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Topics - Caplin

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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. :)

Aurora Chat / Why Can't I Stay Away?
« on: May 24, 2014, 03:16:03 AM »
Hi All,

So I haven't touched Aurora for quite a while, again—chalk it up to my being on a mac now and not really liking virtual machines if I can avoid them, let alone Bootcamp. Anyhow, I've recently become interested in trying to play StarFire, which Aurora was inspired by, and lo and behold, I'm back to Aurora again. I think solo SF might be a bit too much number crunching for multiple empires.

So I hope the interest factor stays with me this time. I seem to run into issues every so often which make it frustrating to continue, though it's hard to remember what they are, specifically. Perhaps the fact that the 10K coordinates Steve added way back in the 5.20 days seem to be cut off when read by my screen reader? I'm stuck at 1280 by 800, which is hardly ideal.

Perhaps with a few more tweaks, Steve willing, I could really make some more forward progress. I'm glad to see the forums are still active—moreso than ever, it seems. Happy to be back, even if I struggle with the game regularly. :) Long live Aurora!

The Academy / Getting back in the Saddle with questions
« on: March 24, 2012, 05:18:14 PM »
Hi All,
It's been around a year and change since I last looked at Aurora seriously, running into the problem of frustration and minor struggle with the interface. I've begun reading Honor Harrington again recently, which peaked my interest once more. I hope it lasts this time.
I'm wondering about the system map. I've been trying to declutter it as much as possible to avoid struggling with my screen reader, and for the most part seem to have succeeded. Is there an option to remove comet information? My screen is only 1280x800 this time, and that tends to get in the way when using the  10K resolution coordinates Steve was kind enough to include in an update many moons ago.
Combat still worries me. People have suggested that I'm likely to do it primarily centered around system bodies, but how much am I missing if I have to do it this way? WOuld it be possible to, say, enter waypoint coordinates using the 10K system already in place? I geuss I'm asking from the point of view of someone with little practical experience.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks much,

Aurora Chat / Does talent require insanity?
« on: March 14, 2011, 08:23:24 PM »
Mr. Jacob Potts is my best civilian administrator.  He has a 30% shipbuilding bonus, a 30% factory production bonus, 20% wealth creation and 15% zenology.  His personality leaves something to be desired...
He is cautious, modest, has psychological problems and seems to be personally wealthy.  So... What, did he bribe the psych team to pass him through the screening tests or something?  Perhaps he's one of those few people who have genuinely had an alien encounter, and came back strange?  That might explain his weird mix of bonuses, since this is the start of my new campaign.  He is now governor of Earth.  Go figure.

The Academy / Updating the installer?
« on: March 14, 2011, 12:47:14 PM »
Hi Steve and All,
I post this in here because of its possible bennefit to new players, and because it isn't a bug in the sense of broken functionality. 
It might be a good idea to update the installation process for Aurora.  The current system of "install 4.91, unzip the 4.91 update, patch to 5.4x", seems a bit much to ask of newbies who are perhaps expecting something a bit more intuitive.  Would it be possible to just roll the update into the installer such that you could download the 5.40 installer and patch to 5.42?  Or, perhaps more to the point, just download the 5.42 installer and run it? 
I know that some of the people I've tried to introduce to the game have gotten hung up on the installation process initially.  I realize patches in themselves aren't much to ask, but the whole thing could use a bit of streamlining.
Just my thoughts,

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