Thursday, October 29, 2009

Simple Quadrant Conquest Reinforcement Rule

I started playing through the simple quadrant conquest, using the revised
simple combat "coin toss" single-player rule. I discovered a bit of a
balance issue. Here are the logs and results. I'll note after each whether
the "coin toss" was won or not.

(1009.25) k1-6 vs f1-6 f5-6 destroyed-k1-6 destroyed *lost toss

(1009.26) k1-6 vs f1-4 f1-4 destroyed-k1,2,5,6 destroyed *lost toss

(1009.26) k3,4 vs f1,2: k3,4 destroyed *lost toss

(1009.27) k1-6 vs f1 f1 destroyed, no damage to fleet. *lost toss

(1009.27) k1-6 vs f1-3 k6 destroyed, k5 damage 11/25, f1-3 destroyed. *won

(1009.28) k1-6 vs f1-4 k1,2 destroyed f1-6 destroyed *won toss

(1009.28) k1-6 vs f1-5 f1,2 destroyed. f3 damage 2/15. Klingon fleet
destroyed. *lost toss

(1009.28) k1-6 vs f1-5 f1-5 destroyed. No damage to Fleet. *win toss

(1009.28) k1-6 vs f1-5 k1-5 destroyed. F1,2,6 destroyed. *lost toss.

At this point, I decided to allow a Fleet Commander to request
reinforcements while in combat once numbers have dropped to three
friendlies. Three more will be dispatched. 1d6 to reveal how many volleys
wait until reinforcements arrive. And here are the results, against five

(1009.28) k1-6 vs f1-5 *lose toss: F1, as well as K1-3 were destroyed in a
devastating first volley. The surviving ships requested assistance. Three
more ships were dispatched with a wait-time of just one volley. The newly
arrived K1 and K2 were immediately lost in the next volley. The four
surviving KCA's destroyed the four surviving FCA's in the next volley, and
would, in the simple quadrant conquest, fortify their position by building a
shipyard. Any further reinforcements will come from shipyards.

So the reinforcement rule seems to be valid. Further playtest will validate


Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Simple Quadrant Conquest Revisited

I've had a few runs at the simple quadrant conquest, using just slightly
revised simple combat rules. The only change is that in single-player mode,
you have to roll 1-3 on a 1d6 to determine which side rolls first, thereby
giving an advantage. Just like the coin toss in football to see who receives
from the kick-off. Anyway, each time I lost the coin toss, and fell quickly
thereafter. I also decided that once my fleet was down to two ships, thereby
unable to build a shipyard or even assault a convoy, they should be able to
summon reinforcements. I rolled to see how long they'd have to wait for the
reinforcenents, and then a 50/50 shot of being assaulted while they waited.
Alas, my two ships didn't survive the wait. So with the new rules, it's a
tough game. But without the new rules, I think it was too easy. So I'll keep
at it.



BookNotes: "Star Trek: Destiny"

For related discussions,etc, see Discussion in Abukoff Books and Curios

Folks, this is a new feature for Fantasy Trek, specifically to encourage discussion, as well as linking to another project of mine, called Abukoff Books and Curios. I'll be discussing, from time to time, Trek or other sci fi books and other products, such as movie/DVD news and game news. In the first round, I'm talking about the Star Trek: Destiny series.

I've just finished reading the recent crop of Trek books, so I'll just comment in a bit of a general sense. I read the TNG era "Destiny" trilogy when they came out, without having read any of the books leading up to them,
and I was pretty impressed. Oh, I knew that Riker was captain of the Titan, but that was pretty much it. I'd heard that Janeway had been killed off, but I wasn't really thinking about that. So I was surprised to find Chakotay commanding Voyager. I like Chakotay, even as Captain, but why did someone feel the need to kill off Janeway? Though I suppose if Lucas can sanction Chewbacca getting killed...
Anyway, I was pretty happy with Destiny. David Mack did a decent job of rendering the characters. I just have a few complaints. I didn't read the book where Ezri Dax got command of the Aventine, but I don't think I've ever known a character less deserving of commanding the most advanced ship in the fleet. I always thought that Ezri Dax was a stunningly weak character to follow in Jadzia's footsteps, and while I think that David Mack wrote her well, I truly dislike her as A) a starship captain, and B) captain of such a ship. Battlefield promotions I get, but not keeping that ship. And I don't have a problem with women captains. The female Romulan Commander from TOS "The Enterprise Incident", Kathryn Janeway, Erika Hernandez... no, I just don't believe in Captain Ezri Dax of the USS Aventine.

Speaking of Captain Erika Hernandez, I know that everyone seems to take an image from the "Ships of the Line" calendar as definitive proof that NX-02 crashed, but I like the ship and the captain, and I think it's kind of rotten what they did to them. I won't go into lots of detail, but her ship gets mutinied (if that's a word) out from under her, and the character is relegated to what is essentially imprisonment for the bulk of the series.
Granted, she plays a major role in saving the day at the end, but at that point she really isn't Erika Hernandez. She's more like someone who used to be Erika Hernandez. A big let down. But the rest of the series was pretty good. I will also say that the Borg seem to be gone, finally. Good thing or bad thing I don't know. (And an intentional return to the Delta Quad to confirm that the Borg are gone seems to be upcoming in a planned book). But that sort of leads to Post-Destiny books. I've read "Full Circle", "Losing the Peace", and "A Singular Destiny", and I have to say that while "Full Circle" was a fascinating and personal story of Chakotay dealing with the loss of Janeway, the other two books, while interesting, were also less interesting for their content than they are for the foreshadowing of a future threat to be encountered in a miniseries about "The Typhon Pact". While "A Singular Destiny" moved very quickly, was interesting, and advances
the story in a unique fashion, I simply found it quite light, and not entirely satisfying. And "Losing the Peace" had essentially the same problem. I like the picture that was shown of the unprecedented refugee problem, and the characters were well drawn, but I found it, in the end, unsatisfying. Good story, interesting and fast moving, but light weight. Unsatisfying. I'm looking forward to the Typhon Pact books. Unless, of course, it's just going to be another war/soap opera series that is eventually unsatisfying. Next time, I'll talk about the recent "Enterprise" Relaunch series, which just gave us the most detailed look we've ever had at the Earth/Romulan War. And of course all comments are welcome.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stardate 1009.19 ChaHom System

While deep within the system's asteroid field, we detected a Romulan warbird warping into the system, escorting two of their construction ships. Rather than attacking and destroying them, which would present no challenge, I have decided to wait until they reveal their mission here.

Supplemental Entry:

An hour later, as the construction ships completed initial assembly of what seems to be a spacedock, second warbird appeared. I am not unmindful of the potential of danger a Romulan shipyard being established here. But there are reasons to hold off taking action. There are different kinds of shipyards, and seeing which is being built here will be the key to understanding their intentions. And, of course, destroying the shipyard once it has been built will cost the Romulan petaQ more in material and manpower.

Stardate 1009.18 ChaHom System Asteroid Belt

Scans of the asteroid belt show a large concentration of an extremely volatile substance known as Tylium. Tylium is used in some primitive cultures for propulsion, but can be used on our warships for planetary bombardment. I am ordering the construction ships and mobile shipyard to establish an refining outpost in the field to exploit this resource. As with the waHom system, I will arrange for a series of convoys and escorts to bring Tylium back to the Empire. Obviously we don't yet understand the exact nature of the conflict that took place here more than a thousand years ago, but if the combatants were using Tylium, it would have been a glorious battle indeed.