Starfire > SA Questions

Where SA LEaves Off


Related to my post on abstracting combat, I'd like to get a better understanding of where the help from SA leaves off and where I need to bust out the notional map and counters.

I imagine this might happen in a few cases, such as exploring an unknown warp point which leads to a new NPR. There is a "Fleet Interactions," window in SA, but I'm not quite sure how much it presents for me.

I've been reading the 3rd Revised rules this afternoon, and they spend a lot of time talking about the different timescales at which things could happen. I imagine SA doesn't help much with things below the system scale.

If I were abstractly fighting a battle, it's probably reasonable to only really focus on the tactical scale. I imagine system and interception scale movement could largely be glossed over, if units have a chance of encountering one another. It's at times like this I wish I had a tactile hex map :)

Any thoughts from folks who have used SA extensively would be appreciated. :)

Paul M:
Well the one time we did a double blind combat ...we had 2 maps one upstairs and one downstairs I can say that this made a huge difference at the system scale.  Basically time for information to get from one unit to the other became critical.  Also actual transit times become very important.  STMPs are all well and good for movement during peacetime when it doesn't really matter exactly when something arrives somewhere but when the war starts hours can make a huge difference.

You have to know when and where units are at the system scale.   Here SFA is useful but not to the degree it could have been had Steve finished his battle screen (which if memory serves he said ended up being the start of Aurora).

SFA is mainly useful for telling you "this fleet and that fleet are in the same system at that same time" after that well you have to look at where they are and see if they can even spot one another.  We have quite often had ships and fleets that pass in the night.   Starslayer and I have abstracted (as in not put out counters) several battles but generally only ones that are chases as these sorts of things are clear (only seperation matters) but even an attempt by the RM to survey and the Thing to block that survey needed some fairly careful use of system maps.  And the battles hinged on movement and scout ship was killed 12 hours before it would have met up with its datagroup partners.

At the moment we are hitting a tech level problem with battles as some NPRs are on the verge of cloaking tech.

For the most part I think system scale and interception scale are largely glossed over and this results in a lot of loss because it is that these scales that the fog of war really sets in.   I'm also fairly convinced there is a lot of interesting game play with fleet movement on the system map...they make up a large part of the starfire novels but one never sees much of this in games as most people just go "hi diddle diddle straight up the middle" to get to the tactical clash I guess (the ISWIV bug tactic due to their slow ships).

Thanks for the info. :) It's about what I expected. If I had a Braille hex map of some sort, I could probably handle things more efficiently. I'm not quite sure what that would look like, but will try reaching out to friends.


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