Keeping track of warp lines without a map

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Keeping track of warp lines without a map

Postby Caplin on Thu 10 Sep 2015 16:59

How do folks keep track of their warp lines? I'm reaching the point where my memory isn't great for recalling which systems connect to one another. "Was Alpha Centauri the one with the dead end?"

I imagine most people use a map. Since I'm blind, drawing one isn't very useful. I guess I could create a file which describes each system, and lists routes between them. It would be kind of tedious as the game goes on, I imagine.

Does anybody have innovative approaches to this problem? SFA does help quite a bit, of course, but its galactic map function is totally graphical, obviously. Not an urgent problem, but I'm definitely going to run into it eventually.
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Re: Keeping track of warp lines without a map

Postby LordKron on Thu 10 Sep 2015 17:23

Could you generate maps in Braille? Perhaps a series of page sized sector maps or perhaps warp point maps of each system, then as you enter a system, grab the map you need. I see how this can be a challenge. Back when SAW came out, and I had a copy of the original Gorm Khanate War, I made a map of every known system. It took about two dozen sheets of quadrille lined paper taped together to get everything in a coherent format. It also let me document all of the warp point socation and destination errors in SAW.
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Re: Keeping track of warp lines without a map

Postby Caplin on Thu 10 Sep 2015 17:59

LordKron wrote:Could you generate maps in Braille? Perhaps a series of page sized sector maps or perhaps warp point maps of each system, then as you enter a system, grab the map you need. I see how this can be a challenge. Back when SAW came out, and I had a copy of the original Gorm Khanate War, I made a map of every known system. It took about two dozen sheets of quadrille lined paper taped together to get everything in a coherent format. It also let me document all of the warp point socation and destination errors in SAW.


Ha! That sounds like quite a project. Regrettably, Braille isn't suited to mapmaking. It's possible, but not with the equipment I have here. I could use Braille sheets to write textual system data, but that seems to eliminate many of the advantages of playing most of the game electronically anyway.
Realistically, whatever solution doesn't have to work for anybody except me, since this is a solo game, but it's still a problem I can definitely foresee even now.
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Re: Keeping track of warp lines without a map

Postby LordKron on Thu 10 Sep 2015 18:33

It was a project and I wish I still had that map so I could have updated it with systems from Crusade, ISW-4 and Insurrection. BTW, if you get a chance look at the background material for my fiction stated as AlexeiTimoshenko. It might give you some ideas for survey vessels.
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Re: Keeping track of warp lines without a map

Postby Sekundar on Fri 11 Sep 2015 13:08

There's a fancy name for it, but I don't recall it right now. We used to do it back in the old days for text games like Zork. You just make a table for each system with a list of links and where they lead. I.e. "Mailbox; south to house front door, east to woods". "Front Door: north to mailbox, open door to front room" and so on.

Plotting a long move was a little tricky, but it sure made traversing the maze of twisty little passages a lot easier.
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Re: Keeping track of warp lines without a map

Postby LordKron on Fri 11 Sep 2015 15:23

Warp lines may be the tip of the iceberg. How will you handle movement in system, along with combat?
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Re: Keeping track of warp lines without a map

Postby Caplin on Fri 11 Sep 2015 15:40

That's an excellent question. I'm not sure how much Starfire Assistant can handle for me—it seems to have a battle resolver of some kind. But I've already reached the point where I'm at TL2, and I'm supposed to deploy DSB-N, and I'm wondering if I'll need access to the graphical map to do so.

I used to have an Excel spreadsheet which was basically a conversion of the big ISF map, but have since lost it. I do hope the 15 turns or so I've put into this game thus far won't turn out to have been a waste. :)
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Re: Keeping track of warp lines without a map

Postby LordKron on Fri 11 Sep 2015 18:19

DSB-n shouldn't be too hard to deploy. All you should need are distance and radian of the WP's. Sensor and communications buoys will be more difficult to lay out in least time chains, but for a start you could set up at a WP, run a straight chain down the radian to the hex ring with a planet or AB (population center), then put buoys in the entire ring.
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Re: Keeping track of warp lines without a map

Postby Caplin on Fri 11 Sep 2015 21:51

Hm. There's also the optional rule in SM #2 which lets you pay for ICN on a per system basis.

I guess I should take comfort from the fact that most of these issues would crop up no matter which version of SF I was playing. I'd need to set up a map eventually. Hopefully I can find a solution.
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Re: Keeping track of warp lines without a map

Postby LordKron on Fri 11 Sep 2015 22:59

Just checked DSB-n placement rules. You don't need a chain of them. Just one placed anywhere within 1 system hex of a WP. Easiest option is to place them in WP system hexes, but that increases vulnerability to hostiles.
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