Aaron Neilson
United States
Mountain Home
Idaho
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"Unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats" -The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board. 1/21/16
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Troops of the U.S. Army 11th Airborne Division watch a plume of radioactive smoke rise November 1, 1951 after a blast at Yucca Flats, Nevada. (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)
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Hello everyone!

I grew up on SFB and played it for many years through college. I ended up giving away my tome of rules and errata to a friend because it simply took too long to play with the downtime between turns for energy allocation and the impulses with AP (and that is just a 1v1, forget about doing a squadron size battle).

Can anyone with experience with both series tell me how long a standard battle takes? I see the Babylon 5 page says 2 hours, is that for a smaller battle or for larger ones? I suspect that the rules will be shorter for this game, although I could be wrong. How are energy and weapons handled? Basically, what I am looking for is an SFB light game that captures the feeling and some of the decisions of SFB in a much shorter time frame.
 
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Greg Maynard
Australia
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There are a few answers to your question depending on which part of it one focuses on. In terms of ACTA:SF, it is a miniature based game without a board using direct measurement. It can be played with counters which I believe are provided in the rules package but is designed to be played with miniatures which have been completely redone just for this game (and are beautiful by the way). It is a fleet based game as opposed to SFB's primarily duel-based and has no energy allocation nor impulses. Players of both have responded that while a much quicker game it retains the feel of the ships from SFB. I can't find the quote at the moment but I saw one of the playtesters saying that games with new players and a few ships to a side were completing in a couple of hours. A good summary highlighting some differences can be found on ADB's page http://starfleetgames.com/Call%20To%20Arms.shtml.

In terms of an SFB-light game another alternative is Federation Commander. This was designed by the makers of SFB to have the same feel but be a lot quicker. Energy allocation is pay as you go during the turn. Damage allocation is one die roll for ten hits. There are only 8 phases per turn instead of 32 and only 4 choices of speed, yet with options to increase or decresase speed on individual impulses. Many players swear by it and it continues to grow and develop without the bloating that many see in SFB. Perhaps you would prefer that. Oh and if you like the miniatures the packaging is desgined to be used with either.
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Adam Rabuck
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Palm Harbor
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Another good Star Fleet Battles lite game FASA's Star Trek Starship Tactical Combat Simulator (the miniatures/counters game, not the online game). Its old and you won't find a lot of people playing it, but the rules are fairly simple and it retains the energy allocation (on a smaller scale). It takes place in the Star Trek movie world, not the Star Fleet Universe. This can be a maker or breaker for some people, but for me a D7 is a D7.
I got my copy off eBay for less than $20, but if you dig around the STSTCS online community, you can find everything you need to play on mediafire.
This site http://home.comcast.net/~ststcsolda/ has tons of ships converted for STSTCS.
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Aaron Neilson
United States
Mountain Home
Idaho
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"Unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats" -The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board. 1/21/16
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Troops of the U.S. Army 11th Airborne Division watch a plume of radioactive smoke rise November 1, 1951 after a blast at Yucca Flats, Nevada. (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)
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Thanks for the replies!

Perhaps Federation Commander is more of what I am looking for. I see that the playing time is 60 min. Is that accurate for 2 people playing a 1v1 CA battle? This what I generally played during my SFB years, but those could take several hours if there was a lot of standoff action (saber dancing). If a 1v1 duel can be less than that, getting several in a gaming session is very attractive.
 
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Bryan
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Benwood
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A squad scale ship battle 1 vs 1 could take up to 2 hours. Its really just depending on how you play.

In Fed Com they have Fleet scale and Squadron scale. A fleet scale battle will not take long at all. A squad scale battle takes longer. Squad scale is pretty much the same cards as SFB, but fleet scale is a dubbed down version of the ships, less weapons, and less warp drive.
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