Freeptop

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  1. The irony here is that I was originally saying that I don't really care how practical or realistic BB-8 is, since I don't particularly think R2-D2 is all that realistic... That said, as an engineer, coming up with a method to properly align a specific face and programming the spinning tool chest are the kind of things engineers get paid to do. Speaking as someone who works in robotics, both of those fall into the category of "solved problems." For that matter, even if the internal tools were always behind the same door and BB-8 had to make sure to rotate the proper door to the desired position in order to use it - that's just a planning and controls problem. I kind of feel like if early 21st century robotics can do it (albeit, requiring larger hardware), then it should certainly be possible in Star Wars
  2. If the exterior can rotate separately from the interior, then it doesn't matter which of the opening door panels in the exterior sphere is available to open - BB-8 would then be able to rotate the interior around to bring the appropriate tool to the door that can open in the right place. That may only be 6 tools, but any of the 6 would be available without having to move the exterior around to use them. That's all I really meant by that comment. Considering how much R2 was able to accomplish with just the data jack, saw and the electro-shock-whatever-it-was, I feel like BB-8 can get by with 6 tools! Also, as a software engineer who works on robots for a living, I'm quite familiar with where droids come from, thank you very much
  3. You clearly didn't read my entire post before replying, or else you might have seen the final paragraph: "The TIE Silencer clearly doesn't fit in even the larger of the two blister packs. So they went with the smaller box. They're trying to make that worth it by including a lot more upgrade cards than they would normally would for a small-base ship. They could have tried other approaches, but those would have had their own risks and costs associated with them. So they're taking a risk by putting it in a box instead of a blister. Time will tell if that risk pays off. But I don't think it's a purely money-grabbing move. If they just wanted to do that, they could easily just raise the MSRP for all their products and say that inflation is catching up with them (it's actually kind of amazing this hasn't happened already, to be honest)."
  4. For me, it's not even about the landing gear - it's about how anyone gets on or off that ship! Do they make everyone use ladders? Firemen poles? Do they take up half the internal space with a folding ramp? I mean, that ventral fin is apparently as long from the bottom of the hull to the tip of the fin as the entire gunship is wide! Maybe they just have a tractor beam operator that uses a ladder to get in and out, and then tractor beams the rest of the crew? I'm so curious, now...
  5. When looking at a $30-40 MSRP, bear in mind that isn't what FFG gets. It usually goes something along these lines: 1. FLGS has a 50% profit margin on a per-unit basis. Mainly because they rarely sell-out all the units, so they don't actually make any profit at all unless they can sell more than half of what they order. So they're buying from the distributor at around $15-20 per unit. They may only get one of each ship, but any ship in the wave that doesn't sell is a sunk cost to the store. If they only sell the $30 ship and the $40 one sits on the shelf? They've lost money. For that matter, even if they sell half of what they buy, they're still potentially losing money, because in addition to the cost of the units from the distributor, they have to pay rent, pay employees, and any other business expenses. All of that comes out of whatever profit margin they make. Gaming stores generally are living right on the edge, if they even make money at all. On the bright side, they don't have to make all of their money off of FFG products. They've got other lines, some of which sell better than others. 2. The distributor takes another 50% profit margin. They're buying from FFG at around $7.5-10 per unit, but only because they are buying in bulk. They, too, have expenses, including warehousing, shipping and employee costs. They can also get stuck with unsold goods, though they generally try to only buy what they've already sold to a store. On the other hand, if FFG is selling them cases that include 20 units, and they've got orders from stores for only 5 units, they'll end up taking a loss. (I'm making up numbers here, because I don't know how many units FFG ships in a case, but you can adjust to real numbers as you see fit). 3. Now here's where many people seem to think that FFG now gets all the money and just has to pay for the cost of supplies. That's actually quite wrong. FFG doesn't own factories in China. They contract that out. Those factories have their own profit margin - they aren't going to just make things at cost, plus those factories are paying costs beyond just the cost of the plastic to make the ships themselves. So, FFG is likely only getting around a 50% profit margin themselves. The cost from the factory plus shipping means that at this point, FFG is making around $3.75-5 per unit on the larger ships. And that profit margin has to cover their own rent, payroll, etc, etc. Oh, and licensing fees. They don't get to ship a game with the Star Wars logo on it for free. Every unit has a fee that goes straight to Lucasfilm. I'll note most gaming companies live on the edge. FFG is better off than most, but they still were in the kind of shape that led them to decide that merging with Asmodee was necessary. 4. The Chinese factory is not just paying for the cost of the plastic, but they are paying off the costs of molds (each one generally costs on the order of $1000 USD), the costs of the machinery (not cheap), rent, payroll (even being lower than US labor, this is still not cheap), etc, etc. The bigger problem with the larger ships isn't the cost of the plastic. It's the amount of space they take up on the shelves of the FLGS. Taking up more space means either a larger store, which means more rent, or it means not putting other products on shelves. If the larger ship cost the same as a smaller ship, the FLGS wouldn't want to carry the larger ship - they could put two (or more) of the smaller ship on the same amount of shelf space, and reduce their risk of an all-or-nothing sale. So long as there is demand for the larger ship at the higher price point, then having the higher price point is a different way of mitigating the risk. Higher price point means higher profit, after all. The TIE Silencer clearly doesn't fit in even the larger of the two blister packs. So they went with the smaller box. They're trying to make that worth it by including a lot more upgrade cards than they would normally would for a small-base ship. They could have tried other approaches, but those would have had their own risks and costs associated with them. So they're taking a risk by putting it in a box instead of a blister. Time will tell if that risk pays off. But I don't think it's a purely money-grabbing move. If they just wanted to do that, they could easily just raise the MSRP for all their products and say that inflation is catching up with them (it's actually kind of amazing this hasn't happened already, to be honest).
  6. The Decimator, Hound's Tooth, Shadow Caster, and Upsilon-class Shuttle expansions are all priced at $40. I'm not sure where you got "like all the other large based ships" from.
  7. The Resistance Bomber comes in a box, so the booklet with it will presumably explain what they mean by "launch".
  8. Trajectory Simulator instead of FCS, Targeting Synchronizer for the Tech slot, and then Ordinance Silos with whatever non-action bomb you choose. This makes the bomber a support ship. It uses its own action to lock on, but then lets another ship use that lock. The bomber's PWT is more of a "take a pot shot simply because you can" option. The real weapon is the ability to fling bombs around. At least, I'm assuming when it says "launch bombs... instead of dropping them" it means that you use the 5-straight template out the front instead of the back. Otherwise it would say "you may use the 5-straight template when dropping bombs", similar to Bombardier.
  9. The card under Ordinance Silos appears to be a title that encourages formation flying. Cros<...> Form<...> B/SF-17 only... When de... is at least... Resistance... 1-2 of the... add... I'm guessing something like "Crossbone Formation" for the name.
  10. Rattled condition card is assigned by the "Crimson Leader" pilot: 'When attacking, if the defender is inside of your firing arc, you may spend 1 <hit> or <crit> result to assign the "Rattled" Condition to the defender.'
  11. Funny how that diagram doesn't seem to show how all that stuff fits in there while the third leg is retracted. I also like how three arms all fit into the one slot on the left-hand side (R2's left, that is), somehow don't interfere with each other's ability to operate, and somehow only take up a shallow compartment. That diagram does an awful lot of hand-waving to pretend that it works just fine while still ignoring quite a bit. The best fictional blueprints are always good at that I'm fine with just figuring that BB-8's tools can reach out through telescoping or folding arms (not too different from how R2's do, really), and that the interior of the ball doesn't necessarily rotate the same as the exterior (in fact, it's likely it wouldn't in order to work in the first place - see how the Sphero toys work, for example). I really don't mean to insult R2-D2, here. That droid was one of the reasons I ended up working in Robotics, after all! Considering some of the robots I've seen over the years, BB-8 seems like a perfectly reasonable progression to me. Edit: I only just noticed - the saw is only shown from the side, but no port for it is labelled in the front view! That's rather convenient
  12. If you can retcon R2 by saying the tools can be rotated and raised/lowered, you can do the same with BB-8. The tools just get rotated to the nearest portal, and unlike R2, with the ability to open a hole hatch, BB-8 doesn't need the tool to match the size and shape of the opening, like R2's network-jack does, for example. I also can't help but notice that you seem to be ignoring the leg-thrusters that R2 had in the prequels... can't say I blame you, but the precedent has been set for a long time that R2 has whatever he conveniently needs to have at the time. Seriously, a lightsaber ejector? I can only assume that was some sort of customization done by Luke... but did he take out the periscope in order to fit that in, or are there two long tubes that come down from the dome into the main body? So many questions... that I then ignore, because it's fun, and I don't really care
  13. I really need to learn to finish catching up on a thread before I comment on it... particularly after being away from the internet for a three-day weekend!
  14. Put a solenoid on the interior of the sphere, opposite the head, and it will easily be able to magnetically attach itself to a hull while still using the rolling of the sphere to move around. As for the tools - well, both R2 and BB-8 have always been clearly made out of a TARDIS, since they somehow fit tools, motors, datatape readers, computing, etc all into a space that shouldn't be able to fit that much stuff in the first place. So I don't see why BB-8 can't simply hold multiple tools per compartment!
  15. I wouldn't be surprised if the 60km was actually the width rather than the length. Plenty of people just use "length" to mean the longest axis, after all. And really, depending on your reference frame, or, in more Star Wars terms, "your point of view", that really would be the length!