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Subject: Why were FTRs added? rss

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Steve
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I always moved on to the design your own ships rules before I played many of the scenarios provided. I found the ships that they provided were far from the best that could be designed.
. . So, warning, I'm thinking about design your own ships.

It seems obvious to me that Starfire I was like WWI naval battles.

Starfire II (then) was about WWII carrier battles. Because of this they made the FTR too good for their cost. But, this was the case in WWII; planes did dominate naval warfare then. Basically, if you have control of how and what you will be building then all FTRs and carriers makes a lot of sense.

So, let's look at just what the game simulates.
. . 1] 1st, let's ask, "Just what is a 'space point' "? Is space equal to volume? Or, is space equal to mass? For a spaceship volume is not really all that limiting, while mass is limiting.
. . So, I vote for mass over volume.

. . 2] So, a FTR bay represents all the mass associated with 1 FTR [include the % of the ship's structure that is the bay, plus the FTR, the extra weapon pods, fuel, etc.]. All of this mass must be moved by the engines 99% of the time, until the FTR are launched. Without the FTRs a CV maybe should be faster.

. . 3] In WWII planes carried bombs or torpedoes to damage ships and MG to damage planes.
. . . . a] Bombs are not like weapons in space. In space there is no gravity that pulls the bombs toward the enemy ship and gives them velocity. The closest weapon might be the Missile. At least it gets just 1 shot. In this case compare the mass of a torpedo launcher on a WWII DD with 5 torpedoes to the mass of 5 planes plus other stuff on the CV. I think that the planes mass more than the launcher. Yet, the game says that 5 Ws are 15 spaces and 5 FTR are 5 spaces. The same goes for the costs.
. . OTOH, the Ws can fire over and over and the torpedo launcher just once [or twice with a 1 hour gap to reload]. This makes Ws more like the guns on the WWII ships.
. . If we compare Bombs to repeating weapon pods we see a big difference. A bomb can be dropped once, a weapon in a FTR pod can be fired until the FTR is destroyed.
. . . . b] Torpedoes might be Rocket Pods. Again they get 1 shot, the weapon is very powerful, and you have to get close to the target to use it.
. . . . c] The repeating weapon pods are like MG & auto-cannon when fired at FTR, but are not like any weapon on a plane in WWII when they are fired at large spaceships. Well except the failed attempt to put 75 mm guns on planes. These Pods really make FTR too powerful.

. . . . d] In summary -- Rocket Pods = torpedoes, Missiles on FTR = bombs, and Weapon Pods = MG & auto-cannon when fired at FTR and very small spaceships but have no analogue when fired at larger spaceships. [MY Primary Beam Weapon Pod is like torpedoes hitting the rudder or flooding an engine room and crippling a ship's ability to run away.]
Ws (Gun/Missile Launchers) on ships are like the heavy guns on bigger ships. Gs (Guns) are like the smaller guns on smaller ships.

Someone might argue that the FTR in Starfire came more from FTR in the movie, Star Wars. And the general trend in Sci-Fi, where a single person in a single seat spaceship or a tiny group in a small ship wins the war all by themselves.
. . Here the weapon pods make more sense but they still make FTR too good for their cost. A nation with FTR should just build ships to carry FTR [with few other weapons] and launch FTR from long range and keep their CVs back out of weapon range, protecting them from FTR with their own FTR. How CV+ FTR can fight their way into a system at a defended warp point? This may be a problem for them.

 
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Martin Gallo
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Just remember that you already made the leap that these games are "loosely based" on WWI and WWII naval combat mechanics AND that these are GAMES and you will be fine.
 
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Steve
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martimer wrote:
Just remember that you already made the leap that these games are "loosely based" on WWI and WWII naval combat mechanics AND that these are GAMES and you will be fine.

When you play the scenarios provided.

As soon as you go completely to design your own ships, you will have the problem that FTR are too powerful.

 
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Loris Pagnotta
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FTRs are better than ships for combat but not for the planetary system control, so you need of both in a campaign game. The problem is the lack of a campaign game because the "Starfire III" attempt was a failure (too heavy) from my point of view.
 
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Steve
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loris_pagnotta wrote:
FTRs are better than ships for combat but not for the planetary system control, so you need of both in a campaign game. The problem is the lack of a campaign game because the "Starfire III" attempt was a failure (too heavy) from my point of view.

I glanced at Starfire III and thought the incomes were way too high and many other problems.

If you really want a campaign game,

get ahold of a copy of Imperium and replace all the Spaceships with Starfire ships. Keep the Troops, etc. of Imperium. Maybe TR (transports) and AO (tankers or mobile fuel processing ships) also.
. . Then modify the rules to integrate them. Like initial costs [i.e. how many mega credits equals 1 RU] and Maintenance.

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Loris Pagnotta
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Already done and I must say that with few adjustments works well.
You may also use Dark Nebula with a more variable map.
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Martin Gallo
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Fighters also "mess up" Star Fleet Battles. The economics are "all wrong". Too much bang for very little buck and they always go Kamikaze with no loss in pilot quality, availability or morale.
 
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Matt Danison
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Agreed, fighters is why I left SFB in the 80's. I recently found a very good SFB group here in Cocoa Beach, FL that plays weekly.

I, Captain Dunsel, play weakly as well.
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The Count
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I haven't been in the Starfire Forums in a long time, but back in the 90's, probably at least 10% of posts in the forum discussed the big questions about fighters (too powerful? realistic?, good for the game?).

They also talk about in the Star Fleet Battles forums all the time, and it is partly why Federation Commander didn't have them originally.

 
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Art Bennett
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loris_pagnotta wrote:
Already done and I must say that with few adjustments works well.
You may also use Dark Nebula with a more variable map.


Are the integration/modification rules available anywhere for connecting GDW Imperium/Dark Nebula to Starfire 2nd/3rd Ed(?) Tactical rules?
 
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Loris Pagnotta
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No, you must try with your own house rules.
I used these:
Resources earned for planets control are multiplied by one hundred (x100)
Transport type F1 (with a minimum of 10 cargo Holds) can be used as transport for all types of planetary units;
An F2 unit (max one per player) with a minimum of 20H acts as a tanker.
An F2 (max one per player) with a minimum of 20H, carrying Science Instruments (X) acts as Explorer.
Surface units have the following costs:
Infantry 200 Mgc;
Jump Infantry 300 Mgc;
Armored 300 Mgc;
Planetary Defense 1000 Mgc
The maintenance costs are equal to the 25% of the cost of the ship (round up) in addition to costs for repair of destroyed ship systems.
Repair can be done only at primary systems.

Maybe this can be a starting point for your own rule set.
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Art Bennett
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I will give them a try - thanks.

I like the Starfire Tactical rules - but the Strategic rules have too much overhead/complexity. I am investigating using other 4x Space Strategic systems to then convert to/resolve tactical battles with Starfire.

The 4x systems I am considering are:
1. Imperium/Dark Nebula - will try your house rules as a starting point
2. Space Empires (GDW)
3. Imperial Stars II (VPG)

Any others you can think of?
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Darrell Pavitt
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Stellar Conquest always gets suggested.
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Loris Pagnotta
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Following your suggestion, I have just buyed Stellar Conquest.
 
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