Author Topic: Starfire 3'rd vs. Solar Starfire  (Read 5784 times)

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Offline Kiero (OP)

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Starfire 3'rd vs. Solar Starfire
« on: February 16, 2022, 01:04:51 AM »
Hi,

I've just got myself a brand new copy of Solar Starfire (6'th edition) and I would like to ask.
What is the rules complication level in relation to Starfire 3'rd edition? Especially regarding the campaign rules?

Also is it possible to use "Starfire Assistant" to run a game if I know 6'th edition rules or do I need the previous version?


 
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Starfire 3'rd vs. Solar Starfire
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2022, 05:20:58 AM »
Starfire Assistant is for 3rd edition revised. The later editions are so different they are incompatible with SA.

 

Offline Kurt

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Re: Starfire 3'rd vs. Solar Starfire
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2022, 09:07:33 AM »
Hi,

I've just got myself a brand new copy of Solar Starfire (6'th edition) and I would like to ask.
What is the rules complication level in relation to Starfire 3'rd edition? Especially regarding the campaign rules?

Also is it possible to use "Starfire Assistant" to run a game if I know 6'th edition rules or do I need the previous version?

I have Solar Starfire someplace, but I haven't run a campaign using that rules-set so I can't say what the relative complication factor is, however, as Steve says, SA is for 3rdR games and I don't think it could be modded (easily) to work with a different version.  I know Marvin, or one of his people, created some spreadsheets to use with Cosmic and Solar versions, though, so if you can handle spreadsheets and wanted to use those rules that'd be the way to go. 

I considered using the Solar rules to run my current campaign within, however, I just couldn't get past the lack of SA for that rules-set. 
 

Offline misanthropope

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Re: Starfire 3'rd vs. Solar Starfire
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2022, 06:46:53 PM »
kurt, do you actively like 6th, or was that possibility just a brief impulse?  kiero, do you have a strong opinion?


i disliked 5th so strongly i just passed on 6th.  now im kind of looking for an excuse to buy it, even though the odds of any non-solitaire 6e campaign ever existing seem remote.
 

Offline Kurt

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Re: Starfire 3'rd vs. Solar Starfire
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2022, 09:08:45 AM »
kurt, do you actively like 6th, or was that possibility just a brief impulse?  kiero, do you have a strong opinion?


i disliked 5th so strongly i just passed on 6th.  now im kind of looking for an excuse to buy it, even though the odds of any non-solitaire 6e campaign ever existing seem remote.

I wouldn't say that I actively like it, I don't have enough experience with it for that.  I wanted to give it a shot, to see how I felt about it once I got some experience with it.  I might still. 

Kurt
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Starfire 3'rd vs. Solar Starfire
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2022, 11:51:49 AM »
I own Galactic Starfire, and I have made spreadsheets to handle it, but my solo game collapsed when I ran into my first NPR and I realised I would have to make a set of 3 EXCEL spreadsheets for it and every other race in the game.  I don't think spreadsheets work, and I have played Starfire Play By Mail where I had a binder full of system data sheets and so on, I have also played PBEM with spreadsheets but only for a single race.  What I would never want to do is run a game like that.  Marvin likes short games with small numbers of stars...for that the overhead may be sufficiently small you can do it as a spacemaster.  That this sort of game tends to keep fleet sizes small and the changes to starfire's mechanics push the exponential growth till later likely means the game is over before the paperwork crushes it.

SFA makes the sort of games that Kurt, myself and starslayer, or for that matter Steve played possible.  Frankly I have never seen a game aid with the features of SFA, when I have tried to interest Starslayer in Galactic Starfire or other systems (Squadron Strike, or VBAM) it is "does it have a SFA-like program?" ... as the answer is always no, we stick to starfire 3rdE or play Stellaris.
 

Offline Kurt

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Re: Starfire 3'rd vs. Solar Starfire
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2022, 12:16:49 PM »
I own Galactic Starfire, and I have made spreadsheets to handle it, but my solo game collapsed when I ran into my first NPR and I realised I would have to make a set of 3 EXCEL spreadsheets for it and every other race in the game.  I don't think spreadsheets work, and I have played Starfire Play By Mail where I had a binder full of system data sheets and so on, I have also played PBEM with spreadsheets but only for a single race.  What I would never want to do is run a game like that.  Marvin likes short games with small numbers of stars...for that the overhead may be sufficiently small you can do it as a spacemaster.  That this sort of game tends to keep fleet sizes small and the changes to starfire's mechanics push the exponential growth till later likely means the game is over before the paperwork crushes it.

SFA makes the sort of games that Kurt, myself and starslayer, or for that matter Steve played possible.  Frankly I have never seen a game aid with the features of SFA, when I have tried to interest Starslayer in Galactic Starfire or other systems (Squadron Strike, or VBAM) it is "does it have a SFA-like program?" ... as the answer is always no, we stick to starfire 3rdE or play Stellaris.

This sums up my feelings on this pretty well.  When I was looking at starting the Cold War campaign, I seriously looked at the latest version of Starfire for the campaign, but the lack of SF Assistant or anything like it was too large of a roadblock.  As Paul said, spreadsheets would be unworkable for the size of campaign that I wanted, particularly because I would be running all of the races.  I periodically consider learning more about how SA was programmed to try to fix some of the things that were left undone when Steve moved over to Aurora, but it would take a lot of time, if it was even doable, and that would be time away from the Campaign.  Maybe one day. 

Kurt
 

Offline Kiero (OP)

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Re: Starfire 3'rd vs. Solar Starfire
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2022, 03:00:07 PM »
Well. I didn't want to give my opinion on "Solar Starfire" until someone who knows both versions spoke up.

I am currently trying to start a campaign. Initially, I wanted to run it for myself and one other player. However, after an initial encounter with the rules... we will be running one race together.

Initially, Starfire charmed me with its simplicity of rules allowing to play quite big battles in a relatively fast way. Without losing the flavor of such a space encounter. And I was hoping for something similar in terms of the campaign.

So, about the rules.
It seems that every rule has its exception which you need to have in your head.
Some of the rules seem unnecessarily elaborate, killing the simplicity of being able to lead a large star empire.
Some of the mechanics are poorly explained, despite plenty of examples at the end of the manual.
There is no index of terms!!!
And I wouldn't even mind the complexity of the rules if you could easily search for information on a given topic. Unfortunately, they are sometimes scattered all over the manual. Sometimes they are not in the place where you would expect them to be.

So the overall impression is that this is a draft for a computer game, there are too many things to keep track of.

However, overall I really like the idea. So my approach will be to simplify the rules that we will use. I'm still really, really into it...

That's why I asked about comparing the complexity of the campaign rules from version 3 and version 6.

PS. I'll get back to you after the first game :)
 

Offline Rewstyr

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Re: Starfire 3'rd vs. Solar Starfire
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2022, 03:53:31 AM »
Quote from: Kurt link=topic=12927. msg158821#msg158821 date=1645121809
Quote from: Paul M link=topic=12927. msg158819#msg158819 date=1645120309
I own Galactic Starfire, and I have made spreadsheets to handle it, but my solo game collapsed when I ran into my first NPR and I realised I would have to make a set of 3 EXCEL spreadsheets for it and every other race in the game.   I don't think spreadsheets work, and I have played Starfire Play By Mail where I had a binder full of system data sheets and so on, I have also played PBEM with spreadsheets but only for a single race.   What I would never want to do is run a game like that.   Marvin likes short games with small numbers of stars. . . for that the overhead may be sufficiently small you can do it as a spacemaster.   That this sort of game tends to keep fleet sizes small and the changes to starfire's mechanics push the exponential growth till later likely means the game is over before the paperwork crushes it.

SFA makes the sort of games that Kurt, myself and starslayer, or for that matter Steve played possible.   Frankly I have never seen a game aid with the features of SFA, when I have tried to interest Starslayer in Galactic Starfire or other systems (Squadron Strike, or VBAM) it is "does it have a SFA-like program?" . . .  as the answer is always no, we stick to starfire 3rdE or play Stellaris.

This sums up my feelings on this pretty well.   When I was looking at starting the Cold War campaign, I seriously looked at the latest version of Starfire for the campaign, but the lack of SF Assistant or anything like it was too large of a roadblock.   As Paul said, spreadsheets would be unworkable for the size of campaign that I wanted, particularly because I would be running all of the races.   I periodically consider learning more about how SA was programmed to try to fix some of the things that were left undone when Steve moved over to Aurora, but it would take a lot of time, if it was even doable, and that would be time away from the Campaign.   Maybe one day.   

Kurt

Is the code for SA open source?
 

Offline Kurt

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Re: Starfire 3'rd vs. Solar Starfire
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2022, 08:58:30 AM »
Quote from: Kurt link=topic=12927. msg158821#msg158821 date=1645121809
Quote from: Paul M link=topic=12927. msg158819#msg158819 date=1645120309
I own Galactic Starfire, and I have made spreadsheets to handle it, but my solo game collapsed when I ran into my first NPR and I realised I would have to make a set of 3 EXCEL spreadsheets for it and every other race in the game.   I don't think spreadsheets work, and I have played Starfire Play By Mail where I had a binder full of system data sheets and so on, I have also played PBEM with spreadsheets but only for a single race.   What I would never want to do is run a game like that.   Marvin likes short games with small numbers of stars. . . for that the overhead may be sufficiently small you can do it as a spacemaster.   That this sort of game tends to keep fleet sizes small and the changes to starfire's mechanics push the exponential growth till later likely means the game is over before the paperwork crushes it.

SFA makes the sort of games that Kurt, myself and starslayer, or for that matter Steve played possible.   Frankly I have never seen a game aid with the features of SFA, when I have tried to interest Starslayer in Galactic Starfire or other systems (Squadron Strike, or VBAM) it is "does it have a SFA-like program?" . . .  as the answer is always no, we stick to starfire 3rdE or play Stellaris.

This sums up my feelings on this pretty well.   When I was looking at starting the Cold War campaign, I seriously looked at the latest version of Starfire for the campaign, but the lack of SF Assistant or anything like it was too large of a roadblock.   As Paul said, spreadsheets would be unworkable for the size of campaign that I wanted, particularly because I would be running all of the races.   I periodically consider learning more about how SA was programmed to try to fix some of the things that were left undone when Steve moved over to Aurora, but it would take a lot of time, if it was even doable, and that would be time away from the Campaign.   Maybe one day.   

Kurt

Is the code for SA open source?

I'm sure some sort of agreement would have to be made with Steve.  Whether he would go for something like that would be up to him.   :)
 

Offline Kiero (OP)

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Re: Starfire 3'rd vs. Solar Starfire
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2022, 10:34:58 AM »
Test Scenario #2 "Small Fleet Action" in progress
« Last Edit: February 18, 2022, 11:59:57 AM by Kiero »
 

Offline Kiero (OP)

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Re: Starfire 3'rd vs. Solar Starfire
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2022, 02:34:41 PM »
Quick update:
After some consideration, we decided to play the first campaign using the 3rd edition rules. I'll post some initial setup and the first few turns (with two empires) when available.

Are there any examples of play (that is showing ship maneuvering) or tactical hints that you can give?
 

Offline Kurt

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Re: Starfire 3'rd vs. Solar Starfire
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2022, 05:15:54 PM »
Quick update:
After some consideration, we decided to play the first campaign using the 3rd edition rules. I'll post some initial setup and the first few turns (with two empires) when available.

Are there any examples of play (that is showing ship maneuvering) or tactical hints that you can give?

I have found that you can learn pretty quickly as you play.  Also, the battles tend to start out pretty small, with low-tech ships and a limited number of them, which adds to your ability to learn the theory and practice of the game. 
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Starfire 3'rd vs. Solar Starfire
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2022, 11:34:24 AM »
I would suggest the following:
Each of you build a TL1 fleet of 1 DD, 2 FG and 3 CT.  Then fight a battle where you start at 30 hexes from each other.  The winner of that battle then gets to take their fleet through a WP while the other defends it.  To be clear, this is a second battle with same designs not surviving ships.

After that each of you roll a d6.  On a 1-3 you are TL3, 4-5 you are TL4 and 6 you are TL5.  Upgrade your fleets to that TL as you wish and re-fight the two battles starting the meeting engagement at 60 hexes.

This will show you how initiative is decided, will introduce break off and surrender rules, the fleets are small so the battles will go fast, and the last one will show you the effect of technology on combat.  And assuming you don't both end up with the same TL how sometimes TL can make a huge difference.

Don't worry about relative costs and such it is just to learn the system.  Also any, even them most bizarre combination of weapons and design, strategy works...sometimes.  The trick is figuring out where and when it will be viable.  Ships armed with Pg and P can make mincemeat of a close in WP defence but suffer horridly in a long range fight for example.
 

Offline Kiero (OP)

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Re: Starfire 3'rd vs. Solar Starfire
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2022, 01:55:26 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion.

How do you resolve NPR - NPR conflict if you don't want to use "standard battle rules"?