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FOUR QUESTIONS FOR OUR CUSTOMERS
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Cloaky_McCloak
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Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Posts: 9
Location: DC

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First post. Figured I'd finally jump in instead of perpetually lurkin'.

1. The one huge thing that I see ADB not doing and capitalizing upon are the counters. For the most part (when miniatures are not involved) it's a game of counters. Mostly boring counters. I understand the counters have been that way since back in the back in the, but mayhaps it's time for a slight change? I mean, square counters on hexes? Doesn't this single incongruancy rub anyone else the wrong way, besides being impractical in terms of ship facing?

I believe aesthetics are the #1 thing that turns off any newcomers. If someone were to look at a game in progress, typically they'd see a bunch a small, rather dull counters with tiny lettering being pushed about on a group of hex panels. Kinda lame. Not many but the most core of Trek fans are going to step up to that and ask what it's about.

Now don't get me wrong, I love this game and most everything Star Trek. I'm not here to hate on the hobby. I'm just saying there's so much more that could be done to make the game more attractive and accessible without changing a single rule.

OK, the point. Get in touch with GF9. There's really no reason to not have sets of ships available for each race, super rad cloak counters to place over your cool hexagonal shaped ship tokens, plus neato drone, plasma, shuttle counters. How many folks here would absolutely lay down their cash for their favorite race in the form of nicely designed tokens that look awesome on the table? Look at Warmachine, every single player has multiple sets of Warcaster tokens. Every player.

This goes for the hexless miniatures play as well. Cool turning templates, bases etc would be great and make the game easier to play as well.

I just think this is one place to make some inroads (and some cash..) with new and established gamers. If you guys don't step up, well someone else is gonna do it...

2. Getting into the game is still very confusing. Even as an established gamer, it took a bit to figure out which Border set to buy and which booster has what etc. Once you read over a few things, it sets in and begins to make sense. But in terms of the guy walking by the rack...no way. They just see some dusty SFB looking stuff and kep on going. Don't want to start any GW nonsense here, but say what you want, those guys know how to get folks interested and started in their games.

3. What should ADB not be doing. The blog, at least as it's being written now. When I click on the "Hot News" link from starfleetgames.com or the blog link from federationcommander.com, I would expect to maybe see some news or thoughts from behind the scenes at ADB. While this type of content does appear here most of the time, more often than not, the space is used for personal rants. This is not the place to write about Osama or Sky Diving, politics, or whatever. This is very, very, extremely unprofessional. These posts have the potential to offend, alienate, and damage ADB 100 times more than any amount of good the writer hopes to do with the words. Ditch this kind of content, and keep the blog solely about ADB and Trek. Start a personal blog and write whatever comes to mind there and keep it there. (I can't be the only thinking this.)

4. Look into the counters thing. It could be big. GF9 are good people.

Finally, just want to say thanks for making a a fast playing, deeply strategic trek combat game that I didn't have to go to a special college in order to learn how to play. (SFB blew my mind, I wanted to play, but couldn't handle it!)

First post over. Hopefully I don't get banned...
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cloaky_McCloak wrote:
First post over. Hopefully I don't get banned...

Now, now. That isn't called for.

You made a well reasoned, well stated opinion of your view of the game. While the game designers may not agree with your points, or may agree but not be able to do them (throwing away all current counters to replace them with new ones isn't an easy economic move), your opinions are quite reasonable.

Then you go and make the whole thing confrontational with that last sentence.

Please don't do that. ADB isn't going to be offended by honest opinion, or they wouldn't have asked the questions in the first place.

(Also, please note that this is not a warning or anything. This is simply an observation and polite request.)
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Cloaky_McCloak
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Joined: 06 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My bad mjwest. I meant that tongue in cheek. Then again, maybe you meant your post to be tongue in cheek as well. Ah, the vagaries of the internets. I guess I shoulda used one of them smiley things. I'm new to this message board thing. Embarassed

I never meant to put forth the idea of abandoning all the current counters, just the option of having super cool, higher grade ones is all. Kinda like the option of using ship models if you want to.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, sorry for "missing" the invisible smiley. Wink

On the counters, I think that is what the large counters are intended for. They are full color, bright and have pretty pictures on them. Plus, the smaller counters are much prettier than the old SFB counters were. Instead of only having an outline, you get a whole mini-picture.

Though, I do admit that having hex-shaped counters would be cool.
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Starfury
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Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 296

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
Though, I do admit that having hex-shaped counters would be cool.


I think hex shaped counters would be cool too. Not sure if it's something that ADB wants/can do; they'd all have to be re-designed and then printed.

If they were done and offered w/ new sets or as replacements for the current products I'd buy them.
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2925
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If somehow they were produced, I wouldn't be buying new hex-shaped counters.

I have several older games that used them and in my opinion, they didn't do anything to the looks. They also had two extra corners to get frayed and bent over time. They only minimally improved edge-facing, etc.

Counters for a minis-playing guy like me are just a bonus or a backup anyways. If the minis aren't around at the moment, I play with counters but not as a first choice. Most of the time, I only use the counters if two minis get too close together on the map (they are temporarily replaced with the appropriate 1" counter). I've never used the .5-inch ship counters at all.

Die or laser-cut firing arc templates and things like that would be something I would definitely spring for, but not for hex-shaped counters.
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Mike
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Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1556
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember the old FASA counters for the ST Combat Simulator game and they were hex-shaped. I like them and the detailed drawings of the ships on them.

I wonder if its possible to obtain blank hex counters anywhere these days??? A guy could easily make a template of top-view ship pics, print them on peel-off paper that has adhesive on one side, and make his own custom counters.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4468
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Call me Old School (nothing personal there Mr. Ken Lin! Wink ), but I happen to like the square counters.

Yes, we only use the counters 1 time out of 98.6, and even then it's usually the mega-hex counters. Most of the time we simply use miniatures... cause the look nicer and I've only got a few, so we need to use them as much as possible so it looks like I have more.

I have played games in the past that had hex-shaped counters (including FASA's Star Trek: Tactical Combat Simulator) and they not only did not add to the game, they detracted from it somewhat. It's to easy to fudge a counters facing with hex counters, there are extra corners to be trimmed / cut, they mfg can't afford to replace the dies as easily and as often as with the standard square counters - so the eventually get to the point where the cardstock is smashed through as opposed to being cut through, etc.

GF9 counters and templates. It sounds like a great idea, but there are several drawbacks:
Does anyone have any idea what the minimum print run for a counter set is?
ADB has over 200 different ships in Federation Commander alone (and over 2000 in SFB). How many, minimum print runs would that take and what would be the estimated cash outlay?
Next issue, Texas has an inventory tax that is levied on businesses. They would have to stock the total, minimum print runs in their already crowded warehouse and then pay an annual tax on them - just for the privilege of keeping them.

Firing arc templates: We [Battlegroup Murfreesboro] took some transparency acetate and printed firing arc templates on it and trimmed thm down ot size many years ago. They didn't work as well as one would expect. Since we use miniatures, the templaes kept knocking over the minis, and it was sometimes hard to position them to show the actual arcs.
We now have a very, low-tech solution to the firing arc vs. shield boundary question. A piece of bright yellow yarn stretched from the center of the firing hex to the center of the target hex crosses the hex side of hte fire arc and the hex side of the target's shield boundary. Quick, simply, cheap, and painless. Although sometimes for extra added realism, we use a piec of yarn that is in the firing ships racial colors!

Cool
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PallidaMors
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Joined: 24 Oct 2007
Posts: 474
Location: Seattle, Wa

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I that Federation Commander would profit from a campaign setting geared totally for FC, not a f&E variant.

with a random rules engine and way to start quickly with a group of gamers, this could constitute a variation of the clasiscal wargame and allow for a FC ongoing Dungeons & Dragons style campaign, with ships as the characters...

thanks
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Rindis
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Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 45
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. Has anyone looked at converting the The Captain's Game or The Admiral's Game to FC? (Or done so already?)
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PallidaMors
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes I did Rindis, it actaully forms the core basis for my campaign, you an see the details in the general discussion, Federation campaign.
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bolog
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Joined: 10 Dec 2007
Posts: 29
Location: M.N. USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure if my being new to SFU and only having played FedCom makes this post more helpful or less but here is my two cents worth.

My biggest issues when I decided to buy FC was figuring out what to buy and in what order. The web site and forums were very helpful with this, but it was by no means intuitive. My FLGS owner was as confused as I was. My confusion may be caused by the fact that I usually have 2 wee ones in tow when I visit said shop and I do not have as much time as I would like to browse. (I know, I know, as much time as I would like in a game store is like having as many Mini's/dice/games ect. as I would like, but you get the point). Academy seems like a good solution to this but if you do want to jump all the way into the system is a bit confusing

I have taught myself and 3 others the game all of us have gamed for years yet none found the game to be readally understandable until we played. Still I would shy away from changing the complexity of the system. Simplifying the game would cost playability and there is no point in having a streamlined SFB if it continues to get more and more complex.

They may be products without enough demand but I would buy faction specific dice and or poker chips for tracking energy cost. Both of these items are easy enough for the individual to do on their own, there are a number of companies doing custom dice and poker chips. I would assume the ADB would be able design better sets and purchase these items in amounts that would lower the cost compared to that of the individual attempting the same thing.

I also would like to say that I have following PallidaMors campaign posts with rapt attention. Myself and the players I have introduced to the game see this as the way we like to play once we feel comfortable with the FC system. An official supplement of this type would be fantastic.
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OGOPTIMUS
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Joined: 10 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bolog wrote:
They may be products without enough demand but I would buy faction specific dice


These were made back in the day at least for the Feds, Klingons, and Romulans, and a couple others (Hydrans and ISC?). They come up on eBay every now and then. I got a few sets a few months ago. I've seen two types for Feds and Romulans, the racial symbol and the classic TOS ship as the "1" on the dice.

They're nice and add some flavor. But I know how expensive and hit or miss those types of things cane be. Especially since everyone is going to want "their favorite faction".
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bolog
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OGOPTIMUS wrote:

They're nice and add some flavor. But I know how expensive and hit or miss those types of things cane be. Especially since everyone is going to want "their favorite faction".


I've seen the old dice online and don't like replacing 2 sides because no one will ever agree which side is the 6 and which is the 1. Replacing the 1 would make more sense to me in that a 1 is always the best result you can hope for in FC.

I agree that this is a hit or miss item, I had tried to state that in my original post when I said "They may be products without enough demand". Sorry if that wasn't as clear as I thought it was.

The cost is a factor but not as bad as I would have thought Chessex price quotes are;

Pricing:

10-25 dice: $1.00 per side
26-99 dice: $0.75 per side
100-199 dice: $0.60 per side
200-499 dice: $0.50 per side
500-999 dice: $0.42 per side
1000+: please ask for quotes

these are very similar to that of Crystal Caste also. I am unsure how much ADB would have to add to make it worth it to them but if it were close to the 1.00 that I would have to pay to do it myself I would pick up some of each faction.

Of course I may not be the norm, I like dice and use specific dice for each game I play
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Mr_Greengoat
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Joined: 14 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cloaky_McCloak wrote:

3. What should ADB not be doing. The blog, at least as it's being written now. When I click on the "Hot News" link from starfleetgames.com or the blog link from federationcommander.com, I would expect to maybe see some news or thoughts from behind the scenes at ADB. While this type of content does appear here most of the time, more often than not, the space is used for personal rants. This is not the place to write about Osama or Sky Diving, politics, or whatever. This is very, very, extremely unprofessional. These posts have the potential to offend, alienate, and damage ADB 100 times more than any amount of good the writer hopes to do with the words. Ditch this kind of content, and keep the blog solely about ADB and Trek. Start a personal blog and write whatever comes to mind there and keep it there. (I can't be the only thinking this.)


I would really like to second this.

I used to play some SFB back in my younger days and was recently thinking about getting back into it. I was tooling around the site and then I hit the blog and felt distinctly turned-off as it were. I don't want to make broad generalizations but a lot of the entries made me feel like I was too politically left of the SFB community if this was a representation of it.

I think you really might loose some prospective players

You can be a pinko and fly a D7 properly at the same time. I should know.

My two cents.

-Goat
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