Noble Armada Design Blog #1

Hi everyone, with the upcoming beta release of Noble Armada I wanted to share some of the thoughts we had as we were creating the new version of the game and why we made some of our design decisions. We really looked at the types of games that were out there now and the previous versions of Noble Armada, as well as some other games from FASA’s early days.

In this blog I am going to touch on how we determined what the battle zone was going to look like, and the scale of it.

Movement and Scale

When developer Chris Handley and I were discussing the game in the early design phase, we stated that we wanted to play on a standard tabletop but have the option of playing larger scale games when space was available. This decision led us to going in the direction of freeform movement. With free-form movement, as opposed to the hex based model of older games, even without any special battlemat or other materials we could put a few spaceship models out on the table and start blowing things up!

The other major design effect that using the tabletop as our baseline was having to use centimeters as a scale rather than inches. That scale allowed us to really give the ships a sense of movement without clashing in the first round. It also lets a player mix different speed ships to set up some strategy for when the enemy fleets are detected.

Battle Zones

In Noble Armada and Fading Suns, battles can take place in any part of solar system. Some close to the system’s star and as far out as the jumpgate. Conflict can be over contested resources, defending against invaders, or just because nobles feel like seeing who is the superior tactician.

Whatever the cause for battle, adding elements to the battle zone can make for an exciting, or devastating, option to the game.
One example of a battle zone feature is the system’s star itself. When battling in the coronal zone, random mass ejections of stellar material can strip shields, burnout electronics, damage ships, and leave them blind and exposed to enemy attack.

Battle zones can be randomly created when setting up a game, or predetermined by a chosen scenario.

Feel free to join us in the Noble Armada Forums to discuss this and all other aspects of Noble Armada 3e.