A Short 1st Edition Empires Campaign Report

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A Short 1st Edition Empires Campaign Report

Postby Skarn on Tue 05 Jun 2018 05:12

As it turns out, we really ARE alone in the galaxy.

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Having recently obtained the rules and laid out digitally all the maps that I expected to need, I set out to play my first Starfire campaign in twenty years by going back to the beginning and learning 1st Edition. (I was introduced to the game during 2nd Edition, and purchased but never played 3rd after it was introduced.)

I find myself having played an, essentially, complete Empires campaign (solo) within the span of only a single turn. :o

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I rolled the bones and landed Sol as my starting system, with our single warp point. I rolled up Earth's atmosphere (7.921) and we're breathing Exotic gasses. 8-)

I designed a few ships, built my starting navy (including an SD & two BCs to hold the warp point since (7.222) precludes what I've come to think of as a typical warp point defense when dealing with open warp points), took the effort to name my ships ('X' equipped escorts were named after the Challenger crew), and started my first turn.

Upon passing through the warp point into sector 15, and with only 1d3 possible warp points, I discover that I'm locked in to back-to-back cul-de-sacs. OK, I think, maybe there will be intelligent life on one of the nine worlds in this system so that I can at least have a short war to make things interesting . . . .

Nobody's home. My dominion over the (apparently very small) galaxy is uncontested. :/
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Re: A Short 1st Edition Empires Campaign Report

Postby Cralis on Tue 05 Jun 2018 13:05

It’s always funny how RNG (or RNJesus if your an RPG’er) throws inexpected results.

You should make some “Spacemaster adjustments” to make your game a little longer and interesting. Two systems is fine... add that NPR. At least it won’t be a long game (unless you make more adjustments later!)

Procyon and his family ran a three player + alien NPR game that only existed in the Solar System. See the Nemesis Campaign writeups he did in the fiction section at viewforum.php?f=56
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Re: A Short 1st Edition Empires Campaign Report

Postby Skarn on Thu 07 Jun 2018 01:45

Another possibility that I've been considering, rather than injecting an NPR into a system which did not result in one to begin with, would be a house rule inspired by a few paragraphs from Weber & White's novels:

    The following optional set of rules should be inserted under the heading Warp Point Determination.
  • (7.24) Under limited circumstances, systems may be resurveyed to look for additional, previously undiscovered warp points.
  • (7.241) Rule sections (7.24xx) are limited to being used only where there are no remaining unexplored warp points in the known galaxy, unless one of these rules provides a specific exception.
  • (7.2411) In a solo game, rule sections (7.24xx) may only be used if there has not yet been any other intelligent life discovered in the galaxy. As an additional option, they may also be used when all known intelligent life is peaceful or subjugated, so long as all other requirements for these rules have been fulfilled.
  • (7.2412) In a multi-player game, rule sections (7.24xx) may only be used if all players have fully explored all warp points known to them, yet one player remains isolated from the remaining players.
  • (7.2413) Rules (7.242) to (7.2442) may also be used in a multi-player game when the requirement of (7.241) has not been met. In such instances, resurveying a system will only reveal new warp points to a player when they are existing closed warp points that were previously discovered by a different player.
  • (7.242) To resurvey, one must have an X equipped ship ready to survey and again pay the normal price to survey a system, in both time and MgC.
  • (7.243) When resurveying, roll 1d6/2. If this roll results in a number greater than the existing number of open warp points in the system, then additional warp points have been discovered which were not revealed during the original survey. Using these rules will never result is a system having more than three open warp points.
  • (7.244) If a player has already discovered closed warp points, then a ship with both X and Y may, alternatively, resurvey for closed warp points. Roll 1d6-3 instead of 1d6/2. If a positive number is generated, then this is the number of closed warp points revealed by the survey. If this number is greater than the number of already known closed warp points in the system, then additional closed warp points have been discovered. Apply this number of revealed closed warp points first among any closed warp points known to the player surveying, then among those known to other players (if applicable). If there are any unallocated closed warp points left over, then they will reveal previously unknown closed warp points.
  • (7.2441) When determining what system a newly discovered closed warp point will link with, should the system rolled have any available open warp point slots, the link will use one of those open warp point positions on the far end.
  • (7.2442) If a system being resurveyed is known to a SpaceMaster to have more than three closed warp points, than the die roll may be adjusted as needed so as to permit a resurveying player to potentially reveal all existing closed warp points in a system, so long as the potential to also reveal no new closed warp points is retained.

NOTE: The variable x may represent one character, or no characters.

Questions? Comments?
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Re: A Short 1st Edition Empires Campaign Report

Postby Cralis on Thu 07 Jun 2018 15:14

Closed warp points, by definition, cannot be found in a survey. And as a player, I would never want a closed wp in my star system(s).

But otherwise I don’t see any issues.

I was recommending a two star-system mini game because it woukd help prevent the empires from getting too large, too quickly.
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Re: A Short 1st Edition Empires Campaign Report

Postby Skarn on Thu 07 Jun 2018 23:52

A two system game would leave me feeling too uneasy, especially so soon into the game.

I was tempted to skip 1st Ed early on, when I saw how much is "missing" compared to 2nd Ed. I went ahead with it because I want to try each edition before I settle on which one I'll stay with. The quick ending certainly reinforces my opinion that 2nd Ed is more playable than 1st.

While in general, I agree about not WANTING a closed warp point in my systems, there are some circumstances where I would find it beneficial, even if it won't happen as I'm about to describe in a 1st Ed game.

Sol makes an excellent example, with it's single warp point. The Sol point is open, but, say, the other side of the link is closed (possible, if unlikely, in other editions; possible in 2nd Ed if an SM pregenerates all warp links, possible by the tables in 3rd Ed without an SM). Suddenly, my home system is effectively invisible, even if my proposed rule is used, as I will typically encounter the "enemy" at some point before they come looking for my home system. Drop a colony in that system and it is almost guaranteed that the proposed house rule won't permit Sol to be found.

In any case, rules based on events in the fiction are typically going to violate PNP rules. However, when one of the men writing that fiction is also the man who designed the system, that does tend to change things a bit.

::SPOILER ALERT; 20 lines white space::
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These rules were inspired by events from In Death Ground by Weber & White, specifically, the Arachnid's back door into Alpha Centauri. IIRC, there was a line mentioning that the ships resurveying systems after the invasion DID find new warp points.
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Re: A Short 1st Edition Empires Campaign Report

Postby Cralis on Fri 08 Jun 2018 02:05

I understand what you are saying. But the rules you propose for 7.244 would allow you to find additional closed WPs INTO your own system. The primary issue is that the Weber lore says that you cannot find closed warp points by surveying. But I'd also question whether you'd want to find more closed WPs into your own system :)

I'd rather find them into the other guy's system!
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Re: A Short 1st Edition Empires Campaign Report

Postby Skarn on Fri 08 Jun 2018 03:38

:lol: I certainly agree about preferring to find closed points in the other guy's system.

My main thought in permitting discovery of new closed warp points involved 1st Ed's rule (7.22) that a system can only have three open warp points.

I'll admit that its an edge case, but if every system has already been resurveyed for new open points, and, say, the only system left to resurvey already has three open points, but multiple players are still isolated from one another, there remains a need to find a way to join the warp point maps.

As for the lore, I'll have to listen to In Death Ground again to refresh my memory. For the record, it and Crusade are currently the extent of my Starfire audiobook/novel collection.
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Re: A Short 1st Edition Empires Campaign Report

Postby Cralis on Fri 08 Jun 2018 15:11

Skarn wrote::lol: I certainly agree about preferring to find closed points in the other guy's system.

My main thought in permitting discovery of new closed warp points involved 1st Ed's rule (7.22) that a system can only have three open warp points.


As an SM, I have problem with making adjustments as I see fit to help the game. In a pvp game having more than 3 Open WP is an issue only because another player would realize that someone has to be around because three is the natural limit as per the rules.

But in a solo game? I make it part of the story. Four warp points was once thought impossible! Scientists speculate that the fourth warp point could be unstable, or artificial, or whatever you need to make the story interesting. For example.

I’m just trying to help you see the possibilities as an SM. :)

I'll admit that its an edge case, but if every system has already been resurveyed for new open points, and, say, the only system left to resurvey already has three open points, but multiple players are still isolated from one another, there remains a need to find a way to join the warp point maps.


Another possibility is to have an NPR come through a closed WP into your system doing exploration. It not only gives you a new path, but a promise that there must be at least one NPR somewhere on the other side.

As for the lore, I'll have to listen to In Death Ground again to refresh my memory. For the record, it and Crusade are currently the extent of my Starfire audiobook/novel collection.


Keep in mind that the authors take a lot of liberties with the rules. There are a number of things in the story that are illegal in their own rules!
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Re: A Short 1st Edition Empires Campaign Report

Postby Sekundar on Mon 01 Oct 2018 00:27

Humans didn't find the closed WP in Alpha Centauri, it was the bugs. Their survey force was spotted by a human taskforce on wargames.

The Alliance survey force that got into trouble was a Khanate TG that was re-surveying a starless nexus with only a closed WP leading into it.

I don't recall anybody finding any closed WPs except by transiting them or observing a transit.

To add:
As for the OP's problem, (if they're still interested by now) I'd make up a couple of NPC races, then pick one at random to enter through a closed WP into one of your systems, picked at random, on a random turn. It'll give you a little time to build up your empire.

Say, at the end of the turn roll a d10. On a 9+ they show up next turn. If they don't show up, it's an 8+ next, etc.
F - is the Fire that rains from the skies
U - for Uranium bomb!
N - is for No survivors...
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