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Re: Whatever (was a lot of things)

From: Mikko Kurki-Suonio <maxxon@s...>
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2000 11:00:29 +0300 (EEST)
Subject: Re: Whatever (was a lot of things)


> The FT2 sensor rules aren't strictly required. OTOH, neither are
> custom-designed ships (in which case you have no thrust-8 ships except
> the ESU Lenovs if using FB1, or the Courier, Strike Boat, Lancer,
> Ship, Corvette and Privateer if using the FT2 and MT ships), fighters,
> or any non-beam weapons <shrug>

If optional rule A requires you to also use optional rule B, the book
should say so. I was, perhaps wrongly, under the impression you could
and match freely.
> Why use interceptable freighters? Because 12 thrust-15 freighters
> as much cargo as 1 thrust-4 freighter, and cost almost 20 times more.

This is getting a bit extreme... but okay. (Why not just one bigger

> Can you afford to maintain the 12 thrust-15 freighters during times of
> peace better than you can afford to lose the occasional thrust-4
> freighter to enemy raiders during a war?

Skip peacetime. Economics is not (at least yet) part of the game. But
does present an interesting problem:

What is the most efficient way of delivering a standard unit of cargo?
Exactly how many slower transports you are going to lose? Escorts?

>From a more meta point of view: Given a scenario and freedom to custom
design ships for it, what's to stop me from designing ships that totally
short circuit that scenario?

> You're quite correct, of course. My bad; I should have made sure you
> knew which of them (ie., all) I considered to be in use.

So you think the game won't work otherwise?
> your own [...]" (FT2 p.2) and "Have fun, and above all: DON'T PLAY THE
> RULES, PLAY THE GAME!" (FB1 p.46).
Ermm, that's just what I said a couple of weeks back. But IMHO, to be
to play the game, the rules must support it 100%.

I would like a game that you could play well understanding only the
principles -- without actually knowing the rules. Unfortunately, most
games reward people who memorize loopholes, little glitches,
breakpoints, optimization tricks etc.

Ever seen a chess player accused of cheesy tactics?

> Since you are quite obviously not happy with the FT and FB rules as
> they stand, how come I've never seen you actually propose any
> of your own to the problems you seem to find so overwhelming? 

Well, your memory seems somewhat selective. Just this week I posted a
variant table floating method. Whose DS2 hit tables are you analyzing?
Who's putting down real money to seek solutions the the interception
problem (*and* posted some initial calculations/solutions a few weeks
back)? Who posted an extensive list of campaign requirements?

IMHO, you have to understand the problem before you can try to solve
it. In many cases with FT, we still have a lot of understanding to do...
Treat the cause, not the symptoms.

> Or, if
> you don't have any solutions after all this time, how come you're
> playing a game you've repeatedly denounced as broken and
> far-too-easily-abused? 

Love it or leave it, eh? Because it's a bloody good game. The basic core
is pretty sound. It's *worth* making better.

I have literally _scores_ of other games that just lie on the shelf.
They're all broken in some way, but I never bothered to let their
know -- because I couldn't see anything to be gained there.

And, since I don't get to actually play as much as I used to, good games
provide interesting intellectual challenges.

> Over the past few years you've always given a
> very strong impression of playing the rules exclusively and to the
> extremes of their printed letters <shrug>

Actually, I don't personally, but I play with people who do. In any
I think having all rules printed is a basic requirement for fairness.
Would you play tennis on a court without painted boundaries? Who'd get
decide whether the ball was in or not?

Assume you are playing against me (I seem to have reattained suitable
demonic status by now). I pull out a trick that isn't strictly forbidden
in the rules but could be considered cheesy and illogical in wider view
and turn the game into a very boring no-brainer, perhaps even winning
(For a concrete example, let's say I try the old suicide-FTL trick)
(Yes, I know it's been fixed)

Do you:

a) Congratulate me and secretly plan to return the favor.
b) Stop playing with me, because I'm such a sneaky git. I should have
   telepathically known that the tactic isn't really legal.
c) Start developing a counter-tactic using another loophole.
d) Note that the rule is broken and/or too vaguely defined and throw
   together a quick fix.
e) Note that the rule is broken and/or too vaguely defined, discuss
   the matter with me, analyze the problem thoroughly, consult others,
   and lobby for a comprehensive, reasoned, logical and universal fix.

Personally, I'm an E-type of guy ;-)

> Depends. If you play with FT2 only, all of the Advanced Rules are
> optional.
> If you play with FBx, the only FT2 Advanced rules I'd consider truly
> optional are the Nova Cannon and the various design-system-related FT2
> rules (since the latter are completely superceded by the FBx design
> system).

Okay. Perhaps we see printed word to that effect in FT3?
Does everyone else agree?

Maybe I should go buy some black ping pong balls...

-- (Mikko Kurki-Suonio) 	  | A pig who doesn't
GSM +358 50 5596411 Tel +358 9 8092681		  | is just an ordinary
Länsimetsä 3B1 02300 ESPOO FINLAND   Hate me? Try |	      - Porco
Rosso      hateme.html  |

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