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Fed Com Advanced Missions.
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Aabh
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Joined: 27 Aug 2011
Posts: 135
Location: Arvada, Colorado

PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:12 pm    Post subject: Fed Com Advanced Missions. Reply with quote

(I know there is no such product)

So, starting with the threads I posted earlier: We were playing FedCom, thought it lacked some things, modified the game on our own, discovered that we actually weren't reading the rules properly to BEGIN with, messed up the game system (not being familiar with the rules) and burned out one of our players completely and all of us stopped playing.

OOps... Sad

Anyway, we all agreed that we have spent too much money on FedCom to let it just fade away. So we have restarted with 2 Rules: 1) We play 20 games BEFORE we modify anything, 2) When we modify, we derive from StarFleet Battles, not generate whole new mechanics from out of thin air, at the very least START with the SFB rules Smile

So, we have some time before we do this mod (As we have played exactly 2 games... one 10th of our requirement. Very Happy). But I figured I'd start working on some of the thinking now and get input from you guys and see what you think. Our group thinks very highly of the folks here on the forum.

I just got the SFB master Rulebook (2012) for my birthday and I've been starting with Legendary Officers (At the behest of folks here Very Happy) specifically (I want the human factor, not just the ship factor), but we also are talking about the concepts of WW, Different types of Drones, and Plasma decoys and adding them back in using the FedCom game mechanic (Which is markedly simpler to use).

Anyway, I figured folks may want to see what we are doing, comment on it (Tell us we are suitably insane, because we would happily agree with that assessment Very Happy).

So, I just consolidated all the rules pertaining G22 (Legendary Officers). Now I'm going to see if there is a way to make that work in an interesting way to make the human factor enter the equation. Smile I'll keep you posted in this thread. Smile
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Mike
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Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1526
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy,

As I'm sure others would say, feel free to do whatever you want with the rules and within your playing group. However be aware that if any of you play others who are familiar with the game you may have grown so accustomed to your own house rules that you may be at a disadvantage.

That being offered, I think there are some who play FC and who also play (or used to play) SFB and who have toyed with the idea of trying to blend the game mechanics of FC with the rich detail of SFB.

My personal experience with this involved sponsoring a gaming club at the schools where I have taught back in the last century and in the beginning of this one. Time was at a premium for us and we had to try to complete multi-player SFB games in 2 hours or less. This took a lot of planning prior to our gaming time, but we soon found that we also needed to take shortcuts. We kept the selection of rules we used to a minimum, depending on the scenario we were playing.

We also developed a system that did away with the 32 Impulses of the game and used either 8 or 4 MegaImpulses instead. It was somewhat similar to the 8 Impulse / 4 Subpulse system incorporated into Federation Commander many years later. In our system players filled out their Energy Allocation Forms and paid for their speed. If we were playing with 8 MegaImpulses, the next step was to divide the number of hexes to travel by 8 and round to the nearest whole number. That became what we called the player's target speed, the number of hexes his/her ship had to move during each MegaImpulse. A player could vary that speed by either +1 or -1 each MegaImpulse, but by the end of the turn the ship had to have traveled the number of hexes they plotted during Energy Allocation or they would take 15 random internals.

We experimented with different ways of determining the order of ship movement during the MegaImpulses. We also realized that some firing opportunities would be lost as ships passed each other and firing arcs changed, but it didn't take long to get used to the system. We also sped things up a lot by writing a program (in BASIC) that did all the dice rolling and weapons resolution.

Using MegaImpulses and computerizing the dice were the biggest solutions to speeding up the game. Every other SFB rule we tried to incorporate worked just fine.

Forgive my rambling. Just sharing the experience I've had with what you seem to be after with FC.
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DNordeen
Commander


Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 517

PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're insane...of course that's why what your doing is referred to as Borders of Madness. Smile
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Bolo_MK_XL
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Joined: 16 Jan 2007
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Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There were rules once for only using 8 or 16 impulse charts.

Believe there wasn't much usage, so got dropped as updates (Cdr to Cpt rules) were made.
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Aabh
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Joined: 27 Aug 2011
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Location: Arvada, Colorado

PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now, that's important: Is Borders of Madness doing what we are looking for? Because we'd much rather use (and wait for) an out of the box supplement rather than mod the game if we can.

So, also important to note: We aren't interested in messing with the actual mechanics of FedCom (Though we are going to house rule the DAC because that is one of our biggest time sucks, but that's not part of the mods we are talking about here, and we don't recommend our mod for the faint of heart Very Happy), we don't intend to change the number of impulses or how much energy it takes to fire a phaser 1, we should be able to pull these rules out and experience no major change in gameplay if we wanted to have non-house-rule folks join the game.

So, here's what we are thinking of adding back in so far:

G21: Crew Quality and G22: Legendary officers (Those will be mixed together to make a simple ranking system so each ship becomes unique and also "grows" or "shrinks" as the game continues on)
J3.0 Wild Weasels (Simplified for FedCom)
FP6.0 Pseudo Plasmas (Or decoy plasmas... still discussing this)
FD0.0 Different types of Drones, simplified for FedCom
Some additions from P0.0 (Terrain) to supplement existing rules.
G4.0/G24 Labs/Scouts... there may be some additions for supplemental Lab operations... still under discussion.
G27: Cloaked Decoy... possibly: we have a Romulan player who really wants to put the sneaky back into the Romulans and we are good with that as long as it doesn't tip the balance.

Automatic rules (from various scenarios) So we can all play against something as a team instead of having to have unbalanced games when only 3 of us show up for a game night- Our group isn't into being ganged up on, so this one is important to us, but may not be as big of a deal with everyone else).
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Spacecowboy87
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 03 Jan 2012
Posts: 181
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like what you're doing. Our group (just down the road from you BTW) is a blend of old timers and newbies. We veterans are always itching to try this or that from SFB, but realize that we don't want to overload those who have no idea what an SFG is Laughing
We've made up our own ship cards for PFs (which we still call pseudo-fighters Cool ) and we've talked about bringing over more drone types and proximity photons. One thing we all miss is the phaser capacitors.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, keep in mind some things:
1) Crew quality/legendary officers break games. The granularity of the odds for most weapons is simply 1 out of 6 (i.e. a d6 is being used). Any +1 or -1 will adjust the odds by a little more than 16%. That is a *huge* difference. That is why every Fed who ever lived has always wanted a legendary weapons officer and why no one ever lets them have one.

A person on even just a small frigate is only 1 out of 200 crew. Their effect on the combat is supposed to be muted. If they must have an effect, figure something out that doesn't require modifying a 1d6 roll by +1 or -1. Make the effect more subtle.

2) Wild Weasels and pseudo-torpedoes were not included in the game for a reason. Adding them back in isolation could have some very serious effects.

3) Adding in proximity photons could be extremely dangerous. Currently, the photon is virtually worthless outside 12 hexes. Giving them proximity photons makes the photon useful and dangerous out to the full 25 hexes. Think long and hard before doing that. Otherwise games could get long and boring in very quick order.

(On larger or floating maps. On a smaller map, like the typical 32x40 or 3x4 map, proximity photons are totally irrelevant and would not end up being used.)

4) When adding in drone types, remember that the rules intend for everything to be done out in the open. So, there shouldn't be any deception. The enemy will know which one has armor and which is a double-size drone that needs to die first.

(I didn't mention this on pseudo-torps, as they have to have deception to even be worth the effort.)

Anyway, play with what you want. It is your game and you can do whatever pleases you in your group. Just be aware that many of those decisions were made for a reason and reversing those reasons can make a fun game very unfun rather quickly.
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Aabh
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Joined: 27 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mjwest: This is why I post here before actually implementing! Very Happy Thank you for the heads up. Are you privvy to why WWs were not implemented? As it stands, if a Romulan shoots a plasma at you, you MUST HET and run, there are no other options. So this means any game lasting more than 4 turns is a kill for the Romulans (That's our experience at this point, anyway).

Spacecowboy87: We need to get together! Very Happy
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mjwest
Commodore


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WW weren't included as they weren't needed anymore. The number of drones that could be fielded was dramatically reduced, and all of the secrecy around plasma was removed. So, it just wasn't needed.

As for fighting plasma, most people on this board will claim that it is too easy to avoid plasma, not the other way around. If you are fighting plasma and going less than a base speed of 24, you are going to die. However, if you are going base speed 24, it becomes very hard for a plasma to hit you. As long as you don't make the mistake of pointing straight at the enemy too close in, you can turn off and run away without the HET.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can understand the legendary officer thing, after all its a game based on a show where the ships only ever seemed to survive because of the awesome officers not the well trained star fleet crew. There may be a few hundred crew but there is only one who can take his best shot in a nebula and succeed like that, or miracle worker who can get engines back when they are shot to bits so badly etc. Legendary officers make perfect sense if you want the 'theatre' of TOS.



The idea of a cloak decoy is something I've mulled over in my mind as well in the past, some way of representing the other guy not knowing where the cloaked vessel is, it never feels right that everyone knows exactly where the cloaked Romulan is. In particular I was thinking about a scenario where the non-Romulan is racing into an area to protect a conference (no similarity to any Trek Film what so ever!) and he knows there is a cloaked enemy, but shouldn't know where it is, I had thought that having several Romulan ships on the map, all but one are sensor ghosts, might be a way of putting back that lack of knowledge that is missing without actual secret movement (as all counters would have to move normally). But as a general rule, probably a bad idea, the need for secrecy goes against the grain, maybe as a special scenario rule...


If you find you have to HET from a Romulan plasma then you are probably doing something wrong. There are other options unless you goofed up. Drones are not exactly hard to avoid either, so I think Wild Weasals would be potentially unbalancing, and again adding complexity for little gain (speed is important in FC so if you had to kill your speed to use them they would become even less useful).

Drones are currently one of the biggest slow downs in the game, unless you never intend to play much more than a 1 vs 1 (or are into slow complex games) I'd not recommend having all sorts of drone types (and racks) which just multiply the complexity for not much gain. Stingers and plasma slow things down a lot as well, but drones are just so ubiquitous.


I would suggest you add a 3rd rule to your other 2. Play 20 games before you even look at anything you might want to add in and how to add it. Spend that time re-reading the FedCom rules and pondering tactics. All you will probably end up doing is distracting yourself with ideas of how something might work and not really understand how things work at the moment.
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tfarley
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Joined: 03 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mines and T-Bombs are what I miss the most.. That and pseudo-plasma.

I actually think the full 32 impulses of SFB works better than FC when you use the impulse cards from Captain's Yeoman.

Like some of the other's have said, I'd love to "hack together" my own set of rules, but I don't want to get used to a system that I can't use outside my immediate circle of friends...
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Mike
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One possible way to do a legendary weapons officer would be to change a range column. It could be for all firing, just heavy weapons, just phasers, a die roll for each weapon fired (1-3 change the range & 4-6 don't), a die roll for how many weapons fired can have their ranges changed for that firing only, etc. Just some ideas to prime the pump.

I do NOT miss mines and especially do NOT miss T-bombs. I never understood how mines could function against FTL moving objects like ships (unless the ships were moving sub-light).
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DNordeen
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't miss T-bombs. Adding T-bombs would completely wreck drones as they are now. I could see mines as a scenario rule or something.
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Monty
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Joined: 23 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the most memorable SFB games I ever played we're on a 16 impulse chart back in the day. For the size class ships we mostly played
It felt like the perfect balance between streamlining and complexity.

I do NOT miss T Bombs.
I do miss NSM's for the Romulan Bird Ships.
I miss the poker aspect of Psuedos
I miss Enveloping Plasma
I don't miss the complexity of Wild Weasels
I miss proxy photons
I kinda miss scatter packs.


If these things could be magically folded into a balanced rule set I'd give it a try.
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m1a1dat
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that the game as is that wild weasels are not really needed. If you do add them in then i feel that you would really need to add in an acceleration limit in, which is something i think the game lacks anyway.

I sorely miss PPT and envelopers would be nice too. I think the only plasma thing that got better is the carronade. It generally is to easy to avoid a plasma.
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