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Planet Killer

 
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mattruh
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 07 Dec 2011
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:54 pm    Post subject: Planet Killer Reply with quote

I just had a good game tonight. I taught two friends of mine to play Federation Commander. I used the Planet Killer, with me controlling the monster and each of them running a Fed CA. Between the talking and them going out for a smoke during turn breaks we got about 3 turns done. It was an interesting manuver game, with both sides trying to find a good opening. They used both overloaded photons (fired from range 8, which was a mistake) and hit and run raids against me. We called the game after I caught one of the CAs at range 2 and nailed it for 95 points of damage.

I have noticed two things that have caused trouble with new players. The first is using batteries for prearming at the start of the game. It confused both of my players tonight, and took a lot of extra explaining to set them straight. I have also noticed that using skips on the Damage Allocation tables really slows things down. My players have asked to just turn skips into frame damage instead, to speed up damage resolution a bit. What do you guys think of that?
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Mike
Captain


Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1526
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to really speed up battle results, try the Alpha Strike optional damage system found on p. 13-14 of the CL #41 Supplemental File. It was designed for handling lots of hits quickly, but can be used for results of 1 hit at a time if you desire. There is literally no dice rolling after rolling for the amount of hits done by weapons. The skips you referred to as causing confusion to the new players are handled easily.

Some have been a little reluctant to try Alpha Strike because they think it takes away some of the random element of what might be spectacularly good shots (or bad ones). On average, however, all those extreme probability cases even out. Alpha Strike does that from the get-go.

If I recall correctly how Starmada works (or at least used to work), damage progressed down a very specific track for each ship. There was no question as to what would be damaged next; the next thing damaged would be the next box on the damage track. I'm guessing Klingon Armada works the same way. So there is precedent for an alternative, easier, faster system even in FC games.

Yeah, I know I'll probably hear, "But you invented Alpha Strike and would naturally push for it." True, but I stand behind it. It is a good alternative system that can simplify and speed up things in FC.
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mjwest
Commodore


Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 3436
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:31 am    Post subject: Re: Planet Killer Reply with quote

mattruh wrote:
I have also noticed that using skips on the Damage Allocation tables really slows things down. My players have asked to just turn skips into frame damage instead, to speed up damage resolution a bit. What do you guys think of that?

Feel free to give it a try. Just be aware that ships will blow up very quickly if you do this. I doubt you will do it more than once or twice.
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storeylf
Fleet Captain


Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1832

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Planet Killer Reply with quote

mattruh wrote:
I have also noticed that using skips on the Damage Allocation tables really slows things down. My players have asked to just turn skips into frame damage instead, to speed up damage resolution a bit. What do you guys think of that?


If you mean that you must take a frame instead of a skip then as MWest says ships will blow up a lot faster, but note that some ships are noticeably disadvantaged using that mechanism.

E.G. Normally there is only about a 5 difference betwen when a Fed CA and D7 will probably blow up. But if you have to take frame on skips then the Fed CA takes about 30 less points to kill, the D7 though takes about 45 pts less to kill it, which means its cripple and dead points are almost the same. That is quite a difference. The Fed CA can fully destroy the D7 from range 8 on a very good day.

The point system, whilst not really finely balanced anyway, may well fall down quite a bit if you take frame on skips. It's worth noting for example some Hydran ships with only Center warp are toast under that system - roll a 1 on the DAC and that is 2 frame hits in the first 3 damage points. The Lancer can in theory fall apart from just 5 burnthrough without taking a single other box in damage.
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mattruh
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 07 Dec 2011
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm. Very good point storeylf.
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