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House-Rules: Sharing Systems; Scope

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:02 pm
by e_14159
I'd really like to play a game where all Empires start as factions on Earth, with them sharing control of the planet itself. However, VBAM assumes that only a single empire has system control.

I know of Tyrel Lohr's Earth-Based, Politics Oriented Campaign thread, in which the separation of earth into different regions, each with different census/raw is proposed. That'd definitely be a possibility, but I'd like to use the same in other systems, too, ideally without (too much) book-keeping effort.

Meshing with that, I'd really like to have variable campaign scope. What I mean with that is that I'd be able to focus on some systems/planets, while abstracting others nearly completely. For example, Earth/Sol are a planet/system which is likely to recieve much attention with that campaign premise, therefore meriting a treatment in regions and planets respectively. Another system might, for a long time, be relatively unimportant (therefore being treated as a single, monolithic system) before suddenly (due to border displacement, for example) being far more important and therefore also meriting treatment in more detail. After a few dozen turns, that might change again (perhaps the border conflict is settled).
To do this, I'd need to find a way to "zoom in/out", that is aggregating and de-aggregating statistics for systems. I can just automatically generate systems in greatest detail, giving me body-dependant RAW and capacity figures. But I - currently - can't figure out how to elegantly go from a list of bodies with RAW and capacity to system capacity/RAW figures, nor how to go from possessions assigned to a system (Industry, Bases, Task Forces etc) to how these are assigned to the planets.
My current approach would be to introduce RAW in several steps - a system might then have 1 capacity with 3 RAW, 2 with 2 RAW and 5 with only one RAW. In this case, you'd have to note down where you build your industries/place your census (or just build/place them in order from highest RAW, which is what players are probably doing anyways) in system view, and when switching from system to planet view you'd have to assign industry etc in a way that the final production result stays the same. The system introduces additional complexity, however. Additionally, this does not solve my first point (sharing object control) except by expanding the scope.

To sum up, my current implementation of changing scope, while closer to my goal than the original rules, still lacks elegance, and I am not sure on how to improve them. My holy grail would be to include the scope- and system-sharing rules to dynamically zoom in and out of empires, keeping the systems currently at peace abstract and the hot-spots more detailed.
Do you have any other ideas, improvements, or obvious pitfalls I've missed? Thanks!

Re: House-Rules: Sharing Systems; Scope

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:05 pm
by e_14159
I've done some more thinking on the issue, and have continued with my "split by RAW"-approach.
My current state allows for separating planets/systems into regions between which all ground forces are allowed to attack and with a separate node for fleets. Alternatively, you could merge systems in which no combat is going to happen.
As an example, consider the following systems:
CAP 4, RAW 2, CEN 2, MOR 2, PRD 0, Output 0

CAP 12, RAW 4, CEN 9, MOR 8, PRD 6, Output 24

CAP 6, RAW 4, CEN 3, MOR 2, PRD 3, Output 12

A combined cluster of ABC would look like this:
RAW 1: -
RAW 2: CAP 4, CEN 2, MOR 2, PRD 0, Output 0
RAW 3: -
RAW 4: CAP 18, RAW 4, CEN 12, MOR 10, PRD 9, Output 36
RAW 5: -
Total output: 36

Adding another system D (CAP 2, RAW 5, CEN 2, MOR 2, PRD 2, Output 10) to the mix would then result in the following cluster:
RAW 1: -
RAW 2: CAP 4, CEN 2, MOR 2, PRD 0, Output 0
RAW 3: -
RAW 4: CAP 18, CEN 12, MOR 10, PRD 9, Output 36
RAW 5: CAP 2, CEN 2, MOR 2, PRD 2, Output 10
Total output: 46

Now, when I want to build another PRD in a RAW-4 system, I pay 50 EP (the system requires 4.22 Alternate Productivity Rules) and change the corresponding line to:
RAW 4: CAP 18, CEN 12, MOR 10, PRD 10, Output 40.

Assume that, a few turns later, I need more money, and fast. I decommision one of the RAW4-PRDs, gaining me 25EP.

Now, another few turns later, the sector is being deassociated again. Maybe an enemy is close or something. So, I rebuild the systems. Nothing changed for A and D. However, I need to distribute building and scrapping one RAW between the RAW4 systems. For example, they could look like this:

CAP 12, RAW 4, CEN 9, MOR 8, PRD 7, Output 28

CAP 6, RAW 4, CEN 3, MOR 2, PRD 2, Output 8

Now, while the system works nicely for Productivity, I am still working on good rules for morale, intel, fleet movements and transport.
For fleet movement, my current idea is to specify the number of jumps between the jump lines leading out of the cluster. Alternatively, use the actual cluster map.
For transport, you just assign transport fleets to the sector which generate transport points. When deassociating clusters, you can use them to "having moved" the stuff in downtime.

The current system also includes (basically for free) more variable ground combat. By tracking the regions by RAW, you also assign troops to each RAW value. For each 100/ground units % you eliminated, you gain one carrying capacity (representing an area of the planet). First, you gain only CAP (representing empty, lighter-defended territory). Once enemy CAP the same as the higher of their PRD or CEN you gain CAP and PRD or CEN (whichever is higher) representing you conquering living quarters and unused industry. Finally, the stronger-defended areas fall, giving you one CAP, PRD and CEN.