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Alternate PBEM system for Fed Com

 
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Andromedan
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 226

PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:29 pm    Post subject: Alternate PBEM system for Fed Com Reply with quote

I am looking to see if people are interested in a moderator-less version of PBEM FC.

It requires two things:

1) A change to the way FC is played.
2) A tool to submit orders and when everybody has submitted their orders, the orders are then sent out to everybody.

Here is how it would work:

1) You would submit the EA w/speed to the service.
2) The services sends out the EAs to everybody.
3) You would submit the Speed Change Phase announcements to the service.
4) The services sends out the announcements to everybody.
5) You would submit the movement for ALL sub pulses to the service.
6) The services sends out the movements to everybody.
7) You would submit the Defensive Fire announcements to the service. (Note: I would allow for conditionals)
Cool The services sends out the announcements to everybody.
9) You would submit the Offsensive Fire announcements to the service. (Note: I would allow for conditionals)
10) The services sends out the announcements to everybody.
11) You would submit the Other Functions Phase announcements to the service. (Note: I would allow for conditionals)
12) The services sends out the announcements to everybody.
13) You would submit the Launch Phase announcements to the service. (Note: I would allow for conditionals)
14) The services sends out the announcements to everybody.
15) Repeat steps 3-14 for all 8 impulses.
16) You would submit the End Of Turn announcements to the service. (Note: I would allow for conditionals)
17) The services sends out the announcements to everybody.

Note: If there are Marine Combat Phase, this might require an IM session to resolve.


What do you think?
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Mike
Captain


Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1556
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not the rulebook FC, but it is how our group consistently played it by combining the Subpulses into uninterrupted movement.

Doing it by email will eliminate the aspect of order of movement. This could lead to the demise of the "speed is life" principle. Going slower during an Impulse will sometimes preserve unique firing opportunities. Drones may actually become a damage-causing weapon.
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Andromedan
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 226

PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I disagree that it remove the "speed is life" concept. Does it modify how you react to drones/plasma? Yes. But doesn't PBEM do that any way?

It just means that you need to give drones/plasma a wider berth. But I think that is the case with PBEM anyway. Otherwise, you are constantly breaking to see what your next move is.

Mike, have you ever played PBEM before?
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storeylf
Fleet Captain


Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1880

PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assumed he meant the fact that FedCom provides an edge to the faster guy through move initiative, that can be a huge edge at times and hence a reason to go fast. You would lose that in what you are suggesting.

You could still keep some degree of that with conditionals in your movement, one area you didn't show such a thing. So maybe you could allow the slip when he does, or move to centerline, or turn when he does type thing.

I'm assuming here that you are talking about the computer as being the referee? which would reduce the conditional aspect to those the prgram has been coded for?

PS I have played PBEM. I always found it hard to get a good balance, on one hand you want to make the decisions and not the referee make guesses, on the other hand you don't want to break every move (or even every phase at the end of an impulse). Also you are jugglinig getting a move back to referee in a timely manner vs finding the time to plan out a good chunk of a turn and put in all the conditionals that might allow the referee to do more of the turn once you finally work it out.

When I had a fast turnaround game I could well find myself simply plotting a few moves and break on everything just to get the turn back, anything more would have slowed things down even more than letting the breaks hit. Though in that respect my timezone may have been a bonus there? whereas it is a pain to arrange online games, I can be looking at my move in PBEM whilst the other guy is in bed and vice versa.
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1880

PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back to your OP. A service to moderate games might be interesting. It might tempt me, though I'm not sure, I found PBEM to disruptive to life. I prefer to set aside a chunk of spare time for a full game, rather than have to keep finding time to work through PBEM orders every day or 2 after work. A much slower turnaround just wouldn't interest me.

That though is nothing to do with your proposal, but just PBEM in general.
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Mike
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Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1556
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never played PBEM before. I tired pretty quickly of even playing Diplomacy by email, so I am am sure that I would not be interested in committing so much time to something like that.
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Andromedan
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 226

PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike,
The idea of the service and alternative PBEM rules is to help people how want to play PBEM. I understand that you are not interest in participating in a PBEM because of how long it would take.

The "Alternative PBEM" was not meant to draw people in that would not normal want to Play-By-Email, but it is for people that already play but are either:

1) Having a problem finding a moderator
2) Want to a way to speed up PBEM.
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DNordeen
Commander


Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 531

PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I can tell, it's not finding a moderator, but finding players. There aren't enough players interested.

I've offered to moderate games, but always get crickets.
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storeylf
Fleet Captain


Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1880

PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe a central point like a PBEM service to find players would help?

Though I suspect you are right, as a player I found PBEM far too much work, especially once you went beyond a single ship. On the one hand it is exciting waiting for the latest report, on the other hand it is a real bind at times when you need to get orders done but are busy with other life stuff.

It must be just as hard on the moderator, and such an automated service might be useful as it at least takes out one human factor.

PBEM interests me, part of me wants to get involved, the other part tells me it will not work out well.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4468
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Lee.
After moderating a couple dozen games, the one on ones were fairly easy, if time consuming.

Add in more ships and they just got to be a drain on time.
Once ranges dropped, almost every movement triggered a break condition for somebody, somewhere.

Once the games hit four or so ships a side, it became a chore to deal with all of the break points... that's where the ESCALATION! games broke down.
Once one game got to four v four - I couldn't squeeze enough free time into my day to keep them going at more than a snails pace.
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Andromedan
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 226

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the thing about the Alternative way of running PBEM. It duplicates a very successful PBEM format called SFB FOG. Each turn is broken up into 4 impulse Foglets. Each team/player defines his movement based on 4 impulses (or 1 impulse in Fed Com terms) and then things are blindly moved. The only thing that does not require a movement plot are seeking weapons. Everything else (i.e. all impulse activity including defensive fire) is defined via conditionals.

Given that I thought this Alternative way would simplify things, even without the PBEM service.

BTW, I think this is more realistic when it comes to the ability to react to moves be other ships. I don't think a ship/captain could realistically react as fast as a single sub pulse.
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DNordeen
Commander


Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 531

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you just described is the alternate "squadron rules" for FC PBEM.
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