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Nostromoid

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  1. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from Thraug in Alert All Commands! New article!   
    I really liked the rules for hyperspace in the CC's All-Out Assault. Teams lay down objective tokens, and at the start of a round, going objective token by objective token, teams can either scoot the token around or else use it like a deployment beacon to deploy reserve forces out of hyperspace. It's very thematic to have ships zooming out of the depths of space to join the fight, and even better it staggers out the ships in play so that the first several turns don't take even longer than they already take.
    The downside to it is, (a) objective tokens are used to mark hyperspace, so it's not compatible with objectives, and (b) it's pretty obnoxious when opponents can plop Demo, Avenger, or Profundity right in your face.
     
    Edit: Should have added - And that's why I wish some form of the hyperspace rules could have made their way into the Sector Fleets rules.
  2. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from Admiral Calkins in Any rumors on the re-print of Squadrons 1 packs??   
    I just saw an Imp 1 pack in a store. Thought 1: "That's weird." Thought 2: "Good thing I bought mine back when this wasn't a weird thing to discover."
  3. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from Muelmuel in Quick Build Armada?   
    This is actually the system I'm building for a homebrew campaign. Everyone uses prebuilt ships and prebuilt fighter groups, and it's simply a matter of  picking the ones you want off a big list of choices. A few rules apply:
    1. I rebalance as needed, and most are intentionally not tournament-style loadouts. Costs may correct some mistakes in FFG's pricing.
    2. For fun, some impossible examples are included. Rebel Quasar, one single Victory with Engine Techs, etc.
    3. When a ship is destroyed, its future cost is incremented upwards by about 5-10%, so that it will become harder to keep using the same ships over and over, especially if they're targeted for destruction.
    4. Each side starts with only a few basic choices (Rebels with some small corvettes and Imps with Vics and patrol ships like the Arq or Neb). By progressing through the campaign, your team can "unlock" more of the "tech tree."
  4. Thanks
    Nostromoid got a reaction from sabsben in Quick Build Armada?   
    I'd be happy to, but right now it's not even at that prototype level (other projects involving Armada and more, stay tuned). I'm throwing together the list of ships, so I'm happy to take requests if anyone has ship platforms they'd like to see.
    1. Classic ship loadouts: the Yavaris Neb, the 
    2. Thematic ship loadouts: the stock-standard ISD2 as you think the Empire would roll them off the shipyards, the plucky little Nebulon-B medical frigate, etc.
    3. Rule-breaker loadouts: What if a flotilla had ExRacks? What if Hammerheads had a new generic title? What if Imperials fielded Nebulons in the early stages of the campaign? What if a Raider had Slicer Teams?
    I'm also working on squadrons. While it's fun to design small groups of fighters (three A-Wings is Phoenix Squadron!), it isn't as clear when such a group has been "destroyed" for the purposes of stepping up its price for future battles. Only if all squadrons are eliminated during a game? Only if half or more of its squadrons are eliminated?
  5. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from BlueSquadronPilot in Quick Build Armada?   
    This is actually the system I'm building for a homebrew campaign. Everyone uses prebuilt ships and prebuilt fighter groups, and it's simply a matter of  picking the ones you want off a big list of choices. A few rules apply:
    1. I rebalance as needed, and most are intentionally not tournament-style loadouts. Costs may correct some mistakes in FFG's pricing.
    2. For fun, some impossible examples are included. Rebel Quasar, one single Victory with Engine Techs, etc.
    3. When a ship is destroyed, its future cost is incremented upwards by about 5-10%, so that it will become harder to keep using the same ships over and over, especially if they're targeted for destruction.
    4. Each side starts with only a few basic choices (Rebels with some small corvettes and Imps with Vics and patrol ships like the Arq or Neb). By progressing through the campaign, your team can "unlock" more of the "tech tree."
  6. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from sabsben in Quick Build Armada?   
    This is actually the system I'm building for a homebrew campaign. Everyone uses prebuilt ships and prebuilt fighter groups, and it's simply a matter of  picking the ones you want off a big list of choices. A few rules apply:
    1. I rebalance as needed, and most are intentionally not tournament-style loadouts. Costs may correct some mistakes in FFG's pricing.
    2. For fun, some impossible examples are included. Rebel Quasar, one single Victory with Engine Techs, etc.
    3. When a ship is destroyed, its future cost is incremented upwards by about 5-10%, so that it will become harder to keep using the same ships over and over, especially if they're targeted for destruction.
    4. Each side starts with only a few basic choices (Rebels with some small corvettes and Imps with Vics and patrol ships like the Arq or Neb). By progressing through the campaign, your team can "unlock" more of the "tech tree."
  7. Haha
    Nostromoid got a reaction from LordTesla in Forums are for speculations, so let’s speculate, what is “Something Big”   
    @Mikael Hasselstein Sithster
  8. Like
    Nostromoid reacted to Forresto in Post TLJ Resistance Fleet   
    That might be too logical for some.
  9. Haha
    Nostromoid got a reaction from thestag in Future Admirals   
    TIL a sub-faction of the Separatists was the Retail Caucus.
    I just can't with this universe sometimes. We joke about bad Star Wars names and we joke about people just using a thesaurus to make variations on the same name sometimes, but this case is just too real.
    [Economic Term] + [Political Organization] = Separatist Council
    Trade/Techno/Banking/Commerce/Corporate/Communications/Retail
    Federation/Union/Clan/Guild/Alliance/Cartel/Caucus
    And we don't even get any overlap! There's no Banking Federation along with the Trade Federation. Each one carved out its own little unique economic term and its own little political organization, no matter how stupidly specific it had to get. I assume the others included the Mercantile Bookclub, the Democratic People's Republic of Trickle-Down, the Moneylending Council, and the Plutocracy Association.
  10. Haha
    Nostromoid got a reaction from The Jabbawookie in Future Admirals   
    TIL a sub-faction of the Separatists was the Retail Caucus.
    I just can't with this universe sometimes. We joke about bad Star Wars names and we joke about people just using a thesaurus to make variations on the same name sometimes, but this case is just too real.
    [Economic Term] + [Political Organization] = Separatist Council
    Trade/Techno/Banking/Commerce/Corporate/Communications/Retail
    Federation/Union/Clan/Guild/Alliance/Cartel/Caucus
    And we don't even get any overlap! There's no Banking Federation along with the Trade Federation. Each one carved out its own little unique economic term and its own little political organization, no matter how stupidly specific it had to get. I assume the others included the Mercantile Bookclub, the Democratic People's Republic of Trickle-Down, the Moneylending Council, and the Plutocracy Association.
  11. Haha
    Nostromoid got a reaction from Bakura83 in Future Admirals   
    TIL a sub-faction of the Separatists was the Retail Caucus.
    I just can't with this universe sometimes. We joke about bad Star Wars names and we joke about people just using a thesaurus to make variations on the same name sometimes, but this case is just too real.
    [Economic Term] + [Political Organization] = Separatist Council
    Trade/Techno/Banking/Commerce/Corporate/Communications/Retail
    Federation/Union/Clan/Guild/Alliance/Cartel/Caucus
    And we don't even get any overlap! There's no Banking Federation along with the Trade Federation. Each one carved out its own little unique economic term and its own little political organization, no matter how stupidly specific it had to get. I assume the others included the Mercantile Bookclub, the Democratic People's Republic of Trickle-Down, the Moneylending Council, and the Plutocracy Association.
  12. Like
    Nostromoid reacted to The Jabbawookie in Future Admirals   
    Well, according to the Imperial Naval Handbook, chapter 13, paragraph 4, all Rebels are clumsy and stupid (and smelly, but I digress.)  So it really amounts to the same thing. ?
  13. Like
    Nostromoid reacted to geek19 in Future Admirals   
    I assumed Holdo and Snoke's abilities let you not play a game against whiny terrible opponents.
    "So here's my Holdo list and-"
    "STOP RIGHT THERE! You need to hear my thesis on why The Last Jedi RUINED Star Wars forever, it's the highlight of my Usenet discussion group. You see, perchance had Holdo decided-"
    "I drop."
  14. Thanks
    Nostromoid got a reaction from clontroper5 in New Podcast: Activation Advantage   
    @Andylicious @clontroper5 Hey all. Of the three people who got the podcast started, I don't know that any of them are active on the forums besides me, though they're both very active players. I wasn't the guy to really get the podcast started, so I don't think of it as mine in the sense of soldiering on with further episodes alone. I do still have ideas for topics, and I do really appreciate the many people who have enjoyed the podcast. If there's someone who knows the technical side of podcasting and needs a partner, I'm still up for it. I think this game needs more of it.
     
  15. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from MercIncBourne in New Podcast: Activation Advantage   
    Calling all admirals, new transmission detected.
    Sharing a link to a newly launched podcast, Activation Advantage, all about the latest and greatest announcements, releases, fleet building, strategies, and gameplay for Armada. The first episode is now live, and features an interview with 2017 Worlds Winner Norm Weir, as well as a roundtable theorycrafting the recent releases featuring Norm, Nick, and me (Patrick) where we talk about our favorite wave 7 cards and look ahead to some upcoming regionals ideas. Mack Dalla Lama is our host, MC, and editor, so all honor and credit goes to him for sweating this baby out.
    Episode 1 live now, and new episodes planned approximately twice per month. So check back soon!
  16. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from The Jabbawookie in Siege of the Arkanis Sector - Now in final post-test edits!   
    Fleet Clash: All-Out Assault
    The Burbank, CA playtest group had our big finale the Saturday before last, and it was a pretty epic battle.
    The Imperial and Rebel forces converged in full strength on the stretch of debris-strewn space near the Old Corellian Run hyperlane...
    The Empire brought, all told, five Imperial-class star destroyers, plus a complement of support vessels and flanking ships. The Rebels brought the strength of the Mon Cal shipwrights, with three Home One-class MC80s (including Home One itself, plus Defiance), the Aspiration, the Mon Karren, an assault frigate, and a host of smaller corvettes and frigates. The Rebel fighter coverage was lighter, but they brought a network of transports to coordinate their bombing runs. The Empire brought wave after wave of TIEs, with a core of bombers and a handful of bounty hunters (the Fab Four, preach!). Finally, the Empire’s greatest weapon was revealed to be a pair of Cymoon 1 refits that were loaded ready to issue fleet commands (Entrapment Formation! and Intensify Firepower!).
     
     Vader’s flagship, the Interdictor, repositioned some of the sector’s obstacles, and the fleets exited hyperspace ready for battle. Unlike the mass conflict at the outset of the campaign, this time all four fleet commanders fully appreciated the importance of good hyperspace reinforcement placement, so careful deliberation went into claiming the best locations into which hyperspace reinforcements could suddenly emerge. The Empire’s gunline formed up into a familiar formation, loosely converging on the center of the battle, with outlying ships burning engines to wheel into the rear of the Rebels. The Alliance, meanwhile, formed a broadside file with Home One and other MC80-class cruisers at the tip of the spear. The Aspiration guarded the flanks and the cloud of X-Wings and A-Wings hung close to protect the fleet.
    Imperials had initiative for the opening round. Conflict broke out immediately in the right-most sector of the battle, where two opposing corvettes met and a Raider deployed its external missile racks to vaporize a Hammerhead. A small force of TIE Defenders pounced on the Hammerhead’s partner ship and dealt minimal damage. The Rebels threw A-Wings to block these Defenders, and they fought a fighter battle around the station and in the nearby asteroid fields.
    In the second round, the two fleets were clearly on a collision course that would meet at any moment. Star destroyers converged and threatened the onrushing Mon Cal cruisers with combined turbolaser fire, but still mostly only at the most extreme ranges. The Rebel fleet passed on the far side of a dust field, which blocked weapons from both directions and delayed a second front from opening on the Rebels’ left flank. Fighters continued to hold back on both sides, though skirmishes began to break out in sections across the battlefield.
    At the start of the third (and most decisive) round, both factions called in nearly every reserve ship. The Empire was forced to leave one of its star destroyers out still, in order to properly position its hyperspace beacon. Avenger emerged at the very front of the Rebel fleet, ready to launch Boarding Troopers and gut the first cruiser to close range. The Rebels responded by placing Mon Karren directly behind Avenger, and an assault frigate and CR90 to entrap Demolisher in the rear before beginning to lay into the heavier Imperial ships. With initiative back in Imperial hands, Demolisher opened the round by obliterating the corvette that blocked its path and accelerating into a turn to hide among the Imperial-classes. Demolisher's engine block was lit up by Mon Karren's turbolaser volley from behind, and it exploded. Avenger responded by completing its lethal attack sequence against the lead Rebel cruiser (which I believe was Defiance) and closing the trap around the Rebel convoy. Next, the Rebels returned fire and nearly destroyed the lead ISD-II. However, with their fighter swarm depleting rapidly and a final ISD joining the battle to the rear, the outcome was becoming clear.
    Did we finish the All-Out Assault? No. But we did have a great time and spend about four hours rolling dice in the most epic half-game of Armada I've ever played. The terms of the battle played into the Empire's favor, but the group has already said they're ready for Season 2. Now all I have to do is write that.
  17. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from The Jabbawookie in Siege of the Arkanis Sector - Now in final post-test edits!   
    "Something big"!
    Map version 5 is functionally complete, including all of the locations and their information. This is approximately what I'm looking at for the final map. This version needs some more tinkering as I nudge the locations around to make room or cluster up neighbors, improve the look of the space background, add back in the map key, and any other little bits of polish it needs. However, this is roughly playable.
    In other exciting news, I will be playtesting the campaign with some guys from my local store, and we're kicking things off next week!

  18. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from OgRib in Siege of the Arkanis Sector - Now in final post-test edits!   
    7/15/2018 Update
    Work on Siege of the Arkanis Sector continues.
    This is my long-time Armada project. It began as a set of houserules and wishlist for the Corellian Conflict, and eventually grew into its own thing, and I decided to wrap it up as a standalone campaign for Armada. It runs off of the same basic "engine" as the CC, but with several changes to curb snowball effects and encourage a more unpredictable campaign experience. It also shifts the setting to the Outer Rim, in the region of space containing Tatooine, Geonosis, Arkanis, and more.
    What this includes: A playable draft of the campaign. These rules should suffice for a group to split into teams and play through a campaign that emphasizes strategic targeting of enemy fleets, tactical movement around the sector, and a shifting fleet makeup that's more dynamic than the heavily preplanned fleets of the Corellian Conflict. Players familiar with the Corellian Conflict will find a lot of recognizable stuff in here, and getting up and running shouldn't be too terribly different.
    What this doesn't include: Any new game units! There are no new objectives, squadrons, ships, or upgrades in this document. You're expected to play the campaign using your normal Armada options. I have nothing against homebrew material and I'm anxious for the next wave as much as anybody else, but it simply wasn't part of the project's scope.
    What is still to come: Additional map polish. My graphic design skills aren't anything to write home about, but I'm putting it together. Expect that to be the next piece to come along.
    Current version: 0.71     Here's the link.
    Feedback and comments are encouraged. In particular, do these rules look like they would be fun to play?
  19. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from Templeton in Siege of the Arkanis Sector - Now in final post-test edits!   
    The Playtest Concludes
    My playtest group here in Burbank, CA finished up our full playtest of the Siege of the Arkanis Sector. Here's how it went down!
    The Empire won, but most victories were narrow: This outcome alone encourages me that the SotAS has been a success, as the snowball effect was dialed way, way down from the CC. In every campaign round we played, the Empire maintained its lead, winning 2-3 out of 3 battles. Still, every battle or nearly every one was decided by fewer than 100 points difference. While the Rebels never managed to catch up, battles weren't blowouts and neither team felt particularly cocky leading up to a battle. We played with Shipyards as a strategic effect: One of the first requested revisions to the rules was an edit to the way that refitting your fleet works. Initially, I drafted the rules so that (a) ships almost never get repaired, and (b) you have very little restriction on removing and replacing non-unique ships. My playtest group was a little intimidated by the prospect of having ships be almost impossible to unscar, and also wanted to clamp down on the freedom to rewrite fleets (see next). After making the cost (in tokens) to remove scarring from a ship or squadron, meant to be occasionally affordable for only the most important things, most players chose to keep their linchpin squadrons alive (e.g., Jan Ors). In any case, it was clear that teams considered Shipyards to be extremely important. Losing forces felt trivial, if not unique: Players in our test group fought tooth and nail to keep unique squadrons, etc from being permanently lost. At the same time, they often commented that it seemed to hardly matter if generic ships or squadrons were lost, because they could be simply purchased again during the Maintenance phase. I recognized that defeat should sting, but I explained my design rationale as meant to give the losing side a catchup opportunity, and that I wasn't too choked up about fleets not being kept in a stranglehold by their losses. I'm more preoccupied with the experience of the side that lost battles than I am with the side that won battles. Still, players felt that it was sometimes unthematic. Regency Influence is strong: I knew the third-tier effect of the Regency Influence strategic effect (stopping a scarred ship/squadron from being eliminated) would be very strong. I figured if a group went to try and hold all three Regency worlds, they would be beset on all sides trying to hold them. The Empire managed to hold off these attempts to dislodge them from Arkanis, Issor, and Vasch (especially Vasch... poor Vasch), which left them with powerful tokens to spend over and over. We fought over a few key locations repeatedly: A handful of map locations were targeted for assaults at nearly every opportunity during our playtest: the Regency worlds and the locations of the Shipyards, mostly. A suggestion was raised during the playtest that perhaps map locations could become ravaged by war if they were fought over repeatedly, which would eliminate the benefits of holding it. So, for example, a location that was attacked a few times could become so embattled that it loses its strategic effect, even if defended successfully. This might help (a) avoid one side from camping on the most desirable locations, and (b) discourage players from endlessly fighting over the same locations. I suppose the fact that there even is such a bias toward certain locations means that locations could use more balancing. Victory Rewards tables worked, but some seemed better than others: Players expressed  a definite preference for certain tables, usually the ones that gave squadrons. I intended that some tables would be high-variance but with some very choice items. For example, you might get some lame ion cannons from the junkyard, but you might get a scarred flotilla. I will take a look at the balance of the lists when I'm doing my edits. A final version is coming: I'll be wrapping up a few to-do items next. Incorporating playtest feedback. Proofreading. Inserting some artwork and giving layout a once-over. Creating printer-friendly versions. Season 2 comes after that: I already have ideas for the next "season" of campaign rules. I'm plotting a bigger departure from the Corellian Conflict this time, to strike out in a different direction.
  20. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from GhostofNobodyInParticular in Siege of the Arkanis Sector - Now in final post-test edits!   
    Fleet Clash: All-Out Assault
    The Burbank, CA playtest group had our big finale the Saturday before last, and it was a pretty epic battle.
    The Imperial and Rebel forces converged in full strength on the stretch of debris-strewn space near the Old Corellian Run hyperlane...
    The Empire brought, all told, five Imperial-class star destroyers, plus a complement of support vessels and flanking ships. The Rebels brought the strength of the Mon Cal shipwrights, with three Home One-class MC80s (including Home One itself, plus Defiance), the Aspiration, the Mon Karren, an assault frigate, and a host of smaller corvettes and frigates. The Rebel fighter coverage was lighter, but they brought a network of transports to coordinate their bombing runs. The Empire brought wave after wave of TIEs, with a core of bombers and a handful of bounty hunters (the Fab Four, preach!). Finally, the Empire’s greatest weapon was revealed to be a pair of Cymoon 1 refits that were loaded ready to issue fleet commands (Entrapment Formation! and Intensify Firepower!).
     
     Vader’s flagship, the Interdictor, repositioned some of the sector’s obstacles, and the fleets exited hyperspace ready for battle. Unlike the mass conflict at the outset of the campaign, this time all four fleet commanders fully appreciated the importance of good hyperspace reinforcement placement, so careful deliberation went into claiming the best locations into which hyperspace reinforcements could suddenly emerge. The Empire’s gunline formed up into a familiar formation, loosely converging on the center of the battle, with outlying ships burning engines to wheel into the rear of the Rebels. The Alliance, meanwhile, formed a broadside file with Home One and other MC80-class cruisers at the tip of the spear. The Aspiration guarded the flanks and the cloud of X-Wings and A-Wings hung close to protect the fleet.
    Imperials had initiative for the opening round. Conflict broke out immediately in the right-most sector of the battle, where two opposing corvettes met and a Raider deployed its external missile racks to vaporize a Hammerhead. A small force of TIE Defenders pounced on the Hammerhead’s partner ship and dealt minimal damage. The Rebels threw A-Wings to block these Defenders, and they fought a fighter battle around the station and in the nearby asteroid fields.
    In the second round, the two fleets were clearly on a collision course that would meet at any moment. Star destroyers converged and threatened the onrushing Mon Cal cruisers with combined turbolaser fire, but still mostly only at the most extreme ranges. The Rebel fleet passed on the far side of a dust field, which blocked weapons from both directions and delayed a second front from opening on the Rebels’ left flank. Fighters continued to hold back on both sides, though skirmishes began to break out in sections across the battlefield.
    At the start of the third (and most decisive) round, both factions called in nearly every reserve ship. The Empire was forced to leave one of its star destroyers out still, in order to properly position its hyperspace beacon. Avenger emerged at the very front of the Rebel fleet, ready to launch Boarding Troopers and gut the first cruiser to close range. The Rebels responded by placing Mon Karren directly behind Avenger, and an assault frigate and CR90 to entrap Demolisher in the rear before beginning to lay into the heavier Imperial ships. With initiative back in Imperial hands, Demolisher opened the round by obliterating the corvette that blocked its path and accelerating into a turn to hide among the Imperial-classes. Demolisher's engine block was lit up by Mon Karren's turbolaser volley from behind, and it exploded. Avenger responded by completing its lethal attack sequence against the lead Rebel cruiser (which I believe was Defiance) and closing the trap around the Rebel convoy. Next, the Rebels returned fire and nearly destroyed the lead ISD-II. However, with their fighter swarm depleting rapidly and a final ISD joining the battle to the rear, the outcome was becoming clear.
    Did we finish the All-Out Assault? No. But we did have a great time and spend about four hours rolling dice in the most epic half-game of Armada I've ever played. The terms of the battle played into the Empire's favor, but the group has already said they're ready for Season 2. Now all I have to do is write that.
  21. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from ovinomanc3r in Siege of the Arkanis Sector - Now in final post-test edits!   
    The Playtest Concludes
    My playtest group here in Burbank, CA finished up our full playtest of the Siege of the Arkanis Sector. Here's how it went down!
    The Empire won, but most victories were narrow: This outcome alone encourages me that the SotAS has been a success, as the snowball effect was dialed way, way down from the CC. In every campaign round we played, the Empire maintained its lead, winning 2-3 out of 3 battles. Still, every battle or nearly every one was decided by fewer than 100 points difference. While the Rebels never managed to catch up, battles weren't blowouts and neither team felt particularly cocky leading up to a battle. We played with Shipyards as a strategic effect: One of the first requested revisions to the rules was an edit to the way that refitting your fleet works. Initially, I drafted the rules so that (a) ships almost never get repaired, and (b) you have very little restriction on removing and replacing non-unique ships. My playtest group was a little intimidated by the prospect of having ships be almost impossible to unscar, and also wanted to clamp down on the freedom to rewrite fleets (see next). After making the cost (in tokens) to remove scarring from a ship or squadron, meant to be occasionally affordable for only the most important things, most players chose to keep their linchpin squadrons alive (e.g., Jan Ors). In any case, it was clear that teams considered Shipyards to be extremely important. Losing forces felt trivial, if not unique: Players in our test group fought tooth and nail to keep unique squadrons, etc from being permanently lost. At the same time, they often commented that it seemed to hardly matter if generic ships or squadrons were lost, because they could be simply purchased again during the Maintenance phase. I recognized that defeat should sting, but I explained my design rationale as meant to give the losing side a catchup opportunity, and that I wasn't too choked up about fleets not being kept in a stranglehold by their losses. I'm more preoccupied with the experience of the side that lost battles than I am with the side that won battles. Still, players felt that it was sometimes unthematic. Regency Influence is strong: I knew the third-tier effect of the Regency Influence strategic effect (stopping a scarred ship/squadron from being eliminated) would be very strong. I figured if a group went to try and hold all three Regency worlds, they would be beset on all sides trying to hold them. The Empire managed to hold off these attempts to dislodge them from Arkanis, Issor, and Vasch (especially Vasch... poor Vasch), which left them with powerful tokens to spend over and over. We fought over a few key locations repeatedly: A handful of map locations were targeted for assaults at nearly every opportunity during our playtest: the Regency worlds and the locations of the Shipyards, mostly. A suggestion was raised during the playtest that perhaps map locations could become ravaged by war if they were fought over repeatedly, which would eliminate the benefits of holding it. So, for example, a location that was attacked a few times could become so embattled that it loses its strategic effect, even if defended successfully. This might help (a) avoid one side from camping on the most desirable locations, and (b) discourage players from endlessly fighting over the same locations. I suppose the fact that there even is such a bias toward certain locations means that locations could use more balancing. Victory Rewards tables worked, but some seemed better than others: Players expressed  a definite preference for certain tables, usually the ones that gave squadrons. I intended that some tables would be high-variance but with some very choice items. For example, you might get some lame ion cannons from the junkyard, but you might get a scarred flotilla. I will take a look at the balance of the lists when I'm doing my edits. A final version is coming: I'll be wrapping up a few to-do items next. Incorporating playtest feedback. Proofreading. Inserting some artwork and giving layout a once-over. Creating printer-friendly versions. Season 2 comes after that: I already have ideas for the next "season" of campaign rules. I'm plotting a bigger departure from the Corellian Conflict this time, to strike out in a different direction.
  22. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from GhostofNobodyInParticular in Siege of the Arkanis Sector - Now in final post-test edits!   
    The Playtest Concludes
    My playtest group here in Burbank, CA finished up our full playtest of the Siege of the Arkanis Sector. Here's how it went down!
    The Empire won, but most victories were narrow: This outcome alone encourages me that the SotAS has been a success, as the snowball effect was dialed way, way down from the CC. In every campaign round we played, the Empire maintained its lead, winning 2-3 out of 3 battles. Still, every battle or nearly every one was decided by fewer than 100 points difference. While the Rebels never managed to catch up, battles weren't blowouts and neither team felt particularly cocky leading up to a battle. We played with Shipyards as a strategic effect: One of the first requested revisions to the rules was an edit to the way that refitting your fleet works. Initially, I drafted the rules so that (a) ships almost never get repaired, and (b) you have very little restriction on removing and replacing non-unique ships. My playtest group was a little intimidated by the prospect of having ships be almost impossible to unscar, and also wanted to clamp down on the freedom to rewrite fleets (see next). After making the cost (in tokens) to remove scarring from a ship or squadron, meant to be occasionally affordable for only the most important things, most players chose to keep their linchpin squadrons alive (e.g., Jan Ors). In any case, it was clear that teams considered Shipyards to be extremely important. Losing forces felt trivial, if not unique: Players in our test group fought tooth and nail to keep unique squadrons, etc from being permanently lost. At the same time, they often commented that it seemed to hardly matter if generic ships or squadrons were lost, because they could be simply purchased again during the Maintenance phase. I recognized that defeat should sting, but I explained my design rationale as meant to give the losing side a catchup opportunity, and that I wasn't too choked up about fleets not being kept in a stranglehold by their losses. I'm more preoccupied with the experience of the side that lost battles than I am with the side that won battles. Still, players felt that it was sometimes unthematic. Regency Influence is strong: I knew the third-tier effect of the Regency Influence strategic effect (stopping a scarred ship/squadron from being eliminated) would be very strong. I figured if a group went to try and hold all three Regency worlds, they would be beset on all sides trying to hold them. The Empire managed to hold off these attempts to dislodge them from Arkanis, Issor, and Vasch (especially Vasch... poor Vasch), which left them with powerful tokens to spend over and over. We fought over a few key locations repeatedly: A handful of map locations were targeted for assaults at nearly every opportunity during our playtest: the Regency worlds and the locations of the Shipyards, mostly. A suggestion was raised during the playtest that perhaps map locations could become ravaged by war if they were fought over repeatedly, which would eliminate the benefits of holding it. So, for example, a location that was attacked a few times could become so embattled that it loses its strategic effect, even if defended successfully. This might help (a) avoid one side from camping on the most desirable locations, and (b) discourage players from endlessly fighting over the same locations. I suppose the fact that there even is such a bias toward certain locations means that locations could use more balancing. Victory Rewards tables worked, but some seemed better than others: Players expressed  a definite preference for certain tables, usually the ones that gave squadrons. I intended that some tables would be high-variance but with some very choice items. For example, you might get some lame ion cannons from the junkyard, but you might get a scarred flotilla. I will take a look at the balance of the lists when I'm doing my edits. A final version is coming: I'll be wrapping up a few to-do items next. Incorporating playtest feedback. Proofreading. Inserting some artwork and giving layout a once-over. Creating printer-friendly versions. Season 2 comes after that: I already have ideas for the next "season" of campaign rules. I'm plotting a bigger departure from the Corellian Conflict this time, to strike out in a different direction.
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