I know V1 of Falcon Ace is out there (it's been downloaded over 100 times!) and I'm curious how difficult people find it. My main design goal for V2 is to keep most of the decision making without all the 'fiddliness' - including dropping many of the modifiers and creating play aids where possible instead of having the player create them from whole cloth. There is a specific thread in the forum for feedback. Any and all feedback is welcome. And you can't hurt my feelings - I know the game is very complicated and the rulebook is straight outta 1979 Avalon Hill. What I want to know, more than anything, is what you MOST find difficult and what MOST intrigues you about the game system. Your feedback is MOST appreciated and will allow me to create a great, FREE product that many people can enjoy! This game page has over 10,000 hits(which is incredible for an unknown game/designer!), so I know people are playing/lurking. PLEASE - YOUR FEEDBACK IS WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GEEKGOLD TO ME! :-)
FALCON ACE 1.0 IS COMPLETE... UPDATED DOWNLOAD SITE... GET IT HERE!!!
I have finally gotten the files into a condition to be played. FA 1.0 is finally complete and after making some revisions to the rules and cleaning up the rulebook a little bit, it is released!! The link to download the file as a single ZIP (keep in mind, it's still almost 45 MB!) is here: http://www.fileswap.com/dl/YSRdSjXLwX/Falcon_Ace_Release_Version_1.0_Files.zip.html. This is a free download, but I'd love your comments and feedback as I restart work on Version 2.0 (which is what you see here!)
Enjoy, and thanks for your patience! :-)
NOTE: The BattleBoard is 17" X 17". You will need to print it out by tiles or use an oversize printer. All other components are 8.5" X 11".
Some things to consider when you start your Falcon Ace adventure:
This is a COMPLEX game. It's not hard to understand any individual rules but there is a lot of detail. It is meant to be a tactical, second-by-second simulation of air and ground combat that is just outside the scope of considering aerodynamics and exact speeds/heights. So there are a lot of rules but these rules are based on a ton of research and playtesting. They are meant to be very accurate.
You will probably die. Often. Death comes from many forms in FA, and you are not the omniscent master of the air battlefield. This is a radical departure from other similar games - you are no 'better' than anyone else, in fact, you start out as a pretty wet-behind-the-ears rookie! Play defensively until you build up your stats and experience!
Your wingmen are assets, and are meant to be used. Just don't throw them away on situations where they are clearly not equipped. Also, it is OK to run away to fight another day if things get hairy. It is possible, due to the random mission generation system, to encounter situations that you can not possibly survive. This is intentional. Fleeing is not only OK, it is recommended, just as it would be in real life.
Pick your weapons carefully. Do you really need that AIM-120-C? You only get a few in a campaign; you can get an idea of how 'thick' your opposition will be when you plan your mission. Use that knowledge intelligently. Also don't forget about ECM/ECCM and fuel. Pods matter! But... watch that weight!
One major change that I forgot to talk about earlier for Falcon Ace 2.0 is the concept of initiative. In the old version, it was basically 'Falcon fire/use radar - enemy detect - Falcon move - enemies move/fire - missiles move/resolve'. While this may have been more 'realistic' it was clunky and added extra phases. Adding an initiative phase at the very beginning of the impulse creates a turn order - the higher your initiative, the closer to first you go. All the move/fire/missile resolve now take place in your ATA impulse, wherever it falls on the initiative track. However, if your initiative is too low, you can't move until the last part of your ATA impulse, so you can't 'react' by moving and then locking and firing. You do have the ability to 'bank' unused Actions to add to your initiative roll, so if you really need to go first you can not do so much in the previous turn and increase your odds. It's a great change that has really opened up the game and created additional strategic elements!
Like the Beatles sang, 'are you ready for a revolution?'
I haven't been lying low these past few weeks and months - no, I've been working on revamping Falcon Ace from the ground up! Almost everything will be rebuilt and redesigned, including the counters, graphics, and rules!! For Falcon Ace 2.0... Some of the *big* highlighted changes:
- 3/4" counters - no more peering through a magnifying glass or using tweezers to make your moves!
- Highly detailed graphics - I have substantially upgraded my design software, and I think you *might* be able to tell the difference! :-)
- Radial movement on Battle Board - no more 'count the squares; more realistic and intuitive board movement with arcs and range rings
- Redesigned weapon system - Now each ATA weapon has at least 2 ranges it is effective at, with many 3, each range with its own radar/target rating. Now targeting beyond the FCC's recommendations is possible, but with a low chance to succeed.
- All-new cards - Bigger (playing-card sized) and randomized - just draw your enemy from the corresponding plane pile; no need to look at a table and roll up each bad guy!
- No more number counters!! All numbers in the game are either pre-printed or have a slider accompanying them!
- Far fewer tables, and easier to read.
- Redesigned, cleaner Falcon Status Display.
- Help printed on the main board - common tables, movement and counter conventions are just a blink away!
- Rules that didn't come out of a 1978 Avalon Hill game - modern layout and no X.X.X.X.X numbering system! And with more pictures and examples!!
- Streamlined rules across the board. Worry about the big decisions, not the minutae! ATA combat rules and ground combat especially have been streamlined.
- All files are now in .PDF format, with the main board in either full-sized or tiled .PDF. Great quality and you can print out the big board at home!
- And most important... still free!!! My only currency is your feedback - that's how gaming systems get better!!
I have submitted some image previews of a few of the new files. To see them, look under the 'recent' tag in the gallery. I hope to have FA reloaded by next month. I am so excited at the direction it is going and people who have seen the new design and artwork are saying it's lightyears of what FA started out as!!
Check it out!
EDIT: 12/5/07: Version 1 of the rules completed.
EDIT: 2/20/08: Version 2 of the rules completed. More examples of gameplay, incorporated changes and additions to rules.
EDIT: 4/4/08: Version 3 of the rules completed and converted to .PDF format.
EDIT: 5/21/08: Version 4 of the rules completed and converted to .PDF format.
EDIT: 1/3/09: First release version of FA completed and released to public as a free P&P download.
TYPE OF GAME: DTP download