Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

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Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby carbon_dragon » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:01 pm

I'm an old SFB player. I haven't played Federation Commander yet though I have bought it. I've played ACTA in a few other forms. We played two games of ACTA SF over the last few weeks (myself and a friend of mine). The first game was Constitution vs. D7 and the second was two 5 ship fleets.

The first game was a rout with the Constitution destroyed, but it didn't demonstrate much. With my sometimes phenomenally bad luck I missed almost every roll and never did get initiative. I will say though that had I been playing SFB initiative wouldn't have been quite as important as here.

The second game was a bloodbath that ended pretty much in a draw, though I felt the Feds were disadvantaged by the system. First because of the need to reload (requiring that you devote your special action to reloading and because of the power drain) and because the Klingon ships were maneuverability augmented in a way that SFB (and FC) do not do. In those games the Klingons merely had a better turn mode. Here they were "agile" and had a better turn mode and my dreadnought (Federation) was "lumbering". Then there were the drones which I had to devote a significant portion of my armament to counter and even then I got hit. This didn't typically happen in SFB (because they're not direct fire in SFB). I'd rather give the ships ammunition and keep track of it than have that roll a 1 and run out of ammo thing. It makes ADD mode in the Feds worse than useless -- you can't do anything that just firing drones at drones don't do but you can run out of ammo!

My impression is that the game has an SFB flavor to it, but the rules haven't been thought out completely. It's like it's a beta test prototype with the rules not worked out. That and the standard Mongoose missing rules syndrome where you end up with all kinds of rules questions the book doesn't actually answer made it seem as if the game isn't ready for prime time. Showing great promise and maybe fixable, but not right yet.

Am I being too hard on it? What is the prevailing opinion? And as you answer tell me if you play SFB or FC so I can see if you're answering just on the basis of it being a game you like to play or if you think it adequately mimics the SFB universe. Thanks!
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby Nerroth » Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:17 am

One thing I might suggest is to take a look at the most recent errata file. For one, the Lumbering rule has been taken out entirely (though, if we ever see the likes of the Seltorian Battlewagon show up in ACtA:SF, I could see a case being made for that rule to be brought back in for that kind of unit).


In so far as the game itself handles the source material, one thought I try to keep in mind is a phrase which Daniel Kast (the author of the SFU conversions to the Admiralty and Nova Editions of Starmada) wrote in his designer's notes:
My intent in developing Klingon Armada was to maintain the "feel" of the Star Fleet Universe, but not try to mimic the game mechanics of SFB or FC.
By and large, I feel that the same intent is true for A Call to Arms: Star Fleet, even if the manner of execution might be a matter of further discussion.

Neither the Starmada (Admiralty or Nova) nor A Call to Arms game engines can directly map the kind of core mechanics which SFB and FC share. And in fairness, they are not supposed to. The kind of detailed energy allocation, impulse-based movement, and intricacies found in each SSD or Ship Card lend themselves well to duels or small squadron actions, though FC has certain mechanics which can catch out the unwary SFB veteran (such as the tying of shield reinforcement to the number of active battery boxes present to prevent starcastling, or the need to pay double to go in reverse for all non-Andromedan ships as a means of discouraging retrogrades).

While that kind of fine granulation is absent here, the focus instead lies on larger fleet actions which one might struggle to find the time to play out in SFB (or even in FC). Or, at least, so is the intention. I don't hear all that much in the way of complaints about how the Starmada adaptations "re-imagine" the setting for their own purposes, but then the player base is perhaps not as large as that for ACtA:SF. Plus the tying of this game to the Starline 2500 miniature line has arguably fed into the kind of spotlight being cast upon its development, which has not been all that smooth in and of itself.


There has been talk of a revision 2 book being hammered out between ADB and Mongoose before the line can pick things up and move forward again. But I imagine that, regardless of how well things go in the next round of discussion, there will always be a difference between how the universe is portrayed in this game engine relative to its ADB-native counterparts (or to its fellow third-party system from Majestic 12).

Hopefully, A Call to Arms: Star Fleet can find a way to tick whatever boxes it may still need to fill in order to ensure "SFU-compliance", while still being able to play up the strengths and opportunities in fleet-sized space combat which the game engine was designed to showcase.


And to answer your last point, I haven't had a chance to play ACtA:SF or either version of the Starmada adaptation personally, though I do own a number of the Admiralty Edition modules for the latter as well as book 1 for the former (on top of my collection of SFB and FC modules... most of which, in fairness, haven't seen much in the way of play time themselves, sadly.) So I must defer to those who have more on-table experience with ACtA:SF, in terms of how the "feel" of the game comes across in that regard.
The above post is 100% unofficial.
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby kyrolon » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:06 am

I think the idea that we are playing "beta test" rules is close to the fact. The number of needed errata is indicative of this. That being said, I think ACTA:SF comes CLOSE to getting the feel of the SFU, but missed the mark in that it leaves ships incapable of doing things they can in SFB and FC. Klingons seemingly get tons of special advantages for no apparent reason. Cloaking devices are a death trap. And before the fixes (as the OP seems to be playing) drones were completely broken.

If ACTA is to go forward successfully we need a revised edition sooner rather than later. Unfortunately the rumors seem to indicate mid-late 2014 at best. By then there will need to be a complete relaunch because people are abandoning ship rather quickly. I have seen such discussions on several forums of late. Matt, you need to work things out, put down the Dredd comics, and right the foundering ship that is ACTA. Please. I see SO much potential in the game, but it needs attention from someone. If you can convince ADB to get together with you instead of putting out yet another "C" module from some unknown part of the galaxy there is still hope. It can't wait another year with nothing.

Our group has no intention of abandoning the game. For all its faults it meets our needs for playtime and detail. We have moved forward with writing our own rules for the things Mongoose seems to have abandoned. (remember the ship cards--hard copies-- and the Fleet books that were due out last summer?)

I truly hope to see things improved, but when you see threads elsewhere with titles like "is ACTA SF dead?" and people refusing to deal with Mongoose after getting burned not once or twice, but three times, and you begin to wonder.
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby Reynard » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:39 pm

It's fast and simple and fun! It gets the job done and let's us play big Star Trek battle. Amazing how that aspect attracts players. Sure there are a few glitches but my friends and I either ignore them if they're not making the game unplayable (they're not) or accept errata that officiates a sensible rule change.

As to an analog, I would say yes. It has the same ships and background as Star Fleet battle Universe while using a somewhat similar game mechanic. If the SFU is an important component then you have what you want. I like the Star Fleet Universe, it's been a stable and consistent depiction of Star Trek for decades with a rich history. Can't say that about other Star Trek game systems that have come and gone and even the movies and tv series can't make up their minds what Star Trek is! Enjoy the game for what it is.
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby mdauben » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:14 pm

kyrolon wrote:I think the idea that we are playing "beta test" rules is close to the fact. The number of needed errata is indicative of this.
With around three decades of wargameing experience to draw on, I can't think of any relativly complex game system that does not generate a fair amount of errata. If you want to comdem ACTASF for having errata, you better stick to "beer-n-pretzles" games because they all have it (or at least need it.
If ACTA is to go forward successfully we need a revised edition sooner rather than later. Unfortunately the rumors seem to indicate mid-late 2014 at best. By then there will need to be a complete relaunch because people are abandoning ship rather quickly. I have seen such discussions on several forums of late.
While I would welcome a revised edition, I think it is in no way required to keep the game running. Mongoose just needs to address the existing issues with offical errata and move on until the revised rulebook is ready.
...and right the foundering ship that is ACTA.
It can't wait another year with nothing.
I think people telling everyone that ACTASF is broken and isn't worth playing until the rules undergo a full revision is doing more harm than good to the long term viability of the game system than any percieved flaws.
I truly hope to see things improved, but when you see threads elsewhere with titles like "is ACTA SF dead?" and people refusing to deal with Mongoose after getting burned not once or twice, but three times, and you begin to wonder.
Personally, I think the "is ACTA SF dead?" question has more to do with the lack of new releases and the lack of much forum presence here by Matt or anyone from Mongoose. There are still miniatures from the existing books that have not been released, even some that have been up for preorder with no actual release for way too long. It is my understanding that new material and miniatures were put on hold by ADB rather than being a bottleneck at the Mongoose end of things. I do agree this current longjam needs to be broken and some sort of release schedule needs to be established for the next 12 months. If a revised rule book really can't be done in that period, at least throw the player base a bone. Even a trickle of new miniatures and a couple of new ACTA Journal releases with updates and playtest material would go a long way towards satisfying people that the game is not dead. :wink:
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby billclo » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:28 pm

Well one big issue is that the rules were very rushed, apparently for Xmas. They really could have used a few more months of serious playtesting. Instead, what we got was a half-baked game, that was not ready for prime-time. Errata has been issued for some of the problems, but there are many needed clarifications, and a few cleaned up rules.

The game is mainly playable now, I find, IF you exclude the Klingons, who are just too good, IMHO. It pains me to watch new Federation players at demos get slaughtered time and again by the Klingons. Sure, some of that is the learning curve, but mainly it's the hyper-maneuverability of the Klingons that ensures the Feds die in droves. The Klingon special front shield rule, kind of silly, but somewhat compensated by the lower Hull Points most Klingon ships have.

I have not yet tried Roms, so I can't comment on the Cloak and it's issues.

Even I, while I don't get enough time to play the game because I was running many demos, has a pretty poor record using Feds vs Klingons. Feds vs Gorns, I win the majority of the time. Gorns vs Klingons, pretty tough fight for the Gorns.

I am not planning on running as many convention events as I used to, and once I get a bigger local game group online, plan to house-rule away what I see as the main faults of the game system and Mongoose can take their sweet old time on releases. Won't really need them at that point. We're also starting to tinker with fighter rules, so again, Mongoose is rapidly losing relevance.

Changes I plan to try to introduce at my local group one at a time and see what the effects are:

1) Delete the Agile Trait.

2) Photons reload automatically, without having to use a Reload Special Action, with no power drain (Photons take 2 pts power to reload per turn, same as Disruptors, but give you a power drain but disruptors don't? WTH? Still requires 2 turns to reload, just no power drain.

3) Combined Drone Racks and Drone Racks are moved to the Trait line so they are unaffected by power drain.

4) Introduce fighters, and see if we can hash out some rules that we like.
If ACTA is to go forward successfully we need a revised edition sooner rather than later. Unfortunately the rumors seem to indicate mid-late 2014 at best. By then there will need to be a complete relaunch because people are abandoning ship rather quickly. I have seen such discussions on several forums of late. Matt, you need to work things out, put down the Dredd comics, and right the foundering ship that is ACTA. Please. I see SO much potential in the game, but it needs attention from someone.
Amen brother.
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby Da Boss » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:55 pm

The game we have currently is a compromise between old ACTA and SFB requirements. Its not at all perfect and I would agree that is slowly slipping into the murk of oblivion at present.....

re the OP: I don't know as I don't play SFB/FC - however I do know that the game rules were massively altered and adapted to try and incorporate the specifics of the SFB universe.....how much success is debatable but that’s the nature of a compromise I think.

re the suggestions to make the game better:

Drone Ammo - I think its unnecessary to track ammo, but then I also hate the whole Drones thing I am afraid as I feel it takes away from the feel of Star Trek as half the fleets seem to be obsessed with making it their primary weapon. The current Anti-Drone rule is ok I feel and fits the game system.

Delete Agile: Not sure its needed but if you like

Photons reload automatically - please no - a much better option is just to have them as "Slow Loading" as in the previous edition of the game - ie you just fire them every other turn.....simple and easy and it works

Drones ignoring power drain - god no - they are over powered and hyper prevalent as it is, there has to be some down side to them.........

Fighters- there are about 5 threads already discussing rules - all very different and agin falls foul of the "It has to be like this / SFB" rule so usually becomes over complex /overpowered very quickly.

Cloaking -: Not sure what's wrong with it - its an incredibly powerful mechanism when used well.
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby billclo » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:16 pm

Photons reload automatically - please no - a much better option is just to have them as "Slow Loading" as in the previous edition of the game - ie you just fire them every other turn.....simple and easy and it works
I could live with handling it that way.

I think that both ADB and Mongoose have too many product lines to properly support and keep going. Surely isn't helping matters when Matt is too busy with the new products to even communicate with us on an occasional basis. Give it 6-9 months, and Judge Dredd will start to be neglected in favor of the latest new product line, just like ACTA:SF and Noble Armada has had happen. :cry:
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby Steve J » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:37 pm

Here's hoping that SVC and the rest of the ADB gang can hold Matt's feet to the fire and get ACTA: SF back on course.
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby captainsmartass » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:07 pm

I've only played a handful of games but here's what I would love to see happen:

Photons: make them Slow Loading, no SA to reload and fire every other turn. Keep plasmas as they are, they're able to fire every other turn instead of every third as it is, that's enough of a boost.

Cloak: it mostly works well, but something has to allow for the fade-in feature of cloaking devices. I think a given ship that decloaks should get 4+ stealth until it actually fires that turn; after that, the cloak effect is completely gone. This allows Romulan players to start decloaking and lining up shots without losing an entire fleet to one round of shooting because they were outmaneuvered while under cloak.

Agile: should not be available for anything with more than 14 damage points. So the Klingon cruisers lose it, but their smallboys keep it.

Drones: personally I think drones are fine they way they are.

Scatter packs: I would love to see scatter packs make an appearance. Creating one should take a special action, be a power drain, and result in a single drone rack being emptied to load one (so the total AD for drones is reduced by 1). The shuttle is then launched at the end of the Movement phase. When it launches it'll close to within 15" and automatically launch 6 AD of drones, which are handled normally. A single hit on the shuttle destroys it; an opposed CQ check determines if the drones launch before the shuttle is destroyed, in which case they launch from their current position (and hence may need to roll to-hit).

Fighters: lots of good fighter rules have been posted. I'm a fan of the flight-of-three model, with each hit destroying a single fighter, and each fighter getting 1 AD of Phaser 3 (F) and either a single AD of drones, disruptor, photons, or Type-D plasma, depending on the model and race. Give them Agile and Fast, and don't allow any special actions except HET and All Power to Engines.
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby Drummer » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:10 am

Cloaked ships, after using their special action to "Disengage Cloaking Device!" get hammered with seeking weapons without getting IDF protection from other fellow ships also likewise uncloaking (this is a fleet game after all). And Romulan ships typically have slightly fewer phasers than other races to begin with. While the cloaking device in SFB was the Romulan's greatest asset in thwarting waves of seeking weapons, the direct fire nature of seeking weapons in ACTA:SF ironically hamstrings the Romulans. All the enemy has to do is sit there and keep the Romulan ships from maneuvering into attack position (oh, snap! Cloaked ships crawl along at 6"; which even with the uncloaking benefit of relocating anywhere within a 6" inch radius, still gives the enemy a pretty good idea where the ship is going to be) and hammer them when they uncloak. Gorns and Kzinti do very well against cloaking Romulans in my opinion. Fed vs Romulan seems fair. Klingons usually do well, but do get caught from behind enough that it's hilarious (and vindicating) catching them vulnerable with plasma (if they're foolish enough to mix it up that close with Roms).

Now, if there was a "Move Fast Under Cloak" special action, allowing cloaked ships to move 9" (under penalty +4 to hit), that would certainly make things more interesting and give the Romulans a risky opportunity to maneuver while cloaked instead of simply rearming weapons and waiting for initiative rolls.

I like the agility of the Klingon ships, personally. I can't decide if I like or don't like the front shield rule, but leaning toward keeping it. It's something different and creates variety. I'm annoyed with how this creates the necessary Fed tactic to "plink" at Klingon front shields with single phasers to "round up" the shield damage, though. But that's life. If the Feds were adjusted, "slow reload" for photons and a G-rack unaffected by power drain, I would hope that might balance them out. We've been so faithful to the rules, we haven't tried it yet, so it's only theory.

Scatter Packs? Yikes! Not interested. Too overwhelming. It would make the game much more "drone-centric" than it already is. Poor Romulan players (see above)!
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby MongooseMatt » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:15 am

kyrolon wrote: Matt, you need to work things out, put down the Dredd comics, and right the foundering ship that is ACTA. Please.
Hi guys,

We have been talking a great deal with the guys at ADB and it looks like we are 'this' close to working out what has to happen and how. Still some details to hammer out, but things are looking positive.
Matthew Sprange

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http://www.mongoosepublishing.com
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby katadder » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:47 am

what about NA? lol
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby Loki1965 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:22 pm

msprange wrote:
Hi guys,

We have been talking a great deal with the guys at ADB and it looks like we are 'this' close to working out what has to happen and how. Still some details to hammer out, but things are looking positive.
Great news - several people are showing interest at my club, but with them being old SFB players they are waiting until their favourite ship/race/weapons are added before buying.
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby Da Boss » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:49 pm

Drummer wrote:Cloaked ships, after using their special action to "Disengage Cloaking Device!" get hammered with seeking weapons without getting IDF protection from other fellow ships also likewise uncloaking (this is a fleet game after all). And Romulan ships typically have slightly fewer phasers than other races to begin with. While the cloaking device in SFB was the Romulan's greatest asset in thwarting waves of seeking weapons, the direct fire nature of seeking weapons in ACTA:SF ironically hamstrings the Romulans. All the enemy has to do is sit there and keep the Romulan ships from maneuvering into attack position (oh, snap! Cloaked ships crawl along at 6"; which even with the uncloaking benefit of relocating anywhere within a 6" inch radius, still gives the enemy a pretty good idea where the ship is going to be) and hammer them when they uncloak. Gorns and Kzinti do very well against cloaking Romulans in my opinion. Fed vs Romulan seems fair. Klingons usually do well, but do get caught from behind enough that it's hilarious (and vindicating) catching them vulnerable with plasma (if they're foolish enough to mix it up that close with Roms).

Now, if there was a "Move Fast Under Cloak" special action, allowing cloaked ships to move 9" (under penalty +4 to hit), that would certainly make things more interesting and give the Romulans a risky opportunity to maneuver while cloaked instead of simply rearming weapons and waiting for initiative rolls.

I like the agility of the Klingon ships, personally. I can't decide if I like or don't like the front shield rule, but leaning toward keeping it. It's something different and creates variety. I'm annoyed with how this creates the necessary Fed tactic to "plink" at Klingon front shields with single phasers to "round up" the shield damage, though. But that's life. If the Feds were adjusted, "slow reload" for photons and a G-rack unaffected by power drain, I would hope that might balance them out. We've been so faithful to the rules, we haven't tried it yet, so it's only theory.

Scatter Packs? Yikes! Not interested. Too overwhelming. It would make the game much more "drone-centric" than it already is. Poor Romulan players (see above)!
Not convinced this is the case in games I have seen / played - the Romulans do very nicely thank you - especially if they use terrain to keep some uncloaked Iniative sinking ships from being targeted. They can move towards you with a 2+ save and then even if you fail the save - well it usually just hits their shields....The whole point about playing Romulans is its a tricky balancing act and working out when and which ships to de-cloak. If you decloak your best ship first in front of the enemy - its going to die - you can de-cloak selectively and in a sort of ripple effect - a number of the newer Romulan ships don't even need the cloak and have lots of Ph-3' and tractor beams, the latter in decent arcs.

From what you say - Feds vs Roms is fair - so if you make the romulans better - does that not become unfair?
Klingons also works ok? same issue.
I am surprised that Gorns do that well? - they have low numbers of phasers, no other primary weapon like Drones that the Klingons and Feds have, are not especially good at turning.
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby Drummer » Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:32 pm

Da Boss wrote:
Drummer wrote:Cloaked ships, after using their special action to "Disengage Cloaking Device!" get hammered with seeking weapons without getting IDF protection from other fellow ships also likewise uncloaking (this is a fleet game after all). And Romulan ships typically have slightly fewer phasers than other races to begin with. While the cloaking device in SFB was the Romulan's greatest asset in thwarting waves of seeking weapons, the direct fire nature of seeking weapons in ACTA:SF ironically hamstrings the Romulans. All the enemy has to do is sit there and keep the Romulan ships from maneuvering into attack position (oh, snap! Cloaked ships crawl along at 6"; which even with the uncloaking benefit of relocating anywhere within a 6" inch radius, still gives the enemy a pretty good idea where the ship is going to be) and hammer them when they uncloak. Gorns and Kzinti do very well against cloaking Romulans in my opinion. Fed vs Romulan seems fair. Klingons usually do well, but do get caught from behind enough that it's hilarious (and vindicating) catching them vulnerable with plasma (if they're foolish enough to mix it up that close with Roms).

Now, if there was a "Move Fast Under Cloak" special action, allowing cloaked ships to move 9" (under penalty +4 to hit), that would certainly make things more interesting and give the Romulans a risky opportunity to maneuver while cloaked instead of simply rearming weapons and waiting for initiative rolls.

I like the agility of the Klingon ships, personally. I can't decide if I like or don't like the front shield rule, but leaning toward keeping it. It's something different and creates variety. I'm annoyed with how this creates the necessary Fed tactic to "plink" at Klingon front shields with single phasers to "round up" the shield damage, though. But that's life. If the Feds were adjusted, "slow reload" for photons and a G-rack unaffected by power drain, I would hope that might balance them out. We've been so faithful to the rules, we haven't tried it yet, so it's only theory.

Scatter Packs? Yikes! Not interested. Too overwhelming. It would make the game much more "drone-centric" than it already is. Poor Romulan players (see above)!
Not convinced this is the case in games I have seen / played - the Romulans do very nicely thank you - especially if they use terrain to keep some uncloaked Iniative sinking ships from being targeted. They can move towards you with a 2+ save and then even if you fail the save - well it usually just hits their shields....The whole point about playing Romulans is its a tricky balancing act and working out when and which ships to de-cloak. If you decloak your best ship first in front of the enemy - its going to die - you can de-cloak selectively and in a sort of ripple effect - a number of the newer Romulan ships don't even need the cloak and have lots of Ph-3' and tractor beams, the latter in decent arcs.

From what you say - Feds vs Roms is fair - so if you make the romulans better - does that not become unfair?
Klingons also works ok? same issue.
I am surprised that Gorns do that well? - they have low numbers of phasers, no other primary weapon like Drones that the Klingons and Feds have, are not especially good at turning.
My brother, playing Gorn, has done well not getting too close to cloaked Romulan ships and used all those interlocking phaser arcs to full advantage (fleetwide while using IDF) when shooting up incoming plasma. Maybe I need to come up with different tactics, but all the games we've played with Romulans (myself and others playing them), Roms get trashed. We haven't won a single game with Romulans. To be honest, he's formulated Gorn tactics down to a science after struggling with them for a while. Yes, late year Rom ships are graced with phasers. We feel the Gorn ships are pretty average, really. Klingon's typically don't typically have the drone numbers Kzintis do, but certainly have that agility to get their front shield pointed at anything.

Romulans and Federation usually get killed by Kzinti, Klingons, and Gorn. It's a match made in heaven, then, to play Romulan vs Fed, because we feel they are both made for each other.
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby carbon_dragon » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:21 pm

billclo wrote:Well one big issue is that the rules were very rushed, apparently for Xmas. They really could have used a few more months of serious playtesting. Instead, what we got was a half-baked game, that was not ready for prime-time. Errata has been issued for some of the problems, but there are many needed clarifications, and a few cleaned up rules.

The game is mainly playable now, I find, IF you exclude the Klingons, who are just too good, IMHO. It pains me to watch new Federation players at demos get slaughtered time and again by the Klingons. Sure, some of that is the learning curve, but mainly it's the hyper-maneuverability of the Klingons that ensures the Feds die in droves. The Klingon special front shield rule, kind of silly, but somewhat compensated by the lower Hull Points most Klingon ships have.

...
Changes I plan to try to introduce at my local group one at a time and see what the effects are:

1) Delete the Agile Trait.

2) Photons reload automatically, without having to use a Reload Special Action, with no power drain (Photons take 2 pts power to reload per turn, same as Disruptors, but give you a power drain but disruptors don't? WTH? Still requires 2 turns to reload, just no power drain.

3) Combined Drone Racks and Drone Racks are moved to the Trait line so they are unaffected by power drain.

4) Introduce fighters, and see if we can hash out some rules that we like.
If ACTA is to go forward successfully we need a revised edition sooner rather than later. Unfortunately the rumors seem to indicate mid-late 2014 at best. By then there will need to be a complete relaunch because people are abandoning ship rather quickly. I have seen such discussions on several forums of late. Matt, you need to work things out, put down the Dredd comics, and right the foundering ship that is ACTA. Please. I see SO much potential in the game, but it needs attention from someone.
Amen brother.
I'm still working with the original game. It's hard to "edit" the game without being able to reprint it. Typically I want the original game to work but here it clearly doesn't. It's not just nits, it's fundamental. Feds vs. Klingons is the fundamental reality of the SFB universe.

Yes ditch the Agile and Lumbering (I know Lumbering has already been ditched in the errata).

I like the idea of slow loading for the Photons

I'd take accurate off the Disruptors unless we want to add them to Photons

I would't introduce fighters yet

I'd add ammunition for the drone racks. There is not that much ammunition to speak of. And I'd at least add a "in transit" turn to the drones. Say you put then the target's ship where they explode at the end of the next turn so the target can speed up, cloak, or take a turn to fire at them before they hit. I wouldn't object to actually moving them on the playing surface but I can understand if there are not many who might agree with me.

I'd lose the klingon shield reinforcing rule (why, there's no corollary in SFB and FC).

But I kind of hate doing that just to make it playable.
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby Greg Smith » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:17 pm

carbon_dragon wrote:
I'd lose the klingon shield reinforcing rule (why, there's no corollary in SFB and FC).
As I understood it, Klingons in SFB have better front shields. Hence the 'Klingon Sabre Dance' tactic. In playtesting one FC player was very keen to keep this in.
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby carbon_dragon » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:24 pm

I do think that the feel is pretty good though and I like simpler games so I think there is definitely something there that is worth saving. I'm just not sure it might not be easier to learn and play Federation Commander. I'm not sure it would play that much slower than ACTA SF. It seems like the combination of these two companies would produce a pretty game with good thorough rules but so far it hasn't achieved that goal.

I used to play FASA Starship Combat Simulator after we stopped playing SFB (just too complicated) and before even SFB I played the Star Fleet Battle Manual (Zocchi). That last one was a strange game you played on the floor with protractors and estimating your opponent's direction and firing along compass headings. Strange but fun. FASA wasn't bad but there were things I didn't like like the shield rules. They designed some pretty ships though. The Romulan Nova class and Bright One destroyer were two of my favorites.
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Re: Is ACTA SF a good analog for SFB or FC?

Postby carbon_dragon » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:30 pm

Greg Smith wrote:
carbon_dragon wrote:
I'd lose the klingon shield reinforcing rule (why, there's no corollary in SFB and FC).
As I understood it, Klingons in SFB have better front shields. Hence the 'Klingon Sabre Dance' tactic. In playtesting one FC player was very keen to keep this in.
I'll have to check my SSDs but I don't remember any great superiority in forward shield power. As it stands now the Klingons are pretty much unbeatable. I figured the designer had lots of Klingon costumes and spent a lot of time learning to speak Klingon. it was the only way I could explain the ridiculous advantages he gave the Klingons in the book. God the first matchup they should have perfected is D7 vs. Constitution.

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