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Fighters in Borders of Madness
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:00 pm    Post subject: Fighters in Borders of Madness Reply with quote

This discussion is for fighters and carriers in Federation Commander. Note that this really is almost assuredly Borders of Madness, not Federation Commander proper, so please don't freak out on the title.

Also, please know that such discussions have proven "volatile" in the past. I will ruthlessly slam and delete anything that starts getting out of control. Please keep any comments as constructive as possible.

To start, let me quote Steve's comments about the issue in the "What Ships Do You Want" thread:
Steve Cole wrote:
Carriers: This is a consolidation of several older posts.

We published a Fed and Klingon carrier in CL#37. There are plans to publish a border of madness product for carriers, but given the huge amount of work that went into Briefing #2 (four times the work of an attack product, for a lower retail price than one attack product, and lower sales since the cards were not laminated) that plan is under review. I am not sure how or when we'll do fighters/carriers.

Another issue with fighters is that they tend to have seeking weapons and really really clutter the map. One carrier turns into 12 fighters with 24-48 seeking weapons and the game becomes unmanagable. Several options are under consideration, including not doing carriers, the mythical direct-fire drones rules (which don't work and screw up tactics), and the idea that you have to keep all of your fighters in one hex and all of their drones in one pack. Film at 11.

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Targ
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MJ would it be possible to add to this thread the interim rule suggestion, or at least links to, that the management (i.e. You, Steve etc.) have suggested in the past on other threads. For example the stuff we were talking about on Rom fighters and the SP-B. As this may help to define the current ideas and help give a refference point to start things off from.

Talking of the SP-B it is more than likely going to get a outing in our next campaign round, so I,ll report back on how it gose.

I too hope we all can keep this discussion a civilised one so from the beginning I’m going to state my stance on this topic. I like the idea of fighters but would only want to see them as a BOM addition, and graetly simplifed compared to SFB, so people can pick and choose if they use them and when.


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storeylf
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this a thread for whether we want them, whether the should be BoM, how to do them, or anything at all to do with fighters? I'm not really sure.

keeping it brief:

1. I don't want fighters in FC beyond stingers.
2. I don't mind if they stay in BoM.
3. They seem to slow the game down quite badly (even with direct fire).
4. Direct fire seems to more or less work well enough.
5. I'm an FC player and have no interest in SFB, it doesn't bother me in the slightest if tactics are different between the 2 games (they probably already are anyway).

We might be using Fed and Rom carriers/fighters again (in our campaign) over the next couple of weeks, I expect if we do then I'll post more about them then.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
Is this a thread for whether we want them, whether the should be BoM, how to do them, or anything at all to do with fighters? I'm not really sure.

OK, I changed the title to reference BoM instead of FC.

This is not to talk about fighters in FC proper. I seriously doubt that will ever happen. This is just to talk about fighters in BoM. Primarly about it is *how* to do them, but the discussion can expand as necessary.

The big things I don't want are:
- "Don't put fighters in Federation Commander!" We are talking BoM, so we should already be good there.
- "I don't want fighters in BoM." OK, make your statement, but let's not argue. This topic is assuming that they will eventually make BoM.
- Arguments. We can discuss things, but if you find yourself saying the same thing a third time, let it go.

Other than that, discuss away! What are your experiences with the current fighter rules? What ways are they broken? What do you like about them? What should be done better? Should we push more for just direct fire fighters? Can direct-fire drones be made to work? Do fighters have to be "stacked"? Is there something that is being missed?
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Targ
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
Do fighters have to be "stacked"?

The problem with ideas like this is we have the Stinger as the base line for fighters and ideas like this, fighters been flown as a 'flight', were discounted when the Hydren were been developed (Personally I think a great idea was missed here to help keep thing s fast and simple) and I really don’t like the concept of one type of fighter operating differently from the other at the basic rule level.


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Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is an idea to get things moving.

If map clutter and play speed are the main issues, why not simply give fighters direct-fire weapons and take away their drone launching capability?

Give the fighters the normal phasers they have from "that other game." Then give them a toned-down version of a heavy weapon (no overloads). Fighter-photons would do 4 points of damage instead of 8 and could not be overloaded). Fighter-disruptors would do half the damage a ship-fired disruptor would do (round fractions up). Gorn and Romulan fighters would have the plasma-D. I would prefer allowing bolting only to keep with the flavor of the other empires' direct-fire heavy fighter weapons.

Basically, the theme is to cut the amount of damage in half from that of a regular heavy weapon used on ships. Range could also be limited (8? 12? 15?).

I think this would make fighters relevant, but not overpowering. It would prevent map clutter and a slow-down of play other than because of the sheer numbers of fighters themselves.
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Savedfromwhat
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Direct fire weapons only is just too reasonable to ever see the light of day, instead we'll probably get fighters just as they stand. Honestly I always thought fighters in star trek were a bad idea anyway, how often do you read of a carrier group returning with their fighters.
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Monty
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the direct fire only idea. Just need a streamlined dogfight resolution system.

Allowing the grouping of fighters into flights doesn't have to change any existing Hydran fighter rules or ship configurations. Just give the Hydrans and any other empire with fighters an incentive to put them in squadrons.

Simply state that two or more friendly fighters in a hex can be grouped into a squadron during 1E2g. Any damage received is taken on the squadron and not the individual fighters. Damage is distributed by the owning player.

This would reduce the analysis paralysis of the firing units trying to pick the individual fighter that is most damaged versus the fighter that hasn't fired which really bogs down a game.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monty wrote:
Simply state that two or more friendly fighters in a hex can be grouped into a squadron during 1E2g. Any damage received is taken on the squadron and not the individual fighters. Damage is distributed by the owning player.

I don't think the idea of sharing damage would work. That just opens a can of worms I don't think needs opening.

However, I do think you could allow "pooling" of defensive fire. In other words, any fighter in a 'fighter group' can use its weapons in defensive fire phase in support of any other fighter in the group (or, of course, itself).
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duxvolantis
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
Monty wrote:
Simply state that two or more friendly fighters in a hex can be grouped into a squadron during 1E2g. Any damage received is taken on the squadron and not the individual fighters. Damage is distributed by the owning player.

I don't think the idea of sharing damage would work. That just opens a can of worms I don't think needs opening.

However, I do think you could allow "pooling" of defensive fire. In other words, any fighter in a 'fighter group' can use its weapons in defensive fire phase in support of any other fighter in the group (or, of course, itself).

Pooling of damage is not necessary. Just make it 3 fighter to a wing. For simplification a fighter's weapons are part of the firepower of the wing until that fighters boxes are all damaged. Group the wings on the SSDs or simply put out some "Fighter Wing Cards" that have the fighters grouped up.

Fire is targeted at the wing and damage rolls from one fighter to the next.

Fighters in wings are never crippled, they are either intact or destroyed. When destroyed the weapons associated with them are also destroyed.

Advantages: a "wing" of fighters counts the same toward the FC stacking limit as a "ship". (ie: 3 miniautures, max).

Wings must be homogenous: 3 fighters of the exact same type (3 A-10s, 3 ZY's, etc).

Here are the ways that this simplifies/streamlines combat:

1) Fewer figurines to move.
2) Less time spent allocating firepower. Instead of saying "this fighter gets 1 disrupter and 3 phaser 2's and that one gets 2 phaser 1's and 2 phaser 3's, etc" in an attempt to guarantee cripples the person would simply say "i'm firiring 1 disruptor, 3 phaser 1s and 2 phaser 2's at that fighter wing".

Fighter wings must move in tandem (ie: the entire wing uses evasive or does not, the entire win moves together). Weapon fire could still be divvied out.

Defensive fire would also be as a unit. If a wing has 3 ph-3 shots they could fire them at seekers targeted at the wing.

This rule could also be used for drones, for that matter. Instead of 3 individual drones fighters could launch "drone swarms". Add 1 damage point per drone (ie: 5 damage to destroy--to make up for the "wasted" damage points lost when a ship has to overkill a drone to guarantee it won't hit) but let the ship fire weapons at the entire swarm. For every drone destroyed the damage goes down by 12.

(Not sure what to do about tractors, maybe a single tractor beam can hold the entire swarm?? still a work in progress/idea).

Just thoughts that I am not attached to one way or the other, but which might be a way to make things manageable.
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jeffery smith
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:58 am    Post subject: Fighters in Borders of Madness Reply with quote

I like the Idea of "Bolting Plasma D's" for the plasma races. that should work well with the direct fire fighter rules. so would you limit the ISC to plasma fighters ( I do not remember if they have a PPD armed fighter or not).

the Half strength photon/disr type weapons might be a problem because i they do not exist in SFB (correct me if i am wrong on this mjwest).
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marcus_aurelius
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fighters in a BoM product would be fine with me and I would purchase it.

I would also prefer all direct fire fighters with some variants of photons, disruptors and plasmas for the heavy weapons.

No drones. I also would not want to deal with dozens of drones and direct fire drone rules don't appeal to me either.

Plasma bolts for the fighters would probably be easier to manage than standard seeking plasmas.

Having each empire have slightly different fighters would be more interesting too. For example, having the Klingons, Kzinti and Lyrans all use the Z-Y statistics for their fighters might be simpler but less interesting.
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jeffery smith
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:45 am    Post subject: Fighters in Borders of Madness Reply with quote

to avoid drones. the only thing that comes to mind is take the KZ-D and the ZDAS and swap out the drones for another disruptor (1xPH-3 FA, 2xDisr FA) or replace them with another PH-3(2xPH-3 FA, 1xDisr FA).
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been looking at this from an Omega perspective (where things work a bit differently) but I think there might be some useful comparisons.

An FRA strike carrier has a squadron of twelve fighters; eight Dobermans (with phasers, and SRCs on the later models) and four Rottweilers (with a phaser and two light photons). They have a tachyon missile fighter they can swap in place of the assault fighters, but it's not a common option.

Might a similar pattern keep Alpha squadrons in line?
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me jump in an support direct-fire only fighters. Even the FED CVS as the option for the A-10. Stop map clutter before it gets worse!!!!

As for dogfighting... NO NO NO. Unnecessary complexity.
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