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Traveller Wargames Discussion of the various Traveller wargames and miniatures systems.

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Old December 6th, 2016, 02:07 PM
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Default FFW Question - Transporting Ground Units

I've recently acquired a copy of this and working through the rules. I just wanted to check in regard to the transport rules. According to the rules, a ground unit can be transported by a squadron on the basis of one ground factor per one defensive factor point of the ship (sorry, don't have the rules handy to directly quote from)- i.e., a 5-factor could be transported by a squadron with a defense factor of 5 or more. This rules also stipulate that a ground unit can't be transported by more than one ship- i.e., a 20-factor ground unit could not be transported by two or more ships whose defense factors add up to 20.

If this is the case and based on a review of the counter mix, it would appear that every few ground units could actually be transported from planet to planet.

Am I reading this correctly? Thanks in advance for any clarifications.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 03:10 PM
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Look on page 20, it gives the transport capacity of different ship types:
Quote:
Code Squadron Type Troop Capacity
A...... Assault Carrier.... 6C - 3C
B...... Battle................ 20 - 10
C...... Cruiser.............. defense factor
S...... Scout................ none
T...... Tanker.............. none
Troop capacities indicate the total
number of troops that may be carried
on the squadron. The first value may be
carried by a full strength squadron; the
second may be carried if the squadron is
reduced by combat.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 03:23 PM
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I got ninja'd by Mike, Jason, but you had half of the transport rule correct.

Only CruRons transport troops according to their defense factor. BatRons and AssaultRons transport troops according to the table Mike kindly posted.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 03:59 PM
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Oops! Yep, staring me right in the face. It wasn't made explicit in the rules themselves. OK, makes sense now. Now to have some fun although the set-up is taking forever, even using the Vassal module.

Last edited by Jason Breck; December 6th, 2016 at 04:41 PM..
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Old December 6th, 2016, 04:38 PM
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I empathise and sympathise over FFW set up times.
I still remember the first game, it took a couple of hours to sort the counters, determine starting positions and then write the first set of orders.

I now have the counters sorted into individual bags by counter type/faction so the sorting doesn't take too long.

Initial set up is much faster now, as is writing first turn orders.

If you want a real challenge you need two boards at least - one for each player - and only the referee gets to look at both. You know each other's initial starting points but after that only contact with the enemy reveals their position to you.

And even that is god mode compared to the information that an admiral in the setting would have - rules would need to be added for intel sent by courier - and you would need a board for every fleet and a player for each fleet.

The writing orders turns in advance is a good compromise

Last edited by mike wightman; December 6th, 2016 at 05:45 PM..
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Old December 6th, 2016, 04:45 PM
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I used to have the hardcopy version of the game back in the day but I sold it along with all my Traveller stuff. I downloaded the electronic version from DriveThuRPG and found the Vassal Module so it's a little easier doing things electronically (I do that a lot because of limited room, wandering animals, and a disapproving Frau). I do wish it was on Cyberboad- that's a lot more user-friendly.

But, I am going to play this solitaire for a bit and see how far I can get.

For an RPG scenario, I can see the player characters being part of one those 1-15 mercenary counters.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
And even that is god mode compared tot eh information that an admiral in the setting would have - rules would need to be added for intel sent by courier - and you would need a board for every fleet and a player for each fleet.
could play it pbp. the referee sees it all on his at-home set-up, and tells the players what they see on their at-home set-up. tried to run that in the "jump" thread.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 08:17 PM
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So, I was thinking about this the other day. Specifically blind play, with players taking the roles of the Admirals. Admirals would have one or more fleets under their command. There would be a ruling Admiral that would be able to give orders to the other Admirals, who agree up front to basically try and do their best to fulfill (so there would be a single, central commander on each side).

However, the other Admirals have local control over their fleet, as well as any others that are in their operational space. And those fleets would run on orders.

But there would be two key components.

First, the players ideally would not be allowed to communicate outside the game. And, two, orders move at speed of travel.

The other aspect, is that Intelligence would automatically propagate. That is, it's simply assumed that there is traffic in and out of systems to report fleet movements. If an enemy fleet jumps in, there's some handy courier there to jump out and report it. When the fleet leaves, there's another one ready to pop out to tell of their leaving.

The question then become at what speed does that information travel. I was thinking Jump 2 (since I expect these to be scouts). Information on X-Boat routes would travel at J-4, but only along the route, and only to the next system. But once that information from the X-Boat landed, the info could still be propagated at J-2. One could argue that X-Boat traffic won't happen from an interdicted system.

Simply, I consider Couriers to be ubiquitous, and Space "uncontrollable" enough to prevent it from happening. So, every fleet movement and action starts a J-2 Ripple of information in the space pond.

The refs basic job is simply routing the messages properly. He also resolves combat. The other best part, if the ref messes up and misroutes or fails to route a message, c'est la vie. Intelligence is only so reliable .

What this means is that each turn, the players will get a new update, telling of fleet movements and combat actions, based on the system that they are in (or just arrived into).

Players would have direct control only over the fleets they're with, everything else is done by Courier. While fleet movements are "public" knowledge, orders are targeted. So, if a player wanted Fleet B to do something, they would have to know that the fleet is in System X, and direct the message to that system. In theory you could send orders to systems blindly "Send orders to Fleet B in System X, Y, and Z to come home". Maybe have a special rule that any pending orders are lost in an interdicted system.

But that way, orders can be awaiting a fleet when it arrives. If an order to Fleet B arrived in System X on turn 10, the enemy fleet entered on turn 11, and then jumped on turn 12, when Fleet B arrived in turn 13, the orders would not be there.

Could even have a roll to decrypt the captured communications.

This is in contrast to the "plotted movement" of normal FFW. You can plot movement, in that you can give a fleet an order to "Jump to system X, then Y, then Z". But the key point being once they are "out of orders", they sit waiting for new ones. Seems like it might work better to be able to update the orders of a fleet that's only 2 weeks jump away than have them linger for 5 turns like in FFW. If you keep sending out orders to system where the ships should be, then it's effectively just like FFWs pre-plotted system.

The overall commander on each side could be a fighting commander, or simply sit in the capital giving out orders. But, arguably, it would behoove them to get closer to the front just to improve the time lag.

Could also have J-4 Fleet Couriers. Give each side a select few of those.

I'm just curious how it would play out. How the central command would feel seeing everything happening, too late, and in slow motion. The fleet commanders sense of isolation as they try to prosecute their own little bit of the war.

Dunno if anyone would want to play that. Dunno in practice how much it would be different from a normal FFW game.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by whartung View Post
Dunno if anyone would want to play that. Dunno in practice how much it would be different from a normal FFW game.

It would be [hugely different. I know because I was fortunate enough to play in a double blind version of FFW right here at COTI. The game had to be abandoned after 6 or 7 turns but it was absolutely fascinating.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whartung View Post
So, I was thinking about this the other day. Specifically blind play, with players taking the roles of the Admirals. Admirals would have one or more fleets under their command. There would be a ruling Admiral that would be able to give orders to the other Admirals, who agree up front to basically try and do their best to fulfill (so there would be a single, central commander on each side).

(...)
I planned for something like this many years ago, after something like this was done for Napoleon's 100 days campaign.

Some other things I wanted then to include were:
  • The main role of the Commander in Chief of each side, aside from issuing orders (and aside the normal role as aldmiral he could have if leading a fleet by himself), would be to distribute the resoruces arriving (reinforcements, replacements, etc...)
  • Planetary assaults not lasting only a few weeks, at least against HiPop-HiTech systems (as Efate). That needed a fully different ground combat system.
  • Planetary defenses (no longer should bombing a planet be free)
  • Intelligence access for aldmirals (I mean access to INI or Zhodani equivalent reports), that would depend on the strategic factor of them in the game (so, a 0 turns plotting aldmiral would have better access to it than a 4 turns plotting one).
  • Diplomatic factor for aldmirals, that would allow them to "recruit" part of planetary ressources (mostly ground combat units)

Needless to say, all this led to a daunting task that was never finished... maybe I was too mabitious and should have limited myself to the game rules and counters as they are...

Quote:
Originally Posted by whartung View Post
Dunno if anyone would want to play that.
I'd like to...

Quote:
Originally Posted by whartung View Post
Dunno in practice how much it would be different from a normal FFW game.
From the experience of the Napoleonic campaign I told above, it was very different than playing any boardgame I've ever seen.
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