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Re: Starship! and FT, from the author

From: Brad Carlson <7sg@l...>
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2000 15:38:47 -0700
Subject: Re: Starship! and FT, from the author

> [lots of prior discussion deleted]

> >In Starship, however, creating your race is an intrinsic part of the
> >game.
> Does "creating a race" mean "creating your own weapons and special
> abilities" instead of simply "choosing weapons and special abilities
> from the set provided in the rules"?

You choose from a list. However, the list is intentionally far larger
any single race would have.

   * 15 types of guns, each with differences in one or more of:
     shield interaction, armor interaction, damage effects + plus
     and a bunch of different fighters/mecha, torps, and energy torps.
   * 23 different racial abilities (basically, everything we or are
     playtesters could think of)

Most races will be allowed to use 2-8 of the weapon types, and 1-3 of
racial abilities. Since each of the choices makes a significant
in how the race will play, the possible combinations/permutations give a
LOT of unique races.

And since the allowed variations in strength, range, etc., within each
type result in between ~250 and ~750 possibilities, there is no lack of
options in arming your ships.

> If "yes, you can design your own weapons/abilities" you have a point,
> and like Alan I'll buy the game just to see how you managed it - no
> other game I know of has succeeded doing this, although several have
> tried.
> If "no, you can only choose from the provided set", then Starship! has
> the same problems as you see in Full Thrust: players are going to
> create their own rules (weapons, systems, abilities) outside your
> provided framework, and those rules won't be acceptable in

You don't see a difference between having lots of options, and having

> (OK, players will undoubtedly modify the provided weapon/ability
> rules as well, and won't be able to use the offspring of those
> rules in tournaments...)

There should be little need to do so. Only exposure will tell. We TRIED
make this unneccessary.

> >What I have a problem with, is the assumption that every phaser,
> >disruptor, ion cannon, etc., from all of the books and movies that I
> have >seen can all be grouped into one weapon,"beams", with three
> different >strengths.
> The current edition of Starfire has 33 different direct-fire weapons
> and 15 missile weapons (unless I missed some, which is fairly likely;
> and I've ignored all the fighter weapons), each with its damage and
> to-hit profiles - but they can quite easily be collapsed into five
> different types:
> - weapons that ignore shields
> - weapons that ignore armour
> - weapons that ignore both
> - weapons that ignore neither, and
> - missiles.
> Full Thrust features all of these five types, and also "area"-effect
> weapons which are missing in Starfire. How many other fundamentally
> different types of weapons does Starship! have (or allow the design
> of)?

Each of the guns is fundimentally different from the others, and
different from the torps, etc.

> >And what about the special abilities? What are romulans without
> >cloaking, or vorlons without bio-ships?
> >
> >Obviously the creators of FT agree, since they gave such abilities to
> >their races.
> They did, yes. These particular special abilities - cloaking systems
> and bio-ships - are available in FT though, so I guess they're not a
> very good example of what you're trying to say. Please try again, so I
> get your point?

As stated above, 23 different abilites, to be used singlely or in
combination, as a part of race creation.

> >Obviously, we can not provide rules to cover every universe that has
> >ever or will ever exist.
> I'm glad you wrote this, 'cuz I wouldn't believe you if you said that
> it could :-/ Since it can't, and since the players won't all agree

> you on how to represent whatever they see in the various backgrounds,

> the player will inevitably create their own rules to fit it to better
> handle their favourite background - unless you tell them that they
> aren't allowed to,

[SFB stuff deleted]

My point is that most people (hopefully) won't feel a need to do so.
I don't claim Starship is perfect. All I am claiming is that it is
Do with it what you will.

> If you do disallow creating house rules, you are effectively locking
> them into the universe you provide (or at least you attempt to do so).
> Nothing wrong with that, as long as you're aware of it - this is
> exactly what Starfire does, for example.

Silly to even consider.
Once you take the game home, it is yours.

> If you do *not* tell them this, Starship! has the same problems as you
> see in Full Thrust. It might take a little longer before you notice
> them, but they're still there.

Chess and checkers both "simulate" medieval warfare. Both fail the test
realism. Therefor chess has nothing to offer.
Might as well play checkers.

No, I'm not saying FT is checkers, etc.
FT and Starship have different strengths. In this one area, I think
Starship is stronger. I think in the areas of speed of play, maximum
practical fleet size, and a number of other areas, FT is superior to

> >However, as an example, I could say: "I am
> >running a tournament in a Star Trek-like universe. Please bring your
> >own race and fleet. No missiles, physical torpedoes, fighters or
> >are allowed. All races must have at least two special abilities."
> <chuckle> In this particular case you'd better point out that you mean
> *Star Trek-like* and not *Star Fleet Battles-like*, unless of course
> Starship! makes a distinction between "missiles" and "drones"
> and between "fighters" and "shuttlecraft" (just about all SFB races)
> :-)

But in this case, Star Trek (old series) and Star Trek (new series) and
fans could all play against each other, in a spirit of good will, and
friendship, and bring a new age of peace and prosperity to our world.



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