Star Trek: The Final Frontier

Discussion of source material supplements for Victory by Any Means
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BroAdso
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Star Trek: The Final Frontier

Postby BroAdso » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:38 pm

Hello, everyone! I got badly distracted by this project and I'd love your input on it.

Each of the following ship books has a complete unit list for a Trek faction from VBAM Tech Year 2990 to VBAM Tech Year 3030. The intent is to let players start with access to the whole first page of unit lists (2990 to 3000) and progress through the rest. In Trek terms, the first page represents the ships in each faction at the end of the TMP era - approximate 2300AD. The rest of the ships aim to move through a whole century of Trek history at a consistent pace - each decade has about three or four units, with each faction's last unit in VBAM 3030 correlating to approximately 2400 on the Star Trek timeline. Ships are arranged to be consistent with their approximate year of appearance in the source material, while other things (like ground units) are pure fun extrapolation.

I tried to keep them balanced but unique, and somewhat reflective of each group in the Trek universe. For example, only the Romulans get stealth on every unit and underhanded minelayers, while the Federation alone has ships with the Diplomatic special ability.

What's truly unique about these unit lists is that they have a visual accompaniment, edited and recolored together from a wide variety of internet sources. These ships are to scale (fighters and stations, less so) at .004in = 1m, so that you can use them to make visual battle reports and playing pieces.

CardassianUnionDominionUnitList.pdf
(751.55 KiB) Downloaded 125 times
RomulanEmpireUnitList.pdf
(789.98 KiB) Downloaded 128 times
KlingonEmpireUnitList.pdf
(910.33 KiB) Downloaded 133 times
UnitedFederationOfPlanetsUnitList.pdf
(769.45 KiB) Downloaded 150 times


When the Companion comes out, I'll be happy to finish up the map I'm drafting for a sector based movement system of the Alpha and Beta quadrants, and decide which special rules or empire rules best yield a fun "trek ish" game experience.

Enjoy, and I'd love to hear suggestions you have for improvement, proofreading, etc.

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Charles Lewis
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Re: Star Trek: The Final Frontier

Postby Charles Lewis » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:48 pm

Awesome! I can't wait to take a closer look!
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Re: Star Trek: The Final Frontier

Postby PaulB » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:34 pm

Haven't looked at it in depth yet but great work!
Very nice production values.

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Re: Star Trek: The Final Frontier

Postby BroAdso » Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:00 pm

Since I am not sure when a true freeform exploration campaign will be available, I am working on a version of the four player scenario in the rule book for this Star Trek setting. See attached!
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Scenario Federation Draft 2.pdf
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Re: Star Trek: The Final Frontier

Postby Charles Lewis » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:00 pm

Yay!
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Tyrel Lohr
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Re: Star Trek: The Final Frontier

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:04 pm

BroAdso wrote:Each of the following ship books has a complete unit list for a Trek faction from VBAM Tech Year 2990 to VBAM Tech Year 3030. The intent is to let players start with access to the whole first page of unit lists (2990 to 3000) and progress through the rest.


In retrospect, this is how I should have handled the sample force lists, too. Have all of the starting units have dates from 2990 to 3000 to make the pre-3000 progression more natural. I spend a lot of time in the 2E Companion empire tech rules trying to handle situations where you want to start with an empire that has pre-3000 tech, and that could have been solved instantly by just giving them earlier Tech Years.

In Trek terms, the first page represents the ships in each faction at the end of the TMP era - approximate 2300AD. The rest of the ships aim to move through a whole century of Trek history at a consistent pace - each decade has about three or four units, with each faction's last unit in VBAM 3030 correlating to approximately 2400 on the Star Trek timeline. Ships are arranged to be consistent with their approximate year of appearance in the source material, while other things (like ground units) are pure fun extrapolation.


I think this is really an effective way of handling the tech progression, especially in campaigns where you really don't care about 100% matching the source material and when ships become available. You can do a 1:1 match, but it becomes pretty tedious and leads to a lot of "ho-hum" designs where the player isn't all that excited about a new tech advance. "Oh boy, I get a new shuttle!" is not terribly exciting, but your approach ensures that they are getting something more interesting.

The lower CR values will make for more compact squadrons, and a heavier reliance on dedicated command ships. But that should also make those vessels more valuable. End result is that you'll have smaller task forces, which should make it much harder for a force to lose all of their units in a single encounter.

I'd agree that each force seems to have a very unique progression and is going to play much different from the rest. I can't wait to see how these operate in a campaign! Be sure to let us know. :)

BTW, your take on the Oberth is especially interesting. I usually make it a cheap, almost throwaway explorer ship. Turning it into an escort carrier with the Trade ability is, to me, a very novel approach to making the ship interesting and actually useful in a campaign!
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Re: Star Trek: The Final Frontier

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sat Sep 24, 2016 4:41 am

BTW, I really like how you assembled your force lists so that you have ~10 years of units per page, and then a description and images for each of the ship classes in that section. It makes it really easy to go back and see a breakdown by era and get a feel for the look and purpose for each class.
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Re: Star Trek: The Final Frontier

Postby BroAdso » Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:46 pm

Thanks! It took some time, but I really enjoyed it. Between playtesting a few years of a campaign in speedy don't-check-my-work fashion, running a bunch of battles, and so on, it was a really fun way to get to know VBAM's rules better. Plus, I love me some Trek but wasn't ever really hardcore about it before, so doing the research about when classes went into service, what they did (Akiras were battle carriers according to the notes for ST: First Contact? Cool!) and so on I got to know a lot of new stuff.

I think I might tackle Battlefleet Gothic next. Though I don't love the source material as much (I am no grim and gritty fanboy), the fact that there is an easily accessible Vassal module with ship pictures available makes it temptingly easy, as I'd have to do a lot less photo editing than I did to get the pretty pictures for these Trek ships.


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