Anatomically correct Sol system project.

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Re: Anatomically correct Sol system project.

Postby Cralis on Wed 30 Oct 2019 22:28

Oh interesting. I'll be watching to see what you come up with!
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Re: Anatomically correct Sol system project.

Postby aramis on Thu 31 Oct 2019 13:12

I've thought about the issue over the years...
Nasa posted a nice table of distances in LS...
https://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/venus/q89.html

Given the 300 LS limit in editions 1-5 (IIRC), and the 12 LM hexes in 3+

and the standard hex size for counters on map being 16mm...

practical considerations for me render a 12 LM hex the default.
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Re: Anatomically correct Sol system project.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Thu 31 Oct 2019 22:14

I have to agree, that overall, the 12LM scale is the best (which is, afterall, exactly why it was chosen in the first place), provided that we are limiting ourselves too a single map/scale for a solar system. It's just that, when I am already going to be developing maps too allow me to plot out and play upon "the Giants & their Moons" maps, which, as far as I know may all have to be individual map/scales, it would seem silly not to go the extra step and have a scale that allows for the inner systems planets to be more properly displayed.

Of Course, once we Starfire Players get something like Stellaris' map to play on, all PnP maps are going out the window.

So, right now, I'm planning to plot out our inner solar system on a scale of 1LM per hex using the four part system map, and then, either buying a second map or reusing/resetting the map, plotting out the outer system using either the 30LM hex scale or the 15LM scale.

I'm currently leaning towards the 30LM scale, for the following reasons:

1) Using this scale renders the inner solar system (including M V E M AB) as a one hex wonder, reaching a bit more than 3.2 AU out, and allowing the outer edge of the map to represent a distance of 96+ AU, which is right close to the outer edge of the Heliosphere, the Heliopause (at about 100 AU from the sun), and this seems like a great place to stop a solar system map, being the boundary between interstellar and solar space.
https://www.google.com/search?q=What+is ... e&ie=UTF-8

2) Using this scale, I can plot the best guess for not only Pluto's orbit (of course, this is just a circular orbit imposed by PnP constraints, that is axp 30-50 AU's from Sol) of some 40 AU, which will put it somewhere between 10-12 hexes out, leaving the next 18-20 hexes open for plotting those TNO that are in the scattered 'Kuiper Belt'.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuiper_belt
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scattered_disc
Naturally, we can only plot objects as they are discovered, and the outer system is anything but fully discovered, so who knows what is still out there, awaiting our explorations.

3) It will allow for future discoveries of TNO's to be plotted on the map beyond Pluto, without having to use more than 2 map scales. Up thread, before I really had a good idea of what all was out there, and just how far apart they were from each other, I had some lame notion that I could show the Oort cloud, but with that theoretically starting around 1,000 AU's (and extending out perhaps to 100,000 AU), that would mean using a third tier, 100 AU per hex map scale, which would have our Outer Solar System smushed down to another one hex wonder, with the Oort Cloud starting at hex 10 and going far off the outer edge of even that map, to something like 1,000 hexes distant.

Although I now realise that I cannot show everything, even using three scales, I could show quite a bit more than using just the 12LM hex scale.

So, at least as far as I have gotten in the first couple of days, it looks like these could be the scales to use:
Inner Solar System {M V E M AB} 1 hex = 1LM
Outer Solar System {J S U N TNO + SD} 1 hex = 30LM
Inner Debris Field {We don't know what all} 1 hex = 100LM
Outer Debris Field {We don't know...} 1 hex = ~3,000LM or 50 Light Hours.
Last edited by voidstalker[woe] on Thu 31 Oct 2019 22:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anatomically correct Sol system project.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Thu 31 Oct 2019 22:44

At this point, maybe a few words about why I am doing this.

I don't want to make an already difficult and tedious task, the PnP setup of each and every solar system in a campaign game of starfire, even more so by requiring the poor SM to have to use 2-4 different maps to do so. Even I am not THAT crazy. No, really, I'm not. I'm not, I tell you!!!!! :lol:

What if, at some hopefully not to distant future, a SM is no longer going to have to plot out a system on a PnP map, but simply click on a button in the GUI, and right there, in living color, is a proper (Ok, still two dimensional, but hey) map of whatever part of a solar system you want to look at. Want to zoom in/out, just a click or two away. Want to plot a direct course to a TNO that is so massive that it can supply years/centuries of continuous resource extraction, click on the button, and show best possible path. Want a less than direct path, to throw off those pesky pirates/commerce raiders, click that button, and show the possibilities!

I'm looking ahead, to where I hope and dream starfire is going to get to in the next year or two, so I am still young enough to actually get to PLAY it on the computer.
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Re: Anatomically correct Sol system project.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Thu 31 Oct 2019 23:03

aramis wrote:I've thought about the issue over the years...
Nasa posted a nice table of distances in LS...
https://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/venus/q89.html

Given the 300 LS limit in editions 1-5 (IIRC), and the 12 LM hexes in 3+

and the standard hex size for counters on map being 16mm...

practical considerations for me render a 12 LM hex the default.
On that note, what do you folks use for a mounting/backboard for your 4 part system maps? I ask this because, at this time, mine is only ever used on a cleared off table (a rare and temporary condition in my home), and then taken down and stored away. I used to have some of the expanded (6 folded out sections) black hex maps permanently mounted to a cut down 8' x 4' section of paneling, and whenever the need arose, I'd just grab the thing and improvise a stand for it, and we would be up and running. Although that was indeed great and very useful to have in a running fight, it left much to be desired if I was to try to use it for any meaningful display of a solar system.

My current plans/thoughts are that I can take a 4' x 4' section of the under-flooring I've got up against the wall in my dining room, and tape my 4 part system map down to it (I would tape the edges, and then lay the parts atop each other, and then tape the taped edges together), and then buy a thin plexiglass sheet, and mount it atop the paneling, and use wingnuts w/washers and bolts to hold it together, so that I could do with my current 4 part map what I used to do with my old tactical maps, and just put it behind the bookshelf, fridge, couch or whatever, and have it ready to play upon in just seconds.

On a related note, I used to have some really big, clear plastic roll up hex maps, and I built tables, draped a white bed sheet overtop, laid the hex map on top, and laid a full sized plexiglass sheet over top, and that was where my last campaign battles actually got played out. I had forgotten all about those things. Is there anyplace that still has such in production?
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Re: Anatomically correct Sol system project.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Tue 05 Nov 2019 08:07

Too continue on with this, May first thoughts are turning not to mapping the inner and outer debris fields, but rather to put together a less than TL1 SF like game, using just the Earth as the only natural body, and having the scale of 1 hex = about 1,000 miles more or less. The goal for this hopefully simple game is to be able to plot out where in Earth orbit(s) will be good points for orbital weapons platforms and civilian facilities. The goal here isn't to adhere to any version of starfire rules, but more to be able to playtest out some ideas and get some experience with the possibilities of international battles in orbit. This should also be good for more than a few laughs, and maybe some stories and/or scenarios.

Any comments on this???
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Re: Anatomically correct Sol system project.

Postby Cralis on Tue 05 Nov 2019 17:15

voidstalker[woe] wrote: On that note, what do you folks use for a mounting/backboard for your 4 part system maps?


I took a sheet of plywood, sanded it smooth, and tacked the 4-part map to the center. Some years later I bought a piece of plexiglass and use flat, short bolts and nuts to secure the plexiglass over the map so we could use wet-erase markers.

Though, for most tactical scenarios I have a couple of Chessex vinyl hex maps that I just roll out onto the table.

Too continue on with this, May first thoughts are turning not to mapping the inner and outer debris fields, but rather to put together a less than TL1 SF like game, using just the Earth as the only natural body, and having the scale of 1 hex = about 1,000 miles more or less. The goal for this hopefully simple game is to be able to plot out where in Earth orbit(s) will be good points for orbital weapons platforms and civilian facilities. The goal here isn't to adhere to any version of starfire rules, but more to be able to playtest out some ideas and get some experience with the possibilities of international battles in orbit. This should also be good for more than a few laughs, and maybe some stories and/or scenarios.[/quote]

Are you going to reduce the speeds or just keep them the same but using the new scale? Th latter is probably what I would do, just because the. you won’t have to rebalance everything.
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Re: Anatomically correct Sol system project.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Tue 05 Nov 2019 23:41

Cralis wrote:
voidstalker[woe] wrote: On that note, what do you folks use for a mounting/backboard for your 4 part system maps?


I took a sheet of plywood, sanded it smooth, and tacked the 4-part map to the center. Some years later I bought a piece of plexiglass and use flat, short bolts and nuts to secure the plexiglass over the map so we could use wet-erase markers.

Though, for most tactical scenarios I have a couple of Chessex vinyl hex maps that I just roll out onto the table.
I didn't think about using flat map tacks! DOH!!! I'm always making things more difficult for myself, lol. Your solution seems less time and materials intensive to start off with, what with no need for all the painstakingly taping of the individual map sections edges, and then having to tap those together, and then tape the whole thing down onto the plywood itself. How good did the wet erase work for the 4 part map? I always had trouble with the black background tactical maps, and it was only later that I could use them really well with my clear vinyl maps setting overtop a white bed sheet.

Cralis wrote:
voidstalker[woe] wrote: Too continue on with this, May first thoughts are turning not to mapping the inner and outer debris fields, but rather to put together a less than TL1 SF like game, using just the Earth as the only natural body, and having the scale of 1 hex = about 1,000 miles more or less. The goal for this hopefully simple game is to be able to plot out where in Earth orbit(s) will be good points for orbital weapons platforms and civilian facilities. The goal here isn't to adhere to any version of starfire rules, but more to be able to playtest out some ideas and get some experience with the possibilities of international battles in orbit. This should also be good for more than a few laughs, and maybe some stories and/or scenarios.


Are you going to reduce the speeds or just keep them the same but using the new scale? The latter is probably what I would do, just because the. you won’t have to rebalance everything.


Hey Cralis! I seem to have blown my normal monitor, and am using one far less than optimal at the moment, so...

I want to keep everything I can from starfire, so the game will at least seem like starfire, and I'll probably have to make that clear in each game that I do, with the idea being that I'll just explain the far smaller map scale, and keep all the movement and weapons fire stuff the same. I used to play civilization allot, and in one of the versions they introduced the concept that, as a civ advanced from one 'age' to another, you get some changes to the cosmetics of the maps/cities.

I'm thinking in terms of doing something far more radical, but at the same time, farr less visually. On the 'paper plate' scale mentioned earlier, with the scale being roughly 1 hex = 1,000 miles, the Earth's custom counter will be about 4 hexes in radius, while Luna's counter will be about 1 hex radius. That scale will be used for the most primitive technologies, where we as a civilization have to really struggle to put anything major up in space at all, and I envision this to be the basic foundation for setting things up, (so I need to get that as close to 'right' as I can, from the beginning) and advancing to the scale above that, where the game gets played on a map that has some as yet undefined (meaning, at the time of writing this, I have not gotten around to even looking at the facts of the Lagrange Points, and their actual distances from the earth) map scale. I was thinking that the next scale needed to be just Earth/Luna, but am thinking that perhaps combining both the L1-L5 points in addition to the NEO information might just be a better idea.

I'm basically as lazy as the next guy (Ok, maybe FAR MORE lazy as the next guy), and don't want to waste too much time with too many different map scales, but I have to balance that with trying to get a good take on what a Home World really should have up in orbit around it, if it took a couple centuries to go from a prespace to SF TL1. One thing I always hated about a game I really, really love, Masters of Orion II, was that a players starting planet, even though it was supposed to be their homeworld, was 'just another planet' in game terms, I think that it had a different startup in that it had the capitol building.

That's exactly what I want to avoid in SF, is making that same mistake, and instead of having the Home World having just enough space facilities to start playing the game, they should have a vast excess of space based facilities, with far more defenses and shipyards and such than are strictly needed or called for. For story writing purposes, when an invader finally reaches an enemies Home System, and has to run up against the massed, and heavily armoured, constellations of orbital defenses, they need to know that this isn't going to be some easy meat, but the hardest fight they have so far faced to that point in their history....

I keep getting off topic in different threads, but am working towards a common goal. Makes things harder on the poor readers, for which I apologise, and maybe someday I can go back and, with the benefit of hindsight, re-create the old threads so that all the content that eventually gets posted, piecemeal and over a time frame spanning months or even years, can get properly condensed down into some very clear, concise, and easily understandable format. Basically, all the TOaST threads and this one, and the VV section stuff, is all connected in my head into some jumbled mess, that I am attempting to coagulate into something resembling coherence, but is both a work in progress, and a poor writers very first serious efforts along these lines, so I ask folks to just grin and bear with me on this project.

Does anyone have any comment I what they want to see right away with respect to the map project? I have the PDF of the system map, and think that that could well serve as the basis for what I am attempting here. The changes I would make in that document, would start off with an introduction, and then have exactly the same map used four separate times, but representing the 4 scales developed in this thread, and used to plot our actual solar system (within the limitations of PnP mediums, of circular orbits and no motions/spins/rotational aspects, nor accounting for things not in the ecliptic plane) as accurately as possible, and showing just how big even our single star system is, with respect to the {Inner System} 4 inner planets and the AB. Again, the goal of this isn't to force folks to use 4 separate maps just to display a single system, but just to make folks aware that the real life stuff is quite a bit more extensive than we can display if still tied to PnP.

One thing I know I'm going to be posting, in the near future is the actual times, using the current movement rates/rules/maps scales, to demonstrate in game travel times to real life destinations, like Earth/Luna, and Earth/Mars and such. For instance, I know I was shocked to learn that, in current game rules, a speed one ship could start off loaded with colonists, equipment, and supplies on Earth's surface, take off, land on Luna's surface, and be ready to begin off loading/reloading, in something like under three minutes! :lol: If this is indeed the case, I could see an hourly service being setup, where folks could be commuting back and forth to work and home...

Has nothing to do with how the game plays out, but does offer up some interesting story ideas, where workers in Lunar factories hop the 'shuttle' and are home for dinner, here on Earth.

Sort of like how we could write a story about a subway ride today, where commuters board an underground train, and what their voyage is like on their daily way to and from work. Cut and paste subway/trains and replace with space ships, and voila, a starting place to some fiction.

Arrrgh! Again with the drifting, off topic, writing anything that pops into my head kinda ramblings! :evil: :twisted: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Anyway, for those folks that are trying to follow any thread written by me, I apologise once again for displaying just how chaotic and jumbled up my head is, lol.
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Re: Anatomically correct Sol system project.

Postby Otterman on Tue 12 Nov 2019 14:26

You know, I expected significantly different content based on the "anatomically correct" subject name.
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Re: Anatomically correct Sol system project.

Postby voidstalker[woe] on Wed 13 Nov 2019 13:33

Otterman wrote:You know, I expected significantly different content based on the "anatomically correct" subject name.
Sorry about that.

What are you looking for, in such a thread? I didn't mean to mislead folks into thinking I was trying to make an actual 3D map or something along those lines. I need to get back to work on this like when I started, so I can have things moving along.

What did the original posts do for you? Were they good to go for what they were and tried to cover, or were you looking for something else entirely.

I looked at the Inner Solar System, and realized that I could get some decent separation of the inner planets using a scale of 1 Light Minute per hex, out to just past the Asteroid Belt, and then could use a 30 LM/hex scale to show the outer System's Gas and Ice Giants, including pretty much the whole of Pluto's outermost orbit. Out beyond that, is what I call the inner and outer debris fields.

Let me know what you are looking for.
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