Human Republic Playtest Thread

Check here for updates and discussion about the new edition of the Victory by Any Means Campaign System.
Gareth_Perkins
Captain
Captain
Posts: 242
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:39 am
Location: Exeter; UK

Re: Human Republic Playtest Thread

Postby Gareth_Perkins » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:36 pm

mavikfelna wrote:
Gareth_Perkins wrote:I'd actually expect it to work kind of the other way around,


Whilst I would agree that the real world works that way, I prefer the simple mechanic here. Essentially, it represents hitting the big stuff until it turns into the small stuff that's not worth going after. There's always a little bit of piracy but when it gets small enough it can't impact the greater economy.

The current method also encourages opposing nations to take little bites through intel wars which can be fun.

--Mav

I'm not quite sure that we're talking about the same thing here,

Tyrel was proposing that Intel target numbers for hitting piracy grew as the number of pirates grow (so a high-piracy system is extremely difficult to gain even moderate gains against whilst a system with light piracy can be easily clamped down upon).

Essentially, it represents hitting the big stuff until it turns into the small stuff that's not worth going after

Nope - consider this: You have a system with one piracy. One piracy costs (say) 10 IP to eliminate. If you don't pay that 10IP then it could grow to two piracy, which would cost 30IP to eliminate.

Players will look at that kind of situation, and crack down on the little stuff because the big stuff is difficult to police, consequently this part:
the small stuff that's not worth going after

Will never happen.

Instead, by flipping the situation on its head (for piracy at least), players are encouraged to keep piracy in control (because out of control piracy is no good either) but discouraged from eliminating it completely (because of the considerable cost for negligible gain),

Of course, pro-piracy missions need not work in this way (and in many ways this rule makes pro-piracy missions much better, as there will likley already be some underlying piracy in the systems you target).

Anyway - this is way off topic, for which I apologise,
Gareth Lazelle

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

Re: Human Republic Playtest Thread

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:43 am

For non-Piracy missions, the increased difficulty as the statistic value increases represents that the values aren't linear values but rather exponential in nature. 3 Census represents quite a bit more people than 2 Census, and 4 Census is an order of magnitude greater than that. The more of a stat you have, the harder it is for a player to make a meaningful dent in the stat one way or another.

Relating this back to Piracy, a system with 4 Piracy probably offers a player a lot of opportunities to finance the pirate's operations and be more active, but the amount of resources needed to escalate things to the next level is considerably higher. The reverse is true for anti-piracy missions. It's not that hard to go gather information on the one bad of raiders in a system and then lure them into an ambush and kill them. It is a lot more time consuming to do that when you have a couple dozen equally-powered pirate clans in the same system.

A lot of it comes down to "its a game mechanic" for various reasons. The biggest reason for stat-based difficulty for colony statistic attacks is because it gives players an extra incentive to build up their colony's statistics. It also makes it so that colonies with low level infrastructure values are easier to neutralize using bombardment or intel missions. Large, mature colonies will bounce back faster from conventional bombardment because they have enough redundancy in their economies that destroying X number of factories or farmlands is a much smaller proportion of their totals.

Another reason that Piracy gets more difficult is that, at least as written, a system that reaches its maximum Piracy and then receives another Piracy increase experiences a piracy surge. When this happens, each adjacent system receives +1 Piracy. This is meant to force players to deal with Piracy even if they don't want to -- especially if those Piracy surges are occurring in neutral space or territories that are nominally claimed or controlled by another power. Is your neighbor ignoring that system that keeps pouring pirates across the border? Welp, time for you to declare hostilities and go across the border to do something about it yourself.
"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"

Gareth_Perkins
Captain
Captain
Posts: 242
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:39 am
Location: Exeter; UK

Re: Human Republic Playtest Thread

Postby Gareth_Perkins » Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:46 am

Tyrel Lohr wrote:Relating this back to Piracy, a system with 4 Piracy probably offers a player a lot of opportunities to finance the pirate's operations and be more active, but the amount of resources needed to escalate things to the next level is considerably higher.

Not contesting that - it is exactly as it should be,

However this I disagree with:
Tyrel Lohr wrote:The reverse is true for anti-piracy missions. It's not that hard to go gather information on the one bad of raiders in a system and then lure them into an ambush and kill them. It is a lot more time consuming to do that when you have a couple dozen equally-powered pirate clans in the same system.

If there is only one group of pirates in a system then I have only one chance to eliminate them with my intel sweep.

If there are five groups then the chance that one of them slips up and makes capture likely (a good lead on their base or whatever) is five times higher!

Consequently, the costs for fighting large groups comes from bulk (having to run five intel missions to eliminate them), rather than a higher cost of fighting some of the group.

(Maybe I am misunderstanding your argument, as it would make a lot more sense if the extra difficulty resulted in the intel mission eliminating all of the pirates in the system? Although I suppose the exponential argument may also work - though in that case it might be worth arguing for static target numbers for this mission?)
Tyrel Lohr wrote:A lot of it comes down to "its a game mechanic" for various reasons.

That I can readily accept as a reason.

Look, my thinking is this: At the moment there are several good reasons for keeping piracy low (piracy costs you money, piracy can spread and piracy costs more to fight if it is higher) and one very weak pro-piracy force (the monthly piracy die roll).

Consequently players will analyse this, and choose to keep piracy down to 0 or 1 at most because it is most economical to fight piracy at those levels making it much easier to avoid the nastier effects at higher levels of piracy. As the piracy die roll only seems to add one piracy point it will never be threatening again barring some unusual situation!

I guess if a player inherits a world with ludicrous levels of piracy then fighting it may be uneconomical using the system as written (a piracy 5 world needs 25IP to have a 50% chance of success).
Tyrel Lohr wrote:The biggest reason for stat-based difficulty for colony statistic attacks is because it gives players an extra incentive to build up their colony's statistics. It also makes it so that colonies with low level infrastructure values are easier to neutralize using bombardment or intel missions.

That's fine for most missions, and I'm really not disputing it - I just think that it doesn't work as well for anti-piracy raids where a big population and small groups of pirates is a hindrance (more places to hide).
Tyrel Lohr wrote:Another reason that Piracy gets more difficult is that, at least as written, a system that reaches its maximum Piracy and then receives another Piracy increase experiences a piracy surge.

Max Piracy = Carrying Capacity right?

Incidentally:
When a mission is complete you take the number of intel points assigned to it divided by 10 times the mission's difficulty to calculate the percentage chance of success.

If you are going with this (and it generally seems sound), then multiply the difficulties by ten and drop the multiple from the equation - it removes a math step (which is good) and makes it a touch easier for players to eyeball the IP needed for a mission.

Also, include the 'x100' for players who aren't used to handling percentages,

Ooh - and is there an auto-fail range to the die roll?
Gareth Lazelle

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

Re: Human Republic Playtest Thread

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:46 pm

virtutis.umbra wrote:I propose a measure with the following clauses:
  • The Senate commits to allocate a baseline 5 teracredits per month each to Research and Intelligence.
  • The Senate can and should allocate additional unused budget to either or both Research and Intelligence as needed for a particular month's operations, with no requirement for matching between departments.
  • Through any Senator's motion carried by simple majority, the Senate may temporarily deallocate credits from these budgets only on a 1-for-1 basis (e.g. decreasing both Research and Intelligence from 5 to 4 for July).
  • These allocations are "pure growth" funds, independent of any Research- or Intelligence-related maintenance and/or implementation costs, which cannot be drawn from these baseline investment allocations but must come from the Republic General Fund or another budget source.
I move that we vote on this measure immediately. Do I have a second?


Anyone want to vote on this proposed legislation? Either Yea or Nay?
"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"

mavikfelna
Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:13 pm
Location: SLC, UT, USA
Contact:

Re: Human Republic Playtest Thread

Postby mavikfelna » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:55 pm

Nay

User avatar
Charles Lewis
Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
Posts: 937
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:58 am
Location: Des Moines, IA
Contact:

Re: Human Republic Playtest Thread

Postby Charles Lewis » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:36 pm

Technically, it hasn't been seconded so can't be up for a vote yet, but in the interest of moving things along: "Nay"

:lol:
'Fear God and dread nought'
Coat of Arms motto of Baron Fisher, of Kilverstone

Gareth_Perkins
Captain
Captain
Posts: 242
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:39 am
Location: Exeter; UK

Re: Human Republic Playtest Thread

Postby Gareth_Perkins » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:45 am

With the amendment that it is suspended during times of war I say Yes.
Gareth Lazelle

User avatar
Iron Sky
Lieutanant Commander
Lieutanant Commander
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:53 pm

Re: Human Republic Playtest Thread

Postby Iron Sky » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:27 am

[Senator]Though I man not agree with all the decisions the current government makes, I think putting too many restrictions on them limits their ability to make significant progress.

As long as a "reasonable" amount of resources are committed research (say 5-10% revenue per year), that would be sufficient. Research should never be neglected, whether theoretical or practical.

While a small, active intel community is useful <I.E. a decent stockpile of intel points> I don't see the need for a constant outlay, especially this early into our expansion into other systems. Should we encounter a hostile power and/or need an increased intelligence presence, it wouldn't be hard to "ramp up" in that event, rather then spend resources that could be better utilized infrastructure and expansion on intelligence services we don't currently need.

My vote is Nay.[/Senator]

For the piracy rules, I think balanced mechanics should come first. As long as there's some half-way reasonable explanation for the mechanical model in real-world terms (or scifi terms as the case may be).

User avatar
mwaschak
Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
Posts: 853
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:43 am
Location: The data mines of VBAM
Contact:

Re: Human Republic Playtest Thread

Postby mwaschak » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:00 pm

Yea!

BLHarrison
Lieutanant Commander
Lieutanant Commander
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:02 pm

Re: Human Republic Playtest Thread

Postby BLHarrison » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:42 pm

[Senator] Nay
[/Senator]

Question: can one give a flight the "Scout" ability under the current rules, and if so can we do it at our current tech level?

Question: I noticed that VBAM1 had an "exploritory" trait/ability available which was basically a limited scout function. If this trait has been carried over to VBAM2 does it have to be researched or is it available from the start?

Question: Assuming the above mentioned "exploritory" trait exists/can exist, am I correct that it will cheaper in mass units than a full up "scout" trait.

I also have noticed that we haven't been seeing the prototype rolls for the "Clark" class carrier.

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

Re: Human Republic Playtest Thread

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:27 pm

BLHarrison wrote:Question: can one give a flight the "Scout" ability under the current rules, and if so can we do it at our current tech level?


Yes, the flights can be equipped with the Scout ability. Currently I have Scout costing 2 points per point of rating purchased, so a flight will have to be pretty large to be equipped with the technology and still have any points left over for anything else.

BLHarrison wrote:Question: I noticed that VBAM1 had an "exploritory" trait/ability available which was basically a limited scout function. If this trait has been carried over to VBAM2 does it have to be researched or is it available from the start?


The Explorer ability will likely reappear in the Companion with the exploration rules (possibly along with Survey, which is used to survey star systems after they're discovered). Both should end up with 1:1 costs, so you could have twice the bonus as Scout but without any of the combat functionality.

BLHarrison wrote:I also have noticed that we haven't been seeing the prototype rolls for the "Clark" class carrier.


Uh... well... that is what happens when you give SpaceHalliburton a no-bid contract. They are currently retooling the class and will get back to you once they locate the missing carrier. I had forgotten all about the Clark after the year break. I will go in and get that fixed tonight and see where we're at. Doh.
"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"

Gareth_Perkins
Captain
Captain
Posts: 242
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:39 am
Location: Exeter; UK

Re: Human Republic Playtest Thread

Postby Gareth_Perkins » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:39 am

In light of the discovery at Carthage, I would like to propose that we put a strong emphasis on colonisation for the next six months, and seek to establish a strong colony on Carthage even as we Colonise Archer, and even if this costs us in the short term regarding scouting new systems as well as technological and military advancement.

A very small risk right now (we have yet to discover any intelligent aliens at all, never mind hostile ones - and maybe we truly are alone in the universe anyway?) will allow us to strengthen our economy drastically, putting us on a much stronger footing for the mid- and long-term as we will be in a better position to reinforce our military and invest in new technologies.

Additionally, the two new colonies mean that alien encounters are likely to happen at arms reach, instead of putting the home-world directly at risk. This additional security could prove vital in the future.
Gareth Lazelle

BLHarrison
Lieutanant Commander
Lieutanant Commander
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:02 pm

Re: Human Republic Playtest Thread

Postby BLHarrison » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:06 pm

[Senator/on] While our colonizing and infrastructure improvements should continue as we previously discused, the discovery of Carthage has also raised some questions and conserns in my mind.

One such consern is a lack of transport vessels. If we have to re-enforce ground units on our colonies (once we build them at all) we currently have no way to transport said ground units to those worlds.

I also see a need for at least some warships to be build to protect our citizens and our mutial investments in our new worlds. Granted we must first build up our infrastructure in order to be able to build a more potient Naval force, but we must have one. Perhaps those of the Military Faction can make suggestions?

For myself I have a suggestion that uses the flexablity of both our current scout-carriers and the proposed "Clark" class of vessels. I suggest that, provided our engineers can design such a craft, that we add to our inventory of flights a "scout" flight. This should increase the sensor capabilities of our scouting units greatly. And when we pause to consolitdate our new holdings the scout flights can be mouthballed until the next round of exploration begins.
[Senator/off]

The last paragraph is why I asked if flights could have the scout function. I envision something that is only a CR 1 in size so it most likely will not be armed, but any left over space could be used to increase the units CR, something like the shuttle that has already been made a unit. In fact if possiable it could be a variant of the shuttle. Once built these flights would allow any starship with basing ability to function as an scout/exporerer. If the need for combat becomes paramount, then the scout flights get mothballed and we embark more combat capable units.

Also let me ask, does reorganizing a scouting squadron cause it to loose any earned bonuses. For example one squadron has a +4 at the last check. If it gained/transfered in another CVX or a scout flight, would that bonus?

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

Re: Human Republic Playtest Thread

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:37 pm

BLHarrison wrote:The last paragraph is why I asked if flights could have the scout function. I envision something that is only a CR 1 in size so it most likely will not be armed, but any left over space could be used to increase the units CR, something like the shuttle that has already been made a unit. In fact if possiable it could be a variant of the shuttle. Once built these flights would allow any starship with basing ability to function as an scout/exporerer. If the need for combat becomes paramount, then the scout flights get mothballed and we embark more combat capable units.

That is a perfectly acceptable solution. At the Republic's current tech level it would have to be a 2 EP / 2 CC flight unit to build in the 2 point Scout ability, but it is allowable. Similarly, you could build a 1 EP / 1 CC "cargo shuttle" with 1 Cargo rating that could be used to convert our existing carrier fleets into impromptu cargo haulers.

BLHarrison wrote:Also let me ask, does reorganizing a scouting squadron cause it to loose any earned bonuses. For example one squadron has a +4 at the last check. If it gained/transfered in another CVX or a scout flight, would that bonus?

That is a very good question, and something that I hadn't considered. I think it makes more sense that the squadron would keep its bonus since it is still out scouting, there are just extra ships that have joined it. It's only if the squadron is reorganized out of existence that the modifier would be removed.

Edit: On a related topic, I think the final exploration rules will be tweaked to be in line with some current changes to the rules where the exploration bonus would become +1 per 10 Scout (round to nearest) instead of the +1 per Scout (round up) which is currently in play. That would mean that you would need at least 5 Scout rating in a squadron to get a +1 bonus. That's harder to do at lower levels, but pretty trivial at higher levels.

Oh, and because our one scout squadron does have a +4 at this point, everyone should anticipate us making another system discovery in the next 1-2 turns. I would recommend holding off on any colonization missions until we know what is in that other system.
"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: Human Republic Playtest Thread

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:19 am

Year 2, Turn 3
After a long delay, we are finally getting another turn generated! Woo hoo! The debate over colonization policy is still raging, but we have a few turns before we need to really worry about what we're going to do with Archer and Carthage. We're going to save our population points for Carthage, but by the end of the year we should have enough to spend on 1 Census at Archer, too.

Turn Orders: None (well, technically we have had exploration orders every turn, but I am not listing them here because that would get tedious)

Movement Phase: Three scout forces (2-4) rolled +1 modifier results on their exploration rolls. This gives them +6, +3, and +3 modifiers, respectively. Scout Force 2 is almost definitely going to explore a new system next turn, but there is a good chance that the other two will by the end of the year, too. Scout Force 2 and 4 are in Terra Nova, Scout Force 3 is in Archer.

Piracy Phase: Rolled '6', no effect.

Morale Phase: Rolled '5', no effect.

Agriculture Phase: +1 PP.

Construction Phase: The Pandora carrier in Scout Force 1 is now repaired. It can start exploring again next turn.

I forgot all about the Clark-class base that is under construction at Terra Nova. Rolling for the two turns I missed gives us a +2 bonus to this turn's roll. I roll '4', which modifies to '6'. No bonus. About 2-3 turns left of prototyping before we should have this unit ready to go.

Economic Phase: 43 EP (starting) + 36 EP (colony) + 4 EP (commerce) - 0 (purchases) - 3 (maintenance) = 80 EP

Economic Pool: 80
Population Pool: 13
Tech Pool: 16
Intel Pool: 0

Year 2, Turn 4
We have enough economic points to purchase a colony at Carthage, but I am going to hold off doing that until we know what our scouts are going to find. I would hate to spend all of our money on a new colony only to find out that there is an even better system just over the next horizon. I am going to spend some money on tech and intel points, though.

Turn Orders: +10 tech points [-10 EP], +10 intel points [-10 EP]

Movement Phase: Scout Force 2 has succeeded in discovering a new star system. It moved across the northerly unexplored jump lane into the Meridian system. Meridian isn't as good as Carthage, but it isn't that bad:

3 Carrying Capacity, 4 RAW, 4 Orbital, 5 Biosphere, 5 Science, 3 Jump Lanes

The system's biggest fault is its low Carrying Capacity. That makes the system cheaper to colonize, but it also offers minimal long-term development opportunities. It has above-average statistics across the board, though, which still makes it an excellent candidate for colonization.

Image

Piracy Phase: Rolled '8', no effect.

Morale Phase: Rolled '7', no effect.

Agriculture Phase: +1 PP.

Construction Phase: Clark protoype rolls 5, modified to 7. +1 to future rolls (+3 cumulative)

Economic Phase: 80 EP (starting) + 36 EP (colony) + 4 EP (commerce) - 20 (purchases) - 3 (maintenance) = 97 EP

Economic Pool: 97
Population Pool: 14
Tech Pool: 26
Intel Pool: 10


Year 2, Turn 5
The half way point for Year 2. We have the money to colonize Carthage and it looks to be our best short-term candidate, so I am going to pull the trigger and make that purchase for the Republic. Next turn we can put 1 Census on the colony, then the turn after that we can start building up infrastructure (at a maximum rate of 1 per turn). It's slow to develop a colony, but that keeps a player from rapidly turning new colonies into fully-productive worlds overnight.

In addition to the colonization of Carthage, I am going to buy a little bit more tech and intel. Then, next turn, we'll look into improving our Agriculture at Terra Nova to 5.

Turn Orders: Colonize Carthage [-60 EP], +5 tech points [-5 EP], +5 intel points [-5 EP]

Movement Phase: Scout Force 4 has succeeded in exploring one of Terra Nova's three remaining unexplored jump lanes. It emerges in a system... only to detect several obvious drive signatures swarming one of the system's inner planets. The Human Republic has made first contact with a new empire called the Septerran Dominion. First contact protocol was followed to the letter and we were able to establish a basic dialog with the aliens. From what we gather, the Septerrans are a reclusive species that prefers to be left alone, and aren't afraid to use violence to achieve these goals. Luckily their first contact team wasn't itching for a fight, so we don't have to worry about a first contact war. The captain of the Pandora that made first contact recommended not trusting the Septerrans as they have evidently don't have any concept of long-term treaties and probably won't honor the ones we sign with them.

Image
Septerran Dominion
AG 75, IN 12, XE 83
Initial Relationship: 50

Kurash (the Septerran name for the system) is inhabited by the Dominion. This system has the following statistics:

4 Carrying Capacity, 4 RAW, 3 Orbital, 5 Biosphere, 5 Science, 5 Jump Lanes
Septerran Colony (TL 0): 2 Census, 2 Morale, 2 Productivity, 1 Shipyard, 2 Agriculture, 1 Tech, 0 Intel

This is obviously not their homeworld. Our limited dialog with the Septerrans indicate their homeworld is one jump away in a system that is adjacent to Carthage.

Our scouts detected the following units in the system:

1 @ 10 EP Starship (Class Unknown)
1 @ 3 EP Starship (Class Unknown)
1 @ 4 EP Starship (Class Unknown)
1 @ Trade Links (Active)

All of the military units are located in the same squadron. This indicates that the largest unit is probably acting as a command ship for the group.

That's the intelligence report. The diplomatic affairs officer would like to pass on to the esteemed members of the Senate that based on her information the Septerrans are emphatically opposed to furthering relations with the Republic. With their Xenophobia and the current Relationship, they won't even sign a border treaty (50 - 83 + 25 [treaty mod] = -8). They might sign an armistice with us, if we were to go to war. That's sure comforting, isn't it? The Septerran's current hostilities chance is 75 - (50 x 2) = -25, so they currently have no interest in declaring war on us, either. That will change if our relationship dips below 38.

Image

Piracy Phase: Rolled '6', no effect.

Morale Phase: Rolled '6', no effect.

Agriculture Phase: +1 PP.

Construction Phase: Clark protoype rolls '9', modified to 12. The prototype is complete. It can now start actual construction and work towards completion. Not a moment too soon!

The colony in Carthage has been established. It starts with 0 Census and 3 Morale.

Economic Phase: 97 EP (starting) + 36 EP (colony) + 4 EP (commerce) - 70 (purchases) - 3 (maintenance) = 64 EP

Economic Pool: 64
Population Pool: 15
Tech Pool: 31
Intel Pool: 15
"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