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Did you buy RA attack?
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storeylf
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 1881

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More or less the point I was trying to make, maybe not so well. Too many ships of minor difference, unless you are playing every week how many players really need that many ships. Even of you do play every week do you need that many - just more of the same. Even though I've bought everything so far I'm running out of interest in just more ships, even more so if it just 2 hull and 1 phasers different from something else.
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The Ghost
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Joined: 18 Oct 2008
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO

PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be interested in seeing Gunboats (Attack) and X Ships (Attack) added to the system. I think they might add enough new material to generate player interest in purchasing them.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the way to go from this point is something new, such as carriers (borders of madness) or X-ships or new empires (Paravians and Carnivons).

BTW, we're starting to put the FC individual ship cards on the cart for $1.95 each. You won't be able to buy the B-series (bonus ship) cards outside of the boosters, at least not anytime soon. You obviously cannot buy the C, E, L, Omega, and other ship cards that were never printed as laminated cards (although if we figure out way to do our own mini-kickstarter we might do them as special print runs after we see proof that individual cards sell).
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DNordeen
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's cool.

I still have a list of things to buy, but it'd be nice to buy replacements for my old style cards.
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Monty
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Joined: 23 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I imagine C6 will sell well. Like X tech there will be new systems and a new variety of ships that will field them.

Nobody asked me, but what do I think would sell well?

Empire specific weapon packs would be interesting. Single (BPV+) cards that add new firing modes to individual weapons with the rules printed on the cards. (proxies, enveloping, narrow salvos, X1 tech) It would be a different take on the booster pack and it would be an interesting way to fill gaps. The more you buy the more you can use...

Unique or legendary ship cards with special rules printed on them.

SFC specific ships that have rear firing heavies.

An empire of damn dirty apes...
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really, really want gunboats. Yes, I know fighters came historically came first, but gunboats will help the game significantly more than fighters, so gunboats should be added first.

And while I do admit I do not like them at all, I am sure X-ships would sell well.
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djdood
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interestingly (and I know this insn't a poll) but I couldn't give a flying frap about the X-ships. I think they're just game-breaking Munchkinism.

Personally, I'd most look forward to gunboats. I think they'd be the best fit at the scale of FedCom.

Fighters would be nice, but all those drones... all those drones... yech. I know there's test rules to mitigate them. Gunboats would be so much cleaner though.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From a personal standpoint - I want gunboats.
They will work best with the play style favored by our group.

But from a pure marketing standpoint - I think X-ships would be a better seller.
so if getting X-ships first generates revenue and interest to get me gunboats on down the line, I'm good with that.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think fighters, x-ships, gunboats are all just selling to a subset of existing FC players, and maybe not a large subset. Hard to know, but I wouldn't have thought any would be that good commercially, it will probably end up like RA, a small number of forum users say they would like them, but how many players who don't regularly use the forum are that into FC that they will rush out and get it?

Of the 3 things I would have thought that X-ships would be the worst. It's just more ships that are more powerful. At least fighters and to a lesser extent gunboats add some extra dimension to the game. Then again if Battleships was a big seller then maybe munchkinism sells well even when it adds little to the game.

If you want to widen the player base then I do think you need to move to the next level so to speak - i.e. up the scale to operational/campaign style play. Something that might attract further attention because it isn't directly FC. Something that appeals to a different type of player than pure ship combat. But with the specific goal of being able to use FC as the method of battle resolution, not as a must but as a designed possibility. Two products that can sell into each other.
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Bill Stec
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good observations, Storyelf.

It seems to me that you can already use F&E as a strategic rule set, and use FedCom to resolve small battles. I don't know how many players do things that way, but you can.

In theory a greatly simplified strategic game that allows you to run battles via FedCom (or ACTA:SF if the game survives long enough) is a nice idea. But isn't there the possibility of said new system cutting into the sales of F&E? Or might it bring in more players who don't like the complexity of F&E? Maybe Steve Cole can answer that better than we can. Smile
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given the success of Battleships in both SFB and FC, doing X-ships would seem to be a no-brainer. I can't see how it would fail. It has two huge draws: They are the "standard ships" people want to see (Fed CA, D7, etc) and they are big and powerful. For whatever reason, those two seem to be huge, huge draws. To me, they make more sense than just about any other option available to FC at the current time. (That all said, I don't know how well the X1 module for SFB sells. Maybe the people who love battleships just love them because of their size, not their direct power. In that case, perhaps X-ships can't ride on the coattails of Battleships.)

But, again, the thing I want to see next is gunboats. I want gunboats themselves in the base game, with tenders, leaders, and scouts all tossed into Borders of Madness. Basically, I just want what are called "casual gunboats" added to basic Federation Commander. (But without mech links. Gunboats are just there; how they get there is irrelevant.)

The first big draw for me are that they are small, cheap, and effective. They can be used to fill points gaps in fleets and as balancing units in scenarios with more than 2 ships a side. They add that "cheap but effective" niche into the ship selection that just simply doesn't currently exist, but is desperately needed.

The next big draw is that they are a link to the RPG system. It gives a fully player controllable ship into FC that also easily exists in the RPG systems. It is a very powerful link to the rest of the SFU.

The third big draw is that, assuming the "casual gunboat" approach is used, is that there is zero overhead. To use gunboats, you just add them to the fleet. They use the same weapons in the same way. They will have some special rules for their operations, but the actual combat use of them is fully based on the existing rules. They are purely additive and non-disruptive.

The problem I have with adding fighters is that they are none of those things. They solve none of those problems and, in fact, end up drastically complicating the game.

You cannot just add a fighter to a game. Instead you must add a full flotilla, a carrier, and at least one escort. In effect, the cost of adding the smallest number of fighters (six) to a came comes at the cost of its frigate carrier and frigate escort. And, when fighters are added to the game, that likely won't even be an option because frigate carriers suck. Instead, the only options will likely be carriers based on heavy cruisers and maybe carriers based on war cruisers. Let's assume a CWV. That means to add a single fighter to the fleet, you need a CWV, a CWE, and a DWE. That's three entire ships dedicated to fighters just to add a single fighter to a fleet. And, depending on how the rules are written, you will need to take at least eight fighters, too. For that cost you can probably just take a DNH or possibly even a BB and just call it even.

So, rather than being able to add in a fighter to help balance a fleet, the presence of any fighters means that they become the center piece of the fleet.

They are also not seamless like gunboats are, either. We still don't know how to handle their seeking weapons. If we handle them using the existing rules, then those 8-12 fighters will overload the board with seeking weapons. If we don't use the existing rules, then they become a point of difference and add more rules into the game. Also, 8-12 fighters is a lot of units. If we do flights, then that is even more rules, plus some additional rules to explain how to use Hydran fighters one way or the other. (Or, are "casual" Hydran fighters individual units, but carrier Hydran fighters have to use flights?)

In summary, adding casual gunboats to the game solves problems that currently exist in the game, and add a cool new dimension to the game. Fighters add a cool new dimension to the game, but solve no existing problem. Instead, fighters simply add brand new problems to the game.
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mdauben
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Joined: 15 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

djdood wrote:
Interestingly (and I know this insn't a poll) but I couldn't give a flying frap about the X-ships. I think they're just game-breaking Munchkinism.

I might not go that far, but I admit X-Ships are way down on my own interest list. I just never got the "Faster! Stronger! Better!" obsession of many gamers. I think (just IMO) they would add much less to the game than fighters or gunboats. Wink

djdood wrote:
Fighters would be nice, but all those drones... all those drones... yech. I know there's test rules to mitigate them. Gunboats would be so much cleaner though.

I have to agree with djdood. While I love the concept of fighters in FC, I remember how three or four carriers, dozens of fighters and hundreds of drones would cause our attempts at fleet level SFB games to drag out, sometimes for days. I think if they were brought into FC they would need a radically simpler mechanic than in SFB to be playable. What that mechanic is, I'm not sure. Confused
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semperatis
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cuncur on the subject of gunboats. After the fun I've had using AC's,the chance to use heavy shielded versions,which are far more maneuverable too,really appeals to me. OK,so the Feds will be stuck with just AC's,but so what,they're great little ships,which already give you a flavour of what the real gunboats will be like. Very Happy
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djdood
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have enough trouble helping new people understand the difference between a frigate and a dreadnought as classes, without having to explain that *this* cruiser is w-a-a-a-y more powerful than that cruiser.

Considering I've gone over 25 years without buying X-ships for SFB, I'd assume that would hold true for FedCom.
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In terms of how the various new options might work in the game system, is it better to expand forward (or backwards) in time, or to spread out laterally into new options and empires?


As well as first-generation X-ships, there is the further option of what might be possible should SFB get around to establishing what the X2 era will look like in the Alpha Octant. (Plus, since it seems that the Xorkaelian Empire will have to wait until after Module X2 is published before they can be done, the onset of second-generation X-ships in either game engine might make it that much more feasible for the Xorks to make a jump across to FC.)

But there is still the potential of going back, and making more of the W- and Y-era in FC. Or does the Early Years not work well enough in this game engine to warrant further development of those earlier eras of tactical warp combat?


On the other hand, expanding "across" to new empires like the ones in C6 (or to things like fighters and gunboats) may make it easier to work with the current crop of published Ship Cards.

Indeed, even if the Xorkaelians were done for SFB after Module X2 was published, they wouldn't necessarily have to wait for second-generation X-tech to be done for FC before they could be considered here. So long as some TL 12 ship classes were done up as SSDs, they could then be used as templates for Main Era Xork Ship Cards.

And while finding room on the production schedule may be a challenge, one nice aspect of the various non-Alpha settings is that they fit the lateral aspect of this expansion quite well.

While Omega would so with some more speed-30 cruisers to succeed the "middle years-eque" ships they mostly have available at the moment, any SFB modules which help address this issue would certainly benefit the FC Omega project also. (The current crop of playtest ships would perhaps compare most directly to the Alpha units seen in FC: Briefing #2.)

In the case of the Lesser Magellanic Cloud, the three major LMC factions already have a series of refitted hulls and/or "war" classes to work with, so could hit the ground running post-conversion (or so I hope).

Plus there is the work which Francois Angers is putting into the Triangulum Galaxy, where a series of refits allows one to tailor each batch of fleets as required for these purposes. (And some of the M33 empires have really interesting dynamics in SFB that I think would make for a set of very distinct play styles if viewed through the prism of FC.)

Indeed, any of the "new toys" options for Alpha could then help lay the groundwork for similar options in these settings, too. For example, if we are to get rules covering "hot warp" PFs for Alpha empires, I could then see how to re-work them in order to handle the "volatile warp" engines on Omega gunboats (which themselves offer a greater degree of variety in terms of size and capability than seen in Alpha).


Oh, and speaking of gunboats, it is worth noting that the Federation is noted to turn to building their own PFs (out of desperation) in the course of the "dark future" timeline encountered by the Darwin, as noted in SFB Module C3A. So offering their boats here might actually allow for some "alt-historical" battles to be fought... if the Andros are allowed to get their Dissection Beam mothership variants (and Devastator and Devourer battleships) to match.
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