News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Discuss Mongoose miniatures game here, including Mighty Armies, Gangs of Mega-City One, and Battlefield Evolution.
MarkDawg
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby MarkDawg » Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:28 am

Mongoose was given the Star Fleet Franchise and they completely fucked it up from day one anyone recall the Resin minis and Pre-orders. Well I have to say this little misadventure will not be forgotten I will never purchase or support any Mongoose product ever.

Matthew is a good rules writer the game is fun in that it was for the most part well done but it was still unfinished it was a good skeleton but with the mini delays and crappy models that don't fit together and rules releases for ships that completely break the game the game died at my store nobody plays it.

Good Day
shiba-tenchi
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby shiba-tenchi » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:36 am

Jean wrote:We are asking YOUR input about miniatures. Please see the picture here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... nt_count=1

Comment either on the BBS or on our page on FB. :)

(Iain, thanks for your input. :) )
I dont Facebook, but even if I did I wouldn't vote for any of those miniatures.
Fire bad, tree pretty.
JohnDW
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby JohnDW » Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:41 pm

shiba-tenchi wrote:
Jean wrote:We are asking YOUR input about miniatures. Please see the picture here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... nt_count=1

Comment either on the BBS or on our page on FB. :)

(Iain, thanks for your input. :) )
I dont Facebook, but even if I did I wouldn't vote for any of those miniatures.
you can use the BBS that ADB has set up if you dont mind registering.

http://www.starfleetgames.com/discus/
Jean
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby Jean » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:10 pm

riftsinger, this is what Steve wrote about the books: It would be reasonable to assume that Book 1.2 will be a print on demand black and white paperback, at least until sales prove that the investment of ten thousand dollars in hardback color books makes economic sense. Frankly, we'd rather do it as PDFs and PODs so that rules issues can be corrected easily.
Jean
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Ben2
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby Ben2 » Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:48 pm

JohnDW wrote:
shiba-tenchi wrote:
Jean wrote:We are asking YOUR input about miniatures. Please see the picture here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... nt_count=1

Comment either on the BBS or on our page on FB. :)

(Iain, thanks for your input. :) )
I dont Facebook, but even if I did I wouldn't vote for any of those miniatures.
you can use the BBS that ADB has set up if you dont mind registering.

http://www.starfleetgames.com/discus/
Well I've tried registering, lets see if it works and I can dip my toes in the shark infested waters of the BBS.
Old B5W developer and professional shut in.
billclo
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby billclo » Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:52 pm

Ben2 wrote: Well I've tried registering, lets see if it works and I can dip my toes in the shark infested waters of the BBS.
No sharks, people are more polite than here, mostly. :D
mdauben
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby mdauben » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:04 am

Jean wrote:riftsinger, this is what Steve wrote about the books: It would be reasonable to assume that Book 1.2 will be a print on demand black and white paperback, at least until sales prove that the investment of ten thousand dollars in hardback color books makes economic sense. Frankly, we'd rather do it as PDFs and PODs so that rules issues can be corrected easily.
FWIW, I actually like this better. 8)

I suppose that hardcover rulebooks look more attractive sitting on the FLGS shelf, but IMO there are for practical purposes inferior to a paperback for use during a game. The pages also tend to start falling out after extended use in all but the very best (i.e. most expensive) hardcover bindings. A staple bound, coil bound or 3-ring bound rulebook will lay flat on the table during a game and the 3-ring books allow for easy insertions of updates or additional material into one master book.

Or maybe its just my experience with the old SFB rulebooks showing. :roll:
Mike
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby JohnDW » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:57 am

What is more expensive, color, or hardback? Would a color paperback be plausable?
scoutdad
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby scoutdad » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:40 am

ADB has three, large format, black and white, print-on-demand printers and a two book binder machines in house.

So black and white softcover is certainly cheaper.

But if you like to have them ring bound, spiral bound, coil bound, or added to a 3-ring binder - you'll love ADBs choices.
When you order a rulebook from them, you can get it how you want it:
Bound and unpunched.
Bound and 3-hole punched.
Unbound and unpunched (which is what I get and then have Kinkos spiral bind it for me)
Or unbound and 3-hole punched.
riftsinger
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby riftsinger » Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:02 am

Jean wrote:riftsinger, this is what Steve wrote about the books: It would be reasonable to assume that Book 1.2 will be a print on demand black and white paperback, at least until sales prove that the investment of ten thousand dollars in hardback color books makes economic sense. Frankly, we'd rather do it as PDFs and PODs so that rules issues can be corrected easily.
well im going to want at least the paper back , i thought one of the main ideas behind acta was to bring more players to the sfb universe ? by having a big colourful presance in the shops and at shows ? you will not do that with a black and white paperback or pdf. you will get the same problem you have now the book will be on the shelve with all the other small games companys were you dont even see the cover art just the spine .
dont see how thats going to help attact the new players given the rules books that are coming out this days from even the small poducers i just dont think thats going to be enough for the currant market . in fact in the the uk it wont, ive just been to a wargames show over here you just dont get new rules books/pdfs in black and white anymore .
i hope this is not a step or 3 backwards that im starting to think it is

and yes we all know the minis were bad to start off with and it didit help but thats not the case now so stop harping on about it
ok sunshine eat alpha strike !
alansa
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby alansa » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:24 am

Personally I love hard cover colour printed books. Though I never use them in battle if I have a laser printed or pdf option available. I just keep the on the shelf and pull them out to look at lovingly, or to show to folks and make them drool.

In battle I much prefer print outs or pdf on a tablet, especially if they contain all the latest rules and errata. :D
And Print on demand and pdf are the way to go if you expect rules changes (as you should)

Even so, I agree that proper printed books look great, on my shelf, or on the store shelf - they give a great feel to a game. Helps to make it feel like it really is something special.

So, I'd, gladly pay for a new hard cover edition of the rules. I suspect others might not fancy shelling out though if they expect their book to be (to a degree) obsolete at some point in the future.

Hopefully there'll be enough demand - hey I'd happily kickstart it.
billclo
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby billclo » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:14 pm

I tend to agree that a nice looking color hardcover book is going to attract more interest than a plain looking POD black and white copy.

I note that the Captain's Logs have color covers. Anyone think that would be a viable alternative to a drab black and white cover? It still would be a paperback, not hardcover book though.

I probably would like 2 copies of the rules. A nicer hardcover copy to look at when I'm checking the rules at home, and a less expensive paperback copy to use on the game table. If my paperback copy gets a drink spilled on it, or a food stain, I will be annoyed, but less upset than if my $30 hardcover book just got ruined.

Or I can print out a copy via PDF or simply Xerox a gaming table copy...
Jean
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby Jean » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:18 pm

I'm pretty sure that there will be a color cover.

The PDF might well have color in it -- we do for some of our Prime Directive books.

With color, there's a couple of ways you can do things cheaply.

1. You're Hasbro and people are going to buy a zillion copies.
2. You're Joe Shmos Greatest Game Ever and maybe a hundred people will buy your book and you'll get enough money to take your SO out to eat and fund your gaming habit for a few months -- if you don't lose money.

We didn't sell all the books that we printed the first time and the revised edition you are telling us isn't going to sell as well. That doesn't bode well for printing in hardcover and color. We'd rather print in B&W and have you be able to afford the book.

Economics lesson I had to learn when I first started working. Do note that all the prices/percentages are approximate to the book trade.

If the book costs $5 to make, you need to sell it to distributors at $10. They'll sell to stores at $20. The stores will sell it at $40.

Now if the only way you can get that $5 price is to print 2000 copies, then you have to plan on selling all 2000. If you are only going to sell 1000, that means each book really cost $10 and the price would go up accordingly all the way through the retailers -- you'll be paying inventory tax on the other 1000, too.

With POD, you do have to pay in advance for covers, but there aren't many books in inventory.

It all seems so simple until you actually have to do the math. :( It was a hard lesson for me to learn.
Jean
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Reynard
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby Reynard » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:39 pm

Here's my opinion.

I recently bought Federation & Empire. It has a plain black and white rulebook. It fits in my hands as I lounge in a chair to learn the rules. It sits well on the game table and gets passed back and forth as we look up rules while playing. At no time do we long for distracting color pictures unless it aids understanding a diagram. Game plays very well. I think ACTASF would too. I will concedes color cover is selling points to attract a customer's attention. I have many game books that are paperback and it's fine.
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby Steve J » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:05 pm

I would go with a B&W rulebook, cause I would also want the PDF for portability.
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby JohnDW » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:27 pm

B&W rulebook would be ok with me, color pdf would be nice since it doesnt cost any extra to make, unless all the images are already in B&W. Plus if a color hardback book ever became viable you'd already have the color pdf to use.
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby Jean » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:03 pm

Just to keep you in the loop:

SVC wrote: Notes for Mongoosers:

1. You are most welcome on our BBS. I think you will find our forum runs very smoothly. Each game has its own constituency.

2. Yes, I am the Steve Cole who does thousand page rules books, but that's not all I do or have done. In a 40-year game design/publishing career I have printed more games with less than a hundred pages than most designers. I've have done games with one page. Tribbles vs. Klingons has four. Fed Commander KB/RB is about the same size as ACTASF.

3. There was a lot of negative reaction to my suggestion on how to fix the drone rules -- by people who never tried them. (They also missed that I set up two topics, one for that and one for a modified set of direct-fire drone rules.) Wait for the play testing. Two-thirds of the rules I have written in 40 years were heavily modified or replaced after play testing. I said forty years ago that my motto as a designer was "I shall sell no game before it's tame." Besides, my ideas are just ideas for Tony Thomas to go work on.
Jean
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alansa
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby alansa » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:54 pm

Negative reactions... perhaps. I think its just understandable concern. ADB aren't the only ones to have produced rulesets that are unwieldy in practice at scale, and experienced wargamers are Leery of overwrought rules.

Never the less , Steve is right: the idea(s) haven't really been tried yet. Feelings can be given, but judgement should wait ..
Jean
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby Jean » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:21 pm

Steve Cole and Matthew Sprange have worked out a deal by which Mongoose Infantry personnel who are still owed Starline 2500 ships for running demos will get their ships.

Your claims need to be submitted to support@starfleetgames.com and will need to be verified with Mongoose personnel before they can be filled. The list of Starline 2500s that ADB has available is here: http://store.starfleetstore.com/merchan ... ry_Code=17

Demo teams are very important to any company. The members get our games out to a public who may not know about them. Members of a demo team form the nucleus of an excited fanbase. As always, if you want to demo ACTASF (or any other game produced by ADB) and want to learn about ADB's Ranger program and its rewards, go here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/rangers/index.shtml
Be sure to sign up and to get any demos approved in advance.

Jean Sexton
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Jean
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Re: News on A Call to Arms: Star Fleet!

Postby Jean » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:59 pm

I want to keep you in the loop, so here's a response we're posting in various spots on the fan venues.

SVC ANSWERS TO VARIOUS MINIS REQUESTS/COMMENTS/QUESTIONS
=========
COMMENT BY SVC: We are going to do new 2400s but they will be done CGI to 2500-level detail and (eventually) released in both scales. Some of the new 2400s will be ships that already exist in both scales but are being done for 2400s to 2500 detail levels.
===
BACKGROUND BY SVC: Several steps are involved in doing a mini.
1. The CGI model has to be made and approved. Costs vary.
2. The CGI model is "printed" as a "prototype". Costs $50-$200. The prototype has to be inspected by ADB.
3. The prototype is put into a "master mold". Cost is under $20 per ship but has to be done in batches of about six different ships, which means sometimes a prototype sits waiting for more prototypes to arrive.
4. The master mold is spun and yields a master that has to be approved by ADB. Then more masters are made and hand-cleaned to eliminate any excess metal, replace missing details, or fill in any holes. Costs vary.
5. The masters are used to create a production mold, which costs $50. The trick is that some ships need more than one mold; the B9 needed six different molds.
6. Production ships are made and inspected by the factor, then QC inspected by ADB. Cost varies from under a quarter to over three dollars per ship, based on size and how hard it is to get the mold to work. Molds wear out over time and have to be replaced.
===
Got any starline ships kicking about?
- - -
ANSWER BY SVC: I don't understand the question. Do you mean any production ships? Thousands of them (see shopping cart for list). Do you mean any not-yet-produced ships? No, the only one around was broken when the post office delivered it years ago.
===
Maybe an Orion HCC or CV
- - -
SVC: I don't understand. Do you mean CCH (heavy command cruiser)? I supposed most empires have one of those that has never been sculpted. CV? Externally identical to the base hull, no mini needed.
===
Kzinti FFB and DD
Orion Medium Raider
- - -
SVC: On the list but we're not sure they'll sell very well.
===
Klingon D17
- - -
SVC: Nobody wanted the mini as it is combat-equal to the D7.
===
HDWs, Heavy War Destroyers
- - -
SVC: The Feds have had theirs for years. The Klingon and Romulan were ordered from a non-Mongoose CGI sculptor a week ago (for both scales).
===
Tugs and Pods
- - -
SVC: Might do those, but they are not big sellers. Back in the days of the 2200s, retailers refused to even carry tugs.
===
Franz Joseph Ships:
- - -
SVC: The DNG in production is close enough to the DN to make a new mini unnecessary or at least a low priority. The CA is done. The DD might be worth doing and will probably be done (as the DDG). The SC and TG would be marginal sellers at best and are far down the priority list.
===
If you do the Franz Joseph ships, it occurs to me that if I want to get 3 DD for example, I am going to have to buy 3 squadron boxes, with the issues of not needing 3 tugs or 3 DN, just like the Fed Reinforcements or Squad box 1 now. Would it be possible to sell the FJ ships in a squad box, or in groups of 3 ships (say 3 DD/Scout) to simplify the royalty recordkeeping? Just brainstorming here.
- - -
SVC: Good chance for me to educate the customers. (ADB takes more customer input than any other game company. Why? Because we take the time to teach you how things work so your input is accurate and useful.)
The Franz Joseph ships are sold in 2400-plastic in complete sets because the only way we can buy them is in complete sets. We know that you don't want three tugs, but we have to pay for three tugs, so if you want three plastic 2400 destroyers we have to charge you for three tugs, and if we charge you for them, we might as well send them to you.
Now, if we did a 2500 DDG (technically we can't do a DD but we can do a DDG, welcome to the world of licensed property) we would sell it as a single. There is no way to offer one box everybody wants and no way to offer multiple boxes that sell single-digit copies of each combination.
===
Starbase:
- - -
SVC: Use the 2400. Starbases cannot be done to scale (not without spray painting a dinner plate gray) and don't have any external details, so we don't need a new mini at all; the 2400 will do fine. As for stats, yeah, those are easy.
===
Monitor or some other Auxiliary if warranted.
- - -
SVC: A 2400 monitor exists. It is not a good seller and I don't see anything but lost money doing a 2500. As for "other auxiliaries" I'm unclear what others exist. The standard "auxiliary" ships are made on freighter hulls, and exist in 2400s which are the same scale as 2500 freighters, so there is no need to do them.
=
One of the Rom super heavy cruisers (Killerhawk or other?)
- - -
SVC; Now, that's an idea.
===
Romulan KDR
- - -
SVC: The Klingon D5 is already there, but I suppose one with etched feathers might be fun.
====
Romulan K7V and KDV
- - -
SVC: Those are carriers, and won't sell to ACTA or Starmada or even FedComm players, as such, they may have to wait until fighter rules are published. For the time being, the Klingon version exists in 2400s.
=====
Would it be too far off the reservation to suggest a Parts Pack for all the empires? Saucers, Booms, Nacelles and Hulls
- - -
SVC: We're one of very few companies that ever did these. (I think we might have been the first to do so.) We mostly did the small parts (engines as sensor dishes) because if you want a saucer, it's actually cheaper for you to buy the ship.
====
Klingon F6, E5, Federation NCL, pol, Gorn DD, Romulan King Eagle, Orion OK6, Orion Double Raider,
- - -
SVC: Those already exist in both 2400 and 2500.
===
Gorn FF/Pol
- - -
SVC: Could be an interesting ship as it doesn't exist in 2400s, but then, it's so similar to the DD and would be such a poor seller that there seems no point in doing a separate mini. I guess you could use a 2400 Gorn DD as a 2500 Gorn FF.
===
Tholian DD, CA, PC
- - -
SVC: Exist for 2400 and are in process for 2500.
Here's some details there. We got masters that were missing phasers from the CGIs we had approved. So, the first option is to ask Bruce if he can add them to the masters. If not, we'll have to have Mongoose do them over from the CGI level.
===
Neo-Tholians, Hydrans, Lyrans, ISC, Seltorians, Vudar, WYN
- - -
SVC: Exist in 2400 and will be done in 2500 when we do all of that empire.
===
Peladine, Carnivon, Paravian, Frax.
- - -
SVC: Might do them someday. Might do them in a scale that would work for both 2400 and 2500 since they won't sell well enough to do two sizes.
===
Kzinti POL
- - -
SVC: Externally identical to Frigate, which exists in both 2400 and 2500.
===
Hydran POL
- - -
SVC: Well, this was a poll for 2500s and since Hydrans' haven't been done for 2500s yet it's kinda moot. Anyway, it's a ship not done for 2400s that might be worth doing sometime. But it's going to be a double-bad-seller. Hydrans well 20% what Feds sell (if that) and no player needs more than one or two police ships.
===
PFs, Fast patrol ships, Gunboats.
- - -
SVC: These will be done during 2014; one size will work for both 2400 and 2500.
===
Fighters
- - -
SVC: These already exist for 2400s and those will be used for 2500s.
===
PFTs for any empire
- - -
SVC: Not sure about those. They're low-sellers (you only need one for your empire, at most two) and in some cases the existing CW is 90% identical. I might comment that gunboats don't exist for FC, Starmada, or ACTA so we might reconsider that after they're in all four tactical game systems.
===
Heavy Freighter (four pods)
- - -
SVC: Mongoose was working on this but given the weak engine issues with the other 2500 freighters I don't think what they have will work at all anyway. It would have to be redone with bigger engines on stronger struts. Which is not a deal breaker, and this is a "missing book one ship" and it would sell nicely for both 2500 and 2400 since they're the same size. So that's a good bed.
===
Scouts
- - -
SVC: bad sellers, generally, since each player needs only one or two. I'd rather sell you sensor dishes and let you roll you rown.
===
Drones, and plasmas
- - -
SVC: Already exist for 2400 and work just fine for 2500. It would be pointless to do new versions for 2500.
===
Tournament Command and speciality ships...like Wyn's tourney ships...etc...
- - -
SVC: You'll have to be more specific.
====
Will the stands fit the mega maps or will we need new bigger maps?
- - -
SVC: Dunno. The bigger 2500s need the bigger stands, which cost around eight to twenty times what the little black stands (used for 2400s) cost. I am not sure what we're going to do about stands when the current Mongoose-stock runs out.
===
Pioneer and Commando Eagles would be really cool if they had extendable landing gear!
- - -
SVC: I can offer no hope such a thing would ever be done.
===
Klingon B10
- - -
SVC: Mongoose was in the middle of making this. We're researching to see where it stands.
===
Other battleships (Romulan, Kzinti, Gorn)
- - -
SVC: These will eventually get done, but don't ask me (today) when. We don't know what will be in ACTA Book Two yet (battleships might or might not be part of it) which might make a difference. Battleships are already in SFB, FC, and Starmada.
===
X-Ships, particularly the Fed
- - -
Not much point in doing just the Fed X-ship. SFB has X-ships but ACTA, FC, and Starmada do not. I suspect that this is 2015 or 2016.
===
Can more ships be added to a revised ACTA book one point two?
- - -
SVC: We do not plan to do so.
===
I'd like to see "What if" ships..?
- - -
SVC: You have to convince me that they will sell. Consider that it costs at least $100 and maybe $300 or more to get any given ship to market. Hey, maybe we'll have a deal where you sponsor your favorite ship by paying that cost?
===
Jean
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ADB, Inc. RPG Line Editor

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