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TheVillageIdiot

I really love SW-Armada, I really do. But….

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Has anyone else played Battlefleet Gothic?

For the uninitiated, it was a game put out by Games Workshop dealing with space combat. It was a very good game, but one of the main attractions was that there was an excellent campaign system built into the main rulebook. The scenarios that were available were much more varied than simply picking some different cards, and revolved around attacking planets, escorting supply convoys, clashing picquets or patrols, and so on. Each scenario involved different set-ups, some ships arriving from reserve, different fleet builds, etc.

This set the tone for the game in general. FFG instead has focused on a strict tournament style game. Encouraging players to move away from that, especially when you've actually got to build your own campaign rules or scenarios, is very hard. It's very difficult to encourage players to leave the 'standard' game behind to start using house rules. And I think that's very sad. It's also a problem (IMO) with X Wing. Too much focus on the tournament style game and not enough interesting scenarios, narrative driven campaigns.

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I gotta disagree with Armada being a great tournament game. Simply put, it's too damned fiddly. The fighters getting moved is fine, but in every game i've played the capital ships end up in a furball that makes using the movement template a nightmare. And I must apologize, but 'hover and estimate' just isn't precise enough for tournaments.

I love the game, but i'll be at gencon with a bag of popcorn waiting to watch the fights break out over movement.

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I agree that 6 rounds is BS. In all the games I have played for fun we only played death matches with unlimited rounds. We tried 6 rounds and in that time there was nothing resembling a game. It forces you to either kill one squadron and run away or charge in and get killed. No time to maneuver strategically. I played in a tournament and lost the first 2 games because they just took 175 or so point fleet (this was an 180 core only tournament), to get initiative and all the squadrons. Ran up, used squadron command, killed all my squadrons, and ran to the edge of the board and hid. Super boring. But people who just want shiny prizes will do that. I came to have fun, instead I got to shoot once and meander around for 5 rounds. lame turn limit. This will probably turn into an at home game only sadly. I really wanted to have fun at tournaments too. :( All the fun cinematic games we played were about 8-12 turns. We had a great time and that is what I wanted from this game. I am very disappointed that the tournaments will be so lame. I know they had to do it for time, but the first rounds are quick anyway so I think 8 turns would be a whole lot better. think the objectives are fun though, they really spiced up our games, as opposed to, bad guy sees good guy, good guy sees bad guy, they fight.

Don't forget that there is an optional rule to remove the 6 turn limit, IIRC when used first player status alternates each turn.

It's near the back of one of the booklets - on a train so can't confirm which

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How did I not see this thread earlier?  

 

I played an Armada tournament recently and it was a little tiresome.  2 hour games can make for a long day.  even when capped at 3 swiss rounds.  

 

I enjoy more thematic play as well.  for me, its ALL about Rebels vs Empire.  I loathe mirror matches.  

 

6 turns is an interesting mechanic, I can see a few reasons why they chose it.  Time would be number one and secondly, strategy.  As a mostly Rebel player, I've won a few matches simply because I chose to Repair and Navigate for the last 2 turns.  I had scored my points, now I needed to keep my remaining ship from dying.  

 

All that being said, it would be AWESOME if FFG created a campaign & scenario book.  like....seriously, mind-bendingly awesome.  Espescially if it came with new obstacle & planet tokens!  

 

Hnnnnnnnnnnnng!

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I certainly think it's within the realm of possibility for FFG to release a scenario/expansion book, but they'll need time. After all, they haven't finished fleshing out the two starter factions yet (Wave 2 still 'In Development'). This might just be a patience game to see what turns up over the next year. I know that may sound like a long time, but, you know, real life and stuff. 

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I gotta disagree with Armada being a great tournament game. Simply put, it's too damned fiddly. The fighters getting moved is fine, but in every game i've played the capital ships end up in a furball that makes using the movement template a nightmare. And I must apologize, but 'hover and estimate' just isn't precise enough for tournaments.

I love the game, but i'll be at gencon with a bag of popcorn waiting to watch the fights break out over movement.

Eh, if people can play 40K competitively, they can certainly do so with Armada.

As an aside, are there any FFG tournaments run along GW lines? Like, a two day event? Especially with Armada going to 400 points, I can see a 2.5 hour time limit per round becoming a thing. Most GW tournaments (not necessarily run by GW, just by the gaming community) had three rounds on the firs day, then two rounds and awards on the second day.

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I remember those white dwarf campaigns back then in my warhammer times, so it sure is possible to have a group of connected people playing out several scenarios, with the outcome affecting the future way of the campaign. One could announce a new scenario every week, with players reporting their results and possibly pictures (if they so do like) in the forum. Based on the average outcome of all played scenarios the setup for the next week would change to fit the odds.

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I do not know if FFG is actively monitoring these forums, but if yes:

 

Dear FFG, could it be possible to add a SW:Armada subforum called 'Scenarios and Campaigns'. This way we could share our design efforts in one place.

 

Thx!

Yours Truly,

The Village Idiot

 

Well, I'm sure that they have alerts set up to notify a monitor when someone writes in bold script. :P

 

But I do agree that we should have the subforum you speak of. As you know, I have some campaign/scenario ideas and I've been reading yours as well. It would be good to have future threads about those collected in one place.

 

I'm going to make the suggestion to ffgjosh by sending him a message, as well as some suggestions for threads to move there.

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Well, I'm sure that they have alerts set up to notify a monitor when someone writes in bold script. :P

You are quite mistaken: the alerts are set up on general politeness. Well, I guess not a many alert is sent! :)

 

Well, if bold script, politeness, or direct messages don't work (we should give them a few days), maybe we can start reporting eachother's messages. :lol:

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A modification that I was considering was to pick an objective card in advance, and then each player gets 10 minutes to build a fleet, up to a specific number of points. Initiative flips between players.

 

Alternatively, you're allowed to "sideboard" up to 20% of your fleet strength, and alter your fleet in response to the mission parameters. 

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Campaign is a nice idea. However, there is the difficulty of making both the strategic and tactical level both meaningful and interesting. A game of Armada as is is fairly balanced and a challenge on the tactical level. Something you avoid on the strategic level like the plague. If there is a taskforce of a Nebulon B and a Corvette around, as an Imperial admiral you don't want to match it with a Star Destroyer. You want to crush it with 5 Star Destroyers. To achieve this would be a challenge on the strategic level, but utterly boring on the tactical level.

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Campaign is a nice idea. However, there is the difficulty of making both the strategic and tactical level both meaningful and interesting. A game of Armada as is is fairly balanced and a challenge on the tactical level. Something you avoid on the strategic level like the plague. If there is a taskforce of a Nebulon B and a Corvette around, as an Imperial admiral you don't want to match it with a Star Destroyer. You want to crush it with 5 Star Destroyers. To achieve this would be a challenge on the strategic level, but utterly boring on the tactical level.

 

Yes, very much agreed. I think the trick is to make the strategic level slightly tweak the conditions, stock scenarios and/or objectives, but not fundamentally unbalance the tactical engagement. Obviously, that hurts my simulationist soul, but above all the game has to be fun. Also, I think the narrative stakes that a campaign lends to Armada games is where the big benefits to enjoyment are.

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Our group has been beginning to consider the idea running a campaign as well.  I'd anticipate we have enough players to run at least 3-4 simultaneous battles each night (monthly).  A few initial thoughts:

 

1)  The game's objectives seem like they're an ideal pre-existing mechanism to vary the gameplay already.  As oso97 suggests, perhaps the moderator picks several objectives for that night's battles, and the players have to assemble their lists from forces available in the sector.  The point values would remain the same, but you have to make do with what ships/squadrons are available in your area.

 

I think keeping the initiative bid is a good idea though - I think it's a balanced mechanism and leaves the choices in players' hands.

 

2)  This involves more recordkeeping, but persistent damage would be a nifty idea that would encourage players to preserve ships instead of sacrificing them in the game.  The teams would have a certain number of engineering points to repair damage between turns, and replace ships and squadrons...perhaps depending on the planets they hold.  That would be an incentive to accomplish the mission while incurring the least damage possible on yourself.

 

3)  I'm not sure about the unique characters - I'm thinking they might be unique for the sector?  And ships too..  But that might be unduly limiting for the tactical portion of the game.

 

That's only my initial rambling thoughts....it'd be great to hear what others have done or are doing.

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Our group has been beginning to consider the idea running a campaign as well.  I'd anticipate we have enough players to run at least 3-4 simultaneous battles each night (monthly).  A few initial thoughts:

 

1)  The game's objectives seem like they're an ideal pre-existing mechanism to vary the gameplay already.  As oso97 suggests, perhaps the moderator picks several objectives for that night's battles, and the players have to assemble their lists from forces available in the sector.  The point values would remain the same, but you have to make do with what ships/squadrons are available in your area.

 

I think keeping the initiative bid is a good idea though - I think it's a balanced mechanism and leaves the choices in players' hands.

 

2)  This involves more recordkeeping, but persistent damage would be a nifty idea that would encourage players to preserve ships instead of sacrificing them in the game.  The teams would have a certain number of engineering points to repair damage between turns, and replace ships and squadrons...perhaps depending on the planets they hold.  That would be an incentive to accomplish the mission while incurring the least damage possible on yourself.

 

3)  I'm not sure about the unique characters - I'm thinking they might be unique for the sector?  And ships too..  But that might be unduly limiting for the tactical portion of the game.

 

That's only my initial rambling thoughts....it'd be great to hear what others have done or are doing.

Yea, probably keep the initiative bid. That does lend a strategic air to the missions.

As far as the uniques, well, my thought on that is that while Wedge may be the leader of Rogue Squadron, who is to say there aren't other squadron commanders equally capable of good heroics, but we just lump them all in under the general heading "Wedge."

Speaking of "squadrons" the other thought that comes to mind is starting out the campaign with "super squadrons" consisting of a ace and 3 (2? 4?) other squadrons that must be deployed together, initially. Then those super squadrons can merge to fill losses in subsequent battles.

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I think the biggest hickup is the overall price. $100 dollars at the LGS for the base set, then another 40 to 60. While with Xwing, you can get in it seems alittle cheaper. At my LGS seems most folks are teaming up to combine fleet to reach the 300 for one side. vs another.

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Campaign is a nice idea. However, there is the difficulty of making both the strategic and tactical level both meaningful and interesting. A game of Armada as is is fairly balanced and a challenge on the tactical level. Something you avoid on the strategic level like the plague. If there is a taskforce of a Nebulon B and a Corvette around, as an Imperial admiral you don't want to match it with a Star Destroyer. You want to crush it with 5 Star Destroyers. To achieve this would be a challenge on the strategic level, but utterly boring on the tactical level.

You are right, but sometimes you dont have not enough forces to force onesided battles. And even than you could also fight a battle of 300 vs. 180 points in which the side with less points win when they can flee or force a stalemate.

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I think the biggest hickup is the overall price. $100 dollars at the LGS for the base set, then another 40 to 60. While with Xwing, you can get in it seems alittle cheaper. At my LGS seems most folks are teaming up to combine fleet to reach the 300 for one side. vs another.

 

Not really relevant to the topic, but I was just pricing out a new Mechanicus army for 40k.

 

For the codex, two squads of troops and a handful of vehicles (only a small army, equivalent to less than 200 points of armada) I was looking down the barrel of $342.

 

And that's with 20% off.

 

Armada is so cheap in comparison it makes me feel giddy.

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