Habitable Body Survey

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Habitable Body Survey

Postby SDTroll on Fri 09 Jul 2021 08:15

R3.02.1 says: "If no small craft are present, the max survey points that can be collected for each habitable survey is 50% of the max." Does this mean without small craft a survey can never be completed? Or is it no more than 50% per STMP?

For example: If I have a fleet of 50 ships with (AC) and (Xb), and I decide to send them to survey a T class planet, do they get 25 points and can't gain any more unless another ship shows up with a st? If they have a single st with them does that eliminate the restriction? Can they then survey the planet in a single STMP?
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Re: Habitable Body Survey

Postby Cralis on Fri 09 Jul 2021 19:35

SDTroll wrote:R3.02.1 says: "If no small craft are present, the max survey points that can be collected for each habitable survey is 50% of the max." Does this mean without small craft a survey can never be completed? Or is it no more than 50% per STMP?


We are correcting that to say if no smcft or (AC) capable (or equivalent) large unit is participating in the survey, then only half of the required survey points can be collected. Basically, without the ability to land and do a geological and biological survey the best you can do is map the surface from orbit.

Edit: SSF-201307 does explicitly state that either AC capable smcft or large units are required (in R3.02.1).
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Re: Habitable Body Survey

Postby Antares on Fri 09 Jul 2021 20:12

Cralis wrote:
SDTroll wrote:R3.02.1 says: "If no small craft are present, the max survey points that can be collected for each habitable survey is 50% of the max." Does this mean without small craft a survey can never be completed? Or is it no more than 50% per STMP?


We are correcting that to say if no smcft or (AC) capable (or equivalent) large unit is participating in the survey, then only half of the required survey points can be collected. Basically, without the ability to land and do a geological and biological survey the best you can do is map the surface from orbit.


I think that the point of his question was how do you collect the other half of the survey points. I always took it to mean the maximum per turn is halved and that survey points per StMP are halved, but it could mean that you can never complete the survey since you can only ever collect half of the required amount total.
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Re: Habitable Body Survey

Postby Cralis on Sat 10 Jul 2021 00:55

Antares wrote:I think that the point of his question was how do you collect the other half of the survey points. I always took it to mean the maximum per turn is halved and that survey points per StMP are halved, but it could mean that you can never complete the survey since you can only ever collect half of the required amount total.


We try to write Starfire rules explicitly, and only the fluff text being anything less. It does not say "per StMP" or "per turn" or anything similar, it says "the max survey points that can be collected for each habitable survey is 50% of the max."

To be explicit in my response: the rule says that you can only collect half of the required points without AC capable smcft or large units. If you want to be able to collect all of the required points, then you need to include AC capable smcft or large units. (and separately, it also requires at least one large unit to have X)

That said, it also states that survey units without X or (AC) capability can only collect 1 StMP per month. That is a separate sentence in the same paragraph.

Speaking of descriptive text, we explain why the rule works this way in the very first paragraph of R3.02.1: a habitable survey requires landing on the planet.
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Re: Habitable Body Survey

Postby SDTroll on Sun 11 Jul 2021 16:51

Cralis wrote:
To be explicit in my response: the rule says that you can only collect half of the required points without AC capable smcft or large units. If you want to be able to collect all of the required points, then you need to include AC capable smcft or large units. (and separately, it also requires at least one large unit to have X)


For the other part of my question, then, if I lack AC, how many smcft do you need to have to get full points? If I have 50 ships with Xb and one st, does that count and do I get all 50 points and finish the survey in one STMP?

Or, alternately, how many of the ships need AC to get full points? If I have 49 without AC and 1 with, does that do it?
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Re: Habitable Body Survey

Postby Cralis on Mon 12 Jul 2021 00:44

SDTroll wrote:
Cralis wrote:To be explicit in my response: the rule says that you can only collect half of the required points without AC capable smcft or large units. If you want to be able to collect all of the required points, then you need to include AC capable smcft or large units. (and separately, it also requires at least one large unit to have X)


For the other part of my question, then, if I lack AC, how many smcft do you need to have to get full points? If I have 50 ships with Xb and one st, does that count and do I get all 50 points and finish the survey in one STMP?


The rule says "To conduct a habitable world survey a large unit myst have at least one X system and one small craft... or be atmospheric capable..." You only need one such large unit to meet the requirements to finish the survey, but I should point out that the next sentence states any unit that does not meet the conditions above can only contribute 1 SP to the survey per month.

Or, alternately, how many of the ships need AC to get full points? If I have 49 without AC and 1 with, does that do it?


By the rule quoted above, you would generate 49 SP + the full SP from that additional ship that qualifies. :-) Since you have one ship that qualifies then you will complete the habitable survey. (Honestly, if we wanted to be more complicated we could limit the SP that could be generated by the additional ships to 50% of the max. Maybe that's an optional or house rule opportunity?)

R3.01 says that you generate x SP based on your X system, plus 2 SP per qualifying smcft that participates.

The x number depends upon the X generation used. With Xa you generate 3 SP per month per large unit. (see the AA.X rules) With Xp or Xb, you generate 4 SP per month per qualifying large unit. Each captain's gig and st generates an additional 2 SP each.

All ships of 13HS or larger (CT or larger) have a captain's gig. But that's fine, you can create a perfectly acceptable EX surveyor with a single shuttle bay or (AC).

So if you have survey ships with (AC), then you would need (50/3 FRU) 17 ships with Xa or (50/4 FRU) 13 ships with Xp or Xb. That will generate > 50 SP per month.

If you have survey ships with a single smcft, you would need (50/5 FRU) 10 ships with Xa or (50/6 FRU) 8 ships with Xp or Xb.

You could also build a larger ship with a bunch of shuttles. Like a DD with 10 st and a gig. Using Xp, it would generate 4 + (11*2) = 26 SP per month for a habitable survey. Just a thought...

Unless I've miscalculated. I'm sure someone will correct me if I have...
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Re: Habitable Body Survey

Postby SDTroll on Tue 13 Jul 2021 05:34

My starting planetary surveyors are CTf with 8 st each. With three of them I finish a planetary body survey in one STMP. I just recently developed Xb and have been producing new Xb surveyors. While their primary job is to look for closed WP points, I realized I forgot to include AC on them and have been considering what effect that has on them. Especially because the higher survey speed of Xb reduces the effectiveness of the st slightly.

As a follow up, would the free gig count as having a small craft even if the ship is moving too fast to use it for surveying? Say the ships are all 13 HS+ but spend the first STMP of their 4 moving to the planets. Now the gig can't survey, since it has an STMP of 1, I assume the ships would count as not having small craft since it couldn't participate, but what is the official rule? Technically it's present, even if it isn't giving it's 2 points.

Assuming it doesn't count as present, the ships would get 1 point for the month for habitable surveys. Would that point happen as long as they had at least 1 STMP left for the turn? So my speed 4 ships would get 1 point each on the first turn, then full points on the follow up turns.

I know, I think of strange scenarios. I'm just envisioning a fleet of 39 CT with Xb and no small craft other than a free gig that descend on a system and then deploy the gigs next turn.
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Re: Habitable Body Survey

Postby Cralis on Tue 13 Jul 2021 20:47

SDTroll wrote:My starting planetary surveyors are CTf with 8 st each. With three of them I finish a planetary body survey in one STMP. I just recently developed Xb and have been producing new Xb surveyors. While their primary job is to look for closed WP points, I realized I forgot to include AC on them and have been considering what effect that has on them. Especially because the higher survey speed of Xb reduces the effectiveness of the st slightly.

As a follow up, would the free gig count as having a small craft even if the ship is moving too fast to use it for surveying? Say the ships are all 13 HS+ but spend the first STMP of their 4 moving to the planets. Now the gig can't survey, since it has an STMP of 1, I assume the ships would count as not having small craft since it couldn't participate, but what is the official rule? Technically it's present, even if it isn't giving it's 2 points.


The next version of SSF is making an important change in that surveys of planets can only happen during any StMP that you are orbiting that planet. This is a change from the Ultra Starfire origin of the rules, where it allows you to survey system bodies while in transit around the star system.

Hmmmm I thought there was a rule that said a unit that participates in at least 20 of 30 days doing something, they are considered to have participated. I'm going to have to look that up and make sure that we haven't accidentally removed it.

Remember that an StMP is also a measurement of time. If your ship uses 1 StMP to move to the planet and then spends 3 StMP surveying, it will spend 22.5 days of the month surveying (30 days / 4 StMP = 7.5 days/StMP, so 3 StMP would be 22.5 days of the month). If you release the gig to survey at the same time, it also spends 22.5 days surveying. If I'm remembering the rule correctly, then it would count. This was designed specifically for this situation.

Assuming it doesn't count as present, the ships would get 1 point for the month for habitable surveys. Would that point happen as long as they had at least 1 STMP left for the turn? So my speed 4 ships would get 1 point each on the first turn, then full points on the follow up turns.


Unless you leave the gig at your starting point, it's still going to be there and still counts for the purposes of the presence of a small craft. The question is whether or not it generates any SP.

I know, I think of strange scenarios. I'm just envisioning a fleet of 39 CT with Xb and no small craft other than a free gig that descend on a system and then deploy the gigs next turn.


I've seen it done. Most players (including myself) prefer to separate duties and make EX warp point surveyors and a few planetary survey carriers with a bunch of shuttles. That is until Xc comes along, and then it might be better to combine the two functions in a larger ship.
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Re: Habitable Body Survey

Postby SDTroll on Thu 15 Jul 2021 13:20

[quote="Cralis"

I've seen it done. Most players (including myself) prefer to separate duties and make EX warp point surveyors and a few planetary survey carriers with a bunch of shuttles. That is until Xc comes along, and then it might be better to combine the two functions in a larger ship.[/quote]

This is what I usually do, and probably still will, just looking at how it works if I need to use them. Thanks for the help. I'll have to look for the 20 days is 30 days rule.
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Re: Habitable Body Survey

Postby Cralis on Thu 15 Jul 2021 20:14

SDTroll wrote:This is what I usually do, and probably still will, just looking at how it works if I need to use them. Thanks for the help. I'll have to look for the 20 days is 30 days rule.


I almost forgot! I got a chance to ask Marvin about this and he said it was a "general rule" that he used in his games. It sounds like we need to make it a real rule, because it's a great guideline for helping in that very specific situation.
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