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Briefing 3
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to follow up with an informed point-of-view:

pinecone: Will is correct. What you propose will reduce board cluter, but not book-keeping. And if you fire, say... a full salvo from a stack of 3 Kzinti NCCs moving at speed 24 on Impulse 8 of turn 1, followed by another salvo on Impulse 1 of turn 3 while moving speed 24+1 you now have a stack of 24 drones. If those are all targeted on the same unit - great - they can move as a unit. But, how often does that happen? You're 90% likely to have multiple stacks of 4 to 6 drones targetted at different units. And even then, you have to keep track of damage done to each drone separately... that's bookkeeping.

Now, go with a Kzinti SSCS with 24 TAAS fighters, 6 Multi-Role Needle gunboats, and it's on-board drone racks... plus it's escorting ships!
Each of those drones will need to have (at the minimum, it's target recorded, it's impulse of launch, the launching unit, and the damage scored). Even for an experienced group, familiar with the rules - this is a logistical nightmare. And this info must be checked every impulse to insure that the proper drones are tracking the correct targets.

Then double this if the other side has fighters...

Sure, when BoM is available - we'll most likely use it to speed SFB games, but when we want to play a "quick" game of Federation Commander... CVs will not be a part of the force.
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Kahuna
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Joined: 23 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that's what I was getting at as well. The counters are just a visual indication of the bigger problem. I wonder if a drone swarm, seeking the same target, could be treated as a single entity similar to a plasma torp. That is, every 4 points of damage done to the swarm would reduce the warhead 12 points. So, a swarm of 8 drones heading to the same target would have the potential, if unopposed, of doing 96 damage on impact. If it took 12 damage on the way, the swarm would lose 36 points.

As for fighters, once more the way that works for us currently is to keep flights of 3 fighters that must act, move, and fire as a single unit. When they take damage, it is reduced by one fighter when the "unit" takes 12 points. The flight can be reinforced with another fighter, if available, or would be just a unit 2/3 as strong.

I'm thinking I'll mess around with the drones to see if it can do the same as the swarm unit I mentioned above.
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djdood
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kahuna wrote:
As for fighters, once more the way that works for us currently is to keep flights of 3 fighters that must act, move, and fire as a single unit. When they take damage, it is reduced by one fighter when the "unit" takes 12 points. The flight can be reinforced with another fighter, if available, or would be just a unit 2/3 as strong.


I had proposed something similar, years back, when SVC first started leaking some carrier ship cards on the legacy bbs. My model was infantry counters in classic games like OGRE (which function similar to your method). The squadron/squad/whatever is treated as a unit, degraded as a unit in discrete "steps" (one less guy, one less fighter, equating to less attack-power and defense strength), and can be reconstituted with the addition of more units ("making change" like with coins).

SVC hated the idea (I think his exact words were "Yuck"), so nothing like it is likely to ever come from ADB.

For a "homebrew" solutions though, I might end up trying something like it (unless the fighter rules in Klingon Armada end up doing the job for me).

I like the idea of fighters in games like this (I grew up watching Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars... how could I not like starfighters?), but I'm unwilling to slow down the games to bring them in. I have more than enough trouble getting even "clean" FedCom fights finished in the time blocks I have to play in.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

djdood wrote:
... I have more than enough trouble getting even "clean" FedCom fights finished in the time blocks I have to play in.


Then plan longer time blocks! D'Uh!!! Wink
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Kahuna
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm the same way. I love fighters, love starships. Heck, I think I just love the concept of space combat. But how to do it without driving yourself insane with the details? Once more, I'm really hoping to see something work pretty good in BoM. I mean most of this game runs really well so I'm certain we'll get something of equally high quality for carriers and fighters when it happens.
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do well have CL 37, and have played with the fighters (Carrier on carrier). I had just as much fun as any other battle, and it took the same time as a regular fleet battle.

And this bookeeping thing, I've got an idea. Write the target on the back of the drone swarm counter.
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djdood
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pinecone wrote:
Write the target on the back of the drone swarm counter.


I think I'll stick with using something I can erase, rather than a one-time thing like that. That and keeping track of which in the swarm are heading to what target.
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

use pencil
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pinecone: You really should play the SFB scenario "A COld Dish of Pirahna". It starts with over 200 drones on the map (launched on a hypothetical turn 0), followed by multiple flotillas of PFs and fighters...
Shocked

It can take a large, experienced group several FULL! days to complete.
I know this from past experience - although, if I could get enough interest; I'd love to do it at Origins some year... I have enough minis to do the whole thing with minis Rolling Eyes

After that, you have a new outlook on drones. Wink
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most games don't include that many drones, you realize Wink

I think I could handle 50 without freaking out.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It will be interesting to see what the BoM products contain.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course that was an extreme example... probably the most extreme one I know of - but it was also to stress a point.

Federation Commander is designed to be fast and easy. Masses of drones are not, by definition - fast and easy. I think that's the point everyone is getting at. Sure, if you and your group want 50 drones at a time, then by all means play that game. But for the most part, I want to stick with the current FC system. And I'd be willing to bet that most of the other players will also.

Sure, there have been options presented for "Direct Fire Drones", Drone Swarms, "Flights" of fighters, etc. Our group has tried all of them and they all lose some of the tactical flavor that we are familiar with from years of playign SFB. Does that mean that we are right and that everyone else who supports any of these ideas is wrong - of course not. It's simply our opinions and has been reported as such to ADB in various playtest reports.

Does our playtest reports mean more than the reports of someone who likes the idea of direct fire drones or fighter flights? I would certainly hope not. I firmly believe that SVC (and by extension, ADB) reads each playtestreport and judges them on their own merits. That being the case, I'm sure that when BoM is released, we will have access to the best possible, most well-balanced versions of these rule possible.

If I decide to paly a huge battle with lots of drone capable units (or fighters, for that matter) then I will play it in SFB. If I have the option to use BoM to speed it up, then I will.

This has been my personal rant and my own opinion. You mileage may vary.
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Wolverin61
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of times when we'd play SFB, especially if we didn't have a lot of time, we wouldn't use drones and would just ignore the drone racks on our ships (mark them out).

Guess this isn't really about Briefing #3 though.
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Last edited by Wolverin61 on Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Kahuna
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, are we still talking about Briefing #3?

Keeping the game clean, lessening the clutter, and resolving action quickly is the way to keep this going strong, imo.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm looking forward to Briefing #3 and its scenarios.

I'd like to see situations that use support ships in roles they would normally be performing, except that they are interdicted by enemy raiders (or whatever).
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