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Depth of your game...

 
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David
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 08 Nov 2009
Posts: 209
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:34 pm    Post subject: Depth of your game... Reply with quote

How indepth do you go for your SFB games? Things like wild weasels, suicide shuttles, fighters, ecm, eccm, mid-turn speed changes etc.

I've never used WW's before, but reading the various CL scenarios and tourny battles I see them used a lot. I'd like to start using them, but I'm trying to get use to the idea of being tied to a very low speed, passive fire control etc. I get visions of the enemy ship(s) diving in on me and ripping me to shreds. What is your experience with them.

How do you like SS? I'm wondering on the odds of the actually reaching the target?

Just thought it would be interesting to get some veteran viewpoints and advice.
Smile
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4478
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When we play SFB... we use every rule and nearly every option.

We start planning the game at least two weeks ahead of time. This gives us time to select the Year the scenario is set in, the empires used, the BPV allowed, and which two players are team Captains.

Over the next two weeks, the Team Captains are responsible for selecting their forces, based on BPV - including Commanders Option items. The Team Captain is also responsible for insuring that the correct SSDs are ready before the game starts.

Once the game starts - everything goes:
EW - a must! We have a large dry-erase board on an easel beside the game table. The board is grided off to assist in EW tracking.
Ship Name in Column 1 / Current ECM in Column 2 / Current ECCM in Col 3 / Col 4 is for Offensive EW. One row for each ship / fighter group.
Whenever EW levels are changed, the board is updated. This allows instant checks of the current EW levels w/o slowing the game.

Cloaks: Hidden movement is the order of the day. We have a laminated 11x17 hex map (42x30) that we use to record current locations of cloaked ships on.

WW / SS / SP: All shuttle missions are allowed and are used frequently. Very seldom does a game not have at least one WW or SS used. Most of the SS shuttles that hit are either targeted on nearly disabled ships near the periphery of the batt;le or on ships that have been tractored and shoved into the SS - either way - our SS's hit more often than they miss. WW's on the other hand tend to be used only when absolutely necessary. Sometimes it's the only way to survive a battle pass - but if you get into that situation, you've got bigger problems anyway.

Mid-Turn Speed Changes: Again, a staple of play. I do not remember the last game where this was not used. We use MTSC nearly every turn of every game. It's such a common part of our play style that we consider it one of the required rules that we teach every newcomer in his first or second game. In a one on one game, the player who doesn't use mid-turn speed changes will almost always be at a disadvantage to the one who does.

Fighters: We love to use fighters. A big carrier battle (one with multiple carriers on each side) is a weekend long event for us. Of course, along with fighters comes dogfights, EW fighters, chaff, warp booster packs, etc.

And dont forget the other rules many groups do not use:
Hit and Run Raids
Marine Combat / Captured Ships
Marines Being Crash Landed on Shuttles
Alternate Drone Modules
Special Drone Types
Fast Patrol Ships (PFs)


Each of these adds to the depth and enjoyment of SFB.
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Sgt_G
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Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 287
Location: Offutt AFB, Nebraska

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, Yes, Tony, but I'll bet you don't use pre-plotted movement route or mid-turn speed adjustment due to damage. Razz
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4478
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sgt_G wrote:
Ah, Yes, Tony, but I'll bet you don't use pre-plotted movement route or mid-turn speed adjustment due to damage. Razz

Correct, but then again... incorrect.

Pre-plotted Movement: Waaay back in the day, when pre-plotted movement was the order of the day, we used it exclusively. We actually got pretty good at it, although some of us (Mike Curtis!) got so much better than the rest that we were glad to see it go.

Energy Adjustment due to Damage: OK! You got me. There's one that I would love to forget ever existed.
We've actually used it in a few games, and while it throws an interesting twist intothe scenario - the difficulties involved in applying it far outway the benefits gained.
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David
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Joined: 08 Nov 2009
Posts: 209
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used fighters, and enjoy them. I've found out how dangerous the Hydran Stinger can be firsthand. I'm going to add the WW/SS/SP to our games to gain some experience with them to supply additional options.
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Jeffr0
Commander


Joined: 19 Jun 2009
Posts: 741

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Depth of your game... Reply with quote

David wrote:
How indepth do you go for your SFB games? Things like wild weasels, suicide shuttles, fighters, ecm, eccm, mid-turn speed changes etc.

I've never used WW's before, but reading the various CL scenarios and tourny battles I see them used a lot. I'd like to start using them, but I'm trying to get use to the idea of being tied to a very low speed, passive fire control etc. I get visions of the enemy ship(s) diving in on me and ripping me to shreds. What is your experience with them.

How do you like SS? I'm wondering on the odds of the actually reaching the target?

Just thought it would be interesting to get some veteran viewpoints and advice.
Smile



I play with mostly beginners, so I stick with just the Basic Set for most games. You can play dozens of games with it and still not exhaust its possibilities. After each game, if there is something that was glossed over or done wrong in the heat of the moment, I go back and read the rules on it.

People that play four or five games start wanting more rules. I'm generally pretty happy if they are up to speed on Overloads, Shield Reinforcement, and HET's. But I want all of the basics down cold before we start throwing in ECM, ECCM, Hit & Run Raids, Special Shuttles, Fancy Drones, T-bombs, and Mid Turn Speed Changes.

If you're playing the classic CA vs D7 duel over and over... notice how all the advanced rules I mentioned rules tend to favor the D7. All the hard rules are there to balance and tune up the "simplified" game-- the game wants to go there, in a sense.

Note that adding in the advanced rules piecemeal can result in horrible game balance issues. If you're going to play anything at the "Commander's Level" then play *all* of it.
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rulesjd
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 06 Feb 2007
Posts: 48
Location: seattle

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SFB is like a beautiful flower. The more petals you pluck, the more is revelaed.

Seriously, I started in the 70's when this was a folio game, pre plotting was THE standard rule and we used several different impulse charts keyed to the speed brakcet of the fastest ship.

You should try everything but, introduce new rules slowly. Get used to something before you move on to embrace more.

If you use shuttles at all, the WW and SS should be basic. There are huge numbers of tactics articles on proper use so I'll only say that not using them only makes your opponents job easier. Once you do start using them, fighters simply become betters shuttles.

Mid Turn speed changes became a necessary enhancement to provide flexibility of tactical plotting. It's great for early turn avoidance (and reduction) of plasmas or closure on an enemy with photon overloads. Again, unknown speed plot changes complicate your opponents life.

I never did embrace the ECM/ECCM other than from items like terrain effects, wild weasels, stealth coating, cloaks and ecm drones. For me the ECM yo-yo (the ablility to change EW settings during the fire phase) introduced too much of a rock/paper/scissors element. Further, I never cared for the energy intensive requirements of EW. Small ships are at a huge disadvantage (though their emissions should be easier to mask). But, you should try it out yourself and see what you think.
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SWO_Daddy
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 14 Feb 2008
Posts: 195
Location: Stuttgart, Germany

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We play at pretty much the same level as Tony, with the exception of no hidden movement. I tried it a few times years ago, and I didn't care for the results. Likewise, we don't use hidden mines - simply because we don't want to bog games down with mine tracking problems. Mine still have utility, but we don't have to keep a running track of every place an enemy ship has moved.

The vast majority of our games get played on SFBOL. The ability to easily manage and track EW, EA, speed changes, and perform damage allocation actually makes it easier to play a battle with 5-7 ships on a side than it is with simple pin and paper. In fact, I now use SFBOL on laptop right next to the gaming table. Minis are on the map, and SSD are still in hand, but a lot of the manual labor is done on the computer.

What a marvelous modern age we live in!
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David
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 08 Nov 2009
Posts: 209
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, I wanted to say thank you to all of you that have patiently answered all of my question in various threads. I appreciate you sharing your experience with me, it helps me to be a better player and get more out of the game.
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Finarvyn
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 40
Location: Starbase near Chicago

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't played much SFB recently, but my gripe with the game has always been that it is too rules intensive, so when we play it's mostly without many of the cool options.

That' part of what interests me in Federation Commander, which I plan on trying some time soon. (When I can get my out-of-town Trek friends to all get together to play, that is.)
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