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Topics - Caplin

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Aurora Chat / Mapless Challenge :)
« on: January 15, 2018, 04:11:20 PM »
As an experiment, I'm wondering how many people play the game while using the System Map for visual information? As a totally blind player this is obviously not an option for me. Therefore, I propose a mapless challenge, as follows:

1. You can't use the System Map info to get an orientation to star systems or for sensor information, you only have access to the F9, system information window and other textual displays.
2. The events window is preferred for getting information, if only because it's easy to inadvertently look up and see something on the map, even if accidentally. I don't have that luxury :)
The point of this challenge is to document the experience. How'd it go? Were you disoriented? Did your ships blow up more than usual, or do you have a good enough map of systems only from the other information provided? There's no set length for this challenge, it can just be a one-time thing, or if you really want to you can try expanding from a Conventional Start with it. Have fun :)
I'd love to hear about people's experiences.

Full disclosure: Steve added a "show coordinates," option to the map a while back at my request, but I don't know how one can use just that information without accidentally getting more from the map, even if subconsciously.

The Academy / Working screen resolutions on Windows 10?
« on: January 06, 2018, 06:47:37 PM »
Hi ALl,

I'm running a Windows 10 laptop, who's "native," resolution is 1366x768. This is not ideal for playing Aurora, as some screens become very cluttered and confused, particularly the economics window. I wanted to check in and see if anyone had thoughts on getting this particular screen size to work.

I don't have an option to increase the height above 768, as far as I can see. The most promising avenue seems to be a "custom," resolution in my Intel HD graphics drivers, but this comes with all kinds of dire warnings about possibly frying my chipset if I'm not careful, and I'm hesitant to mess this up.

Does anyone have suggestions for dealing with this problem? "scrolling desktops," and the like seem to be popular, but I'm not sure how accessible they are with my screen reader.

C# Aurora / C# Aurora Blind Accessibility?
« on: January 05, 2018, 02:39:57 PM »
Hi Steve and All,

I was just wondering if it might be possible to comment on the (potential?) accessibility of this version of Aurora for the blind. I adore the VB6 version, but it's unfortunately difficult for me to play due to my new laptop's screen resolution refusing to cooperate.

I have recently become interested in this topic more professionally, as I've begun working in the accessibility field. The VB6  game was accessible mostly by accident, and thanks to some changes made by Steve, in particular the addition of map coordinates to system bodies.

I realize C# is a ways away from anything playable, but I'd love to be at least assured that there's a possibility. Thank you for your help and understanding :)

SA Questions / Multiple NPRs in One System
« on: January 04, 2018, 07:07:38 PM »
Hi All,

So I've been getting back into Starfire again, and have managed to get to a point where i have multiple NPRs, one high-tech and the other around Ind-1, in a single star system. I'm still trying to feel my way through Starfire Assistant, as I'm only about turn 5, and trying to stick as close to the official rules as possible.

I believe I'll have to go through the race creation process  for both races, but what I'm not quite sure on is how to handle the Amalgamation.

Could anybody walk me through the mechanical parts in Starfire Assistant so I end up with things as expected? I feel like I'll obviously be doing this in SM mode. Is it as simple as changing the political state and making the racial attitude adjustments?

Thanks much :)

Starfire Rules / Raiding Rules?
« on: March 29, 2017, 05:42:31 PM »
Hi All,

One of the things I've been curious about is the CFN/raiding rules. They're teased a lot in SM2, but I don't actually have these. I was hoping that the Unified Rules would have a copy, but it seems I won't get to read them now.

Is anybody able to give any perspective on them?

Starfire Rules / 3e Unified Rules
« on: March 25, 2017, 12:06:16 PM »
Hi All,

I'm just wondering whether anything ever came of the 3E unified rules beyond the tantalizing bits in the uTM? I realize the development was stopped at some point, but was hoping, perhaps, that some way might be found to release them now that SDS has been selling 3E itself for a while. The UTM has new sections on communications, survey and a few other things, and I was wondering how those integrated into the whole of the rules.

I've been enjoying a new game with SFA for a while, and would love to have an easier rules reference as compared to the mishmash of 3E material that exists now.

Starfire Rules / Detecting Courier Drones
« on: February 26, 2017, 11:54:38 AM »
Hi All,

i'm rereading my copy of 3rd Revised, in hopes of playing a campaign, and was slightly confused by the detection of courier drones.

According to the table in 4.05, you can only detect them in the proper sys hex with long-range sensors, and never without. Does this imply that most drones are launched with a planetary target? If I can't see them from a ship, I imagine I can't pick them up.

I find the sensor ranges without XR, in general, to be quite restrictive. I imagine this was intentional.

Thanks for any info :)

SA Questions / Where SA LEaves Off
« on: February 24, 2017, 06:21:02 PM »
Related to my post on abstracting combat, I'd like to get a better understanding of where the help from SA leaves off and where I need to bust out the notional map and counters.

I imagine this might happen in a few cases, such as exploring an unknown warp point which leads to a new NPR. There is a "Fleet Interactions," window in SA, but I'm not quite sure how much it presents for me.

I've been reading the 3rd Revised rules this afternoon, and they spend a lot of time talking about the different timescales at which things could happen. I imagine SA doesn't help much with things below the system scale.

If I were abstractly fighting a battle, it's probably reasonable to only really focus on the tactical scale. I imagine system and interception scale movement could largely be glossed over, if units have a chance of encountering one another. It's at times like this I wish I had a tactile hex map :)

Any thoughts from folks who have used SA extensively would be appreciated. :)

Starfire Rules / 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 :)

SA Questions / Status of tactical map
« on: September 12, 2015, 01:17:50 PM »
Hi All,

So I'm wondering about the status of the tactical map window. It's dawning on me that I won't be able to make much more progress with SF unless I can find a solution to dealing with stuff below the strategic level.

Something like a Braille hex map is impractical, but computer support ought to make this theoretically doable. I had a spreadsheet at one point which was basically a conversion of the ISF system map, but have since lost it.

The tactical window claims to still be under construction. Granted, I can't read the map, per se, but the controls for maneuvering ships, firing, etc seem to be accessible.
Any ideas would be appreciated. Even something like a first contact situation seems to require at least a bit of lower-level movement.

SA Questions / Constructing individual missiles
« on: September 10, 2015, 07:04:12 AM »
Hi All,

So I decided to start a game with missile tracking enabled. I am having trouble figuring out how to construct individual missiles, however. The "Construct buoy/munition," task in the Shipyard Complex window doesn't seem to work, as it expects me to select a small  craft.
I've assigned preferred loadouts to the classes in question, but have yet to build a ship of the class. Is that required first?
I could probably just use the "Load ships," button to handle this automatically, but somehow I feel like that's cheating. I feel as though I'm missing something obvious.

Granted, I could just use the missile fund. I'd rather try and get this working first though.

SA Questions / Class VS Design
« on: September 06, 2015, 03:37:52 PM »
Hi All,

Can somebody clarify the difference between a ship class and a design for me? It seems kind of odd to have such a divide. I guess I'm just used to Aurora where the two seem more or less synonymous. I'm not sure why we need to create classes based on our designs after already, well, designing them.

SA Questions / 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! :)

SA Questions / StarFire Assistant newbie query
« on: June 02, 2014, 07:11:01 PM »
Hi All,

I just downloaded SFA version 7.02, and have begun playing around with it. I also happen to be a more or less complete newbie to  StarFire as a whole, having only heard of it thanks to its mention in connection with Aurora.

I like SA a lot, it seems more user-friendly to me than the variety of spreadsheets which seem to be in vogue on the SDS forums at the moment, not to mention being very accessible with my screen reader.

I have Third Edition Revised, SM #2, and ISF from the SDS in PDF.

Is this all I need to make use of most of SA's features? Something which is rather frustrating to me about the books for third edition as compared with later products is that they seem rather scattered. SA seems to implement the CFN system from SM #2, not the original IFN from ISF, for instance. I guess I'm just trying to wrap my head around what I need from which book.

Thanks for any input. :)

The Academy / Splitting a Taskgroup
« on: May 26, 2014, 10:08:23 PM »
Hi ALl,

I'm trying to get back into Aurora after a couple years of more or less complete absence, and find that I've forgotten quite a lot. This in edition to the new changes in version 6.x will probably require that I ask some basic newbie questions to get back up to speed.

My first newbie question is about splitting a task group into individual ships, for surveying. I have three geosurvey ships in  the default survey TG. Is the only option to split them to detach each one individually and give them all the same default and conditional orders? I'd hope there would be a way to separate all of them and have them inherit whatever survey TG's orders are without needing to do it individually like that.

Any info would be appreciated. :)

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