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Star Fleet Battles: Captain's Edition Basic Set» Forums » General

Subject: SFB vs FC rss

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Mark Sockwell
United States
Joplin
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Hi Everyone!

I am looking for a new game system to begin playing. I am leaning toward either SFB or FC. Could I get some pros and cons of each system from players to help me make my decision?

I'm going to post this on the FC portion of BGG also.

Thanks in advance for the help,


Mark Sockwell
Joplin, MO
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Carl
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It depends on the experience you're looking for in your game. SFB has a lot more options while FC is a simpler and faster playing rules set.

The fundamental mechanical difference lies in how energy is allocated. FC allows players to make some energy decisions as they go, while SFB has a separate Energy Allocation phase at the start of each turn, requiring players to make myriad decisions well in advance with a limited ability to retract those decisions in response to the other players' actions. Critics say it turns the system into a guessing game between players while fans say it forces players to commit to a tactical plan.

Personally, I'm a bigger fan of SFB. I love the tension that comes from making those energy decisions and trying for formulate a plan for each turn's actions.

I think the other difference is the breadth of opportunity. You can do ANYTHING in SFB. There are rules for boarding parties, space stations, planetary assaults, shuttles, minefields, carriers launching waves of fighters, and literally thousands of different ship designs all of which have a place in the incredibly detailed Star Fleet Universe history. Situated within that history are hundreds of available battle scenarios.

However, while those opportunities are there, they can layer on complexity to an already dense turn structure, making for much longer, slower moving games. You're less likely to conduct larger fleet actions in SFB unless you have multiple players on each side.

Bit by bit, the publisher has been porting over material from SFB to FC, adding ships and scenarios to the newer system -- so far, it seesm, without any substantial complexity increase. So there is increasingly more available in FC.


Both games do a great job of depicting starship combat from the perspective of individual vessel management. If you're looking for a quicker moving game with more modern production values, I'd say go for FC. If you're looking for a more immersive game with a focus on covering every possible detail, it's SFB.

I favor SFB. For me, the layers of detail add to the decision-making and the opportunities in ways that I've found generate amazingly exciting games as well as really deep campaigns.
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Tony Thomas
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Murfreesboro
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Another factor is the size of the game you want.
SFB does a great job of one-on-one ship battles, and can handle 3 or 4 ships a side just as well... albeit with a proportionally longer play time.

Federation Commander begins to shine at 3 to 4 ships a side and can scale up to 6 or 7 with just a little increase in playing time.
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Barry Harvey
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There is a free demo for FedCom on the ADB site and Star Fleet Battles Cadet Training Manual is also free to download, so check them out and see what you like.
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Robert Martin
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Personally, I like SFB more than FC. There just seems more of all the things that make the game interesting. Larger and more developed SSD's. larger variety of ships, many more options for Fighters and Drones, etc.

The great thing about SFB is you don't have to use most of the rules. You can add them slowly or never at all.

FC is still a great game, but SFB does it for me.
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Carl
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Oldwargamer wrote:
The great thing about SFB is you don't have to use most of the rules. You can add them slowly or never at all.

This is a good point to keep in mind. SFB's publisher sells the game in a modular format specifically designed to allow beginning players to start with just the basics, then add on just the additional rules and material you may be interested in through different modules.

Granted, junkies for the game usually end up with most or all of these expansion modules, but you could play great games regularly for years with just the Basic Set followed by the Advanced Missions Set.
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gary rembo
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Be intrested to know which way you went in the end and how you are enjoying it?.
I'm SFB every time just for the sheer values for money and amount of gameplay in the box set.

 
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