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Re: Earthforce Sourcebook Question for Jon

From: Ground Zero Games <jon@g...>
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 1998 22:42:13 +0000
Subject: Re: Earthforce Sourcebook Question for Jon

>Ground Zero Games wrote:
>> Sorry, I don't agree with you. I won't say you are "wrong", because
this is
>> SF after all and we can all do pretty much as we want anyway. If you
>> that the original FT (and EFSB) fighter movement is a  better  model
for B5
>> games, then use it by all means. However, in FT itself the use of the
>> fighter movement gives (IMHO) a better balance to the game, and
>> more tactical thought on the part of the player; if you play well and
>> anticipate your opponent's actions, it is quite easy to place your
>> within their 6" reaction distance - of course, he is trying to
outthink YOU
>> at the same time.... :)
>> To me, this is the kind of thing that makes play more interesting,
>> than just a die-rolling exercise.
>> If you want PSB to "justify" it, then yes, fighters are faster - but
>> also have much smaller reserves of fuel, and once committed to an
>> vector thay may not have enough to radically change it in response to
>> sudden evasive move by the target ship.
>> Jon (GZG)
>The big problem I have is that I don't see this "sudden evasion
>maneuvering" happening in Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the
>Jedi, Battlestar Galatica, Robotech, Starblazers, or Babylon 5.  In
>fact, the only Sci Fi I know where it can happen is Star Fleet Battles.
>This is also one of the reasons why I don't play SFB.	I like fighter
>endurance.  I see this in Sci Fi.  If fighter defenses were beefed up,
>fighters wouldn't be out of line.  Take the gloves off the PDAF's and
>ADAF's.  Let them shoot at any fighter squadron in range.  This will
>force opponents to pick off escorts first before sending the fighters
>after what the escort is defending, or face massive fighter loss.

Some changes to the way ADAFs/PDAFs work are already in the pipeline for
the Fleetbook and later for FTIII, as the people who are in the
groups will verify. However, I think you are reading too much into the
fighter sequence. Given that, using the EFSB fighter move distances (24"
36" according to race), your fighter group can be placed anywhere you
within a very large circle, the chances of a major ship being able to
them completely are slim (especially with reaction-drive ships, whose
maneouvre envelope is much more restricted that normal FT movement)
the ship captain is very good/lucky and you make a serious mistake in
predicting his intentions. Besides, if you make him change his course
probably his plans to attack your ships) in order to avoid your
haven't you already achieved part of the fighters' mission without
firing a
The use of this move sequence makes both players have to plan ahead a
little, rather than simply reacting to events; OK, so it may not be
as it happens on TV, but if you think about it most of the space battles
TV shows and movies would simply not work very well as games - they are
simply impressive plot devices to advance the storyline.

If you want to accurately simulate Star Trek battles, for example, "as
on TV", then you would have to have a Technobabble Table that is rolled
in the last turn of the game, all the results being things like:
"Geordi LaForge manages to reconfigure the Captain's Bidet into an
emergency trans-photon-tetrion-mogrifer-emitter, links it to the main
sensor dish with a roll of duct tape and a pair of Deanna Troi's tights,
and immediately destroys all opposing ships in wonderful CGI effects.
of game. Roll Credits...."

[It's late, and I've just got back from the pub, OK?]

We could probably argue this one round for ever, so I think we'll have
agree to disagree on it. ;)

Jon (GZG)

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