An update...

Empire-building among the stars
thedugan
Admiral
Admiral
Posts: 1657
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 5:01 am
Location: DFW area - Texas!
Contact:

Re: An update...

Postby thedugan » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:53 pm

jygro wrote:Fire on the Suns - Ha! I've tried to play that one multiple times, but it always hurt my head in ways I never thought a game could! Still, it has some really cool elements in it, but it's just too complex for me!


FWIW, my head hurt just reading the rules.....
Becuz I'm da friggin' ART FAIRY - dats why!

Big Bang = Let there be LIGHT!

runescience
Midshipman
Midshipman
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 9:27 pm
Contact:

Re: An update...

Postby runescience » Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:57 am

Dan!

Thank you SO MUCH for releasing the draft. I have a play test partner coming in from out of town tomorrow.

mj12games
Admiral of the Fleet
Admiral of the Fleet
Posts: 3634
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 9:56 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Contact:

Re: An update...

Postby mj12games » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:07 pm

Updated draft rulebook for January 4, 2010.

Changes:

* Renamed SDFs as "armies".

* Eliminated supply requirement.

* Replaced outpost/space station/starbase progression with "bases".

[FILE REMOVED]
Daniel Kast
Majestic Twelve Games
www.mj12games.com

mundungus
Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 4:58 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Re: An update...

Postby mundungus » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:18 pm

I like it -- considerable improvement!

Detailed comments follow.

GAME COMPONENTS

On the tile, I like that a hex either contains a system or doesn't. I think this is the right thing to do in the basic game. Terrain (e.g., asteroids) and planetary properties should be optional rules.

I don't really like the font, but I'll admit it's better than the one used in Twilight Imperium:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/3933 ... rd-edition

(TI also has a nasty habit of making the board text way too small to read -- please don't make the same mistake!)

The background texture is consistent with the Starmada book covers. Will it look right when several of these hexes are placed next to each other?

Obviously, dark hexes fit in well with the theme. That said, if I'm going to have to print this myself, I'm going to quail at using so much toner. Could we have a "low ink" version, especially for prototypes?

Some more radical thoughts on the tiles:

Is systems-among-blank-hexes the right way to go? It seems like it's going to lead to a lot of wasted table space. This may be inevitable in the tactical game (there might be nearly 1000 hexes on the board, but only a dozen or so occupied), but that's because we're simulating Newtonian space. If the strategic game takes place in hyperspace, might a circles-and-lines approach be better? Put another way, why would anyone ever go to the vacant hexes? The only reasons I can think of are "to get to the other side" or "to provide a blockade"; if a hex is truly vast, blockading it might not be realistic.

Do the sectors have to be hexagonal? Rectangular ones would be easier to manufacture (both for print-and-play and the inevitable deluxe edition).

UNITS

Obviously given my previous statements, I think this is a big win: fewer types, no need for damage. This allows me to use, say, the wooden cubes, disks, and people I've accumulated as pieces. These'll be much more satisfying than thin cardstock chits.

I like that armies explicitly contain some space forces. This makes it reasonable that a force consisting of only armies can attack a fleet.

Why five players?

WHAT IS STARMADA

Standard text, but this seems like an odd place for it. Maybe just before integration with Starmada?

SETUP

Is an exploration component desirable?

One possibility for choosing homeworlds: determine player order. The first player designates all of the homeworlds. In REVERSE order, the players choose one of the designated worlds as their own homeworld. This motivates the designator to choose a fair distribution, because he's going to get the last choice.

VICTORY

The bonus point for controlling an entire sector (effectively the Risk continent bonus) is a nice touch.

ECONOMICS

The first-turn bonus might not be necessary if the setup were arranged to be fair.

MOVEMENT

This seems like a reasonable way of minimizing downtime without resorting to plotted movement.

COMBAT

Cleaner -- I like it.

Why is the attacker allowed to retreat with armies he can't carry?

Why does a retreat have to include all units? (When integrating with Starmada, I can see some units escaping into hyperspace while others cover their back.)

DIPLOMACY

Interesting. (I realize this has existed in previous versions.) What does this mechanism provide?

The difference between neutrality and recognition is unclear.

One problem in games like this -- even moreso in a campaign that might go on for months -- is that some players might get hopelessly behind. It might be nice to allow players to merge their empires under certain conditions (e.g., when their combined VP would be less than than of any other player).

PLACEMENT

Nice and clean.

INTEGRATION WITH STARMADA

There could be constraints on what ships could be contained in units (e.g., an army cannot contain any units with hyperdrives; every unit in a fleet must have engines and hyperdrives), but maybe that should be left for optional rules.

mj12games
Admiral of the Fleet
Admiral of the Fleet
Posts: 3634
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 9:56 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Contact:

Re: An update...

Postby mj12games » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:33 pm

mundungus wrote:Is systems-among-blank-hexes the right way to go? It seems like it's going to lead to a lot of wasted table space. This may be inevitable in the tactical game (there might be nearly 1000 hexes on the board, but only a dozen or so occupied), but that's because we're simulating Newtonian space. If the strategic game takes place in hyperspace, might a circles-and-lines approach be better? Put another way, why would anyone ever go to the vacant hexes? The only reasons I can think of are "to get to the other side" or "to provide a blockade"; if a hex is truly vast, blockading it might not be realistic.

1) Players will go to the vacant hexes because they have no other choice. There won't always be another system within three hexes. It is also possible to move into an empty hex that threatens two (or more) systems.

2) I have plans for the empty hexes. ;)

Do the sectors have to be hexagonal? Rectangular ones would be easier to manufacture (both for print-and-play and the inevitable deluxe edition).

They don't HAVE to be. But I prefer them.

Why five players?

Why not? (I'm not being contrary -- I don't understand the question.)

Is an exploration component desirable?

Meaning? (Again, I don't understand the question.)

Why is the attacker allowed to retreat with armies he can't carry?

I have no good answer for this -- other than it seemed like a good idea when I wrote it.

Why does a retreat have to include all units? (When integrating with Starmada, I can see some units escaping into hyperspace while others cover their back.)

Ditto.

Interesting. (I realize this has existed in previous versions.) What does this mechanism provide?

Aside from some opportunity for role-playing, this is how trade agreements and formal alliances are accounted for.

The difference between neutrality and recognition is unclear.

Two players who have recognized each other must, in essence, provide notice of any attack by breaking diplomatic ties one turn ahead of time.

One problem in games like this -- even moreso in a campaign that might go on for months -- is that some players might get hopelessly behind. It might be nice to allow players to merge their empires under certain conditions (e.g., when their combined VP would be less than than of any other player).

Do you see this as different than the existing Alliance rule?
Daniel Kast
Majestic Twelve Games
www.mj12games.com

mundungus
Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 4:58 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Re: An update...

Postby mundungus » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:04 pm

cricket wrote:
Why five players?
Why not? (I'm not being contrary -- I don't understand the question.)

Is there any reason you picked than number rather than six? (Ideally, a group meeting regularly would have an even number of players.)

Is an exploration component desirable?
Meaning? (Again, I don't understand the question.)

Do we want the whole galaxy to be revealed at setup time? (I don't have a strong opinion either way.)

Why is the attacker allowed to retreat with armies he can't carry?

I have no good answer for this -- other than it seemed like a good idea when I wrote it.

Why does a retreat have to include all units? (When integrating with Starmada, I can see some units escaping into hyperspace while others cover their back.)

Ditto.

I will, of course, argue for yanking both of these special cases.

Interesting. (I realize this has existed in previous versions.) What does this mechanism provide?

Aside from some opportunity for role-playing, this is how trade agreements and formal alliances are accounted for.

It is, at least, a way to add some interesting new elements to the game without having to balance them with the Starmada rules. (Contrast with, say, allowing tech levels to alter the numbers needed on battle dice.)

The difference between neutrality and recognition is unclear.

Two players who have recognized each other must, in essence, provide notice of any attack by breaking diplomatic ties one turn ahead of time.

Fair enough.

One problem in games like this -- even moreso in a campaign that might go on for months -- is that some players might get hopelessly behind. It might be nice to allow players to merge their empires under certain conditions (e.g., when their combined VP would be less than than of any other player).

Do you see this as different than the existing Alliance rule?

Only insofar as allies actually get to combine their victory points to win the game.

BTW, I have a meeting with a "prototype night" group on Thursday. For motivation, if you can get me a complete set of rules and a low-ink version of the tiles, I could bring this and get you lots of playtesting feedback.

mj12games
Admiral of the Fleet
Admiral of the Fleet
Posts: 3634
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 9:56 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Contact:

Re: An update...

Postby mj12games » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:11 pm

mundungus wrote:Is there any reason you picked than number rather than six? (Ideally, a group meeting regularly would have an even number of players.)

In games like this, I've always preferred an odd number, but no -- I did not pick five over six for any particular reason.

Do we want the whole galaxy to be revealed at setup time? (I don't have a strong opinion either way.)

I'd say yes for the basic game, where hexes either have a system or don't have a system.

Do you see this as different than the existing Alliance rule?

Only insofar as allies actually get to combine their victory points to win the game.

Ah... I see.

I have no argument with a rule allowing an alliance to declare victory.
Daniel Kast
Majestic Twelve Games
www.mj12games.com

mj12games
Admiral of the Fleet
Admiral of the Fleet
Posts: 3634
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 9:56 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Contact:

Re: An update...

Postby mj12games » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:38 pm

mundungus wrote:The difference between neutrality and recognition is unclear.

Actually, what I've been wondering about is the difference between neutrality and war.
Daniel Kast
Majestic Twelve Games
www.mj12games.com

mundungus
Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 4:58 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Diplomacy and placement

Postby mundungus » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:06 am

On diplomacy:

Maybe the conditions should be:

WAR: Units MUST attack each other if in the same system.
TENSION: Units MAY attack each other.
PEACE: Units MAY NOT attack each other.
TRADING: Like peace, but also grants extra income to both parties.
ALLIANCE: The trading, but the victory points of the two sides are combined and they may win together. There may be a prerequisite to forming an alliance, e.g., the alliance's current VP would be less than that of any other single player or existing alliance.

This (or, in fact, the current system) might allow multiple players' units in the same hex. Most games don't allow this, because it makes ownership of a system unclear. One possible rule:

1) If someone has at least one base there (and only one player can), that player controls the system.
2) Otherwise, whoever has the most armies in the system controls it. In case of an exact tie, nobody controls it.

Alternatively, you could simply say that EVERY player who has a base or army in a system controls that system. This would encourage intertwined empires and make diplomacy extremely important. (Maybe armies and bases can't coexist with enemy armies and bases under tension.)

On placement:

Is there an advantage to having more than one base in a system? I thought multiple bases could indicate a larger infrastructure of shipyards, etc. That might suggest some additional rules:

1) At most one army or fleet can be built per base per turn.
2) At most one base can be built per system per turn.
3) Armies and fleets are placed before bases. (Equivalently, a newly-built base cannot produce an army or fleet.)

Erik M
Midshipman
Midshipman
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:09 pm
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Re: An update...

Postby Erik M » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:12 am

cricket wrote:
mundungus wrote:Is there any reason you picked than number rather than six? (Ideally, a group meeting regularly would have an even number of players.)

In games like this, I've always preferred an odd number, but no -- I did not pick five over six for any particular reason

There's no test to read up on, but this one can be commented on anyhow... :shock:

This is a strategic campaign, right?
Then an odd number is best. Reason being that then two can gang up without to much impact. Even if two attack one they are susceptible to attack from the two remaining, together or individually.
Three is to few to make that work; it works at five or more but assembling seven players could be a biatch.


Return to “The Sovereign Stars”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest