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Campaign Pack
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MikeBurke
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Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 129
Location: Frederickburg Virginia

PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:29 pm    Post subject: Campaign Pack Reply with quote

I had an idea, I didn't know what people thought, I thought it would be cool to do something called a campaign pack.

With the release of these new modules, like module C5 the LMC, and all I thought it would be great to update the information regarding "Operation Unity" and set up a pack that would include enough counters to incorporate doing a campaign like that, and perhaps also "Operation Cavalry" as well. I wanted to do these campaigns, but I don't have anywhere near enough counters for Andros and I've even pulled out all of my Commander's Edition stuff alongside my Captain's Edition stuff. I thought that it would be interesting to set it up so that you would have an SSD and some counters for every ship class in the campaign(s) I have been using the the "Large Ships Energy Allocation" chart from the earlier "Reinforcements # 2" module from 1987 to chart the juice for my larger ships as the one in basic set has a little difficulty with anything that has more than 4 heavy weapons.
I thought that it might be cool to incorporate elements from modules F1, F2,C3 & C5 in an update for the campaigns and sell the two big campaigns as separate modules. Just a thought that I had for a long time.
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Mike Burke
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2925
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Counters seem to always be one of the big stumbling blocks to getting new products (they cost a lot to print, they cost even more to die-cut, the die-cutter seem to *always* screw them up or not want to do them, etc., etc.).

You might be better off seeing if you can buy the counter sheets you want as spare parts from existing products.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or creating your own in a graphics program then printing out a copy (for your own use... selling of those sheets would violate many regulations)

Will is correct about the counter sheets. Those must be out-sourced as ADB doesn't have the abilities to produce / die-cut them. This means that; unlike the print-on-demand rulebooks that a minimum run (probably a thousand or more sheets would have to be printed. How long would it take ADB to sell 1000 Operation unity or Cavalry Charge campaign packs???

One last point: Due to the sheer cost of the counters themselves - the counters for four (4!) expansions are printed at one time. This means that the next 4 expansions worth of single sided counters have already been printed. At an average of 1 SFB / 1 Fed Comm product per year, they won't be reprinting single sided counters until 2010 or 2011.

Now - another option is this: Every now and then - ADB has blank space at the edge of a cardstock product... book covers, module covers, etc. Whenever that occurs, Steve will often ask the SFU Community (that's us! Smile ) what they would like to have printed in that space. If enough people request something - it might get done. Watch for the next announcement of this type and then make a suggestion. They wouldn't be thick, card-board counters and you'd have to cut them out yourself - but you might get it past Steve's financial manager... hehehehe.

Of course - there's always the option I chose, too. I already have enough miniatures scratch-built / kit-bashed / converted to play Cavalry Charge completely with miniatures... includign shuttles, drones, plasma torps, T-Bombs, NSMs, Webs, etc... Shocked Cool Rolling Eyes
I alos have printed all of the SSD's required onto color coded cardstock (medium blue for Feds / Canary for Lyrans / Light Green for Hydrans / etc.) with the appropriate racial EA form (or Large Ship / Carrier / Base) on the flip side. Then the whole mess is laminated for durability. Sure it takes 8 of us an average of 22 hours to play... but it makes for a great Memorial Day / Labor Day get together.

I should probably think about doing Unity, now... Twisted Evil
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MikeBurke
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Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 129
Location: Frederickburg Virginia

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I did before the Frax ever came out was was made my own Frax counters. I was in the game store and I bought some blank tan Chessex counters and I drew on the counters to the best of my ability with a black felt tipped pen and made me a Frax fleet. I had all the SSD's and for all sense and purposes unless you are using the Frax subs (but how hard are those?) all the Frax ships pretty much look the same, just in different sizes
I made drones and shuttles and I made a quantity of them. The all fit on my big, huge Chessex vinyl battle mat, were all the same size as everything else and they worked. They cost a couple of bucks back in the mid-1990's and got the job done, so when I bought module C4 when if first came out, I had two Frax fleets, just like I have two Jindarian fleets because of the Jindarian module.

My next thought was to update the information with "Operation Unity" to perhaps include Jindarians, Vudar, and the LMC races, seeing how the LMC was the staging area for the Andros. I thought it would be interesting to see how the Uthiki could interact with let's say the Hydrans or something. Something to perhaps include some of these other ships that just were not yet part of the game at the time the campaign was written.

Another thought is, as far as counters go, maybe perhaps get the word out like in the newsletters and the Captain's Logs that a new batch of counters is going to be printed at a future date and take advanced orders for it so that people can get an order for them in and would have them for their games. This way those who need them can get them.
How long would it take for ADB to sell them? So many different things depend on that. I can tell you that Advertising can be what either makes or breaks a business. As far as my own business went, advertising was a "black hole" You put good money in there and get absolutely nothing out.
As much as we enjoy these things, the real campaign for us is to get the word out about the games. Having played it for many years, I have watched and seen how other people react when it's brought up. Many people are a little sheepish when it's brought up. For reasons I don't know. I only found out about Fed Commander 3 months ago and didn't know what to think at that point. Without knowing everything, it made me wonder if SFB was abandoned after all this time. People who play games like this are few and far between now and over the years, the number has been dwindling. Most everything is going to the electronics now. In the 1990's the thing that pulled most of the people I played SFB with away was was this card game called "Magic- The Gathering" Now it's Guitar Hero or Grand Theft Auto or something.
Star Trek itself, you can hardly even find it in re-runs anymore and that goes for any of those franchises, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, TNG or TOS. We're the die hards for it. I played Starfleet Command, I bought that game, I have to say that for me, I preferred the board game better.
there was a computer program out there that somebody had written that handled things for SFB like Damage Allocation, impulse movements, kept track of what was on the board. That was convenient and was able to speed things up somewhat because you didn't run into issues like "We're on what impulse again?" after having a conversation or something. I know you guys know what I'm talking about because we all do it whether we know it or not. It's easy to get distracted. Like if your (Lyran) cat jumps up on the table and starts kicking your papers and counters around or something, the computer program tracked it all and knew where all your stuff was supposed to be. You didn't have to meticulously write down what was in what hex at what time. There's no way to predict something like that. If the cat did that to me that would be it. That cat would be dog meat.
But maybe perhaps there is another way to handle the whole counter issue? In the 1980's and 90's we didn't have printers let alone computers until the tail end of the 90's. We didn't have things like CD's and DVD's and stuff like that as we do now. Most people who have a computer also have a printer connected to it. Ink is never cheap especially if it's HP or Lexmark, but my thought is to perhaps provide a heavy card stock that will work on a regular printer machine and a computer program that has already done the formatting and have it print it out locally on their own printer. You could save on the whole printer thing all together if it was all just put on a CD, the rules, the SSD's , the counters and just provide maybe the cardstock for the counters and provide maybe the maps. We already print the SSD's and energy charts as we need them. We didn't have options like that in the 1990's as we do now. The game is supposed to be about future technology, sure we can bring this game up to the threshold and take it to the next step without diminishing the integrity of it. I got some ideas and I know that there is enough of a fan base that would be willing to help. People who play this game are very talented people and they play this game because they love this game.
Imagine the exposure there could be if we could have this game sold at a place like Game Stop or Best Buy or somewhere other than an exotic game or hobby store? I don't ever expect to really see it for the Xbox or Wii systems but I mean you can cut down on packaging and printing by putting it all on a CD and selling it for the same price as it's presently going for now. You have just saved trees, saved printer ink, cut out a few middle-men, eliminated an old-fashioned element and made it more relevant to today's gamers and renewed interest and potentially saved some money along the way.

I'm just trying to help here to toss some ideas out into the open. Please don't view anything I am saying as being any doctrine because it's not.
Maybe what I am thinking is, that it's all in how we approach it? Just a thought.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The next time we print single-sided counters will be in about May 2009 and will include counters for Hydran Attack, War & Peace, SFB Module to be named later, and Star Fleet Assault.

There is no practical way to print a set of counters for a campaign pack. We would never sell 1,000 of them and we have to buy counters for $2 per sheet two thousand at a time.

Petrick does updates regularly in Captain's Log and the counters you need are in other products, products you must have to use the updated campaign anyway.
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wedge_hammersteel
Commander


Joined: 27 Sep 2008
Posts: 581
Location: Lafayette, LA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about buying blank counters (the big ones)? Are they available? I could use my computer to print graphics on labels then put them on the blank counters.

Would it be more cost efficient to have SVC print counter labels (stickers) which we could be put on the blank counters rather than making pre-printed counters?

I didnt do a search to see if this was previously discussed. I am killing time during a work break.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we're out of blank counters. Might have some odds and ends left. You could ask Mike at Support@starfleetgames.com as he's the only one who would know.

I don't know that I want to print labels, but we could sell PDFs so you could print them.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'd buy a PDF of counter images and print them myself to attach them to blank cardboard or plastic counters. It would depend on what images were included and what the price would be.

SVC, any idea on a ballpark figure for a price on something like this? And what images would be included?
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wedge_hammersteel
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Joined: 27 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found some 1 x 1 labels and I was able to copy and paste graphics from the counters I found in the first missions PDF.

You could do a PDF with a graphic of each ship, then the initials for each ship like CA or DN or CVA, a graphic for each race and then numbers. This way we could cut and paste counters that we want.

If I wanted a battle with 15 fed frigates then I could make up 15 counters. (I know that sounds crazy but you get what I mean.)

100 sheets of the 1 x 1 labels were 18.95. Are the counters exactly 1x1?

I could send you the word doc file so you could see my example.
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Mike
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Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:52 pm    Post subject: Sticker Overlays for Homemade Counters Reply with quote

I pulled a large counter out at random and measured it to be exactly 1"x1".
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MikeBurke
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Joined: 14 Nov 2008
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Location: Frederickburg Virginia

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I remember it, there were counters that were printed on a heavy card stock that was like the back cover of a Captain's log or something. A lot of times, as i remember it, it was done for F&E . One of the things I didn't like doing was ripping apart the Captain's log to try to stuff an SSD sheet into a photo copier or something. It almost always seemed like a trip to Staples was in order. It was about the only way to deliver a new SSD or two unless we were getting the StarFleet Times in the postal mail or something. then we were able to at least fold it over and copy it flat.
So much has happened since the 1990's, my thought now is perhaps there may be a way to deliver these goods with an electronic download or something? Players as we have seen just by commentary in these posts would be "Enterprising" enough to construct things like counters on their own provided they got the imaging for them.
The thing here is that things like electronic downloads can be watermarked in such a way, very similar to the music industry's DRM and prevent abuse and illegal proliferation on the internet that would violate the agreements/permissions regarding reprint of SSD's
One of the things to do is to make the game "smarter not harder" and by putting some of the things like SSD's into digital format for download, it would cut down substantially on the so called "clutter" which is to a brand new player a component that could ultimately scare off a new player. We don't want to be scaring anyone off.
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Mike Burke
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we've had this conversation before...
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MikeBurke
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I Must have missed that one somewhere. If it's a dead topic just say so... just understand that if it had been posted, likely it has not been seen by everyone and some key points may have gone overlooked.... perhaps post a reference link to that topic so it can be reviewed, goes to pertinence to maintain congruity.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps what is needed is a separate topic that is closed for comment and which states the current ADB policy about putting out PDF versions of stuff.
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that is one of the items of the mythical FAQ I am trying to write.

But, yeah, PDF products are pretty much a dead topic.

Note that ADB does provide several items with PDF. The Cadet's Game for SFB and First Missions for Federation Commander are both available in PDF. Many play aids are also available in PDF. The entire run of Communique starts in PDF and stays there (within which you can find many, many ships, rules, and scenarios).

So, ADB does use PDF where it seems prudent. They just don't use PDF for their major products because they kinda like making money off of them.
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