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Carriers
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Originally, scout rules and aegis rules were intended to solely be Borders of Madness. Simplified scout rules were included in the base game to facilitate the use of the published, laminated Federation Scout. When the simplified rules turned out to work pretty well, it opened the gates to simply accept them as part of the main game. Aegis rules were included due to a misunderstanding between myself and Steve.* Since they ended up working out OK, they are also now part of the base game.

However, most other items in the Borders of Madness will not make it into the main game, and will remain Borders of Madness. I do not believe that any Borders of Madness rules are intended to be included in the Reference Rulebook at any point, so as to keep them separate. (In fact, many of the Borders of Madness rules are in Borders of Madness because they were intentionally excluded from the base Federation Commander game.)

I expect any Simulator-only items to also remain outside the base game, too.

[*] Back in Briefing #1, Steve decided to include drone ships. I suggested including some escorts for the non-drone empires, so they could have a way to handle the increased drone output of drone-using empires. While I intended for the escorts to just be ships with a different load, Steve thought I meant for them to be full aegis escorts. By the time that was all hashed out, we had aegis rules and now will have escorts for everyone. Fortunately, they seem to work fine and don't unbalance or hurt anything.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To some extent, I have to wonder if there is a need for BoM other than carriers/fighters and maybe gunboats.

Consider that a lot of the futzier rules in SFB (energy balance due to damage, crew quality, legendary officers, plotted movement, sublight evasion, Crew units, positron flywheel, non-violent combat, UIMs, low-powered fire control, passive fire control, catastrophic damage, critical hits, emergency repairs, tactical intelligence, EW fighters, Klingon mutiny, ship separation, temporal elevators) aren't even being considered for BoM. there is just no need for them.

The various gritty rules for the "seeking weapons balance equation" are an all or nothing thing and I vote for "forget them": special drone warhead, scatter packs, ECM drones, ECM plasma, type-H drones, enveloping plasma, pseudo-plasma, shotgun plasma, plasma sabot, cloaked decoy, drogues, wild weasels, pilot quality, multi-role shuttles, SWAC shuttles.

A lot of the remaining rules (scouts, aegis, tug pods, pinwheels, even commando ships) already migrated from BoM to the main rules without harm. Surpise is written into scenarios as a special rule when/if needed.

I halfway suspect that maulers (and their special directed turn modes) will, when actually done, be so simple that they'll easily and harmlessly migrate into the main rules. Shock is handled in non-maulers by firing limit rules. We may or may not bother for maulers because I'm worried about it migrating back into the F6 and BCJ).

So what is left for BoM?
-----
Carriers and Fighters (Probably not chaff and booster packs and megapacks and chain reactions) Not sure about dogfighting. I am very dubiuos about heavy fighters and bombers but we might have to so you can simulate F&E battles. The various fighter-pods are probably not worth the bother. Ralads are a maybe. Would anybody miss casual bases? remote control fighters don't seem needed.
-----
Gunboats
Mines, mine warfare, minesweepers.
battle pods, carrier pods
Jindarians and all of their special junk
Prospecting shuttles and their dubious cannons (I vote no)
Transporter Artillery (I vote no)
Ballistic targeting
Stasis fields (I vote no)
prime teams, commandoes, militia, heavy weapons squads: I vote no.
Paravians, Carnivons, Borak, Peladine, Nicozian, simulators.
Any SFB terrain type not yet in FC might be BoM or regular rule.
Any SFB monster will probably show up as a regular rule.
X-rules, Y-rules, Omega, Magellanic, Maelstrom.
-------
Not really remembering much else.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, we have already done several fiddly things in BoM that I am sure should never be included in the base game, but are still fun options to play with. So, I think BoM will always be more than fighters and gunboats

Here are the things we have in BoM that could be added to the base game, but have not yet:
- Maulers (Communique)
- Tholian Pinwheel (CL42)

Things already done in BoM, but should never be added to the base game:
- Super-Intelligent Computers (CL ??)
- Stasis Field Generator (CL40)
- Klingon Firing Arcs (CL38)
- Fighters/Carriers (CL37, et. al.)
- Battle Tugs (CL44)
- Frax (simulator) (CL40/41)

Things we could add to BoM, if you want, but should stay BoM only:
- Mine fields (no laying; just sweeping; effectively a terrain type)
- Prime Teams
- X-Rules
- Other Simulator Empires

Finally, one thing I think should be split up:
- Put independent/casual gunboats in the base game
- Put gunboat flotilla/tender operations in BoM

So, currently, BoM is already more than just fighters and gunboats. And I think that is a good thing.
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marcus_aurelius
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Besides carriers and fighters, I would really like to play gunboats and some limited 1st generation X technology. Those seem relatively easy to add to BoM without destroying the balance.

Mine fields and mine sweeping seem like a logical addition too.

I am glad the futzier rules are out.

I would also love to forget the "seeking weapon balance equation.". Personally I would like to have enveloping plasmas but not at the cost of bringing all the rest of the equation in; that cost is too high.
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Monty
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Joined: 23 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand all the balance equation concerns except for enveloping plasmas. Would they require Wild Weasels to counter balance?

I agree with Marcus, if it really requires all of the other seeking components to balance it's not worth it.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really want to see carriers, but I'm sure they are coming. PFs are probably even further down my list.

Filling in EA for flotillas of PFs was a nightmare. If some thing that would normally be expected to operate in flotillas still require EA in a BoM version then I'd consider them a failed port (as in failed to stream line the major problem with them). Indeed, unless you get rid of the EA per PF I'm not sure why they would require any rules that do not already exist, they are effectively very tiny ships otherwise.
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The Ghost
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to see gunboats and a version of X ships (with simpler rules) available for player use.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I expect that gunboats will be done as mini-ships. I personally, however, would much rather them done as super-fighters. If done as super-fighters (basically, no allocation, specific capabilities available based on speed/damage, has ship card/uses DAC for damage) they would be extremely easy to use and would only have to choose speed as their pre-turn activity. But that would probably be too radical of an approach.

The other thing I would like to see is that gunboats, as combat units, be added to the base game. The idea is that you could take up to six of them in a squadron/fleet, and they just cost points. There are no other requirements or rules. The idea that they are somehow carried to the combat is completely ignored; they are just really small combatants.

The advantage of this is that there are no Tender rules. There are no leaders or scouts. There are no mech links. They are just tiny ships (from a fleet rule perspective). However, given their low cost (40-50 points), they would be great for helping balance points battles and give that option to almost every fleet. They would, in effect, be a balancing point for constructing fleets.

Then, Borders of Madness can add in Tenders, leaders, scouts, operational rules for carrying gunboats, and all of that fiddly stuff.

That's what I would love to see. Don't know if it will happen.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
I expect that gunboats will be done as mini-ships. I personally, however, would much rather them done as super-fighters. If done as super-fighters (basically, no allocation, specific capabilities available based on speed/damage, has ship card/uses DAC for damage) they would be extremely easy to use and would only have to choose speed as their pre-turn activity. But that would probably be too radical of an approach.


Doesn't seem that radical to me, it is in fact pretty much what I was thinking about the last time PF discussion came up in our group, more fighter like from a mechanical perspective if not capability. Say choose a speed at turn start: very high speed = only 1 weapon, high speed = all weapons but no overloads, lower speed allows overloads, or stuff like that.

I was also trying to get rid if the DAC as well though, but couldn't off hand think of a satisfactory way - the nearest I got was a Starfire style track, just cross off systems in order. But given they are small maybe the DAC wouldn't be that bad, just force them to take frame on skips so they are more fragile, but more to the point you don't waste time going down the DAC trying to get those last couple of hits.

I still think they'd be BoM though.


Last edited by storeylf on Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm; edited 2 times in total
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djdood
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the sounds of that, Mike. Many things about FedCom seemed "radical" to all of us SFB grognards, when it first came out. Now it's my platform of choice and I haven't played SFB in over 10 years.

PFs would be much more enticing as a point-balance unit than other small ships, like the APT, etc.

Because of the movies and DS9, there has always been a demand for a "small, 12-man combat ship" Klingon unit from the players I taught. The G-1, as you describe them being implemented, would be perfect and a lot of fun.

Not having to deal with allocation for something that small would be quite nice. Given the high power curve of most of the PFs, it's kind of superfluous in the FedCom environment anyways. They typically had the power to scoot and shoot at the same time, with only minor adjusting needed; why bother with the minor since FC avoids crunch.

Another benefit would be that the Feds could just have their PF without any universe-shattering issues. Battleships abound in FedCom, so I can't see the Fed Thunderbolt PF being an issue.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason I would like to see them in the base game is twofold:
1) They are very cheap. This means they let you field balanced forces very easily, and lets the "filler" unit be actually useful and empire-specific. (As opposed to trying to wedge in an armed auxiliary into the "hole".)
2) They are a character-level unit. By having them in the base game, you build a bridge between the RPG games and the board games.

As for the speed/weapons thing, yes, they should be related. I would like it so that if they go max speed they can use all weapons, but only normal loads. If they slow down, they can overload. The reason for the DAC is that I want differentiated systems. So, they still use the "normal" gunboat ship display, if they lose a weapon box, that weapon is no longer available. If they lose power, their speed/weapons options go down. I do want the system differentiation, just not the power management. Make the power management fixed, but keep the systems.

Then, all of the other "gunboat stuff" would be BoM. I don't want that stuff in the base game. Just the base combat gunboats.

(In a way, it inverts the "standard experience" of SFB gunboat deployment. In SFB, the idea is that tenders and full flotillas are the "normal" deployment, and "casual gunboats" are the exception. What I am asking for is that the "casual gunboats" are the standard use [i.e. in the base game] and that tenders and full flotillas are the other option [i.e. in BoM].)
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Mike
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like these ideas, too.
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JimDauphinais
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Mike West's thinking as well.
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Rog
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:36 am    Post subject: Gunships Reply with quote

Yes It will help with the odd left over fleet points.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The published carriers are way under pointed. They are heavy cruisers with a lot more internals for slightly more cost in the case of the fed strike carrier 156 points.


Have you seen the latest Communique. The hydran escort. A ship with 5 gatlings !!!!

At a quick glance it is a buffalo Hunter (already an excellent ship) that replaces the fusions with gatlings and aegis capability, and all for a mere 8 points!

Just noted that here, as escorts are usually 'carrier' escorts in the background.
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