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Federation Space» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Original Fed Space--with some changes--AAR rss

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Byron Henderson
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Hello all,

While I really enjoy Lyran Space 2.0, I still have a hankering (I'm from Oklahoma; we get "hankerings") to play the original game in all its minimal simplicity. The new fleet set-up charts I linked here earlier were an attempt at just that: using the updated ship counters that I created in Lyran Space to play the original game, on the original map. Unfortunately, play-balance was still not achieved. The Klingons, lacking the extra fleets and their Lyran allies, could hardly overcome the Kzin much less the Federation. Back to square one.

After some consideration, I decided on a few changes to the fleets and the map that may create a balanced game and I aim to test them here shortly. First, the changes I made and why I feel they will improve the game.

Note: the images are from a map I created and had mounted. Sadly, it was cut very poorly in the mounting process so it has some ugly spots. It also has a different hex numbering system. I've used the original map's hex numbers for this post so one can make these changes on their own map if they so choose.

I. The Map

I've gone over the map elsewhere so I'll only summarize some thoughts here.

The layout of both the Klingon and Romulan empires creates disadvantages for both. Their smaller enemies, the Kzin, Gorn and Hydrans, enjoy compact, single-front empires while the Federation enjoys interior lines and ready-made defensive strongpoints against any combined assault. In contrast, the Klingons arguably have up to five "fronts" which they must balance and they cannot mutually support each other effectively. These fall into the Kzin, Tholian, Hydran, Northern Federation and Southern Federation fronts.

The Romulans have three fronts (Gorn, Northern Federation, Southern Federation/Tholian) but, since their empire is smaller, they can more easily support each front. But there is no denying that their enemies have it far better in this regard.

The map has other issues as well (in my mind, anyway).

* Why did the Feds not build a base station in hex 1202? Do they really trust the Kzin that much?
* Ditto for the Fed-Gorn border. Just how "buddy-buddy" are these empires?


It seemed to me that adding a few base stations along these borders makes sense (and is helpful if you play a "free-for-all" game which, I recall, was one of our favorites many years ago).





More alarming:

*Why wouldn't the Klingons build more base stations on the Hydran border? There's certainly no trust there.
*Why did the Romulans leave an "end around" for the Gorns in hex 3809?


I decided a few additional base stations on these borders were in order as well.



The Klingons need more fleets to contend but there is really no place to put them. I decided that the issue of multiple fronts, along with the issue of more ships being needed, could be solved in a simple manner: add a Starbase in the middle of the empire. Hence the following changes:

*Add a Starbase to hex 0715. A new Reserve fleet will be placed here, giving the Klingons more power and much greater flexibility.
*Move Starbase 2 from hex 0917 to hex 1318. This gives the Klingons an anchor in the South and allows easier movement and production throughout the empire.




The Romulans face a similar issue but I didn't want to move their Starbases around. Instead I added one on Romulus (which makes sense since it is their capitol), which gives them an advantage in production. Now, if either of their other two Starbases are destroyed, they still have a centralized production center and their capitol is not automatically "open for plunder".

I opted for two other changes on the Romulan fronts that should have interesting consequences.

*Added a planet ("Cheron") to hex 2415. This gives the Romulans a quick gain when attacking the Federation. Right now, there are not many planets in the Federation that are even near their borders!
* Moved the Gorn planet "Altasar" from hex 3007 to hex 3608. This is an interesting idea originally done by S.C. Green in his update of the game (available at the Yahoo Groups page for anyone interested) and it creates a "second front" for the Gorns by requiring them to defend the Eastern part of their empire or risk losing close to a quarter of their economic base.






Altogether, along with some fleet updates, I hope to be able to actually play this game in (close to) its original form! We'll see; I'll post my AAR here in the near future.

I have also created two "solitaire card decks" for the game based on the cards in Lyran Space. I like the "unknown" that the cards bring to the game but I don't plan to use them in this first play test.

The goal here is to play the original game using the original rules. I will make the changes to the map as outlined above and update the fleets (which I will share in another post). We'll see how it goes.
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Troy Mullineaux
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Really nice work, look forward to the reports of action!
 
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Marcus Polk
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Looks great! Could you explain about your solitaire card decks? I would love to able to play FS solo, with more uncertainty.
 
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Byron Henderson
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Hamlet23 wrote:
Looks great! Could you explain about your solitaire card decks? I would love to able to play FS solo, with more uncertainty.


Basically, I have created two decks from the cards the I included in Lyran Space. One is a Combat Deck (cards cost 1 EP) and the other an Economic Deck (cards cost 3 EP).

Economic cards tend to be very good or very bad, although a few might be considered middling. For example, there are a lot of free ship builds and such in the Economic Deck but there are also a few losses (Orion Pirates, Squire of Gothos, etc....) in there too.

Combat cards are generated for combat advantages although some have been made neutral (they hurt both ways). For example, "Treachery" now affects whichever race has a Starbase or Base Station in the hex. If there is no SB or BS in the hex then the owner of the card gets to flip an opposing ship instead.

Here are the rules I'm toying with, although they are not finalized yet.

1. Empires may only purchase/discard cards at the beginning of each Economic Phase of the game (every other turn, beginning turn 3) and may only purchase up to 5 cards each. The five cards may be any mix of Economic and/or Combat cards.

2. All cards (for every empire) are first purchased and then the Economic cards (whether good or bad) are immediately played and the results determined before any other economic stuff is done. The player must do the Economic Phase in order since all empires draw from the same deck.

3. Combat cards are kept face down until the next combat. At that time, if the player determines cards will be used (you may not want to use them in a Frigate vs. Frigate action), one Combat card is turned over in each round of combat and the owner may apply the results as he chooses. Up to 5 Combat cards can be used by each side in any battle. If the cards for the attacker and defender "clash", then the attacker's card is used and the defender's card is shuffled back into his hand.

4. The Klingons begin with 4 Combat cards; the Kzinti begin with 2 Combat cards. No one else has any.

Those are the general rules. Once I get a chance to see how they play, I'll "finalize" them and post the deck and rules here.
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Byron Henderson
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Okay, back to the game. (If you have more questions on the cards or anything feel free to ask, though).

Here are the fleet charts for the Klingon and Kzin. Since they are the two races that begin at war, this is all I'll post right now (after all, I may need to tweak things).

The Klingon Empire:

A. Home Fleet: 1x B10, 1x CC (9-8-6), 2x D7B (8-8-6), 2x D6 (7-7-6), 2x F5B (4-4-6), 1x TUG-A (2-4-5), 1x FRD (2-5-0).

• Setup: All ships on Starbase III (Home System).

B. 1st Reserve Fleet: 1x C8 (12-11-6), 1x BT (9-9-5), 2xD7B (8-8-6), 1x D6V (5-7-6) with 1x FTR (5-3-0), 1x D6S (3-7-6), 2x F5B (4-4-6).

• Setup: All ships on Starbase I.

C. 2nd Reserve Fleet: 1x C8 (12-11-6), 1x BT (9-9-5), 2xD7B (8-8-6), 1x D6V (5-7-6) with 1x FTR (5-3-0), 1x D6S (3-7-6), 2x F5B (4-4-6).

• Setup: All ships on Starbase II.

D. 3rd Reserve Fleet: 1x C8V (10-10-6) with 2x FTR (5-3-0), 1x CC (9-8-6), 2xD7B (8-8-6), 1x D6V (5-7-6) with 1x FTR (5-3-0), 1x D6S (3-7-6), 2x F5B (4-4-6), 1x TUG-A (2-4-5), 1x FRD (2-5-0).

• Setup: All ships on Starbase IV.

E. Federation Border Fleet: 1x C8 (12-11-6), 1x CC (9-8-6), 6x D7 (8-7-6), 6x D6 (7-7-6), 1x F5L (5-5-6), 1x FV (3-5-6) with 1x FTR (5-3-0), 5x F5B (4-4-6), 1x F5S (2-4-6).

• Setup: All ships within 2 hexes of the Federation Neutral Zone (not on the Kzinti Border).

F. Kzinti Border Fleet: 1x C8 (12-11-6), 1x CVT (7-7-5) with 1x FTR (5-3-0), 1x CC (9-8-6), 5x D7 (8-7-6), 5x D6 (7-7-6), 1x F5L (5-5-6), 1x FV (3-5-6) with 1x FTR (5-3-0), 4x F5B (4-4-6), 1x F5S (2-4-6).

• Setup: All ships within 2 hexes of the Kzinti Border (not on the Federation Border).

G. Hydran Border Fleet: 1x C8 (12-11-6), 1x CVT (7-7-5) with 1x FTR (5-3-0), 1x CC (9-8-6), 4x D7 (8-7-6), 4x D6 (7-7-6), 1x F5L (5-5-6), 4x F5B (4-4-6),
1x F5S (2-4-6).

• Setup: All ships within 2 hexes of the Hydran Border.

H. Tholian Nuisance Squadron: 1x CC (9-8-6), 3x D7 (8-7-6), 3x D6 (7-7-6), 1x F5L (5-5-6), 1x FV (3-5-6) with 1x FTR (5-3-0), 2x F5B (4-4-6), 1x F5S (2-4-6).

• Setup: All ships in any/all of hexes P17, P18, P19 and/or on Smarba (hex O18).


Kzinti:

A. 1st (Home) Fleet: 1x CV (8-9-6) with 1x FTR (5-3-0*), 1x CVL (6-7-6) with 1x FTR (4-2-0), 1x CVE (5-5-6) with 1x FTR (2-1-0), 1x CA (8-8-6), 2x CS (6-7-6), 2x CL (5-5-6), 2x FF (4-4-6), 1x FRD (2-5-0).

• Setup: All ships on Kzin and Krath.

B. 2nd (Klingon) Fleet: 1x DN (12-11-6), 1x CVL (6-7-6) with 1x FTR (4-2-0), 1x CVE (5-5-6) with 1x FTR (2-1-0), 1x CA (8-8-6), 2x CS (6-7-6), 2x CL (5-5-6), 4x FF (4-4-6), 1x SC (2-4-6).

• Setup: All ships within two hexes of the Klingon Border (not on the Federation Border).

C. 3rd (Federation) Fleet: 1x DN (12-11-6), 1x CVE (5-5-6) with 1x FTR (2-1-0), 1x CA (8-8-6), 2x CS (6-7-6), 2x CL (5-5-6), 3x FF (4-4-6), 1x SC (2-4-6).

• Setup: All ships within 1 hex of the Federation Border (not on the Klingon Border).

D. 4th (Reserve) Fleet: 1x CV (8-9-6) with 1x FTR (5-3-0*), 1x CVL (6-7-6) with 1x FTR (4-2-0), 2x CA (8-8-6), 4x CL (5-5-6), 4x FF (4-4-6), 1x SC (2-4-6).

• Setup: All ships on Starbase I and II.

*Kzin fighters are 5-3-0 because Pseudo Fighters are still a possibility for all races except the Feds.

Note the set-up limitations; I did not want Klingon ships in the Federation fleet covering part of the Kzin boarder, etc.... It's also worth noting that I did away with the "released" list of ships in the original game and replaced it with the following:

1. Klingons - All Reserve Fleets are released whenever the Klingon Empire is at war with any neighbor. Federation Fleet is released when the Klingons are at war with the Federation. Hydran Fleet is released hen the Klingons are at war with the Hydrans or if Starbase 2 or 4 is attacked. Tholian Fleet is released when the Klingons are at war with the Federation, Tholians, and/or the Hydrans. All fleets are released if Klingon is attacked.

2. Kzin - All fleets are released if Kzin Space is invaded.
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Byron Henderson
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Attack and Defense plans.

The Klingons can mass overwhelming odds on the Kzinti Border Fleet, so the question for the Kzin is: how do we save as much as possible? With this in mind, I have built the defense around Zaahm as opposed to Zursk and/or Karn. The reasoning is simple:

1. Zaahm is the only planet outside the range of the Klingon Home Fleet (which includes the B10).

2. Defending Zaahm allows the Kzin Federation Fleet to protect the defending fleet's backside so they cannot be surrounded by Frigates and denied retreat. It's not perfect, but at least one ship can retreat to hex I04 (which only has a fleet of 5 ships) and hex I05 will work in a pinch if the Klingons don't occupy it.

3. The rest of the Kzin Fleets are gathered on planets and Starbases, ready to defend the Home Systems or counter-attack if the opportunity presents itself.

Goals: Survival.



The Klingons actually want to attack towards the Federation Border. The hope is to sweep it and, on Turn 5, hit the Federation from the Northwest, bypassing that pesky Federation Fleet on the Klingon border and making a beeline for Sol. But they'll have to do major damage to the Kzin first while preserving as many DNs and Carriers as possible. I definitely don't want to lose the B10 but, if it comes down to crippling the Kzin beyond repair and any one ship, I'll send it into the breach.

Klingon ships are massed to hit Zaahm, while smaller fleets of D6s and F5Bs will take Zursk and Karn, rolling up the West end and eventually taking Kreel (ideally). The Home Fleet will move into a support position and try to keep any ships that are damaged in the battle for Zaahm from being destroyed in counter-attack. The 3rd Reserve Fleet will warp up to the front as quickly as possible.



Notes:

*The B10 is a game changer, taking four hits to destroy (D = one hit; X = 2 hits).
*I'm using the original stacking rules so stacks of multiple DNs will happen as the game goes on.
*I'm also using the original Planetary System defense rules, so the Kzin do receive some extra firepower.
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The Attack is A-GO!

The Klingon fleets pounce on Zaahm and the surrounding Kzin fleets. Smaller fleets of D6s and F5Bs are sent to take Zursk and Karn. The B10 moves up and merges with ships from the 1st Reserve to form a powerful backup fleet (B10, 2x D7C, D6V+Ftr, D7, D6S).



As a side note, I went ahead and included an EP tracker, a battle board and the CRT on my homemade board. I also added the turn tracker from Lyran Space to make it easy to track the game turns.





The main battle on Zaahm is bloody for both sides but the Klingons prevail (die rolls were pretty even--lots of good and bad for both sides). However, their battle fleet is reduced to a C8, a damaged CVT and a damaged FV. The Kzin heartily counter-attack both the Zaahm fleet and the B10 fleet in support!



I decided to be aggressive with the Kzin and do all the damage I could. I'm pretty aggressive anyway but my main concern was letting the Klingon 3rd Reserve fleet join the fight and stack with the B10 and other carriers. So the Kzin gathered a DN, 2x CV+Ftr, 2x CVL+Ftr and a SC and took the fight to the Klingons! I also used a lot of CL and FF fleets to finish off damaged Klingon CAs and FFs. There's no reason to leave them alive to limp back to the FRD and be repaired! The biggest roll of the fights though was the Klingon DN's disengagement roll from Zaahm; it was a 6. Note: the fleet in hexes G07 and H07 are part of the Federation fleet and not allowed to assist.

Final positions after the Kzin counter-attack:



The Kzin look good but they will take some serious losses at the beginning of Turn 2. Not killing that Klingon DN was huge as they have nothing that can match up to a C8 or the C8V. Their fleet that shot down the B10 is reduced to a damaged DN, a CV and 2x CVL (no fighters to be found). Zaahm is covered by 2xCVE+Ftr, 2xCS, CL, and a SF. The capitol is covered by 2xCS and 2xCL while SB2 has 4xCA and 2xFF (with the FRD). The rest of the fleet is all CLs and FFs.

The Klingons have the heavies to do damage and pretty much destroy the Kzin fleets beyond repair. The issue is ships. Even with the 3rd Reserve Fleet coming to help, they may not be able to destroy everything; I expect quite a few CLs and FFs will survive. Garrisoning Kzin planets and leaving a fleet up there will take pretty much everything--leaving nothing with which to attack the Feds!

I plan to play it out another turn or three but it seems the issues of the original game are not yet solved. We'll see though.
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Byron Henderson
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Turn 2:

The Klingons continue to attack, surrounding the Kzin fleets on Zaahm and the damaged carrier fleet in hex G05. They barely manage this due to lack of ships (a D7, D6, and F5B move back to Starbase 1 to be repaired by the FRD there and protect the fleet's back).

The combats go pretty well. There are losses on both sides but the Kzin loses all of their remaining carriers and DNs as well as a few CS and CLs. They do damage though; the Klingon fleet loses a few CAs as well as several fighters and F5Bs. It's getting thin up on the northern border.



The Kzin eschews further attacks and retreats to strongholds (planets and Starbases) with what is left of her fleets. Frigates man the outlying planets to avoid giving the Klingons any easy EPs while the capitol and surrounding systems and Starbases are guarded by what's left of the CAs, CS, and CLs. The Kzin offensive capabilities are reduced to "very little" but it will still take a major effort to do further damage to the Patriarchy.



Looking at the situation, the Klingons still have some major strength available but they don't enough to (1) take, garrison, and hold more Kzin systems; (2) repair their fleets in anticipation of attacking the Federation; and (3) leave enough ships in the Patriarchy to hold off furture Kzin aggression. They have just lost too much: the Kzin border fleet along with the majority of the 1st and 3rd Reserve fleets as well as much of the Home fleet.

I'm mulling over some further options, beginning with the following:

1. Why does Economics begin on Turn 3? If the Klingons and Kzin are bristling to go to war then one would think they would be building ships in expectation of it. I think I may add some automatic Klingon builds (appearing on the Starbases) on turns 1-3 to help them recover their losses faster. These would mainly be fighters, CAs, and Frigates. Possibly a Scout. They don't need a lot; just enough to give them the ability to turn on the Federation.

2. I may also remove the Kzinti DN from the Federation Fleet. Replace with a CA? Not sure yet.

3. I remember why I hate the Planetary System Defenses in Federation Space. They make it impossible to attack. Removing these makes a positive difference and could take care of the issue on its own (Note: I would basically sub in the System defense rules from Lyran Space). This would give the further advantage of allowing the Klingons to take more systems in the Patriarchy since the additional defensive bonus for the Kzin would not exist.

Thoughts?
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Born To Lose, Live To Win
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pugbuddy wrote:
(Note: I would basically sub in the System defense rules from Lyran Space)


I guess you are in danger of scope creep. Do you want to play FedSpace, LyranSpace or is your goal finding a working compromise between the two? My impression was that you were looking for that "old-timey" FedSpace experience, but I would think you could nickle and dime yourself out of it by doing more and more mods.

On the other hand, if you are looking at this as a play-test to find what needs fixed, then house-rule as needed.
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Byron Henderson
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Good points. The real issue is that the original Fed Space flat out just doesn't work. It's so badly imbalanced that one cannot play it. I'll do some more play-testing and see what works. I tend to think that just removing the Planetary System rules (perhaps keeping them in place on capitol systems only) might do the trick with the new fleet line-ups.
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Keith Plymale
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It's look almost like your moving to F&E's map there.

That's what I've always thought would work for a lite F&E.

Looks good.
 
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I really haven't looked much at F&E's map (I have seen it, of course). I'm not sure if that's where S.C. Green got his ideas for moving Altasar and adding a planet in the Romulan Neutral Zone. I thought they were good ideas so I copied them for this map.
 
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