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Bare Rules
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Capt_Dakota
Ensign


Joined: 27 Apr 2008
Posts: 3
Location: North Dakota

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 3:30 am    Post subject: Bare Rules Reply with quote

Greetings to one and all.

I hope someone will see this and take pitty on me and help me out.

Federation Commander is suppose to have easier rules, then
Starfleet Battles, but I just finished reading the manual
and the rules are as clear as MUD.

It could be with the set up of the manual, as the way it is written, people go off in tangents.


Could someone direct me to the bare eseentials of the following.

Or be willing to talk to me at lenght to make it clear.
Thank.s
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mjwest
Commodore


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 3472
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it is kinda unclear as to what you are having a problem with (aside from "everything"). So, let's try this a couple of ways.

First, please take a look at the free First Missions PDF. It provides very basic rules to play a Fed CA vs a Klingon D7 (without using drones). It cuts out several of the rules to just focus on the movement and weapons.

Second, go to Commanders' Circle (free registration required) and get Communique #2. It includes an example combat between the aforementioned Fed CA and Klingon D7. It describes everything that happens in the example duel for the first one or two turns.

Then, if that is still confusing, please PM me (or ask here), and I will see if I can help clarify things for you.
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Mike
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Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1529
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another thing to try is section 1B, the fast start rules. Try those first.

I found it *extremely* helpful to go through the rules and make my own notes on the various things a ship can do for movement (section 2). Then make notes on the other things ships can do (section 5). Combat is pretty straightforward.

In regard to ship systems (section 5), you probably won't need to concern yourself with any of that for your first couple of games (though repairs is pretty easy and helpful no matter what level of game you play). Beside repairs, the next systems to use would probably be transporters. Marine boarding parties go along with transporters. Tractor beams can be both very simple and complicated, depending on how you use them. I would recommend using tractor beams only in the Defensive Fire Phase to capture drones to begin with.

It also helps to read the examples that are throughout the rules. Set up the ships on the map and read the examples.

It has been explained to me that the rules for Federation Commander were written in more of a narrative fashion. The Star Fleet Battles game had a much more formal rules format.
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Paul Grogan
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Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 59
Location: Somerset, UK

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there Mike.

I got FC when it came out after giving up on SFB many years ago. I'm used to fairly complex games, so that was an advantage. However, it took me a good few read throughs of the rules and a couple of games before I got things straight.

Now, whilst I like FC, I think it is still a little too complicated, and IMO should have come with more introductory rules to get people started easier.

Here is my advice. Go through the rulebook again and rate the rules on a scale of 1-5. 1 being absolutely essential, 5 being not really needed.

Then play your first game with fleet scale ships using only rules you have marked with a 1. For example, use the same ship on both sides, make it a federation ship. Dont use drones. Maybe not even use acceleration or deceleration - Just set the baseline speed and thats it. Dont use overloaded photons, etc.
Get used to the movement rules, with Turn Mode and Sideslip

Then, progress up from there. Use the rules you marked with a '2'. Allow acceleration and deceleration. Allow overloaded photons.

Then start using drones - which means also including Anti-Drones. You may also want to use tractor beams at this point since they are a vital drone defence.

Rules you might want to class as a '4' or '5'. These rules I do play with, but thats only because I am experienced now and am comfortable with them. The '5' rules IMO could be completely missed out and the game would still be fine.

4. Emergency Deceleration, High Energy Turns, Tactical Maneuvering, Shuttlecraft

5. Shield Burn Through, Evasive Maneuvering, Directed Targetting, Transporters.

Other things I learnt to make play easier:
I use a set of Impulse Cards. You can find these images on my website www.runestonegames.com - under board games and then Fed Com.
I printed these out, and stuck them to old Magic cards. We then used these during the game to help through the turn order and remind us where we were up to.

I also used speed counters (also on my website). each player has a set of them and secretly selects one and reveals. This then stays face up next to their ship so everyone can see. On impulses they choose to accelerate, put the little '+1' counter next to the speed.

Also, I didnt use the Turn Mode or Sideslip counters. They were very fiddly and caused the map to look messy. Instead I used a d10 for each ship to represent their turn mode. Whenever they move without turning, they get to rotate their d10 to the next highest number. When the number showing matches their turn mode (or is higher), they can turn. The die goes to '0', but then straight away goes back to '1' when they move forward.

For Sideslips, I used a sideslip counter next to the d10. If the counter is face up, they may sideslip. If it is face down, they cannot. So basically, when they sideslip they flip the counter face down. When they then next move without sideslipping, they turn the counter face up.

For energy, I used coins (or poker chips). I even made little 'half' and 'quarter' coins from card. Just made it easier than the counters that came with the game as I had difficulties with the denominations.

I used a house rule to replace 2A5. I really hated the fact that if 2 ships have the same speed, turn mode, etc that both players have to write down their movement orders. This game was supposed to get away from written down orders. So I have an initiative roll at the start of each round and a big token to show which side had initiative. When it comes to things (like the movement) being simultaneous, the side with initiative chooses who moves first.

I'm more than happy to help out with any simple rules questions to help get you started. It took me a while and a few games, but if you find people who will enjoy it, its definitely worth it.

And more advice - dont buy any of the expansions yet. Stick with the basics. Read the rules, read the FAQ / Errata. Ask questions. Just play the basic game.

Let me know if you want anything else.

Paul
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2922
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"...if 2 ships have the same speed, turn mode, etc that both players have to write down their movement orders. This game was supposed to get away from written down orders".

I use a self-made set of 'Movement Cards' based on the old SFB Module A cards. There is a set for each player (or even each ship) in-play. When a simultaneous movement decision like that comes up, each player puts the card describing their intended move down on the board and they simultaneously reveal. Quick and clean.
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Paul Grogan
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 59
Location: Somerset, UK

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

djdood wrote:
I use a self-made set of 'Movement Cards' based on the old SFB Module A cards. There is a set for each player (or even each ship) in-play. When a simultaneous movement decision like that comes up, each player puts the card describing their intended move down on the board and they simultaneously reveal. Quick and clean.


That would work. Nice idea. Anything to get away from written down orders. I also think I used the initiative for something else aswell, but cant remember at the moment what it was.
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junior
Captain


Joined: 08 May 2007
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my group, when you've got multiple ships with the same movement and turn speed, we typically use the dice.

1 - Sideslip left
2 - Turn left
3 - Move straight
4 - Turn right
5 - Sideslip right
6 - Something else (HET?)

You pick the number that corresponds with how you want your ship to move, and then both players reveal their dice at the same time. No special items are required, and it's fairly fast and simple.

We also use something similar for picking speeds at the start of the turn. We were using 1 for speed 0, 2 for speed 8, etc... But a week ago last Monday when I was in the store someone had taken dice with blank facings on them and written in the speeds.
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jpat
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 19 Jan 2007
Posts: 203
Location: Iowa City, IA

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Capt_Dakota, you might look at the extended example of play that's available in Communique #2. Communique is the free FC newsletter and is available from Commander's Circle (see the main FC page for a link to that). It requires a free registration.

I have had a similar experience to yours with Combat Commander: Europe, which I had a heck of a time grasping just from reading the rules. Going through the sample game, though, helped me see how the pieces fit together. You may find the same to be true of you with the FC example.
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4461
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior, when we have multiple ships moving simultaneously, we scribble a quick note on the ship card (using the dry erase marker):
SL - slip left
ST - Straight
TR - turn right
CX - cancel move
HET - HET

it's quick, simpe, and rarely needed
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junior
Captain


Joined: 08 May 2007
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scoutdad -

Yes, it's rarely needed. But when it is needed, it tends to be needed all 8 impulses of that same turn (since invariably both players decide to accelerate on the same impulses...)

>.<

So it's a nuisance when it's required.

A die is easy to use since it's easy to cover with your hand while you wait for your opponent. If you jot a note down on your ship card and your opponent suddenly wants to take a look at your ship card (for legitimate reasons!) before he or she decides what to do (maybe your opponent wants to see which phasers have been shot off?), then you'll need to remove the note.

But the most important thing is that everyone understands how this is being determined.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That may be both an advantage of and a disadvantage to playing with the same group of guys for 25 years. We've played so many games of SFB together (and now FC), that when this situation arises - we're as confident about which way our opponent is planning to move as we are about our own moves.

I think I do like the die idea though... I may borrow that one from time-to-time. After all, we always have plenty of dice lying around... and if could sneak one of those 3-siders (1 through 3, two times each) into your opponents possession - you'd certainly limit his movement possibilities! Cool
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm... Dice with an arrow-depicting the intended move (like the 'movement cards')... [rubs hands and twists mustache...].

I wonder if I can find some cheap sterolithography lab to grow me a few of these if I model it up.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

djdood wrote:
Hmmm... Dice with an arrow-depicting the intended move (like the 'movement cards')... [rubs hands and twists mustache...]


DANG! Now you're gonna make me do it. Chessex will make custom dice at Origins each year at $1 a face. A bunch of us had custom VBIR dice made for the F&E games last year.

Now I'm going to have to have the artwork file on my USB flash drive and then have a few of the custom, simultaneous movement dice made up for the local Fed Comm guys.

Thanks a lot, Will - there goes a chunk of my ADB tribute. Wink
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djdood
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry - It's what I do. Wink
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Mike
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Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1529
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surely some peel-off ink jet stickers cut to fit the 6 sides of a 1d6 would be cheaper than paying $6 for one die!
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