2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby wminsing » Fri May 18, 2012 11:46 pm

Turns 4:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1d8F ... h2ujg/edit
Turns 5:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/15KT ... qnLVg/edit

Turn 4- 2448.04
Establishing the first colony at Barnard’s Star (the first system generated above), plan to try to build up max cap fairly quickly since it is a small system. I’ll also colonize and build a trade route in Lalande (second system) to bring home that Trade resource as soon as I can!

Exploration Checks:
1st Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 10 + 3 = 13, Jump Lane Mapped!
2nd Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 7 + 3 = 10, (+1 Next Turn)

Morale Checks:
Sol System:
Good Order, Roll = 5, 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 (Sirius A & B)
System Type Roll = 9, Binary Star System
Spectral Class Roll = 7, Class M Red Star
Luminosity Class Roll = 10, V Main Sequence
Carrying Capacity = 7, 4 CAP
Raw = 7, 2 RAW
Biosphere = 10, 3 BIO
Jump Lanes = 11, 4 Lanes (1 back to Barnard’s Star)

System Specials:
5 = +1 CAP
10 = +2 RAW

Native Species roll = 5 x 3 = 15% chance
Rolled 74, no native species

Turn 5- 2448.04
My good luck continues! Sirius is two jumps from Earth but some good special roles saved an otherwise mediocre system. Definitely will want to get another colony up and running there soon, even though it will cost 50 EP. Getting a colony set up in Lalande so I can snarf up that trade resource and get the first colonists and economic infrastructure to Barnard’s Star as well. The Commonwealth looks to be in a good position.

Exploration Checks:
1st Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 5 + 3 = 8, No Progress
2nd Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 2 + 3 + 1 = 6, Task force in Peril!
Peril Roll = 8, Out of Supply, all units take 1 Damage

Morale Checks:
Sol System:
Good Order, Roll = 5, no change

Piracy Checks:
Sol System:
5% (Trade Route) - 17% (17 ships or flights in system) = 1% (min)
Roll = 59, no Pirate attack

Emerging Empire Checks:
Turns since last successful exploration roll: 1%
Roll = 69, no Emerging Empire

Lucky streak finally ends with the 2nd Exploration Constellation taking some damage, but Sirius, is a sweet find.

I also just realized that I think I am doing the emerging empires rule wrong. I had read it was the modifier accrued since the last successful exploration check, but then I realized in a 3-4 player exploration game that mean the chance would remain only a few % at best. So I think it should be the modifier accrued since last successul EMERGING EMPIRE check, but the modifier only goes up during a turn that no one explores a jump lane. So is it a or b or have I totally misunderstood?
a) Player A spends 3 turns with no successful exploration checks. The Emerging Empire chance is 3%. On the fourth turn Player A makes a successful exploration check. The Emerging Empire chance is now 0%.
b) Player A spends 3 turns with no successful exploration checks. The Emerging Empire chance is 3%. On the fourth turn Player A makes a successful exploration check. The Emerging Empire chance is still 3%. It will not drop down to 0% until a empire actually emerges.

-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 » Sat May 19, 2012 1:59 am

wminsing wrote:Peril Roll = 8, Out of Supply, all units take 1 Damage


I need to rewrite that result so that every unit receives an extra out of supply level. That's the same effect in this case, but not the same if a unit has Endurance or Supply abilities to defray the supply problem.

Lucky streak finally ends with the 2nd Exploration Constellation taking some damage, but Sirius, is a sweet find.


Sirius is a good average quality system with enough RAW to make it worthwhile and enough Biosphere to keep the population fed. A good combination!

I also just realized that I think I am doing the emerging empires rule wrong.


The intent is that it is a cumulative chance that increases by +1% each turn that no jump lanes are explored. It only resets to 0% after a new emerging empire is discovered. So on turn 5 you'd have a 5% chance of a new emerging empire appearing. The bonuses just keep piling up until you run into somebody.
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby wminsing » Mon May 21, 2012 11:37 am

I need to rewrite that result so that every unit receives an extra out of supply level. That's the same effect in this case, but not the same if a unit has Endurance or Supply abilities to defray the supply problem.


Aha. That actually partially solves my issue with tiny exploration ships I cited earlier. My next generation explorer ships will try to either cram some supply on or I'll build a dedicated exploration support ship.

The intent is that it is a cumulative chance that increases by +1% each turn that no jump lanes are explored. It only resets to 0% after a new emerging empire is discovered. So on turn 5 you'd have a 5% chance of a new emerging empire appearing. The bonuses just keep piling up until you run into somebody.


Yep, so it's #2 from my example. I'll make sure to use that system from here on out.

A few more turns to follow shortly I hope!

-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 wminsing » Mon May 21, 2012 2:21 pm

Turn 6:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cc4 ... bNaSU/edit
Turn 7:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/15of ... lqPs4/edit

Turn 6- 2448.06
So last turn was a little unlucky with no jump lanes mapped and some damage to my second exploration group. I’ve decided to push ahead the second group anyway, as they have 6 DV a piece and take a few more bad rolls like that. Bought a trade link in Lalande and moving the 2nd Destroyer Constellation there to pre-empt any piracy.

Exploration Checks:
1st Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 9 + 3 = 12, Jump Lane Mapped!
2nd Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 5 + 3 = 8, No Progress

Morale Checks:
Sol System: Good Order, Roll = 6, no change
Barnard’s Star: Good Order, Roll = 5, no change
Lalande: Good Order, Roll = 2, no change

Piracy Checks:
Sol System:
5% (Trade Route) - 12% (12 ships or flights in system) = 1% (min)
Roll = 48, no Pirate attack

Emerging Empire Checks:
Accumulated turns without successful exploration roll: 2%
Roll = 62, no Emerging Empire

New Star System Generation (Alpha Centauri)
System Type Roll = 11, Multiple Star System
Spectral Class Roll = 9, Class M Red Star
Luminosity Class Roll = 6, V Main Sequence
Carrying Capacity = 9, 8 CAP
Raw = 11, 4 RAW
Biosphere = 9, 3 BIO
Jump Lanes = 6, 2 Lanes (1 back to Barnard’s Star, 1 back to Sol)

System Specials:
8 = +1 BIO


Native Species roll = 8 x 4 = 32% chance
Rolled 66, no native species

Turn 7- 2448.07
The Commonwealth’s streak of stupidly good luck continues as Alpha Centauri looks be another great colonization candidate. I swear I am not making these rolls up. No new jump lanes out, but that isn’t really a big problem, plenty more to explore in Sirius. Ran my savings low this turn with more economic infrastructure at Barnard’s Star and colonizing Alpha Centauri but I think there will be big dividends paid out by those investments in the long term. Importing the Trade Resource from Lalande bumped up my trade income by 4 EP right there. The Commonwealth looks like it is sitting pretty.

Exploration Checks:
1st Exploration Constellation: Moving back to Sirius
2nd Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 9 + 3 = 12, Jump Lane Mapped!

Morale Checks:
Sol System: Good Order, Roll = 6, no change
Barnard’s Star: Good Order, Roll = 7, no change
Lalande: Good Order, Roll = 3, no change

Piracy Checks:
Sol System: 5% (Trade Route) - 12% (12 ships or flights in system) = 1% (min)
Roll = 61, no Pirate attack
Lalande: 5% (Trade Route) - 4% (4 ships or flights in system) = 1% (min)
Roll = 47, no Pirate attack


Emerging Empire Checks:
Accumulated turns without successful exploration roll: 2%
Roll = 70, no Emerging Empire

New Star System Generation (Altair)
System Type Roll = 6, Single Star System
Spectral Class Roll = 4, Class A Blue-White Star
Luminosity Class Roll = 10, III Giant
Carrying Capacity = 5, 2 CAP
Raw = 5, 2 RAW
Biosphere = 7, 1 BIO
Jump Lanes = 10, 5 Lanes (1 back to Barnard’s Star, 1 back to Sol)

System Specials:
8 = +1 BIO
9 = +2 CAP
10 = +2 RAW


Native Species roll = 4 x 2 = 8% chance
Rolled 85, no native species

So another great couple of turns overall, Altair is a little lackluster, but only compared to the other systems but I've been rolling up, still a good system overall for resource extraction. I'll need to start building up some Agricultural infrastructure soon since I'm going to be doing a lot of colonizing soon. All of this also brought up another quick rules question. I've been assuming that if you map a system that links back to another known system you get to map the other jump route for free. Example:
System A has an unexplored Jump Lane in direction 1
System B has an unexplored Jump Lane in direction 6, and lies adjacent to System A in direction 2
Therefore the two unexplored jump lanes must lead to the same system
Let's say that I explore the Jump Lane from System B and reveal System C. So the unexplored jump lane from B -> C is explored. Is the jump lane A -> C explored automatically, or do I still need to explore it separately even though I have both ends mapped.

Also, is there a way to imbed images in a post? I'd like to show the two different maps I've been creating, and it might also clear up the above question.

-Will
Last edited by wminsing on Mon May 21, 2012 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Mon May 21, 2012 3:23 pm

A lot of good exploration! I was starting to get worried with the high number of low jump lane systems that you were running into, but between Sirius and Altair you should have enough jump lane to keep you exploring for at least a little while longer. None of the systems you've found seem to be all that bad, either. It's going to give you a very good starting position.

I did make an alteration to the jump lane table prior to releasing the last draft that reduced the likelihood of jump lanes a bit. It'll be interesting to see between our two playtests if that ends up being a problem. I ran a rather large map test that prompted that change -- in that test I ended up with most systems having 3-4 jump lanes and it all got a bit silly with very little in the way of interesting terrain and mostly just jump lanes everywhere. I may have overcompensated a bit (even with just shifting the jump lane results down) and am now a bit concerned that we may end up with too many dead end systems. If this does turn out to be a problem I'm going to have the first diagonal of '1' jump results turn back into '2'.

wminsing wrote:I've been assuming that if you map a system that links back to another known system you get to map the other jump route for free. <snip> So the unexplored jump lane from B -> C is explored. Is the jump lane A -> C explored automatically, or do I still need to explore it separately even though I have both ends mapped.


By the letter and intent of the rules, you have to explore each of these jump lanes, too, otherwise they remain unexplored. You the player know where they go on the map, but technically the empire itself doesn't know where they go. There are campaign settings where I could see your interpretation being wholly valid (Star Trek is an example, or really any universe where your FTL is more of the sailing through space variety versus point-to-point jump drives).

The effect of having to explore these connecting jump lanes is that it slows down exploration and expansion a bit, but it also gives the player a bit of wiggle room in deciding if they really want to explore those lanes or not, or else leave them unexplored to improve the strategic terrain in case of a war. An example of this came up in my Lost in a Sea of Stars II playtest. The filosi have two dead end star chains that have a jump lane connecting them together. I'm highly tempted not to explore this jump lane just so that during war time I could completely isolate the one star chain to increase its defensibility and make it largely immune to attack (unless the enemy explored the jump lane on their own).

Also, is there a way to imbed images in a post? I'd like to show the two different maps I've been creating, and it might also clear up the above question.


There is (or should be) and Upload Attachment button underneath the main post window (a tab next to Options) that you should be able to use to upload an image that you can then append or insert into your post. Otherwise you could create an account at imgur and host the images off of there and embed them inline in your emails. Does Google Docs allow you to embed images in a document? If so, you could add the image there, too.
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby wminsing » Mon May 21, 2012 4:27 pm

By the letter and intent of the rules, you have to explore each of these jump lanes, too, otherwise they remain unexplored


Ok, fair enough, and it does make sense. I've only used one for movement so far on the latest turn (not posted yet), and I can rewind those orders easily enough and have the constellation explore it instead. I've had two situations like this and I'd like them both explored since otherwise they put some good systems 2/3 jumps away.

So now for the maps!

This first map is the graph-map produced via yEd. This actually is working pretty well, yEd allows you to line up the nodes with a fair bit of precision so it's clear (at least to me) which 'direction' systems are in relative to each other. Blue systems have Commonwealth colonies, yellow systems are explored but no colonized, diamonds represent unexplored systems, dashed lines are unexplored jump routes and solid lines are explored jump routes. I settled on the diamond system since it allows me to see at a glance unexplored routes without looking at my notes.
Screen Shot 2012-05-21 at 12.17.46 PM.png
Screen Shot 2012-05-21 at 12.17.46 PM.png (29.17 KiB) Viewed 2754 times


Below is the Hexographer map of the same systems. Obviously the map is a fair bit prettier though there's also more overhead to keep it up. In this case systems have a star color as it was rolled up in the system generator, which is a nice touch. Red lanes are unexplored, blue lanes are explored, colored ring indicates a colony. Obviously with hexes figuring out jump lane direction is dead easy, and the coordinate system has advantages too (though I can't label systems easily).
Screen Shot 2012-05-21 at 12.17.34 PM.png
Screen Shot 2012-05-21 at 12.17.34 PM.png (70.76 KiB) Viewed 2754 times


Overall the graph map is a lot less work to maintain, but the hex map is handy to have to sort out exploration and obviously looks much cooler. Which do people prefer?

-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 wminsing » Mon May 21, 2012 5:11 pm

Turn 8
https://docs.google.com/document/d/10p1 ... MAilU/edit
Turn 9
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vt5 ... QuaWY/edit
Turn 10
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PdH ... Vu81c/edit

Turn 8- 2448.08
Altair is a fair system to invest in, and closer than Sirius. But for now some infrastructure build up at Barnard’s Star and Alpha Centauri is in the cards. I’m also bringing home the 2nd Exploration Squadron for repairs while they are close to home.

Exploration Checks:
1st Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 8 + 3 = 11, Progress made (+1 next turn)
2nd Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 11 + 3 = 14, Jump Lane Mapped!


Morale Checks:
Sol System: Good Order, Roll = 8, no change
Barnard’s Star: Good Order, Roll = 6, no change
Lalande: Good Order, Roll = 3, no change

Piracy Checks:
Sol System: 5% (Trade Route) - 12% (12 ships or flights in system) = 1% (min)
Roll = 99, no Pirate attack
Lalande: 5% (Trade Route) - 4% (12 ships or flights in system) = 1% (min)
Roll = 38, no Pirate attack


Emerging Empire Checks:
Accumulated turns without successful exploration roll: 3%
Roll = 65, no Emerging Empire



Turn 9- 2448.09
Had to rejigger last turn a bit, but the end result was pretty similar, 2nd Exploration Constellation is at home and under repair. I did realize I should have paid 75 EP for the colony at Alpha Centauri, as when I built the colony it was three jumps away but that was too late to rewind. To compensate I’ll conduct no further growth there until the jump lane is properly mapped.

Exploration Checks:
1st Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 8 + 3 + 1= 12, Jump Lane Mapped!
2nd Exploration Constellation: Under repairs

Morale Checks:
Sol System: Good Order, Roll = 9, no change
Barnard’s Star: Good Order, Roll = 6, no change
Lalande: Good Order, Roll = 2, no change
Alpha Centauri: Good Order, Roll = 4, no change

Piracy Checks:
Sol System: 5% (Trade Route) - 12% (12 ships or flights in system) = 1% (min)
Roll = 92, no Pirate attack
Lalande: 5% (Trade Route) - 4% (12 ships or flights in system) = 1% (min)
Roll = 2, no Pirate attack


Emerging Empire Checks:
Accumulated turns without successful exploration roll: 3%
Roll = 87, no Emerging Empire

New Star System Generation (The Vortex)
System Type Roll = 12, Black Hole
6 Jump Lanes (1 back to Sirius)

Turn 10- 2448.10
First non-useful star, but on the other hand a black hole gives lots of Jump Lanes so no risk of the Commonwealth being boxed in anytime soon. One potential lane was blocked but I decided to leave as is, that seems fair and it doesn’t make sense to give a special to a black hole anyway. Maxing out the agricultural stats in Barnard’s Star so now they are self sufficient and decided to colonize Altair while I am at it so I can start mining there.

Exploration Checks:
1st Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 3 + 3 = 6, No progress
2nd Exploration Constellation: Under repairs

Morale Checks:
Sol System: Good Order, Roll = 10, +1 Morale
Barnard’s Star: Good Order, Roll = 2, no change
Lalande: Good Order, Roll = 1, -1 Morale
Alpha Centauri: Good Order, Roll = 5, no change

Piracy Checks:
Sol System: 5% (Trade Route) - 12% (12 ships or flights in system) = 1% (min)
Roll = 7, no Pirate attack
Lalande: 5% (Trade Route) - 4% (12 ships or flights in system) = 1% (min)
Roll = 28, no Pirate attack


Emerging Empire Checks:
Accumulated turns without successful exploration roll: 4%
Roll = 46, no Emerging Empire

Screen Shot 2012-05-21 at 1.10.48 PM.png
Screen Shot 2012-05-21 at 1.10.48 PM.png (25.87 KiB) Viewed 2754 times



One game year down, and a very successful one for the Terran Commonwealth!

-Will
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-- Johannes Kepler, 1609

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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Mon May 21, 2012 6:55 pm

I like the yEd maps because they are cleaner, and I think your system placement makes it fairly obvious which system is where on a virtual hex map. Over time it might get murkier, but at that point you could probably try to line everything up and make sure nothing has got out too far off course. Again, if yEd can do a graphic underlay I would be more than willing to cook up a hex map for you. I need to reinstall yEd and see what the possibilities for that are.

When having the Vortex there makes for a great jump nexus, it's also dangerous because any ship that ends its turn in the system takes a point of damage. FTL 2 ships are going to be need to move out of the system safely, and exploration in the system is going to be dicey because each exploration ship is going to take damage from being there. Let's just hope that the other jump lane from Barnard's Star leads to those same territories. Otherwise you may end up being very happy that you went with larger exploration cruisers so that they can take the punishment for awhile as they skirt the edge of the black hole in search of jump lanes.

Altair looks to be the more likely exploration option in the near future... wait, you have two Barnard's Star locations on the map. The top one is really Sirius, isn't it?
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby wminsing » Mon May 21, 2012 10:25 pm

Turn 11:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1h5k ... 6RQmo/edit
Turn 12:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bpp ... lRjec/edit

Turn 11- 2448.10
I reworked the above turn since I hadn’t realized that black holes damage units- no point in letting the 1st Exploration Constellation take more hits than they have to. They will resume their mission from Sirius while the 2nd Exploration Constellation tries to map the lane to Alpha Centauri.

Exploration Checks:
1st Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 9 + 3 = 12, Jump Lane Mapped!
2nd Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 3 + 3 = 6, No Progress

Morale Checks:
Sol System: Good Order, Roll = 10, +1 Morale
Barnard’s Star: Good Order, Roll = 10, +1 Morale
Lalande: Good Order, Roll = 5, no change
Alpha Centauri: Good Order, Roll = 5, no change
Altair: Good Order, Roll = 4, no change

Piracy Checks:
Sol System: 5% (Trade Route) - 12% (12 ships or flights in system) = 1% (min)
Roll = 9, no Pirate attack
Lalande: 5% (Trade Route) - 4% (4 ships or flights in system) = 1% (min)
Roll = 94, no Pirate attack


Emerging Empire Checks:
Accumulated turns without successful exploration roll: 4%
Roll = 15, no Emerging Empire

New Star System Generation(Scylla)
System Type Roll = 12, Black Hole
6 Jump Lanes (1 back to Sirius, 1 to Vortex)

Turn 11- 2448.10
Oh man, two Black Holes in a row! The 1st Exploration group can’t catch a break Well, hopefully the system near Barnard’s Star will provide a way to skirt these obstacles, but exploration near Altair is looking a lot more attractive. Speaking on Altair, I am steadily building up the economy and census there as well.

Exploration Checks:
1st Exploration Constellation: Moving to Sirius
2nd Exploration Constellation: 15 Scout total, +3 Bonus
Roll = 3 + 3 = 6, No Progress

Morale Checks:
Sol System: Good Order, Roll = 10, +1 Morale
Barnard’s Star: Good Order, Roll = 5, no change
Lalande: Good Order, Roll = 3, no change
Alpha Centauri: Good Order, Roll = 7, no change
Altair: Good Order, Roll = 7, no change

Piracy Checks:
Sol System: 5% (Trade Route) - 12% (12 ships or flights in system) = 1% (min)
Roll = 85, no Pirate attack
Lalande: 5% (Trade Route) - 4% (4 ships or flights in system) = 1% (min)
Roll = 27, no Pirate attack


Emerging Empire Checks:
Accumulated turns without successful exploration roll: 5%
Roll = 36, no Emerging Empire

Screen Shot 2012-05-21 at 6.26.05 PM.png
Screen Shot 2012-05-21 at 6.26.05 PM.png (27.41 KiB) Viewed 2745 times
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby wminsing » Mon May 21, 2012 10:30 pm

Again, if yEd can do a graphic underlay I would be more than willing to cook up a hex map for you. I need to reinstall yEd and see what the possibilities for that are.


So after a little investigation I found that you CAN set your own background! So if you want to work on a image file for a hex map that just might work.

When having the Vortex there makes for a great jump nexus, it's also dangerous because any ship that ends its turn in the system takes a point of damage


Ah, hadn't caught this. I revised my turns a bit and see if I can find a way around, but if not I'll repair the ships and attempt to brute force it. They are both three jumps away though, right were I would have wanted to place new colonies and supply depots! :roll:

Another question I just thought of- I've been buying BOTH census and infrastructure improvements at my colonies during the same turn. Is this permitted? I know infrastructure itself is limited to one improvement per turn.

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

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Tue May 22, 2012 12:28 am

wminsing wrote:So after a little investigation I found that you CAN set your own background! So if you want to work on a image file for a hex map that just might work.


I emailed one to you to try. I can change the size, color, etc. on it if we need to tweak it a bit.

Ah, hadn't caught this. I revised my turns a bit and see if I can find a way around, but if not I'll repair the ships and attempt to brute force it. They are both three jumps away though, right were I would have wanted to place new colonies and supply depots! :roll:


Yeah, that was a fairly recent addition to the black hole rules. I decided that they really needed some sort of a gimmick that was in between the "oh well, six jump lanes" and "OMG, black hole combat rules are too verbose" options that were used previously. It also make some sense for ships to take damage when they are sitting on the edge of a black hole, if from nothing else than drive burnout trying to keep from getting pulled into it :) That leaves room for an optional rule that would reintroduce black hole strengths, so you could have black holes score up to 6 damage per turn depending on how massive they are.

I agree that it's unfortunate that you found two black holes back to back. The upshot is that you pretty much have a natural no-man's-land out there in the northwest that makes Sirius a great defensive point -- nothing can attack you from there without taking some damage the previous turn from Scylla or Vortex. Unless they have high FTL ships, of course, but then they're exchanging combat power for speed and it still works out in your favor.

Here's to hoping that the star off of Barnard's Star has at least three jump lanes and that one of those gives you access to the jump nexus around the two black holes. Then you might still be able to push into a system to deposit a supply depot. Barring that, you could build a supply depot in Sirius and then try to find some system beyond Vortex or Scylla to build another supply depot.

Another question I just thought of- I've been buying BOTH census and infrastructure improvements at my colonies during the same turn. Is this permitted? I know infrastructure itself is limited to one improvement per turn.


At one point I was a bit wary of letting players do both in the same turn, but after playing more I think it's fine to be able to do one of each every turn. I think I've even cheated and purchased infrastructure that I couldn't use yet, which I think is a no-no according to my rules. I have to double check that. I might relax that requirement for the sake expediency, too, while keeping the max +1 infrastructure per turn rule.

Looking at your turn orders for 11 & 12, it looks like you've got a good food reserve plus enough food coming in to support a good deal of additional colonization. Well, 3 Census, but that's still a good deal in my book :) A quick look seems to indicate that Alpha Centauri would be a great colony investment right now as its 4 BIO gives you a food surplus that you can use to support additional Census elsewhere.
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby Iron Sky » Tue May 22, 2012 4:58 am

I thought piracy was 5% for a colony with a trade lane + 5% per trade lane connected to it? Right now it seems almost casually easy to drop the piracy chance to nearly nothing. Maybe I'm just itching for their to be some action... dunno.

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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Tue May 22, 2012 6:54 am

Iron Sky wrote:I thought piracy was 5% for a colony with a trade lane + 5% per trade lane connected to it? Right now it seems almost casually easy to drop the piracy chance to nearly nothing. Maybe I'm just itching for their to be some action... dunno.


I was having Will test out a 5% x Trade Routes option in his game to see what happens, mainly because I'm testing 10% x Trade Routes in my game and I wanted to compare and contrast the differences between the two. I think 5% may be too low, but at the same time requiring 10 ships (or a combination of 10 ships and Police rating) might be a bit high. The sole exception to that is that if we do go to 10% then Police ships are going to be a necessity for any empire that conducts trade, as it won't take too many of them to get your piracy chance way down. At 2 MU per Police, it's pretty easy to build a small anti-piracy destroyer that provides a -3% piracy mod.

The balancing point is to make pirates a real threat and something you have to watch out for, but at the same time not be so annoying that they slow down the pace of a campaign. I've had some games (1E and 2E both) where pirates were just everywhere. I think it was my Cardassia/Republic game where there ended up being a separatist fleet in the Republic territories near Empress Teta that had like 40 EP of ships in it. That's back when 6-10 EP ships were big, too. Pirate heavy games can sometimes be fun, but they can also become a nuisance when you're really interested in a more exploration and diplomacy rich game.

I will say that I'm really liking the feel of having the pirates only attack systems that are along trade routes. That change reduces the number of rolls per turn substantially and offers a risk/reward element to commerce. You get some extra money, but you have to spend some of it to police your systems lest pirates attack!
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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby wminsing » Tue May 22, 2012 12:59 pm

I will say that I'm really liking the feel of having the pirates only attack systems that are along trade routes. That change reduces the number of rolls per turn substantially and offers a risk/reward element to commerce. You get some extra money, but you have to spend some of it to police your systems lest pirates attack!


That is exactly what is driving me to NOT put in trade routes in Barnard's Star or Altair; the potential commerce income just doesn't even out the risk of pirate attack or the cost of putting a destroyer constellation in each system to negate it. I think it is a good balance so far.

Just to make sure I DO have it right though, it's 5% if the system is on a trade route (ie, within 3 of a Trade Post and has a trade link in it), correct?

Personally I always found pirate attacks to be just annoying, as they required a scenario to resolve but the pirates were usually destroyed without much damage on my part. So the end result is that I had to waste time to fight out the battle and then send the ships home for repairs, and commerce was rarely actually effected.

This is something that could be adjusted to taste though- a pirate light campaign could have 5% per trade route, a pirate heavy campaign could have 10% or more per trade route.

On a meta level, pirates only really thrive when there is a safe port of them to run to, and right now the Commonwealth only consists of 5 systems so it makes sense that piracy is not really a problem. One thing to think about is that piracy rolls might get a bonus in systems with low morale (more people willing to deal with them) or that have a hostile system within a certain range (so the pirates have something like a base they can fall back on). All just ideas.

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Re: 2nd Edition Playtest Report- Terran Commonwealth

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Tue May 22, 2012 2:53 pm

wminsing wrote:That is exactly what is driving me to NOT put in trade routes in Barnard's Star or Altair; the potential commerce income just doesn't even out the risk of pirate attack or the cost of putting a destroyer constellation in each system to negate it. I think it is a good balance so far.


There does appear to be a definite bias towards having Police ships or small, cheap anti-piracy corvettes or gunboats to keep the piracy down. At 5%, you would need 4 x 2 EP corvettes to adequately patrol a system. At 1 MC each, that's 4/10 EP per turn going to the police units. You'd still come out ahead for money if the system's trade value was high enough, but it usually doesn't become worth it until you hit 9-12 trade value and can be more or less guaranteed 1 EP per turn from the trade route. Then you're at least makes 1/2 EP per turn profit.

Just to make sure I DO have it right though, it's 5% if the system is on a trade route (ie, within 3 of a Trade Post and has a trade link in it), correct?


It's 5% times the number of active trade routes in the system (i.e., the number of empires currently trading in the system). The location of a Trading Posts don't matter for piracy, just for establishing the cost to extend trade routes into other systems. I'm playing with 10% x trade routes to see how that works out.

Personally I always found pirate attacks to be just annoying, as they required a scenario to resolve but the pirates were usually destroyed without much damage on my part. So the end result is that I had to waste time to fight out the battle and then send the ships home for repairs, and commerce was rarely actually effected.


I have an optional rule in the main book that allows players to take the size of the pirate force as an economic loss instead of generating an actual pirate fleet if a system's military patrol is greater than or equal to twice the pirate force rolled. For example, if I rolled a 14 EP raid in a system I wouldn't need to generate pirates if I had at least 28 EP of defenders in the system. I would just take the 14 EP as a miscellaneous expense instead. The economic loss might be higher than necessary, though, and it might need to be reduced to half the pirate force's size to be more commensurate with what you'd pay to repair your damaged ships.
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