Hello from Alaska!

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Hello from Alaska!

Postby Ged on Fri 22 Jun 2018 03:41

I’m excited to have stumbled upon this site and hope you don’t mind if I stay a while and ask a few questions from time-to-time as my knowledge of Solar Starfire matures.

I’ve recently stumbled into some new friends up here who share a passion for Friday-night gaming. This established group of wily veterans has graciously welcomed me into their fold and named Solar Starfire as the distraction of choice for the foreseeable future. Despite being initially intimidated by the size and level of detail portrayed in the Solar Starfire rulebook, I’ve finally reached a point where I’m digesting the material at a quicker pace without having to constantly flip back to chapter A to reference an abbreviation or definition for clarification. I’m starting to put the pieces of the puzzle together to formulate an identity using strategies and efficiencies which are prevalent but not necessary apparent in a game with this much complexity and diversity. Typically, I’d approach our most experienced player and resident Space Master for help with the rules of the game, but our opposing factions have recently discovered one another, and he will assuredly evolve into my most capable adversary. At this point, my exploratory questions would betray some details about my faction’s direction of development which I hope to keep close to my chest until missiles are exchanged. 8-)

Oh, and thank you in advance to those who take time out of your day to provide me with direction and clarification regarding the nuances of this fantastic game! Now on to my questions!

Question #1 – E5.01.3 states “A unit cannot be tractored by two different units.”
Does this include units utilizing differing polarities? (e.g. can Unit A be the target of pressor beam from Unit B while simultaneously being the target of a tractor beam from Unit C without resulting in a conflict?)

Question #2 – E5.02.2 [Effects of Tractor Beams on Fire Control] states “A unit that is tractoring a unit receives a +1 to-hit that unit” and “LRW fire by a tractored unit at the tractoring unit receives +2 to-hit, regardless of tractor polarity.” Also, E6 [Datalink] on pg55 states that “For the purposes of targeting and fire control, at the instant of firing…the Datagroup Leader uses information from its own systems to (re)direct datagroup weapon resources.”
Do these rules imply that tractored/tractoring units who are also Datagroup Leaders convey their fire control bonuses to the weapons fired by their perspective datagroups? Also, and please forgive the question, what is the logic behind only rewarding the tractored unit with a +2 to-hit the tractoring unit with LRW? Admittedly, the tractoring unit would still receive +1 to-hit with its LRW in return. I noticed that T.02 [Tractor Link Guidance] included language which specifically disqualifies sharing it’s benefit with a datagroup (e.g. “Homing weapons fired by a unit on one end of the link…)

Question #3 – C6.01.1 [Docking Requirements] (paraphrased) “Two shields down, drive-field down spacecraft that spend an entire tactical movement phase in the same hex may form a docked group.”
Cp engines can generate movement while maintaining the shields down, drive-fields down docking requirements. Does this mean that Cp equipped spacecraft can dock and perform transfers [e.g. C6.01.5] while underway much like todays naval vessels?

Question #4 – H1.02.2 [Maintenance Storage] states “Every large unit has enough inherent storage to carry one months’ worth of maintenance.”
Our gaming group is currently operating under the assumption that that all large units require an H/Hs/Ht system of a size dependent on the maintenance cost of the vessel. Is this a rule possibly carried over from an older version of Solar Starfire that I’m not aware of? I don’t believe it’s an intentional house rule and I’m looking for the basis for our assumption.

Question #5 – Many of the LRW Twigs listed on pg256-258 also apply their benefits to sprint missiles. D8 [Extended LRW Range] does not mention any benefit to sprint missiles which are fired through a weaker (or non-existent) drive-field. I can only assume that if this omission was intentional, it was due to the more limited range of the system, yet some sprint missiles available for development can meet and even exceed the base range capabilities of low level R & Pt systems. My question is, were sprint missiles ever considered but disqualified from gaining any range benefit from firing through weak or non-existent drive fields?

Question #6 – Cp.05.2 [LRW bonus] states “(Cp) units gain the Extended LRW Range [D8], but only in the arcs not protected by the df. The deflection field limits firing.”
The basic deflection field (df) is 60° wide and the advanced deflection field (dfd) is 180° wide. Do the firing limitations imposed by the two available forms of df also impact the sensor range bonus granted to Cp units operating without a drive-field? (i.e. can the Cp unit see but not prosecute a target which resides in both its Extended LRW Range and its df’s arc due to the df’s adverse effect on firing?)

Question #7 – XOB.03 [R&D] states “Each beam must be researched as a separate project.”
I think this sentence means that that each beam type (e.g. L, E, F or C) is a separate project, right? Or perhaps it means that La and Lb are two separate (and expensive) projects?

Question #8 – XOB.03.2 “Note: Ships are not allowed to activate extra engine rooms for the sole purpose of avoiding speed loss while charging weapons. A TUG engine room used to recharge external weapons cannot be used for any other purpose on the same tactical turn, no matter how many engines it has.”
I’m having a lot of trouble digesting the note above. I am seeking to optimize an XOB offense and I believe the note says that no matter how many engines I place on a hull, I will always suffer speed loss when charging XOBs. However, the note then mentions utilizing TUG engine rooms for recharging. Admittedly I have no experience with TUG engine rooms, but wouldn’t activating them for recharging contradict the first sentence? It may be moot as I currently have Cp ships which are limited in that they can only recharge 1 XO spaced worth of (XOB) per engine. Also, it’s my understanding that Cp engines are never placed in “engine rooms” like their HEL brethren. I think this disqualifies Cp engines from ever being used in a TUG role. Would anyone care to set me straight by either elaborating or rewording the published notes intentions?

I think eight questions exceeds my quota for the week. I performed a cursory forum search before posting in hopes of finding some answers. Again, thank you to those of you willing to take on my seemingly endless barrage of inquiries! If only my Rb were so relentless and overwhelming!
Ged
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Re: Hello from Alaska!

Postby Cralis on Fri 22 Jun 2018 13:47

Ged wrote:I’m excited to have stumbled upon this site and hope you don’t mind if I stay a while and ask a few questions from time-to-time as my knowledge of Solar Starfire matures.

I’ve recently stumbled into some new friends up here who share a passion for Friday-night gaming. This established group of wily veterans has graciously welcomed me into their fold and named Solar Starfire as the distraction of choice for the foreseeable future.


That is awesome!!

Despite being initially intimidated by the size and level of detail portrayed in the Solar Starfire rulebook, I’ve finally reached a point where I’m digesting the material at a quicker pace without having to constantly flip back to chapter A to reference an abbreviation or definition for clarification. I’m starting to put the pieces of the puzzle together to formulate an identity using strategies and efficiencies which are prevalent but not necessary apparent in a game with this much complexity and diversity. Typically, I’d approach our most experienced player and resident Space Master for help with the rules of the game, but our opposing factions have recently discovered one another, and he will assuredly evolve into my most capable adversary. At this point, my exploratory questions would betray some details about my faction’s direction of development which I hope to keep close to my chest until missiles are exchanged. 8-)


I don’t blame you at all. Procyon keeps extensive notes and writes material that he doesn’t post until months later because some of his family (aka his players) also visit the forum. If you do the same, we would love to hear about your exploits at a later date!

Oh, and thank you in advance to those who take time out of your day to provide me with direction and clarification regarding the nuances of this fantastic game! Now on to my questions!


It is absolutely my pleasure to assist you. Never hesitate to ask. We have a number of really skilled and knowledgeable players who would also love to give you some assistance in beatin... I mean, liberating your opponent’s oppressed colonies. :D

Question #1 – E5.01.3 states “A unit cannot be tractored by two different units.”
Does this include units utilizing differing polarities? (e.g. can Unit A be the target of pressor beam from Unit B while simultaneously being the target of a tractor beam from Unit C without resulting in a conflict?)


That is partially correct. E5.01.2 states that you can have one lock per polarity. But both must be from the same units. The intent here is that a unit being tractored can presser back, but other units cannot.

This comes from the pseudo-science of the tractor beam. It creates a link between the drive-fields of both units that “locks” them together. Other units attempting to lock may disrupt or be disrupted by the link. There are circumstances where you can use this to your advantage...

Question #2 – E5.02.2 [Effects of Tractor Beams on Fire Control] states “A unit that is tractoring a unit receives a +1 to-hit that unit” and “LRW fire by a tractored unit at the tractoring unit receives +2 to-hit, regardless of tractor polarity.” Also, E6 [Datalink] on pg55 states that “For the purposes of targeting and fire control, at the instant of firing…the Datagroup Leader uses information from its own systems to (re)direct datagroup weapon resources.”

Do these rules imply that tractored/tractoring units who are also Datagroup Leaders convey their fire control bonuses to the weapons fired by their perspective datagroups?


The bonus to-hit fram an established tractor link provides your sensors with additional data on the location, distance, and maneuvering of the unit on the other end of the link. This is because the tractor link is bound to each other’s drive-fields (or creates one if it doesn’t have one), and the ship’s movement actions create stresses and fluctuations in the drive-field that create readable changes in the tractor link.

Also, and please forgive the question, what is the logic behind only rewarding the tractored unit with a +2 to-hit the tractoring unit with LRW?


Because that’s how much bonus we decided it would give you. It’s not like we (humanity) actually has knowledge of the hyperdimensional math needed to actually calculate the value, so we chose a value. +2 on a d10 roll is fairly significant!

But we did assume that it wasn’t higher for two reasons: First, the tractor link still has some time lag between what your sensors are reading and what and where your opponent actually is and doing. Second, the tractor link is constantly in motion and between both units. It could get in the way and distort or distract your actual weapon fire. This is a minor consideration, especially compared to the first, but it’s still there.

Admittedly, the tractoring unit would still receive +1 to-hit with its LRW in return. I noticed that T.02 [Tractor Link Guidance] included language which specifically disqualifies sharing it’s benefit with a datagroup (e.g. “Homing weapons fired by a unit on one end of the link…)


That’s because the guidance doesn’t help the firing unit’s targeting solution. It allows the fired munition to “follow” the tractor link to the target unit. It helps the munition not the unit.

Question #3 – C6.01.1 [Docking Requirements] (paraphrased) “Two shields down, drive-field down spacecraft that spend an entire tactical movement phase in the same hex may form a docked group.”
Cp engines can generate movement while maintaining the shields down, drive-fields down docking requirements. Does this mean that Cp equipped spacecraft can dock and perform transfers [e.g. C6.01.5] while underway much like todays naval vessels?


THAT... is an excellent question. I don’t think we have considered that before. For now, my gut says that it should be possible as long as neither unit accelerates or decelerates, and if they do while docking them they should be considered to have rammed each other at the speed of the acceleration or deceleration, FRU. But we’ll discuss it in the SDS and make an official ruling.

Question #4 – H1.02.2 [Maintenance Storage] states “Every large unit has enough inherent storage to carry one months’ worth of maintenance.”
Our gaming group is currently operating under the assumption that that all large units require an H/Hs/Ht system of a size dependent on the maintenance cost of the vessel. Is this a rule possibly carried over from an older version of Solar Starfire that I’m not aware of? I don’t believe it’s an intentional house rule and I’m looking for the basis for our assumption.


Previous editions of Starfire required H to hold all on-board maintenance, no matter how much it was. We decided that since this was an “always” requirement, that any ship builder would have a minimum of space built-in for immediately used maintenance supplies. In SSF if you build extra H you can not only carry more maintenance, but it gives bonuses to jury-rigging (and maybe more?)

There has been an argument to do the same for crew quarters but we decided that it wasn’t the same because Q also represents the unit’s location for control structures (like the bridge).

Question #5 – Many of the LRW Twigs listed on pg256-258 also apply their benefits to sprint missiles. D8 [Extended LRW Range] does not mention any benefit to sprint missiles which are fired through a weaker (or non-existent) drive-field. I can only assume that if this omission was intentional, it was due to the more limited range of the system, yet some sprint missiles available for development can meet and even exceed the base range capabilities of low level R & Pt systems. My question is, were sprint missiles ever considered but disqualified from gaining any range benefit from firing through weak or non-existent drive fields?


I don’t know any G that even comes close to the range of an equivalent SL LRW. Maybe a really high SL G may outrange a low SL LRW, but that’s really splitting hairs.

That said, D8 is not a tech system but extends from an inherent property of drive-fields. So they are not equivalent. G does not get the bonus because it is an SRW and because it would make it so we’d have to weaken it for normal fire, which would render it worthless.

Question #6 – Cp.05.2 [LRW bonus] states “(Cp) units gain the Extended LRW Range [D8], but only in the arcs not protected by the df. The deflection field limits firing.”
The basic deflection field (df) is 60° wide and the advanced deflection field (dfd) is 180° wide. Do the firing limitations imposed by the two available forms of df also impact the sensor range bonus granted to Cp units operating without a drive-field? (i.e. can the Cp unit see but not prosecute a target which resides in both its Extended LRW Range and its df’s arc due to the df’s adverse effect on firing?)


We have a pending revision to add AA.Cp.03.2 which says that the AA.Cp.04 bonus is lost while the df is active.

Question #7 – XOB.03 [R&D] states “Each beam must be researched as a separate project.”
I think this sentence means that that each beam type (e.g. L, E, F or C) is a separate project, right? Or perhaps it means that La and Lb are two separate (and expensive) projects?


You are correct. I will add “type” to that rule in the next revision.

Question #8 – XOB.03.2 “Note: Ships are not allowed to activate extra engine rooms for the sole purpose of avoiding speed loss while charging weapons. A TUG engine room used to recharge external weapons cannot be used for any other purpose on the same tactical turn, no matter how many engines it has.”
I’m having a lot of trouble digesting the note above. I am seeking to optimize an XOB offense and I believe the note says that no matter how many engines I place on a hull, I will always suffer speed loss when charging XOBs. However, the note then mentions utilizing TUG engine rooms for recharging. Admittedly I have no experience with TUG engine rooms, but wouldn’t activating them for recharging contradict the first sentence? It may be moot as I currently have Cp ships which are limited in that they can only recharge 1 XO spaced worth of (XOB) per engine. Also, it’s my understanding that Cp engines are never placed in “engine rooms” like their HEL brethren. I think this disqualifies Cp engines from ever being used in a TUG role. Would anyone care to set me straight by either elaborating or rewording the published notes intentions?


The intent is that you will always lose speed to charge XOB. What it is saying you cannot do is build extra engine rooms and use them to charge XOB. But this is because C1.02.7 says that all extra engine rooms MUST be inactive.

The Tug engine room (E5.03.4) is special in that it has more engines than it needs to provide speed. The extra engines in the Tug engine room do not provide extra speed, but provides extra power for calculating towed speed (E5.03).

You could think of it like a “high-torque” engine that allows a truck to pull heavier trailers, but doesn’t increase top speed.

I think eight questions exceeds my quota for the week. I performed a cursory forum search before posting in hopes of finding some answers. Again, thank you to those of you willing to take on my seemingly endless barrage of inquiries! If only my Rb were so relentless and overwhelming!


No worries, ask away. We only ask that you try and find the answer first. If you any questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to ask!!

The only consideration might be to make your topic title similar to your questions so someone searching for answers can actually find them.
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