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Fleet Rules

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Beta Version 1 8/1/97

by Richard Everingham (White Fang) with suggestions from the PBEM Staff.

These rules are intended to provide a feasible alternative to the normal play-by-E-mail (PBEM) rules (PBx) in a fleet action. These rules are also intended to simulate what a fleet would experience if every ship in the fleet was manned by a separate captain.

These rules are NOT a replacement of the PBEM system but rather an addition. Where these rules override a rule listed in the PBEM rules, the rule number will be given with an 'F'. For example, a rule modifying rule PB1.1 would be listed as PBF1.1. If a PB rule is not overridden within these rules, the PB rule will be used.

PBF1.1: All Basic, Advanced, and Commander's level rules from the Captain's Basic & Captain's Advanced Missions Rulebooks will be used in the Fleet Action. Electronic Warfare will use COMMANDER'S EW rules(D6.3).

PBF2.0: Read and understand THESE rules AND the standard PBEM rules.

PBF3.1: Players will be organized into a chain of command. Within a full fleet of 11 ships there ill be the following ranks. Ranks will be determined first by PBEM experience and then by SFB experience in general.

1 Fleet Admiral (Accountable for all ships in fleet, plus fleet flagship)
3 Admirals (Accountable for a 3-ship squadron, their own ship and 2 others led by Captains)
6 Captains (Accountable for ONLY his/her ship)
1 Scout Captain (Accountable for ONLY his/her ship)

PBF3.11: Fleet Admiral: The Fleet Admiral(FAd.)is in charge of the entire fleet (EXCEPTION: Scout(PBF3.14)). The FAd is responsible for the following:

  • Break Conditions for the fleet.
  • Providing instructions on movement and activity to the Admirals.
  • Giving suggested orders to Admirals (i.e. concentrate fire on that C8V!!)
  • The Flagship of the fleet.

PBF3.12: Admiral: The Admiral(Ad) is the intermediary between the FAd and the Captains. The Admiral is responsible for the following:

  • His/Her Ship.
  • Taking over for the FAd should he fail or be destroyed. Also able to try and coordinate ships under him as long as it doesn't break the FAd's battle plan.
  • Taking movement plot and other instructions given by the FAd and passing it (or a version of it) to the Captains under him/her.
  • Carrying out FAd's orders.

PBF3.13: Captain: The captain is only responsible for his/her ship. The Captain should try their best to carry out the Admiral' requested orders but are NOT required to, and should be given freedom to carry out such orders as they see fit.

PBF3.14: Scout Captain: The Scout Captain(SC) is ONLY responsible for his/her ship, the SC is an independent element in the fleet and is not required to listen to anyone including the FAd. The Scout Captains are to use their Scout Functions (G24) and other Scout abilities as they see fit to aid the fleet.

PBF3.2 TURN SEQUENCE: The following is a guideline of the fleet turn sequence which is used in fleet game rather than their normal turn sequence.

(PB3.21) SEQUENCE OF PLAY:

  1. FAd of each fleet sends suggested speed plot to Admirals who in turn pass it onto Captains under them.
  2. All players send EAF's to the Moderator. All players also send in first turn startup info (commanders options, in-flight drones, deployed fighters, etc.)
  3. Moderator posts initial speeds of all ships, plus information that the opponents can see.
  4. All players send in SOP's to the Moderator.
  5. FAd's send in first turn Fleet Break conditions.
  6. Moderator processes all orders on SOP's. When the fleet break condition is meet Moderator posts first Situation Report, setting 24 hour period for re-bid.
  7. All ships wishing to re-bid send in revised SOP's.
  8. Moderator replaces old SOP's with new ones and processes the next impulse. After the Fleet Break condition is meet battle will run in 1-impulse format (PBF3.21).
  9. Steps 6 and 7 are repeated until the turn ends.
  10. End of turn procedures are carried out.
  11. An end-of-turn SITREP is mailed to the players, and to the Staff for posting to the appropriate mailing list.
  12. It then begins again at step 1 for each subsequent turn. After the first turn, step 5 is no longer included.

(PBF3.21) ONE-IMPULSE FORMAT: The one impulse format is run as follows. After the first turn fleet break condition is met, the first SITREP is posted. All players have 24 hours to make revisions to their SOPs and send them to the moderator. Players are not required to send an SOP each time: if nothing happened that impulse that affects you, then you can do nothing and your previous SOP is used. After the 24 hour period the Moderator processes the next impulse, and the process is repeated. The Moderator will process 1 impulse per day (at the same time each day, to facilitate timing your responses). At the end of the turn, the players will be given 5 days to send in new EAF's, 2 days to send in initial SOP's (after speeds for new turn are posted) and the process repeats. NOTE: The first turn fleet break condition is used ONLY in the first turn.

PBF5.0 STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE(SOP's): The turn will still be split up into halves. All SOPs should be complete to the end of the current half. If John Doe wanted to rebid on impulse 10 he would send in his revised SOP for impulses 11-16. A bid of impulse's 11-13 for instance would NOT be accepted. This is to make sure that play can always proceed even if a player is delinquent. At the mid-turn break, all players will be given 3 days to send in second half SOP's.

PBF5.36 BREAK CONDITIONS: Break Conditions are NOT USED, with the exception of the FAd's first turn fleet break condition. This is because once the first turn fleet break condition has been met, the game goes to the 1-impulse format and everyone gets a 24-hour break every impulse.

PBF5.37 AUTOMATIC BREAKS: Automatic Breaks will NOT BE USED. This again is because of the 1-impulse format.

PBF5.4 CONDITIONAL ORDERS: Conditional order ARE USED!! (In fact, they are strongly encouraged!) These are your only form of backup. If your ship is hit with damage and you have not listed in conditional orders how you want reinforcement handled, it won't be applied! Game play will NOT be stopped to find out how you want to handle damage. With the one-impulse format, it is important that you have conditional orders to cover as many possible circumstances as you can. You get a re-bid after each impulse, but it is important to be able to predict action for at least a single impulse ahead.

PBF14.0 Instructions to the Fleet Admiral: The Fleet Admiral (FAd) is in charge of the fleet. The Ad is responsible for making sure the ships under him know what his plan is. It is up to the other players to carry out that plan as they see fit, however the FAd must try and lead them, that's why he is there. We encourage the FAd to keep in CLOSE contact with his fellow team mates. The FAd should suggest to the Admirals combat strategies if he wishes to delegate authority. For example:

FAd-Ad: "I need you to swing your squadron around our scout's flank and take out the PF's that are moving on it's position."

A squadron is the Admiral's ship and the two Captains' ships under him/her. In this manner of thinking as the FAd you have 3 squadrons plus yourself and a scout. Note that when you assign an Admiral to a task like the above example it is suggested that you let him/her get it done the best way THEY think it should be done. Let the Admiral's lead the Captains. In this way as the FAd you need only communicate with the Admirals and let them communicate with the captains. It is suggested you follow this format whenever possible to avoid a captain receiving orders from both you and their Admiral.

As the FAd you are also responsible for the first turn break conditions. Remember that once the break condition is triggered the game will go to a 1-impulse format. It is not suggested that you use typical duel breaks like "BREAK if enemy fleet turns" or "BREAK if enemy launches drones". Neither of these would be appropriate. Breaks line "enemy ships at range X" or "6+ drones at range 10" would be appropriate.

Remember those under you are looking to you for guidance so lead them to victory! However, no one is required to follow your orders, so don't get too big about yourself. No one likes to be under a pushy boss. Explain the overall plan, plot strategies, coordinate activity. But don't try to micro-manage every ship's movement. That's no fun for the other players. Treat your fleet with respect and let them fly their own ships.

PBF15.0 Instructions to the Admirals: You are the middle men. The FAd will give you orders such as "Take your squadron and swing left of our course to cut off incoming drones." You will be expected to carry out these orders and lead the captains under you. Unlike the Fad, you should give somewhat more detailed instructions to the Captains, such as "Captain Smith, you move ahead and take out the first wave of drones, then turn off. Captain Jones, you take the second wave. I'll follow to take the third wave and anything you can't get to." You should keep the captains under you informed at all times so they know what is going on and can make sure they are prepared. The captains should follow you , however keep in mind they are people too, and may not feel that charging the SSCS is a great idea. Understand that you will probably, at some point, have to order some Captain to an almost certain death, and he will not want to go. Be the kind of leader that will make a dying Captain feel like the most glorious man in the Universe.

PBF16.0 Captains: Follow the lead of the Admiral above you. He will give you general instructions, but it will be up to you to determine how you will carry them out. You are still responsible for your ship. While you are not REQUIRED to follow suicide orders or orders you feel will put your ship at an unnecessary risk, keep in mind the FAd has a battle plan, and if you choose not to follow it you may put the entire fleet at risk. If you are ordered into what seems like a no-win situation, it is up to you to use your cunning to find a way to survive and succeed.

PBF17.0 Instructions to the Scout Captain: As the Scout Captain, you are basically an independent unit attached to the fleet. You do need to coordinate your actions with the rest of the fleet, but you are free to do as you will. You can loan EW, break lock-ons, and attract seeking weapons as you wish. But it would be good if the rest of the fleet knew what you were up to, so they don't put a lot of effort into duplicating your own. If you are the captain of the scout, just make sure the fleet stays alive, you won't get orders.

PBF18.0 Final Note: The idea of PBF is to simulate what flying in a military fleet in combat would be like. And Rule One of war is that everybody does not come home. Do not get whiny or say that you were unfairly ordered to your death. In the end, even if you did not survive, if you followed orders well and did your job well, you will get rewarded for it more than if you stayed alive but only at the cost of those around you. Everyone wants to be the only person standing at the end, however in a fleet engagement, remember that not everyone has to come home for it to be a victory!!

Copyright 2003 Armarillo Design Bureau, All Rights Reserved Updated 15 November 2006