Three Moves Ahead: Lost in Space

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PaulB
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Re: Three Moves Ahead: Lost in Space

Postby PaulB » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:20 pm

Yeah I think getting the "scope" of the game is important, both in terms of empires and the map. More systems I think is okay if some of those systems require less management (maybe they only have a small outpost or resource collection like asteroid mining). Maybe there are also systems with nothing of value but still serve as a conduit to other systems or a buffer between empires.

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Tyrel Lohr
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Re: Three Moves Ahead: Lost in Space

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:36 pm

I experimented with having systems of no value in earlier 2e drafts and while it was sometimes interesting what ended up happening is that you had these totally worthless systems that could be (and often were) strategically important for movement but were largely shunned because it was impossible to colonize them. That was at the stage where the system type rules (spectral, luminosity class) were standard rather than optional rules, and supergiants tended to have no value other than attracting large numbers of jump connections.

Part of the realignment for VBAM 2e in the year leading up to release was refocusing the map on the idea that each star system is the most important one in the area. There might be other brown dwarfs or lesser importance systems around, but this is the most important one in that particular region of space. This isn't explicitly called out in the rules, but it was an element that I kept in mind while I did my rules updates. This is part of the reason that I removed the "None" system importance level from the rules: it is more interesting for the players to have at least an Outpost/Unimportant system there than to have a system with absolutely no value.

Now, if you're drilling down like Jay does for local campaigns with the objective rules, then there is a good argument to be made for having some systems be empty locations with no value. But even then it works better to make sure each node on the map has some sort of value associated with it.

VBAM also has an issue with "telescoping" supply lanes, which is done to keep the game easier to manage during the game by having 2 jump supply routes. This is unlike games like Unity of Command where you can have supply routes of varying lengths, and where you have railroads that can push supply even farther. That "telescoping" effect ultimately means that if you have two completely empty systems in a chain then that chain is effectively cut off from supply until you can manage to build up a massive colony on the other end that can serve as a natural supply point.
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