Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

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Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby brasidas19004 on Sun 05 Apr 2020 12:13

Just getting with the program here - didn't realize we were at Wargame Vault!

Is Starfire, New Empires the same as STarfire III: Empires, just updated for the 2nd Edition [the box version that I am using, here: https://www.wargamevault.com/product/20 ... _purchased]

If so, I will likely replace my Starfire III: Empires with it. Very happy with the 2nd Edition, it nicely cleaned up the glitches in Starfire I & II, so thanks for guidance way back in 2014, people!
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Re: Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby szurkey on Wed 08 Apr 2020 18:07

brasidas19004 wrote:Is Starfire, New Empires the same as STarfire III: Empires, just updated for the 2nd Edition?

No, they very different. Starfire III is a simple campaign system. 2ed New Empires is a much more complex campaign system. A slightly cleaned up version is 3rd ed. Imperial StarFire, and that was later very heavily modified in Sky Marshall #2. Sky Marshal #2 was very heavily modified into Galactic StarFire, which was refined into Ultra StarFire. I can't comment on Solar StarFire because I do not own it.

One of the problems with New Empire, Imperial StarFire, Galactic StarFire, and Ultra StarFire is that they all generate too much revenue to quickly and fleet sizes get out of control to actually play out the battles. Using Ultra StarFire, I remember launching a warp point assault before turn 80 and losing > 50 destroyers, but still getting my main assault force of Fast Attack Battlecruisers (FABCs) in system, almost completely intact. I don't remember how many FABCs I had, but I had a lot of them and the FABCs were fabulous. I had well over 100 warships involved, not counting a auxiliaries. I actually built munition ships on fast destroyer hulls. I never played StarFire III so I cannot comment on it.

If you are really interested in earlier versions of StarFire tactical, the big difference between 1st & 2nd edition and 3rd edition is moving from 2d6 to 1d10 for rolling hits. Allows for much more quickly rolling for all the same weapons in a data group.
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Re: Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby brasidas19004 on Wed 08 Apr 2020 19:49

szurkey wrote:
brasidas19004 wrote:Is Starfire, New Empires the same as STarfire III: Empires, just updated for the 2nd Edition?

No, they very different. Starfire III is a simple campaign system. 2ed New Empires is a much more complex campaign system. A slightly cleaned up version is 3rd ed. Imperial StarFire, and that was later very heavily modified in Sky Marshall #2. Sky Marshal #2 was very heavily modified into Galactic StarFire, which was refined into Ultra StarFire. I can't comment on Solar StarFire because I do not own it.

One of the problems with New Empire, Imperial StarFire, Galactic StarFire, and Ultra StarFire is that they all generate too much revenue to quickly and fleet sizes get out of control to actually play out the battles.
**is that "really" a problem? :D

Using Ultra StarFire, I remember launching a warp point assault before turn 80 and losing > 50 destroyers, but still getting my main assault force of Fast Attack Battlecruisers (FABCs) in system, almost completely intact. I don't remember how many FABCs I had, but I had a lot of them and the FABCs were fabulous. I had well over 100 warships involved, not counting a auxiliaries. I actually built munition ships on fast destroyer hulls. I never played StarFire III so I cannot comment on it.

If you are really interested in earlier versions of StarFire tactical, the big difference between 1st & 2nd edition and 3rd edition is moving from 2d6 to 1d10 for rolling hits. Allows for much more quickly rolling for all the same weapons in a data group.

** I've switched to 1d12 using the same numbers. A natural '1' is a critical hit handled exactly like a Primary Beam hit - knocks off the next 1d6th system and if it rolls past what's left...too bad.
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Re: Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby szurkey on Thu 09 Apr 2020 04:46

brasidas19004 wrote:**is that "really" a problem?

If people start dropping out of your campaign because of fleet size and the time it takes to fight battles. Yes, it is a problem.

brasidas19004 wrote:** I've switched to 1d12 using the same numbers. A natural '1' is a critical hit handled exactly like a Primary Beam hit - knocks off the next 1d6th system and if it rolls past what's left...too bad.

You are aware that 1d12 has a linear probability distribution and 2d6 a hyperbolic probability distribution? I don't have a problem with this, just as long as everyone is rolling 1d12. In fact, I thought of modifying 3rd ed. from 1d10 to 1d12.
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Re: Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby brasidas19004 on Thu 09 Apr 2020 12:13

szurkey wrote:
brasidas19004 wrote:**is that "really" a problem?

If people start dropping out of your campaign because of fleet size and the time it takes to fight battles. Yes, it is a problem.

brasidas19004 wrote:** I've switched to 1d12 using the same numbers. A natural '1' is a critical hit handled exactly like a Primary Beam hit - knocks off the next 1d6th system and if it rolls past what's left...too bad.

You are aware that 1d12 has a linear probability distribution and 2d6 a hyperbolic probability distribution? I don't have a problem with this, just as long as everyone is rolling 1d12. In fact, I thought of modifying 3rd ed. from 1d10 to 1d12.


Yeah, all games, especially campaigns, need to be shorter than they were 20 or 40 years ago. People have neither the time nor the attention span.

Yes, I am aware of the distro, thanks. I like the ease with which a '1' is a critical, also.
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Re: Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby Cralis on Thu 09 Apr 2020 23:28

szurkey wrote:Sky Marshal #2 was very heavily modified into Galactic StarFire, which was refined into Ultra StarFire. I can't comment on Solar StarFire because I do not own it.


Galactic Starfire was pretty much a rewrite, it was not "heavily modified Sky Marshal #2" -- huge sections of the strategic rules were completely rewritten. And Solar Starfire was based on Ultra Starfire, but has a different objective than balanced pvp strategic gameplay. We have made some key changes to the rules, many revolving around the technologies, and we aren't quite done yet.

One of the problems with New Empire, Imperial StarFire, Galactic StarFire, and Ultra StarFire is that they all generate too much revenue to quickly and fleet sizes get out of control to actually play out the battles.


This is definitely something we agree on. Many experienced players will cut incomes down by half, or even 90%. This doesn't solve the problem in the long-run, but it delays it by longer than most games will last.
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Re: Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby szurkey on Fri 10 Apr 2020 16:22

brasidas19004 wrote:I like the ease with which a '1' is a critical, also.

Sounds fun. I tried a couple of other ideas to bring about more unpredictability.

1. Roll 1d10 of per volley for volley effectiveness.
1 to 2 = 50% damage
3 to 7 = 100% damage
8 to 9 = 150% damage
10 = 200% damage
This increases the expected damage by 10%.

2. Roll 1d8 per volley to see which end of the ship string the damage comes in, roll is based on the direction the incoming fire.
Front 60 degrees: 1 to 7 = front of ship string, 8 = rear of ship string
Right & left front 60 degrees: 1 to 5 = front of ship string, 6 to 8 = rear of ship string
Right & left rear 60 degrees: 1 to 3 = front of ship string, 4 to 8 = rear of ship string
Rear 60 degrees: 1 = front of ships string, 2 to 8 = rear ship string
I reduced the hull size of S and A, and allow them to be placed on either end of the ship string. It makes the safest place on the ship dependent on the how you are fighting the battle.
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Re: Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby szurkey on Fri 10 Apr 2020 16:32

Cralis wrote:This is definitely something we agree on. Many experienced players will cut incomes down by half, or even 90%. This doesn't solve the problem in the long-run, but it delays it by longer than most games will last.

Why not just double colonization emplacement costs? It cuts the ROI in half. I have a whole list of other ways to help deal with this. Another option is to replace the ships & combat system, so large battles are much faster to fight. I've had a project on the shelf to modify the F&E combat system into Ultra. ELs open different ship hull, that you then have to do SL projects on before you can build them, and additional SL projects to get variants of the base hull. I may get to someday, but not today.
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Re: Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby Cralis on Wed 15 Apr 2020 01:36

szurkey wrote:
Cralis wrote:This is definitely something we agree on. Many experienced players will cut incomes down by half, or even 90%. This doesn't solve the problem in the long-run, but it delays it by longer than most games will last.

Why not just double colonization emplacement costs? It cuts the ROI in half.


Because it completely destroys colonization's relative ROI compared to other investments. This is a great way to make sure that players never colonize for economic reasons. It does exactly what you want it to do ... and it makes the game kind of boring because there is no economic incentive to colonize.

Yes, you would colonize for other reasons. Personally, with this change I'd just stay at home and explore the galaxy for the sole reason to find NPCs to make trade treaties with.

It is far better to simply reduce all incomes by the same modifier. Reductions of 33%, 50%, 66%, and 90% seem pretty popular for players looking to reduce incomes.

I have a whole list of other ways to help deal with this. Another option is to replace the ships & combat system, so large battles are much faster to fight.


This doesn't reduce incomes at all. And the whole point of the economic system is to produce combats to play with the tactical system...

I've had a project on the shelf to modify the F&E combat system into Ultra. ELs open different ship hull, that you then have to do SL projects on before you can build them, and additional SL projects to get variants of the base hull. I may get to someday, but not today.


Sure you can do this. In fact, if you make a system that produces reliable results then I'd say post it and we can make it available for players who don't want to do any combats (yes, I recognize you guys out there ;) )

But it still doesn't reduce income...
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Re: Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby PracticalM on Mon 20 Apr 2020 12:07

I found two different solutions to the monetary issues of Starfire.
By accident when you start empires at a higher EL and then use a system I wrote up for bidding on different technologies, the cost of technology and even ship systems are so much higher that players have smaller fleets.
We often started at EL6 and fleets would be dozens of ships instead of hundreds.

The other solution is to quadruple the cost of all ships, bases, SS and AP. This messes with the CFN but it does make it harder to build up fleets to huge levels.

The side effect is more battles that look like Stars at War where fleets rarely try to hold the WP.
Because of activation rules, fleets right around the WP have to be big enough to have an active fleet component that can deal with the first 3-4 turns of the enemy assault. When your entire fleet is 20 ships you cannot risk having 2/3s of them be in active when the enemy can bring in 3-4 ships a turn.

The other solution to big fleets is to play in small universes. 15-30 systems per player. Players meet each other before they get big.
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