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Nostromoid

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  1. 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!

  2. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from GhostofNobodyInParticular 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!

  3. Like
    Nostromoid reacted to Norsehound in Norse's Guide to making custom Armada ships   
    Ok, not so much a step-by-step guide of rules as much as general axioms to keep in mind when designing ships.
    So, I’m seeing a lot of custom-made ships on Armada… especially with regard to the Venator and Acclamator assault ships from the Clone wars now that *~*~*THE CLONE WARS*~*~*!! are coming back. And there are trends I’m noticing among them and many other customs out there that, well, make me kinda mad, honestly. These designs are presented with some very egregious advantages that have no thought for balance… Especially in the case of how they stack up against some pretty core designs and end up being superior (the last straw was seeing some Venator designs that made one poster ask, “Why would you ever take a Victory star destroyer ever again?”).
    So with this all in mind, I’m going to lay down some thoughts I want anyone making customs to think about. Consider it a public service announcement to benefit anyone like me who is tired of seeing overpowered designs and wants some quality in their custom content.
     
    Lesson 1. With Rare exceptions, Every ship has a weakness. Even if that Weakness is cost.
    The Arquitens has a very unusual movement profile. The MC80 Home One type has a speed of 2 with a low battery compared to other heavies. The Victory Star Destroyer has no recourse against accuracy with XI7s, and is locked at speed 2. The ISD is the most expensive ship in the game (barring the new SSD). The Nebulon-B has side arcs that result in nearly instant death if fired into.
    Almost every ship in this game has one obvious weakness. As you are designing your ship you have to ask yourself; where is an area this ship isn’t good in? What can’t it do well?
    If you are trying to make the next Imperial-class star destroyer, the best balanced ship in the game, then there is only one answer: Cost. It needs to be expensive, and typically more expensive than the other contemporary established ships already in the game and produced by FFG. The reason why it should be is because it’s likely your ship hasn’t gone through the battery of play-testing FFG has done for their ships to make sure they aren’t imbalanced. Before you can put your design out there in the world, unless you can show that the ship has had a lot of playtests to guarantee its fairness, over-cost it. Either over cost it, or give it a glaring weakness of some kind.
    I mean, consider the TIE Defender. Speed 5, blue/black AA with Bomber. It's the best starfighter in the game for sake of having a lot of advantages... but it's among one of the priceist starfighters at 16 points. It also has debilitating flaws of it's own- it's not great against aces (no swarm, lower chance for generating accuracy) and it's not a fantastic bomber either (not compared to two-dice monsters like the rogue Firespray and B-Wing), in spite of the fact that two dice are better at generating a hit and now you can use all facings on your battery die. Not to mention, you also need to command it in order to get the full use out of it.
     
    Lesson 2. What is your ship’s “Thing”?
    A Quasar Fire is a carrier. It is so much a carrier that it pretty much skimps on everything else… all for the sake of being cheap so you can use the extra points to buy some nice fighters. Arguably the Quasar is more weakness than strength (it doesn’t want to stick around when it’s getting shot at), but we know what the Quasar does and it isn't shy to tell you through it's stats.
    The Arquitens is an arc-shooter, unquestionably. The firing arcs point to a ship that wants to stay in the approach and struggles when enemy ships pass it. It's the only thing this ship does, you're not pressing it into a fighter role unless you're a veteran player chasing a dare.
    ISDs and VSDs are supposed to be kings of the battlefield and hallmarks of the Imperial aesthetic: Massive forward batteries with big hull and brimming with capability. But for their size they are typically expensive and hard to command.
    As an example from ships not made yet, let’s look at the Rendeili Dreadnought-class cruiser (Or Imperial Support Ship. Coming to a wave near you?). If you ask me what the thing is? It’s a tanky broadsider. To justify making it not astronomically expensive, I’d gimp it’s mobility and drop the top speed to 2, as compensation for the nice things I’d be giving it.
    From there I’d give it two braces and a redirect, healthy hull and shields, a Turbolaser and ion cannon on both variants with a weapons team, and the ever-present officer slot. But i’d lock it at speed 2, give it only one click on each of the speed joints (its smaller than the VSD, so just a bit more maneuverable), and not give it a support team. So it’s a space brick that sits there, turns ok, but won’t go anywhere fast. Maybe I'd make the arcs so restrictive too that you have to be almost parallel to it in order to hit anything with it. Kind of a reverse Nebulon situation.
    But you wouldn't look at a Dreadnought and think, "I can make a carrier/close range brawler/awesome support ship/ the next demolisher" out of that. If anything I'd want players to think, "Boy, it's almost Admonition levels of resilient except not with a title, at long range, and it's not going anywhere fast."
     
    Lesson 3. How does this compare to current designs?
    Pull out every medium Imperial ship card and compare them. What do you notice? You’ll probably see that every ship after the Victory Star Destroyer has some big critical flaw or another in relation to the VSD.
    If you need me to spell it out: the Quasar Fire commands fighters better but is weaker in protection. The Interdictor has greater resiliency and access to an experimental retrofit, but suffers in battery armament and commanding fighters. Crossing to the Rebellion the Assault Frigate has a good upgrade suite and is faster, but is under-armed and has less hull for sake of being cheaper.
    This is because you don’t want a design coming along that is even better at doing something that a ship in the game (published and tested by FFG) already does, without a trade off. Imperial players were using discounted VSD-Is and kitted ISDs as carriers before the Quasar came along as a cheaper option with better upgrades. The reason the Quasar Fire didn’t replace the VSD and ISD in carrier roles is because of the Quasar’s glaring weakness of not wanting to be shot at. Ah! A weakness! Look at lesson 1.
    So you don’t want a design showing up to make something obsolete without a trade off. If you design that Venator, it shouldn’t make someone think, “Well this is so great, why would I ever want to take a Victory?” It should be, "I want the protection of a Victory, but trade out my battery play for squadron support. Hey, a Venator!"
    Note that doesn’t mean you have to make a design poorer than a ship already out there- it just needs to stand out. Your Venator can be weaker than an ISD-I because it’s older, but of the same size. But your Venator has fighter 5 instead of fighter 4, and that purchase was made by making it slower and depriving it of some great flexible upgrade slots (like no ion cannons, torpedoes, or defensive retrofits).
     
    Lesson 4: Four Axies.
    Let’s see if I can make this chart here work in formatting:
     
    Cost
    Firepower – Fighters
    Support
     
    Say you have 9 points to allocate anywhere along these axes. The uneven number is intentional because no ship is going to be completely balanced along these lines. The point here is to consider the role of your ship… the more you go in one direction, the less you’ll be in the other directions. Something like the Arquitens is good in firepower and cost, but not fighters and supporting other ships. The Interdictor is a great support ship, but it suffers in cost, firepower, and fighters.
    You can consider a chart like this when you want to define the character of your ship and want it to suffer in a particular area. You want your Subjugator-class cruiser to come into the field? It’s got high firepower from the ion gun and fighter commanding, but it’s poor on cost (because it’s expensive) and it’s not a good support ship.
    A note here, Support is kind of a weak category on the basis of how decentralized support is. The Rebels get fantastic support out of their officer category (Look at Ashoka!), and the Empire only have something like the Interdictor. That is, only thing beyond Flotillas… which pretty much answer any support demand any fleet might desire.
    It’s not the only thing, though. Redemption would be a title that nudges a Nebulon closer to the support role. Fighter Coordination Teams, when they aren’t letting Yavaris circumvent their one restriction, are another support role item. Interdictors are overwhelmingly this from combo cards like Projection Experts and the Experimental upgrade slot cards. Support is often a category that is overlooked, but could be a fun area to explore that FFG’s upgrades so far haven’t yet- content with letting the flotillas do that work.
     
    Lesson 5: Test your designs
    This is why I’m not more prolific with my own customs, because I have that itch too. But I stop myself because when I’m about to go down that route I hear myself saying, “Well, I can’t say this design is completely finished, because I haven’t Tested It Yet.” Then I look at all the other designs just pumped out there, over and over, and I see a content creator who isn’t putting the care and love into honing their design into something truly special.
    It’s easy to make content, but not necessarily GOOD content. FoaS has made this very easy with Kuat Drive Yards… and the result is unchecked bloat. Go look for any popular design there you’ll see almost everyone having an opinion on specific starships (There are fifteen Venator designs of various sub classes on KDY as of this writing, and likely a lot more out there not on the database). If you were to pick up any of those designs and put them on the table, I’d almost wager real money there’s some kind of flaw that makes them not work well… or make you ask yourself, “Why would I ever take anything else?”
    I’m looking at one design right now with three Red AA dice. How does it feel to one-shot 13 point X-Wings at long range when it rolls 5-6 hits? Rebel players, does that sound good to you to have lots of hull carved away each time this thing decides to shoot fighters? Whats worse is that’s cleaning up after you’re hit with five fighter squadron activations. All of that is without upgrades of course, for 90 points.
    If your starships is doing wonders on the table and easily eliminating mainstay lists, you gotta wonder if people are going to find it fun to play against. In fact, during testing why don’t you give your ship to your opponent and play against it? See how fun it is when your ship is used against you. The best ships are ones that are on the table you don’t mind possibly facing in a tournament.
    It bears repeating, test your designs! If you’re not going to test it, at least consider all of the other points I’ve made here before pushing out an overpowered turkey that would make an Imperial player forsake any ISD to take your wunderwaffen.
     
    I think that's it, at least enough to get it out of my system.
    Guys, creating content is fun. But please, please put care and consideration into making it. Make good ships, not fanship ones. Nothing is perfect in the universe, and your design shouldn't be either.
    But imperfect can also mean interesting. Give me a speed 1 large ship with 5 shields on every facing and carrying 2 braces and 2 contains, hull 7. Add three offensive retrofit slots with an experimental slot, with blue/black batteries and fighter 3, command 2, engineering 1. Tell me That isn't interesting, because what I described could be the start of a hapan battle dragon!
  4. Like
    Nostromoid reacted to Flavorabledeez in Star Wars series   
    Grand Tour is the type of show to have very different budget constraints than this new Star Wars series due to the difference in material, so your example comes off as an “apples to oranges” comparison. Jeremy Clarkson’s quote is probably just an indirect reference to the hosts’ spectre of a bar tab that follows them wherever they travel to. “Background costs” indeed.
    As is, the stated cost per episode of the Star Wars show to me comes off as not giving the “fans” anything to pick at regarding visual quality when the previews start to come out, since said “fans” are sniffing around and looking for any reason to make a YouTube video about skies falling. Cause you know, “likes, bro.” This show is shaping up to be the flagship and a focal point for the launch of Disney’s streaming network. That alone justifies the cost in making it quality. So it’s less desperation and more just a smart business investment given how difficult the streaming market is to break into.
    But if you want desperation in a company’s actions, that would be the unexpected season of Clone Wars. Back tracking and letting beloved Filoni dip his toe in what was the (arguably) only good thing to come from the prequel era? That to me says desperation in getting people back onboard, so we’re in agreement there.
    And all I ever wanted was a Rogue Squadron show. Why does that always seem a bridge too far?
  5. Like
    Nostromoid reacted to Darth Sanguis in Star Wars series   
    This always cracks me up.

    Episode VII:
    "They didn't tell us anything about what happened over the last 30 years"

    Mini Series set after RotJ and before TFA:
    "Meh not really interested..."

    Or this classic

    Episode VII:
    "It's just a clone of A New Hope, it's too derivative."

    Episode VIII:
    "It's not enough like Star Wars! Childhood ruined!"

    lol




    Anyways, I'll be excited to see it.
  6. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from CommanderDave in New Player: How to divide upgrade cards from Core set?   
    The real answer is:
    For now, it doesn't matter at all. Share the upgrade cards from the core set. Later, if you venture out into the wider world of Armada, you'll each want the stuff like objectives, dice, maneuver tools, measuring tools, damage decks, and obstacle markers. This is only important if you go to a formal event like a tournament, and even then only at fancy stuff like regionals. Of course, the core set only gives you one set of each of these components. For now, don't limit yourself to what you personally have a copy of, or even to what either of you have a copy of. Use fleet builder sites to make fun lists, and "proxy" (aka, pretend) the upgrades you don't have. There's no need for the cards themselves to be on the table all the time if you have the text of what they do on hand, and all of that is available online anyway.
  7. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from LordCola in New Player: How to divide upgrade cards from Core set?   
    The real answer is:
    For now, it doesn't matter at all. Share the upgrade cards from the core set. Later, if you venture out into the wider world of Armada, you'll each want the stuff like objectives, dice, maneuver tools, measuring tools, damage decks, and obstacle markers. This is only important if you go to a formal event like a tournament, and even then only at fancy stuff like regionals. Of course, the core set only gives you one set of each of these components. For now, don't limit yourself to what you personally have a copy of, or even to what either of you have a copy of. Use fleet builder sites to make fun lists, and "proxy" (aka, pretend) the upgrades you don't have. There's no need for the cards themselves to be on the table all the time if you have the text of what they do on hand, and all of that is available online anyway.
  8. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from Megatronrex in Siege of the Arkanis Sector - Now in final post-test edits!   
    It doesn't look like much of a difference, but I've put a lot of time into iterating on the map images this weekend. Some of the planet images, for instance had, over the course of my many drafts, become too low-res, so I had to redo some of them. Also cleaning up most of the design by replacing cut-and-paste jobs with vectored shapes.
    The biggest problem I had to solve was how to keep text compact but also legible, especially on a map with lots of high-contrast black, white, and vibrant colors. Some pathways and hyperlanes go right through these locations, resulting in shocking white lines crossing right through the text and making it difficult to read. Drop shadows didn't look good. I considered adding little glyphy bits off of this sci-fi looking framework thing to put them in boxes, but I was afraid of adding even more detail. I think the best solution was to just have another see-through shaded area on the side to shade down the background elements. Yes, I'm a little embarrassed that I spent so long staring at gray translucent shapes and struggled for hours and hours to think of gray translucent shapes.
    But here's the newest draft of the planet Arkanis. On the first one, the text naming the objectives and victory rewards for the location follow the edges of the frame. On the second one, the text is left-aligned, better conforming to the new translucent back-fill, and it just treats the diagonal edges of the frame as the right-hand boundary. I prefer the second version, since it's kinda ugly to see the rectangular gray backfill not match the text in it. Although, it's slightly less compact, and I do miss that.
     
      
  9. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from GhostofNobodyInParticular in Siege of the Arkanis Sector - Now in final post-test edits!   
    It doesn't look like much of a difference, but I've put a lot of time into iterating on the map images this weekend. Some of the planet images, for instance had, over the course of my many drafts, become too low-res, so I had to redo some of them. Also cleaning up most of the design by replacing cut-and-paste jobs with vectored shapes.
    The biggest problem I had to solve was how to keep text compact but also legible, especially on a map with lots of high-contrast black, white, and vibrant colors. Some pathways and hyperlanes go right through these locations, resulting in shocking white lines crossing right through the text and making it difficult to read. Drop shadows didn't look good. I considered adding little glyphy bits off of this sci-fi looking framework thing to put them in boxes, but I was afraid of adding even more detail. I think the best solution was to just have another see-through shaded area on the side to shade down the background elements. Yes, I'm a little embarrassed that I spent so long staring at gray translucent shapes and struggled for hours and hours to think of gray translucent shapes.
    But here's the newest draft of the planet Arkanis. On the first one, the text naming the objectives and victory rewards for the location follow the edges of the frame. On the second one, the text is left-aligned, better conforming to the new translucent back-fill, and it just treats the diagonal edges of the frame as the right-hand boundary. I prefer the second version, since it's kinda ugly to see the rectangular gray backfill not match the text in it. Although, it's slightly less compact, and I do miss that.
     
      
  10. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from ovinomanc3r in Siege of the Arkanis Sector - Now in final post-test edits!   
    It doesn't look like much of a difference, but I've put a lot of time into iterating on the map images this weekend. Some of the planet images, for instance had, over the course of my many drafts, become too low-res, so I had to redo some of them. Also cleaning up most of the design by replacing cut-and-paste jobs with vectored shapes.
    The biggest problem I had to solve was how to keep text compact but also legible, especially on a map with lots of high-contrast black, white, and vibrant colors. Some pathways and hyperlanes go right through these locations, resulting in shocking white lines crossing right through the text and making it difficult to read. Drop shadows didn't look good. I considered adding little glyphy bits off of this sci-fi looking framework thing to put them in boxes, but I was afraid of adding even more detail. I think the best solution was to just have another see-through shaded area on the side to shade down the background elements. Yes, I'm a little embarrassed that I spent so long staring at gray translucent shapes and struggled for hours and hours to think of gray translucent shapes.
    But here's the newest draft of the planet Arkanis. On the first one, the text naming the objectives and victory rewards for the location follow the edges of the frame. On the second one, the text is left-aligned, better conforming to the new translucent back-fill, and it just treats the diagonal edges of the frame as the right-hand boundary. I prefer the second version, since it's kinda ugly to see the rectangular gray backfill not match the text in it. Although, it's slightly less compact, and I do miss that.
     
      
  11. Haha
    Nostromoid got a reaction from GunNut in Has Legion and X-Wing taken Armada out of the picture?   
    As much as we all love seeing this thread resurrect itself over and over again ?, it's time for my once-a-day Clippy post.
    "It looks like you're trying to retread the same Armada Ded Gaem conversation that's happening in half a dozen other threads simultaneously. Would you like some help going to the already-established threads that have been discussing every possible thought about the demise of Armada for years?"

    If there's no Gencon update...
    The shroud of the dark side has... not yet... fallen.
    Dear FFG: regarding new Armada articles
    Suggestion to FFG
    A Decent Ultimatum
    Armada is Dead should die.
    Love this game
    Sorry, not helping the community
    Yet another month almost over and FFG continues the Neglect
    I kinda hate Armada and here's why
     
    Yes, we've heard of Legion. Yes, we've noticed that Armada hasn't gotten attention lately. We have a wonderful community here, and it's wasted by this stupid complaining. Ask us about tips for deploying the Arquitens. Ask us for favorite loadouts for an MC80. Ask us for the best objectives to go with a Sloane fleet. If you've got a good idea to get more Armada content, then share it. But this is not that. You could always just make your own Armada content, like I'm doing.
  12. Like
    Nostromoid reacted to Jedirev in Darth Vader Officer   
    What if he allows you to replace your Admiral?

  13. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from OgRib in Siege of the Arkanis Sector - Now in final post-test edits!   
    Progress! From this to this.
      
  14. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from Fraggle_Rock in Siege of the Arkanis Sector - Now in final post-test edits!   
    Progress! From this to this.
      
  15. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from LTD in Siege of the Arkanis Sector - Now in final post-test edits!   
    Progress! From this to this.
      
  16. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from Megatronrex in Siege of the Arkanis Sector - Now in final post-test edits!   
    We'll call this map version 1. The earliest draft of the map, which looks nice and has various planets and locations nicely shown and labeled.  However, it's not really usable in a campaign, as the map ought to indicate the features of each location, and also should have room to mark locations as occupied, loyal, etc.

     
    And this map version 2. It obviously has a lot of extra information, but it's cluttered. The images of planets aren't very functional, and the infoboxes seem to draw all of the attention away from the pathways and layout of the sector, which is a shame because this map should be a visualization of the overall campaign and should definitely give an at-a-glance depiction of friendly territory and hostile territory.

     
    Version 3 is only at the stage of using this model to represent locations, or something along these lines. It would be much simpler, graphically, than version 2, and each location would exist exactly where it should, with no additional infobox floating nearby. The colors and the appearance of the funky glyphs are still up in the air, but I think this version has some legs.
    Also, my map-making instincts led me to these 3D crescent shapes as little frames for the locations. However, they look more like metal blades than anything else, and that wasn't really my intention. That's not very Star Wars-y, and is more on-brand for some D&D campaign. I'm looking around for some good inspiration for what a graphical frame from Star Wars would look like. So far, I seem to be on my own in creating it.

     
    @ovinomanc3r, did you think that the blue of version 2 looked sad? I agree that the amount of flat gray textboxes is pretty harsh on the eyes.
  17. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from Megatronrex in Siege of the Arkanis Sector - Now in final post-test edits!   
    First, the bad news:
    This map looks awful with those infoboxes. Behold its hideousness!

     
    The good news:
    I think there's some potential for locations to be depicted more like this?

    Thoughts? Coloring preferences?
  18. Like
    Nostromoid reacted to Snipafist in Funny names for the SSD   
    Space Ball One is the correct answer.
  19. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from RyonOlson in Mon Calamari Star Defender (or other Rebel Huge Ship) Thread   
    The Rebel huge ship needn't be a 220-400 point monstrosity like the SSD. It could be the power level of the lowest SSD prototype and still be awesome. In fact, it would make more sense to do that. The SSD may introduce Armada to epic play and huge ships, but it should realistically represent the upper limit.
    The Viscount is legitimately hard to distinguish from the MC85, and that's a problem. With sliding scale, the dimensions alone aren't enough to make it different from a future Raddus ship.
    But that's fine. The MC85 is a barely-renamed facelift of the Viscount. They might not even be incompatible. They could easily be called part of a single class of ship, and the new Disney canon could just smooth over any irregularities and standardize the size to the Raddus. Either way, the New Republic stopped making MC85s when they signed the Military Disarmament Act at the end of the GCW, so that puts the construction of these ships squarely in late-GCW period. Boom. Get them into Armada pronto, though maybe don't undermine the SSD just yet by giving the Rebels a rival for it so soon.
  20. Like
    Nostromoid reacted to Mikael Hasselstein in Super Star Destroyer discussion thread   
    You're the one who seems to be upset.  My apologies, I did not know that I was touching a really sore spot. I figured that since this was just about a difference of opinions over toys you would take the friendly ribbing as intended.
  21. Like
    Nostromoid reacted to Mikael Hasselstein in Super Star Destroyer discussion thread   
    I love it when my Schadenfreude comes in all caps.
    ..like Rebellion? (which is an awesome 4-hr game) (Or Twilight Imperium....)(Or Corellian Conflict final battle...)
    How much money was that?
    Oh, my friend, only now at the end do you understand...
    No, no First Order here.
     
     
     
     
     

  22. Haha
    Nostromoid got a reaction from LordTesla in Forums are for speculations, so let’s speculate, what is “Something Big”   
    @Mikael Hasselstein Sithster
  23. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from Megatronrex in Forums are for speculations, so let’s speculate, what is “Something Big”   
    @Plessiez Thank you. But the credit doesn't go to me alone. I could never have won the throwdown by the flagpole after study hall without @Battlefleet 01 Studios. I hope @Mikael Hasselstein and @Megatronrex don't take their utter defeat by my prognosticatory powers too badly.
  24. Like
    Nostromoid reacted to Mikael Hasselstein in What scares me about the SSD   
    Hmmm, please all of the other SSD naysayers come to this thread so that I can bask in your anguish.
  25. Like
    Nostromoid got a reaction from LordCola in Inflight Report is live (Link in comments)   
    Crabbok asking the important questions: Armada for Clone Wars?
    "I'd say it sounds like a big omission." No further comment. So, maybe still could happen?
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