Play-by-email Forum Game

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Re: Play-by-email Forum Game

Postby Whitecold on Sat 18 Feb 2017 04:00

Hi pete, thanks for your interest.

Cralis wrote:If it helps, at least you don't need to worry about it in the beginning of the game. Ground combat and later technologies are something you can tackle as you encounter them.

I do see an important difference, insofar that ground combat is currently underpowered, and only comes into play as last line of defense. Even when the new rules make ground combat more appealing, anyone who didn't invest in it has some breathing room to adjust their defenses.
Gunboats on the other hand need a nerf, so anyone that may possibly even invest push the smallcraft tree and/or bring its SL down will loose on their investment. Furthermore I am so far not convinced from what I saw that the next update will make Smallcraft either balanced or appealing to use. (On that note, I don't assume there is a release date so far)
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Re: Play-by-email Forum Game

Postby Cralis on Sat 18 Feb 2017 14:19

Whitecold wrote:Hi pete, thanks for your interest.

Cralis wrote:If it helps, at least you don't need to worry about it in the beginning of the game. Ground combat and later technologies are something you can tackle as you encounter them.

I do see an important difference, insofar that ground combat is currently underpowered, and only comes into play as last line of defense. Even when the new rules make ground combat more appealing, anyone who didn't invest in it has some breathing room to adjust their defenses.


To be fair, those of us who are perfectionists with our descriptive words say that "it's not as economically or logistically efficient" :)

The existing rules were extremely abstracted to produce certain kinds of results in relatively short periods of time, when you consider that almost all invaders will have space superiority. However, it's really, really boring. And that's being generous.

The new rules are not intended to change that ground combat isn't as efficient as other options (although we are making some adjustments to the "other side", aka genocide, to make that less "efficient" unless you're a hermit-empire), but more interesting so that players who encounter intransigent empires and have to invade can do so in interesting ways. And a player can use ground combat to string out an invasion if he feels he can use the time to bring in reinforcements for a new space battle.

But ultimately I suspect that once we get it out to testing, and we'll probably put it on here in some form for players to play with, we'll have to make adjustments. I'm not expecting something so new to be perfect on the first try at it.

Gunboats on the other hand need a nerf, so anyone that may possibly even invest push the smallcraft tree and/or bring its SL down will loose on their investment. Furthermore I am so far not convinced from what I saw that the next update will make Smallcraft either balanced or appealing to use. (On that note, I don't assume there is a release date so far)


You're right, we don't have a deadline yet. The SDS collectively decided that we needed to update how we can handle product distribution and rebuild the website, and finish another project that we think will be widely accepted by Starfire players more than anything else we have on the table. I hate to tease like that, but we are very close to testing and we'll probably announce it at that point.

What I've discovered so far with gunboats (and squadrons in general) is that seemingly minor changes to the rules have had big impacts on the gameplay results. There are not a lot of changes between Solar Starfire and Ultra Starfire, but the impact is quite significant. So I can understand why players are skeptical that we aren't just re-writing everything. It's too much work and we are too far behind to undertake an entirely new set of squadron rules. Not to mention the minor detail that we would have to build a comprehensive plan on what to change it to first.

But like the ground combat rules, I don't expect this to happen in the first go. We'll probably post stuff for testing here when we get to that point and we'll make several iterative changes until we get the results we want.

But now that I've written all of this, I fear I'm endangering this topic. I don't want to derail WhiteCold's PBeM topic, so if you or anyone else wants to discuss this more then I'd ask you to open a new topic.
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Re: Play-by-email Forum Game

Postby Whitecold on Tue 21 Feb 2017 00:49

hi misanthropope,
I am trying to dissect your reply.
For the point of Gunboats, the idea is exactly to figure it out now, as in Lomn's game we went ahead, until we hit the point where we reached ELs where someone might develop squadrons. From some comments I assume someone probably had gone ahead and invested in early GB, which brings up all the issues of rebalancing mid game.
The second point is that I don't see the connection you draw with reduced income/reduced research. Slower research makes ships viable for a longer time before they become obsolescent, while the income reduction will slow down expansion and fleet size growth, but since trade will be equally affected, the balance of investment doesn't change.

From the overall vibe, I am not planning a campaign where the players are engaged in constant warfare, and neither am I planning to offer up NPRs one after another for conquest, as I'd like diplomacy and politics play a role, and lastly, the game will necessarily slow paced.
It will definitely be 1-2 weeks per turn, so if you want to write stories, you have more than enough time for that.
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Re: Play-by-email Forum Game

Postby Sunwolf on Mon 27 Feb 2017 18:40

Whitecold wrote:Is anyone else potentially interested in joining?
For those who would like to join, I have a mixed bag of questions:
If you are still looking for players I'm interested
-What kind of start would you like? Default start, or something else? Would you like to start as human, or rather alien races?
non T/ST would be fun and maybe EL 5 or so
-Would you like reduced number of T/ST worlds for making the map more open/ prime real estate more valuable?
not needed, never thought there was too much good real estate
-Would you like any slowdown of construction/research/growth?
No speed up colonization/growth
-Insofar would you like NPRs to follow more extreme strategies in ship design/policy vs following a more balanced but boring approach?
some extreme ones could be interesting
-I proposed some idea to make IU more interesting interesting in response to a tweak proposed by Cralis. Would you like to try something like this out?
willing to try it
-There's been talk about possibly more complex/layered PD, would you be interested in including this? (Link)
not sure
-One thing I was missing in Lomns game was knowing who else knew who, and how they were to each other, making it hard to form a coherent diplomacy. (Your two friends might hate each other, or your target might be allied with your friends) How would you like to handle interstellar diplomacy?
there should be some sort of embassy on systems that have contact with another race that a 3rd race contacting that system could encounter, also diplomatic ships could be interesting
-Random events, yes or no?
Yes if not too much work for you
-Anti-ESF rules, what do you prefer?
haven't ever had a big enough fleet to worry about it
-What is your opinion on the hot topics of squadrons and ground troops?
I like the idea of squadrons but currently they are too power especially gunboats, ground troops are too much of a pain to transport, I don't want to vaporize someone but it is too difficult to capture planets with more than a small population
-Do you plan on writing any fiction for your faction?
maybe
-Is there anything you'd like house ruled, any optional rule you would very much like to include?

I like the unusual race and race customization rules
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Re: Play-by-email Forum Game

Postby eoghantodd on Tue 28 Feb 2017 11:30

I dropped an email inquiring but somehow missed this survey while reading the very interesting discussion of gunboats...


What kind of start would you like? Default start, or something else? Would you like to start as human, or rather alien races?
I tend to like to set the baseline that others are 'different' against, so human...

-Would you like reduced number of T/ST worlds for making the map more open/ prime real estate more valuable?
I don't have enough experience with this to judge for sure, other than I've noticed there being a lot of Hostile T's when I use universe2 to generate systems.

-Would you like any slowdown of construction/research/growth?
I'm very interested in seeing some sort of limit to the amount of megacredits...not at the beginning but some diminishing returns to avoid runaway fleet size.

-Insofar would you like NPRs to follow more extreme strategies in ship design/policy vs following a more balanced but boring approach?
I like seeing extreme/different strategies. They make it interesting and provide fluff.

-I proposed some idea to make IU more interesting interesting in response to a tweak proposed by Cralis. Would you like to try something like this out?
I'm definitely interested in IU having more flavor.
-There's been talk about possibly more complex/layered PD, would you be interested in including this? (Link)
As long as it makes some sense, and isn't /required/ to compete.

-One thing I was missing in Lomns game was knowing who else knew who, and how they were to each other, making it hard to form a coherent diplomacy. (Your two friends might hate each other, or your target might be allied with your friends) How would you like to handle interstellar diplomacy?
I'd like some rumors/info filtering through the game. Outside of trade treaties and the commerce network I imagine (depending on species/theme) independent freighters doing stuff, even if it doesn't show up on the balance sheet, and smuggling, and so forth, so big events would create a ripple of news that if you had contact with someone who had contact with someone, you'd find out.

-Random events, yes or no?
Yes.
-Anti-ESF rules, what do you prefer?
I prefer the over 9 ships in a hex creates instability and negative effects on to hit rolls.

-What is your opinion on the hot topics of squadrons and ground troops?
I would like to see fighters have a role. And the ground combat rules made a bit less cumbersome and limiting.

-Do you plan on writing any fiction for your faction?
yes!
-Is there anything you'd like house ruled, any optional rule you would very much like to include?

I like the idea of non-standard home worlds. If I came up with a theme/idea I'd even play one, tho' initial reaction is to play the baseline of human.
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Re: Play-by-email Forum Game

Postby GunBunny on Thu 02 Mar 2017 11:34

Hello eveyone,

I would be excited to be included in a pbem game if this is still a possibility. There is only one catch on my part and it has to do with no experience with actual play. Let me explain, I've owned solar for two years now and have had no luck trying to get my local gaming my group into trying it. Every time I explain the game peoples eyes get excited, then I take out the two inch ring binder with 30 tabs and then their eyes glaze over and ask if it's as bad as advanced squad leader. I have a history of asking my friend gamers to learn extraordinarily complex games so the asl statement makes sense. So if your willing to have a new player with lots of questions (guess the burden would fall on the SM) then I'm more than happy to get some use out of my dusty binder.

Respectfully

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Re: Play-by-email Forum Game

Postby Cralis on Thu 02 Mar 2017 13:24

What?? ASL is a really awesome game... But you should get them to try scenario battles first before anything to do with campaigns. At the top of the forum are download links for the Quick Start Rules... they were designed to introduce new players.
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Re: Play-by-email Forum Game

Postby Whitecold on Mon 13 Mar 2017 00:45

Hi Sunwolf, GunBunny and eoghantodd.
Thanks for your interest. I still hope to go forward with this although in the last month I haven't really been able to make progress unfortunately, with RL time being limited, and I also have been waiting for procyon to reply about his smcft system.

Relating to the expanded facilities, there seems to be some interest there, however so far it has just been my idea, so I'd like to get some more input there from the players.

Furthermore, there are currently 8? Players interested, while I am not sure if they are all still in, this would be a lot if I have to make turns for all NPRs. (If everyone gets two NPRs, I have to run 16 turns beside checking player sheets) Is anyone interested and willing to play some NPRs, to help with the processing of turns? (Special offer, only for limited time! Play three races for the price of one!)
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Re: Play-by-email Forum Game

Postby GunBunny on Tue 14 Mar 2017 07:21

Whitecold,

If running two NPRs is the price of getting a game started then it seems like its small in nature. My only caveat to that is that I have never been part of a campaign other than a few solo ones that I have run to learn the rules. Translated that means I may be doing it wrong on some level and you would have to be on the lookout for that.

When it comes to any modifications/house rules that you have been discussing earlier I can work with whatever a majority agree upon.

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Re: Play-by-email Forum Game

Postby eoghantodd on Tue 14 Mar 2017 16:45

Assuming I can get a clean updated spreadsheet I could help with NPRs on the far side of the Galaxy from where my player species is....
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