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

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

Postby nimrodd » Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:40 pm

The quotes here are from the "December 2011 Forum Playtest" forum, but I felt that my arguments about them really belong over here under the general playtest forum.
Our starting homeworlds are setup like this:
Cap: 10, Raw: 5, Bio: 5, Census: 8, Prod: 4, Agr: 4, Shipyard: 4, Tech: 3, Intel: 3

Tyrel Lohr wrote:If you want to ramp up population point production, the best option will be to sell off an infrastructure at the home system on one turn and then purchase a new piece of infrastructure on the next. Depending on your strategy, Shipyards or Intel are probably the two safest infrastructure types to dismantle for space.


I disagree that Shipyards or Intel are the safest. The safest by far is Tech, for reasons I will go into below.

Both Productivity and Agriculture are multiplied by a System Resource and are incomes. The other three are multiplied by Census and are capacities (you have to pay to use them).

Of the three multiplied by Census, Intel Cap and Tech Cap are per turn limits but Shipyard Cap is total capacity, which is (potentially) used over multiple turns for a single purchase. For example, for a Shipyard Cap of 32, if I purchase 4 C$8 ships, that capacity is "used" for 4 turns (the time it takes to build a C$8 ship), but I can purchase (assuming 24 point caps) 24 points of Intel or Tech each turn. This makes Shipyards too valuable to strip down.

Okay, now since Tech and Intel are per turn capacities, we are limited by what we can spend per turn, so since our capacity is more than we make per turn (even before taking into account Maintenance and other spending), either one of them could safely be pared down, right?

Wrong, Intel Infrastructure provides two other very important functions, and they are: Limit on the number of Intel Missions you can run, and Defense against foreign intel missions. Each point of Intel Infrastructure increases the mission difficulty of ops run against you. So Intel is really too valuable to strip.

This leaves Tech as the only choice, and unless I am missing something, it's only function is to allow you to buy Tech Points, which if you are doing other purchases and with maintenance, means that 1-2 points of Tech on your homeworld are far more than you would ever need.

Tyrel Lohr wrote:For faster short-term colonization, you could also reduce the population at your homeworld. It would get some population points back and decrease your tech advancement costs.

But if you did this, this would also necessitate the tearing down of at least 1 point of infrastructure.
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Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:59 pm

You make several very good points, and illustrate some issues that I hoped would be addressed in the playtest, namely that Tech and Intel tend to be the "also-rans" of the colonial infrastructure set.

The biggest problem I see in the current rules is that you have a few very important infrastructure types like Productivity and Agriculture that provide a resource bonus each turn, while the others just kind of sit there and you have to spend economic points to actually use them. This isn't as big of a problem with shipyard capacity, as it is required to build or repair starships, but it is a problem for Tech and Intel.

As you pointed out, Intel provides several other secondary effects that make it worth having. Namely it provides a defensive intel bonus and allows you to conduct intel missions. Tech doesn't have any of these benefits, but desperately needs them to make it worth having around.

On my drive out to the client's and back this morning, I got to thinking again whether or not it would be advantageous for Tech and Intel to provide players with resources each turn for free in addition to allowing the player to spend economic points to purchase more using their capacity limits. Tech would then generate 1 TP per turn, and Intel would generate 1 IP per turn. The problem with that is that the benefits aren't commensurate with what a single point of Productivity would normally provide, as it is really just +1 EP already devoted to a specific function.

This leaves us at a point where we either have to go back to the 1E concept of just purchasing tech points with economic points and using some other colony statistic to determine the maximum, or take a different tack and make it so that neither tech points nor intel points can be purchased directly with economic points. Under such a paradigm the infrastructure would be the sole way of generating those points. Under those circumstances, I would probably bring back the divisive Science system stat and use it to control tech point production and use Jump Lanes again for intel so that they would both function in a similar way. A flat multiplier could be used for both, but I'm not sure I like the feel of that.

The problem I ran into with giving empires "free" tech and intel points, however, is that they just sit there and build up. It isn't such a huge deal with tech points, as they are automatically spent on tech advances, but empires can end up sitting on huge intel point reserves. The playtest homeworlds would be receiving 9 IP per turn; that's enough to run an almost guaranteed Propaganda: Counter-Insurgency mission against a good order colony every other turn. Intel mission costs could obviously be increased accordingly to compensate for this, but that's still 90 IP a year flowing into the empire's intel pool. Tech suffers similar problems, but that is more an issue of limiting how many tech points you earn from it.

I really have to sit down and think through this, but a combination of some of these solutions could end up working to balance things out. If you couldn't purchase tech or intel points directly, and each point of Tech/Intel infrastructure produced one point for the player, then in tandem with increasing the maximum amount of infrastructure to Capacity + Census x 2 you would end up in a situation where our homeworlds could have up to 26 infrastructure. If spread roughly equally between them, we would have 6 Productivity, 5 Shipyards, 5 Agriculture, 5 Tech, and 5 Intel. That would give us a colony income of 30 EP, a shipyard capacity of 40 EP, 25 agriculture, 5 TP, and 5 IP. The downside would be that tech and intel point generation would be very slow and based entirely on the amount of infrastructure present, but the costs could be balanced to take that into effect.

I'd appreciate everyone's thoughts on this issue.
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Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby darbycmcd » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:07 pm

Well, one thing that jumps to mind is that they don't have to be handled the same way. Really Tech is more like Prod, it is the output of many processes that are abstracted into a game resource, which are then used to produce something else. So it should be handled like the basic resource production systems (Prod and Ag) but with an input of Census, so it just follows
input * facilities = per turn output

Intel is more like shipyard, in that it uses something produced by another system (EP) to create a specfic focused output. So it is used to create a per turn cap on spending. And that gets rid of the notion that points can be stockpiled (how would that work?) because you just buy a project.

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

Postby darbycmcd » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:16 pm

This is neither here nor there, but in my games of 1E, I wanted a more 'wargame' feel which includes more pressure on logistics and staff planning. So I created a production center "HQ" which produced Logistic and Planning Points, which were used to supply units operating away from base (abstracting the planning needed to send resupply over vast interstellar distances) and also pay for Intel ops. It worked well to put a bit of a governor on operations.

But the point is it treated Inel as a shipyard type of facility and worked well, imo.

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

Postby darbycmcd » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:03 pm

Now thinking about it, how about considering using Tech points to buy Intel missions? I know it is different, but I think it makes sense (in that Tech is more human capital and intel missions would be more dependant on that than on industrial output) and it gives the player choices for tp rather than just having them always be tech advance.

I was surprised when upthread someone said that tech was the best facility to dismantle. Usually that is suicide in 4x games but he is right for a shorter game. Because there is only one thing to do with tp, if you don't think the spread will become too great in tech level, these become a bit expendable. Giving them another function would up the value of research in shorter games.

Just a thought

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

Postby nimrodd » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:01 pm

darbycmcd wrote:Well, one thing that jumps to mind is that they don't have to be handled the same way. Really Tech is more like Prod, it is the output of many processes that are abstracted into a game resource, which are then used to produce something else. So it should be handled like the basic resource production systems (Prod and Ag) but with an input of Census, so it just follows
input * facilities = per turn output


Except that if you don't put money into Research and Development (Tech Points), then you don't get anything out. The Tech Infrastructure, to me, is like universities, Advanced Design Works (Skunk Works), Think Tanks, etc. You might get a little bit out, but if you put the money into the investment, you get much more out of it.

My suggestion for Tech, is that, if you have ANY in a system, you generate 1 Tech Point per turn, but you can invest up to Tech Infrastructure x Census.

As another option for systems that have a Tech or Science bonus (or even an Alien Structure), you might earn an additional 1 Tech Point per Tech Infrastructure per turn. For example, a world with an Alien Outpost and 3 Tech Infrastructure would earn 4 Tech Points (1 normal + 3 due to Alien Outpost) without any additional investment.
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Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby darbycmcd » Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:02 pm

That would work. I just wanted to point out that they have different functions in the game, one producing to a level and one producing discrete 'projects' so they don't have to have the same game mechanics necessarily.

Tyrel, I also think that tech should really be worth having even if it 'only' goes for tech advance. if a 5% bump to ship mass doesn't seem worthwhile, then maybe it really should be upped to 10%. if the advance itself doesn't seem worthwhile, there is a problem, imo. but i am not sure 5% is not worthwhile. see what the playtest shows.

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

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:22 am

darbycmcd wrote:Well, one thing that jumps to mind is that they don't have to be handled the same way. Really Tech is more like Prod, it is the output of many processes that are abstracted into a game resource, which are then used to produce something else. So it should be handled like the basic resource production systems (Prod and Ag) but with an input of Census, so it just follows
input * facilities = per turn output


A good argument can be made either way about whether Tech should provide an intrinsic research benefit as Census work it; or, as Jimmy contends, an empire should have to actively fund the research with economic points in order to see any kind of tangible benefits. Over the course of this project I've played it both ways, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both. The advantage to having Tech infrastructure generate tech points is that it gives a very convincing reason to build and maintain Tech infrastructure at your colonies. The disadvantage (and it's a big one) is that it leads to "set it and forget" syndrome where you build the Tech infrastructure and then can be assured of tech advances with clockwork precision.

On the other side of the coin, having to pay for every tech point you receives creates situations where your Tech infrastructure is left unused for extended periods of time without providing the player with any meaningful benefit. But it also means that the player only gets as much out of his Tech infrastructure as he puts into it, and empires have to expend some resources towards tech points if it hopes to conduct any research.

darbycmcd wrote:Intel is more like shipyard, in that it uses something produced by another system (EP) to create a specfic focused output. So it is used to create a per turn cap on spending. And that gets rid of the notion that points can be stockpiled (how would that work?) because you just buy a project.


The stockpiling of intel points represents the collection of intelligence data, training of operatives, bribing of informants, insertion of agents, etc. that an empire has done in anticipation of conducting an intel mission against a target. They are a quantification of these various intangibles that contribute towards a mission's success or failure.

Your interpretation of limiting the number of intel points that a player can purchase/spend per turn by intel capacity is a possibility, but doesn't sit entirely well with me for some reason, mainly because I am still wrapping my brain around possibilities where intel points may be earned freely each turn. For situations where this isn't the case (as in the current rules), that wouldn't be a problem; however, it also seems to put an arbitrary limit on how much intel an empire could hope to use. I think a player should have the ability to build up large intel reserves and then spend them all at once, as long as doing so cost the empire something in return.

That being said, perhaps the better way to look at all of the non-Productivity infrastructure as to what kind of comparable advantage they offer in lieu of the Productivity x RAW income that Productivity provides the player. The infrastructure costs the same after all, and all things being equal each infrastructure should provide the player with a tangible benefit of equal value. Agriculture fits this mold already, as it generates food. Shipyard doesn't produce anything, but it is required to actually build starships, which is central to the game. Its schtick is that it allows you to spend economic points for something else, the trend I have also applied to Tech and Intel infrastructure.

I do think some sort of hybrid solution is possible, where Tech and Intel both generic resources for the player, but at a diminished rate compared to Productivity or Agriculture, but retain the capacity concept so that economic points could be spent to increase their output. For example, a planet with 3 Census and 5 Tech would generate 5 TP per turn for the player, but he could buy up to 15 additional tech points at the colony using economic points. That would give an empire a reliable stream of each resource coming in, but still give them the opportunity for increase that should the need arise. The downside is that it would effectively take 50 turns to "recoup" the cost of the infrastructure, where it normally only takes 17 turns to do the same for Productivity on an average RAW 3 world. There is a good argument to be made that Productivity should be extremely economically efficient, however, given that it is obviously the source of that income, and an empire can't do much with the Productivity alone.

(Another interesting thought: what if Shipyards, Tech, and Intel all provided free points of their respective types that players could choose to use or not on the current turn, and any unused points would be lost? I don't think this works very well for a multitude of reasons, not the least being how it breaks the economic model by disassociating shipyard construction from economic points, but it was a novel concept that popped into my head.)

darbycmcd wrote:This is neither here nor there, but in my games of 1E, I wanted a more 'wargame' feel which includes more pressure on logistics and staff planning. So I created a production center "HQ" which produced Logistic and Planning Points, which were used to supply units operating away from base (abstracting the planning needed to send resupply over vast interstellar distances) and also pay for Intel ops. It worked well to put a bit of a governor on operations.

But the point is it treated Inel as a shipyard type of facility and worked well, imo.


That's an interesting concept. To make sure I'm understanding this correctly, these logistics points were being allocated to cover the maintenance costs of units operating outside of colonial supply ranges and intel missions, correct? Or were the points being used to cover maintenance for units that just weren't at friendly colonies altogether, as in they were still in supply but not in orbit of a friendly colony?

I could see where having a fixed number of intel points available that a player could use each turn could work, but when I tried something similar in prior 2E drafts I ended up with the problem of the players having no reason not to conduct as many intel missions as possible just to use the points because otherwise they would just be lost. That ended up creating a problem for the CM, as every turn you ended up with tons of intel missions to resolve and it slowed down the game for little real benefit. That's when I discovered that there has to be a cost associated with intel use, otherwise it becomes a game of "whack-a-spy".

darbycmcd wrote:Now thinking about it, how about considering using Tech points to buy Intel missions? I know it is different, but I think it makes sense (in that Tech is more human capital and intel missions would be more dependant on that than on industrial output) and it gives the player choices for tp rather than just having them always be tech advance.


The biggest existing mechanical problem with that is that the tech advancement cost is a fixed threshold, and there is the expectation that when that threshold is crossed you achieve your next tech advance. It could be made non-automatic, true, but there is something to be said from having a binary "is there enough tech points to purchase X, yes or no?". Tech and intel are two very different beasts in my mind, too, and intel already gets double use between covert intel missions and public diplomatic missions.

darbycmcd wrote:I was surprised when upthread someone said that tech was the best facility to dismantle. Usually that is suicide in 4x games but he is right for a shorter game. Because there is only one thing to do with tp, if you don't think the spread will become too great in tech level, these become a bit expendable. Giving them another function would up the value of research in shorter games.


That's very true. Usually tech is still very important in most games, but definitely not in shorter ones that you don't expect to last long enough for you to get a tech advantage. Providing players with free tech points from Tech infrastructure would help, but it would be nice for there to be another use for Tech. The real solution here is probably going to be to increase the effect of tech advancement and make it easier for players to upgrade their existing units to the new tech levels so that they can actually use them.

In considering unit refit rules, what I'm currently looking at is to allow players to create specific variants that would have a special ability note like "Refit (Lexington)" to indicate that any ship of the Lexington class or one of its derived variants can be upgraded to that class. Then you stat out the new ship, increasing TL if desired. At the end of the process you calculate the mass costs of the statistics that were added or removed form the design between, divide it by 3 (round up), and add the result to the upgraded unit's maintenance cost. A simple refit that upgrades a class by +1 AS is going to add +1 M$, but a class the exchanged 6 AS for 6 Carrier (12 MU) would have +4 M$. The cost to refit a unit is then equal to its repair cost, but takes its full build time to complete.

The process illustrated above would allow a player to fairly easily upgrade units to take advantage of new technologies, but these refitted units would be less maintenance efficient than a new unit built at the same tech level. Major unit conversions also become very expensive to maintain, but they also don't have to be prototyped -- you're paying for that versatility over the long term via high maintenance costs. That carrier conversion from above is a good example: the player quickly got a carrier into service, but the ship that probably cost 6 M$ before now costs 10 M$.

darbycmcd wrote:Tyrel, I also think that tech should really be worth having even if it 'only' goes for tech advance. if a 5% bump to ship mass doesn't seem worthwhile, then maybe it really should be upped to 10%. if the advance itself doesn't seem worthwhile, there is a problem, imo. but i am not sure 5% is not worthwhile. see what the playtest shows.


The issue I see with tech advancement is the question of whether tech advancement should take longer but be more worthwhile or come quicker but have less real impact. The current rules scaled back down to +5% from +10% to fit a once-per-year tech advancement rate, but the playtest will show whether or not that's for the best or not. I have a sneaking suspicion that some of the other changes I've recently implemented will actually make it better to increase the tech advancement costs to make it a bit harder to get tech advances, as otherwise it becomes very possible for players to research one tech level while its still prototyping units from the previous ones. In and of itself that is fairly realistic, but from a player's perspective it would probably get frustrating pretty fast. The once-per-year tech advancement rate is also partially being retained because of the psychological conditioning from 1E where that was the norm. In a way I would like to keep that just so if you are playing with historical tech advancement that the costs all remain the same, but the cost of upgrading the tech level of a large number of colonies could become extremely burdensome...

By the end of this playtesting cycle we should know one way or another.

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

Postby countercheck » Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:31 pm

One option is to allow tech points, EPs, Intel points, and agricultural points to be generated by their respective facilities, and to be swapped for each other 2:1, representing selling off agricultural surplus, eschewing long term research for developing the iPhone 30s, cracking down on domestic corruption as opposed to focusing on military intel, etc. The cost to increase tech at 1 level/year could be equal to 10 x total census, so if you want to maintain tech growth, you either need tech facilities equal to your census, or divert other production. If you want to limit people taking their 100 intel points, converting them into agriculture, and making a new colony, you could rule that these exchanges may only be made during the turn in which the points are generated.

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

Postby virtutis.umbra » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:36 pm

countercheck wrote:One option is to allow tech points, EPs, Intel points, and agricultural points to be generated by their respective facilities, and to be swapped for each other 2:1, representing selling off agricultural surplus, eschewing long term research for developing the iPhone 30s, cracking down on domestic corruption as opposed to focusing on military intel, etc. The cost to increase tech at 1 level/year could be equal to 10 x total census, so if you want to maintain tech growth, you either need tech facilities equal to your census, or divert other production.


I was thinking along similar lines with respect to Research only, to wit: have Tech cost less than one EP each, specifically require a maintenance or n 'activation cost' of 1 EP per point of Tech Infrastructure, where each one generates <Census> TP if it's active on a given turn.

Being able in the general case to transmute one form of resource into another is intriguing... It would mean each player must explicitly specify their colonies' actual production of the four resources (EP/PP/TP/IP) on a per-turn basis (perhaps in the Income Phase?) by enumerating any/all of the two-for-one trades they're going to make this turn, which is perhaps a bit fiddly. But there's certainly a precedent in turn-based 4X strategy games on the PC, i.e. buying production in MoO or overcharging research in Sword of the Stars.

If you want to limit people taking their 100 intel points, converting them into agriculture, and making a new colony, you could rule that these exchanges may only be made during the turn in which the points are generated.


To prevent this kind of abuse but still allow players to convert from the empire 'bank' rather than just converting output-in-progress, perhaps:
  • Require all conversions to pass through EP, i.e. converting 100 IP to PP would convert as 100IP->50EP->25PP. That's a strong enough sting to keep abuse down (and provides some verisimilitude: how'd you turn those well-trained agents and foreign diplomat blackmail materials into FOOD? Well, by SELLING the assets and BUYING food. From, er, somewhere. Or spending the funds to intensify agricultural production or something.)
  • Require a point of the relevant production capacity for "bandwidth" on each two-for-one purchase, i.e. if your homeworld has 8 Census and 3 Tech (=24 TP capacity) then you may spend at most 48 EP to 'buy' an extra 24 TP per turn; so you can at most double your output by throwing a ton of economic power at the problem. This ensures that an empire's ability to, for instance, generate a ton of food quickly isn't completely divorced from the size of its actual standing infrastructure and worker force.

EDIT: commentary.
Last edited by virtutis.umbra on Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby countercheck » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:26 pm

It's not that much more fiddly than allocating where your EPs will go, to tell the truth. You total the amount of infrastructure you have, and that's your baseline. Unless you have trades (which should be fairly rare, because they're extremely inefficient), you needn't note anything. And this would also partially dethrone EP from its place as the God resource.

The bandwidth suggestion is excellent!

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

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:44 pm

This bandwidth idea is an interesting concept. It at least gives a player an outlet for excess points that they don't know what else to do with, and would partially address the issue of constant resource buildup if infrastructure is constantly producing a resource of its given type. Intel has been the worst offender in all of my test games where Intel infrastructure produced intel points independently of EP expenditures because empires end up with so many intel points that they can perform any intel mission and be all but guaranteed success just because you have so many of them. That's part of the reason for the current range-based time delay on intel missions, too: so that missions will tie up Intel infrastructure for multiple turns and keep players from just going completely crazy spamming missions constantly (though this might not really be an issue, and it could be eliminated in favor of just increasing mission difficulty by 10 per jump).

This concept of bandwidth does make me wonder what it would be like if each type of infrastructure then produced its own resource that interacted with each other in this way. You would have economic points, shipyard points, agriculture points, tech points, and intel points all being generated each turn.

Economic points would be reduced by unit maintenance costs.

Shipyard points would be reduced by starship construction or command costs.

Agriculture points would be reduced by Census food costs.

I can't think of any obvious things that would affect Tech or Intel infrastructure in the same way. However, thinking about how you would determine how much these would produce, you could easily base it off of a colony's Census. RAW and BIO max out around 5 and Capacity at 10 under the current sysgen rules, so it would not be unheard of to put Tech and Intel production at Infrastructure x Census / 2 (round fractional Census up). So a colony with 3 Census and 4 Tech would then produce 2 x 4 = 8 TP per turn. The player could purchase up to +8 TP at the colony, but it would cost it 16 EP to do so.

But these resources would build up each turn, and then you could convert them into economic points as per virtutis.

Speaking of tech points, I just thought of two things that could be tied to it that would give the player other options for how to use them. The first is to make colony tech level upgrades be paid for using tech points instead of economic points. The other would be to have a tech point cost in addition to an economic cost for new unit prototypes. The maximum number of prototypes you could have under construction at a colony could also be limited by its Tech infrastructure (with each point of Tech effectively supporting the design and construction of one prototype).

I have a feeling a lot of these ideas end up being a bit convoluted or confusing during actual play, but that might be because I've been in the office all day (still there working, actually) and my brain is turning to mush. That's part of the reason I like rules that are straightforward and consistent: it's easier to memorize them and keep straight what you're supposed to be doing and when.

On a different topic, running the numbers again if we wanted to make tech advances come less often and cost more, an easy way to do that would be to increase tech advancement costs to 25 x Census and then change the mass formula to (Construction Cost + Command Cost) x (1 + 10% x TL). That increases tech advancement costs by 150% while doubling the benefit from tech advancement. The original formula takes CC x 2 in the calculation as a fixed, but this is changed here so that TL will adjust it, too. The reason for CC being in the equation at all is to give units with higher CC's better abilities since you can't include as many of them in a task force.
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Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby nimrodd » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:15 am

My thoughts on Infrastructure.

You have 2 different types:
1) Infrastructure multiplied by System Resource (Productivity & Agriculture) - which provide that amount of units.
2) Infrastructure multiplied by Census (Shipyard, Tech & Intel) - Which limit how much you can purchase.

Of number 2, these can be broken down into 2 types -
2a) Shipyards are used to purchase units over a period of 1 to many turns.
2b) Intel & Tech are used to purchase a "unit of currency" of sorts.

I think that Intel & Tech should pay out 1 unit per Infrastructure per turn. They can also be used to purchase up to their limit (Infrastructure x Census) beyond what they produce for "free". And if there is some type of Special Resource in the system that applies to their type (i.e. Alien city for Tech), that would apply a +1 "free" unit per Infrastructure per turn. This would also give a reason to purchase these Infrastructures on 0 Census colony worlds.

I have never understood why shipyards were turned into Infrastructure instead of remaining space stations like they were in First Edition. To me, that made much more sense, since you could then target them in Defensive Scenarios, to destroy the ships being built, whereas now, you have to have Orbital Superiority to perform a Bombard Infrastructure to destroy the shipyard orbiting beside you.
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Re: VBAM 2E Playtest Files (Was: Any Updates?)

Postby darbycmcd » Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:05 pm

I agree with nimrod here about shipyards being infrastructure. I am not pushing for a change! but i can say for my modified rules, shipyards and intel (i will use them as HQ's) will be 'installations' which exist to turn points created by infrastructure (EP and TP respectively) into specific projects (ships and missions). for me infrastructure means a large productivity slice of a planet, which creates some potential the player can turn into something. i will have 3 types, Ag, Prod, and Tech, each of which will create points that will, hopefuuly, have multiple spending options.

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

Postby darbycmcd » Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:11 pm

Tech advance.... Personally I am agnostic on which system is better. just eyeballing it, it looks about the same, but if you have prototypes cost TP (which is a great idea) then the slower advance would probably be better. if you do the fast/small increase the prototype costs could get a bit problematic. thinking about it... actually the slower/bigger may be a bit nicer.

how do you feel about having increasing marginal costs for tech advance per population? as in larger census need proportionally more points (like pop^2 for example). it is a braking mechanism for leader runaway syndrome. but... maybe not very pretty for non-spreadsheet games. yeah, probably not very practical


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