2E Design Journal #3...

Check here for updates and discussion about the new edition of the Victory by Any Means Campaign System.
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Postby zyffyr » Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:27 pm

MarkNorfolk wrote: I can only recall one setting that demands getting as far as way from the sun as possible before engaging the FTL (40K)


There is also Battletech, though they could use any spot in the system where the overall gravity was low enough. Jumping OUT from the middle wasn't a big deal, but jumping IN to the middle was very dangerous (and therefore extremely rare).

The Honorverse also requires that ships move to the outer system before engaging FTL, with the sole possible exception being when a wormhole is used.

And then there is the granddaddy of space games - Traveller. Yet again, FTL only from the edges of the system.

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Postby MadSeason » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:22 pm

I think the Starfire universe uses jump points but the jump points had to be far away from the star, on the edge of the system.
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Postby nimrodd » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:22 pm

zyffyr wrote:And then there is the granddaddy of space games - Traveller. Yet again, FTL only from the edges of the system.


No, in Traveller you had to be 100 diameters from a gravity well. For Earth, that is roughly 1,275,620 kilometers, which is about 3-1/3 times the distance to the moon (385,000 km). That is about 6-1/3 hours travel time at a constant 1G, with deceleration to end at 0 relative velocity, or about 4-1/2 hours at full out, I don't care how fast I am going, acceleration.

Earth orbits (149,600,000 km) outside of the Sol's 100 diameter limit (139,100,000 km).

So, no unless you are visiting a system with a Red Giant, you don't have to jump from the edge of the system in Traveller.
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Postby MadSeason » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:24 pm

nimrodd wrote:
zyffyr wrote:And then there is the granddaddy of space games - Traveller. Yet again, FTL only from the edges of the system.


No, in Traveller you had to be 100 diameters from a gravity well. For Earth, that is roughly 1,275,620 kilometers, which is about 3-1/3 times the distance to the moon (385,000 km). That is about 6-1/3 hours travel time at a constant 1G, with deceleration to end at 0 relative velocity, or about 4-1/2 hours at full out, I don't care how fast I am going, acceleration.

Earth orbits (149,600,000 km) outside of the Sol's 100 diameter limit (139,100,000 km).

So, no unless you are visiting a system with a Red Giant, you don't have to jump from the edge of the system in Traveller.


I hope you had to look that up. :wink:
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Postby Charles Lewis » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:34 pm

murtalianconfederacy wrote:I hope there will be an option to build units quicker with add-ons to shipyards or better shipyard tech, otherwise whats the point of making anything larger than cruisers? :(


The other reason to build something larger than a cruiser? All the usual reasons - better durability, better firepower, more of everything. Capital ships should be a investment. The intent is that the new CSCR will allow that investment to payoff.

All too often under 1E, even cruisers were being treated as attrition units. The new CSCR will encourage a more even distribution of damage, and bigger units will be able to absorb more damage without getting crippled.
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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:49 pm

The additional movement rules really won't add any real heft to your turn orders, as you just have to add a note after your system location (probably in parenthesis) noting your current location. For example, if you have a fleet in orbit of Earth, you would just write "Sol (Earth)" as your location. If you were moving, you could then just say something like "Sol (Earth) => Sol (Outskirts) [3]" which says where you're at, where you're going, and how much Engine Rating it will cost to get there.

For interstellar movement, you can just note how far you are on your journey in a similar method: "Sol (Outskirts) => Alpha Centauri (Outskirts) [1/2]", where the bracketed value shows how much of the Movement Cost has already been paid compared to the total Movement Cost for that lane (or hex).

Also, when using pen-and-paper, it probably makes sense to have all fleets tracked on their own pieces of paper, and just update their disposition and location, with the orders written on another sheet of paper. That would mean probably about 3-4 pages per empire to track all of their forces. Also, it will make a lot more sense to play Commander or Captain Campaigns rather than Commodore or Admiral Campaigns if you have to do everything by hand.

As for ships taking longer to build, it will take some getting used to, that's for sure, but they won't be worthless. Probably the best way for you to handle that in pen-and-paper, I imagine, would be to buy some index cards and have each index card be a separate colony's shipyards, and then each turn just go in and update them to track the construction (either progressively, or you can just write down a unit's completion date and just double check to see if it is completed yet).

Given that you are playing solo, you can also handwave some of these elements away to make it easier for you. There will be nothing stopping you from having instant construction (just add water!) as in vanilla 1E VBAM; it just means that you will have to track a lot more units, as your empires will be fielding huge fleets.

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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:53 pm

MadSeason wrote:I think the Starfire universe uses jump points but the jump points had to be far away from the star, on the edge of the system.


Star Control also has this limitation.

I can see allowing certain FTL Drives to pay FTL Rating in lieu of Engine Rating, but I think that gets into some specialty rules particular to each specific flavor of FTL Drive.

Warp Drives are the most obvious culprit to be allowed to expend FTL Rating for Engine Rating, likely on a 1:1 basis.

Jump Drives (ala Babylon 5) would have the option of jumping deeper into a system, but would need some other limitation to offset the advantage (probably being unable to conduct interplanetary movement on the same campaign turn).

What about Star Wars-like Hyper Drive systems? How do they end up working?

The "Outskirts-to-jump" rule is probably one that will be house ruled away by a lot of players, but I think it helps to make things a bit more interesting from a gameplay perspective when dealing with Commodore and Admiral Campaigns. Playtest will tell us for sure if it is a good idea or a bad idea, so we will have to wait and see.

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Postby Chyll » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:17 pm

Handwavium (what a cool word) or house rule around any situation is always a slick solution.

Push comes to shove I'd probably think about having someone jump to a system, but plot the specific destination. So I'd jump Centauri to Sol (Mars). Win the fight there, and then use engines to get in and wipe out the last defenses at Earth. That wouldn't wipe out all the granularity, but would limit it some. Just $0.02 for thought.


Didn't see BSG mentioned anywhere. There's a setting that goes the other way and doesn't limit jump location to the edge of systems. It even allowed jumps into and out of atmo on occasion.
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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:19 pm

Chyll wrote:Push comes to shove I'd probably think about having someone jump to a system, but plot the specific destination. So I'd jump Centauri to Sol (Mars). Win the fight there, and then use engines to get in and wipe out the last defenses at Earth. That wouldn't wipe out all the granularity, but would limit it some. Just $0.02 for thought.


Rather than have it be a free action, you could just allow the player to spend FTL Rating as Engine Rating in order to make jump into that particular location. That would require for a fleet to have leftover FTL Rating beyond that required to actually arrive in the system, but it would at least apply some sort of cost to being able to bypass a system's outer defenses.

An alternative would be to allow a force to jump into a non-Outskirts location, but receive combat penalties for doing so.

There just has to be some balance to keep that from being a default tactic, because otherwise there becomes no reason for a player to even worry about defending anything but their colony worlds -- which is something I think we would want to get away from in detailed 2E campaigns.

Chyll wrote:Didn't see BSG mentioned anywhere. There's a setting that goes the other way and doesn't limit jump location to the edge of systems. It even allowed jumps into and out of atmo on occasion.


Jumps are also instantaneous, which is extremely problematic from a gameplay perspective. BSG ships would essentially have super-high FTL Ratings, as they could conceivably complete an inordinate number of jumps each campaign turn. In fact, given "33", the BSG ships would be able to move anywhere they want at any time, with the only limitation maybe being a chance for FTL failure or making a miscalculated jump. In practice, it would be extremely game breaking, and I doubt anyone would want to play against an empire that could jump as many times as it wanted with little or no repercussions.

A more "gameplay friendly" analog to BSG would be the Wing Commander universe, where FTL travel is conducted via fixed jump points. FTL travel itself is instantaneous, but it still takes time to move through a system between jump points (this is also essentially what Starfire does, too).

However, a faithful reproduction of the Wing Commander setting really relies on having a separate map for each star system, with each important location in the system connected via travel routes, and Engine Rating used to determine movement rates. Essentially, every Nav point that they would have you scout or move to in the game would be another location in the star system.

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Postby Chyll » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:44 pm

Tyrel Lohr wrote:
Chyll wrote:Push comes to shove I'd probably think about having someone jump to a system, but plot the specific destination. So I'd jump Centauri to Sol (Mars). Win the fight there, and then use engines to get in and wipe out the last defenses at Earth. That wouldn't wipe out all the granularity, but would limit it some. Just $0.02 for thought.


Rather than have it be a free action, you could just allow the player to spend FTL Rating as Engine Rating in order to make jump into that particular location. That would require for a fleet to have leftover FTL Rating beyond that required to actually arrive in the system, but it would at least apply some sort of cost to being able to bypass a system's outer defenses.


See that would be applying logic and rules to my randomly shared thought. I like the result of your ruminary response. (Ruminary - is that a word? It should be.)
:lol:


Tyrel Lohr wrote:
Chyll wrote:Didn't see BSG mentioned anywhere. There's a setting that goes the other way and doesn't limit jump location to the edge of systems. It even allowed jumps into and out of atmo on occasion.


Jumps are also instantaneous, which is extremely problematic from a gameplay perspective. BSG ships would essentially have super-high FTL Ratings, as they could conceivably complete an inordinate number of jumps each campaign turn. In fact, given "33", the BSG ships would be able to move anywhere they want at any time, with the only limitation maybe being a chance for FTL failure or making a miscalculated jump. In practice, it would be extremely game breaking, and I doubt anyone would want to play against an empire that could jump as many times as it wanted with little or no repercussions.


Granted, and I certainly wouldn't advocate anything like that without controls in the rules. Just offering another end of the spectrum for disscusion.

Although, frankly, I got the idea that so many jumps was 1) certainly hard on the people and 2) hard on the equipment. It was under duress and extremus and far from a desirable course of action.

Also, my impression was also that they were not tied to systems as destinations. My sense is that many of those jumps were to empy space between systems. And you could argue that while they made many jumps they didn't actually 'get' anywhere. In fact, with so many references to superior Cylon FTL capability, I'd guess that they'd have to make multiple jumps to get from one system to another. With associated downtime and plotting between. The end result, in game terms could easily be defined (or handwavium-ed, to use my current favorite word) to a normal game turn for instantaneous jumps.

Tyrel Lohr wrote:A more "gameplay friendly" analog to BSG would be the Wing Commander universe, where FTL travel is conducted via fixed jump points. FTL travel itself is instantaneous, but it still takes time to move through a system between jump points.


This is also fairly close to the Stars Divided concept. The jump does take time - not instantaneous, but as much or more time aligning and synchronizing for the jump nav.
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Postby nimrodd » Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:15 pm

MadSeason wrote:
nimrodd wrote:So, no unless you are visiting a system with a Red Giant, you don't have to jump from the edge of the system in Traveller.


I hope you had to look that up. :wink:


The actual sizes, yes; the fact that it is 100 diameters and that Earth is outside Sol's 100 diameter limit, no.

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Postby MadSeason » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:42 am

nimrodd wrote:
MadSeason wrote:
nimrodd wrote:So, no unless you are visiting a system with a Red Giant, you don't have to jump from the edge of the system in Traveller.


I hope you had to look that up. :wink:


The actual sizes, yes; the fact that it is 100 diameters and that Earth is outside Sol's 100 diameter limit, no.

Jimmy


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Postby murtalianconfederacy » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:53 am

Just to say sorry for the hacking-up of your post into more manageable chunks...:D

Tyrel Lohr wrote:The additional movement rules really won't add any real heft to your turn orders, as you just have to add a note after your system location (probably in parenthesis) noting your current location. For example, if you have a fleet in orbit of Earth, you would just write "Sol (Earth)" as your location. If you were moving, you could then just say something like "Sol (Earth) => Sol (Outskirts) [3]" which says where you're at, where you're going, and how much Engine Rating it will cost to get there.


I'm not worried about that, and in fact will welcome this.

For interstellar movement, you can just note how far you are on your journey in a similar method: "Sol (Outskirts) => Alpha Centauri (Outskirts) [1/2]", where the bracketed value shows how much of the Movement Cost has already been paid compared to the total Movement Cost for that lane (or hex).


Will be slightly difficult for me, as I've yet to devise a satisfactory method of distinguishing between unimportant, restricted, minor and major jump lanes that also enables me to downgrade the routes, but as I'll probably keep with VBAM:SX and thus my own, unique, rules for movement, I should be okay.

Also, when using pen-and-paper, it probably makes sense to have all fleets tracked on their own pieces of paper, and just update their disposition and location, with the orders written on another sheet of paper. That would mean probably about 3-4 pages per empire to track all of their forces. Also, it will make a lot more sense to play Commander or Captain Campaigns rather than Commodore or Admiral Campaigns if you have to do everything by hand.


Thats something I might do. Hmm...

As for ships taking longer to build, it will take some getting used to, that's for sure, but they won't be worthless. Probably the best way for you to handle that in pen-and-paper, I imagine, would be to buy some index cards and have each index card be a separate colony's shipyards, and then each turn just go in and update them to track the construction (either progressively, or you can just write down a unit's completion date and just double check to see if it is completed yet).

Given that you are playing solo, you can also handwave some of these elements away to make it easier for you. There will be nothing stopping you from having instant construction (just add water!) as in vanilla 1E VBAM; it just means that you will have to track a lot more units, as your empires will be fielding huge fleets.

-Tyrel


Lots of units are good...:D Especially if they all resemble the Omega...:)

However, I think I'll be able to sort it out. I just felt that it would be a real hassle to sort it out, and it probably will still. But I think I can manage it...
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Postby JoeBuckeye » Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:54 pm

Also, when using pen-and-paper, it probably makes sense to have all fleets tracked on their own pieces of paper


I've used index cards as fleet/formation cards in Starfire and VBAM.

Basically laid out as follows:

Formation Name
Flagship (can add command limits here for VBAM)
Other ships
Orders
Location

A formation can consist of other formations.

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Ship travel times in-system and out

Postby Eklypse0 » Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:39 am

I was working on a campaign that used both Hyperspace and Jump Gates.

Hyperdrive required the ships to be outside the jump limit, but allowed for free-roaming travel from star to star (Though dangerous). Hyperdrive is the only way to search out other systems, but everyone gets to see the 'galactic map'.

Then there is Jump Gates. Jump gates are built as pairs, and are effectively empire made wormholes, allowing almost instant travel from one side to the other.

Jump gates can be made from as short range as planet to planet within the same system, to an interstellar transport, good economic infrastructure.

So jumps can be made from Earth to Jupiter, (or for that matter, Earth to Betelgeuse planet IV) in one turn, but the initial distance would have to be crossed by maneuver (or hyper) drive to begin with.

Many ships will have no need for Hyperdrives, freeing the space up for other things which can make them more combat effective. However, Hyperdrives generally will be the only way to assault another empire. (Though they may somehow get access to a Jump gate, perhaps by building it within the system of an un-observant other empire?)


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