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Stack of Doom

 
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MajerBlundor
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:01 pm    Post subject: Stack of Doom Reply with quote

Hello!

I played SFB many, many, many years ago. This week I was introduced to Federation Commander and I'm hooked! I've ordered Klingon Border and Romulan Border which should arrive Monday (I know parts are duplicated but it looks like the extra map boards will be useful).

Something I'm curious about is whether or not "Stacks-o-Doom" are viable tactics in FC. Back in the days of original SFB and even StarFire we often flew around with squadrons in single stacks. Because of exploding ships this wasn't always a good idea!

From an offensive perspective I can see it working in FC for the ultimate "Alpha Strike". And it appears that FC lacks any sort of weapon or ship-explosion rules to specifically discourage the practice.

On the other hand, given the new 8-impulse movement approach, launching seeking weapons from multiple angles is probably more important to "box in" a target.

So, are Stacks-o-Doom common in FC? Not worth it? I don't imagine we'd use enough ships in any one scenario for it to be an issue anyway since I prefer smaller battles, but I'm curious.

MB
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Pinkfluffychicken
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 08 Aug 2007
Posts: 217
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only three ships can fire offensively across a single hex boundary in any one fire decision step. No Stacks o' Doom....

I have heard it theorised that a stack of 24 ships in a single hex would be able to fire three offensively each fire decision and thus get round the split shield problems, but not seen it tried yet. Laughing
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MajerBlundor
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Joined: 03 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you! Sounds like a very good rule! I never liked Stacks o Doom as they can make for "one dimensional" games. As for trying to get around the spirit of the rule with multiple stacks I don't think we'll be trying that! Smile

When we played Starfire and later Full Thrust we invented rules that allowed missiles to explode/damage all ships in a single hex/area to force players to spread out. Maybe we'll introduce a ship explosion House Rule for our FC games.

MB
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2925
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been toying with introducing some explosion rules for FedCom as a house rule.

My group plays exclusively with minis and they obviously don't stack well.

Also, my primary opponent tends to disperse his 3 ships, while I tend to stack my 3 ships. When this happens, I crush him (especially if there is terrain to use as an obstacle). I've gotten the impression that he thinks he is going to "flank me", but fails to account for the crunch-power that concentrating your fire brings.

Rather than continue to beat him with a "trick" (which is what I really feel is happening when there is a planet or other thing to drive his ships around), I'll tweak how we play to facilitate his style better. You gotta do what you gotta do to keep a player who actually shows up. He's a very competent tactician - I just managed to identify a "blind-spot" in his thinking (I certainly have my own).

Rather than rule out stacking (which makes no sense in 10,000km hexes), explosions are a convenient deterrent and the data is readily available in SFB (although I'll grind it down to something much simpler). Since we both mainly play to watch things go "boom", it might add some extra fun.
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 3489
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I am not endorsing this, and have no plans to use this. However, if you want explosions, and want them to work similar to SFB, but not have any charts, do this:
- Take the first number from the "Power when undamaged" note. (Ignore batteries and Orion engine doubling.) Any damage is irrelevant; just use the listed number on the ship card.
- Divide it by 2.
- If Orion, add 10 to the result.
This provides you the explosion strength. (This will get you remarkably close to most of the values listed in the SFB MSC.)

Take the explosion strength and apply it to every unit in the exploding ship's hex and all six adjacent hexes. Explosion is stopped by web hexes and planets with atmospheres.

There you go. A super-simple explosion rule for FC.
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Pinkfluffychicken
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 08 Aug 2007
Posts: 217
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
fails to account for the crunch-power that concentrating your fire brings.


Think this is a key tactic for the game and you are doing him no favours if you don't teach him it. Play with varying sizes of fleet so the three-stack isn't always key? Otherwise he may "learn" to beat you, but if he plays a "standard rules" player, he'll always get hammered...

Quote:
- Take the first number from the "Power when undamaged" note. (Ignore batteries and Orion engine doubling.) Any damage is irrelevant; just use the listed number on the ship card.
- Divide it by 2.


Ha! Wuss! Wink

Here are my OLD style SFB explosions: Take engines. Add battery and the point value of one fully charged non overloaded set of weapons.

Add a nought. That is the explosion in your hex. Other explosions may be added to it. Twisted Evil

For every hex you move away from the initial explosion, move the decimal point once place left.

(Or right if you want to end the game NOW!)
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MajerBlundor
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like these suggestions. Thanks!
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2925
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pinkfluffychicken wrote:
Otherwise he may "learn" to beat you, but if he plays a "standard rules" player, he'll always get hammered...


Unlikely to be a problem. I'm very lucky he is willing to play FedCom (he's more of a Zombies! or Munchkin or D&D4.0 kind of guy). In a straight duel, he's easily my equal and likely superior in "forward-thinking" (I tend to be reactive). We end up with roughly 3 ships each mainly due to our weekly time constraints - 250-300ish points each and we can finish in the three hours our wives are away at dance class.
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Paul B
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Joined: 27 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stacks are boring as all hell.

I never stack my ships, though sometimes one or two of my ships converge for a firing opportunity. I like watching my ships fly around in formation.

My opponent on the other hand almost ALWAYS stacks his ships. At least to start. Though as the game progresses he often has them split up for whatever reason (damage, etcetera).
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 1955
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pinkfluffychicken wrote:
Here are my OLD style SFB explosions: Take engines. Add battery and the point value of one fully charged non overloaded set of weapons.

Add a nought. That is the explosion in your hex. Other explosions may be added to it. Twisted Evil

For every hex you move away from the initial explosion, move the decimal point once place left.

Jeez..... that's a hell of a big bang. I like it Twisted Evil I assume the boxes you add up are the pre-damage values?
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Pinkfluffychicken
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Joined: 08 Aug 2007
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Location: Kingston-upon-Thames

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Jeez..... that's a hell of a big bang. I like it I assume the boxes you add up are the pre-damage values?


Oh, I was just being silly - we don't use explosion strengths in our campaign - we find the "rule of three" splits up fleets pretty well. I was reminded of the pre-Doomsday explosion strengths, where you could destroy an enemy fleet by having a fully armed Condor explode in their midst...

(never played the old, old rules, but the group I joined just after Doomsday had done so extensively...)
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I remember a trick where they used to uncloak a fully-batteried Falcon mauler in the midst of an enemy formation, then clobber it with friendly fire. The resulting explosion reportedly crippled half the enemy squadron.

I think that was why they introduced 'friendly-fire' rules in the Doomsday Edition....
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Dan Ibekwe
Commander


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

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pinkfluffychicken wrote:
Only three ships can fire offensively across a single hex boundary in any one fire decision step. No Stacks o' Doom....

I have heard it theorised that a stack of 24 ships in a single hex would be able to fire three offensively each fire decision and thus get round the split shield problems, but not seen it tried yet. Laughing


Shocked You have ships firing vertically out of the top and bottom of the hex?

Where do I download the 3-D FC rules?
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terryoc
Captain


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1379

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think what is meant is 24 ships, with 3 firing each impulse...

Although if I have 24 ships, and split them so they can all fire on one impulse, I'll wreck a lot of the ships that are in one hex before they can fire... you need to concentrate fire in time not just in space.
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