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Acceleration Variant Rule Idea
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:06 am    Post subject: Acceleration Variant Rule Idea Reply with quote

I was thinking that acceleration and deceleration work very differently, when they are kind of mirror opposites and could act as such. Has anyone tried this as an alternate to the acceleration rules:

On any (some or all) sub-pulse that you do not move you can spend energy to gain 1 movement point that sub-pulse.

This makes it work similar but opposite to deceleration (which negates a movement on any or all sub-pulses where there is movement, this adds a movement to any or all sub-pulses without a movement) and the assignment of the movement to a sub-pulse instead of the impulse adds to tactics.

It would allow ships to add more speed than currently allowed, but they do have to pay for it, and since everyone would be able to do it, it is, as Spock said, "Sauce for the gander, Mr. Saavik. The odds are even."

Any thoughts?
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MajerBlundor
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it! But what's your turn mode?

I ask because with this approach there would be no need to set a baseline speed (at least as far as I can see.) In fact, setting a baseline speed would be a disadvantage since you would be committing energy to movement while everyone else would be doing that in near real-time.

That being said, we too have modified the movement system a bit by eliminating fractional energy allocation (you essentially buy movement points at the start of the turn.) Your idea would work really well with our system. We'll give it a try!

Tim
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MajerBlundor
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just thought of something else...as far as speed changes go, your approach would be logically consistent with the potential change in speed that occurs between turns.

Currently you can go from 0 to 32 in a single impulse (between impulse 8 and 1 of the following turn).

In fact, your proposal is more consistent than the "Rules as Written" (RAW).
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Such a rule breaks FC movement. If you can accelerate more than once per impulse, then base speed means nothing. At that point, you might as well just pick base speed zero and accelerate whenever you want. You would also then be able to pick any impulse in which to accelerate, rather than the proscribed ones.

If the inconsistencies between acceleration and deceleration bother you that much, the logical choice is to go the other direction: restrict deceleration. At that point, in the beginning of the Impulse you can choose to either accelerate by one or decelerate by one. The deceleration would be a proscribed impulse (effectively the sub-pulse that is different from your current base speed and the base speed lower).

But that all begs the question of this "inconsistency". I will posit that they are not inconsistent. Yes, they operate differently, but that difference does not mean they are inconsistent. Many (if not most) forms of movement have differences between acceleration and deceleration. Why should warp not?
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Mike
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Last edited by Mike on Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MajerBlundor
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
Such a rule breaks FC movement. If you can accelerate more than once per impulse, then base speed means nothing. At that point, you might as well just pick base speed zero and accelerate whenever you want.


I think Eric's idea has merit (as a house rule anyway) for three reasons:

1. Baseline speed currently means nothing with respect to deceleration within the limits of available power and move cost. For example, a Klingon F5W Destroyer with Baseline Speed of 24 can decelerate to Speed 0 in every impulse (however, in this case sufficient power to set the baseline speed of 24 is committed at the start of the turn which as Mike notes is one potential hole in Eric's concept...no need to spend any energy at start of turn).

2. Baseline speed currently means nothing with respect to acceleration between turns. You can be speed 0 in impulse 8 and baseline speed 24 in the following impulse 1 (and have a true speed of 32 with an acceleration of +1)!!! 0 to 32 acceleration in a single impulse is pretty amazing!

3. Any ship can decelerate in any single impulse from baseline speed 24 (or an effective speed of 32 in the previous impulse) to speed 0.

So, since you can achieve an instantaneous acceleration of 0 to 32 across the "artificial" divide between impulse 8 and 1; any ship can decelerate from current baseline speed to 0 at any time using an emergency stop; and any ship can decelerate pretty much to 0 from baseline speed 16 or 24 depending upon energy available and move cost; why not eliminate these artificial barriers or logical inconsistencies? (at least to some degree).

I've just bolted Eric's idea onto our house movement rules and it looks like it makes things more logical, simpler, faster, and cleaner. (We use "speed points" to eliminate fractional power allocation). Here's what we're going to try out:

1. During Power Allocation: Set Speed Points (0, 8, 16, 24, or 32)

note: the energy spent is committed and not available for other uses during the turn! The initial Speed Points, whether 8, 16, 24, or 32, determine Turn Mode for the entire turn to.

2. At the start of each Impulse spend 0-4 Speed Points which is the number of hexes you may move during the impulse. This may vary +1/-1 from previous impulse.

3. Special Maneuvers also have their own cost in Speed Points.

Obviously when you're out of speed points you can't move or do special maneuvers until the next game turn when power is once again allocated. With this approach you can accel/decel to the same degree whether between impulse 8 and 1 or 4 and 5.

Also with this approach you must commit energy to movement at the start of the turn and it's unavailable for other purposes whether actually used or not. Note too that with this approach your initial Speed Points are a hard limit/ceiling and not a floor or mid-point...to keep things simple you can't add Speed Points over the course of the turn...so plan ahead! Smile


I know for some it's sort of heresy to mod rules like this but our group kind of feels that certain aspects of FC (often SFB artifacts) create drag on the system. So we've already implemented a few house rules to tidy things up around the edges. I really like Eric's concept and look forward to giving it a try!

Tim
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Bolo_MK_XL
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only thing I see is it removes the need to decelerate ---

If I was in a group that wanted to use that method, I would add an energy requirement for turns and sideslips ---
That is because I recognize a ship at speed 0 has no momentum --

Also, don't believe if I would want to be the ship moving 0+1 every subpulse and be required to move first --- Are you trying to set up a ship with all its energy for alpha strikes on impulse 1, then decide how you can move afterwards (Would most likely bring back about an 8 subpulse delay in firing weapons which were used on impulse 8 ) --

Eric,
As new rules were added in early additions of SFBs, many had issues where they interacted with other rules -- I think this is where you would have many people disagreeing with you when those issues are noted --- For every neat idea you come up with, its gonna cause a problem somewhere else ---
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
I suppose anyone can do anything they like, but the rules as written have already been developed.


Yes they are, as they are for all games. However, homebrew and variant rules are an established part of the hobby. Even basic games like Risk and chess have tons of variants. D&D evolved because it was a homebrew variant of a fantasy miniatures combat game.

Please don't think I want to rewrite or replace the Rules As Written, but messing with rules can be fun as well.
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bolo_MK_XL wrote:
As new rules were added in early additions of SFBs, many had issues where they interacted with other rules -- I think this is where you would have many people disagreeing with you when those issues are noted --- For every neat idea you come up with, its gonna cause a problem somewhere else ---


Certainly, but posting the idea here has opened my eyes to some of those interactions I might not have seen. Kind of a collaboration!

As for those that disagree with the idea, instead of bashing it which is a waste of energy and time, do what I do: move on and talk about what you enjoy.
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:19 pm    Post subject: Thoughts on ideas. Reply with quote

Okay, a lot to think about, here are my thoughts:

MajerBlundor wrote:
I like it! But what's your turn mode? I ask because with this approach there would be no need to set a baseline speed (at least as far as I can see.) In fact, setting a baseline speed would be a disadvantage since you would be committing energy to movement while everyone else would be doing that in near real-time. ... Tim


Right. Currently the dependence is higher velocity = more energy = larger turn radius.

Baseline speed seems to be integral because that is a base expendature of energy at the start of a turn, and you are likely to use at least some if you want to maneuver because even if you have an alpha strike on Impulse 1.1, you don't know if it will only have minimal effect. So you need to guess first how maneuveral you will need ot be in such a case.

With sub-pulse acceleration (sounds like a good name for my idea), and with all energy refreshing at the beginning of the turn, the situation reverses. On impulse 1.1 you don't move, you have all your energy, then unleash a volley. Then you see the result and then can begin to se if you should save energy for movement or continue to volley.

My result: Baseline speed makes the game more interesting by tying up energy before any impulses occur.



MajerBlundor wrote:
Just thought of something else...as far as speed changes go, your approach would be logically consistent with the potential change in speed that occurs between turns. Currently you can go from 0 to 32 in a single impulse (between impulse 8 and 1 of the following turn). In fact, your proposal is more consistent than the "Rules as Written" (RAW).


Yeah, I thought of that as well. Again, look above for the reaosn baseline speeds are applied, IMO.




mjwest wrote:
Such a rule breaks FC movement. If you can accelerate more than once per impulse, then base speed means nothing. At that point, you might as well just pick base speed zero and accelerate whenever you want. You would also then be able to pick any impulse in which to accelerate, rather than the proscribed ones.

If the inconsistencies between acceleration and deceleration bother you that much, the logical choice is to go the other direction: restrict deceleration. At that point, in the beginning of the Impulse you can choose to either accelerate by one or decelerate by one. The deceleration would be a proscribed impulse (effectively the sub-pulse that is different from your current base speed and the base speed lower).


Yeah, my idea does blow the whole base speed thing away, which causes the above problem with not having to guess your movement needs.

As for your proposed variant: I do like it. Maybe though, allow acceleration once per impulse and deceleration once per impulse. You may accelerate on any impulse without a movement, or deceleate on any impulse with a movement, and call it on that sup-pulse. This would keep baseline speed important as you could not effectivly go from 0-32 (except onthe new turn), and you are limited by baseline to how much you can push or pull the speed. I do, however, like getting the acceleration off the impulse and onto the sub-pulse, like decelertation.



MajerBlundor wrote:
(editied a lot) I think Eric's idea has merit (as a house rule anyway) for three reasons ... I've just bolted Eric's idea onto our house movement rules and it looks like it makes things more logical, simpler, faster, and cleaner. (We use "speed points" to eliminate fractional power allocation). Here's what we're going to try out: ... Also with this approach you must commit energy to movement at the start of the turn and it's unavailable for other purposes whether actually used or not. Note too that with this approach your initial Speed Points are a hard limit/ceiling and not a floor or mid-point...to keep things simple you can't add Speed Points over the course of the turn...so plan ahead! Smile [/i]

Tim


Hmmmm. I have some ideas brewing based on this. Let me formulate them and post them later.



Bolo_MK_XL wrote:
The only thing I see is it removes the need to decelerate ---

If I was in a group that wanted to use that method, I would add an energy requirement for turns and sideslips ---
That is because I recognize a ship at speed 0 has no momentum --

Also, don't believe if I would want to be the ship moving 0+1 every subpulse and be required to move first --- Are you trying to set up a ship with all its energy for alpha strikes on impulse 1, then decide how you can move afterwards (Would most likely bring back about an 8 subpulse delay in firing weapons which were used on impulse 8 ) --


Off the cuff, maybe energy for turns, because if there is no baseline there is no turn mode. However, not on slide steps. Slide steps are just to overcome the limitation of the hex based medium, to basically gove you a way to sort of give you close to 30-degree maneuvering on a board normally limited to 60-degree movement. Thatis why there is no equivilent in the version of the game that uses free motion istewad of hexes.
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Bolo_MK_XL
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
to basically give you a way to sort of give you close to 30-degree maneuvering on a board normally limited to 60-degree movement.


Half turn, half energy needed ---

Then there will be many that see it as an attempt to by-pass a rule you can't master the tactics it forces you into ---
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USS Enterprise
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the general opinion, you've got to do something about turn mode.

Maybe base turn mode off of your speed for that impulse. (Example, if my baseline speed is 8 and my turn mode is 2 but I accelerated to speed 24 with a turn mode of 5, I'd have a turn mode of 5.) Speed 32 could always have the turn mode of 24 +1.

The most illogical thing I've noticed with Accel/Decel is not the acceleration part, but If I'm moving speed 24 and I slow to speed 8 for that Impulse, why is my turn mode not improved.
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MajerBlundor
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being heretics we've tried to address this feature too. Here's what we did on Sunday for a Fed vs Romulan squadron duel (fleet scale, 150 points per side).

1. set base speed per official rules except that you can also set speed 32 as a base speed (it's easy to see the cost progression on the ship card).

2. during movement ships have the option of skipping their first sub-pulse move/hex if desired. When it comes time to move the ship just declare that it's skipping the sub-pulse.

For example, a ship with base speed of 24 can move 2 or 3 hexes during a given impulse by skipping its first sub-pulse if desired.

3. at the start of each impulse you can accelerate/decelerate 1 base speed level by paying energy equal to a base speed of 8. During that impulse and subsequent ones you use the speed AND turn mode of your new base speed (until you change speed again).

For example, at the start of an impulse a ship at base speed 16 can accelerate to 24 or decelerate to 8 by paying energy equal to "8 hexes of movement" effectively.

The result of this simple rule is that you eliminate fractional energy for movement; eliminate the odd "accel +1 pre-impulse and decel -1 to -3 during impulse" funkiness; and eliminate the turn mode problem since you always use your current turn mode.

You also maintain access to a full range of speeds/movement from 0 to 32.

One downside is that in the official rules a ship at speed 24 can pay to slow down to 0 during a single impulse while with this rule it must move at least 2 hexes during an impulse since you can only skip one sub-pulse. We actually enjoyed that restriction since it felt like ships zooming around the map at 24 or 32 weren't stopping on a dime at will. At it really adds meaning and value to "Emergency Stop!" Smile

Effectively, paying for a given base speed at the start of the turn gives you access to that speed and the 8 below it. So, at base speed of 16 you can move 8 to 16 hexes during the impulse of by moving 1 or 2 hexes per impulse. But you must use the speed 16 turn mode. And moving at base speed 32 means you're moving 3 or 4 hexes per impulse! Talk about potential for over-shooting! Smile

Another big benefit is speed of play. Since you can vary your speed by skipping hexes there's less book keeping but you're not getting anything for free...you paid for those hexes of movement at the start of the turn but simply not using them all.

Tim
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USS Enterprise
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is very interesting, and sounds like it really could work!
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MajerBlundor
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We also changed the side slip rule.

House Rule: ships may side slip once per impulse.

The result is that faster ships travel in a more straight line while slower ships can side slip better, just like turning but still with a single value to remember: slip once per turn!

A speed 32 ship effectively has a speed to slip ratio of 4:1 or 3:1 (nearly straight). A speed 8 ship has a speed to slip ratio of 1:1 (thrusting nearly sideways!). A speed 16 ship has a slip path equal to the official rule which makes sense since 16 seems to be the most efficient combat speed. This makes more sense to us compared to the official "all ships slip the same" rule.

This also means no need to track slip point AND turn point.
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