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Unbalanced fighters should be revised in BoM
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DorianGray
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 10:21 am    Post subject: Unbalanced fighters should be revised in BoM Reply with quote

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say fighters in Star Fleet Battles were simply too powerful. The idea of "powerful offense" "low survivability" while might have sounded good on paper turned out horribly unbalancing in gameplay and really threw things off.

Before I continue for those of you who will surely tell me: "If you don't like them then don't use them" (Essentially telling me to f-off) some of us actually want to play a "balanced" standardized game at Origins or competitive tournaments where we won't have to argue fighters are OP and shouldn't be included but the opponent's want them because their entire gameplay is based around abusing fighters.

Back in Star Fleet Battles, a baby carrier could carry 12 fighters, and each fighters had 2-3 Phaser 3s, and 2(?) or 3 Drones. A larger carrier would have even more.

So 2 phaser 3s x 12 : 24 shots plus 24 drones. That is simply an insane amount of firepower - much more than 1, 2 or even 3 real ships could muster. In theory because fighters won't have firing arc and turning problems they are even more powerful than it appears on paper. Also, the low survivability wasn't that much of a handicap because you had so many of them.

Apparently the justification for "powerful offensive" fighters is because SVC (?) believes if they ever made fighters in the future they would be the equal of today's modern fighters (that absolutely destroys everything).

Yes, but here is the problem. Modern warfare stinks and it is completely unfair. The vast majority of war games and miniatures are based on WW2 and before because they were much better balanced than modern war. Furthermore the ship to ship duels that Fed.Com. is based around is more akin to WW1 Fleet/ship battleship actions (Think Jutland) than Midway style carrier engagements (Where not even a single surface ship sighted another) OP fighters are simply out of place. I'd much rather play Napoleonics or WW1/WW2 - hell even Korea- than Gulf War/Vietnam. It simply makes for better gameplay. Go to boardgamegeek top 100 wargames and see HOW MANY modern war games are on there.

Also here is my counter-argument. In the Star Trek Universe everything is determined by power output and the warp core and the warp drives take up huge spaces and several decks on Star Ships and this is in the TOS universe as well. The power and shields of the ships is directly linked with their warp power and fighters have nowhere NEAR the amount of power of real capital ships. In reality they should be exponentially less powerful.

However, I DO WANT fighters, but BALANCED fighters in this game. I believe Babylon 5 had the right idea. Fighters in that series and even in the real Star Trek (DS9) universe had the right idea. Fighters were more like WW1 Biplanes than F-15 "rape everything that moves whoever has the most F-15s win" type of craft. They harass, screen, and annoying enemy fleets with the potential for some mediocre/medium (shooting into down shields)damage - this meant that SHIPs were still the main stars of the show not the fighters.

Fighters should be drastically nerfed. This means 1 phaser 3 at MOST, or make a new phaser class (phaser-5) that is weaker than phaser 3s. This way fighters are more in an auxiliary role in taking out incoming drones... distraction, etc than the main fleet killers. Fighters SHOULD NOT get drones. I believe "bombers" should be added that will be fewer in number, slower, more vulnerable and carry no phasers but carry some drones. (not a lot) (Think B-wing vs. A-Wing/X-wing)

I hope I'm being reasonable. I know a lot of you feel the same way (at the people I play with) and I hope this will be taken into consideration for BoM.

Adieu
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USS Enterprise
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like the idea of less fighters, but they should be for all races in FC. A little off topic and more about regular FC, but this is how I'd arm the fighters.

Federation- x1 Photon, x1 Phasor 1

Klingon- x1 Disrupter (Range 15) x1 Phasor 1

Kzinti- x1 Disrupter (ange 15) x2 Phasor 3

Romulan- x1 Plasma F (Bolt only) x1 Phasor 1

Gorn- x1 Plasma F (Bolt and Carronade only) x2 Phasor 3

Exc. What do you think. Again, as the Hydrans are the basis, I don't know how many they have, so this may or may not be on base. I'm very against FC fighters having Drones.
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semperatis
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No fighter can carry a ph-1,they are just to clumbersome.The largest phaser that any fighter could carry is a ph-2,and even then,only by heavy fighters. I don't see a problem with fighters having a ph-3's FA,and one RA,but in this version of the game,they should NOT have drones.If they are equipped with any sort of torpedo,then it is limited to a range of 10 hexes.Plasma armed fighters should have the equivalent of a type D launcher,that fires in DF mode only,thus eliminating any extra counters.Either that or we get the armed shuttles back. Cool
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you guys have information that the rest of us don't have?

I'm looking at Captain's Log #37 where a Fed CV and a Klingon CV were shown for BoM. The possible fighters were shown, too.

The best phaser any fighter could sport was a gatling. The rest were standard Ph-3's.

There is also an option to use only direct-fire fighters. The Z-D model is provided for the Klingon and the A-10 for the Federation. The Z-D has 1 Ph-3 (FA) and a disruptor that carries two charges and which cannot be overloaded. The A-10 has 1 Ph-3 (FA), 1 Ph-3 (RA), and 1 photon.

This issue of CL also has the experimental rules for having fighters use the direct-fire drone system in which drone counters are not put on the mapboard.

None of the fighters have powerful weapons and they are still limited to 3 firing from a single hex out of a single hexside just like regular ships.
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DorianGray
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you guys understand how utterly broken fighters were in SFBs?

Now you're suggesting fighters carry Photons? Phaser 1s? You realize that there will be 12+ flying around right? Also gatlings are pretty POWERFUL.

The entire POINT of this thread was to NERF fighters. Fighters really really need to be weaken from their state in SFB.

Whoever thought "oh it'll be cool to add a bunch of really powerful fighters to the game like F-15s and A-10s" did not consider how regular ships simply do not have cost-effective COUNTERs to these things.

Once again: think WW1 Biplanes NOT modern day F-15 or F-22 rape everything in site planes...
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Requete
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 4:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Unbalanced fighters should be revised in BoM Reply with quote

DorianGray wrote:

Yes, but here is the problem. Modern warfare stinks and it is completely unfair. The vast majority of war games and miniatures are based on WW2 and before because they were much better balanced than modern war.


Of all the laughable elements of your screed, this is by far the most laughable. WWII was "better balanced" than modern war? Just... wow.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dorrian, your case would be stronger with far far fewer mistakes. Baby carriers have 6 fighters, not 12. Your theory of what I think runs counter to my published statements on the subject. I could go on, but what's the point in my rewriting your argument for you? If you want to discuss it, rant less and study more before you post.
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SWO_Daddy
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been playing SFB for a long time, and I'm currently three years into a campaign with five Fed carrier groups. I will not deny that Fed carrier groups are strong, but given my win-loss record vs a Rom fleet virtually devoid of carriers, I disagree that they are too powerful. Those carriers win battles about as often as they lose them.

In another campaign I'm currently involved in, massive numbers of Hydran Stingers are being lost to Fed fleets largely devoid of fighters. The Stingers are causing there fair share of casualties, but they are not unbalancing the games.

The problem with fighters in SFB, if there is one, is that they can make a game extremely time consuming. Lots and lots of "stuff" to keep track of. I don't think fighters need to be downgraded in their combat power necessarily, but BOM should look at ways to make them easier to manage. Keeping fighters together and streamlining a lot of their functions similar to the B5Wars system would be one way to go. But if fighters are reduced to the point of irrelevance, there will be no point in the carriers either.

While I really like the B5Wars system, fighters in that game can be just as impressive...dare I say unbeatable. If a race with poor fighter tech (or no fighters at all) run into a good fighter race (EA, Minbari, Dilgar for example) in a big battle, there is a good chance the fighters will eat them for lunch. Of course, the mechanics in that game that keep things balanced are completely different than SFB/FC. Movement, fire control, damage...everything is different. It would be dangerous to pick one thing from any of these systems and impose it on the other without considering all the other factors.
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DorianGray
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 10:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Unbalanced fighters should be revised in BoM Reply with quote

Requete wrote:
DorianGray wrote:

Yes, but here is the problem. Modern warfare stinks and it is completely unfair. The vast majority of war games and miniatures are based on WW2 and before because they were much better balanced than modern war.


Of all the laughable elements of your screed, this is by far the most laughable. WWII was "better balanced" than modern war? Just... wow.


To the above.

Instead of just writing me off automatically, my arguments was that even in WW2 there were very tactical elements that remained for both sides. My point was that in Modern Warfare, the firepower of individual fighters is so great it single handily makes for poor game play. A Modern fighter could pack 2 or more air-to-surface ship killing missiles that is essentially fire and forget from miles away without ever getting into effective AA ranges.

The war game aspect was to show why modern war elements makes for poor games. Furthermore I do argue that modern war is much more unfair than WW2 or much earlier. A WW1 surface ship duel (which did also occur in WW2) provides much more strategic and tactical elements than a Falkland war type fire one ship hunter missile from 5 miles away and the British Destroyer blows up. fun.

To SVC.

If you could refer me to those thoughts on the subject. I am not trying to rant or just blow off steam at all. After all you're the SOLE target audience here. I assumed considering how fighters were implemented in SFBs, you designed them to be as such.

If we could hear your thoughts it would be much appreciated. Are you in favor of modern-style powerful fighters providing very real threats to ships. If so what new counters should be implemented for Fed. Com. that did not exist in SFBs?

I'm just trying to provide a case for revising them for Fed.Com. and argue for a different role for fighters than they are right now.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DG: Go take a look at Captain's Log #37. It, as mentioned above, has the prospective drone fighter rules for Federation Commander. They are self limiting for a variety of reasons. It doesn't matter how fighters work (or how you think they work) in SFB, as they work differently in FC. So, before making judgements on how fighters would or would not work in FC, please first see how they already work, then make comments from there.
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DorianGray
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey thanks for the heads up. I'll purchase CL 37 on my next order.

So what exactly did they change from SFB?
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The biggest things are that the various complexities (dogfight drones, chaff, warp booster packs, etc.) were eliminated. They just carry phasers and a heavy weapon, or phasers and drones. And they can only fire one drone per turn.
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DorianGray
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
The biggest things are that the various complexities (dogfight drones, chaff, warp booster packs, etc.) were eliminated. They just carry phasers and a heavy weapon, or phasers and drones. And they can only fire one drone per turn.


Have you done some play testing? What are your thoughts?

Having 12 fighters fire their 12 phasers (these are pahser 3s right?) and their 12 drones per turn... looks ugly.
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USS Enterprise
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cry for peace.

Now that that's settled. what is BOM? I'm not really sure. I also have no information anyone else doesn't, merely putting thoughts together. However, I plead that Drone Fighters not be included in FC, they make too much clutter. I also don't like 12 + fighters on the board either, I'd like the number reduced to 3 or 4 per ship, and maybe say they're squadrons.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@USS Enterprise: BOM is "Borders of Madness", a supplement intended mainly for SFB players who want things not intended for FC so they can use FC for their fleet battles and campaigns.

@Dorian Gray: Since BOM is optional for use - pretty much the only "optional" rules that FC will ever have - simply not using fighters IS an option (and I'm not trying to tell you to "f-off"). For me, FC is all about the ships and fighters are just a nuisance. (Unless I'm flying Hydrans, in which case they add necessary flavour.)

As far as balance is concerned, I've seen the FC fighter rules and I just can't see FC fighters being as powerful as they are in SFB. They're slow (speed 16, no warp booster packs), short ranged (max range 8 for direct fire weapons AND drones), and vulnerable (no small-target modifiers, no EW fighters, no chaff packs, nada.) In fact, they're so slow that they can't even catch up with freighters! Now, against fixed positons like bases they're kinda scary, but a base studded with phaser-4s is going to eat fighters like popcorn from outside any range the fighters can be effective at.
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