Archive through September 01, 2012

Star Fleet Universe Discussion Board: Star Fleet Battles: New Product Development: August 2012: Pick the next SFB module: Archive through September 01, 2012
By Terry O'Carroll (Terryoc) on Thursday, August 30, 2012 - 11:14 pm: Edit

rule (XK0.0) pretty much kills the proposal of X-tech on PFs. Even upgrading phasers to ph-1 strikes me as unlikely, given the increased cost of ph-1.

By Xander Fulton (Dderidex) on Thursday, August 30, 2012 - 11:17 pm: Edit

Of course, because the X-section rules have never been updated...

By Mike West (Mjwest) on Thursday, August 30, 2012 - 11:51 pm: Edit

I can't see X-PFs, since PFs are basically X-tech already. Do you realize how small those little suckers are? It would take X-tech to miniaturize the weapons to the point that they could fit on a dinky little PF and still work.

I am on board with a CA-PFT with 6 PFs and no scout channels. I am on board with SCSes with 12 PFs and no fighters. I would even be on board with a BCH-PFT that carried a 6 PF flotilla plus two casual PFs instead of 6 PFs and 6 fighters.

As for PFs, adding some variations would be cool, too. Can always add in the "missing" Romulan K1. Throw in some workboat variants. Make an Orion "Marshall" PF. (That would be a version of the Buccaneer that has no stealth or doubling, and is intended for use by the Orion government, not the pirates.) I am sure some other PF variations can be done, too.

K2 is a completely legitimate choice.

Though I still want to see what Petrick comes up with for the GW Carnivons. I just want to see that madness. :)

By Joseph R Carlson (Jrc) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 12:05 am: Edit

Actually they were in X1R. "(XR0.4) XP-refits cannot be applied to X-ships, PFs, fighters, drogues, defense satellites, or mines."

As to material for J3 all the heavy superiority fighters are only in various Captain's log. The Federation DVA is in CL# 38 and the Klingon C10V is in CL# 36.

It appears to be possible to convert an Federation NCL in a CM. So an NAC becomes a CMA. A NVH becomes a CMVH. There could be a standard technology version of the GVX.

There some additional drogues: an E-rack version; some type of direct fire version (a cannon of some form). The cannon could also be in a two-space pod.

By Xander Fulton (Dderidex) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 12:10 am: Edit


Quote:

Though I still want to see what Petrick comes up with for the GW Carnivons. I just want to see that madness.




Well, I never said I didn't want to see GW Carnivons - conceptually. That's a very interesting idea, indeed. Maybe.

I just don't have any interest in seeing CONJECTURAL GW Carnivons, that's all. But, then, I've long maintained there is plenty of gaps in the documented history to fit something like this in - after all, we have Orions all over the place (updating their ships to even X-tech), Nicozians in various places, Jindarians all over the place (updating their ships all the way to X-tech), Andromedans appearing anywhere and everywhere...and all of those without impacting the F&E map at all (bases, deployments, etc). Given that "we can't impact the F&E map or established history in any way" is the only real argument against any new species...

...well, as proven in those examples, there is still PLENTY of room to work. You just can't have a standing fleet and defined "borders". So what? I've never met a criminal, capitalist, drifter, or cryptid who cared about lines on a map or ink on a page...

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 12:42 am: Edit

The only non-conjectural "X-boat" I would want to see would be an advanced technology destroyer for the Hivers.

(Hiver ships are two sizes smaller than the average, class per class; their current "destroyer" is more or less a PF, while their Barb "frigates" are the size of fighters. It could be argued that, like with the Hydrans, the Hivers would be likely candidates for unique X-tech attrition units if/when the time comes for Omega X-ships; at least, they would probably do with a more powerful "war destroyer" when their turn in the speed-30 queue comes around.)

-----

But on a more general note, one interesting item came up in the recent SFU On Call phone-in; the need to balance the need for warships (units that are more fun or interesting to actually fly) and "targets" (logistical elements that a given star empire needs to operate, but which would not necessarily be ones you'd want to fly into a pitched battle).


By and large, Omega is still pretty short on both.

So far as warships go, most of the current designs are, essentially, equivalent to Alpha Octant "middle years" designs; many of which entered service decades before their counterparts in Alpha, but which took longer to be superseded by newer designs. We know from the timeline (and the Vari samples in CL23) that these more powerful warships exist in-universe, as do X-ships; getting to those would be useful in helping to get each empire up to the standard needed to take on the late-war Alphas (or the Souldra and Andromedans) on more even terms.

On the other hand, Omega still needs most of its transports and bases to be published; the current crop of sample transports in Captain's Log are good for less than half of the known list of empires, while the larger battle stations and starbases which Scott has been working on are still in reserve.

The idea a while back was to split them into two sets of modules; one book (or books) with all of the bases, transports, and camapign variants, with another book (or books) adding in the speed-30 powers. The issue there might be that even that might sell each particular empire short, if they are spread too thinly. (That was the whole problem with Omega 1 in the first place; it offered too few ships for too many empires at once, and has made it harder to get any of them up to campaign compatible status ever since. This is an issue that was fortunately avoided in the Lesser Magellanic Cloud; Module C5 might have fewer empires shown, but all of them, or at least the big three, are pretty much good to go right out of the gate.)


The concept being presented in the memo, where only seven of the currently-published empires would be handled in the one go, may provide enough room for each empire so selected to handle both of these issues at once.

For example, the Mæsrons are said to have started fielding new speed-30 cruisers in Y173; developed their first war cruisers and war destroyers in Y187; and cooked up their first X-ships in Y198. Plus, there are notes about them fielding a heavy dreadnought design at some point; a class which, given the limitations of the original Mæsron DN, the Alliance may well have some use for.

So, even if you subtract variant hulls (heavy scouts, commando ships, cruiser PFTs etc) and X-ships from the equation, that still leaves a significiant number of brand new base hull classes that most Alpha (and the three big LMC) navies take for granted; more than enough to fill as many "warship" slots as the Alliance might be allocated in a new module, even before you turn to the bases and transports the Mæsrons need to get closer to proper campaign-compatible status.


In short, if the new paradigm for Omega was to concentrate on fewer empires at a time (be it to either get the current fleets properly fleshed out, or add newcomers like the Echarri or Omega-Paravians into the mix) there would be no shortage of warships and support units that could be used to draw up a good balance of ships one might want to fly in, alongside those which may be more likely to get shot at.


And quite frankly, I would much sooner see those ships (which have been waiting to be developed for over a decade by now) finally get their turn in the spotlight, than see yet more obscure and/or conjectural variants teased out for the usual suspects of the General War era.

By Terry O'Carroll (Terryoc) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 12:43 am: Edit

Firstly, I don't like all the retconning. "He's dead, Jim. Oh, wait, no he's not."

Secondly, you can't have the Carnivons in the same situation as the Andromedans et cetera because it is already established that their biology and society doesn't work that way. You'd need to retcon even further.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 12:47 am: Edit

PFs are NOT basically X-tech. It's not good to label them as such as it can cause confusion.

In any case, X-tech PFs aren't going to happen as far as I can tell, the idea having been shot down repeatedly over the decades.

With all that's been said and done, I guess I nominate X2 as what I'd want to see done. I'm not going to repeat my previous statements, but if someone comes up with something incredibly great and awesome for some other product, I'm all ears.

I note that J3 and K2 are not on the list of possible nominees, I imagine because there's just nothing really great and awesome to add about fighter and PF rules. (New fighters and ships can easily be added in R13, not requiring a J3 or K2 product).

By Xander Fulton (Dderidex) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 01:08 am: Edit


Quote:

Secondly, you can't have the Carnivons in the same situation as the Andromedans et cetera because it is already established that their biology and society doesn't work that way. You'd need to retcon even further




Not Andros, sure, but I don't see how their 'pack' mentality around their DNs differs that much from, say, Jindarians.

By Nick Samaras (Koogie) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 09:59 am: Edit

Please no variants of fed cm and other heavy war cruisers.

By Randy Blair (Randyblair) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 10:06 am: Edit

If not an X-PF, why not devise a brand new attrition X-unit?

By Mike West (Mjwest) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 10:07 am: Edit


Quote:

I note that J3 and K2 are not on the list of possible nominees, I imagine because there's just nothing really great and awesome to add about fighter and PF rules. (New fighters and ships can easily be added in R13, not requiring a J3 or K2 product).


I disagree. JRC and I both showed that a J3 is completely viable, even if the core is just gathering everything up from Captain's Log. Plus, K2 is a product that SVC really wants to do. What's in that one? I dunno, but SVC seems to think he can fill it up easily enough.

So, I have no idea why J3 and K2 were not on the list. I am quite confident, however, that the lack of viability is not the reason.

By Steve Cole (Stevecole) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 10:30 am: Edit

No xPFs.

I cannot find any way for historical Carnivons to be part of the historical record. They do exist (far away) but they did not come over here.

By Joseph R Carlson (Jrc) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 11:12 am: Edit

SVC,

When do you need to make the decision on which SFB modules are next? Are you at a point to discuss your preliminary observations?

By Jim Davies (Mudfoot) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 07:58 pm: Edit

Randy: I suggested a new attrition unit (War Corvettes) but the logistics don't really make sense. Ultimately, there's no room for anything smaller than a fighter, and anything bigger than a PF (such as the War Corvette) is apparently too static to be useful.

Speaking for myself, regarding products:
C6 is the one I'm most likely to buy. Paravian Reality refits and other updates; conjectural Carnivons (the Kzintis and Lyrans probably still run simulator sessions about this); any other odds and sods of little empires.

I can see a case for Omega so I'm entirely sympathetic, but I'm not interested in it. Ditto Y4, but less so.

R13 might be good but lacks material. X1B is dull filler. X2 is a minefield that'll need at least a year of active playtest. Given the train wreck that was Supplement 2, and the X1 update, this really cannot be rushed.

Speaking of little empires for C6, I'd note that (in addition to Xander's 1-hex races) the Kzintis, Lyrans, Romulans and Feds have all had internal politics that would result in local ship modifications. Take the Kzinti civil wars, for example. It's very likely that when the Duke was beating on the Marquis, they wouldn't have identical equipment; you don't give your military tech to the people you're trying to kill. Obviously there's only so much room to play with here, but it's worth a look.

By Douglas Saldana (Dsal) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 08:26 pm: Edit

How about including an alternate history with Module C6 in which the Carnivons, Paravians (and perhaps the Borak & Peladine as well) did survive as Empires into the era of the General War. This would be a true parallel universe that coexists along with the standard StarFleet Universe. It’s history is known to us because individuals or ships have passed between universes due to spatial anomalies or transporter malfunctions.

For simplicity’s sake assume that the culture, technology & warships of the familiar empires are the same in the alternate universe as they are in ours. This would officially make all the ships in this product “real” without consequences to the standard history.

By Robert Cole (Zathras) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 09:42 pm: Edit

@Alan Trevor - I don't have X1R, but I cant say I'm surprised X-PFTs are there. I do have R12, but don't remember seeing the 2x PF Flotilla DNs. 

@Scott Tenhoff - ••••, I thought the proto-tender sounded familiar. I just assumed I had seen them in a CapLog or fan site. 

As for the CVH - where do you think the idea came from? :)

As for "why K2 if it is only ships"? I dunno. I just feel like we have lots and lots of R-modules, but only one K-module. And PFs excite me more than fighters, so a module themed around them is more exciting (to me). 

Brainstorming other PF roles - 

> Espionage. For some reason I really find the idea of a purpose built spy ship interesting. Always have.  PFs are not the best choice for this, but I'm throwing it out there anyway. 
> Police Duty. Take a PF and exchange some of its guns for more utility. Obviously this would be post-GW. 
> Rescue. Faster than a freighter, more economical than a FF or DD. Basically a PF leader with slight modifications (this one might have been done already). 
> Bombardment.  For those races with drones. 
> I keep picturing a PF towing a heavy missile (type-H?) into close range and then releasing it. 
> Mini-Maulers! A joke. 100% not serious. Unless some else says they like it. :)

Anyway, K2 isn't even on the list. I should probably just drop it. 

By Terry O'Carroll (Terryoc) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 09:47 pm: Edit

What we need is a PF flotilla that combines to form a giant robot, Voltron-style.

By Stephen Elliott Parrish (Steveparrish) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 10:19 pm: Edit

Realistically, how many more modules would be needed to finish Omega, not in the sense that nothing more could be published, but that all the races, including the 6 that have not been published yet, would have all the basic units, able to fight campaigns?

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 11:04 pm: Edit


Quote:

> Espionage. For some reason I really find the idea of a purpose built spy ship interesting. Always have. PFs are not the best choice for this, but I'm throwing it out there anyway.




I think some empires use PFQs for that sort of thing; they are big enough to go on solo missions, and small enough to be completely expendable. (This seems to be a particularly expedient option in Omega; where the more fluid nature of most border regions makes snooping around in someone else's territory that much more desirable.)


Quote:

> Rescue. Faster than a freighter, more economical than a FF or DD. Basically a PF leader with slight modifications (this one might have been done already).




Might be covered by recovery PFs. (The robotic Drex are noted as having a particular use for this class; since none of their other gunboat types run any sort of life support, only their PFR comes with a chamber capable of sustaining one of their walrus-like Drexari masters.)


Quote:

> I keep picturing a PF towing a heavy missile (type-H?) into close range and then releasing it.




The Mæsrons built a gunboat capable of mounting racks of tachyon missiles (each of which is more or less the size of a type-H); this required them to build a boat larger than any in the Alpha Octant, to the point that only four of them come to a flotilla. (You can see what they look like in Adam's cover art for Module Omega 5.)

However, the main reason why they were able to build a boat so large is their use of FRA-designed "volatile warp engines"; which work differently than the "hot warp" drives in Alpha PFs, and which also come with their own set of strengths and weaknesses.

(You might guess that I find Omega boats to be more interesting than Alpha ones.)


Quote:

Realistically, how many more modules would be needed to finish Omega, not in the sense that nothing more could be published, but that all the races, including the 6 that have not been published yet, would have all the basic units, able to fight campaigns?




If you are only talking about the modern era (i.e. with no Early Years or X-ships), probably at least the six non-X modules in the memo, if not more.

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*Only one Omega empire (the Mæsrons) have a true survey ship in print, not counting the later PFQs in Omega 5; and even that class is said to become extinct in the Sixth Cycle, so may need a new one to supersede it. (Technically, you can fit a survey module to a modular Iridani ship, to allow it to carry out survey Quests.)


*The Mæsrons are also one of only three empires to have any tugs in print; theirs, along with their assorted pods, are previewed in Captain's Log #21. The other two, the Bolosco and Iridani, each have a dedicated tug (which are formally published); though most Bolosco warships act as tugs in their own right.


*We have only four civilian hulls in print, which again are Mæsron in origin; the small and large freighter, the express boat and passenger liner, previewed in CL20. They are also used by seven other Omega empires, which can help cut down on duplication; but that still leaves the question of what everyone else happens to use instead.


*Aside from the commando boats also in Omega 5, we have no true commando variant hulls in print at all. Technically, you can put a troop transport module into a modular Iridani warship to create a troopship, but no data exists to show how their battalions are organized (in Module M terms).


*So far as bases go, we only have one small space-based base per empire thus far; as well as a series of ground bases to handle fighters and/or gunboats in Omega 5. Larger bases (to include starbases, in some cases at least) ae known to exist, but we haven't gotten those in print yet.


*In terms of actual ship classes, there are a few empires that skip (or outright omit) certain hull sizes; the Trobrin have no destroyers or light cruisers, the Hivers and Vari cannot field a SC2 hull, and so forth. While some of these omissions are most likely intentional, there are a few "middle years" base hulls that are in the background data, but which don't exist in SSD form. The Probr CL is a good example of this; the R-section for the DD describes what it looks like, but it still awaits publication.


*And as for more powerful warships, only two sample speed-30 cruisers have been previewed thus far; the Vari command cruiser and wing cruiser in CL23. While we know that true war cruisers exist, we haven't seen any of them just yet. Plus there are more heavy dreadnoughts out there to be considered.

Not every faction would necessarily survive long enough to build too many speed-30 hulls (or any at all) historically; but enough would to make things interesting.


-----

All told, even putting 7 empires per module might make things a little tight, if there is only 80 pages' worth of SSDs to go around; especially if you need a number of double-pages for the starbases.

(However, the LMC might be a good guide as to what would be needed to get by, as opposed to what would allow a given empire to be comfortable. Module C5 left the Baduvai, Eneen and Maghadim in pretty good shape right off the bat, so we can see what kind of ground the current empires need to cover in order to get up and running; while any of the "new" Omega empires would hopefully be at least as well presented as the three Magellanic Powers once their time comes in the development queue.)


Still, it would be a very interesting thing to try and work out, should the time come for SFB to make another jump across the Alpha/Omega Void.

By Joseph R Carlson (Jrc) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 11:35 pm: Edit

Gary,

You have made some very good points similar to the things you said on talk shoe last night. Last night SVC said he wants to add more empires rather than just add more ships. I think C6 and an Omega modules goes that direction.

While I would really like to see J3 and K2 at this point these just add more ships. If more empires are added to the alpha octant then these two modules would be more interesting.

I mentioned a natural opening in the top of the galactic disc. Instead of that being an exit it could be an entrance the "hot" new race or the new menace I suggested in the X1B topic.

Perhaps trans-dimensional empire. Remember the monster in Star Trek episode that phased in and out. Or the episode with the Tholians laying web and Kirk was in another dimension. Phasing in and out could be similar to (but not the same as) cloaking and uncloaking.

By A. David Merritt (Adm) on Friday, August 31, 2012 - 11:54 pm: Edit

Gary;
One caveat for using C5 as a guide for Omega, There are no LMC SC2 ships listed in it.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Saturday, September 01, 2012 - 12:00 am: Edit

Joseph:


There are two sets of dimension-hoppers in the Omega files, and a couple more (well, sort of) out in the Triangulum Galaxy.

*The Souldra are dark energy beings from an alternate dark matter dimension; their "ships" are giant flying crystals made out of dark matter that host their essences while in our universe. (Indeed, they need to replenish their energies at dark matter caches, or drain life energies from enemy ships or planets, or risk literally crumbling to dust.)

Their ships do have a dimensional phase device, that allows them to "phase out" of the board for a time; though the power requirements mean that it's not that likely to be useful more than once.


*The un-published Scon, noted in Bruce Graw's Omega's Lost Futures article in CL36, are said to be indigenous to subspace; they were suppsedly driven insane by "our" use of subspace communications, and have been trying to develop means of deploying warships to normal space in order to deal with the problem. (However, there is no guarantee that much of this would be a part of their background if/when they get published.)


*Out in Triangulum, the Helgardians in Module E2 are sliders; they had spent ten thousand years building up an immense empire in their home quantum reality, until they were inexplicably dumped in "our" M33 about a thousand years prior to Y1.


*And in the provisional Triangulum timeline, there's mention of a species called the Malkhat; who make contact with a series of bizarre entities from some alterante dimension, and with whom they form an alliance, through which they jointly develop a series of hybrid-dæmonic warships to take them to the stars. (I don't know how far Francois might have gone with the Demony Alliance in game terms, however.)


Actually, there is one point which Brice Graw made in his "why I did it" article he wrote when Omega was first published (and which can be read in the Omega Master Rulebook); the very nature of the licence means that those "TV empires" had to retain a certain degree of stability, or at least balance, which kept them around from one end of the timeline to the other. (While the fate of the LMC was essentially sealed by the pre-existing narrative of the Andromedan invasion, they at least have the promise of renewal post-Unity.)

Omega and Triangulum, in contrast, are far more open in terms of what goes in, what sticks around, and what fails to make the cut. (M33 is even more removed from Alpha in that regard; Omega was indirectly saved through the success of Operation Unity, whereas the story of Triangulum has to stand or fall on its own merits.)

Now, some of the above might end up being made moot in the X2 era; but, at the very least, we know that the Federation is still around by the time the records cut off in Y225. But by and large, with the pre-X2 history of Alpha so well locked down by this point, the best way to explore more "strange, new worlds" and keep them from languishing in the simulators is to take them out into the wider Star Fleet Universe.


A. David Merritt:

Good point, though not everyone in Omega would need more (historical) SC2 units going forward.

As noted above, the Hivers and Vari can't build them; the Alunda may or may not be able to grow another one before "Sig-tech" might make the concept obsolete (unless the Sigs are allowed to control a Pursuer); plus it's questionable whether the likes of the Souldra, Branthodons, or Ryn need more SC2 ships than they have already.

So, even if one were to stick with heavy DNs, there may not be all that many SSDs needed to fill up the historical roster. (More battleships would be quite nice, but it would have to be decided whether anyone aside from the Iridani managed to field one or not; though conjectural ones, like the Mæsron BB in SSJ1, might be nice to see at some later point.)

Though I would really like it if it turned out the Omega-Paravians used raid motherships, equivalent to the ones the Stellar Shadows Paravians got in CL28.

By Mike West (Mjwest) on Saturday, September 01, 2012 - 12:05 am: Edit


Quote:

How about including an alternate history with Module C6 in which the Carnivons, Paravians (and perhaps the Borak & Peladine as well) did survive as Empires into the era of the General War.


I hope that each empire would get their own alternate history that would allow them to exist up into the GW era. Basically, use the Paravians from CL28 as the model, and do the same thing for the Carnivons, Peladine, and Borak. I just think trying to shoehorn them all into a single alternate history would create a mess.

By Terry O'Carroll (Terryoc) on Saturday, September 01, 2012 - 12:17 am: Edit

Joseph, the Souldra (vampires from another universe) already do that phase-in phase-out thing.

As for another Alpha Octant empire... it's real crowded in Alpha right now. I don't see any room for new empires.

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