10 pages in, but it's back to me - the ADB Fanboy scapegoat.
As you've pointed out quite thoroughly - I did indeed spend time playing the game.
I still do not however; at this late date remember much about the games we played (other than what is posted online) as my interests moved on to other things as the entire system seemed destined to never be published.
I have read the threads you linked to... I have re-listened to the podcast you linked to, and you know what... apparently I forgot more than I realized I had. I do wish I still had my computer from 8 to 10 years ago... I'd try to find any emails regarding our observations and post them here for you to read. Unfortunately, I don't - so I can't.
[Although Jay and ADB have my permission to post any email correspondence between myself and them regarding the game. I would be interested in seeing - 10 years after the fact - what I said about it back then in addition to the online posts previously referenced.]
I know you will not believe me, but I truly did lose interest in the system as it seemed less and less likely to come to fruition. And as newer games and activities... chief among them, play testing of ACTASF and then later ACTSF 1.2... came along that attracted my attention.
My initial declaration that I did not play test it was, as pointed out - erroneous.
I would have been much better suited to state that I didn't recall much about the games that we played, beyond the fact that we used them to generate scenarios for use in Federation Commander.
I know I mentioned the FACRS [Federation Admiral Combat Resolution System... IIRC] which is the present point of contention; online but I'm not sure that we ever used it... although if we did, I'm sure you will remind me.
If we did in fact, NOT use the FACRS - then we should be chastised for that omission. Chalk it up to being ADB fanatics, or less than perfect play testers, or just sheer laziness - either way, we should have used (and tried to abuse) the FACRS. Just as we should have played FA the way it was written and not the way 'we knew' the SFU should have worked... Using improbably fleets and odd-ball situations that could have been legally created in Fed Admiral. If we had, we might have identified some of these alleged short-comings in 2006.
[I use the term alleged because I have not seen the new rule set, and I have not (as far as I can recall) used the FACRS to resolve any combats that would expose said deficiencies. Until I do play out battles using this system - I cannot make a statement myself]
This is where the real problem comes in. I can see everyone's side on the combat issue.
The VBAM system for combat resolution works, and works well apparently; according to Paul. and I have no reason to doubt him.
The F&E combat system also works well... I know this because I play Fed & Empire.
But I don't think either of them are exactly right for Federation Admiral, either.
I'm not an attorney and do not claim to be one. I've never seen the ADB / Paramount contact (and do not want to). I've heard for many years that the contract has this clause and that clause in it. I don't know - but ADB has been in business for over 30 years and they do have attorneys looking at so I take them at their word there.
That means that as good as the VBAM system is - there are several features in it that do not mesh with the SFU background.
Now, there's the F&E system - which does mesh with SFU background - but it's not right for Fed Admiral either. In a grand, tactical game covering the either Alpha Quadrant, thousands of ships, and 18 years of the General War - it works well.
For an operational level game though, it doesn't have enough detail or options.
What then is the solution? I'm not sure and at this point, I'm rather glad I'm not the one who has to decide. 'Cause you danged sure aren't pleasing everyone!!!
I tend to agree with Peter on this one. While its important that it have a combat system that works... it's secondary to the operational aspect of the game as there are several potential combat resolution systems that can be used.
OK... for someone who's stayed out of this for the last nine pages - that's a rather long post.