House rules

I started talking about this a few days ago and thought I would begin expanding on those changes. Now, to begin, we are not claiming to have reinvented the wheel. We are not saying our changes are 'better' than the original. Only that they are different and so far working well and we're having a lot of fun. Which is really the point after all. So, nothing here is proposed to replace official ADB SFB cannon. Only to offer what we've done, and the results for discussion or for others to similarly experiment.

To begin...the disruptor. I once thought the disruptor a pretty weak weapon. I've since changed my opinion and now really appreciate the weapon. Great firing rate, great 'to-hit' rate, fair damage potential etc. One thing that has bugged me for a long time though was the number of races that used it. Klingons, Kzinti, Lyrans, Tholians, Frax and Orions. To me, that is tech-sloshing taken to the extreme. Just my humble opinion. I don't know why the disruptor was given to so many races. I don't know why more individualized weapons couldn't be created for each. So...that's what we did. We don't use the Flivver, Seltorians or Vudar so I took those heavy weapons and 'transplanted' them. Again, not saying it's better or should replace anything. Only tossing what we've done out there for consideration and discussion. So with that in mind, I thought I would begin making posts of the various changes we've made and how its worked. The Klingon retains the disruptor for a heavy weapon.

First, the Kzinti. To us, the Kzinti are (and should be) the premier drone using race. With that in mind, We've replaced the Kzinti disruptor with the hyper-drone. Our thought is that the hyper-drone is similar to the type I drone except that the warhead is reduced from 12 to 8 points of damage to make room for a larger, more powerful engine that allows it to travel as quickly as it does, per the rules of up to 20 hexes in one impulse. It 'burns out' quickly due to this speed i.e. 2 impulse maximum as per the rules. It still fires twice per turn with the 8 imp delay. We've found it necessary to alter two rules concerning the hyper-drone to balance it out. First, the hyper-drone only takes 4 points of damage to destroy and not 6. Secondly, the hyper-drone CAN be tractored during the portion where they are stopped (when direct fire can be used to destroy the incoming hyper-drone).

This allows the hyper-drone to be an effective heavy weapon but also not an over-whelming weapons i.e. the target ship has the ability to fire on or tractor as a defense. The strategy for the Kzinti is to use the first firing to waste the resources of the target ship i.e. phaser/tractor and then fire the second wave at an opportune time. This reflects to an extent the chance of other heavy weapons to hit or miss. So far it is working out well. With a good set up strategy it is proving effective but not overwhelming. Used in coordination with regular drones really changes up the tactics for the Kzinti so that it isn't just a Klingon ship with more drones and fewer bigger phasers.


We just wanted to have a simple cross-over reference for speed. We use the standard 32 impulse chart. Instead of doing the warp 2.15 or 3.2 or whatever is on the chart for ship speed, we simply do this; every 4 is one warp factor. So a speed of 4 is warp one. 8 is warp two and so forth. The maximum speed of a ship is 31 or warp 7.75 with 32 being warp 8. This reflects the TOS in some ways that warp 8 was really hard to obtain and really dangerous to fly for any length of time (depending on which episode your watching anyway). So a plasma travels at warp 8. A plasma sabot going 40 is warp 10. For us it made things easier, and for me personally it made it easier to write a story without having to always search out the other speed chart. I figure if a weapon can hit at warp 2 then it can hit at warp 6 as well. After all, it isn't exactly real anyway.

I'll add more changes later. Any and all comments or questions are welcome. Again, not saying what we've done is better, only different and we're having fun with it and it plays well. I'd also like to hear of the changes others have made.

Continuing on with the

Continuing on with the Kzinti. We operate the GW circa Y175. The Kzinti drones are referred to as 'warp 8' drones i.e. speed 32. This is to reflect that Kzinti have put the most technology into the drone weapon. Everyone else i.e. Klingon, Frax and Fed fighters are 'warp 5' drones i.e. speed 20.

Kzinti fighters do not use the disruptor (on the fighters that normally would carry the disruptor). We've decided not to substitute the hyper-drone for the disruptor as it unbalances the fighter too much. We felt a large wave of hyper-drones coming in from 20 hexes away was far too powerful (disruptor armed fighters need to be somewhat close to the ship and can do a maximum of 5 points of damage, whereas a hyper-drone fighter could possibly do 8 points at a range of 20, thus having very little risk. We felt this too unbalanced). We did however change the phaser 3's on Kzinti fighters to phaser 2's (only on the fighters that would normally have a disruptor). This somewhat made up for the loss of the disruptor. We felt that this in conjunction with the 'warp 8' drones on the fighter made it sufficiently powerful enough without unbalancing it. So far this has worked out as a nice compromise.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

The Lyrans have received the

The Lyrans have received the Particle Cannon instead of the Disruptor. Our reasoning is that the Lyrans already use a capacitor system on their ESG's so they are 'use' to the technology. The capacitor(s) on the ESG's are not connected to the capicitor(s) on the PC. They are similar, but independent systems.

According to E17.212 the first shot can either be standard or OL and the second shot only standard. There was a revision in one of the CL's that allows either the first or second to be OL, with only one of them being an OL. Both of course could be standard. We use this revision.

This changes the tactics a bit and has been most enjoyable to play. The flexibility of being able to fire twice is off set a bit by the energy consumption of the vessel as a whole i.e. HK, ESG's, phasers, movement and PC plus the other stuff. Makes it challenging and requires a bit of strategy and timing which works well with the ESG if used offensively.

The Lyran fighter: Cannon tells us that the Lyrans use Klingon fighters. We do not use this rule. We use the Klingon fighters as a template, but no drones and no disruptors. This somewhat limits the fighters of the Lyran, however they excel in the use of the PF so it's a compromise. The few fighters they do use have that would 'normally' have a disruptor carry a small single-shot PC instead.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Clarification: Our group is

Clarification: Our group is going to discuss using hyper-drones on Kzinit fighters in the place of the disruptor. I'm looking at E55.462 which limits the fighter hyper-drone to 10 hexes. This would be a good balancing factor and I confess I missed that particular rule.

Secondly, tractors on hyper-drones can only be used during the second impulse (if there is one), not during the first impulse of flight.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Feds: We don't use drones on

Feds: We don't use drones on Fed ships. I'm not sure why this ever began? It was never TOS. Perhaps a balancing factor. We took a long, hard look at the whole thing. One of the things I've noticed over the years is the constant complaint that the photon is an iffy weapon due to the fairly lousy to-hit %. Looking around the web I happened on Don Miller's extensive website. His solution was simply to increase the t0-hit % by 17% so for example, rather than the 1-3 at ranges 5 to 8, it is 1-4. As noted, that is a 17% increase but still less than the disruptor at the same ranges. The proximity was increased to 1-5 at ranges 9 to 15 which I though more accurately represented the purpose of the weapon.

I no that this may be a hot topic with some people taking the view that the photon is 'fine and balanced' as-is. But I see to much dissent to subscribe to this point of view. As it stands, and this is the complaint I see most often, the photon is a do-or-die weapon and luck of the role far outweighs actual tactics and strategy. More so than the other heavy weapons.

So, we've taken the Don Miller approach. Our 'balancing' factor was to eliminate drone racks from the ships themselves. Since the photon is a powerful weapon that doesn't degrade over distance, the ship tends to deal with the enemy with the heavy weapon a bit more exclusively, leaving the excellent phasers of the Fed ships to deal with seeking weapons (if any). So far in our FTF games it is working very well. The Fed player(s) are happy and the non-Fed players aren't feeling 'abused'. The photon is still a 2-turn weapon so it really emphasizes seeking weapon tactics of the enemy and proper timing. I'm hardly ever a Fed player and I've not experienced any more difficulty tackling a Fed ship than normal. To us, 17% is nice, but not overwhelming or unbalancing.

That's us, YMMV :)

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

David wrote:

>>Looking around the web I happened on Don Miller's extensive website. His solution was simply to increase the t0-hit % by 17% so for example, rather than the 1-3 at ranges 5 to 8, it is 1-4. As noted, that is a 17% increase but still less than the disruptor at the same ranges. The proximity was increased to 1-5 at ranges 9 to 15 which I though more accurately represented the purpose of the weapon.>>

Fully realizing that these are your own house rules, and you can do whatever works for you, this strikes me as a horrible idea.

Photons are incredibly powerful. SFB tends to live and die on concentration of fire--when you spread fire around, you lose; when you concentrate fire effectively, you win. Photons, as opposed to, say, disruptors are all about concentration of fire. Instead of hitting two shields over two turns for 6-8 damage each, you are hitting one shield on one turn for 16 damage. Photons are strong. What balances them out is that they hit less often than disruptors. By giving them +1 to hit all the time (so they hit at, what, 1-6 out to range 2; 1-5 out to range 4; 1-4 out to range 8?), they get the advantage of both powerful concentration of fire *and* reliable to hit numbers. Which strikes me as wildly overpowered.

In a single ship engagement, yeah, photons are dicey and the game tends to turn on a single throw of the dice--get to R8 and fire 4x overloads. If you luck out and jackpot with all 4, you have just won the game. If you roll crappy and miss with all 4, you have probablt just lost the game. Yeah, this isn't super optimal for a single ship engagement, but it is what makes things balanced.

In squadron/fleet engagements, photons are already incredibly effective, even with their somewhat dubious to hit numbers. Yeah, slight variation in odds when you are rolling 4 dice can be disasterous (one way or the other), but slight variation in odds when you are rolling 16 dice tends to not make much of a difference--missing with 1 or 2 photons when you are firing 16 of them at something isn't going to have much of an impact on your game any more than hitting with an extra 1 or 2 is. You roll a lot of dice, and even with the dubious odds of 1-3 to hit at R8 (or 1-2 to hit at R12), and things tend to even out. And what you are working with is the expected outcome, and planning on that happening, and being a bit over or under the curve isn't going to make much of a difference.

Giving photons +1 to hit all the time (relative to where they are now) seems like a really good way to make them wayyyyyyy over effective.

Holy Crap. Feds dominate the

Holy Crap.

Feds dominate the universe.

Seriously... how do you ever loose as a Fed Squadron? Load Prox, fire, cripple one dude at R30, turn around, run, load overloads, come back and blow 1/2 his forces up at R8, close to R5 and finish them. What is hard?

Hi Peter, First, I will

Hi Peter,

First, I will categorically state that the majority of you folks have tons more experience than I do. In fact, giving credit fully where it is due, SFBOL has advanced my game tremendously due to the fact that many of the experienced people have taken the time to teach/train me to a higher level than I was previously at.

Having said that, I read the discussions over on the BBS, as well as reading through this board now. As a 'third party' so-to-speak, I see some things that raise questions in my mind. For example, back in the 80's, the Andro was pretty unbeatable. I mean, sucked to fight one. And it was later determined to be unbalanced and had the rewrite. Now, supposedly it was play tested prior to release, yet it was unbalanced. Now that it has been reworked I see people saying it is now lacking. Yet how many years were both played? Yet problems still persist, at least from what I read in the minds of many people.

The photon to me has the same issue. For over three decades we've had the same 'to-hit' table. And many people seem to have issues with it. Many things are discussed to try to correct its (real or imagined) deficiencies. And really, for the most part it gets discussed but not solved or at least worked on. As a result, I see the Fed as one of the most all-or-nothing ships leading to one-dimensional tactics i.e. get to R8 and unload the alpha. As you mentioned, the game often hinges on the roll of the die at this one all-critical point. More so than other ships in my opinion.

So what we've done basically is simply take a option and run with it to see how it works. To offer balance, the Fed has no drones (on ships). This, in our experience has opened up somewhat different game options over close-and-hope tactics. I'm not saying we've 'solved the problem'. I'm not saying we've found the best result. But so far in actual play it has worked well so far. It allows the Fed to 'dance' a bit more (not like a Klingon or Kzinti), but he doesn't always have to unload the boat in a full alpha. Indeed, with no drones (or ADD) he has to use phaser resources to deal with seeking weapons which we've found balances out the ship as well.

Again, not saying it is the best possible solution (to a problem that may or may not exist depending on who you talk with). Only that we said, 'what the heck, lets give it a go and see what happens' and so far were satisfied. In some of our games the Fed beat a Klink (barely) but in another was defeated by the ISC.

Just tossing it out there. We figured the only way to know for sure was to actually give it a go :)

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Average Damages

If you look at the average damage of a photon torpedo, you'll see the following:

Overload: Range 4: 10.66 points of damage every other turn, or 5.33 damage 'per turn'.
Overload: Range 8: 8 points of damage every other turn, or 4 points per turn.

Now do the same for a disruptor:

Overload: Range 4: 5.33 points of damage per firing
Overload: Range 8: 4 points of damage per firing.

In terms of average damage, the Photon and Disruptor are identical - where they differ is in variability of outcome. The Photon 'pays' for its more variable outcome in that its damage is concentrated.

The problem with increasing the average damage is that your variability of outcome is reduced - but the photon's average damage goes up as well. Photons hit at 1-5 at range 4 in your millieux. That's pretty impressive, all things told.

Already, in my opinion, the

Already, in my opinion, the photon is better than a dis becaue of shock effect. Your disruptor is going to drop my shield. My photon is going to drop your shield and do 20-30 internals. I end the game with 3 down shields, you end up dead.

Now granted, the dis has the advantage of "I can afford to fire at R15, cause I'll be reloaded by R4" effect. Cool. Its pretty balanced. Especially for duels. In Squadron action, the adv goes back to the photon because the prox fuse at range has enough "shock" to knock down shields and hurt things while the dis is denting shields only.

At fleet levels, the DIS is clearly the bet weapon out there. No thinking required. "How close am I likely to get?", "Ok load for that level of engagement and shoot". Something is going to get hurt EVERY turn when 11 ships are shooting. (Of course, anyone who uses SFB for 11 ship fleet action is a wierdo anyway)

The whole defence is static and offence is linearly additive explains why HBs are the best duel heavy weapon in the game and the worst fleet weapon ever.

David wrote:

>>The photon to me has the same issue. For over three decades we've had the same 'to-hit' table. And many people seem to have issues with it. Many things are discussed to try to correct its (real or imagined) deficiencies.>>

See, but the deficiencies of the photon are highly imagined. Really. They are.

Again, yeah, in a tournament duel, the Fed is a slightly under the power curve ship due to the nature of the photons and the design of the ship--if you hit exactly average a lot of the time, you still aren't winning. So when you roll 1 photon low, you lose. So there isn't much room for variability in damage distribution and winning at the same time. But even then, the Fed isn't so bad that it needs significant fixing. Or that photons need changing.

When playing with full rules and squadrons of ships, photons are very powerful. Even with EW being a drag on them, photons rolled in large volleys do all they need to do. Even with the numbers they currently have.

>> As a result, I see the Fed as one of the most all-or-nothing ships leading to one-dimensional tactics i.e. get to R8 and unload the alpha.>>

Yeah, see, that is generally not how a Fed does well in the tournament/duel setting. I mean, yeah, once and a while, you get to R8, shoot everything on a lark, and jackpot. And you win. But just as often, you do the same, miss with all of them, and lose. Most of the time, you do average and possibly do ok. But most folks who are successful with the Fed in a tournament/duel situation tend to not shoot at R8 (except against a plasma ship when it is the best shot they are going to get and they then get to run away a lot).

>>As you mentioned, the game often hinges on the roll of the die at this one all-critical point. More so than other ships in my opinion.>>

Sure. But as most people who do well in the Fed TC tend to do, rather than relying on a R8 shot, they tend to try for the R2 or R1 shot, where damage is far more certain.

Giving the photon +1 to hit across the board will make it wildly overpowered in pretty much all situations. I mean, yeah, again, if you have a play group, and everyone is happy with this idea, go nuts and have fun. But it isn't really something I'd like to see happen in general.

Playing in a campaign where

Playing in a campaign where the Fed Admiral has managed to earn more than a few Legendary Weapons Officers over time, I can honestly say "no" to the idea of a blanket +1 for photon accuracy. Bad enough when *a* ship in the enemy fleet can narrow salvo standards at r30 and hit on a 1-2 for 32 damage; put that in a fleet, and unless you're a cloaking Rom, it's time to go home.

I appreciate everyone taking

I appreciate everyone taking the time to offer their comments. Your giving me a lot to think about and bring back to the group for consideration.

On a side note, why woud the Klingon disruptor at ranges 3 through 8 hit on a 1-4 for standards but 1-5 for overloads?

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Overloaded disruptors

Only hit on a 1-5 with UIM. Otherwise they have the same to hit as standard disruptors.

What Moose said. They're

What Moose said. They're risking burning the UIM to fire at 1-5.

I used to feel that the discrepancy between photon and disruptor accuracy was unfair, and a result of bias on the part of the game designers. Now, years later, with much fleet and campaign experience under my belt, I no longer feel that way.

Narrow salvos and drones

Dale complains that it's "Bad enough when *a* ship in the enemy fleet can narrow salvo standards at r30 and hit on a 1-2 for 32 damage". True enough, but that's more the fault of narrow salvos than accurate weapons. Narrow salvos are broken and have no valid engineering background.

Without narrow salvos, you've essentially doubled the number of photons. Which is rather nice.

Nobody's really talked about removal of drones. In the era of slow drones, when a) Feds have few if any racks and b) drones are rubbish anyway this is a non-event, so Feds are clearly hugely better than RAW.

In the speed-20 years, I'd say the Feds are still better off, but it might depend on the opponent. Against a drone-heavy Klink fleet, the lack of ADD is going to hurt because you'll be short some 3 power per turn (on a cruiser) shooting drones and killing those blasted ECM drones. So you're either underloading the photons, going slower or losing the EW battle. Conversely, against the Roms it makes precious little difference.

After Y175 and with fast drones, it might be a wash. Obviously it'll depend on the ship: the BCJ is going to be golden no matter what.

What are you doing for Fed fighters?

I think you may be confusing

I think you may be confusing complaints regarding the randomness of photon results with lack of effectiveness. Photons have the most random damage result of any weapon in SFB, it's true. But that's simply a function of pushing so many potential damage points into a single die. There's no way to get around that, the fewer dice you roll the more chance you have for results that vary wildly from average.

If you're looking to make the photon more reliable, I would suggest instead taking the Vudar weapon (I can't remember the name) and adapting it. It uses a lower damage to compensate for a higher hit probability.

Speaking as someone who until getting on SFBOL played primarily squadron and fleet games, I would say that the photon is more likely to be overpowered than under. Largely due to proximity fuses, of course.

Mudfoot, Currently we're


Currently we're using drones on the Fed fighters as-per-normal rules. Though we're not currently using drones on the ships themselves, I'd like to hear from others that do/don't. When we 'upped' the photon we deleted the drone racks as a balancing measure. So far we've not noticed a major issue but in full disclosure we don't have decades of games under our belt and we haven't yet had a 'huge' fleet battle with more than a few Fed ships on a side.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

On the Drones

Given the choice between +1 to hit photons at all ranges or a couple G-racks, I'd take the +1 to hit photons at all ranges. A billion times over.

The Feds have a few drone racks here and there, but other than on the dedicated drone variants, there are generally one per ship. And they are G-racks so that they can be drone defense (i.e. fill them with ADDs) on the Klingon front or a slight offensive upgrade (i.e. fill them with drones) on the Romulan front. Generally speaking, if you aren't using the fighters, the Feds don't really have *that* many drones, such that I can't really imagine that one would feel the need to remove them. But if you did remove them, and gave them +1 to hit on the photons all the time, I imagine that the Feds would be vastly more effective than they are now.

Generally, what the Feds have going for them, drone wise, are some increase drone defenses when they need them, and a few drones in their pocket vs the Romulans, the best trick of which is have a few warp seeking type VI drones in the ADD rack along with a type IV heavy drone. Have a pair of ships flank a cloaked Romulan, have one of them launch a type VI at the Romulan. The next impulse, have the other ship launch a type IV heavy drone at the type VI drone. The next impulse, make sure they both enter the Romulan's hex at the same time, and the Romulan gets hit by both drones. Which takes some set up and careful timing, but is funny when you can pull it off.


Having a single drone rack does let you load up on drones by using COs, and it also means that you can control 6 seekers. Feds have plenty of shuttles, so this can be quite significant. Assuming medium or fast drones, of course.

Oh, and ECM drones (not many, of course).

Not 17%

IKVAvenger -

I should of course point out that +1 to hit is not a 17% increase in damage. At R0-1, it's no increase at all (sans ECM). At R2, it's +20%. At R3-4, it's +25%. At R5-8, it's +33%. At R9-12 it's +50% or +25%, and at R13-30 +100% or +33%. Call it +25%.

So on a typical cruiser with 4 photons and 1 drone rack, you've essentially replaced the rack with a photon that takes no power. Because offense is cumulative, this is generally an upgrade, albeit with a loss of flexibility.

You complain that "I see the [tournament?] Fed as one of the most all-or-nothing ships leading to one-dimensional tactics". Ironically, removing the rack makes GW Feds more one-dimensional and reliant on the photons, like the TC.

Has anyone else experimented

Has anyone else experimented or used 'house rules' in their games? If so, what? And just as importantly, how did it work for you? I've seen numerous threads on other boards where folks have discussed putting a photon FA/RA on a Klingon D7 to reflect more of the movie/new series Klingons 'younger' players are familiar with. I always thought this a viable option on a limited basis and they already made an SSD for it way back in a CL. I know the official position can't reflect movie/new series cannon, but that doesn't affect house rules. I've never used this, but has anyone? How'd it work for you?

I put a thread on the BBS a while back that I thought a plasma F was actually a better choice for a D7 vs. the photon. Haven't used that idea, but thought it worth throwing out there, at least for discussion.

Someone once discussed Klingons with the cloak as per the movies/new series. Yes, I know it isn't official cannon and cannot be proposed as such. But again, we're talking house rules. And again, a lot of newer players grew up in the era of Klingons & Cloaks. Just a thought to toss out again. Anyone try it? Anyone care? How'd it work...or not work?

Anyone use a player-developed race? What? How'd it work? Player-developed weapon?

What I'm wanting to do is stimulate the discussion with fresh ideas (or expose bad ideas that didn't work). This thread doesn't just have to be our changes. This thread can be for anyone/everyone. In this way, something might strike someone as a good idea to try. Conversely mistakes made can be brought up for others to avoid. A good example is the ASW that Tank mentioned in another thread. Gave me something to think about and maybe give a go to see how we like it.

The main mechanics of the game are there, but a tweak here and there in a FTF group can be a nice change.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

I'm the developer (or was) of Omega. I wrote C5.

For developing weapons for SFB, start with the article I wrote in CL #19. Then start with the rules template I wrote (I no longer remember where it was published).

If your new race involves new tactics, new ways to play, or requires that someone break out of their comfort zone, you're going to find it an uphill challenge to get it tested.

For example, I still have people - most of whom haven't played the match - say that the ISC can't possibly beat the Lesser Magellanic Cloud races due to their multi-layer shielding. Yet in tournament testing over the last three years, the ISC TC is 6-0 against them, because the ISC has plasma and plasma rocks against the Magellanics. This includes games where the guy who didn't know the rules for the LMC was handed the ISC, I explained the basic tactic of what to do ("Hold standards, launch enough to make him turn off, fire phasers into the rear shield, then fire PPD into the down shield"), and set them at it.

It's an uphill match for the ISC...but it's far from hopeless. You just have to channel your inner Gorn, and break out of the comfort zone of "Must Envelope! Must Envelope!" and realize that standard torps have a place too.

Yet, the first response to hearing how Magellanic shielding works is "OMFG! The ISC is HOSED!"

While you're free to do whatever you want (FA/RA Photons on cloaking D7s with gatling phasers in the wings and all phaser-1s), changing the weapon mix on an existing 'non option mount' ship is usually a bad idea. People go "It's a D7, I know how to fight tha...what the HELL?". And then don't come back to play because your group doesn't 'play' SFB.

I strongly recommend, if you want to play a game where this sort of thing happens, that you play one with an integrated and tested ship design engine. I happen to publish one, but I'm far from being the only one who does so.

Since I've never had what you

Since I've never had what you would call a regular SFB group, I've never had a chance to try out much in the way of house rules. Certainly not these days, since all I ever play on is SFBOL. The biggest thing I'd like to try is making 1 point of EW equal to a ship's MC. I think that might help smaller ships be more viable against cruisers and the like.

Lots of house rules

I've actually instituted a lot of house rules.

Movement is the main difference. Halved the speeds, cut movement into two "phases" instead of the dozens of impulses. How did it work? FANTASTIC! Sped up the game immensely! Got more people interested in SFB. Allowed for people to run multiple ships and for engagements of 10+ ships to be played to completion in 3-4 hours.

I've used the photon D7...played fine. It's more FASA Trek than SFB, but it works.

I haven't used cloaks for Klingons. Again, that's more FASA Trek than SFB. I use cloaks on the FASA Trek game on Klingons, but not in SFB.

I created my own race, but didn't get to fly it much. Was based on the designs of stingrays and manta rays. Created some new weapons for it. Again, didn't get to fly the ships much so didn't really get a chance to test out the weapons fully.

Created my own version of a strategic game of SFB that was more "operational" level than F&E. Used a double-blind system. So I knew what was in my area, but I had to explore it to determine all the resources and production. Once I moved into the enemy's area, though, it became a hunt-n-peck system for me. He knew where I was, but I could only see a small area around me (a little bigger if I had a scout). Likewise, when he came into my area, I could see where he was, but he had to hunt and peck to find me. It could play up to about 6 players. Ship combat was done on a more strategic scale with the values of the ships based on the weapon systems and shielding of the actual ship in SFB. Same with movement.
How did it work? Great! You saw the differences between the ships. Since production of ships took time and went based on year in service, you got to see the advancements of various ships and why certain ships were designed. The game was lots of fun, but it took time to play. Never got a game completed, but we did exploration, colonization, and combat so we got to see how it all worked.

Operational SFU

I would *love* to see the rules you developed for your operational level game based in the SFU. Are they too much to post in a thread here? Or are they available at a website?

too much

Too much for posting here, and a bit of graphics for the combat. I haven't put the rules up on a webpage or anything. I've only got a cursory bit even in a format on the computer. Most of it is just hand written notes. I'll see if I can scrape together some time to get it into some form of PDF. No guarantees on the time, though.

Few questions on the photon

Few questions on the photon D7. Was it similiar to the one in the early CL (the story with the Masters) where it had a FA & RA photon? Did all the D7's have it, or was it a limited variant? Did the photon D7 still maintain the normal disruptors/phasers/drones/ADD or was something given up in place of the photon.

I once commented that I thought a plasma F (FA & RA) would play well on the D7 with the justification that they were provided ships/technology to the Romulans and therefore would/could/should receive some in return i.e. the plasma F. I thought that the F should be the only type with the justification that the boom section couldn't take anything stronger and the hull section already had enough in it without adding something 'bigger' in the way of plasma.

I wouldn't add either to all D7's, rather a limited variant such as maybe a command version. And I wouldn't add either to anything smaller i.e. D6, D5 or F5 series. I see where it could possibly be playable on the C7 and since I don't use SG on the C8/9 or B10 ships it could simply take its place.

I could see a few Klingon ships using a cloak, perhaps a few variants for special roles. Again, wouldn't use it on all of them. But a few would be interesting.

Haven't done any of it (with one excepton for one of my stories and one scenario), but interesting to play around with.

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As I mentioned in another

As I mentioned in another thread, we will likely add the Frax as a real race on the side of the Grand Alliance for our GW. Since we will move them from simulator to 'real' race, I've thought about an interesting background. What I've come up with is a genetically modified race of humanoids (kinda like Khan) with a militaristic culture. A very imperialistic warrior type culture. And in keeping with our individualized policy we're likely to replace the Frax disruptor with the Ion Cannon since we don't use the Vudar. We've tentatively placed the Frax between the Tholians and the Romulans.

We're likely to put the ISC in with the Grand Alliance as well.

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Has anyone ever

Has anyone ever used/considered a rear-firing photon on Fed ships (not all but some like the CA, CC, DN etc)? This was brought up in our group as a replacement for the drone(s) since we don't use them. I/we understand that power considerations would make it difficult to power and use all of them all of the time, however it would be a nice option in some situations (over run, retreat, discouraging the end run etc).

We're discussing going back to the regular photon to-hit chart, and leaning towards that route. But the consensus is still for not using drones on Fed ships. So a rear firing photon is being considered.

Thoughts welcome.

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The Fed BB has 2 rear-firing photons, but then again it's a BB so not unique in that. I've never played it so can't comment. I suspect this change would be much better balanced than the +1 to hit, but the ships may feel a bit underpowered.

Cloaks and Klingons don't work very well, because the Klingons use drones (which conk out if you cloak) and disruptors (which don't need a reload turn and are too power-hungry to use on a cloak turn).

The original design for the Frax subs had disruptors and normal drones. Unsurprisingly, they were useless. So I designed the Axion Torpedo and Catfish drone to allow them to stay underwater. You'd have to do much the same for the Klinks.

Otherwise, I've houseruled the Jindarians into oblivion and replaced them with the Thousand Wandering Tribes. The original Jindarians were broken on many levels (and the revised versions aren't much better), so the only cure was major surgery.

Yeah, I can't understand how

Yeah, I can't understand how SVC could screw that up. The Jindos asteroid ships are really space forts, was that so hard for a professional designer, with PE background, to figure out?

Ken, do you have any in sight

Ken, do you have any in sight into the design process of the Jindos?

<> Mudfoot, Good point of the

Cloaks and Klingons don't work very well, because the Klingons use drones (which conk out if you cloak) and disruptors (which don't need a reload turn and are too power-hungry to use on a cloak turn).


Good point of the Klink/cloak route.

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Not really, Carl.

I playtested the first version, I commented on the second version.

We found that the Jindarian "tac all the time" tactic tended to dominate. We reported it. Jindarians tend to be scenarios where you know who'll win during unit selection and setup.

Based on the helpful comments

Based on the helpful comments offered regarding the photon to-hit table, we've gone back to the normal chart (discarding the +1). We still aren't using drones but are strongly considering the ASW system. That is in the ASW thread and any/all comments, suggestions, opinions are welcomed in that thread on the system.

Just had a couple of duels between a Kzinti CA and a Romulan KR7 variant that we're playing with. The Romulan variant is the KR7D and replaces the 4 waist ph-3's with type D plasma racks. Saw the ship on the PHD website and wanted to give it a go. Arming the ship on the first turn with an EPT/Sabot along with charging the D racks at 1/2 pt each gets expensive in terms of power. But overall it turned out to be a good match with the hyper-drone armed Kzinti. In the first duel my son caught me flat-footed with a wave of regular type I drones. The second duel was a tie with perhaps a slight edge going to the Romulan. The Kzinti hyper-drones don't often hit on the first firing but do tend to make you waste resources to stop them. The second wave is where the target ship really needs to plan things in order to have something left to at least try to stop them. He did a good job of waiting until we were 20 hexes apart before firing them to avoid the second impulse of movement.

I don't think I'd want to replace the ph-3's on every Rom ship with D racks, but it makes an interesting variant to play with. The hyper-drone for the Kzinti is working out very well.

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Couple of things that I've

Couple of things that I've noted on the net (specifically Don Miller's SFB website) that are interesting;

Numbered batteries that contain as many points of power as the number listed. For example, battery boxes with a '2' contain two points of power. More useful at the start of a game than perhaps later on when power is more at a premium, but looked interesting. Anyone use this or similar type of system for batteries.

ABR - Auxillary battery reactor. Noticed this on some of his Fed ships. It is a combination of battery and APR thus an ABR 'holds' one-point as regular battery but also 'produces' a point of power as per an APR.

I don't use either currently but thought it interesting enough to bring to the table and see if anyone else has used either/or and if so, how did it work for you?

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One thing on the hyper-drones

One thing on the hyper-drones for the Kzinti; it looks like we're going to need to institute a 'powering up' rule with them. As it is, they require no energy to fire and have a rate of two-per-turn. This allows the Kzinti to maintain max speed and still fire all its heavy weapons without cost. What we've decided is that each hyper-drone requires 1 point of power to charge on the turn of firing. That point of energy lasts only for the duration of the turn. If the hyper-drone remains unfired it will need to be recharged again the next turn.

So, for a Kzinti CA size vessel with 4xhyper-drones it will cost 8 points of power to fire each one from each rack twice in a turn. This imposes a drain on their overall power availability (just as if it were using standard disruptors i.e. two points per rack).

We'll test this procedure out a bit and see how well it works.

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The Romulans have had three

The Romulans have had three types of ship classes; Eagle style, Klingon conversions and their new style. I never cared for the new style of ship, just never liked the look. On the PHD Shipyard website I've noted they've greatly expanded the eagle style of ships with DN, CV, CC, CA, CL etc classes. So I'm in the process of redoing the Romulan fleet for our campaign, deleting the new style and replacing it with the Eagle style ships.

Considering making the type R exclusive to the Roms and the S exclusive to the Gorn and possibly G exclusive to the ISC. Still tinkering with this idea.

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My other thought for the ISC

My other thought for the ISC is to remove the S & G plasmas and go exclusively with the PPD as the HW and retaining the F in the rear firing platform.

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Roms and ISC

I suspect the Roms would be fine, but changing the way the ISC work could completely break them (either being OP or UP).

>>I suspect the Roms would be

>>I suspect the Roms would be fine, but changing the way the ISC work could completely break them (either being OP or UP).>>

I'm not sure about this. I've played the non-tourney ISC CM a few times and it has held up well with comparable ships. The NT CM has 2xPPD, no S or G, 4 x rear F's and 6 x ph-1 (and either 2 or 4 x ph-3, don't remember off hand). I've used it against the Feds (CA) and Klinks (D7) and they were very tough fights but it is 'doable'.

Taking into consideration that some of the ISC 'classes' are equal to one up of other classes i.e. an ISC CM is comparable to another races CA (give or take). Not as much of a difference in the DD and FF classes though. Perhaps, for example, an ISC FF having one PPD rather than two FA F's....

Something to think about for me.

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Smaller ships getting PPD?

FFL get a PPD, DDL gets 2xPPD?

Why shouldn't an ISC FF get

Why shouldn't an ISC FF get one PPD? Most other FF's have 2xheavy weapon. A Fed FF could produce 32 points of damage with OL, Klink 20, Rom or Gorn 40 with 2xplasma F and the ISC 'could' produce 36 (more likely 24) with a single PPD. Only problem I can immediately see is losing the single PPD quickly to damage.

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So the DDL with 2xPPD?

That was the real point to my post.

Why not:

You can't just compare the maximum damage they do; compare the expected damage and the power requirement instead. Over 2 turns at R8, a Fed FF's photons cost 16 power and average 16 damage. The F5's disruptors (OL, no UIM) also cost 16 and average 16. The normal-load PPT if fired at R10/9/8/7 costs 8 power and averages 22.9 damage. At longer range, the difference gets absurd.

Obviously, it suffers from lack of crunch and defective vision but gains it in mizia and wrapping around shields.

Simply put, the PPD is bigger than it looks, is extremely power-efficient and long-ranged. If you want an SC4-suitable equivalent, try the Plasmatic Pulsar Carbine here

I'm leaning more towards the

I'm leaning more towards the DD having 1xPPD and 1xPL-F in the foward arc and the two rear-firing F's.

The CL would have 2xPPD (just as it is now).

The Star Cruiser (CA) would have 3xPPD. The standard ISC CA is really equal to other races BC's.

The Battle Cruiser would have 4xPPD. The standard ISC BC is really equal to other races DN's.

Give or take.

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That swap

2xPL-G for 1xPPD and 1xPL-F would be far more sensible than 2xPL-G for 2xPPD. Especially since the usual trade is 1xPPD for 1xPL-S.

JD, I'm looking at your


I'm looking at your Plasmatic Pulsar Carbine idea (didn't see your post till I'd already posted above). I like the idea and I think it makes sense for the FF and DD sized vessels. Not sure why you were getting all the flack in the thread you posted. To me, it makes more sense for these vessels to have what you suggested than nothing at all in common with the bigger ships. I'm going to have to play around with this and see how it does.

From what I've gathered from your initial post in that thread is the FF would have 1xPPC (in place of the 2xF's) and in the DD it would have 2xPPC to replace the 2xG's. Is this correct?

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It's a matter of whether you want to eliminate all the F torps or not. I had assumed that the SC4 ships would have PPCs and (F) torps like the bigger ships have PPDs and torps. So I'd expected the FF to be unchanged; the FFL would be P; the DD could either be unchanged or be FPF; the DDL would be FPPF and so on. The Pol would still have just a single F. You might replace the G & S torps on the SC3 ships with PPCs instead of PPDs too, as they'd be overwhelming at range otherwise.

Couple of

Couple of questions/comments;

In regards to the FF class vessel, would 2xPPC (replacing the 2xPL-F's) be THAT overwhelming in your opinion. Or would it be along the lines of 2xDisr or 2xPhot etc of other races FF class?

In regards to larger class vessels, instead of a CA class vessel (Star Cruiser) having 3xPPD, your thoughts would be towards 1xPPD and 2xPPC? If so, what about the CL/CM class vessel with 2xheavy weapon (some have 2xPPD and some 2xPl-S)?

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I like the PPC

Clearly its too good to be considered.

FF is OK

The FF with 2 PPCs will be OK, as it doesn't have so much power that it's going to stomp on everything. Considering all the other changes you're playing with, that's probably not a problem. After all, if someone mugs it and stays inside point-blank range, those PPCs aren't going to be much use and you'll wish you had some plasma.

A CA with 3 PPDs is way too powerful: it can easily (and reliably) do over 60 damage at R11-15, which will rip the face off any comparable opponent before they get into OL range. It then runs off for a turn to reload, spitting out an F or two to discourage pursuit. There's a reason these are restricted in fleets.

S plasma -> PPD is already established as +10 BPV, based on CS/CL and so on. I suspect that F -> PPC is +5, and G -> PPC is a wash.

Perhaps a CL with 1xPPD and

Perhaps a CL with 1xPPD and 1xPPC. CA with 1xPPD and 2xPPC. BC with 2xPPD and 2xPPC...

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Strike that last post. After

Strike that last post. After looking at it more closely this evening that isn't sufficient for those classes. Since the cannon SFB ISC CS has 2xPPD already I'm using that as the base for this SC and up. Thus the FF has 2xPPC (and no Pl-F's), the DD has 2xPPC with 2xPl-F's, the CL 2xPPD (with 4xPl-F which is standard cannon), CA 2xPPD, 1xPPC and 6xPl-F's and the BC 2xPPD, 2xPPC, 8xPl-F's.

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Looking at tweaking the

Looking at tweaking the Hydrans now. Basically the tournament CC gave me the idea by combining the two heavy weapons and lowering the number of Stingers. I've already completed the DD, CA and CC class vessels.

My desire is to lessen the technical difficulty of the game to a degree to make it more playable (in my humble opinion). I also don't need/want the plethora of ship variants that have cropped up over the decades. I'm not saying variants are a bad thing. But we've preferred to streamline everything to basically FF, DD, CL, CA, CC (BC), DN and some carriers. To this end, I/we didn't want two basic types of each Hydran vessel (one with Fusions and the other with HB's). So using the tourny CC as a base example I/We've redesigned them a bit. Nothing out of this world drastic. Same number of heavy weapons for the most part. just mixed like the tourny CC and a reduced number of fighters.

Secondly, Federation fighters no longer have drones. We decided to get rid of them for the Feds entirely. They either just have the phaser (older) or phaser and a photon (newer).

I know it looks like we've made a lot of changes, and we have. But much of what we've done has sped up the game without 'dumbing it down'. The rest we are playtesting amoungst ourselves. Tomorrow is our next game. I will be facing two opponents, one loves the Feds and the other the Klinks. I'm going to command two ships against them for playtest purposes to see how some of the house rules we've made inter-relate with each other. I'm leaning on being a Hydran and either a Lyran or ISC though some of it remains up in the air. One other may be able to play who always prefers the Kzinti.

They will probably be in the CA class except the ISC if it's used which would be a CL.

Either way we'll play it and I'll report it in the battle section and relay how it went.

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Rubbish fighters

Without drones, Fed fighters will be rubbish. The F14/15/16 might be OK because of the Gat (it's a poor man's Stinger) and the A10 passable, but the others are a waste of time. If nothing else, you could replace the drones with ASW rounds (essentially like a RALAD). Not much use against ships, but it lets the fighters duel each other and keep the seekers off. And much less hassle than a mapful of drones.

Re the Hydrans, the conversion to Hybrid is pretty trivial: replace one or more (Fusion+Stinger) with (HB+APR). You won't go far wrong. It might lose some of the distinct flavour, but it'll be OK.

In regards to the Fed

In regards to the Fed fighters, we could simply replace all the drones on a fighter (regardless of which fighter) with a single photon. This is what we're considering.

Had an excellent 2 vs. 2 duel today using the house rules to test them out a bit. A Fed CA (with ASW) and a Klink D7 vs. a Hybrid Hydran Ranger (2xfusion, 2x HB, 3 St-2) and a Lyran Tiger CA (4xparticle cannon).

The Fed ASW operator had to fired and the Klink ADD gunner was shot, but this was only due to poor rolling. When they actually did what they were suppose to do they worked fine and eventually stopped the 3 Stingers before getting to the kill ranges. The Stingers were still able to get their licks in, just not at premium levels.

The Lyran particle cannon worked very well in place of the disruptors, despite the fact I only hit 1 out of 4 OL on the initial approach. I had planned to fire a standard load 12 impulses later but forgot about it completely. I don't remember if I would have been in arc or not anyway though. I managed to actually do an ESG ram, though it wasn't easy!

I think 3 Stingers is the right amount for a 2xfusion/2xHB ship. I solicit your thoughts on that. The Hydran had 4xph-1, 3xph-2 (360) and the 2xgat. Perhaps change the ph-2 to only two instead of three?

Overall no glitches with any of the changes. It all flowed very smoothly and we are going to try the same duel (same ships/same sides) again to further put them to the test.

End result was trashed Fed, very lightly damaged Klink, Hydran just a bit more damaged than the Klink and the Lyran with only heavy shield damage. It might have turned out differently but I was able to just get out of the Feds OL photon arc when he realized I moved and he didn't. By the time he got them back in action he'd lost two of them to damage. When they're hitting, the Fed ASW combined with the Klink ADD is hard on shuttles, seeking weapons and fighters. But then, that's the way it's suppose to be.

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What I love about this

What I love about this thread...

Is that variant rules are so verboten at ADB's forums. This makes me feel like I am living in America, unlike over there.


The Ranger has 4 fusion + 9 Stingers; the Dragoon has 4 HB + 3 stingers. Given that fusions are unequivocally worse than hellbores, the 2+2+3 looks a bit poor, though it depends what you replaced the stingers with. I'm assuming it was APR. How this works will depend on the year: if you have 9-point warp engines, you'll need the APR even without hellbores. With 10-point warp engines, I'd have expected 6 fighters.

As for Hydran phasers, it again depends on year and class. A CC would have phasers something like that, but a CA would probably not have the 360s. What's wrong with the phasers on the Ranger?

Putting photons on fighters is fine...once. A squadron averages 48 damage at R8 or 64 at R4, which is nice. Then you need to reload them, and no carrier can sensibly do that for a whole squadron. That's why I'd recommend the ASWs.

Fusions are great in fleet

Fusions are great in fleet battles. True, 1 for 1 they are worse than HBs, but usually they come 2-1 or 3-2 in terms of HBs.

Do not discount what letting a Fusion Fleet get to R10 is going to do to you.

"Hybrid Hydran Ranger

"Hybrid Hydran Ranger (2xfusion, 2x HB, 3 St-2)"

Awesome ship. One internal volley and I've got no guns at all. Its almost as much fun as flying a TLM.

Well, it worked out rather

Well, it worked out rather well so far in our test game. We use the 'torp' hit for all heavy weapons rather than 'torp' for some and 'drone' for others. It's just a lot easier than trying to remember what hits what along with everything else (at least for me). So it won't lose weapons any quicker than any other CA with 4xHW.

Using it the other way (torp/drone hits) the tourny CA would be just a little less prone as you've implied above. The four fusions don't protect the two hellbores in this fashion.

We will be playing the same game (Fed/Klink vs. Lyran/Hydran) again, at least that is the plan right now. We want to further test some of our house rules again using the same ship dynamics.

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Posted by Captain Kitty

>>What I love about this thread...

Is that variant rules are so verboten at ADB's forums. This makes me feel like I am living in America, unlike over there.>>

You made me look up a word :)

If nothing else, I'm enjoying sharing what we're doing. The purpose of the game is have fun with people, and we are doing just that. And I've learned some new things (like the ASW) that I/we've incorporated into the game to see how it works.

And that is my whole reason for the thread. To say, 'hey this is what we're doing' and have someone say, 'sounds cool, I think we'll try that as well'. Or, 'careful David, we tried that and here is what happened'.

Just something about the free exchange of ideas with like-minded people that give me the warm & fuzzies :)

Btw, in regards to the Particle Cannon for the Lyrans; it worked well in the last game. One thing I didn't agree with from the official rules is that an OL costs 3 points (no problem with this), the first standard is 2 points and a second standard is only 1 point. Not sure why a second standard shot would cost less than the first standard shot? I think a standard shot should be 2 points regardless of whether it was fired first or second. So, this is what were going with, 2 points for a standard regardless on whether it is first or second. I do like the half cost on the capacitor though, makes it interesting during EA.

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Pseudo Plasma

One house rule that I've wanted to try is about PPTs.

PPTs always seemed a crude bodge. From a game design and engineering POV, it's a bit of a kludge - something that's utterly harmless but 100% indistinguishable from the real thing, even if it hits an asteroid? And why does every plasma launcher (except on some PFs, ISCs and tourney ships) get exactly one? Why not 2, or 5, or 10? [because it's too good otherwise, of course]

My alternative, which may be a bit good/bad/indifferent:
1) Each eligible (ie, as now) plasma launcher has a PPT generator, which takes the same arming cycle but 1/4 of the power of the real plasma, and 0 to hold. It can underload, EPT or shotgun. It cannot launch on the same impulse as the real torp. It can launch after destruction. It's ready at WS-0 as an F-torp.
2) The reality of plasma can be labbed, probed or Aegised in the usual way, as though a drone.

Because labbing is fairly short ranged, you'll often have to commit to an attack or not before you can ID it. And because labs happen before plasma launch, the R1 PPT launch can still flush out the weasel. Conversely, you'll usuall lab it before you have to empty phasers into a pseudo. Feds have lots of labs, and the eastern races all have plasma. So it should be approximately balanced.

And it makes probes useful, which can't be a bad thing.


The ability to lab or probe a

The ability to lab or probe a plasma/PPT is interesting. It would be nice to have a use for a probe other than the free hit. Perhaps limit the range a lab can be used to determine whether it is a real or fake plasma? Or some other limiting factor so that it isn't a 100% thing but give the lab user at least a chance...

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Don't discount probes in

Don't discount probes in plasma fleet battles. Ted taught me that. It's extremely useful to be able to reliably ID a target when it's 6 hexes away, rather than 2 or 3.

Obviously in a tourney or duel it's pointless, where you have only one possible target.

Jim, I did a little thinking


I did a little thinking on the PPT/Lab/Probe thing, here are my further thoughts;

The PPT is designed to assist the plasma races due to the long arming process of their heavy weapon. Not only to deceive the enemy but to also illicit the enemy wasting resources (phaser fire) on the fake. I know you know that, just stating the obvious for anyone else reading. With this in mind, balance needs to be maintained with any change(s). On the identification side of things, here is a proposal for everyone to consider and discuss...

Probe - a probe requires two turns to arm (1 and 1). It can then launch and immediately travel up to 6 hexes distance to the 'target' hex. I propose that since a PPT is 'nearly' identical to a real plasma that the object trying to identify it (probe) has to be in the same hex in order to get the most information possible to make the proper I.D.

The probe would thus properly I.D. the plasma and then go inert. This preserves balance by costing the targeted ship resources to make the I.D.

It creates a tactical situation as the range of a probe is a maximum of 6 hexes. Thus a plasma ship can always launch closer limiting the options of the target ship. Even then, 6 hexes may/may not limit the options of the target ship as well.

The target ship would of course have to have a probe armed and ready. The target ship has a limited supply of the plasma ship has a limited number of PPT's.

Lab - still thinking about this one. Labs don't cost power to operate, thus it needs some sort of balancing factor. Perhaps having to use 1 or 2 points of power on the lab to 'enhance' its ability to I.D. a plasma? Or having to use more than one lab? Or limiting the range to 1 or at most two hexes distance (which of course may limit options of the target ship)?

PPT - still mulling a rearm over for the ppt. Not sure how 'needed' this is in the over all scheme of things. The ability to reload it would really be dandy...for the plasma user! Would suck for the target ship.

Thoughts and comments...

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If you're putting this much work into house rules...

Why not take on a different game with its own ship design engine, like Starmada or Squadron Strike?

(Starmada lets you have official ADB sanctioned ships. I have ones in playtest for the SFU.)

Hey you never know :)

Hey you never know :)

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Starmada or Squadron Strike

I think I will do that.

With Hostile Intent is good

With Hostile Intent is good too.

In an effort to somewhat

In an effort to somewhat speed up the game a bit, I'm going to try 'hard hits'.

It is in section D2.

Looks interesting and able to speed the game up. I've used something similar to this and it did speed it up without losing the SFB flavor on the DAC. I think this would retain the SFB flavor as well and even somewhat preserve the ability to Mizia. Going to try it out on the next game to see how it works.

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Hard Hits

Works well enough, provides odd results at times. With 6B/ 8B taking out impulse/APR, 7C Battery, and 6D/7D/8D your three warp engines you can get a lot of mission killed ships that are relatively intact, making all Warp, OR Impulse hits (Impulse allows a better chance of Sublight Evasion) underlined give you a retreat option to save your ships, useful for campaign type games.

Here is the statement that

Here is the statement that caught my attention;

>>>Note that we have allocated 77 internals with only 12 dice rolls and 12 "going across the DAC" runs, and the result the similar to what you would get if you rolled them separately (the D7 is gutted :) ). In actual practice this system
saves (in my experience) about 15 minutes game time for each size class 3 ship that gets blown up in a scenario, allowing MUCH larger battles to be run in an evening.>>>

Since each weapon volley gets its own separate roll, the Mizia effect is still (somewhat) preserved. While at the same time giving a bit different flavor to damaging a ship. And too be honest, a bit more realistic IMO. For example, an OL photon hitting for the full 16. In normal SFB, that 16 points could hit a weapon in the boom of the Klingon ship (as an example), damage the hull in the aft section, go back and kill a lab in the boom, skip on over to the rear of the ship to damage the shuttle bay etc. A photon is a warhead. In hard hits, if it hits a warp nacelle, it blows it off...kinda like it would in know..real life (wink). Phasers as well should cut into the ship not necessarily dance around.

In the long run though, it delivers damage and does so quicker. In a fleet battle I can really see it quickening the pace.

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In a huge volley like he describes, it probably won't make much difference, and in a fleet battle it again might not change too much. But in a duel where one heavy weapon rolling a 4 or 10 could demolish a warp engine or rip out all the batteries (5, 7, 9) you're likely to get some rather odd effects. Use with care.

Turn and sideslip

Changing the subject entirely, you might try this (I use it in my homebrew). in SFB RAW, you can't turn and sideslip on the same impulse. Alternatively:

A unit eligible to do both may turn and sideslip on the same impulse (when it moves, of course). The effect is to move the ship 1 hex forward and then turn 60 degrees in that hex. The turn and sideslip markers are both placed in the hex it just left.

Similarly a unit other than a drone or plasma torpedo can HET and sideslip on the same impulse: move forward, then turn in that hex. If you break down, you do so in that hex. If you tumble, you do so starting in that hex and moving in the original direction.

You can think about it like this: the ship turns as normal, but instead of moving forward in its new direction it sideslips (in the original direction) instead.

A possible 'fix' to the hard

A possible 'fix' to the hard hits, in regards to the warp nacelles being blown off would be to simply limit the amount of damage to specific systems. For example (and just an example), a hard hit on a warp engine could be limited to 4 instead of the total volley. This would still provide the flavor of a hard hit, allow the ship a little extra survivability than it otherwise would have (for hard hits), allow other systems to get killed in a volley and STILL quicken up the whole process. Which is the reason to implement it in the first place. Less die rolls for damage.

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The hard hits worked out well

The hard hits worked out well just now in a practice game. I went ahead and did the standard version as explained in the Don Miller link above i.e. only underlined DAC was protected from multiples.

It did quicken the game up. 2 full turns took 1 hour and that was with me having to look up a couple of rules and then explain them. That included EA, drones, plasma, WW, SP and transporter bomb action. I'm pleased with it.

Big game planned for Saturday. Depending on the total number that are able to make it, we'll either have a big free-for-all or teams. The F-F-A would be getting the damaged freighter in the middle of the map to safety (the freighter will a cargo hold of dilithium crystals)!

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Alpha Strike?

I don't know how well it would port over to SFB but in the CL#41 Supplemental File there was a no-dice DA for Federation Commander. It speeds up damage allocation a lot.

Hard Hits is pretty close to SS Damage Allocation

Except that the SS Damage Allocation removes the step between "See name on table, find box on SSD".

Hard Hits was built as a (reasonably nice) optional rule. SS Damage Allocation was built into the system from late 2008, when a house guest played two sessions with us, made a suggestion. The Friday before Origins.

It was a good suggestion. I spent 80 hours over the next five days rebuilding the Excel worksheets that made ships and SSDs to implement it...but it literally took the game from 25-30 minute turns with damage allocation in them to 5-10 minute turns with damage allocation. Damage allocation now took comparable time to movement.

It was a major major design win.

Ken, just curious... is it

Ken, just curious... is it possible for you to answer a question or comment 'round here WITHOUT plugging Squadron Strike?

Just, you know, curious. :D

Why, yes, Dale. :)

Let's see.

I answered questions recently on:

A) X ship tech changes
B) The discussion about the relative merits of the Fusion Beam versus Phaser-Gs/Phaser-1s.
C) The discussion about the relative merits of the Photon Torpedo
D) Questions about ADB in general.

... all without mentioning it.

I try to keep mentions of Squadron Strike (and Starmada) to discussions about rules mechanisms that are A) House Rules or B) Grumbles about 'physics' in SFB or C) discussions about 'why is a rule like X instead of Y?", usually where I can say "Game X tried something similar to what you're proposing. This is how it worked out."

I'm not perfect at this - largely because I look at this via Most Recent topics, but it is something I try very hard to do.

There are lots of things that I think SFB does clunkily. Heck, I even point out that the EW implementation I use is the one that I considered 'sucked least'.

Ah just pokin' at ya in fun,

Ah just pokin' at ya in fun, Ken, no worries. ;)

Anyone have any thoughts on

Anyone have any thoughts on the probe vs. PPT posts from above? I'd like to solicite some feed back on it. I'm thinking that perhaps it shouldn't be a 'given' but not sure what kind of restrictions to place on probing a PPT.


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Probe vs. PPT is fine, but in

Probe vs. PPT is fine, but in order to make it so it's not just a "gimme", I'd have a die roll. On a 1-2 the probe is damaged by the artificial capsule of the PPT and is destroyed outright. This could give the false impression that it's a real torp instead of a fake one. On a 3-6 it gives a positive reading if it's a fake torpedo and is simply destroyed if it's a real torpedo.

I wouldn't use labs against PPTs. Labs take too long to figure that stuff out and the torpedo would impact well before the labs were able to process all of the data.

I glanced back at the

I glanced back at the lab/probe rules. The best a lab can do is 10 points of information (such as in a monster scenario). A probe gathers 20 points of information. Here is a thought; the absolute minimum amount of information needed to determine whether or not a plasma is real would be 20 points which would yield you a roll of 1-3 on a die 6. The maximum range of a probe is R6 so you have a 50% chance to determine whether it is a real plasma or a PPT. And of course, a probe costs resources to launch for such a mission i.e. 1 point of power for 2 turns.

More than one probe could be launched, but not on the same impulse and the effect is not cumulative i.e. each probe is 1-3 (or perhaps 1-4 or 3-6 or whatever is finally determined) so there is never a 100% chance of determination.

Labs 'could' be used, but using the chart in G4 shows that multiple labs are necessary and a die roll is needed to determine if the minimum 20 points has been reached. And this is effected by range. So it involves some tactics and timing and isn't a gimmie by any stretch. It does provide the possibility of correct determination.

And it gives the probe and lab something to do against big plasma.

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Multiple probes

There are only 2 ships in the game that I can immediately think of with 2 probe launchers (Lyran DN and Large Exploration Freighter) so I don't think the 2 probes/1 impulse rule is worth having. Obviously ships could cooperate, but given that the enemy will probably have three times as many plasma launchers as you have probe launchers, each ship will be kept quite busy enough.

Is this assuming reloadable PPTs?

Labs and problems

"The best a lab can do is 10 points of information (such as in a monster scenario). A probe gathers 20 points of information."

This always seemed backwards to me. The idea that a small probe could gather more info than the entire labs on a starship seems odd to me.

Granted, the probe is likely to be closer, but still.

The probe...

Its flying right through whatever it is scanning. Rather than sitting 50,000km away.

That's the only reason I can

That's the only reason I can see for the probe gaining more info over a lab...

Again, don't know how 'needed' is the ability to ID PPT's. But figured it was worth tossing out there. We've only tried it once in a game last week (Kzinti vs. Rom) and the 1-3 die roll was missed anyway. I suppose though that in a pinch and a good die roll it would be of big benefit to know what was coming at you. Providing you've charged up a probe that is....

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Three of the survey ships also have two probe launchers

"There are only 2 ships in the game that I can immediately think of with 2 probe launchers (Lyran DN and Large Exploration Freighter)"

I knew that the Fed GSC had two probe launchers as well, so I decided to check the other survey cruisers and found that the Gorn SR and Lyran Prairie Cat also have two probe launchers each.

Jumping In


Awesome. I agree with a lot of what you say. I came on the other day after being off this board for months and monts, and I saw the SSD of the Kzinti with Hyperdrones. I thought it was the way to go.

I have often differed with the choice of weapons. I don't care for drones on most Fed ships (wow, one launcher on the CA... give me a PH-1s instead on ships patrolling the Roms, and a real ADD on the Western front), although drone specific ships are fine, but they need to be something like a drone cruiser, which can make effective use of drones. (did that make sense?)

One thing I never understood is why in the SFU the Federation wants drone ships to face drone races, and plasma-equipped ships on the fronts of the plasma races. Frankly, it should be the opposite. Romulans don't have ADDs, and ships with drones are less effective at dealing with plasma.

I really need to catch up on this, but it is so spread out. Please, make some simple notes and post them as an update so noobs to your ideas can get it and discuss it.


Thank you Eric. Off the top

Thank you Eric. Off the top of my head;


We’ve discontinued the use of drones for the Feds. Instead, the Feds use the ASW system (Anti-Seeking Weapon). This uses the same chart as an ADD. It has a 12 round rack, usually with two reloads.

The ASW differs from the ADD on two points; first, rather than damaging a target be explosively discharging ‘pellets’ the ASW has an electrical discharge that disrupts/damages the target. The ASW will cause six points of damage to drones, shuttles and fighters. It will also cause six points of damage to a plasma torpedo, thus reducing the warhead strength of the plasma torpedo by three points (just like phaser damage). This way the ASW is useful on multiple borders. It is a defensive weapon only.
Federation fighters load up the photon torpedo, no drones.

KLINGON: Klingons are the only race that uses the disruptor. Klingon drones travel at speed 20.


The Kzinti HW is the hyper-drone. It is used as per the rules with the following exceptions; it is similar to a Type I drone in that it only requires 4 points of damage to be destroyed (instead of 6 points). On a limited basis, hyper-drone racks can load a ‘Heavy Hyper-drone’. This is two-space hyper-drone. It takes 6 points of damage to destroy (like a Type IV drone) and does 16 points of damage. Usually about 10% of the load can be HHD’s.

Kzinti drones travel as speed 32.


The Lyran HW is the particle cannon. As per the normal rules, this is a two-shot per turn weapon. Slight difference; the 5-point capacitor does NOT require a holding charge.


Hydran suicide overloads don’t destroy the fusion canon, nor does it cause an internal point of damage.


We don’t use the third generation ships. We use class variations of the Warbird as well as the Klingon conversions. Only the Klink-Rom conversions use the type S. The Warbird variants use the R, usually just a single tube with type F’s as the secondary HW.


The ISC only use the type F plasma in the rear mounts as per normal rules. Instead of the type S or G secondary front arc weapons, we use the Plasmatic Carbine. This is a smaller version of the Plasmatic Pulsar Device. Take a look at the SSD posted here in the Open Community to see the chart and cost.
I’m probably forgetting something but if I am and I remember it I’ll post it. :)

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I have no idea

if your stuff is balanced, but I do like the approach better. I'll be particularly interested to see your Rom "WE variants" when you get around to posting them.

I feel bad for the Lyrans, they got worse and the Kzinti got better. ;)

Hi Paul, I believe I've got

Hi Paul,

I believe I've got one Rom WE posted here on the board. It is a CA version if I remember correctly. Basically it is very similar to the TKE version. Though I noticed I've missed a couple of ph-3's that I'll need to go back and adjust.

They Lyran was getting its arse kicked by the Kzinti early on in playtesting after the switch. We tweaked it a bit, dropping the need for a holding cost on the PC capacitors. Our reasoning is that phaser caps don't need a holding cost. Neither do ESG caps. This lightened the power load just enough to balance it out. I think since the Lyran CA was posted here that we've also seen the need to add a ph-3 to each side. If I remember correctly, it is 6xph-1 and 4xph-3 now. That also helped just enough. Using the ESG defensively, and using T-bombs wisely I was just able to pull out a couple of wins in the last games against the Kzin. Still a tough battle.

I want to put the HD Kzin against the other races a bit more to make sure it is balanced correctly. So far, so good though. It plays the Rom very tough but I was able to pull off a win a while back with the Rom WE.

The thing with the Kzin now is that it really becomes a finese ship. Timing is everything with the rack drones of course, but putting that into concert with the HD's is challenging, but rewarding if done well. Particularly if you can get into position for a 3-wave-in-one-turn strike. Dumming down the HD to 4 damage to kill rather than 6 helped tame/balance it though.

We've played numerous games so far with the HD Kzin (the Kzin is my son's favorite race by far) and it has really produced some highly challenging games. I like that. I don't like the 'close to point blank with overloads' and hope the dice are favorable. I like to manuever, dance, lay t-bomb mind fields, race in, duck out etc. The PC armed Lyran has been pretty similar to the regular disruptor armed version when DERFACS adn UIM aren't used. The PC is just a tad weaker overall, but with the second shot it evens it up pretty close.

Oh, I forgot that we've lowered the second shot time from 12 impulses to 8 like the other two-turn weapons.

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Actually achieving balance in

Actually achieving balance in ships is subjective at best. You'd have to have two or more players of equal skill, with consistently average die rolls using the same ships multiple times to see if they are balanced. This has been done, somewhat, in tournaments but again the results are subject to player level and die rolls. For example, way back in the mid-80's, even as a novice player, I knew the Andros were completely unbalanced. Yet they persisted for decades until they were revised. And even today there are two schools of thought as to if they're balanced or not.

Our HD Kzinti for example are a good fighting ship, but I've beaten them in the Lyran. Would I be able to beat them in the Hydran? The Fed? The ISC? We haven't tried it yet in those specific match ups so I don't know. But let's say I played the ISC the next 5 games against the HD Kzin and got beat 4 out of 5 times. Does that mean the HD Kzin is unbalanced? Or does it mean I haven't fully developed my Fed tactics? Or does it mean I sucked at rolling the dice? Just tossing this out. Whatever balance we've achieved thus far...we sure are having a blast! :)

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David wrote:

>>For example, way back in the mid-80's, even as a novice player, I knew the Andros were completely unbalanced. Yet they persisted for decades until they were revised. And even today there are two schools of thought as to if they're balanced or not.>>

Andros are fine in fleet engagements, with full EW (concentration of fire makes PA panels less good; Andro EW capabilities make them less fragile). They are incredibly difficult to balance out in single ship engagements (i.e. tournament play).

The current official playtest ship is a little weak, but close to viable.


"Actually achieving balance in ships is subjective at best. You'd have to have two or more players of equal skill, with consistently average die rolls using the same ships multiple times to see if they are balanced."

Even that is a bit ambigous, who have you balanced to? The 2 players of even skill.

You could have 2 players of even skill, say me and my clone, or Eric and his clone. We could decide the ships are perfectly balanced. Then Paul Scott could come along and say they that ship A was clearly superior to ship B. Players of different skill levels see things differently.

I've mentioned this

I've mentioned this elsewhere, but I'll add it here as well. In our house rule games, the Frax are an actual race. They are located south of the Klinks and west of the Tholians (basically between the Hydrans and Tholians at the bottom of the map against the rim). I've updated there ships. I have a CA available for anyone that would like to see it. I can email it in an attachment. Following changes;

* The SSD is based upon an actual naval ship. It is much more streamline and sleek looking. The HW's rotate like naval guns.

* In line with our philosophy of trying to keep HW's separated as much as possible, the Frax HW is the Energy Pulse Cannon (EPC). This is noted on the SSD complete with costs and chart.

* The Anti-Fighter Device (AFD) has been tweaked as the original version is a bit out of whack. Our HR AFD is a 6 round ADD and a Ph-RP (rapid pulse). The Ph-RP may fire twice as a ph-3, but not on the same impulse. It may alternate firings with the ADD as long as only one is used per impulse. It may only fire on size class 6 or 7 targets. It costs 1 point to fire as the Ph-RP but may fire only as an ADD at no cost. The ADD/Ph-RP are limited to arc of fire.

If I may say so, it is a pretty cool looking ship.

I also have the Krell. They are on the other side of the Tholians, south of the Roms. They do not have phasers. Instead, they have Pulsars which act as the HW and primary weapons. They use similar charts to the Ph-3, Ph-1 and Ph-5 depending upon which mode they are fired in. The charts and costs are on the SSD and I have a CA if anyone would like to see it.

*A single pulsar can fire in light, normal or heavy mode. Mode may be changed from turn to turn. A specific pulsar can only be fired in heavy mode once every other turn but may fire in either of the other two modes on the 'off' turn.

*Pulsar light - fires as ph-3 for 1/2 point. May fire rapid pulse for 1 point. RP may fire in different or the same impulse. Basically a half-gatling. Rapid pulse is only on seeking weapons or size class 6/7.

*Pulsar - fires as a ph-1 for 1 point. Once per turn.

*Pulsar heavy - fires as a ph-5 (chart is on SSD). The ph-5 is similar to the ph-1 with just slightly greater damage, but longer ranges of effectiveness. Costs 2 points. As noted above, can only fire heavy once every other turn but can fire as normal or light in the off turns.

*Pulsar capacitor is equal to total number of operational pulsars.

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I don't remember if I touched

I don't remember if I touched on EW somewhere above, we don't use it. It is like somebody sat down and tried to figure out how to complicate and slow down SFB even more. That just isn't something SFB needs as it already has it in abundance. And it is in no way needed to play the game. Here in the 21st century it is possible for a missile to strike another missile that is already in-flight. Israel is doing it with Iron Fist on the edge of 90% of the time. This is like hitting a bullet with another bullet. We figure that the game takes place in the 23rd century. By then, tracking and targeting should be right at 100%. So, with this in mind, the 'to-hit' charts represent EW in progress automatically without having to add yet another laborious step to the game. This frees up some ship energy which speeds up the game and allows for other more interesting options i.e. transporters, tractor beams, faster speed, HET's etc. So if a ship fires a HW and misses then it is attributed to automatic EW. If a phaser does minimal damage it is because of automatic EW.

Where considering dropping FC as well. The energy for LS should be enough to run LS, FC, sonic showers, coffee maker and flush the toilets. For that matter, just a point for shields instead of 2 (or more). I've never used minimum shields and probably never would. That saves a couple of points (or more) for other stuff. Again, speeds the game up and makes it more interesting.

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Stuff I like/Dont Like

I am moving from Fed Com to SFB because everyone around me is too. I like the addition of more choice, years in service, etc. However, I think Fed Com did introduce some changes that I think should be adopted for SFB (some just involve not using certain things; if you dig EW go for it. Just don't invite me). Here are the things I like:

**No PFs
**No fighters (except Hydrans)
**No EM and simple shifts for replacing natural EW
**No paying for life support (wouldn't every area have emergency backups for this separate from the main energy, and environment suits that they could operate a vessel in combat without life support?)
**Simplified Tractor rules (though they are oversimplified... you should at least be able to rotate the captured thing)

There are more, but those are my tops.

We have used fighters on a

We have used fighters on a limited basis. If the fighter in question uses a HW, it is the HW of the race represented. As an example, the Fed fighters don't use drones. They either are phaser only or they have a phaser(s) and a photon torpedo. Kzinti would have drones and/or hyper-drones, Klinks drones and/or disruptors etc. The ISC would have the plasmatic carbine or possible the plasma-F.

We've used PF's on a very limited basis.

We'll probably go with 1 point of power to cover LS & FC (and normal ships systems including transporters) and 1 point for full shields. This frees up 2 points of power on a CA sized ship. That could be substantial.

Additionally, for X ships we use things like:

*A2WR - This is an AWR that provides 2 points of power per box. The pro is that it allows extra power without extra boxes cluttering up the SSD. Cons are that if it is hit you lose 2 points of power.

*A2PR - Same as above but it is a 2 point APR.

AWBR - This is a combination of an AWR and a 1 point battery in one box. The AWR will produce 1 point of warp power per turn like a normal AWR and the battery has 1 point of warp reserve power that can be recharged normally with warp power, either from the engines, another AWR or the AWBR itself. If the AWBR is used to charge the battery it expends its 1 point for that turn for the recharge.

ABR - Same as above but it is an APR and 1 point battery.

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We've also played around with

We've also played around with the ph-5 and ph-6 as well on X ships. This is a very nice compromise between the old overloaded phasers (which ADB deleted after a couple of decades) and regular ph-1's and 3's. Logically speaking, phasers need to be somewhat 'upped' on X ships and the ph-5 and 6 really fills the bill in that regard. Not much more powerful, but the range and power drop off are much better overall.

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Sometimes we'll use house

Sometimes we'll use house rules if the original rule is arcane or deals with minutia (to us anyway).

Emergency Decel: Take half of the unused movement energy and use it for shield reinforcement. No problem. When used for specific reinforcement, rule says it can be applied to either a combination of the 6-1-2 shields, OR to the 3-4-5 shields ... but not to shields 2-3.

That seems a bit daft to me. You can reinforce any individual shield(s) during energy allocation or with reserve power, so why not during emergency decel? Why the extra restriction?

I do understand why some rules have exceptions (for game mechanics/balanced play), but not without good reason.

Rules that seem to be written just for the sake of it (and subtract from the game by making it more complex than it needs to be for no apparent reason) are the rules we'll alter or ignore.

I do enjoy reading the other ideas in this thread. Some of it is beyond our scope, but it's good to see how other players concepts could be adapted to our games.

Sporki wrote:

>>That seems a bit daft to me. You can reinforce any individual shield(s) during energy allocation or with reserve power, so why not during emergency decel? Why the extra restriction?>>

You can. The reinforcement can either go to one shield, or be split among 1-2-6 or 3-4-5. Which, in practice, is never going to happen (I never even knew that rule existed, really). When you decel, it is rare that you get more than 3-4 points of reinforcement. So you are generally just going to put it on the shield that you are going to launch the weasel through to absorb collateral damage.

I know it's splitting hairs

I know it's splitting hairs at this point, but how about this?

You emergency decel (for whatever reason). For whatever reason, you don't launch a weasel. You get credit for 4 points of shield reinforcement to apply by virtue of emergency decel.

There are two drones due to impact on your ship next impulse and there is nothing you can do to prevent that - one drone on shield 2 and one drone on shield 3. Both shields have 10 boxes left in them.

So you can take that 4 points of reinforcement and put it towards shield 2 or 3, but not 2 to each. So one shield is gonna get hit and take 2 internals, while the other shield gets hit and has 2 boxes left.

But flip that and say it's shields 6 and 2 instead. So then you can put 2 points of reinforcement into both shields - and thus have both shields reduced to zero, but take no internals.

You could take these measures (spreading the reinforcement out over whatever shields you choose) during energy allocation, or you could do it with reserve power ... but during emergency decel - nope can't do it.

Where is the sense in that? I'm not into the "is it realistic?" argument, but I do like the "let's make this logical for gameplay" argument.

Wanna penalize a ship for emergency decel? Fine. Wanna give a ship some compensation for lost energy movement? Fine.

But to say "you can use half of yer lost movement energy for defense for shields 2 and 6 , but allowing you to use that same energy for shields 2 and 3 is just too much of an advantage".

That rule is somewhere between bad and unnecessary (my opinion).

Narrow salvoes. I've read

Narrow salvoes. I've read yer posts and I concur with those who oppose it.

Standard photon with 1-2 outta 6 chance to hit = 33.3% hit prob:

4 hits "normally" happens 1 in 81 (1.2%)
4 hits with "narrow salvo" happens 1 in 3 (33.3%)

4 misses "normally" happens 16 in 81 (19.75%)
4 misses "narrow salvo" happens 2 in 3 (66.7%)

If concentration of fire-power is the name of the game, why do anything else?

Although dice rolls will always be part of the game, I'm with the contingent that strategy should at least play a part.

Sporki wrote:

>>That rule is somewhere between bad and unnecessary (my opinion).>>

Oh, I agree. But again, in playing SFB for, like, almost 30 years now:

A) I have never once noticed that that rule existed.

B) I have never once been in a situation where it would have *mattered* that that rule existed.

I mean, yes, it is certainly a strange and arbitrary rule. That probably shouldn't be there. And there is probably some arcane reason it is there that is now lost to history. But in practice, it is a completely irrelevant rule, so best not to worry about it.

My suggestion is to simply

My suggestion is to simply change the rule to make it work better. These rules are written on paper, not stone. Keeping in mind that an eye towards balance and playability needs to be priority. Being able to reinforce a specific shield or shields with a couple of points from ED isn't that big of a change overall. Simply write in the change and play it to see how it works. :)

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As a side note to Peter's

As a side note to Peter's comment, we routinely forget the little extra reinforcement after ED. It doesn't happen often enough in our FTF games for it to make an impact. But using your example, I agree that you should be able to apply it to your shield(s) of choice.

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IKVAvenger wrote:

>>My suggestion is to simply change the rule to make it work better.>>

Oh, sure. If you are playing in your own house, you can do anything you want. But, as previously noted, the big problem with house rules is that when you play with other folks (like on SFBOL or whatever), they just confuse things.

I suppose it could, but I

I suppose it could, but I don't see it as that big of an issue. I've played HR's in our FTF games for years and played SFBOL, including several tournaments, and the issue never came up. Someone playing HR's for a long time might wish to brush up a bit before doing SFBOL or a FTF tourny game just to be clear and focused.

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Narrow Salvoes

Narrow salvoes are a part of the game; players should be aware that BPV assumes narrow salvoes are available. They have fallen out of favor because of the popularity of the tournament game; as they tend to make duels 1 dimensional. Consider a Fed CA vs. D7 duel. Fed cruises to R8 oblique. 1) crippled D7; or 2) running Fed. Boring but basically fair odds. As a deterrent strategy for single ship encounters in a cold war; favors the Fed and makes good sense. In fleets; odds start evening out. The Fed CA is actually much more effective even if loses 1 or 2 photons with the narrow salvo.

Narrow Salvo Background

IIRC at some point the rules stated a technical justification for narrow salvoes. When firing independently; the targeting computer determines an individual firing solution for each weapon. When narrow salvoed; all weapons of the same type (or a subset) are slaved to the same solution.