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Stacking
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Blammo
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 01 Mar 2011
Posts: 170
Location: Barnesville, GA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The hex represent an area of space 10,000 kilometers across so stacking is not an issue.

Prohibiting stacking would have a substantial impact since in the battles to possibility of ending up in the same hex is always a possibility. Aside from that, prohibiting stacking would be completely counter to the rules.

There are no collisions in the game other than seeking weapons on their targets. The warp fields interact in such a way as to prohibit that (each ships warp field just slides off the next).

All that said, you could create whatever house rules you would like, but that would probably unduly complicate things and it wouldn't really be Federation Commander at that point. I would play the game some with the rules as they are before introducing game changers like collisions and stacking being prohibited.
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Iorwerth
Ensign


Joined: 20 Apr 2011
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thnaks for getting back to me so quick.

What about having taking damage if a ship that you are stacked with explodes? That might make it less attractive.
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Blammo
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Joined: 01 Mar 2011
Posts: 170
Location: Barnesville, GA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iorwerth wrote:
What about having taking damage if a ship that you are stacked with explodes? That might make it less attractive.


Well, the rule in FC is that ships to not have any "explosive strength". In SFB, they did and it varied with ship size and type, etc. You could always make a house rule to include explosive strength of ships, but then you would have to figure out some method of determining what that strength would be so it wasn't just arbitrary. This would add to the complication of things and again take it away from being FC.

I have fooled around with a whole list of potential house rules but in playing the game I think that I can play an eight turn game with brand new players in three hours. That never would have happened with SFB. So, I have not used any of the "house rules" I just enjoy getting the game going, playing out and being done before dawn too much Very Happy

I do think there are some things that could be different and might make things more interesting. But just not sure of all of the trades off and haven't found the urgent need to explore that yet.

Try using the demo rules and rule through a few battles to see what you thing about this the way they are before putting a lot of effort into house rules Smile
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Bolo_MK_XL
Commander


Joined: 16 Jan 2007
Posts: 790
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best answer to staking --

Play with large group of people and allow only 1 ship per person --

Individuals are less likely to shove their ships together in a bunch ---
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storeylf
Fleet Captain


Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1879

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So true.

"OK, we turn in together and attack him"

..

"Why haven't you followed me in!!!"
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4468
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little late to the party here, but to throw my two Quatloos in...

As previously mentioned... the hexes represent a huge volume of space so having an arbitary limit tothe number of units allowed is... arbitrary. Also, the prime game of the Star FLeet universe (SFB) has been around for 30+ years and has never had a stacking limit so adding one to Fed Comm probably isn't going to happen.
Over the years, I've played SFB and now Fed Comm against a wide range of people. Many of them stack all their ships in a single hex. While it makes it easy to move a 12 ship fleet if all the counters are stacked... it does sometimes "seem" wrong, but...
The key point is "focus of fire". You have to be able to apply enough damage to a single shield in a single fire impulse to exceed the shields damage threshold and score internal damage. The only way to do this is to have the firing units in the same (or nearly the same hex). Three units spread across a front 12 hexes wide are going to be firing at 2 (if not 3!) different shields.
There is no requirement which says you must stack ships. In our group, we tend to fly them in a tight formation covering 3 or 4 adjacent hexes. While not reqired in Fed Comm (no explosion rules, you know) - it is a hold over from our SFB days; and it gives us enough conherency to still score damage on the same shield from multiple firing units.

Iorwerth wrote:
Are there any house rules to limit the effectivness of stacking? I played a test game with someone else and, while I enjoyed the game, I didn't like it that the best tactic with 3 undamaged ships was just to stack them - it just didn't seem right to me. I am contemplating buying the game for myself, but this stacking business is putting me off a bit.

In SFB - explosion is the consequence. In Fed Comm, the consequence is the limit of three units firing weapons from a single hex face in a single impulse. With only eight firing opportunities per Turn, you really do not want to have more than three units in a single hex.
After several hundred games of Fed Comm spread over 7 states and 7 years... we've never really found a need to add and "house" rules to prevent stacking.

Quote:
What are the consequences of just not allowing stacking? Or introducing collisions, though no idea how they would work!

About the only consequence of not allowing stacking would be to create a different style of play. As I said, we do not have a rule against it... but we rarely stack our units. Getting used to playing this way may cause some consternation when attending a convention or playing wiht some other group that does allow stacking.
Collisions... ugggh! I do not even want to contemplate that.
Lots of variable to be figured in... and once you oopen that can of worms, the next tactic will be the suicide ram.
Munchkin Gamer wrote:
My Orion Pirate LR has just rammed your Klingon B10!" Both ships are destroyed... you get 35 victory points. I get 286!



Quote:
How do you handle stacking if you are using miniatures?

Most of our games are played on a large felt star mat with 3 inch hexes. It'll easily hold 3 or 4 minis in each hex... depending on the size of the mini in question.
If we need to use the official map panels... we improvise.
1) I have a large plexiglass hex on 3 inch tall legs that we sit over the hex in question and place the minis on it.
2) If it's a temporary situation - we just set them off map in the correct orientation and mark the hex with a token of some type. Then once they move into separate hexes, we put the minis back on the table.
3) If multiple hexes have stacked units traveling together... we either replace the minis with the 1" full color counters... or we mark th ehex with a token and place the actual minis to the side of the gaming area until they separate... either voluntarily or due to damage.
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mojo jojo
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Jun 2009
Posts: 340

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want a house rule to discourage stacking without introducing too many complications, just limit the number of ships allowed to fire out of a facing to 1 or 2 per impulse instead of the current 3. No collision or explosion rules are needed and the game plays out pretty much the same as before.
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Iorwerth
Ensign


Joined: 20 Apr 2011
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only problem I had with the stacking was that if you had 3 or less ships, then to maximise the firepower against a shield you were foolish not to stack the three ships together. To my mind this just created a sort of super-ship, which didn't feel that atmospheric as opposed to having seperate ships all wheeling around. I suppose it is all about aesthetics for me.

I have now read around some threads on here, so am inclined to introduce some sort of explosion rule, though limiting firing to 1 ship per hex would do the same thing, een if it makes little sense. Having said that, limiting it to 3 ships is a bit arbitary as well, so maybe it doesn't matter.

This stacking thing is the only thing holding me back from buying the game, so coming to some workable house rule for me might just persuade me to dip into my pockets! Though I am a bit worried that with all the lovely things you can buy, it might be a bit of a money-pit!!!!
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mjwest
Commodore


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 3492
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iorwerth wrote:
Though I am a bit worried that with all the lovely things you can buy, it might be a bit of a money-pit!!!!

Ah, but aren't all hobbies supposed to be money pits!? I mean, it can't be a real hobby if it isn't a drain on the wallet ...
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Brazouck
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 03 Jun 2010
Posts: 74
Location: France

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that flying in stack feels not right.

But it seems that, after first pass, ships tends to scatter, due to drone fire, damage, lauching of small craft (suicide shuttle, stingers...)

So perhaps we mus stop think that our ships (or the opponent's ones) are stacked, but that they are in "close formation", it seems more atmospheric like that isn't it ?
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Iorwerth
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Joined: 20 Apr 2011
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
Iorwerth wrote:
Though I am a bit worried that with all the lovely things you can buy, it might be a bit of a money-pit!!!!

Ah, but aren't all hobbies supposed to be money pits!? I mean, it can't be a real hobby if it isn't a drain on the wallet ...


Too true Very Happy Shame I have so many game hobbies - from RPG's through miniature wargames to boardgames, it is a wonder I can still pay the mortgage Rolling Eyes

Brazouck wrote:
I agree that flying in stack feels not right.

But it seems that, after first pass, ships tends to scatter, due to drone fire, damage, lauching of small craft (suicide shuttle, stingers...)

So perhaps we must stop think that our ships (or the opponent's ones) are stacked, but that they are in "close formation", it seems more atmospheric like that isn't it ?


Having only played it once I am not experienced enough to know how often a stack has to scatter, but I do accept that they do. As to 'close formation', I can see where you are coming from, but it still doesn't look right, if you get what I mean - I imagine it is fine when you are controlling all the ships in a stack, but if you are controlling one ship on a side with multiple ships, then it just seems less individual to be handicapped if you don't stack. I want each ship to be an island unto itself in battle - it just seems more in keeping with my preset idea of being Kirk!!

Like I said, I have very little experience, but the game I did play it just seemed a shame that stacking was the optimum tactic in combat, at least until ships are damaged etc.
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Bolo_MK_XL
Commander


Joined: 16 Jan 2007
Posts: 790
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you take a look at the big battle when the Feds attempted to get back to Deep Space Nine -- would say the entire fleets -- several thousand ships -- would have fit in a hex not more than 2,000kms --
See how close the Defiant's sister ship (the Red Bgd cadets), fighting the large ship at 100s of Meters ---

Just the effectiveness of weapons makes games keep a bit of distance when fighting --
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Brazouck
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Joined: 03 Jun 2010
Posts: 74
Location: France

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

star trek TV shows after TOS plays battles at sublight speed, with very short distances, nothing to do with FC.

Bu I see your point, and its the same for a lot of TV shows and movies
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Mike
Captain


Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1556
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a time when, in FC, it was not stated that the speeds in the game were faster-than-light. That way, players could rationalize everything happening at sublight if they wanted to. I think that has kind of evolved with time to be more in line with SFB, as many other things have, too.

That being said, I distinctly remember an episode of TNG in which the Ent-D approached a Borg cube. The captain on the Ent's bridge stated that he wanted the ship to halt at a range of 40,000 km. The external view of the two ships made them look as if they were about to ram each other when the Ent stopped. Now, a Borg cube was just not *that* big! The lesson here is that those external views can be illusory. Be all that as it may, lots of film (even from early TOS) is ignored in the SFU.
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Capt Jack
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Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 102
Location: England U.K

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 11:05 pm    Post subject: stacking Reply with quote

As stated in pervious posts in this thread, stacking rarely lasts long.

Also if you feel compelled to keep your ships in a stack, then you are giving a tatical advantage to your opponent. Especially if your oppontent/s have better turn mode and firing Arcs.
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