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Old October 25th, 2004, 05:51 PM
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The player roster consisted of an Imperial CINC located at Rhylanor, a Zhodani CINC located at Cronor, a Sword Worlds CINC who doubled as a fleet commander, a Vargr CINC who doubled as a fleet commander, and a number of Zhodani and Imperial fleet commanders. Here for the first time is the player list:

Imperials:
CINC Andrew Moreton
193rd Fleet Ghufran Syed
212th Fleet Jeff Beeler
213th Fleet Des Barry
214th Fleet Charles Li
TF 17 Keith Grant
1st Prov. Larsen E. Whipsnade

Zhodani
CINC Matt Bond
1st Assault Joe Coyle
2nd Assault Brian Songy
40th Fleet Ben Aaronovitch, later John Doucette
65th Fleet Erik Yocum
68th Fleet "Michael O'Neill"*
14th Colonial Michael aka theSea**

Sword Worlds: Eric Holmberg (CINC and Joyeuse Fleet)

Vargr: Phill Webb (CINC and Uthith Fleet)

* I never did get the real name of this player; he used a friend's internet access and account.

** Can't locate this Michael's full name.

Each fleet commander and the SW and Vargr CINCs were represented by admiral counters from the game. The strategic ratings and for the most part precedence ratings were ignored, but the tactical modifiers did come into play. The Zhodani 15th Colonial fleet (and initially the 14th Colonial), the Imperial 187th fleet, the SW Gram fleet and the Vargr Gireel fleet were all commanded by NPCs, as were any squadrons not organized into fleets and the various troop units & SDB squadrons.

As a GM, I hate to change the rules while a game is in progress, but a couple of situations came up that either a) weren't covered in the printed rules or b) I hadn't thought about before hand. Both were products of the switch from a boardgame with all pieces in plain sight to a limited intelligence, double-blind scenario.

The first instance is disengagement. As written, a fleet which is fully fueled can't disengage if a superior force jumps in-system until at least one round of space combat has occurred. This seemed unreasonable when the tiny 214th fleet found itself in the path of the juggernaut that was the Zhodani Combined Assault Fleet at Lysen. In a traditional boardgame, the Imperial player would be able to see the huge stack of Zhodani counters bearing down and be able to (potentially) get out of the way. Not so here. I added a disengagement before combat rule, allowing a side to disengage by jumping out any squadrons that had already begun the turn fully fuelled. This still allowed the Zhodani to force an engagement a week later at Grant, but gave the Imperials the arguably reasonable option to run like hell when they first encountered the Combined Assault Fleets.

The second had to do with interrogation of prisoners. This came up after the 212th fleet defeated the Vargr "stay-behind" force at Dentus. Jeff argued convincingly that he should be able to elicit some information from the survivors. I didn't create a hard-and-fast rule for this, but decided to allow it. See Jeff's post for the details on what he was able to glean. In retrospect, I think creating a more detailed rule wouldn't be practical for the level of abstraction represented in the game, and that "winging it" was appropriate. YMMV. If I were a more evil GM, or had the situation come up again, I might have indulged in a bit of misinformation. [img]smile.gif[/img]

The one rule that had the most variety of interpretations at the beginning was Refuelling. IMHO, most folks simply didn't read it closely enough and in conjunction with the refuelling table on the player aid card (complicated by the fact that some of the player aids missed inclusion in the FFE reprint book, though they're on the FFE website for download). Some missed the requirement for system control to refuel anywhere but at a gas giant, or misunderstood what was needed for system control. This had big implications initially for the Vargr as Phill related.

Next, my take on the initial plans of the combatants.

- End Part 2 -
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Homebrew TU Heretic
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