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Border Madness
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 1957
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

junior wrote:
Just so long as the Gorn don't suddenly end up losing the ability to fire their 360 phasers down the hex row directly behind the ship...

Wink

Didn't think of that......
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
The whole 'engines block LOS' is a 2D thing, with a bit of roll you could bring all your phasers to shoot LS/RS. It always amused me that multiple opposing ships always had the same up/down orientation, which doesn't really make much sense to me.

I know what you mean; others have thought that too. Some fan sites have rules that account for orientation.

But it's probably best not to go there. I seem to remember, in the days before FC, SVC writing something about that he'd never allow ships to roll.

And you can see the reason why. The SFB/FC games are supposed to be about manoeuvre. 'Maneuver is the heart of the game', IIRC. If you didn't have to get your weapons into arc, and have to manoeuvre to do this, then the heart of the game would be lost.

Plus it would mean that all the characteristics of the ships, good/bad firing arcs, all the essential balance of the weapon arc concept, would be lost too.

Take for example Klingon ships. They're a bit lacking in the phaser-1 department, with their cheaper fire control phaser-2's. But this is made up for by giving them wider firing arcs and the manoeuvrability to use them. These subtleties would be lost if we had no firing arcs due to rolling the ships.

In a real-world sense, the inability to roll is unrealistic, yes. But in game terms, it makes perfect sense.

PS. I seem to remember there was also an in-game reason for why all the ships arrive at a battle with the same orientation - it had something to do with the space-faring races' accepted conventions for the navigational directions of 'up' and 'down' where really there are none.

Of course, everyone knows that it's really to make it more accessible for your average ground-hugger to watch a space battle on TV. But then we've always had to make excuses for the TV chaps.....
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Impossibly complicated to account for "roll". See Ken's game, which is about 10% as complex as SFB except for the 3d part, which is about 10 times as complicated as SFB.
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Davec_24
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Were you to start thinking (and writing the game) in three dimensions, the whole thing would become much more complicated than it is since the argument that a bit of pitch or roll would bring more weapons to bear will apply to a large portion of the ships featured in the game.

Also, in some cases a ship which can fire certain phasers at a target in the same plane (i.e. on a 2d map) as itself may not be able to do so in 3D. The Fed CA is an example of this - an enemy off your port bow (say facing F relative to you) could be engaged by the forward and left phaser banks on the saucer section in FC - were the enemy below you, the left phaser bank could not be brough to bear since it is located on the top of the saucer. If you were to pitch or roll so that the enemy was on a level with you, you are back to the firing arcs as portrayed in FC.

Of course, this gets much more complicated when you consider multiple ships, and although having only 2 dimensions is not technically accurate, on balance it probably works out as a good enough (if slightly abstracted) simulation. Basically I imagine the battles to actually be fought in 3 dimentsions, where the movement of each ship relative to another in the 2D game can be imagined as a ship pitching and rolling the correct amount to bring the desired weapons/shields to bear (or firing these weapons as they bear on the target while pitching/rolling in the case where in a 3d sense not all of the weapons would bear at the same time).
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Cole wrote:
Impossibly complicated to account for "roll". See Ken's game, which is about 10% as complex as SFB except for the 3d part, which is about 10 times as complicated as SFB.

I have Ken's games and have played them.

I enjoy the 3D aspect of them and find it easy to understand / cope with / handle / etc... but then again, my wife calls me the World's Biggest Engineering NERD.

I have several friends that play SFB / Fc with me and they've tried to play SITs and AV:T. After about 10 minutes of trying to explain the 3D movement, it goes to "How about we just set-up a couple of ships, and walk through it...). After 5 more minutes of this... they all have gotten a glazed look in their eyes that reminds me of the banjo player in Deliverance.

I don't want to lose any more SFB players, so I agree with Steve on this one... "Roll" (or 3D movement) is, generally speaking, impossibly difficult to account for in a game that has 500+ pages of rules not involving 3D movement and well over 2000 different ships to consider! Shocked
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Bolo_MK_XL
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think one example of the difficulty in doing 3d gaming is Mustangs and Messerschmidts --- made even harder by having fixed weapons (other than turrets on bombers) ---
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't want the game going 3d, i'm more than happy with it as is. I was just commenting on what I always think is a silly explanation of why the engines changed or why the arc was able to expand round to full LS/RS.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bolo_MK_XL wrote:
I think one example of the difficulty in doing 3d gaming is Mustangs and Messerschmidts --- made even harder by having fixed weapons (other than turrets on bombers) ---



Another fine game that I own, play, and enjoy... but also one that scares the be-jeebers out of the uninitiated when they see it in action.
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Paul B
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meh, I understand the reason for the odd arcs in SFB but personally I hope those arcs never make it into FC. It's a needless complication imo. And in reference to the "you can just roll the ship", well, when in TOS does the Enterprise roll? No ship in TOS ever does any sort of fancy manoeuvre like that anyway and if you're trying to simulate the show then simulate the show not how you think it should be if it had more realism to it.

I saw some thing on youtube, one of those horrid "fan music videos" where the subject of the tribute was some "ST New Voyages" fan production or something. And I respect all the work that's gone into such a production, but, some of the CGI shots from the show were silly. There were Consitutions doing barrel rolls ALL OVER THE PLACE, it was like "what, did you even watch the show man? The ships don't do that".

Though, a person doesn't always want to simulate the show. If you tried to simulate TNG for example, most battles would be a case of placing two ships 3-4 hexes apart, staying still and rolling dice to see who's shield fell first.
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't worry, Paul. The firing arcs should not make it into FC; that's why they're in Borders of Madness.

I like to think of Borders of Madness as a place where some of the things that were dropped from SFB, in order to design FC, are reintroduced as optional rules, but without being 'official' optional rules since FC is not suposed to contain optional rules.

As far as I understand it, this is for people who a) want to try out older rules, systems and tactics within the FC framework, and b) need some of the old SFB rules [like Scout rules, for example] for their campaign systems.

The rules are there to standardise the system; if people are going to want to use Scout rules, for example, there may as well be a set of such rules written down already, firstly so that everyone uses the same rules, and secondly as a service to the players.

Other than that, I'm with you - keep FC simple. Don't forget that they're not going to make FC too complex; if a player wants a more complex game, SFB is already available Smile
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Paul B
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kang wrote:

As far as I understand it, this is for people who a) want to try out older rules, systems and tactics within the FC framework, and b) need some of the old SFB rules [like Scout rules, for example] for their campaign systems.

The rules are there to standardise the system; if people are going to want to use Scout rules, for example, there may as well be a set of such rules written down already, firstly so that everyone uses the same rules, and secondly as a service to the players.

Other than that, I'm with you - keep FC simple. Don't forget that they're not going to make FC too complex; if a player wants a more complex game, SFB is already available Smile


Are these arcs actually going into Borders of Madness? (or are they?) I haven't picked up any recent Captains Logs or Briefings. Seems a bit odd to essentially retcon a shipcard (as an option) back to something else. But who knows. Any SFBer can simply house rule them back into existence anyway, though I say if you let a D7 get on your tail it's too bad for you anyway.

But yeah, I'll pass on SFB. I gave it a go once, wasn't that fond of it to be honest. I mean, for one thing I prefer fleet or squadron-sized battles, not duels. If my opponent and I have a good chunk of time we'll have 1000 points squadron-level games for example.But there's a lot of room between the complexity between the two systems I think (SFB+FC). If scouts are needed as part of a campaign and campaigns are being introduced in one form or another to FC I could see such rules becoming sort of a "campaign ruleset", where maybe there's ships like Scouts and Maulers and so forth. Maulers I take it are best served as planetary bombardment ships or something? Thought I read something to that effect somewhere.

I sometimes play Bruce Graw's OOP game, Babylon 5 Wars, which includes so-called scouts which are fairly simple additions to fleets. But such ships weren't really used that often by me and my opponent. I can see them playing a larger role in campaigns though. From perusing the rules in the communique that's the impression I got from the scout rules. They can have an effect on the battle, but they're more of a . . . fleet/squadron support ship? With their sensor abilities that is.
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul B wrote:

Are these arcs actually going into Borders of Madness? (or are they?) I haven't picked up any recent Captains Logs or Briefings. Seems a bit odd to essentially retcon a shipcard (as an option) back to something else. But who knows. Any SFBer can simply house rule them back into existence anyway, though I say if you let a D7 get on your tail it's too bad for you anyway.


The Klingon firing arcs are in Captain's Log #38. I have just posted in reply to you on another thread referring to that CL, so apologies for that.

Anyway, the arcs are in that CL, but only in the Borders of Madness section.

And you're right about house ruling the concepts back into existence. That was what I had in mind when I was meaning that it is to standardise the rules - if players are going to house-rule things, there may as well be a standardised ruleset from the designer.

I used to be quite resistant to the idea of BoM, until I realised that it's just that - Borders of Madness: an experimental set of rules for those who want them, not an obligatory section of rules that all players have to adopt - and not even optional rules. Now I think it's a great concept. Having said that, I still don't use the BoM rules, just the standard FC rules....
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Youze guyze need to grasp that BoM is meant to drag SFB players over here, not FC players over there.
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junior
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've already been using a version of the Klingon firing arcs at my local store (restricted to the hex row directly behind the ship), and will probably use the CL38 version once the store gets a copy. Ironically, the store owner is the one who pushed for adding the hex row, and was probably the last person to find out that CL38 has the expanded firing arcs, and is now available.

Razz
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markgeorgetwo
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:31 pm    Post subject: post subject Reply with quote

But when is the product borders of madness being released for iam looking forward this.
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