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Campaign rules rough draft.
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OSRbaron
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Joined: 22 Aug 2011
Posts: 17
Location: Frederick, MD

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:22 pm    Post subject: Campaign rules rough draft. Reply with quote

I was working on a rough draft of campaign rules back in March of 2009 for a game that didn't end up taking place.

I have just posted the unfinished draft on my blog thedicearealie.blogspot.com for folks to read and use if they wish.

Please let me know what you think of what was written so far and offer any suggestions for additional details, other approaches, etc.

I would loved to hash out a finished set here on the forums for folks to use.

Thanks in advance!
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OSRbaron
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Joined: 22 Aug 2011
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Location: Frederick, MD

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the version I put up might be missing the updated comerce raid rules. There were a bunch of drafts without version numbers.

We started playing through commerce rais to try and work things out since that plays a bit differently. We discovered that the normal map we were using makes escape entirely too easy and also handicaps cloak using races negatively.

We were workng out a different map and some rules to give the cloak the advantage it was supposed to have instead of the disadvantage of having no targets left by the time it uncloaked.

Part of what was decided was to try a long map that the freighters had to start at one end of and exit at the other end of. We also decided to allow a cloaked ship to start 8 hexes from the edge instead of at the edge.

I'll have to look through and get a more complete version together.

Please let me know if you have had time to look it over and what your thoughts are.
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terryoc
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Joined: 07 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had a quick look. How are ships purchased? Is it 1 ship point value point = 1 commerce point?
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"Captain" Terry O'Carroll, fourteen papers published including six best of issue
"Man, Terry, you are like a loophole seeking missle!" - Mike West
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, previous question has been answered by careful reading.

On the formatting, I think the format could be improved. It was hard for me to find out how much each system was worth, but finally found it buried in the text there (border 10pts, core 20pts, home 40pts). I'd break it up into sections: Overview; the turn sequence; starting the game. Add a list of definitions in an appendix.

For the fleet lists: to make it fair, it might be worth having a strict fleet list for each empire, because some empires simply have more variety than others. Federation for example. So you could limit each to 6-8 hull types:

Dreadnought
Heavy Battlecruiser
Command Cruiser
Heavy Cruiser
Light Cruiser
Destroyer
Frigate
Police Ship

Most empires will have all these types of ships.

Edited to add:

When conducting raids, I can assign up to six ships. The defender can assign up to six ships to patrol, as well. Assume that the Kzinti player has assigned the ships Cheezburger and LOLCat to patrol in slots #1 and #2 respectively, and the Zin are raided by the Klingon ships Rammstein and Du Hast Milch?. Rammstein rolls for interception and gets a "1", and is intercepted by Cheezburger. Du Hast Milch? also rolls a "1". So is it intercepted by Cheezburger, or does it get away (since Cheezburger is already engaging Rammstein) ?

I can see value in assigning a lot of ships to raids, since the odds are pretty good that they'll get through. Of course, the enemy may assign heavy cruisers to patrol duties, and those will eat frigates like popcorn...
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"Captain" Terry O'Carroll, fourteen papers published including six best of issue
"Man, Terry, you are like a loophole seeking missle!" - Mike West
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OSRbaron
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Joined: 22 Aug 2011
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Location: Frederick, MD

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Terry, thanks for checking the rules out. Double thanks for getting into the spirit of naming in your question. Smile

Mike West is right about you being a loophole seeking missile. Good find.

Your question about the raid having two raiders randomly roll the same defender happens to be one of the issues we had not yet worked out.

There are a couple of approaches that could be used I suppose. It wouldn't be unheard of for multiple raiders to hit the same convoy and I imagine that it could happen. It also points out the possibiliy of multiple empires potentially raiding the same convoy in the same turn as well.

Maybe Cheezburger can only protect part of the convoy and Du Hast Milch gets a free lunch. hmmmm.....

This one goes to the head of the list of things to resolve!

On the other issue of limiting hull types, that could be done, but part of the design philosophy was that choices don't have to be easy in every case. Not only should there be choices on how to design the starting fleet, but the limited amount of ships should lead to choices in strategic thinking.

For example, do I put a lot of ships in the home fleet and have them explore hoping to expand my border systems that way, do I put a lot on commerce patrol to protect against possible raids, do I heavily or lightly defend core and border systems, or do I go for a major offensive risking the problems a counter-offensive in the same turn could cause? Do I save points to try and build a starbase out on the border for defense and being able to build and repair ships out there?

I'm sure if we had the chance to playtest the rules we would have run into the raid issue pretty quick. I'm surprised we didn't see it before now. Shocked

Glad you pointed these things out.

We played our Labyrinth Lord rpg campaign today and afterward discussed a few things about the FC campaign rules. One obvious issue is the need to reorganize and number the rules for easier reference which is something you also pointed out.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Overall I like it, especially the fact that it is not map based and anyone can attack anyone else.

There may be an issue if all players take an "attack the weakest player" strategy, but I suppose that's always going to be a problem. In any case, a player who expands too quickly is not going to have enough ships to cover all his planets, and is going to lose systems to unopposed attacks. That's another question: if I attack a system and there's nobody there to defend it, can it send out a distress call for reinforcements? I'm thinking yes it should be able to, because in doing so there's the risk that the reinforcements will show up piecemeal and get defeated in detail...
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"Man, Terry, you are like a loophole seeking missle!" - Mike West
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OSRbaron
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Joined: 22 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry's question:

"question: if I attack a system and there's nobody there to defend it, can it send out a distress call for reinforcements? I'm thinking yes it should be able to, because in doing so there's the risk that the reinforcements will show up piecemeal and get defeated in detail..."

This is another one to add to the discussion list.
My first thoughts on it are that it would have sent the distress call which would have identified the attackers, however the decision is then left to the next turn for the previous occupier to decide to reconquer or not.

That is partially to avoid bulking up the turn activities more than they already are, but this is definitely something to think about.
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rfeceo
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 09 Sep 2011
Posts: 48
Location: Seneca Falls, New York

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:09 pm    Post subject: Questions Reply with quote

Hi OSRbaron!

I've got a few questions about your rules, and intent behind some of them. Please note these are not criticisms, just trying to understand where you were trying to go with rules (i.e., #2 below, perhaps you are encouraging smaller battles more often, or slowing conquest so you have more opportunities for fighting battles together Smile ).

1a. Ship point values. Are you using Squadron Level or Fleet Level point for ship purchase?

1b. Along the same lines, the restrictions on initial buys, and restrictions on mission types based on Point value of the craft, which scale do the point value limitations reflect - Squadron or Fleet scale?

1c. Why did you limit certain missions by point value (raiders come to mind, particularly when striking a a defended system). To my mind, rather than limiting, it might be better to modify the die roll for raid/patrols by ship speed - so that slower ships might have a -1 or -2 (creating higher probability patrol slots versus slower raiders) and faster ships a +1 or +2 to (like cloaked ships, making it possible to avoid patrols altogether).

2. What was the rationale behind limiting the raiding fleet to six ships, and thereby restricting the amount of invasion possible?

3. Is there a way to attack a border system? Deep Strike/Home Strike seem clearly attack Core and Home systems, and Commerce raids seem to strike at Core systems only. Or did I miss something?

I am working on an Early Years pbem campaign (with ftf battles), and my rules were getting very clunky trying to do, essentially, what you have already done in a much more elegant way.

Thanks!

-Peter
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OSRbaron
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Joined: 22 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Questions Reply with quote

rfeceo wrote:
Hi OSRbaron!

I've got a few questions about your rules, and intent behind some of them. Please note these are not criticisms, just trying to understand where you were trying to go with rules (i.e., #2 below, perhaps you are encouraging smaller battles more often, or slowing conquest so you have more opportunities for fighting battles together Smile ).

1a. Ship point values. Are you using Squadron Level or Fleet Level point for ship purchase?

1b. Along the same lines, the restrictions on initial buys, and restrictions on mission types based on Point value of the craft, which scale do the point value limitations reflect - Squadron or Fleet scale?

1c. Why did you limit certain missions by point value (raiders come to mind, particularly when striking a a defended system). To my mind, rather than limiting, it might be better to modify the die roll for raid/patrols by ship speed - so that slower ships might have a -1 or -2 (creating higher probability patrol slots versus slower raiders) and faster ships a +1 or +2 to (like cloaked ships, making it possible to avoid patrols altogether).

2. What was the rationale behind limiting the raiding fleet to six ships, and thereby restricting the amount of invasion possible?

3. Is there a way to attack a border system? Deep Strike/Home Strike seem clearly attack Core and Home systems, and Commerce raids seem to strike at Core systems only. Or did I miss something?

I am working on an Early Years pbem campaign (with ftf battles), and my rules were getting very clunky trying to do, essentially, what you have already done in a much more elegant way.

Thanks!

-Peter


Hi Peter,
I see you found the thread easily enough. Smile

All ship point values are done in Fleet Scale. The purpose for going with fleet scale was ease of play, and speed of sessions. It is assumed by the rules that each empire is handled by a single player. With a single individual running a group of ships and potentially several battles to be resolved we decided that Fleet scale was the better way to move it along.

Likewise, by limiting the number of ships that can be used for exploring and commerce raids you avoid tying everyone up in either of those areas and force choices about where things go.

Historically (I am looking at WW2 in which there were exceptions, but not many) convoy/commerce raiders were light to medium vessels. The idea was to encourage players to keep their heavier ships on the main battle lines and not stick them on other duties.

You are interestingly enough, the second person to point out a confusion between the commerce raid and invasions. When writing the rules up I went with invasion to mean invasion of systems and raid to mean commerce/convoy raid. This is something that needs clarification of definition when a cleaner version of the rules gets written up.

Border systems are invaded symply by letting the referee know that ships (by type and name) from your border fleet are going to another empire border system (by name) that turn.

By restricting the number and type of ships available for raiding and therefore also limiting Deep Strike options it reduces the risk that everyone would immediately go for the throat and end the campaign too soon for some players. This is a choice based partly toward extending the fun and also due to having learned that some people get really upset when outmaneuvered right away and some of them quit in a huff leaving the campaign's other players in a mess.

These are some great questions and this is exactly what is needed to help us work through the re-write and clean-up.

By the way, just this morning I had an idea for ways to add Nebulae, Asteroid fields, Pulsars, and Black Holes into the rules. It might be a couple weeks before I can get a complete re-write with numbered sections going, but watch this space.

I hope to put sections up here as the rewrite progresses.


Last edited by OSRbaron on Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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OSRbaron
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Joined: 22 Aug 2011
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Location: Frederick, MD

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once I get more done with re-writing the rules I also plan to post bits of an example turn here to help illustrate how it is supposed to work.

Thanks to everyone that has checked the rough draft out. Please chime in with comments and questions. The feedback is proving very helpful.
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rfeceo
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 09 Sep 2011
Posts: 48
Location: Seneca Falls, New York

PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Questions Reply with quote

Hi OSRbaron!

Gotcha. I figured you were going with FS point values, but I was not sure. For my PBeM we'll be using SFB BPV for the Early Years ships, so understanding the rationale for your size limits is important, since EY BPVs are a lot lower than Middle years.

And thanks for the clarification about invading Border systems!

One thing we're discussing here is the merits of die-rolling the Patrol ship intercepting the Raider versus having the Raider select the die roll(ie, the raider chooses to attack at "slot 5", rather than rolling a d6 and getting a "5" result). It feels like by selecting the point where the raid attacks, the raider has more control over the situation, even though he's doing it blind. It also means that we can default base locations - Civilian BAse Stations (if they exist) are always at slot 1, Base Stations (if they exist) are always slot 6, etc. A third factor we're discussing, is ship speed, since we have potentially three speeds - Sublight, Warp-refitted, and Early Years Warp, plus the speed differences between heavy patrollers and smaller, nimbler raiders. All of this is determined easily by the die roll method, but some players prefer the "surety" of selecting their own point of attack.

We're also trying to integrate Commando Ships into conquest rules, and Survey Cruisers into exploration rules. Not hard, but I want to get the basics settled before I add these it.

Thanks And I look forward to seeing your updated draft!

-Peter (rfeceo@yahoo.com)
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rfeceo
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 09 Sep 2011
Posts: 48
Location: Seneca Falls, New York

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:01 pm    Post subject: Patrols Reply with quote

Anothert Question, OSRbaron -

The Patrol Fleet. How did you intend to deal with bases? Were you going to ignore them completely figuring that raiding would take place in deep space, or were you going to allow them to be assigned to the Patrol Fleet?

Just curious as I wrestle with the issue myself. My first though was to allow them into the Patrol Fleet, since that is one of their missions (particularly Civilian Base stations). But now I wonder if I should, since a Commerce Raid - while affecting the Core System, does not necessarily take place in a Space Core System, and you could get weird effects like the Cestus III Base Station protecting against a commerce raid aimed at Sherman's Planet.

Peter (rfeceo@yahoo.com)
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OSRbaron
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Joined: 22 Aug 2011
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Location: Frederick, MD

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter,
The idea of having the Empire committing commerce raids choose a slot and having the defending Empire place their convoy defenders in slots is an interesting idea and may make it into the next version as an alternative method.

The reason bases aren't a concern with commerce raids is that the raids are against convoys traveling between locations and raiders would not want to try an attack where there is a proven defense in place. They would be trying to inflict damage while suffering very little. Beside, most stations are likely in systems and that is something reserved for invasions and deep strikes.

Of course there is nothing wrong with the idea of having an added option for raiders in your campaign if you choose. Have them team up like they would for a deep strike and hit a commercial station. Interesting scenario idea.
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rfeceo
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 09 Sep 2011
Posts: 48
Location: Seneca Falls, New York

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:41 pm    Post subject: Campaign Update Reply with quote

We're on Turn 4 using a heavily modified (primarily for the era: Early Years) version of OSRBaron's mapless campaign rules. If you'd like a copy of the latest version of our campaign rules, email me at rfeceo@yahoo.com

Very easy to issue orders and to process orders.

Where we have run into problems is the mapless part. Players do not like it, they'd much rather have hexes to move in, or failing that, "provinces" (like Risk/Axis & allies, etc.).

They have also had problems conceptualizing the Fleet Command Structure and the Missions. For instance, they want to use Patrol to intercept Invasions, even in the Home system, or want to Colonize from the Home system (actually, half want that, the other half want to pick up colonists at Home and move them to the Border and colonize), or Explore from the Border.

Some of this can be rectified I think by rewording, and some by changing which fleets can do which missions. I would also suggest using a abstract map (province/sectors or Starfire-style circles and arrows). As neat as the mapless concept is, (my) players just don't get it.

Something for potential GMs to note: this system also produces a large number of small battles, and a few large ones (we just did a very large 15 on 12 ship melee), so it is really helpful to have players available to conduct the battles. FC works great, b/c a lot of gaming can be done very quickly.

-Peter (rfeceo)
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rfeceo
Lieutenant JG


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:31 pm    Post subject: State of the EY Campaign Reply with quote

Currently it is Year 78 (1 turn = 1 year) in our Early Years campaign. The powers are;

Carnivons (in contact with Kzinti and Lyrans),
Federation (uncontacted),
Hydrans (in contact with Tholians and Klingons),
Imperials (Star Wars) (in contact with kzinti and Klingons),
Klingons (in contact with Hydrans, Tholians, Lyrans, and Imperials),
Kzinti (in contact with Carnivons and Imperials),
Lyrans (in contact with Carnivons, Klingons),
Tholians (in contact with Hydrans and Klingons).

Imperials and Kzinti were at war, but are now at peace.
Imperials and Hydrans are at war, through a wormhole, which the Imperials collapsed (so no longer in contact).
Carnivons and Kzinti are at war
Carnivons and Lyrans are about to be at war.
The Klingons are the most peaceful people in the Galaxy (the Tholians and Fed just recently added).

Econ Strength: (FC Fleet Scale PV per year)
96 Kzinti
74 Klingon
71 Carnivon
62 Federation
60 Imperials
56 Hydrans
51 Lyrans
22 Tholians

Systems
20 Imperials (1 Home; 5 Core; 14 Border)
17 Hydrans (1 Home; 6 Core; 10 Border)
17 Lyrans (1 Home; 6 Core; 10 Border)
16 Carnivons (1 Home; 5 Core; 10 Border)
16 Federation (1 Home; 4 Core; 11 Border)
16 Klingons (1 Home; 5 Core; 10 Border)
14 Kzinti (1 Home; 5 Core; 8 Border)
3 Tholian (1 Home; 2 Border)

Fleet Strength (Number of Ships)*
39 Federation (3xWDN; 10xWCA**, 12xWDD**, 4xWFF; 5xCONV***)
33 Tholian (2xNDD; 6xNFF; 17xPC; 4xCONV***)
30 Imperial (4xWCA; 9xWDD; 15xWFF, 1xCONV***)
28 Hydran (3xWCA; 15xWDD; 8xWFF)
23 Carnivon (1xWDN; 3xWCA; 3xWCL; 6xWDD; 8xWFF; 1xCONV***)
21 Lyran (7xWCA; 14xWFF)
19 Klingon (1xWDN, 3xWCA; 15xWFF)
16 Kzinti (3xWCA; 13xWDD)

* Most all ships at this point are Warp-refit ships (Wxx). There are a few Early Year classes appearing (Yxx), and Vulcan ships are basically Yxx+ class. Tholian ships are Middle Years ships.
** Includes national ships (Alpha Centuari, Andorian, Orion, Rigelian, Terran, and Vulcan classes).
*** Convoys equal 1 UFL and 1 UFS.

Imperial ships are sort of a cross between Klingon and Federation ships,and are home brew design (obviously). They are roughly one class better than their class (ie, an Imperial WFF is probably equivalent to others' WDD), but not always. The Imperial WFF at Fleet Scale is very fast (can sustain Spd 24 and fire its PH3), and has a lot of internal armoring (5x C Hull), but is poorly armed (2x PH-3 (LS, RS) + 1x WTL + 1 Drone) and poorly shielded (5 Shields, all facings). WDDs are slower, but better armed.
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