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Fall 2012 Federation Commander Online Tournament Feedback
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JimDauphinais
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Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 762
Location: Chesterfield, MO

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:12 am    Post subject: Fall 2012 Federation Commander Online Tournament Feedback Reply with quote

Please post your feedback -- both positive and negative.

I plan to start the next tournament on April 1st in order to provide time for an announcement in Hailing Frequencies.
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Jim Dauphinais, Chesterfield, MO

St. Louis Area Fed Comm Group: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/STL_Federation_Commander/
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ncrcalamine
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 228

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will the ships and tugs from transports attacked be legal in the next tourney. These ships have some value in damage per cost valuations.

Will cargo pods be allowed.

All this assumes they are on the client.

Nicole
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ncrcalamine
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 228

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to have a briefing 2 tournament. Less effective ships. Fewer super ships, players probably will have less experience and players standard tactics my not work.

The good thing is if these ships are not on the client , the later year modified /retrofitted ships are. The middle year ship can be played by just eliminating boxes not on the retofitted ship.


Just an idea

Nicole
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Sebastian380
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't wait!
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Archer
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 03 Feb 2011
Posts: 27
Location: Inver Grove Heights, MN

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ncrcalamine wrote:
I would like to have a briefing 2 tournament. Less effective ships. Fewer super ships, players probably will have less experience and players standard tactics my not work.

The good thing is if these ships are not on the client , the later year modified /retrofitted ships are. The middle year ship can be played by just eliminating boxes not on the retofitted ship.


Just an idea

Nicole


I definitely support the idea of less ship choices/weaker ships! The game is so much more interesting when the ships can't run, shoot overloads, EM, and chew bubble gum! Plasma torpedos can actually be launched instead of bolted/carronaded!

Archer
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1873

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Archer wrote:

I definitely support the idea of less ship choices/weaker ships! The game is so much more interesting when the ships can't run, shoot overloads, EM, and chew bubble gum! Plasma torpedos can actually be launched instead of bolted/carronaded!

Archer


Because a Gorn cruiser with 2 plasma Gs only is so much more scary!

I'd prefer my 2 S and 2 F and let you have the 2 extra power thanks (for those that actually lose any power - klinks for example don't).

I thought it was the weapon loadouts that make the midyear ships noticeably weaker more than the power. The ships can still do pretty much everything you say, they just have less or worse weapons to fire (meaning they have less to use the sligtly less power on).

I thought the mid years ships would be more interesting with more power issues, but it didn't seem to quite work out like that IMO. I was actually disappointed with the mid year ships after looking forward to them. I thought it might be my memory of SFB back in the 80s was bad, but it may just be that the SFB mechanics means that power tends to more of an issue in SFB.
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JimDauphinais
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Joined: 22 Nov 2009
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Location: Chesterfield, MO

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My priority for feedback is in regard to how well did the last set of tournament rules work out and what can PRACTICALLY be undertaken to improve the tournament format in time for an April 1st start (and a very early March announcement of that tournament).

Alternatively, we can just put off a new tournament until such time as grander ideas are implementable. However, many of those ideas require significant time and effort with regard to the client. For example, how many Middle Years ships are actually in the client? Do all empires eligible for play have a Scout available in the client in order to allow scouts? The same applies to Tugs. Standard squadrons might be possible in time by committee, but is that where we want to go?
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1873

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Positive

Starting at range 26. Means you are in range of an enemy coming straight at you and have to actually think and plan for turn 1 action. It also makes a pass mid way through turn 1 likely, rather than back end of the turn (harder to plan for and game the turn end bit with respect to thing like firing twice without a gap etc).

Larger map. Less emphasis on pushing the other guy up against an artificial boundary to trap him.


Negative

Smaller fights, different start ranges and larger map, but same handicap as before. Things are not the same at different point values, different start ranges or larger maps.

Declaring you were going be very strict about deadlines and then letting the last game go on for several weeks after.

Having 2 of 4 opponents not know about carronades to the point that their games/plans were adversely affected.
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JimDauphinais
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Joined: 22 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thoughts:

I agree with Lee that the empire handicapping from the previous tournaments did not work well due to the changes in total points, starting distance and map size. This is something that is going to always going happen when we shake things up for variety. This is also one of the reasons I have been reluctant to add terrain into the tournament. However, more on this later below in my post.

I am obviously a fan of the new starting distance, the larger map (which is effectively a standard FC Location Map), the Suicide Shuttle Penalties and minimum starting Baseline speed. I feel they did work well and may have shaved up to a turn off of playtime. They also implicitly help to discourage passive play without the need to police such play. I know Nicole is not a fan of most of these, but I intend on keeping these unless there is a strong outpouring of opposition to them.

The smaller total point value was to both introdcue some variety and to help speed play. The thought was that with four ships no longer being an option, most empires will fly as a single stack reducing the time for decisionmaking. However, I am not wedded to the total point value amount and like the idea of moving it around from time to time to add varierty.

I no longer have a tolerance for allowing more time in the final round. This has now been abused at least twice. Taking 12 to 15 hours to play 6 Turns is unreasonable even in a Romulan/Tholian match. The game would have been adjudicated at Origins.

The one month deadline appropriately considers the cost to maintain FC Online subscriptions, maintaining interest level in the tournament and providing a scheduled game for everyone once a month. It also reflects that if we did allow two months, human nature is such that many folks would put off scheduling the game until the second month.

With regard to Orion Carronades, I do not know what we can do with folks not recognizing such items. I had the same problem in an earlier tournament with Seltorians versus Feds. The Fed player did not realize his peril within 5 hexes nor that he could use Evasive Maneuvers to block boarding by the Selts (despite my intentionally long pauses at the start of the Defensive Fire phase). I would suggest that if folks are concerned that their game might be ruined by the inexperience of the other player with regard to a certain subtlety, they tactfully volunteer the information at the start of the game (e.g., don't forget the Orions get Carronade capability with their Plasma F tubes). I do not know what else to suggest.

For April 1st, where I am preliminarily leaning is that the format will be the same as the tournament we just completed with the following changes:

- We will use 450 points (for variety, not due to anything being wrong with 300 points)

- I will put some terrrain on the map -- the terrain will be identical in all matches.

- We will use the Cloaking rules change currently in playtesting (we can discuss whether we will use the 50% damage part of it).

- We will be using an entirely new auction squadron selection method that I will very shortly float which is designed to dynamically balance squadron selections in each tournament independent of total points, terrain, starting distance, etc.

The last item is obviously novel and introduces a longer meta-game during squadron selection, but I think it is the only way to go to provide variety from tournament to tournament with somewhat reliable playbalance. The other alternative would be to keep a very static format and use either standard squadrons (or static total points and handicaps). Some might like that, but I think most folks like the idea of building the squadron they fly and prefer to have some varierty from tournament to tournament. Then again, if when you see my proposal you think I am totally crazy, we can just use the same format as the last tournament with some minor tweaks to the handicapping.

This all being said, in my mind it is IMPERATIVE for us to figure out how to break the FCOL client logjam that is keeping the Vudar, ISC and, dare I say, Andromendans out of the tournament along with some of the newer ships that have been published. I really, really want to see this resolved ASAP so that the FCOL tournament after the next one can start using these empires and ships.
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Monty
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 231

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed the tournament and the setup seemed to be pretty good. As a first time client user I think commanding just the two ships was perfect for me. The map size seemed just right.

I'm not a big fan of the 1st turn speed limit or the overall turn limit, though that didn't seem to be a factor in the games that I played. There's not too much I'd change about it from an operational perspective.

As far as the ship selection process there isn't a lot of incentive for taking average ships. Everyone is going to take the best combination right up to that line. It has nothing to do with this tourney format, I think it's a product of the victory conditions and the fight to the death nature of the game.

The VP cost bound to Suicide Shuttles was an interesting sort of reverse 'commanders option' from SFB. To expand on this idea you could require the purchase of Suicide Shuttles as part of the ship selection process, 6BPV to use one per round, 12BPV to use 2, etc stay 300 or less. That may be enough to make someone consider a CL instead of a nice shiny new CW.

Also, it might be interesting to allow or require one ship substitution between rounds just to keep things interesting and force usage of different ships.

That's all the feedback that comes to mind. It was fun, and I do look forward to new empires being added to the client. That can't come soon enough.

Monty
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Patrick Doyle
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Joined: 18 Aug 2007
Posts: 208
Location: Norfolk, VA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Good:

- I enjoyed the larger Map.

- While not fair to others (I understand) I did appreciate the extra time to finish. I was out of the country from 04-22 JAN and upon my return had to work 60-70 hour weeks to catch up. I didn't have a day off until mid Feb. Perhaps I should have forfeited or dropped out. My apologies and thanks for patience.



The Bad
- Tholians with 2 Webcasters should be resticted. THolians should be allowed 1 webcaster (not sure if that would work but its a step in the right direction). After playing them and not taking any damage, I am convinced 2 WCs are a problem. I want game play, NOT force selection to decide victory.

- I REALLY hate the suicide shuttle restriction. It removes/penalizes a legal and viable tactic. Keep in mind this was implemented to prevent passive play. I used two suicide shuttle in the game because it made sense to do so at the time and was reminded of the terrible rule.
A cloaking device (especially on a VUL/KE with 8/6 batteries) can serve the same passive play function without any restrictions (note I am NOT accusing Nicole of passive play) The fact is that IF the Romulan wanted to, the Romulan could have cloaked the rest of the game. This was THE reason I accepted a draw. With work 60-70 hours/week recently, I did not have any more the time to invest in what was likely to be an inconclusive game. Nicole is very good, so its entirely possible I would have lost had we continued but it was the fact that I had to WIN the game to win the tournament and she only needed a draw to win the tournament. She could easily run out the clock under cloak IF she wanted to. And I wouldn't blame her because Tholians with 2 webcasters are REALLY hard to hit as anyone who played me or Paul can attest to.
If suicide shuttle are restricted because of their POTENTIAL for causing passive play, then Cloaking devices should be restricted too.
Jim, please understand, this is nothing against you and not intended as a personal attack. I simply and strongly disagree with this policy as it is an artificial restriction to the rules of play to compensate for a 1 time occurrence in which you improvised a delaying tactic to hold off Paul Scott who was playing a Hydran force while you had a Gorn force. This particular Hydran force was a nightmare to fight and was an example of the problem with Hydrans. Desperate times=desperate measures, you did that and got a draw out of him. It is not a reason for this restriction. If preventing passive play is a goal, suicide shuttles are not the answer.

- I really believe Orions, Hydrans and Tholians with 2 webcasters should have restrictions of some sort. I believe these forces unbalance the tournament and make it less fun (IMO). Orions have the greatest point restrictions, the best record, and only 1 of the top 3 players has ever played them. The three things together illustrate the problem.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1873

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot about the shuttles - but yes I agree with Patrick. They shouldn't be penalised.
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mjwest
Commodore


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 3488
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't play the tournaments, but on the Orions, what are the weapons loads that are a problem? One simple adjustment to help with the fix is to ban phasers (any kind) from "main" options mounts. Or, potentially, any option mounts. No more pure phaser boats.

Are Pl-F a problem, too? Perhaps give a limit to the possible number. Or, if you don't want to be that severe, say that an Orion ship may only take two carronade shots per turn, regardless of the number of Pl-F.
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m1a1dat
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 17 Dec 2008
Posts: 95
Location: 91320

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure how i feel about the location map for a touney game. If you are worried alot about passive play then the bigger map helps make passive play more possible.

I thought the penalty for using shuttles was ridiculous. Most games get to the point where one side concedes and not by point values anyway. Also why am i penalized for using a part of my ship, why not tractors too?

I think a 30 hex starting distance is good; 26 was not to bad though. Close enough to engage on the first turn if you want and far enough away you have to do a little work to avoid getting close if you want. Also there should be no minimum starting speed. (I have always thought there should have been acceleration limits) I did not like starting out nose to nose centerlined, i prefer having some offset.

The different point cost, terrain: Nice to mix things up now and then. Terrain needs to be picked very carefully though.

No tugs. No escorts. No scouts, unless the point is for everyone to try a fleet with a scout. Not that i don't mind the ships or the rules so much, i just don't think they are right for a tournament.

I didn't play in any of the games against the Tholians, so i will abstain from that discussion. I do think there needs to be some restrictions on Orion option mounts.
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ncrcalamine
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 228

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
I don't play the tournaments, but on the Orions, what are the weapons loads that are a problem?

Several problems
1) able to get more optional weapons than the race who is associated with those weapons

More drones than kizinti
Salvage ship 6 drone racks
Dbr 5 drone racks ....

More plasma f than gorn
Dw 3 plasma f
Dbr 3 plasma f ....
Massed plasma G bolting is a very potent tactic. Inside range 5 they hit as hard as a disruptor for 1 point of power, and as hard as an overloaded disruptor for 5 points than can be targeted. As simple one sentence fix in 5L1a add: all plasma f the orions use are romulan plasma F.

Able to take a heavy weapon loadout then add a phaser g in a wing mount
I tried to address this last august in a discussion on the general discussion board
ncrcalamine wrote:
This could be implimented in the 7th edition of the rule book.

Rule 5L1a 4th paragraph(stacked ses) change the word phaser-1 to photon.


Reason orions are very powerful. I just beat the 2011 origins championship fleet with my 2011 origions orion fleet. (i could not play for the championship because of other commitments at origins). On many ships substituting a " wing" phaser-1 with a phaser-g gives many of the orion ships an extra heavy weapon. By making this change you eliminate the optional wing gattling on ships with many weapons mounts and allow it on ships with 3 or fewer weapons mounts.


Nicole



In a 450 point force of 2 dbr and 2 br you can get 12 photons, and 4 phase g, 18 phaser ones, 16 phaser 3
In one game I exploded one nca and crippled another in one turn at range one that I let get behind me where neither sides photons could hit , 32 phaser3 equivalents and 10 phaser ones. He did not realize how much phaser 3 I could out put.


One simple adjustment to help with the fix is to ban phasers (any kind) from "main" options mounts. Or, potentially, any option mounts. No more pure phaser boats.

I haven't seen the phaser boats in action. Could be a problem allowing the orions to keep stealthed at all times. But I dont think the phaser one load outs are the problem. With just phasers you are very vulnerable to targeted weapons hits.


Are Pl-F a problem, too? Perhaps give a limit to the possible number. Or, if you don't want to be that severe, say that an Orion ship may only take two carronade shots per turn, regardless of the number of Pl-F.
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