Astra Imperia > After Action Reports

AI Campaign Playtest 1

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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


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.


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.


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.


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.



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