Macro VBAM

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Does an "epic scale" VBAM set of optional rules interest you?

Yes
6
50%
No
2
17%
Perhaps. (Give us your thoughts in this topic)
4
33%
 
Total votes: 12

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MarkG88
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Macro VBAM

Postby MarkG88 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:11 pm

A "big" item on my VBAM wish list is "macro VBAM". By that I mean epic scale/size so you can do a ebb and flow space empire thing akin to Asimov's Foundation series (since there are more than the trilogy I grew up with :wink: ).

Turns would be 1 year in length subdivided in quarters (using the time scale common on most world war two era boardgames). Battles would be large, significant events. Ground units would be large (corps/armies) and expensive to build/move, but with the increased scale, the economy can handle this.

I like the idea of this expanded time scale to keep the tech stuff more "realistic" for a lack of better word, and the reality of scale overall....it would take time to take over a reasonably developed planet. This scale is strictly for your large, galaxy spanning empires and not so much for exploration settings (although it would probably do fine with that as well). I like BIG battles and EPIC settings, so this is why I want to try and take VBAM to an "accelerated" time scale on a per turn basis.

Space units would have an "availability" rating which would be used to determine their activity during each of the turn's four phases (this could be used to show things that don't show up in most space or historic war games.......down time for maintenance, shake down/training cruises, and attrition from patrol and skirmishes).

All this would be optional stuff or a supplement at some point if viable at all..... :roll:

I am working on this for a playtest setting at some point using some of the scenarios in CG and perhaps some of the other books.

-Mark

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Tyrel Lohr
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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:23 pm

I would have to say that the compressed time scale does seem to work best with Ancient historical settings, where the resolution of action at a seasonal level make quite a bit of sense.

For larger starfaring empires, though, I am wondering what the effect would be other than increasing the amount of income generated and decreasing the number of possible actions to be taken. It would seem to work best with settings where space travel is only capable at reduced rates, maybe exactly at the speed of light. If you have 4 turns per year, then it would take 16 turns to reach Alpha Centauri -- whether that is desirable or not, I am not sure, but it would help to further limit activity.

An idea that might fold into your own would be to have a single "Economic Turn" for each campaign year, and then have a number of "Strategic Turns" (for the lack of a better term) where units could move and engage one another. That would increase the focus on careful unit deployment, as you could not instantly react to the negative effects of the current campaign. Again, this would make the most sense in a historical setting where it might take many months for news to reach of a famine, or for the results of a large battle to filter back to an empire's leaders.

I think your idea is worth pursuing, Mark, but I think it would need a checklist of what the intended results are, as well as the benefits it would offer to campaign play (i.e., why it would make sense in particular settings, or provide an enjoyable alternative experience). I have discovered in working on 2E that a lot of the rules that I came up with the last two years were just making things more complicated for the sole benefit of increased complication, and that is a trap you would want to avoid.

-Tyrel
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mwaschak
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Postby mwaschak » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:47 pm

Tyrel Lohr wrote:I think your idea is worth pursuing, Mark, but I think it would need a checklist of what the intended results are, as well as the benefits it would offer to campaign play (i.e., why it would make sense in particular settings, or provide an enjoyable alternative experience). I have discovered in working on 2E that a lot of the rules that I came up with the last two years were just making things more complicated for the sole benefit of increased complication, and that is a trap you would want to avoid.

-Tyrel


I do as well. At that level of game there may be ebbs and flows of a civilization that could be out of the player's hands. As you recall Foundation was about the recovering of a civilization to some extent.

But, much of it sounds like some of the ideas that emerged from the historical projects where a turn covers a grander period of time.

-Jay

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Postby MadSeason » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:00 pm

I think these would offer a different VBAM experience but I don't know that it captures what you are after:

1) In a 12-turn per year game, have economic phases occur every 3 months. Income could still be tripled but decision-making has a lag time this way. (I really like this idea, although I don't think that it requires a special set of rules.)

B) Decrease the number of turns per year to 4. Economics occurs at each turn, with income quadrupled. Operational decisions would be telescoped and would therefore require some rewriting of the rules. For example, an order might be -- move Fleet A to System 23, pick up colonist, move Fleet A to System 21, colonize. Spycraft missions would be longer term and could therefore be done a little differently.

3) Another thought that I think could be useful would be rules for a CM to telescope the game during periods of peace between major powers. But this could be handled without changing the rules, if the CM just asked, say, for the next 3 turns at a time.

As always, just thinking out loud.
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Death is light as a feather.

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Postby Gareth_Perkins » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:40 pm

As a sort of halfway-house,

You could run the normal twelve-turn year, but only allow players to write new orders every third turn,

This would allow for the lag (and the empires inertia) you're discussing,
Gareth Lazelle

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Rainer
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Postby Rainer » Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:33 pm

Gareth_Perkins wrote:As a sort of halfway-house,

You could run the normal twelve-turn year, but only allow players to write new orders every third turn,

This would allow for the lag (and the empires inertia) you're discussing,


... or lead to several pages worth of contingency orders.

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Postby Gareth_Perkins » Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:42 pm

Only if you allow contingency planning...
Gareth Lazelle

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MarkG88
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Postby MarkG88 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:29 pm

Debate, idea tossing........yaaay. 8)

Thanks for the thoughts guys, keep them coming. I will get some ideas for a macro VBAM turn sequence at some point this week.......hopefully.

-Mark

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murtalianconfederacy
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Postby murtalianconfederacy » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:20 am

Strangely enough, I've been thinking about a STL campaign, but the only thing I've thought of is making each turn be a year. Not that interesting, I admit...

Though I'd be interested in anything about this subject...
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