FEDERATION COMMANDER PBEM 6FC - SOPs

PBEM Home
News
Information
Rules
   SFB PBEM Rules
   SFB Rules Errata
   Comm Rules
   Rules To Use
   PBEM Rules FAQ
   FC PBEM Rules
   FC Rules Errata
Tools
Games
Links

(6FC) STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (SOP)

SOPs are your way of telling the moderator what you want your ship(s) to do for the turn. This will include everything; from where you want them to move, to when you want to fire your weapons, and which weapons to fire. EVERYTHING that is done during the turn goes into the SOP.

Note that if you are controlling multiple ships, you should combine them all onto a single SOP.

(6FC1) LENGTH: The turn will normally be broken up into two "halves" of 4 impulses each. Each halve will have itís own separate "initial" SOP. This is known as the SOP Period. Breaks which occur during the half-turn will not "reset" the period.

In other words, the first SOP Period of the turn would be for Impulses 1-4. If it is Impulse 2, and a break occurs, the rebid would be for Impulses 2-4. (The rebid starts on Impulse 2 because the break will have occurred on a specific action, and other actions could be taken to respond to that break condition later in the Impulse Activity Segment of that impulse.)

Note that each and every rebid MUST include a FULL SOP for the impulses it covers. A "FULL" SOP is considered to be ALL movement, impulse activities, and any other instructions, just like the original. The Player is not allowed to submit alterations or "amendments" to their previous SOPs. So, in the above example, a rebid for impulses 2-4 would consist of a COMPLETE SOP for impulses 2-4. This means rebids consisting of statements like; "Use my old SOP, except change my break conditions to..." would NOT be allowed. (This is done to make the Moderators' jobs a little easier, and reduce the likelihood of Moderator errors.) Note that a rebid of ďPlease continue with my previous SOP.Ē is allowed (as long as there are no changed included).

A Moderator receiving a partial SOP, alteration request, or amendment request should immediately notify the player that a FULL SOP for the impulses covered must be submitted before the orders can be processed.

Once impulses 1-4 were complete, the moderator would ask for new SOPs (from all players) for impulses 5-8 (the second SOP Period).

The length of the SOP Period is assumed to be 4 impulses, unless all players agree to use a different number of impulses.

(6FC2) RECORD KEEPING:

SOPs only need to be kept until they are resolved. Being "resolved" means that a Sitrep covering the impulses relevant in the SOP has been posted by the moderator, and all players agree with the results. There is not necessarily a formal agreement by the players. As long as they accept the Sitrep, and repost new SOPs, agreement can be implied.

This way, if there are discrepancies (no one is perfect... even moderators!) they can be discussed while you still have a copy of your latest SOP.

Basically, once youíre satisfied that the portion of the turn which applies has been run according to your SOP, you can dispose of it. Obviously, you are not required to dispose of it. Feel free to keep it as long as you like.

NOTE: If any discrepancies are noted AFTER the players have accepted the Sitrep and submitted new SOPs, then those discrepancies may or may not be corrected at a later time, based upon the situation and at the discretion of the moderator. Note any discrepancies to your moderator IMMEDIATELY.

(6FC3) FORMAT: The format of the SOP is laid out to make viewing and processing it easier for everyone concerned. If a "standard" format is used, then new players (and new moderators) wonít be surprised by an unknown format. Another benefit of a standard SOP is that the required information will be less likely to be accidentally left out.
(6FC3a) SUBJECT LINE: The Subject Line format is identical to an Energy Allocation subject line, (5FC2a), with the exception that you put "SOP" in the TYP slot, rather than "Energy Allocation".
(6FC3b) HEADING: The SOPís heading is similar to an Energy Allocationís heading, (5FC2b), minus the Baseline Speed. (You must still include the ship in a multi-ship force.) The format is as follows:

Gxx T.im RAC TYP
YOUR NAME & ADDRESS
SHIP (If there is more than one ship of your race.)
IMPULSES COVERED

The SHIP is included to differentiate between two ships of the same race. This would also apply if there were two players on one side (i.e., a 3+ player game).

SOP Heading Example:

FC0001 2.5 FED SOP
Phillip Kosnet / pkosnet@starfleetnavy.ufp.mil
IMP 5-8

(6FC3c) CURRENT POSITIONS: The Current Position shows each of YOUR unitís starting locations. (Beginning with the first impulse of THAT SOP.) For instance; For SOP 2.05, the starting situation would reflect the shipís starting location on Impulse #5 of Turn #2.

You should include Ships, Shuttles, etc. (but not seeking weapons) here. An example follows:

SHIP  HEX
==========
DNG  0607D
CA   0707D

Note that the HEX location of a unit is shown as itís actual hex number, with itís facing immediately after. (i.e., A ship in hex 0607 facing direction D is said to be in hex 0607D.)

(6FC3d) MOVEMENT: The Movement Section contains the locations of all ships during the course of the SOP, on an Sub-Pulse by Sub-Pulse basis.

For each Sub-Pulse that one of your ships is to move, simply put the new hex location (including heading) under the appropriate ship. If you want to take other actions during that impulse, that will be listed in the Impulse Activities Section. (i.e., If performing a High Energy Turn, just list the new hex location in the Movement Section, while listing the High Energy Turn action itself in the Impulse Activity Section.)

Movement Section Example (for Impulse #4 only):

 SUB-
PULSE   DNG   CA
==================
 4.1   ----- -----
 4.2   0608D 0807C
 4.3   ----- -----
 4.4   0709D 0908C

Notice that during Sub-Pulse #4, the DNG sideslipped. This information does not need to be spelled out, as the plotting of movement will make it apparent. Also notice that the CA turned during Sub-Pulse #2. This is also apparent, and does not need to be specifically noted. The movement plot itself is sufficient.

(6FC4) IMPULSE ACTIVITIES: This is where all other actions are spelled out. Weapons fire, shuttle launches, Seeking Weapon launches, Tractor use, Transporter use, etc... ANYTHING you want to do during the turn (except normal movement) is done in this section. Note, special movement functions (high energy turn, acceleration, etc.) will be listed in this section as well.

The format of this section is simply; Impulse #: Activity. Thatís it. List each impulse separately, and each activity separately. It makes it easier to sort the actions out when the Moderator processes the turn.

If movement activities are to be performed, the Sub-Pulse the activity will take place on will also be listed.

Impulse Activity Example:

IMP 2: DNG Launches 1x drone (drone rack W) at D7.
IMP 3: CA  Uses 1x Energy Token to accelerate to speed 16+1
IMP 4: DNG Uses 1x Energy Token to decelerate on Sub-Pulse #2
       DNG Uses 1x Energy Token to tractor CA

Note that when listing weapons fire / launching, MAKE SURE you include which weapon (A,B,C,D,1,2,3,4) is being fired / launched. It may be obvious in most cases, but sometimes it isnít. Itís better to get in the habit. Otherwise the moderator has to delay the game to request the information, or pick one out at random.

(6FC5) BREAK CONDITIONS: Break Conditions are your requests to interrupt the game under certain conditions so that you may reassess the situation and "rebid." (Rebidding is simply the act of submitting a new SOP.) Once a break occurs, your old SOP is considered "dead" at that point, which means that you can change any of the orders you had originally put down (from that point forward).

Break Conditions are listed after the Impulse Activity Section.

You may include a set of "Break Conditions" in your SOP so that, if your opponent takes certain actions, or if events develop a certain way, you will have the opportunity to rebid your SOP. They are here so that your initial SOP doesnít have to be 12 pages long to cover every response to every event which may possibly take place. They are also here to give you a chance to react to actions or events that would make you want to change your shipís orders (either movement or impulse activities.)

For example; Letís say that you are approaching an enemy ship with your drones "leading" you. Rather than list all the possible responses to all their possible actions, you could put in a request to break if (s)he sideslips away, or tractors some drones. You could then look to see what (s)he actually did, and respond to it.

Also, when a break condition occurs, it is that specific event which triggers the break. This means that you may still take any actions which occur later during the Impulse Procedure of the SAME IMPULSE as the event which caused the break.

For example; Letís say that you originally had an SOP that had you not launching any drones. Your opponent fires all of his phasers on Impulse #4, which triggers an Auto-Break (6FC6). This means that you now have the opportunity to launch your drone(s), because the Launch Phase comes AFTER the Offensive Fire Phase in the Sequence of Play.

(6FC5a) BREAK CONDITIONS FORMAT: The format of Break Conditions is basically a description of what would make you want to reassess the situation. Try to make it brief and to the point, so the moderator doesnít have to wade through it to get to the point. For example:

BREAK CONDITIONS:
CA Drops a shield
CA Uses a transporter
CA Tractors a drone

There are two major dangers with Break Conditions; not enough, and too many. First is the danger that youíll overlook a possible action, and miss an opportunity (or worse, fall into catastrophe). Itís a very real concern, and one which you have to keep in mind. Second is the problem of loading up with every conceivable break condition, and bogging the game down to unacceptably slow speeds by having every other impulse trigger a break, and an SOP rebid.

The trick is to balance these two situations out. The easiest way to do that is to update your break conditions with EVERY SINGLE SOP! By updating, we mean add those breaks which are now applicable, and DELETE THOSE WHICH ARE NO LONGER APPLICABLE.

The situation is changing all the time, and there are very few break conditions that are applicable throughout the game. While some inapplicable ones may actually trigger a break, there are a few instances where a break was triggered, and the player rebid with "Just go ahead and use my old SOP." This is usually an indication of an unnecessary break.

There are times when a break is valid, but when (upon consideration) you decide that your original course of action is the correct one. Far more often, however, it turns out to be just a "I wanna look around and see whatís up" or a "I forgot to update my Break Conditions Section" situation.

Remember, there are (at least) two other people involved in the game, too. Itís not fair to them to have the game drag out just so someone wonít miss any conceivable event. Thatís part of the "skill" of playing Federation Commander PBEM. Having a streamlined SOP that will break the action when it counts, but not when it doesnít.

(6FC5b) AUTOMATIC BREAKS:

Automatic Breaks are breaks which will occur without any request from the players. Auto Breaks are for those events which most players would request a break for anyway. The number of "Auto-Breaks" is purposely kept to a minimum, so that they donít unnecessarily bog the game down with unneeded delays. It does include some of the most common and continually asked for breaks, however.

Auto-Breaks will be assumed to be in effect unless it is agreed upon by all players (and the moderator) PRIOR to game start.

There are two basic classes of Auto-Breaks. First, is the "Universal" break. This is a break which allows all players to rebid. An example of these types would be along the lines of internal damage, so that the both players could see what was damaged, and then decide what action to take based upon which systems were destroyed. In other words, the events which trigger a Universal Auto-Break are ones that all players (even the one who initiated the action) would normally want to see the results of before proceeding.

The second type is the "Singular" break. This kind of break would only allow the player(s) who DID NOT cause the event to rebid. For example; Drone Launch: The player who launched the drones already knows about them, so thereís no reason for that player to need a rebid. The other player(s), however, would like to take action in response to the drone launch (namely... KILLING THEM!).

For either type of Auto-Break, the player(s) can state in their SOP that the Moderator can skip any upcoming Auto Breaks that wonít affect them. For instance; You and your opponent have played many times before, and you KNOW that once (s)he unloads their photons, turning will follow. If you see them unload, you can let the moderator know that you donít need the "Course Change" Auto-Break, and plan for them turning. (Of course, you would then put in a Break Condition so that the action would break if (s)he DIDNíT turn after a specified period of time.) This would also apply near the end of that SOP Period, when certain actions wonít change your plot anyway.

Below is a list of all the Auto-Breaks. If you donít see it here, then youíll need to specify it in your SOP. If you DO see it here, then you donít need to clutter your SOP with an identical break.

(6FC5c) "UNIVERSAL" AUTOMATIC BREAKS: These events will trigger an Auto-Break. Each player must submit a new SOP in response to these breaks, or inform the moderator to continue on with their most recent SOP.
  • SHIELD DAMAGE on any ship which leaves 5 or less shield boxes (on damaged shield) intact.
  • INTERNALS scored on any ship.
  • Any shuttle becomes crippled or destroyed.
  • Any UNIT FIRES Heavy Weapons.
  • Any ship shows DOWN SHIELD to any enemy unit in range & capable of firing.
  • TRACTOR initiation that targets a unit able to resist via Tractor Auction.
(6FC5d) "SINGULAR" AUTOMATIC BREAKS: These events will trigger an Auto-Break. Only the player(s) NOT responsible for the actions below is allowed to rebid. If the players do not desire a rebid, they must let the moderator know that.
  • COURSE CHANGE by enemy ship (excluding shuttles). This includes High Energy Turns, Tactical Maneuvers, or any other situation that results in a course change.
  • SPEED CHANGE announcement by enemy ship. This includes Acceleration, Deceleration, Emergency Deceleration, or any other situation that results in a speed change.
  • Starting or stopping erratic maneuvers.
  • NEW COUNTER on board. This includes Shuttle launch, Seeking Weapon launch, reinforcements, etc.
  • Marine Raid conducted against any friendly ship.

(6FC6) CONDITIONAL ORDERS: Conditional Orders are orders you put down to react to the developing situation without using a Break Condition. In other words, they are "IF X THEN Y" Impulse Activities. Conditional orders can be used to do the following, based upon certain conditions you specify:

A Conditional Order allows the game to proceed (without a break), under certain conditions which you anticipate. They are normally used to eliminate a Break, and keep the game moving. For example:

If the FED CA turns to direction C, then the D7 will turn to follow.

If the D7 attempts to tractor, use up to 3 energy Tokens to fight the attempt.

Conditional Orders also take precedence over, and CANCEL, Auto-Breaks. For example; In the above examples, the first Conditional Order would also cancel the COURSE CHANGE Auto-Break, (for a direction C turn only), while the second example would cancel the TRACTOR Auto-Break and instead conduct the tractor auction.

(6FC6a) FORMAT: The format for Conditional Orders is similar to Impulse Activities. It can be a simple IF / THEN statement, or it can be a paragraph on what your intent is. Just keep in mind that the more specific you are, the more likely it is that it will happen the way you want. If you give the moderator a lot of leeway, (s)he may not do exactly what you wanted. Hereís some examples:

If the D7 moves to 1220D, launch a suicide shuttle targeted on the D7. [This is pretty specific and clear cut.]

If the CA sideslips or changes course, then keep it lined up along my forward centerline, using sideslips (if possible) or turns, it thatís the only way. [This is relatively specific.]

I want to keep away from the Fedís centerline. Move me so I donít line up on it. [This leaves a LOT to the moderatorÖactually, too much. According to the letter of this Conditional Order, the moderator could theoretically move you anywhere (s)he wantsÖEXCEPT lining you up with the Fedís centerline, and you would have no recourse if you considered it a ďstupidĒ move.]

The more specific approach is usually best, but you can "talk" your way through what you want to do... just be careful.

(6FC6b) LIMITATIONS: The biggest limitation of Conditional Orders is that it can be difficult to anticipate much of whatís going to happen in the next few impulses. Conditional Orders are not meant to replace Break Conditions. They are simply meant to enhance them. Itís just another tool for you to use when constructing your SOP.

As such, if you load your SOP up with a LOT of Conditional Orders, you may be able to catch enough of the upcoming events to avoid a break altogether. However, the poor moderator is going to have to wade through your 34 Conditional Orders to make sure (s)he didnít miss anything, which will take some time to do.

On the other hand, there are enough times when the courses of action your opponent can take are limited to two options. In these cases, try to use Conditional Orders instead of Break Conditions. Your game will speed up considerably.

Another limitation of Conditional Orders is that they can get very complex. If you try to do too many things in a Conditional Order, the moderator has the option of requesting clarification, or just triggering a break, and letting you rebid from there.

Keep in mind that Conditional Orders are NOT mandatory. Everyone involved will benefit from their proper use, but if you feel too uncomfortable, then just use Break Conditions. Of course, you can ask your moderator for advice, too. They can help you turn your Break Conditions into effective Conditional Orders.

(6FC7) REINFORCEMENT/DAMAGE ORDER: This section will list orders for shield reinforcement and damage order overrides. These instructions should be listed on EVERY SOP. If there are no orders listed here, the moderator will assume that no reinforcement is to be used and the default damage allocation procedure is to be used.
(6FC7a) RESERVE POWER SHIELD REINFORCEMENT (RSPR): RPSR orders follow the same format as other conditional orders. It specifies under what conditions you want to use reinforcement, and how much to use. Some examples of RPSR orders:

Use RPSR as necessary to protect the last shield box of any shield about to be dropped by damage. DO NOT use RPSR if the last shield box cannot be saved.


If the shield cannot be saved, then use RPSR points to stop ANY AND ALL INTERNALS.


Do not use RPSR unless the shield is dropped. In that case, use all available RPSR to prevent internals.

(6FC7b) DEFAULT DAMAGE ALLOCATION PROCEDURE (DDAP) OVERRIDES: This section should list any changes to the Default Damage Allocation Procecure (8FC) that the player may wish to make. This includes, but is not limited to, changing the order of weapons hits, taking frame damage in place of the last box of a given system, etc.

These overrides can be used for specific cases or can be general in nature. For example:


Do not destroy the phaser-3 #4 unless it is the only one left.


If the enemy has any drone racks remaining, destroy my drone racks before hiting the ADD racks. Otherwise, take the ADD first.


Take frame damage instead of the last tractor box.


Frame damage will be take instead of skipping any damage points.

(6FC8) ENERGY ALLOCATION: Your energy allocation information should be included on each sop. The information will be the same as in the Energy Allocation section (5FC), except that it should be modified to include any energy expenditures that have been made so far in the turn.

(6FC9) SOP EXAMPLE:

FC0001 2.5 FED SOP
Phillip Kosnet / pkosnet@starfleetnavy.ufp.mil
IMP: 5-8

START:
=======================
SHIP  HEX
----------
DNG  0404D
CA   0504D

MOVEMENT:
 SUB-
PULSE  DNG    CA
-----------------
 5.1  ----- -----
 5.2  0405D 0505D
 5.3  ----- -----
 5.4  0406D 0506D
 6.1  ----- -----
 6.2  0407D 0507D
 6.3  ----- -----
 6.4  0408D 0508D
 7.1  ----- -----
 7.2  0409D 0509D
 7.3  0410D -----
 7.4  0411D 0510D
 8.1  ----- -----
 8.2  0412D -----
 8.3  ----- -----
 8.4  0413D 0511D

IMPULSE ACTIVITY:
IMP 7: DNG Uses 1.5 Energy Tokens to acceleration to speed 16+1
IMP 8: CA  Uses 1 Energy Token to deceleration on Sub-Pulse #2.
IMP 8: DNG Fires 6x Photons at C7.
IMP 8: CA  Fires 4x Photons at C7. Also uses 4 Energy Tokens to fire 4 Ph-1 (1-4) at C7.

CONDITIONAL ORDERS:
If the C7 reaches range 3 of the CA, the CA will launch a suicide shuttle at the C7.
IMP 8: If C7 is within overload range of the CA, the CA will use 8 Energy Tokens to
       overload each photon to the +4 overload level before firing.
Do not use any shield reinforcement.

DNG Energy Allocation:
Total Energy Tokens: 65 (6 batteries)
Baseline Speed 16: 24 tokens
Load Photon (A): 2 tokens
Overload Photon (A): 4 tokens (+8)
Load Photon (B): 2 tokens
Overload Photon (B): 4 tokens (+8)
Hold Photon (C): 1 token
Hold Photon (D): 1 token
Hold Photon (E): 1 token
Hold Photon (F): 1 token
Regeneration Shield #2: 6 tokens (regenerate 3 boxes)
Acceleration Imp 7: 1.5 tokens
Remaining Energy Tokens: 17.5 tokens

CA Energy Allocation:
Total Energy Tokens: 40 (4 batteries)
Baseline Speed 16: 16 tokens
Load Photon (A): 2 tokens
Load Photon (B): 2 tokens
Tractor Beam: 1 token
Deceleration Imp 7.2: 1 token
Phasers: 4 tokens
Remaining Energy Tokens: 14 tokens

(6FC10) BLANK SOP FORM:

Gxx T.im RACE SOP
Name / Address
IMPULSES COVERED

START:
=======================
SHIP  HEX
----------

MOVEMENT:
 SUB-
PULSE SHIP (SHIP)
---------------
 1.1  ----- -----
 1.2  ----- -----
 1.3  ----- -----
 1.4  ----- -----
 2.1  ----- -----
 2.2  ----- -----
 2.3  ----- -----
 2.4  ----- -----
 3.1  ----- -----
 3.2  ----- -----
 3.3  ----- -----
 3.4  ----- -----
 4.1  ----- -----
 4.2  ----- -----
 4.3  ----- -----
 4.4  ----- -----

IMPULSE ACTIVITY:

CONDITIONAL ORDERS:

ENERGY ALLOCATION:
Previous (5FC) Index Next (7FC)

Copyright © 2006 Amarillo Design Bureau, All Rights Reserved Updated 15 November 2006