Author Topic: Abstracting Starfire Combat  (Read 383 times)

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Offline Caplin

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Abstracting Starfire Combat
« on: February 23, 2017, 02:49:56 PM »
Hi All,

I seem to go through phases as regards SF, being very interested in it and making an effort, only to hit a wall of some sort and retire in confusion. I'm back to interest for the moment.

One of the problems I run into is that hex maps are difficult to deal with as a blind person. Starfire Assistant is a great tool for the strategic book keeping, but I'm not quite sure how to game out tactical battles.

Cralis,  on the SDS board, suggested I might try abstracting combat, so that it was a matter of linear ranges instead of counting hexes. This would be similar to the way some tabletop RPGs deal with combat.

I was wondering if anybody had any advice on doing this? Note that I've already tried Vassal and other electronic board solutions, and haven't found one which is workable yet.

The most obvious disadvantage of abstraction like this is that facing loses its meaning. You can't very well shoot at an enemy's blindspot with only two directions.

I'm not sure what the SFA battle resolver is capable of, maybe this would be beneficial in avoiding the need to set things up on a map?

Thanks for any thoughts :)
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Abstracting Starfire Combat
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2017, 05:36:15 AM »
Hi All,

I seem to go through phases as regards SF, being very interested in it and making an effort, only to hit a wall of some sort and retire in confusion. I'm back to interest for the moment.

One of the problems I run into is that hex maps are difficult to deal with as a blind person. Starfire Assistant is a great tool for the strategic book keeping, but I'm not quite sure how to game out tactical battles.

Cralis,  on the SDS board, suggested I might try abstracting combat, so that it was a matter of linear ranges instead of counting hexes. This would be similar to the way some tabletop RPGs deal with combat.

I was wondering if anybody had any advice on doing this? Note that I've already tried Vassal and other electronic board solutions, and haven't found one which is workable yet.

The most obvious disadvantage of abstraction like this is that facing loses its meaning. You can't very well shoot at an enemy's blindspot with only two directions.

I'm not sure what the SFA battle resolver is capable of, maybe this would be beneficial in avoiding the need to set things up on a map?

Thanks for any thoughts :)

I'm not blind so please excuse me if by trying to suggest something here I sound like an idiot :)

In the past I have run some battles without a hex map because the two forces were in a stern chase (fairly common) and the only thing that mattered was the separation distance. This is also true in the initial stages of many battles.

I once played quite a lot of blind chess, which is played without a board. You just keep track of the position of the pieces in your head. For the more straightforward battles, is that possible?

Or third option, forget the hex map and visualize the general position/facing of the ships and their ranges and fight the battle on that basis. This is more of a role-playing approach but as long as you are doing this consistently and playing a game where you control all sides, it should be fine.

BTW I would have added a tactical map to Starfire Assistant but unfortunately I was forbidden from doing so by the owner.
 

Offline Caplin

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Re: Abstracting Starfire Combat
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2017, 12:12:56 PM »
Hi Steve,

Thanks for your thoughts. I haven't ever tried blind chess, but suspect I'd be pretty bad at it. :) I guess it's just a practice issue.

Speaking of practice, I wonder about good "intro," scenarios to try and get used to abstract combat before trying to game out something unwieldy of my own devising. I recently bought Stars at War from the SDS, and wonder if that's a good place to  start.

I'm inclined towards the role-playing approach, and since it would be a solo campaign I'm the only person who'd have to be satisfied with the results.

By the way, thanks for both Aurora and SFA. They share a lot of accessibility, and I appreciate that. I hope the upcoming C# version of the former won't end up losing that feature.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 12:51:01 PM by Caplin »
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Abstracting Starfire Combat
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2017, 07:51:18 PM »
Hi Steve,

Thanks for your thoughts. I haven't ever tried blind chess, but suspect I'd be pretty bad at it. :) I guess it's just a practice issue.

Speaking of practice, I wonder about good "intro," scenarios to try and get used to abstract combat before trying to game out something unwieldy of my own devising. I recently bought Stars at War from the SDS, and wonder if that's a good place to  start.

I'm inclined towards the role-playing approach, and since it would be a solo campaign I'm the only person who'd have to be satisfied with the results.

By the way, thanks for both Aurora and SFA. They share a lot of accessibility, and I appreciate that. I hope the upcoming C# version of the former won't end up losing that feature.

Welcome back!  I remember your posts over the years - it's good to see you're still around and interested!

John
 

Offline Caplin

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Re: Abstracting Starfire Combat
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2017, 08:36:05 PM »
Thanks so much for remembering, John. :)

I haven't looked at either Aurora or Starfire for a while, but find  my interest rekindled in both. THere's really nothing comparable in accessible gaming, so I take what enjoyment I can.
 

 

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