Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

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Re: Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby szurkey on Tue 21 Apr 2020 20:03

Cralis wrote: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...

Actually, some it does... Asteroid belts do not give a modifier to income, rather back to a build rate modifier for ship construction similar to ISF. New equation for calculating max PU for asteroid belts that tends to take a lot of PU away. No EL PU bonus, rather, a smaller fixed, one time MCr bonus per EL. No PU max increase for habitable worlds with EL. No free maintenance for anything, this include (SY). IUs are bought at 30, but sold at 27. Halving the benefits governors and admirals.

Cralis wrote: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...

I will have to pull myself away from Stars in Shadow (computer 4x, what MOO III & MOO IV should have been) long enough to make it. Doesn't look likely right now.

An interesting observation from one of the guys I used to play in an Ultra campaign years ago. The more complex the tactical system, the simpler the strategic system needs to be. The more complex the strategic system, the simpler the tactical system needs to be.
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Re: Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby szurkey on Tue 21 Apr 2020 20:09

PracticalM wrote: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.

That's interesting. I'm tempted try a solo campaign at EL-1. Starting with one planet, 1000 PU, 0 IU, 0 RDS, 0 SA, 1 Capital, 0 SS, 0 SY. Redo the tech tree a little bit moving some systems to EL-1 (Cp, Qv, Qa, EX, ES), and some to EL0 (yes, I realize that this will mean creating EL0, CT). Then slowly try crawling my way to the stars.
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Re: Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby Cralis on Thu 23 Apr 2020 20:51

PracticalM wrote: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.


I don't recall if you've ever talked about a bidding system. I know that is something that other players would be interested in. Would you be willing to write it up on a post?

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.


It does hammer the ROI for CFN investments. But it is probably too high as it is now, so... we've been thinking about cutting it back some because the ROI is too high for something that give so many non-monetary benefits in addition to the monetary benefits.

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.


And as a bonus, having a limited number of systems makes a "conquest victory" possible.

szurkey wrote:
Cralis wrote: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...

Actually, some it does... Asteroid belts do not give a modifier to income, rather back to a build rate modifier for ship construction similar to ISF. New equation for calculating max PU for asteroid belts that tends to take a lot of PU away. No EL PU bonus, rather, a smaller fixed, one time MCr bonus per EL. No PU max increase for habitable worlds with EL. No free maintenance for anything, this include (SY). IUs are bought at 30, but sold at 27. Halving the benefits governors and admirals.


That's significantly more complicated than "just increase colonization costs."

Cralis wrote: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 ;) )


I will have to pull myself away from Stars in Shadow (computer 4x, what MOO III & MOO IV should have been) long enough to make it. Doesn't look likely right now.


Seems like a pretty good game... well, when you have some time :-)

An interesting observation from one of the guys I used to play in an Ultra campaign years ago. The more complex the tactical system, the simpler the strategic system needs to be. The more complex the strategic system, the simpler the tactical system needs to be.


Complexity does not have to be a zero sum game. That said, it is one way to reduce overall complexity of the entire system, if that is your goal. Reducing the complexity of the strategic system was the point behind the attempt that became Admiral's Challenge.

szurkey wrote:That's interesting. I'm tempted try a solo campaign at EL-1. Starting with one planet, 1000 PU, 0 IU, 0 RDS, 0 SA, 1 Capital, 0 SS, 0 SY. Redo the tech tree a little bit moving some systems to EL-1 (Cp, Qv, Qa, EX, ES), and some to EL0 (yes, I realize that this will mean creating EL0, CT). Then slowly try crawling my way to the stars.


You do realize that EL-1 is the equivalent of WW1-WW2 technology? EL0 is roughly where we are at right now, maybe slightly ahead, and is intended to be the lowest starting point for a new spacefaring race. It's actually been designed that way.
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Re: Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby aramis on Sat 25 Apr 2020 21:32

Starfire III only allows for 36 star systems per campaign.
No orbits; systems are essentially snapshots. Note that SF/SF II use the smaller blue 4-panel map, and SF III positions worlds on it.
It adds a few more ship systems to those present in SF/SF II.
All resources have to be used in system or carried aboard specific shipping.
As written, only two scales: Strategic and Tactical, systems are set up in tactical scale (despite that being nonsensical)
Populations tracked in number of people. (Ironically, crew rules don't exist, so building isn't constrained directly).

Many played it as three levels: Strategic, System, and Tactical. Not having the NCR, I can't recall if the NCR introduced system scale or not.


New Empires:
As with Starfire 2e, presumes the black 6 panel map (same as TFG used in SFB)
Introduces a number of new systems not in SF 2E.
Presumed 100 systems standard, but explicitly doesn't limit to just that, and a
Planets move
4 scales: Strategic, System, Interception, Tactical.
Adds a number of systems to the rules, including moving life support holds from code H to code Ls.
Populations tracked in levels.
A freight network is presumed in rules, so funds just show up. This is a simplification over the manual movement in SF III... but adds complexity when one wants to raid the shipping...

the few abortive campaigns I've run, NE's interception scale was almost always, by agreement, skipped. Total waste of time to play it, given the size of the hexes.
When limited to FF sized ships, with HT1 large pops, you wind up with initial fleets in the hundreds. Not fun.

Neither is great, but SF III is more playable scope. As others note, the income's just too high, Knock it down fron NE to about 1% of listed...
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Re: Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby szurkey on Fri 01 May 2020 05:00

szurkey wrote:Actually, some it does... Asteroid belts do not give a modifier to income, rather back to a build rate modifier for ship construction similar to ISF. New equation for calculating max PU for asteroid belts that tends to take a lot of PU away. No EL PU bonus, rather, a smaller fixed, one time MCr bonus per EL. No PU max increase for habitable worlds with EL. No free maintenance for anything, this include (SY). IUs are bought at 30, but sold at 27. Halving the benefits governors and admirals.

Cralis wrote:That's significantly more complicated than "just increase colonization costs."

True, but it corrects major issues I have with Ultra's economic model. And then there is my pesky requirement for Dilithium Crystals for "I" engines... There is a work around, using Cp engines for most ships with "Ic" + "@" carriers to go through warp points. I have an exponential formula that allows ships with Cp to have more than one STMP. The formula keeps "I" engines a much better choice for STMP > 1. But if you don't have the dilithium crystals...

Cralis wrote:Seems like a pretty good game... well, when you have some time :-)

Stars in Shadow is a blast. The species are different. How you play them has to take those differences into account, and this includes designing ships. And I love the fact that it is art and not 3d models.

Cralis wrote:Complexity does not have to be a zero sum game. That said, it is one way to reduce overall complexity of the entire system, if that is your goal. Reducing the complexity of the strategic system was the point behind the attempt that became Admiral's Challenge.

I'm not a fan of Admiral's Challenge. Too simple, and doesn't generate interesting tactical battles. I pulled out my copy of Alkelda Dawn. While the campaign system has issues, I like that stars have between 4 to 6 planets (there is also a couple of system without any planets).

Cralis wrote:You do realize that EL-1 is the equivalent of WW1-WW2 technology? EL0 is roughly where we are at right now, maybe slightly ahead, and is intended to be the lowest starting point for a new spacefaring race. It's actually been designed that way.

I'm adding an EL level. PreInd = EL-3, Ind1 = EL-2, Ind2 = EL-1, EL0, EL1, EL2, ... And moving some tech around so Ind2 has things to build and do.
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Re: Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby PracticalM on Fri 08 May 2020 14:36

Cralis wrote:
PracticalM wrote: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.


I don't recall if you've ever talked about a bidding system. I know that is something that other players would be interested in. Would you be willing to write it up on a post?


I mean it was 11 years ago
http://www.starfiredesign.com/forum/vie ... p?f=9&t=98
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Re: Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby Cralis on Wed 13 May 2020 19:02

Oy. No wonder I forgot. My apologies...

Mind if I borrow heavily? ;)
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Re: Starfire New Empires v. Starfire III: Empires

Postby PracticalM on Thu 14 May 2020 14:17

Cralis wrote:Oy. No wonder I forgot. My apologies...

Mind if I borrow heavily? ;)


Please borrow away. I post things here so they get used. This system was tested in at least 3 campaigns.
Better with it in a forum as it usually can be found unlike the mailing list that was before where stuff could get lost if people didn't save it.

If you have improvements let me know.
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