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Re: FTIII Rules Tryout

From: It's like I've always said - you can get more with a kind word and a 2x4 than with just a kind word <KOCHTE@s...>
Date: Mon, 09 Feb 1998 21:47:58 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: FTIII Rules Tryout

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

None lost? Wow, did you guys have bad die rolls, or just play
real conservative? I haven't had games go anywhere near that
long w/out losing lots o'ships, be them FTII rules or FTIII test
rules. Ships die real fast in my games (okay, so they're usually
mine ;)

>     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.

Can happen in FTII, also. Is your concern that capitals are now weaker

How are you differentiating cruisers from capitals? In the current FTIII
system, there is no differentiation per se between 'escorts',
and 'capitals' as there is in FTII.

>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.)

Can explain what it is you mean by 'spinal mount'? Are you talking
forward-arc only, or literally spinal mount where you have to line up
perfectly with your target? If the former, with a thrust 4 ship (a
4 battleship, even! :), you should have reasonable opportunities to get
something back in arc (unless they're faster ;-). If the latter, that's
not an FTIII design. I don't usually find it much trouble bringing my
forward-arc guns to bear (except when going against Aaron's broadsides
fleet ;)

>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.)

It actually allows for some things to make more sense (rear-firing), and
makes for some more interesting situations/maneuverings (the 6-arc bit).
I don't know anything about moving FT to a boardgame or hex system.

>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.)

SMBs (salvo missle batts). I've seen these things used to great
effectiveness, with not a lot of guessing involved. Once you know
how to use them (bracket your target(s), for example), they can
become very devastating.

>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?

The reroll bit applies to all weapons, and only under certain
and doesn't make anything any more complicated, really. I find it a fun
addition to the game - makes ships blow up faster! (well, I like it
Aaron's rolling against my ships, then I don't like it so much ;). The
rule (for those who don't know) is basically the same as that in the
Force Sourcebook. Go nuts.

>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.)

In FTII the problem was actually pretty significant. A-batts were
more efficient than any of the other batteries offered, unless you were
the C-batts in anti-fighter/missile mode. They've been balanced out now
come in line better with the rest of the battery series. Just got to
the design your ships. If you try applying the old FTII theories of ship
to FTIII ships, you might find them to be weaker overall (I do, at any

My $0.02 worth.  :)

If the conquest of a great peak brings moments of exultation and bliss,
which in the monotonous, materialistic existence of modern times nothing
else can approach, it also presents great dangers.  It is not the goal
*grand alpinisme* to face peril, but it is one of the tests one must 
undergo to deserve the joy of rising for an instant above the state of 
crawling grubs.
				       -Lionel Terray, 1965

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