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Heavy Plasma Cruiser
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mjwest
Commodore


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 3478
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eunderko wrote:
Doesn't the SFB version of the DNT have 3 R-torps?
Not sure if there is a fed-comm version yet, so that might be where the disconnect is.

No. It has 2xPl-R and 3xPl-F.
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USS Enterprise
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 27 Feb 2009
Posts: 376
Location: Vulcan

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

However, it does say in the rules that for experimentation you can switch weapons around.

Which was the point, experimentation.
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Dal Downing
Commander


Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 552
Location: Western Wisconsin

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

USS Enterprise wrote:
Why can't the Drone Rack for the Feds be replaced with a PL F?


The Short Answer is because that’s not how they work in the Star Fleet Universe. The longer answer is it is a little known fact that SVC and SPP as well I think are real live Certified Engineers with College Degrees and all. When they designed SFB over 30 years ago they did it using a sound Engineering View Point. One of the things that crept in and isn't really written down in Black and White is what Weapons are what. All Plasma are considered Heavy Weapons and need a certain amount of internal bracing and reinforcement where as Drone Racks have for the most part been considered a Secondary Weapon System. They do not produce the same amount of stress on a ship unless you launch a lot of them all at once.

The case in point is the Federation "+ Refits" this is some of the things that separate the Middle Years CA from the Standard CA in Fed Com. With that refit the Federation was able to modify/bolt on a New type of Drone Rack with the ideal that it could function as a Point Defense System for the CA on the Western Fronts or used to throw out a 'Extra' Weapon on all fronts base on the Tactical situation at the time. As such the Drone racks that were added were considered weaker than ones that were designed into the Ship from the Begin. This is why the DN and BC and even DW can pretty much Plug and Play between Weapons systems where as in the CA NCL NCA and CL they are sort of a after thought and do not have enough reinforcement to be readily swapped with out seriously reworking the hull. The Plasma Rack can replace drone racks due to similar design and size aspects where as a Type F Launchers is actually a little bigger and has a little more kick on launch.

The system is what it is, and though it may not seem perfect to us it is the reason why the Star Fleet Univers has been going strong for 30 years now and will continue to go for a long time to come. Some lines have to be drawn to ensure that the game doesn't go stale or turn toward munchkinism. Keeping the Heavy Weapon count down on all Heavy Cruisers is one of them.
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2922
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like Dal said. Except, Petrick isn't an engineer (he's a former paratrooper and military intelligence officer, among other things). SVC is not only a degreed-engineer, he has a "Professional Engineer" certification from the state of Texas (which means he has passed a very, very difficult test and can design things unsupervised, unlike my work where all the engineers and myself need to have a senior engineer [often a PE] review it). SVC is also a former Army officer and ran a military intelligence analysis business for many years (FYEO).

He and Petrick certainly both know how military hardware "ticks", how it is bought, how it is fielded, and why nations do what they do, and they bring that broad knowledge into the fabric of the SFU.

The main reason that the SFU has stayed consistent to itself is due to that "engineering mindset" and analyst's thinking. Unlike the tv-shows, things don't just get "glommed-on" to SFU ships. "Meta-phasic shields" or whatevers aren't suddenly invented to solve the drama of the week and then forgotten next-episode.

There is a deliberate process behind ship design in the SFU. Systems are on ships in quantities that fulfill a specific mission and are integrated together. The empires themselves show a natural and organic progression in their technology ("tech slosh" is a bad-word in development in the SFU). It's why you see Fed's dabbling with weapons from their neighbors and friends (adding Gorn plasma-F's or Kzinti drones) where it doesn't fundamentally change their tactics or construction.

More profound changes (like swapping photons for disruptors) doesn't make engineering sense (you don't see many airplanes converted from jets to propellers either), as the ships are pretty much designed around their heavy weapons. Big-plasma ships are often literally wrapped around the plasma launcher. It wouldn't be cost-effective to change that in the "real world" and the SFU usually tries to stay within its own rules of design (which are extrapolated from "real world" engineering).

There are exceptions, but they are specific and have long-backstory to justify them (Romulans using Klingon ships on TV mandated Romulans spending a lot of time and money to figure out how to put their weapons [big plasma] onto ships not designed for it [ships with warp drives, which they could not build themselves, at the time]). The Orions purposely build their ships with "modular" option-mounts for their weapons, but accept the structural issues and increased costs that demands (something not shown in FedCom or even really in SFB).

Players are free to experiment with whatever they want (and the rules even provide some guidance for how to do it). Lots of of folks I've played started out wanting to to design their own ships (and, yes, make them match the movies). I usually let them do it. Once they have had their "D-7 with photons" blown away a few times (photons are a close-and-crunch weapon, the D-7 isn't built with enough "padding" to take a first hit and then respond), I've found most of my game group tend to start gravitating to "stock" ships that have a "gimme" that they like. My groups "movie and TNG Klingon" guy eventually latched pretty hard onto the Klingon D-5W. It's not what he "wanted", but it has some really cool attributes of its own and it was what he "needs", since he wins with it (which matter more than anything to an assertive-type like him).

I too dabbled in ship design/redesign, but I tired quickly of trying ot make a "new idea" work. After 30 years of smart people, I couldn't find a place where someone hadn't either already done it or done it and had it proven to not be playable. It seems that most folks I've played are happy to plumb the near bottomless depths that the "stock" SFU setting has to offer. With so many ships to learn and tactics to understand, I know I've never grown bored.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4463
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dal and Will gave 99 44/100's of the answer, so I won't repeat that, but I will provide the remining 56/100th's:

By just owning FC:KB, you are missing out on 30 years of developmental history of the SFU. When SFB was first released in 1979, there were only 12 ships available in the game!
Since then, everything has grown... but it's grown in a method that is consistent and logical. Nothin has been thrown away... only added.

The Star Fleet Universe background starts around Y150 and goes to about Y205 (give or take). Every ship / weapon / system has an "in service date" that indicates when it was developed or deployed. Nothing is available before that date...

If you read through the "R" sections of the rules (Section R in SFB is equivalent to Chapter 7 in a Fed Comm rulebook, but 100 times more detailed), you will see the progression of the technology.
The Fed Heavy Cruiser for example, starts as a good ship. But add the "+" refit to get a CA+ and it's better... add in the "R" refit to get a CAR+, and you've got the Federation Commander version of the Fed CA.

Klingons, Kzinti, Gorn, etc. are all the same. Every empire has had a logical progression of technology and that technology has influenced how their ships are built and what tactics are used.
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USS Enterprise
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 27 Feb 2009
Posts: 376
Location: Vulcan

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have nobody to play SFB with anyways. But I'll be getting the Romulans soon. But thanks for the history lesson.
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Nerroth
Captain


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 1556
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, drones were speed 8 back in the Early Years - and the atomic missiles some factions used in their absence were speed 2!


However, I would say that one of the great things about the SFU is not just in the ships and empires you'll currently see in Federation Commander, but in the large and growing range of races and places to go and explore... and perhaps even try to contribute to.

Whether it's going back to the early years in this octant, spanning the Void over to Omega, scooting up to the Lesser Magellanic Cloud (which has some of its own Early Years stuff in print already, too), waiting for a further look at what the Tholian exiles and Seltorian Tribunal forces left behind in M81, and seeing the work-in-progress take on Triangulum and elsewhere...

...there's a lot to sink one's teeth into.

Plus, while there are all sorts of ship types and variants crowding the TL12 era of Alpha, there's still a lot of scope for new (and old) ship types, designs and systems for these other eras and settings.


While I understand that for some, the 'TV races' might be the main draw, for me the most interesting parts of the universe are those things that it has all to itself.


Indeed, for me, the hook into the SFU was discovering the ISC in Starfleet Command 2 - although the version of the Concordium in that game is somewhat different than the one in ADB's own products (something I took time getting to grips with when I first joined the old boards).


So, if you are looking for something 'new', there's no shortage of options to consider.
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gambler1650
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 30 Mar 2009
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the sheer breadth of the SFU, the internal history, and the different weaponry/systems by different races makes it pretty awesome.

Most of the people I've gotten into SFB have been dragged in due to the Star Trek references, and they usually play the Feds the first time.

The longer I've played the game, the more fun I have with races other than the 'Big 3'. While I haven't played in the Magellanic Cloud or in the Omega Sector yet, by far my favorite battles tend to be in the Hydran/Lyran/Kzinti region of space (with a touch of Klingon thrown in).

Era considerations are fun too. My favorite homegrown scenario is in Y136 during the Hydran War of Return (forget its actual name, but its when they come back to reclaim their territory from the Klingons). Both sides start with Early Year ships, and then each get one or two Middle Years (referring to the unrefitted D6, and ships like the Ranger for the Hydrans) ships partway through the scenario. It's fun to suddenly view the Middle Year ships almost like 'X-technology' compared to the Early Year ships, when normally the Middle Year ships are considered flawed and understrength compared to what players usually play with.
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Ken Redington
Ensign


Joined: 08 Jun 2009
Posts: 12
Location: Detroit MI

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of the history has been building in this game for 30 years. I remember the 12 ships and then the first 3 expansions. (Still got them) With these new rules Nexus Magazine had loads of articles on fixing things that did not mesh well. A lot of Given history come from short stories, articles, scenarios, and player additions. I have all 18 Nexus mags and up till recently 17 out of 18 of the first Captain logs (Missing 14). Add all the Commander edition stuff before the Doomsday project (Captains Edition). Then throw in a lot of the additions that came out later.

This allows me to follow most of the development of the game over the years. Someone new to the game may not realize that this was not something ONE person thought up overnight and made into a game. The Kaufman retrograde was developed by a player and named after him. The same with the Mizia effect, it was a his academy article early on in Nexus that got him fame for breaking down the averages of spacing weapons hits out over turns. The same with the Gorn Anchor, yo-yo, and many other common used tactics we know today. Someone thought them up and put them in tactics articles sent to the company and printed in Nexus, CL, and other publications.

The biggest problem for me is that some of the early Nexus and expansion ships did not make the cut to Commanders edition unchanged. Then those were changed for Captains edition. Now only a VERY small selection of said ships are in FC.

Now that this is all said, I was just trying to point out to some players that not everything was made to be even from the start. This game has developed from bits and pieces over 30 years under guidelines put upon the player base by SVC and his panthion of Fleet Commanders. The rules make sense, the ships make sense, and it just feels right.

The ramblings of a old guy.

P.S. When are we going to get a publication with the story about the Tholians that ended up in the Andromedans Galaxy. Scenerios, Stories, and maybe a few NT ships that did not make it here. Or Andro ships that could not make the long haul to the Milkey Way.
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There have been rumblings about Andromedans in FedCom, but it sounded like distant thunder, at best. Someday - I wouldn't be surprised to see it. I'm in no hurry to see it though. The Tholians brought a lot of rules pages to cover their and the Seltorians' weirdness - the Andros would do the same.

BTW - Welcome to this board Ken (I'm assuming you've been on the "legacy" board a long time).
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ken is right. This is a unique universe, as far as I know, and it owes its richness to the sheer diversity of the people who have contributed in so many ways, and the desire of its creator [in this instance I mean Steve, not Gene] to maintain a consistent, logical structure.

How many people know that the Galactic Tholian ships bigger than, oh, the PC, were invented by a chap called Rev. Ron Wheeler? Or that the Klkingon planet Smarba, of treaty fame, is actually the name 'Abrams' spelled backwards; and was that also the name of one of the early contributors to the game systems? Or that the Hydrans, Lyrans, WYN, and indeed all the 'non-canon' races, were invented by some very creative people and then incorporated homogeneously into the existing universe. Not always initially seamlessly, of course, but most if not all of the integration problems were solved very early on.

What we see as a result is the mature and coherent Star Fleet Universe that we know and love. I have even likened it to Tolkien in its breadth, detail and consistency.

How many game systems can boast that?
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Bolo_MK_XL
Commander


Joined: 16 Jan 2007
Posts: 785
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never grasped by the Role playing crowd always saying SFBs had too big a rulebook ---
By the time I ran across SFB, what was developed for D/D make SFB look like a short story, also you have to hunt through a dozen manuals to find rule xx, where SFB at least consolidated them together, even while being done over a period of time ---
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Ken Redington
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Joined: 08 Jun 2009
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Location: Detroit MI

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mature??......Well, we have our moments. The female captain of the B10 Insatible had the same name as a 80's Porn star.. Laughing

And sorry, but I was never on the old board. I just have been collecting and playing SFB since the early 80's. I first saw the game at Judges Guild in Decatur ILL back in 81 while visiting on a saturday for open gaming.

I have watched this company cheat death more than once and still marvel at the effort Steve and the JFC's put into keeping it alive. Many players have helped also. This is the game that refuses to go away.
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Dan Ibekwe
Commander


Joined: 08 Mar 2007
Posts: 452
Location: Manchester UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IIRC there was a plasma-armed Klingon D5 variant back in Commander's edition.

It was the D5F, and had four Plasma-F's replacing the disruptors.

In Captains' Edition, the plasma-armed D5 dissappeared, and the designation D5F is used for a variant with ADDs replacing the drone racks (four ADDs in total).
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