Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby Stu-- » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:07 pm

Don't we all. Drones.. sigh..
if I wanted to play with missiles as the predominant weapon system I'd just play a modern surface combat game. I know they based a lot of it on that, but still..
sigh.
:/
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby McKinstry » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:30 pm

Stu-- wrote:Don't we all. Drones.. sigh..
if I wanted to play with missiles as the predominant weapon system I'd just play a modern surface combat game. I know they based a lot of it on that, but still..
sigh.
:/
Amen. I've got a large Kzinti fleet and at first pass on update#2, I think the Kzinti can just dominate the plasma races and force the Feds and Klinks into drone heavy fleets just to hold their own unless the battlespace is really small and/or really crammed with terrain features.

On the upside, the dirt cheap, phaser only, Orion LR fleet o'cheese will have fits against armored drone heavy fleets. :mrgreen:
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby Nerroth » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:29 pm

If it really came to it, one option could be to give plasma ships the sabot (speed-40) upgrade; which in ACtA:SF could be handled by upping the plasma ranges to 20".

(Over in the X-ship discussion thread, I used that idea to try and guess at how to handle plasma-M and -L torps, as well as the upgraded -Rs and other "pre-X" launchers still found on first-generation X-ships.)
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby riftsinger » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:30 am

i take it that we all saw the "ignore the dodge trait" rule for type VI drones so fighters ? i just hope not one fighter to a stand or this is going to abit messy game wise , im hopeing for flights of fighters (6 per flight will need a bit of leeway for the hydrans but most SFB ships fighters can be divided by 6) hmm not sure but at this scale wound it be possable to do pf's the same way?
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby Nerroth » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:24 am

If A Call to Arms: Noble Armada can handle one fighter per base, I don't see why ACtA:SF can't follow suit. Not least since there would likely be a limit on attrition unit deployment for most empires in the fleet doctrine rules, as and when they are updated to match.

Even if carriers are still a while off, the Dodge Trait (used in ACtA:NA) might still show up for Hydran Stingers, and/or any other attack craft that are part of a given empire's "standard" deployments (such as Hiver Barbs and Souldra Shards).
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby Myrm » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:06 am

riftsinger wrote:i take it that we all saw the "ignore the dodge trait" rule for type VI drones so fighters ? i just hope not one fighter to a stand or this is going to abit messy game wise , im hopeing for flights of fighters (6 per flight will need a bit of leeway for the hydrans but most SFB ships fighters can be divided by 6) hmm not sure but at this scale wound it be possable to do pf's the same way?
I personally would prefer 3 fighters to a flight for design simplicity, with those rarer 2 or 4 fighter groups being slightly tougher or slightly weaker than the standard to model it. It keeps the manoeuvre units for a heavy carrier down to something sensible and allows for ignoring of drone and possibly heavy weapon ammo limits of fighter stands by assuming the fighters fire in sequence by doctrine.

That said the basic fighter rules could readily support one fighter per stand which would make the SFU port slightly easier if more detailed with a fair number of one shot stands about.

There is not goiing to be the massive problem of time sink you see with SFB and fighters (having done a base assault with a 2 carrier fleet, Hydrans and a full specces out Starbase and defensive fleet in the past I know how long a single impulse can take up on that sort of thing - we already know the game engine handles them quickly enough - Ive run B5 fleet battles with upwards of 30 fighter stands per side and a fleet size of 6-8 ships and the mechanics handle that admirably. ACTA is the system of all the SFU ones for big fighter battles in sensible times - the horrible week long game I described above would happily play in an evening if the B experience is anything to go by.

I've done some experimental rules for PFs myself for local games, and I did them more like a squadron of small ships. PFs as big fighter equivalents got too difficult in the port. I looked at the F111 and decided I'd quietly ignore it though.
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby locarno24 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:19 am

It is a pity to me that the weapon of choice in SFB for the Federation and Klingons appears to the be the Drone........even though its not actaully ever on screen.
I have to say, that was the one thing I was never a fan of. I realise it's a seperate universe, but it'd be nice to have the option to pointedly ignore the whole thing if both sides feel the same about drones.

That's why one thing I really do like is an official constitution variant without drones. And a phaser/torp only dreadnought, as well.

It'd be nice to see phaser/disruptor only klingon ships to match them. Given the 1,245,675 warship class variants and refits ADB have issued over the years, presumably there must be an energy-weapon-only D6/D7 somewhere?
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby billclo » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:24 am

locarno24 wrote:
It is a pity to me that the weapon of choice in SFB for the Federation and Klingons appears to the be the Drone........even though its not actaully ever on screen.
I have to say, that was the one thing I was never a fan of. I realise it's a seperate universe, but it'd be nice to have the option to pointedly ignore the whole thing if both sides feel the same about drones.
You can do what I do in my demo and introductory games; simply take out the drone/combined drone racks, and ADDs. The ships play alright without them. I'm talking Feds and Klingons though. Don't try this with a Kzinti. :)
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby locarno24 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:31 am

I know the option's there to just ignore them, but it was more a balance thing - if you just ignore drones on both sides (Fed & Klingon), is one side or the other not getting the short end of the stick?

Certainly there are some classes of ship - The Klingon Battle Corvette Escort with 4 drones on a titchy little hull - which is unworkable if you ignore what is essentially its main gun.

Now I know that's a bad example - you wouldn't take escorts if you're not using drones in the game - but I don't, for example, whether the drones are a bigger deal proportionally on cruisers or frigates, and therefore which one ends up with a short stick if you ignore them.
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I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby Keeper Nilbog » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:44 am

Don't think the issue is the actual drones, just the 'upgrade' options. Plasma races go cry in the corner whenever a drone heavy fleet turns up (as do, i my experience, Orion's when trying to mug Kzinti - phasers, all well and good - but if you've used them all to shot down drones :?: :?: ), and some of the additional options are '(please insert word - i won't swear on the forum)' - Armoured and Swordfish spring to mind (Kzinit DND gets 18 racks worth of Ph-3 with a range of 36" (2 rolls to hit - 5+ and 3+), effect from 18" (roll to hit 3+, or 4+/3+ if not a seeking weapon), all of which can leek.

Give me a 4 drone frigate to fight any day.
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby Da Boss » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:56 am

locarno24 wrote:
It is a pity to me that the weapon of choice in SFB for the Federation and Klingons appears to the be the Drone........even though its not actaully ever on screen.
I have to say, that was the one thing I was never a fan of. I realise it's a seperate universe, but it'd be nice to have the option to pointedly ignore the whole thing if both sides feel the same about drones.

That's why one thing I really do like is an official constitution variant without drones. And a phaser/torp only dreadnought, as well.

It'd be nice to see phaser/disruptor only klingon ships to match them. Given the 1,245,675 warship class variants and refits ADB have issued over the years, presumably there must be an energy-weapon-only D6/D7 somewhere?

Must admit I agree - my on off project for alt universe has drones restricted to Kzinti - everyone else uses signature weapons - be that Plasma, Disruptors or photons :)
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby Myrm » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:24 pm

Bear in mind the proliferation of drones is due to this being late in the timeline for the SFU - the General War period - drones being perfect for all those fighters and a basic concept everyone would come up with easily so they appeared in many places be it ADDs, fighter drones etc.

If you play earlier periods it is possible to have no drone armed ships other than Kzinti and Klingon and even the Klingons lose a lot of their drones because a number of their main ship types only had the type of drone rack (F?) which fired through the shuttle bay and had rate of fire issues - the effect of which in ACTA will be to simply half the AD - and we have to keep them on Klingons because of the primary source data for them being in that technical manual. They also should technically be much slower (either reduce the range, or the AD to represent this - I'd use range).

Early war the drones themselves are much less useful so reducing encounter ranges and so on...General War gives us access to nearly all races and certainly a wide range of the toys in terms of fleet variants. In many respects I prefer the older ships with their limitations and given the presentation of the older variants in FLeet Update 2 a nice article for a future update might be a history of standard refits, a standardised cost of refits and what they cut out of ACTA profiles when you remove them and a list of ships that have had what refits from base....it also sounds like an era that may suit the preferences of other players here.
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby Nerroth » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:32 pm

I was just noting this over in the errata thread, but if FC: Briefing #2 is to be used as the primary source for the Middle Years hull variants (like the Klingon C6 and Kzinti DNE), the drones in FC terms were Speed 16 instead of Speed 24; which would likely equate to a Range of 24 inches in ACtA:SF.

Plus, as Myrm pointed out, most of the Middle Years Klingon ships, to include the C6, can only launch drones from half of their racks in a given turn, so should likely have their ADs halved here, too. (I've been using a similar cutback to represent the limitations on tachyon missile launches over in the Omega discussion thread; not that there's any particular weight one should afford to that decision, mind you.)

Together, those changes would help show how differently the drone users had things back in the pre-refit era of the Alpha Octant.
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby Rambler » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:21 pm

Gary, outside of the fact these are the Early Hulls for the Dreadnoughts do you see a comment somewhere that these states these are middle year only ships? I do not.

My take is these are Guard Ships in the only era available in ACTASF. As such the Drone Launch Rate and Range would be correct.

As for people wanting to remove Drones fine just replace all drones on Klingon Ships with more Shuttles. That is what the Klingons did in the first place. Some Ships might get a few extra shuttles like the C7 and C8 because they also had extra cargo space to begin with but you are close enough.

As far as the Kzinti go replace half the drones with shuttles an half with Phaser-2 with a Fore Firing Arc.
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby Myrm » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:27 pm

From memory Slow medium and fast drones are 8, 16 and 24 arent they

If thats done as a SpeedxN, then fast drones give us Speedx1.5
So Slow would be 12 if you put mediums at 24....
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby Myrm » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:30 pm

Rambler wrote:Gary, outside of the fact these are the Early Hulls for the Dreadnoughts do you see a comment somewhere that these states these are middle year only ships? I do not.
No, Mongoose have stated their preference is to have ships available with no limits. Historical deployments would make things different but they presumably have relased these as unupgraded ships with the latest tech options in the existing systems - ie they are a simple SSD to ACTA stat conversion not a Middle Years fully done conversion....but the changes Gary mentioned would need to be introduced for a proper Middle Years conversion and thats all I read his comments as...but then I havent seen his comment in the errata thread yet so that might alter my impression.
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby mdauben » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:30 pm

Myrm wrote:That said the basic fighter rules could readily support one fighter per stand which would make the SFU port slightly easier if more detailed with a fair number of one shot stands about.
I really hope Mongoose doesn't go this route when they introduce fighters. :(

IMO the two things in SFB that really killed large scale fleet games were drones and fighters. I have played large fleet games in SFB where there were litterally hundreds of counters for drones and fighters on the board, and just moving and keeping track of all those slowed turns to a crawl. The streamlining of the seeking weapon rules helps address the issue with respect to drones, so I hope they use multiple fighter "manuver units" to keep these other problematic units under control. :wink:
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby Myrm » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:39 pm

mdauben wrote:

IMO the two things in SFB that really killed large scale fleet games were drones and fighters. I have played large fleet games in SFB where there were litterally hundreds of counters for drones and fighters on the board, and just moving and keeping track of all those slowed turns to a crawl. The streamlining of the seeking weapon rules helps address the issue with respect to drones, so I hope they use multiple fighter "manuver units" to keep fighters under control.
Bear in mind that ACTA would happily handle large numbers of fighters, my preference is also for multistand fighters but thats more for a simplicity issue to allow for easy unlimited ammo abstractions and timed volley fire vs ships without too many dice rolls.....the game engine WILL handle single SFU fighters as manoeuvre units happily. The B5 expression has proved that, and Noble Armada players comments have reinforced for me that the same is true for their expression of the ruleset. I've had 50+ fighters on the board with 8 fleet ships a side and played to conslusion in a 3 hour evening club session (and with multiple player which slows a game down as well).

Fighters do go fast in ACTA - there's a lot of people with SFB backgrounds but no fighter use in ACTA experience worrying overmuch on this point (my opinion only there obviously). Having done that sort of game in SFB myself in my irrepressible youth, I do know just how bad it can get and how quickly, so do understand why they are worried. Equally I am NOT worried about whether ACTA will handle this, but more about how it will be expressed.
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby Nerroth » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:58 pm

A Call to Arms: Noble Armada gets by well enough with one fighter per stand; and the amount of on-table drones need not be overly high if the drone-armed fighters end up being scaled back towards the more streamlined versions being touted for FC's Borders of Madness.


And when it comes to ship limitations, there are a couple of points.

Matt himself has noted, in this very thread, that these ships may end up being published in separate places as and when the time comes for them to get their turn. (That was in reply to a comment I had made about preferring to see the Middle Years ships offered in their own setting, as opposed to simply being thrown into the mix here.)

If that were to happen, it would by no means be a precedent for the game engine to place them in their recommended eras of use. Even back in the Babylon 5 days, there were three era-specific fleets lists for the Earth Alliance (Early Years, Dawn of the Third Age, and Crusade Era), which included different variants and refits for certain ships (like the Hyperion) depending on which fleet list they were attached to.

Comparing the C6 to the C8/9 is essentially the same as comparing refits of those EA hulls from ACtA:B5. If you abstract out the kind of era-specific changes that made the C6 fly differently to a C8/9, you're basically taking away the entire point of having it (and other early dreadnoughts like the Kzinti DNE) listed in the game in the first place.

Plus I might note that the Gorn DNE doesn't get the S-torps it should have when operating in the Main Era; or rather, that ship is the standard DN by then anyway. Why should the Klingons and Kzintis get to fudge their weapon options on ships they fully refitted into their Main Era counterparts historically, making their pre-refit early dreadnoughts that much better than those from rival empires being offered alongside them?

Even if the idea of era-specific fleet lists ended up being treated as a "soft" rather than a "hard" rule (akin to the various optional fleet restrictions), I would still argue that the ships should be offered in tems of how they actually flew in the eras they were historically fielded in, and then leave it up to the players to decide whether or not to mix and match for their own gaming tables.


Also, there are differences in drone speeds from SFB and FC. I was going by the FC speeds (16, 24, 32) since that game is supposed to be the primary basis for conversion into ACtA:SF, but then it's been skipped over by the various drone upgrades at this point, so...
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Re: Fleet Update #2 - Ready for Free Download

Postby mdauben » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:15 pm

Myrm wrote:Bear in mind that ACTA would happily handle large numbers of fighters, my preference is also for multistand fighters but thats more for a simplicity issue to allow for easy unlimited ammo abstractions and timed volley fire vs ships without too many dice rolls.....the game engine WILL handle single SFU fighters as manoeuvre units happily. The B5 expression has proved that, and Noble Armada players comments have reinforced for me that the same is true for their expression of the ruleset. I've had 50+ fighters on the board with 8 fleet ships a side and played to conslusion in a 3 hour evening club session (and with multiple player which slows a game down as well).
Well, this makes me feel a bit more optimistic about the eventual implementation of carriers and fighters in ACTA:SF. I still like multi-element manuver units for purposes of modeling miniatures as small as fleet-scale fighters, but the fact that the game doesn't break down dealing with dozens of separate fighters is the important thing. :D
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