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Star Wars: Armada» Forums » General

Subject: Ugly Flying Model Stands & Bases. Not feeling the Love. rss

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Tom T
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It's weird that as the release of Armada gets closer, I am getting less and less excited about it. The subject matter is right up my alley, and the models themselves look great. But those bases are beyond ugly.

There is just one rule (in my book) regarding stands for flying models and that is that they should be invisible.

That's it. Very simple. This is especially the case with space combat games on a black starfield.

To elaborate a little, They should have as little information on them as possible. Anything more than the unit ID and the firing arcs are unnecessary. It's all on the card, right?

Why do they insist on making stands for these ships "clear" plastic? The fact is, they are not "clear." You cannot see through them. Why not use black plastic? I sprayed my X-wing stands flat black and the ships look like they are flying above the starfield. They look fantastic.

In Armada, they have thrown aesthetics out the window in favor of...I don't know what. We now have starships supported by very visible stems on bases that look like big plastic tables. Toss in all the wheels and disks and you have a starship flying over a messy dinner table. I look at the posted photos, and all I see are these big bases, and oh yeah, there's a star destroyer. The corvette looks absurd. The base is bigger than the ship. The ship is almost invisible for the clutter.

The more I look at it the more ugly the game appears to me. I would have thought they would have come up with someway to have all of the info included on the base incorporated into something like a fleet control panel that the player can have in front of them, where all the necessary information is easy to see. Then the ships themselves could fly around the starfield, with their minimal and almost invisible bases, looking the way they should look--like a battle scene out of the movies.

But what's done is done.
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Contemptus Mundi
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This is your destiny! How tough could it be?

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Matthew McFarland
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Personally, I love all the information presented on the bases; it means that much less crap clogging up my side of the table, and I don't have to reach over a foot of tokens and cards. I can also know the board state at a glance, including my enemy's ships (which I normally have to remember our ask about). Having said that, I can see the frustration with the aesthetics of the game, it's just that for me the payability increase is a big draw.
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Jefferson Krogh
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I know where you're coming from. Back when I painted up historical miniatures armies more frequently, I preferred to have very thin bases, flocked so that they really blended into the terrain. I didn't want the figures to look like playing pieces, you know? At the same time, when I'm playing regular boardgames, I want the counters to be as informative as possible.

Armada errs towards information, and that's fine with me, but you're right. Those ships would look great on plain black bases. Maybe this is a job for Litko.
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Allen T
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Eyefink wrote:
Personally, I love all the information presented on the bases; it means that much less crap clogging up my side of the table, and I don't have to reach over a foot of tokens and cards. I can also know the board state at a glance, including my enemy's ships (which I normally have to remember our ask abou)..


This, x1000

You are commanding a fleet from afar, gathering information from a holotable. Works for me, also explains the scale of ship size.

If your enemy has 6 ships on the table, with 4 shield arcs each, how would you propose displaying all 30 relevant data points in a way that is quick and accessable?
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Dan
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Yeah... I see what you did there.
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With the data on the table, I can see who has downed (and vulnerable) shields quickly.

Also, for competitive play, MUCH easier to see who is fudging numbers in their favor.

But for home play? Sure. Pop the base off, put it above the appropriate card and find pretty dark bases. (With arcs scribed on them.)
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Robb Minneman
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Jackasses? You let a whole column get stalled and strafed on account of a couple of jackasses? What the hell's the matter with you?
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The internet has become wonderful for these things. Don't like the bases? Make your own! Or get some information/template from someone else and use that to mock it up how you like it.

We're playing an X-Wing campaign down at the FLGS these days, and the GM is making up special, custom cards and bases for us. The Internet is awesome for that. Customization is quick and easy now.
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John Di Ponio
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I'm perfectly fine with the bases! I am just happy the game is close to being shipped to me!
 
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Tom T
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Okay then. I can see that my my beauty over substance opinion is not shared by the majority.


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Dave Smith
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Agree with the OP, I never look at the stats on the ships base in x-wing halfway across the table, much easier to look at the card.
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Brad Gravett
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I guess coming from a board game/card game tradition I would never imagine this being a turnoff. In fact, I've always thought the cards were awkward and that it would be great to represent *all* of a figure's stats on its base.

Not saying you're wrong, but my mind's been opened a little bit more. I can picture an X-Wing game with all-black bases and it would look pretty badass. Different strokes, I suppose, sorry the game has turned away from what you'd like.
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Scott Arnone
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Major Mishap wrote:
Agree with the OP, I never look at the stats on the ships base in x-wing halfway across the table, much easier to look at the card.


So you can see your opponent's cards all the way across the table easier than seeing their miniatures half across? Pretty interesting eyesight you've got there!
 
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Peter O
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For me the issue is shields. The shields being represented on the mini gives immediate and accurate info. Shields scored on a card means the info is farther away, needs to be rotated to match the ship facing (either physically or in your head) and needs to not be easily jostled or mixed up.

Aesthetics is a personal matter so I'm certainly not saying you should like it. But I'm just fine with how they represent things here.
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Jeff Yeackle
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Toshach wrote:
Okay then. I can see that my my beauty over substance opinion is not shared by the majority.


I'm with you. While I understand why they did it I prefer the cleaner look as if I'm seeing the battle and not a projection.

I've also never found 'on table' or 'off table' to really be any better than the other when gaming. I'll still be looking at their info and asking questions to find out details not on the base. Maybe with Google glasses or something similar where you can see everything about the ship by looking at it would 'on table' then totally kick ass.
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Magnus Mårtensson
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Toshach wrote:
Why do they insist on making stands for these ships "clear" plastic? The fact is, they are not "clear." You cannot see through them. Why not use black plastic? I sprayed my X-wing stands flat black and the ships look like they are flying above the starfield. They look fantastic.


They use clear plastic for you to be able to use them as display stands, and also because not all of us have plain black starfields. I myself use a mat with a green/red nebula that comes out great together with the clear stands. The same is true for their use as display stands: As long as you don't have a black display, clear stands work better.
 
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Peter O
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Isn't the fix trivial? Paint your bases black for non-tourney play. Print out a photoshopped ship overlay with the minimal info you want. Problem solved.

For tourney play accessible info trumps asthetics any day.
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Allen T
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I believe painted stands are legal in X-Wing tournaments.
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Leo Zappa
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Toshach wrote:
Okay then. I can see that my my beauty over substance opinion is not shared by the majority.




I also share your dislike of the bases for the ships in this game. They resemble small coffee tables. Definitely detracts from the esthetics of the game. Miniatures games are meant to be visually attractive, and the bases in this game dilute the attractiveness factor that is provided by the very nicely done models. The bases and stands should be minimal so as not to break the immersion factor of imagining starships flying about in deep space.
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Jut Daron
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Yep, I am in with Tom (OP), Jeff and Leo;

While I can not wait to get my hands on this game and I think that this is the game we have ALL been waiting for since '77, hey I turned 1 in '78!, I do remember having this thought when I first saw the pics from Gen Con last summer:

"Man, I hope those bases are just prototypes . . ." Ya, "Coffee Tables" all the way!!!

Now, I do like the shield representation, and I do understand having to have SOME stats on the bases; I was just really hoping that somehow they would have "slimmed" down the bases between Gen Con and release.

I am also coming from the Kitchen Table Sector with my kids, vs. the Tournament Sector (which is just good biz for FFG)and knowing that they need to do everything to make the GAME (because after all thats what this is) as viable as possible for people not to cheat and fudge stuff.

I am also in with MANY on here and the comments of: 3rd party designs and seeing what sort of "Pintrest" solutions to the Coffee Table bases will be.

Great discussion all!!!

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Dan
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Yeah... I see what you did there.
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Well, I will let you play with your modified models. That is if we ever hit the table together.
 
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Brad Gravett
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How would the bases be redesigned to not look like coffee tables? Maybe painting them black would help? Otherwise, I think their design is mostly informed by game mechanics.

Since we need the zones and firing arcs, and we need the have somewhere for the teeth on the Maneuver Tool to hang onto, the bases have to have the sizes and shapes they are now.

However I'm guessing it's the vertical height for the shield dials that people have problems with. So maybe Dremel off the legs and dial axles so that the base sits flush on the table. Then represent a ship's current shields by placing dice or counters on its ship card.

The remaining information, max shields, hull, attack dice, anti-squadron dice, all appear on the ship card. So we can probably remove the cardboard top to the base, paint it black, and paint the firing arcs on it.
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Matt Price
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Clearly what we need is an app! It will be important to make it mandatory to play the game.
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Grish
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The bases are ugly no question.

However, knowing what we now know about the mechanics of the game, what else could have been done instead of space coffee tables?
 
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Allen T
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R2EQ wrote:
The bases are ugly no question.


Reasonable people can disagree.
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Grish
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monkeykins wrote:
R2EQ wrote:
The bases are ugly no question.


Reasonable people can disagree.


Every person is entitled to their opinion, except reasonable persons.
 
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