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Subject: SFB or Federation Commander? rss

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John Richert
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I was looking at these and was wondering what other people would have to say about which one to go with. Rules complexity is not an issue for me.
 
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Steve Bernhardt
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SFB is a lifestyle game a la ASL. I've played quite a bit of SFB, and Fed Commander a few times. FC is my choice simply because you can do a fleet battle in a few hours. A fleet battle in SFB is an entire weekend. In my opinion, FC keeps the things that are good about SFB and cuts out the amazing rules bloatthat SFB now suffers from.
 
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Ted Stein
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Ditto, what Steve said. I've played SFB since the first ziplock release and loved the game, but it is a life-style choice.

I've been playing Fed Comm lately, it seems to preserve MOST of what I like about SFB. I'm not thrilled about the "expansions" style of marketing, but I guess you can buy as much or little as you like.

There is probably not much to choose between the Romulan Border and the Klingon Border releases.
 
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Kent Reuber
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I dropped out of playing Starfleet Battles years ago, because it just didn't seem worth it. Too many expansions, too many additiona races, weapons, revisions. yuk

The podcast "All About Miniatures" had a review of Federation Commander vs. Star Fleet Battles that may interest you:

http://allaboutminiatures.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=14596...

Also, don't rule out the other Task Force starship game "StarFire". It's a much faster game for playing fleets.
 
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Bill Skulley
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I continue to disagree with claims that SFB is a "lifestyle" game... SFB can be learned (and enjoyed) in small bites, and you can stop adding rules when you've found the game you like. It can be quite complex if you wish, but I don't think it ever reaches the ASL level of complexity, and at its most basic is much simpler.

That being said, I recently sold off my entire SFB collection and replaced it with FC blush I hadn't played SFB in years and my most likely opponent moved away - I've not played FC but it purports to give the same feel with a lot less chrome/detail/complexity implying shorter play and learning times, and takes up a heck of a lot less space on my shelf
 
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Canada
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wargamer66 wrote:
FC is my choice simply because you can do a fleet battle in a few hours.

Except that you're not really doing a fleet battle. FC cheats by scaling down the ships so that a cruiser is a frigate, and anything smaller is a police cutter. It's not a fleet battle at that point, since each ship is now 1/3 the size so you're really only commanding 4 of them.

I've taught the core rules to SFB in 15 minutes. All you need to know is basic movement, direct fire weapons, and drones, and you can play a D7 vs a Fed CA. Granted I cut out things like scatter packs when doing a learning game, but those few rules cover 95% of what you'll be doing at any level of the game. It's easy to add in a few new sections each time and learn the game in stages.

SFB never has worked well for fleet actions, but it's a fantastic game for duels or multiplayer games where each player has a single ship, and flows well for anything up to a squadron per player. Small games like that
finish in about 3-4 hours.
 
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Tim Myers
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I used to play a LOT of SFB when I was in college about 20 years ago. Having said that I have not played in several years but my son and I played this summer after years of not playing. He had a good time and even won a game or two.

One of the most enjoyable scenarios I played, years ago, was "The Arena" (if I remember the name correctly). Four different races where teleported to this arena in space that consisted of a layout with asteroid fields and a boundery around the area that you could not cross. The winner got teleported back to their home. The losers, well, they did not have to worry about getting home.

We usually played with 3 or 4 players and everybody picked their favorite race. We used the Commander's rules with all of the bells and whistles. I agree that SFB is a good game when each player has fewer ships to manage. The more ships you have the longer it takes but with SFB you can add as much depth as you want. You can play in the shallows or swim out to sea.
 
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Steve Bernhardt
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Ameranth wrote:
wargamer66 wrote:
FC is my choice simply because you can do a fleet battle in a few hours.

Except that you're not really doing a fleet battle. FC cheats by scaling down the ships so that a cruiser is a frigate, and anything smaller is a police cutter. It's not a fleet battle at that point, since each ship is now 1/3 the size so you're really only commanding 4 of them.

I've taught the core rules to SFB in 15 minutes. All you need to know is basic movement, direct fire weapons, and drones, and you can play a D7 vs a Fed CA. Granted I cut out things like scatter packs when doing a learning game, but those few rules cover 95% of what you'll be doing at any level of the game. It's easy to add in a few new sections each time and learn the game in stages.

SFB never has worked well for fleet actions, but it's a fantastic game for duels or multiplayer games where each player has a single ship, and flows well for anything up to a squadron per player. Small games like that
finish in about 3-4 hours.


Oh, I should have been more specific. I dont like scaling the ships down, and only played with the squadron scale ships. Even so, a fleet action with a bunch of ships per side is doable in FC.

As for rules weight, granted, many of the rules are optional, but my binder has several hundred pages of stuff. I wouldn't characterize this game as something that takes as long to teach as a euro, even though you are technically right you can teach bare bones stuff in a short amount of time.
 
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Bruce
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The Necronomicon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnbYcB9ctu8
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To enjoy SFB all you need is the Captain's Edition Basic Set. With it you can play Federation, Klingon, Romulan, Gorn, Tholian, Orion...and even Kzinti (if you're a Larry Niven fan). You don't even need all of that. The core rules you need to play (movement, weapons, transporters, shields, tractors, etc.) only take up a small portion of the manual. However, if you want, you can add more...allowing you to do pretty much whatever you want in the Star Trek universe. Most people who burned out on the game seem to have been completists. I bought the SFB Captain's Ed and New Worlds I (Hydrans rock!) and that was plenty for me. I picked up a bunch of the other stuff in a huge sale much later, but never really needed it or used it. Don't be intimidated by all the expansions, it's a cool game.
 
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Scott Woodard
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I'm one of those people who always admired SFB, but always from "afar" because it just appeared to be way too complicated for my taste. When Federation Commander was released, I bought it immediately and I have positively fallen in love with it (don't tell my wife). It's quite easy to learn, fast-paced, the components are very nice indeed (particularly the full-color ship cards) and there is a growing and active community and great support through ADB.

On top of that, after dropping out of painting minis about fifteen years ago, FC inspired me to give it a whirl once more and now some of my painted ships from their Starline series can actually be seen in ADB's online catalog (and one of them won me the August painting contest at their site).
 
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John Richert
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ARGH! OK, I guess I am going to opt for Fed Com, but I will always wonder about SFB. Are the minis for Fed Com and SFB compatible? I might pick up full blown SFB later since I have two kids that are currently too little to play.

The two things that would keep me from playing SFB sounds like the time commitment (althoug that may get better when the kids grow up) and the enegy plotting (which would frustrate my current playing group).
 
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Kämmen mein schnurrbart
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I really like FC and recommend it. I played a fair bit of SFB "in college" and it was great. As others have said, you can play SFB with just the basics and have everything you could want. But if you don't want to get into the minute details and variations that SFB simulates, FC is the way to go.

 
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Scott Woodard
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Warhammer wrote:
Are the minis for Fed Com and SFB compatible?


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

(you need to select the various categories from the menu on the left)
 
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Seth Iniguez
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I have been playing SFB for about 12 years, have done playtesting for both SFB and FC. I am involved in a few SFB campaigns, both online and face to face. I play both games, most the SFB players that I play with prefer SFB for the reasons that they first got in to it (detail of the simulation, great variety of tactics, weapons, and systems). However, I enjoy FC and play that with friends of mine I could never get in to SFB due to the complexity.

Although I think both are great games, I would recommend getting FC first as an introduction to the Star Fleet Universe. There is a lot less preparation to do before a battle and before a turn, so it you see action much more quickly. If you enjoy FC, but would like to see more depth, you can try out SFB later. FC has better components (Map, Counters, Ship Cards), so if you decide to pick up SFB later you may just want to buy the rule book and SSD book as spare parts from starfleetgames.com. Alternately, you can buy a Master Rule Book for SFB which has all the rules from all the current suppliments, but no ships, and ship books as spare parts. Both systems are fully supported by the manufacturers.

As to the comment about scale difference, FC has two scales, Squadron and Fleet. Squadron scale has ships that are essentially identical to the SFB ships, where as fleet scale cuts everything in half for quicker play. All FC ship cards have Squadron on one side and Fleet on the other, so there isn't any decision about what scale to buy.

Let us know what you think once you have tried out either game, and welcome to the Star Fleet Universe
 
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Troy Mullineaux
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Fridley
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I vote for SFB, maybe one of the only here to do so...
That being said, I'm glad they are doing FC and think that many of the house rules or optional rules (example: leaky shields) often used, make SFB nearly the same as FC. Scale it as you wish...
You can pick up quite a lot of SFB on eBay for cheap, and being heavily invested in SFB may be coloring my opinion here too...
If just trying out the mechanics or getting a "feel" for SFB and such, don't rule out the Starfleet Command PC games from Interplay (or previously from Interplay) which can be found pretty cheap.
All of it (PC games and either SFB or FC) are great in their own right, welcome to the community and enjoy it all.
 
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John Richert
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I have the original SFC and played it religiously up until I upgraded to XP. I nearly jumped into SFB then, but did not have the game group I have now. That has changed, but I don't think throwing them into SFB would work due to the minutiae required for both sides. I was able to suck some into ASL, but I take care of all the big book keeping, so they don't notice it as much.
 
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Sinister
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I started with FC and I'm diggin it, we are going to have a big fleet battle with about 10 guys next week.
 
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