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Darth Sanguis

Fixing the frustrations of squadron play (a creative solution)

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2 minutes ago, Darth Sanguis said:

Well, they're not terribly hard to design. I'd prefer if people bought mine, I worked very hard to prototype, test, and fix these designs so that they'll last, but I'm sure there will be knock offs. All I can say is with mine, you'll never have bad shells or cheap infill, the pegs are metal and use rubber caps to hold the dial and slider in place. 

 

 

It's something I'll have to consider.

Yes, The plates will come with their matching infills. No point in selling them separate lol

infill? What's that, the colored disc that sits on the base of each squad? sorry, I'm confused.

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If they were just the dial piece and could jigsaw together to make stacks, then one could get say.. 15? numbered 1-15.  Then jigsaw them together as they need. 

I have 5 X-wings, a hawk and 2 E-wings... 1-5 stack. 6 on its own. 7-8 stack..
I have 2 Ints, Darth, Dengar, 2 Tie adv, Rhymer and 2 Firespray...  1-2 stack, 3 and 4 individual, 5-6 stack, 7 individual, and 8-9 stack..  etc.

 

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9 minutes ago, AllWingsStandyingBy said:

These are very awesome and innovative, but as much as I love them I'd be uncomfortable if I or my opponent was using them in the game.  I fear it adds a lot of time to the assessment-taking and decision-making aspect.  As obnoxious as all the dials and sliders are, there is a non-negligible value to having all of activated vs unactivated squadrons be immediately visually accessible when looking at the field.  Similarly when assessing the health of enemy squadrons, which can inform decisions about whether to use AA Fire or attack a ship. 

I just shudder a bit thinking about a field of 8 A-Wings vs 10 TIE Fighters in a big tangled furball. 

"So which TIEs have activated already?"

"TIEs 1, 3, 4, 6, and 9 are activated."

"Umm...okay...so here's 1, there's 3, uhh who else?"

...

"Okay...how many hits do these TIEs around me have left?"

"TIE 1 has... "


It's clever, it's elegant, it prevents bumpage and slidage, and it speeds up not needing to fish squadrons out of big tangled clumps to alter their stats.  That being said, there is something to be said for the objective visual clarity and time-saved in assessment and decision-making by having all the relevant stats of a fighter on the board.  I suspect that'll be a personal preference, kind of like people who like command tokens on their ship cards and people who like command tokens next to their ship models.



I come from a long background of Blood Bowl, and the community there had a strong preference for marking certain key relevant skills (Block, Dodge, Guard, for instance) onto model's bases or through adding colored bands to their bases or models.  Sure, you could just use the Player # on the model's base and cross-check that with the opponent's roster, but it was so much faster and easier to scan the field and think about options when it's immediately visually apparent to everyone who has what skills.



For that reason, I'd be uncomfortable allowing an opponent in a tournament to use these.  And I'd feel like a total jerk for doing it, of course, in no small part because these are beautifully executed and ingenuous solutions and I appreciate the effort that went into making them and the money folks will spend to acquire them.  I just feel like, in the PROs/CONs trade-offs, the immediate visual assessment of stats and activation state on the base wins out, despite all its flaws.

 

A few people during development shared your sentiment. They're not for everyone. But it's been my experience through the play testing that players were not only able to see which squads had activated but they dials as well. That said, the community I play with rare uses more than 10 squadrons, and when they do they are broken up in groups small enough that it's easy to keep track of numbers. So it's up to preference.

All this to say, don't let the pictures be misleading, if you ever see a group playing you should test 'em. decide from there. Tournament play I imagine would be determined by the seriousness of play. I just did a tournament and dispersed these through the players there and they found the time saved from not having to be ultra careful picking up and adjusting was much greater than time lost asking about squad stats. Hope you get a chance to try 'em! :D

Edited by Darth Sanguis

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6 minutes ago, Thraug said:

infill? What's that, the colored disc that sits on the base of each squad? sorry, I'm confused.

Yes the disks are infills. They "fill in" the place where the cardboard dial was on the squadron base lol everything is included except the official armada parts

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Very interesting idea, but I echo what some others have said... the ease of seeing A) who has activated and B) who has how many hull left is one of the great and important pieces of Armada, and this undermines it completely.  I wouldn't want my opponent using them, or to use them myself:(

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I really love the idea! I see how some people will not like it at all, though the offsetting of one of the more fiddly parts of the game would probably be worth it in my opinion, but I'd have to see it in use to really know for sure. I might have to look into trying these out at some point in the future when funds become available.

How do your colors work, are they only based on the size of the squad? So if I had two pairs of squadrons, I would end up with 2 Yellow 1s and 2s each? That means another identifier is needed as well.

The main issue I actually would foresee for me, is that space is already limited at tournaments, and so I might not be able to fit these on the table!

Edited by JJs Juggernaut

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44 minutes ago, Lord Ashram said:

Very interesting idea, but I echo what some others have said... the ease of seeing A) who has activated and B) who has how many hull left is one of the great and important pieces of Armada, and this undermines it completely.  I wouldn't want my opponent using them, or to use them myself:(

About 5% of the people who've commented here and in the group I originally shared this idea with share your opinion. Which is cool,  I understand not everyone is going to be sold on them. They do make processing fractionally more difficult, but ultimately, every player who's tested them (a total of 10 thus far) have said that the time and effort saved not touching the squadrons was well worth having to ask from time to time about stats. That said, I completely understand if you're not interested, however, should you ever encounter them in a casual setting, I would encourage you to give them a try. :) 


 

 

34 minutes ago, BlakLanner said:

Those are a wonderful idea.  Do you have any plans on designing a 6 squadron version?

At the moment no, but if a few people pipe up that they're interested I'll probably design one. All depends on the demand.

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2 minutes ago, JJs Juggernaut said:

I really love the idea! I see how some people will not like it at all, though the offsetting of one of the more fiddly parts of the game would probably be worth it in my opinion, but I'd have to see it in use to really know for sure. I might have to look into trying these out at some point in the future when funds become available.

How do your colors work, are they only based on the size of the squad? So if I had two pairs of squadrons, I would end up with 2 Yellow 1s and 2s each? That means another identifier is needed as well.

The main issue I actually would foresee for me, is that space is already limited at tournaments, and so I might not be able to fit these on the table!

The single units are only sold in black or white, they can be numbered 1-8.

The rest of the plates can be: red, blue, yellow, green, grey, orange, purple, or brown.

The only issue one may encounter, should these actually become popular enough that many people use them, is sharing colors with you opponent. In a rebel vs imp match, even if both players had a red plate, the color/ shape of the squadron would mark what belonged to who very easily. Ie... it's really easy to identify an xwing from a tie fighter in this game. However, should both player be playing the same faction, yes, matching plates would be an issue. That said, placing tags easily resolves this and would likely be required anyways during same faction fights.

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Also, would you be able to also sell on shapeways? They print in Europe with following benefits:

  1. I can buy them!
  2. Shipping is way cheaper (and sometimes free)
  3. I can buy them!
  4. The shipment does not have to pass customs
  5. I can buy them!

Would be very nice

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Very innovative and they look great.  Well done!  They're not for me though since it's so easy and dirt cheap to just put a metal washer underneath the squadron base.  I often bring extras and just give some to my opponents...

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11 hours ago, Darth Sanguis said:

Over the last year or so, squadrons in Star Wars Armada have become an absolute must in fleet building.  As the need for squadrons increases so does the need for a fix to the common frustrations of using them. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say there are few things more annoying than digging a squadron out from a group of squadrons carefully stuffed between two large ships. Many players suffer from having large hands or clumsy fingers, bumping or nudging ships and squads just to twist a dial or push a slider has become an accepted part of the game. In squadron heavy fleets it can become a point of no small amount of frustration.  Over the course of the last few months, I have developed an idea to alleviate some of that frustration.

This idea I've deemed the "Squadron Command Plate".

It's a 3D printed custom card holder. The card holder is a clearly defined color, and has set numbered slots. These slots correspond with a numbered infill that shares the same color. The idea is this: The player removes the cardboard dial and slider from the squadron base and places them in one of the numbered slots. Then places the corresponding numbered infill in the squadron base. The card holder now holds all of the necessary information off the play area, allowing the player to activate and use this squadron without interfering with other squads or ships in the play area.

These are the prototypes I had printed:

The single: designed for unique units only come in black or white and can be numbered 1-8
SCP1-1_zps83fjbwf8.jpg

 

The double: designed for standard fighters that typically don't get used  in high numbers, such as intel, relay, escort, ect.

SCP2-1_zpszyyzgmuu.jpg

 

The 4 wide: designed to be the perfect middle ground, perfect for bombers and anti fighter squads maybe even escort fighters.

SCP4B2_zpsyrwkdhyo.jpg

 

 

The 4 long: alternate version of the 4 wide, designed to be the perfect middle ground, perfect for bombers and anti fighter squads maybe even escort fighters.

SCP4A1_zpsfvkm1bnh.jpg

 

 

The 8: This is your typical zerg rush plate. for squads you run in high numbers.

SCP8-1_zpscsfaajjh.jpg

 

 

This is phenomenal! 

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I'd be interested if A wasted space below disks was reduced. B disk sick was available without card dock.  Just place the dock beside the card. C keep the activation slider on the dang squad.

 

Otherwise looking out for damage is the same as ships.  Although some players need to see the face on the dial for aces, they actually use that, and you really it away from them.  

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I really like these. Just a crazy idea but could you make the 8 version have space for 2 cards so that it could be used for squad of 8 or 2 squads of 4. Also it would be cool if you had a 4 version that could nest inside the other 4 so it ended up looking like an 8 squad with 2 cards but the top and left are 1 color and the bottom and right is another color. I'm not sure if I'm describing it well but I am thinking of reducing space on the table. Also on the single and double, it would be cool if the dial(s) were above or below card to also save on width. 

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I'd be interested if A wasted space below disks was reduced. B disk sick was available without card dock.  Just place the dock beside the card. C keep the activation slider on the dang squad.

 

Otherwise looking out for damage is the same as ships.  Although some players need to see the face on the dial for aces, they actually use that, and you really it away from them.  

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1 hour ago, Darthain said:

I'd be interested if A wasted space below disks was reduced. B disk sick was available without card dock.  Just place the dock beside the card. C keep the activation slider on the dang squad.

 

Otherwise looking out for damage is the same as ships.  Although some players need to see the face on the dial for aces, they actually use that, and you really it away from them.  

I've been in contact with a couple of people making a similar system, should they start production I'll shoot you a message

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