Emergency Assistance Needed!

General Starfire discussion, including information about old products and editions.

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Re: Emergency Assistance Needed!

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Fri 01 Dec 2017 00:42

Ok, first off, I just want to make clear that I am NOT trying to be offensive, and not wanting to hurt folks feelings.

That being said, let me explain;

The existing Starfire 1 and 2 game modules have almost every table you need to play the game, including the very easy to use system codes, from A - X. The only thing they don't include are the MC cost factors for these systems, nor the hull size tables. With respect to these existing modules, then, one is free to play tactical battles without need for having the rules to hand. From the perspective of a player, this is great, the way it should be, and leads to many satisfying hours of gaming fun.

Now onto SSF.
As you know, nowhere in SSF does there exist the concentrated, "here it all is" kinda table that made SF 1 & 2 so great. Their greatness was simplicity, ease of access to the clear rules, ease of understanding (At least from my experience) those rules, and the seamless ease with which a brand new player can be sat down at the table, brought into the game, and within the hour become a happy starfire addict/future/lifelong player. So, when I once again finally get a SF fix, after all these many years (Ok, yes, I did get 2-3 battles in within the last 12 months or so, but that sounds much less dramatic) of forced starfire with drawl, I naturally was floating on a euphoric high of great feeling and wonderful memories, and the bright prospect of many future games and hours of fun....For SF 1 & 2, you could literally print one single sheet of paper, and have all the charts/tables needed to play the game.

SSF does not do this!
SSF is designed to keep folks chained to a multi-hundred page rulebook, either in the form of a massive PDF (open at the same time as the vassal game? Not on my poor, old and failing computer), or a huge, three ring binder, full to bursting with printed out pages from said PDF, that doesn't come close to covering all that one needs to know, open and ready to be flipped through, over and over again, while playing the game? I think not.

So, enter Vassal, with a way to start playing SF over the internet! The guys that did the original modules only had the simplest form of the game to work with, and they put in almost everything needed to play AND ENJOY Starfire 1 & 2, and that was for a pair of game that had less than 100 pages in their combined rulebooks, including the scenarios! If we are going to have SSF on the Vassal platform, and thus, at no cost to SDS, a way for every existing player/paying customer to show off, attract new players to, and thus bring in new players/customers to the game and business, then the new SSF Vassal Module needs to avoid like the plague, the need to mess up a players playing time with constantly having to goto an outside source for a rules check.

To me, Vassal is the future, if there is going to be a future for this game/business, and not doing all in our power to make use of this freeway to future sales, is just plain wrong. Instead of worrying about how to parse down the rules to something that folks might actually use, we should be working on getting as many folks capable of playing SF thru vassal as possible, as quickly and easily as possible, and focus on good fun.

Maybe I'm rambling on a bit at the moment, would a thread specifically about how vassal can help SF, the game and business, become more of force in the gaming world be a good thing? If so, I'll create one (Or even better, you could create it) and in it ask a couple simple questions:

Q1 How did everyone get their personal start with SF?
a. Read reviews, heard good things about it, or saw it on the shelf. (none of which are going on right now)
b. A friend that had purchased the game played it with them, and then they just had to go out and buy their own copy!

Q2 If you had to choose between trying to tackle a 400+ page rulebook straight up, or learning by starting off with a very simple game, available through electronic purchase & play, and going from there, which would you pick?
a. I would want to take on the task of learning a game, by reading a massive manual and being tied to tabletop games, in person, that require parts that are not currently available nor looking to be produced in the near future, because that is how I roll, or
b. Hear about this little known and interesting game, playing it online, and being addicted and craving more, as there are folks to play, from all over the world, and there is no requirement for pieces and parts that are not available?

I know my answers, what are everyone else's?

I would love to have Marvin's blessing to try an experiment, in which he wholeheartedly supports letting/getting folks play starfire on/thru the vassal platform. The experiment would be, focus on the existing SF modules being played, and rewarding folks for taking the time to learn how.

SF 1 & 2 are far easier forms of SF to master, take less time and effort, and already exist! First step, get folks to download and play a few of the early scenarios, proving their ability to to make use of/teach other how to vassal's SF modules. Second, when/if enough folks learn how to play using vassal, we start up a campaign challenge, where the strategic level is all but nonexistent, so that the burden of the early campaign game/tournament/fun experiment can be done with a minimal time investment from the players and SM alike, and then good market research can be done on running a simple campaign as compared to a more involved campaign.

This kind of an idea would get more folks playing the game, more folks being able to use/teach vassal to others, be a whole lot of fun, and might just bring in a few bucks to boot!

So, I'm all fired up what with having just played a great game once again, without having to actually meet in person/have the time and distraction free environment needed to play this wonderful game.
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Re: Emergency Assistance Needed!

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Fri 01 Dec 2017 00:50

I feel that I must apologise, for a couple things. My health is not what it once was, and I frequently, more and more often of late, find myself loosing mental focus, and so my speech and posts start to ramble on and on.

Even before I got my playing session in today, I was thinking along the lines of first getting folks playing SF/vassal, and then, if enough folks responded and were interested enough, I thought I would off to run a simple series of tactical battles, loosely tied into a rudimentary strategic campaign using SF 1 and house rules, now that I am on the verge of being able to make my own Scenarios for the vassal modules.

So, again, sorry if I offended, or rambled on and on.
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Re: Emergency Assistance Needed!

Postby Cralis on Fri 01 Dec 2017 01:42

Two very important things that I think you've completely missed.

First, if I'm correct and it's the tables the Marvin doesn't want freely distributed without buying the rules, you've given him an excellent reason to send a cease & desist to Vassal for offering the module.

Second, and this, I think, is the most important point: The QSR was made for EXACTLY all the reasons you've outlined above. Further, it does EXACTLY everything that you've outlined above.

There has been a lot of hinting and suggestive posting going on the last month, including the survey you answered earlier this week. While I will not confirm or deny anything, perhaps someone who has done some thinking about the SDS posts lately can do some speculation for you :D

And I know some of you have already been speculating, because you've tried to PM me for more information! :lol:
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Re: Emergency Assistance Needed!

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Fri 01 Dec 2017 02:44

Cralis wrote:Two very important things that I think you've completely missed.

First, if I'm correct and it's the tables the Marvin doesn't want freely distributed without buying the rules, you've given him an excellent reason to send a cease & desist to Vassal for offering the module.
Instead of posting this kind of thing, based upon second hand info, why not just take an hours time and join me online, and I can take you directly to the content I'm talking about. And while we are there, we may just get in a game while we are at it.:D

Cralis wrote:Second, and this, I think, is the most important point: The QSR was made for EXACTLY all the reasons you've outlined above. Further, it does EXACTLY everything that you've outlined above.

It doesn't though. I just played a great game online, and encountered weapons fire I have never seen in use before, but those weapons, AFAIK, are not in the QSR. Of course, if the QSR have been updated since I was using them back when (2015-2016?) they may have been added in since then. And the stuff in the QSR are EXACTLY what is in the existing SF vassal modules, so I am at a loss as to why it would not be OK for them to be in the existing modules, and yet there they are OK in the QSR?!?! :?:

Cralis wrote:There has been a lot of hinting and suggestive posting going on the last month, including the survey you answered earlier this week. While I will not confirm or deny anything, perhaps someone who has done some thinking about the SDS posts lately can do some speculation for you :D
Maybe, but then again I may have my poor brain explode if I'm kept waiting much longer. Throw me a bone, or, maybe, possibly, play me a game? :D

Cralis wrote:And I know some of you have already been speculating, because you've tried to PM me for more information! :lol:
On a more serious note, I need to change up my email account, cause my Yahoo.com one is really starting to annoy, as they are running something in the background whenever I go into my mail folder, I start hearing voices, for some badly garbled advertisement, but there is never a window that I can close. I couldn't find the place where I can change my accounts email addy. Is it possible to switch my email addy, or do I have to make a new forum account to do that?
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Re: Emergency Assistance Needed!

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Fri 01 Dec 2017 07:56

I have to work today, so will not be home till 7PM Pacific time. I have weekends off, and next week, only work thursday night, and then it's going to get busy till the new year...
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Re: Emergency Assistance Needed!

Postby Cralis on Sat 02 Dec 2017 01:37

VoidStalker_WoE wrote:
Cralis wrote:Two very important things that I think you've completely missed.

First, if I'm correct and it's the tables the Marvin doesn't want freely distributed without buying the rules, you've given him an excellent reason to send a cease & desist to Vassal for offering the module.


Instead of posting this kind of thing...


I'm confused. You don't want me to tell you what Marvin, the owner of Starfire, has determined is a copyright violation? I would think that you would want to know so you can produce the best possible product without running into legal issues.

Cralis wrote:Second, and this, I think, is the most important point: The QSR was made for EXACTLY all the reasons you've outlined above. Further, it does EXACTLY everything that you've outlined above.


It doesn't though. I just played a great game online, and encountered weapons fire I have never seen in use before, but those weapons, AFAIK, are not in the QSR.


What does that have to do with the price of tea in china?

Of course, if the QSR have been updated since I was using them back when (2015-2016?) they may have been added in since then. And the stuff in the QSR are EXACTLY what is in the existing SF vassal modules, so I am at a loss as to why it would not be OK for them to be in the existing modules, and yet there they are OK in the QSR?!?! :?:


The charts are not the same, but as for the question, that's a very easy. The QSR is an official product produced by the Starfire Design Studio. The vassal module is not an official product of the Starfire Design Studio. And thus is must follow copyright law.

The big difference is that the QSR has truncated charts that we are allowing free distribution. Fun fact: any vassal module based on the QSR will ALSO be allowed free distribution of the same charts!! That's part of the reason why I am thinking it would be neat to create a QSR-based Vassal module.

Maybe, but then again I may have my poor brain explode if I'm kept waiting much longer. Throw me a bone, or, maybe, possibly, play me a game? :D


We'll see. I had to work late tonight due to a server failure and I have family responsibilities to discharge, especially while I've got sick kids. But let me see what I can do.

On a more serious note, I need to change up my email account, cause my Yahoo.com one is really starting to annoy, as they are running something in the background whenever I go into my mail folder, I start hearing voices, for some badly garbled advertisement, but there is never a window that I can close. I couldn't find the place where I can change my accounts email addy. Is it possible to switch my email addy, or do I have to make a new forum account to do that?


You can!

1. In the upper left corner of the forum, right under "Board Index" you click the link "User Control Panel"
2. When the panel comes up, on the horizontal tabs select "Profile"
3. When the profile tab loads, on the left select the menu item "Edit Account Settings"
4. The top entry is your email address. Change to the new email address, and then enter the email address a second time in the next text box (it requires you to confirm your new address by typing it twice)
5. Last, click the "Submit" button at the bottom of the panel.

That's it! This is also where you can change your password when you want to do that.
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Re: Emergency Assistance Needed!

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Sat 02 Dec 2017 06:50

Cralis wrote:I'm confused. You don't want me to tell you what Marvin, the owner of Starfire, has determined is a copyright violation? I would think that you would want to know so you can produce the best possible product without running into legal issues.
No, I do want you to tell me, I just didn't get what you were saying. Your explanation below clarifies what I was not understanding. A normal, healthy person, whose brain isn't getting foggy on them, could probably have read your post and "got it" right away, but lately my mind is going more and more, so my good days are starting to be outnumbered by my bad days. I'm not getting any younger, and unless my health efforts start to work {Diet, exercise, medications, and logging everything to stay on track}, I'm not likely to even be able to maintain current levels of occasional mental clarity.

Cralis wrote:The charts are not the same, but as for the question, that's a very easy. The QSR is an official product produced by the Starfire Design Studio. The vassal module is not an official product of the Starfire Design Studio. And thus it must follow copyright law.

The big difference is that the QSR has truncated charts that we are allowing free distribution. Fun fact: any vassal module based on the QSR will ALSO be allowed free distribution of the same charts!! That's part of the reason why I am thinking it would be neat to create a QSR-based Vassal module.
See, this starts to make sense to me. As a player, I don't normally think in terms of who made a thing, and so miss the context of rights and such.

OTOH, the guy I played with offered to try to help me learn the SSF rules, and the more I think about it, and about all the things I have read about and never gotten the chance to actually play with...

I would love to be able to finally, actually, play a campaign game of SSF, but with the disease I've got getting the better of me more and more, I may just have to settle for a vassal powered, Starfire I campaign, because it is very simple and I already know those rules.

Cralis wrote:We'll see. I had to work late tonight due to a server failure and I have family responsibilities to discharge, especially while I've got sick kids. But let me see what I can do.
Ok, not a problem, I too am not feeling all that great, but if you know ahead of time when you might be able to try out the vassal programs starfire module, shoot me a PM and we'll try to get this merit badge done, lol.

Cralis wrote:You can!

1. In the upper left corner of the forum, right under "Board Index" you click the link "User Control Panel"
2. When the panel comes up, on the horizontal tabs select "Profile"
3. When the profile tab loads, on the left select the menu item "Edit Account Settings"
4. The top entry is your email address. Change to the new email address, and then enter the email address a second time in the next text box (it requires you to confirm your new address by typing it twice)
5. Last, click the "Submit" button at the bottom of the panel.

That's it! This is also where you can change your password when you want to do that.
Heh heh heh, you would not believe me if I told ya how long I fumbled around attempting to do this the other day. I'll have to get a new PW, as naturally I've forgotten my current PW, as well as forgotten where I wrote it down in case I forgot it in the first place, lol. :lol:
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Re: Emergency Assistance Needed!

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Mon 04 Dec 2017 17:01

Ok, so far I know I have offered to help folks get vassal and it's SF modules downloaded, installed, and how to get online using them. Can anyone tell me if they have used the info in my threads to get themselves up and running? I have played one battle to learn stuff for the campaign, and a second battle with an old friend sunday night, just for the hell of it, lol.

I have also begun writing out some scenarios, and when I have ten or so, will be asking for some playtesters. Play-tester's will have to already have themselves up to speed on using the Vassal engine's Starfire Modules.
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Re: Emergency Assistance Needed!

Postby VoidStalker_WoE on Fri 08 Dec 2017 15:09

Well, I got my chance to see a practice turn of a Solar Starfire starting setup and turn one. I ran screaming like a girl when I saw the massive wall of text advancing upon me! So much for wanting to play SSF, heh heh.

I'm putting all my efforts into getting ready to play original SF on vassal, getting folks trained up to speed on vassal, and possibly, if enough folks are interested, start playing a very short campaign, based upon vassal play, in Jan 2018.
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