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Star Wars: Armada» Forums » Variants

Subject: Gundam: Armada rss

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Mark Bell
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Hi all -

Someone had requested a ship from my Shapeways shop in Armada scale, and then it started to snowball. I don't have any experience with actually playing Armada, though, so any help you could provide with stat suggestions would be great!

For reference, most of the capital ships are 200-300 meters long, have a couple of large beam cannons on turrets and maybe some missiles or machine guns, and can launch maybe 5-6 mobile suits in teams of three. There aren't any tractor beams or shields, but the ships hulls can take a little bit of a beating before major system damage. From what I have been able to gather, that puts the ships in the Small Base ship realm, but that's about all.

For the mobile suits, they tend to be mass produced and launched in teams of 3. There are a few aces, but a lot of grunts to go around. Most have bazookas or machine guns, some suits have a beam rifle that is comparable to a single capital ship beam cannon at half the range. GM types are faster than the Zaku types - again, no energy shields but most suits have physical shields of some size.

I think that there are existing ships and squadrons that can be adapted to these with a bit of tweaking, I just have no feel for the game. My FLGS owner keeps trying to get me to play Armada instead of Attack Wing, though, and this just might do it....

Click on the rendered picture for the Shapeways link, click on the card to be taken to the folder of images for now. Once I start organizing .pdf files, I'll just link to those instead of the photobucket folders.

0079 EFF:

Salamis Light Cruiser: http://shpws.me/Mu0M



Pegasus Mobile Suit Carrier: http://shpws.me/MCuh

Pegasus Class Refit Gray Phantom: http://shpws.me/OBAr


All Pegasus Class Ships:


Magellan Battle Cruiser: http://shpws.me/Mxvn



Columbus Class Transport Ship: http://shpws.me/OuQW



FF-X7 Bst Core Booster squads: http://shpws.me/MtMs



RGM-79 GM squads: http://shpws.me/Muzz



RGC-80 GM Cannon: http://shpws.me/ME5G




RX-75 MP Guntank Mass Production: http://shpws.me/MJxq



RX-77D Guncannon Mass Production: http://shpws.me/MLht



RX-75 Guntank: http://shpws.me/MLSP




RX-77 Guncannon: http://shpws.me/MOSG



RX-78-2 Gundam: http://shpws.me/MPAz



White Base Team: http://shpws.me/MQ1P


0079 Zeon:

Musai Cruiser: http://shpws.me/MuJq



Musai Final Production Type Cruiser (from 0080): http://shpws.me/OAqS



Chivvay Cruiser: http://shpws.me/MBLW



Zanzibar Cruiser: http://shpws.me/MBKv




Gwazine Mobile Suit Carrier: http://shpws.me/MCVz



Pazock Supply Ship: http://shpws.me/OyGU



MS-06F Zaku II squads: http://shpws.me/MxmU



MS-09 Dom squads: http://shpws.me/Mzc7



MS-14A Gelgoog squads: http://shpws.me/ME50



MSN-02 Zeong: http://shpws.me/MHGi



MAN-08 Elmeth: http://shpws.me/MGMK



MA-04X Zakrello: http://shpws.me/MIl6




MA-08 Big Zam: http://shpws.me/MGYn




Ground Forces

Gaw: http://shpws.me/Ouaz



More to come, thanks for looking!
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Very cool! I'll be watching with interest!
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Michael Ptak
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I will also be watching this one with interest.
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Mark Bell
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Thanks for the interest so far! Zaku is being more difficult to get Shapeways to accept it, but it's still in progress.

I've never played Armada before, although I'm hoping to remedy that in a day or two. Having a bunch of ships and such is great, but having stats and cards would make these much more useful.

Setting notes:
Gundam combat focuses very heavily on squadron engagements, letting the big ships sort of sit back and hurl beams at each other. Keeping to the 1/3 rule of squad point building should be important when costing, even with the focus on the robots.

Keeping in mind my absolute n00b status at Armada, here's my thoughts for the Salamis Class Light Cruiser:

It's a little larger than the CR90 Corvette, but decidedly smaller than the Nebulon B. It's definitely Small Base category.

It's a Cruiser with Mobile Suits literally strapped to the hull instead of a hangar. A low squadron value is probably appropriate, even though it had upwards of 12 in some scenes.

The ships tend to point at each other when fighting, rather than broad side. More front/rear shields and firepower, less on the sides.

AA fire isn't all that effective, so 1 blue seems appropriate.

It's not particularly maneuverable or fast, so it won't have great movement.

It doesn't technically have shields, although they're pretty important in this game, so Redirect might not be appropriate. I used Brace instead.

It doesn't have the best guns, but it's respectable.

Short answer - it should probably look a lot like the CR 90. A little cheaper, perhaps, due to the lack of maneuverability and speed.

Thoughts? I would really appreciate input since I really don't know much about what I'm doing. I'll do the ship base later - I should do some squadron cards, too. At some point I should do some setting specific commanders and admirals and such, but I thought this might be a good start.





EDIT: Small tweak, updated cost via Rogue Knight formula, made base.
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Chris Heupgen
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Waiting for more
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Michael Ptak
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I definately recommend playing some Armada to get a grasp on how some of the mechanics work before you launch into designing.

So immediately most of the Gundam-era ships are going to be small base craft, right? You'll have to design and consider the mechanics in such a way to reflect that. If most proper Armada small ships get an Evade, would you want to give Evades to the Magellan and Pegasus-class, for instance?

Also, upgrade mechanics. Do you intend on allowing your Gundam ships access to the standard upgrade cards?

And are you intending on making these cross-compatible with Standard Armada, or will it stand on its own?
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Mark Bell
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I totally agree - I'm going to go learn to play tonight.

Most Gundam ships will be small base - there's one or two that will end up being medium, but that's the scale I'm seeing. I'm using the existing ship scale to guide that - if someone does try a cross universe game, it'll look better.

I plan to hew kind of close to existing Armada ships and squadrons, with some tweaks for flavor. The stock game ships are already pretty balanced - no sense trying to reinvent the wheel. For example, the Salamis is mostly a CR90, with some tweaks to arcs (more focused, since Gundam ships rarely broadside), speed (slower), shield distribution (more focused, due to show flavor), and a defense token.

My general design goals are to have a fun game in Mod, but to still have a chance at a good game against stock ships. That's been my goal for the 40k mod I did, and it's worked out pretty well for the last few years.

I try to design mods conservatively - I'd much rather an opponent suggest I over costed something than feel like I cheated with an under costed home brew.

I'm planning on using stock game upgrades where applicable, and thematic replacements for faction locked cards. There are a few upgrade cards I'm kicking around in my head, since the focus of every Gundam show bar none is the mobile suit battles, but it's definitely something I'm not going to worry about until after I've got a feel for the game.

That being said - is there anything about the Salamis that jumps out as being under costed or over powered?
 
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Mark Bell
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Well, there was a miscommunication with the game store and I won't be able to try it for a bit (they said they had a store copy, they meant they had a copy in the store). A friend of mine has the game, so I'll try to catch up with him. Still, I'll keep plowing ahead with ships and maybe do a card for the Musai.
 
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Bill the Pill
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ScornMandark wrote:

The ships tend to point at each other when fighting, rather than broad side. More front/rear shields and firepower, less on the sides.

In the Gundam Thunderbolt comics and to a lesser extent in the Gundam Thunderbolt anime (4 parts, 17 minutes each, put together for one "film" and released a few months back), the big ships on both sides do fire in broadsides. Some of the back guns on Feddie ships can't fire forward, so there is more firepower available fighting this way.

Enjoying what you are coming up with!
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Mark Bell
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That's true, to an extent, but most of the ship fighting you see in the anime is dead on - typified by this clip from The Origin, but pretty similar to most shots from the show: https://youtu.be/tzP4L90CCWw

EDIT: I just rewatched Thunderbolt, and it definitely shows the Musai turrets firing broadside in one scene. All the Fed ships tend to be point on, though - I think having a forward focus is still probably reasonable, but the Musai also has better side arcs than the Salamis.

They can fire to the sides, but they have much better coverage (and smaller profiles) from the front.

There are definitely ships that are better at it - the Magellan and the Chivvay, for example, are better geared for broadside attacks, and their stats will probably reflect that.

In the meantime, I tweaked the Salamis a bit and ran it through RogueKnight's custom cost spreadsheet. I also have a Musai! Note - the 0 Anti-Squadron is very intentional - one of the Musai's biggest weaknesses was the lack of AA guns. That's what Zaku's are for

EDIT Again: Rebalanced everything in a spreadsheet and noted actual AA on the early Musai types. Hopefully semi-final. Pending tests

EDIT: Updated cost (formula typo) and shifted guns.





I need to do some basic squads next. I want to have a decent base of reference for both sides, then I'll start branching out.
 
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Mark Bell
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And now, the robots. In the show, the GMs and Zakus were the most heavily mass produced Mobile Suits of the war. Thus, they shouldn't be too expensive. There were some differences - the GMs were lighter and had beam guns, while the Zakus had mainly machine guns. Here's what I've come up with so far:

EDIT: Newer stats using MS Senki as a reference.









In other news, I've got a game lined up for next week, and I'm seeing about getting a second hand Core set so I can have some of my own stuff.

EDIT: Font updated.
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Michael Ptak
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I thought GMs ended up being superior to the Zakus. Remember that the MS-06 was old news by the time the Federation started their offensive, and GMs were the new hotness. The only reason the GMs might seem underpowered is because their real opponents were Doms and Gelgoogs.

I'd probably make both the same hull count (4?), make the GM faster, same battery (blue), same AA (three blue). Difference is I'd try giving GMs the keyword BEAM: During an attack, you may spend one [critical] die result to deal 1 damage to the target. I'd also make the GMs 1-2 more points expensive, if I was driving. Zakus could get counter 1 if they needed a balance.

But importantly I must stress, test this! Once you have the starter kit, try putting together some mock playtests to see how things shake out. We have plenty of "designers" here (myself included) who come up with these things but hardly talk about the results of putting them on the table and pushing them around.
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Mark Bell
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You know that's a fair point - I've actually got the MS Senki RPG book that gives just about everything from the OYW stats, I should probably refer to that more. I'd assumed the GM ended up being cheaper to make than the Zaku II, but that's probably not strictly the case.

As is, the GM is faster, but I gave it better battery and AA since the Zaku's have machine guns vs the GM Beam Gun. I'm trying to avoid making up too many new rules - if we use Beam as a special rule, don't the ships need that rule too? There will need to be rules for things like I-Fields, but a simple stat adjustment for beams seems to make sense to me, especially since the cost calculator I'm using takes the different dice values into consideration.

I'll boost the GM hull to match the Zaku - they're basically the same in the RPG book I've got, so that makes sense. The Zaku is really significantly slower - like half the speed, according to MS Senki, so I'll drop that to 2. I could add Escort to the GM as well - that'll bring their points up to 12. The MS Senki costs the GM at 229.1 CP vs the Zaku 167.5 CP. 12 vs 10 is pretty close to that cost ratio, I think, so I'll roll with that. Updated cards coming presently.

With that in mind, I'm going to go back and tweak the ships, too.

Norsehound wrote:
But importantly I must stress, test this! Once you have the starter kit, try putting together some mock playtests to see how things shake out. We have plenty of "designers" here (myself included) who come up with these things but hardly talk about the results of putting them on the table and pushing them around.


I 100000% agree! The 40k mod I did was the result of close to 6 months of work before the first play test, then about 2 months of tweaks before the next There aren't a whole lot of folks nearby who actually play Armada - I've got a game lined up for next week, and I'm really looking forward to it so I can learn how to play. I've also got a used core set I'm bidding on so I can start running mock games once I've learned the basics. To run some games, though, I'll need something to play with - that's why I'm getting some cards out to get feedback. Which I really appreciate!

Note I'm not making a lot of custom cards, upgrades or commanders yet - I've got ideas, but I'd like to get some games in first with what exists before I start going really off the wall.
 
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Making Zakus into mock TIE Fighters might work. Federation stuff can be more expensive, and the GM could be the cheapest of the Fed stuff, but also better in some way.

Regarding keywords... as long as you can distill them into something important about the unit, then it could work I think? True, this could go overboard with every Federation suit using beam weapons, but if it's a particular trait of a unit, then it can stand out. Like how a lot of things have Bomber... in fact, nearly every Rebel fighter in Wave 1 Armada has Bomber (except A-Wings), so maybe "Beam" wouldn't be so bad?

I dunno, I like adding new keywords because I think it can help the flavor. For instance certain Aces can come with the Keyword Newtype: Once per activation, you may chance the facing of any die you roll when you are attacking. This would let aces like Amuro and Char stand out with very unusual abilities. That or you could just make all newtypes Rogue too... *shrug*

Re: Testing
Even solo testing helps in my opinion. It's just enacting the mechanical process of pushing plastic and seeing what works and what doesn't. I've pushed some plastic for my Star Trek mod, but I don't see many others that do, and I know that should be changed if we're taking designing these mods seriously.
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Norsehound wrote:
For instance certain Aces can come with the Keyword Newtype: Once per activation, you may chance the facing of any die you roll when you are attacking. This would let aces like Amuro and Char stand out with very unusual abilities.


Love it!
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Mark Bell
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I've gone and set up a spreadsheet lol I'll be using the MS Senki stats as a base for all the ships and MS I can - it's the closest to official game stats for Gundams and Musai and Jicco and Gelgoog Cannons and all kinds of stuff. It's actually pretty cool - they're Mekton Zeta stats with some tweaks. The English translation fell apart in '03 or so, but it's a fun book. I'll be revamping the ships I already did to fit a little better.

I really like that Newtype ability - I'd been planning on just making them Rogue, but I do like that. Maybe I'll give them both - all the ace pilots will be single models anyways. Hm.....

I'd been planning on making Beam adjust the dice color for squads. My current dice algorithm (I just know you were dying to see it): Squadron Blue Dice = roundup (primary weapon kills / 3). If machine gun type, +1. If beam type, convert all dice after the first 2 to black. Battery dice: Squadron Dice -2.

This is giving me squadron dice in the 2-5 range, and an advantage to beam weapons.

On the other hand, flavor is the spice of life. Or something like that. I'll have to think about it - it's a good suggestion, and it'll definitely be something to play test.
 
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Here are some traits I've come up with in addition to the ones Norsehound suggested that may or may not be useful:

NT....................Once per activation, while attacking, you may set 1 attack die to any facing - h/t Norsehound, +5 points
Twin Link........Once per activation, you may Reroll 1 attack die, +1 point
Beam...............When attacking, may spend 1 [CRIT] to deal 1 damage to target - h/t Norsehound, +1 x total Anti-Squadron dice
Sniper.............May attack Squadrons at range 1-2, +2 points
Missile Spam...Adds 1 [ACCURACY] result to attack roll, +1.5 points
Fighter............If activated by the [SQUADRON] command, this unit may move again in the Squadron Phase, +1.5 points
Sturm Faust....Once per game, gain the use of Bomber for one attack, +1.5 points
All Range........May divide AA dice between any Squadrons at range 1-2, +4 points
I Field............Gain Scatter token, may only use Scatter token against attacks without Beam or any Black Dice, +2 points
360°..............Must divide AA dice between any Squadrons at range 1, max 4 dice to any target, +2 points

Some of these will be very unit specific - i.e. I Field only applies to the Big Zam, Apsalus and Dendrobium (if I make 'em). All Range only applies to a handful of Newtype units, and 360° would only apply to the Big Zam. The other ones are for more units.

I'll admit, the stats I've got for these units are mostly working out really well. The reference costs are kind of whack, but I think it'll come together once I start costing some of these new traits and unique pilots. There are a few units that have stats outside the normal range for squadrons, but I'm fixing those. For example, RX-78 NT-1 Full Armor currently has 9 Hull, which I'll probably fix with 2 Brace at 7 Hull instead.

My formula for gunnery and black dice is giving out a lot of black dice - I think I'll tweak it and use the Beam keyword instead. I really do like that, and I can use it to adjust costs as well.
 
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Unless you really want to go overboard on keywords Mark, don't overdo it. Keywords should be something general and appeal to the widest range of units possible when defined.

Beam Weapons, like Armada's Bomber, are significant on the battlefield and help seperate the older MS-05s/MS-06s/MS-09s from types specifically made to use beam weaponry. I'd agree that this keyword could be dropped, unless you wished to allow squadrons that could carry beam weapons not to, for the sake of game balance.

Newtype is there for the high-powered ace newtypes we know about like Amuro Rey and Lalah. Doubtless there are other newtypes out there that might equal the two of them in power (not sure about Char), like Banager or Camille.

You could even, in some instances, replace Newtype with Funnel:
Funnel: When activating, instead of performing an attack, you may perform an attack with 2 blue dice against a target at medium range.

Give the Elmeth bomber and Newtype on top of that and Lalah's scoring critical hits at long range. Only Amuro would be scarier somehow, probably with his pilot card specifying that he downgrades damage by 1 because he's piloting The Gundam.

Bomber can be back-ported from Armada for specific anti-capital ships (Like the Public class).

I don't think there were enough I-field carriers in the OYW to make a keyword out of it, unless you want to push past that. I think the Big Zam was the only one until post-war wasn't it?

Though every Gundam was made out of Lunar Titanium I think, unless you make every ace ability powerful enough to consider it (since when were there ever MP Gundanium machines?), you could make a keyword to cover that, like reducing damage by 1 after defense tokens are spent. Might need balancing though.
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Mark Bell
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Totally fair - I was seeing what I could come up with, and what thoughts other folks might have

I went through and made a spreadsheet of most of the MS and Ships I'm planning on making in the near future, using my current conversion formulas. I think it's important, because it lets me see what effect changing the shield factor affects all the other ships, or what happens if I change how I calculate a beam damage, or whatever.

Going through the list and assigning traits, right away I can pick out a few things that don't need general keywords.

Newtype is definitely going to be a Unique Pilot Ability instead of a general keyword - about 5-6 pilots have it, but they're all in unique units. I'll keep it costing the same, but I'm not going to make an icon for it.

Twin Link was an idea I had to deal with the twin beam guns on the Full Armor Gundam - easy enough to make that a special ability as well.

Sniper was something I came up with for the GM Sniper Custom - turns out Wave 5 actually has a Snipe trait, so I'll just use that instead.

Missile Spam is something I'm going back and forth on - there are a bunch of units that have a slew of rockets and such to bolster their attacks - not necessarily the main attack but part of the overall assault. There are a lot of units that don't really have that captured well otherwise, but maybe it's not too important. I could just add 1 red die to their attack instead - done and done.

Fighter was a way to handle the really absurdly fast thruster stats for things like the Saberfish and Core Booster. I could also just lock them at 5 and call it a day.

Sturm Faust isn't needed, off it goes.

All Range, I Field and 360 are definitely unit specific. If this Mod goes well, I'd like to start exploring other series (08th MS Team, Ground Combat? 0083+? SEED?), but for now there's definitely no need to keyword it. Plus, there weren't any mass produced units with I Fields - the best you get is beam shields in ~F91/V, but that's another story.

On the other hand, I think I still like Beam as a keyword - it applies to a lot of units but not all, it gives the Fed (and late Zeon) MS something to help them stand out thematically. Plus, I currently have the cost of it tied to the amount of Anti-Squad dice, which really helps adjust the costs for some of the specialized units.
 
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Bill the Pill
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Twin Links for the Guncannon units as well?
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Mark Bell
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I'd actually been planning on Bomber for most of the cannon type units - GM Cannon, Zaku Cannon, Guncannon, etc.

The Full Armor Gundam has a twin beam rifle - if I used total damage like I did with everything else, it'd have like 10 attack dice lol. That's why I was thinking of Twin Link for that unit.

I'm pretty happy with the spread sheet now - I'll start putting more cards out once I get the Zaku squad models finished.
 
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THANK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
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I don't have Armada, but I just wanted to say... THIS IS AWESOME!

I love Gundam and have actually been playing around with an adaptation of the Star Wars: Rebellion game engine to recreate the events of the One Year War; it seems like a lot of your sculpts would work well for that too [at a smaller scale, of course].

Anyhow, this is amazing work, I'm excited to see where this goes.
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Thanks for your interest! I'm glad you folks are interested too, hopefully you'll be able to do some play testing too

Here's the spreadsheet with the Armada-relevant stats shown. This is my current plan for suits and ships - does this look reasonable?



Note - * means unique.
 
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Michael Ptak
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Do you really need all of those variants? That's a lot of stuff to test. I'd stick to maybe a max of six generic units per side to get some testing in.

For the Feds, you could to the Ball, the GM, core fighters, then the big three (Gundam, Guncannon, Guntank).

For Zeon, it could be the Zaku-I, Zaku-II, Gouf, Dom, Gelgoog, and maybe a Gyan?

Once these suits are in a satisfactory place, you could move on to assault ships and mobile armors (Public vs Bigro for instance), just like Wave 2 of Armada with the Rogues and Villains.

The A/B model convention for Armada is really both a holdover from X-Wing and a need to print something on the back of the cardboard. Don't feel you need an A/B version of every ship if it's not necessary.

That said, You can use some ships as their base and Kai versions from Zeta.
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