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Scenario Questions 8E - Iridima Colony

 
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Paul Grogan
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 59
Location: Somerset, UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:00 pm    Post subject: Scenario Questions 8E - Iridima Colony Reply with quote

Mike has suggested that queries on the rules of scenarios should be posted in here.

So, based on my email in the general discussion forum, I am moving the "relevant bits" to this area. Apologies if this means all the information is in 2 places, but I have stripped out only the parts that relate to the rules.

The scenario is 8E - The Iridima Colony.
As printed, the scenario simply does not work. A number of other people have posted things like "Yeah, we looked at it too and realised it wouldnt work, so we changed it".

There was also the comment that the earlier scenarios were not specific. Whilst I accept this point, we are not really talking "specific" here, we are saying that the scenario does not actually work at all.
Since I paid good money for a gaming product, I would really like to use it. And since there has never been any official errata for the scenarios in KB and KA and people out there are still buying these products, surely something should be done about this?


Lets start with the setup of the scenario. "Set up the maps in one long row, one map wide and 6 maps long. This can be done in either orientation."

So - for small hexes, this makes a map either 15 hexes wide and 84 hexes long. If you do it the other orientation, that makes it 14 hexes wide and 90 hexes long.

"If you are using large-hexes.. ships travel a 12-panel map".

Ok, so by using large hexes, the map is now 9 hexes wide and 96 hexes long. Or, in the other orientation, it is 8 hexes wide and 108 hexes long.

So - straight away, we have a rather large discrepency is the length of the map. From being 84 hexes long, to 108 hexes. Since this scenario is supposed to be getting off the end of the map, this could be a problem. And we ummed and arred about what we should do. Now, in my opinion, no game should have the players confused when reading how to setup the board.

Wait, it gets worse. We place 4 freighters "anywhere on the second map". So, why would you put them anywhere but the very edge of the map - as near as possible to where they are trying to get to.

Small Hexes 15x84: Freighters will be on hex 14xx on map 2, which means they are 28 hexes from the "start" of the map, and means they have to travel 56 hexes to get off the "end".
Small Hexes 14x90: Frieghters will be on hex xx15 on map 2, 30 hexes from the start, 60 hexes to go.
Large Hexes 9x96: Freighters on hex 8x on map 2, 16 hexes from the start, 80 hexes to go.
Large Hexes 8x108: Freighters on hex x9 on map 2, 18 hexes from the start, 90 hexes to go.

I hope you are all with me so far. At this point, I have interpreted the scenario setup exactly as printed as far as I know. Three different people read through the setup rules and all thought the same thing, so I dont think we have done anything wrong so far.

However, right away, depending on how you setup the board, the freighters have to move between 56 and 90 hexes to get to the end of the board and escape. This is substantially different.


Now we come to setting up the Klingon D7. "on the end of the first map that is farthest from the freighters".
We interpreted that is that they are on map #1, and on the edge.
i.e the maps are layed out 123456 (assume we use the small hexes).
The freighters are on the right hand edge of map 2, the D7 on the left hand dge of map 1.
Based on the information above, the starting distance between the D7 and the Freighters is 28, 30, 16 or 18 at the start of the scenario.

Again, this is vastly different. How can this type of scenario really work where the setup of the ships can be so different?

Finally, the Fed CA. On the end of the 3rd map. So, with our small hex 15x84 map, this means it is in hex 14xx on map 3. This means it is 14 hexes from the freighters. On the other scales and orientations, this is different.

The following list shows the distance between the D7, then the freighters, then the CA, then the end of the map

Small Hexes 15x84: D7 - 28 - Freighters - 14 - CA - 42
Small Hexes 14x90: D7 - 30 - Freighters - 15 - CA - 45
Large Hexes 9x96: D7 - 16 - Freighters - 8 - CA - 72
Large Hexes 8x108: D7 - 18 - Freighters - 9 - CA - 81


Sorry if that was all a bit long-winded, but I wanted to be accurate to show you that it is not really enough to say "set the map up however you want" - not in this scenario where initial range and distance to escape is vital.


But then came the scenario itself, which we played twice just to make sure we understood it.

The D7 and the CA are a fair fight just the two of them, but throw in 4 large freighters on the Fed side means that the D7 has no chance whatsoever. The Fed player can simply forget escaping, just sit there waiting for the D7 and have a few shots which the CA is busy fighting it properly. They could also launch suicide shuttles, giving the D7 even more things to worry about.

If the Freighters do make a run for it, the D7 has to go at some speed to try and keep up with them - and depending upon what map setup you use, the distance between the D7 and the freighters is anything from 16-30. Now hopefully you can see how this starting distance is important.

Lets take the small scale map.
Small Hexes 15x84: D7 - 28 - Freighters - 14 - CA - 42

Here is what we discussed before we started playing.

Turn 1 - Freighters have 12 power so can set baseline speed of 16 and accellerate each impulse to move 24 hexes. The Klingon ship at best can move 32 hexes which uses most of its power, but will only close to a range of 20 hexes on the freighters. Not enough to do anything. The freighters have 32 hexes to the end of the board.

Turn 2 - Freighters only have 10 power now, so only move 20 hexes, bringing them now 12 hexes away from safety. The D7 on the other hand could go 32 again, but this only brings them within 8 hexes of the freighters - still not really close enough to do anything.

Turn 3 - Freighters set baseline speed of 16, accelerate on impulses 1-4 and they escape.

Now I know I havent talked about the CA, but this just makes it even harder for the D7. Even without the CA being present, the Freighters could probably get 3 off the board just by going at full speed, and the D7 has to spend lots of its power just to try and catch up with them.


Based on these findings, we realised that the scenario was unplayable using the Small hex maps on either orientation.

Even if you "fix" the setup of the map and get something which looks playable, the fact that the freighters and the CA together could quite easily cripple the D7 seems to be completely wrong.

Now, if I am wrong here, please can someone tell me why. Otherwise, this scenario needs a complete re-write, both with proper setup rules / different ships and possibly different victory point objectives.
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Active Ingredient
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 14 May 2008
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My suggestions for errata to make the scenario playable:

1) Smaller Fed or Bigger Klingon. Smile But I'm guessing this is not the answer you are looking for. To keep more in what I perceive to be the spirit of the scenario...

2) Put the D7 about 24 (?) hexes in front of the Freighters (i.e. in the direction they are traveling / need to escape). Put the CA about 24-48 (?) hexes behind the freighters.

This way the D7 can have it's way with the freighters for a few turns, and then it will be up to the CA to either cripple the D7 or recapture the freighters. It also gives some tactical choices to the freighters -- i.e. either go full steam ahead to reach the goal posts quicker -- or slow down and/or turn around to link up with the CA sooner at the expense of being on the board for a longer amount of time.

Sorry but I am much too tired to figure out exact hex amounts right now. (still jetlagged from the Japan/USA time difference) Sad

... and of course get rid of that "3 points for a freighter leaving the map edge" rule. That just allows the Fed to send the four freighters off the map on turn 1 - scoring only 12 points for the Klingon (Fed cheap and boring victory).
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Davec_24
Commander


Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Starting the CA that far behind the convoy might be a bit un-realistic, in that if the CA is meant to be protecting the convoy from a threat that could come fromt any angle. The CA would probably be positioned close to the convoy in order to provide a measure of all-round defence and try to stop any attackers being able to smash a few freighters before the CA can draw up with them and protect them.

If it was me in command of the CA, I'd position it ahead of the convoy so that I can engage threats from in front and then turn round to engage threats from behind while the convoy runs. However, this might not be such a good idea for this scenario because then the D7 really wouldn't have much of a chance.
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Paul Grogan
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 59
Location: Somerset, UK

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Active Ingredient wrote:
1) Smaller Fed or Bigger Klingon. Smile But I'm guessing this is not the answer you are looking for. To keep more in what I perceive to be the spirit of the scenario...


Tis exactly what I'm looking for. In fact, that I think this alone might "fix" the scenario.

Active Ingredient wrote:
2) Put the D7 about 24 (?) hexes in front of the Freighters (i.e. in the direction they are traveling / need to escape). Put the CA about 24-48 (?) hexes behind the freighters.


Thats another option. A good one. I'm tempted to try changing the ships first.

This way the D7 can have it's way with the freighters for a few turns, and then it will be up to the CA to either cripple the D7 or recapture the freighters. It also gives some tactical choices to the freighters -- i.e. either go full steam ahead to reach the goal posts quicker -- or slow down and/or turn around to link up with the CA sooner at the expense of being on the board for a longer amount of time.

Sorry but I am much too tired to figure out exact hex amounts right now. (still jetlagged from the Japan/USA time difference) Sad

Active Ingredient wrote:
... and of course get rid of that "3 points for a freighter leaving the map edge" rule. That just allows the Fed to send the four freighters off the map on turn 1 - scoring only 12 points for the Klingon (Fed cheap and boring victory).


Something that really should have come out in playtesting IMO. You make a valid point. I think setting the victory conditions will have to come after the forces and map setup have been decided, but that one certainly needs changing
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Active Ingredient
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 14 May 2008
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To respond to Davec_24's comment: "Starting the CA that far behind the convoy might be a bit un-realistic".

Not necessarily...

Kirk: "This convoy guarding nonsense is REAL boring. I'm ready to fall asleep! Hey Spock! We got any coffee?"

Spock: "Yes captain. We have Folger's Instant Coffee Crystals."

Kirk: "Instant? I hate Instant! We got any of the real stuff?"

Spock: "We DID just pass a Starbucks less than half a lightyear back..."

<10 minutes later>

Kirk : "Oh frak!"


Last edited by Active Ingredient on Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Davec_24
Commander


Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Just goes to show you shouldn't get addicted to coffee...
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Kang
Fleet Captain


Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 1962
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Active Ingredient wrote:
... and of course get rid of that "3 points for a freighter leaving the map edge" rule. That just allows the Fed to send the four freighters off the map on turn 1 - scoring only 12 points for the Klingon (Fed cheap and boring victory).

How can they leave the edge? They can only leave by the more distant map edge to count for Fed VP's iirc....
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storeylf
Fleet Captain


Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1881

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The klingon gets 3 points for each freighter that leaves via any edge other than their own end. They are not fed points but klingon points. However, as the klingon needs 20 pts to win and only gets 12 pts for all 4 freighters leaving then he can't win unless he can destroy the CA whilst not being crippled himself (before the freighters exit).

There is another bizarre contradiction here, as in the setup rules it states that freighters leaving by an edge (other than the end) scores 3 klingon points as they return to iridima via another route. Then it goes onto say that freighters may only leave the map via the ends. The victory point section also shows the 3 points for freighters leaving the edge and states that the edge and end are different things.

So which is it, can't leave via the edge or leave via edge and score 3 klingon points, which allows for the turn 1 exit and fed victory.
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Davec_24
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
Posts: 596
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see why the Klingon would get victory points for forcing a freighter to break convoy and run - it would be an easier target for later and would likely take longer to reach its destination even if it wasn't caught by marauding Klingons on the way. The thing is that having this rule means that if you have a boring Fed player, he can force a victory (or at least a draw) by running the entire convoy off the edge of the map (as opposed to the end) and then disengaging the CA. This would leave the Klingons with 3 victory points per disengaged freighter, and 5 for the disengaged CA, for a total of 17 - this is still not enough for the Klingons to win.

While the freighters all got away and so the Klingon didn't do as well as he had hoped, he's still disrupted the supply lines of the Federation considerably and forced the convoy to head off in another direction where potentially there are more Klingons. If he isn't crippled himself in the process this should at least result in a minor victory, otherwise it's just too easy for the Fed to be boring and win without giving any proper chance for a good game.

It's also interesting to note that while it says the Klingon wins with over 20 victory points (and more points means a higher level of victory) but it never mentions the Federation winning, which is not the same as the Klingons simply not winning as this could be a draw. This probably needs clarified when the scenario is revised.
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