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Turning, HETs and Lumbering

 
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Marauder
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Posts: 28
Location: Vancouver BC

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:12 pm    Post subject: Turning, HETs and Lumbering Reply with quote

Hi all,

Let me first say that I'm familiar enough with SFB having played it in the early to mid-nineties, but I really don't know much about FC, which I understand is what ACTASF is based on.

I'm loving the game so far, just wanted to make some comments on the way turning is handled.

1) There seems to be a far greater difference in the relative manuverability of ships with different turn modes in ACTASF than in SFB. While turn mode B was definitely better than turn mode c, it was no where near twice as good!

2) A turn of 9" seems to cause problems if a ship can only move 6" for one reason or another. The worst being that a cloaked condor can't turn at all!

3) HETs seem very risky - far more than in SFB. I'm okay with the outcome of the failed check (similar to breakdown), but I think the difficulty to pull it off should be reduced - especially for ships that had a breakdown score of 5-6 or better.

4) I don't even understand why Lumbering is in the game? I also don't understand how ships were selected to have it. The chief limitation is of course no HETs, since most, if not all ships, that have this trait could never turn twice anyways! For example the Kzinti BCH has lumbering, but it had a breakdown score of 5-6! I'd suggest dropping this trait (or maybe just reserve it for stuff like the Fed BB that has breakdown 2-6 plus turn mode F) and replace it with something that gives you a penalty for attempting a HET.

I think the following would represent the SFB turn modes better:
A - 2"
B - 3"
C - 4"
D - 5"
E - 6"
F - 6" Lumbering

Lumbering - 1 turn only, no restriction on HET's

Change HET difficulty to 6 (because most ships got a free HET anyways)
All ships with a breakdown of 6 get +1 to HETs
All ships with a breakdown of 4-6 get a -1 penalty to HETs (and so on)

-Tim
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cylence
Ensign


Joined: 20 Jan 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you that turn modes in ACTA seem off. I get the feeling that they're set so high because the game just isn't designed for highly maneuverable ships. However, my group has just about decided they won't play with the current movement rules as they're expecting better maneuverability out of SFU ships and I've been looking into some alternative in order to get them to play.

Right now, I'm considering keeping the same turn ratings, eliminating lumbering's 1 turn limit, and changing the turn rule to allow a turn at any point in a ship's movement, but it must then move it's turn rate before it may turn again. Unlike SFB/FC, this doesn't carry over between game turns, so there's nothing to track. This should make ships slightly more maneuverable, especially those turn mode E ships, but still remain within the games overall design feel - slower movement, no note taking.

I'd be interested to hear what results you get if you play with your turn modes. I'm waiting to see what the official turn F rules look like - I'm kind of expecting it to be a nearly unmaneuverable Turn 12 Lumbering ship though..
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Sgt_G
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 285
Location: Offutt AFB, Nebraska

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not yet played any games in ACTA, but from what I understand, some playertesters felt Gorn ships able to HET with large Plasmas ready were too powerful. Old ACTA players tell me they like a slow methodical game and ships in SFB fly too much like fighters than warships.

Okay, fine. But I think they went too far the other direction. Just trying to picture a game in my mind, I can't see how the Gorn can win against a Romulan KR fleet, and the Fed probably have it rough against a Klingon fleet.

I like your suggestion aboove. I was thinking of a Trait of HET+x whereby most ships get HET+1, but some smaller ships get HET+2/HET+1. The way it would work is after attempting the HET, the player would cross off the higher +X number, which is added to the dice roll. Of course, a critial hit could take the HET+x trait away, too.

Again, I'm told that's "too much work to keep track of".
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Scharwenka
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 27 Dec 2008
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only had a chance to read over the rules and look at the various ship types, hoping to get a game in next week sometime.

But the movement does seem off just by reading. I know the lumbering was in the B5 ACTA, of course I played a race, like I do the Gorn, where almost all ships were lumbering, so it took a different kind of strategy.

I do think, and I believe there was playtesting on this, that ships should have different movement rates, not all ships can go 12", some can go more, some less. There is probably debate though saying the bigger the ship the more they are able to compensate and still go the same speed as something half its size, but it still might be something to play with.
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Sgt_G
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 285
Location: Offutt AFB, Nebraska

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what a couple people told me, that was in the original playtest rules, but how they came up with the various speeds was a mystery and did not coorilate well to SFB / FedCmdr.

I'm working up a scenario that requires the use of the Fed DD, so I have the following special rules in mind for it:

The Fedd DD cannot fire more that two AD of Photons if it moved more than six inches that turn (or used HET); it may fire all four if it moved six inches or less. Additionally, if it uses Overload action, it cannot move at all (it may turn in place, however).

Seem fair to you?
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Marauder
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Posts: 28
Location: Vancouver BC

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great, good to see I'm not alone on this front!

I have other ideas, but I think it really needs an overhaul/second look. The simplest idea I had was just to let a ship make 1 turn at the end of its move if it moved less than its turn rating.

Sgt_G - I like your HET trait suggestion - I guess why bother changing the base difficulty - just and out bonuses. Even if marking off the HET trait is too difficult, I'd just be happy if there was some bonus and some penalty (and remove that limitation from lumbering).

-Tim
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storeylf
Fleet Captain


Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1875

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. I've only played a demo with a couple of feds vs klingons. But the klingons have the intiative bonus, much lower turn rate AND agile. A D7 can turn 270 degress a turn, compared to the Feds 90. That is a huge disparity in a game where you can't be sure of shooting something before it goes past you. I couldn't see how to possibly beat the klingons with my bath tub Fed, the only way of pointing at them was to risk a HET which failed and left me dead very shortly afterwards.

Even the risky HET means no overload, as you can only use 1 special action. So a succesful HET would probably not have produced a decisive shot and I would have had to risk a second HET later I expect.

Not to mention the HET would only have put me shooting through the front of the klingon, allowing it to use their special half damage shields.

Still only 1 demo game so far, I'll see how a few more games go hopefully.

I expect a larger game would mitigate that somewhat, as you would be able to have ships covering more spots, they may outmanouver a couple of ships but still get hit by others.
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Scoutdad
Commodore


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

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes... a larger game greatly mitigates that.
With enough ships on the board, you're always in someones arc.

Also, the rules are designed for the inclusion of terrain. If you're on an open map - you're missing a big part of how the rules, systems, and fleets interact.
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storeylf
Fleet Captain


Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1875

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a clump of asteroids and a moon on the table at the demo. That just made things worse, the super nimble klingon was able to easily nip behind the moon at one point when it looked like I might get a shot, then get back out and attacking me with no obvious hinderance, the bath tub Feds on the other hand woud have spent 2 or 3 turns trying to get back in the action if they tried to do such a thing, if they could get behind it in the first place..
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Dal Downing
Commander


Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 552
Location: Western Wisconsin

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee sit and read the rules on Gravity Wells. Moons might be a Gorns best friend and on first name with most Fed Captians.
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