Playtest Rules Notes

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Playtest Rules Notes

Postby nimrodd » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:28 am

This is for "VBAM 2E Campaign Guide 2013-01-05-A.pdf". I am about a third of the way through it, but since Tyrel is already posting a new version, I figured I would go ahead and get my notes and questions in for the previous version.

Page 8 - Population Points
This is the only place I have found that specifies that unused food becomes population points, but it does not specify at what ratio.

Page 12 - Map Directions (last sentence)
"Players can use their own preferred set of directional terminology in their own games but this book, either in part or whole, but this book uses that these terms are in play to provide a set context for discussing directions on its campaign maps."
Kill the bold, underlined sections.

Page 12 - Biosphere
Last sentence does not make sense. It just trails off. "or else they may."... What?

Page 14 - Class M Red Star (second paragraph, second sentence)
"The size of the star’s habitable zone is short, and most planets located within this zone are tidally locked to the star which has a profoundly negative effect on their climates."
Should be "small".

Page 16 - Alien Derelict (third paragraph, first sentence)
"The alien derelict is designed*at* a tech level of 2D6‐2."
Insert the "at"

Page 18 - Flare Star Surprise Table [Style]
Should be boxed in to stay consistent with other tables

Page 22 - Jump Lane Downgrade
Can this be done unilaterally? I know it states that upgrades cannot be done so, but you should be able to destroy the beacons (or lay a minefield, etc.) at your end.

Page 22 - Exploration Missions (second paragraph, last sentence)
"Exploration successes are rare and almost always require a power to spend multiple turns probing an unexplored lane until it has racked up enough Scout value to all but ensure an exploration success."
That should be "Exploration".

Page 23 - Prewarp Technology question
How are Pre-industrial and Industrial Tech Levels assigned? The Prewarp Tech Level Table just has Planetary.

Page 25 - [New Paragraph Suggestion] Census Loss
Since you have 3 different rules sections that concern themselves with Census Loss (Starvation, Planetary Evacuations & Bombardment), why not consolidate the Loss rules in one spot and reference it in those sections.

Page 26 - Planetary Evacuations question
You state how much you can evacuate, but you don't state what you do with them. I assume that you can put them on another world, but what if all your worlds have increased their Census this campaign year, what do you do with the excess? My suggestion is that you can go ahead and increase a world's Census a second time, but it would cause a Morale roll due to overcrowding for a period of time (6 months).

Page 28 - Morale Checks (first paragraph, third sentence)
"Each condition has a target value."
The table does not have any target values, only a modifier. Should that sentence be removed completely?

Page 29 - Infrastructure (fifth paragraph, fourth sentence)
"The amount of population damage required to destroy a point of Infrastructure is equal to 10 times its current Infrastructure value."
That should be "infrastructure". This could also be combined with the suggested paragraph above (page 25), concerning Census & Infrastructure Loss.

Page 32 - Colony Importance Chart
The header states that Census is the driving factor, but the paragraph above says Census + Infrastructure.

Page 32 - Outpost (first paragraph, second sentence)
"All newly colonized systems start out as outposts with 0 Census."
Per page 25, Colonization, they all start off with 1 Census.

Page 33 - Conquered Colonies (first sentence)
"A colony is conquered once all of the defending ground forces and fortresses on the ground in the system have been eliminated and only enemy ground forces are the only troops that are still disembarked in the system."
Remove the first "only".

Page 36 - Culture (second paragraph, fourth sentence)
"Another option for assigning culture values is to randomly assign culture values to new empires by rolling a D100 for each culture value."
Should be D10 or 2D6-2.

Page 39 - Blueprints (first paragraph, second sentence)
"The tech advancement cost of researching a technology is reduced by 10% as long as an empire has a blueprint for it at a tech level higher than their own to a maximum of 50% off. (round fractional tech costs up)."
Remove the highlighted period (before the rounding note). Also, does this mean +10% per TL above the empires to a maximum of 50%?

Page 39 - Tech Advancement question
Are you no longer able to reverse engineer more advanced ships, such as Alien Derelicts or captured ships? NEVER MIND - THIS HAS BEEN ADDED TO THE NEXT VERSION OF THE RULES

Page 41 - Diplomacy question
Many places you mention "a Diplomatic Fleet", but that is never defined. You do define a Diplomatic Courier, so is this what you mean, and if so, you need to fix the references to the "Fleets".

Page 42 - Losing Diplomatic Contact (first sentence)
"Diplomatic contact can be lost between two powers if they are no longer able to fulfill any of the three aforementioned conditions for diplomatic contact."
There were "four" mentioned on page 41.

This is as far as I got so far tonight.
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Re: Playtest Rules Notes

Postby Iron Sky » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:52 pm

I noticed several typos and questions as well, but not at home with my copy so will try to put them up another time. One thing that would be GREATLY helpful would be a quick-reference sheet that had all the costs of everything, all the charts in one place. I only skimmed 2/3 of the way through it last night so maybe it's there at the end, but having to dig into the book to see the penalties for breaking a treaty or how much a ground force costs would be a royal pain...

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Re: Playtest Rules Notes

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:09 pm

nimrodd wrote:Page 8 - Population Points
This is the only place I have found that specifies that unused food becomes population points, but it does not specify at what ratio.


I ended up putting this in Population Growth at the end of the Empires chapter, mainly because I couldn't find a better place to put it after the last wave of edits eviscerated the Agriculture chapter that used to have all of those rules in one place.

nimrodd wrote:Page 22 - Jump Lane Downgrade
Can this be done unilaterally? I know it states that upgrades cannot be done so, but you should be able to destroy the beacons (or lay a minefield, etc.) at your end.


I'm not terribly keen on the Jump Lane Downgrade rules to begin with, and I'm still of half a mind to eliminate them completely. It would probably be a good idea to add the same modifier that you can't downgrade a lane that connects to another empire's system, though, just to keep players from doing that.

My biggest problem with the jump lane rules right now is that there is one part of me that would almost like to see all jump lanes start as minor lanes and then upgrade from there, while there's another that wants all jump lanes classes to be random and unable to be upgraded/downgraded. Both are valid positions and I'm not sure which one the rules should advocate, or if they should advocate neither and just include both as options. Any thoughts on that?

nimrodd wrote:Page 23 - Prewarp Technology question
How are Pre-industrial and Industrial Tech Levels assigned? The Prewarp Tech Level Table just has Planetary.


I'm still working on figuring out the Prewarp natives. I should have pulled them from the playtest draft but forgot to do so and left them there. I am strongly tempted to remove them from the main book and reintroduce them in another supplement.

nimrodd wrote:Page 26 - Planetary Evacuations question
You state how much you can evacuate, but you don't state what you do with them. I assume that you can put them on another world, but what if all your worlds have increased their Census this campaign year, what do you do with the excess? My suggestion is that you can go ahead and increase a world's Census a second time, but it would cause a Morale roll due to overcrowding for a period of time (6 months).


I've added language that makes it clear that the population points are placed into the empire's population pool after they're evacuated. They can then be spent from there like any other population points. Which also reminds me that I need to add notes about economic, population, and tech point pools to the campaign resources section because those terms have kind of got lost in the conversion to 2E.

nimrodd wrote:Page 29 - Infrastructure (fifth paragraph, fourth sentence)
"The amount of population damage required to destroy a point of Infrastructure is equal to 10 times its current Infrastructure value."
That should be "infrastructure". This could also be combined with the suggested paragraph above (page 25), concerning Census & Infrastructure Loss.


So noted. I'll take a look at that and see how it would work within the context of the rest of the rules and the flow of the Colonies chapter.

nimrodd wrote:Page 32 - Colony Importance Chart
The header states that Census is the driving factor, but the paragraph above says Census + Infrastructure.


That section needs rewritten (it's not said anywhere, but things in yellow highlighter are rules sections that I know I need to rewrite). It was originally Census + Infrastructure until I changed the food consumption formula, at which point colony importance neatly aligned with Census again.

nimrodd wrote:Page 39 - Blueprints (first paragraph, second sentence)
"The tech advancement cost of researching a technology is reduced by 10% as long as an empire has a blueprint for it at a tech level higher than their own to a maximum of 50% off. (round fractional tech costs up)."
Remove the highlighted period (before the rounding note). Also, does this mean +10% per TL above the empires to a maximum of 50%?


Originally it was just 10% per blueprint that you had for the technology, but I like your interpretation better and have changed the rule accordingly. Now it's 10% discount per tech level that the blueprint exceeds your own, to a maximum of a 50% discount.

nimrodd wrote:Page 41 - Diplomacy question
Many places you mention "a Diplomatic Fleet", but that is never defined. You do define a Diplomatic Courier, so is this what you mean, and if so, you need to fix the references to the "Fleets".


I added as "see X.X Civilian Fleets" note to that section to direct people to the entry for civilian fleets.

Iron Sky wrote:I noticed several typos and questions as well, but not at home with my copy so will try to put them up another time. One thing that would be GREATLY helpful would be a quick-reference sheet that had all the costs of everything, all the charts in one place. I only skimmed 2/3 of the way through it last night so maybe it's there at the end, but having to dig into the book to see the penalties for breaking a treaty or how much a ground force costs would be a royal pain...


Point well taken. I'll comb through and see if I can create a quick reference sheet with all of the important elements on it. The obvious ones seem to be the costs of Census, Infrastructure, Facilities, Civilian Fleets, tech costs, Treaty difficulties, and treaty formulas. Any else I'm missing?

As for the cost of a ground force, you'd have to reference your list of military units to see how much each ground force class your empire has available costs to build or maintain.
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Re: Playtest Rules Notes

Postby Iron Sky » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:22 am

Any costs or values that you're likely to interact with on a turn-by-turn basis seem like the most important ones - too much of a newb to know exactly what those are.

As for the ground forces, I meant what the construction costs to design them were, just didn't express that very clearly.

It would also be useful if in the text any formulas and/or costs are presented in some way that stands out from descriptive, explanatory, or edge-case text. Mostly so if you already know the gist of the rules and are just looking for the specific mechanical action you need to take/specific cost of the action (Examples - D10 vs Integrity; 10 x New Census; 50 EP + 1 EP Maintenance) you can find it right away with a glance at the page rather than re-reading the whole section.

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Re: Playtest Rules Notes

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:49 pm

Iron Sky wrote:Any costs or values that you're likely to interact with on a turn-by-turn basis seem like the most important ones - too much of a newb to know exactly what those are.


I'm thinking the costs of civilian fleets and facilities would be obvious here, as well as the cost to improve Census and Infrastructure at colonies. Those are the kind of costs you would be interacting with every turn or need to know quickly.

It would also be useful if in the text any formulas and/or costs are presented in some way that stands out from descriptive, explanatory, or edge-case text. Mostly so if you already know the gist of the rules and are just looking for the specific mechanical action you need to take/specific cost of the action (Examples - D10 vs Integrity; 10 x New Census; 50 EP + 1 EP Maintenance) you can find it right away with a glance at the page rather than re-reading the whole section.


In the 1E Companion I ended up pulling formulas out into their own little boxes and highlighting them that way. I could do that again here in these rules, adding boxes separate from the rules that would stand out and be noticeable. The formulas could also be replicated on the quick reference sheets, with the formulas separated out by their position in the sequence of play.

All very good ideas!
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Re: Playtest Rules Notes

Postby virtutis.umbra » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:04 pm

2013-01-06-A.pdf lists Maintenance Cost on p. 66 as 1/100 of sum of combat factors and special ability factors. Is that intended? 1/10, and rounding up to the nearest half-point, generates maint. costs a bit more like what I was anticipating. Are we expecting to see much, much bigger fleets in VBAM 2E?
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Re: Playtest Rules Notes

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:33 pm

virtutis.umbra wrote:2013-01-06-A.pdf lists Maintenance Cost on p. 66 as 1/100 of sum of combat factors and special ability factors. Is that intended? 1/10, and rounding up to the nearest half-point, generates maint. costs a bit more like what I was anticipating. Are we expecting to see much, much bigger fleets in VBAM 2E?


The general intent is to scale the maintenance costs so that, on the low tech end of the spectrum, units will be quite a bit cheaper to maintain than they were in 1E. A heavy cruiser at TL 0 might have a Maintenance Cost of 36/100, or a bit over 1/3, which is half of what the cost-per-turn would have been for the same class of unit in 1E.

Maintenance Costs in 2E do go up as ships become more powerful and aren't influenced by tech level miniaturization, so after awhile you might end up being able to build ships that have maintenance costs that are more in line with the original 1E numbers. But it will take some tech advancement before you get to that point.

Part of the reason for this change was to address an issue in 1E where maintenance expense values could become so over-inflated that it would destroy the antagonists' economies trying to support all of the military equipment. This effect was exacerbated by the wartime economy optional rules. The lower maintenance costs also help to balance out that military units are much more expensive now than they used to be, and the cheaper maintenance gives players more economic points to spend on new purchases instead of having at least half their per-turn system income be required to maintain their military forces.

So, to address the key point, you should expect to be able to field patrol fleets that include a light cruiser and five frigates to defend systems without it breaking your bank. At TL 0 (baseline interstellar), the fleet would cost about 90 EP to build and 1 EP per turn to maintain. In 1E, the costs would have been about 20 EP to build and 1.33 EP per turn to maintain. That puts the units as a little more than 4 times more expensive to build in 2E, but 25% cheaper to maintain.

This playtest cycle might end proving that the higher unit costs are ultimately untenable, but testing so far shows that most single system starting empires are going to earn about 45 EP per after expenses, and that's enough to pay for quite a bit of military construction. Purchasing a new battleship every other turn is still a pretty fast rate of construction!
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Re: Playtest Rules Notes

Postby Iron Sky » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:29 am

I kinda like the different jump lane types, but I could see it as more of an optional rule rather than a default.

I don't get the point of Pre-warp natives. They aren't really a threat because they'll have little-to-no space forces... are you supposed to trade with them? Invade them? From never having played before, don't know what of value they add to the gamespace.

Question on reserve: would ships on reserve still gain supply their useful special abilities? For example, could I save some money by putting all my police and picket (stationary Scout) ships on reserve status to save money with pretty much no penalty since they aren't intended for combat use anyway?

Lastly, I can't see the real benefit of voluntarily increasing the CC of ships, especially if they have special abilities. Simply increasing their DV seems superior and far cheaper...

I missed how we determine what we get for starting ship designs.

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Re: Playtest Rules Notes

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:05 pm

Iron Sky wrote:I kinda like the different jump lane types, but I could see it as more of an optional rule rather than a default.


That is one of the other possibilities, namely to convert FTL into a non-rated ability and limit players to making one jump per turn. I'm not sure if that's really desirable, however, as in the past it made it all but impossible to quickly reposition your military forces during times of war.

I don't get the point of Pre-warp natives. They aren't really a threat because they'll have little-to-no space forces... are you supposed to trade with them? Invade them? From never having played before, don't know what of value they add to the gamespace.


The planetary-level cultures (Pre-Industrial / Industrial) aren't much more than annoyances that eat up real estate and give you another target for diplomacy or conquest. Interplanetary or Interstellar powers are more interesting, as they can start expanding and seeing what exists in the galaxy around them.

I'm still very much tempted to remove those rules from the CG and stick them in another book just because they do seem to go beyond the scope of the core rules. Then again, based on the comments from the players in the playtest, I'm also tempted to remove the NPE/NAE rules again, too, as it seems like they're experiencing information overload and need the rules trimmed back down to a manageable level.

Question on reserve: would ships on reserve still gain supply their useful special abilities? For example, could I save some money by putting all my police and picket (stationary Scout) ships on reserve status to save money with pretty much no penalty since they aren't intended for combat use anyway?


Units in reserve already take a performance hit (they can't attack), but I could see penalizing their special ability values to keep them from being particularly effective otherwise. Of course, the other possibility is to remove the attack exclusion from reserve units and instead have them always function as if they were crippled, halving their combat factor and special ability values while they are in reserve status.

Lastly, I can't see the real benefit of voluntarily increasing the CC of ships, especially if they have special abilities. Simply increasing their DV seems superior and far cheaper...


The one situation where it makes some sense is if you're building vessels that you think are going to be operating alone, like massive explorer ships or super-dreadnoughts that there might be only one of in the entire fleet. At that point you can go with the higher CC just to add some extra damage protection and cruising range at no additional cost (beyond the increased cost of things like FTL). It's definitely an edge case, though, and in most cases you'll want to go with the lowest CC possible.

I missed how we determine what we get for starting ship designs.


Jay is still trying to put together the sample ship stats for the playtest. He ran into a problem with his spreadsheet and had to go back and recalculate everything, which is slowing him down a bit.

in a more general sense, I'm thinking I need to move Game Setup back to being the third chapter and make it focus entirely on one "default" scenario to give proper guidance on setting up a game. That would address some of the confusion that players have demonstrated and make it easier for them to jump into the game from there.

Overall, even though the playtest hasn't actually started yet I think we're getting some valuable feedback that should give us some good ideas for what we need to add or remove from the core rules to make it more player-friendly. After 8 years working with one flavor of the rules or another, it's too easy to end up taking certain aspects of the rules for granted and not realize how opaque they are to everyone else.

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Re: Playtest Rules Notes

Postby Iron Sky » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:27 pm

Another question: why do we need Civilian fleets? I guess colony fleets make sense, but I don't see the point of transport fleets as you could just whip up a cheap Basing 10 shuttle for 1/3 the cost? Trade fleets don't make much sense to me either, do you have to expend them at your own colonies to create trade ports or can you build those some other way? Can you have a trade port and a starport in the same place? There's in example in the book where it says "if you had a starport and 3 tradeports in the same system" that made me go "huh?" and made me realize I don't get how trade works.

As a side note, the last few weeks have been super busy so I read/skimmed it over about 4 sessions. Combat stuff makes total sense to me, as does most of the colony stuff, but trade has me completely stymied.

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Re: Playtest Rules Notes

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:05 pm

Iron Sky wrote:Another question: why do we need Civilian fleets? I guess colony fleets make sense, but I don't see the point of transport fleets as you could just whip up a cheap Basing 10 shuttle for 1/3 the cost? Trade fleets don't make much sense to me either, do you have to expend them at your own colonies to create trade ports or can you build those some other way? Can you have a trade port and a starport in the same place? There's in example in the book where it says "if you had a starport and 3 tradeports in the same system" that made me go "huh?" and made me realize I don't get how trade works.


Civilian fleets are one of those things that I've gone back and forth about since I started work on 2E. The previous versions of the rules got rid of them and just let you colonize systems out to a certain range, but while that worked well it also made it impossible/impractical to colonize beyond that range and offered an opponent no opportunities to intercept them before they could reach their destination. Since colony fleets were back, I brought back the other old favorites, too, just to keep things fair.

You do have a good point that the transport fleet's basing value is probably too low for the cost. I really wanted to keep the civilian fleet costs the same for the same reason facilities cost the same: I don't think it helps players to have to keep looking up how much things cost when they can just say that "hey, these all cost X" and be done with it. That may not end up being possible, but that's the goal.

With civilian fleets back, I went back to a commerce model that worked better earlier in the playtest. It's a hybrid of the 1E, FA, and early 2E models. You build a trade fleet in a system, move it to another system, and then convert the trade fleet into a trading post that then trades in the system. Any system you are trading in (either because you have a starport or a trading post there) earned you income each turn equal to the population's Census.

The situations where there can be multiple trading posts in a system is when other empires are trading with you and have establish trading posts in your systems. Each starport or trading post increases the piracy chance in the system, i.e., the more civilian traffic that's in the system the greater the chance that it will be attacked by pirates.
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Re: Playtest Rules Notes

Postby Iron Sky » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:28 am

Ah, okay, that kinda makes sense. So you can't construct Trade Ports in your own systems? What about if you don't feel like building a Starport at a system you own, could you just make a trade fleet to turn it into a Trade Port?

How about with NPEs? If you ran into a pre-steller NPE, could you throw a Trade Port up on them?

Random other question not related to this stuff: I'm assuming if you initiate a space combat scenario, you are FORCING the enemy to bring as many ships as possible? If not, you could just build an immense fleet of 1 EP junk corvettes with 1 DV, 0 CR, then force the enemy to whittle through them one at a time?

For example, say the enemy initiates a Deep Space scenario and spends 8 CP. They can then bring in as many command ships that are 8CP or less as they want, then form squadrons out of those, correct? So they deploy a couple 8CR/CC battleship squadrons with a few destroyers and corvettes escorting each.

Their opposition is 100 CR 0 CC1 ships and deploy 1 of these junk corvettes in response. It's quickly destroyed, but that's okay because they have 100 more in orbit to keep the enemy busy while their real fleet is off rampaging through the galaxy somewhere. Or they send in the junker corvette, then Intercept your transport and supply ships with a small force since your main fleet has already exhausted itself destroying your junker...

Final question: why do none of the pre-made races have any supply ships to speak of? Unless they are fighting right on their borders (1-2 systems away with average lane qualities), they are going to be racking up OOS levels like mad and have no way of fixing them short of flying back to their home systems.

I know I might be a pain in your ass, but I game with a bunch of powergaming optimizers that will spend hours tinkering with spreadsheets and running test combats. If your system is broken, they will find where (as they have with some of my homebrew games) and exploit it. I'm trying to do the same to help, hopefully it's actually helpful.

Edit: Another note - it's actually beneficial to have small squadron sizes as rounding up after combat rolls rewards more divisions. Rounding up .4 twice is better than rounding up .8 once...

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Re: Playtest Rules Notes

Postby Iron Sky » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:21 am

After tinkering around for a while today, I've come up with the following suggestions for the CSR:

1) Make special abilities that aren't based on % of CC count as Combat Factors for ship CC minimum. Otherwise, you could theoretically have a CC1 ship with 100 Communications, for example. I've made 1CC Corvettes that can (in test combats) regularly trounce equally-priced 8CC Battleships due to absurd amounts of special abilities.

1 point of Interception + 1 point of Anti-fighter is as effective as 2 points of PD but doesn't increase your CC value, thus making PD obsolete - as one glaring example. Also, Stealth should probably be switched to 1 point each if this is done to avoid it's dominance again - it already costs more to stealth a large ship than a small one, especially if you want to do it reliably and even more so if you combine some of the other ideas I'm about to put out (round down and d10s, see below).

2) Go back to using the full CR pool to "purchase" ships for engagements. Require that the opponent spend as many CR as you spent, if possible. Squadrons are then formed as in the current system with command ships "buying" escorts with their CR. Squadrons would combine factors when rolling for AS, PD, Stealth, Scout, Fast, EW, etc... but could only spend benefits on ships in the squadron and their firepower would be applied separately from other squadrons - meaning if your squadron's AS is too low to penetrate another squadron's Formation Level, should have brought higher CR ships (or more firepower).

3) Round down combat rolls. This encourages squadron formation rather than having the "50 ships, 50 squadrons" situation to take advantage of round up. It will also make a rating of 1 pretty much useless on its own, but that just encourages squadrons and/or specialization which both make these sorts of games more fun (in my opinion).

3a) As a side note, if you want more crippled ships rather than just the poles of full health/dead rounding down a crippled ship's combat values instead of rounding up has the benefit of making them less valuable targets than regular ships. Currently, if you cripple a ship, on average it's Combat Effectiveness / Hits Remaining ratio goes UP rather than down when crippled.

Example: A ship has 3 DV, 3AS, 1CC. It has 3 AS that takes 4 Hits to reduce it to 2. It takes 4 damage and is crippled. It now has 2DV, 2AS, 1 CC. It has 2AS to 3 hits (to reduce to 0). Crippling it takes 4 damage to remove 1 AS (1:4 ratio) while finishing it off takes 2 damage to remove 2 AS (1:1 ratio). Thus, it is almost always beneficial to finish off crippled ships rather than target fresh ones. If you rounded down, you'd have 1 AS in 2 hits (1:2) vs 4 hits to reduce 2 to cripple it (1:2).

That would make it a more difficult decision - finish off the nearly-destroyed ship or go for one that is more of a threat? I also has the side benefit of making CC more valuable as it isn't decreased when a ship is crippled.

4) d10s instead of d6 for combat rolls. Yes this increases variability, but also allows full usage of stats rather than the strange (to me) "60% maximum" deal that the current system has. This will also lessen the (sometimes crippling) effect of poor readiness without making it inconsequential. Combats will be deadlier, but I've had test combats with poor readiness rolls on both sides where there's 0-2 points of damage dealt a round with 5-6 ships on each side making those combats a boring tit-for-tat whittling away rather than an explosive, action-packed rumble.

5) Roll readiness each round using last round's readiness modifier as the next roll's modifier (after the first round, of course). This way you aren't stuck with a crappy readiness or dominating with a lucky roll all combat, but you still gain the last round's benefits. Simply moving one step closer to +0 each round works, but rolling dice is fun!

6) EW seems to be ineffective. Since it costs double other Formation increasing/decreasing abilities, it's only marginal benefit is boosting your ships before the Stealth Attack phase. If you're going to be doing that, you're better off just loading up on Stealth yourself. Allowing PD/Interception allocation by stealth attack ships likewise makes Maneuver obsolete.

The winning strategy in the current CSR seems to be High Stealth + Interception on low CC ships, which in test combats handily defeats similarly priced fleets fielded by the other factions due to first-strike novas and regular high (3-5) Formation levels that make them hit hard, hit first, and be almost impossible to hit back.

I really, really like framework of the CSR, but there seem to be a few rough edges that straight-jacket an optimizer into one style of fleet and will do the same to any of said optimizers opponents once they face (and are summarily destroyed) by said fleets.

If you run a few test combats with the ships I submitted to Jay against the other fleets your findings will probably mirror my own.

Again, hopefully this feedback is helpful. I have more ideas, but I don't want to come across as "stealing your baby" so to speak and will shut up now until I hear that you want more feedback (or don't want anymore, which is cool too).

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OneMadOgre
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Re: Playtest Rules Notes

Postby OneMadOgre » Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:28 pm

How does that work out when you bring up the tech levels on the more primary combat stats. At the TL-0 we're running the playtest groups at, I agree. I'm loving my stealth ships. But I have no plans of raising the tech level on stealth, but I am certainly interested in increasing my tech levels on attack, defense, and point defense. I'd imagine that tech levels in point defense start to make it more attractive compared to anti-fighter and interception specials?

Haven't run the math, I've been playing with building some web play-aids instead. But I love that you are, so I guess I'm trying to put something else in your stew.

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Iron Sky
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Re: Playtest Rules Notes

Postby Iron Sky » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:48 pm

Tech progression will depend on how long-scale the game is going to go. If increasing, say, AS to TL1 is going to cost 40 and saves you 1 per ship, it's going to take 40 ships produced to pay back the investment. If you're building that many you're either in one hell of a war and probably need the production for ships or your empire is huge and the upgrade is going to be fairly expensive. I'm not entirely sold on the costs of increasing technologies balancing out with the benefits...


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