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Carriers
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marcus_aurelius
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 07 Jun 2008
Posts: 254
Location: Cary IL

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fighters were generally in stacks of three, but the specific ships stacked together was fluid because the fighters sometimes faced different directions and moved/fired on different targets of opportunity. If only 2 fighters are needed for the volley then I don't want to overkill and be forced to fire all three at the same target. In one case I only needed 4 fighters from 2 hexes on a specific target to blow it up. The remaining 2 fighters in the second hex went after another target.

Flights might limit my flexibility and if fighters in the same flight can act differently in movement or fire then the point of flights evaporates.

Even the heavy carriers in SFB only carried two dozen fighters and had three escorts ( 4 ships total). Rarely have I played such large groups.

If flights were optional then that would be fine so other players could use them but I could ignore them.
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TrotskyTrotsky
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 15 Oct 2012
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marcus - thanks for the reply.

As I am relatively new to FC I will have to see how this all pans out. The biggest compromise I have had to make in transferring from SFB is the ability to fire only every fourth impulse - I could quite easily accept flights to speed up play - no doubt they would bring their own tactical challenges.

It is true that flights would limit some flexibility - I guess the compromise of speed over flexibility is the issue here and everyone's mileage will vary. As we are discussing BOM here everything is sort of optional...
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1879

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marcus, direct fire fighters are certainly easier to manage.

But your description is a good explanation of what is not so good about current fighters (IMHO), you are moving lots of little units twice a turn on different headings, looking for different targets, the other guy is probably trying to keep track of lots of little units and what facing/range they all are as he moves however many times. During fire you are calculating fire for almost 20 different units to optimise the damage.

I was just reading some detailed accounts about the battle of midway today, and what struck me was that the various planes that came in did not break up individually to attack different targets. The pilots didn't work out how much they would each do and find a new target if they thought they would be overkill. Each of the 3 torpedo squadrons attacked a target as a group. The 3 seperate dive bomber squadrons also each attacked a target as a group (bar some from VB6 who got confused and joined VS6 on the way down). Even after the japanese carriers were hit those who were still to attack didn't break off for another target, they carried on to make sure of the job even though for some of them it would have been an overkill attack. Something akin to flights are how aircraft operate.


Last edited by storeylf on Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:32 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Magnum357
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 09 Dec 2006
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marcus_aurelius wrote:

If direct fire drones are the path, perhaps something with a simple die roll like how anti-drones work. For direct fire drones a simple range/damage chart, not a page of rules about calculating vectors, etc.


Is it ok if I add to this discussion? I actually experimented a couple of times of this concept of Direct Fire Drones (I call them FDrones in my personal games). Basically exactly the idea you are talking about, a heavily modifed ADD for a Chase. I used the chart before for the hit odds...

Code:

                            Range
                0    1-2   3-4   5-6   7+
Hit             -    1-4   1-5   1-3    -
Damage          0     5     5     5     0


I tested the FDrones on a senario very similar to the Auxilary carrier scenario in SFB basic set. I can't remember the rule number but the scenario with a Kzinti Auxilary carrier versus a Klingon F5, I used 8 Federation Basic Fighters (similar to an F-18 with 8 hit points, 2 Phaser-3's and 2 Fdrones) against a Fleet Scale Federation DD. I was suprised by the results. I only played a couple of scenarios, but the DD didn't do very well against the FDrones. Even when the Federation DD stayed at high speed, the Fighters FDrones where very deadly at the Range 3-4 bracket. The Federation Destroyer in the test scenarios just didn't have an answer to combat the Fighters. I beleive about only a quarter of the fighters where lost. Overall, the results where much different then the SFB scenario portrayed with the F5.

After playing the scenarios, I can see why Steve really would prefer to keep them in boarders of madness. I think my FDrone concept could help keep the clutter down with counters and fighters, but once those fighters get into that range 3-4 range, its really hard to defend against them. This is another reason why in my house rule games, I keep carriers limited to auxilaries. I hope this message helps show to people that the Direct Fire Drone is a valid idea in FC, but it could unbalance things as well.
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mjwest
Commodore


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 3491
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see that range 4-5 would be a problem with your chart, as you give it a 1-5 to hit. Basically, each drone was a super-disruptor (+1 to hit; +1 damage).

To be honest, your FDrones are not really "direct-fire drones", but rather just a new fighter based weapon you created out of thin air. I am not being insulting (or, more properly, I am trying to not be insulting), but I have no idea the justification for either your "to hit" or damage numbers. The asymmetrical "to hit" numbers have no obvious justifications (since drones seem to have a better chance to hit the close they get, not have some kind of "middle zone"; and at range 0, it should be an automatic hit, not no chance to hit), and I have no idea how you decided that the damage should go from 12 to 5.

So, really, I am not seeing how your experiences with FDrones has much to do with how direct-fire drones would work. Or even how general direct-fire fighters would work. If you want to test straight-up direct fire fighters, just use two single-shot disruptor bolts.
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TrotskyTrotsky
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 15 Oct 2012
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

As I am new to the system I am a little confused now as to 5Q Hydran Stingers and the BOM fighters rules being discussed here. I am, assuming as 5Q is already in my reference rulebook that these are core rules. The discussion here is for BOM fighters which will be an optional ruleset and will include fighters for most races, including the problematic drone firing fighters. I don't see an issue of having both rule sets. The core Hydran Stinger rules are needed in the core system and will see a lot more play than any optional BOM fighter rules.

I remember using the direct fire drone rules from SFB Supplement #1 many years ago and they were a little quirky - or at least demanded different tactics than regular drones. I for one would not mind using flights of fighters that launched waves of drones. If all fighters in a flight launched together then a single counter could represent them all and no additional rules would be needed (you would need to track damage on a chart of some kind). This was what generally happened when we played SFB with them anyway - generating large swarms. This would still require a little more work than a direct fire system but after all if you want to use BOM then you are prepared for a little more anyway...
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mjwest
Commodore


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 3491
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
I.E. seekers do not move during the normal sub pulses, but rather have a single missile movement phase of their own between subpulse 4 and defensive fire. They move all their movement at this point, 3 hexes for a drone, 4 for a plasma, 1 for a shuttle.

Another problem with this is that it makes it easier for ships to avoid drones that are launched close-in.

On the other hand, this is no more counter or record intensive than suggestions I made for direct-fire drones before. Quite bluntly, this is probably the best "direct-fire drone" approach I have seen suggested yet.

The only other approach I can think of is to use a true "direct-fire" approach (like Mag suggested), but made to operate more like a drone should. Something like:
Code:

Range    0    1    2   3-4  5-6  7-8   9-10
To Hit  1-6  1-5  1-4  1-3  1-2   1     0
Damage 12 at all ranges.
Modifiers:
+1 Fighter in target's FA arc
-1 Fighter in target's RA arc
-1 Target Base Speed 24
+1 Target Base Speed 8
+2 Target Base Speed 0 or Stopped.
If drone hits, stick on facing shield and resolve in next impulse's Defensive Fire Phase.

Or something like that. Far from perfect, and the numbers are probably all crap, but something like that might work out ...
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1879

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, stingers are core rules, and could apply to any direct fire fighter. This discussion is largely about carriers in BOM, which largely means drone armed fighters if the SFB background is important.

Direct fire fighters are not to bad up to a point, but having stacks of them, possible on different headings and choosing fire for each individually does slow down the game somewhat. At times it can be painful because they still follow the 'stacking' limit for fire out of a hex, so when you get 20 odd stingers you can start getting all sorts of gymnastics going on as various ones are crippled or have fired and others are being manouvered to fire without falling foul of the stack limit. The flow of the game goes to pot.

Ironically that issue doesn't apply quite so much to drone fighters as there is no limit on who can launch out of a hex. But do we really want 24 fighters launching 48+ drones over a couple of turns, plus whatever else is going on!

For those who want fighters and don't mind the paperwork and single fighter movement with all the flexibilty then there really isn't much need for BoM rules, drone fighters will port over pretty easy as is. What I would hope BoM does is come up with a very streamlined set of rules for those keen to see less moving a crap load of counters 1 hex at a time and minimal (preferably none) paperwork tracking it.


Last edited by storeylf on Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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storeylf
Fleet Captain


Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1879

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
storeylf wrote:
I.E. seekers do not move during the normal sub pulses, but rather have a single missile movement phase of their own between subpulse 4 and defensive fire. They move all their movement at this point, 3 hexes for a drone, 4 for a plasma, 1 for a shuttle.

Another problem with this is that it makes it easier for ships to avoid drones that are launched close-in.

On the other hand, this is no more counter or record intensive than suggestions I made for direct-fire drones before. Quite bluntly, this is probably the best "direct-fire drone" approach I have seen suggested yet.


I'm not sure I'd call them direct fire drones, they would be pretty similiar to normal drones. Which is arguably the attraction, given how passionate some people were about drones losing their ability to influence movement.

There are a couple of scenarios where it might be possible for a drone that would otherwise hit to be avoided (by getting behind it and forcing the wide drone turn), those could be solved by allowing the HET to be used any time the drone doesn't start its move pointing at the target. Given that HET on adjacency is not so useful if you move drones in 1 go this doesn't seem unreasonable, and reflects the fact that the drone would possibly have normally HET'd in those scenarios anyway.

There would be more drone counters, but as moving them that way should speed up the move sub pulses, and then have faster seeker movement I don't think that is such an issue as it would be at the moment. Whether the record keeping is more or less depends on how long they last and how you do drone control. Direct fire drones as previously published are fairly record intensive (if for only a brief period) as you have to keep track of exactly where each was launched to eventually work out shields (or whether the ship got away if you use some other rules that were mooted).
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ncrcalamine
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 228

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
While we can discuss how you (or I) would set up fighters for Federation Commander all we want, the fact of the matter is that the SFU is pre-existent and must be respected by the Federation Commander rules. Will it be a direct translation? Obviously not. However, since it is already established that fighters carry the same drones as ships, fighter drones in Federation Commander must follow that. Likewise for other aspects of how fighters work in the SFU.

Whether one likes how fighters work in the SFU or not, how they work is already established.


The only fighters that currently exist are stingers. The rest are experimental in play test rules.

I feel quite strongly about this. Federation Commander is an entirely different game than the Starfleet Battles. It is much faster to play, has much shorter rules, and by and large has different game mechanics. Both exist is the star fleet universe, but that is about it. A Call To Arms, Klingon Armada use none of the Star Fleet mechanics though the ships are SFU recognizable.

Starfleet Battles rules complexity grew to the point that to have fair tournament, dumbed down special ships that exist only for tournaments, were created. There has been talk in the online tournaments that this needs to be done for Fed Com. I hope this never happens. For various reasons Fed Com continues to grow in complexity. But with carriers and Frax (a Klingon simulation race I believe, so how can they fight Feds), and Scouts, and escorts and borders of madness and new races and, and ,and Fed Com is becoming more like SFB. This is not good for the players (most games I play now are at some point paused to look up a rule), causes stagnation and eventual decline of the player and customer pool and I believe is bad for the company at least in the long term
(this is just supposition on my part and I may be very wrong). For a long time I have not seen SFB on store shelves.

As it is it is very hard to get new players for Fed Com because players are put off by the seeming complexity and rulebook thickness which gets increasingly more complex.
I would like to see a core set of rules for Fed Com with things like star bases, carriers, fighters, Frax, scouts, escorts, new races removed from the core. Even possibly my beloved Orions, and not so beloved Andromedans and Vudar. These should be published in a separate volume of optional rules. Lets try not to scare the new blood entirely away.

If things continue I can see Fed Com eventually having to have a new product that is Fed Com light like Fed Com is SFB light. Fed Com is my favorite game, and I would like it to stay that way.


Nicole
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TrotskyTrotsky
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 15 Oct 2012
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree Nicole - the base game should remain streamlined - everything else should be optional.
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storeylf
Fleet Captain


Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1879

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ncrcalamine wrote:

I would like to see a core set of rules for Fed Com with things like star bases, carriers, fighters, Frax, scouts, escorts, new races removed from the core. Even possibly my beloved Orions, and not so beloved Andromedans and Vudar. These should be published in a separate volume of optional rules. Lets try not to scare the new blood entirely away.


I know what you mean, I feel largely the same way. Scouts and escorts were going to be BOM, but for what ever reason it was decided they 'had' to go in the core set. I still honestly expect BOM to never exist as a discernable product, and all that stuff to just end up in the main rule book.


I'd question your defintion of core rules though. Star bases? what is wrong them apart from being large? Any new players nowadays seeing FedCom for the first time are likely to expect to see a starbase, there was a whole Trek spin off set on a big base. It may not have been TOS, but are you really expecting 'new blood' to have grown up on TOS or understand that FedCom can only do TOS.

What do you class as new races? Are you meaning just pare it down to Fed, Kilingon and Romulan because they are the only ones that 'new blood' will recognise from later Trek spin offs.
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well ...

The Reference Rulebook has gained thickness as the game has progressed. That is true. But, then, its stated goal is to include all of the rules for the game.

On the other hand, the Klingon (or Romulan) Border rulebook should still be pretty thin. They will include just the rules for the base (Fed, Klingon, Romulan, Kzinti, Gorn, Orion) empires. Perhaps focusing on those rulebooks would help keep the "streamlined" nature you are looking for.
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TrotskyTrotsky
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 15 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a relatively new player I still only have a few products. In front of me now is the Klingon Border rulebook (Rev 6) and for me that includes all the core rules you will ever need - you play literally hundreds of scenarios and battles using just that rulebook.

I have also have a copy of the consolidated rulebook from e23 (I like the free update model). This includes all the rules published so far and I really like to have all the rules in one place. I like the concept of a consolidated rulebook - even if it does grow a little.

I sort of agree with mjwest - these are two products for two different purposes - you take your pick - if i was introducing a new player I would use the Klingon Border rulebook.
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JimDauphinais
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Joined: 22 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the same sentiments.

The First Missions Rulebook is the free "Introductory" Rulebook.

The Klingon Border/Romulan Border Rulebook is the "CORE" Rulebook.

If you want to add a little here and there, the Attack Module Rulebooks suffice in conjunction with the CORE Rulebook.

If you are an experienced player who wants it all in one place, the Reference Rulebook is indispensable.

I would not want want the CORE Rulebook to get any longer, nor the Reference Rulebook any shorter.

I believe the limited inclusion of scouts, tugs, AEGIS and the like in the Reference Rulebook has been reasonable.

If a relatively light version of enhanced fighter rules were developed, I feel it would be appropriate to have those added to the Reference Rulebook.

However, I would NOT want to see extensive Borders of Madness class rules in the Reference Rulebook.

The only thing to date that has given me a pause is the introduction of Attack Modules that require more than the CORE Rulebook and the included Attack Module Rulebook in order to be played. It is not too much of a problem with Battleships Attack, Transports Attacked and the forthcoming Reinforcements Attack since those are still largely playable without rules from other Attack Modules. However, dependencies like that of Hydran Attack on Distant Kingdoms creates confusion with regard to whether certain Attack Modules are playable with just the CORE Rulebook.
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