Author Topic: Missile Fund and Missile Tracking  (Read 1045 times)

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Offline Caplin

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Missile Fund and Missile Tracking
« on: August 23, 2015, 07:23:33 AM »
Hi All,

I've begun trying to get into Starfire again, and found SA invaluable. I find the documentation kind of lacking though.

Can somebody explain the missile/fighter fund to me? I seem to remember reading something about it, but at the time I wasn't really interested in Starfire so it didn't make much sense.

Also, how do the funds interact with the "Missile Tracking," option? Is that the ISF idea of paying for every missile individually?

Thanks! :)
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Missile Fund and Missile Tracking
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2015, 08:13:48 AM »
That's a coincidence, I spent yesterday reminding myself of SA and rolling up a new (solo) campaign.

Do you need to know the rules, or how it works in SA?

For rules, look at 06.04.02b and its sub-sections in SM2R4.  If you don't have SM2 (Sky Marshal #2), you should be able to get it from the SDS website www.starfiredesign.com (it looks like Marvin is selling 3rd edition materials again, and that they're even rolling out 1st and 2nd editions).

For how it works in SA, it's the average cost of your Mg loadout.  To set it, go to the Economics - Dynamic screen.  There's a missile fund tab where you can set the "Desired loadout" (e.g. "10" if you want 200x basic missiles in each magazine).  Hit the "Save changes..." button, and SA will push the costs through to the turns expenditures (shown on the "Turn Based" screen.  So if you've got 17 Mg in your fleet and you change from 10 to 13, it will charge you 51 MCr.

If you do a mid-turn reload (or anything else that isn't explicitly handled in SA), you can tell SA to account for it from the Turn Based econ screen.  In each of the Income and Expenditure columns, there's a "Misc" entry at the bottom that's editable by you that SA will blindly obey.  (It took me forever to find this again last night :) ).

Note that I'm using 6.8; Steve had started to change supply rules in some of the later versions and this was the version I picked when I last was messing with SA ~4 years ago.

John
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 08:16:04 AM by sloanjh »
 

Offline Caplin

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Re: Missile Fund and Missile Tracking
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2015, 12:16:28 PM »
Thanks, John. :) I'm almost totally new to all versions of Starfire, so figuring out how the rules are split/superseded isn't something I've quite internalized yet.

I think that "Classic," SF with the help of SFA is the best chance I' have of actually making a go of this game. :) The interface makes it almost like a computer game—at least most of the time.

Edit: The missile tracking checkbox does what I thought it did. :/ One of the problems of running Aurora or SFA with a screen reader is that I forget there are tooltips available. So it goes.


Good luck with your solo efforts. That's how I intend to play, since finding someone else interested/patient enough to indulge me in a game isn't too likely.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 03:40:51 PM by Caplin »
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Missile Fund and Missile Tracking
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2015, 07:25:47 AM »
Good luck!

FYI, I'm pretty sure that SA is highly tuned to SM2R4, so if by "classic" you mean something else you're probably going to see weird results.  Also, have you read the Rigellian Diary?  Steve's ship designs and description of his first few turns helped me a lot the first time I tried to play a campaign.

It's funny, how I always go through the same sequence (as with all good addictive behaviors :)  ):

1)  (Re-)read the Weber/White Starfire books.  Gets me thinking about Starfire again.
2)  (Re-)read the Diary.  Gets me wanting to play Starfire again
3)  Start up a new Starfire campaign.  Last time I had the only empire at the start, and hit two failure modes:
  A) I was wading through a sea of P and IND-1 NPR that I was spending all my time setting up and managing (especially on the diplomacy side).  From the Diary, it looks like after the first P/IND or two, Steve put a house rule in place that they would simply be ignored.  I checked this in the SFA database (v5.0) that came with SFA (by running Steve's game in SFA), and I didn't see any, so I think I'm correct on this.
  B) The HT NPR that I *did* activate weren't very tough compared to my empire, so I didn't see a lot of potential for challenge going forward.

So this time (in the new campaign) I started with two empires: me and an arachnid (that I gave player-race starting funds etc. to).  So far the bugs are out-producing me by a huge factor (4-5X after subtracting off maintenance and research), but it's going to take them forever to get to HT2, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

John

 

Offline boggo2300

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Re: Missile Fund and Missile Tracking
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2015, 04:45:48 PM »
Marvins selling Starfire 3 plus SM1 & SM2 as "Classic Starfire"
The boggosity of the universe tends towards maximum.
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Missile Fund and Missile Tracking
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2015, 07:12:06 AM »
Marvins selling Starfire 3 plus SM1 & SM2 as "Classic Starfire"

Ah - thx.
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Missile Fund and Missile Tracking
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2015, 08:00:55 AM »
From considerable experience I can say that without SFA long running campaigns are unlikely, simply because book keeping explodes on you at some point.

Some things to keep in mind in a base line 3rdR campaign:

1.  Income will grow signficiantly after TL4.  Up until then tech research is expensive but then it becomes covered by the 30% and 10% SM2 change.  Basically Starfire's income is compound interest, all investments bring something you only really just ask about optimization of the rate of return.  Maintenance is the only drag on the economy and SM2 guts maintenance costs to produce an economic disaster as after a certain point you stop considering the cost of things.
2.  Ship numbers will start to balloon at about the same time (TL3 or 4)
3.  NPRs can be crippled by starting set ups.  They often have huge numbers of groundforces that cost massive maintenance and don't do them much good.
4.  After TL3 or so, you will have a signficant advantage against most NPRs income wise as you have colonies and they don't.
5.  If you don't turn down the chance to find NPRs that will be death to the campaign as they do take time and effort to look after.

Starslayer and I have house rules that substantially reduce incomes (growth is slow and you can't colonize asteroid belts), make construction slow (cut in half) and also double the required time to do R&D (or half the value of the roll whichever).  This has produced a game where even with us at TL9-10 we have fleets that are managable.  It has given much more of a "stars at war" feel to the game.  We further require the transport of automatic weapons by dedicated ships, tenders are needed to deploy them (effectively adding maintence), we use the rules for supply that Steve was testing, and missiles are tracked individualy (this makes colliers necessary).  We forgot to slow down R&D right from the start otherwise we would probably only be around TL6 or so.

Have fun.
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Missile Fund and Missile Tracking
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2015, 07:33:18 AM »
Hey Paul,

  What do you and Starslayer do about NPR proliferation (your point #5)?  I'm at turn 6 and just hit my second HT1 NPR (plus a P that I threw away).  I can already see them blowing up the time I spend on the campaign.

John
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Missile Fund and Missile Tracking
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2015, 08:17:32 AM »
We have set the chance of an NPR very low...Starslayer probably knows better than me...5% maybe less.

Added in Edit:
Under Game Parameters, Chance of Populaton is set as follows:

No Population: 0-95%
Pre-Ind: 96-96%
IND1: 97-97%
IND2: 98-98%
HTx: 99-100%

Worth pointing out even with these low chances the SC has encountered 1 Pre-Industrial, 1 Ind1, and 2 Ind2 races.  One of the Ind2 races may be breaking into spaceflight by itself and the other is currently being uplifted to HT1 by the Drakes (technically it was a IND1 race and has already been uplifted to IND2).  The Shanirians does not contact such races after the Barsoomian incident but frankly I doubt the others are so kind.  The RM would land troops without a second thought.

We have 2 player races and 34 races total.   Starslayer is awesomely effective at turn handling for the NPRs...he can do 30 of them in less time then I can do the 6 I look after (Shanirians, Drakes, Squids, Moonies, Moldovians, and RM)...I think I get too caught up in looking at details.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 11:18:04 AM by Paul M »
 

Offline Caplin

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Re: Missile Fund and Missile Tracking
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2015, 06:06:04 PM »
That sounds like a ridiculously high number of NPRs. :)

I'm actually liking baseline ISF in some ways more than SM2. The maintenance stuff is definitely fiddly, but at least I don't have to recalculate GPV as often. I rather wish SFA had more options about which rules it would support.

As for the diary, yes, I've definitely read parts of it. It's inspiring, even if I'm left with some game mechanics questions from time to time.
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Missile Fund and Missile Tracking
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2015, 05:53:04 AM »
I don't really know how to take your comment on the number of NPRs, smilely notwithstanding.

We are at turn 246 currently so that is fewer than 1 NPR per 10 turns of play and we have a 2000 star map, but I spend a considerable amount of time doing the ones I am looking after.  Starslayer is much much much more efficient with his turn processing.

The problem with ISF is that since everytime you increase your EL you re-roll your REI and you only accept increases, eventually everyone achieves whatever the maxium value is.  It should work as a +1, 0, or -1 change ehen your EL goes up.  SFA is designed around 3rdR, most of the optional stuff comes from people asking Steve for things, or Steve coming up with stuff for the Rigillian game.  It is probably one of the best tools of its type going, but Steve doesn't do anything with it anymore and hasn't looked at the code in ages so you are stuck with what you have.

The economics of 3rdR are nothing more than compound interest though.  Every investment returns increased income, just some investments return more.  The result is that every last rock will eventually get colonized, and there is no reason not to max out your IU.  In the München games Starslayer and Wolfgang ran we basically put the economic side of the game through the stress test and found out how to break it.  There are a lot of un-intentional (I would imagine) consiquences to the "simplify the bookkeeping" rule changes introduced in SM2.  But most of these things are not unique to SF but showed up in Civ and MoO or pretty much all 4X games.

I assume you mean the Rigillian Diary...which game mechanics questions?
 

Offline Caplin

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Re: Missile Fund and Missile Tracking
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2015, 11:45:09 AM »
I mostly intended the remark about NPRs to be tongue in cheek. I wasn't aware of how far you were in your game—240+ turns is farther than I can imagine going right now, certainly as a newbie.

Your points about compound interest are well-taken. My mechanical question was more wondering how Steve handled probing movements into new systems, for instance. THere's a "Probe," button in the UI, which does what I'd expect, but doesn't actually seem to require a fleet to go in.

I guess I'm trying to figure out where the assistance of SFA leaves off and I need to actually start tracking things manually. It seems to have become much more featureful over the years.
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Missile Fund and Missile Tracking
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2015, 02:42:46 PM »
You can find the current state of our game here on the board...Starslayer just posted the last battle between the Red Aliens and the Cannon Cartel/Yeti Alliance fleet.  Which is an interesting rebound for the Yeti and an unfortunate introduction for the Cannon to the AFM.  One that the RM would surely have not wanted given out...but the cat is out of the bag on a lot of what they consider their secret tech...

We have far far far far far far far fewer NPRs then a game with the regular chances will give you.  But we still run into low tech races...and a low tech race will be hardly so interesting.  The Moldovians for example will likely reach HT1 before they finish their first SS.  And 30-40 turns later will have a HT1-2 CA/DD squadron available...when the main NPRs are HT9 or higher...  And the Moldovians are being agressively uplifted by the Drakes.

As for probes the button only does the probe results you physically have to send in the probe ships during the turn basically after hitting the probe button to generate the link.  Starslayer and I are rather lazy about this and basically sort that stuff out the next turn (if there is a contact situation or whatever).  I send him the done turn and then tell him who probed where and he tells me the results.
 

Offline Starslayer_D

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Re: Missile Fund and Missile Tracking
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2015, 03:50:15 PM »
Well, in theory under fleet movement for a fleet there is a pause option, meaning a fleet stays still and the probe part happens next system. If you want to really get into detail, split of a new fleet from your existing fleet and have it move into the new system after hitting the probe button.
 

Offline Starslayer_D

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Re: Missile Fund and Missile Tracking
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2015, 03:54:18 PM »
The NPR number is not huge. The first munich campaign with 8 players imploded when by turn 40 we had over 80 NPRS, many also busy exploring and activating.

Next campaign we had the NPR changes way down and ignored all not HT ones. this time we keep a balance, with the changes Paul described.
Basically we gutted the growth rate, tech research and build rate, which made a challenge as eg. the Thebans cover way more systems than the rigellians at way less income.. come patrol and secure all that space.. :)
 

 

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