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Middle Years idea
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:11 pm    Post subject: Middle Years idea Reply with quote

To riff off of Steve's theoretical offer, these are the ships I am looking at for a prospective Middle Years product:

Federation:
DN, CC, CA, CL, DD, FF, Pol

Klingon:
C6, D7C, D7, D6, F5C, F5, E4
(All units have reduced drone firing rate.)

Romulan:
WE, BH, SNA, K6R*, KRC, K7R, KR, K5C, K5R, K4R

Kzinti:
DNE, CC, CA, CS, CL, FF

Gorn:
DNE, CC, CA, CL, DD, FF

Tholian:
D, C, DD, PC, PC+

Orion:
CA, SAL, CR, LR, OFT, SLV

Hydran:
TEM, LC, RNG, LN, SAR, HN, GEN
(They use St-1 fighters.)
Optional: include DG, KN, CU

Lyran:
DNE, CC, CA, CL, DD, FF

The thing about all of these ships is that they already have counters in the game. All that would be produced is ship cards with the appropriate [lack of] refits.

Yes, I know that these Romulan ships all theoretically later than this time period, but I think giving them sublight ships is stupid for this module. Instead, they should just get their early post-Smarba ships, which all scale nicely to the other Middle Years ships quite nicely.

The Romulan K6R is not currently in the game. It is the "KR" conversion of the Klingon C6. It is an obvious variant that could easily be included and, if necessary, the SFB version could always be tossed into a CL. The reason for including it is because the Romulans should have a dreadnought, and the Vulture (and its counter) is not yet in Federation Commander.

I am undecided as to whether the hellbore ships should be included. Hellbore ships will just absolutely destroy Middle Years Klingon and Lyran ships with their badly unbalanced shields. They may just be too unbalanced.

I intentionally ignored all "National Guard", "Local Defense", and other such ships. Those are fairly "timeless" and could end up fighting anyone, even in the main setting. The ships above were selected as ships that are specifically from the "pre-war" time period, and had direct correspondence to existing counters.

Also, I have no idea whether it should be one big product to get it all out of the way, or if it should be broken up into other pieces. I just wanted to write down the various units.
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pneumonic81
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks about right, all pre refit ships from SFB that are missing in Fedcom.

Perhaps on the paper ship cards a special icon could be included to make it easy to pick them from the current cards. If I set a scenario for middle years I want people to take the pre refit CA not the current FedCom CA. Some kind of Middle Years icon (and for that matter a EY icon) will make it easy to see which is which.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best way to do this would be to include a special letter (e.g. "M") in the ship card number. (Of course, it may need to be something different, since I am sure the Magallanics will want to be using "M".)
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Giving the Romulans pre-Smarba ships could work if they had the same four-hexes-per-turn thing the (impulse-powered) Hood's saucer has in the Return of the Hood scenario.


Also, leaving out the Treaty Cruisers - which were ships the Romulans had to depend on more than others did with their L-ships when they got them (with the possible exception of the ISC in the 2560s) - might be a little un-representative for the Star Empire.


Plus, I'd still ask for L-versions of the Orion Y-raiders to be considered, since they would be a greater presence (in proportion to the CR and LR et al) in the MY era than later on (except in Romulan space, where they could stiill be viable right up to the era of Smarba).


mjwest wrote:
(Of course, it may need to be something different, since I am sure the Magallanics will want to be using "M".)


I would say that would be a reasonable assumption...

...perhaps go with E instead (as in, the EDN).



Oh, and isn't the Vulture in one of the communiques?


(Also, counter-wise, you could 'cheat' with the LD5, by letting people use the later D5 counter to represent it.)
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Carthaginian
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nerroth wrote:
Oh, and isn't the Vulture in one of the communiques?


Well, the Vulture is in Communique 11- but it's a bit off at Fleet Scale.
The King Eagle in Romulan Attack has 1xPlasR and 2xPlasF. The Vulture in C11 has only 1xPLasR and 1xPLasF. Compared to the King Eagle, the Vulture is way underarmed, having only 1xPh-1 more than the King Eagle. It's definately not worth the 90 BPV that is listed, being worth only 9 points more than the Fed CA and the 8 points more than the Gorn BC.

Perhaps with the addition of another Plas-F it would be viable, but as-is, it's pretty weak.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nerroth wrote:
Giving the Romulans pre-Smarba ships could work if they had the same four-hexes-per-turn thing the (impulse-powered) Hood's saucer has in the Return of the Hood scenario.

I didn't say they wouldn't work. Just that they would suck.

We are going to be stuck with sublight Romulans in Early Years. I would very much rather just ignore that entirely for the Middle Years.

Quote:
Also, leaving out the Treaty Cruisers - which were ships the Romulans had to depend on more than others did with their L-ships when they got them (with the possible exception of the ISC in the 2560s) - might be a little un-representative for the Star Empire.

Plus, I'd still ask for L-versions of the Orion Y-raiders to be considered, since they would be a greater presence (in proportion to the CR and LR et al) in the MY era than later on (except in Romulan space, where they could stiill be viable right up to the era of Smarba).

I don't want R8 ships, at least not to start. There are plenty of ships as it is, without going to R8, making new R8-style ships, or digging out any "early Middle Years" ships (e.g. D6C).

The whole point of the list above is that it only includes ships that are already in Federation Commander. They use the counters that exist, pretty much exactly as is. They are the ships that people are used to, but presented in a different light, so as to give new tactical challenges without throwing whole bunches of stuff at them.

Remember, the idea here (at least in my view) is not to provide a "timeline" or show the entire history of the SFU. It is simply to provide an alternative "setting" that provides new tactical challenges. The Middle Years setting does not have to perfectly match the SFU timeline, so some liberties can be taken, both to included ships that are needed and ignore ships that don't fit. In doing so, it is then important to make sure the ship selection makes sense and fits together well.

The Romulan ships listed make a perfect illustration of this. Sublight ships (in competition with the other ships present) would be ridiculously boring. Plus, they would die quickly unless they massively outnumbered their opposition. Really, doing them would be a waste of time. Doing the "treaty" ships would solve part of that problem, but really they are just a historical footnote in the SFU history. They really weren't used for much (if anything), and are not representative of the other empires' ships, either. (And by "used" I mean in-game. They were not a relevant part of the Romulan fleet and didn't do anything. They are window dressing.)

Instead, the initial set of post-Smarba ships fits much, much better. They are directly comparable with the other empires' ships, and are directly competitive. The "timeline" doesn't match up perfectly, but this is Federation Commander. It is more important to get the feel and fun of the setting correct, than to match the SFU timeline perfectly. Plus, they are actually really close. And they were used. Better to fudge the timeline than skip the fun.

Likewise, I included the K6R because the Romulans need a dreadnought. The Vulture isn't available. But, we do have a K9R counter. The K6R *could* have been built, it fits the overall setting perfectly. I don't know that Steve will agree to it, but it is reasonable, so I make the suggestion.

Just as the post-Smarba Romulans are a perfect example of what I am talking about including, the R8-style ships are a perfect example of what I think should be excluded. The R8-style ships are all about filling in the gaps of the SFU timeline. They are not used (in-game; they are not used by the empires themselves in the context of the SFU). They are not familiar. They, often times, aren't even all that fun unless you are very careful with their opponents. They are historical footnotes used to fill out the SFU timeline, but add almost nothing to the setting.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nerroth wrote:
mjwest wrote:
(Of course, it may need to be something different, since I am sure the Magallanics will want to be using "M".)


I would say that would be a reasonable assumption...

...perhaps go with E instead (as in, the EDN).

That could work.

Quote:
Oh, and isn't the Vulture in one of the communiques?

My criteria was "has a counter". Not "has a ship card".

Quote:
(Also, counter-wise, you could 'cheat' with the LD5, by letting people use the later D5 counter to represent it.)

See above for my critique of R8-ships and their applicability to the setting.

I will say that the LD5 could theoretically be an exception. It is really a Middle Years CL, not a Guard or Local Defense ship. However, it was also not used, is not familiar to most, and was definitely not used in-game. It is borderline at best.
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
Nerroth wrote:
mjwest wrote:
(Of course, it may need to be something different, since I am sure the Magallanics will want to be using "M".)


I would say that would be a reasonable assumption...

...perhaps go with E instead (as in, the EDN).

That could work.


Cool.

Quote:
My criteria was "has a counter". Not "has a ship card".


People can buy module H1...

Quote:
See above for my critique of R8-ships and their applicability to the setting.

I will say that the LD5 could theoretically be an exception. It is really a Middle Years CL, not a Guard or Local Defense ship. However, it was also not used, is not familiar to most, and was definitely not used in-game. It is borderline at best.


Well, even in the GW era there are ships which were somewhat shaky usage-wise in SFB (such as the Fed CS) which have a more expanded role in FC (three named ships, instead of just one)... and since in the Middle Years it was the D5, using the later D5 counter isn't that far a stretch.

Plus, the LD5 could even be used in the already-published Battle of Iridima VII scenario (which, in the SFB version, is shown to feature it).

And I still say the Romulan treaty ships (and Orion L-upgrades) would also work as exceptions.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nerroth wrote:
Well, even in the GW era there are ships which were somewhat shaky usage-wise in SFB (such as the Fed CS) which have a more expanded role in FC (three named ships, instead of just one)... and since in the Middle Years it was the D5, using the later D5 counter isn't that far a stretch.

There is a massive difference between the Fed CS and the Klingon LD5. The difference is that the Fed CS is a great ship that people love to fly; the LD5 is a piece of crap. I suppose it might be useful as a "point value" ship when you need exactly that number of points, especially since the gap between the F5 and D6 is pretty big. That is a legitimate point in its favor (and potentially an important point).

Quote:
And I still say the Romulan treaty ships (and Orion L-upgrades) would also work as exceptions.

That's fine. A diversity of opinion is good. Plus, what I am looking for in a Middle Years module is not the same as what others could be looking for.

That said, I still say both of those groups of ships are exactly like all of the other R8-style ships and only have meaning in context of the SFU timeline. Especially since the Orions L-ships don't even exist, and the only reason you even mention the Romulan treaty ships is because you are still thinking of SFU timeline. Neither group adds anything to the Middle Years setting.
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
Nerroth wrote:
Well, even in the GW era there are ships which were somewhat shaky usage-wise in SFB (such as the Fed CS) which have a more expanded role in FC (three named ships, instead of just one)... and since in the Middle Years it was the D5, using the later D5 counter isn't that far a stretch.

There is a massive difference between the Fed CS and the Klingon LD5. The difference is that the Fed CS is a great ship that people love to fly; the LD5 is a piece of crap. I suppose it might be useful as a "point value" ship when you need exactly that number of points, especially since the gap between the F5 and D6 is pretty big. That is a legitimate point in its favor (and potentially an important point).


Well, I would counter that many empires at the time had ships they were less than thrilled to operate - the Feds didn't care that much for the DD (which, by the way, should probably be the DDM, since that was the 'original' configuration of the hull) to give but one example.

Part of the point of the E-era should be to show what each navy had to work with - how they were obliged to try and overcome (or, at least, work around) the deficiencies and difficulties their ships saddled them with.

And besides, the Klingons did build 7 of those LD5s, and made use of them one way or another, so why not let FC players do the same?

Quote:
That's fine. A diversity of opinion is good. Plus, what I am looking for in a Middle Years module is not the same as what others could be looking for.

That said, I still say both of those groups of ships are exactly like all of the other R8-style ships and only have meaning in context of the SFU timeline. Especially since the Orions L-ships don't even exist, and the only reason you even mention the Romulan treaty ships is because you are still thinking of SFU timeline. Neither group adds anything to the Middle Years setting.


There will have to be at least some reference to the overall timeline - and at this time, the Romulans simply did not have the range and number of better ships with which they could afford to ignore the use of the KD4 and KF4.

Again, in my view, it's better to show what the Romulans were obliged to work with - and if you don't intend to make them stick with sublight ships (which could work using the rules printed in the Return of the Hood scenario, as I referred to earlier) they should at least have something to highlight that in this time, they were obliged to do things a little differently than their neighbours.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see any reason that this would not fit into the Briefing format of 64 pages.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the Fed DN, CA, and DD are included in the product then the SC and Tug need to be included as well, correct?
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not correct.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leanna has greenlighted the idea and says that she will consider various options to make color available (selling PDFs, selling color copies, buying a color printer).
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: Laminated colour cards.
I wonder if it's possible to do something like Ken Burnside seems to do for some of his products, basically wait on printing until there are a guaranteed number of sales (pre-orders) to make it economically feasible. Though I'm not sure if such an idea would limit sales of said laminated cards to the one order (with subsequent single orders being in a different format?). Or perhaps a pre-defined number of sales may allow for a certain amount of extras to be printed, which then would be available only via the website (and there, I'm not sure how good the direct-online sales are).

EDIT - Regarding sublight ships. I would suggest including at least one Romulan sublight ship (ie the Bird of Prey), if the Middle Years is intended to represent the ships from the show. Someone undoubtably will want to recreate Balance of Terror. Though forgive me if such an appropriate ship already exists in the game, I didn't buy the romulan cards myself.
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