Archive through August 24, 2012

Star Fleet Universe Discussion Board: Star Fleet Battles: New Product Development: August 2012: Pick the next SFB module: Archive through August 24, 2012
By Joseph R Carlson (Jrc) on Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 04:56 pm: Edit

Gary,

Yes I would like to see both Omega-Paravians and GW-Paravians in the next two products. Having a covert presence in the Alpha sector prior to Y214 is what I am interested in (as close to Y200 as is reasonable). From there one could develop conjectural what if scenarios and campaigns.

By Mike West (Mjwest) on Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 05:31 pm: Edit

SVC:

Quick question: There are multiple requests to shoe-horn the Peladine/Paravians/Carnivon/Borak into the "historical" setting. (Beyond where they are known to be thus far.) Is that gonna happen?

I ask because until that question is answered, I see votes for two completely different versions of C6, which would seem to heavily dilute any support for it.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 05:48 pm: Edit

Joseph:

I agree that it would be interesting, but it would likely have to wait until after Y202 (when the Souldra onslaught was already over, and when the back of the Andromedan invasion was broken by the success of Operation Unity).

Since the Paravians are not reported to have taken part in Y204's Operation Concerted Strike, they would only have to worry about clearing the RTN nodes (and dark matter caches) in their home space; though even that would likely push things back to around Y205, and the dawn of the Seventh Cycle (since the core territories would need to be secure before getting back to the business of preparing for the Jihad).

Also, we'd probably need to know more about the route the Paravians took to get to Omega. If whatever route they may have taken during the original exodus was still open to them, getting back to raid the fringes of Gorn space might be an option; if not, they'd need to figure out a new way to cross the Void instead.


-----

To follow up on Mike's question, I would add; even if the Carnivons are said to be gone from Alpha entirely, could a door be left open for their own exiles to flee to Sargasso?

(That would likely mean that any Sargasso-Carnivons would not be covered by the rules and ships done up for GW-Carnivons; but it would at least keep the possibility alive of such an option being investigated later on.)

By Steve Cole (Stevecole) on Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 07:35 pm: Edit

I cannot see any real way for those dead empires to get into the historical general war universe. We have published the History of the General War and they aren't mentioned.

Carnivons/Paravians: A few refugees fled to a place a long way away. Returning? Not sure why they'd want to, but historically, they did not.

Peladines/Borak: Pretty much trapped on their own planet in the infancy of space flight with no plausible concept of how there could be a population of them somewhere else.

By Xander Fulton (Dderidex) on Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 07:40 pm: Edit

So that would point to the proposed Module C6 as a nearly-entirely-simulator module?

Can't say I'd have much interest in that, then. Revising earlier preferences to:

Choice #1) Module Y4
Choice #2) R13

By Josh Driscol (Gfb) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 08:59 am: Edit

To me it would be enough that the C6 empires could be used in non historical campaigns and scenario's.

My vote would be for C6, but I dont know if the Nicozians are a good fit for the module. If you have an alternate for them I would pull them out of C6 in favor of another empire. Of the 3 playtest modules I've purchased in the last 2 years the Nicozians are the least interesting to me.

I have always wanted to see what the Chomak from C5 would be like, there history was pretty interesting but there technology and ships are a complete mystery as far as I know. Ive always liked the LMC setting and would prefer something from there or even Omega over the Nicozian's.

Unfortunatly all my gaming is done on SFBOL. And products which wont make it there where I have to play the game have much lower priority for me as a game consumer. Unless the eventual goal is to make the ships and empires featured in C6 or any of the other proposed next products available for online play I would just be tormented by looking at them. But this is a seperate issue from what module to publish next.

By Stephen Elliott Parrish (Steveparrish) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 01:16 pm: Edit

I would prefer an Omega module. Finishing the LMC would be good too--I would be interested in seeing the Chomak.

I would like to have the Xorks. I like the Nicozians too--I am playing a PBEM game with them now and they have interesting technology. Historical races and situations (like any of this is historical) are better than non-historical. The Paravians are in Omega--let the Omega races be finished with them there. Since the Carnivon's are historically not in Alpha during later history, it would be better if they were set in the Sargasso section. Are there any other races ready for the Sagossa sector? I suppose it is too late to put the Borak or Peladine there.

By Steve Cole (Stevecole) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 01:23 pm: Edit

You'll probably all get at least some of what you want, but not necessarily the first in line.

By Randy Blair (Randyblair) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 01:46 pm: Edit

Ok, no poll.

X2 - because it is a natural progression of the timeline of the SFU, which does not necessarily have to correspond with "canon" Trek in "the next generation". Most of the General War era SFU is pretty well locked down. What I mean by that is that in the Alpha Quadrant, at least, the history is basically set in stone, and there seems to be very little wiggle room.

Y4 - for the same reasons as X2, except in the opposite direction.

I can be happy with an X1B release before X2.

I have zero interest in any non-Alpha material or anything that would substantially change F&E.

I can also be happy with an R13 module, but I'm one of those rare geeks who LIKES "historical" ships, even if they aren't sexy and cool.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 02:10 pm: Edit

If Omega were to be chosen this time around, would there be a separate discussion at that point regarding exactly which particular sub-choice of module might then be taken; or would that kind of decision be factored into the discussions going on already?

By Xander Fulton (Dderidex) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 02:16 pm: Edit


Quote:

Most of the General War era SFU is pretty well locked down




I've seen that stated a few times, but I honestly just don't agree with it.

Heck, World War 2 is FAR more documented than any part of the SFU General War - literally, entire rooms full of books on the topic - yet new parts of the history keep being rediscovered and documented all the time. For a period of time that has literally billions of times more material written on it to have new corners of the history constantly discovered certainly points to the SFU's General War time period as having plenty of room for expansion. Heck, you could find history book series on WW2 as large as everything written in the SFU to date that still don't even mention Slovakia's participation in the invasion of Poland (or World War 2 in general) or the entire Khalkin-Gol campaign (arguably critical in deciding Japan on the Pearl Harbor gambit).

So I do get a bit frustrated to see dismissive attitudes along the lines of 'everything about the General War is known and nothing can be discovered or added'. Everything about World War 2 isn't widely known, and much less has been written about the General War in the first place - despite it being (comparatively in number of years covered) a far larger affair.

Sure, I get that we can accept 'all the major campaigns are covered' and 'all the major empires involved are covered'. But that still leaves plenty of room, if we want to have a richer story setting, for other details. And the almost-worst implied position "if it wasn't a major campaign or major empire, it actually didn't exist at all" just seems silly to me. (Especially when, looking at our real human history, it's often the small players that have the most interesting stories to tell)

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 02:29 pm: Edit

Xander:

I would sooner say that the General War may be largely tapped out in terms of new ship types; especially ones that there might be room in the various production schedules to actually build.

In terms of fiction, there could still be plenty of individual battles and camaaigns to cover; but how many of those need to have more ships published for them than are avaiable already?


Frankly, I find some of the notes in the memo to be quite telling, in terms of how much room to expand there is in different parts of the SFU.

Most of the ones which would be set in the Alpha Octant (save for X2) are noted as struggling to find enough interesting new ships for them to be published; even C6 mainly offers fleets that, for the most part, only exist in the simulators (or in a Stellar Shadows-esque alternate timeline).


In contrast, there are no less than nine entire modules' worth of historically valid ships for Omega that are wide open for development; even more if you consider other options (such as the potential for an Early Years Omega module).

Plus, the LMC has room for at least one full module's worth of new material; and there are entire new galaxies (Triangulum, as well as whatever material about M81 we may one day see in Prime Directive Tholians) or regions of the Milky Way (Sigma, Sargasso, the Xorkaelian Empire) that have yet to be given any formal publication.


Right now, it feels that there is still a lot of TL12 material for Alpha that has yet to be ported into FC, Starmada or ACtA:SF; games where many of these ships and classes would still be "new", and would make more of an impact (not least as they get ported over into the Starline 2500 miniatures range).

But for SFB proper, perhaps the point is being reached where, in order for the game to continue to be able to innovate to its fullest potential, it ought to do what it is arguably best at; serving as the vanguard into the kind of "strange, new worlds" that are waiting to be explored in the broader SFU, and to use the likes of X2 as a means of tying those settings that are within reach of Alpha through Y225 together.

By Steve Cole (Stevecole) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 02:29 pm: Edit

You aren't likely to discover a new nation that took part in WW2 and went unnoticed until now.

Even Brazil sent a division of troops to Italy.

Are you really going to claim that Uruguay sent a panzer division to Stalingrad and nobody noticed until now?

By Robert Cole (Zathras) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 02:50 pm: Edit

I would put myself in the C6 camp, but would go with the 4 "Conquered Races". This is primarily because I want to see the player-created races published. It gives me hope for my own designs... :)

My 2nd choice would be R13, but I fully understand that it is hard to develop new and interesting ships for a game as fleshed out as SFB. I think we could develop a few interesting designs for a module K2, so that might be a good place to start.

By Xander Fulton (Dderidex) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 03:08 pm: Edit


Quote:

Even Brazil sent a division of troops to Italy




And Mexico sent aircraft to fight in the Philippines against Japan, and Uraguay sent pilots to Europe who flew with France, South Africa send tank and infantry divisions to Europe, Brazil contributed not only significant ground forces but air forces and engaged in naval operations, as well, etc.

And, heck, how many (of the public) even know that Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary were proper 'Axis powers' in the war? In the case of Romania, even fielding a navy and warships that fought the Soviet Union. That the Dutch actually had a significant navy, with several cruisers and large destroyers, that fought Japan in the Pacific? Or how often do WW2 history classes cover any part of the Winter War or Continuation War between Finland and Russia?

What has been written on the official General War history to date (such as this document and the timeline here) tends to read like a general history of the war, the likes of which most history classes cover. The non-major events, or non-major players that did have an impact...like the above items...seem to be missing entirely. There are no minor powers mentioned!

One interpretation - that many seem to have, especially when suggestion topics come up - is that they simply didn't exist. World War 2, by that telling, would consist of only the US, UK, France, Russia, Germany, Italy, and Japan.

I really don't hold that view, though. It seems more likely that, as with history classes at school, the history we have to date only the major events are covered...so while other nations certainly DID contribute and partake in the war, they are just rarely discussed, and only when they come up. And I'm more interested in the minor powers, the navies that fought battles with their own ships, but weren't a major player - your Greece, Romania, Turkey (still fielding a battleship battlecruiser in WW2, although technically neutral!), Netherlands, heck even Cuba sank a U-Boat, etc. The official GW history mentions nothing of smaller powers that surely must have been there, just not major players so not in the high-level historical documents.

Summary of above: If looking at a view of World War 2 history that covered just the nations having battleships and/or aircraft carriers, you'd end up with a list of participants roughly the size of the number of SFU empires in the General War. If you take that just one step lower, though, to WW2 nations fielding/building/buying cruisers (or equivalent armor or air forces), you'd find the list of participants to double in size. It doesn't make the higher-level view wrong, or even inaccurate, just incomplete. It seems that is what the SFU is at the moment...the 'battleship and carrier' forces only. I want to see the 'cruiser' navies, too.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 03:20 pm: Edit

Xander:

The difference there is that, so far as Federation and Empire is concerned, the minor powers didn't exist; at least, not as direct participants in the conflict.

(The LDR and WYN Cluster were neutral, the Orion Enclave was only present as a separate neutral power for a relatively short time, the Tholians were dragged into the war by Operation Nutcracker, the Vudar were not "officially" claiming those Hydran provinces as part of the Coalition, and the Seltorian Tribunal operations were more of an adjunct to the crisis.)


If you want a large-scale war with grand coalitions of major and minor powers on either side, there is the Second Great War; where the Union and Bloc members had widely varying fates, more than a few had concurrent entanglements with "neutral" powers, and where the borders in Y191 looked very different than they had in Y180. (And would change radically again, as the Andromedans and Souldra made their presences felt.)

There's no F&E module currently in place to lock things too tightly in, either.

(And you even have an escape clause with the relevant timeline. Since the records for the various Cycles were compiled by the Chlorophons, a species that has been shown to have a few of its members act a little, um, nuts from time to time, it could be argued that they simply missed everything there was to know about the smaller events to have taken place in each era. They have an in-universe point of view in their record compilation; so there's no guarantee they managed to catch everything that was going on.)

By Steve Cole (Stevecole) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 03:21 pm: Edit

The point, Xander, is that the Germans/Japanese knew the Brazilians, Uruguayans, and Romanians were there and accounted for them.

You cannot add an off-map empire to the general war without explaining where is the Klingon/Lyran/Kzinti/Gorn fleet guarding that border (since it's not in the OB) and where are the rules to use that fleet in other theaters and why does the economy of those empires not reflect the other fleet.

If there was any indication that a Peladine-Borak-Carnivon alliance existed in the Delta Sector we'd already see things in F&E to reflect it, and those things cannot be added now without destroying F&E.

By Xander Fulton (Dderidex) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 03:29 pm: Edit

Sort of making a 'defined suggestion' from the above thoughts...

What I'm interested in is the SFU equivalent of:
- The Netherlands conflict with Japan in the Dutch East Indies, highlighting minor nations with their own custom-design cruisers and destroyers engaged in raids against larger empires
- The Winter War between Finland and the USSR, again featuring up to cruiser-sized fleets alongside the large-scale land and air combat (well, battleships on the Russian side and coastal defense ships alongside destroyers on the Finnish side)
- The Black Sea campaigns, in which Romania and Hungary get in on the action of attacking Soviet merchant shipping, battleships and cruisers, etc.
- South America's (primarily Brazil's) defense of the coast against U-Boats and patrol for German raiders, in many cases using unique designs (although largely bought from foreign yards and refitted)

...etc

EDIT:


Quote:

You cannot add an off-map empire to the general war without explaining where is the Klingon/Lyran/Kzinti/Gorn fleet guarding that border (since it's not in the OB) and where are the rules to use that fleet in other theaters and why does the economy of those empires not reflect the other fleet.




Right, and to be clear, I'm not really suggesting that.

The idea would be more to 'fill in the details' of what could just be high-level representations at the moment. F&E says "the Federation" had x cruisers and x dreadnoughts available to it, and you just use them (at that scale) as heavy cruisers or dreadnoughts...it doesn't matter (at that scale) that 2 of the cruisers and 1 of the dreadnoughts isn't actually anything like a Constitution-class Star Fleet Heavy Cruiser or Federation-class Star Fleet Dreadnought, but belongs to an allied state within the Federation territory that designed and built them, and they were integrated seamlessly in the Federation navy (and perform - at that scale - identically).

Not necessarily suggesting the above, either, but just pointing out one way in which 'adding detail' like this could be executed on.


Quote:

If there was any indication that a Peladine-Borak-Carnivon alliance existed in the Delta Sector we'd already see things in F&E to reflect it




While I didn't make that suggestion, so cannot comment authoritatively on it...I believe the gist of it was that such an Alliance existed without anyone in the rest of Alpha knowing about it. The Carnivon were even thought to be extinct. So if "nobody knows they exist", they wouldn't have changed their F&E deployments to predict their presence.

By Jeff Johnson (Jeffro) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 03:44 pm: Edit

@Nerroth "Frankly, I find some of the notes in the memo to be quite telling, in terms of how much room to expand there is in different parts of the SFU. Most of the ones which would be set in the Alpha Octant (save for X2) are noted as struggling to find enough interesting new ships for them to be published; even C6 mainly offers fleets that, for the most part, only exist in the simulators (or in a Stellar Shadows-esque alternate timeline)."

This seems to be a rather strong argument to me. I change my vote from C6 to Omega.

While I primarily play Alpha... I detest simulator material. This then leads to a choice between 3 new empires for Omega or new ships for 7 existing Omega empires. I suggest going Paravian, Nucian, Vulpa because there was interest for Paravians in a hypothetical C6. If it is possible to get play out of this module without having to buy multiple Omega modules, that's even better.

By Xander Fulton (Dderidex) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 03:55 pm: Edit

Although, to make one more comment before getting back to work...


Quote:

...we'd already see things in F&E to reflect it, and those things cannot be added now without destroying F&E.




I'm not sure that conclusion follows from the premise. That is, while (for example), Japan certainly planned for battle with the Dutch navy...they didn't deploy their fleet to "deal with the Dutch menace". They didn't establish bases to secure their front against the Dutch. etc - the Dutch had to be dealt with, but the scale of the fleet capabilities were just so different that 'dealing with them' for the Japanese Navy was just a line-item on their agenda for 'how to start World War 2 in the Pacific'.

Putting that in SFU terms...

A minor power between the Kzinti and Klingon borders that had a fleet of a cruiser or two, a half dozen destroyers, with not even something as powerful as a base station in defense... Well, it would not require the Klingons or Kzinti to build starbases to cover it, deploy fleets to watch it, etc. Each side would just take note that, upon time to invade the other (assuming this system was known to be friendly one way or the other), a couple ships should devastate the world on their way through.

(The key thing is that I'm suggesting 'minor powers', here. Species that don't have bases, and just launch their ships directly from their planets or moons. Nothing bigger than a light cruiser, or maybe as the 'flagship of their fleet' something scaled to the heavy cruiser size. Not anything big enough for the neighboring empires to specifically plan around, other than to note they are there. Not every species in the SFU needs a dreadnought and a starbase!)

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 04:01 pm: Edit

Xander:

So, essentially, you'd consider the Delta thing to be akin to what happened with the ISC?

As in, the Gorns and Romulans had no border fleets out that way prior to Y168, since they didn't know the Concordium was out there; but adjusted their deployments afterwards.

The question then would be just how far into the Delta sector the Far Stars Duchy and Hydran Old Colonies reach into; or, perhaps, how close to the Alpha-Sargasso Void the Lyran(/Klingon) and Hydran survey ships have reached through Y185.

If the Void is a known barrier by the end of the General War, there'd be no more room this side of Sargasso to add anyone in; unless you had someone arrive there from somewhere else in a later time period.

(Though the prime candidate for that "somewhere else" seems to be the Xorkaelian Empire, as opposed to the Sargasso octant itself.)


As for "minor powers", it sounds like you are referring to the likes of the Bis'en or Wasp People; independent worlds that are too small to show up on the F&E map, but which would be taken into account by the local fleets (of whatever empire happens to be in control of the region at the time).


Jeff:

While I would hope to see the current crop of Omega powers fleshed out a bit more, I can see the appeal in adding those three empires in sooner rather than later.

(Indeed, here's an idea for a scenario; what if the GSX Sakharov had a Gorn exchange offcer on board during its voyage through Omega? There were several long-range missions by Paravian raiders across a large swath of the Octant by that time; if any of them discovered that he or she was on board, they'd likely stop at nothing to try and kill him/her.)

By Steve Cole (Stevecole) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 04:52 pm: Edit

Xander, the Japanese did deploy to meet the Dutch, in the sense that the Dutch were just part of the whole allied fleet.

The theory that one DN and two CAs in the Fed Fleet are some allied ship is kinda dubious. It doesn't work economically. The first ship of an entirely new type costs three times what the second one costs, and no minor allied state could afford it. At best they might provide a few frigates. Even then, they'd do far better to buy Fed frigates because of the supply and spare parts situation. We already have mentions in the publshed history that some star fleet ships were crews by Mantor, Cygnus, Bisen, and others.

By Steve Cole (Stevecole) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 04:54 pm: Edit

Here's a point to consider.

Say there is in fact a Borak-Peladine-Carnivon alliance in the far side of Delta and "nobody knows about it".

First, that's kinda dubious. Delta isn't THAT big (20 hexes across) and the Lyran survey ships (not to mention Hydrans and Kzintis) are going to run into it pretty quick.

Second, assuming such a series of empires (which maybe built their ships to fight each other) exists, if they don't show up until the Andro War, then their general war ships are defacto conjectural anyway.

By Xander Fulton (Dderidex) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 05:16 pm: Edit


Quote:

The theory that one DN and two CAs in the Fed Fleet are some allied ship is kinda dubious. It doesn't work economically. The first ship of an entirely new type costs three times what the second one costs, and no minor allied state could afford it. At best they might provide a few frigates. Even then, they'd do far better to buy Fed frigates because of the supply and spare parts situation.




Yeah, the DN was kind of reach, a bit - just as an example. Given how SFU ship costs align with 'historical' naval deployment costs - a carrier in the SFU about as big a deal as a carrier was, historically - it seems certain that it would not even be possible for a DN to be so handled. But destroyers? Light cruisers? The occasional heavy cruiser? (IE., the aforementioned Dutch, Brazil, Argentina, Romania, Turkey, etc who fielded navies during WW2?)

And there have been ample historical cases of older ships from a previous war being cleaned up, refit, sometimes re-armed, and sold to second-rate navies. (For example, the Argentine General Belgrano sunk in the Falklands War was the ex-USS Phoenix from WW2...sent into battle and sunk 47 years after being laid down!)

Were all the W-era ships sent to the breakers as the Y-era designs came out? Sure, maybe. If some minor species along the Klingon-Kzinti border was shopping around for warships, and wanted to buy an Andorian WAC and replace the drone rack on each side with a disruptor on each side (to fire broadsides), though, to serve as their "fleet" command ship... (And we know from Module R8 that many of the Y-era ships got sold to local National Guard forces, too...what of the rest of them? Some museum ships, sure...some scrapped for metal, no doubt...some sold to minor species along various borders to serve as flagships alongside smaller, native designed ships?)

This is really all the more scale I'm suggesting. Surely, there must have been other species on the map that just "didn't matter" at the F&E scale. Maybe they had some ships that were integrated into the Empire navies as equal to their own ships...but maybe they were nothing more than minor background noise not factored into the F&E system. Worlds not economically significant enough to even occupy, but they spent their national wealth to buy a cruiser from a major power to parade around their regional neighbors with their planet's leader, the multiple-title-and-award-bearing 12-Star General Mr. Bonanzer Reuplic.

By Steve Cole (Stevecole) on Friday, August 24, 2012 - 05:21 pm: Edit

The Fed national guards are full of such ships, not necessarily THAT far back, but these are not "new empires" by any means. Sure, we can tell some stories of "species" that had an overlooked role in the General War, but not new empires/ships/weapons.

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