Siming hyperdrives and other non nodal movement FTLs

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XSiberia
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Siming hyperdrives and other non nodal movement FTLs

Postby XSiberia » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:00 pm

Hey VBAMers,

Does anyone have any successful experience to share with adapting VBAM to a Star Wars like FTL environment.

In SW the hyperdrive allows for pan-galactic travel in times reduced to minutes or days at most, from any point to any point. One only needs a good nav computer or astromech droid to calculate the route. Only other constraints are that the jump has to be translated outside of influence of local gravity wells (planets, stars, Interdictor Star Destroyers with gravity well generators, etc.). Time is added to travel for sub-light in system.

Using Commodore or Admiral rules, with some tweaks, I can certainly get the in-system travel time.

But what is the game-strategy/game-fun effect when players can reach out and touch each other from any system direct to any system from the very start of the game. Does anyone have some experience with this to share?

Thanks,

Josh

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Re: Siming hyperdrives and other non nodal movement FTLs

Postby Gareth_Perkins » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:41 pm

XSiberia wrote:Does anyone have some experience with this to share?

Not experience as such, but my thoughts are...

1/ The nodal hex-based system in CMG does cover this in rules,

2/ In terms of the game it will mean decapitation-raids will be a real threat (big fleet can just turn up at your capital at any time) which will really shape the game-strategy,
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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:24 pm

I think the best solution to the problem is to break each strategic turn down into separate phases, say 1 turn = 1 week, with economic/construction activity occurring every 4 turns. You can break it down even further if you think you need even more granularity, perhaps splitting the strategic turn into 10 pieces (3 days each). That should allow for better control of fleet movement at that scale.

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Re: Siming hyperdrives and other non nodal movement FTLs

Postby japridemor » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:06 pm

To keep the decapitation-raid things in check, introduce restrictions on distance traveled. Ala Traveller refueling after each jump or 2300AD's discharge rules and a hard travel distance. Maybe tech could expand the range?

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Re: Siming hyperdrives and other non nodal movement FTLs

Postby XSiberia » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:28 am

Thanks all.

1. In the end, I opted to set the campaign in SW's Unknown Space, where a canon phemonenon called "The Tangle" limits hyperspace travel to short jumps along paths defined by hyperspace beacons--i.e., VBAM as we know it.

2. I look forward to seeing how this was handled in Federation Admiral. I don't know what the rules are in the SFB universe, but in the ST universe, ships are obviously able to go pretty much about anywhere in known space at whateve warp speed their nacelles can handle--and supply can't be much of an issue when you can beam in a passing asteroid and turn its component material into fodder for the replicators... so how do you stop decapitation raids there?

Cheers,

Josh

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Re: Warp Drives and decapitation

Postby mriddle » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:32 pm

Since ships in warp do not "instantaneously" move from one point to another and they can be detected while in transit. So in a ST universe the Federation would see the massive Klingon Fleet coming in time to concentrate a fleet and move the intercepting fleet with the invader until the invader picked a system to attack. (ignoring combat at warp speed)

To simulate this I think you need to reaction movement phases. Each player moves one or more fleets, then the other players moves one or more of his fleets, player one can now move any of his fleets that have not moved, and back and forth until both players pass on moving. THEN combat occurs. (you might induce a movement range penalty for each phase (ie ships "reacting" can not move as far as ships "acting")

I THINK this (or similar) mechanic would lead to nodal defense fleets and the need for buffer/detection zones. ie each empire would require enough TIME to concentrate a big navy to stop big attacks, but less time to stop smaller ones.. This allows for the frontier fleets to have time to get back to defend the home world.

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Re: Siming hyperdrives and other non nodal movement FTLs

Postby XSiberia » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:47 pm

1. I'm not much more than a casual Trekkie (by default of being a scifi fan and it being sci fi, really), so maybe this will seem like a dumb question, BUT: I know that ST warp speed is not instantaneous, but it is FTL. Being that it is FTL, how would a destination force have any indication of an incoming attack ahead of the attack itself?

2. More close to the original topic, I am very interested in anything (even along what you described) in terms of providing for a way of handling movement that, given a month long game turn, allows fleets to effectively move anywhere on the map in one turn. I don't like the hex solution because the only interesting part of space is where systems are--why bother mapping all the empty void, especially when you can jump/warp/hyperspace travel through it at will? Universes that have enforced nodal structure (i.e., jump points, lanes, etc.) make for fun games. But what about the universes that are still nodal in as much as they are systems but where all nodes are connected to all other nodes via instantaneous or near-instantaneous travel?

Cheers,

Josh

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Re: Siming hyperdrives and other non nodal movement FTLs

Postby mriddle » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:45 pm

I am assuming you are responding to my post..
#1) the scenario is a massive klingon fleet is headed to earth.. Star Trek Sub-Space communication was faster than FTL.. so I am ASSUMING that a fleet would be detected by border outposts.. those outposts would sound the alarm and the alarm would move at a speed faster than the fleet could move.. Given this I assume that the feds would have defense fleets in tiers in systems around Sol, as they get the alarm they would move on intercept courses, based on their speed, the invader's speed, and warning delay..
but the further the invader moves into Fed space the more defenders that would group around it.so that when it did drop out of FTL to attack the defenders could do the same..

#2) Questions to better understand your paradigm..
1) are ships in transit detectable
2) does distance have any thing to do with FTL travel time..
a) if not is it instantaneous, or
b) take some fixed time
3) does non-FTL travel time exists (or is in-system travel instantaneous)
a) if not is it instantaneous, or
b) take some fixed time

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Re: Siming hyperdrives and other non nodal movement FTLs

Postby XSiberia » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:11 am

#2) Questions to better understand your paradigm..
1) are ships in transit detectable
2) does distance have any thing to do with FTL travel time..
a) if not is it instantaneous, or
b) take some fixed time
3) does non-FTL travel time exists (or is in-system travel instantaneous)
a) if not is it instantaneous, or
b) take some fixed time

Right. So for these I am specifically thinking about settings where FTL is not restricted to pre-set navigation routes (like the jump points in Wing Commander or The Lost Fleet or wormhole networks and jump gates). For any of these atraditional VBAM nodal map is perfect.

1) Are ships in transit detectable?
-This seems to largely depend on whether travel is instantaneous or not. If yes, then it is not detectable. If not, then in some cases the travel through the FTL dimension/mode may be detectable. However, there are exceptions.
DETECTABLE: Star Trek, Halo (?), WH40k
NOT DETECTABLE: Battletech, Star Wars (excepting force use), BSG, Dune, Stargate

2) Does distance have any thing to do with FTL travel time?
-Again, for instantaneous travel the answer is usually no (although in-system sub-light travel times may apply if there is the usual restiction on FTL near gravity wells). However, varies depending on the universe.
MATTERS: Star Wars (fixed), Star Trek (fixed), WH40k (time is variable), Halo (time is variable), Stargate
DOES NOT MATTER: Battletech, BSG, Dune

3) Does non-FTL travel time exist? (or is in-system travel instantaneous)
-I think think that in all cases that I am looking at, in-system travel time applies and is not instantaneous. In most cases FTL is only possible outside of a gravity well or only with a great expenditure of energy that prohibits in-system micro jumps. However, in-system microjumps are allowed in some universes...
EXAMPLES: BSG, Robotech, Stargate

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Re: Siming hyperdrives and other non nodal movement FTLs

Postby mriddle » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:51 pm

In cases where FTL is instantaneous, The paradigm might be fleets would be stationed at core places, ready for FLT jump. At all important systems, one would have courier ships, when a system is attacked, the courier ships would "hyper" to defense nodes and summon help..

So in a game, player A acts moving a fleet to a system, player B then can react moving one more fleets, depending on the in-system time travel time, rounds of combat are fought as ships blip in and out of system, and then move deeper or not into the gravity well.

In cases where FTL is fixed time, it will similar to instantaneous FTL except there would be more combat rounds between FTL moves, (and they would have be secret until arrive)

I am left thinking that as the harder worlds become to defend the more empires would have two types of worlds, core and colony.. core worlds would be HEAVILY defended and very developed, colony would not be defended and at all and focus on short development/exploitation. and the ratio would be lots of colonies to few core.


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