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Federation Admiral
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem I have with the "lots of planets to fight over" is that by universe data there are 50 such colony planets per F&E hex, very few of them any more valuable than any other. You're fighting over the "area" not any specific point. I guess maybe if you're doing a really bigger map scale then perhaps scattering a few planets around willy-nilly may give you some abstract notion of this "area value" thing, but it's just going to drive my professional military brain wonky. The reality is that on any plausible scale, there's a colony (or a dozen of them) in every hex, and having a campaign map that has a colony here, one two hexes that way, one three hexes another way, one four hexes beyond that is creating "battle relevant terrain" that doesn't really exist in the real (imaginary SFU) universe. I guess you have to have something to fight over, but I'm not making any sense of it. When the allies invaded Normandy and drove to the Rhine River, they were not trying to liberate cities that were of random value and scattered at random intervals; they were trying to liberate the whole country of France. These "random planets of random value at random intervals" give you something to fight over, but you're fighting a war that bears no relationship to any real war really fought in real space.
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Savedfromwhat
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the vbam system just abstracts different things then you would mr cole. When I have used the vbam system before I always assumed that the planet. Or colony was just the physical representation of an area/sector/system. Yes it is not perfect, but it is great for creating compelling scenarios and battles, whih F and E a fantastic game in it's own right you end up creating the same battle with a couple of different ships on each side over and over again.
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JonPerry
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: the command system bit. I know SFB has command rating/fleet building rules - and I know that FC does not (that I've seen). Never played Starmada. If FA is to tie into all three of those systems, does this suggest that FC might someday get a set of command rules for fleet battles? Is there some associative property of command rules at work here?
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Dal Downing
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JonPerry wrote:
Re: the command system bit. I know SFB has command rating/fleet building rules - and I know that FC does not (that I've seen). Never played Starmada. If FA is to tie into all three of those systems, does this suggest that FC might someday get a set of command rules for fleet battles? Is there some associative property of command rules at work here?


Jon this was answered a few years back. Basicly there is not a reason to put a Command System into FedCom because of its free from style and the "blind" eye it turns to thing like Limited Production or Conjectural Builds. But, any published scenario in FedCom will follow S8.0 from SFB.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that's it, any published FC scenario uses SFB command limits. FC doesn't really need them (and SFB players ignore them at their peril as the game takes weeks to play with 20 ships per side).

Jay's system produced very large fleets, not just violating background but producing unworkable battles even FC cannot handle. (Starmada can.)
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gambler1650
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definitely am glad to hear that fleets will be restricted to SFB levels. A home grown campaign system I'm working on goes even further to restrict things just because the guy I play with and I will be the only two in the campaign, will only be able to play once a week for a few hours, and would like to finish the campaign before we retire. Anything MORE than SFB's command limits would be a non-starter for us. I'm semi-surprised that playtesting didn't point that out as an issue, but playtesters never catch everything.

I don't have much of an issue with the way Federation Admiral sounds as though it handles planet/system creation. My interest in the game is at the 'local' scale campaign level in a state of 'on the verge of war', where assets will be limited, skirmishes will occur, but both sides probably don't want full war. At this telescoped down scale, the smaller systems will gain some importance so to me it's not a huge stretch. Yes, it's not exactly the SFU history, but it'll be at about the perfect level for myself and the guy I play with.

The supply system sounds... well, I won't say til I see it. I've grokked complicated supply systems in historical boardgames before, and even one in which supply is sort of the centerpiece of the game. Not sure if I like the idea of it being complicated in an SFU campaign, but until I see it I'll withhold judgement.

Still can't wait for this to come out and I'll be buying it the moment it hits the cart.


Last edited by gambler1650 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can tell you this... part of the reason we missed it is that we never go beyond S8 command limits due to decades of SFB play.

Even in Federation Commander, we are "uncomfortable" fielding a fleet that does not comply with S8.

I guess that's a checklist item we need to add to our playtesting. Can you go beyond S8... and should you... and what happens if you do...
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When the allies invaded Normandy and drove to the Rhine River, they were not trying to liberate cities that were of random value and scattered at random intervals; they were trying to liberate the whole country of France. These "random planets of random value at random intervals" give you something to fight over, but you're fighting a war that bears no relationship to any real war really fought in real space


Isigny, Caen, Cherbourg, Bayeaux, port-en-bessin, St Lo... all places that the were vital for allies to capture, whether to open up some extra supply capacity, or to clear flanks, or just 'cos they were on the main road network etc.

On the large scale only Cherbourg may have had any strategic signifcance, the rest were sleepy places no one may have heard of, but of 'random value' through the 'random chance' that they happened to be right where a large army was moving through. At the local scale they were of major importance and significant actions/battles occured directly as a need to take them.

If I'm playing a grand strategic game like Third Reich then normandy is a clear hex with a dot to indicate that there is a notable city of interest but it has no effect on combat/movement etc at that level. If I'm playing a more operational level game like Longest Day then each of the above towns and many more are of massive importance and need to be properly represented.

I have no idea what the FA system was trying to do, but it doesn't seem unreasonable that the same may well apply to an SFU campaign, at an F&E scale campaign 'normandy' may have been an empty sector that can be assumed to be full of planets of no significance, they abstract out of such a game. At a local scale campaign, however, some of those nameless planets may acquire important signifcance because you have to secure them for purely local concerns - That planet has a fighter factor better take it so they can't threaten supplies, That planet allows the enemy to gather info on our movements through the sector, that planet is slap bang on the upcoming invasion route, that planet will be a great staging area for our supply line etc.

Of course as a local commnder you may not even know why you are fighting over some minor planet - you had orders and that was that, all you know is that this ball of rock is about to become the death of thousands of your men of reasons known only to those higher up (and they might not even be good reasons).
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JonPerry
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I've grokked complicated supply systems in historical boardgames before, and even one in which supply is sort of the centerpiece of the game.
I like the OCS series by The Gamers for just this reason - but I don't think I want that level of detail in an FA game. Something? Sure. That level? No.

I'm sitting here thinking about this. I'd be okay with that level of a supply system for a SFB campaign game. I'd expect it. Complicated campaign system for people who prefer complicated SFB. But it wouldn't fit a FedCom mindset.

Originally I had thought that FA was supposed to be a campaign game for FedCom and FedCom alone. As such there was a certain level of expectation in it for me. A FedCom campaign system would have supply, to a point. Would have politics (or higher HQ, whatever), to a point. Would have XYZ, to a point. You would have minutiae, but there would be an upper limit to it. A ceiling.

But what would be a minutiae ceiling for a FedCom campaign might be a minutiae floor for a SFB campaign.

I have no idea where I'm going with this.
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mwaschak
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I normally stay quiet here but should probably chime in since my name keeps getting mentioned.

JonPerry wrote:

I'm sitting here thinking about this. I'd be okay with that level of a supply system for a SFB campaign game. I'd expect it. Complicated campaign system for people who prefer complicated SFB. But it wouldn't fit a FedCom mindset.


It is typical VBAM fare so there aren't any surprises for any fans of our system. I have a lot of revisions to do.

JonPerry wrote:

Originally I had thought that FA was supposed to be a campaign game for FedCom and FedCom alone.


It was and that is what the original design reflects.

-Jay
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gambler1650
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JonPerry: That's the game system (OCS) I was thinking of. Possibly the best operational level system I've seen so far.

Anyhow... back to twiddling thumbs waiting for Federation Admiral.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I would expect an FC campaign to reflect the simplicity of FC, and have a supply system simpler than F&E, not grossly more complicated. Frankly, supply is a distraction and I cannot imagine any campaign needing a supply system more complex than F&E has (this one is between six and ten times as much work), but hey, so far as I'm concerned about any campaign system, every rule in it is independently optional. Feel free to leave out anything you don't like. I certainly would never use the system in FA, nor does it have much to do with how supplies really work. Ships don't draw supplies from trivial colonies that aren't even on the F&E map; they draw them from the major industrial planets and from military bases.
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Paul B
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this still destined for a Fall (September) release?
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fall, yes. Specific month is not known, although September was pencilled in at one point.

That would still be the goal, although it's not the only project, it takes a bunch of time, and it's a huge thing compared to others. The last two times I worked on it, everything I did took so much longer than scheduled for that it was "punted" to another release cycle. I don't want that to happen but cannot predict if it will or won't. Remember that there are still 70% of the pages that I haven't even read yet, and no one can predict how fast I can work through them.

Right now, I am still doing stuff that should have been done before Origins, but was delayed to "right after Origins" by the need to get multiple products out. The time scheduled for that function is over, but the function is not, so I haven't even been able to start on the fall products. Well, I did playtest [one of the other fall products] last night.
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asguard101
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:57 pm    Post subject: Pre-order Reply with quote

Has any announcement been made for pre-ordering?

Also, is the goal to use the F&E galactic map and the playing field for FA?
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