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Non-Traveller Gaming A forum specifically for discussing those other games we like to play.

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  #11  
Old June 18th, 2018, 07:26 PM
whartung whartung is offline
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For me the detail of SFB is what made it a great game.

Star Fleet Command, and I haven't played it, is a simplified SFB, and it doesn't take much simplification to lose what I consider the core of SFB. It's pretty, to be sure. But it's more like Car Wars than SFB to me. Car Wars was fun, but not as tactically deep as SFB is.

While the game is about flying ships around and blowing each other up, the GAME is all about maneuver and timing. And that's where all of those intricacies kick in.

It's when folks burn a battery to fire off that last P3 into a suddenly availed down shield because of a wrong turn that sparks off the last Photon. The combination of bad timing and bad luck could have just turned the game around.

En Masse, where SFB did poorly, it could be a bit of a slugfest. But in small numbers, it's definitely a game of finesse.

And all of that detail that they put in to it, the nature of Energy Allocation, timing of the impulse chart, speed changes, etc. is what gives it the variety that make paying attention really matter. While many have tried, you can't simply just rush up to range 4 and narrow salvo 4 Overloaded Photons to crash 64 pts of damage in to your opponent and expect to win.

I can't speak to the larger strategic games, as they were never my strength. But I've seen enough harebrained stuff in SFB tournaments. It's a rules lawyer game, but that's what makes it a great game. A game that suits ME (even though I was never spectacular at it).

I appreciate the lack of appeal that kind of game can have, as you have to play it to get it, and it's not spectacularly attractive to play at a casual glance. Two guys sweating over a black map with a 1/2 dozen square chits -- not really good spectacle, especially not compared to the StarCraft 2 tournament on Channel 5.
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  #12  
Old June 18th, 2018, 08:24 PM
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I liked the core flavor of SFB being an extension of Star Trek. And I didn't have to be good at it to enjoy it. I'll never forget a fleet battle around a gas giant where our ally's B10 had a stack of drones held in stasis because his shield had been breached, and we were fighting off a FED CVA group and something else … a Kzin CV? I can't remember. But we were racing to the B10's rescue so we could have a chance at winning … it was over 30 years ago, and I can't remember the outcome.

However, SFB and Car Wars both gave me a headache because for the longest time it seemed like we spent more time arguing over rules than actually playing the game.

A bit of a nostalgia blast, click and enjoy; https://maverick.brainiac.com/cmm/

*EDIT*
Car Wars' spoilers and airdams; the intent was that driving above 60mph both would add to your handling class. But, as written, the spoilers and airdams REDUCE the D (difficulty) of the maneuver, NOT ADD to your handling class. Not so much an argument as a clarification … but it's like we argued over battery discharge, over shield reinforcement, whether chaff worked on plasma torpedoes … you name it. So...yeah, a bit of a ant-acid popper of a game.
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Last edited by Blue Ghost; June 18th, 2018 at 08:39 PM..
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  #13  
Old June 18th, 2018, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
*EDIT*
Car Wars' spoilers and airdams; the intent was that driving above 60mph both would add to your handling class. But, as written, the spoilers and airdams REDUCE the D (difficulty) of the maneuver, NOT ADD to your handling class. Not so much an argument as a clarification … but it's like we argued over battery discharge, over shield reinforcement, whether chaff worked on plasma torpedoes … you name it. So...yeah, a bit of a ant-acid popper of a game.
Reducing the D# is more reflective of reality... the downforce generated makes tighter maneuvers more doable... but don't really help in stability recovery (which HC does).

Most recent version is either alone is +1 HC when speed ≤ 60 MPH, both is +1 HC & D#-1 speed ≤ 60.

Also, as is the case with many games of the era, initial intent is meaningless; the playtested and/or errata'd versions are what matters... and often quite different from initial intent.
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  #14  
Old June 18th, 2018, 11:18 PM
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Well, maybe part of the attraction then was ironing out the rules in actual play as opposed to playing them as written.

Stuff like ESG-Web interaction, or what could break the PPD's lock, or arguing over why photons are underpowered and overpowered...at times it felt like the debates attracted players than the game.
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  #15  
Old June 18th, 2018, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
Well, maybe part of the attraction then was ironing out the rules in actual play as opposed to playing them as written.

Stuff like ESG-Web interaction, or what could break the PPD's lock, or arguing over why photons are underpowered and overpowered...at times it felt like the debates attracted players than the game.
Arguably, they drove off more. Plus the constant errata churn...

.. mind you, I played a LOT of SFB, and ran SFB tourneys locally. I did love the game. But the pace is too slow for most players, unless playing via SFB-OL.
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Smith & Wesson: The Original Point and Click interface!
Archduke of Sylea (CORE 2118)
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Marquis of the Third Imperium (SPIN 2410)
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MCG - Battle of Boughene
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IMTU ct+ tm++ tne tg-- tt+ tmo+ t4- t20+ to ru+ ge+ 3i+ c+ jt au ls pi+ ta he+ st+
Wil Hostman 0602 C539857-9 S A724
OTU: 95% 3i an+ au+ br- cpu± dt± f+ fs++ ge± ih- inf± j± jf+ jm+ jt+ ls- n= nc+ pi+ pp-- tp+ tr+ tv- vi-- xb+-
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  #16  
Old June 19th, 2018, 01:26 AM
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SFB for me transformed into a game that had a Trek "thing" in it, as opposed to a game based off the old TV show, which is what attracted me to it in the first place.

And after a while I had a hard time negotiating the source fiction with new stuff like Lyrans, the ISC, the Omega sector races and whatever else.

I think the other shame is that there used to be these huge treasure troves of fan creations all over the net, but regrettably the game author's creation is based off of another party's intellectual property, so a lot of that stuff is gone. Oh well.
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  #17  
Old June 19th, 2018, 02:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
Arguably, they drove off more. Plus the constant errata churn...
The original errata was legion. My friend lost a tournament when his opponent whipped out a Starletter. It had something to do with the timing of a shuttle launch.

Plus trying to navigate the original expansions.

The Commanders edition helped immensely in that regard. At one point my friends and I were determined to retype the rules and organize them in to a single whole, but that ended rather quickly.

The original fighter rules where you could chain react and destroy a carrier with a lucky hit, those were fun though!

In the end, a lot of my SFB friends went over the to 1830 style railroad games, something that never really attracted me.
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  #18  
Old June 19th, 2018, 02:29 AM
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Originally Posted by whartung View Post
The original errata was legion. My friend lost a tournament when his opponent whipped out a Starletter. It had something to do with the timing of a shuttle launch.

Plus trying to navigate the original expansions.

The Commanders edition helped immensely in that regard. At one point my friends and I were determined to retype the rules and organize them in to a single whole, but that ended rather quickly.

The original fighter rules where you could chain react and destroy a carrier with a lucky hit, those were fun though!

In the end, a lot of my SFB friends went over the to 1830 style railroad games, something that never really attracted me.
If I could find a couple people to play them with, 18XX are a fun series of games.
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Smith & Wesson: The Original Point and Click interface!
Archduke of Sylea (CORE 2118)
Duke of the Third Imperium (SPIN 0534)
Count Terra (SOLO 1827)
Count Gorod (REFT 1302)
Count of the Third Imperium (SPIN 2232)
Viscount of Adabicci (SPIN 1824)
Marquis of the Solomani Rim (SOLO 0606)
Marquis of the Third Imperium (SPIN 2410)
Baron of the Third Imperium (SPIN 2231)
Knight of the Iridium Throne (CORE 1434)
Sir William Hostman (OLDE 0512)
Sir William Hostman (DAGU 0622)
Knight of Deneb (REFT 2239)
SEH w/Diamonds for Extreme Heroism - Battle of Boughene
MCG - Battle of Boughene
TAS: William Hostman (CORR 2506)
TAS: Bearer (DAIB 1326)
IMTU ct+ tm++ tne tg-- tt+ tmo+ t4- t20+ to ru+ ge+ 3i+ c+ jt au ls pi+ ta he+ st+
Wil Hostman 0602 C539857-9 S A724
OTU: 95% 3i an+ au+ br- cpu± dt± f+ fs++ ge± ih- inf± j± jf+ jm+ jt+ ls- n= nc+ pi+ pp-- tp+ tr+ tv- vi-- xb+-
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  #19  
Old June 19th, 2018, 10:58 AM
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A few years back I was introduced to Wil Wheaton's "Table Top", which is essentially a gamer's TV show about games. But even though the opening montage has polyhedral dice and a classic D&D Vandal like warrior with a cape, it's all about card games that occasionally have dice.

Things have changed. Whether they're better or not I think depends on what you like about the hobby, and what genre appeals to you within the hobby.

I'm glad Car Wars is still strong, and I'm glad Ogre finally got a decent (though somewhat buggy) release. Ogre really shines on the PC via Steam. SFB is SFB, and like I say, it went from being a "Star Trek" game to a game that had a Trek element to it.

I miss the 90s when the net was still a wild frontier and you could find tons and tons of good fan made material for anything on the net. And the net was still dominated by science and tech types, ergo search results yielded a lot of scifi and fantasy results. It was another golden time, like the 80s.

Either way I'm glad gaming is no longer a geeky closet hobby with a few dark clouds over it. But it's like I think what I miss was the lack of popularity to it. Oh well.

May your fuel always be refined, and may you never cross sabers with a pack of Vargr corsairs.
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Old June 19th, 2018, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
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I'm glad Car Wars is still strong, and I'm glad Ogre finally got a decent (though somewhat buggy) release.
A friend of mine bought me the "Big Box-O-Ogre" for christmas several years ago.

I'm sure i have the original mini book and map shove in a crevasse somewhere. My GEV counters are in a 35mm plastic film can someplace. "What's film!??"

And it's a nice gift.

He just happened to give it to me during one of my purges of Stuff. So, it lives, unopened, in the space above the garage. When you're purging, the addition of HUGE box doesn't really help.
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