VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Check here for updates and discussion about the new edition of the Victory by Any Means Campaign System.
wminsing
Commander
Commander
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 3:06 pm
Contact:

Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby wminsing » Thu May 17, 2012 1:13 am

Tyrel, thanks for the insight and will do! I will probably get the campaign proper started tomorrow and I will post a new thread then. I'll include unit stats and my initial purchases in the first post. Hopefully it will be of use.

-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

wminsing
Commander
Commander
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 3:06 pm
Contact:

Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby wminsing » Thu May 17, 2012 1:56 pm

Another quick question- total maintenance costs (ie, all units added together), round up or down?

-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

User avatar
Tyrel Lohr
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Posts: 1402
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:48 am
Location: Lusk, WY
Contact:

Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Thu May 17, 2012 3:58 pm

wminsing wrote:Another quick question- total maintenance costs (ie, all units added together), round up or down?


Maintenance expense is total maintenance costs x 10% (round up).
"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"

User avatar
Tyrel Lohr
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Posts: 1402
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:48 am
Location: Lusk, WY
Contact:

Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Thu May 17, 2012 5:45 pm

BTW, in regards to rules development, I spent about 4 hours yesterday working on merging the rules and working out some organizational issues that have been bothering me for some time. I ended up splitting Warfare (Encounters, Bombardment) back over to Chapter 7 which leaves Chapter 6 for all of the military unit specific rules. I think that will work better in the long run.

I'm also getting a list of the rules from the current draft that I know I need to rewrite and marking them up either in the draft itself (highlighting them in a different color) or making mental notes of things I know need to be fixed. I still have to pull the Facilities back over from InDesign to make sure I have the newest copy of them before I finish modifying those rules.

Commerce and Piracy are both officially finished. I ended up modifying the trade route rules slightly (still need to playtest) to roll back to the requirement that you can only establish a trade route to a system that is one jump away from one of your existing active trade routes. Trade route costs then becomes 5 EP per jump from the nearest Trading Post.

The plan for this weekend is to play another 5-10 turns and then try to fill in the gaps for the rules that I know aren't going to be changing appreciably. That means polishing off the changes to the Facilities rules, filling in the missing text in Colonies, and getting a better explanation of the unit design process and special ability costs assembled. Diplomacy I need to fill some gaps in first, but I'm sure that my playtest game is going to give me some extra data points to consider as it's almost guaranteed I'll run into at least one new empire over the weekend that I can do some more testing with in a live environment.

I'll upload the newest version of the playtest rules sometime Saturday or Sunday, depending on what kind of progress I make.

EDIT: Looking at the unit abilities again, I noticed that I originally had Police functioning as a mollifying factor in loyalty checks, too. That is something I had forgotten after the recent change to a D10 on the loyalty checks. That also makes me think that it might be ultimately better to go back to a percentile check for loyalty so that the chances of losing Morale would be 10% (Good Order), 20% (Unrest), and 30% (Rebellion) with modifiers of -1% per ground unit and -1% per Police value that those ground units possess. On one hand that makes loyalty more fluid, but on the other it seems like it unnecessarily complicates things and makes it a bit easy for someone to just plop a whole bunch of cheap police constabularies in a system to keep the piece and reduce the chance of Morale loss to a minimum 1% value.

Ultimately it might be a case of forgetting reducing the chance of losing Morale if you have 10 Police in the system, or have a stopgap where if a system loses Morale you roll a percentile die against the ground-based Police value to see if the Morale loss is stopped. That... is a bit odd, but seems like it would work better.
"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"

countercheck
Lieutanant Commander
Lieutanant Commander
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:34 pm

Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby countercheck » Tue May 22, 2012 4:42 pm

Potential option. Total the number of ground units and police values. Divide by 10. Modify die roll by result. A natural 1 always causes morale loss. Anything over 10 adds one morale.

countercheck
Lieutanant Commander
Lieutanant Commander
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:34 pm

Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby countercheck » Tue May 22, 2012 10:03 pm

Even better. Increase the cost of police and, instead of dividing the police total by a static value divide by the census of that colony, rounding down. Or something. Maybe Census x 2. So a Census 1 colony would only need a Police total of 1 or 2 to get a modifier, while a Census 5 colony would need a police value of 10.

Or here's an entirely different idea. Roll Cencus + D6. If the roll is higher than Police/10, system loses 1 morale. On a natural 6, System gains morale.

User avatar
Tyrel Lohr
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Posts: 1402
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:48 am
Location: Lusk, WY
Contact:

Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:01 pm

Sorry for the delay in posting and getting back to people - I ended up with unexpected family and social commitments over the long Memorial Day weekend, then I've spent the week putting out fires for customers all week and working late most nights. I'm hoping to get caught up on the backlog this coming weekend (tomorrow and the next day), but until then here is a PDF of revised/updated rules that I was meaning to post last night but didn't get done.
Attachments
VBAM-CG-2E-20120531.pdf
VBAM 2E Campaign Guide Draft, May 31, 2012
(632.11 KiB) Downloaded 184 times
"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"

User avatar
Tyrel Lohr
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Posts: 1402
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:48 am
Location: Lusk, WY
Contact:

Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:46 pm

I wanted to post a quick update to let people know that I've been buried at work the last two weeks but my schedule is finally starting to relent a bit (to the point that I can actually jump on here now instead of dealing with major emergencies). I hope to get caught back up on forum activity and get some new notes posted in the next two days.

In the interim, I've been poking at my playtest data and coming to a few conclusions that may or may not be backed up by other people's experiences:

  • I think I would really prefer for Industry to be tied to a new system resource stat so that certain systems would be better for unit construction than others. As it is right now we have high income and high food systems, but Industry is just kind of left floating out there as almost an afterthought.[*/]
  • Similarly, I am coming to the conclusion (again) that Research really shouldn't be its own infrastructure type. There's just no real impetus to build the infrastructure at most colonies, and I don't like the feel of players building research labs on every single colony just because it's cheap to do so. I somewhat agree with the previous consensus that having a Science resource is kind of strange (nice game mechanic, but hard to justify), and without that to add variance it probably isn't worth it. As an alternative, the research functionality could be rolled into Economy. That would give Economy some usefulness for systems with poor RAW values.
  • I'm still contemplating facilities. My current train of thought is that they should just be flat cost with maintenance and keep them simple (100 EP, 1 EP per turn is a starting point). They either need to perform a function that nothing else in the game can do (supply depots, trading posts, shipyards, etc.) or enhance a system's statistics (mining base, refinery, orbital farm). To balance out the bonuses that these facilities provide, each facility should increase its system's piracy chance by 5% (the same as having an extra trade route in the system). That would help curtail facility spam and balance the effectiveness of the facility. Mining Bases would give +1 RAW, Orbital Farms +1 BIO. The Refinery facility would give a +1 to the system resource that ends up tied to Industry, but it probably needs a secondary bonus (such as +1 supply range) to make up for it not directly producing anything for you. There's room for other special facilities under such a system.

The above points are what have been bugging me the most lately, and that's why they're the things that I've spent the most time fiddling around with in the free time that I've found the last few weeks.
"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"

wminsing
Commander
Commander
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 3:06 pm
Contact:

Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby wminsing » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:05 pm

My reply for the industry 'stat' is the other thread.

Re: Research, I am forced to agree. Building up Research doesn't seem like a good use of resources, as most of the actual Research points accumulated are 'bought' with EP's. And the cap could just as easily be based on Economy (or Industry) as it could on Research.

Facilities, I do sort of like the idea of their cost being based on distance from capitals as it gives players an incentive to build said capitals (if we want to keep the idea of sector capitals).

-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

User avatar
virtutis.umbra
The Critic
The Critic
Posts: 207
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:50 am
Contact:

Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby virtutis.umbra » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:51 pm

Rules question per the 20120513 pdf: Is it fair to rule that "Compact" lets a unit count as half its CC against the capacity of another unit's Jump ability (capacity = CC x Jump value) in addition to counting as half its BC against the capacity of another unit's Carrier/Tender ability (capacity = BC x Carrier | Tender value)?

In other words: Compact as written means a unit can be based at 2x the usual rate; can said unit also be jumped at 2x the usual rate?

EDIT: Wait, I'm confused by the wording.

The Great Book wrote:Jump (50% x BC)
Allow extra units to transit with the unit when it jumps; CC x Jump value


Does that mean a unit with Jump can transit [its Jump value] CC of other ships, or does it mean it can transit [its CC x Jump value] count of other units [presumably each with BC <= the Jump unit itself)?

I'm centering a fleet design around a jumpship and detachable non-FTL utility ships (as a radical departure from my foray into Tender/Gunboat setups in the December playtest), and I want to make sure I get a good grip on how many System Frigates and System Monitors the Jump Ferry can actually pull along.

Code: Select all

Snyder CL-J (18 of 20 MU)
C$10, M$4, BT5, TL0, Terran Starship
DV 1, AS 0, PD 0, CR 6, CC 2
FTL 2, Jump (1), Rail (2), Endurance (1)

Thoreau CL-M (17.94 of 18 MU)
C$9, M$4, BT5, TL0, Terran Starship
DV 5, AS 5, PD 2, CR 4, CC 1
FTL -, Compact

Lewis FF (6 of 6 MU)
C$3, M$1, BT2, TL0, Terran Starship
DV 1, AS 1, PD 2, CR 3, CC 0.5
FTL -, Rail (1), Endurance (2), Scout (1)

Muir FF (5.75 of 6 MU)
C$3, M$1, BT2, TL0, Terran Starship
DV 1, AS 1, PD 1, CR 3, CC 0.5
FTL -, Atmospheric, Police (1)
-Patrick
crit·ic /ˈkritik : Someone who knows the way but can't drive the car. -- Kenneth Tynan

countercheck
Lieutanant Commander
Lieutanant Commander
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:34 pm

Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby countercheck » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:06 am

It would be too powerful if it transported CCxJump count of other ships. Myself, I can't really see the reason for differentiating between Jump and Tow.

User avatar
virtutis.umbra
The Critic
The Critic
Posts: 207
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:50 am
Contact:

Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby virtutis.umbra » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:47 pm

I gather that means the wording of Jump could be clarified as follows:
Jump (50% x BC)
Allow 1 CC per Jump rank of extra units to transit with the unit at its FTL speed when it jumps.


As for Jump vs Tow: point taken. Actually given that the 2E rules we've seen so far contain a Jump ability but NOT a Tow ability, I took it to mean that "towing" ships would need to be kitted out with Jump to fulfill their 1E function. Presumably any old ship can slap a couple of towcables or tractor beams or whatever on another ship, but it takes specialized drive systems to take another ship into FTL (which, whether you call it Jump or Towing, is what Tugs are supposed to be able to do, right?)

From which I derive these designs to match the equivalent generic Tug designs in the 1E Menagerie:

Code: Select all

Tug (4 of 4 MU)
BC2, MC1, BT1, TL0, Generic Starship
DV 2, AS 0, PD 0, CR 3, CC 0.5
FTL 1, Jump (1)

Heavy Tug (10 of 10 MU)
BC5, MC2, BT3, TL0, Generic Starship
DV 2, AS 0, PD 0, CR 4, CC 1
FTL 1, Jump (2), Endurance (1)

[Heavy Tug got Endurance (1) added because it took up the rest of a fractional MU and didn't cost any extra MC]
-Patrick
crit·ic /ˈkritik : Someone who knows the way but can't drive the car. -- Kenneth Tynan

countercheck
Lieutanant Commander
Lieutanant Commander
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:34 pm

Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby countercheck » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:27 pm

Towing, I think, is on page 94

User avatar
Tyrel Lohr
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Posts: 1402
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:48 am
Location: Lusk, WY
Contact:

Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:49 pm

virtutis.umbra wrote:Rules question per the 20120513 pdf: Is it fair to rule that "Compact" lets a unit count as half its CC against the capacity of another unit's Jump ability (capacity = CC x Jump value) in addition to counting as half its BC against the capacity of another unit's Carrier/Tender ability (capacity = BC x Carrier | Tender value)?


It would make sense if that was the case, though I'm not sure it was the original intent. However, the Compact ability is intended to serve as a way of handling the "ultralight fighters", droid troops, or other sorts of units that are capable of being stored in smaller amounts of space. Given that intent, I think the CC reduction should really only be applied to units that are being based aboard other units.

Does that mean a unit with Jump can transit [its Jump value] CC of other ships, or does it mean it can transit [its CC x Jump value] count of other units [presumably each with BC <= the Jump unit itself)?


The Jump ability is supposed to be acting as FTL for other units, with the jumpship effectively paying the other units' FTL cost. For example, a 3 CC ship with 2 Jump could bring 2 x 3 = 6 CC of units with it when it moves. They aren't being "based" board the unit as would be the case with Carriers or Tenders; it's only for the purposes of movement. It's meant to handle situations like Babylon 5 where a ship can open jump points for other non-FTL units and escort them from place to place.

I'm centering a fleet design around a jumpship and detachable non-FTL utility ships (as a radical departure from my foray into Tender/Gunboat setups in the December playtest), and I want to make sure I get a good grip on how many System Frigates and System Monitors the Jump Ferry can actually pull along.


My off the cuff response to those units is that the Compact should only apply to Tender basing, but each of the Snyders could still escort 2 Thoreaus, 4 Lewis/Muir, or a combination of 1 Thoreau and 2 Lewis/Muir across a jump lane.

Towing and Jump are probably too close to one another right now and can probably be consolidated into a single towing ability. Players that want B5 style jump engines could then just rename Towing to Jump and add any special rules as needed, as they do seem to be performing about the same basic function in the rules right now.
"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"

User avatar
Tyrel Lohr
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Posts: 1402
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:48 am
Location: Lusk, WY
Contact:

Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:52 pm

Just a quick status update to let people know that after an extremely busy two months in exile (between work during week and personal obligations on the weekends I haven't been around as much as I've wanted), I'm going to be gone on vacation for the next week and a half starting this Wednesday. That means that I'll have about 10 days of blissful seclusion to work on the rules and try to finish up final changes and modifications (finally). I'm going to be checking the forums through tomorrow night and bringing as much of the info and insights with me as I can so that I can work on the rules while I'm gone. I'll be back August 18 or 19 and should have something to post on August 20.
"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"


Return to “Second Edition Development”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest