“Talon Tuesdays” is an article series appearing on InsideGMT periodically on Tuesdays. It features articles from the Talon development team regarding the game’s design, development and upcoming release of the Talon 1000 expansion. Since Space Empires:4x Replicators is also releasing soon and there is crossover between the two development teams, Replicator articles will be featured as well.
Issue #31 Talon 1000 – State of the Fleet
The State of the Fleet: The Talon Armada Part 1
Talon 1000 is more than just an expansion that provides new scenarios. It has a new Empire War campaign and more terrain and ship counters too. Talon 1000 also brings new variants to the current fleet structure for both fleets. From the fledgling SCE to the Fusion wielding BCH, fleets now have new options to fill the gaps while trying to construct fleets to a specific point value.
Previously, if a player wanted to make a Talon 300 point fleet with a large ship, say a DN or BB, they would have to pair that ship up with and awkward point count.
DN(218 SP)+FF(44 SP)+FF(44 SP)=206 SP
Add to this that these are the only options in that bracket range, and fleet structures get tight and predictable.
The same also occurs as fleets get excessively large as well. With one box, your fleet structure at most can support 2000 points (not counting bases or transports). This means that playing even a 1500 point scenario means only 2-5 ships will likely be sitting out of the scenario, giving a player very few choices and varying the experience quite minimally.
Now that we’ve identified the issues in the quantities and varieties of ships provided in the original base game, let’s look at a few of the varieties we’ve added to the Talon fleet to help alleviate these issues.
The following Talon ships have had extra counters added in the expansion: +4 FF, +4 CL, +4, CA, +4 BC, +3 BB, +3 DN. In addition, we added two new FF variants, 3 DD variants, 2 CL variants, 1 CA variant, and 2 BC variants, all of which have 4 counters each. With point costs ranging from 37 to 161 SP, these ships fill the gaps in point costs so that the gaps between classes are as small as 1 point and no larger than 19 (excluding the Dreadnaught of course).
“This is great,” you may say, “but point costs are a bit too mundane for me to get excited about this expansion.”
To that, I have this response – ship loadouts! Missile Fleets! Frigate with Afterburners! A Fusion Cannon on a Battle Cruiser! There is more variety, more specialization and more choices in how to fill out your strategies. Looking to do that 3 CA fleet, but expand it to a 400 point match? Normally you would slap a DD on and call it a day, but that leaves you at 393 points. Instead, perhaps add in the DDX for 55 points and get all the way up to that golden 400 point mark! Just gaze on this glorious improved ship with its newly mounted Disruptor and its standard array of missiles!
How about a 600 point Missile Fleet? Normally you would toss out your 3 BCs (142 SP) and 3 DDs (48 SP) and then realize you only have 30 points left, and have to drop one of your ships for something with less missiles. Swap one of your BCs for an improved BCX (161 SP) and one of your DDs for the above DDX (55 SP) and wham! 596 SP and you filled those 30 points with an extra disruptor, an extra missile battery and more shields and power on your newly chosen Flagship the Halberd!
Got a 300 point mission where you need to catch some escaping transports? How about a pair of DDXs alongside 4 of the new FFX (47 SP) with their shiny new Afterburners! Nothing but fighters can match the speed of these ships, and their 8 disruptors and 4 missile launchers could handle even a carrier full of fighters with ease, and all for a cool 298 points.
As you can see, add just a bit of variety and the options unfold dramatically. In fact, each faction has 100 pre-designed fleets ranging in point values from 250 to 1100. Also included are Base scenarios and transport escort missions. And that only scratches the surface of Talon 1000, because the AI faction, they have 3 classes of ships and fleets designed for each of the above point brackets as well. We’ve got a new terrain type, a new Empire War campaign map and even some new lore for you to sink your teeth into.
Stay tuned for more on the next Talon Tuesday.