How is the playtest going?

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OneMadOgre
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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby OneMadOgre » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:08 pm

And actually on that topic. I took the subscription to Azure this morning, so I'll re-deploy the play aid either late this evening or late tomorrow evening. I haven't had much time to make any changes, as I've been getting settled in my new job. But hopefully soon as the weather gets cold here on the northern plains and I'm less inclined to want to be outside.

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby mwaschak » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:40 pm

PaulB wrote:
Well, the strength of VBAM is its flexibility. This allows people to adapt it to their current game, run a generic vanilla exploration and conquest game, or plug in one of the provided settings. The people involved in creating these settings, such as yourself, Tyrel or Charlie can probably gauge interest by how much any given book sells. Personally I haven't played the game much at all, but I still enjoyed picking up and reading the setting books and I'm sure for some other players this would be the case as well.



Thanks. At this point there are a lot of books in the queue which depend on these final steps for 2e. So it has given us a lot of focus. On the plus side seeing which rules work and don't work gives me a lot to build with for other sources, like VBAM Historical. One of the supply rules we tossed from 2e is perfect for a historical fiefdom. I think getting back to writing fiction will be healthy for the team.

PaulB wrote:I'm not sure what difficulties there are exactly, but one approach might be to provide different modules that can be plugged into the rules. These modules might help facilitate different types of gameplay. VBAM is built upon the Babylon 5 universe for example, as I believe it was originally intended to work in conjunction with Babylon 5 Wars. So the map layout is in the style of B5 in that it uses jump lane format.

But another module might be introduced to emulate the warp style movement.

Or the lightspeed style movement.


Yep! I am sure all the B5 Wars veterans will see the vestigial pieces from the original. That was over ten years ago now that I think about it. We have had success with other movement types. FA and FASB Edition both use hexes, Light speed and folded space would be new but probably not hard to model. In an original 2e draft I believe we even had different FTL types in the same game. That obviously could not work for a "core" book.

PaulB wrote:Similarily some modules might be introduced to facilitate different cultural elements. Like different political systems or relationships. What's the difference between first contact diplomacy and broken empire diplomacy? Or different states within a confederation or union of states? Or maybe there are just rules for setting up different political systems for example.


This is definitely in the works for the second and third CMC books. We did manage to keep most of the NPE rules, as most recent playtesters have seen. Relationships between empires is still important.

PaulB wrote:Well, to be blunt "there are so many good ones" is not a reason not to try.
For example I'm currently reading a book on Video Game design. Most of it is about the video game process, but other elements do apply to both other sorts of games and other sorts of mediums.


Oh, I know. I haven't hit that breakthrough idea yet which makes it something we want to furiously pursue. Some of my best campaign games have been paired with a tactical system because it makes for those memorable engagement or those interesting ship battles that add character to a game.

For example, my kinetic heavy fleet in StarmadaX (just X), which had spent years fighting another fighter heavy kinetic empire ran in to a low tech empire with particle beams and heavy corvettes. The more advanced empire spent the next year rebuilding ships with energy defense system (which were costly and ineffective) to even stay in the fight. Another is a FA campaign where a lone Fed Battle Frigate managed to fight its way through several campaign turns behind enemy lines and retrieve a capture Orion cartel leader, who in turn loaned a few pirate ships for support against the Kzinti offensive. It was just these little details that made it interesting and it helped that a campaign system could show it. The first being a meaningful difference in tech and the second campaign details beyond 4x.

While we offer miniatures, they are not the driving reason for us to do a tactical system. A tactical system gives us a lot of flexibility in doing an objective system, which is hard to port 1:1 at this point because of the loss of details needed to make the CSCR playable. Something to the scale of the CSCR is more appropriate for VBAM because most of our battles tend to be at the scale of fleet vs fleet. I had a few prototypes worked out for fleet or operational engagement. Maybe it is time to pull my double blind space carrier block game and see how the 2e stats fit on it.


PaulB wrote:But for example, the fact that your tactical system would tie into VBAM seamlessly is already something that it could do better than any other game. Further not many systems are very adaptable, and I find that most of those that are tend to be either too complicated or too simple.


This is one of my big hopes with John's online VBAM engine. It would enable us to run 2e campaigns in a much more seamless way, especially if we can allow players to pick and choose which campaign options they want to run. Then we can use the engine to help do ship construction calculations and make turn submissions consistent. I am looking forward to working with him on this when the next 2e update is available.

-Jay

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby OneMadOgre » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:25 pm

Me too!!! :)

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby OneMadOgre » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:14 pm

It occurs to me as I fiddle with some of this code this weekend, that I should treat the individual ships kind of like characters in the story. Complete with things like battle stars for battles they participated in and eventually maybe even conditions that are unique to the ship. Sort of like a "Tough to Kill" condition that one might apply to the Big "E" in WWII in a simulation.

Dunno. Maybe this is a new thread. I just miss all of you. :D

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby mwaschak » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:49 am

OneMadOgre wrote:It occurs to me as I fiddle with some of this code this weekend, that I should treat the individual ships kind of like characters in the story. Complete with things like battle stars for battles they participated in and eventually maybe even conditions that are unique to the ship. Sort of like a "Tough to Kill" condition that one might apply to the Big "E" in WWII in a simulation.

Dunno. Maybe this is a new thread. I just miss all of you. :D


That would be fine. I have dealt with some preliminary rules for unit experience, but this is more in line with VBAM Historical. One of my thoughts with a tactical system is considering if it would be worth building in to your online system or not.

-Jay

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby OneMadOgre » Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:59 pm

I have been building one, to be honest. That was the part I always had some ideas around.

Although I'm strictly a hobbyist, so banging around some of those ideas is something I look forward to. :)


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