G-Rack Fed for Council Tournament

Fed G-Rack TCC?

Buried in the tournament description:

"We will allow the experimental G-Rack Federation TCC into our tournament."

What is this? Is there a SSD online?

Tue, 07/28/2009 - 10:40 — The_Rock
Not Yet

Some things still need to be worked out/explained.

Eventually it will be easy as it is just adding an Drone-G box to the SSD. It does need to be decided what will/can go in it.

1. 2 Drones, 4 ADD

2. Any option the Fed wants (from 8 ADD, 0 drones to 0 ADD, 4 Drones)

Then, on the drones, can the Fed:

1. Use Type VIs?

2. Use Type IV?

So there are some details left out there, but the plan is to allow the Fed to have an G rack in some configuration.

Tue, 07/28/2009 - 12:54 — RushAss
Fed G rack

I like option 1 with the 2 type 1 drones and 4 ADDs myself.

Here's a wacky thought - I knew I was going to take the Fed for months now (I basically fly 1 ship a year and this year is the year of the Fed) and I'm wondering if I can take the original Fed without the G rack. If I have to face another Fed, then we can either agree that both ships have the G rack or neither one does. I guess I've got an underdog thing going on lately. However if we really need data for play testing purposes, I'll *grudgingly* plop a G rack on my Fed.

Baseline of Discussion

Here is the official ruling from the Tournament Coordinator (more on that later).

There has been lots of debate about this on the ADB BBS. By my reading, the general consensus is/was that the way to go is a Limited G-Rack with the only load being 2 Type-I Speed 20 drones & 4 ADD rounds.

Please have all discussion assume this is the baseline, and what you should expect to see at Council, unless I am so persuaded by discussion here (or on the ADB BBS) that I feel compelled to make it something else.

Bakija, I think you were the leading voice for this. Please chime in. Is my memory serving me correctly?


p.s. Jeez, do you believe that Villa guy?!?... Asking for Gorn Carronades (sp?)! Talk about giving an inch and taking a mile...

The suggestion that was

The suggestion that was floated by me was a G-rack with 2xIM, 4xADD, no reloads, no changes in loadout.

G Rack

Yeah, Peter's idea of the 2 type 1s and 4 ADDs with no reloads or alterations sounds about right.

As for the corronade, perhaps a 1 shot corronade for each F torp? It would certainly add flavor to the ship without overpowering it IMO.


Yeah, sure, might as well ask. I have to get while the gettin' is good. and..... who ever said the gorn with the corronade was overpowering? Do it!!!! Do it NOW!!! :)

G rack

I'm confused...

Paul, isn't it your position that the Fed is just fine the way it is and the issue is that it has a learning cliff?

If so, what is the Fed losing to get the G rack?

re: G-Rack load-out

First, I agree with having both a limited load-out and no reloads. (though am doubtful about this solution as a whole, nonetheless....)

However, I am concerned about the only allowed load-out being one that helps against the ships that the FED already is advantaged against (ORI, HYD) while not helping much against the ships the FED is weak against (Big Plasma).

In other words, I would like to see the FED have the opportunity to have Type VI drones, which can be of some use against cloaking opponents.

Idea 1: vs. BP only, replace up to 2 ADD with type VI drones [I'm not a huge fan of the opponent specific stuff, but it's an option]

Idea 2: Can replace 1 type 1 with 2 type VI drones [Still limits to 2 spaces of offensive weaponry, Sting-2's notwithstanding, but both allows for an anti-cloak loadout and allows for some minor "trickery" with drone launches]

Yes, it is.

This is not my suggestion. I actually think it is a mistake to give the Fed more because I think it is good enough as is. I doubt a 2+4 G-rack will change things too much, except against the Klink and GBS, but I still think it is more likely to cause, rather than alleviate balance issues.

I posted the suggestions others have provided. Nothing should be read into that relating to whether I think it is a good idea. It is a popular idea, and probably a bad one, in the upper NY area.

In all likelihood, I will take this Fed at Co5N because I think it is too good. It won't help you win a game where your dice sucked, but it will likely push a perfectly good, mid-to-high end TC squarely into the high-end.


Andy you wuss. Grow a pair and overrun the fed.... you WILL win that exchange. :) (Fed advantaged my sweet patootie!)

However, giving the Fed a G rack does hurt my beloved Hydran. I am pretty sure I'm in the Paul camp that the Fed is balanced, just not much fun.

re: Fed-Hydran

LOL! No worries, Larry - it's actually my favorite match-up to play, but I've found that, in making an argument, if you base it off "conventional wisdom", people can focus on your argument, not that fact that you dare disagree with the masses :-)

I still fondly remember a game against a Fed in which he had to make 3 successful HETs to beat me :-)

re: G-Rack load-out

I'm not a fan of putting any offensive drones in it. I do sorta like the idea of some type VI's though.


The problem with the Fed is that it is fairly balanced overall (see Ace-v-Ace stats) but is unbalanced in nearly every individual matchup!! (poor vs opponents with seeking weapons, good vs direct fire ships)

Add a G-Rack and change the 360's to RH.

This would make the ship better vs seeking weapons and less effective vs direct fire opponents, therefore making the ship about as strong as it is now but more balanced in the individual match ups!

It's also a historical design (even more so than the current Fed)

-Jason G

The g-rack is a good idea

I definitely want to see the Fed get the g-rack, and why does the the rack have to be modified? Sheesh, give the player the ability to put all antidrones, or 6 standards, or 4 standards and a heavy. Let's see how it goes. I love all these people saying that it does not need the upgrade to be balanced, but then I would bet good money that the SAME people hardly EVER play the fed competitively because they know it's a dog. Yeah, yeah, sure it could jackpot, but that hardly ever happens. Those drone users, they love their edge and they wont give it up easily. I guess it's too much to ask if we make them have to waste firepower shooting down drones.

re: "Fed too weak"

People don't play the Fed because it is too luck dependent, not because it isn't a balanced ship. And, by luck dependent, I mean that it can win or lose a game more readily due to luck o' the dice than any other ship.

Give the Fed an unlimited G-rack and it would rule the tourney scene, hands down.

Several comments

1. A g-rack has 4 spaces - so you apparently want to give the Fed something more than a g-rack.

2. I have been very clear over the - well - decades why I don't play the Fed in tournaments and it has nothing to do with it being too weak. In any single game, The Fed is quite good. It is reasonably balanced against almost every other ship, though it has a few heavily advantaged fights and a few slightly disadvantaged to disadvantaged fights. It's biggest problem exists now only in limited form - the Online Single Elimination Tournaments.

Way back when, when the only Tournament I cared about (Origins) required seven consecutive victories and then the RATs came along and required six consecutive wins. Now Origins is Patrol - so only three consecutive victories are required (well, why even bother talking about Origins anymore after this year's Gold Hat "Saturday Patrol"). The largest f-t-f tournament (Co5N) is patrol and thus requires only two or three consecutive wins. The RATs these day generally require only five consecutive wins - though five consecutive wins is still a tall order.

The reason the Fed was "weak" in tournament play had everything to do with how easy it was to lose - even to an opponent against whom you would normally be considerably better and nothing to do with the actual balance of the ship in any one fight. As a result of being so dependent on dice, the Fed was simply not a viable option in a multi-round single elimination tournament.

3. The inclusion of the g-rack likely "over balances" the Fed, thus I will be taking it at Co5N. People usually ignore me or argue the point when I make such a claim. Heck, in 2002, the crowd mostly chuckled at me as if I was joking when I responded "a 2-Gatt, 2-P-1 WAX" to the question of "what is the next broken ship you are going to fly. So far I am at 100%. I'll be right about the Fed too, it's just that the randomness of the Photon may hide it.

Well, maybe not 100%

Remember the Hydran and the new set of fighter tactics. *poke, poke*


Here's my take on the current status of the Fed TCC.

Here's my take on the current status of the Fed TCC.

When I first started playing tourney SFB in the early 90's, the Fed was seen as a solid ship. Some even viewed it as scary. Over the years, many things have weakened it. Basically, new ships where added that are tough opponents for the Fed and many ships that the Fed was advantaged against got improved. There where a few things that helped the Fed as well. A few ships where introduced that are favorable match ups for the Fed and one ship that where poor match ups for the Fed where downgraded. Let's have a look.

Good things for the Fed

  • The Orion losing it's 2nd gat. The Fed was already tough on the Orion, and this made it worse. However, the Orion got those wing phaser 3s, so I consider that a wash.
  • The WYN AUX had the restrictions on it's option mounts increased. The Aux still owns the Fed, but at least we no longer have the "Fed Death Sentence" package of FFGG.
  • The LDR ship was introduced and it is a match up that favors the Fed.
  • The Seltorian ship was introduced and it is a match up that favors the Fed.
  • The Tholian ATC ship was introduced and it is a match up that favors the Fed.

So far so good. The above look promising, but keep in mind that none of the favorable match ups for the Fed added above are considered to be walkovers for the Fed except for maybe the LDR.

Bad things for the Fed

  • The Fed hates Romulans. Not only did ADB introduce another Romulan to the Tournament, they introduced TWO of them!
  • The WYN Shark was introduced and it is a bad match up for the Fed.
  • The ISC was sort of a tough match up for the Fed, but the addition of the "loose a plasma F torp on a drone hit" rule made the ISC a real bitch for the Fed.
  • The Fed was favored against the Hydran, but the Hydran got a 360 p1 which helped close the gap a bit.
  • The Fed was favored against the Neo THolian, but the Neo got 2 additional warp which helped close the gap a bit.
  • The Fed was favored against the Lyran, but the Lyran got it's p3s upgraded to 360s and also got the 1 shot UIM. ESG rules where also changed which was helpful for the Lyran. This helped close the gap a lot.

In my mind, the negatives outweigh the positives. Now the addition of the G rack does not help much against all opponents, but even having it pad a phaser on DAC rolls of 3 is super helpful for a ship that really needs to preserve it's phasers. And the 1 dinky drone that the Fed could launch against an uncloaking, weaseling opponent may at least net some collateral damage or something. Or save the Fed from having to waste phaser shots to kill the shameful thing. If the G rack moves the Fed into the top tier of TCs, I'm cool with it. The Fed is the signature ship of the game. New players want to play the Enterprise and many of them are discouraged when they discover that it's only mediocre. Better that it be a bit too strong than too weak. Sure the photons are a luck based problem, but there's not much that can be done about that. They hurt and help the Fed equally. The other main issue the Fed has is it's lack of tertiary weapons and the vulnerability of it's weapons to internal damage. The G rack solves that. And to state it again, I'm in favor of the permanent 2 X type IM, 4 X ADD loadout.

I never said it was too good

and neither was the Orion.

G-Rack Fed on SFBOL in one week

Good news!

I just received an email from Paul Franz this morning. He says the playtest G-Rack Fed will be available on SFBOL within the week.

If you see the update announced before I do, please let us know here.


A G-Rack Game

I played my Gorn against a G-Rack Fed (2xIM, 4xADD). My opponent was playing the "Reckless and get lucky" strategy, and was completely average instead of lucky, so he lost:

T1: I go fast with an enveloper. He goes 17/24 and finishes his torps to full, no weasel held. I launch the enveloper and turn off. He charges it, eating it for full. I turn in, launch 50 more plasma. He sees he can only get to R6 or so without eating the 50, so he fires, does exactly average (48--18 internals hitting a couple power and a couple phasers) and HETs away. He fires his last two P1s for a couple more in, but hits nothing real vital. I chase him at 31, gain a couple hexes, and fire some phasers through his #3 on impulse 32, doing a few unimportant internals. He launches a IM at me on 32.

T2: I'm down a few power, so I rearm my batteries (used to go 31 for the last quarter of the turn instead of 16), my torps, and go as fast as I can, leaving my phaser capacitors mostly empty. He goes 31/17 and rearms some stuff (probably 3 torps at 2 each, his batteries, and some phaser power). He runs, I chase, tractoring his drone. Impulse 1, I have one more P1 to fire through his facing down shield, so I fire it and hit the drone rack (saving a phaser!). After he slows down, my plasma catches him and the real S torp hits for 22 minus some phaser damage. I fire some phasers (off battery) through the hole, hitting a photon. I close in, he turns in to avoid getting killed through his down shield, I launch my F torp, he eats it on his #1, I slip in front of him and kill him with a few more phasers. After all is told, he is down to, like, one photon and a couple P1s.

So not real conclusive one way or the other. The drone rack cost me a point of power to deal with a drone, and saved a phaser on an internal.

There was some discussion about getting some type VI drones in the rack instead of one or both type IMs, but my feeling is that would be too good against drone opponents.

G-Rack Fed online Sept 4th

Just got an email from Paul Franz:
"I will do this tomorrow for sure."

Let's see some good pre-Council playtesting!


G-Rack Fed is Available

Just got an email from Paul Franz. He reports the G-Rack Fed is now available in the latest update to the client.

Please update your clients and start playtesting this thing. We've got four weeks until the big tournament at Council of Five Nations.


I strongly encourage all of you to post your game results and observations in the discussion thread that accompanies this one here.

Have fun!


G-Rack Fed at Council

So Paul won with the G-Rack Fed at Council, but whether or not the G-Rack actually helped him win remains to be seen. I mean, it certainly didn't hurt at all, but reports are that in most games, it wasn't real significant one way or the other.

In my semi-final game (his Fed vs my Gorn), the G-rack was mostly irrelevant--he launched a drone at range 2. I shot the drone down with a couple phasers that were about to get blown off my ship by the photon volley. I could have fired those phasers at his ship instead, but that would have been, like, 6 damage on a completely irrelevant shield.

In the final (his Fed vs Brook's Gorn), the G-rack was completely irrelevant, as the Fed got a R4 shot on T1 and jackpotted. No drone was even launched.

Reports are that it was helpful, at least as a threat, in a game vs Brian Evans's Hydran, as it compromised his ability to deploy his fighters, but the Fed has an advantage over the Hydran anyway. Apparently very helpful vs Captain Ron's Shark's drones. Saved the Fed a few internal's vs Moose's Klingon by sucking up a phaser or two before getting shot off.

I'm sure Paul will have plenty of input, but he is currently flying all over the NE or something. So I figured I'd pitch in.

Fed TCC w/ G-Rack download.

Where can I find the SSD for the Fed TCC w/G-Rack for downloading and printing?

Eric, just FYI.

I am not sure the g rack fed exists anywhere but in the sfbol library. And I am pretty sure we are going for an ADB sanctioned event at Council this year. If so, the G-rack Fed will not be used.

Thanks. i just wanted to

Thanks. i just wanted to check it out. I'll do it on SFBOL!

Keep it old-school


There is a good spot over to the right of the Impulse engines on the Fed TCC.
Take a pen, draw a box, and write "Drone" over the box.

That's pretty-much what we did at Council.


My favorite Fed change...

So first of all let me state I think the G-rack Fed is unnecessary and doesn't do anything to alleviate play-balance issues. As someone else said, it does little/nothing for the bad match-ups (plasma) and causes other problems (D&D) that were reasonably balanced.

Personally, I think photons are broken and would prefer to see them fixed, however Hell will freeze over (TM) before that happens...

So I will float two alternative thoughts (hold your screams please):

1) Change the Fed's 2 P-3s to P-1s. Improves the Feds mid-range game. However, given now they have no P-3s to absorb damage, these P-1s will evaporate with the first small internal volley.


2) Give the Fed an additional photon, facing RA. Ability to threaten someone following Fed. Additional padding for the photons. I suspect this would be too powerful, but it's a thought...

Of course these help the Fed out against the D&D races also... So, other than fix the photon rules, I don't see a solution...
(my favorite = -1 to hit for 1 photon, +1 to hit for 3-4 photons).

Or give the Fed one ASW like

Or give the Fed one ASW like we did to solve the problem. It is a useful defense against drones AND plasma, but not over-powering or off-balancing.

Problem solved. :)

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

1984 Fleet Captains Tournament and the FED

Nexus #8 saw the publication of the first tournament cruiser description, and the Fleet Captain's tournament in the format and largely the rules selection we would recognize.

You may know that William Chitwood won that tournament in the FED.

What you may not know, is that the rules describe the FED as a modification from the CC: two 360 P3s, 2AWR, all APR to AWR, and 2 B-drone racks. In 1985 the drone racks were deleted from the Fed. Subsequently (after 1985) the Fed got the 8 overload energy.

A significant difference in 1984-85, was that narrow salvoes were allowed.


Man, this guy knows everything...

1984 also had the tournament

1984 also had the tournament cruisers starting in opposite corners with previous speed of 5. 1985 introduced the more familiar 1701d and 2530a speed max start.

1983 origins did have a tournament; but IIRC Nexus described more of a rally free for all where players could choose their ships within a specified BPV. I may have details wrong about that.

The first origins I attended was 1986 LA. No narrow salvoes. While there were some differences in the ships (Orion had 6 mounts among others) I think we would find the tournament very recognizable.

Slow start

So if they started in opposite corners at speed 5, they're still going to be about 28 hexes apart at the end of turn 1 even if they accelerate at max and head for the centre. Which essentially just delays the whole game by a turn. It doesn't even let you get more drones in the air as your opponent could easily deny range 35. All it did was let the Fed pump up the overloads. Good thing they changed it.

He mentioned that the

He mentioned that the previous turns speed was 5, this would allow a max speed of 15 for each at the start of play. They'd still be some distance apart at the end of T1, but this would be necessary to not get plowed over by plasma on T1 at that speed. T2 could of course be speed 30 if necessary.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Is the Federation TCC with a

Is the Federation TCC with a G-rack a dead idea?

Are there any other non-sanctioned tournament ships going to be sanctioned?

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

G-Rack Fed

Well it certainly still exists. I don't know that it is ever going to get any actual traction to become an actual change to the tournament ship. Some folks like it. The one actual tournament it played in, it won. Which might mean that it is too strong (or maybe it might mean that Paul Scott is too strong :-). Who knows?

I think, in reality, the tournament environment is kind of in a stasis currently. It works fine, but remains about the same.

The current playtest Andro is close to becoming an actual, sanctioned ship (2xTRH, 6xP2, 3 batteries). It has been playtested a lot. General consensus is that it is still a little weak, but playable. Most folks want to give it 2 more AWR and call it a day. But that hasn't officially happened yet.

As noted in other discussions, the Omega Maesron is almost a viable tournament ship. It might be a little too strong, but it's close. None of the other unsanctioned TC SSDs floating around are even close to tested enough to be balanced. There is currently some discussion about working on C6 TCs (Carnivon and Paravian). Personally, I'm dubious about the Carnivon being balanceable, but maybe.

Well I wouldn't use Paul

Well I wouldn't use Paul Scott as a measure of ship balance (meant as a compliment to Paul). ;)

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser


Well, that is certainly a thing. There is nothing saying that Paul wouldn't have won that tournament in a regular Fed. In the game we played, the drone rack was virtually irrelevant. I got him in the anchor. Was about to feed him enough plasma to kill him. But I had to survive an impulse or two of mizia fire from some left over phasers on his ship. The last internal he did was a phaser. He was all like "Yeah, that's game. You got me." until we looked at my SSD, discovered that I had no more phasers in arc. And it was a 10 line phaser hit. So it moved over to my second tractor. At which point he escaped and weaseled all my plasma, killing me.

So in any case, yeah, the G-Rack Fed in actual play didn't actually prove anything other than Paul is good. And in our game, sometimes you get lucky.

also, Fed...

The Fed is so dicey that one tournament win for it doesn't really have quite the statistical significance it would for something more consistent, such as a Gorn or ATC. I expect even I could have won it, G-rack or no, with decently above average photon dice.

Although d(Paul) >> d(Fed) so that's neither here nor there in this case.

So that really brings up

So that really brings up questions I've had for years now concerning tourney ships. The lot that we have now is balanced supposedly. Why are they considered balanced? If you have a tournament where an old pro beats a newbie (because the old pro knows a lot of tactics and uses all the systems and gimmicks for his/her ship and the newbie doesn't)...what does that prove as far as ship balance? If the newbie beats the old pro because he got a streak of hot dice and the old pro rolled cold...what does that prove as far as ship balance?

Put another way, the Andro. First it had TRH, then TRL and now it's back to TRH? Why? It was unbalanced...then it was still unbalance and now it's almost balanced...after 30+ years?!?

The Fed is kinda a one-trick pony in the tournaments. If you roll 3 misses on the alpha then your in a hurt box. If you roll 3 or even the highly sought after 4 hits then you're all smiles and giggles. It isn't a guaranteed win, but it sure goes a long way towards the 'W'. Just like 3 misses isn't a guaranteed loss, but it sure goes a long way towards the 'L'. How often does it win big tournaments these days? And of those wins, is it the ship, the skill of the Captain or is it more a hot set of dice? It is probably the most die-dependent ship in the game imo.

I'm curious, can a G-rack Fed have a SP in a tourney game?

And all the other non-sanctioned tourney ships sitting in limbo...what's the reason? Not enough SFBOL games with them? Not enough playtesting reports? I thought ADB had multiple playtesting groups around the country? How hard is it for ADB to ask multiple groups of volunteers to fly the Vudar or the Carnivon or whatever for the next 6 months and see how it does against other tourney ships. But then again...the Andro supposedly went through playtesting each and every time and it's been up and down the power yo-yo for decades.

Just tossing random thoughts out there.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser


>>So that really brings up questions I've had for years now concerning tourney ships. The lot that we have now is balanced supposedly. Why are they considered balanced?>>

Years and years of data collection. Pre-everyone has the internet days (i.e. late 80's through mid 90's), ADB collected results from all big tournaments in terms of win/loss by ship. They used this data to generate win/loss statistics by ship. They said "If a ship, in the long term, has a win/loss ratio that hovers around 50%, we'll call it balanced.". They even published these statistics in an old issue of Star Fleet Times, many years ago. And most ships were in and around 50% (within about 3% in either direction). The ships that were off by more than 5% were looked at and often tweaked to get them closer to 50% (i.e. a ship that had a 57% win statistic was deemed too strong, and lost something; a ship that had a 42% win statistic got an upgrade, etc.).

Post "everyone has the internet" and SFBOL, a guy names Robert Schirmer has spent the last decade and a half collecting data on every single tournament game of SFB played possible, and has created incredibly detailed win/loss statistics by ship, factoring in player skill, vs individual ships, etc. It is incredibly detailed. You can find links to it on the official BBS. And this information tends to support the idea that most tournament ships (of the ones that are sanctioned and played officially) are reasonably balanced (in the sense that they hover around a 50% win/loss statistic).

>>If you have a tournament where an old pro beats a newbie (because the old pro knows a lot of tactics and uses all the systems and gimmicks for his/her ship and the newbie doesn't)...what does that prove as far as ship balance?>>

You are familiar with the basics of statistical analysis and data collection, I'd assume, yes? If you have a large enough sample, it evens out. Yes, in a single game, player skill is going to be vastly more important to the outcome than ship balance. But in the long run and over many, many games, this all evens out. As odds are that in 1000 games, about half of those will see the ship played by pro players and half them will be played by newbies. And about half the game will be between people of roughly the same skill level and about half of them will be played between people of disparate skill levels. So in the long run, it all evens out. Data, that is.

>>Put another way, the Andro. First it had TRH, then TRL and now it's back to TRH? Why? It was unbalanced...then it was still unbalance and now it's almost balanced...after 30+ years?!?>>

To risk going on a long tangent about the Andro, here is what happened--the Andro TC was designed in the mid 80's. The Andro rules were *very* difficult to understand and fully appreciate. Especially given that the Andro rules changed vastly between the designer's edition (when most folks who were playing tournament SFB at the time learned the game) and late into the Commander's edition. Specifically in that when the original PA panel rules were developed, you couldn't drop them mid turn. But in any case, the Andro TC took a really long time for folks to figure out how to actually play. And really, it didn't take off till everyone had access to the internet (i.e. late 90's). And then when everyone figured out how to play it, it turned out that it was insanely overpowered. And it won the world championship (Origins, with, like, 100 people playing in the late 90's; I don't remember which year, but I was there, so probably, like, '97 or so). And a lot of people who were really good at the game all said "Yeah that ship is way too good. It needs a downgrade.", so it got one. And then it won the next year too. So it got another downgrade. And then it won another couple years (I think it won Origins 4 out of 5 years in a row). And eventually, the general consensus was "This is going to take a lot of work to make balanced." So it was effectively neutered (the TRHs were turned into TRLs) while folks worked on it. The TRL version was virtually unplayable, but if someone wanted to try, it was available. It went through a few iterations trying to make it vaguely playable, but then eventually, enough people who knew what they were talking about said "the real problem with the ship isn' the guns. it is the batteries". So they invented a new play test version that limited the batteries, but put it back to its original firepower level (i.e. 2xTRH/6xP2). We have been playtesting that for a number of years now, and it is almost a playable, balanced ship.

>>The Fed is kinda a one-trick pony in the tournaments. If you roll 3 misses on the alpha then your in a hurt box. If you roll 3 or even the highly sought after 4 hits then you're all smiles and giggles. It isn't a guaranteed win, but it sure goes a long way towards the 'W'. Just like 3 misses isn't a guaranteed loss, but it sure goes a long way towards the 'L'. How often does it win big tournaments these days? And of those wins, is it the ship, the skill of the Captain or is it more a hot set of dice? It is probably the most die-dependent ship in the game imo.>>

People don't fly the Fed much in competition for this exact reason--often, more so than on any other ship, a single throw of the dice determines the outcome of the game (sometimes good, sometimes bad). The people who are really good at the Fed tend to do very well in it completely by virtue of limiting the effect of the dice (i.e. by only ever firing at R2 or R1). And they can do very well in that. But it is a hard ship as sometimes, you just miss, and then you die. But in the grand scheme, it is pretty balanced (i.e. it hovers around 50% win statistics; Schirmer's data has it in the mid 40's, IIRC).

>>I'm curious, can a G-rack Fed have a SP in a tourney game?>>

No. Only the Kzinti and Klingon get SPs. The proposed G-Rack Fed gets an exact load out of 2xIM, 4xADD, no reloads.

>>And all the other non-sanctioned tourney ships sitting in limbo...what's the reason?>>

Lack of interest in getting them sanctioned, mostly. A lot of the official but unsanctioned ships are not very interesting or just bad (most of the ships in Module T, like the ISC CM, Hydran TAR, Orion TCA, are bad or uninteresting). A lot of folks who are invested in tournament play aren't huge fans of widely opening the field, as the field works very well right now and is balanced, so not a lot of people put a lot of work into getting weird ships sanctioned. ADB doesn't have a huge amount of incentive to put huge amount of work into changing the tournament environment currently, as it is not a huge money maker anymore, and they have lot of other stuff to work on.

The Omega TCs are all built by player volunteers, for example, and are wildly varied, in terms of balance. And the Omega rules are very difficult to balance in general. And while we have tried a lot, there is still a long way to go.

>>Not enough SFBOL games with them? Not enough playtesting reports?>>

ADB likes actual play test reports. Not a lot of people actually write them. On SFBOL, not a lot of people use the weird, unsanctioned ships for any number of reasons.

>>I thought ADB had multiple playtesting groups around the country? How hard is it for ADB to ask multiple groups of volunteers to fly the Vudar or the Carnivon or whatever for the next 6 months and see how it does against other tourney ships.>>

ADB doesn't actually do that kind of thing that much anymore. If we come to a consensus on a TC design, and get an OK from ADB, we can certainly put them online and use them. And eventually figure out it they work.

>>But then again...the Andro supposedly went through playtesting each and every time and it's been up and down the power yo-yo for decades.>>

No, no, it was on the upside of power. And then it got worse. And then it got worse. And then it got worse. And then it got completely kneecapped. And then while completely kneecapped, it got a few minor upgrades where it was still bad. And then, as noted above, it got an official, almost guid playtest version that has been being used a lot for a few years now, and there is hovers. But still, the official sanctioned version is pretty bad (I think it is still the 2xTRL/8P2 number). And has been actively and extensively playtested every time. No supposedly about it.

Schirmer Ratings

The URL actually has its own thread here, but here it is anyway:


Much more detailed than I

Much more detailed than I thought. Appreciate the link :)

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser


Yeah, there is a lot of data and analysis.

I think Appendix F:


Is the one with probably the most on point ship ratings. Appendix F is the one that is assuming that both players in a given match are Ace level (i.e. the rating assumes the both players are of about equal skill, and both players are good at the game). Under those stats, the GBS is the best ship, with a 56% win percentage (i.e. a little too good, which a lot of folks seem to think is the case); GRN (my favored ship currently) is at 53% (which is unexpected, as most folks seem to rate the GRN as pretty middle-average); the FED is at 46%, which is a little weak, but within acceptable bounds.

Appendix F had quite a bit of

Appendix F had quite a bit of information packed into it. I see where the FED has a much higher % probability it is on the weak side as reflected by its ranking %. Could be as simple as just adding the G-rack with the load out you mentioned (2xI and 4XADD). That isn't a tremendous boost by any means, but does give it some added (and I would suggest needed) defensive capability. It would take a special situation to have the one or two drones actually make a difference. Possible, but not probable. But defensively, particularly against a drone user it would certainly help on a limited/temporary basis.

Haven't really played the GBS, though I may have played against it once. Wonder why it is at the top of the pack? Seems like a fairly straight-forward D&D ship. The phaser suite is nice though. What is the limit on the two optional mounts? That may give it a substantial boost (initial first impression).

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser


The Shark option mounts are restricted to drone rack, phaser 1, or ADD. Most of the time, they are just 2 drone racks. Occasionally, they are a P1 and a drone rack. Once and a while, on a lark, someone takes an ADD and a drone rack.

The Shark does super well, generally speaking, as it is the ship of the bunch that was designed latest in the evolution of the game, and doesn't really have any weaknesses. It isn't overwhelmingly powerful, but it is strong, takes damage really well, and has lots of little advantages and very few flaws.

It has even F and A hull, which helps take damage well. It has 5xP3 in excellent arcs to protect P1s (3xFX, 2xRX), and every single phaser on the ship can fire in a few directions. It has dual shuttle bays for overrun suicide shuttle attacks. It has (generally speaking), 4 drone racks, which is strong.

Compared to the Kzinti, it has better direct fire (2 more P1s), and can get all of its phasers into arc in 2 places, which the Kzinti can't ever do. It loses the SP and fast drones, but gains dual shuttle bays. It has more F hull, which helps protect important things like batteries.

Compared to the Klingon, it has similar direct fire (one more P1, no UIM), is significantly tougher, takes damage better. A point less of power, no SP and fast drones, but gains dual shuttle bays.

The GBS isn't overwhelmingly strong, like, the old Andro or, like, 2x gatling phaser boat Orion were. But it is just a little better than most ships in lots of areas, which adds up to a ship that is very forgiving of mistakes and pretty easy to do well in. And doesn't really have any bad match ups, which is also an issue with tournament ships--while they are all theoretically balanced, there is a significant Rock/Paper/Scissors element of the balance (the Kzinti has an uphill fight against the Klingon and the Romulans, for example; the Gorn has a hell of a time vs the Orion, ISC, and Tholians; etc.). The Shark is pretty much dead even or advantaged against every other ship in the game.

I think if it lost one of the FX P3s, or was a bit more restricted on the option mounts (so it couldn't have 4 drone racks, say; i.e. give it the option of 2xP1, or a P1 and a drone, or a P1 and an ADD, or an ADD and a drone), it would probably still be very good, but not across the board as solid as it is. Which would be better for the tournament as a whole.