Star Fleet Universe Discussion Board: A Call to Arms Star Fleet: ACTASF Book 1.2 (The ADB Revision): Clarifications
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Some rules were not clear, and we plan to clear them up. We also expect to add brief cross-references in some rules to other rules that form exceptions, making it easier for you to use the rules. We will also fix any spelling, punctuation, or other such items. We plan to include every ruling, answer, explanation, and example that Matthew ever gave, plus all of the official errata. Some of those items will be done in the rulebook and others in a separate FAQ document.
By Steve Cole (Stevecole) on Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 05:20 pm: Edit

This is the biggest part of the project. It comes in three parts.

1. Tony L. Thomas has compiled a list of official and unofficial errata, clarifications, explanations, and so forth. He will, perhaps, soon post it or send it to ADB as a PDF to post.

2. Bill Stec was assigned to hunt down "every" such instance before anyone knew that Tony Thomas had already done most of it. So he should wait for the Tony el Thomas document.

3. Once we're to that point, I am sure that Tony "LaLa" Thomas will want everyone to help Bill make sure we have a complete list.

By Bill Stec (Billstec2) on Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 06:31 pm: Edit

I did part of it, but will await Tony's documents before proceeding any further. :)

By Tony L. Thomas (Scoutdad) on Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 11:54 pm: Edit

Bill: Just sent myself an email reminder to my work address.
I'll track my list down tonight and send it to you tomorrow for additions.

By Bill Stec (Billstec2) on Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 07:16 am: Edit

I searched the Mongoose forum, and found mainly what Tony already had, but I put time and date posted along with Matt's rulings. I forgot to merge Tony's document with mine, but hopefully what I sent was useful.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Sunday, February 02, 2014 - 08:16 pm: Edit

Just to address something that came up in the plasma torpedo thread:

*Will ships be obliged to use all of the AD in a given weapon line item at once, or can they choose to use less?

(I was under the assumption that this was already the case, not least when flying Shock-able ships like the New Jersey. Unless the BCJ had to have its "gun deck" photons put into a separate line entry, which sounds like an awkward way to go.)

*Will Splitting Fire be in the "basic" version of the ruleset, or will it be kept as an advanced rule?

By Lee Storey (Storeylf) on Sunday, February 02, 2014 - 08:25 pm: Edit

Found this reply from Tony when I was querying the shock rule.

"The revised BCJ is the only ship it applies to at the moment, although the F6 will receive it - as will Maulers and a few others to be added later.

The BCJ has 2 banks of Photons... one with 4ADand one with 2. It can fire up to 4 AD of photons a turn without risking shock."

Seems far simpler and more ACTA than being able to hold some AD over a turn break - if that is what you are getting at.

By Tony L. Thomas (Scoutdad) on Sunday, February 02, 2014 - 09:06 pm: Edit

Let's take the BCJ as an example:
2 banks of Photons, one of 4ADand one of 2AD.

The simple way is to fire one bank and save the other. So fire 4AD and have 2AD ready to fire next turn without requiring a reload.

Now, can you fire less than the 4AD in the first bank?
Sure - we've done similar things in other games.
If you only need a few points to complete the destruction of a ship, why fire enough to cause its immediate explosion? But if you only fire 1AD of the 4AD bank, the other three cannot be held for a subsequent turn. The entire bank is marked as fired and will require reloading.
Anything else requires record keeping, and we are attempting to avoid that - at all cost.

That's part and parcel of the tactical implications in the decisions you make as a starship captain.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Sunday, February 02, 2014 - 09:17 pm: Edit

Thanks for the clarification on the AD issue.

By Dan Wideman (Kyrolon) on Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - 02:24 pm: Edit

So then a standard fed CA has no capability to have a rolling delay of photons by firing two each turn while the others reload? I think most of our playgroup would take issue with that.

We need to mark reloadable weapons as fired or not anyway. How hard is it to put more than one check mark in the "fired" column?

By Lee Storey (Storeylf) on Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - 03:21 pm: Edit

No one at our end has an issue with that. This is meant to be a simple fast game. I am not in favor of checking how many AD fired and how many are left for next turn.

By Steve Cole (Stevecole) on Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - 04:47 pm: Edit

A Call to Madness?

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - 05:18 pm: Edit


Perhaps, instead of the current "basic" and "advanced" rule division, there could be a "standard" set of rules which go one way, and a single page in the 1.2 rulebook devoted to the "optional" alternatives?

In this case, the "optional" rule would be to allow each Reload-able AD to be tracked separately - but only with the consent of all players involved. If the group is minded to stick with the "standard" drop-unused-AD method instead, well and good.

This would allow each player group to decide for themselves how much of this sort of detail they wish to handle in their own games, or if they would prefer to keep things cut down to the minimum amount of record-keeping required instead.

By Tony L. Thomas (Scoutdad) on Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - 05:52 pm: Edit

a Call to Madness!

I love it. I can just picture the forces of Cthulhu appearing out of the ether and attacking the Alpha Octant

By Dan Wideman (Kyrolon) on Thursday, February 06, 2014 - 10:29 am: Edit

Well, the worst case is we leave one house rule in place. :) That's no biggie. This issue in particular does illustrate the two groups that are meeting in the middle on ACTA though. Our playgroup comes from a SFB background. We only stopped playing due to time constraints over the years since we couldn't fit in 12 ship battles as adults. For us, something like tracking # of AD fired is second nature, and no complication at all

Others seem to either be coming at this from the perspective of a completely new game, or as players of ACTA B5 or NA and want as simple or streamlined a game as possible even at the risk of unrealistic interactions that limit tactics.

I feel for the designers trying to please both our styles. I just hope there's some kind of compromise even if it violates Tony's desire for no optional or advanced rules.

(As a side note this would need to apply to firing weapon mounts in defensive fire as well would it not?)

Finally, I always thought Cthulu Ftagn sounded like Klingon. :)

By Dan Wideman (Kyrolon) on Thursday, February 06, 2014 - 11:37 am: Edit

So, after reading through some more posts I have a proposal to make for your consideration that SHOULD accommodate both people like myself and Lee.

While reading the Plasma thread, this same topic came up about splitting AD. Tony clarified that each torpedo would have its own line to allow for firing less than all of your plasma.

Would it be terribly difficult to split the standard fed photon bank of 4 photons into 2 banks of 2 AD each? Then Lee is satisfied because he only needs one check mark (which he'd need to track anyway since they need reloading) and the rest of us can still use traditional fed strategies of always having some photons available as a deterrent.


By Lee Storey (Storeylf) on Thursday, February 06, 2014 - 12:03 pm: Edit

I would note that I have never played, nor seen, any of the other ACTA games, I also come from SFB (about 30 odd years ago) and more recently FedCom.

I want ACTA to be fast, simple and with as few fidlly details as possible precisely because that is how I arrived at ACTA:SF.

I've spent several years playing FedCom to death, it is a good game, but we play campaigns mainly, and once you get to a dozen ships each then, even with its simplifiations, it can still take a day+ to play such battles. I am more than happy to sacrifice the fidlly details for a game where I can play such a battle in a moderately short evening.

I would also add that the refrain of 'how hard is it to record x' is quite common, but everytime you record something you are dealing with something that needs checking at various points later. Maybe your memory is better than some, but I found the ADD ammo loss one of the bigger slow downs in the game. Sure it is easy to note down, but that then means each player is referring to records, or asking the opponent what the status of things are. Also bear in mind that everyone wants some little detail that will 'only' add a tickbox, but by the time everyone has their favorite detail in you have a dozen such tickboxes.

I'm happy to play FedCom when I want that detail, or for smaller games. ACTA should be different. As little record keeping as possible, fast as possible, simple as possible. SFU needs an 'entry level'/'beer pretzel' game more than it needs another game like FedCom with just a few tweaks IMHO.

By Tony L. Thomas (Scoutdad) on Thursday, February 06, 2014 - 03:43 pm: Edit

It's a good thought, but contra-indicative of the goals of ACTASF.
If I could find a reasonable way to consolidate Plasma torps into combined lines - I would.

The goal is to be simply (much simpler, ideally) than Fed Comm, while still retaining the feel of the SFU.
While splitting the torpedoes into two banks of 2 sounds like a plan - most of the Fed ship cards show the photons in a single, large bank of 4. And where they are not (the BCJ with its 2 dorsal mounts comes to mind...) - the stat block shows it as two banks.

By Dan Wideman (Kyrolon) on Thursday, February 06, 2014 - 05:36 pm: Edit

Fair 'nuff. Part of the assumption for my suggestion was that everything would need to be re-drafted anyway. If the change to two lines would make "new" work, then its usefulness is outweighed by the need to not re-do things already done.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Monday, February 10, 2014 - 05:57 pm: Edit

In SFB, bases in the Alpha Octant of BATS size and larger gain access to Aegis fire control. In FC, Aegis was not originally part of the "vanilla" ruleset; while that system has been integrated into a more recent update to the Reference Rulebook, those bases will remain without it for the time being. (I was asking about that latter point over on the FC forums, and the answer was noted in Communiqué #98).

Has it been decided if ACtA:SF version 1.2 will grant the Battle Station (and future base additions like the Starbase) the Escort Trait or not?

To clarify, in this particular case, I'm not trying to lobby on the matter one way or the other. I was more curious as to whether it had already been factored into (or excluded from) the WIP ruleset, or if a decision had yet to be made on it at this point in time.

By Gary Carney (Nerroth) on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 10:12 pm: Edit

Another question regarding the current setup: is the current range of firing arcs going to be identical to those in the original, or is there scope for 1.2 to add new ones if there was a need for it?

Right now, there are four hemispherical arcs (FH, PH, SH, AH) and four 90* arcs (F, P, S, A) which can be used as they are, or combined to cover the weapon systems currently supported in the game system. While the process is fairly even in many cases, there are a few which gain (or lose) in the conversion.

For example, the Squadron Scale Tholian CA in FC has two FA disruptors; one to LF+L; and another to RF+R. In the original ACtA:SF book, those arcs translate into 2 Attack Dice to F; 1 AD to F, P; and 1 AD to F, S. (So one could argue that the 120* arc being reduced for the central disruptor mounts is somewhat gained back through the extended side arcs, perhaps.)

But, if there were to be a set of 4 additional 90* arcs running along the X- and Y-axes of the ship (say, FP, FS, AP, and AS - unless better names can be thought up for them), that might allow the side disruptors to more closely replicate the need to "centreline" the target ship in order to get all 4 on target. (But would result in the opposite trade-off; rather than making the arcs more generous than the original, they'd be more narrow instead.)

Such a change would be notable for several Kzinti ships, in terms of the arcs they'd have for their L+LR and R+RR phaser-3s. Plus, in the long run, the AP and AS arcs might come in handy for the ISC, in order to cover their rear-firing plasma-Fs.

To put it another way, the current arcs allow for a ship to distinguish between the FA and FH arcs when porting things over - and does something similar to port, starboard, or aft. But in the absence of 90* arcs covering the corners, ships are able to treat the LF+L and FA+L arcs (and others of their kind in FC and SFB) as identical when being ported over. Whether that is much of an issue in practice or not is another story.

Now, this is not to say that the above is a good idea or anything. There will always be a degree of fuzziness involved when porting ships designed for a base-60* arc into one set at base-90*. So it may well be that leaving the current system in place works well enough, without the hassle of picking through which arcs may be affected and which may not.

So my main question here was whether the concept had come up at some point during the offline discussions or not - and, if so, had it already been rejected as unnecessary (or would be even now).

By Tony L. Thomas (Scoutdad) on Friday, May 09, 2014 - 11:58 am: Edit

It's coming down to the wire on the release of ACTASF 1.2, and I need a bit of help.

I recall there were a few concerns raised about one or two of the scenarios in the core rulebook, but I can not seem to remember the specific scenarios or the specific issues.
If anyone has had (or can recall mention of) an issue with any of the existing scenarios or tactical challenges; please post them here.


By Will McCammon (Djdood) on Friday, May 09, 2014 - 05:49 pm: Edit

Go, Tony. Go!

By David Bostwick (Zarquon) on Saturday, May 17, 2014 - 12:03 am: Edit

The Space Superiority scenario should have a note that prevents ships from claiming a grid square while cloaked.

By Iain McGhee (Irmcg) on Saturday, May 17, 2014 - 07:20 am: Edit

That scenario lasts eight turns, unless one side retreats or is wiped out first. You can't just spread a carpet of cloaked frigates out all over the board and claim victory a couple of turns in :)

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