Quick Start Rules -- Questions and Updates

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Quick Start Rules -- Questions and Updates

Postby Cralis on Sun 21 Apr 2013 14:21

Crucis suggested a forum sticky about the Quick Start Rules for new players.

The Quick Start Rules are a stripped-down version of the ULTRA/SOLAR tactical rules that introduces the basics of STARFIRE combat for new players. Only a couple pages long, they come with print out map and counters that you can use to create temporary counters to learn the game.

Our thank you to Procyon for doing nearly all the work to make these rules a reality!

There are a series of three QSRs that progressively introduce a little more of the STARFIRE tactical combat rules. They are:

Quick Start Rules -- http://www.starfiredesign.com/starfire/ ... .php?id=55
QSR Advanced -- http://www.starfiredesign.com/starfire/ ... .php?id=58
QSR Final -- http://www.starfiredesign.com/starfire/ ... .php?id=64

Any questions about the QSR can be asked here, and any future updates to the QSR will be posted here as well.
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Re: Quick Start Rules -- Questions and Updates

Postby eoghantodd on Fri 10 May 2013 10:29

So I just played through the QSR first bit solo to get a handle on any changes and get back into the game. I saw in one thread the discussion about target TR/3 (FRU) and the explanation. I think perhaps an example section in the QSR would help perhaps? Just showing the calculation in action. It's easy once you do it but I think it would help new players. Especially just stating that Pt hit larger/less maneuverable ships more easily.
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Re: Quick Start Rules -- Questions and Updates

Postby eoghantodd on Fri 10 May 2013 17:15

Have played through a half dozen QS scenarios now, and as I think about designing ships and such I'm diving into the rules much more deeply. Couple of thoughts:

All games run into a bit of the fight between being organized to be most useful as a reference and most useful to learn the game. SSF seems to be weighted very heavily to the reference side of things. Which is great when you get going but for a group of players without any experience at all with the system I think it would be daunting. Has there been consideration of a QS style summary/walkthrough of the campaign rules? I know there are some examples and a sample turn but something that narratively explains the thought process behind decisions would be good, I think. Also for returning players there are quite a few new concepts, at least to me, like how research works and such. I really like the additions, just finding myself flipping back and forth a lot and a rundown or some such would help.


I've found that reading the Nemesis campaign summaries actually helped the most with understanding how colonization/population/economics/research/shipbuilding all interact.
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Re: Quick Start Rules -- Questions and Updates

Postby Cralis on Sat 11 May 2013 17:06

eoghantodd wrote:So I just played through the QSR first bit solo to get a handle on any changes and get back into the game. I saw in one thread the discussion about target TR/3 (FRU) and the explanation. I think perhaps an example section in the QSR would help perhaps? Just showing the calculation in action. It's easy once you do it but I think it would help new players. Especially just stating that Pt hit larger/less maneuverable ships more easily.


Do you mean TM / 3 ?

We discussed putting examples in the Quick Start Rules, but one of our main goals was to make the rules as small as possible so they could fit on only a few sheets of paper. The Solar Starfire rules have some inline examples and an entire appendix filled with examples, Appendix FF.

We are also taking suggestions for new examples and eventually (as the background story is fleshed out) we are going to change all of the examples so they come from the background story.

Have played through a half dozen QS scenarios now, and as I think about designing ships and such I'm diving into the rules much more deeply. Couple of thoughts:

All games run into a bit of the fight between being organized to be most useful as a reference and most useful to learn the game. SSF seems to be weighted very heavily to the reference side of things. Which is great when you get going but for a group of players without any experience at all with the system I think it would be daunting. Has there been consideration of a QS style summary/walkthrough of the campaign rules? I know there are some examples and a sample turn but something that narratively explains the thought process behind decisions would be good, I think. Also for returning players there are quite a few new concepts, at least to me, like how research works and such. I really like the additions, just finding myself flipping back and forth a lot and a rundown or some such would help.


We have actually been talking about a quickstart-style introductory campaign download, but we haven't progressed it to the point of release yet. It is a much more difficult prospect primarily because we need it to be both introductory and similar to the campaign play style.

As for a "rundown", you probably didn't notice the Changes FAQ http://www.starfiredesign.com/starfire/ ... es_faq.php

The explanation for the thought processes is a lot harder. We literally have thousands of messages on our design forum talking about every aspect of the game...and that does not include emails or private messages. In some cases it's hard to nail down the thought processes to something small (some would take pages of explanation) while in other cases it would be time consuming to go back and find the final reasons amongst all the topics, emails, and private messages (of which some are bound to no longer exist).

The biggest reason behind Solar Starfire's changes are that the rules are being designed for the background story and the pseudo-physics and gameplay mechanics behind the story. We don't have a lot of it out yet -- we've opted to finish the rules before writing the stories -- but eventually we will and that will help. One of our primary goals is not to fall into the situation in Classic Starfire where the mechanics and events behind the story are not possible because they writer didn't pay attention to the rules, or the rules were never updated to the story. Especially in the ISW4 and Insurrection scenario books, where a few (only a few) of the scenarios had gameplay results very different from the background story.

I've found that reading the Nemesis campaign summaries actually helped the most with understanding how colonization/population/economics/research/shipbuilding all interact.


That is why we are setting up to do a background story for SOLAR STARFIRE. There hasn't been one since CLASSIC STARFIRE, in the '90s.
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Re: Quick Start Rules -- Questions and Updates

Postby eoghantodd on Mon 13 May 2013 10:47

Cralis wrote:Do you mean TM / 3 ?


Ahh. Yep. Meant TM.

The Solar Starfire rules have some inline examples and an entire appendix filled with examples, Appendix FF.


Ah. That may just be a preference thing; I prefer to see examples right with the rule in question instead of elsewhere, but I hop back and forth now as I read.

We have actually been talking about a quickstart-style introductory campaign download, but we haven't progressed it to the point of release yet. It is a much more difficult prospect primarily because we need it to be both introductory and similar to the campaign play style.


Yeah. Not an easy thing. And wordy, to do it right. I'm just thinking about explaining how to use systems and such, be it research, or transporting troops for ground combat, or even ship construction.

The biggest reason behind Solar Starfire's changes are that the rules are being designed for the background story and the pseudo-physics and gameplay mechanics behind the story.



That kind of fluff will be great and such when it is ready! And thank you for the link to the changes summary that talks about some of the why.

At this point I'm planning on starting a solo campaign to play with the rules and get a feel for the 'flow', from the player side as far as exploring, colonizing, building, researching, as well as the SM side as far as running NPRs and handling time scale/communications/movement and when to switch from the simplified 1 system per strategic movement point to putting counters on a system map and moving things. I have a feeling the movement plus sensors rules and such will all 'click' into place when I do that. Biggest hurdle is figuring out a good way to create a system map for myself. No idea where my map sheets from the 3rd Edition boxed sets wandered off to.
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Re: Quick Start Rules -- Questions and Updates

Postby Cralis on Mon 13 May 2013 22:07

eoghantodd wrote:
We have actually been talking about a quickstart-style introductory campaign download, but we haven't progressed it to the point of release yet. It is a much more difficult prospect primarily because we need it to be both introductory and similar to the campaign play style.


Yeah. Not an easy thing. And wordy, to do it right. I'm just thinking about explaining how to use systems and such, be it research, or transporting troops for ground combat, or even ship construction.


Our idea was to do a series of "campaign-style" scenarios where we introduce these concepts one at a time, tutorial like. At least, that was my idea. Someday I'll have time to work on it...

The biggest reason behind Solar Starfire's changes are that the rules are being designed for the background story and the pseudo-physics and gameplay mechanics behind the story.


That kind of fluff will be great and such when it is ready! And thank you for the link to the changes summary that talks about some of the why.


No problem. I'm sure I'll update it here in the next bit after we get more out. There is a lot that is currently unmentioned so I can use it as part of the story line.

At this point I'm planning on starting a solo campaign to play with the rules and get a feel for the 'flow', from the player side as far as exploring, colonizing, building, researching, as well as the SM side as far as running NPRs and handling time scale/communications/movement and when to switch from the simplified 1 system per strategic movement point to putting counters on a system map and moving things. I have a feeling the movement plus sensors rules and such will all 'click' into place when I do that. Biggest hurdle is figuring out a good way to create a system map for myself. No idea where my map sheets from the 3rd Edition boxed sets wandered off to.


You are absolutely correct. It is one of the best ways to learn and I most hardcore Starfire players have done that. And if you like your campaign and want to write down the events and/or write stories... let me know. We have an open offer to anyone who wants a fiction forum for their game so they can do that.
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Re: Quick Start Rules -- Questions and Updates

Postby mcb1968 on Sat 29 Jun 2013 08:44

So what is the answer?

I was reviewing the CRT on the quick start rules and saw the notation "Torpedoes Gain FRU/3 (FRU) To-Hit". What does this mean in plain speak? The term FRU does not appear in the rules.
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Re: Quick Start Rules -- Questions and Updates

Postby eoghantodd on Sat 29 Jun 2013 09:57

FRU is Fractions Round Up. It's defined right at the beginning of the full rules, but haven't looked at the QSR in a while to see if it's there.

When I first downloaded and played out the QSR I tripped over that same /exact/ rule as well. Probably because to hit modified by the target's Turn Mode was new to me.


Perhaps the QSR could have a little chart for Pt's to illustrate it.
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Re: Quick Start Rules -- Questions and Updates

Postby Crucis on Sat 29 Jun 2013 13:13

FRU = Fractions Round Up

FRD = Fractions Round Down

FRN = Fractions Round Normally
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Re: Quick Start Rules -- Questions and Updates

Postby Cralis on Sat 29 Jun 2013 16:42

I wonder if there is any space to put that notation... in a footer maybe?

It's one of those things where we've been using it so long we completely forgot it needed explanation...
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