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Taking the plunge

 
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Requete
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 15 Jul 2008
Posts: 77
Location: Leander, TX

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:16 am    Post subject: Taking the plunge Reply with quote

I used to play FedCom fairly regularly, and I've dabbled in Starmada and ACTA. But a friend's enthusiasm has convinced me to "go for it", and I'm trying to learn SFB. So far I am just going through the Cadet manual, mucking about. My friend is about to move fairly close to where I live, so soon we'll be trying some live games.

In addition to the Cadet PDF I have the Captain's Basic Set, the Advanced Missions box, and the version of the tactics manual that shows a guy shouting about a scatter pack. I will never know how anyone could say "Launch the Wild Weasel!" with a straight face.

Any special advice for new recruits? A book or supplement I should especially consult, or gnomic precepts to meditate upon in my quest for enlightenment and good fortune in the photon lottery?
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Bolo_MK_XL
Captain


Joined: 16 Jan 2007
Posts: 836
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Though most things operate nearly the same in SFB as FC, movement tables and firing opportunities make for different tactics in most situation.
In your spare time, Read, ReaD, READ until you get headaches.
Plenty of stuff you will read because of the ships, weapons etc you want to use, once you digest that, read everything else. It all interacts, so to best use what you have, know how what you are shooting at/being shot by operates.
Tactics manuals give a good idea about how things go, but beware, your opponents know that also. They will change up, ignore things you are taught / learned is the best way.
Playing a friend all the time, will get you to a point, where you are capable of using most tactics, but can lead you into a rut where you stop learning.
If you think something will work better, try it, even if it doesn't, you will have an idea why it didn't.

Good Luck and Have Fun
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CarlZog
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 01 Jun 2012
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't played a lot of FedCom, but I think the huge shift between the two is in planning and resource allocation.

A whole lot can happen in 32 individual impulses, and it can be excruciating to have to decide how to allocate energy at the beginning of each turn.

Considering how you're going to handle possible contingencies becomes a critical part of your plan for each turn, because your ability to react on the fly is so much more restricted.

Timing becomes a huge element in this. And you'll see that reflected in most tactics articles. Knowing which impulses you move that your opponent doesn't and vice versa, becomes a fundamental part of making decisions on when to fire, launch, etc.
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Steve Cole
Site Admin


Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 3826

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might look at ACTA because it doesn't have any energy allocation and has only one decision cycle per turn.
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Requete
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 15 Jul 2008
Posts: 77
Location: Leander, TX

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the advice. I'm looking forward to getting into SFB.

I have tried ACTA, but it's not really what I want. For me it's not much different than other light miniatures games out there. Not to say it's bad, of course.

The very things that put some people off of SFB are beginning to attract me: the minutiae, the immense detail, the subtle interactions that can have all kind of unforeseen tactical effects. I have so many fast-playing games. I don't expect to be good at it (though I didn't expect to be good at Advanced Squad Leader but I really took to that) but I think the complexity and discursive pace will be rather charming, at least with my favored opponent (he always wins naval games, I always win on the ground).

I am enjoying the approach of the Cadet pdf. It breaks things down into bite-sized chunks. No trouble so far.
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"In Klingon Empire, drone launches you!"

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Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy:
http://www.catholicity.com/prayer/divinemercy.html
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Steve Cole
Site Admin


Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 3826

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All kinds of people play all kinds of games.
People change, and so do games.
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CarlZog
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 01 Jun 2012
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Requete wrote:
The very things that put some people off of SFB are beginning to attract me: the minutiae, the immense detail, the subtle interactions that can have all kind of unforeseen tactical effects....


Yeah, you're going to love SFB! No game, including ASL, makes me think so hard about every single decision.

And then there's the fact that this level of decision-making and detail is applied across an immersive universe with thousands of functional ship designs and hundreds of narrative-driven scenarios that are all assembled into a cohesive political/military history spanning 150 years of galactic conflict....

I've only been playing SFB for a few years, but I can't imagine ever running out of campaign material and new challenges with this game.
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