Boltian/Kuissian Errata?

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XSiberia
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Boltian/Kuissian Errata?

Postby XSiberia » Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:53 pm

First, let me say that though the content below is critical, it is only meant to be objectively so. VBAM and all its published products are, in my opinion, excellent and exceedingly enjoyable. However, that does not mean that they are above reproach. Or possibly, I suppose that the answers to my questions could be in there somewhere and I'm the one with the issues!

Anyway, I am trying to put together a campaign for the second war of the Boltians and the Kuissians (and Terrans). As I do so, I am encountering some anomalies. Is there an errata for the book? I cannot find it on the company site.

Some examples:
Appendix: Firestar R1 (ISD 2860) and Firestar R2 (ISD 2898) have exactly the same stats. Are they different just to make the Boltian player at the start of the war have extra maintenance groups? If so, why?

Appendix: The Kuissian planet Feamek has Census 2 and Morale 1: the planet teeters on disorder. Why is there no fluff explanation for this?

Appendix: The Boltian planet Scism starts with census 3 and morale 1. This planet is not in good order and should have a halved output, but the full value is listed. What is correct and fluff-wise, why is this planet on the brink of revolt?

Meta question: Why are the Boltian planets having morale problems but Kuissian pacified worlds are hunky-dory?

Appendix: The Boltian planet Tybor is listed with a RAW of five, a production of 1 but with an output of only 1. Shouldn’t the output be 5?

Appendix: The Boltian planet Tolm really has a RAW of zero? The fluff describes them as having trade goods, apparently of value to both the Boltians and the Kuissians. Why is the RAW 0 (productivity 0 I understand given the fluff, but RAW 0?)?

7.1.2 The Relemonia scenario specifies that the Throdox carriers each have 11 flights on board, but the listed basing is 10 in the appendix. Which is correct?

SOME GENERAL QUESTIONS:

1. Has anyone made AIX values for the sub-races in this game? This scenario would make far more use of the diplomacy system if it made use of the treaty rules from the CM Companion. This would be perfect material to be included in an erratum.

2. The fluff describes a great deal of espionage and intelligence capabilities for the Boltians and the Kuissians, but this gets no treatment in even the beginning scenario dispositions, let alone special rules.

3. Similar to above, how much of the opposite player maps does each faction know? I am telling the Terran nothing, and giving the Boltian and Kuissian players each a map that includes the buffer planets between the two empires. However, based on fluff, it would seem that the for the second war the Kuissian player knows exactly the way to the Boltian HW, but the Boltian player has no idea where the Kuissian HW is. This seems like a big vulnerability…

ONE SPECIFIC, IMPORTANT QUESTION:

EDT. The fluff describes the difficulty and time it takes to plot EDT routes. What are the rules for establishing new EDT routes? What’s to stop the players from simply plotting EDT routes directly from HW to HW and ignoring the rest of the map except CM fiat? This is especially important as in a CM moderated game with hidden maps, I expect the players to be trying to sniff out new routes each step of the way. Also, I want to allow for exploration. Has anyone fleshed this out already and would be willing to share?

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mwaschak
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Postby mwaschak » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:35 pm

Hi Josh,

<Crossposted at forums too.>

> First, let me say that though the content below is critical, it is
> only meant to be objectively so. VBAM and all its published products
> are, in my opnion, excellent and exceedingly enjoyable. However, that
> does not mean that they are above reroach. Or possibly, I suppose
> that the answers to my questions could be in there somewhere and I'm
> the one with the issues!

It is no problem. As an owner of the BK material, you are certainly entitled to answers, errata, and updates. This setting is one I have been revisiting over the last year with some serious plans to update it. As of now I have two more settings books in the BK universe set to go. I have also been trying to pick a universe name since I never could settle on anything other than "BK Universe".

The EDT Conflicts?
Trials and Kuissiations?
The Galactic Entropy Series,

and so on.

> Anyway, I am trying to put together a campaign for the second war of
> the Boltians and the Kuissians (and Terrans). As I do so, I am
> encountering some anomalies. Is there an errata for the book? I
> cannot find it on the company site.

There is, but it will not cover all your questions.

> Some examples:
> Appendix: Firestar R1 (ISD 2860) and Firestar R2 (ISD 2898) have
> exactly the same stats. Are they different just to make the Boltian
> player at the start of the war have extra maintenance groups? If so,
> why?

Originally the R1 cost 1 EP more. Since the two versions of the ship class span individual wars it is not as much an issue. R1 tends to operate in the first war, and rarely show up in the second.

> Appendix: The Kuissian planet Feamek has Census 2 and Morale 1: the
> planet teeters on disorder. Why is there no fluff explanation for
> this?

There actually is fluff to explain Feamek! Part of the next book deals with the Wars of Kuissian Succession, of which Feamek plays heavily. You have to remember that when BK was written we operated with page count issues because of our original printer so a lot of the BK fluff never made it to the final version.

> Appendix: The Boltian planet Scism starts with census 3 and morale 1.
> This planet is not in good order and should have a halved output, but
> the full value is listed. What is correct and fluff-wise, why is this
> planet on the brink of revolt?

It will be operating with half output, correct, and should be a priority for the Boltians in any event.

Fluff wise even though it is near Boltia, it is neglected by the central governments. A big failing of the League is their overbearing government and its inability to truly address the needs of their people. It is a low capacity system, and that same government has been moving Census to more prosperous worlds. Its lack of major lanes is a big deal too.

> Meta question: Why are the Boltian planets having morale problems but
> Kuissian pacified worlds are hunky-dory?

Kuissians are definitely good at one thing, pacifying. They may not have the best ground forces, but they know how to take control of a system, and make the population work to their favor. Most of those pacified worlds benefited from excellent Kuissian technology and trade. Their first real space-faring power encountered was the MagHur, who are arguable far behind them in technology. Until then they had an easy track of worlds to walk over.

The League did not want a second war because they could not afford it. At the outbreak of the conflict they were just barely reconciling their monstrous debt from the first war, a war which most in the League feel they could have lost very easily. So, they are not optimistic about a war against the Kuissians, and believe their government was too hasty about adding the Terrans to that mix. This will get explained more in the supplements too.

> Appendix: The Boltian planet Tybor is listed with a RAW of five, a
> production of 1 but with an output of only 1. Shouldn't the output be
> 5?

Right! I believe that is one of the few questions which is in the real errata.

> Appendix: The Boltian planet Tolm really has a RAW of zero? The fluff
> describes them as having trade goods, apparently of value to both the
> Boltians and the Kuissians. Why is the RAW 0 (productivity 0 I
> understand given the fluff, but RAW 0?)?

Yep! At this stage in technology neither the Boltians or the Kuissians (who just claimed it in the first war, and moved on) could exploit the riches of the system. This is partly a fluff choice, but also because the Tolm are very alien and won't really come in to their until the next book or two.

> 7.1.2 The Relemonia scenario specifies that the Throdox carriers each
> have 11 flights on board, but the listed basing is 10 in the
> appendix. Which is correct?

Go with the limitation on the carrier in this case.

> SOME GENERAL QUESTIONS:
>
> 1. Has anyone made AIX values for the sub-races in this game?
> This scenario would make far more use of the diplomacy system if it
> made use of the treaty rules from the CM Companion. This would be
> perfect material to be included in an erratum.

Yes, back when Tyrel first released the Menagerie we created the major races. I don't have them on this PC (and if Tyrel gets to it first, great), but will take a look later when I get on my other laptop.

> 2. The fluff describes a great deal of espionage and
> intelligence capabilities for the Boltians and the Kuissians, but
> this gets no treatment in even the beginning scenario dispositions,
> let alone special rules.

Nope! This was our first source book so I was trying to stay within the page limit, and keep things relatively straight-forward in the scenarios. Both sides never trusted each other, and were constantly watching the other.

> 3. Similar to above, how much of the opposite player maps does
> each faction know? I am telling the Terran nothing, and giving the
> Boltian and Kuissian players each a map that includes the buffer
> planets between the two empires. However, based on fluff, it would
> seem that the for the second war the Kuissian player knows exactly
> the way to the Boltian HW, but the Boltian player has no idea where
> the Kuissian HW is. This seems like a big vulnerability…

It is meant to be played open map, but you are correct from a fluff standpoint. The former is a very clear cut VBAM scenario, but the latter is a MUCH better game. The Terrans have to poke their way along the only EDT routes they can see, and the Boltians know about the Kuissian border, but not anything beyond. The Kuissians also don't know about the Yilyians.

> ONE SPECIFIC, IMPORTANT QUESTION:
>
> EDT. The fluff describes the difficulty and time it takes to plot EDT
> routes. What are the rules for establishing new EDT routes? What's to
> stop the players from simply plotting EDT routes directly from HW to
> HW and ignoring the rest of the map except CM fiat? This is
> especially important as in a CM moderated game with hidden maps, I
> expect the players to be trying to sniff out new routes each step of
> the way. Also, I want to allow for exploration. Has anyone fleshed
> this out already and would be willing to share?

EDT is a fairly specific means of inter-stellar travel, and is meant to only operate between certain systems. So using the best EDT technology of the powers, there is no other way out of Relemonia then to go to MagHur, Ecabore, or Arcturus because EDT travel won't allow it. In the next supplements that could be enhanced but there are some limitations to what EDT can do.

I have some rules in the future books about how to lay, create, and enhance EDT routes, but these will also have some very specific limitations and require an investment of time, technology and capital. We are going to find in the future that there are other inter-stellar civilizations out there that know nothing of EDT travel.

-Jay


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