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Re: Directional screens (armor dropped)

From: "Jared E Noble" <JNOBLE2@m...>
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 10:34:05 -1000
Subject: Re: Directional screens (armor dropped)

>>Schoon said:
>>I'm sorry gentlemen, but this smacks way too much of SFB. I got out of
>>that game because of complexity like that. It allows for too many
>>rules lawyers and loophole searchers.

I think your SFB flashbacks are distorting your perception of these
overcomplicating them if you will.
Yes there is a small, superficial similarity with SFB.	But consider
before FT, SFB had plotted maneuvering of spaceships on a table or game
board - So does this mean FT already smacks of SFB? I don't think so. 
difference is in how ideas are implemented, what effect they have on
play, and how they impact the complexity of the game.

Looking at the directional screens:
Your ship _might_ have better defensive ability in some directions than
others, thus maneuvering defensively becomes a concern (or as I prefer,
'Option')  This is a defensively analogous to the fact that your ship
already has offensive abilities that vary with direction (i.e. fire
The modifications to vanilla rules shielding is minimal, and absolutely
ship design is invalidated.  All-round screens are still perfectly
In fact the only change to design them is to draw a couple of arcs
the screen icon to show which arcs it covers.

Implementation: seems smooth and easy to me -

Effect on Play: opens new defensive abilities, as well as offensive
abilities as you can attempt to attack through weakened or destroyed
screens.  Note that since many weapons ignore screens, and screens
generally still allow damage through to the ship, this will not be the
of make-or-break effect as in SFB, but still could help a skillful
increase his odds of scoring more damage. Also, I can have increased
defense for part of my ship at the cost of reduced defense elsewhere. 
may be good for me on the attack, but where this most quickly turns
me is in larger fleet battles where flanking becomes a more viable

Impact to complexity: Effectively _none_ - You can measure incoming arcs
easily as fire arcs.  You can see at a glance exactly what shields are
operational, so level of defense is clear-cut.

In all, this is _not_ very SFB like, despite superficial similarity.


>Hi all.  Normally I just lurk, taking in the discussion and snagging
>things I find useful.	What a prolific bunch you are!	My reason for
>dropping cloak is that I agree with schoon about the complexity of SFB,
>for it is the same thing that drove me to FT.	I've been considering
>converting SFB to FT, hopefully to have something up on my web site
>before too long.  Would anyone here be interested in contributing or
>testing?  If so, please let me know.
>Thanks.  Execute cloak.

Actually I have been sporadically working on something along these
for a similar reason.  I know several people who play SFB, and I did for
while as well.	We actually started a campaign.  But midway through the
first battle (with 30+ ships per side, mostly cruiser or better) we gave
in frustration - no time for things like that in SFB.  (So Schoon, I do
know what you are talking about.)  Since I have been unsuccessful in
getting others to play FT, I thought perhaps converting SFB stuff to FT
might help attract some of them.

I have put together a few spreadsheets for calculating / comparing
ship sizes in SFB for conversion to FT.  It currently contains the SFB
ships from the volume 1 captains edition and their representative masses
for FT/MT.  I need to play around with more system masses though, then
convert the masses to FTFB - but that should go fairly easily.

I'd be glad to help when and where I can - There is a huge player base
there waiting to be Illuminated! ;)


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