FAQ.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
European Space Enterprises
 player, 3 posts
Sun 22 Nov 2020
at 14:50
Re: FAQ
Ok, then seeing the example, turn 4 ends 2 hexes away from Luna, unless you trust in direction 9 or 11. Let's imagine it trusts on direction 11, he will end up in the Luna gravity hex direction 3, at speed 1 towards direction 3 (as it hs to use gravity, being the second such hex again)

Turn 5, inertia would move it to Luna, so it must trust towards 7 or 11 to begin orbiting Luna, and on turn 6, as it's orbiting it, spend trust to land.

Right now?

As the goal is reaching Luna in 4 days (as the contracts require), let's try again:

  • 1st turn: take-off. That moves it to the adjacent hex (direction 9) at 0 speed
  • 2nd day:  trust towards 3. Added with gravity acceleration, it ends up close to Terra, in direction 3 with speed 1 towards 3 (as the gravity in its ending hex reduces speed to 1.
  • 3rd day: thrust to 3 again, with counteracts Terra gravity and so the ship moves 1 towards 3, entering in Luna gravity well, that accelerates it towards 1, so projected movement for turn 4 would be  3/1, and projected ending position in Luna Gravity well, direction 3.
  • 4th turn. Now comes the tricky part. If it trusts towards 7, it would move to the adjacent hex. Will it enter in Luna’s orbit, or Luna’s gravity will move it to Luna’s hex?
  • 5th turn: assuming it entered Luna’s orbit in turn 4, it spends 1 thrust to land.

See that again It takes more than the 4 days the contracts stipulate..
GM
 GM, 4 posts
Sun 22 Nov 2020
at 16:00
Re: FAQ
In reply to European Space Enterprises (msg # 4):

> Ok, then seeing the example, turn 4 ends 2 hexes away from Luna, unless you trust in direction 9 or 11. Let's imagine it trusts on direction 11, he will end up in the Luna gravity hex direction 3, at speed 1 towards direction 3 (as it hs to use gravity, being the second such hex again)

If in the given example (PPT file) on turn 4 the ship will thrust 11 o'clock, it will ram into Luna.

BTW in your last program the ship will ram into the Earth.

> See that again It takes more than the 4 days the contracts stipulate..

Although I am dangerously close to giving OOC hints, but I confirm that it is possible for a Transport to reach Luna from the Earth in 4 turns. However, if I say exactly how, it will be a hint that I, as a GM, should not give. (However again, it is not at all necessary that contract requirements should be achievable without penalty).

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:14, Sun 22 Nov 2020.

European Space Enterprises
 player, 4 posts
Sun 22 Nov 2020
at 19:04
Re: FAQ
I'm sure you have tested it, but, as I understand the rules, you need one turn to take-off, another to enter orbit (as there's no other way to overcome gravity without it without overload, and merchant ships have not this capacity), another to move to Luna's gravity well, a fourth one to begin orbiting Luna, and another one to land, and that makes me 5 turns mínimum...

See that when moving from Terra gravity well to Luna's, the ship will not be in Luna orbit, regarless its vector, as rules say (page 4, Orbit):

quote:
A ship which moves at one hex per turn from one gravity hex to an adjacent gravity hex of the same body is in orbit
(bold is mine)

So, until it has so moved from one Luna's Gravity hex to another, it's not in Orbit, and cannot land, as rules specify (two paragraphs above last quote):

quote:
A ship may only land by expending on fuel point while in orbit

So, as  Iunderstand it, you must first enter orbit (so going from one hex in its gravity well to another one also in its gravity well while at speed 1), and then land the next turn.

So, what did I undertand wrong?

-----------------------

BTW, as an aside, I see a problem in the given example (PPT file), at the section turn 3 (with thrust):

It says that the ship cannot ignore the half gravity of Luna because it's the second gravity hex it enters, but rules don't say this:

quote:
Weak Gravity: (...)A ship passing through one weak gravity hex may ignore it or use it, as the player chooses. When two or more weak gravity hexes are entered consecutively, the second and latter hexes have the effect of full gravity hexes, regardless of how the first such hex is treated.
(Italics are original, bold is mine)

In the example, the ship does not move from one weak gravity hex to another, but from one full gravity hex to a weak gravity one, so it being the first weak gravity hex crossed, gravity could be ignored (or used, as player chooses)...

Is this example oficial (by the game authors) or yours?
GM
 GM, 5 posts
Mon 23 Nov 2020
at 11:57
Re: FAQ
European Space Enterprises:
quote:
A ship which moves at one hex per turn from one gravity hex to an adjacent gravity hex of the same body is in orbit
(bold is mine)


Ah, that's a good question! but not where you emphasized.
The engine is programmed this way:
"As soon as a ship gained velocity vector which allows it to move at one hex per turn from one gravity hex to an adjacent gravity hex of the same body without further thrust application, the ship gets status "in orbit" and is eligible for command "Land"".

Also I realized now that the players should be informed of some peculiar behavior of some commands, and added entry When exactly the commands are executed in the FAQ.

quote:
Weak Gravity: (...)A ship passing through one weak gravity hex may ignore it or use it, as the player chooses. When two or more weak gravity hexes are entered consecutively, the second and latter hexes have the effect of full gravity hexes, regardless of how the first such hex is treated.


Hm... I went looking in the code and found a note there which I wrote for myself "don't forget to add this exclusion in the list "Differences from the original Triplanetary rules"" which of course I forgot to do. So, you are right in your reading of the original rules, but this very minor rule is changed in my code (because it is much simpler this way), and it does not influence timing of a ship reaching Luna anyway.
European Space Enterprises
 player, 5 posts
Mon 23 Nov 2020
at 14:13
Re: FAQ
OK, then I see those are changes you made to original rules (probably to ease the engine)...

Another question:

according the rules, when landing you can land on any planetary base, regardless of the original direction you were from the planet when so doing. Does this apply also to take-off? (e.g. can one ship on base Terra 3 take-off to the Terra gravity hex in directoin 9?)

Let me also bunp this question, as  Iguess you skipped it and didn't answer:

European Space Enterprises:
It is possible to buy fuel, refuel a ship and take it off in one turn.

Can one pěck contract, buy fuel, refuel and take off in the same turn?</quote>
Weyland-Yutani Corporation
 player, 3 posts
Mon 23 Nov 2020
at 22:02
FAQ
1.
Is the base number corresponds starting position of the ship inside the gravity wheel?

2. Take off took the whole turn? Only second turn command TRUST is possible?



Just leave it here.
Takooff took about 10-20 minutes. Earth orbit is 90 minutes. LEO. 93 for ISS. Its about positioning in gravity wheel hexes.
GM
 GM, 6 posts
Mon 23 Nov 2020
at 23:15
Re: FAQ
> according the rules, when landing you can land on any planetary base, regardless of the original direction you were from the planet when so doing. Does this apply also to take-off?

You land anywhere (any sublocation) but when you take off you move in the orbital hex corresponding to the sublocation where the ship was landed (in other words, you take off vertically up).

> Can one pěck contract, buy fuel, refuel and take off in the same turn?

Yes.

> Is the base number corresponds starting position of the ship inside the gravity wheel?

If you mean "sublocation" number then yes.

> 2. Take off took the whole turn? Only second turn command TRUST is possible?
> Just leave it here.
> Takooff took about 10-20 minutes. Earth orbit is 90 minutes. LEO. 93 for ISS. Its about
> positioning in gravity wheel hexes.

Well, imagine that pre-starting procedures take the whole day.
This is a convention for a board game. Don't forget that a ship in the game can be unloaded, repaired, refueled, reloaded and moved in orbit also in one day. Also the Asteroid field and Jupiter in reality are much farer, but the Moon is much closer. All the gravity wells are much smaller. And if a ship has specific impulse so big that it can reach Mars within a week or so, then it can reach the Moon within an hour and basically on passing-by it can totally ignore gravity well of all bodies in the Solar system. Etc, etc.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:17, Mon 23 Nov 2020.

European Space Enterprises
 player, 6 posts
Tue 24 Nov 2020
at 02:45
Re: FAQ
Also remember that this game was designed in 1973, so it's quite old in tech and view...
Royal Dutch Shell Energy
 player, 2 posts
Tue 24 Nov 2020
at 17:42
Re: FAQ
-What is the orientation of sub-locations? e.g. a sublocation of '9' for Luna is facing to the right, or up, or ?

-If sub-locations are only about facings, then why do the smaller planets have fewer sublocations? e.g. how do you land/takeoff from Io if approaching from the right?

-What is the meaning of the coloured lines on the map?

-On the Public Stats sheet:
   -Contracts tab: What is the meaning of 'Demand' or 'Traffic Index'?
   -ship-stats tab: Should not the entries for cells D15, F15 and F17 be 0?

-On the orders sheet, 'Buy units' order: What is expected in the 'Param #4 : Name' entry?
European Space Enterprises
 player, 7 posts
Tue 24 Nov 2020
at 19:13
Re: FAQ
According my understanding (so take it with a grain of salt until the GM confirms/denies it):

Royal Dutch Shell Energy:
-What is the orientation of sub-locations? e.g. a sublocation of '9' for Luna is facing to the right, or up, or ?


The orientation is, IMHO, according the cloak numbers, with 12 being just up.

Royal Dutch Shell Energy:
-If sub-locations are only about facings, then why do the smaller planets have fewer sublocations? e.g. how do you land/takeoff from Io if approaching from the right?


SUb-lcoations are the planetary bases (one per direction), and there are as many per planet as bases, not as faces. Some smaller planets have fewer bses.

Royal Dutch Shell Energy:
-What is the meaning of the coloured lines on the map?


Planetary detection lines.
GM
 GM, 8 posts
Tue 24 Nov 2020
at 22:43
Re: FAQ
In reply to Royal Dutch Shell Energy (msg # 12):

Above is correct, plus there is a list of locations available for landing on the "bases" sheet.

> -What is the orientation of sub-locations? e.g. a sublocation of '9' for Luna is facing to the right, or up, or ?

To the left.

>  -Contracts tab: What is the meaning of 'Demand' or 'Traffic Index'?

"Demand" = how many tones are queued and waiting for a freight. The "cost per mt" depends on that. The bigger demand, the bigger the freight cost.
"Traffic Index" = how fast "Demand" is growing per turn.

> -ship-stats tab: Should not the entries for cells D15, F15 and F17 be 0?

D15 - Robo-miners Gun Defense. This is due to the "turn-by-turn combat system is not suitable for a simultaneous combat" factor. D15 is not zero because system calculates "attack ratio" = [sum of Incoming Fire] / [Gun Defense]. Then the "attack ratio" is substituted as "Combat Odds" in the "Gun Combat Damage" table, with everything below 1/4:1 counted as 1/4:1, and everything above 4:1 counted as 4:1. However, if Gun Defense = 0, or close to that, then even the smallest Incoming Fire makes "attack ratio" infinitely large, which means that even 0.0001 portion of "Distributed volume" of an attacker from the range 6 and speed 10 brings "4:1" ratio against any number of Robo Miners within its gun range, which I don't want to happen, the Robo Miners should be a bit stronger.

F15 - Ore mined by a Robo Miner must be stored somewhere, the simplest thing to program is if the ore is stored "in the Robo Miner".

F17 - "Cargo" unit is a cargo container which stores cargo which was jettisoned. Actually one can create a stash this way, adding or removing items in/from the container.

> -On the orders sheet, 'Buy units' order: What is expected in the 'Param #4 : Name' entry?

Name of a ship, whatever you like.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:47, Tue 24 Nov 2020.

GM
 GM, 10 posts
Fri 27 Nov 2020
at 23:09
Re: FAQ
Symbol # is an integer part of Unit ID, so when writing orders to a unit, you should place the symbol # in front of a digit, i.e. #1.
Royal Dutch Shell Energy
 player, 3 posts
Sat 28 Nov 2020
at 21:58
Re: FAQ
GM:
Symbol # is an integer part of Unit ID,


Okay, but be careful, the word you are probably meant is 'integral', which is very different from 'integer'.
Weyland-Yutani Corporation
 player, 4 posts
Sat 28 Nov 2020
at 23:25
Re: FAQ
Where report file is located?
European Space Enterprises
 player, 8 posts
Sun 29 Nov 2020
at 00:22
Re: FAQ
Weyland-Yutani Corporation:
Where report file is located?


I guess you mean P4.xlsx. If so, it's in the same folder as the orders spreadsheet.

On it, there are several pages for units, balance, storage, orders and messages.
European Space Enterprises
 player, 9 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 12:36
Re: FAQ
When is going to be run turn 2?
GM
 GM, 12 posts
Thu 3 Dec 2020
at 18:09
Re: FAQ
European Space Enterprises:
When is going to be run turn 2?


Now!
European Space Enterprises
 player, 10 posts
Fri 4 Dec 2020
at 02:00
Re: FAQ
Just in case you have not realized it: in the Public Stats spreadsheet, on the Contracts page, all prices are marked as "ERROR!!"
GM
 GM, 14 posts
Fri 4 Dec 2020
at 13:30
Re: FAQ
European Space Enterprises:
Just in case you have not realized it: in the Public Stats spreadsheet, on the Contracts page, all prices are marked as "ERROR!!"


Oops! Repaired.

BTW, I have a question to you all. There is a tweak in the game we can change freely: do you want the names of the ships to be shown in the report for all players? (I re-run the macros and changed parameters so now you can see the names).

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:38, Fri 04 Dec 2020.

European Space Enterprises
 player, 11 posts
Fri 4 Dec 2020
at 13:36
Re: FAQ
GM:
BTW, I have a question to you all. There is a tweak in the game we can change freely: do you want the names of the ships to be shown in the report for all players?

OK for me
Weyland-Yutani Corporation
 player, 8 posts
Fri 4 Dec 2020
at 17:38
Re: FAQ
In reply to European Space Enterprises (msg # 23):

If we allready see units ID, why not?
European Space Enterprises
 player, 15 posts
Mon 28 Dec 2020
at 03:03
Re: FAQ
Aren't there any authorities (be them governments, space control, etc.) in this game?

After all, someone must keep the bases and so, and one thing most such authorities agree (even if only as lip service) is piracy is bad, as it reduces commerce and so their tax base.

Frankly, in any but the most lawless universes, such a pirate attack in full sensor range (That will lead to a ship crashing in the Moon, with at least risk for its population) will make the attacking ship a target for all the planetary defenses, and probably, if still survives, ban him from most ports...
GM
 GM, 22 posts
Mon 28 Dec 2020
at 12:02
Re: FAQ
In reply to European Space Enterprises (msg # 25):

There are planetary defenses but they can only attack ships which are in orbital hexes.
I am currently thinking how governments should react on the recent events (in the original game Space Patrol should resolve such situations).
European Space Enterprises
 player, 16 posts
Thu 7 Jan 2021
at 15:28
Re: FAQ
When does gravity affect the vector? At the beginning of the turn, at the end of it or in between?

To keep the orbital mechanics, it seems it must be at the beginning, as if a ship begins the turn at position 1 of a planet with speed 3, the gravity converts it (at the beginning of the turn) to direction 5, so keeping orbit. If it was applied at the end, the ship would be out of the gravity field, and so would not affect it.

OTOH, if only applied at the beginning, a ship passing through the orbit hexes without stopping there would not be affected…

And see that if it is applied at the end, entering orbit is impossible (at least in normal  gravity planets); as to move you need at least speed 1, but entering it will immediately give you a thrust towards the planet, so increasing your speed to 2.

Again contradictory is that if not applied at the end, when you take off you’ll do it a t speed 1, as the gravity will not affect you until next turn…

--------

Side question about gravity: the hex between Jupiter an Io has contradictory gravities. How do they affect a ship? If both apply, see that keeping orbit on Io is impossible without thrusting at least each time you pass this hex…
GM
 GM, 25 posts
Fri 8 Jan 2021
at 15:17
Re: FAQ
In reply to European Space Enterprises (msg # 27):

> When does gravity affect the vector? At the beginning of the turn, at the end of it or in between?

See the core rules page 3.
The gravity is applied in the beginning of the next turn (the macro pre-calculates some effects of gravity in the end of the current turn, which is essentially the same as the beginning of the next turn).

> To keep the orbital mechanics, it seems it must be at the beginning

Nope.

> Side question about gravity: the hex between Jupiter an Io has contradictory gravities. How do they affect a ship?

Both apply if player chooses to use weak gravity.

> If both apply, see that keeping orbit on Io is impossible without thrusting at least each time you pass this hex…

In this particular hex - may be. But the macro does not demand that the ship circled a planet indefinitely, as I said in the FAQ: "As soon as a ship gained velocity vector which allows it to move at one hex per turn from one gravity hex to an adjacent gravity hex of the same body without further thrust application, the ship gets status "in orbit""
I can add only that this status is checked every turn.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:22, Fri 08 Jan.