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Re: cm scale <weenie>rools</weenie>

From: Mikko Kurki-Suonio <maxxon@s...>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 11:16:03 +0200 (EET)
Subject: Re: cm scale <weenie>rools</weenie>

On Wed, 19 Nov 1997, Tim Jones wrote:

> (Whats this server using wet string, its 'chuckin' the data out at 59 
> bytes/sec
> so I can only see half the picture in 15 minutes)

Dear Tim, I just checked the line from my office, and it manages 
2.5kB/sec quite nicely. I know it's not a speed demon, but it's not 
intolerably slow, and best of all it's mine. If your problem persists,
I suggest you check your connection to Finland in general.
> I use cm scale due to space restrictions and have never really found
it a
> problem. I don't agree it sucks. As the picci shows your table is a
> size (is it a table tennis table?). 

Half a ping pong table actually... in fact, it's TOO BIG for many other
games. The problem with the cm scale is not solved by table size -- I
could have been playing on a football field but the ships would still
clumped up. 

> Its probably only an issue with ships bigger than 12cm, as
> once you get within 12cm and max beam bashing takes place most ships
> aren't around that long, except the big ones

Since I didn't have anything that big on the table, you're telling me
situation in the pictures didn't happen? I dreamed it all? Oh yes, that 
must be it, a shared hallucination, probably induced by GW-summoned 
demons, eh sorry, daemons, in order to discredit FT. Or maybe it's just 
me, we all know that all real miniatures gamers can, and regularly do, 
balance 27 snotlings on a Thrud the Barbarian figure...
> There are various solutions to the rolling game issue of varying
degrees of
> suckyness:

I'm glad you agree these solutions all suck to some degree.

>	o Restrict the playing bounds

Sounds lame. C'mon, a space game with *bounds*? Yet, it's one of the few
I think could really work.

>	o Restrict the maximum speed

Likewise, but better PSB justification can be given.
>	o Use a virtual system (i know...)

Are you talking about playing on a computer? 

>	o Make the units smaller (cm)

Results in ungainly clumps, as I've found out. Not always, but when
you have a proper fleet clash with 20+ ships per side it gets ugly, and 
fast. Nevermind completely ridiculous when ships at the opposite edges
the clump can't even get to short range because of intervening vessels.
(This happened in the picture)

>	o Make the movement units smaller (cm) but keep the range units
>	  larger (in)

Screws the game balance between movement and firing. Besides, wouldn't
be easier to just cut everyone's thrust by 1/2 (yes I know it's not 
exactly the same thing)?
>	o Use a bigger playing area

Will you pay for my new house? I'd really like a heated garage as a

>	o Use smaller models, starfleet elite etc.

As I said, I don't think you can get much smaller than SD fighters (or 
the like) on 25mm hex/round bases.

>	o Use cardboard counters that stack

Yuck... If I wanted a board game, I'd play a board game.

>	o Use a modular board so that you can move the next section of
>	  track without disturbing the main mass. Like the old SFB use
>	  hex sheets.

Hmmm... this might actually work... I'm just wondering how I could
that... the minis are very top heavy and tend to fall down easily.

>		 o Modify the collision rules to make clumping a bad

This actually might work, but it prolongs combats as people can't get 
within short range safely. Also, you'll probably see an increase in 
deliberate and "accidental" rams.

To further analyse the problems I've been having, here's a short recap:

Inches work great for shooting, but the table is too small for movement.

A fast ship trying to dictate the pace of the battle (as he rightly 
should) is off the table in two turns flat. Then I have to move every 
single ship to get that one back... and repeat the process every 2 turns

or so. Nevermind when you have two or more groups of fast ships, and
simply don't fit on the same table anymore...

Cm works better for movement (the aforementioned happens only after 
people start pushing 50+ speeds) but ships tend clump together for 
firing. This is simple geometry -- the area falling under any given
bracket is over 6 times smaller in cm scale, thus you can comfortably 
fit only 6 times less ships within the desired firing distance. Weapons 
with 6cm short range get especially nasty.

Another argument against cm scale is that it's so bloody small. When we 
play with inches, it's easy to give 1/4" or even 1/2" leeway in ship 
placement, since those distances don't really matter. With cms, a
leeway is 5mm and under -- which in practice means measuring all 
distances exact.

Also, the high speed give ridiculous "fly-by" results -- a ship starts 
out of range from an opponent, flies right over it in one turn and ends 
out of range without getting shot at...

With this in mind, I've come to the following conclusion:

Even though FT technically allows unlimited speeds, it's not really
to be played so. Unlimited speeds just sound so cool for a space game...

anyone disagreeing is welcome to play a test game with 100+ speeds and 
report the outcome.

Thus a speed cap is in order. This might be a constant for all ships 
(e.g. "c"), or depend on the ship (e.g. "hull vibration" and similar

AND... the number of ships needs to be limited. Every time we had a
clash of 20+ ships per side, things got ugly. This is kind of sad since 
the FT is otherwise simple enough to handle largish fleets.

-- (Mikko Kurki-Suonio) 	  | A pig who doesn't
+358 50 5596411 GSM +358 9 80926 78/FAX 81/Voice  | is just an ordinary
Maininkitie 8A8 02320 ESPOO FINLAND | Hate me?	  |	     - Porco
Rosso     | hateme.html |

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