Author Topic: First impressions of a newbe  (Read 1382 times)

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Offline Hawkeye

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First impressions of a newbe
« on: December 20, 2012, 10:40:56 AM »
Hi to all you old-hand Starfire players.
As a newbe, trying to get his feet wet with the game, I can tell you it was an enjoyable ride so far, but not without a few bumps.

One of the main complaints as an outsider for me would be that the information is strewn out all over the place.

I have Starfire 3rdR, Imperial Starfire, SM-1 to 11, First Contact, Alkeda Dawn and Crusade.

I also made heavy use of Steve´s Starfire Assistant (I don´t think I would have stuck to the game without this, system generation is a chore!)

Now to my questions/impressions:

Is there a kind of complete Index of what is written where?
For example, Starfire Assistant has the Spinal Laser as a weapon system listed at HT6 system, but I have as of yet been unable to find where it is mentioned anywhere. I also can´t find a thing about Plasma Guns, X-Ray lasers and some other systems.

Another problem are NPRs. There are some informations everywhere.

Generation of NPRs is covered in 14.xx, which is in Imperial Starfire, but is expanded on in 16.xx and 17.xx, with 15.xx in between explaining the economy???
the logical thing from my point of view would have been to explain everything for the player race, i.e. including the economy, and then explain everything for the NPR in one big block so I don´t have to page back and forth.

SM2 again expands in 16.xx on this and lists a large number of governments for NPRs. The list of governments is numbered 16.04b and starts at page 63. It mentions penalties to some stats (RC, I think) and that they are listed in the governments table, which is numbered 16.10, but is actualy several pages _before_ 16.04b at page 58.

Basicly, I am complaining, that, while the numbering system makes sense, stuff should be printed in the correct order to make _realy_ sense, i.e. 16.01 before 16.02 before 16.03 and so on. As it is, I am jumping back and forth like a madman in search of informations and quite often have to screen dozens of pages, just to find where on earth is 13.03.
 
I cant thumb through a book/PDF going 10.03 --> further back --> 12.11 --> further back --> 14.01 --> further to the front, ah! There it is, but have to go: page 1/2 - not here, page 3/4 - not here, page 5,...until, finally, on page 42 I find it.


Note: SM2 is notorious in that, Starfire/Imprial Starfire have the stuff in the correct oreder, I think

I mean, look at the index at the back of SM2. 04.xx then 27.xx, followed by 15.xx and 14.xx, then 15.xx again ...
This is crazy!




04.05.01.3b New Long Range Scanner Capabilities Table:27
04.05.04b Planet Scanning Table ........................................28
27.13.08.3b ECM Detection Modifiers Table......................36
ECM3 Failure Placement Table..........................................37
Revised PCF Values Table ..................................................43
15.03b Population Level Table ............................................49
14.02.02b Population Size Table..........................................50
14.02.01.1b NPR HTL Determination Table ......................50
14.03b System Exploitation Table .......................................50
15.06.01b Bonus PTU Table ................................................51
15.06.03b PU Transport Capacity Required Table ............52
20.02b Transmission and Reception Range Table ..............54
06.04.02.5b New MISSILE Price table................................56
GOVERNMENT TYPE TABLE (16.11b)..........................58
16.02.02b NPR R&D Progression Table .............................60
16.02.05b NPR Exploration Policy Table............................61
16.02.06b NPR Colonization Policy Table...........................61
16.02.06.2b Contacting NPRs Actions Table.......................62
16.02.06.2b NPR Rejected Treaty Table.............................62
16.02.06.3.2b War Type Table ............................................62
17.01.04b INITIAL CONTACT TABLE ............................70
17.02.00.3b Political Offers Modifier Table........................72
17.03.03.3b Seizing Facilities during GI Table


Over all, I still have to say I enjoy the game, and once I am more familiar with the system (and memorized more of the rules, so I don´t have so look one up every few minutes:)  ), it will be a lot of fun to play. It is just that looking for info turns out a bit frustrating some times.
Ralph Hoenig, Germany
 

Offline Starslayer_D

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Re: First impressions of a newbe
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2012, 01:22:55 PM »
The rules in SM2 superceede the rules written in imperial starfire, especially for population, population growth, NPR types and politics.

Technial systems in starfire 3rdR are the most recent you have. Starfire asistant makes use of several tech systems contained in later products like ISW4 and Insurection, and even more stuff developed in the Unified Tech Manual (but the current avaiaility of the alter from SDS I have no knowledge about). The spinal laser is from UTM.

There was an efford to consolidate the rules for 3rd into a rulebook, but I won't dig into events of the past. Minefield lurks.
 

Offline crucis

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Re: First impressions of a newbe
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2012, 08:23:58 PM »
Hawkeye, SM2 is sort of like an errata book.  Oh, it's not entirely errata.  But the point is that there's errata, updated rules, and outright replacement rules sections in SM#2.  And they're not really ordered according to the original rules numbering scheme.

The original 3e tactical rules and the strategic rules (i.e. ISF) were reasonably well organized (at least all the rule numbers were in order).  Unfortunately, SM#2 was a bit of a mess.

Starslayer is correct in pointing out that a number of the tech systems you pointed out are in something called the Unified Tech Manual (also known as the UTM), while other higher TL ones come from scenario modules covering some of the Starfire novels.

 

Offline crucis

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Re: First impressions of a newbe
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 08:34:27 PM »
BTW, Hawkeye, if you have any questions, why not hop on over the Starfire Design forum at: http://www.starfiredesign.com/forum/

There's a forum specifically for Classic Starfire (i.e. 3E) where your questions will be answered.

 

Offline procyon

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Re: First impressions of a newbe
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2012, 04:17:15 AM »
I would definitely second the suggestion to throw some questions out on the SF site.
I am not all that conversant with 3e.  We played it, but I never attempted to get all the books.  There was a lot of systems that I saw listed in various charts, etc that I had no idea how they worked.

But I do agree that 3e SF is kind of scattered about and hard to follow at times.  You do eventually get down where you need to look for things - but it takes time.

In fact, it was this issue that got me to try Galactic Starfire oh so long ago.  You lose the feel of Webber's fiction when you go to 4e+, but I wanted to tell my own stories anyway - so this wasn't such a big problem for me.

And for system generation - it is a chore if you like P&P games like our group runs.
When I start a new game as the SM for my family - I devote the better part of a month putting together the 'universe' and getting an idea of what story I want to tell before we ever get to the game.  There is a lot of work in creating all the systems.

But with all that said, welcome to the game and I hope you like it as much a my family has.
 ;D
... and I will show you fear in a handful of dust ...
 

Offline Hawkeye

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Re: First impressions of a newbe
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2012, 09:37:17 AM »
Technial systems in starfire 3rdR are the most recent you have. Starfire asistant makes use of several tech systems contained in later products like ISW4 and Insurection, and even more stuff developed in the Unified Tech Manual (but the current avaiaility of the alter from SDS I have no knowledge about). The spinal laser is from UTM.
There was an efford to consolidate the rules for 3rd into a rulebook, but I won't dig into events of the past. Minefield lurks.

Of course, the question of where to get UTM, ISW4 and Insurection would have been my next one, as I couldn´t find them on SDS´ order page :). Guess I have to keep searching the net for something to pop up.

And yes, I am aware of the - um, lets say difficulties re. the consolidated 3rd rulebook ;)

@ crucis: I am lurking there already and _will_ post new questions over there too.

@ procyon: I expect to have a lot of fun with this :).
I expect the "searching for a rule" factor to become smaller soon, as I get more experiance with the game. After all, I didn´t have to look up rules for battletech anymore after playing for perhaps a month or two. Yes, it will definitely take longer with Starfire, but the point will come where I have memorized most of ´em (I am kind of stubborn in those things :)  )
Ralph Hoenig, Germany
 

Offline Charlie Beeler

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Re: First impressions of a newbe
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2012, 09:58:57 AM »
Since your using SA most of the worst issues Steve has handled for you.  Good luck and have fun.

Charlie
Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics - paraphrase attributed to Gen Omar Bradley
 

Offline crucis

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Re: First impressions of a newbe
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2012, 10:20:18 AM »
Of course, the question of where to get UTM, ISW4 and Insurection would have been my next one, as I couldn´t find them on SDS´ order page :). Guess I have to keep searching the net for something to pop up.


I think that you can get ISW4 and Insurrection on one of the CD collections, or at least you should be able to do so at some point in the near future.  I'd ask this question over on the SDS board.  Cralis should be able to give you an answer.
 

Offline procyon

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Re: First impressions of a newbe
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2012, 02:19:59 AM »
Quote from: Hawkeye
Of course, the question of where to get UTM, ISW4 and Insurection would have been my next one, as I couldn´t find them on SDS´ order page :). Guess I have to keep searching the net for something to pop up.


Quote from: crucis
I think that you can get ISW4 and Insurrection on one of the CD collections, or at least you should be able to do so at some point in the near future.  I'd ask this question over on the SDS board.  Cralis should be able to give you an answer.

I am sure that ISW4 and Insurrection, along with the EC and Nexus stuff is on the Legacy CD, but shooting cralis a question about it wouldn't hurt. 

And for the UTM, I know that as of a year ago Marvin was willing to sell copies if you contacted him by email, but he wasn't putting it on the order page.  If you can get in contact with him and get a copy - it would help tie together many of the 'loose ends' concerning the tech.
I can't imagine that after allowing the re-release of all the 3e material that he would reverse his position on the UTM.
And it sounds like they may even be planning on re-releasing 2e sometime in the future.  Although that isn't exactly written in stone...

But again, if you throw the question at cralis over on the SDS site he will likely be able to give you a more complete answer.

Hope this helps.
Also hope you put together some fiction on it also.
(Yes, I know, I am woefully behind on visiting my mother to get the next parts of mine posted....)
... and I will show you fear in a handful of dust ...
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: First impressions of a newbe
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2013, 06:12:54 AM »
It isn't just new players that find the whole mess a mess.  I will often know that something was changed but then I have to ask myself..."where was it changed?"  If the answer is SM2 then I have to ask myself "where in SM2 was that again?"  Once I localize it to sort of one of three sections (as I mentally divide SM2 into) then it usually page flipping and quick scanning to find it.  This situation is the reason I recommend to new players to pick up a more modern version of the rules...in general they are at least somewhat sensibly organized and have a working index.

As Charlie says using SFA removes a lot of headaches.

The UTM is a useful thing to have since it brings all the rules for the various tech systems into one place.  I'm not sure how much l like the changes to the ECM rules that are in it, but it at the very least streamlines the situation.

If you have questions feel free to ask them here if you want.  Starslayer and I plus others I'm sure will be more than happy to try and assist you.

There is a vassal module for Starfire (two of them actually) and Starslayer and I have used it, it works very well (even if you just want to use it as an electronic board).  I want to improve on it, I had hoped to do this over Christmas but it turns out the graphics files are not accessable from the Vassal editor so before I can do what I want I have to assemble all the graphics I need.
 

 

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