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Subject: Larger battles (Wolf 359) rss

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Christopher Smith
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I have this game but haven't played an awful lot of it. Has anyone ever tried a large game, like something on the scale of Wolf 359? From what I recall, STB was more suited to ship-to-ship combat but I was wondering if it was possible.
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Born To Lose, Live To Win
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I think it is possible, but would take a long time. It would be even more practical as a Convention type game with multiple people running ships on both sides and a GM.

For fleet actions there are other titles that might give you a good game in a shorter time frame. Federation Commander actually has a Fleet mode, but you could probably play its full on mode also, which is just a SFB lite itself. Then there is Klingon Armada, which has different mechanics, but is more conducive to large fleet actions.

From my experience with SFB, once you get beyond 3 on 3 battles or so, you can lose non-diehard players. Your love of the game has to give you the stamina to overcome some of the overhead involved.
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Dean
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I would say it's possible but it might seem rather unwieldy to handle all the drones, fighters (assuming you are using any), seeking weapons, etc. for a large fleet sized battle using the standard 32 impulse game rules.
Maybe try using simpler cadet ships with the introductory rules 8 impulse system, simplified damage allocation and see how it plays out.
The cadet stuff is free to download too.
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craig grinnell
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wodvamp wrote:
I have this game but haven't played an awful lot of it. Has anyone ever tried a large game, like something on the scale of Wolf 359? From what I recall, STB was more suited to ship-to-ship combat but I was wondering if it was possible.


Yes, fleet battles are possible, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend them.
I recall in my younger days doing one. Was fun, but not something I want to repeat.
For best results, you need several people per side to do it right. And while a two player fleet battle can be fun, the ensuing psychosis is not.

Oh, and if you DO pull one off, I would avoid carriers. Swarms of fighters on the board can turn "psychosis" to suicidal thoughts.
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Christopher Smith
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Thanks, all for responses. I'm vaguely aware of FC and KA but havent played either. Can the counters from SFB be used with either? I'm really trying to avoid spending more money on games and would like to re-purpose what I have
 
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Born To Lose, Live To Win
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wodvamp wrote:
Thanks, all for responses. I'm vaguely aware of FC and KA but havent played either. Can the counters from SFB be used with either? I'm really trying to avoid spending more money on games and would like to re-purpose what I have


I think for FC you have to buy a boxed set, but from what I remember about KA you can re-use your SFB components and just buy a KA rulebook.
 
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G Mike
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We did it back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. We used Federation and Empire to do the strategic battles and the order of battle. We had a player for each race and we used SFB to fight out each. It was a great experience. We also had very advanced players who played and won a lot of the SFB tournaments back then. I don't think it is cumbersome for any person who plays advanced wargames. I remember fleet battles with Kzinti that probably had tons of PF tenders, fighters, scatter packs, and literally hundreds of drones. I enjoyed it but we had many hours of experience playing the game. I guess a fleet battle engagement could take 8+ hours. But that is the normal length of time for advanced war games.
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G Mike
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I just remembered Fleets concentrating fire and totally obliterating a heavy cruiser from range 15 - 20 with standards disrupters. Literally ships would die every turn during those fleet battles. Great memories.
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Carl
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Large fleet battles (6+ ships per side) are completely feasible and much more interesting using Star Fleet Battles -- IF you have multiple players on each side.

As other posters have mentioned, with 1-3 ships per player, the game can move along quite well. The simultaneously conducted energy allocation phase and the impulse action system allow multiple players to all be doing something at once.

If you start to get more than 10-12 ships per side, I recommend assigning an Admiral's position to one player on each side, as well as dividing ships into functional squadrons with squadron leaders. This allows a level of command and control among each fleet that will improve coordination and prevent it from becoming a chaotic free-for-all.

Using SFB over some of the simpler Star Fleet Universe rules sets allows you to experience fleet tactics and strategy while not losing the role of individual ship management in the game. In my experience, players love being captain of their own ship, but also have a real sense of accomplishment from working together to achieve a fleet victory.

The impacts of individual ship's actions, heroic contributions and struggles within a battle also tend to create a much more dramatic game overall for everyone than just chalking off another ship with each couple volleys in a more simplified system. This is the margin where great game stories are born!

However, if you're looking to conduct large fleet battles with just two players, I concur with using Star Fleet's Starmada adaptation, or Call to Arms: Star Fleet.

Federation Commander does not, IMO, reduce the detail level enough to make large fleet actions much more feasible than SFB with only two players.



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Christopher Smith
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Again - thanks for responses.

As I will almost certainly be playing solo, I will look into Starmarda.

Thanks, everyone.
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