ACTA B5 versus new versions (Noble, star-fleet)

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ACTA B5 versus new versions (Noble, star-fleet)

Postby Anbar » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:24 pm

what are the core differences between B5 ACTA and the new versions (Noble and star fleet?)?

not looking for a comprehensive review, more of a check0list of differences such as there being shields prevelant, transporters instead of boarding pods, that sort of thing along with if there are any significant change in weapons balances i.e. in B5 ACTA the beam is 'the dominant weapon' by a fairly long margin, are there similarities in the other ACTAs or have they more evenly matched weapons types? (I wont say 'balanced' as the beams in B5 ACTA suit the 'verse imo, so they are balanced, but they are also dominant).

I'm not sure if star-fleet will suit me as i am not a big star-trek fan, but proxy-ing out the ships and using the rules might work fine if the game dynamics are interesting. No idea at all about noble armada so, again, a sort of checklist of core differences would be appreciated.
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Re: ACTA B5 versus new versions (Noble, star-fleet)

Postby Da Boss » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:10 pm

Interesting quesition :)

IMO

The three share some of the same mechanics but also have major differences

Movement
both B5 abd NA have the same system - ships have a maximum speed and amount of turns they can do. SF has that almost all ships travel the same speed and the major difference is how quickly they can turn and how much. SF ships are almost all much more agile than equivalents in B5 or NA.

Firing
B5 has damage multipliers and lots of dice, SF and NA have one AD per gun and multihit - I prefer rolling lots of dice and so prefer the former. Few SF ships have more than a few AD for each weapon system but many have large multihit values - ie each AD that actually hits does more damage. I woud say that precise AND damage multipling beams are the best in B5 (presuming you use one of the optional systems to help balance).

Critical system in B5 is significantly different to that in NA and SF and ships blow up less often or become usuless less often due to a couple of shots.

Damage of ships is usually lower in NA and SF - but both universes have the majority of ships with shields. These are ablative in SF and regnerating in NA - both of which are slightly different to the B5 versions. Also most signifcantly SF shields are leaky so that a lucky roll of a 6 with overloaded photons can mean you blow up an enemy ship with one shot.......!!

Boarding is big in NA - less in B5 and you can't do it in SF - except for hit and run raids - pretty much the same as the Battle Fleet Gothic rules if you are familiar with them....

Ramming is difficult in B5 but rewarding, much easier in NA and not possible in SF.

hope this helps :D
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Re: ACTA B5 versus new versions (Noble, star-fleet)

Postby Anbar » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:26 pm

Thats very interesting, thanks ...

Noble Armada sounds interesting, how is boarding handled?

Anything like the B5ACTA breaching pods, or transporters or...?
Can ships latch on to each other easier than in b5 especially?
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Re: ACTA B5 versus new versions (Noble, star-fleet)

Postby Da Boss » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:31 pm

Boarding is big in B5 and its a quite a tactical element in the game - especially since few ships have good foward firing weapons and the main House fleets are poredominately broadside based. Not a NA expert but It seems to be that you need to either use terrain well or "break the line Nelson style to get in. there are also very fast boarding ships.

I don't think there is anythig like breeching pods - could be wrong but you can grapple and hold a ship in place to board it - with the only real defence being gatling lasers to shot them down - but these are only in certain arcs..............

I am sure a more NA savy player will come and help explain - correct any errors I have made :)
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Re: ACTA B5 versus new versions (Noble, star-fleet)

Postby katadder » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:55 pm

boarding in NA means getting close with ships for now, grappling then fighting it out. the ships stay grappled until one side wins.
the big thing with NA boarding is that if you win you take over your enemies ship and get to use it that game (or campaign if playing them). the downside is if you lose and they manage to counterboard they get your ship.
boarding has to be planned for if its going to be a major tactic as you build your fleet around it, the odd ship or 2 boarding usually doesnt work, ie bring 1-2 galliots your opponent will shoot them down as high priority targets, bring a swarm and enough will get through to cause serious problems.
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Re: ACTA B5 versus new versions (Noble, star-fleet)

Postby locarno24 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:27 pm

Also - arcs of fire;

In Noble Armada, broadside fire provides most of the guns, backed up by big turrets capable of shooting any which way. It's pretty easy to keep a target in arc, especially since (once you get close) you can grab them with grapnel guns.

In Starfleet, most firepower is forwards, with weapons again sweeping through big arcs. There is a slight ability to manipulate the initiative system because a ship on the borderline of two arcs of fire gets shot at with both.

In Babylon 5, different races vary wildly in how their guns are distributed, but one thing constant across a lot of races (especially Drazi, Narn and Earth Alliance) is the Boresight arc - this is a straight-ahead-only arc which can therefore only be lined up on a stationary target (or one which has already moved), and, just to make matters worse, is usually occupied by the heaviest guns on the ship. The above races, therefore, often live and die by the initiative system, which can put them at a drastic disadvantage against races with no such restrictions.


I don't think there is anythig like breeching pod
I believe (but don't quote me) that Fleets of the Fading Suns may include assault shuttles for some houses.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: ACTA B5 versus new versions (Noble, star-fleet)

Postby katadder » Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:36 pm

locarno24 wrote:
I don't think there is anythig like breeching pod
I believe (but don't quote me) that Fleets of the Fading Suns may include assault shuttles for some houses.
just for hazat so far
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Re: ACTA B5 versus new versions (Noble, star-fleet)

Postby tneva82 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:45 pm

From my experience biggest difference between NA and B5(can't compare about SF since don't have rules nor have interest in it) is the critical system.

Having played a bit of NA I think overall I preferred the B5 one(more variety and B5 is B5!) but it sure could have done with the V3. Pity the license wasn't viable anymore :(

Importing the critical system to B5 might be interesting though the crew scores might be bit complicated. Maybe get rid of the crew scores? Could take some effort but they were generally bit redundant and added just more bookkeeping.
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Re: ACTA B5 versus new versions (Noble, star-fleet)

Postby Builder » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:03 pm

Personally I still have a soft spot for B5, I am painting some Vorcha at the moment for example. NA is just not a game that I or my play group enjoyed, we play tested it once and the group disliked it enough I could never really get them together for it again, that was fairly lete in the playtesting as well.

We are enjoying SF and if I am honest it is probably a better game than B5 and plays nice and smoothly, and thebook binding doesn't break as soon as you open it which is good.
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Re: ACTA B5 versus new versions (Noble, star-fleet)

Postby locarno24 » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:18 pm

and thebook binding doesn't break as soon as you open it which is good.
Err.... yeah.

There's a reason my copy of Noble Armada is a wargames vault .pdf......

Also - don't forget Victory at sea (which also uses much the same 'engine').

Again, quite an interesting one - not perfect realism-wise, but it gets the WWII feel very well and it's fun.

One warning - criticals can swing the game even more than in B5 - one of my regular gaming group gave up and hasn't played since a game where the Tirpitz took a critical of the beast (6-6-6) on the first shot of the game and decided to explore alternative career opportunities as a submarine.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: ACTA B5 versus new versions (Noble, star-fleet)

Postby Tolwyn » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:50 am

Does the new SF rules system allow to convert B5 ships over to it?
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Re: ACTA B5 versus new versions (Noble, star-fleet)

Postby Greg Smith » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:57 am

Not all. Movement is different, criticals work differently, weapon & ship traits are different, there are no fighters in the SF rules (yet), and so on.

B5, NA, SF, VaS all model very different universes with similar game engines, but interchange between the 4 is difficult.
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Re: ACTA B5 versus new versions (Noble, star-fleet)

Postby Da Boss » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:25 am

I had a go at converting the Centauri to NA:

http://www.mediafire.com/?z4zpyju8h0m2lo8

its not a perfect fit but possible.

Star Fleet is another step removed as Greg says but again not impossible....
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Re: ACTA B5 versus new versions (Noble, star-fleet)

Postby Tolwyn » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:49 am

Perhaps then I have to get a hand on a copy of the rules to copnvert my Dilgar and a friends Centauri over to the new System
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Re: ACTA B5 versus new versions (Noble, star-fleet)

Postby Greg Smith » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:09 pm

Personally, I would stick with B5 ACTA for Dilgar and Centauri. But I would interested to see how your conversion goes.
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