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Topic Summary

Posted by: alanwebber
« on: May 15, 2011, 12:52:02 PM »


In month 25, the refit to Defender 1 was completed and the next month it set off on a shakedown cruise which was completed without incident. In month 26, population transfers were restarted although at a slower rate than previously (0.4 PP per month). This allowed the economy to recover to some extent with the balance at the end of month 27 being 1065 MCr.

During month 27, Discovery 1 was sent to Wolf 359 to explore - a distance of 2.8 LY. This was a double star. The primary was a white giant (stellar class A IV) which proved to have no planets. The secondary was a small yellow star (G VI) which had only 2 planets, both within the biozone, and an asteroid belt. Survey showed the inner planet was a Terran type with a methane atmosphere and no idigenous population. However, the mineral survey showed large quantities of all mineral types giving an EV of 1720. The methane atmosphere was disappointing but the planet could support a population of 10,000 PP which was more than enough to fully exploit the planet. However, to move 1 PP there using the Discovery would take 10 trips and cost 500 MCr per trip, a costly enterprise.

The 2nd planet was barren with no atmosphere. The EV was only 345 MCr

The asteroids were more interesting with an EV of 1230 MCr.

A decision would have to be made as to whether to colonise Wolf359-1 to stake a claim to it in case the Sirians came knocking. As Discovery 1 was the only FTL capable ship, it would mean no further exploration during the colonisation period.


For the Hawth, by month 27 they were close to completing Defender 3 but were still very strapped for cash. Balance = 152 MCr.

Posted by: alanwebber
« on: May 14, 2011, 04:44:18 AM »

As things have been moving fairly slowly, I decided to move things along and only post "important" events.


By month 13, the economy was in such a state that all colonisation had to be halted. On month 19, the ban on exploration was lifted on the understanding that Discovery 1 would be armed.

During month 21, Portland 2 was finished and added to the cargo fleet. Discovery 1 entered the yard for the addition of 5x10 cm Far IR PD Lasers and associated power plants. Tonnage increase = 105. Cost = 2367 MCr.

For the Hawth, colonisation was stopped for the same reason after month 10. The construction of Defender 3 continued but the rate was slowed to 20 tons per month in month 22 to reduce costs.

The Hawth have decided to add science instruments and an FTL drive to one of their Defender class ships to keep costs as low as possible once yard space and finances are available.

To be continued

Posted by: alanwebber
« on: May 12, 2011, 05:09:07 AM »

Month 4

NOTE - I decided that Earth was unlikely to totally abandon exploration so I decided to roll against Willpower - 73 (effectively starting at 0) and increasing by 1 each month. Month 4 roll = 33 - no exploration.

Earth continued as before, moving PP to the asteroids, researching Laser II, building a new Portland and paying maintenance for their ships. Balance = 4434 MCr

The Hawth had a different problem. The only worthwhile piece of real estate in the system was already colonised to its maximum value. The asteroids belts were of low value and the outer rock planet too far to travel until the FTL drive was fully researched. Even then the choice would have to be between an FTL freighter to move colonists or an exploration ship (which would have to armed if recent experiences were anything to go by). In the short term they decided to move a few PP to the nearest asteroid belt. Balance = 4802

Month 5

Terran exploration roll (requires 1 or less on d100) = 60 - no exploration

Terran Economics - as before - balance = 3843
Asteroid population = 3 PP  - Annual income = 7.3 MCr

Hawth Economics - as before - balance = 4214 Mcr

Month 6

Terran exploration roll (2 or less) = 92 - no exploration

Earth Research Centre 1 has reached 204 RP for the Laser II project and begins to roll for success (60% or less). dr = 79. Failure - try again next month.

Balance  = 3254 MCr


FTL1 Project has accumulated enough RP for a success roll (60%). dr = 91 - failure.

Balance = 3626 MCr

Month 7

Terran exploration (3 or less) - dr = 62 - no exploration

Laser II project dr=22 - Success. Earth now has access to longer range weapons for its new defence ships. David Delaney (head of RL1) gains 50 experience points.

Balance = 2764


FTL I project dr = 41 - Success. The Hawth can now build ships with a class I FTL drive. Leader Zara gains 50 experience points.

Balance = 3038 MCr

Month 8

Terran exploration (4 or less) dr = 15 - no exploration

No research (insufficient funds).

Balance = 2299 MCr


No research (no funds)

Balance = 2512 Mcr

To be continued

Posted by: alanwebber
« on: May 11, 2011, 02:42:33 PM »


The result of the battle was viewed very differently by the two races.

The Hawth were generally pleased by the result. Commander Woltan was praised by (most of) the media although some said that he should have destroyed the enemy ship. As he pointed out he probably only had one more attack before they escaped into Warpspace and was unlikely to cripple the enemy. If he had destroyed the Invader, who knew what might come looking for their missing comrades. After all, the enemy had FTL drives and the Hawth didn't. Who knew what other surprises they had. Just because that ship had no weapons, it didn't mean none of their ships did. As it was, they had driven the Invader from the system without allowing them any chance to scan the planet. If the Hawth were worried about the Invader, it was likely the Invader was more worried about them. (Commander Woltan gained 100 Experience points for winning the battle).

In fact, Woltan's analysis was very close to being accurate. Earth was in full panic mode. The Sirians (as the Terrans called them) had an offensive fleet. Earth had nothing apart from 1 defence installation orbiting Earth. Its only shipyard was tied up building a freighter because they had been assured there was no danger in exploring the universe. The Isolationists had a field day claiming that they'd always said that exploration was a recipe for disaster. Slowly, cooler heads prevailed. The Sirians could have no idea where they had come from and seemed to be of similar, albeit different, technology levels. Sure, Earth needed a defence fleet and that would be built as soon as space was available in the shipyard. For the time being Sirius would be out of bounds and further voyages of exploration would be put on hold. Both ships would be used to transfer population around Sol to increase the economy to support the new fleet. And they would wait to see if and when the Sirians would arrive in search of the home system of their enemy. (Captain Evans gained 50 experience points for getting his ship home).

Posted by: alanwebber
« on: May 11, 2011, 01:07:00 PM »

Month 3

Nothing changed much this month:-
Income - 765 MCr
Research on Laser II - Cost 125 MCr  - RP total - 102 out of 200 Required
Shipbuilding - New Portland Freighter - Cost 422 MCr - 90 tons total built out of 621
Colonization - 0.6 PP moved from Earth to Asteroids - Cost 600 MCr
Maintenance Costs - 209 MCr
Final balance = 5025 MCr

Discovery 1 jumped to Sirius, a distance of 3 LY taking 6 days. For the next 20 hours they took general readings of the system finding 4 medium gas giants, 2 asteroid belts and three rock planets, 1 Terran type and 2 barren. They decided to take a closer look at Sirius-2 - and opened a new chapter in Earth's history.

As they approached the planet, they began to pick up unusual readings. They needed to get in closer to carry out their survey but the captain was no fool. He approached at speed 1 stern first. If necessary he could reverse direction quickly. He could not activate his jump engines within 140,000 km of the planet (14 hexes from the planet and he needed to be within 100,000 km to obtain useful readings (that's what the manual said i.e. me). The planet had 1 moon in orbit at 80,000 km. He approached the planet with his active sensors on and shields up. A stealthy approach could be seen as a hostile act.

Unknown to the captain, the planet was home to the Hawth - a reptilian race who had recently mastered space flight and started to colonise their system. They had no FTL ability but that would soon change as they had just started researching FTL engines. They were  fairly determined (Willpower 76), highly arrogant (86), fairly aggressive (73) and, although they were not generally xenophobic (40), they believed they were the highest life form in the galaxy and they did not welcome visitors. Two "Defender" frigates were powered down, hidden behind the moon, waiting for a chance to pounce on the unsuspecting invaders. Both were armed with 4x2cm mass cannons in turrets - and both were ready to attack.

If the moon wasn't present, the Terrans would have a 35% of spotting the engine off Hawth frigates but, as they are hiding, I decided to not give them a chance to spot them until they were 2 hexes away (just mean I guess). By then, the Hawth were in motion.

Remember that the Terran ship has speed 1 on vector 060.

Initiative - Terran 4 Hawth1 8 Hawth2 6

Hawth move first and apply 1 thrust in vector 240. Terrans apply 1 thrust in direction 060 to reduce speed to zero.

The Terrans have no weapons so cannot fire.

The Hawth open fire with 4 mass cannons each. At 2 hex range, mass cannons require 88 or less on d100 to score a hit. Hawth1 gets 3 hits, as does Hawth2. Each volley scores 3 thermal and 9 kinetic. The alpha shields reduce the thermal to 1 each by mitigation which is absorbed by the shields, reducing the thermal on the rear shield to 13 and the collapse value to 23. The first 9 kinetic also hit the shields, reduced to 7 by mitigation and thus reducing the protection to 3 and the collapse value to 16. The 2nd volley does the same, reducing the protection to 0, the collapse value to 13, and 4 points hit the armor. The armor gives no protection against kinetic damage so the 3 points hit the hull. 2 points of structure are damaged (441 to 439) and 2 hits obtained on the structure internally (437).
The Terrans rebalance the shields to try to reduce damage from the next attack. The kinetic protection becomes 7/6/7/6 (Forward / Port / Aft / Starboard) and the thermal protection becomes 15/14/15/14. The problem for the Terrans is that the next attack will probably collapse the shields, allowing all the damage to hit the hull.

Unknown to the Terrans, discussions are taking place on the Hawth flagship. They have seen that the Terran ship has no weapons and their honor code prevents them from attacking defenceless prey. They decide that, provided the invader leaves the system, they have made their point. They decide to cease fire and see what happens. (Rolled against xenophobia (dr=52, xenophobia = 40). The Terran ship can't believe its luck and accelerates as quickly as possible to a point where they can activate their FTL engines and return to Earth.

To be continued.

Posted by: alanwebber
« on: May 11, 2011, 05:10:42 AM »

Month 2 Exploration

Having decided to explore the outer reaches of PC, Discovery 1 again activated its FTL drive to reach the outer asteroid belt. The EV found was slightly higher than the inner belt at 270 EV but probably not worth the cost of extraction. A further jump took them to Proxima-11, a ice world which had an oxygen atmosphere. This looked promising until the mineral surveys were evaluated and were found to result in an EV of 105.

So far, the results of the system survey had been mildly disappointing. The initial excitement had worn off and most of the crew wanted to get home. However, they only had one planet left, a cold barren rock on the outskirts of the system, so they made one final jump to Proxima-12. The results of the mineral survey were astounding. A motherlode of riches awaited any mining expedition. An EV of 5520 was calculated although the miserable planet would only support 375 population points. This would still mean a monthly income of 414 MCr once fully exploited which would go a long way to alleviating Earth's economic problems. The only problem was how to get the people there with no FTL Freighters and using Discovery 1 to ferry them would take a long time.

However, that was for Earth Central to work out. They activated their FTL drive one last time and headed home to a hero's welcome.

It wasn't long, however, before their next orders came through. This time the journey was to Sirius, a yellow star 3 LY away.


Posted by: alanwebber
« on: May 11, 2011, 03:37:51 AM »

Economic Update

I have heard from Erik that I can pay for ship construction on a monthly basis rather than laying down the whole cost up front. This has changed my economic situation radically. I have now started work on Laser II tech which costs 2500 MCr start up fee and 125 per month to keep going. I have generated 68 RP in the first 2 months needing only 200 to begin to roll to see if the project is completed (success = <=60%). I now have a balance of 5616 MCr but it is dropping steadily so, at some time, I may have to make some budget cuts.

Posted by: alanwebber
« on: May 10, 2011, 07:24:07 AM »

Economics Turn 2

Not much to report on the economic front. My freighter is under construction but will take 21 months to complete. NOTE I've based the hull size on the non-cargo hold tonnage to be consistant with other rules e.g cost of hull.

I now have 0.6 PP on the asteroids. After some discussion with Erik, I've decided to generate income based on a colony producing 100% of the EV. This requires 5000 PP. Erik has said that an outpost produces 10% of the EV. So my formula for income from a body is PP/5000*EV*tax rate/100. So my 0.6 PP on the asteroids produces a wopping total of 0.12 MCr. At least it's a start. The maximum population for the asteroids is 50 PP so the most it can ever produce is 10 MCr per month.

My balance has dropped to 340 MCr so it's going to be a while before I can start any research or building facilities.

Next - back to PC and the voyage of Discovery 1.

Posted by: alanwebber
« on: May 10, 2011, 05:50:42 AM »

The survey of Proxima Centauris.

Discovery 1 left Sol on January 1st and arrived in PC (as it soon became known) on January 5th at 10.00. It took position inside the asteroid belt and activated its science instruments. 10 hours later it had a rough scan of the planetary bodies. There were 4 rock planets, 6 gas giants and 2 asteroid belts. 10 hours after that, they had a reasonable idea of planetary types. The results were as follows:-

Planet         Distance (AU)           Type           Notes
1                   0.6                     Terran           Within Biosphere
2                   0.9                     GG Small       Outside Biosphere
3                   1.2                     Asteroids
4                   1.8                    GG Medium
5                   3.0                    GG Large
6                   5.4                    Barren
7                  10.2                    GG Small
8                  19.8                    GG Large
9                  39.0                    GG Large
10                77.4                    Asteroids
11               154.2                   Ice
12               307.8                   Barren

The captain quickly decided to investigate the Terran planet inside the biosphere zone in the unlikely event that there might be intelligent life there, followed by the nearby asteroid belt and the barren world in orbit 6. The remaining rock planets and the outer asteroid belt were too far out to be of any real interest.

Proxima-1 was 2AU from their current position which took 10 days using their normal engines. On January 16th they arrived in orbit around the planet. It took 4 days to completely survey the planet and the results were disappointing. The planet had a nitrogen atmosphere and was fairly hot for human tolerances. Its level of minerals was very low and the survey specialists determined the Exploitation value of the planet was 90 on the EV scale compared with 1120 for Earth. The Bioscience team believed the planet could become home for 20000 PP. If the terraforming guys ever got their act into gear, it might be possible to improve this but, as the captain said, "Don't hold your breath".

On January 20th they left for the asteroid belt. It was only 0.6 AU away so it took 3 days to arrive. Another 4 days of surveying showed that the asteroids were of stone / iron construction, had some heavy metals and a reasonable amount of industrial metal. Its EV was 190.

On January 27th they left for Proxima-6. As it was 4 AU away and this would take 21 days to travel using normal space engines, they decided to make a short FTL jump once they were clear of the asteroids. On January 28th they arrived in orbit. This was a barren world with no atmosphere but it had abundant minerals. Its EV was 2700 although it could never be more than an outpost. At least the trip hadn't been a complete waste of time.

In light of these results, the captain decided to take a look at the outer asteroid belt and the two outer rock worlds. That, however, was next month.

Posted by: alanwebber
« on: May 09, 2011, 10:58:43 AM »

I should stress at the outset that this is an amalgamation of the v2 playtest rules so far published and the v1 system and race setup rules.

The premise is that the Terrans have explored the solar system (but not yet placed any colonies) and have developed an FTL drive. Their starting technologies are as stated in the example in the back of the playtest rules.

I first set up the Sol system so as to generate income. This comes from summing the Exploitation Value of colonised or occupied bodies (planets or asteroids) and multiplying by the tax value (based on government type) and any personalities (you have 5 to start). My tax rate is 65%.

Without going into too much detail, Sol has the following useful planets:-

Planet                     Exploitation Value (EV)           Maximum Population (MP)      Actual Population
Mercury                           105                                          100                                   0
Venus                             620                                        20000                                  0
Earth                             1120                                      400000                                50000
Mars                              265                                          50000                                 0
Asteroids 1                    1560                                            50                                   0
Pluto                              75                                              50                                    0
Asteroids 2                     29                                               50                                   0

Thus the inner asteroid belt has the best EV and the lowest population requirement. I have asked Erik for clarification on how many population points (PP) are required to generate the income.

All my income at the start comes from Earth. You get 1 year's income to start, 3 year's income as a fleet fund as well as a free shipyard, a research facility, a defence installation and a scanning installation.

From the fleet fund, I built 1 in-system freighter for moving population (cost 8745 MCr) and one FTL survey ship (16282 MCr). That was all my cash spent on ships and leaves me with a monthly maintenance cost of 209 MCr. From my starting cash and 1st month's income, I decided to start to build another freighter.

Moving PP in system to a non established colony costs 1000 MCr and takes 5 ships (civilin ships count as 3). The distance from the Earth to the asteroid belt is 1.8 AU and my thrust 1 freighter will take 18.75 days to make the round trip. I have allowed partial PP movement, otherwise I'll never move anyone. In January, I move 0.6 PP at a cost of 600 MCr. At the end of the month I have a balance of 384 MCr, not enough to start any research.

My universe consists of an 8x8x8 grid with 27 systems as well as Sol in the middle. My survey ship (Discovery 1) is ordered to travel to a nearby Orange star system (the only thing known about it) - Proxima Centauris. The distance is 2.2 LY away so will take 4.4 days (assuming time to travel depends on distance). It will arrive outside the biosphere and start taking readings. It will take 10 hours to determine the number of bodies (if any) and another 10 hours to determine planetary types.

That's all for now folks. I'm waiting for a couple of replies from Erik before proceeding with Discovery 1's epic voyage into the unknown

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