Hi and a question

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Tyrel Lohr
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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:43 pm

jygro wrote:First off, I hope you have gotten some sleep. Too bad I didn't get to hang out with you and Jay more. Another time I hope!


It was crazy up there. We had a few impromptu meetings with Stephen V. Cole and the ADB crew, and then I had a few sleep deprivation issues on top of that that forced me to crash Friday night. But next year we will have to make sure to all get together to hang out and play some games. I think it would be great to get all of the VBAM players together to discuss VBAM 2E, too, since that book will have been out for awhile by then.

jygro wrote:I do have a question why the amount of mass has to be tied to TL5 and TL10? Shouldn't mass requirements go down a little with every TL advance? My thought would be to have it slowly lower over time to give each TL a little something.


I fought with the formulas you provided, and so long as we cut tech off at TL 10 they would work, but they run into some issues at the high-end that ends up making tech development beyond a certain point largely worthless. 50 x 0.87^TL worked the best of the formulas I played with, but it still had this problem... wait a minute, no, you're right, it doesn't really have that problem at all. I have no idea what I was thinking -- thanks for the reality check, Bren! I guess I spent so long looking at formulas before that it cooked my brain, but 0.87^TL works great for the miniaturization. For 50 Mass, it even hits the TL 5 and TL 10 sweet spots of 1/2 and 1/4, respectively.
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Postby wminsing » Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:23 pm

I guess I spent so long looking at formulas before that it cooked my brain, but 0.87^TL works great for the miniaturization. For 50 Mass, it even hits the TL 5 and TL 10 sweet spots of 1/2 and 1/4, respectively.



I also like the .87^TL for miniaturization- I'd much rather each tech level buy me a small boost instead of seeing no benefit until TL 5.

-Will
"Ships and sail proper for the heavenly air should be fashioned. Then there will also be people, who do not shrink from the dreary vastness of space."
-- Johannes Kepler, 1609

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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:09 pm

wminsing wrote:I also like the .87^TL for miniaturization- I'd much rather each tech level buy me a small boost instead of seeing no benefit until TL 5.


Well, before I was just using fractional values written down to know what the "correct" miniaturization would be, but the formula is much better, and after double checking its output it does match pretty close to what I was getting from hard coded values. So that formula is the way we will be going.

After getting back from Origins, I have been working on getting the ship construction rules finalized. If not for the holiday weekend this weekend (and the fact that I need to get royalty payments ready) I would have a draft document ready for circulation.

As a summary to where ship construction has gone, we are looking at something of a hybrid of the Unit Size / Archetype models. Each Unit Size is associated with a specific ship archetype, so a SIZ 1 Starship is a Corvette, while a SIZ 6 is a Heavy Cruiser. Each archetype is then assigned a Maximum Mass value and Command Cost. This allows for differentiation between unit types without having everything be tied to formulas. This gives us better control when defining how powerful units should be relative to other units in order to provide a controlled environment for ship construction.

Starships end up with the following stats:

Construction Cost = Mass / 100 (round up)
This is the cost to build the unit. The more massive the unit, the more it will cost.

Maintenance Cost = Unit Size / 10 * Mass / Maximum Mass (round to nearest hundredths)
This is the per-turn cost to maintain the unit. The closer a unit's Mass is to its class' Maximum Mass, the higher its Maintenance Costs will be.

Maintenance Costs are no longer listed as fractional values, but rather as decimal values out to two decimal places. Thus a unit that normally had a MC of 1/4 would have a MC of 0.25 in Second Edition. The concept of maintenance groups is gone, though an optional rule in the Companion will provide a mechanic that will encourage players to build units in series.

Completion Time = (Unit Size + Mass / 100) / 2 (round to nearest)
This is the number of Construction Phases a unit must be under construction until it is completed. Larger units will take longer to build. Ditto for more expensive units. This stat also provides a reason for a player to not build a unit to its full Maximum Mass, as lowering the Mass (or selecting a smaller hull size) can reduce a unit's construction time.

Corvettes can be built in a single turn, while Heavy Cruisers will take about 8-9 turns to build. The largest superdreadnoughts will take 18 turns to build.

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Postby OldnGrey » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:46 pm

Tyrel Lohr wrote:
wminsing wrote:I also like the .87^TL for miniaturization- I'd much rather each tech level buy me a small boost instead of seeing no benefit until TL 5.


Well, before I was just using fractional values written down to know what the "correct" miniaturization would be, but the formula is much better, and after double checking its output it does match pretty close to what I was getting from hard coded values. So that formula is the way we will be going.

-Tyrel

Well, that's handy! Thought I would have to make a drastic change to the shipyard for tech levels.
However, in Starmada terms this works out at Tech Range 5 expanded to 10 levels above TL0.

Pardon my asking this but if "TL 5 ("normal" Interstellar tech level)"(your earlier post), is considered some sort of a mid point, then why does everything get a tech level "bonus"? Or have I read previous posts incorrectly (possible I admit) and there would be tech levels below TL0?

Just looking to see how the shipyard might be "upgraded" eventually to give stats for 2E.
Paul

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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:01 pm

OldnGrey wrote:Pardon my asking this but if "TL 5 ("normal" Interstellar tech level)"(your earlier post), is considered some sort of a mid point, then why does everything get a tech level "bonus"? Or have I read previous posts incorrectly (possible I admit) and there would be tech levels below TL0?


The decision was made when adapting the tech rules to 2E to not go the Starmada route with negative tech levels. Instead, tech is universally measured on a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 being unlocked and available and 10 being completely mastered. Tech levels above 10 are mathematically possible, as are negative tech levels, too, but for the sake of simplicity we settled on the 0 to 10 scale.

It is assumed that a technology's Mass Cost at TL 0 represents the very maximum size for that type of equipment. Therefore we took the value that we wanted the tech to be at mid-game (TL 5) and doubled it. So far, this seems to be working out.

Another important change to 2E tech is that the NPE tech levels from the Companion are now fully integrated, and advancement from one Empire Tech Level to another is based on the technologies that have been developed and/or unlocked. Each step has a set of prerequisites that have to be developed prior to advancing to the next Empire Tech Level. For the most part, all empires you encounter in a campaign will be at the Interstellar Level, but it makes it easier for handling lower tech powers using the same tech rules as everything else. In the Companion, those low-tech entities used their own special tech system, and I wanted to get away from that in 2E.

As for adapting the Shipyard program to 2E stats, the only major changes that I can foresee is adding conversions for some of the new equipment that 2E will be adding. Engines port across fairly cleanly, Long Range Sensors can convert into Sensors, etc. -- handling those on a case by case basis shouldn't be a major problem.

-Tyrel
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Postby OldnGrey » Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:31 pm

Thanks, it will be easy to set up the tech levels to toggle between these and the Starmada ones. I would like to keep the shipyard as dual purpose.
Should be able to do the same with SIZ once I know the Max Mass for each level.
The previous examples would seem to indicate that SIZ and Starmada Hull mass are not too far apart.
SIZ1 100 (Starmada AE Hull 1 100)
SIZ2 200 (Starmada AE Hull 2 247)
SIZ4 600 (Starmada AE Hull 4 607)
SIZ6 1000 (Starmada AE Hull 6 1028)
I know the previous posts say that these are not set in stone, could you please let me know when you have concrete figures :)
Paul

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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:54 pm

OldnGrey wrote:I know the previous posts say that these are not set in stone, could you please let me know when you have concrete figures :)


I'll definitely let you know. The big issue has been keeping the Mass values in line so that ships can't be built with extraordinarily high equipment levels -- the fact that you could potentially throw 100 AS onto a superdreadnought makes me shudder, until I consider it would blow up in a shot.

I didn't realize that the values were so close to those that Starmada uses; that is interesting to know. I will have to check to see what formula Dan was using in that book, and if the values are vaguely compatible.

-Tyrel
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Postby OldnGrey » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:41 am

Thanks, I'll keep looking in.

In Starmada AE the SU (mass) available calc is:
Hull size^1.3 x 100 (rounded up)

Paul

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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:00 am

OldnGrey wrote:Thanks, I'll keep looking in.

In Starmada AE the SU (mass) available calc is:
Hull size^1.3 x 100 (rounded up)


That formula gives very similar results to what I was eyeballing for the units; just round to the nearest 100, and it is pretty much spot on. That is uncanny, especially considering that I had to actually go look up the Starmada formulas and charts to compare the two since it has been so long.

The major point of difference is that my chart had the SIZ 10 units topping out at 2500 Mass instead of the ~2000 SU that Starmada is using. Of course, I might be allowing too high of Maximum Mass values in the current ship construction rules, too.

-Tyrel
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