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FTIII Rules Tryout

From: John Leary <realjtl@s...>
Date: Sun, 08 Feb 1998 20:37:17 -0800
Subject: FTIII Rules Tryout

Jon T.
     I wish to say up front that I am having a bad week and 
am overstressed.   So please take this with a grain of salt
if I look to be going a bit too far.

Note:	The following comments a based on a PARTIAL use of the 
FTIII design and combat rules.

     The results of the monthly club meeting follow:
Two FT games were presented one was FTII (By John Fox) and
the second was FTIII (By Phil Pournelle)

John Fs game was an attack on a station protecting a system
with a supporting fleet.   The attacking fleet consisted of
5 capitals, 6 fighters, and 17 supporting ships.   
The defending force consisted of the station, 5 capitals,
9 fighters, and 14 supporting ships.
     The result was basically a draw, the attacking fleet
badly damaged the defending fleet and had no weapons 
usable against a three screen station.	 The attacking 
fleet (including me) withdrew
     The point of the above is that the entire game took
three and a half hours, start to finish, with more than 
fourty ships on the board.

Phil P. presented an FTIII based game using the FTIII design
rules.	 The points on each side: 830 +/- 5.   The attacking
force was 2 capitals, 2 cruisers, 2 destroyers.   The defenders
had 1 capital, 3 cruisers, 4 destroyers. (As best I recall, I 
never saw the defenders sheets.)   
     The result was once again a draw (stratigic victory to the 
defense).   Not one ship was lost in combat in a game that lasted
almost three hours.  (two attacking DDs were down to the last 
hit points.)   
     The point of the above is that the game while well run was
rather dull.
Notable points: 
1) Cruisers will carry two screens making them (defensively) the 
   same as capitals.
2) Spinal mount weapons reguardless of power are of no value if
   they cannot be brought to bear on a target.	(Sounds like the 
   NSL is going to lose big time to me.)
   The battleship (that I Used) had 4 'A' batteries in a forward
   only (spinal) mount,  these were used only once (during the initial
   close to combat) at medium range with a thrust 4 ship.   Never again
   during the game did I use the spinal or throw more than 9 dice
   at any time.   (My secondaries were 3 'B' and 3 'C' batteries
   with six arcs.)
3) The change to six sixty degree firing arcs and allowing ships
   to fire out the rear arc does not really improve the game.
   (It will make the conversion to a boardgame/hex move system easier.)
4) The SLM (salvo lunched missiles) look like a form of remote
   sub-munitions pack.	 One must wonder why the SLM cannot be used
   in a direct fire mode?   (I personally dislike the guessing game
   targetting concept.)
5) It sounds a if a number of the new weapons will require at 
   least one reroll to reach the final damage number.
   Is the added complexity worth the effort, or is FT just going 
   down the Star Fleet Battles/GW road?
6) The 'A' batteries have nowhere near the distructive ability
   that the point cost/mass values indicate.   (A sledgehammer
   solution to what was at most a marginal problem.)

     Others may add thier comments to what I have written, comments
from the other side will have a different perspective (and correct
errors I may have made).
Bye for now,

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