Concerns ...

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Brennall
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Concerns ...

Postby Brennall » Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:49 pm

One of the ideas that drew me towards VBAM in the first place was the ability to 'plugin' a tactical system of my own choice. All I would need to do would be assign corresponding EP costs and construction costs and I would be almost good to go.

However .. Over time the CSCR abilities have grown significantly, with an increasingly complex system for defining ships of all types we are running the risks of making the interface between VBAM and other tactical systems more and more complex. Which serves to decrease the appeal of the game potentially.

One of the things I would like to see addressed in 2nd edition is a section / guidance on interfacing with other tactical games. Working examples for other systems such as Starmada / Warcosm / Starfire / Slag! / A Call to Arms / Full Thrust would be incredibly helpful.

AND / OR

Go the whole distance and develop a Tactical system for VBAM which is not abstracted, but still utilises the CSCR statistics and abilities.

With these two things VBAM would actually have far more appeal / use. You could tap into the popularity of other systems as they come along and possibly sell some of those nice VBAM spaceships and lots more copies of VBAM 2e

Sometimes licensing would interfere, however give the status of game rules and copyright, it should not be too difficult to have solutions for look a like systems without naming them.

Hopefully these comments will be useful ...

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virtutis.umbra
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Re: Concerns ...

Postby virtutis.umbra » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:47 pm

For the sake of a balancing viewpoint: I myself have no real concerns on this.

From what I've read so far of the 2E model, I think you can still plugin your own tactical system, assign corresponding construction and maintenance costs, and be good to go. Everything but BC and MC can be eschewed from the unit construction rules without real harm:
  • "Flavor" descriptors like hull size (mapping BC = 3 to a DD class, etc) are just convenient signposts that can easily be ignored or adjusted to setting.
  • Ship special abilities with implications on the strategic scale can always simply not be used in starship construction if they don't fit with what should be possible in the tactical layer of choice.
  • The "Operational Layer" of encounter resolution - generating Command Points that then get used to generate and populate the Scenarios for tactical battles - is perhaps the most obvious place where some ship special abilities might come into play. Certainly, CR and CC values do come into play pretty directly in this stage with respect to number and type of unit brought to bear by each side. But I see this Encounter Resolution / Scenario Generation mechanic as part of the "plug-in tactical system" that is CSCR. There's no reason this step has to be used at all if the rubber-meets-road step is Full Thrust (or Gratuitous Space Battles [Yes, I've thought about this :D]).
If you just want to use VBAM to manage your strategic-scale turns - economics, diplomacy, fleet and army composition and movement - it seems to me that you can totally do that as written.

I also personally really like that VBAM does NOT have a required tactical system of its own, because one of the things I like about it is that CSCR makes a good "tactical-lite" system I can use to adjudicate combat without having to break out a tabletop, hexgrid or VASSAL instance.
-Patrick
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Re: Concerns ...

Postby Asguard101 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:24 pm

What is CSCR?

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Re: Concerns ...

Postby virtutis.umbra » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:25 pm

That would be Campaign Strategic Combat Resolution (or somesuch similar acronym), the "battle simulation" included in the VBAM rules for those who don't wish to plug in a tactical system of their own.
-Patrick
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Re: Concerns ...

Postby Shadow Warrior » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:45 am

Which is me in a nutshell as I don't want to plug in a tactical system (I largely play VBAM by email so tactical resolution is rarely a practical proposition for my group).

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Re: Concerns ...

Postby MarkNorfolk » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:36 pm

I'm with the OP on this (and have mentioned it already on a couple of the threads here) that as 2nd ed. goes through various drafts there is a strong link between the stats for the ships and non-CSCR mechanics. I admit I've been away for a while but Cost, Maintenance, number of ships that can act together, and Planetary Bombardment all require CSCR stats. If your trying to cost ships extra abilities (stealth, cloak, endurance) this also based on CSCR derived abilities.

I actually think that the pre-battle stage of determining what ship can fight (determining and spending Intensity etc) and the Bombardment as strategic elements and so should have absolutely nothing to do with the CSCR.

For me (as the OP) VBAM is a tool for running campaigns to allow me to play games of Battlefleet Gothic, A Call to Arms, Firestorm Amarda or (heh) the Star Trek III starship Combat Simulator. Every time I read a draft of the rules and I see AS or DV or CC etc I think "I can't use this". The ideal format would be that the main VBAM rules would be written with no mention at all of the CSCR, which would be placed in an appendix.

Cheers
Mark

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Re: Concerns ...

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:35 pm

The latest draft of the 2E campaign rules has taken a step back from the level of detail from previous released drafts, in part because it was starting to get a bit overbearing and specific. The extra rules cruft is going to be moved to a future supplement where it can be suitably addressed and made wholly optional, so that players can pick and choose which elements to use. That will allow them to decide if one of the advanced CSCR / tech options is a good fit for their campaign or tactical rule system.

As with the previous edition, the main stats that players need to convert are Construction Cost, Maintenance Cost, DV, AS, PD, CR, and CC. Once you get those converted over, plus any special abilities the unit might have, you've got the stats you need to be able to fully utilize the unit within the campaign rules. Of these stats, the costs and command variables are the easiest to derive from a tactical system because you can use the unit's size and/or point value as a good starting point. For example, in games like Babylon 5 Wars or Star Fleet Battles, you would use the total hull to determine the CR and CC while using the point value to determine the construction and maintenance costs. The hull totals would also be a good baseline for DV, after taking into account other variables that would affect how much damage the unit could take.

I'll add a section to the book that includes some guidelines for converting stats over into VBAM. We can't get into specifics of the other systems, but I can be just vague enough to give players an idea of what steps they could take to create their own rule conversions.
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Re: Concerns ...

Postby Asguard101 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:52 pm

Has any release schedule been published?

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Re: Concerns ...

Postby Emiricol » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:40 pm

2010. :lol:

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virtutis.umbra
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Re: Concerns ...

Postby virtutis.umbra » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:26 pm

Emiricol wrote:2010. :lol:


Where's that "Like" button... :D
-Patrick
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