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Tell me about the other Empires

 
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FockeWulfe
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:20 am    Post subject: Tell me about the other Empires Reply with quote

I hope that's the proper word {Empire} since I felt Faction really would mean Coalition and Alliance.

Onto the actual purpose of the thread. I currently posses Klingon Border, Distant Kingdoms and Klingon attack and this gives me a nice selection of Federation ships [Which I admit I care little for] and a very well rounded out selection of ships from the Four Powers. At least I Feel it's rounded out.

Having said that, I also have a pair of lonely Tholian ships sitting in my counter box and stack of ship cards that I probably won't use unless I get more Tholian Ships to use them alongside. I'm guessing that the exact product I would need for that purpose would be Tholian Attack and what ever booster it is that slips my mind for the Tholian CA. What can you tell me about the Tholians as far as base tactics and strategies goes? I'm assuming Neo-Tholians and [regular?] Tholians have different playstyles since the Neo's are the original military vessels.

I also have developed an interest in the Gorns [how does some one NOT fall in love with the current SL2500 Gorn ships?] but have found woefully little about any encouraged playstyle with them. I must admit my unfamiliarity with the Plasma Empires as a whole as well. This curiosity also blends over to the ISC, mostly because I find what I read about them in the GURPS PD book absolutely fascinating. In addition to a base overview of their playstyle, is there any other sources for information about the ISC as a whole?

Thanks in advance.
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To clarify, are you thinking of sticking with the Alpha Octant, or is the prospect of delving into more distant frontiers (such as Omega) an option for you?


In Alpha, there are more ships for the Four Powers in Hydran Attack, if you wanted to expand more on that side of the region.


Tholian Attack comes with more ships for the Tholian Holdfast, as well as a range of Neo-Tholians (the hulls which the Tholian navy used back in the M81 Galaxy, a handful of which managed to make it to the Holdfast during the General War). It also comes with ships for the Seltorians, an insectoid species which used to act as the Tholians' enforcers, until they figured out a way to break webs (and the Tholian Will's hold over M81). The primary engine of destruction the Seltorians used in the Revolt is in Battleships Attack.

One thing that might be worth noting is that the Neos and Seltorians have rules governing their use out on the home galaxy. (For example, a Neo-Tholian ship uses disruptors in the Milky Way, and particle cannons in the home galaxy. Also, home galaxy Tholians and Seltorians cannot use suicide shuttles.)

And if you have a further interest in M81, Captain's Log #40 comes with the OGD and OGR; two Old Galaxy Pirate hulls which were used by various pirate bands opposed to the Will. (CL41 comes with an article describing where the old galaxy pirate hull types originally came from, and how they were used by those bands in a position to operate them.)


As for the plasma empires, choosing one may depend on whether you want to use a cloak (as a Romulan), have access to the direct-fire Plasmatic Pulsar Device (as the ISC), or make do with seeking plasma with no additional gimmicks (as the Gorns).

The Concordium are renowned historically for the Echelon formation, in which they use a gun line of smaller hulls (frigates and destroyers) and one or two lines of larger ships behind them. The idea being that the PPDs (with their effectiveness at long range) would be fired by the ships further back in the Echelon, with the gun line acting as a plasma-armed deterrent (or as a flying shield to soak up enemy fire) between the PPD-armed hulls and the enemy fleet.

Notably, the PPD itself is quite different in SFB than it is here in FC. In SFB, the weapon fires over successive impulses, and can be used to sand down an enemy ship's offensive capabilities once their shields are breached. In FC, since all of the PPD's firing pulses are combined into a single volley, the weapon acts as more of a sledgehmanner than a scalpel.

For the Romulans, the difference between the three generations of hull type is worth considering. The Eagles give you the most plasma for your points, and the cheapest cloaking costs, but are the least agile. The Klingon-hull Kestrels are the most agile class by class, but have the most expensive cloaking costs. The Hawks sit somewhere between the two prior options, and have benefits in campaign play that may not present themselves so clearly on a tactical level.

The Gorns have one trick which the Romulans and ISC lack: the plasma carronade, which was designed to help them go cloak-hunting at close range. (Federation ships equipped with plasma torpedoes also get this ability, since they are using Gorn-supplied launchers.)


I should also note that if you are looking into the ISC, their FC module, War and Peace, comes with two other factions.

One, the Vudar, as a subject species of the Klingon Empire, but one allowed their own ships due to their tolerance of the high radiation levels found in their home region of space. Their ships use the unique ion cannon and ion pulse generator, and become more than a nuisance for the Hydrans by the end of the General War.

The others are the Andromedans, and they need a whole new line of thinking to be flown effectively. These extra-galactic invaders use power-absorber panels instead of shields, come with tractor-repulsor beams as their primary heavy weapons, have displacement devices allowing them to hop across the map (or to shunt an enemy ship into the molten core of a planet!), use Motherships that carry clutches of Satellite Ships into battle, and act as the catalyst for a fresh wave of exploration into new frontiers beyond the Alpha Octant.


And speaking of beyond Alpha...

In SFB, there are a number of alternate settings to jump into. The Omega Octant and the Lesser Magellanic Cloud have formally-published modules in print, while the Triangulum Galaxy has a playtest module available for that game system.

For FC, five of the 21 currently-published Omega Octant empires have provisional rules in the Omega Playtest Rolebook on e23. (Disclaimer: I wrote the rules portion of that file, so I don't want to sound like I'm promoting it for that reason alone.) I'm hoping that Omega will move forward into formal publication at some point, and that the likes of the LMC can follow it when the time is ripe.


All told, there are a lot of new empires and options to consider, and even more over in SFB which await their grand entrances in FC. If you are looking for new frontiers to explore, you'll be spoiled for choice.



Oh, and as for the Inter-Stellar Concordium, there is a look at its formative years in SFB Modules Y2 and Y3. Those volumes show the five pre-ISC planetary factions as they stood prior to the formation of the Concordium, as well as the first generation of "two-prong" hulls used by the unified ISC Navy before the modern "three-prong" ships entered service.

And once SFB Module C6 comes out (hopefully) in the near-to-mid future, there may be an alternate reality in which the Gorns and ISC have a chicken-related problem, and where a fifth power is set to stir the pot over in the other side of an alternate Alpha Octant.
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djdood
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gorns can be a lot of fun. All the plasma-chucking of the Romulans, without any of the fussiness of cloaking.

Plasma hits HARD, but takes planning to time correctly, due to weakening with range and a l-o-n-g and somewhat energy intensive loading sequence.

A favored Gorn tactic is the "Gorn Anchor". The basics of this are where a Gorn with loaded plasmas closes to short-range, tractors the opponent to keep them at that close range, and then hammers them with full-strength plasmas that didnt have to run-out first.

The enabler for Gorn ships that make this a favorite is their toughness. They have solid shields, considerable amounts of (often) all three hull types, and usually an array of plasma torpedoes (with smaller ones to pad the big boys). Personally, I think they are second only to the Hydrans for ability to take the other-guy's best-shot and still have enough left to give more than they took.

Gorns also usually have the power to load their torpedoes while maintaining at least a somewhat moderate speed, but the key is that once those big torpedoes are ready, they have power available for a significant increase in speed and for tractors. That is what will give them the ability to close in tight, tractor-anchor the opponent, and hammer them.

As with all tactics, the trick is to time it right and get your opponent to "let" you.

The downside with Gorns is that a wet brick is more maneuverable. They can actually get going pretty fast, once the plasmas are loaded, bit it can be really hard to get pointed the right way. If fired from-range, the plasmas can maneuver for you, but that does let them run-out and weaken. Against a very nimble opponent, you will have to play the long-game.
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FockeWulfe
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Joined: 19 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Giant post requires that I address my answers and curiosities to certain parts

Nerroth wrote:
To clarify, are you thinking of sticking with the Alpha Octant, or is the prospect of delving into more distant frontiers (such as Omega) an option for you?


The Alpha Octant mostly, I have a small interest in the Omerga Octant but seeing as how I mostly plan to stick to Fed Commander and ACTA, anything I can get on Omega would be purely to satiate my own curiosities and hunger for fluff of this amazing universe that ADB has created

Nerroth wrote:
In Alpha, there are more ships for the Four Powers in Hydran Attack, if you wanted to expand more on that side of the region.


This I was already aware of, seeing as how I posses a love of the Hydrans [I've seen reference to them as, and I quote, "No good, methane breathing, trash cans"] and if for no reason other than to get the Fusion Ships for the Hydrans, I will be getting Hydran attack in the future.


Nerroth wrote:
Tholian Attack comes with more ships for the Tholian Holdfast, as well as a range of Neo-Tholians (the hulls which the Tholian navy used back in the M81 Galaxy, a handful of which managed to make it to the Holdfast during the General War). It also comes with ships for the Seltorians, an insectoid species which used to act as the Tholians' enforcers, until they figured out a way to break webs (and the Tholian Will's hold over M81). The primary engine of destruction the Seltorians used in the Revolt is in Battleships Attack.

One thing that might be worth noting is that the Neos and Seltorians have rules governing their use out on the home galaxy. (For example, a Neo-Tholian ship uses disruptors in the Milky Way, and particle cannons in the home galaxy. Also, home galaxy Tholians and Seltorians cannot use suicide shuttles.)

And if you have a further interest in M81, Captain's Log #40 comes with the OGD and OGR; two Old Galaxy Pirate hulls which were used by various pirate bands opposed to the Will. (CL41 comes with an article describing where the old galaxy pirate hull types originally came from, and how they were used by those bands in a position to operate them.)


M81 sounds rather interesting, and now my curiosity is peaked.

Nerroth wrote:
As for the plasma empires, choosing one may depend on whether you want to use a cloak (as a Romulan), have access to the direct-fire Plasmatic Pulsar Device (as the ISC), or make do with seeking plasma with no additional gimmicks (as the Gorns).

The Concordium are renowned historically for the Echelon formation, in which they use a gun line of smaller hulls (frigates and destroyers) and one or two lines of larger ships behind them. The idea being that the PPDs (with their effectiveness at long range) would be fired by the ships further back in the Echelon, with the gun line acting as a plasma-armed deterrent (or as a flying shield to soak up enemy fire) between the PPD-armed hulls and the enemy fleet.

Notably, the PPD itself is quite different in SFB than it is here in FC. In SFB, the weapon fires over successive impulses, and can be used to sand down an enemy ship's offensive capabilities once their shields are breached. In FC, since all of the PPD's firing pulses are combined into a single volley, the weapon acts as more of a sledgehmanner than a scalpel.


That is rather interesting actually

Nerroth wrote:
For the Romulans, the difference between the three generations of hull type is worth considering. The Eagles give you the most plasma for your points, and the cheapest cloaking costs, but are the least agile. The Klingon-hull Kestrels are the most agile class by class, but have the most expensive cloaking costs. The Hawks sit somewhere between the two prior options, and have benefits in campaign play that may not present themselves so clearly on a tactical level.

The Gorns have one trick which the Romulans and ISC lack: the plasma carronade, which was designed to help them go cloak-hunting at close range. (Federation ships equipped with plasma torpedoes also get this ability, since they are using Gorn-supplied launchers.)


I hadn't much thought about the Romulans too much, I was aware of the fact that they had 3 different series of ships and my ACTA Rom fleet is primarily made of Hawk series because 1 I love the 2500 SparrowHawks and 2 I suffer from the "Latest and Greatest" line of thinking where I assume that the Hawks should be superior to the other two lines of ships. I know this is not a necessary correct line of thought and many defeats have proven to me that this line of thought is dangerous to a new player of any game. I am much more open minded in most games I play now [ACTA and Fed Commander].

Nerroth wrote:
I should also note that if you are looking into the ISC, their FC module, War and Peace, comes with two other factions.

One, the Vudar, as a subject species of the Klingon Empire, but one allowed their own ships due to their tolerance of the high radiation levels found in their home region of space. Their ships use the unique ion cannon and ion pulse generator, and become more than a nuisance for the Hydrans by the end of the General War.

The others are the Andromedans, and they need a whole new line of thinking to be flown effectively. These extra-galactic invaders use power-absorber panels instead of shields, come with tractor-repulsor beams as their primary heavy weapons, have displacement devices allowing them to hop across the map (or to shunt an enemy ship into the molten core of a planet!), use Motherships that carry clutches of Satellite Ships into battle, and act as the catalyst for a fresh wave of exploration into new frontiers beyond the Alpha Octant.


The Vudar have not quite attracted my... admiration? I'm not a huge fan of their ship designs nor the rather creepy picture from the Vudar entry in the GURPS PD book.

The Andro's I have thought as rather neat and cool. The whole "No one knows what or who they are but here's some robots to shoot at you" thing is actually pretty neat.


Nerroth wrote:
And speaking of beyond Alpha...

In SFB, there are a number of alternate settings to jump into. The Omega Octant and the Lesser Magellanic Cloud have formally-published modules in print, while the Triangulum Galaxy has a playtest module available for that game system.

For FC, five of the 21 currently-published Omega Octant empires have provisional rules in the Omega Playtest Rolebook on e23. (Disclaimer: I wrote the rules portion of that file, so I don't want to sound like I'm promoting it for that reason alone.) I'm hoping that Omega will move forward into formal publication at some point, and that the likes of the LMC can follow it when the time is ripe.


All told, there are a lot of new empires and options to consider, and even more over in SFB which await their grand entrances in FC. If you are looking for new frontiers to explore, you'll be spoiled for choice.


I will check out the Omega playtest rules some time, but that is a region of the galaxy that will be untouched by me for some time until they [one day i'm sure] make their way over to Fed Commander.



Nerroth wrote:
Oh, and as for the Inter-Stellar Concordium, there is a look at its formative years in SFB Modules Y2 and Y3. Those volumes show the five pre-ISC planetary factions as they stood prior to the formation of the Concordium, as well as the first generation of "two-prong" hulls used by the unified ISC Navy before the modern "three-prong" ships entered service.


This may sound like a wierd question, is there enough information in the two modules to make the purchases worth it if I never use the SSD's that come with them?

Oh and @ djdood: Thanks for your information, you were quite helpful. I will be getting Romulan Space and Romulan attack for the sake of getting the Gorns and fleshing out more of the "Do-Gooder" ships. And perhaps dabbling in the Romulans even.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, its:
Low-down, Dirty-rotten, Methane-breathing, Trashcan-looking Hydrans!!!

Wink
If you want to be precise.
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djdood
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome, FockeWulfe. Welcome to the board, by the way.

Scoutdad knows all about Hydrans. He's quite fond of them, actually. Razz

Regarding the different Romulan ship series, I would say that on the overall, the General War-era "Hawk" series actually are superior.

They are the wartime designs that "fix" the "flaws" in the pre-war classes. Every empire did this, but most did it with a series of refits to their pre-war ship classes. (e.g. the Fed CA got the CAR, CA+, and CAR+ refits before it reached its final General War era form with the AWR refit to the CAR+).

The Romulans were in the unique position of starting from scratch, in a sense, so the Hawks end up with the best of their pre-war thinking, influenced by the Klingons, but educated by actually fighting modern opponents.

They lack the massive punch of the old "Eagles", but have more flexibility with more (smaller) plasma launchers. They lack the Klingon-inherited maneuverability and firing arcs of the "Kestrals", but don't have those ships issues with compatibility with plasma tactics and cloaking costs.

All three eras have their strong points. Romulans actually get to have a lot of fun by having such a huge array of ships to choose from, in pickup games. You can go tailored to one era, or mix them up to allow flexible tactics.
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FockeWulfe wrote:
The Alpha Octant mostly, I have a small interest in the Omerga Octant but seeing as how I mostly plan to stick to Fed Commander and ACTA, anything I can get on Omega would be purely to satiate my own curiosities and hunger for fluff of this amazing universe that ADB has created


Fair enough. (If you are over on the Mongoose forums, there is an Omega discussion thread over there for ACtA:SF; but presumably any ideas in there would have to be revisited once the core ruleset updates get settled between Mongoose and ADB.)

Quote:
M81 sounds rather interesting, and now my curiosity is peaked.


One thing I'm looking forward to seeing come to fruition once Traveller: Prime Directive is up and running is for Loren Knight's work on the Tholians for PD to be formally published. As well as covering the Holdfast Tholians (and the Tholians of Draco), he has been crafting the entire space-faring history of the Tholians back in the old galaxy, and going into more detail on the various enemies they fought on their way up, as well as the prior "enforcer species" the Will employed prior to the Seltorians.

In the meantime, the recently-uploaded Away Team Log has a selection of preview articles for the Tholians, which should help give a sense of what awaits them when their time comes to get their faction sourcebook ready to go.

Quote:
The Vudar have not quite attracted my... admiration? I'm not a huge fan of their ship designs nor the rather creepy picture from the Vudar entry in the GURPS PD book.

The Andro's I have thought as rather neat and cool. The whole "No one knows what or who they are but here's some robots to shoot at you" thing is actually pretty neat.


I'm not sure how much of a following the Vudar have, but the Andromedans are definitely worth investigating.

(One handy thing about the Andros is how they can bring various settings together, given that their invasion of the Milky Way group brought them to the LMC and Omega as well as Alpha.)

Quote:
I will check out the Omega playtest rules some time, but that is a region of the galaxy that will be untouched by me for some time until they [one day i'm sure] make their way over to Fed Commander.


If you want to stick with formally-published rules and Ship Cards, that's perfectly understandable.

Here's hoping it won't be too long before Omega gets its grand opportunity...

Quote:
This may sound like a wierd question, is there enough information in the two modules to make the purchases worth it if I never use the SSD's that come with them?


For what it's worth, there are provisional rules in Captain's Log #39 and CL39 Supplemental which look at the ships and weapons of the Early Years. In principle, you could use some of the W- and Y-series SSDs with these rules (and the right guidelines; such as treating Move Cost 2/3 ships as MC 3/4) in FC.

But, again, if you prefer to use formally-published rules and Ship Cards, it might be worth waiting to see if/when the Early Years gets a formal look-in.

Personally, I think that all three Y-modules are worth the price of admission for reference/background purposes alone. But if you don't see the game side of things as worth it if you won't have any use for it on the tabletop, there's no harm in waiting to see if another avenue appears for the early Concordium to be explored at some later point.
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