News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

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News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby msprange » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:53 pm

ADB, Inc. and Mongoose Publishing have signed a contract modification which ensures the three joint-venture product lines (A Call to Arms: Star Fleet, Starline 2500, and Traveller: Prime Directive) will continue and grow. This does not end the joint venture; it simply realigns the responsibilities to better match each company's core competencies to the best advantage. The two companies remain great friends.

We will ask you to be patient a little longer regarding elements of the new production plan. We could not begin to work out the details on some items until the contract modification was signed (you're welcome to send your questions which will be answered in future press releases as we resolve each of them).

ADB will assume primary design responsibility for A Call to Arms: Star Fleet including the revisions to Book One and the entirely new future Books Two and Three. Tony L. Thomas will manage the designs as developer; Matthew Sprange remains the designer of record. ADB plans to sell these as both PDFs and print-on-demand books. The revisions to Book One will include adjusting the relative power of some weapons at various ranges, revising damage scores for some ships, creating a new way to handle seeking weapons, extending the range for transporters, changing compulsory movement, altering some special actions so they no longer preclude some other special actions, removing most of the crew quality checks, clarifying any confusing rules, and adding unobtrusive cross-indexes without resorting to formal rule numbers. ADB is committed to maintaining the existing ACTASF game system and improving it. ADB will be the only source for the purchase of new ACTASF books and PDFs. Mongoose will retain ownership and control of non-SFU versions of ACTA.

The Starline 2500 range will continue and expand. Mongoose will remain the primary designer of new ship models, but ADB will be responsible for production, marketing, sales, and quality control. ADB is committed to keeping the 2500s in production as long as someone buys them, and to adding new 2500s as long as enough players buy new ships. The stands will be changed and most resin ships will be replaced by metal ships. ADB has (with the signing of this deal) become the only source for 2500s. Mongoose will fulfill or cancel any back orders on file and any obligations to the Mongoose Infantry. The contract modification happened when Mongoose had just shifted production to a new facility, and until that facility is fully on line, ADB will be selling 2500s by mail order only (not through stores). We expect to do a major relaunch of the line in the first half of next year. This will include the missing Book One ships, several new ships, as well as changing the packaging and price structure.

Work will accelerate on the four Traveller Prime Directive books, which will be written, produced, and marketed by ADB in both print-on-demand and PDF formats. ADB will be the only source for the purchase of new books and PDFs. We expect to see the first book released in the spring of 2014 and one or two of the other books later during 2014.
Matthew Sprange

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http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
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Re: New on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby Greg Smith » Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:04 pm

Interesting.

ADB are designing and selling ACTA.
ADB are making and selling miniatures.
ADB are writing and selling SF Traveller.
Mongoose are designing the miniatures.

The joint venture doesn't look very joint any more.
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Re: New on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby billclo » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:16 pm

Greg Smith wrote:Interesting.

ADB are designing and selling ACTA.
ADB are making and selling miniatures.
ADB are writing and selling SF Traveller.
Mongoose are designing the miniatures.

The joint venture doesn't look very joint any more.
Matt seems to have alot on his plate lately, and this is a way to keep the game moving along and not dying, I'd imagine.
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Re: New on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby alien dave » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:47 pm

Long time lurker, first time poster...

By way of transparency and introduction, I've only played this game a few times since buying it late last year, with some old Micro Machines proxies. I enjoy it immensely as it seems to be a much simpler game than SFB (not tried FC) geared up for bigger clashes, but I found it hard to get other players in my local club interested due to lack of minis. So far I've only managed to scrounge up a couple of squadron boxes that have taken pride of place in my lead mountain. MG/ADB must be doing something right with the rules though, as nobody seems to be selling off their collections on Fleabay...

Having said that, I've been following developments on the forum for some time now without posting, but this latest news worries me.
msprange wrote:...We will ask you to be patient a little longer regarding elements of the new production plan...
Plenty of people have been bemoaning the length of time they have had stuff on pre-order (up to 2 years in one case?). How much longer do you expect people to be patient before that patience runs out?
msprange wrote:...ADB will assume primary design responsibility for A Call to Arms: Star Fleet including the revisions to Book One and the entirely new future Books Two and Three... plans to sell these as both PDFs and print-on-demand books...
Will these be on sites like Wargames Vault/RPGNow, or exclusively through ADB? I for one prefer to have all my rules in one place and Wargames Vault ticks all the boxes for me.
msprange wrote:...ADB will be the only source for the purchase of new ACTASF books and PDFs...
Think I've just had the above question answered... :oops:
msprange wrote:...ADB has (with the signing of this deal) become the only source for 2500s... The contract modification happened when Mongoose had just shifted production to a new facility, and until that facility is fully on line, ADB will be selling 2500s by mail order only (not through stores)...
So, does this mean that EU customers will find it even more difficult and expensive to get hold of minis, what with customs/import duties to pay? One of the attractions of this game was that I could buy minis at shows in the UK or order them without fear of being robbed blind by the UK customs man :( Will there ever be any intention of selling these minis locally in Europe (either direct from MG or through shops/e-sellers?) Also, if ADB are going to be the only source of 2500s, why bother? Why not just crack on with the 2400s? Why have the same range of models in two (slightly) different scales from the same supplier? I've not got any experience with the ADB stuff, so may need some enlightenment.
msprange wrote:...We expect to do a major relaunch of the line in the first half of next year. This will include the missing Book One ships, several new ships, as well as changing the packaging and price structure...
I won't hold my breath on this one, but it will be very welcome.

I really hope things start to get sorted out for your proposed re-launch next year. SF ACTA is a great set of rules; short, sweet and to the point, set in a universe I really enjoy (I was never one for the Next Generation et al). If you can see your way to distributing from the UK/EU as well as the US then I will definitely be elbowing my way to the front of the queue for SF ACTA v2.0

DW
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Re: New on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby billclo » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:55 pm

You are likely to get faster answers over on the SFU BBS, or on the ADB Facebook page.

starfleetgames.com, section: Star Fleet Universe Discussion Board: The Joint Venture with Mongoose: State of the Joint Venture Projects

or https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Amari ... 1728653279

Jean does not post here frequently, though she does check in from time to time.
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Re: New on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby adm » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:04 pm

ADB sells their .pdfs through

SJGames e23

DriveThru RPG

and

Wargame Vault
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Re: New on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby mdauben » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:07 pm

alien dave wrote:Also, if ADB are going to be the only source of 2500s, why bother? Why not just crack on with the 2400s? Why have the same range of models in two (slightly) different scales from the same supplier? I've not got any experience with the ADB stuff, so may need some enlightenment.
I can't speak to the buisness decisions of ADB and Mongoose, but as a customer I say keep making them because I want them! I used to have a large collection of the old SL2400 miniatures but I lost the whole lot in a cross country move (where did that darned box go!!! :cry: ). After a couple years I decided I was interested in getting back into SFU gaming and was about to start rebuying a "tug load" of SL2400 miniatures when the SL2500 ones came out. I like the slightly larger size and greater surface detail of the SL2500 miniatures. I think they paint up better than the old SL2400 stuff, and look better on the table.

Plus, now that I'm into the SL2500 stuff for well over $600 I'd just as soon not have to switch back to the SL2400 line! :lol:
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Re: New on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby alien dave » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:31 pm

Thanks for the answers gents. They've put a few of my queries to bed.

DW
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Re: New on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby Jean » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:13 pm

Hi Alien Dave,

Let me try to answer some of your questions.

First, nothing that ADB sells has been on order for more than a couple of days. We don't take pre-orders. For people who had pre-orders with Mongoose, I am afraid that is between you and Mongoose. We suggest you contact them; it is our understanding that they will refund your money.

Since I joined ADB, I have been urging us not to have "vaporbooks." It is a goal we struggle with, but we are doing better.

When we write that we will be the sole source for the PDFs, that means we'll be selling them under our account at DTRPG and through it on Wargame Vault. No decision has been made about selling PDFs of ACTASF on e23.

Currently we do plan on making the 2500s easily available. They will be quality checked at ADB, so when you order them, you'll get a ship in great shape with all the parts you need.

As for the 2400s -- they do have their niche. They fit better on a hex map. The 2500s are more easily recognized across a tabletop. Lots of people like the larger scale. As long as there's a market for both, why would we want to stop either line?

We certainly don't want to shut out customers from the EU or UK. :) And we are glad that you enjoy the game. I know you've been asked to wait and wait for long times. But this time we have the right formula, I firmly believe.

Because Steve Cole had to protect the integrity of the Star Fleet Universe and Matthew Sprange had to protect the integrity of the ACTA/Traveller game engines, we couldn't get anything done. Even though we agreed on everything, due dilligence meant that actually signing off on our agreement on each step for either game system meant two weeks of tedious paperwork, constantly freezing the projects in place as the designers could not move forward until the agreement was ratified. As this was obviously impractical, we negotiated "broad guidelines" within which ADB could design each product for either game engine without further approvals, speeding up the process.

Stay with us, please; it'll be great fun!
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Re: New on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby Jean » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:25 pm

To go directly to the topic on the Starline 2500s, use this link: http://www.starfleetgames.com/discus/me ... 1384379196

To go directly to the topic on ACTASF, use this link: http://www.starfleetgames.com/discus/me ... 1384379053
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Re: New on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby OrneryRooster » Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:15 am

Good. At least the game system is moving forward albeit slowly due to the restructuring.
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Re: New on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby McKinstry » Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:52 am

I'm certainly inclined to trust Tony and ADB to get this unclustered.
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Re: New on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby alien dave » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:02 am

Hi Jean,

Thanks for the comprehensive reply. Between that and the posters who got in before you, it certainly goes a long way to putting my worries to rest. Maybe I was reading too much into your press release, I don't know. I do know that I'm now even more excited to see some movement on this project!

Of course, this means I'll have to move the models I already have from my lead mountain to the 'to do' pile and make another effort to get the guys at the club into ACTASF!

Cheers Again,

DW
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby katadder » Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:50 pm

apart from the rules being mongooses it almost begs the question why even bother with a joint project anymore? few tweaks and you have your own ruleset, after all CTA was just tweaked from other systems anyway.
especially with the rules being revamped by ADB so it wont be mongooses rules anyway in the end.
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby Jean » Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:42 pm

katadder, I checked with Steve about your comment and he wrote:

We want to continue ACTASF rather than go design a new game (a path we considered, then rejected) because of our obligation to support the two thousand existing ACTASF fans who really like that game and really deserve to have it fixed.

ACTASF-1.2 will barely diverge from the Mongoose rules. We're using their existing rules system and mechanics, just changing some detail items and fixing some things that didn't work. There are no plans to move toward a different game system.
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby shiba-tenchi » Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:03 pm

The revisions to Book One will include adjusting the relative power of some weapons at various ranges, revising damage scores for some ships, creating a new way to handle seeking weapons, extending the range for transporters, changing compulsory movement, altering some special actions so they no longer preclude some other special actions, removing most of the crew quality checks
......seems a decently large opening departure from SF ACTA.

I will watch with interest.
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby JohnDW » Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:09 am

shiba-tenchi wrote:
The revisions to Book One will include adjusting the relative power of some weapons at various ranges, revising damage scores for some ships, creating a new way to handle seeking weapons, extending the range for transporters, changing compulsory movement, altering some special actions so they no longer preclude some other special actions, removing most of the crew quality checks
......seems a decently large opening departure from SF ACTA.

I will watch with interest.
I dunno, seems like a whole bunch of minor tweaks to me, but we don't really know whats being changed so its hard to say exactly. Doesnt seem like enough changes that it should be a separate game from ACTA SF as it is now, probably will play very much the same, just a few things made different.
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby alansa » Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:07 pm

It does indeed look like a few tweaks. And welcome ones too - these seem to be addressing issues that cause the most consternation

The most controversial one I suspect will be "creating a new way to handle seeking weapons" - though I suspect only really controversial between matt and ADB. I don't know what is being considered here but Matts original idea to make them direct fire was, I think it must be agreed, a brave and noble attempt. Most mass wargames treat missiles, as direct fire. It's just that it was perhaps a little too abstract for a Star Fleet game where seeing missiles coming and dodging and shooting them is a big part of its character. Again, I dunno what's being considered though so it might not be that radical...
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby mdauben » Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:05 pm

alansa wrote:The most controversial one I suspect will be "creating a new way to handle seeking weapons" - though I suspect only really controversial between matt and ADB. I don't know what is being considered here but Matts original idea to make them direct fire was, I think it must be agreed, a brave and noble attempt. Most mass wargames treat missiles, as direct fire. It's just that it was perhaps a little too abstract for a Star Fleet game where seeing missiles coming and dodging and shooting them is a big part of its character. Again, I dunno what's being considered though so it might not be that radical...
This is something I am most interested in seeing any changes made. :)

I'll be first to admit that tracking, moving, and dealing with masses of seeking weapons is one of the things that used to grind our fleet size SFB games to a halt. On the other hand, the "semi-direct fire" model used in ACTASF is very lacking in the flavor of seeking weapons from the original game. In SFB seeking weapons not only caused damage, they forced opponents to manuver to avoid the weapons, or to shift the damage to another shield, which added to the tactical decisions the player faced and can greatly impact the way a game, especially a scenario game, plays out.

I'd love to bring some of that feeling into ACTASF without bringing the hassle of dealing with multiple separate manuver units on the game table. I'm not sure how it could be done, though? Treating whole missile salvos as a single "unit"? Cutting run times? Simplified movement for seeking weapons? I don't know. :?
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby storeylf » Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:23 pm

I don't think the issue was them being direct fire so much as the inability to represent the defenses against them very well. Partly down to very random SA's. Partly down to a lack of recognition that you don't have be facing away from them to dodge past them.

Drones didn't really cause that much affect on opponents manouvering so long as you were fast. You could skip past drones fairly easy without turning away unless it was an extremely drone heavy environment. Plasma was another issue. With drones you could react to what was fired at whom. With plasma you planned ahead as you would not have much chance to react to it if you weren't ready - i.e. move fast + power for accels/HET.

I'd be happy with both remaining direct fire so long as they somehow capture that feel.

As I said elsewhere, within the current game making SA's (IDF/evasive vs drones in particular) more reliable and allowing drones (but not plasma) to be 'out ran' (dodged) from any heading, rather than just if facing away as at the moment would go a long way to making drones 'feel' right. plasma is a bit more awkward, I think I've suggested upping the damage (or reducing the bleed effect) against anything not APE in the past to represent that anything not going, or ready to go, full speed is often in trouble vs plasma.

However, if Tony comes up with some other mechanism so be it, I just hope it does avoid to much tracking stuff.

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