2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

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2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby wminsing » Thu May 17, 2012 2:05 pm

This is going to be a mostly mechanical report of my play test campaign. Set up is a solo exploration campaign.

Short Background: The 25th Century. It was a golden age for all mankind. United under the Terran Commonwealth, humanity had conquered most of the ills that plagued them for thousands of years. Now an exciting new development had arisen; the secret of FTL travel had been unlocked. The "Reach for the Stars" program was initiated to turn mankind into an interstellar civilization.

Sol System:
Cap: 10 Raw: 5 Bio: 5
Colony: 8 Census, 8 Current Morale, 8 Economy, 8 Industry, 8 Research
Facilities: Supply Depot, Trade Post, Shipyard
Notes: Imperial Capital, Homeworld

Starting Units:
Charger class Destroyer
Type: Starship
TL: 0 BC: 3 MC: 1 BT: 2
DV: 2 AS: 2 PD: 1
CR: 3 CC: 1/2
FTL(1)

Magellan class Explorer
Type: Starship
TL: 0 BC: 14 MC: 6 BT: 7
DV: 6 AS: 3 PD: 2
CR: 6 CC: 2
FTL(1), Scout(5)

FT-26 Arrow
Type: Fighter
TL: 0 BC: 2 MC: 1 BT: 1
DV: 1 AS: 1 PD: 1
CT: 3 CC: 1/2
Atmospheric

Home Guard Corps
Type: Ground Force
TL: 0 BC: 5 MC: 2 BT: 3
DV: 5 AS: 4 PD: 1
CR: 4 CC: 1

Orbital Defense Platform:
Type: Starbase
TL: 0 BC: 20 MC: 4 BT: 10
DV: 12 AS: 12 PD: 4
CR: 10 CC: 4
Armor(1)

Home Guard Defense Installation
Type: Ground Base
TL: 0 BC: 20 MC: 4 BT: 10
DV: 16 AS: 16 PD: 8
CR: 10 CC: 4

Pioneer class Transport
Type: Starship
TL: 0 BC: 6 MC: 2 BT: 3
DV: 3 AS: 0 PD: 1
CR: 4 CC: 1
FTL(1), Cargo(5)

Early Warning Station
Type: Starbase
TL: 0 BC: 8 MC: 2 BT: 4
DV: 5 AS: 0 PD: 1
CR: 4 CC: 1
Scout(5)

Please feel free to check these for errors; I built these with a home brew unit spreadsheet I made on google docs and there certainly could be problems. I am not sure how many units a power is supposed to start with but I think that covers the bases for now. The Commonwealth doesn't need too many ships anyway, what could really be out there? :wink:

Initial Purchases(5 x 40 GDP = 200 EP)
8 x Charger Class DD (24 EP)
6 x Magellan class EX ( 84 EP)
8 x FT-26 Arrow (16 EP)
4 x Home Guard Corps (20 EP)
1 x Orbital Defense Platform (20 EP)
1 x Home Guard Defense Base (20 EP)
1 x Early Warning Platform (8 EP)
1 x Pioneer class TR (6 EP)
2 EP Left

Decided to concentrate on exploration for now, if the Terran Commonwealth runs into hostile alien powers later (which the experts are sure do not exist) I will ramp up DD and fighter production and look at designing some heavier combat units. Initial turn will hopefully follow soon.

-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."
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Thu May 17, 2012 3:43 pm

I went through and made a few quick edits to your unit's maintenance costs and command factors as there seemed to be a few discrepancies (largely based on the rules not being spelled out clearly enough in the rules right now).

Maintenance Cost is MU / 5 (round to nearest, min 1/2) for starships, flights, and ground forces, or MU / 10 (round to nearest, min 1/2) for starbases and ground bases. There were a few units that had incorrect maintenance costs and they have been corrected in your above post.

Command Cost is BC / 5 (round down, min 1/2), and Command Rating is then (2 x CC) + 2. This makes the most significant difference for your units as it severely drops the number of units that some of your units are able to command in a combat environment.

Your fleet looks like a good mix of ships. The Pioneer TR would work well when paired with a Magellan EX. The number of Magellans you're starting with should also give you fast exploration right out of the gate. Combining two per jump lane at the start for a +2 bonus and then separating later, you're going to rapidly expand over the first 10 turns (as long as the die rolls aren't too capricious). The space and ground bases in Sol should protect the system in the event you do find a terribly unfriendly empire.
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby wminsing » Thu May 17, 2012 5:04 pm

Aha, I had several errors in my spreadsheet- I had MC based on BC not MU, and for CC I was dividing by 2 not 5 (which makes supply ships a lot more plausible). Thanks for the corrections! One thing I noted is that basing MC on MU means that higher tech units will cost more to maintain. Nice touch, as it will make building less than cutting edge units attractive. Updates made, first turn will hopefully follow soon.

-Will
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Thu May 17, 2012 5:29 pm

wminsing wrote:Aha, I had several errors in my spreadsheet- I had MC based on BC not MU, and for CC I was dividing by 2 not 5 (which makes supply ships a lot more plausible). Thanks for the corrections! One thing I noted is that basing MC on MU means that higher tech units will cost more to maintain. Nice touch, as it will make building less than cutting edge units attractive. Updates made, first turn will hopefully follow soon.


The MU-based MC really adds a good balancing factor between high tech and low tech empires. Sure, the Vorlons can build super advanced starships, but they can't maintain as many of them at once as the Zoq-Fot-Pik. The low tech empire is still going to be clobbered in an actual fight, but the unit loss is going to hurt the high tech empire a bit more because they have fewer units to spare, especially if they have to defend a reasonably size empire.

The interesting construction break points I've found so far is that odd BC values give you cheaper FTL / Atmospheric, but at the same time increase your BT. You have to decide whether the cost savings on one side is worth the extra turn of construction. There's also situations where you build cheaper ships or just ships with less MU than max because you don't want to pop to the next MC bracket.
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby wminsing » Thu May 17, 2012 8:18 pm

Turn: 2448.01 Terran Commonwealth

Terran Treasury
Starting Point Pool: 2 EP
Planet Income: 40 EP
Trade Income: 6 EP
Misc Income: 0
Maintenance Expense: 14 EP
Misc Expense: 0 EP
Current Point Pool: 34 EP

Department of Applied Research:
Total Tech Points Needed for advancement: 200 (25 x 8 Census)
Current Tech Point Pool: 0
Tech Points from Research Infrastructure: 8
Tech Points Bought: 8 (8 EP)

Department of Agriculture:
Current Agricultural Surplus/Shortfall: +16
Accumulated Population Points: 0

Terran Intelligence Directorate:
Active Spies Location Mission
None N/A N/A

Terran Trade Authority:
Current Trade Route Status:
Sol (Active) (6)

Procurement Department:
40 Capacity @ Sol (Shipyard)
New Orders:
1 x Pioneer class Transport (6 EP), Started Turn 1, Finished Turn 4

Existing Orders:

Additional Turn Orders:

20 EP Left


Terran Ministry of Defense:

Movement Orders
Ship/Formation Current Location Movement Orders
1st Survey Constellation Sol Explore Lane #1
2nd Survey Constellation Sol Explore Lane #2
1st Destroyer Constellation Sol -
2nd Destroyer Constellation Sol -
Pioneer Sol -

Current Assignments
1st Survey Constellation: Magellan, Bering, He
2nd Survey Constellation: Lewis, Clark, Ericsson
1st Destroyer Constellation: Charger, Challenger, Champion, Courser
2nd Destroyer Constellation: Courser, Charity, Charter, Cipher

Order of Battle and Status
Unit Type Status Location Notes
Ferdinand Magellan Magellan EX Undamaged Sol
Vitus Bering Magellan EX Undamaged Sol
Meriwether Lewis Magellan EX Undamaged Sol
William Clark Magellan EX Undamaged Sol
Zheng He Magellan EX Undamaged Sol
Leif Ericsson Magellan EX Undamaged Sol
Charger Charger DD Undamaged Sol
Challenger Charger DD Undamaged Sol
Champion Charger DD Undamaged Sol
Courser Charger DD Undamaged Sol
Chaser Charger DD Undamaged Sol
Charity Charger DD Undamaged Sol
Charter Charger DD Undamaged Sol
Cipher Charger DD Undamaged Sol
101st Squadron FT-26 Arrow Undamaged Sol/ground
102nd Squadron FT-26 Arrow Undamaged Sol/ground
103rd Squadron FT-26 Arrow Undamaged Sol/ground
104th Squadron FT-26 Arrow Undamaged Sol/ground
105th Squadron FT-26 Arrow Undamaged Sol/ground
106th Squadron FT-26 Arrow Undamaged Sol/ground
107th Squadron FT-26 Arrow Undamaged Sol/ground
108th Squadron FT-26 Arrow Undamaged Sol/ground
1st HG Corps Home Guard Undamaged Sol/ground
2nd HG Corps Home Guard Undamaged Sol/ground
3rd HG Corps Home Guard Undamaged Sol/ground
4th HG Corps Home Guard Undamaged Sol/ground
Citadel Station ODP Undamaged Sol
Home Guard HQ HGDB Undamaged Sol/ground
Sky Eye EWP Undamaged Sol
Pioneer Pioneer TR Undamaged Sol

Turn 1 - 2448.01
Just some basic Tech Investment and an extra transport laid down by the Commonwealth this turn; they are saving their money for colonial expansion or some new facilities.

Exploration Checks:
1st Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 8 + 3 = 11, Partial Success (+1 next turn)
2nd Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 8 + 3 = 11, Partial Success (+1 next turn)

Morale Checks:
Sol System:
Good Order, Roll = 7, no Change

Piracy Checks:
Sol System:
5% + 5% (Trade Route) - 23% (23 ships or flights in system) = 0%

Emerging Empire Checks:
Turns since last successful exploration roll: 1%
Roll = 74, no Emerging Empire
"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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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby wminsing » Thu May 17, 2012 8:32 pm

So in the future I'll probably just link to the turn sheet in Google Docs, but this works for now so people can check my work. Did I forget anything major to do during this turn, or make any other obvious mistakes?

A couple of additional comments:
1. 14 maintenance right of the gate! 6 due to facilities, which is ok but I will need to keep an eye on it.
2. Even though squadrons don't mean anything outside of combat I figure I will continue to group them together to make movement order easier on myself.
3. Speaking on which, I'm not sure the best way to handle tracking individual units, something I never really solved in my earlier solo campaigns either. Maybe a spreadsheet would be a better solution but I'm worried I'd forget to update it after a turn and units would get out of synch. What have other people done?
4. 10% chance to lose 1 morale for no reason does seem kind of harsh. But we'll see how it goes.
5. Did I do the piracy check correctly? Seems like things are well under control right now, but I'll have to keep an eye on it once I start to spread out. I did NOT count bases, is this correct?

-Will
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Thu May 17, 2012 9:01 pm

wminsing wrote:So in the future I'll probably just link to the turn sheet in Google Docs, but this works for now so people can check my work. Did I forget anything major to do during this turn, or make any other obvious mistakes?


I didn't see anything out of place looking over the turn report on this end. For what it's worth, this is the format I've been using for my turn orders in the Nova Solar Federation game:

Turn 36, Nova Solar Federation, TL 1
Economic Pool: 67, Population Pool: 24, Tech Pool: 150
Turn Orders:
First Expeditionary Fleet moves to Vulcan
Second Expeditionary Fleet explores JL#4 in Forge (+0)
Turn Results:
Perseus light repair cruiser (2/4 turns)
Prototype Phantom HF: +1 to future rolls (+3)
Nova Supercarrier @ Nova (4/14 turns)
-1 Morale @ Phoenix
-1 Morale @ Pacifica
14 EP of pirates (2 Thresher, 2 Strider) appear in Elysium (2 CC)

I then keep track of the unit positions, names, etc. on another sheet and update it when I generate the turn once all of the turn orders are written.

1. 14 maintenance right of the gate! 6 due to facilities, which is ok but I will need to keep an eye on it.


That's still 14 out of 46 EP per turn, which leaves you with a healthy reserve of 32 EP per turn to spend on new purchases. You can do quite a bit of military construction without pushing your maintenance costs too high. The real effect is that you end up looking for that RAW 4+ systems that you can turn into mining bases to fuel your economy in the long-term.

3. Speaking on which, I'm not sure the best way to handle tracking individual units, something I never really solved in my earlier solo campaigns either. Maybe a spreadsheet would be a better solution but I'm worried I'd forget to update it after a turn and units would get out of synch. What have other people done?


What I've been doing is recording fleets on a separate sheet with the name of the fleet, it's location, and then a breakdown of all of the different units in the fleet. Here's an example:

Home Fleet @ Nova
2 x Hyperion BC (Hyperion, Helios)
3 x Avenger CL (Apollo)
1 x Perseus CRL (Perseus)
2 x Tempest CVA
10 x Javelin LF

Desynching from turn orders can be a problem, and the advantage to having the fleets listed with your turn orders each time is that it is easier to figure out where everything is at from turn to turn. It also leads to very busy turn orders that are difficult to parse as time goes by. That's part of the reason I've gone to just having the one sheet and periodically doing spot checks to make sure that the fleets are where they are supposed to be and I have the right number of units of each class.

4. 10% chance to lose 1 morale for no reason does seem kind of harsh. But we'll see how it goes.


You also have a 10% chance of gaining 1 Morale, so it ends up balancing out in the end. It's admittedly a kludge meant to keep Morale dynamic. In 1E it was just too static and never seemed to change unless something catastrophic happened.

5. Did I do the piracy check correctly? Seems like things are well under control right now, but I'll have to keep an eye on it once I start to spread out. I did NOT count bases, is this correct?


Everything looks correct, and you were right not to include bases (just starships and flights). In practice you most systems where piracy can occur are going to be pushed down to the minimum 1% level pretty fast, and you're only going to need to worry about pirates if you end up leaving systems defenseless.

I'm thinking it might be better to change the piracy chance to 5% x trade routes instead of 5% + 5% plus trade routes. The latter is a holdover from rolling for piracy in every system, but I think restricting it to systems people are trading in makes life easier for everyone and makes a bit more sense (pirates actually attacking systems that have a merchant presence). The question is then whether 5% x trade routes works or if it needs to be upped to 10% x trade routes? Given that in most moderate sized games it wouldn't be inconceivable for a system to be part of 5-6 trade networks, I think the 5% multiplier might be the saner choice. That way a system with 5 trade routes would just need 25 starships to patrol it, or enough Police cutters to pick up the slack.
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby wminsing » Fri May 18, 2012 12:22 am

1. Yep, I was just commenting that maintenance seemed higher, but I'm running a healthy surplus right now.
3. A separate sheet does make sense, I think you've convinced me- I will convert over to that for future turns.
4. Fair enough. I do plan to buy a spy though to run some morale boosting missions just in case. Is there a place the current intel rules are summarized?
5. Ah, I had missed it was a minimum of 1%, I make sure to do that in future turns. I'm perfectly happy to try 5% x number of trade routes (I presume it counts trade routes in system + every adjacent trade route?)

A couple more questions based on a few extra turns I ran (will post links soon):
a) For Exploration, I don't see any information on how to check where a jump lane goes. Obviously for the first system they all go to a new star system. But what about subsequent systems? I dimly remember is an old draft of the rules you randomly assigned a number to the first system, then every time a jump lane was mapped it would go to a system with a number of +/- 2d10. If this number didn't already exist it would be go to a new system, if the system already existed and had unexplored jump lanes it would connect there. What is the current intent?
b) For generating a star system, for special roles do single stars actually roll 3 times on the special chart?
c) How do pre-warp civilizations get generated? I don't see a way to encounter them.

-Will
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Fri May 18, 2012 2:05 am

wminsing wrote:1. Yep, I was just commenting that maintenance seemed higher, but I'm running a healthy surplus right now.


My playtest empire has 422 EP of military units that costs it 18 EP per turn to maintain (+6 EP from facilities and +1 EP from my single spy). Total income is 57 system income and 7 commerce income.

4. Fair enough. I do plan to buy a spy though to run some morale boosting missions just in case. Is there a place the current intel rules are summarized?


Still testing changes, but here's a Cliff's notes version:

Spies costs 10 EP each and 1 EP per turn to maintain, and you can buy at most 1 per Census per turn at a colony. The maximum number of active spies in a system is equal to Carrying Capacity (you can have more, but they are effectively "crated" like fighters that aren't being based anywhere).

You then assign the spies to intel missions. The chance of a mission succeeding is equal to the number of spies assigned divided by the sum of the mission's difficulty, the distance between the source and destination systems, and the number of spies the defender has in the target system. Missions are detected if the roll is less than half or greater than twice the success chance.

When a mission is detected, you roll a D10 against the mission difficulty for each offensive spy. If the roll is less than or equal to the mission difficulty then the spy is captured/killed and the target finds out who was behind the mission (otherwise they just find out that there was a mission but not who conducted it).

Example: An empire uses 4 Spies to conduct a 3 Difficulty mission against a system 2 jumps away that has 1 Defensive Spy present. The chance of success is 4 / (3 + 2 + 1) = 66%. The player rolls a '30', which is less than half, so the mission is detected. The player then rolls four D10 dies, one for each of his spies. The rolls are '3', '7', 5', and '10'. Only one of these rolls is less than or equal to the mission difficulty. This results in the offensive player losing 1 spy and the target now knows who attempted the mission against them this turn.

That all being said, I'm wondering if the D10 roll should be mandatory anyway so that a player could lose spies on a mission even if it was successful. That seems to make sense...

5. Ah, I had missed it was a minimum of 1%, I make sure to do that in future turns. I'm perfectly happy to try 5% x number of trade routes (I presume it counts trade routes in system + every adjacent trade route?)


Yeah, give it a try and see what happens. And it is just for how many trade routes connect to the system in question. With just one empire you'll just have at most one trade route per system, but once you open up trade with other friendly powers that number will grow -- especially along the corridors that lead towards your larger colonies where most empires will want to be trading.

a) For Exploration, I don't see any information on how to check where a jump lane goes. Obviously for the first system they all go to a new star system. But what about subsequent systems? I dimly remember is an old draft of the rules you randomly assigned a number to the first system, then every time a jump lane was mapped it would go to a system with a number of +/- 2d10. If this number didn't already exist it would be go to a new system, if the system already existed and had unexplored jump lanes it would connect there. What is the current intent?


I've shifted the rule to a purely hex map basis for exploration campaigns. That way you can lay out the systems nicely on a hex map and roll a D6 for direction. This is repeated for each subsequent system. You can end up with systems that should have X jump lanes but there aren't enough unexplored system adjacent to it on the hex map to attach them. At that point you just drop the jump lane and (this is still being tested) give it another special trait as consolation.

b) For generating a star system, for special roles do single stars actually roll 3 times on the special chart?


That's correct! Single star systems are the best because they get 3 special traits. Binaries get 2, Multiples get 1.

c) How do pre-warp civilizations get generated? I don't see a way to encounter them.


It's the second paragraph in 3.6.3 Prewarp Natives, but I've added a sentence to it to make it a bit more clear what the intent and procedure should be:

"Players must make a roll for each system after it's explored to check for the presence of prewarp natives. The percentage chance that a newly-explored system is inhabited by prewarp natives is equal to its Carrying Capacity times Biosphere. A system with 6 Capacity and 3 Biosphere would have a 18% chance, for example. "

In other words, every system you explore has a chance of harboring prewarp natives! The chance is usually pretty low, but it's there nonetheless. It also means that nicer star systems also have a very good chance of already being inhabited. I feel that this is preferential in most campaigns as it adds more political intrigue and diplomacy to games that would otherwise end up with stagnating with only a few major powers. It also gives militaristic powers more opportunities to exercise their ground forces and expand through violent methods.
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby wminsing » Fri May 18, 2012 12:47 pm

My playtest empire has 422 EP of military units that costs it 18 EP per turn to maintain (+6 EP from facilities and +1 EP from my single spy). Total income is 57 system income and 7 commerce income.


Yes, I only have 8 EP maintenance from military units for 200 EP of military units, it's the facilities that will add up quickly but I understand the desire to keep them under control. Will be interested in seeing how it goes. While I'm on that thought, is the limit one facility per type per system? So I can't double up on Mining Bases or what have you?

Still testing changes, but here's a Cliff's notes version:


Thanks! Is there a list of missions anywhere? I don't see it in the latest draft.

Yeah, give it a try and see what happens. And it is just for how many trade routes connect to the system in question. With just one empire you'll just have at most one trade route per system, but once you open up trade with other friendly powers that number will grow -- especially along the corridors that lead towards your larger colonies where most empires will want to be trading.


Oh, ok, so if the system has a trade link 5%, otherwise don't roll, and +5% for every foreign power that is trading with you?

I've shifted the rule to a purely hex map basis for exploration campaigns. That way you can lay out the systems nicely on a hex map and roll a D6 for direction. This is repeated for each subsequent system. You can end up with systems that should have X jump lanes but there aren't enough unexplored system adjacent to it on the hex map to attach them. At that point you just drop the jump lane and (this is still being tested) give it another special trait as consolation.


Hmmm, I use a graphing editor for my campaign maps so that might be a challenge. Let me think on this a little more....

That's correct! Single star systems are the best because they get 3 special traits. Binaries get 2, Multiples get 1.


Cool, just wanted to make sure.


It's the second paragraph in 3.6.3 Prewarp Natives, but I've added a sentence to it to make it a bit more clear what the intent and procedure should be:


Thanks!

I will have several more turns posted this evening hopefully!

-Will
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Fri May 18, 2012 3:30 pm

wminsing wrote:Yes, I only have 8 EP maintenance from military units for 200 EP of military units, it's the facilities that will add up quickly but I understand the desire to keep them under control. Will be interested in seeing how it goes. While I'm on that thought, is the limit one facility per type per system? So I can't double up on Mining Bases or what have you?


Correct, each system can only have one of each facility. This is as much for the sake of sanity as it is to circumvent some of the more egregious min/max options.

Thanks! Is there a list of missions anywhere? I don't see it in the latest draft.


There's a list of them in the old draft that I uploaded as part of the three-pack when you started the game. The difficulty levels should stay the same, as will the effects. Just most everything else changes.

:cry:

Oh, ok, so if the system has a trade link 5%, otherwise don't roll, and +5% for every foreign power that is trading with you?


Correct. This narrowing of piracy has the same effect as loyalty checks for colonies in that only a limited number of systems are going to be affected, which reduces the number of rolls per turn you have to make.

Hmmm, I use a graphing editor for my campaign maps so that might be a challenge. Let me think on this a little more....


What kind of graphing editor are you using? If you have a grid map you could work off of a square grid instead of a hex map, with 8 possible connection points instead of 6. Alternatively, depending on how your graphing program works, could you import a hex map underlay as a background and then position elements over the top of it?

OR, here's another thought: you could assign each system a coordinate value that would be column/row. Then you would have the D6 results give you the following modifiers:

1: X+0, Y+1
2: X+1, Y+1
3: X+1, Y-1
4: X+0, Y-1
5: X-1, Y-1
6: X-1, Y+1

My mind is fuzzy, but that looks like it might be able to work for you. That way, if you start with Sol (0,0) and explore direction 6, you would end up in Alpha (-1,+1). A jump lane in direction 4 from Alpha leads to Beta (-1,0). Another direction 4 from Beta leads to Gamma (-1,-1), then we have a direction 1 from Gamma that indicates that it would lead back to Beta. This jump lane already exists, so we reroll direction and get a 5. The jump lane from Gamma then leads to Delta (-2,-2).

Would that work?

I will have several more turns posted this evening hopefully!


I'm looking forward to it!
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby wminsing » Fri May 18, 2012 4:28 pm

Ok, posting turns a little early!

Turn 2:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1m-- ... RGj3E/edit
Turn 3:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LiE ... EO1SY/edit

And campaign log:
Turn 2 - 2448.02
More tech investment, and still saving some money for that first colony or an infrastructure investment.

Exploration Checks:
1st Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 6 + 3 + 1 = 10, Partial Success (+1 next turn)
2nd Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 5 + 3 +1 = 9, Partial Success (+1 next turn)

Morale Checks:
Sol System:
Good Order, Roll = 1, -1 Morale, now 7

Piracy Checks:
Sol System:
5% (Trade Route) - 23% (23 ships or flights in system) = 1% (min)
Roll = 28, no Pirate attack


Emerging Empire Checks:
Turns since last successful exploration roll: 2%
Roll = 36, no Emerging Empire

Turn 3 - 2448.02
Given the decline in Morale in Sol I think a spy to run some morale-raising missions might be a good buy, even if it will increase my maintenance costs

Exploration Checks:
1st Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 9 + 3 + 2 = 14, Jump Lane Mapped!
2nd Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 10 + 3 +2 = 15, Jump Lane Mapped!

Morale Checks:
Sol System:
Good Order, Roll = 2, no change

Piracy Checks:
Sol System:
5% (Trade Route) - 17% (17 ships or flights in system) = 1% (min)
Roll = 35, no Pirate attack

Emerging Empire Checks:
Turns since last successful exploration roll: 0%
No roll

New Star System Generation
System Type Roll = 5, Single Star System
Spectral Class Roll = 7, Class K Orange Star
Luminosity Class Roll = 10, III Giant
Carrying Capacity = 5, 2 CAP
Raw = 9, 3 RAW
Biosphere = 6, 2 BIO
Jump Lanes = 5, 3 Lanes (1 back to Sol)

System Specials:
6 = +1 CAP
10 = +2 RAW
12 = Special Resource
Special Resource = 5, Agricultural (+50% food production)

Native Species roll = 3 x 2 = 6% chance
Rolled 46, no native species

New Star System Generation
System Type Roll = 5, Single Star System
Spectral Class Roll = 7, Class K Orange Star (yes, this is a weird coincidence)
Luminosity Class Roll = 5, V Main Sequence
Carrying Capacity = 8, 6 CAP
Raw = 6, 2 RAW
Biosphere = 8, 3 BIO
Jump Lanes = 8, 3 Lanes (1 back to Sol)
System Specials:
6 = +1 Cap
12 = Special Resource
Special Resource = 8, Trade (???)
6 = +1 Cap

Native Species roll = 8 x 3 = 24% chance
Rolled 28, no native species

Rolling an agricultural special resource in the first star system was sort of a bummer but on the other hand it will make the system food self-sufficient at maximum development. A good early colonization candidate.

I'm also not sure what the 'Trade' special resource in the 2nd system should do- the draft I have says it extends the system's commerce range by 50% but that doesn't seem to jive with the new trade rules. I'm considering having it increase the systems commerce value by 50% instead, as that seems consistent with the other resources.

Overall a good set of systems, time to get expanding!

-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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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Fri May 18, 2012 4:50 pm

You hit two strategic resources within three turns! That's about as bad as Charlie running into a black hole right off in one of his sysgen tests (the land of edge cases).

The Trade resource has changed, but take it as meaning that the systems trade value is 50% greater than normal (round up). Once fully developed, the system would have 7 CAP x 7 INF x 150% = 74 trade value. That's enough for 7 EP per turn for anyone trading there.

Rereading the rules for strategic resources, I'm a bit worried that I didn't apply a cost to transporting resources from one system to another other than requiring an active trade route in the system. That might end up being overpowered. In your case, it means that you could colonize both systems, build trade routes to them, and then move the resources to Sol and gain a big boost to food and trade. Perfectly valid as written, and this is definitely an edge case if I've ever seen one. It just means Sol is sitting pretty!

All in all it's a pretty good set of exploration results. The first system doesn't offer much living space, but the Agriculture resource and the 5 RAW makes it a good mining base. The second system is pretty average, but average can be good when a system is a jack of all trades and can do a little bit of everything for you. The high Carrying Capacity also gives you a lot of room to expand.
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby wminsing » Fri May 18, 2012 4:54 pm

There's a list of them in the old draft that I uploaded as part of the three-pack when you started the game. The difficulty levels should stay the same, as will the effects. Just most everything else changes.


Found it! I would also recommend always rolling for spy loss- agents could pull off the mission but still die/captured/compromised. This also makes spies somewhat harder to use and will encourage players to not just run missions all the time, as there is residual risk associated with running even simple missions.

What kind of graphing editor are you using?


I use yEd which is a simple and free one that works well (http://www.yworks.com/en/products_yed_about.html). I think the 'hex based' system is workable, I'll just need to be mindful when placing jump lanes and make sure I'm keeping them lined up. I'll also see if I can import a background.

Another alternative is the free hex mapping software Hexographer. I also set up a map in that program and I'll map in both for awhile and see which makes more sense. yEd is simpler but Hexographer as the name implies is grid-based by default and I think I can make it work.

Rereading the rules for strategic resources, I'm a bit worried that I didn't apply a cost to transporting resources from one system to another other than requiring an active trade route in the system.


Aha, I had totally missed that you could transport resources. So I could build Trade Routes in those systems and bring the resources back to Sol and apply the modifiers there? If this is allowed I'd make sure that a system could only benefit from one resource per type per turn. I can try that out if you'd like.

-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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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Fri May 18, 2012 5:28 pm

wminsing wrote:Found it! I would also recommend always rolling for spy loss- agents could pull off the mission but still die/captured/compromised. This also makes spies somewhat harder to use and will encourage players to not just run missions all the time, as there is residual risk associated with running even simple missions.


Agreed. Part of the balancing act with intel up to this point is that it was either too cost effective and/or you were flush with intel points and just using them all the time or it ended up being too expensive and not worth bothering with outside of Counter-Insurgency missions to control Morale loss. This compromise seems to work fine while still leaving hooks for the Menagerie that can modify spy costs, mission rolls, etc. That way players can still have their happy salarian infiltrators going crazy spying on everyone :)

I think the 'hex based' system is workable, I'll just need to be mindful when placing jump lanes and make sure I'm keeping them lined up. I'll also see if I can import a background.


If it can import a background, I can create a hex underlay for you that you could use in the program. I've just found hex maps to be much simpler to manage in exploration campaigns compared to the old jump lane maps. Simple jump maps work fine for predefined settings, but hexes make it easier to figure out where systems should go and seem to help create some interesting terrain. The downside is that you don't end up with the craziness of systems with a dozen jump lanes connecting to them, but I'll take ease of use over the spiders nest of jump lanes any day!

Aha, I had totally missed that you could transport resources. So I could build Trade Routes in those systems and bring the resources back to Sol and apply the modifiers there? If this is allowed I'd make sure that a system could only benefit from one resource per type per turn. I can try that out if you'd like.


Yep, you colonize the system (to access the resources) and then build trade routes there and then you can send them on back home. You've got something there. Limiting a system to one imported strategic resource per turn would keep players from just rushing all of the resources back to their home system and building up super worlds. I say imported resource because a system that generates with multiple resources should be able to make use of all of them. Those systems are very rare and should be very valuable.

Try only allowing a system to import one strategic resource per turn and see what happens!
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