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Pseudo Fighter SSD's
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BrentO
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Joined: 03 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:38 am    Post subject: Pseudo Fighter SSD's Reply with quote

Any plans on making Pseudo Fighter SSD's for FedCom? Or do they fall under the craziness that is carriers, maulers and fighters?
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, in Federation Commander, they are called "gunboats". Just so you can use the modern nomenclature.

Second, how they will be included into Federation Commander is still under consideration, and I am sure Steve will let us all know when the time is right.

Third, in the mean time, don't let that stop you from offering your thoughts and what you would like to see.

Finally, there is already another recent discussion on the whole gunboats issue (though it is buried in the "Carriers" thread, as it was a tangent).
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a sample Squadron Scale Ship Card for the Klingon G1L; but for some reason, it only has a Turn Mode of A, as opposed to the AA Turn Mode the equivalent unit has in SFB. (Unless the change was an intentional design choice on SVC's part.)

There is no guarantee that, even if we ever do see gunboats brought into FC at some point, the final Ship Cards or rules needed to support them will be in any way related to what you see in that file; but at the very least, it's food for thought.

(I for one would look to see how the "hot warp" Alpha PFs do things, if only to try and figure out how to modify the rules in order to support the kind of "volatile warp" gunboats available over in the Omega Octant. Since you mentioned the Iridani in another thread, I should note that SSDs for their gunboats exist in SFB Module Omega 5, so could, in theory at least, be available for conversion at some far distant point... if Alpha PFs ever show up first, that is.)
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akula
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike,

I was just reading through the carrier thread and I just wanted to note that I thought your idea to eliminate EA and treat them as super large fighters was a good one. I think you allow them to choose speed at the beginning of the turn and assume that they are able to load all available weapons. Perhaps, if they operate at speed 24 or above you assume they are using booster packs and damage is doubled.

The only area I differ from you is on scouts and leaders. I think they should be represented. I also believe you need some basic tender rules that are no more complicated then existing Federation Commander shuttle rules because simulating large SFB battles and certain existing scenarios would require this.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

akula wrote:
The only area I differ from you is on scouts and leaders. I think they should be represented. I also believe you need some basic tender rules that are no more complicated then existing Federation Commander shuttle rules because simulating large SFB battles and certain existing scenarios would require this.


Just to be clear, I want this, too. But only in Borders of Madness.

My reasoning is this: The only way you are going to get the full "semi-SFB" battles going is likely to be BoM, anyway. It is still most likely that non-Hydran fighters and carriers will only be in BoM. So, in that case, full gunboat operations only need to be in BoM, too.

The point of having just combat-only (no leader, scouts, or other variants), no tender operations in Federation Commander is to allow for "gap fillers" in point battles. Entire flotillas are quite expensive (even outside the tenders). So, in base Federation Commander, the need for a full flotilla is probably not that high. By allowing any force to use up to six base combat gunboats, forces can be tailored a little better to use up the available points.

That's my theory, anyway.

I really would like to see no-EA base combat gunboats added to Federation Commander.
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DNordeen
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with MJ on this one.

Tenders, L&S in BoM. Combat only PFs in FC.

I'm not sure about no-EA...could go either way on that one, but I do like the ability to fully utilize the points by bringing along a couple of PFs.
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akula
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotcha I was thinking about BOM. My take on BoM is that it better go all the way, at least in terms of using existing SSD's, or why bother.
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that splitting "casual" PFs and true PFTs (and SCSs) into "vanilla" FC and BoM sounds good. I do still like the idea of EA for gunboats, however; not least since it would make showing the distinction between "hot warp" and "volatile warp" boats easier to model in game engine terms.

The only non-standard PF I would want to see as an option outside of BoM might be the PFQ, and even then tied to the deployment of survey ships (should they become a proper thing in the game system).
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nerroth wrote:
I do still like the idea of EA for gunboats, however; not least since it would make showing the distinction between "hot warp" and "volatile warp" boats easier to model in game engine terms.

The reason I want to do away with the idea of EA for gunboats has two primary reasons:
1) The movement rates don't work. The SFB gunboat is literally built around its 1/5 movement rate. The workability of the gunboat SSD has that as its technical underpinning, and moving to 1/8 doesn't work. It is possible to move to 1/4, but do you really want a gunboat having the same movement rate as a frigate, despite the fact that the frigate is 25 to 30 times the size and probably 40 times the mass? Even in a "science fantasy" setting that just doesn't work. So, since the movement rates just won't work, let's get rid of them.
2) Get rid of booster packs. Rather than accentuating the difference between "hot warp", "volatile warp", and "regular warp", I want to just sweep all of that stuff under the rug and forget about it. Saves rules that really don't add much to the game, but add a LOT of complexity. It just doesn't seem like a win to include it, so let's drop it.

There are other benefits, too, but those are the primary ones in my mind.

In summary, having no EA for gunboats solves major problems and eliminates a bunch of rules that would, of necessity, be rather complex. It just seems win-win to me.
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djdood
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent explanation, Mike.

Not being an avid SFB player, the "metagame" aspects of the PFs/Gunboats were not something that were apparent to me.

My understanding was that PFs were typically able to run essentially full-speed and still shoot (being late-War concepts with exotic engines), so EA would indeed be a bit of a wash. The minor trades of max-speed for overloaded heavy weapon really aren't worth the extra crunch EA would bring.

If the move-cost was changed to 1/4, it would indeed turn them into overgunned Police ships or small frigates (and we already have those).

I'd rather they have an emulation of the unique feel they have in SFB.

Side-note: Given the push to reduce complexity, I think it might be nice to "merge" Interceptors and PFs into one thing for FC. Specifically, the shields on Interceptors being Fwd/Aft hemispheres would be a nice way to make PFs feel different in FC (and reduce space requirements on the ship cards). Just a thought.

My "sweet spot" would be something that acts like a larger, more-powerful Stinger (which we already have), but with more granular tracking of attributes (i.e. systems on a ship card), BUT not as much as a proper ship (e.g. no power-tracking/EA).
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Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is another approach to gunboat energy allocation:

Use "orders" for EA.

Flank speed! Just about all power to engines except maybe for 1 phaser.

Power to weapons! Fully arm all weapons, but movement would be minimal.

Balanced. Moderate movement rate and either phasers OR heavy weapons energized and ready to fire.

Evasive! Evasive maneuvering and moderate speed; no weapons energized.


This approach would give gunboats a little more flavor than fighters. For that matter, gunboats could be organized into groups (squadrons or flights or whatever one wants to call them) so that each gunboat in the group would follow the same orders.

Damage allocation could be different, too.

Use something like the old damage allocation from the Cadet Handbook that simply categorized damage. I don't remember what the exact categories were, but for gunboats they could be something like Power, Weapons, Hull, and Systems. Let the owner of the gunboat mark as damaged whichever individual boxes on the ship card that (s)he wants within that category.

These suggestions might make gunboats different enough from both ships and fighters and yet keep ease of use paramount.
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akula
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Djdood and Mike (not West),

You're both kind of on target but a little bit off. I rarely ever play PF's in SFB, but getting out my Module K here, a Klingon G1 can move at full speed and charge all weapons IF it uses the booster packs. When booster packs are used the PF takes double damage. If booster packs aren't used then you could do one or the other but not both at the same time.
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Dal Downing
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another option is as a Gunboat takes Engine Damage have a list of what it loses at each level for example.

6 Warp = Speed 24, All actions and weapons.
5 Warp = Speed 16+1, Cannot fire its torpedo as a overload.
4 Warp = Speed 16, Can only fire one phaser or reduce the fire off all phaser to that of a phaser-3. Damage Control drops to 1.
3 Warp = Speed 8+1, Cannot fire its torpedo.
2 Warp = Speed 8, Can only fire one phasers and it can only be fired as a Phaser-3s.
1 Warp = Speed ZERO+1, All weapons disabled.

Gunboats can perform a HET or EM by moving at one Warp Level lowere than they current have, this does not affect weapons or other functions.

I like the Fore nd Aft Shield ideal.

MJW I see no reason why Leders need to be barred in plain vanilla FedCom. just assume the first one taken is a Leader. A shuttle and Tractor really are not going to break anything. Also if someone has 6 Gunboats why not let the last one be a scout if they choose? Just the scout can only support another gunboat not another unit.
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DNordeen
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My only question with no EA is what about damage? If a PF takes a couple of burn throughs to the Warp Engine, how do you account for the power loss without EA?

What about a compromise:

PFs can go any speed for no power cost, then have all other things paid for like other FC units?

For FC purposes you could drop the warp pack boxes off the ship card and just have the normal warp engines. Off-hand I don't know if that would pay for all weapon fire, etc or if that would be too much, but the actual amount of power on the ship card could be changed to the amount SFB has for power left over after paying for speed 24.

However, it's got to be easier to change the available power on the ship card to delete power going to movement than it is to figure out 1/5 movement, warp packs, etc.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dal Downing wrote:
MJW I see no reason why Leders need to be barred in plain vanilla FedCom. just assume the first one taken is a Leader. A shuttle and Tractor really are not going to break anything. Also if someone has 6 Gunboats why not let the last one be a scout if they choose? Just the scout can only support another gunboat not another unit.

Two reasons for skipping leaders:
1) These are effectively modeled on the idea of "casual" gunboats. In that case, leaders are disqualified by default.
2) No need for the complexity. No need to waste space handling two gunboat types when one does everything needed. Having the tractor and transporter don't cause rules problems, but also don't add anything into the equation. Leave them for BoM.

DNordeen wrote:
My only question with no EA is what about damage? If a PF takes a couple of burn throughs to the Warp Engine, how do you account for the power loss without EA?

The idea is something like what Dal was trying to outline, but with less granularity. I was thinking something like this:
Undamaged: If they choose speed 16 or less, they can fire everything, including overloads. If they choose speed 24, they can only fire normals.
Damaged: For each 1/4 of total power lost, the speed brackets move down a level. So, at 1/4 total power lost, they have to go speed 8 to overload, or go speed 16 with normals. They can't go speed 24 anymore. At 1/2 this drops a level, so they can overload at speed 0, or go speed 8 with overloads. At 3/4 it drops another level, meaning they can only go speed 0 with normal loads and can't go any faster. At no power, they are Stopped and can't fire.
At all damage levels above no power, they can always HET once a turn and can accelerate and/or decelerate once an impulse.
Or something like that. The idea is to keep it very simple and streamlined so that they can run and gun, but don't have to worry about exactly how the power is spent.
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