Would you if you could?

In regards to Federation ships...(for fun but curious how folks would view the change).

Would you give up the use of drones (in other words Feds don't have any G-racks on their ships) on Federation ships if the following were implemented:

JE1.2 Overloaded enhanced photons: Photons have enhanced proximity fuse technology built into the warhead. This does not guarantee a hit, but slightly improves the possibility of the photon detecting enough reflected scanner energy from the target to turn a clean miss into at least a proximal hit due to the warhead exploding. A roll of one over the required to-hit provides this possibility.

Using R8 as an example for an overloaded shot:

Die roll of 1-3 indicates a normal hit that yields full warhead damage.
Die roll of 4 is a miss but has the potential of the enhanced proximity fuse going off as the warhead is passing close enough to the target to provide the opportunity.
Die roll of 5-6 indicates a clean miss by a country mile.

Results of a die roll of 4: Roll a second die. Die roll of 1-3 indicates the enhanced proximity fuse didn't detect enough reflected scanner energy to explode. Die roll of 4 = 2 points of damage as the warhead detects the target and explodes at the farthest point from the target that still allows damage to be scored. Die roll of 5 = 4 points of damage as the warhead detects the target and explodes at normal proximity ranges from the target. Die roll of 6 = half warhead (up to 8 points if the warhead was fully overloaded) as the warhead missed the target but detected the reflected scanner energy of the target very close to the target and explodes.

For a standard loaded photon, same principle applies but as follows:

Again using R8 as an example, 1-3 indicates a normal hit. Roll of 4 allows for a second roll as detailed below. A roll of 5-6 indicated a clean miss.

Die roll of 1-3 = miss
Die roll of 4 = 1 point of damage
Die roll of 5 = 2 points of damage
Die roll of 6 = 4 points of damage

In this way, the to-hit is not changed but does allow for a small possibility that the warhead will be somewhere between slightly effective to somewhat effective. Again, makes the photon less of a one-trick pony and puts a little excitement into it with the second die roll. I think this is a workable proposal.

I propose a small tweak to the JE1.1 idea:

JE1.1 Enhanced photon proximity fuse: The to-hit is not changed.

Die roll of 1 indicates full damage (8 points) as the reflected scanner energy of the target was strong enough to attract the photon for a direct hit. In other words, even though the photon was fired with a proximity fuse it exploded close enough to the target to cause full damage.

Die roll of 2 indicates partial damage (6 points) as it exploded in VERY close proximity.

Die rolls of 3 or 4 indicated normal proximal hit (4 points)

Die roll of 5 or 6 indicate clean misses.


Die roll of 1 = 6 damage.

Die rolls of 2 or 3 = normal 4 damage.

Die rolls of 4-6 = clean misses.

Would you give up drones to have your photons enhanced in this way?

Yes, But....

I could see this as an alternate Fed. Someplace they would go in an alternate history (say, alongside having PFs, or having GW Paravians, or GW Carnivons). I think this is a gernally likeable situation for one-on-one situations. I don't know that Photons really need a help when you start talking about fleet actions.

But I don't like all of the die rolling. Especially when you're tossing around more than a dozen photons. I'd be happy with the whole "You hit with the regular to-hit-number, and you do half damage if you miss by one." I also don't think Prox Fuses need any help, since they already hit very nicely at range.

How about getting rid of the Prox fuse altogether

Instead, anytime you miss by 1, roll another die and that is how many points of damage it causes.

Second die roll

One of the reasons I'm suggesting a second die roll is to keep this enhancement from being too powerful. The 'one over' allows a 1 in 6 chance (17%) that you 'may' have still done 'something'. But I wanted that 'something' to still be a maybe and not a for sure thing, which also provides an element of fun in the uncertainty. So there's a 50/50 chance it was still too far away to detonate and do any damage at all. And if it does detonate it is dependent upon how close of a miss it actually was for the amount of damage it will do. Again, this adds an element of fun to the game imo. Normal way is kind of a one-trick pony imo so this at least adds an additional element of suspense even if you miss.

In regards to the proximity fused photon I wanted to add a small element of 'realism' in that a prox is like a grenade i.e. it is an area of effect weapon. But occasionally you will lob that grenade right next to the target rather than 10 feet away. Put a little element of 'lucky shot' into the weapon.


My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Doom series Klingon ships


Continuing the JFF thread, JGray has some very interesting Doom series Klingon ships. Similar in some respects to the CL#3 D7C that fired photons and had a cloaking device.

Now I don't care really if the Klingons have cloaking tech. Yes, TNG Klinks have the cloak but really, SFB Klinks wouldn't have a lot of use for it as it would void any drone strike they had on the board.


If you were a Klingon and had the opportunity to use a ship that had a forward boom firing weapon as well as a rear hull firing weapon...what would you like? Would you like a FA/RA photon (like TNG type Klinks)? I've thought about this and a while back I tossed out a Klink ship that, instead of the FA/RA photons, it had a FA/RA plasma F torpedo instead. My 'justification' was that the Klinks and Roms had an alliance and that a tech exchange happened. Indeed, canon SFB had the Klinks giving the Roms warp tech and ships so it would stand to reason that in return they'd perhaps give at least plasma F tech.

If you had the choice between a D7 (or whatever) that in addition to the normal weapons had the FA/RA weapons added, what would you prefer? A photon or plasma F? And why? What would your reasoning and tactics be in such as ship?

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Mixed feeling

If I could, I would have a FA Photon and a RA plasma F. The photon would give me that long distance/good damage chance, where as the F would probably get shot down. I like the F in the RA because IMO in a runaway or overrun situations. In the overrun, the other guy has most likely used up or has limited RA phasers to shoot it down and it would be shot at a pretty close range. If you are running away, the chaser would probably use phasers on it instead of my ship.

I'd go with Photons mostly,

I'd go with Photons mostly, with the rare Plasma or Hellbore for historical experimentation.

I also enjoyed the Doom Series, and even tracked down a copy of Captain's Log #3.

CL #3 D7C

Mike West has his version of the CL#3 D7C. He's updated it to reflect what the D7C is now as opposed to 30 years ago (D7L).


Personally I think I'd go with a plasma F in both the FA & RA. Here's my thoughts;

*A D7 has fairly decent crunch power as is considering the UIM assisted disruptors. No, not the equal of four OL'd photons or a Gorn anchor feeding you 100 points of plasma, but quite a bit easier to accomplish and on a more consistent basis. Particularly with the Klingons outstanding phaser arcs.

*A photon, while having good crunch power is still the 'wonder' weapon unless you add in the enhanced features of JE1.1 and/or JE1.2. Even then it is less than a UIM Disruptor. So if you're coming in with just the one FA photon overloaded...and miss, well it would kind of suck.

*A plasma F plays in well with the Klingons drones. Launch the plasma on the way in to eat up the opponents phaser fire. If he's wasting it on the plasma he's not using it on you. I like that. That's the way I'd play the plasma in that it will use up the enemies resources or force him to give up tactical positioning (as in popping a WW). If it happens to hit then that's fine as well, either way it's a win-win. Additionally, timed with drones it can accomplish even more. I have a choice of waiting for him to waste fire on the plasma and creating an opening to use drones. Or launch them all at the same time (assuming I've built up a wave of drones or had a SP blossom) to force the opponent to WW. Or even make him waste fire on the drone wave so the plasma has a better chance of doing some damage just prior or with an alpha strike.

Overall I think the plasma, as a single weapon, gives me more options than a single photon. In the RA it would serve both the overrun as well dissuading pursuit better than a single photon.

And historically as I mentioned, plasma is a better 'rationalization' than photons of the Klinks despite TNG (which let's face it, CL#3 came out after TMP showing Klinks with photons so ADB was kinda-sorta copying that to see how it would fly).

So I'd go with plasma. Of a note, I'd limit plasma to type F's as I think a logical justification would be the boom couldn't stand the strain of a larger plasma. Just my view.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Doom7C plasma

The normal benefit of a plasma - DFtorp mix is that you can give the plasma up for damage and launch it anyway. That doesn't really work for an RA plasma because it'll be pointing the wrong way long after you need to launch it. But otherwise it's nice, except that RA is not RP so it's a bit awkward to use.

Otherwise, launching an F on the way in is nice if the opponent is closing on you fast, but otherwise it runs out of steam too soon; if you're going 24ish and exchange alphas at R8, the plasma will have moved something like 12 hexes before it hits, which isn't enough damage to matter (especially if the opponent can put a couple of P3s into it and take it on an off shield). Then it's unusable for 3 turns.

So if I did have the F in the nose, I'd fire it as late as possible, and maybe not at all unless I gave it up to damage. Use it to deter pursuit, like you'd use the rear.


Also, Mister Gray didn't even make one for the B-10. I generally assume that it would have 2-FA and 2-RA.

One other thought

I have used a G torp in an RA arc before (option mount) ... the value of tossing envelopers at pursuers is excellent - it's double the warhead, so sucks back more phasers; the G torp has better range than the F; if the opponent has sacrificed a side shield to keep his nose intact, the enveloper still hits the side shield :)

As Mudfoot pointed out, an RA plasma is pointing the wrong way for offense. But defensively? F torps can be played around; G torps, not so much.

Using an F torp as a bolt

Using an F torp as a bolt wouldn't be a bad option. 1-4 for 10 points of damage, along with some phaser fire and perhaps dropping a T-bomb or two would go a long way towards deterring pursuit. It would at least make them think twice. And it hits better than a photon. I'd go with 10 damage for 1-4 than 16 for 1-3 (though in close it could be a dandy little attention getter). In that light, a photon used in an overrun along with some phasers is a good way to down a second shield on the way out of an alpha strike/overrun.

Perhaps using a FA photon (overloaded of course) wouldn't be a bad idea on the way in either for that up-close-and-personal alpha strike. Wait till you get to the 1-4 or even 1-5 bracket and use the disruptors as padding.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Here's another 'would you'...

Some don't like Feds with drones. I would prefer they didn't have them and think it was a cheap fix to a perceived non-problem. Just my opinion.

Would you give up Fed drone racks if the ph-3's were ph-1's? In other words, Feds only use ph-1's on their ships, which makes sense as their a premier ph-1 race. So for example, a Fed CA would have a total of 10 ph-1's with two FH, the four side saucer, the RA on top of the secondary hull and two 360's on the bottom of the secondary hull.

So would you give up the drone rack for the bump?

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Fed Drones

>>Some don't like Feds with drones. I would prefer they didn't have them and think it was a cheap fix to a perceived non-problem. Just my opinion.>>

I don't know that it was intended as a "fix for a non-problem". It was a rational response to opponents using drones. A single G-Rack stuck on a Fed ship is going to kill more drones in a given turn than a single P1 is going to. And that single G-Rack filled with drones on the Romulan border has more potential for damage than a single P1. The Klingons are firing drones at you. If you can add a single G-Rack that can potentially kill 8 drones in a single turn (or, more realistically, kill 3 or 4 drones in a single turn), why wouldn't you? And as the Romulans don't use drones, being able to swap out the ADDs for some type IV drones to use in an overrun or anchor (or in the instance where you have a few ships or a few drone racks, a Type VI warp seeker followed by a Type IV heavy drone, both fired at a cloaked ship…) isn't a horrible plan, given the overall flexibility.

Since the forums been slow...

I'll toss this out for debate ;)

>>I don't know that it was intended as a "fix for a non-problem". It was a rational response to opponents using drones.<<

Originally, Feds didn't have drones. At least not on the ships (don't know about fighters or if they were even in the game at that point. Perhaps drones were added to the Feds when fighters came about to give them a munitions package and the ship drone refits spawned from that move)? So at least for the ships, drones weren't seen as necessary until some point that someone decided they needed them. But did they? Were the Feds lacking until the addition of a G-rack or two? Certainly the tourney Fed doesn't have one and many argue that it doesn't need the proposed G-rack. Yet they fight the same drone using opponents (and more) as seen in regular SFB.

My feeling is that perhaps it was noted that the Feds needed 'something' at some point...maybe. But I don't think tossing a G-rack into the mix was the solution. Indeed, as I've expressed before, disruptors and drones are far too prevalent in the Alpha Octant and something better could have been incorporated at several points. But that is another discussion. As far as Feds, well...although the SFU differs from TOS on many points, Fed never had drones. And while I agree with you when you say the G-rack is useful...is it the answer, if indeed there needs to be an answer?

In regards to fighting drone empires, yes, a G-rack loaded with ADD's will be more helpful than upgraded ph-3's to ph-1's...for probably one turn. In that turn you can probably take out the SP and then you're G-rack is dry. Sure, it can be reloaded but that's going to take a bit to really be useful. Meanwhile he can toss another SP at you in addition to the rack-drones (that maybe have a IV tossed into the mix). And on the BP border, well I'm not going to bet the farm on a single G-rack getting any hits. Sure, you can toss out the SP but he's got phasers, tractors and shuttles to deal with them. Not saying you can't get lucky. Whereas a couple of upgraded ph-3's to ph-1's each and every turn wouldn't suck in either case. And they'd help more against plasma of course since the G-rack does nothing against plasma.

That brings up another interesting consideration to toss out: the ASW system. The ASW is usable against both drones and plasma. It's no more powerful than an ADD against drones, yet gives you a little against plasma without making it OP. I'd give up the offensive drones, making the G-rack exclusively ASW's while upgrading the ph-3's. This makes it more 'FED-like'. And I don't think dropping drones, making the G-rack ASW-only and upgrading the ph-3's would be too OP.

Thoughts welcome. :)

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

More Fed Drones

>>At least not on the ships (don't know about fighters or if they were even in the game at that point. Perhaps drones were added to the Feds when fighters came about to give them a munitions package and the ship drone refits spawned from that move)? So at least for the ships, drones weren't seen as necessary until some point that someone decided they needed them. But did they?>>

The original Fed ships published (CA/DN/DD/CL/TG?) didn't have drone racks, no. But they got them pretty quickly. I think the first ship published with a G-rack was the NCL, and once that was out there, they refitted stuff and threw a G-rack into everything.

Were G-racks *necessary* for the Feds? Probably not--they could survive without them, I'm sure. But they certainly follow a logic and work fine. Drones are simple, obvious weapons. The Feds neighbors use them. Drones are good as defense against drones. They are good weapons on fighters. They are reasonably cheap and efficient, and apparently something that can fit into the ships (ya know, in a "made up space engineering" kind of way) they had.

Strike That! Reverse It!

Thank goodness for E23 PDF reprints.

So as of Designers Edition Expansion #1, the Feds had no drones.

In Expansion #2, the game exploded (and that, really, is the point that the game became recognizable as it is today--Expansion #1 still kind of seems a little alien to current SFB; #2 is where a huge amount of stuff that just became the standard game first appeared) and included the Fed CV (with the 24 fighters and those Photon freezers--this ship has since become the new Fed CVA) that comes with 2xADD racks, the Fed GSC with an ADD rack, and then conversion rules for the Fed ECL (which has 2x drone racks and 2xADD) and the Fed DE (which also has 2x drone racks and 2xADD). This is the first place that the Feds have drones, and they showed up at that same time as Fed fighters (which originally were just the F14 and the A10) and Fed escorts (which had regular drone and ADD racks). Expansion #2 includes "Advanced Drone Racks" (including the B rack, the C rack, D rack, and E rack. But no G rack).

They probably introduced the G rack at in Expansion #3, along with the Fed NCL (which I think comes out in Expansion #3). But in any case, Fed drones showed up at the same time as Fed fighters (armed with drones), the Fed carrier, and Fed escorts.

Expansion #3!

Yeah, and 'cause I'm a sucker, I also got PDF expansion #3.

So in Expansion #3, the Feds got the NCL, which came with a G-Rack installed (which was the first actual published SSD for a Fed ship with a drone rack; the escorts got drone racks in Expansion #2, but they were just generic A racks, and the SSDs didn't actually exist; you had to convert them). And The G-rack was also invented in Expansion #3. The Feds also got a few more fighters (F-18 and F-15). Everyone but Feds have PFs. Most of the basis of the game that still exists today was laid out by Expansion #3.

So in the original rules and Expansion #1, Feds had no drones. In #2, they get a carrier, fighters, and drone racks all at the same time. In Expansion #3, they start getting G-Racks. So that is the basic evolution of Fed drones.

In terms of both "in game logic" and "game development logic", the Feds having drones in modest amounts makes perfect sense. I mean, like, yeah, if you are opposed to everyone having similar weapons, I can certainly see not wanting the Feds to have drones, but in general, I have no problem at all with it, personally, and it all makes enough sense to me.

Instead of Fed ships with

Instead of Fed ships with drones, why not give ONLY their Ph-1s the ability to fire as two Ph-3s? Cost would be the same. It would be like a hybrid gatling with 2x Ph-3 shots. Ph-3 chart would be used.

That would have taken care of the Fed "need" to have a drone defense weapon instead of ADDs. It would also have made Fed Ph-1s a little different from other empires' Ph-1s.

But would it make close combat with Fed ships even more devastating than it is now?

I don't know SK, now you're

I don't know SK, now you're getting into giving the Feds partial X-tech during the GW era. And that would definitely OP the Feds against their traditional opponents and everyone else. Figure a Fed CA with 8xph-1's and 2xph-3's turns into 18xph-3's. That's gonna be real hard on drones and plasma. If I were a Fed player I'd be 'heck yeah'!!! If I'm a Rom or Klink...not so much ;)

I really like the ASW system. It gives the Feds the same drone defense they have now (so they don't have anything extra in that department) and a little something against plasma (but nothing that would make them OP against it. Using the same G-rack set up they would have eight ASW so they could take out 8 drones or do a maximum of 24 points of warhead damage to a plasma (and that of course is if all 8 hit which of course again, isn't a sure thing). But it is a little something that could be of benefit against plasma other than phasers.

I'd give up the drones to get the ASW and the ph-3 upgrade to ph-1's. And of course the ph-1's can always be down-fired to save power when applicable.

So a Fed CAR, as an example, would have 10 total ph-1's and 1 ASW system with 8 spaces. The ph-1's would be 2xFH, 2xRF/R, 2xLF/L, 2xRA and 2x360.

Toss in the enhanced proximity photon refit and I think we have a viable pre-X refit.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Have an aound the back garden...

I don't know; - it seems redundant to me, Federationhas always had 0Xl tech this era, and me and Don Miller have had 1X on them even before that period.

There are the 0Xl and 1X rules I backed up in this section, for conversion and house rules/history.

Revisiting this thread

As I've mentioned in the IKVAvenger House Rules thread, our Feds use the Enhanced photon and ASW system. I'm still toying with the idea of removing all drones from Fed ships and bump the existing ph-3's to Ph-1's. This would mean the ASW system is solely a defensive system with NO offensive capabilities. I'm also thinking about removing further tech-sloshing (which should have never been allowed in the first place) such as the Ph-G's and Plasma F's on certain ships.

I don't think bumping up a ph-3 to a ph-1 would be too OP on most ships.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Using the rule set in the OP

Using the rule set in the OP as a standard HR has proven to be quite successful. It allows the photon to be less of a one-trick-pony and just slightly more viable and exciting. Still a fairly good chance the photons go 'whoosh' past the enemy ship with a clean miss but also a small chance that all that warp energy isn't going to be completely wasted.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser