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What is Borders of Madness?
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Mike
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:30 am    Post subject: What is Borders of Madness? Reply with quote

This thread was created to explain what the concept of Borders of Madness is all about.

Here is a quote from Mike West on the subject (from July 21, 2011):

Quote:
Steve really doesn't want optional rules in Federation Commander proper. We do have one gray area already (scouts), but I think the intent is to keep that as the one gray area. (And even that is only because of the Federation Scout.)

Borders of Madness is where all of that stuff is really supposed to go. In a way, you can think of Borders of Madness as the set of optional rules for Federation Commander. So, that is where all of it will go.

Finally, on the idea that there are some ideas and rules that aren't even eligible for BoM, Steve has softened on that recently. He may be more willing to put stuff in BoM than he has been in the past. (No promises. But, no promises either way.)

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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Borders of Madness is for rules that don't really "fit" into Federation Commander easily, but are still desired by some players. These rules can add extra capabilities (e.g. full scout rules), add extra weapons (e.g. maulers), or even add new units (e.g. fighters).

What do I mean that they don't "fit" into Federation Commander? I mean that they have complex or fiddly bits that make them more complex than is the norm for Federation Commander. Or, they add extra chrome that just isn't really needed. However, some players like their chrome and want the complex and fiddly bits. That is what Borders of Madness is for. Now these rules can be added into the Federation Commander rules system, but kept separate from Federation Commander proper.
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kinshi
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would help me understand BoM better is to hear explanations of why people actually WANT it. I already know why I don't like the idea of it, but I am open to hearing why others desire it.

Like why do they want more fiddly bits for FC when they already have SFB and enough fiddly bits and chrome to last a lifetime?

My primary reaction is to think BoM should be about applying some FC concepts to SFB, not the other way around, mainly in terms of improving SFB record keeping;

Some simple ideas...

    1. Apply the ship card concept to SFB SSDs. Get rid of all those redundant charts on the Commander's Edition SSDs and use the space for FC record keeping concepts such as the heavy weapon arming tracks, and and the plasma/drone damage tracks.

    2. Apply the concept of 'fleet scale' SSDs to SFB then one can use the PF-style EA forms with them, maybe even combine the EA form with the SSD.

    3. Print the max power for each power type on the SSDs..don't make us have to count them all by hand. The more ships we have in a fleet, the more that time adds up. That alone would speed up the EA phase.

    4. Trim off the life support cost. Really , who chooses to kill the crew for one more point of power? One less thing to keep track of, 1 more point of energy to use where it actually counts for something.


some not quite as simple ideas..

    1. Bring back Commander's Edition Direct Fire Drone rules. Love them or hate them, they do eliminate most of the board clutter, and are a lot easier to keep track of. The movement phases would go a lot faster with DFDs.

    DFD also by its natures eliminates a lot of the drone variety. (like slow vs fast drones, slugs, etc. One can keep some of the drone flexibility by using normal seeking weapon rules with types such as EW drones or other drone types that are not 'offensive' by nature.

    Its especially useful when getting into fighters, as they exponentially increase the board clutter with their drones. You can also keep the variation in types of Drone racks, and still use 'double-space' drones as well.

    2. Consider use of the Commander's Edition 24-impulse movement chart.It does alter the landscape somewhat, but not radically so. You get the benefit of shorter turns, while retaining most of the firing opportunities.


Anyway..point is FC does not need to get more complicated...SFB however can stand to get a bit LESS complicated.

and yea Borders of Madness is an excellent name for the product..as it would be madness to graft so many complicated widgets and chrome onto a game that is successful due to the LACK of such complicated widgets and chrome.

my 2 cents +1 for this turn.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kinshi, whenever someone mentions changing SFB with FC ideas, you get a loud "DO NOT WANT!" from the SFB community. Smile SFBers like their game the way it is.

Why do I want to see Borders of Madness? Well, some chrome and cool new weapons (like Stasis Field Generators) is good IMO. What I "DO NOT WANT!" is the complexity of SFB and all the things you need to remember... SFGs etc don't belong in the main game, but I'd like rules for them just so I can play with them occasionally when an opponent and I want to use them. It's best IMO if the BoM stuff can be put over in a corner somewhere and players who don't want to use it can safely ignore it.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did not start this thread as a forum for all kinds of ideas of what should or should not be included in BoM. It was started as an explanation of what BoM is supposed to be about.

That said, if folks want to make it into, "BoM should have this," or "BoM should NOT have that," so be it. Whatever.

As I recall, BoM was an idea to have a subset of rules for various systems and weapons that are in SFB that are not currently in FC. I could take the time to research where it was stated that players would be free to use any, all, or none of the BoM material if they wanted to, but that BoM material would never be used for an official tournament. However, I don't have the time or inclination to do said research.

It seems to me that BoM material will be "optional" in the sense that it will not be included in the regular set of FC rules, players can use any, all, or none of it if they so desire, and it will not be used in official tournaments. If that is not "optional" then I don't know what is.
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kinshi
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well then let me make it simple since ideas are not wanted, and debate undesired.

This FC player loudly shouts DO NOT WANT SFB in my FC. (and play SFB if you want this stuff so badly)

Wont bother elaborating as the arguments have likely already been made by others, and I doubt anyone cares to hear them again. Simply gonna be just as stubborn as the SFB'ers who don't want their game jacked around either.
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duxvolantis
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kinshi wrote:
Well then let me make it simple since ideas are not wanted, and debate undesired.

This FC player loudly shouts DO NOT WANT SFB in my FC. (and play SFB if you want this stuff so badly)

Wont bother elaborating as the arguments have likely already been made by others, and I doubt anyone cares to hear them again. Simply gonna be just as stubborn as the SFB'ers who don't want their game jacked around either.


Then play core FC and don't worry about it. It has been stated that BoM is optional and always will be optional.

That being said, it is much easier to publish a list of optional rules that layer onto FC than it is to restructure SFB.

Even if you are playing FC exclusively it might be nice to be able to play a scenario with mines or fight a Kzinti carrier or let the B-10 actually have it's SFG for a big Klingon capital-bash.
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kinshi
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats easy to say, they stuff about 'optional' but reality turns out to be a different beast.

This is a multiplayer game, and SFB taught me that as time goes on players wind up viewing all rules as good rules, and insist on using them all. That also being a reason why so few SFB groups exist as rules fatigue sets in.

Taking this stuff into FC opens the doors for a new era of errata, addenda, and clarifications, taking away space in publications like Captains Log and Communique for content like scenarios, ships, tactics, etc.

I say that sitting here flipping through old Nexus and Captain's Logs magazines seeing how much of the SFB material was simply rules related, and all the statements to the effect of "this scenario or term paper was not published because of lack of space", yet there was always space for errata.

At any rate, I still would like to hear why not simply play SFB instead given it was designed for those rules and has years of refinements and clarifications to back them up. Why do you want to start that process all over again?

In short I look at BoM and I get a sense of deja vu.
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Savedfromwhat
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally am looking forward to expanded rules in BOM for things like special sensors. Things that will flesh out campaigns (which we have never played sadly). In SFB you have some very unique things you can do with fleet composition and ship building in Fedcom... not so much, its all just warships and no real utility. Adding attrition units for base assaults and blockades will be great, but ONLY as far as campaigns are concerned. Adding more options to a game is a good thing in my opinion or that game will stagnate, to be honest transports attack didn't even make a blip on my radar and I am surprised I bought it. BOM is there to add more variety to those who want it, to those who don't cool you don't have to use it. But please don't tell me 'no you can't have that' simply because you don't like it, I have never understood that mentality in people.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I a min the minority here, I guess. I'll use BoM both ways.
It will certianly be a basis for importing some of the FC concepts into our SFB games... mainly through the use of fleet scale cards for carriers, scouts, etc.

But we will alos set aside a session every couple of months to play Fed Comm will some of the wonky stuff that currently isn;t avialable.
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kinshi
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ill simplify again..

1) not buying BoM

2) not playing with groups who use BoM

3) Afraid that will result in not playing FC anymore because of lack of other players who also only want to play FC core.

In that regard I fear BoM being a success, as it brings back everything I did NOT like about SFB. It may be considered optional, but groups have their own opinions on that.

I don't play SFB for a reason, and I fear that type of play being imposed on me given the history of how inflexible SFB groups can be.

Which is why I also am open to applying FC concepts to SFB unlike others.
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kirbykibble
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i would like to see BoM come out.
most of the items mentions (maulers, fighters, scouts)
have been introduced through the commanders circle of the FC homepage
(in playtest materials)

it would be nice to see a wider variety for the races. for example, scouts have been introduced to federation and klingon.
fighters for fed, and kling
maulers for romulan and klingon
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kinshi
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You already have EVERYTHING you could possibly want in SFB, every widget, every bit of chrome plating, every fiddly bit imaginable, and YEARS of design work invested to make it all work together.

Yet to me there is a paradox there, and yet another here;

This concept that SFB players REFUSE..adamantly so ... to accept ANY backwards changes, to take ANY of FC's improvements, yet there is this strong desire to move SFBs systems into FC?

To me it seems grossly inefficient to essentially re-do all of SFB in FC when SFB already is a solid game. It already has what you want.


Ok so riddle me this then....what is it about FC that makes make you want to use its core mechanics instead of SFBs?

WHY is this only a one-way street. why is SFB such a sacred cow and FC is not?

Then answer me WHY if those systems are so desirable, WHY it is unacceptable to bring any of them back into SFB?
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally doubt there will ever actually be a BoM product, or that it will be more like ISC war for F&E and be 25 years in the making. I expect that most of those rules earmarked for BoM will follow the scout rules (a supposedly BoM only thing at some point) and end up in the main FedCom rules. I hope I'm wrong.

I wouldn't mind so much if they actually did manage to bring out BoM as a proper seperate product, though I also understand where the poster is coming from. I also wonder why those who like all the SFB fiddlyness don't just play SFB. FedCom was initailly positioned as a game that would stay as it was in terms of complexity, and that those who wanted more (complexity or challenge) could play SFB.
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semperatis
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the simplified way that FC works over SFB's complexity,but I also like the option of being able to bring in other less liked rules. Now before you scream at me here,let me just say,that I would not like BOM to be anything other than OPTIONAL rules. Being a big fan,as you can gather,of the FC version of Omega,which are optional rules anyway,I have no problem with running games which utilise the optional rules to cover my preferred setting.
I sold off all of my SFB rulesets,modules maps and everything else many years ago,as it took up just too much space,( 34lbs in weight). Now,with FC,the weight has gone,but the fun is still there.
Now,as SVC has stated,BOM will only ever be optional,so why the gripe. It will allow those of us with limited finances to play a slim downed version of SFB,without the collossal financial outlay required for the full game. I personally will need the BOM rules for running the CVS carriers in my FRA fleet,but I won't need them when playing normal FC. I see these two products as being two seperate games,which have no effect on each other.

If you wish to include fighters and scouts and their ilk in your games, then fine,buy BOM. If you don't require them,then there is no need to purchase it,as has been said countless times by others,these rules will be optional,not compulsory.
Sorry if I've been going on at length about this,but it's how I feel. I may be in the minority here,like Tony,but I'm looking forward to these rules.
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