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Star Fleet Battles Starships

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

Do they trade shots at FTL? I had the impression the fights took place at impulse speed' date=' with the scale being 10,000km per hex...[/quote']

 

I agree with Peregrine that you would want to use SFB where possible' date=' but in order to allow coordination with shipboard actions, you need a 12 impulse chart, which I have provided below...[/quote']

 

Thank you, that is very useful.

 

The problem with SFB, as presented, is the scale. Yes, each hex is 10K kilometers. And a ship moving at lightspeed is moving one hex per turn. Speed of light being +/-300,000km per second, one second of game time is thirty turns. In addition, each turn is 32 impulses long, and impulses are pretty much "turns" in themselves. Each impulse the captain must decide to re-allocate power, activate various ship's systems, decide whether to fire weapons, etc. In effect, there are 960 turns per second. :nonp:

 

Who's manning these ships, Scalosians?

 

ADB put out some rationalization about time dilation, but I don't find it a very good one.

 

This is one reason I started this thread, to try to maintain an SFB feel (I really like the SFB version of Trek) while cutting Suspension of Disbelief down before it dies of asphyxiation.

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

Christopher:

 

I will give you this, the particles from a phaser would probably spread out. I hadn't thought of that. However, I don't know if the torpedoes actually have self sustained warp fields as a standard in the show.

 

Next, I'm not so concerned with what the Federation did or didn't do in show, but with what they could be reasonably expected to be able to do. In show, they had access to Warp tech, clocking tech, and even 'phazing' tech that made their ships untouchable. All that mixed with a little ingenuity in the way of Bio-weapons, chem-weapons, or other such leads to the effective ability to launch planetary scale attacks from immense distances that are nigh unstoppable.

 

Sure, it never happened in show. But then again, such things would lead to story lines that were not entertaining and disenfranchise the viewers. Much the same way we ignore a lot of the implications of magic on things in our fantasy settings.

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

Erk, been to long to answer, as I don't exactly grok the question. Era? Uh... well. I mostly played around the early 80's.

Hydrans just worked well for me. Fighters are what let you get close enough for a proper knife-fight with your Hellbores & Fusion guns

 

Edit: tho I also played Gorn quite a bit, to be fair.

 

What I meant was, what technology/Star date? I always preferred the early years (and even The Early Years module) before SFB became a modern surface warfare game masquerading as an SF game. Pre General War? During the General War? Post?

 

As an aside, I recall one campaign where the Hydran declared that all fighter pilots were required to be aspirants to the Royal Throne. "We git rid of several thousand every campaign." :sneaky:

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

Do they trade shots at FTL? I had the impression the fights took place at impulse speed' date=' with the scale being 10,000km per hex. If ships are moving at different multiples of light speed, I have no idea how one would map out such a battle("Okay, you're travelling at Warp 3, thats 27 light seconds per second, and you're travelling at Warp 6, that's 216 light seconds per second...")[/quote']

 

I'll go back and dig out my 1e FASA stuff, but IIRC they had a very "literary" way of handling it. If your speed was within two warp factors of the target ship, you can keep up/get a lock on/fire at the enemy. I don't recall much beyond that.

 

As for FTL combat in Trek, there is some disagreement. (I'm of the "yes there is" camp, but I also think balrogs have wings, so there! :P). The original series ep Journey to Babel doesn't make sense if the Enterprise is traveling sublight: Why not just go to warp for a few seconds, then kick all these quarreling dignitaries out the airlock at Babel? The standard way of dealing with anomalies and contradictions is to declare a certain episode non canon; But Babel is a core episode of Trek canon, and ignoring it would be a lot harder than ignoring say, Spock's Brain.

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

However' date=' I don't know if the torpedoes actually have self sustained warp fields as a standard in the show. [/quote']

According to memory alpha they are, and they only have thigns that are canon:

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Photon_torpedo

 

And warp use of poton topredoes can be seen in this two videos:

 

Around 3 minutes into this:

 

And around 1:15 into this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zonqRRcFkzk&feature=related

 

And this one shows energy weapon usage while at warpseed on clsoe range at around 40 seconds:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LxjotPIRZg&feature=related

 

 

Next, I'm not so concerned with what the Federation did or didn't do in show, but with what they could be reasonably expected to be able to do. In show, they had access to Warp tech, clocking tech, and even 'phazing' tech that made their ships untouchable. All that mixed with a little ingenuity in the way of Bio-weapons, chem-weapons, or other such leads to the effective ability to launch planetary scale attacks from immense distances that are nigh unstoppable.

 

Sure, it never happened in show. But then again, such things would lead to story lines that were not entertaining and disenfranchise the viewers. Much the same way we ignore a lot of the implications of magic on things in our fantasy settings.

Yes they had all this stuff, but how often did it backfire? The pegasus was destroyed by it's cloaking/phasing device, wich shows it was still years from being reliable (and that wasn't even at test at Warpspeed, only sublight. There is no telling if it would even works at warpseed/hides your warpfield). And a small probe/ship might not have the energy nessesary to power it (the Enterprise E was a big cruiser) or something similar. Plus it takes time to miniaturise such things (we only saw the generator and they needed around 6 hours to install it even for less than one minute of phased flight).

 

As with bioweapons, there are so many things that can go wrong. First you need detailed information about the species. Then you have to develop it. Both dangerous and quite likely to be noticed by enemy intelligence.

And the deployment? There are even more things that can go wrong: There is an entire ecosphere to react with, an entire planet full of bacteria families to mix. You virus could just as well cross itself with something ingenious and become lethal to your people or every species. And what if the planet is frequented by extra-planetary beigns, wich could bring in viruses from the entire quadrant?

And even if it didn't, are other species willing to risk your people bringing some new deadly virus to them? Or would they place your entire hegemony under quarantine once you send your first soldier down to the surface? What happend during the Klingon Augment experiment and how it backfired should be a clear warning to anyone trying to develop and deploy a viral weapon...

 

As for FTL combat in Trek' date=' there is some disagreement. (I'm of the "yes there is" camp, but I also think balrogs have wings, so there! :P). The original series ep [i']Journey to Babel[/i] doesn't make sense if the Enterprise is traveling sublight: Why not just go to warp for a few seconds, then kick all these quarreling dignitaries out the airlock at Babel? The standard way of dealing with anomalies and contradictions is to declare a certain episode non canon; But Babel is a core episode of Trek canon, and ignoring it would be a lot harder than ignoring say, Spock's Brain.

The original series wasn't very consistent about technology use. The use of the Transporter to create and good a evil kirk shows that cleary. The enemy ship was way faster than the enterprise and as far as i can tell they went to sublight to fight. And I am not certain if constitution class ships could use their shields and warpdrive at the same time, but it seemed they fought at sublight (propably because they were better of that way). As for their enemy, the used a form of hit and run: Run twoards them at high warp (8-10), drop to vey fast impulse and make a few hits, jump to warp again.

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

Strange that the Tholian is rated so low--I always did pretty well if I had a web caster. Oh well.

 

I'm also surprised to see the ISC rated so highly; I prefer ships that can, like, turn.

 

Thw Web Caster creates a serious alteration in the tactical situation. If you don't have a plan for dealing with it, it can derail you completely...but if you HAVE planned for it, you can usually mitigate the effects to the point where it's just another weapon.

ISC ships are bigger and tougher than their equivalents in other fleets - an ISC Star Cruiser can take significantly more punishment than a Gorn CA, for example. They can also avoid the limitations of their bulkiness by clever use of mid-turn speed changes and their unique rear-firing plasma torpedoes.

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

Yeah, mid-turn speed changes are really effective--borderline cheating, almost--but I eventually got much too lazy to bother with them.

 

Saber dancing with a Neo-Tholian was always good fun since I can ding the other guy with phasers and he can't hit me with anything. Timing the web caster is critical though--as soon as you put it down you can expect the other player to turn away, so you again have to pay real close attention to the impulse chart and drop it at a point where you can still close a couple of hexes to get into a better phaser range band before your opponent can flee.

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

 

 

The original series wasn't very consistent about technology use. The use of the Transporter to create and good a evil kirk shows that cleary. The enemy ship was way faster than the enterprise and as far as i can tell they went to sublight to fight. And I am not certain if constitution class ships could use their shields and warpdrive at the same time, but it seemed they fought at sublight (propably because they were better of that way). As for their enemy, the used a form of hit and run: Run twoards them at high warp (8-10), drop to vey fast impulse and make a few hits, jump to warp again.

 

Your scenario implies that the Enterprise dropped out of warp to duel with the Orion.

 

This only works if

1) Shields do not work at FTL, or were to weak to withstand shots from the Orion,

&

2) There was no maneuver in FTL.

 

Else, why would Kirk bother to go sublight? Just make a basic evasive maneuver, then "floor it" and scoot away leaving the Orion firing forward, with the effect you talk about up thread.

 

Re the transporter. Even as a kid watching the show first run, I said "They made a mistake going with a replicator concept. They should have used the gate idea for their transporters." Transporters are short range so there isn't a "We're short of fuel, beam in another load from Star Fleet Command" option. On the other hand, I warned the TV (it didn't listen) that people were going to ask "Why don't you just send duplicates? Why do you need to destroy the original to make a copy?" And the big one "Do you realize all the mayhem involved once somebody figures out the implications of mix n match transporter tech?" (OK, for story telling, this isn't exactly a bad thing).

 

BTW, I never really hated Wesley Crusher. I always considered William T. Ryker to be the poster child for future Planned Parenthood. But I really liked W. Thomas Ryder. Go fig. ;)

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

I think the Space Opera game had FTL combat in it. I seem to recall weapon ranges expressed in tens and hundreds of light seconds. Max weapon range was on the order of a few AUs!

I believe the actual combat was sublight (though, iirc, some late tech fighters could exceed c in N space), but yes -- the main weapons on higher tech heavy craft had ridiculous reach. I believe the SFX was a combination of the old EE 'Doc' Smith 'Primary' beams combined with transporter bombs (using warp technology). The ship warp-ported an anti-matter explosion at its intended target.

 

I may have to dig out my old books at some point to check...

 

(in my first Champs game, the GM used Space Opera rules anytime things went into space)

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

Your scenario implies that the Enterprise dropped out of warp to duel with the Orion.

 

This only works if

1) Shields do not work at FTL, or were to weak to withstand shots from the Orion,

&

2) There was no maneuver in FTL.

 

One other possibility is that it was worthwhile to direct power to the shields instead of to the warp drive. You can do this in SFB; it's really inefficient but sometimes it's worth doing.

 

Re the transporter. Even as a kid watching the show first run, I said "They made a mistake going with a replicator concept. They should have used the gate idea for their transporters." Transporters are short range so there isn't a "We're short of fuel, beam in another load from Star Fleet Command" option. On the other hand, I warned the TV (it didn't listen) that people were going to ask "Why don't you just send duplicates? Why do you need to destroy the original to make a copy?" And the big one "Do you realize all the mayhem involved once somebody figures out the implications of mix n match transporter tech?" (OK, for story telling, this isn't exactly a bad thing).

 

Transporter tech is very obviously magic and doesn't hold up to thirty seconds' worth of analytic thought.

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

Your scenario implies that the Enterprise dropped out of warp to duel with the Orion.

 

This only works if

1) Shields do not work at FTL, or were to weak to withstand shots from the Orion,

&

2) There was no maneuver in FTL.

 

Else, why would Kirk bother to go sublight? Just make a basic evasive maneuver, then "floor it" and scoot away leaving the Orion firing forward, with the effect you talk about up thread.

The problem is: The target was faster. Even at warp, they would have be overturned and once the enemy was in front of them: Flying into a Phaser beam at warpspeed is not a good idea, for the same reason firing a phaser beam at warp speed is not one very effective attack.

Also, we don't even know if the Enterprise could go to warp. In some stories warpdrives and gravity fields don't work well togehter and they could have been en route to thier "warppoint" while the smaler ship with his fewer concerns for safety/longelivity and lower mass might have been able to. Or perhaps the first-strike damaged enterprises warpdrive?

 

And of course there was the question abotu shieldstrenght: When you can only use half your shiledpower at warpspeed and are beign pounded, would you try it agaisnt someone faster than you?

 

Re the transporter. Even as a kid watching the show first run' date=' I said "They made a mistake going with a replicator concept. They should have used the gate idea for their transporters." Transporters are short range so there isn't a "We're short of fuel, beam in another load from Star Fleet Command" option. On the other hand, I warned the TV (it didn't listen) that people were going to ask "Why don't you just send duplicates? Why do you need to destroy the original to make a copy?" And the big one "Do you realize all the mayhem involved once somebody figures out the implications of mix n match transporter tech?" (OK, for story telling, this isn't exactly a bad thing).[/quote']

That is simply answered: E=mc²

Every mater is energy and creating mater needs energy equal to what would be freed by a complete conversion of the same ammount of matter. And we talk about gigantic energy ammounts, even for Star Trek*. So the only way transporters and replicators can work is by converting mater to energy, then using that energy to craete the matter.

So, even Replicators need raw materials and they propably use waste material for this**. Of course no process is 100% energy efficient, wich is why they still need a lot of power to beam or replciate.

 

 

*From wikipedia, one gram of matter totally converted to energy equals:

89.9 terajoules (about 63 TJ where released by the hiroshima bomb)

25.0 million kilowatt-hours (≈25 GW·h)

21.5 billion kilocalories (≈21 Tcal)

85.2 billion BTUs

 

**Not any more gross than what happens on a planet.

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

Originally Posted by megaplayboy View Post

I think the Space Opera game had FTL combat in it. I seem to recall weapon ranges expressed in tens and hundreds of light seconds. Max weapon range was on the order of a few AUs!

 

I believe the actual combat was sublight (though' date=' iirc, some late tech fighters could exceed [i']c[/i] in N space), but yes -- the main weapons on higher tech heavy craft had ridiculous reach. I believe the SFX was a combination of the old EE 'Doc' Smith 'Primary' beams combined with transporter bombs (using warp technology). The ship warp-ported an anti-matter explosion at its intended target.

 

I may have to dig out my old books at some point to check...

 

(in my first Champs game, the GM used Space Opera rules anytime things went into space)

 

Haven't replied to this yet, because I am just dug up my old SO about an hour ago. Lots of stuff I had forgotten. Combat is STL. The STL drive is the FTL drive crippled: If you accelerate to LS, you enter warp, so ships' speeds are rated in light seconds per five minute turn, with some kind of nerfing max speed based on ship's class. Range is measured in light seconds, haven't read beyond that.

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

One other possibility is that it was worthwhile to direct power to the shields instead of to the warp drive. You can do this in SFB; it's really inefficient but sometimes it's worth doing.

 

Heh, like plinking away at oncoming missiles. My fave in the inefficient category was when a ship had to release a type R plasma, and the only target was a hapless shuttlecraft!

 

Transporter tech is very obviously magic and doesn't hold up to thirty seconds' worth of analytic thought.

 

A year or two ago, a CSI NY ep took place at a Not!trek convention (right down to a green dancing girl. They even managed to get in a "He's dead, Jim" and "I'm a Doctor!"). At the end of the ep, the POV character asked an ethnic Greek character whether she had enjoyed science fiction when she was growing up.

 

"Oh, yes! I particularly liked the one about the talking horse."

" Mr. Ed? That's FANTASY!"

"Erm? Well, an alternate history where horses developed intelligence and the ability to talk is quite possible. Now, Faster Than Light travel? Now, That's fantasy!"

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

Yeah' date=' mid-turn speed changes are really effective--borderline cheating, almost--but I eventually got much too lazy to bother with them.[/quote']I found them to be more of a waste of time doing the recalculating. Time better spent just blowing the other ships apart.

 

The ISC weren't meant for single ship engagements. They were all about their formations.

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

That is simply answered: E=mc²

Every mater is energy and creating mater needs energy equal to what would be freed by a complete conversion of the same ammount of matter. And we talk about gigantic energy ammounts, even for Star Trek*. So the only way transporters and replicators can work is by converting mater to energy, then using that energy to craete the matter.

 

So you scan your crewmen, then use some random matter you've got sitting around for the sending process, instead of THEM. Yeah, you need some mass to move around, but nothing says it has to be the same mass that got scanned.

 

Also, (not that if affects this discussion much) the transporter, according to the technical manuals, breaks the transported object down into subatomic particles, but doesn't convert it to energy. Obviously, the show doesn't pay much attention to this.

 

It's also worth noting that a Star Trek transporter kills anyone who uses it, then creates a new person on the other end who THINKS they're the original. No wonder Bones didn't like them. Don't think this is true? Well, there's absolutely nothing, according to the description of their operation, that prevents the operator from waiting until the duplicate has been confirmed to have arrived safely before disintegrating the original. How do you think Riker would react to getting fizzled out of existence after hearing his duplicate call up from the surface to say he made it safely?

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

So you scan your crewmen, then use some random matter you've got sitting around for the sending process, instead of THEM. Yeah, you need some mass to move around, but nothing says it has to be the same mass that got scanned.

 

Also, (not that if affects this discussion much) the transporter, according to the technical manuals, breaks the transported object down into subatomic particles, but doesn't convert it to energy. Obviously, the show doesn't pay much attention to this.

 

It's also worth noting that a Star Trek transporter kills anyone who uses it, then creates a new person on the other end who THINKS they're the original. No wonder Bones didn't like them. Don't think this is true? Well, there's absolutely nothing, according to the description of their operation, that prevents the operator from waiting until the duplicate has been confirmed to have arrived safely before disintegrating the original. How do you think Riker would react to getting fizzled out of existence after hearing his duplicate call up from the surface to say he made it safely?

Riker didn't like finding out he had a duplicate that ended up sucking face with Troi.

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

So, first off, how about setting the scale to one inch equals 300,000 km, and one turn equals one second?

 

This gets rid of the Scalosians being the only effective crew for a starship problem.

 

Keep the turn mechanism of SFB, or use SPD to change directions?

 

Should we keep the maximum flight per turn at 30 (or 31 or 32*) inches, or can we go ahead and scale up to whatever warp the ship is capable of?

 

*BTW, I wank this to say that 30 is .99c, 31 is .999c, and 32 is 1c. Just different enough to give a race at near light speed.

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

So' date=' first off, how about setting the scale to one inch equals 300,000 km, and one turn equals one second?[/quote']

That would mean every inch is a light-second. But to be useable effectively, phasers, disruptors and co. should be fired on a range where they don't have a complete second of delay. I think this would be a good starting point for a Custom Megascale/Warpscale Advantage.

For sublight flight I wouldn't go higher than 1-2 km per hex/inch (the Sovereign class is about 700m long; Galaxy around 642.5 meters; constitution barely 300m so it could qualify for being "small"). I think 1 km would be best at start, then look for a megascale/warpscale model that makes 31c not to expensive.

 

I really like how Star Trek Online did it:

Normal Impulse roughly equals combat movement in HERO, "Full Impulse" is Non-Combat Movement while warp is in the area of Megascale.

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Re: Star Fleet Battles Starships

 

Well, if you watch the shows, you'll see that the Trek verse has absolutely abysmal targeting systems, capable of routinely missing a starship-sized target at ranges of only a couple kilometers. Based on the on-screen evidence, shooting at something a whole light-second away would be pointless. :P

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