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F & E and The Intimidation Factor
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Savedfromwhat
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:29 am    Post subject: F & E and The Intimidation Factor Reply with quote

Hey all I know I don't post all that often unless it is to give some smarmy remark or crazy analysis, but I wanted to ask you forum maestros about F and E (I am looking at you Scoutdad). I want to play this game very badly, it just looks awesome and the concept of Total War in the SFU is a little intoxicating to me (makes me understand why SVC would like to spend more time developing his games and less having to be a production company). My only problem is the game is incredibly intimidating to everyone I know, including myself. I have read through the Core Rules, Advanced Operations, Combined Operations, and Carrier War ( I know its not Carrier war the name is just eluding me at the moment) and I have mostly understood the concepts in the game. Here is the disconnect though...

There is no real Example of play that I could find for the "introductory scenario" with the Lyran and Kzinti Empires. I have no way of knowing if I am really doing it correctly. F&E seems like the type of game that would really benefit from having a live person who has played before teaching you as you go. I know, what game wouldn't right? But, F&E seems to have a very sharp learning curve. Let me get to my point's.

1) Are there any play aid examples of a turn for F&E that are out there? Specifically for the introductory Scenario.

2) Has ADB ever thought of using some of their game videos to present a kind of "how to series" for F&E?

Anyway figured I would ask here before I go over to the Legacy forum (mostly because I have no idea where to start in the discus forum, there is no new to F&E section). Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated and hopefully I will get a chance to let you all in on some of the ation once my gaming buddies and I finally ge a chance to start this very cool game.

Thanks in Advance,
Nick
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:45 am    Post subject: Re: F & E and The Intimidation Factor Reply with quote

Savedfromwhat wrote:
Hey all I know I don't post all that often unless it is to give some smarmy remark or crazy analysis, but I wanted to ask you forum maestros about F and E (I am looking at you Scoutdad).

[Wow! How can I ignore such a pointed request?]
Nick wrote:
I want to play this game very badly, it just looks awesome and the concept of Total War in the SFU is a little intoxicating to me (makes me understand why SVC would like to spend more time developing his games and less having to be a production company).

Which is it's biggest attraction to everyone I play with...
Nick wrote:
My only problem is the game is incredibly intimidating to everyone I know, including myself.

Pardon the patronization.. but you attack it like you would eating an elephant. One bite at a time!
It's really not that intimidating if you take it in chunks... or steps... and not try to learn the whole game at once.
Nick wrote:
I have read through the Core Rules, Advanced Operations, Combined Operations, and Carrier War ( I know its not Carrier war the name is just eluding me at the moment)...
Combined Operations
Nick wrote:
... and I have mostly understood the concepts in the game. Here is the disconnect though...


Quote:
There is no real Example of play that I could find for the "introductory scenario" with the Lyran and Kzinti Empires.
I don't think there is a real example... but one would be nice to have...
Quote:
I have no way of knowing if I am really doing it correctly...
If you're having fun... then you're probably doing it right!
Quote:
F&E seems like the type of game that would really benefit from having a live person who has played before teaching you as you go.
I was one of those that learned from reading the rules. Then I hooked up with the rest of Battlegroup Murfreesboro and refined my skills.
Quote:
I know, what game wouldn't right?
Too true...
Quote:
But, F&E seems to have a very sharp learning curve. Let me get to my point's.
K...

Quote:
1) Are there any play aid examples of a turn for F&E that are out there? Specifically for the introductory Scenario.

I've not seen any, but if enough requests were made to the F&E staff - someone might be able to put one together.
Quote:
2) Has ADB ever thought of using some of their game videos to present a kind of "how to series" for F&E?

We mention it every year at Origins... but it's one of those things that that no one ever seems to find time to make one. It could easily be the work of several days to put the thing together in a concise yet coherent piece.
And you'd really need one for econ and production... one for movement (all types)... one for battle force creation / resolution... and maybe another for end of turn stuff.

Quote:
Anyway figured I would ask here before I go over to the Legacy forum (mostly because I have no idea where to start in the discus forum, there is no new to F&E section). Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated and hopefully I will get a chance to let you all in on some of the ation once my gaming buddies and I finally ge a chance to start this very cool game.

Thanks in Advance,
Nick

Shoot me an email [tonylthomas at comcast dot net] with any specific questions. I'll be glad to answer them for you.
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Savedfromwhat
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scoutdad - Thanks so much for your quick response, helpfulness and words of encouragement Very Happy Looks like we will just have to get the game out on the table and start with something small like the Four Powers War. I appreciate your offer to answer questions.

The good news is my Wife and I are buying a house and she said that I get to have a game room (It was that or I took over the garage lol) so we should have a place to finally set up the board CAT free.

BTW, who exactly is the F and E staff and how would I contact them about a play example for the introductory scenario?

Again thanks for your time
Nick
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savedfromwhat wrote:
Scoutdad - Thanks so much for your quick response, helpfulness and words of encouragement Very Happy Looks like we will just have to get the game out on the table and start with something small like the Four Powers War. I appreciate your offer to answer questions.

I'd recommend doing it they way I taught Plasmboy to play (although he did a lot of on-the-job training, too). We worked on the 4 Powers War as it was short, simple, and didn't have a lot of the cumbersome units that are introduced later in the GW.
Work on it as a group... not necessarily as opponents. The Four Powers War usually degenerate into something resembling trench warfare anyway - so if you're going to play that type of scenario, use it to learn every aspect of both sides.
Work on the Econ/production first - of course.
Have everyone do a separate econ sheet for each empire, then compare them. If everyone gets the same production, then you probably understand that step. If someones numbers are way off - try to determine why they got the numbers they got and then see if they are right / wrong.
Next up would be production.
Basic production in the 4PW is rather straightforward without a lot of optional units or variants so you should have a thorough knowledge of basic production by the time your done. Then it's an easy matter to add the various upgrades as they become available in the General War.
Fortunately, they are introduced in steps, so if you start at turn one.. you don't have to understand the rules for PFs before you start playing; although a basic knowledge does help you plan for you production of that type of unit as it draws near on the schedule.
Movement is pretty easy. Take it one step at a time and for the first few turns - give everyone plenty of time to decide if they'd like to react or not. Later, once you're more familiar with the game... reaction will become second nature.
In the rulebook - they recommend moving units farthest from the front first as there is less chance for reaction to these units and this is good advice. One thing I did with Plasmaboy was to place a penny on top of every stack of counters he had on the board. As the fleets moved... the coins were removed. This helped him remember to move (or at least think about moving) every fleet.
Then comes the more difficult part to learn... the combat rounds.
There are several things to know about the order in which battles should be fought... but they are too complicated to go into here.
Practice setting up Battle forces and selecting BIRs to obtain the damage you need to obtain (which isn't necessarily always going to be the max damage possible). After a few years of this - Plasmaboy and I would drive his mother crazy by sitting in the car at traffic lights and creating battleforces out of the license plate numbers around us. [Tennessee license plates at the time were three letters hyphen three numbers]
You could have HDW-005, DRG-045, and KRM-533 visible at the same time. The rule was highest ComPot (Combat Potential) won the round and the first person to "Call" a unit got to add it to his battleforce. <grin>
Again - take it step by step and have fun with it. You don't need to master the entire rulebook at once, just the section youre currently using.

Quote:
The good news is my Wife and I are buying a house and she said that I get to have a game room (It was that or I took over the garage lol) so we should have a place to finally set up the board CAT free.

I took over the garage and turned it into a game room. Photos of the table / game room are here.

Quote:
BTW, who exactly is the F and E staff and how would I contact them about a play example for the introductory scenario?

Steve Cole if G.O.D. - Games Overworked Designer
Chuck Strong is F.E.D.S. - F&E Department Supervisor, or the Head of the F&E staff
Mike Curtis is F.E.A.R. [Federation and Empire Answer Rapporteur]
And then there are the F.E.R.T.s - Federation and Empire Review Team:
Ryan Opel, Thomas Matthews, Stewart Frazier, Lawrence Bergen and several others.
A simple email to SVC asking for such an item would at least get it on the list. Not sure how doable it is, but that's the best place to start...


Quote:
Again thanks for your time
Nick

Glad to help
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djdood
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're not alone Nick.

I've got a somewhat complete copy of the F&E rules (pre 2K10) and have read through them and ended up in the same state as you. "Where do I start?!?".

I figure I'll get back to it eventually, once I'm over the massive amount of work I owe my minis collection.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I said before... if you don't have an experienced player to teach you, take it in stages.

Do the Four Powers War first. It's small and simple. There are no tricky rules and very few special units involved with special rules or exceptions.
Work your way through ecopnomy nad production a couple of times first. That's the basics. If you understand how the economy works - you have a grasp of what your objective needs to be (build you economy while reducing your opponents).

Movement is simple, but complex. The basis "move 6 hexes" rule is easy to understand, but there area plethora of choices when it comes ot movement:
Where to I move to?
How do I get there, striaght in or 'round about?
Do I move the entire fleet at once, or do I piece meal it hoping to draw/not draw reaction?
Then there's the inevitable reaction movement and reserve movement..

Then battleforce strategy comes into play.
What order do I fight these battles in?
How much effort do I put into winning?
Do I even need to win, or should I withdraw?

Then there's retrograde movement to reposition yourself for hte next wave of assaults.

It is a lot to grasp at one time, but it's not they actually come to your hose and execute you if the Federation falls. Just set up the ships and knock 'em down a few times. You'll get teh hang of it rather quickly, and some obvious strategies will become apparent as you play and you'll develop your own style of play as you go.

Ther are many styles of play and none of them are wrong... I know groups that fight conservatively nad amass huge fleets... I know groups that separate their units into numerous small fleets and go attack everything everywhere... adn then there's our own very bloodthirsty group - we self-kill hundreds of ships over the course of a game... none of these various styles are wrong or incorrect, just different.

And.. there will be over two dozen of us at Origins this year playing Federation and Empire. We're always willing to let newcomers join in and learn from the veterans... or you could just stop by for while and hang out... Cool
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, somebody needs to do an example of play, but I suspect that the first turn of the general war would be 18 pages long.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Cole wrote:
Yeah, somebody needs to do an example of play, but I suspect that the first turn of the general war would be 18 pages long.

A complete example would certainly be that long...at least.
But an abbreviated version based on a single turn of a single sector might be doable.
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Savedfromwhat
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scoutdad that is exactly what I am looking for, something that will show the concepts in action (I think a perfect companion would be the "introductory scenario" with the econ and a 2nd half).
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savedfromwhat wrote:
Scoutdad that is exactly what I am looking for, something that will show the concepts in action (I think a perfect companion would be the "introductory scenario" with the econ and a 2nd half).
I don't quite follow -- what do you mean "a 2nd half"?

Chuck
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, Chuck... welcome to our world. Smile

By "2nd half", I think he's refering to an example of play that covers the Coalition part of turn one for example, and then the "2nd half" o Turn one... or in our F&E speak:
An example of Coalition Turn One and Alliance Turn One.

Or at least that's what I took it to mean.
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Savedfromwhat
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is exactly what I mean scoutdad. To elaborate I looking for an entire 6 month turn written out with examples of battle, and explanations of movements. As an example instead of eluding to the point that the move by the Lyrans to 0903 is an obvious feignt, explain why it is a feignt. Another example in this scenario is the fight in hex 0803. The rulebook says "the Kzintis might win this one", explaining how would be a great insight into the mechanics of the combat system.

So to sum up I am hoping to see an example of play for both sides including all steps of the turn with some explanations of why one outcome may be better then another. I believe that this will give new players such as myself a great starting point to be able to say "ok the book says X but my result was Y, Thank goodness there is an example to help me work out where I went wrong".

As a sidenote I knowe there a of examples throughout the rulebook but by unifying them or bringing new ones together in this scenario would help new players see the rules applied in a more consistant way.

Thanks Again,
Nick
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I looking for an entire 6 month turn written out with examples of battle, and explanations of movements."

Otherwise known as a novel.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savedfromwhat wrote:
That is exactly what I mean scoutdad. To elaborate I looking for an entire 6 month turn written out with examples of battle, and explanations of movements. As an example instead of eluding to the point that the move by the Lyrans to 0903 is an obvious feignt, explain why it is a feignt. Another example in this scenario is the fight in hex 0803. The rulebook says "the Kzintis might win this one", explaining how would be a great insight into the mechanics of the combat system.

WOW!
I thought you were looking for a more detailed, step-by-step guide than just the SOP.
You know, something along the lines of:
Step one:
Economy -
Step 1a:
Count occupied provinces (each province is worth 3 Econominc points). Enter this number in line 1 of the Turn one column on the Lyran economics form...
and so on with additional examples of movement... reaction movement... reserve movement...
Battle force creation... combat rounds... retreat priorities...
Retrograde movement... strategic movement... etc.
It takes the six of us in our group (who've all played F&E for nearly 20 years) a full three to four hours to do Turn One of the GW.
What you are asking for would be hundreds of pages long and would in effect be an entire tactical treatise. There are nearly an infinite number of possible opening moves and the correct strategy is all too dependent on how you play vs. how your opponent plays...
that's not something that can be broken down into a simpe, black-and-white, do this-not-that discussion.

Quote:
So to sum up I am hoping to see an example of play for both sides including all steps of the turn with some explanations of why one outcome may be better then another. I believe that this will give new players such as myself a great starting point to be able to say "ok the book says X but my result was Y, Thank goodness there is an example to help me work out where I went wrong".

As Steve said, this would be a novel... a really long, dry, boring (both to read and to write) novel.

Quote:
As a sidenote I knowe there a of examples throughout the rulebook but by unifying them or bringing new ones together in this scenario would help new players see the rules applied in a more consistant way.

Thanks Again,
Nick

Not too sure how much help I've been after all, since I've pretty much confirmed that what you're looking for most likely will not happen. Sad
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Savedfromwhat
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand that the General War Scenario opening turn would be literally novel length. I am specifically talking about the Intro scenario which is Lyran and Kzinti only and much smaller in scope. To make it simple I just want to see an opening turn write up similar to the one that exists for Federation commander between the Klingon D-7 and Federation CA. I admit it could be 4 or 5 pages long.

It would be nice if the scenario said after playing this turn if the board looks like this... you are on the right track.

(Also to keep it simpler you wouldn't need a battle description for each battle just for one.)

I find myself either explaining this too much or too little so let me leave you with an example (Mind you I am a complete novice and have not ever played):

Start of Operational Movement: I move Stack X to Location 000Y so that I can attack the Kzinti BATS and remove the Kzinti ability to be in supply up to Hex 0000.

Start of Reserve Movement: My Opponent moves his Reserve Fleet in Hex 000X to Location 000Y as he does not want to see his base destroyed, though in all likelihood even with his reserve I will still overwhelm the BATS. But, by moving his reserve into the battle hex he will force me to dmg many more ships in my force while I focus on his BATS. Also, if I were to roll a 1 for my BIR and he were to roll a 6 there is a chance he could use directed damage to destroy an important vessel and end my assault. My fleet is particulary vulnerable in this case because I only have 1 ship with a command rating above an 8, if I were to lose my flagship it is possible I won't have enough combat potential to finish off the BATS in one turn.

Start of Combat: Lets start with the battle in Hex 000Y. Out of my Available ships I have chosen the "insert ship classes here" and do to my free scout I will add a "insert scout here" so my battle force is 12 ships strong. My opponent has chosen "insert ships here"...


I hope that gives a good example of what I am looking for if that will still be too much trouble then I apologize for wasting anyones time and I completly understand if it is just not realistic to do.

Thanks,
Nick
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