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Federation Admiral Playtest
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Wolverin61
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Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 497
Location: Mississippi

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since F&E 2010 is shipping I hope Federation Admiral won't be far behind!
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domingojs23
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Joined: 30 May 2010
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Location: Geneva CH / Manila RP

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Friends,

Sorry if this has been made clear before, but may I ask - what will be the scope of "Federation Admiral" ? Is it the FC Version of F&E - a strategic-level game ? Or is it a fleet-level operational game ?

Would Fed Admiral provide the campaign strategic backdrop for FC in the way that F&E does for SFB ?

As a FC rather than SFB player, I was wondering if I should wait for Fed Admiral as opposed to buying F&E - the 2010 edition, as my campaign solution.

Thanks !

Gary
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gary wrote:
...What is the scope of Federation Admiral...


That's an interesting question.

The scope of FA will be / can be whatever the players wish it to be.
I was a part of the initial draft of testing, but have been busy with other projects and have not seen anything since late last year...

FedAd will be a modular/scalable campaign system for Federation Commander.
What does this mean?
Modular refers to the actual rules in force. There will of course be certain basic rules that have to be in play... movement, base line speeds, combat, etc. But there will also be various levels of campaign rules than can be be inserted or omitted as the players desire to raise/lower the complexity level of the campaign. This include (but are not limited to...) supply lines, economic growth, production limits, research and development, etc. The individual campaign player will decide how complex they want their campaigns to be.

Scalable means that the "scope" of the campaign can be varied from game to game. If you have two players and want a quick campaign, you can run a small campaign focusing on the interactions of units in one small sector of space - perhaps the zone of control of a Klingon BATS with the opposing player being either a Hydran commander trying to slip the Expedition past, or an Orion Pirate trying to make a name for himself by commerce raiding...
Or you can go bigger and run the entire Gorn/Romulan front as tensions build leading toward the Day of the Eagle, or (this is for you Gary Wink ) you could run a campaign focusing on the Interstellar Concordiums first explorations/encounters with their Gorn / Romulan neighbors...
Or... you can go even bigger and run the entire General War.

The choice to buy or wait is ultimately up to you... but there are a few things you should know:
Federation and Empire:
This is my game of choice and the one I will always support and play given the options - but it's wholly unsuited to Federation Commander. The size of the fleets in use and the size of some of the battles (several hundred ships on each side) would make it difficult to translate into a meaningful FedComm campaign system.
Units available:
There are over 2000 different units available in SFB/F&E and 99% of the ones players actually build are not in FedComm, so it would require major (and potentially unbalancing) limitations on what could be built in a F&E game if you chose to resolve battles using FedComm.
Special Rules:
The vast majority of the special rules that help F&E function have no equivalents in FedComm - so that presents another difficulty.

Federation Admiral:
Biggest Drawback:
This won't be released until later... possibly late 2010, maybe early 2011. According to SVC, the main rule book needs a major reformatting effort to match standard ADB formats. [In this, he's right. I've seen the rulebook. It is well organized and works, but it is not currently anywhere near simialr to ADB's other releases] And any time spent rewriting/reformatting FA is time that could go into F&E: ISC War - PD: Tholians, or even SFA.
Support Units:
FA will require the publication of Briefing #3: Support Units for it to function properly. This means the creation of another 72 ship cards and that takes time and effort, too.

WOW! This became a long post, didn't it?
I could go on about the two systems, and once this post is read and questions generated - I'll probably post more; but for my two Quatloos worth:
As someone who's played F&E since it was released, FedComm since before it was released, and has had the opportunity to play Fed Admiral (and talk to the developer - Jay); I'll be waiting until Fed Admiral is released to run a Federation Commander campaign. YMMV.
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to reinforce what scoutdad wrote; F&E is *not* a campaign system for the other games. It's way, way, *way* too big for that. It's a completely standalone grand strategic game (think "SFU Risk", on massive amounts of steroids and with much less abstracting).

A (very) few brave souls have used it as battle generator, but they must have had large and stable gaming-groups that met very regularly (something pretty much unheard of nowadays). Normal humans could never resolve all the battles F&E generates in pretty much any of its scenarios (and some of those battles would be un-fun to play).

There's been lots of locally-developed campaign systems around for decades but, to the best of my knowledge, FA is the first time ADB is publishing one for use with the SFU (and even then, it's a "port" of a generic campaign system).
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domingojs23
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Scoutdad and Djdood,

Many thanks for the exhaustive replies ! Much appreciated.

Actually, I am thinking of another direction with regard to my FC strategic campaign framework - use of a PC 4x game. Right now I am evaluating Galactic Civilizations, Space Empires and the old VGA Planets.

Another would be to look into what is available for Starmada, considering that we already have Klingon and Romulan Armada. I'm not sure, but is VBAM also doing the campaign thing for Armada ?

Cheers,

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

PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scoutdad wrote:
or (this is for you Gary Wink ) you could run a campaign focusing on the Interstellar Concordiums first explorations/encounters with their Gorn / Romulan neighbors...


Ah, but then I'd need a way to rep those pre-refit ISC ships in Fed Commander...



Oh, speaking of strategic-level games, Majestic 12 are working on a ruleset called The Sovereign Stars - apparently there's a prototype of it in the Starmada Rules Annex. I dunno if Daniel Kast has any plans to set up a formal conversion of that system for the Star Fleet Universe.
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Chewy
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When Federation Admiral finally makes it to the press, I'll gladly be one of the first to purchase it. This is exactly what our weekly gaming group of 6 players has been looking for.
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Sweeper
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotta admit, I am intrigued. Guess we'll see how Federation Admiral stacks up when it's released. Smile
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of the FC players who have actually seen the draft have shown no interest in it. It's a huge document, too big for FC style of play/thought. But Jay says he has a smaller version and we might do that for FC and the "full" version for SFB. Not that we don't already have at least three campaign systems for SFB (F&E, GC, CDH).
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not seen the draft but I show intrest in it. An official campaign system is just what FC needs.
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Savedfromwhat
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very interested in a fedcom vbam campaign system that is big. I don't want a stripped down product that is smaller for the sake of being smaller. I would be happy to pay for the draft rules as they are now just to get the game in my hands (we have been waiting for it in phx eargerly since it was announced)
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DirkSJ
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Joined: 08 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Cole wrote:
Most of the FC players who have actually seen the draft have shown no interest in it. It's a huge document, too big for FC style of play/thought. But Jay says he has a smaller version and we might do that for FC and the "full" version for SFB. Not that we don't already have at least three campaign systems for SFB (F&E, GC, CDH).

A streamlined simple campaign system for FC would be amazing. I am very interested in a system that generates battles that feel more important and real since your real resources are at stake.

What I would look for in a FC campaign:
- Simple economic rules. Perhaps something as simple as number of hexes controlled + "special" hex (planets, nebula, etc) bonuses = income per campaign turn.
- Simple production rules. Maybe each base makes X BPV worth of ships per campaign turn (or X BPV of progress toward a large ship).
- Simple movement rules. Perhaps every ship moves the same speed in campaign hexes.
- Simple area control rules. Perhaps different flavors of bases exert control out to X, Y and Z hexes. No base, no control.
- No supply lines/ammo counting/crew counting. Too crunchy for FC.
- Limited ship engagement. Some rules about how big a fleet can be to prevent 80 on 80 ship fights. Perhaps you have a unit limit based on how many bases or hexes you control and a max fleet size based on your unit limit.
- A few balanced maps.

Preferably I would like it to come with digital versions of maps for CC (pay), Hex (free), or AutoREALM (free) or some other hex map software (preferably free). Managing the map will probably be the hardest part of making a campaign simple and FC-like.
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Paul B
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What would this stripped down version of FA entail?

My opponent I know would like some sort of economic system, building ships, researching ships and so on. He's all about the grand strategy of the thing.

For me personally, campaigns are all about the stories they create. They give a chance to make individual starships worth more than the sum of their boxes. Fleets and individual ships gain more character, which adds to the collective whole of your empire, whatever that may be.

Would this stripped down version offer these sorts of things?

I know some games offer campaign systems which are little more than stringing a series of battles together. Heck Babylon 5 Wars had a simple scenario generator in one of their Showdowns products where all you did was draw a card for each player which determined their force size and objectives. But really that's not something the players need to buy a book for, they can make that stuff up themselves.

I guess all I'd be saying is that I hope the campaign has a little depth to it. FC while faster playing than SFB is not a simplistic game. Recent attempts to teach the game to other players has proven that for me at least. We showed it to one of our Battletech comrades and he thought it was way too complicated, and Battletech's not exactly the easiest game either. FC has as my opponent likes to say "some meat on its bones". The campaign system I hope would emulate that. If not in the basic rules, than at least with the optional ones.

Also I'm not sure why the FC players wouldn't go for a vbam product. I'm not really that familiar with VBAM, having only played it a bit some 5 years ago. But I know Starmada's a pretty simplistic game. And I get the impression from various forums that the Starmada campaign ruleset from VBAM has been pretty well received by the playerbase. So I'm not sure why players who play a simplistic space combat game would have no problem with that sort of campaign, while players who play a more complicated space combat game would? Something doesn't compute for me there.
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Paul B
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

domingojs23 wrote:
Another would be to look into what is available for Starmada, considering that we already have Klingon and Romulan Armada. I'm not sure, but is VBAM also doing the campaign thing for Armada ?


Btw, on this note, as I said in my previous post I know that VBAM has done a starmada edition version of their rules for the Starmada rule set. I may even have the book now that I think of it as I got a few VBAM books in a trade (but they, like a lot of other books have been sitting idle on my shelf for a couple years now). I think the VBAM Starmada book was intended for an older version of Starmada, but it may be possible to adapt those rules to Klingon and Romulan Armada supplements. Or maybe someone's already done it?

Obviously it would require a fair deal or work. Probably worth asking the VBAM guys or on the starmada forum how feasible it is, since I don't know the differences between the older and newer versions of Starmada. I have a PDF of the older Starmada Rules (starmada X I think it is), but I've never played them. And I've gotten the impression that the newer edition is significantly different.
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