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Hello from an old Newbie
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Tas
Ensign


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 9
Location: Canberra, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:49 am    Post subject: Hello from an old Newbie Reply with quote

Ahoy and greetings Commanders!

I'm a long time gamer (of many genres), and an old SFB player who is interested in returning to the fold. I was a terrible Klingon player who lost too many times to count (!) then switched to Gorn and found more success before moving onto other games when I joined the military 15 years ago (and yes I still have my huge stack of supplements and Captains Logs).

Having played many types of wargames, both minis and counter/hex style, I find myself these days playing more hobby style games because I can share them with young son (aged 8 ). He plays board games with Carcassonne and Cave Troll, and miniature games such as Space Hulk and AT-43 with varying skill but a growing sense of tactics and devious schemes. Actually, its disconcerting how a young mind can perceive some situations and react very differently to what I would expect. Which of means I am totally unprepared for the counter-move and get a good smacking! All part of the fun I say Very Happy

Anyhow, I figure that FC can now add another dimension to the more free-form alien smackdown games we normally play and add a bit more tactical depth to our playing style. Having suffered greatly at the hands of SFB (2nd edition I think it was) the quicker play Fleet scale appeals to me greatly and having read some other topics here I see that others have had great success with their kids playing FC too. I so guess I'm an "old newbie" to FC, with a few questions:

* If I order Klingon or Romulan Border, am I getting the most up to date rulebook?

* Does FC have a campaign system for linking scenarios (ie not a full fledged F&E style game)?

* Is any of my existing SFB material usable in FC (other than as background material) or do I need to repurchase the items?

Thanks very much and if anybody is in the Canberra area and interested in a game please drop me a line!

Cheers,
Tas
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Tas
Canberra, Australia

http://tasmancave.blogspot.com/


Last edited by Tas on Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Scoutdad
Commodore


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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Hello from an old Newbie Reply with quote

Tas wrote:
Ahoy and greetings Commanders!

Welcome back to the fold. We all hope you enjoy Federation Commander.

Quote:
* If I order Klingon or Romulan Border, am I getting the most up to date rulebook?

Yes. Since ADB has switched to a print-on-demand system, all of the games they sell now have the latest and greatest version of the rulebook included.

Quote:
* Does FC have a campaign system for linking scenarios (ie not a full fledged F&E style game)?

Not yet, but Victory By Any Means games (VBAM) has Federation Admiral in the final stages of playtest and is looking at a fall release. Fed Ad is a scaleable and modular campaign system for Federation Commander.

Quote:
* Is any of my existing SFB material usable in FC (other than as background material) or do I need to repurchase the items?

The counters and maps can be used.
As for the SSD's,the Fed Comm system has two scales - uadron scale and Fleet scale. Squadron scale is equal to the SFB system and your existing SSDs can be used for that scale; although they will be missing the move-cost data boxes. There's an easy remedy for that though... Find a ship card with the same move cost / turn mode and use the movement data from that card with your SSD.
Several ships / systems have no equivalent in the Fed Comm system (i.e., carriers, fighters, scouts, maulers, etc.) - but that still leaves a wealth of data to mine from your existing SFB material.

I hope that answers your questions.
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Sllarr
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Joined: 01 Apr 2008
Posts: 144

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back to the game !

First of all . COME BACK TO THE GORN , BROTHER !! Forget those pesky Klingons ... Laughing

Second, I am sure others will give you more complete answers , but let me give you my perspective:

* If I order Klingon or Romulan Border, am I getting the most up to date rulebook?

Please check the post on the FC 5th edition consolidated rulebook. I belive Steve Cole mentioned that in within 2 weeks all new game sets would be shipping with the newer rulebook. If you are making the purchase now through the webstore , I would e-mail ADB and ask for it to ship with the updated rulebook (out next week by the way).

* Does FC have a campaign system for linking scenarios (ie not a full fledged F&E style game)?

It is under development. It will be called "Federation Admiral" and will be based in the "Victory by Any Means" campaign system. I believe it will be released in the second half of the year.

* Is any of my existing SFB material usable in FC (other than as background material) or do I need to repurchase the items?

Maps and counters can be re-used immeditely. SFB SSD's and scenarios are not plug and play, but most can be addapted to FC with some minor effort. The new FC ship cards also have a "FLEET SCALE" version of the ships in the back (for quicker battles) that are missing in the SFB SSD's. These are harder to adapt correclty, as they require some manual tweaking for balance.
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Sllarr
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like Scoutdad beat me to the "post" button ...
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Scoutdad
Commodore


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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hehehe... I feel like Billy the Kid:

"Quick on the draw, but always being challenged by the new kid in town!" Wink
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Tas
Ensign


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 9
Location: Canberra, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the welcome and all the information guys, most appreciated. I have been teetering on the edge about FC for awhile, because I still have all my old SFB stuff. If its still useful to an extent then I wont get too upset about repurchasing similar material, though I think the streamlining of Fleet scale FC will be well worthwhile in itself.

I hadn't realised that the FC rulebook was a print on demand product. That will change my purchase point as I should order it direct rather than through my local store, who will give me existing stock and thus an older version. Postage to Oz is usually a kicker though.

Sounds like FedAd will be loads of fun, and its realese date will give me some time to get back up to speed (well, as fast as a crippled D7 goes anyway...!)

Speaking of the Gorn, do the dumbed down rules for Plasma Torps in FC make them (and the Romulans) a litte less nasty?

PS I'm a Scouting dad too!

thanks again!
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http://tasmancave.blogspot.com/
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Kang
Fleet Captain


Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 1949
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there and welcome. You'll find we're a pretty friendly bunch here on the forum Smile

Just wondering if you know that there's a free downloadable demo of Fed Commander - don't remember seeing you mention it in your postings - and you can download it here:

http://www.federationcommander.com/FCFirstMissions.pdf

As for plasma, they're simpler and because of that [in my opinion] more fun.

The two defences against Plasma are a) speed and b) phasers. No Wild Weasels, no ECM - not that ECM helped much against Plasma anyway - but also there's no envelopers, no shotguns, all that sort of stuff.

But the game does maintain the flavour of plasma warfare by including such things as down-firing, two-turn F's, bolting, and Carronades. There's even a rule for launching from a destroyed launcher, like there was in SFB

Anyway welcome to the forum, hopefully welcome tothe game, and I do hope you like it.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TAS:
Another point ot consider is the forthcoming Reference Rulebook.

If you purchased an instock FC:KB or FC:RB and received an out-of date version 4 rulebook, you have options:
1) the CRUL, an online - up-todate listing of revisions / clarifications.
2) ADB will usually sell you a replecement rulebook for a very small fee and the cost of the updated rulebook + shipping may make it more economical to purchase the boxedset locally and update through the mail.
3) My personal preference - get FC locally and then purchase a Reference Rulebook to update your rules. The reference Rulebook will not have ship descriptions or sceanrios in it, but it will have all of the weapons / system rules from all of the expansions located in one convenient place.
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MajerBlundor
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Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tas wrote:
Thanks for the welcome and all the information guys, most appreciated. I have been teetering on the edge about FC for awhile, because I still have all my old SFB stuff. If its still useful to an extent then I wont get too upset about repurchasing similar material, though I think the streamlining of Fleet scale FC will be well worthwhile in itself.


If you're interested in playing SFB but in less time and with less complexity then the Fleet Scale ship cards fully justify a "re-purchase".

I have two sons, ages 7 and 8 (technically almost 9), and they both love Federation Commander. In very short order we purchased a large number of the FC boxed sets and boosters and don't regret it one bit.

Remember too that when buying FC you're not just getting squadron and fleet scale ship cards, these cards are in color and most importantly laminated for use with dry erase markers.

This last feature can't be over-emphasized. Every veteran SFB player remembers the pain of trips to the photocopier. FC's laminated ship cards are absolutely wonderful! The color coding is very helpful when teaching new players ("You need to cross off a light blue power box.") and the lamination makes set-up (no photocopies) and clean-up very easy. And for some reason the use of dry-erase markers make in-game ship management easier (easier to erase compared to pencil/paper).

We've organized all of our ship cards into fleet specific binders and the boys enjoy thumbing through them as they plan their next battle!

One last point in the legacy SFB kit vs FC kit. In the FC core modules (KB and RB) you get double sided map boards with large hexes on one side and you get large, full color ship counters. That's probably not too important for hardcore gamers but for casual gamers and kids they're a VERY important part of the gaming experience.

The original SFB counters are certainly functional and clean but the FC ship counters and beautiful hex maps are much nicer. The larger hexes and counters are also MUCH easier for younger hands to manage.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MajorBlunder brought up to goo points I'd forgotten and I'd like to expand on them:

Map Boards:
The map boards (6 in the core boxes / 2 in the Attack packs) make a great modular map. If you've played SFB, you remember the pain of having to shift every single units 15 hexes in direction E to prevent running off the edge of the map.
Not so in Fed Comm. As the battle approaches the edge of the map, you simpy pick up the unused map boards from one end of the map and leap-frog them into place as the busy edge and keep on playing.

Also, the included 6 panels on the small scale hex side provides a standard 42x30 playing surface that is intimately familiar to the old SFB'ers out there.
The new, larger (1.25-inch) hex sides work well with the larger counters... or even better, are the exact same size as the hex bases on the Starline miniatures! Smile
(For those of us with 7 or 8 of the old Starline miniatures) Rolling Eyes

Counters:
The Federation Commander game comes with TWO! full sets of counters.
There is a set of 1/2 x 1/2 inch counters identical to the older SFB counters (but with much better graphics) for use on the small hexes.
and...
There is a set of 1-inch x 1-inch counters (similar to the older SFB mega-hex counters) with full color artwork for use on the large hexes.
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Steve Cole
Site Admin


Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 3051

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is my understanding that we suspended shipment of all FC products a few days ago and will resume in a few days when we have Revision 5 rulebooks.

I should finish FCRRB by Thursday noon, and FCKB5 and FCRB5 by Thursday evening. I should have all of the FC rulebooks replaced by Monay or Tuesday.
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Tas
Ensign


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 9
Location: Canberra, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The laminated Ship cards do sound excellent - photocpying was painful, but worse was discovering you didnt have copies of what you wnated as you sat down to play...

The movable maps are a good idea too (I switched to other maps for that reason)

Are the larger colour counters similar to the mega-hex products then? I was tempted to switch to them last time, so that will be very good.

Whats the recommendation on the rules and supplements? Get them punched and unbound and slip them into a folder? or bound and keep them seperate?

And just to clinche the deal, I tried an experiment tonight and put STII: Wrath of Khan on for the kids. At the end my son literally said "That was awesome! That would make a cool game". His conversion has started well! Cool

thanks again guys!
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Tas
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Tas
Ensign


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
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Location: Canberra, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry one more clarification as I found the thread on the refernce Rulebbok a little confusing: The reference Rulebook is intended to replace ALL rulebooks , and the scenarios, fluff and ship diagrams from the various supplments will add to it ?

So just to confirm that will I need to buy this Reference Rulebook in addition to a Border boxed set ?

Just trying to validate my current shopping list which would be a basic setup with:
FC Reference Rulebook
Klingon Space
Romulan Border
Briefings 1 and 2.
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Tas
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To answer two posts at once:
Yes, the large counters included in Federation Commander are like the SFB mega-hex counters. Same size, same type of artwork, etc.

The FCRRB:
This rulebook contains all of the rules from all of the products, but none of the fluff (i.e. ships discriptions and scenarios).
In order to get the fluff... you'll need the individual rulebooks.
Each product will come with a rulebook.
The rulebook in each product will be the appropriate sections of the FCRRB with the fluff (chapters 7 and Cool added to it.

Sounds a bit confusing, but I hope that helps clear it up.
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MajerBlundor
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I noticed that you're buying:

Romulan Border + Klingon Space

instead of

Romulan Border + Klingon Border

The one down side to not buying two Border sets is the lack of map boards in the Space sets. A typical map size when using the larger hexes and 1" counters is 3 panels high by 4 panels wide (ie 12 map panels). But you only get 6 panels in a Border set.

Assuming you want to use the large hexes/counters you can always add map panels later at $4 US each and the total cost will come out the same.

But I recommend that instead of buying Klingon Space you take the plunge and buy Klingon Border along with Romulan Border. That way you start out immediately with 12 map panels which is very convenient. That's what we did and the extra $24 was worth every penny given the high quality of the map panels!!!

Note that my recommendation is moot if you don't mind "floating" 6 map boards with the larger hexes or intend only to use the smaller hexes/counters. But once you see the large ship counters you'll be hooked!
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