Suicide shuttles

Just had a thought about SS's. Just as a mine or transporter bomb will cause damage out to one hex distance, perhaps a SS could be detonated at one hex distance from the target as well. Perhaps yielding half damage at one hex distance.

If a fighter could be remote controlled, perhaps the controlling ship could make the determination if/when the SS enters the one hex range whether or not to detonate the SS. Half damage could be the penalty for early detonation.


Bah Humbug!

I believe suicide shuttles belong in the thread "Rules That Should Have Never Been."

If I was calling the shots, such a thing would only be allowed for ships with Legendary Science Officers, or maybe Legendary Engineers.

Don't hold back Dave, tell us

Don't hold back Dave, tell us how you really feel :)

Why don't you like the SS rule?

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Or SS would have to be manned

Or SS would have to be manned by a captain with a guilt complex about losing his crew and wanting to avenge their deaths (which he felt he was responsible for).

My thoughts are that it would

My thoughts are that it would open the SS tactics up just a bit. Even at full damage potential from R1 I think it is a feasible/reasonable proposal.

Just as a SP can be set to blossom at a preset distance from the target, the SS can be preset to explode at R1. I would put R1 as the maximum distance viable from the target ship as any farther would be out of range of the explosion. Again, my thoughts are if a mine can reach out and touch someone to R1 that a SS could as well.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Mines are broken

No need to break suicide shuttles too.

Arguably, the man who invented the Swordfish drone could do the same trick with a shuttle - essentially using a nuke to overload the phaser-3 or some such technobabble - but the damage would probably be like a P2 at most.

SS are best used as a threat in the overrun rather than like drones. If you have 2 shuttle bays and get into the target's hex, he'd better be holding back a few phasers or he'll risk 36 painful damage next impulse. But at longer ranges, they never hit unless the enemy is negligent. You're better off launching them manned. If it's not going to hit within 8 impulses, you can afford to use the phaser instead.


The year I went down to Dragon-con and won, I landed 14 hits out of 14 launches with SS. I won the finals with some really nice dice at R8 at T1 (something like 40 points of damage from the ship and stinger alphastrike) followed by 4 WWs on T2 while the HBs recycled. The poor Kzin had heard about my incredible run of SS death and assumed I loaded them against him. He resigned on T3 before the shooting started when he hadn't landed a drone hit, I had both HBs and the Stingers were about to launch....that and being r1 from a pissed of Hydran.........

Weather SSs should exist or not is debatable, but if you want to change a core rule like that, you got to rebalance all the TCs all over again.Certainly having them as an area effect weapon is a bad idea I think.

I'm talking about regular

I'm talking about regular SFB, not tourny play.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

What I said still stands. You

What I said still stands. You change a core rule, you end up having to rebalance every single TC in existence. We already know normal SFB isn't balanced so it doesn't really matter.

What you stated doesn't

What you stated doesn't apply. As noted above, I'm discussing regular SFB so it has no effect on TC's.

Secondly, you do realize this is the "Changes, Modifications & New Ideas" section don't you? In case you missed it, this is the section where people discuss 'Changes, Modifications & New Ideas". If you don't like a 'Change, Modification or New Idea'...then don't use it.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

That depends...

"What you stated doesn't apply. As noted above, I'm discussing regular SFB so it has no effect on TC's.


If the proposal somehow got accepted as a rule, it WOULD affect TCs.

Do you really thing there is

Do you really think there is a real danger in that happening?

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Dude, The gain of this


The gain of this proposal (small to none) is nothing compared to the pain of implementing it (rebalancing the TCs)

The gain of changing the order of TACS to come BEFORE movement (awesome) is totally worth it compared to the pain (rebalancing all the TCs)

I'm not opposed to changes, I'm opposed to changes for the sake of changing or changing because one doesn't understand how or why the rules work the way they do. Before you get your panties in a bunch, that statement may or may NOT apply to you... however I have long experience with people who couldn't win a rated ace card try to tell me why certain TCs were broken and or not balanced. (Paul got a lot of it too) You gotta be an expert or have a crap ton of data before you start tinkering with balance. ( Generally SPP does a REALLY good job with the Tournament balance.... and he is INCREDIBLY conservative in his decisions )

Dude, For the love of Pete,


For the love of Pete, get some Midol before you post. It will do you a world of good, seriously.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

On the official SS, you can

On the official SS, you can pump 3 points of power into a shuttle for three turns. Looking at it another way, you're pumping enough power to move an entire star ship 90,000 KM into a tiny shuttle. How is it holding that much power? A normal ships battery can only hold one point of power. I just don't like this concept and I can see why DC feels the way he does now that I look at it further.

And alternative: simply place a T-bomb on the shuttle. The T-bombs sensors are tied into the shuttles sensors and can be set for R0 or R1 detonation. Doesn't take any energy but does less damage and uses an existing T-bomb from the ships supply. Nice to deter an over run as mentioned above and can be used deceptively as per normal SS strategy.

I like this better.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

E=mc^2 go figure out the


go figure out the power involved in beaming a squad of marines anywhere......

Probably about the same as

Probably about the same as transporting a T-bomb 50,000K off the port bow I should imagine. Whereas carrying it in a shuttle would cost the same as dumping it out of a shuttle bay which is zero. It would be interesting to have a similar rigging as a SP as well i.e. just as a SP can launch after a certain amount of damage has been sustained (but not destroyed), a SS could detonate in like fashion. This of course might not effect anything but empty space...or it could effect friend & foe alike which would make for some interesting situations. And it is something that can actually occur as it isn't really 23rd century to place a big bomb in a moving vehicle (shuttle) and rig it to explode when triggered by distance, movement or tampering (damage).

Figure one turn to place the T-bomb aboard and set the rigging, fire on the next. About as 'game-plausible' as loading a WW which by-the-by, really shouldn't cost inputted power to 'arm' as it is electronics. And once again, were exactly is a WW suppose to hold two full points of power?

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

I can't help by shake my head

I can't help by shake my head at people who try to use the real-world to justify rule changes in a game. It's stupid. A good game - even a crappy game - should never be encumbered by a bit of reality when designing rules. It's a sure way to fail.

Suggest changes to your hearts content. If they work, great! If not, try again! But please, don't try to force the real world into a game that isn't even a simulation.

I disagree. It isn't stupid

I disagree. It isn't stupid to have some basis for a rule (or rule change) that is reality based. Some things in SFB obviously can't be reality based such as firing a phaser while traveling multiple times the speed of light or changing matter to energy and back again in the same shape. But some of the game is 'somewhat' reality based like the idea of marines trying to board a ship to cause damage or capture it. Mines have a basis in reality.

I've got to say that I 'shake my head' at how some people act/react to game discussions. Not just this board, not just the BBS but other boards as well. Some of you folks treat the 'official' rule book like it's the Bible. It isn't. It s a game and nothing more. Some of it was brilliantly designed. Some of it wasn't. Some of it is great 'as is' and some of it hasn't been right since it was created. I don't make changes just to make changes. I try things out in areas that I don't necessarily agree with or think could be done better or more efficiently. And I'm not the only one from what I've read and who I've talked with via email. It seems a lot of people have ventured out with their own ideas on various aspects of the game and their groups have never looked back i.e. they're having a good time. Which is the whole point of playing a game.

I don't know if some of you are afraid of change or new ideas or if you're just in a rut with the rules. If the 'official' rules from 1979 had stated that a T-bomb could be placed on a shuttle and detonated at R1 from the enemy ship it would have had tactics and term papers written on its use. If 30 years later someone suggested it should have 3 points of power added to it over three turns to make it go boom at R0...some of you folks would have crapped a brick. So let me put it out plainly, the SS rules as they stand don't make sense in and of themselves or with other rules. A ship battery can only hold one point of power and no more. That point of power is capable (with warp energy) of moving the entire vessel 10,000K distance, fire a weapon, activate up to five transporters etc. Yet the 'rules' would have you believe you can pump 9 points of power into a shuttle AND that it can HOLD that power for what may be many turns. So some of you can swallow that but not accept simply placing a T-bomb on board and hooking it into the shuttles sensors??? Are you frigging kidding me?

Some of you people get so upset you resort to name calling over suggestions and new ideas. Again, are you kidding me? I've talked with a BUNCH of SFB folks that have either tried there own stuff personally or put it on a website. I have great discussions with them about their ideas as well as my own. And then I ask them to come onto this 'open community' board and share and discuss their ideas. Particularly since DC is trying to grow the board. I get the same response, 'NO!'. Why not I ask? Because they don't want/need the same flak I've received from some of you over new ideas. This does NOT apply to everyone here. Some have been very helpful with their comments on their ideas even when they disagree with me on an idea. Open, polite, adult discussion is always accepted. But the folks that seem to never offer anything but a snide comment or resort to adolescent name calling...well you've kept away people. Which may be your objective. And that is just sad in and of itself.

All I can say for me personally is that I'm a very creative person. I like to tinker and try things out. And if that chaps the hide on some of you....get some vaseline. To the others that have talked with me on my ideas (here and via email) and have been polite, encouraging and helpful, you have my appreciation. And I look forward to continued discussions with you.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

David wrote:

>>Yet the 'rules' would have you believe you can pump 9 points of power into a shuttle AND that it can HOLD that power for what may be many turns. So some of you can swallow that but not accept simply placing a T-bomb on board and hooking it into the shuttles sensors??? Are you frigging kidding me?>>

Well, here is the thing. While I certainly appreciate that you like tinkering, and would never tell you not to, and am happy to encourage and discuss your tinkering, I often look at what you are proposing and think to myself "Huh. Why?"

Like, looking at the above quote, I can certainly see where you would have questions if you think like that. But for my money, suicide shuttles work fine, are balanced, and do what they need to do. It has nothing to do with the rules being sacrosanct or anything. Suicide Shuttles, just like all sorts of other rules you suggest changing, work fine. Do they make sense according to existing, actual logic? Probably not. But in the context of the game, they work fine and are balanced. I mean, yeah, maybe it would have made more sense to work them so that you put a small mine on a shuttle and launch them that way (although I suspect that a mobile small mine that still worked like a small mine would be wildly over effective...). But in terms of this being a game? Suicide Shuttles work fine. And 'cause they work fine, I can't see any compelling reason to want them changed.

I look at tinkering and coming up with alternate rules for this game from the point of view of "unless there is a compelling reason to change something, if it works fine, leave it be". For example, for a long time, I was a huge proponent of changing the sequence of the TAC rules (so that ships at speed 0 TACed at speed 0, not after all other ships). As there was a very compelling reason to do this (it disincentivized sitting and TACing, which is too effective a lot of the time). Thus, making that rules change makes sense for my money.

You seem to like to come up with all sorts of kooky alternate rules and ideas just 'cause they seem fun. Which is fine. And I fully support. But it seems likely that often someone will look at that, gloss over the "I'm just suggesting this as a fun alternate idea, and not as a actual rules change" part, and just react to it as if you were suggesting that it is something that the rules should change into. Which is why you will often get the reactions you do.

Engineering, Physics and SFB.

Why should a T-bomb be able to create an explosion with 30,000 km diameter? The Earth is 12,500 km in diameter?

After correcting for relativistic mass, an object impacting at 0.99 c delivers kinetic energy equal to 490,050,000,000 times its mass in TNT. (If you care, I'll walk you through the math...).

Trying to use physics and engineering with SFB is, honestly, the wrong way to go. Even arguing internal consistency is the wrong way to go, because SFB has never been internally consistent.

The way to go is to point out a problem with the existing game, point out a possible solution and say "Has anyone tried this?"

Coming up with alternate rules for SFB, where finding someone to play with is already difficult because of the sheer amount of rules that need to be remembered/referenced/etc, is going to be met with resistance. SFB is already a game where you have to negotiate what rules you're playing with before you play ("fixed or floating" "Full EW, partial EW, something else?", "Non-Hydran fighters nor not?" "PFs or not?").

Most SFB BPVs are assembled by "That looks about right..." and that's gotten dodgy over the years.

Any change could be

Any change could be considered 'kooky' to someone else. A Fed TCC with a G-rack? Some would like to see that become official. Others are along the line of, 'it's been that way for 3 decades and it works fine so leave it alone'. Some think a Fed fast cruiser is better for tourny play and others don't like it. Even in this thread we have someone that has used SS's effectively in tournaments (and presumably likes them) and someone else that thinks it is a 'rule that should have never been'.

Who is right Peter? Is it a rule that is fine as-is or is it a rule that should have never been? Which is the kooky idea? Who is the one to decide? I really feel that if ADB had used t-bomb laden shuttles from the beginning and then someone suggested pumping the shuttle full of power they would have gotten the same reaction from the same people.

As I started out my house rules thread, I don't suggest our way is better only that it makes sense to us (and by default, is better for us). If our idea is useable to someone else then great. If not, they are under no compulsion to use it. Any 'fear' that any of our house rules might somehow be adopted into the official game are simply unfounded. First, I'd have to formally suggest the change to ADB. Secondly, they'd have to accept it and then distribute the change. Does anyone see that happening? I don't because I'm not looking to formally suggest anything. I could care less if ADB changes anything.

Having said this, I have upon reflection decided that discussing or suggesting a 'change, modification or new idea' here is an uphill endevour. And one that I just don't want to devote anymore time or effort into doing. Our FTF group is happy and satisfied and to be truthful and forthright, that is enough.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

I love reading your ideas

Most I would agree with bakija and say "why bother" but some are very interesting. And Im incredibly jealous that you get to play with a group who meet often enough to be able to work all this stuff out.

Mobile T-bomb

Whilst it's perfectly reasonable to put a 1cu T-bomb (or even a 3cu NSM!) on a shuttle, and it ought to be easy to detonate such a thing, it will be wildly overeffective in-game. This is really just the fault of the T-bomb being unbalanced, rather than the engineering. As I've said before, the T-bomb should really be SC6, or even SC5 to have that sort of explosion strength (more than a PF!).

It's not too hard to handwave the power being dumped into a shuttle; you've actually installed a little stasis chamber somewhere and you're filling it with antimatter. Maybe it's not 100% efficient. In any case, when the shuttle hits a target, that antimatter goes bang, just like a photon warhead. Same power:yield ratio.

Micro T-bombs

10 damage, but to only one hex. Not the surrounding 6 hexes too.

So they are less than an SS.

Avenger, I think you're

Avenger, I think you're overreacting just a little bit. The fact is the people here have every right to say that they think that a given idea is unbalanced, uneccessary or too much work. Actually, I think they're being quite civil about it. No one's saying, "Take your stupid ideas and get off this board!" are they? No, they're just telling you that they think, in all honesty, that this particular idea isn't a very good one. There's no need to feel disenfranchised about that, as all it means is that they're unlikely to try your rule out for themselves (as you said, there's no chance of your proposal being adopted by ADB, so it's not as if they're "harming your chances for greatness" or anything like that), which in no way means that YOU can't keep using it if it works for you and your playtest group.

It's the same for your other house rules (such as replacing Kzinti disruptors with hyperdrones) as well. Just because no one else here wants to use them doesn't mean that your playtest group can't keep using them. Frankly, there's only one reason I can think of for you reacting so negatively to people's criticisms here. Allow me to paraphrase Ben Crowshaw...

"All comments are subjective personal opinions and if you and your playtest group enjoy your hosue rules then they really shouldn't get to you. Unless, of course, there's a despicable little niggling doubt in the back of your mind that maybe your ideas aren't as good as you've convinced yourself they are, which doesn't go away no matter how may times you try to slap it down with the wet flannel of weak excuses..."

Yeah... You may want to have a think about that, mate...

Anyway, you know, one interesting thing about this discussion that I don't think has been mentioned yet is that in Starfleet Command II, you actually do need to use a T-Bomb to build a suicide shuttle, though the resulting SS works exactly like the SS in SFB. I agree that blowing up a T-Bomb inside a shuttle would be overbalanced, but it does make an interesting case study in things that make perfect LOGICAL sense, but cannot be done within the context of the game because of balance issues.

By the way, here are a few more such ideas (logical, but unbalanced):

1: Being able to transport live drones, T-Bombs (and possibly photon torpedoes) straight onto enemy ships, where they will detonate. We see Voyager do this in the episode, "Dark Frontier", where they destroy a Borg scout ship by beaming an armed photon torpedo aboard. Now, a Type-IV drone is 2 spaces of explosive ordinance (note: A T-bomb is 2.5) and a transporter can move 2.5 points of such ordinance per action, meaning that a D-7 (with 5 transporters) could easily transport 120 points worth of pain into the belly of the Fed CA it is dueling with the moment it manages to knock a shield down. This was also a highly effective tactic used by the Deadalus in Stargate Atlantis with nuclear bombs against Wraith ships up untill the Wraith were able to develop countermeasures to the tactic. I think you can plainly see why this wouldn't work from a gameplay perspective in SFB, but I can see no reason why it wouldn't work from a logic/realism point of view.

2: "Scatterpacking" with a starship. Why can't I, say, stick a drone in each of my ship's airlocks, then depressurise them (blowing the drones out into space), the drones having been set to target the same way a scatterpack does the moment they detect that they have been blown out of the ship, or something along these lines?

3: Damaging a starship by creating feedback through the tractor beam it has locked onto your ship. This was a COMMON tactic in a later series of Star Trek, but it would be overpowered to adopt in SFB.

I could go on, but I'll leave it there...

David wrote:

>>Who is right Peter? Is it a rule that is fine as-is or is it a rule that should have never been?>>

I don't know that it matters. The game has rules. If the rules work, for my money, there is little incentive to change them. Again, I fully support the idea that if people want to mess around with the rules to the game they are playing, they should do so all they want. But for my money, I look at rules and if they work, and the game works with them, I don't see a need to change them. Again, not 'cause they are special, but 'cause they already work. And all *I'm* interested in is a game that works. But I realize that that is me.

>>Which is the kooky idea? Who is the one to decide? I really feel that if ADB had used t-bomb laden shuttles from the beginning and then someone suggested pumping the shuttle full of power they would have gotten the same reaction from the same people.>>

Sure. 'Cause if the game had used T-bomb laden shuttles from the get go, the game would be balanced around them by now (in theory--I suspect, again, that mobile 10 point mines would be wildly over effective, but if the game had evolved around that, maybe they'd have worked out ok). Again, the issue here is not "these rules are special" it is simply "they work they way they are already, and changing them just to change them potentially makes things not work".

If you like tinkering with rules for fun and profit, please, do so and have fun with it. But realize that a lot of folks will approach such discussion with "Huh. But why? The rules work fine as they already are..."

John wrote:

>>Frankly, there's only one reason I can think of for you reacting so negatively to people's criticisms here.>>

Hmm. Clearly you missed where Larry assaulted him. And someone else was like "If these were officially adopted as rules, X, Y, and Z could happen...", when David at no point indicated that he thought these rules needed to be officially adopted.


We CLEARLY have a different view of the word assault Peter.

I'm not as nice to stupid as you are, I never have been.

I've had this exact debate on a RTS board that I play. Guys that were not good at Kohan trying to tell those of us who were how to change the rules, mod the code, and change stats to make the game "better". As in, "more like I want to play it". To have an expert opinion you have to be an expert 1st.

If you want to mod the game for your own fun and jollies, that is great. Just don't expect the rest of us to take it real serious. (Which is EXACTLY what both you and Cpt Trek have said... just a little bit nicer)

House rules

I've softened my overall position on house rules, BUT I have to say that Larry is right.

Before someone tinkers with the rules, they should at least play with the rules as they are for a bit, understand them, and get the CONTEXT needed to really see what they are doing.

That doesn't mean that they can't or shouldn't have fun playing with alternatives, BUT just as Larry has, I've had plenty of experience dealing with people that call for all sorts of changes before they know what they are doing, and unlike IKV_Avenger, many of them are a pushy and vociferous about the "need" for changes. I can think of a couple on the F&E threads years ago. Or worse yet, they'd write tac notes based on their house rules, and act is thought "everyone" was playing with their alterations.

Again, I have no problem with IKV_Avenger, I don't see him trying to force changes on anyone. But I also understand Larry's reaction, and I do suggest to IKV_Avenger that he should probably get more experience with the rules before changing them.

The game is reasonably well balanced. Making changes without understanding all the finer points will often break that balance.

Larry, the main issue isn't

Larry, the main issue isn't whether or not you and I disagree. Rather, it is how you chose to respond. The secondary issue is that you allow yourself to have a knee-jerk rection (and hence post) without actually reading or understanding the issue at hand. Both of which reflect directly on the level of your maturity, or in this case, lack thereof. Case in point is my very first paragraph in my house rules thread;

"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."

I then went into what our group has discussed and tried in our FTF games. Looking back, you've never had anything constructive to say and in fact have only offered adolencent, snide remarks. You seem to be very prideful in that you are a self-considered expert who apparently has no issue with patting himself on the back. But it holds no sway with me or any in my group since you can't articulate beyond the second grade level. And to be clear, I have no issue with anyone stating disagreement constructively. Indeed, Peter, Ken and several others expressed an opposite opinion in regards to such items as the photon torpedo to-hit chart. But they expressed themselves in a constructive, adult manner that encouraged discussion.

You declare 'stupid, idiot etc' yet you have no basis. Since it is we (as in our group) that have implemented these changes, playtested these changes, revised these changes as necessary and it is within our auspice to do so, we are the final authority on those changes. And since we have enjoyed these changes and continue to use them (which is the purpose of any game) they then are not 'stupid' nor are we 'idiots' to implement them. Indeed, as far as these changes are concerned and how they function in the FTF game, WE are the experts and you would be the novice. Hence, your negative opinion on how they function in OUR FTF game is that of a novice 'making noise' to experts. Your non-constructive input can therefore be disregarded.

This in no way excludes the comments of those of a different opinion that can intelligently offer reasons for their position. You simply have not demonstrated the capacity to formulate such a post thus far.

Additionally, since the name of the actual forum is 'Changes, Modification and New Ideas' it would logically follow that posts therein actually consist of 'changes and modifications to the existing rules and the sharing of new ideas. Anyone that has an issue with the game being changed, or new ideas being discussed or implimented (which you obviously have) really shouldn't be viewing here in this section, as to do so is simply causing their own stress. Which in itself is kinda stupid. The net is full of changes, modifications and new ideas for SFB. I like some, dislike some...but can appreciate them all. Why? Because this type of game routinely attracts those individuals with imagination and a creative side. YOU may not feel a certain section should be changed. YOU may not feel a certain rule should be modified. YOU may not like a certain new idea present. But YOU aren't in charge of the individual FTF game or group. And just because YOU think something is unnecessary or 'stupid' doesn't make it factual.

Now that I've present how I feel to you in a straight-foward manner, it is up to you how you wish to respond. If you would like to have meaningful discussions with me that are polite (even if in disagreement) then I welcome them. If you aren't capable of that then simply pass by my threads and posts as they are only going to get under your skin. Have a nice day.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Joe, Just as a side note, I


Just as a side note, I played the game for over five years in the 80's and about the same now that I'm back into the game. I made the semi-finals in one tourny and the finals in another. I don't claim to be an expert, but I've played enough tourney and regular SFB to feel very comfortable.

And again, my opening statement pretty much sums it up on our changes.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

I was with you, until you said this..

" Indeed, as far as these changes are concerned and how they function in the FTF game, WE are the experts and you would be the novice. "

Larry wrote:

>>We CLEARLY have a different view of the word assault Peter.>>

Well, yeah, I wasn't really trying to indicate that you were being a brutal assassin or anything. I was just clarifying for John, as he apparently missed the part over in the Stinger fighter discussion where you called David an idiot. Which, ya know, wouldn't be my first plan, but whatever works for you. And explains why David might be a tad reactionary at this point.

Joe, I stated it that way to


I stated it that way to make a point, not sound high n mighty. And that point is simply that since our group took the time to make a change and then playtest it, we are in a better position to know how it works than Larry. Was the comment a little pointed? Yep. Did I feel it needed to be in this circumstance? Yep. Am I looking to make an 'e-enemy'? Nope. But I didn't pick the fight now did I...

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

"I'm going to tell you are a

"I'm going to tell you are a flaming idiot though for thinking that sort of battle can tell you ANYTHING about balance, tactics, or how to play SFB."

Ok, here is the statement that caused all the "Larry is a big meanie" posts. Of course its taken out of a larger post that says you are free to play whatever way you like, but suggesting that you modify the main weapon of my beloved Hydran empire just because you aren't very good at fighter tactics is going to get me pretty damn cranky. What is funny is that the Snark filled post prior to that gets no comment.... Hell Peter, you know me from real life... you know I'm a pretty laid back dude. Whatever, clearly I'm the big interwebs bully.

I'll stand by the original statement. IF you think that doing something dumb* is ANY WAY educational about how the game plays out and balance makes you an idiot. You can either step away from the assertion that running over a squadron of ST-IIs (or any other gatling armed fighter) with a B-10 can teach you anything**, or you can be an idiot. You will note there is a difference between that and saying, "You are an idiot".

I personally think putting Hyperdrones on a Kzin in place of disruptors is retarded and there has to be something REALLY wrong with how you guys play for you to think that is even close to balanced. Flivers had the most restrictive arcs ever and hyperdrones were designed to be balanced in that context. If you guys like it, great. If you think people want to talk about it, great. If people DO want to talk about it, great. SFB is kinda dead anyway and so if someone wants to jazz it up and do weird things, great. Its not like we are going to argue the finer points of the Gorn TCC vs the LDR any more.... that ship sailed in 1998 and we pretty much all know how it will play out at this point.

My problem is you are acting like your opinions have some sort of validity behind them when the holes in your game are so incredibly obvious to anyone who is awake. Lets review:
1) +1 to photon hit.
2) Hyperdrones == Disruptors and can replace them with no balance change. (made worse by the fact that you did it on a Drone using race. It MIGHT work for Lyrans, but no way in hell for Kzins is this balanced)
3) Taking new guy and handing him a B-10S and expecting anything other than a disaster. (I mean.... I did this when I was 15 and walked away and went, 'gee, that was a waste of a Saturday')

None of the above are a problem. Its America, do whatever the hell you like. Make photons hit on a 1-6 if that is what is needed to make your group think a Fed is balanced. Just don't EVER leave your group with a comment that starts with, "Man, why is X so overpowered?" because you simply DO NOT HAVE A CLUE. Its not even worth entering into a discussion with you about why Hyperdrones on a Zin are busted because we aren't even speaking the same language. (which is why I haven't commented on it till now) Maybe Peter, the resident Kzin fanatic before he sold out to the lizards, can explain why he would NEVER EVER lose again if he was allowed to fly a TCC with Hyperdrones instead of Disruptors....

* Generally running over Hydrans is at the 0th order, considered stupid...though there are Kzinti's who have handed me my head doing it
** It might teach you how the DAC works, I suspect that is about all.

Larry wrote:

>>Hell Peter, you know me from real life... you know I'm a pretty laid back dude. Whatever, clearly I'm the big interwebs bully.>>

Larry, I'm not calling you a big interwebs bully. Someone (John?) was trying to figure out why David was reacting to this discussion the way he was. I point out that earlier on, someone called him an idiot and someone else was all like "If these changes were adopted, that would be horrible!", when he was all "I have no intention of these changes being official" in the first place, and it went from there.

I was simply drawing a map from point A to point M. That is all.

That always drove me nuts on the F&E threads...

". Just don't EVER leave your group with a comment that starts with, "Man, why is X so overpowered?" "

I don't care if peope play with house rules at all. But anything on that order concerning balance, while playing with house rules, always set me off. Someone could say "given this set of house rules, we found X unbalancing", but to apply it to the general rules as written would be way out of line.

I'm not saying that IKV_Avenger did that at all, just that if he did, I can understand Larry's response.

Larry, you've basically

Larry, you've basically proved my point. Somehow I knew you would.

Taking a look at your post, I don't think your a 'big meany'. I think you lack maturity and it shows in how you post. Nor do I think you fully read and/or understand certain posts because you get emotional.

Case in point;

"Of course its taken out of a larger post that says you are free to play whatever way you like, but suggesting that you modify the main weapon of my beloved Hydran empire just because you aren't very good at fighter tactics is going to get me pretty damn cranky."

To begin with, I don't remember saying I was going to modify the Stinger in any way, shape or form. I might have discussed various modifications (I'd have to check the actual thread), but I've not changed the Stinger. I did ask if anyone thought it was too good to get their opinion. And I did indicate that I was surprised at how good they turned out to be in our game. That doesn't mean I'm going to change them. And even if I intended to make a what? To know is to do. If it didn't work then we can always go back to the normal version.

Secondly, holding an emotional tie to a fictious race in a make-believe game is pretty....well, odd for a grown man. Particularly if someone else is discussing them.

Lastly, on this point, you keep insisting I'm not very good at Hydran fighter tactics. I find this extremely odd as you and I have never played together. You've never seen me play, particularly with Hydran Stingers. And the one time I've mentioned it on the board...I won. So you have absolutely no idea of the level of my fighter tactics. In this instance your talking out of your ass.

Onto the next point, you and others may indeed be experts on the merits of the Gorn TCC vs. the Lyran LDR tourny cruiser. I suspect this comes from playing both and playing against both. This in no way, shape or form makes you an expert on what happens when a heavy weapon is substitued on the Kzinti (or any other race for that matter). You may have an opinion, and you are entitled to that opinion. You can suggest it is unbalanced or broken to your hearts content. But that is an opinion and not factual information. In order to have an authoratative 'expert' opinion you would have had to actually try the modification both playing the race and playing against it. And to be fair, you'd have to do it a number of times to see the resuts. And without putting to fine a point on it...we have. We've used the FED ASW many times...and it works nicely. We've used the hyperdroned Kzinti more times than I can readily remember...and it works nicely. I've flown against them numerous times and have both won and lost against them. We've used the PC armed Lyrans numerous times...and it works nicely. And etc and so forth.

Does a HD armed Kzinti fly different than a DIS armed Kzinti? Yes, and that was the point. We didn NOT WANT the DIS for the Klinks, Kzin, Lyran, Tholians, Orions, Frax etc. We wanted more individuality. If it hadn't worked, we'd have gone back.

Now if someone like you doesn't like the change or think it's necessary then you are under no obligation to view the thread, accept the change for your own game or even comment on it. And let me be clear, I'm not suggesting you can't comment on my threads and our changes. But if you do and offer the same old song and dance of 'it's unbalanced or it's broken or it's stupid etc' I'm going to ask you straight up how you've come to that determination. Your not being in 'love' with a change isn't a rational or logical reason for thinking there is a problem with it. You not 'thinking' the change is needed isn't a rational or logical reason for thinking it doesn't work.

In otherwords, and let me be clear on this point to you, if you actually have experience with the actual change and can offer sound reasons why it is a bad idea then I'm all open to having an in-depth discussion of the merits of the change. On the other hand, if your just a pissy little man that really has nothing constructive to say then I really don't want to hear you flap your yapper.

Now you've had your say and I've sure as hell have had my say. Wanna keep it going or let it lay?

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Hyperdrones and Drones

Why not have all Hyperdrones?

Particularly in the early years when regular drones had terrible speeds?

Hydran Stingers and Speed 6 T-bombs

Depending on how you time it - and it's not that hard to do - you can launch a shuttle such that the shuttle and the Stingers will both move on the next impulse, jumping from range 3 to range 1.

Because the shuttle can be targeted on the Stingers as a seeking weapon, it will move after the Stingers do.

Because it detonates as a mine, it can kill every single Stinger within range 1.

Can you see how this would negatively impact game balance from the perspective of someone shoving Stingers around?

You can expand this idea to also use it to sweep drones. Instead of having to maneuver your ship around the drones to lead them over a mine, you launch the suicide mine shuttle on impulse 21 at speed 6, you slip the opposite direction so it clears, and the drones enter its detection radius. It's like a range 2 T-bomb that arms instantly and doesn't require dropping a shield.

Can you see how someone who uses drones might think that that's a change that makes a difference?

Hyperdrones and Drone Wave Timing

What do you do with the tactic of launching a couple of scatter pack's worth of drones, waiting until your opponent has to move straight and not move on two consecutive impulses with the drones two hexes away - and launching a full spread of hyperdrones such that he's got to deal with 8-12 SP drones and 8 hyperdrones, all on the same impulse?

Reasonable questions Ken.

Reasonable questions Ken. Looking at your first question regarding the Stingers;

"Depending on how you time it - and it's not that hard to do - you can launch a shuttle such that the shuttle and the Stingers will both move on the next impulse, jumping from range 3 to range 1.

Because the shuttle can be targeted on the Stingers as a seeking weapon, it will move after the Stingers do.

Because it detonates as a mine, it can kill every single Stinger within range 1.

Can you see how this would negatively impact game balance from the perspective of someone shoving Stingers around?"

Yes, I understand the point your making. It would make it more difficult to bring in a wave of fighters. Similar to launching drones or plasma D in much the same way. The Stingers would have to fire premeturely or destroy the shuttle as soon as it was launched and/or not clump closely together.

Since I've not played using this idea yet, various situations haven't been taken into account to know how good or how bad a change like this would be. That is the reason I posed the question. You make a valid point.

Regarding your second question;

"What do you do with the tactic of launching a couple of scatter pack's worth of drones, waiting until your opponent has to move straight and not move on two consecutive impulses with the drones two hexes away - and launching a full spread of hyperdrones such that he's got to deal with 8-12 SP drones and 8 hyperdrones, all on the same impulse?"

What would one do facing a disruptor armed Kzinti that has launched two SP's? Depending on the speed and distance, a WW or run away or shoot as many down as possible. So the dynamics as far as that goes remain unchanged. With the HD's however, if we're talking about a cruiser with 4 HD magazines, the number would only be four. A HD can launch two-per-turn but requires an 8 impulse delay. Do the most (in this instance) that could hit in one impulse are the 12 (max) regular drones (which would be there anyway from the cannon Kzinti) and 4 HD's. Those would have the normal opportunity to be stopped in-flight and fired upon. If the resources don't exist to stop those 4 HD's then they hit. But then, a cannon Kzinti coming in behind his SP wave with OL'd disruptors is going to hit as well, yes? And with the possibility of actually doing more damage i.e. 10 for disruptors vs. 8 for HD's.

Best situation: phaser the HD's and WW the wave (or run if feasible).

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Having hyperdrones definitely

Having hyperdrones definitely invites new tactics vs. using disruptors. The mindset in the difference between the two weapons and how the enemy fights them would be present in the situation above involving the two SPs and hyperdrones/disruptors.

A disruptor armed Kzinti fires it's disruptors, does damage, scatter packs pop and the enemy ship has to scoot and shoot or WW. Not scooting or weaseling is foolhardy as your shields have already been damaged by the disruptors. Mindset of the enemy is "I've got shield damage, so I have to weigh the options of running to avoid 12 drones or weaseling them or trying to "tuck the wave" by phasering the drones and using judicious use of tractor beams and hoping you've got enough left to actually do something to the Kzinti after dealing with the drone wave.

A hyperdrone armed Kzinti fires hyperdrones and the enemy ship has the option of phasering some of the drones to stop damage. This immediately reduces the options of the enemy now, as with up to 4 less weapons they're not likely going to attempt to meet the SPs and even less likely to try to scoot and shoot the incoming drones down. Greatest chance of success would be to use a WW. Or the enemy ship can decide to take the 4 hyperdrones in damage and then have the same options available as they would against the disruptor armed Kzinti. The damage might be a bit less, but now there's an additional thing to consider -- the hyperdrones get to fire again in the same turn. So even if the enemy decides to stick it out and phaser down/tractor the SP drones, hoping to have a little left to throw at the Kzinti, he will still have to deal with 4 more hyperdrones later in the turn. So any surviving weapons that might be used on the Kzinti now have to be held in reserve to deal with the next wave of hyperdrones that should be coming from the hyperdrone armed Kzinti.
So trying to ride the wave out isn't a likely option vs. a hyperdrone armed Kzinti due to the nature of having a double option to fire and the weapon being able to reduce the effectiveness of the enemy ship without causing any internals (due to the need/desire to shoot down incoming drones most people have, thus removing a weapon for use elsewhere).

So it's all a matter of different tactics and what the changes do to those tactical options. If you don't mind having so hugely different tactics coming into play, then make the changes. Just realize you should test those changes out against a variety of races.

Suicide shuttles with t-bombs is obviously another case of different tactics coming into play, as Ken pointed out. Changes like that could hose a race if they're not of the mindset of having to completely alter their tactics.
My personal advice is keep it limited. Heck, create a scenario with the change being implemented as a test-bed for a race. That way it's not a galaxy changing alteration (your galaxy, not anyone else's, that is) and the option can always be open to use it on a very limited basis later on.

R0 Suicide/T-bomb Shuttles

Why not make them R0 explosion, just like SS?

If you changed the rules to allow R1 radius explosions with an SS you'd encounter the very same issue Ken raises.

Some additional comments on

Some additional comments on the HD armed Kzinti; Some alterations were necessary. First, a normal HD requires 6 points of damage to be destroyed. We found that was too much in relation to the ability to fire twice in a turn. We reduced the amount of damage necessary to 4 points (the same as a standard type I drone). Six damage requires two ph-3's or a lucky ph-1 and that runs the opposing cruiser dry pretty quickly. With four points you can download a ph-1 to save a bit of juice and still have an excellent chance of destroying the HD (if stopped at R1). Additionally, we allow the use of a tractor IF the HD is moving during the second impulse since the HD is fired in the DF segment (and thus moves in that segment. If it is a 2-impulse HD then the tractor segment comes before the next DF segment). This allows the target ship an opportunity to use this resource. And finally, normal HD's require no energy to fire. We implemented the Kzin HD needing 1 point of power each, with that point lasting only for the turn it was applied (no hold). This basically costs the Kzin the same as standard loaded disruptors each turn. Otherwise the Kzin can zip around at high speed if it doesn't need to power the HW. Reserved power can be used to 'arm' the HD.

Although a WW isn't the defense of choice since a 1-impulse HD will strike before it can be launched, it is usable if already deployed prior to the HD strike coming in.

Also keep in mind the HD Kzin would have to have the all of the HD's in arc to be able to use the second firing. This isn't always possible so that limits the weapon. Our experience with it so far is that it is a formidable weapon system when used properly and timed correctly. But as with any weapon system in the game, things aren't always optimal. We've found the chances of HD's hitting is comparable to disruptors hitting (not delving into the mathmatical statistics but basing it on the amount of damage delivered during an average game).

It is possible to deliver a three-fold strike of HD's in a single turn. Launch a 2-impulse HD strike on I32 of a turn with the second impulse coming in on I1. Then in 8 impulses launch strike one for the current turn (which is strike 2 total) and then in 8 impulses launch the last strike (which is strike 3 total). Without counting the normal drones (which would be there anyway with cannon Kzin), it goes a long way with getting several HD hits on target. We figure it this way, an OL disruptor is going to do 6, 8 or 10 and using UIM is basically a 1-5 chance of hitting. A HD does 8 so if you can get three or four to hit in a turn your about the same. Depending on the situation, you may get more in or you may get less in. Normally it would 'probably' be less, but then your eating up his phasers as a consolation.

As I mentioned earlier, they've played differently which is what we were after. And they've been good games. I've lost to them and won against them. But all was a good time :)

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Hoju, An all HD Kzin might


An all HD Kzin might make in interesting variant. We've not tried it, but it would be interesting to see what would happen. I like the idea to give it a try.

A R0 TB/SS would be fine as well. As I've mentioned, I haven't tried it at all either way. The idea just popped up so I put it on the board for comments. R0 might be better to try before anything else just to see how it plays...

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

I dare say...

R0 T-Bomb carrying shuttles would be far more palatable than R1. As Ken pointed out, you completely change the way people would play. At least with the slightly reduced effect of R0, it only significantly changes things !

Why would I want a r0 T-bomb?

I can get twice the warhead from a conventional suicide shuttle...and the likelyhood that I'll get a r0 Tbomb into a stack of units that can be damaged by it ranges from nil to non-existent.

a little nitpick

and hopefully just a little one. Cannon is a piece of artillery. Canon is material official to a fictional universe.

I am not trying to be an ass but that is one of my grammatical/spelling pet peeves.

Ken its not wanting an R0 T-bomb...

I believe his issue was with putting energy in a shuttle and it suddenly becoming a massive bomb. So its not so much a choice, as a replacement with something he sees as more realistic.

Sticking a bomb in a shuttle.

And shoving enough energy to move a cruiser 9 hexes...

Into a shuttle, in the form of antimatter, is less realistic?

A naval analogy would be rigging up one of the ship's boats as a fuel-air explosive using diesel siphoned off from the engine rooms. The main different is that antimatter is (in the understatement of the millennium) a much denser energy storage medium.

If you're going to accept casual slinging around of antimatter for arming probes, moving ships, and arming photon torps, putting it on a ship's dinghy and sending out to explode is a logical extrapolation of that, and one that's supported from an actual episode of the TV series.

Beaming mines via Transporter never happened in TOS; the only mines we saw were the Romulans dropping one during Balance of Terror.

This again gets into the problem of trying to make 'realism' one of the metrics for SFB.

T-bombs do 10 damage to 7 hexes

Yet an SS does 18 damage to only one?

So the T-bomb explosion is a perfectly formed ball of energy covering something around the size of Jupiter (dont get picky on the actual size of Jupiter)? But when an SS explodes its nearly twice the force, yet covers something the size of the Earth?

In that sense, I think the R0 explosion for a mine shoved in a Shuttle is actually more sensible (as far as anything in SFB can be sensible).

R0 SS vs drones

An R0 SS explosion would be great against drones. Because you can set the detection radius to 0 it arms more quickly and wipes out the whole stack. Certainly not as broken as R1, and possibly balanced: you are, after all, using a shuttle and a T-bomb, each of which can take out a stack on its own.

When the normal RAW SS explodes, it clearly doesn't fill the hex, so it's not an explosion the size of the earth; it's probably a few tens of km. And yes, Jupiter is much bigger.