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Subject: The Not-So-Mighty Hoodie Goes Down rss

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Mark Christopher
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This past Wednesday I headed up to a friend's game night in Maine, where I was asked to bring some SFB materials. I did, and three of us - myself,

Jim Cote
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Mad Scientist Philip von Doomula
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played a 2-on-1 duel.

Since it was Jim's second and Phil's first game, we used only the most basic rules; movement without HETs, TACs, Emergency Decel or any other special movement rules, basic phaser, disrupter, and photon rules (no firing a ph-1 as a ph-3, no DERFACS or UIM, though we did use overloads), and no extraneous systems; that is, no transporters, tractors, EW, shuttle operations, and so on. This resulted in perhaps 15 minutes of explanations before we were flying.

Phil and Jim each took an almost-unrefitted Klingon D7; the only upgrades were that they had A-racks loaded with speed 24 drones. I took an unrefitted Federation dreadnought. Yeah, a mismatch. This was a learning game. I didn't realize at the time they'd learn so well.

We started at weapon status 2 at opposite corners of the board, and I was surprised when they were moving more slowly than I was, and at different speeds; I think they were moving at 14 and 10, and I was moving at 19.

I was also blinded by the fact that "I have a dreanought! Yay!" forgetting that it's perhaps the crappiest one in the game. On that first turn, I only overloaded 2 of the photons. Now granted, I did that so I'd be able to keep up a reasonable combat speed, but I didn't think about the fact that I really needed to get a knockout blow with my photons when I could, as my powerful phaser-1s were going to be wasted on drone defense.

The two of them started coming at me, separated by a couple of hexes, but as we closed, they started sideslipping away from one another. I made sure to keep my heading between the two of them and wait for an opportunity to choose whom to attack. At one point, perhaps 15 or so hexes distant, Phil (who was ahead of me, slightly to the left of centerline) turned right, and, several impulses later, turned left again. We were now close enough that I then turned towards him, knowing he couldn't turn away. It was, I believe, somewhere around here that Phil launched a pair of drones.

We closed to within 4 hexes when - I think it was Phil - called for a fire decision step. This being his first game, I told him of the possibilities of what he could fire and the average damage he might inflict or receive, and so on. In the end, he revealed that he wouldn't be firing, while I fired one standard photon and a couple of ph-1. The photon missed and the phasers scratched his shield.

A couple of impulses later he was at 3 hexes, and we unloaded, each into the other's #2 shields. His 2 of his overloaded disrupters and several ph-2s hit me, while my two overloaded photons hit (the remaining standard one missed), and I added two more ph-1s to the volley - I wanted to save the rest of my phasers for the drones.

Phil only got 3 internals but hit a warp and a phaser; irritatingly effective for such a small hit. I believe I did around 24 internals to him; I think he was a little discouraged at first, but soon realized that the few warp and weapons that were destroyed weren't going to reduce his fighting capability that much.

My dreadnought passed Phil's D7, and that was the last time I'd have any Klingons in front of me. I shot down Phil's drones, but the next turn saw Jim catch up to, and stay, behind me. Over that and the next couple of turns, Jim and Phil blasted down most of the rest of my shields - I only had my #1 and #3 left, as I didn't have the turn mode to get a D7 in front of me nor did I put enough into speed to get out of the furball, re-arm, and turn back to them. Not having gone over the TAC rules with Phil and Jim, I didn't stop and spin, and so was the bison being brought down by wolves.

For all that, it was a great session. Phil said he felt comfortable powering and flying the ship, and the scenario showcased all the rules we went over; we all had to think about timing, firing and shield arcs, and our own and enemy turn modes.

Phil wants to take a Fed ship next time, and I look forward to taking a Klingon and destroying it.
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Jim Cote
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bortaS bIr jablu'DI' reH QaQqu' nay'!
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Mark Christopher
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ekted wrote:
bortaS bIr jablu'DI' reH QaQqu' nay'!


bilugh. nuqDaq 'oh Qe' QaQ'e'?
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Mad Scientist Philip von Doomula
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Thanks again Mark for teaching! I already want to buy the Star Fleet Battles: Captain's Edition Basic Set and Star Fleet Battles: Advanced Missions! I guess the only place to get it is online from the designer's web site.
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Jim Cote
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Mark Christopher
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Quarashi wrote:
Thanks again Mark for teaching! I already want to buy the Star Fleet Battles: Captain's Edition Basic Set and Star Fleet Battles: Advanced Missions! I guess the only place to get it is online from the designer's web site.


My pleasure, Phil!

Good question about where to buy. I have no idea how much they distribute. I haven't purchased an SFB item since 2006 or so (though I see there are some new modules I want), but when I did, I did order directly from ADB: http://www.starfleetgames.com/

Huh. Looks like they do have a store locator on the site. Dunno if they sell to online stores.

And look - full color counters. Sigh...
 
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Mad Scientist Philip von Doomula
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As soon as I have some money it will be my next purchase.
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Greg Maynard
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Yes it is available at a lot of brick-and-mortar stores and buying there will encourage the merchant to keep stocking it.

On the other hand you'll do alright going through www.starfleetgames.com. They do a lot of business through their online store and work hard at providing good turn around. As an added bonus, since they use print-on-demand, you are guaranteed to get the latest rule updates.
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Jeff Johnson
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Just a note:

I think they have *just* redone the counter sheet for Basic Set.

I think the new one has more counters due to a production change.

It *might* be a good time to order direct from the company as I don't know if there is a way to make sure you're getting the latest-hottest edition anywhere else.
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James Lowry
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Yes it does. They've gone from 6 blocks of 2x9 counters per half sheet to 7 blocks of 2x10 counters per half sheet, so all new counter runs will get extra counters (280 vs 216 for a full sheet).

Here's a shot of the original sheet:


A few years ago, they did a version with more color, but it was the same counters.

Here's the shot of the new sheet:
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Erich Vereen
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Oooo... well, that makes me consider another purchase here soon.
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Mad Scientist Philip von Doomula
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Did they only redo the base set? If so, the base set wouldn't match any of the other products. That would be annoying to me.
 
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James Lowry
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Yes. New products (and a reprint or two) from the last few years have the new style graphics, but this is the first with the new sheet layout. (Well, maybe not, I suppose the last couple would have the expanded format as well.)

Other products will get them as they run out of counter stock and have to reprint; but it isn't generally worth it to trash a bunch of stock just to update the components.

Though SVC has said that if you want to write a $1300 check for a new print run of Advanced Missions counters, he'll do it.
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Mark Christopher
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Rindis wrote:
Yes. New products (and a reprint or two) from the last few years have the new style graphics, but this is the first with the new sheet layout. (Well, maybe not, I suppose the last couple would have the expanded format as well.)

Other products will get them as they run out of counter stock and have to reprint; but it isn't generally worth it to trash a bunch of stock just to update the components.

Though SVC has said that if you want to write a $1300 check for a new print run of Advanced Missions counters, he'll do it.


I've never wanted exactly $1300 as much as I do now...
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Jeff Johnson
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I think I saw someone opening module C1 a year or two ago and was shocked that they had updated the counters in that one already....
 
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It would be nice to get a counter pack expansion for all those people who have complete or almost complete collections so that they don't have to repurchase the other products. Maybe a POD type roll out, a little more expensive but more flexible.
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James Lowry
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Jeffr0 wrote:
I think I saw someone opening module C1 a year or two ago and was shocked that they had updated the counters in that one already....

Yes, that is one of the ones that got updated in a reprint. (The main one I know of.)

TheChin! wrote:
It would be nice to get a counter pack expansion for all those people who have complete or almost complete collections so that they don't have to repurchase the other products. Maybe a POD type roll out, a little more expensive but more flexible.

Well, you can always get them as spare parts. A package deal might be good, but there's just not that many products with newer counters yet. Basic Set and C1 are the only ones I know of off the top of my head that have gotten counter reprints. I suspect there might be one or two others, but I don't what they'd be.
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Mad Scientist Philip von Doomula
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My copy of the base set should be here by Thursday.
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That basic set is worth 100 plays easily.

My favorite moment:

Teaching someone to play... watching them get frustrated when they can't win no matter what the ships are. But you give tactical advice on what's going on after each of these 30 min or hour long combats....

Then you set up a game for the guy against another new player... and watch his eyes light up when he realizes how much he actually knows... how much control he has.... And then... when the enemy ship is damaged with not even a scratch taken in return-- the satisfaction....
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Mark Christopher
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Jeffr0 wrote:
That basic set is worth 100 plays easily.

My favorite moment:

Teaching someone to play... watching them get frustrated when they can't win no matter what the ships are. But you give tactical advice on what's going on after each of these 30 min or hour long combats....

Then you set up a game for the guy against another new player... and watch his eyes light up when he realizes how much he actually knows... how much control he has.... And then... when the enemy ship is damaged with not even a scratch taken in return-- the satisfaction....


Agreed! Next favorite moment: watching the confidence and satisfaction in that new player's face turn to despair and dread when first he fights an Andromedan.
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markus_kt wrote:
Agreed! Next favorite moment: watching the confidence and satisfaction in that new player's face turn to despair and dread when first he fights an Andromedan.

I have long had a dream to teach someone how to play purely with Andromedan ships.

And then adjudicate a match between him and someone who's never seen an Andromedan....
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Mark Christopher
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Rindis wrote:
markus_kt wrote:
Agreed! Next favorite moment: watching the confidence and satisfaction in that new player's face turn to despair and dread when first he fights an Andromedan.

I have long had a dream to teach someone how to play purely with Andromedan ships.

And then adjudicate a match between him and someone who's never seen an Andromedan....


That sounds awesome!

My friend Brian and I have, on a few occasions, each read up on one new race in a multi-race supplement (and studiously avoided reading anything about the race the other was taking) and went up against one another, which is a fantastic way to play the few times it can be pulled off.

My Flivver cruiser, for example, was very cocky going up against his Qari vessel when, somewhere around range 15 - 20, he fired at me.
"Take a point of damage on your shield," said Brian.
"Okay", I said, marking off the point.
"Now count 5 shield boxes and mark another hit."
"Okay."
"Now count 5 shield boxes and take another hit."
"Done."
"Now count 5 shield boxes and take another hit."
"I don't have any more shield boxes."
"You take 2 internals."
"WHAT?!?"

So I'm digressing. I'm really hoping to get Phil and Jim comfortable with all the rules and most of the races, and in flying and fighting whichever ships and races appeal to them. I also have a faint hope of revealing as little about the Andros as I can to them - though Brian and I may have described them a bit too much last weekend - just so I can give them the "joy" of going up against a completely unknown, and weird, opponent.
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Mad Scientist Philip von Doomula
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Quarashi wrote:
My copy of the base set should be here by Thursday.


ZOMG it's out for delivery one day early!
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markus_kt wrote:
I also have a faint hope of revealing as little about the Andros as I can to them - though Brian and I may have described them a bit too much last weekend - just so I can give them the "joy" of going up against a completely unknown, and weird, opponent.


The local SFB group did that to several people at once with the classic Juggernaut scenario from CL #1.

Each turn, we'd get a hint about the enemy technology depending on how close we got to it....

Very memorable!

(This was way back in 1991.)
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Mark Christopher
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Jeffr0 wrote:
markus_kt wrote:
I also have a faint hope of revealing as little about the Andros as I can to them - though Brian and I may have described them a bit too much last weekend - just so I can give them the "joy" of going up against a completely unknown, and weird, opponent.


The local SFB group did that to several people at once with the classic Juggernaut scenario from CL #1.

Each turn, we'd get a hint about the enemy technology depending on how close we got to it....

Very memorable!

(This was way back in 1991.)


I forgot about the Juggernaut! I may still have my Captain's Log #1. That would be a great "you have no idea what this ship does" scenario.
 
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