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Question about Ship Designs & Ship Names

 
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Evil Goatee
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Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:38 am    Post subject: Question about Ship Designs & Ship Names Reply with quote

Hello. I'm brand new to Federation Commander and I apologize ahead of time if I posted this in the wrong section.

So, I'm big fan of Star Trek and I just picked up the Klingon Border and Squadron Box #1. I can't wait to get my minis painted and start playing the game. In the meantime, I had a few questions rolling around in my head.

Question 1: I've been doing research and looking up reference (y'know for my mini painting). As I was doing this, I was wondering, where do the designs for ships that weren't ever seen in the original tv series come from?

I don't remember ever seeing the Gorn ship, and yet we have Gorn minis. What I'm wondering is, were they based off lost production sketches from the original artists that worked on the show? Maybe based off illustrations from old books? Or are they just made up by the artists that work for Federation Commander? If so, what was the approach?

Was always curious about this process. I mean, I can see how to design new Tholian ships based off what was seen on the tv show. But when there was nothing to pull from, how is a "look" decided ?

Question 2:

Although I am a Trek fan, I admit I'm not as knowledgeable about the ships outside those seen on the show or movies. My brother, who was in the Navy once told me how Los Angeles class submarines are mostly named after cities (Atlanta, Norfolk, etc) and Carriers are usually named after people (Forrestal, George Washington, Nimitz). When I say "usually" I noticed that it isn't a hard rule. Sometimes they're named after places or well known battles.

I was wondering, for Trek, are there some rules that follow "canon" about how to name ships? I don't want to make up a name and have it sound wrong when I could've researched a bit. The rule book gives me some examples. That helps, but is there more to this? Can I make up new names that sound like they belong in the same theme or are the names given in the book the only ones Starfleet has produced out of its shipyards? What about the numbers? Doing all Cruisers have to be in the 1700's? And the Frigates are all 300's and 400's?

I mean, yeah this all sounds super nerdy with hardcore details, but hey .... that's what nerd hobbies are for right?

Anyways, thanks for any help you can offer.
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4478
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Question #1:
Steve Cole, who designed the game... designed the ships of the SFU races - i.e., the Orion Pirates, Gorns, Kzinti, Lyrans, Hydrans, Andromedan, WYN Star Cluster, ISC, etc.
He determined the basic lay-out when the Star Fleet Battles SSDs (Ships System Displays - similar to the Fed Comm Ship Cards) were created. The minis were based (in part) off of art work created for the SFB rule books, and contrarily - some of the art work was based off of minis that had been created from the lay out of the SSDs. The SSDs provide sort of a "top down" silhouette of the ships, so everything else goes from there.

The Star Fleet Universe (and the Empires in it) have evolved and expanded over the course of the last 30 years [SFB was first released around 1979], but it's done so in a logical progression. If you obtained the SFB material in the order in was released and read through the "historical" background, you'd see the logic behind the advances and additions.

I'm sure Steve Cole will pop in tomorrow and either expand on this answer... or else he'll point out the errors in my opinions.

Question #2:
See this link
This is a link to the official, ADB Starship Name Registry. In it, you'll see the names / hull numbers of every starship (for every empire) named to date. This will give you an idea of the naming conventions and the hull number sequences... both of which also follow a logical progression.
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Mike
Captain


Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1565
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ship names: http://www.starfleetgames.com/documents/Starship_Name_Registry.pdf

About the Star Fleet Universe: http://www.starfleetgames.com/aboutsfu.shtml

SFU timeline: http://www.starfleetgames.com/documents/Timeline.pdf

FC-FAQ: http://www.starfleetgames.com/federation/faqs.shtml


Hope this helps!
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2929
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evil Goatee -

There's not much I can add that Tony (scoutdad) and Mike didn't already, but I'll just give you a "welcome". Nerdy-nerds are welcome here.

Tony really did sum it up well when he put the credit on SVC. This game (and the others in the SFU) are all output of that fruitful mind. Since it's one guy being the driving force behind them for 30 years, the consistency is wonderful. A ship in Star Fleet Battles acts pretty much the same in Federation Commander, and the same-again in Federation & Empire, etc., etc. Even the Prime Directive role-playing games are edited by SVC and adhere to the same "universe" setting.

The minis threads would be the place where minutia of ship naming gets discussed the most, but the whole board has interesting things to read.
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Evil Goatee
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Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. Thanks everyone for the awesome replies and helpful links. I'm sure as I delve further into this game and the hobby of collecting the minis, I'll be returning to ask more and more questions. Very Happy

The Ship Registry is a great help! Lots of great names in there to choose from. But, is it frowned upon to come up with your own name? I most likely will be just using the names in the registry, but who knows if later on I'm inspired to name a ship after my hometown or something.

Also, it may not matter anyways because, if I use the decal sets from Starfighter Decals, I'm restricted to whatever names are on the decals. Its either that or I try to microscopically paint/pen in my own name. Or make my own decals....which...I would have to do research on how that's done.

Or I can freehand it all and hope people don't mind that its not too "clean" upon looking that close. I don't know though. Anyways, I'm looking forward to trying out my first game soon. I wanna get the basics down so I can play Romulans eventually. Just recently watched the "Balance of Terror" episode. Gotta love a race that puts birds on their ships they way people use to have 'em on the hood of their Trans Ams in the 80's. Wink
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Requete
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 15 Jul 2008
Posts: 75
Location: Leander, TX

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evil Goatee wrote:
I wanna get the basics down so I can play Romulans eventually. Just recently watched the "Balance of Terror" episode. Gotta love a race that puts birds on their ships they way people use to have 'em on the hood of their Trans Ams in the 80's. Wink


Romulans believe this makes their ships go faster. It's a holdover from the days when the lizards blasted the Rommies back into the pre-Warp era on a regular basis.



...



...



What?
Wink
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4478
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evil Goatee wrote:
... Gotta love a race that puts birds on their ships they way people use to have 'em on the hood of their Trans Ams in the 80's. Wink


That reminds me... I recently finished painted a Fed Ex Courier.

It's jet black with gold trim... and a hand painted gold firebird emblem covering the entire topside...

I need to take photos and post them.
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2929
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit: "New car. Gotta have a new car to block for the truck."
[watches as Little Enos begins counting out money]
Bandit: "Speedy car."
[watches as Little Enos counts out more money]
Bandit: "Speedier than that."
Little Enos: [mumbling] "I'd like to kick his %@@ just once."


"East-bound and down, loaded up and truckin'..."

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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the guys pretty much answered this. The only correction I would make is some of the "new ship types" were originally designed by other people (who did the SSDs, usually). A guy named Robinson (Andy, I think) designed the first three or four Hydran ships and that inspired me to add more. A game named Jim Curtis designed the first couple of Lyrans and I added more. I did the Gorns and Kzintis and Orions and Seltorians. Kenneth L Kaufman designed the SparrowHawk series of Romulans which inspired the rest of the "hawk series". Josh Spencer did the ISC. Jon Cleaves did the Vudar. Marc Cocherl did the original WYN fish ship which inspired the others. And I probably left out three or four really good friends but I need to move on to other projects.

You can certainly make up your own names. You can even email those to me and maybe I'll add them to the registry if I think they're cool.
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Evil Goatee
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Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the "behind the scenes" info. I find it very cool that a game designer actively posts on his game's own forums. Thanks again.

By the way, just had my first game last night and I gotta say, it was really fun. I can't wait to play some more.
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Ravenhull
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Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 231
Location: Mobile, AL

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SVC's willingness to read and respond to us has been one of the joys of these boards, even if we do drive him up the wall at times. Wink

As some of the others have said, one of the joys many of have with the entire SFU is that, because one small group (primarily Steve V Cole and his long time collaborator, Stephen P Petrick) have been at the center of things, there is a strong sense of internal continuity. This is partly because both had been agreevated by the continuity errors (and flat out inoring of it when it wasn't convenient to the writers) of the original series and its follow ups. Not that they have been perfect, but they have tried to give some kind of logical reason for changes (including one or two 'okay, in retrospect our original idea doesn't work so here is the real history.')

There is a significant number of short stories and 'historical' articles published about the Universe out there, 90% are in the twice yearly 'Captain's Log' books. These books are also a good source for new information and looks to the future, though they cover ALL of the SFU games.

If you are a Klingon fan, they consolidated several of the Empires stories together in a single book, but for the love of me, I can't find it on the 'store front' at this moment.

I hope you enjoy your games and you stick around.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're waiting for the new print run of covers for the paperback klingon book.
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Ravenhull
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Joined: 28 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Cole wrote:
We're waiting for the new print run of covers for the paperback klingon book.


Ah, thank you. Is the Romulan themed book still high on the agenda?
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I highly recommend the Klingon book, For the Glory of the Empire. I was fortunate enough to get one of the "slightly damaged" copies, but the read is the same. Wink
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure what "high" is, but we can probably have them for Origins.
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