Archive through September 02, 2012

Star Fleet Universe Discussion Board: Star Fleet Battles: New Product Development: August 2012: Pick the next SFB module: Archive through September 02, 2012
By Joseph R Carlson (Jrc) on Saturday, September 01, 2012 - 01:57 am: Edit

I forgot that the Souldra phased in/out. It would be interesting to have a limited presence occur in the Alpha octant.

By A. David Merritt (Adm) on Saturday, September 01, 2012 - 09:49 am: Edit

It may be that some of the problems that the ISC, or even the Romulans and Gorns had were with the Souldra. Since our reporting source was the Federation, and they were at the end of a major war, and were hard pressed by the Andros, they may not have realized that there were two invaders that far away, and combined the reports into just one foe, the Andros.

By Steve Cole (Stevecole) on Saturday, September 01, 2012 - 01:17 pm: Edit

REPLIES AND OTHER DISCUSSIONS OF THE NEXT SFB MODULE AND THE ONES AFTER THAT.
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GENERAL COMMENTS
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). [YES, SVC SAID THAT.]
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I note that J3 and K2 are not on the list of possible nominees
SVC ADDED THEM TODAY.
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When do you need to make the decision on which SFB modules are next?
SVC: I SHOUD HAVE MADE IT MONTHS AGO.
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Are you at a point to discuss your preliminary observations?
SVC: SOON, BUT THAT DISCUSSION WILL BE WITH SPP AND JEAN.
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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.
SVC: that was expressing a preference for the three new empire modules for omega over the three new ships for existing empires modules. It did not really apply to a choice between K2 and C6.
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K2: No X-PFs. Frankly, even phaser-1s are not likely for empires that currently use ph-2 as they cost more. Itís not clear to me that there is enough good stuff here, but maybe there is.
No XP-Refits.
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possible ideas
CA-PFT with 6 PFs and no scout channels.
SCSs with 12 PFs and no fighters.
the "missing" Romulan K1.
some workboat variants.
Make an Orion "Marshall" PF. (Legal Orion, no stealth, no doubling, not optional weapons.)
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Xander is officially reprimanded for suggesting that the next update to X rules might make the no-PFs rule go away.
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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.
SVC: DID I SAY THAT? WOW. I WONDER WHAT I MEANT.
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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.
PFs ARE TOO SHORT RANGE FOR THIS.
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> Police Duty. Take a PF and exchange some of its guns for more utility. Obviously this would be post-GW.
ACTUALLY, the original idea for PFs was police duty, and a variant of the leader class might work for that.
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> 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).
NOT IMPLAUSIBLE, BUT SORT OF BORING
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> Bombardment. For those races with drones.
PF RANGE IS TOO SHORT.
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> I keep picturing a PF towing a heavy missile (type-H?) into close range and then releasing it.
PLEASE LAY DOWN UNTIL THIS IDEA PASSES.
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> Mini-Maulers! A joke. 100% not serious. Unless some else says they like it.
GUARDS, I WANT THIS MAN OUT OF HERE!
Anyway, K2 isn't even on the list. I should probably just drop it.
IT IS NOW.
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What we need is a PF flotilla that combines to form a giant robot, Voltron-style.
NO WE DO NOT!
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J3
Heavy superiority fighters from Captainís Log.
Fed DVA in CL38
Klingon C10V in CL36.
Direct-fire weapons to replace drones on fightes.
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OMEGA
The current Omega ships are, generally speaking, middle years and there are plenty of General War equivalent units that could be done. There are also lots of missing bases and transports and general units. I am a little unhappy with Petrickís draft for the three "new ship expansions" which each provide seven empires with seven targets and three gunbuggies. Iíd prefer to see more gunbuggies than targets, but I know that for full campaigns some targets are needed and maybe thatís how many we do need.
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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?
SIX, NINE IF YOU COUNT X-SHIPS
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MODULE C6: NEW EMPIRES SIX
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First, it should be noted that SPP proposed this as C6 but SVC tried to avoid assigning a number in case we do something else as C6 and use this idea for C7. So much for that idea.
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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.
SVC: THERE IS NO REAL WAY TO INCLUDE THAT KIND OF THING WITHIN THE CONCEPT OF PETRICKíS IDEA FOR C6. THAT WOULD BE AN INTERESTING IDEA, ALTHOUGH I DOUBT IT WOULD ACTUALLY BE NEW SHIPS.
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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.
SVC: GENERALLY SPEAKING, I DONíT LIKE ALTERNATE UNIVERSES BECAUSE THERE ARE TOO MANY OF THEM. CAN WE REALLY SUPPORT THE EMO-VULCANS, THE KLINGON EASTERN MARCHES (AKA: NO THOLIANS), THE SHADOW UNIVERSE, **AND** THE "EMPIRES NEVER DIE" UNIVERSE? REALLY? ALL OF THOSE?
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By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Saturday, September 01, 2012 - 01:25 pm: Edit

If you wanted to keep the numbers small, you could say that, rather than being invaders, the Souldra were exiles; fleeing the Void in the wake of the Loriyill Splinter Collective's great triumph at the Black Sun system in Y198. (The Splinter Collective took to scouring the Void in order to run down every last Souldra remnant they could find; but even they would have needed time to recover from the efforts expended in the Black Sun operation before they can start launching mop-up operations.)


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I was thinking a bit more about the Omega module options; and I'm not entirely sure about one of the three "new empire" options on offer.

Two of the groups (Paravian-Nucian-Vulpa, and Echarri-Scon-Zosman) would be quite viable; though the Vulpa have a technological inheritance from their days in the Mæsron Alliance, there is enough breathing room for them to take things in their own way, especially once the Confederacy gets up and running.

However, I'm not quite so sure about the third; Jindarian (Freehold), Loriyill (presumably the Splinter Collective), and Hiver (Unihive).


The Jindarians would certainly have scope for new ships; to show the different evolutionary path the Freehold would have taken relative to Alpha or LMC Jindarians. (Which, in my view, should probably include more "Omega-ey" gunboats, with volatile warp engines.)

On the other hand, it could be that the caravans in Omega have the same "pre-Y1" hulls that the Alphas do; as a point of comparison, it has been noted that the LMC Jindarians have the rock and metal hulls that existed prior to Y1, but don't get any of the "modern" Alpha designs (to include Alpha-style X-ships) at least prior to Operation Unity. But then, they might not; who knows just how far back the Jindarian technology tree branched off between the Alpha and Omega Octants.

But the point I was getting at is that, depending on how many "original" Jindarian designs the Freeholders are given, they may not need all that many new SSDs to get up to speed.


In the case of the Splinter Collective, Bruce's notes from CL36 stated that they were intended to incorporate a degree of Singer technology, in order to distinguish them from the main Collective back in the Home Stars. (Although, the main Splinter Collective task force had left for Bolosco space before the Souldra destroyed the Singer home world; the surviving refugees would have reached the Home Stars might not have been able to pass on their knowledge to the Splinter Collective directly. Or, rather, it would be a question as to why the home Loriyill, with an exile population of Singers on their doorstep, would have been the ones to pass on Singer tech instead of the Splinter Collective. But anyway.)

But in any case, there might not be all that much difference between the ships used by either collective; perhaps the Splinter Collective differences could be integrated into any "late" ships the home Loriyill get, but with a variant box akin to how the LDR variants are integrated into the Lyran empire's Ship Cards in Federation Commander. (See this example of the Lyran CC.)


There might be a similar issue with the Hiver Unihive. The currnt Hiver R-section does state that there is scope for future SSDs to be printed, that show Hiver ships with alternate weapons (tachyon guns, particle phasers, and particle beams; all samples of technology sourced from the Mæsrons and Vari before most Hives settled on wide-angle phasers and developed the sting torpedo).

It's not clear if the Unihive was one of those go-their-own-way Hives or not; but in any case, the Unihive itself only lasted for about nine years (as a political entity apart from the other Hives) until it was crushed by the Echarri Dynasty in Y209. Although, it is said that a relatively high number of surviving Unihive ships went rogue, and would continue to harrass the Echarri for several years thereafter (some of whom even operating out of Hiver bases).

But, as with the Splinter Collective, it's an open question as to exactly how many new ships the Unihive (or any of the other "awkward" Hives) would need to be distinct; or if they couldn't simply have their variants integrated into new Hiver SSDs.

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So, with that all in mind, I was thinking that there could be two options (that I can think of, at least), which could address the issue:

*Leave the three (sub-)factions in their own module, but use the SSD space they don't need to add more new ship types (such as battleships, and any variants which miss the cut in the three "catch-up" modules) for several other empires at the same time,

or:

*Take the Splinter Collective and Unihive out, integrate both with the "standard" fleets of either species in other modules, and put the Freehold in with a series of Early Years Omega ships instead. Or, move the Freehold over to one of the other two "new empire" modules, and focus on the Early Years ships (and/or any "National Guard" upgrades for them) exclusively.


Does any of that sound reasonable, or is there another option that might work better instead?

By Alan Trevor (Thyrm) on Saturday, September 01, 2012 - 01:57 pm: Edit

Robert Cole,

Gorn SPS (Space Patrol Ship, i.e. SCS but with two PF flotillas, no fighters) is on page 52 of the R12 SSD book. Description is R6.102 in the R12 Rulebook.

Lyran SPS is page 78 of the SSD book. Description is R11.104 in Rulebook.

By Xander Fulton (Dderidex) on Saturday, September 01, 2012 - 02:26 pm: Edit


Quote:

suggesting that the next update to X rules might make the no-PFs rule go away.




...well, it wasn't a VERY serious suggestion. Kind of a throwing-ideas-out-there sort of thing. (And I did acknowledge that a genuinely true "X-PF" was obviously impossible).

In any case, the spirit of the suggestion was a 'third generation of PFs' for everyone. Who knows what form that would take. I was throwing partial-X-refits out there as just one possible path. Even if used, maybe just the weapons that need to be supplied are being upgraded (I mean, in Y205 - more than 20 years after X-ships first appear - is any empire still going to be making speed-8 non-X drones just so the default PF construction doesn't need to have their racks upgraded? Ditto plasma races...who is going to be rolling non-sabot-plasma-F-tubes off the assembly line in Y205?) But maybe not even that. Perhaps the form of the upgrade is just more shield refits, re-arrangement of internals, different non-X weapons, etc.

Just seems odd that SFU history goes for so very, very long after the last upgrade to PF designs happens. We certainly have plenty of room, even before X2, for another generation of PFs.

By Loren Knight (Loren) on Saturday, September 01, 2012 - 03:30 pm: Edit

I still like the conjectural Heavy PFs and would love to see them as planetary based and starbase only units since they cannot opperate from mech links.
I propose that from planets they would operate exactly as PFs do from a ground base but starbase rules would be somewhat unique.

Heavy PFs operating from a starbase would require internal docking space and not just the external docking space like on smaller stations. Basically they use docking points like ships. Only the starbase system is practical for full time stationing albeit at the cost of reducing docking space for ships. However, for a front line starbase at war time this might be a worthwile exchange. Docking cost should use a cruiser or DNs worth of docking points (I'd have to check rules).

The feeling to me is that PFs weren't designed for planetary defense but it turned out they were good for that. However, as X-ships and other more powerful units appeared perhaps HPFs replaced these for a time. Maybe they were thought to be able to stand against Andros better, who could attack anywhere at any time.

Maybe some empires only experimented with them while others went into full production, namely Lyrans because individual counties were able to push for them (or invest in them themselves?), especially after the LDR got hit so hard (IIRC).

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Saturday, September 01, 2012 - 04:13 pm: Edit

Loren:

I think the main reason why Alpha Octant boats never historically made it to heavy PF size was due to the limitations of the "hot warp" engine system used for them; it was simply not possible to field a boat so large with those kind of engines without the unit tearing itself apart.

(Some of the boats in Omega, such as the Mæsron or Iridani PFs, are essentially heavy PFs in size; but they only work because the "volatile warp" engines they use instead of "hot warp" allowed them to be so.)

Plus, even the larger Omega boats can operate from mech links, albeit with a set of limitations specific to each operating empire; so it may not have been impossible for an Alpha empire to develop a mech link capable of mounting a heavier boat, had the dynamic balance issues not gotten in the way.

By Xander Fulton (Dderidex) on Saturday, September 01, 2012 - 04:21 pm: Edit

Loren does have an interesting idea there - one way to make it work is to still limit the SIZE of the warp engines, but add another.

For example, the trimeran Lyran PF.

By Joseph R Carlson (Jrc) on Saturday, September 01, 2012 - 04:55 pm: Edit

J3 ideas.

In Y83 the USS Napoleon carrier group engaged and destroyed the The IKV Vindicator. Was the Napoleon carrying A-20Fs? Was the IKV Vindicator a C8V, C8S, or a C10V? This would be a cool new scenario.

In Module R11 is is (SH242.0) Gamble: Klingons wreck the Fed FRX. In the historical outcome section it states "The result was Admiral Radey's carrier group would be unsupported by the X-squadron in the coming operation. I am presuming that upcoming operation culminated in the Pleiades Turkey Shoot (SH17.0). There are two interesting scenario prospects here. The "what if" scenario that would have included the X-squadron (which allow (SH17.0) to be updated). The second is the wider tactical plans The Federation and Klingons had what what smaller attrition battles occurred (I presume the swarm came from the Klingon BATS in coordinates 2112 as Pleiades is in coordinates 2011).

The Klingons also have a BATS in coordinates 1811 and a STB in coordinates 2014. As an idea the Klingons are trying to build a series of early warning networks (Planetary Operations (537.3)) surrounding the BATS in 2112. Perhaps this could be called the Keiron line are the military prince who became emperor in Y145 (Gurps Klingon 4E page 19). The line is anchored at one end on Sherman's planet (1910) and the other on Bezwell Index (2214). A third scenario idea is in Y182 as part of a carrier group attack against the Keiron lne the USS Wolverine was supposed in slip past and conduct a raid. Instead the USS wolverine was caught by an X-squadron and destroyed (CL# 27 page 25).

By Joseph R Carlson (Jrc) on Saturday, September 01, 2012 - 06:00 pm: Edit

Loren,

I was thinking along the same lines. A heavy PF would be a better attrition unit than a four-space bomber. I am guessing economic cost and ability to manufacturer each is similar so the HPF makes better sense especially if you factor the cost of mega-packs.

By Ed Crutchfield (Librarian101) on Saturday, September 01, 2012 - 07:39 pm: Edit

I know this has not been mentioned above, but has been asked about in the past. I would love to see an updated R- Section

By Steve Cole (Stevecole) on Saturday, September 01, 2012 - 07:47 pm: Edit

This is not the place to ask for products that don't have counters, so no updated R section here.

This is also not supposed to be the place for ideas for specific products, so ship suggestions for J3 go to the J3 topic not this one except when I have someone do a summary.

By Michael Calhoon (Mcalhoon2) on Sunday, September 02, 2012 - 12:09 am: Edit

My $0.02 is for C6. As it can give tactical challenges without severely WARPING the strategic nature of the SFB universe map. And the races could be in the Omega area as an alternative. Otherwise you are looking at more spacially warped in survivors of the Alpha area in the Omega area like the FRA...

And I continue to assume that the big 2X Era threat involves a race we're not going to see here...

By Steve Cole (Stevecole) on Sunday, September 02, 2012 - 03:43 am: Edit

Oh, somebody asked how alpha/omega sales compare. Hard to find two "equal" products in time and content, but in several comparisons, omega sold from 40%-70% of what alpha sold. In the current market, omega is very marginal.

By Joseph R Carlson (Jrc) on Sunday, September 02, 2012 - 12:22 pm: Edit

G3 Master Annexes lists the following carriers as future: Federation NVA; Romulan SPV; Kzinti CVH; Gorn HVH; Tholian CVH; Hydran SD and MKH; Lyran CVH.

CL# 36 has the Romulan VHK and KRU, and Hydran PIG.

By Nick Samaras (Koogie) on Sunday, September 02, 2012 - 12:51 pm: Edit

Most of those are standard carriers with heavy fighters replacing standard fighters. I'm pretty sure Romulan VHK and KRU were done in the last R-module or two.

By Stephen Elliott Parrish (Steveparrish) on Sunday, September 02, 2012 - 01:00 pm: Edit

"In the current market, omega is very marginal."

That is too bad. Given the market, and the fact that there are at least 6 modules needed to finish the basic Omega, it seems that it will be a very long time, if ever, that Omega is completed.

Forced to make a choice, I would prefer the next Omega module to finish bringing all the remaining races into the game over bringing new ships for the other races. I realize that my view is probably a minority one.

If the Xorkaelians are brought into the game, will they also invade Omega?

By Joseph R Carlson (Jrc) on Sunday, September 02, 2012 - 01:16 pm: Edit

Nick thanks for pointing out the VHK and KRU were published. They are in Module R12 which I forgot to check.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Sunday, September 02, 2012 - 04:02 pm: Edit

At the very least, each new Omega module has a more far-reaching long-term benefit, in that it helps lay the ground work for potential future conversions into other game systems.

At this point, there is so much in print for Alpha (from the Early Years through the X1-era) that there is no shortage of material to draw from when it comes to porting ships into Federation Commander (to include the Borders of Madness), Starmada and A Call to Arms: Star Fleet.

Even the Lesser Magellanic Cloud is in pretty good shape in that regard; you could use the material in Module C5 to get the five published LMC powers up and running as a self-sustaining setting in another game engine. (Plus the LMC would be the easiest non-Alpha setting to establish in F&E terms; since the logistical support units are all in place, and the map is of a more manageable size and composition.)

Omega, in contrast, benefits to a much greater degree, proportionally speaking, with each new module it recieves; for my own part, I would certainly welcome more bases and "late-war" ships which could be used to help the Omega project for FC, or which (fingers crossed) could be candidates for inclusion in the Starline 2500 range, should Mongoose ever decide to make the jump to a new SFU setting.


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Actually, there was one thing I was wondering.

It's been noted that the next round of countersheet printing needs four books' worth of counters to be done at once; which would include the next SFB module, Star Fleet Marines: Last Stand, Federation Commander: Reinforcements Attack, and... something else.

(Plus, if I recall correctly, at least one of those countersheets will have to sit around until 2013 before they can be sold as part fo a new module.)

If that fourth slot hasn't been locked down yet, could it be used to pick a second module from the SFB list; but one which could wait until the New Year for its SSDs to be worked up?


For argument's sake, say that it ended up with the two most viable choices this time around would be C6 and an Omega module.

If both modules' worth were to be added into the same sheet, there could be a discussion between now and the day the countersheet file gets sent to the printing company about what ships were to be included in each module; but only one of the two modules would need to get its actual SSDs worked up this side of the New Year.

(The other module's worth of counters could be held in reserve, and have its SSDs worked on in 2013.)

In the case of C6, most of the ship outlines for the Borak, Nicozians, Paravians and Peladine are known about already; we haven't seen what General War-era Carnivons look like, but they might not take too much time to have line art drawn up for them (especially if it ends up they look like bigger versions of their Y-era ships). So, even if their SSDs were to be done in the New Year, it may not be a great stretch of the imagination to see what the ships themselves might look like on the countersheet.

In the case of Omega, there is scope for more "new" outlines to go on the countersheets; we know that the Vari Wing Cruiser has a different design than the older Light Cruiser, to give one example. So, they might need their SSDs to be worked on first; but if the C6 counters could be done up more quickly, more time could be taken to do the Omega ships now.


Or to put a long story short; if C6 and Omega are the two best options, maybe draw up ship lists for both, earmark both for addition to the countersheet, but do the actual SSDs for whichever one is easier to drum up art for (i.e. C6) after the New Year?

By Steve Cole (Stevecole) on Sunday, September 02, 2012 - 05:25 pm: Edit

If Omega is marginal in SFB, conversions to other game systems are even more so. I wouldn't worry about laying groundwork for that.

By Mike West (Mjwest) on Sunday, September 02, 2012 - 06:39 pm: Edit

BTW, one interesting thing about C6 is that, of all the modules mentioned here, it will have the most ships and most empires that can easily and directly be moved into Federation Commander on short notice.

Can't speak for the Nicozians, so I won't.

The Peladine and Borak both use technology already in Federation Commander. (OK, the megaphasers and phaser cannon are not, but they are so close it isn't an issue.) The Carnivon and Paravians already have preliminary rules for Federation Commander.

Add in the idea that Federation Commander is way more pliant in how it treats things, and C6 will give Federation Commander four entire ready-made empires. Plus, these empires, unlike, say, the Omegas and Megallanics, are designed to work with the existing, published empires.

By Steve Cole (Stevecole) on Sunday, September 02, 2012 - 07:41 pm: Edit

The single thing wrong with C6 is that too much of it was in E3/E4 too recently. Might have to just get over that, but it's a marketing obstacle.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Sunday, September 02, 2012 - 07:59 pm: Edit

Is it possible to do a sub-set of SSDs from a particular module as a separate product?

If so, perhaps the Carnivons (and/or the Paravians) from C6 could be offered in two ways; as part of the "full" lineup of ships in the new module, and also as a "booster" expansion for those who already have E3 and E4.

(Almost like how the Ship Cards from various Federation Commander modules are made available in separate booster packs.)

That way, if the countersheet for C6 was added to the next print run as a second SFB module's worth of counters, it wouldn't need to be kept in reserve for the New Year; it could be made available as a "spare part" right away, so that E3 and E4 owners could go out and order it from the online store. Then, whether the Carnivons and/or Paravians were statted up now, or in the New Year, the same countersheet would be able to support the "booster" files needed to get those ships up and running.


Ordinarily, the E-modules would be superseded entirely; as was the case when the LMC made the jump from Module E1 to Module C5. However, if the Borak and Peladine E-modules were too recently-published to be made obsolete so quickly (and if it turned out that there weren't that many changes to be made to the actual rules and SSDs in order to make them fit for formal publication) there could be ways to allow for those who don't have either E-module to jump in all at once, while enabling the "early investors" to add the pieces needed to reach the same overall level.

By Douglas Saldana (Dsal) on Sunday, September 02, 2012 - 10:16 pm: Edit

Module C6

I proposed adding an alternate history to C6 because I think it makes the general war designs something more than just ďconjecturalĒ which seems to be an issue for some customers. Also it would make a fun read (much like the alternate timeline provided with the Andromedan Threat File), give those of us who bought the play test modules something new to chew on, and provide a historical framework for scenarios. I donít think this alternate history needs to be supported or seen again outside this product so I donít see it as adding a burden to the game system.

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