Author Topic: Frequently Asked Questions  (Read 9564 times)

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Offline Þórgrímr (OP)

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Frequently Asked Questions
« on: August 04, 2011, 08:40:31 PM »
Frequently Asked Question

1. How should I start a game of Beyond the Stars!?

When you are ready to build your nation you will have three main tasks. The first thing to do is to purchase your starting infrastructure. As a side note, unhoused population do not provide any production contribution, but do require maintenance. Also, at TL  6 and above you need Energy Production to power your nation or you will be facing a really 'dark' future! This will include the purchase of factories, mines, a Transport network, Housing, etc. Sounds hard, but only in figuring out where you wish to focus on. I would recommend roughly 50 Wv and, if you do not choose Untapped Fuel Reserves, roughly 50 or more FP as well.

If you have the opportunity, use the terrain spreadsheet to fine tune your infrastructure so that it is self supporting and you do not have a negative in energy and food production. The spreadsheet will do many of your calculations for you, so you don't need to do the math with a calculator, but if you want a free headache...

2. What type of terrain should I choose?

I would recommend at least one Super Terrain as it doubles food production from that region. If you have enough TP (Terrain Points) you can build your own world. I would also recommend a mountainous terrain as well as the RM(raw materials) infrastructure limit is higher there. Any region slot not filled in by you will be filled in by the Game Master.

3. What sort of non-military units should I have?

I would sincerely recommend freighters as they can be put into trade routes and generate additional monthly income for you. This can compensate for having few Wv facilities (Wealth).  Freighters can also be used for fishing fleets in order to create additional food sources.

You may want 2 or more explorer units as well. They cost 0.8 NP each. If you have lots of ocean, put the explorers on some navy ships or freighters for that matter and use them to explore the water terrain for new sources of fuel for FP. Otherwise focus on the land until it is all surveyed. Multiple Explorer units will map out terrain faster then only one unit will and don't be afraid to make more Explorers. They don't have a shelf life!

4. What good are unit templates?

Use up all your unit templates. A unit that has not had a template made for it must have that template researched first! Go ahead and create what interests you. Let your imagination roam free. Your race is limited only by your imagination and available Species Points (abbreviated sp) but it is your race and how their society works is up to you. The point of this game is to have fun!

5. What military units would you recommend?

Unless you have next to no water, you will need to create several basic naval units. I would recommend a destroyer class, a sub, and at least an escort carrier. If you have chosen one of the Neighbors disadvantages then heavier naval units are a must. If nothing else, use up all your ship templates, even if you don't actually buy the units they represent. You may be able to sell the design at a later date.

I would recommend several specialties for aircraft templates. You will want an interceptor design for air superiority, a basic ground attack variant, an AWACs type with a communications cap and maybe a sensors cap, and a ground to orbit shuttle though rockets are cheaper and quicker to build, but they are not resusable. If you have carriers, you will want a navalized version using the carrier launched cap.
Your army is a bit tougher as there are many ideas on what should be a good army. But at a minimum, you will want a basic infantry unit, a mechanized infantry, a MBT unit (armored), a unit with the Engineers cap for defensive bonuses, an artillary unit (with a mobility cap), and at least one headquarters unit. Headquarters units have no AR or DR and must be pared with another unit in order to defend itself. They are required for battlefield control. You may find out that you need additional templates to round your army out. Just remember that additional templates can be purchased with Species Points (SP) during species creation.

6.  How does Low Tech match up against High Tech?

Don't. Not unless you really understand mob tactics and can draw your opponent into strategic dispersion so you can beat him up by using defeat in detail. Think Swarms. REALLY big swarms. The exception is if your victim, er, evil opponent has next to no military at all. However, this is unlikely. Most races will not reveal their true military strengths except to blood allies.

You have a fair chance against an opponent who is above you in the same tech level. So two TL 8 powers (one at 820 and the other at 880) are roughly in the same  capability range, the lower will still not want to fight one on one. He will lose, just not as badly.

7.  How do Ground Forces fare against Space Forces?

Badly is the simple answer. There are artillery units that can be capped to strike successfully at orbital targets, but it is better to just not let the 36 legged Centipedes of Doom to get into orbit in the first place.

8.  How do I make an Ueber Power?

Put the word Ueber in front of its name. Seriously, though, what you do in the beginning will determine your strengths and weaknesses for a long time into the game. Generally, because of the versitility of BTS!, most nations that are created to be very powerful in one area will be weak in another area. A way to build your nation is to take disadavantages to get additional NP to buy infrastructure, technology levels, etc. These disadvantages can cripple you in the later game. For instance, two nations with the Patent Office disadvantage cannot trade technologies. It is possible to get a lot of NP from these disadvantages, but it will create a very narrow path for you to trod to success and that first step can be a real owie. Many of the disadvantages can be minimized with good planning, but many simply do not have good workarounds. So be careful in your choices.

9. 3.1.8 uses six digits for the Homeworld description, but 3.1.2 only lists five variables (size, temp., water, air, tectonic).  What is the sixth variable?

The 6th digit is the maximum amount of a planet usable by a player. Its basic number is determined by the Water amount. Say for example you have 60% water coverage (P-Dat water coverage number 6) you will have 40% of the planets surface covered in usable land terrain. The last P-Dat number would be a 4. That amount is further modified by Colonization costs.

10. How do I create a race?

Racial construction is relatively easy in BTS!. You start off by immediately spending NP (Nation Points) on your Biology tech level. This creates the number of SP (Species Points) that you have to spend on your races creation.

The next step is to define your races homeworld. If you do not choose to spend any SP here you still have a good deal of choices to choose from. While you are doing this it is good to keep in mind the characteristics of the race you want to build. A fish race will not do well on a lava world witth no oceans. Though they may go well with a lemon pepper rub and ketchup.

The planetary creation permits Edens to airless rocks to be created for your homeworld so put some thought into it. The planetary size will also determine the number of regions available for you to use, however filling those regions in will happen after you actually create your race.

Your race can be almost anything but intelligent bacteria. Its hard to get bacteria that can be tool manipulaters! They can be avians, ursine, humanoid, fish with arms, insect like, well, you get the idea.

11. How do I generate Wealth for my Power?

There are three main paths to generating wealth and several ways that normally do not happen every turn.

A. Assign merchant ships to trade routes, along with Internal Trade.
B. Build Wealth generating infrastructure.
C.Build up your Transport Network. From my experience with the playtesters this is the one area players tend to to ignore and in doing so they cut down their potential Wealth generation.

Building up your transport Network is expensive and time consuming. But over time, and in the long run, it will significantly boost your Wealth Generation.
D.You may sell your various resources, IUUs, Food, Fuel, Energy, and Raw Materials to gain Wealth. This is limited by what you have in your reserves and you need to be careful to not deplete your stockpiles too badly.
E. You can sell ships and other unit equipment using the export rules to other powers as well.

Note: The sale of weapons and ships does not prevent the other power from using these units on you...

F. Trade goods of various types can be manufactured to sell to other Powers.

It is highly recommended that you should expand your Wealth generation EVERY turn, either by Transport Network investment, Trade, or Wealth generating Infrastructure purchases. The best is to do all three, if possible.

12. How does research work?

Well, there is a tech tree with many techs requiring previously researched techs as well as specialized facilities to begin the research process. Each Project has three stages, Theory, Develpoment, and Practical Application with an assigned number of successes required to be accumulated to advance to the next stage.

The actual research part is performed at IoHLs (Institutes of Higher Learning) that store accumulated research points each turn for a specified Research project. After all, the scientists have to have lunch somewhere.

The research points come from Teams (both Government and Civilian) and named Team Leaders. These Teams and leaders have specializations that add additional RPs if they match what Project is being researched. Aviation specializations just aren't helpful for researching a Boomer sub. Unless its a flying boomer sub....

The RPs are accumulated from turn to turn and the total is compared to a chart that gives a targeted percentage that must be rolled under or equal to to get a success. It is important to note that you can only roll so long as you are continuing to accumulate points. Once the IoHL is full, you will have to either assign more IoHLs to the project, or build more to continue your rolling for successes for your Research project.

It is important to note that new units are required to be researched. This may require researching the Caps that you need for the units as well. A Cap is a way of making your unit more effective by adding more armor, weapons, higher speed, better communictions, etc. You could end up running many Projects just to make a first generation tank for instance.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 03:26:25 PM by Þórgrímr »
Sic vis pacem, para bellum
If you want peace, prepare for war


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