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Borders of Madness Decision #1: which scout?
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Which scout ships should be in BoM #1?
Scouts based on war cruisers
11%
 11%  [ 5 ]
Scouts based on war destroyers
29%
 29%  [ 13 ]
Scouts based on a wide variety of ships
59%
 59%  [ 26 ]
Total Votes : 44

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Monty
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would hope not to see cookie-cutter implementation of scouts, or any other ship, in future products.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monty wrote:
I would hope not to see cookie-cutter implementation of scouts, or any other ship, in future products.

I do want to point out hat the various scouts based on the war cruiser hull (or on the war destroyer hull, for that matter) are not, in any way, "cookie-cutter". They are of comparable capability, but are not cookie-cutter.

Incidentally, examples of war cruiser scouts have already been provided through Communique and Commanders' Circle. (The latter has Klingon, Romulan, Lyran, and Hydran examples.)
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:

The problem with small scouts is they don't have enough power to effectively use the scout channels.


Not sure where you get that idea from. Sensor use is not expensive. Small scouts have plenty of power to use them, they may have an easier time using the sensors than they do the heavy weapons that the sensors replaced.

There are only a few useful things for a scout to do in the majority of games, and unless you have a very large game anything beyond a few sensors is often overkill, and for larger hulls too many points in anything but a very large game.

So I still think that the cheaper destroyer hulls with a few sensors are going to be the most useful for the time being in FedCom.

Obviously people will probably want them all eventually, but if there is limited cards availble to start then stick to the most likely used in the largest number of games in the first instance.

mjwest wrote:
So, that would seem to indicate that some should get nice big scouts to show those designs, and some should get smaller scouts in order to show those designs, too. There isn't a way to do a "wide variety" without including some of all sizes. And that means some will be getting the "small" size.


Which I expect will mean that those with larger designs will find it harder to 'justify' using them in many games, that is a lot of sacrificed fire power for a ship that may only be able to usefully use 2 or 3 sensors a turn.


We are currently playing a 1000pt battle in our campaign, and the ISC destroyer based scout has not had the opportunity to use all 4 of its sensors in a turn, and probably won't. It is still a useful ship, but the larger version would have been wasted points. In a drone heavy environment there may be more use where you can always use the otherwise 'spare' senors on drone killing, but I'm not sure even that would be worth it in anything but very large games as opposed to just having more straight firepower.


Last edited by storeylf on Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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duxvolantis
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Joined: 16 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savedfromwhat wrote:
I think this will go down in history as a be careful what you vote for reminder. I forsee the Romulans with a K4S in their future...

Smart choice considering how OP we are ;P
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Savedfromwhat
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

duxvolantis wrote:
Savedfromwhat wrote:
I think this will go down in history as a be careful what you vote for reminder. I forsee the Romulans with a K4S in their future...

Smart choice considering how OP we are ;P


Was that sarcasm?
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I cannot say I predicted that. Yes, by definition, if they're not all one type (CWS or DWS) then there will be a puny one and an overkill one, and most of you will be howling mad.

I would say that if I pick all the ships, all of them will be war cruiser scouts.

And if you guys pick the ships by separate polls, every empire will get their best scout anywhere no matter how rare or strange. And after 17 different polls select the one scout per empire, someone will complain that the D6S is overkill and vote to replace it with a D5S, and somebody will complain that the "different" Kzinti DDS is weak and replace it with a CMS, and we will be right back to a CWS.

I feared that putting that on the poll would be a mistake. (When I do carriers, you get a choice of CVS or CWV and no "wide variety" choice will be offered.)

I was going to just delete this topic and go with CWS but I'll let it run another day and maybe one of you is seeing something I didn't understand.
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Dan Ibekwe
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Storeylf hit on one aspect; that Scout operations in FC don't consume the amounts of power that they do in SFB. This may make smaller scouts a bit more viable (but no less vulnerable). The situation might be "if it's not useful, ignore it, but if it is, it's dead".

I'd much rather have an NCS (good shields, strong hull, six Stingers Very Happy) than a Hunter-Scout (...which just blew up).
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan Ibekwe wrote:
I'd much rather have an NCS (good shields, strong hull, six Stingers Very Happy) than a Hunter-Scout (...which just blew up).

Well, it wouldn't be a Hunter-Scout. That is just an FF-scout. The real choice for the small scout would be either the DD-Scout (based on the Lancer hull) or the DW-scout (based on the Rhino Hunter [I think] hull). Either would be more robust than a lowly Hunter-Scout (which really is just disruptor bait).
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Dan Ibekwe
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may have been fixating on "puny".
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pinecone
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Joined: 03 May 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that the (first) scouts should be the smallest available to the given empire. Reasons:

Frigate (and destroyer) scouts have much historical significance

The Feds already have their smallest scout (the DD)

Making later ship designs be the only scouts might cause people to think that sensors were not invented until later, which is not the case.

Big souts could potentially imbalance the game as being just too hard to kill.

DW and CW scouts aren't an impossibility, it will just take more time to get them.
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duxvolantis
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Cole wrote:

I feared that putting that on the poll would be a mistake. (When I do carriers, you get a choice of CVS or CWV and no "wide variety" choice will be offered.)

I was going to just delete this topic and go with CWS but I'll let it run another day and maybe one of you is seeing something I didn't understand.


From the perspective of a customer (who is going to buy the module pretty much no matter what...), I don't expect that the winner of a poll like this determines what you MUST do. You have other factors (production costs, marketability, the vast majority of customers who do not participate in this board, etc) that should guide your decision and this feedback is, basically, like reading a couple dozen comment cards.

I appreciate the opportunity to discuss and give you my feedback.

Hopefully at least some of the discussion was useful.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not quite sure how the smaller scouts need to worry about being a little puny (easy to kill).

For the most part they are going to be 10-12 hexes behind the main ships, and if something wants to shoot an extra 12 hexes at that whilst ignoring the warships in front of them, well let them.

Equally, the most important use (for most games anway) will be the +1 shift, I'm not sure I'd be shooting a scout to stop the +1 shift when I can still probably blow the crap out of the warships at close range anyway. A +1 shift isn't so powerful that the scout must be taken out first - If I have 3 cruisers vs 2 cruisers and a cruiser scout then, other things being equal, I'm likely to win by ignoring the scout, the 3:2 firepower superiority will more than make up for a +1 shift at the closer ranges. So again if the scout is hanging back a bit then it should be pretty safe be it a destroyer or cruiser hull as it isn't that big a target.


As to the poll, I agree with Dux above. I voted for my preference, but that is all it was, a preference. Though I woud add it would seem a bit perverse to go with the poll entry that gets the least votes.
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The_Rock
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to the 2/3 -> 3/4 MC, most CWs are under-powered. Additionally, in SFB, in spite of the fairly earned "cookie cutter" label, they are some of the most poorly balanced classes of ships, with plasma (even in SFB) being just terrible (and typically more expensive) compared to the middle and western empires. This is magnified in Fed Com where plasma is weaker still.

That noted, I voted the "many different" option because that would be more interesting. If I am going to have a set of cards I won't use very often, it would be nice to have something other than a collection of 3/4 MC with 24 warp, 4 Imp and 4 AWR.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It might be worth playtesting to see how unbalancing something like a D6S would be, or whether the original Federation DD Scout (*eight* scout channels) has enough power to work at all.


We've used sensors a few times now, we always play bases with them. We are currently half way through a game with a base with sensors, and the attacker has a destroyer based scout.

For the most part the ships have no power issues, with sensors costing 1 point of power for a sensor use (for most combat functions) they are very light on power. Your typical DD/DW ship is not struggling to go speed 24 and use sensors. Even the Fed scout with a massive 8 channels can do 24, use all sensors, fire all phasers and still not dip into batteries.

Bases can be a little different, They have quite heavy power demands in phasers, heavy weapons and need to battery damage. BATS and BS in particular notice the demand of using sensors on the critical turns when they are facing the main attack run. A BATS with 30 power generation and a typical need for most of that just to power all weapons even before they reinforce shields can be making some hard decisions.


In a drone heavy environment there is always a use for sensors that do not have anything else to do. But other wise the mechanics of FC mean that something with 8 channels is a sledgehammer to a nut. There are only 8 firing possibilities, and with the desire to have multi ships hit the same shield, the amount of manouvering that happens between firing, the need to not miss the shot etc, there is just not much opportunity to 'stretch' the scout (by staggering fire like you might have in SFB) and get some un-jammed shots in. Power isn't an issue so if the enemy has as many sensors as enemy ships he can usually be sure of jamming pretty much all fire each turn. In practise he probably only needs 1 or 2 sensors as concentration of fire is still the order of the day.


That being said - this is a BOM product we are talking about. If there will be ships AND a much expanded sensors rule set then things may be different, but otherwise a small destroyer based scout with 2-4 sensors is plenty adequate for most FedCom games. Naturally there will be other reasons some want particular ships, I am just looking at it from the game effect perspective based on our playing with sensors so far.


Last edited by storeylf on Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:58 pm; edited 2 times in total
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
That being said - this is a BOM product we are talking about. If there will be ships AND a much expanded sensors rule set then things may be different, but otherwise a small destroyer based scout with 2-4 sensors is plenty adequate for most FedCom games. Naturally there will be other reasons some want particular ships, I am just looking at it from the game effect perspective based on our playing with sensors so far.

I would expect that the BoM Special Sensors rules will be more like the original rules published in Communique/Captain's Log, rather than the much simpler rules from HA and RRB.

That said, I don't know. Steve will have plenty of time to make up his mind before it is published.
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