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House rules
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Spacecowboy87
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Joined: 03 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:01 am    Post subject: House rules Reply with quote

Hello all-- SFU players of all persuasions are a very innovative breed. I'd love to hear some of your house rules and maybe give them a whirl.
Here's one to get the ball rolling -- for lack of a better term, I'll call it "Partial proportional movement." Here's how it goes: Each turn, ship speeds are determined and an order of movement is determined. Then each impulse, each ship on its "turn" will move it's full allotment of 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 hexes. Order of movement is high to low (24+, 24, 16+, 16, etc.) Ships with matching speeds use their turn mode category (low to high, D before C etc.). Seeking weapons move last regardless of speed.
WHY BOTHER? -- It's faster. WHAT'S THE HARM? You lose a bit of the sub-pulse to sub-pulse drama.
You still keep the "all ships move before anyone can fire" aspect.
Anyone ever tried something similar?
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Sgt_G
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting idea. Although I would suggest going back to the normal movement rules whenever ships are within a certain range, say less than 12 hexes to keep the knife-fighting excitement intact.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that order of movement went from slow to fast ships, no? I'm pretty sure that's how it is in SFB, hence the saying "speed is life".
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garth is correct, it slow speeds first.

Our group uses a variation of Garths suggestion. During the early stages of the game, we move an entire impulse... or sometimes even two impulse in the manner suggested. Unitl we get to range 15 or so as that is when the action starts.
Although any player can request a reversion to impulse-by-impulse movement at any time they choose.
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Spacecowboy87
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, normally a slower ship goes first within a given sub pulse. But over the course of the impulse, a ship going 24 has already done most of it's movement before a ship going 8 even has a chance to move. So making him go last is not too much of a stretch.
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Aabh
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's interesting how great minds all think alike! Very Happy

We played Sunday and after the game (Where we did spend the entire game going from Sub-pulse to sub-pulse) my friend and I talked about it and said "Really until someone wants to shoot... we should just move 1,2,3 or 4 hexes per impulse... We could almost condense an entire turn if we needed to, or do only half a turn..."

We also noticed that tactically it was better to wait until as close to the last impulse as plausible so you could strike on impulse 8 and then jump up to a high speed and strike again on impulse 1, thus doing a double-Alpha strike (And with Federation, that second strike could include overloaded photons), which is pretty impressively devastating (I did just that to a poor, unsuspecting D7, worse, I HET'd and swung right in behind him on Impulse 7 so I had a zero-range shot at his #4).

Our house rule that we are thinking of either doing or not doing depending on the players (It's still in the "Let's think about this" phase) is the "Wait times are waived" house rule. You don't start with a turn marker under your ship, you can turn or slip right away. You don't need to load weapons, they are already loaded, etc.

This has a distinct advantage for Romulans given how long it takes to load a Plasma, but we were thinking that logically everyone would have loaded their weapons on the way in, and we compensate by putting the Romulan further away (No pouncing on someone with a loaded plasma!).
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Spacecowboy87
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that's a good one. It gets things going faster. We're always rushed to finish before the shop closes, so losing a game turn or two off the front end could be a good thing.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HUH? Confused Am I missing something here? Question

According the the latest release of the rules, almost every empire can start the game with weapons loaded (of course they may have to sacrifice their batteries to do so, but...)

And every ship starts the game with it's turn mode / slip mode fulfilled.
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Aabh
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really?!? o.O

Well, it's no longer a house rule then, is it Very Happy

(As a side note: The two experienced players hadn't played in a long time, so they can't be faulted if it's a revision. Very Happy)
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pre-game arming:
Photons, Hellbores, Ion Cannons, and PPDS:(4C2c) Pre-Game Arming:
At the start of each
scenario, the Federation player (or the player controlling
any ship with a photon torpedo) has the option
to have a Pre-Load mark for each (and every)
photon torpedo on the ship, reflecting loading of that
weapon on the previous turn. This would allow him to
pay Energy Points on the first turn to complete the
arming of photon torpedoes (otherwise he would have
no photon torpedoes to fire on the first turn). Special
scenario rules might prohibit this if the Federation ship
did not have time or energy to pre-load the photons.
If the player takes this option, he may not be able
to count some or all of the batteries in determining his
starting energy. The number of batteries left empty
will not exceed the amount of power it would take to
pre-load the weapons. (E.g., if a ship has six batteries,
but only two photons, only four batteries are empty,
not all six.) This also applies to hellbores, ion cannons,
and PPDs.
Plasma Torpedoes:(4J2e) Start of Turn: Plasma-armed ships begin
scenarios (unless the scenario rules state otherwise)
with type-F launchers fully armed and with type-G/S/
R launchers holding the first turn of arming energy,
and with full batteries.
In addition, the ship has the option to have the
first two turns of loading for all type-G/S/R plasma
torpedoes completed, at the cost of not counting the
batteries in determining the starting energy. Special
scenario rules might prohibit this if the ship
Tractor Repulsor Beams:(4s2a7) TR beams can be pre-armed at the start of the scenario with no effect on the amount of power
in an Andromedan ships batteries.

Turn mode / Slip mode conditions:
(8B3) SCENARIO STARTING CONDITIONS
Unless scenario rules say otherwise, every ship
begins any scenario moving forward (the ship would
have to pay braking energy to move in reverse), with
its Turn Mode and Sideslip Mode fulfilled, and its cloak
(if any) is not active.
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Spacecowboy87
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I guess I was thinking about something else Rolling Eyes which I can't recall at the moment.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I have to chime in on this.

Besides unfamiliarity with the rules, I think the two biggest drags on the speed of FedCom are the sub-pulse by sub-pulse movement and the damage resolution when lots of damage has to be allocated.

We did two things to help with that.

The first was to combine all the sub-pulse movement. We tried it a couple of different ways. One way was to simply combine it and have players move in order from slowest to fastest. The other way was to do as others have said in this thread: do the combined sub-pulse movement until ships get within certain ranges and then switch to the regular game rules.

The second was to speed up damage allocation. I did a statistical study of the damage charts and figured the percentage chances of various types of damage. This led to something I called "Alpha Strike" as an alternative way of resolving lots of damage. ADB published Alpha Strike in the Captain's Log Supplemental File #41. There are no dice to roll.

Perhaps now that other game systems are entering the SFU, such as Klingon Armada and A Call to Arms, gamers looking for ways to speed up FedCom will consider rules alternatives that are more palatable to main-line FedCom players.
[/i]
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Spacecowboy87
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're definitely going to check out Alpha Strike. And point taken about unfamiliarity with the rules. I'm just past the stage in life when I can devote time to memorizing hundreds of pages of... of.... what were we talking about?
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Alpha Strike system is somewhere between the damage system for the free version of FedCom and the actual system in the basic rules. In the free version rules, a player receiving damage can put it anywhere he wants. In the basic rules the damage must be taken point by point on the exact system the DAC says to put it on. Alpha Strike keeps the spirit of damage allocation by dividing damage between Hull, Power, Control, System, and Weapon boxes. There is some player choice as to where hits may be taken within those categories, but System boxes and Weapon boxes have to be taken in a certain order in every volley. With Hull, Power, and Control boxes, it really doesn't make any difference.

There are two caveats about Alpha Strike. First, there is no luck involved. You can look at the chart and know exactly how many hits will be taken in each category. Some see this as a plus, some see it as taking some of the element of the unknown out of the game. Second, nuances of the official DAC are removed. For example, if the DAC calls for a Right Warp box to be damaged and there isn't one remaining, you have to proceed to the secondary hit or perhaps on to the next column. Alpha Strike makes no distinction between the various types of power, so if a player gets 5 power hits, he can mark any 5 power generating boxes damaged that he wants. If he has used his batteries, they may be the ones to go. If not, he may want to save them.

Alpha Strike was really designed to be used when lots of damage is scored, but we have used it in test games instead of the normal DAC. It makes things somewhat predictable, but it speeds up the game and still provides the feel of damage across the spectrum of possible hits.
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Kang
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scoutdad wrote:
Garth is correct, it slow speeds first.

Our group uses a variation of Garths suggestion. During the early stages of the game, we move an entire impulse... or sometimes even two impulse in the manner suggested. Unitl we get to range 15 or so as that is when the action starts.
Although any player can request a reversion to impulse-by-impulse movement at any time they choose.


We do that too. At knife range, the advantage of moving after your opponent can be critical, and no amount of streamlining the impulse system should interfere with that.

Only yesterday, I blitzed into ESG range next to a Lyran flying at the same baseline speed, and back out again, all within the same impulse because he'd run out of power and couldn't accelerate, so I was faster and had the initiative. That had to be done on a reactive basis, meaning each sub-pulse's movement was crucial.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our only House Rule is that when we play at my son's house in Cornwall, we don't allow ADDs to fire at things up to two hexes away - just at impacted shuttles and drones as in the earlier ruleset. But that's just us; we feel that this makes the ADD too powerful in Fed Comm if it's allowed to do that.

At Exeter, all rules are played as written. You just never know: one day we might end up in a tournament and have to know the 'proper' rules! Very Happy
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