VBAM Second Edition to Starmada Nova

Step into the labs and discuss new campaign rules and concepts
User avatar
BroAdso
Commander
Commander
Posts: 151
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:27 am
Location: Richmond, VA

VBAM Second Edition to Starmada Nova

Postby BroAdso » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:50 pm

So I've been snowed in for days, and have spent some of my cabin fever energy on this.

It's an attempt at a comprehensive way to merge VBAM 2e and Starmada Nova. I'm sure it's not perfect, and I'd really appreciate some outside critiques to continue working on it. I'll generate a force list or two over the next week to see how it looks.

The biggest changes are to costs, which will be generally higher because of the VBAM EP Cost formula.

The second set of big changes are to battle size, which will also be smaller - and not just because you can afford fewer ships. The number of squadrons which can participate in each battle is much lower (the task force can have a total number of squadrons equal to 1/3 of task force flagship's CR, not counting the flagship's own squadron), to avoid overcrowding the Starmada board.

The third big set of changes is to tech advances and force lists - the idea is that players start with very restricted force lists, and most of the time a tech advance lets them add new ships to deal with the opponent's tactical Starmada design choices or new campaign strategic needs like Police ships.

It's kind of long, as any comprehensive conversion would need to be, but I'd love some input.

The most important change I'm thinking about it going back to the VBAM "base" upkeep costs for all units.
Attachments
RoughDraftStarmadaNovatoVBAM.pdf
(351.17 KiB) Downloaded 65 times

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: VBAM Second Edition to Starmada Nova

Postby mwaschak » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:18 pm

Thanks! I will take a look.

This may be worth cross posting to the list too since it seems we have the largest Starmada audience there.

Admittedly I need to make myself more familiar with Nova. I was a huge Starmada X fan, so it is a bit of a change.

-Jay

User avatar
murtalianconfederacy
Captain
Captain
Posts: 362
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 9:17 am
Location: Aboard the MCS Bavoralkin

Re: VBAM Second Edition to Starmada Nova

Postby murtalianconfederacy » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:16 am

@mwaschak: it is quite a change--and requiring a fair bit of maths for the design process (had to buy a calculator that enabled me to do variable logs for armour points). I've actually backslid to AE which I can do designs for fairly quickly. I have managed to do a couple of things in NE, however...

(btw, hi BroAdso, your posting of these conversion notes was what prompted me to take a look over here and find that the print version of the CG had been released, which I was waiting for before purchasing 2ndEd. So, everyone, thank/blame BroAdso, whichever is appropriate...)
Not every laser dot has a loaded gun at the end of it

User avatar
BroAdso
Commander
Commander
Posts: 151
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:27 am
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: VBAM Second Edition to Starmada Nova

Postby BroAdso » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:05 pm

I rather prefer Nova Edition for its streamlined activation and weapons systems, and it could fit well with VBAM for that reason. In fact, based on the preliminary work I did last time, the scale of With A Purpose campaigns works almost perfectly with the intended scale of Starmada, at least at med-low tech levels. Another advantage of Nova is that the complicated weapon prototyping rules and whatnot that were needed for VBAM-SX could take a back seat - they were what scuttled the VBAM-SX game I ran years ago, ultimately.

Back at work with the snow gone so less time to futz with this, but I should get an update out in a week or so with some changes based on trying to build more than a few test designs and doing a couple of conversions back and forth.

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

Re: VBAM Second Edition to Starmada Nova

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:19 pm

Here are my notes:
2.3 Designing New Ships due to a VBAM Tech Advance:
[*]The base game only gives empires 10 unit classes, but I could see where that might be too restrictive in a Starmada game.
[*]I would be tempted to just have standard unarmed cargo hauler, merchant freighter, and passenger liner designs available, with the option of allowing the player to design their own if they want to specialize them.
[*]I think giving empires two new units at each tech advance might make it too easy to get new units, but I like the direction you're taking this. Specifically, I think that could be combined with your obsolescense rule after that so that players have the choice of retiring an old unit class at that time in order to get a new one. That way they are getting something new, but at the cost of never being able to build new members of an older class. You'd need a counter balance to prevent players from gaming the system, like giving a +1 Maint modifier to retired classes, but I like the concept!

6.1.1.3:
[*]Flights and minefields don't cripple in VBAM, so you're safe just saying destroyed = destroyed and leaving it at that. I did serious playtesting trying to be consistent with the cripple/destroy mechanic, but it broke down pretty bad with flights when you get huge swarms of them.

All in all I think it's a great start to the conversion! I would love it if we had a group of VBAM/Starmada fans that would be interested in taking up the mantle of taking the original Starmada Edition VBAM book and updating it to 2E like this. I think any such future support would need to have conversion support for each of the major Starmada editions (X, AE, and Nova) because there seems to be a lot of players still using each version.

Starmada/VBAM games were always a lot of fun to play, but I dropped off right around Starmada AE because that's when I started working on VBAM 2E :P
"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"

User avatar
BroAdso
Commander
Commander
Posts: 151
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:27 am
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: VBAM Second Edition to Starmada Nova

Postby BroAdso » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:19 pm

2.3 -

1) Yes - especially in SN. SN allows three different types of defenses (ECM, Shields, or Armor) and so players need some flexibility with different ships or weapons depending on their opponent's designs. Also, players don't have access to the "universal" list in this VBAM-Starmada Nova conversion system, so giving their empire a couple of extra designs at the start is meant to take that into account and let them have enough designs to include a police ship, some standard fighters, etc.

2) You're right about the convoy ships. I settled on self-design because of changing tech levels, but if I just design the 'universal' convoy units at Tech Level 0, it should be OK. They'll be tough targets at the start of the game and eggshells at the end, but I suppose that's in keeping with the VBAM escalation of power too.

3) I agree. The intent was to make classes a little more dynamic to account for the flexibility and slightly rock-paper-scissors nature of Starmada on occassions. I like the idea of 'permanent retirement' or an increased maintenance modifier for the older ships, but I'm not sure which is more balanced.

6.1.1.3

1) Yeah, oversight on my part. They were meant to be considered undamaged if they finished the Starmada game in a damaged state. This is because in the conversion, every ship that can carry fighters must have the VBAM carrier trait, so allowing 'damaged' fighters to live after a battle helps make the increased MAINT cost of the carrier worth it.

Thanks for the input! Working on a force list to demonstrate the conversion.

User avatar
BroAdso
Commander
Commander
Posts: 151
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:27 am
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: VBAM Second Edition to Starmada Nova

Postby BroAdso » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:03 pm

Second draft of the rules and an example force list attached.

Big change is to the VBAM costing and maintenance systems, which should be a little simpler from here. You get an "adjustment" number from the Starmada CR in full increments of 1, 2, 3 etc and that increment moves up the VBAM cost and MAINT. For example, for a Frigate (Starmada Hull Size 5), the base VBAM cost is 3 EP. For every 100 Starmada Combat Rating or part thereof the ship's cost is bumped up by 1. So a Frigate with a Starmada Combat Rating of 75, the total cost would be 4 EP, but for a Frigate with a Starmada CR of 120, the cost would be 5 EP.

Also tried to incorporate your smaller suggestions.

VBAMStarmadaConversionRulesDraft2.pdf
(379.69 KiB) Downloaded 78 times


I'm still unhappy with Command Ratings and Command Cost - right now they are static and connected to the ship's Starmada Hull Size, but in VBAM you can design ships with higher than usual Command Ratings for their class to act as flagships. However, I'm not sure how to do this in Starmada - maybe with a use of SUs on a special auxiliary service?

Here's the initial Starmada and VBAM forcelist for the Paisal (or Paisali) colonies.

VBAMStarmadaForceConversion.pdf
(514.3 KiB) Downloaded 74 times


The force list shows how the system forces the player to adapt - the initial list is all they have, no access to 'universal' ships besides the Shipyards. So with their first Tech Advance, this particular player might want to expand their list with a cheaper ground unit, diplomatic ship, trade ship, or small defensive base.

User avatar
Emiricol
Captain
Captain
Posts: 265
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:09 am
Location: Near Seattle
Contact:

Re: VBAM Second Edition to Starmada Nova

Postby Emiricol » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:43 am

With Galaxy's single-squadron combat system, I think the Starmada conversion warrants another look-see!

User avatar
BroAdso
Commander
Commander
Posts: 151
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:27 am
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: VBAM Second Edition to Starmada Nova

Postby BroAdso » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:55 am

Doubly true now that Starmada is releasing their new Unity edition! Hopefully I'll get some time to ponder this, but honestly I like the new Galaxies single squadron system so much it feels less needed to port the rules for a replacement combat system.


Return to “Research & Development”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests