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Fleet Organization

 
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MajerBlundor
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:00 pm    Post subject: Fleet Organization Reply with quote

This question came to mind based on another thread.

Is there some sort of squadron or fleet organization for the various races?

There seems to be one implied in the mix of ship cards and the existence of Command Cruisers (and larger ships) with flag bridges. It's also implied in various comments about battleships (eg they're only deployed as part of larger formations.)

Tim
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
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Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The implication is there yes indeed, but FedCom doesn't set any limits or rules on fleet mix (which is nice). If you want to run a fleet with two BB's and a token FF, as long as you are at the point value you are supposed to be and the scenario doesn't set any rules, then your free to do it (and it can be fun!).

The "implied" limits come from Star Fleet Battles, specifically the S8 Patrol Scenario
(which is available for download HERE)
(specifically section S8.2) and some spill-down from the strategic-level game Federation & Empire.

In a nutshell, each ship in a group imposes a certain burden on the group as a whole for communication, coordination, and control. This is based on modern naval ships and systems (computers and equipment [and people] have their limits for processing multiple sources of imformation). It's reflected in the games by the lead-ships ("flagship's) command-rating (again, this is something not in FedCom).

Small ships can't lead much of anything (a 3-pack of FF's including themselves, at-best).
Stock cruisers can manage a small squadron.
Command-variants of cruisers (with that tricked out flag bridge for the Commodore/Admiral and his staff along with the extra communications and control equipment in it) can handle decent-sized squadrons. From there, it just goes up. Dreadnoughts and Battleships can command pretty large fleets.

The Flag Bridge boxes don't really do much in the FedCom game itself, but reflect the ships "as they really are" in SFB, etc. They also may come into play in some campaign systems that reflect the limits in S8 and F&E.

The ship's captain still runs his boat from the main bridge, while the Admiral is supposed to be focusing on the "big picture" of the battle as whole from the flag bridge. There are always exceptions though (a Klingon Commodore/Admiral is at least nominally always also the Captain of his flagship, etc.).
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Last edited by djdood on Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you play Star Fleet Battles of Federation and Empire... this comes into play.
Each ship has a value called "Commnad Rating". This number tells how many ships that unit can effectively commnad, beyond itself.
Thus, a Destroyer can command more ships than a Frigate, While a DDL can command one above the standard destroyer. A Heavy Cruiser commnads more than a Light Cruiser, and a Dreadnaught can command more ships than a Battlecruiser. DNs typically havea CR of 11...
SFB rule S8 then specifies then allowable compostion of a "fleet"... Only One Dreadnaught allowed, limited numbers of limited production ships, only 1 "leader" variant for every three standard War Destroyers / War Cruisers, etc.

In F&E, you have massive fleets (sometimes 200 or 300 shipsequivalents moving as one unit), but when it's time to fightthe individual battle rounds - each player selects a Flagship and forms a battleline based on the flagships command rating... then you fight a round, aplly damage... select a flagship... and repeat unti lsomeone cries "Uncle!" and retreats.

In Federation Commander, no such limits have been set (at least not that I'm aware of)

(cross posted with Will)

Also, bear in mind that the forthcoming campaign system (Federation Admiral) will have a few rules limiting the ability of the ships to control other ships... but in a good way.
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MajerBlundor
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Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

djdood wrote:
The implication is there yes indeed, but FedCom doesn't set any limits or rules on fleet mix (which is nice). If you want to run a fleet with two BB's and a token FF, as long as you are at the point value you are supposed to be and the scenario doesn't set any rules, then your free to do it (and it can be fun!).


That's how many of our games have been, especially my son's organization. I've tried to make mine "less contrasty". So, maybe a few frigates or destroyers with a light cruiser. With my interest in naval history (currently re-reading "Castles of Steel") it just feels a little odd having a lone FF with two DNs in the same squadron! Very Happy

I fully agree that it's been VERY entertaining! In one game it was the FFs that managed to survive as we concentrated on opposing capital ships. Both were badly damaged and we really enjoyed the final moments of the game as our light ships tried to finish one another off.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you really want to have a fun battle... set a point value and pick your Empires... hen let the other guy build your fleet while you build his. We've tried that before and you can get some really interesting combinations of units. Lots of Police Cutters, Kzinti Frigates, and Gorn Destroyers appear.

Although, a Fed Comm battle with nothing larger than a CL or CW makes an intersting game in itself.
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
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Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh. Me too. That "two BB's and a token FF" squadron is a real fleet-mix I used to match the other guy's on one occasion. That battle ended with my (untouched) FF picking off the carcasses of the (mutually decimated) BB's.

One of the reasons my group is leaning a bit towards doing a campaign is to provide some structure to the fleet mixes. We've all started using our favorites, week to week, and even using the same names on them. At that point, we might as well make it "real" and have that ship carry a history (and damage) with it from battle to battle.

I know my groups Klingon would be stunned into silence if the Blood Vengance (his prized, untouchable, D-5W) was destroyed. I've never lost the U.S.S. Montana, but it's been a close thing once or twice. It's interesting how it is starting to matter.
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MajerBlundor
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scoutdad wrote:

Although, a Fed Comm battle with nothing larger than a CL or CW makes an intersting game in itself.


Fully agree there!

What about mixed-Empire forces? I did a scenario that included Orion Pirate-Mercenaries acting as guides for Klingon raiders in Federation Space. So, in that case there was some sort of back-story to justify a Klingon-Orion force.

For for points-based duels do most player play pure-Empire games or allow allied ships?
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djdood
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I freely mix Kzintis and General War Feds (NCA, BCG, DNH, BB) as they play well together (with drones being a big deal to both). the Kzintis obviously end up being the main drone-chuckers; I don't recall getting a huge amount of use out of their disruptors, due to the photons on the Feds taking precedence.

I've also tried Gorns mixed in with Romulan Border Feds (BCF, DNF) again due to synergies in weapons (plasma in this case).

Having similar weapons suites helps keep the mental load manageable.
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dave
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Joined: 26 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While TO&E for the various star fleets would be interesting I am not sure that level of detail is need for FC.

Would I love to see what a "typical" Klingon border patrol looks like, or a Romulan commerce raiding task force? Sure I would. But for FC it is just as easy to throw equal point values of ships down on the map and set too.

As for mixed empire fleets, fly Gorn and Romulans side by side against the Klingon-Kzinti alliance if you like. Or even a Kzinti-Lyran compact against Hydrans and Tholians. Does it violate the background? Absolutely. Does it break the rules? No. Will it produce good games? That depends on ship selection.

A non-binding summary of fleet organizations would make an interesting series of articles for Captains Log.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're looking for info on fleet organisations, look at the various F&E scenarios. That should cover what the "historical" composition of a particular fleet was at the time. The class history articles in Captain's Log may have some data as well, at least telling you where a particular ship was assigned at a particular time.
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