, 9.16sec wash, 20sec panel lines, 3 assembly ops @45sec = 135sec for total assembly time of 217.5sec, or just over 3.5minutes. But we can probably double the molding and painting time for the non-hull pieces, bringing a total ship to 5.5minutes of cycle time. At US minimum likely rates of $12/hr (cost to employer, not employee wage), that would be $1.10, but at an unionized wage of $30-35, that would be $3.21. A quick google search shows the average factory worker in China makes $275/mo, and if we assume no overtime, that would be $1.60/hr, meaning the labor cost of an ISD is 14.7cents... But I digress, we were talking about time, not cost. So 5.5minutes of operation time, however, the elapsed time from start to finish is more like 180 minutes + 36 minutes x3 + 40 minutes + 44 minutes + .75 seconds x3 = 370.25 minutes, or just over 6 hours. And that's assuming no inventory between each step (which is bad practice - you want to have some level of safety stock so if your molding machine needs repair, you don't stop your entire operations).
  3. Khyros

    Some LED work

    I would love to do that. Unfortunately the bridge is a solid piece, so I can't get "inside" it so to speak. I supppooosseee that you might be able to thread individual FOs from the outside, and if you bend them properly you might be able to get them to make the 90 degree turn. But it's really not that feasible.
  4. Khyros

    Some LED work

    Here's a set of 3 that I just finished up this past weekend. And detailed pictures of the Gladiator:
  5. Khyros

    Meta for imperial fleets.

    Out of curiosity - Why a GSD-II? I realize it doesn't have the Demo title to triple tap, but it seems that with OE and APTs, you still would want the GSD-I. Honestly, I would think going with GSD-I and Insidious would be a better option. , and saves 3 points. That, or if you're going with the GSD-II, I would make use of that red die and put on Sensor Team instead of OE. That way you can make your GSD-II a small ship hunter, and the GSD-I is still a large ship hunter. Just my 2c though.
  6. Khyros

    Meta for imperial fleets.

    Honestly, I have a ton of fun running this ISD/VSD/VSD list a few months ago. Cymoon w/ Vader, SA, GT, QBT, 7th Fleet VSD-2 w/ GT, Dcap, HIE, QBT, 7th Fleet VSD-2 w/ GT, Dcap, HIE, QBT, 7th Fleet Solar Corona, Contested Outpost, Station Assault 397/400 I'm not entirely sure I would recommend the 7th Fleet and SA upgrades or not, dropping them gives you 22 points, allowing you a bit of flexibility. I might recommend for those points Tua/ECMs on the Cymoon, and then with 13 points left, you might be best off with IO on a VSD and IF on the Cymoon, but there are a few options such as adding Avenger instead. The best option for flying these guys is to keep them about distance 3 apart from each other, with the ISD in the center or on the outside.
  7. Khyros

    New custom Thrawn Commander Card

    It seems really powerful. I would recommend perhaps treating it as a dial+token instead of double dial. And there are already rules for how to do dial+token, and there are already rules that say cannot have two dials (ironically enough, Thrawn is the only way to get double dials).
  8. Note that the word on the street is the the v2.0 X Wings work better than the Saws X Wings.
  9. Khyros

    Thoughts on command mechanics

    There are some good ideas here that would totally change the way the game works, but wouldn't necessarily break the game. First, one thing that has always bothered me is how the repair token is half the value rounded up, while squadron is just a +1 value. It seems to me that this is almost the first indication that FFG had that squadrons were really powerful... But that's not the point of this discussion. CF dial - I like your 2 points adds a die, 1 point rerolls. A standard ship could have a CF value of 2 (perhaps it's called something like "mobile turrets" or something), allowing it to function very similarly. However, things like the Gozanti could be dropped down to 1, preventing the entire "okay, I'm doubling my attack dice now such that my 23pt flotilla is throwing more dice out of its side arc than my 44pt Raider I at medium range" issue (though it's really not an issue, but still, fluff wise it doesn't make sense). It would also allow for a bit of a different approach. You wouldn't have to put OEs on Demo - you could rely on your CF dial to reroll 2 dice when you don't get a native crit, except then you don't have the dial for a navigate. Herm... CHOICES! Choices are always good imo. And finally, it would allow for large ships to get more use out of a CF dial. You could put them up to a value of 3, allowing them to get a die and a reroll, 3 rerolls, or combine it with a token for 2 extra dice and a reroll! Now all of a sudden it's a dial highly worth considering. Navigate - I don't know how to handle this one. Off the top of my head, I would say just make the default value 3, say yaw = 2pts, and speed = 1pt, but also say that you cannot do more than 1 of the same thing. So a standard ship can still yaw+speed, Ozzel allows for you to ignore the "can't change speed by more than 1"... But it doesn't come out nice. I would have to break protocol and say that you round down for the token in this case. It would mean that ships with a value of 2 still get use out of the token, ships with 4 could actually use the token for a yaw value, and ships with a value 1 (*cough* VSD) don't get any benefit from storing the token. I don't know how I feel about this, but the other option would be to allow a token to add a yaw, or make the default point 2 pts, and a dial can't change speed and yaw (though if I did this, I probably would allow you to spend both on speed). Actually, that's probably the better way to do it. Make the default value 2 points, make yaw = 2 pts, and speed change = 1 point. Then you can have shifty ships like the CR90 have a value of 3, allowing them to slam the brakes, hit the gas, or crank the wheel along with one of those others.... But most ships have the choice of changing speed (given they could change by 2) or adding a yaw. It would also mean that crafty ships could store a token to add a click, that'd be nice. And clunky ships would need a dial and a token to add a yaw. Squadrons - I've always felt that the token should be half value like engineering. But we all know that this would be super powerful, especially with some of those stacking abilities would be even more "broken." But that's not a technical failure of the game, just a costing failure of the game. So power creep ignored, that would be my preferred method of token handling. I like your idea of having move & attack as separate costs, but I don't know in practice how well it would work. It would mean that values would be higher (Quasar could be at 6 by default for example), and perhaps it should be 2 points to attack, 1 point to move, so if you're already engaged, you're not doubling the number of squadrons you're activating for attack. And then in our example Quasar could be at 10 or something like that. You could also adjust those combo abilities to consume points... Flight Controllers could add a blue at the cost of a squadron point, so you can make your attacks more powerful, but have fewer of them. Which would again add choices to the game. Engineering - This already does all of the above, no need to change it.
  10. Little budget does not need to translate to "pathetic prize support." Take this SC kit... why are we getting a newly designed token when we haven't finished the old style yet? And in XWM, why is the top 2 prize ineligible for v2.0? Every other card is doubled sided v1.0/v2.0... Yet that card is double sided v1.0/v1.0... Why did they start doing stupid square tokens for XWM, and then abruptly give up on it.... what about those challenge coins they started for all of their games a few years ago, just to stop it after 6months? Or how about the 2017 NA Champs that gave Armada the same deck box as everything else... Except that we don't really have standard sized cards (yes, I know squadrons are). Not to say they needed to come up with a custom sized deck box... but they didn't need to give out 32 of those to the top finishers, especially when like only 29 people played through to the end. So I repeat, small budget != stupid prize support.
  11. Khyros

    Armada trade thread

    Successful trade with @Truthiness.
  12. Khyros

    Store Champs!!

    No no... that's the analogy for the top 2 prize of the Cavern Angels. Here's something ya'll really want, but you can't actually use it.
  13. Khyros

    Generic ship bases/tokens

    So tell me, how do I run 5 Green Squadron A Wings with 2 conversion kits? Or 8 Z-95s?
  14. Khyros

    Will FFG comment on the generics issue?

    Yup... I 100% agree with that statement. The number of people pissed off by the reduced contents would be drastically reduced. Especially when you consider that the U-Wing has a v2.0 Wave XIV release anyways, so who needs 3 U Wing dials anyways =P. (Yes, I know there will be people). And the YT-1300, YT-2400, VCX-100, Rebel-Era ARC-170, Sabine's TIE, Phantom I, Phantom II, and the HWK-290 were all supposed to be unique one-off ships anyways. They aren't fielded in mass by the Rebels, so supporting only one of each at least thematically makes sense. And then you could use the extra cardboard space to give us the missing A-Wing and Z-95 ship tokens that we need. And then it's only 2 extra pilot cards (delete second YT-2400 & HWK-290 generic) in exchange for 8 dials (though pretty much the space of 2 are converted to ship tokens). I call that a win for them, it provides a better product for us, and then there's at least a response for why we're getting the numbers we are getting. It even makes sense in how they named the expansions in v1.0. It's not the YT-1300 expansion, it's the Millennium Falcon expansion, and this conversion kit converts the MF to v2.0. Same thing for the Ghost vs. VCX-100.
  15. Khyros

    Extrapolating from the Rebels Conversion Kit

    Actually, we can gleam a bit of information from the "Wave 1" side kits. For Rebels, it is Norra, Evaan, and Thane. And yet we know that the conversion kit and the T-65 X-Wing expansion include Wedge, Garven, Biggs, Thane, Norra, Evaan, Horton, and Dutch. Which means that there is a segregation of "Wave 1" and "T-65 X-Wing Expansion Contents." So that means that when future waves of v2.0 are released, they should include the conversion pilots, and then new "Wave __" pilots. It is interesting that the T-65 has 1 Wave 1 pilot and 3 conversion pilots, while the Y-Wing has 2 wave 1 pilots and 2 conversion pilots. The only thing that I can think that would make sense is that the wave 1 pilots are all new. And I don't just mean by name, but by ability as well. Thane has a brand new ability, all of the other X Wing pilots have ability that are very similar to their v1.0 ability. Looking at the Y-Wing, we see it's the same thing. Dutch and Horton have similar themed abilities, while Norra and Evaan are brand new abilities. And going through the list of known pilot abilities, they're all pretty similar to their outgoing ability. Braylen in the B-Wing is similar to Ibitsam's outgoing ability, Ten's is similar to Keyan's, Gavin's is E'tahn's, Ibitsam's is basically Braylen's, Shara's is Norra's Blount, Leebo, and ARC-170 Norra are the only ones with pretty new abilities. But Norra's is her Y Wing ability, so it's already covered under Wave 1. Blount's old ability seems useless now, so even if they came up with a new name, they didn't have a Z-95 ability available, so he had to have a new one. Leebo is the only one that they could have left the same and chose to change. They could have even called him Eaden if they wanted to mess with calculate tokens for Leebo later on, but oh well. So what does this mean? I believe that we're going to be seeing new pilots (or existing pilots with new abilities) in all of the subsequent waves. I expect Tycho Celchu to exist in the A-Wing again, but with a brand new ability. Which makes sense, they've said that they don't like infinite stress stacking things, so they would clearly want to come up with a new ability for him. But it also means I expect to see new pilots in ships like the YT-1300 and VCX-100 whenever they get released as a v2.0 expansion. But I can't think of anyone else for those pilots, so perhaps that's where the subtitle's will come into play? We've already seen them mis-handled by calling the ARC-170 Norra Gold Nine, but who knows...