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Speed Limits and the Feel of the Scenario
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:50 am    Post subject: Speed Limits and the Feel of the Scenario Reply with quote

Last night I played 8C9 My Brother, My Enemy. It is one of a number of scenarios that involve disengagement as the object for a side. In this one four small freighters, a free trader and a frigate hae to undock from the BS and disengage.

In the SFB version (SH127 from S2) when the ships undock they are limited in speed. The first turn they could max out at speed 10, then speed 20 the next turn, and 31 on the third. This makes the scenario challenging as the ship cannot outrun speed-32 plasma and the opponent can catch up to the ships trying to disengage.

In the FC version the ships can undock and then go at full speed immediately. In this case the frigate undock, I was able to immediately choose baseline-24 and accelerate to a pseudo speed-32. I easily outran the opponents plasma. As of the third turn I already had two ships disengaged and the opponent was all shot out on plasma and rearming for the next few turns. It was a win, but unsatisfying due to the way the scenario plays under FC.

I have discussed the idea that speed limits be placed on ships in terms of how much faster they can go from turn to turn. My recommendation is whatever your baseline was last turn +8 as the maximum baseline you can take. This is analogous to SFB


Last edited by ericphillips on Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:50 am; edited 2 times in total
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The_Rock
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This would be a huge improvement to the game. I could not agree more. A lot of silly things are made possible solely because stopping has no penalty.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good number of the scenarios I've have tried have been rather unbalanced, plasma or not.

I haven't seen the scenario you mentioned (where is it?), but small freighters are limited to 16+ (and can only fully manage that for 1 turn as I remember) and a free trader can't actually reach 32 (I think it is 28 ). So your description does not sound right, unless you were playing wrong.

Converting a scenario from SFB should always take into account all of the changes in FC, it plays sufficiently different in a number of ways that a lot of them just aren't going to work out the same in terms of balance if they are just direct conversions. I wouldn't be adding a game rule to balance a scenario, but revisit the scenario and adjust that in light of the lack of speed change rules (and other FC differences).

I do remember playing a scenario with pretty much exactly what you want as a speed change rule, but that was just a scenario rule - several players piling onto a new B10 which was trying to disengage, but due to problems with the new engines the B10 started at speed 0 and could only increase 1 speed per turn. We have, however, discussed your speed change rule a few times and no one in our group wants it as a game rule. Even the guy who wants maulers, scouts, carriers and other SFB bits doesn't want speed changes. All the stuff he wants though is stuff that will only turn up when you want to (i.e. stuff that at one point was going to be BOM only), whilst speed changes affects every game every turn (though could also be BOM only and not bother me in the slightest).

Speed changes would add an extra level of rules/tactical complexity, but I have no shortage of games that can provide that.


Last edited by storeylf on Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:00 am; edited 2 times in total
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are correct, i made a mistake, I meant the frigate.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've played a few unfun (as in unbalanced) scenarios, some scenarios have just not been thought out or converted well. Its been a while since we played a published scenario, whether that is because we have all decided that they are to random in balance or just because we are happy playing our campaign stuff I'm not sure. Certainly I'm wary of playing any scenario and assuming it will provide a decently balanced game.

[edit] you edited your post thay I was replying to, but nvm.


Last edited by storeylf on Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dal Downing
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sound like it is not so much a breakdown of movement as much as it is the lack of a Special Rules covering movement. If you play this one again just add a special rule saying that the plant(?) controlled ships are slower to react limiting their speed. On turn 1 they can only plot Speed 0 (Max move of 8 ), on turn 2 he can plot speed of 8 (Max move of 16), turn 3 hecan plot a speed 16, on turn 4 speed can be plotted to 24. After turn 4 there are no longer any speed restrictions in place.

Try that and see how it worksI
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The_Rock
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No. It's a problem with the movement rules, in general. the entire game would be better with acceleration limits, not just those scenarios.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be different and more like SFB, but that doesn't mean it would be better. For some that just makes the game worse.

If there is a problem with a scenario then that is the problem, the scenario.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And therefore if a scenario needs an acceleration limit in order to be properly playable, this should be built into the scenario by the use of some appropriate techy 'excuse'.

For example, say that the ship has been accidentally fuelled with diesel instead of deuterium slush, and the fuel lines are still contaminated, so the ship cannot accelerate past Speed 8 until Turn #3 by which time the roadside repair man has just charged you 150 credits for the privilege of flushing out the lines.

In fact a lot of converted scenarios could be greatly improved simply by wider use of diesel or other fossil fuels (to continue with the tongue-in-cheek example) to limit ship speeds for a set time. This would be simple, elegant, and bad for the greenhouse effect.

I personally like the game as it is; a major part of this game is the 'guessing game' of the relative speeds at the start of the turn; acceleration limits would effectively put the kaibosh on that to the game's detriment.
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
It would be different and more like SFB, but that doesn't mean it would be better. For some that just makes the game worse.

If there is a problem with a scenario then that is the problem, the scenario.


FC is suppose to be like SFB but easier to play.

This is an area where, with a simple two sentence rule, have the correct feel.
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ericphillips
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kang wrote:

I personally like the game as it is; a major part of this game is the 'guessing game' of the relative speeds at the start of the turn; acceleration limits would effectively put the kaibosh on that to the game's detriment.


Its not that much of a guessing game. There are only 4 possible speed you can choose. For this scenario the ships trying to escape will obviously take the fastest they can, especially with the threat of speed-32 plasma.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ericphillips wrote:
This is an area where, with a simple two sentence rule, have the correct feel.

Well yes the initial rule would be simple, but then there would have to be provisos, interpretations, exceptions, clarifications - this is unavoidable and complicates things. This was what FC was trying to avoid, although I have no room to talk; I am (slightly) one of the Rules Lawyers that most players find so annoying Wink
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve has already gone on record as saying there won't be any speed change rule added to the game.

That said, if speed limits are needed to make a scenario playable, it can definitely be added to that scenario. That means each scenario could have a different kind of speed limit, but that is OK, as the circumstances of each scenario is likely to be different.

Another option for this particular scenario is to simply give the Plants an absolute speed limit, as they are not yet used to controlling the Gorn bodies AND they don't quite know what they are doing in the ships, either. Then make it more of a location map to give an alternative means of disengagement.

Finally, to "match" SFB speed limits, you would need to do something non-linear. So, Stopped can only to to baseline speed 0, baseline speed 0 can only go up to baseline speed 8, no limits on 8, 16, or 24. Doing the "only up to next baseline speed" is way more restrictive than SFB.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ericphillips wrote:

FC is suppose to be like SFB but easier to play.

This is an area where, with a simple two sentence rule, have the correct feel.


FC is like SFB but easier to play though, what some see as extra 'feel' others see as unnecessary detail.

For example mass deployment of shuttles would be the SFB feel, but do we want that?

There is a request for sublight rules in the rule forum, a request for speed changes here, a request for plasma changes etc. Non of these are 'complicated' in their own right, Recently we've had 'simple' aegis, and scouts (both of which were going to be BOM only!) and new ADD rules. Cumulatively all these 'simple' rules are pulling FC away from the simple fast play game with additional layers of rules (and tactical issues to constantly consider) and an ever thicker rule book to put people off with. It's the old salami sausage in another guise.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

playing devil's advocate here...

If you assume that only [i]baseline[\i] speed is affected by the acceleration limit, it becomes much less restrictive. Baseline zero becomes baseline 8, but acceleration is available so you can go 8+1 every turn if you want to. So it would be something like

Baseline Stopped on previous turn
Baseline 8 this turn - up to 16 hexes
Baseline 16 next turn - up to 24 hexes
Baseline 24 - up to 32 hexes

Which mimics the SFB limits:
0
10
20
32
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