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Subject: Just found this game have some questions rss

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Kyle Reesman
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Is it a war game or a civilization game at its core?

Is it as difficult as Twilight Imperium?

Is it hard for a novice war gamer if its a war game?

What factions are available for play?

Very Respectfully,
Cadet Kyle S Reesman
VMI Class of 2014
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Erich Vereen
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Grand Strategic Wargame.

Colonizing new location rules are in one of the expansions (Planetary Ops or Strategic Ops). so it's not a colonization game. You control the economy and forces of multiple empires on a side: Klingon, Lyran, Romulan for the Coalition, Kzinti, Hydran, Federation, Gorn for Alliance. The game starts small, with only two races, but eventually the entire galaxy becomes part of the conflict. The ISC is brought into the game in the latest expansion, and conducts their pacification of the Alpha Octant

Very good game, but prepare for a learning curve and a long session. ^_^
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Kyle Reesman
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If I were to get it what expansion would be the best to get?
 
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James Lowry
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Generally speaking, I would stick with just the base game for a bit. There's quite a lot there, and it will take some effort just to get it down (not just the rules, but the why and how to do things).

I can't directly answer to how it compares to TI, since I've never played it. But I would think F&E is more complex. As far as other wargames, while they would help develop many of the same mental muscles, there's not a lot of easy similarity to other games either.

Try to make sure you get the current 2010 edition of the game, it is much improved over the previous versions. After that, if you're going to insist on getting an expansion, I suggest Federation & Empire: Combined Operations, which adds new toys, and a few new 'base hulls' that the rest of expansions will assume you have.
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Kyle Reesman
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How many players is the base game?
 
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Edward Reece
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2 to 7 players.

But players 5 to 7 will have to wait awhile for empires to become active.

Plays pretty well with 4, ok with 5. Can be played by 2 but they should both be equally experienced.
 
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Jeff Johnson
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sarcen wrote:


Is it as difficult as Twilight Imperium?

Is it hard for a novice war gamer if its a war game?


Twilight Imperium's play runs for a few hours. There are lots of Euro type mechanics in the game the speed it up and/or add little twists and color to it. To me it felt like Puerto Rico writ large, and while it was neat to get to play with lots of spaceships, I did not feel I had a lot of control over my empire.

Federation & Empire... play can go on for days. You actually get an entire empire to run-- you build your navy, figure out what to upgrade, where to attack... I think the basics are relatively straight forward, but there are so many little tactics you can learn, never mind the strategic level.

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Michael Tisdel
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sarcen wrote:
Is it a war game or a civilization game at its core?


Federation and Empire is a grand strategic wargame - it chronicles the great war of the Federation versus the Klingons - both backed up by their alliances. There are scenarios which cover various campaigns (Invasion of the Federation, Fall of the Romulan Empire, etc) and a grand campaign that covers the whole General War. With a full game (the basic F&E plus most of the supplements) you can get into the thousands of counters as each one represents a single ship.

Quote:
Is it as difficult as Twilight Imperium?


The game is full of many simple mechanics - it is the combination of all these simple rules/mechanics that make the game complex. The full game (with more options and rules) is more complex that TI, but the basic game is the same or simpler.

Quote:
Is it hard for a novice war gamer if its a war game?

No - the rules are well written (though they are not written in a narrative style) and well indexed. A novice can grasp the game with some work - the challenge I've faced is finding opponents.

Quote:
What factions are available for play?

Federation and Empire is set in the same setting as Federation Commander and Star Fleet Battles (both tactical ship combat games) which itself is based on the original Star Trek TV series and the Animated Star Trek TV series.

There are basically two grand alliances:

The Coalition
The Klingon Empire
The Lyran Empire
The Romulan Star Empire

The Alliance
The United Federation of Planets
The Kzinti Hegemeony
The Hydran Monarcy
The Gorn Republic
The Tholian Holdfast

A third star empire, the Interstellar Concordium, comes in to the war towards the end of the fighting in an effort to pacify the galaxy and save the other empires from themselvs.

There are also automatic rules for the Orion Pirates and the Andromedian invaders.
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Mike Curtis
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Something else to remember about this game is the setting it is in. This is based on the original Star Trek (TOS). There is nothing in it that is new in later versions of Star Trek.

You have the Federation, their allies the Gorn (The big lizard Kirk fought), and the Kzinti (2m tall felines with long tales). They have co-belligerants, the Hydrans, who are 1m tall tri-pedal (Three arms, three legs, two mouths) cylindrical creatures that breath methane. Yeah, lots of jokes about trash cans... These are all the "Allies".

The other side is the "Coalition", they are the Klingons, the Romulans, and the Lyrans (just over a meter felines with short tails). The Klingons in this universe are the TOS Klingons (no bumps on the head). The Romulans are Romulans from TOS.

The General War scenario starts in Y168 (years are measured from Federation viewpoint as time after warp drive discovered) with a border dispute between the Kzinti and Lyrans. Some say they are related, being felines, but don't ever mention it to them without a force shield between you and them.

There are also neutrals, the Tholians (TOS), the WYN (small star cluster protected by a dense radiation zone), Lyran Democratic Republic, LDR, (rebel Lyran county/province), and, just recently released, the Interstellar Concordium (ISC). Separate rules and counters are available for some of these and some will be in future expansions.

Play is divided up into Economics, Movement & Reactions, Reserves, Combat, Retrogrades, Field Repair, and Strategic Movement. These all have their own sub phases and a very detailed sequence of play is available for the players to reference as the turn progresses. The Coalition moves first, then the Allies. One set of player turns constitutes a full turn and 1/2 a year, either fall or spring. As time progresses certain technologies in for the form of new ship classes/variants become available to the players.

The goal is to take your enemies territory and kill their ships and bases. Turns can be quite long as there is a lot to do. The nice thing about this is you can make a mistake in one thing and it not make much of a difference in the end. This is due to the length and number of things that are going on your overall performance is based on the whole instead of the small parts.

This game is something to be experienced and as such has a strong following of dedicated players that meet every year at Origins and have a five day game session with F&E being the primary focus. It is less competitive, and more of a great time for everyone with lots of cardboard dying. If you are at Origins, come by and see us. We are on the second floor of the D block. Go to the top of the escalator and turn right.

I will be happy to try to answer more questions.
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Jeff Johnson
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sfu_fear wrote:

This game is something to be experienced and as such has a strong following of dedicated players that meet every year at Origins and have a five day game session with F&E being the primary focus. It is less competitive, and more of a great time for everyone with lots of cardboard dying. If you are at Origins, come by and see us. We are on the second floor of the D block. Go to the top of the escalator and turn right.


The Origins F&E crowd is one of the nicest groups of gaming people I have ever been around-- it's the best way to learn/experience the game if you have to option.
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Kyle Reesman
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I am extremely interested with all this information. The question I have now is are there any players in the Butler-Pittsburgh Area of PA?
 
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Jeff Johnson
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sarcen wrote:
I am extremely interested with all this information. The question I have now is are there any players in the Butler-Pittsburgh Area of PA?


Alas, I am five hours away from you.

But we are close enough that next year's covention schedule wouldn't be completely off the table. OTOH, given how family/life/job tends to trump gaming... you'd probably do better finding someone closer. :/
 
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Mike Curtis
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sarcen wrote:
I am extremely interested with all this information. The question I have now is are there any players in the Butler-Pittsburgh Area of PA?


A fellow named Bill Stec lives near there. Go to http://www.starfleetgames.com/discus/messages/12100/128.html... to post a note that you are in that area and looking for F&E players. You may have to register before using the site, that is at http://www.starfleetgames.com/cgi-bin/discus/board-profile.c...

Just remember, you need to use your full name on that site. But, it is where all the Origins F&E guys are and the official development site for ADB. A good place to visit.
 
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Kyle Reesman
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Added myself not much in PA or anything sadly
 
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Kyle Reesman
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I have started using Plano Cases to store my games. I was thinking if I got this game two would work well. Is that right?
 
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Michael Tisdel
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sarcen wrote:
I have started using Plano Cases to store my games. I was thinking if I got this game two would work well. Is that right?


I use Plano 3701 cases for both Federation and Empire as well as Advanced Squad Leader. It takes about 8 boxes for the Klingons and Federation and 5 or 6 for the smaller empires. For each empire I have one box dedicated to storing "Fleets" during a game and the rest for storing ships by type.

For the Full F&E (including the ISC) I have about 45 cases. Yes, that's a lot, but when I need to put a ship on the map, I don't spend any time looking for it.

I have about 30,000 counters for this game stored this way. wow
 
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Mike Curtis
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sarcen wrote:
Added myself not much in PA or anything sadly


Sorry, I thought he was nearby.
 
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Mike Curtis
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jtisdel wrote:
sarcen wrote:
I have started using Plano Cases to store my games. I was thinking if I got this game two would work well. Is that right?


I use Plano 3701 cases for both Federation and Empire as well as Advanced Squad Leader. It takes about 8 boxes for the Klingons and Federation and 5 or 6 for the smaller empires. For each empire I have one box dedicated to storing "Fleets" during a game and the rest for storing ships by type.

For the Full F&E (including the ISC) I have about 45 cases. Yes, that's a lot, but when I need to put a ship on the map, I don't spend any time looking for it.

I have about 30,000 counters for this game stored this way. wow


Hi, my name is Mike and I am addicted to cardboard, I also play F&E! I use plano 3701 style 24 compartment containers with one space per ship (Some, like the Federation FF take two). Each race uses from 5-7 case. They have rounded bottoms and seal really well for transport. I put all them into three large tubs to transport to Origins each year. I am estimating I have over 60k counters. I just picked up another 5k the other day on an ebay auction for a great price.
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Edward Rustin
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jtisdel wrote:
I have about 30,000 counters for this game stored this way. wow


You own an expansion or two then...
 
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craig grinnell
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sarcen wrote:
Added myself not much in PA or anything sadly


Have you considered play by email? There are a couple outlets out there that allow such play, but takes the face-to-face out of the equation.

Vassal and cyberboard both have really good modules.

And opponents for either can be found at Starfleetgames.com

worth a shot if you want to play and have no other options.

I do vassal simply because i dont have the time or space to set up, much less maintain a game in the non-digital world.

and i still play by myself... hahaha
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Kyle Reesman
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How does game play compare to space empire 4x by GMT?
 
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Jeff Johnson
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sarcen wrote:
How does game play compare to space empire 4x by GMT?


Space Empires 4X... you actually design the ships. Well, you choose the hull size and then pick tech levels in a half dozen areas. (The expansion does have a simple design system, though-- and note you can read the rule books online at GMT's site.)

F&E... is more about managing a much larger and slightly less varied fleet. It is a mess o' ships. Each race has their own special tech and ship types. (You don't get to monkey with the tech tree as much-- it's all planned out for each faction in advance mostly, though I'm sure there are variants where that is not the case.)

SE4X... everyone has essentially the same starting point and options.

F&E... is actually a simulation of a gigantic fictional war. There's history there... and the game is trying to model something.

SE4X... is almost chess-like in comparison. It takes the 4X style computer game and makes it playable in an evening. But it is also very generic. (The expansion allows for more variation among the potential empires in the game, though.)

F&E... is supported with a larger number of expansions and has a section in the Captain's Log magazine that comes out twice a year. The setting is also supported with a variety of tactical-level games and role playing games.

(Note that I interviewed SE4X's designer here. My session report from my first game (with all its blunders) is here. My notes on teaching the game are here.
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Kyle Reesman
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Where can I find fluff novels for this game? If there are any.
 
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sarcen wrote:
Where can I find fluff novels for this game? If there are any.


This one I can answer.

Here is a nice book of stories about Klingons:

http://store.starfleetstore.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Scree...

and then there are tons of tips, strategies, and lore in the issues of Captain's Log magazine.

http://store.starfleetstore.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Scree...

and even more random stuff here:

http://www.starfleetgames.com/playerresources.shtml
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James Lowry
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One thing to keep in mind is that F&E is not a 4X game. It has a lot of the same elements as them, but eXplore is long over, eXpand has already been done, and you're already in the last stages of eXploit, and the game is really about the eXterminate bit. These are all, large, established empires at the peak of their industrial power.

There's no novels set in the Star Fleet Universe, but there is a short story collection, For the Glory of the Empire. There's also a fiction piece in each issue of Captain's Log (that's where those stories came from). CL is a little expensive for someone just getting into all this, but it does contain bits for all the different SFU games, and generally some non-story fluff (like a history of a particular class of ships).
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