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John Reynolds
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This is going to be a rather long post, so please bear with me.

I'm going to attempt to fly a ship from Earth to Venus, and land successfully. Please tell me what I do wrong, as I'm trying to learn the game. I took much of this information from the HF Walkthrough (designed for the 2nd edition) and Matt_W's excellent post here.

I'm starting out with my crew card, a Robonaut, and a thruster.



They have a mass total mass of 4 (I'm playing the basic game) So I pay 4 WT (gained in prior turns via the Income action) to Boost them into LEO.





Next I use a free action to do a Cargo Transfer, and construct a rocket.

I move my rocket off of LEO and into the rocket stack.

I also put the Dry Mass disk on the "4" spot on the fuel strip, since my total mass is 4. I also put the wet mass rocket (blue, for water) piece on top of the dry mass disk, since currently my wet mass is the same as my dry mass (we haven't yet fueled).



I end my turn, because I need more WT's in order to get enough fuel for the journey.

The next 3 turns I use the Income action to gain a total of 6 WT.



On my next turn, I use a free action to Liquidate all of my WT's (6), and add fuel to my ship by moving the blue water fuel rocket token 6 times to the right, following the dotted pink lines.



I also move the net thrust disk up to 3, since our thruster gives us a base of 3, -1 for the weight (transport) modifier, and +1 since we will use our open-cycle cooling feature on our thruster, giving us one extra point of thrust, at the cost of one extra fuel per turn.

Edit: I realize now that the cost on my thruster to use open-cycle is 2, but I thought it was 1. oops!



Now, the reason I chose to liquidate 6 WT's worth of fuel, is because to get to Venus will require 3 burns, expending 4 units of fuel each burn. In order to have enough fuel, including the extra we need to use the open-cycle cooling, we need a total of 9 1/2 fuel, but there are no half-sies when fueling up, so we will begin with 10.

I'm not sure when I'm supposed to pay for the extra fuel usage due to the open-cycle, so I'm going to pay it now, which leaves us with 9 1/2 fuel.




On to moving the ship!

I move my ship to HEO, and perform a burn, using 4 units of fuel, as per my thruster card. I also put my net thrust marker down to 1, to remind me I only have 2 more burns. (Am I supposed to do this?)




Next, I coast to the L3 Lagrange, and do another burn to enter it.




Next, I use the L1 Lagrange (no burn required) to continue coasting towards the first aerobrake spot, and roll the die to see if I explode:




Huzzah!

I continue down the path until I must do my 3rd and final burn to land.




Once that's done, I roll the die yet again to see if something catastrophic happens (because of the Skull icon)



Yay!

Lastly, I continue to coast to the final aerobrake spot, and roll the die.




Success! I have landed on Venus!



So, a few questions:

1) What did I do wrong? (I highly doubt I did this correctly)

2) Am I only limited to one rocket and one freighter at a time?

3)What happens to this rocket now, if I wanted to create a factory? Does it turn into a factory, and I then have the ability to create another rocket?

4)How in the world do I get off of Venus, given I don't have enough fuel for even a single burn, and Venus has no water? Do I need to ship fuel to Venus, via another rocket or my freighter?

5)It's my understanding that I could at least lift off from Venus for free, due to the aerostat, but then what?

6) - 999999999+) Reserved for later
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Mike zebrowski
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1) Well, you went to Venus....

One common error is that you didn't claim your 1 WT for the boost operation. NASA allows you to collect the fee even if you are the one launching.

2) Yes. However, you can decommission them (destroy) them at anytime unless they have humans onboard.

3) The rocket is stuck on Venus.

To create on factory, you first need to Prospect the site using a robonaut that has an ISRU that is equal to or less than the water rating of the site. Venus has a water rating of 0, so you'll need a Robonaut that has an ISRU of 0.

After the site has been prospected, you need to land a robonaut and refinery on the site and then decommission them to place a factory cube.

4) You don't. Venus is a mid-late game site. It is best to land there when you can get 12 thrust to take-off for free.
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John Reynolds
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Mike Zebrowski wrote:
1) Well, you went to Venus....

One common error is that you didn't claim your 1 WT for the boost operation. NASA allows you to collect the fee even if you are the one launching.

2) Yes. However, you can decommission them (destroy) them at anytime unless they have humans onboard.

3) The rocket is stuck on Venus.

To create on factory, you first need to Prospect the site using a robonaut that has an ISRU that is equal to or less than the water rating of the site. Venus has a water rating of 0, so you'll need a Robonaut that has an ISRU of 0.

After the site has been prospected, you need to land a robonaut and refinery on the site and then decommission them to place a factory cube.

4) You don't. Venus is a mid-late game site. It is best to land there when you can get 12 thrust to take-off for free.


Awesome! Thank you so much.

A few questions -

1)What happens if I don't have enough thrust to enter a burn? Do I place my rocket on top of the burn site, but not past it? (or just before it, indicating I can't enter it)

2)How would you rescue a ship that is stranded? (Or you don't?)

3)This game is incredible. (Yes, I realize this isn't a question)
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Rich James
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JohnnyR wrote:

1)What happens if I don't have enough thrust to enter a burn? Do I place my rocket on top of the burn site, but not past it? (or just before it, indicating I can't enter it)

Your rocket stops at the previous burn/lagrange/hohmann it entered. It is never allowed to enter a burn that it cannot pay for.

Quote:
2)How would you rescue a ship that is stranded? (Or you don't?)

In your situation, I would just decommission all the cards (i.e. return them to your hand). If there was a crew and/or other valuable things you wanted to leave on the site in hopes of returning later to actually use them, then put them in an Outpost first, then decomm the remaining cards. The idea there would be that you would build a more powerful rocket later that could return to rescue or use the items in your Outpost. That rocket would presumably have enough thrust to take off and land without the need for factory assist or aerobraking (and enough fuel to actually take off and pass through the required burns to reach another location).

Quote:
3)This game is incredible. (Yes, I realize this isn't a question)

Yes it is!
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Bob Wooster
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JohnnyR wrote:

A few questions -

1)What happens if I don't have enough thrust to enter a burn? Do I place my rocket on top of the burn site, but not past it? (or just before it, indicating I can't enter it)

1. You must pay the fuel to enter the burn, so if you don't have the fuel, you can't enter the space.

JohnnyR wrote:

2)How would you rescue a ship that is stranded? (Or you don't?)

2. Venus is very difficult to get off of with the white cards. You would need to convert the rocket into an outpost (free action). Then create a new rocket and fly a bunch of propellant there. Once you're off of Venus, notice how many burns there are to get home. You'll probably need to outpost again and send another re-fueler!

Moral of the story: go somewhere with less mass and more water first!

JohnnyR wrote:

3)This game is incredible. (Yes, I realize this isn't a question)

Yes, it is second to none.

Note - As soon as you feel ready, play with the support cards. That add a whole new dimension to rocket creation.
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John Reynolds
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temujin1206 wrote:
JohnnyR wrote:

A few questions -

1)What happens if I don't have enough thrust to enter a burn? Do I place my rocket on top of the burn site, but not past it? (or just before it, indicating I can't enter it)

1. You must pay the fuel to enter the burn, so if you don't have the fuel, you can't enter the space.

JohnnyR wrote:

2)How would you rescue a ship that is stranded? (Or you don't?)

2. Venus is very difficult to get off of with the white cards. You would need to convert the rocket into an outpost (free action). Then create a new rocket and fly a bunch of propellant there. Once you're off of Venus, notice how many burns there are to get home. You'll probably need to outpost again and send another re-fueler!

Moral of the story: go somewhere with less mass and more water first!

JohnnyR wrote:

3)This game is incredible. (Yes, I realize this isn't a question)

Yes, it is second to none.

Note - As soon as you feel ready, play with the support cards. That add a whole new dimension to rocket creation.


Thank you!

What are the support cards? Advanced game?
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Bob Wooster
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Yes, the support cards are generators, radiators, and reactors. For example, in the advanced game the robonaut you brought to Venus would need an electric generator to work (as indicated by the 'e' in the upper right corner of the card).
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Jakub Glazik
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JohnnyR wrote:
5)It's my understanding that I could at least lift off from Venus for free, due to the aerostat, but then what?

Fact that Venus location is the aerostat doesn't matter. Such "city in the clouds" is still (almost) at the bottom of gravitational well of Venus and spaceship needs a lot of delta-v to get to orbit.
 
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Simon Skov
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1)Just a few tips
Open-Cycle cooling (I usually refer to this as afterburning...):
You spend the fuel for this before checking how your wet mass modifies your thrust. This is important, because spending that fuel might just make your rocket rocket light enough to be in a lower weight class, and get an extra thrust.

Moving your net-thrust marker:
You shouldn't move it with every burn, since your net thrust is the deciding factor in whether or not you can land on sites (and also important for radiation hazards in the advanced game). I find it's not that hard to keep track of how many burns you are able to go through each turn.

Otherwise your landing seems to have been by the books!

2) Yes, strictly limited.

3) Since your robonaut has an ISRU rating of 4, you can only prospect sites with 4 or more water drops. Venus, being bone dry, is out of the question. That also means you can't refuel there. If you had an ISRU 0 robonaut, you could prospect Venus, and later bring a refinery to industrialize and build a factory. The ISRU 0 robonaut would also allow you to refuel 1 WT with an ISRU Refuel operation (1 + the difference in ISRU and number of water drops, if your robonaut's ISRU is low enough). Having a factory there would allow you to refuel 8 WT with a Factory Refuel operation.

4) Most probably, you don't... Going to Venus can often be one-way trip. But yeah, in this case you would need to either ship water or an ISRU 0 robonaut there, per above.

5) You don't get to lift off for free from an aerostat. What you do get to do is ignore the thrust requirement (like aerobraking let you do with that one Lander Burn you went through). If Venus was not an aerostat, you would need an engine with a massive 12 thrust to take off.
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John Reynolds
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nom_ wrote:
1)Just a few tips
Open-Cycle cooling (I usually refer to this as afterburning...):
You spend the fuel for this before checking how your wet mass modifies your thrust. This is important, because spending that fuel might just make your rocket rocket light enough to be in a lower weight class, and get an extra thrust.

Moving your net-thrust marker:
You shouldn't move it with every burn, since your net thrust is the deciding factor in whether or not you can land on sites (and also important for radiation hazards in the advanced game). I find it's not that hard to keep track of how many burns you are able to go through each turn.

Otherwise your landing seems to have been by the books!

2) Yes, strictly limited.

3) Since your robonaut has an ISRU rating of 4, you can only prospect sites with 4 or more water drops. Venus, being bone dry, is out of the question. That also means you can't refuel there. If you had an ISRU 0 robonaut, you could prospect Venus, and later bring a refinery to industrialize and build a factory. The ISRU 0 robonaut would also allow you to refuel 1 WT with an ISRU Refuel operation (1 + the difference in ISRU and number of water drops, if your robonaut's ISRU is low enough). Having a factory there would allow you to refuel 8 WT with a Factory Refuel operation.

4) Most probably, you don't... Going to Venus can often be one-way trip. But yeah, in this case you would need to either ship water or an ISRU 0 robonaut there, per above.

5) You don't get to lift off for free from an aerostat. What you do get to do is ignore the thrust requirement (like aerobraking let you do with that one Lander Burn you went through). If Venus was not an aerostat, you would need an engine with a massive 12 thrust to take off.


Thank you for the information! #5 makes sense!
 
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Adam Gastonguay
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JohnnyR wrote:

Thank you for the information! #5 makes sense!


Glad to see other people taking a stab at this game!

And yes, that's one thing you'll realize as you tackle more and more modules of the game. It makes sense.

You'll find the rules aren't as complicated as they appear to be because you'll begin to understand the science behind everything and find it's just damn fun!

Really, when you boil down your flight to Venus, it wasn't hard, was it? It's because you simply fell down the gravity well of the sun and skidded over the atmosphere of Venus to come to a stop. It's our cosmic neighbor, after all. Sure it took some energy to get yourself to line up perfectly with the planet (and not fall into the Sun), but it wasn't bad. Now you know why it can be harder (and take more time) to go to Mars or the asteroids and why there are so many zig-zagging lines in the outer solar system. It's a long, LONG way out there. You'll need to prepare.

Keep at it. Once you're able to land on Deimos or Psyche, or better yet, a comet (that's always a fun feeling), definitely add the Supports mod. That's when the Outer Solar System opens up and you'll keep your eyes looking at the stars every night.
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John Reynolds
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CthulhuKid wrote:
JohnnyR wrote:

Thank you for the information! #5 makes sense!


Glad to see other people taking a stab at this game!

And yes, that's one thing you'll realize as you tackle more and more modules of the game. It makes sense.

You'll find the rules aren't as complicated as they appear to be because you'll begin to understand the science behind everything and find it's just damn fun!

Really, when you boil down your flight to Venus, it wasn't hard, was it? It's because you simply fell down the gravity well of the sun and skidded over the atmosphere of Venus to come to a stop. It's our cosmic neighbor, after all. Sure it took some energy to get yourself to line up perfectly with the planet (and not fall into the Sun), but it wasn't bad. Now you know why it can be harder (and take more time) to go to Mars or the asteroids and why there are so many zig-zagging lines in the outer solar system. It's a long, LONG way out there. You'll need to prepare.

Keep at it. Once you're able to land on Deimos or Psyche, or better yet, a comet (that's always a fun feeling), definitely add the Supports mod. That's when the Outer Solar System opens up and you'll keep your eyes looking at the stars every night.


Maybe you could explain the science behind something I don't understand yet - Why does our wet mass start the same as our Dry?

As in, why does "no fuel" weigh as much as our dry mass? How is the weight of the fuel and the thrust it provides abstracted in the game on the fuel strip?

Thank you!
 
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Rich James
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JohnnyR wrote:
Maybe you could explain the science behind something I don't understand yet - Why does our wet mass start the same as our Dry?

As in, why does "no fuel" weigh as much as our dry mass? How is the weight of the fuel and the thrust it provides abstracted in the game on the fuel strip?

Thank you!

Wet mass is the rocket's total mass after fueling (i.e. dry mass + mass of fuel you have taken on board). The wet mass will decrease as you burn fuel, until it reaches its original dry mass at which time it has run out of fuel.
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Adam Gastonguay
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Rich summed it up quite nicely.

You've got an empty fuel tank floating up there, and that'll have a set mass. That's the Dry mass. You just set the wet mass marker there because you can't go below that until you start throwing things off the ship. You've got the metal floating there, it'll never lose mass, so there's your blue chip on the fuel strip.

Then you add water. Tons of the stuff. The little marker moves to the right farther and farther the more you add. Eventually you stop filling up the tank and you're ready to fly. Of course, your ship is much, much heavier (I should say "Massier" but that's an odd word), which is why your thrust is probably one or two less with all that new water on board. So let's light this candle.

You hit a burn and some of your fuel is shot out the backside of your ship, so your wet mass is moved to the left. At first, it's moved down QUICKLY. Why? It takes a whole lot of fuel to get your heavy ship moving. Simple inertia. Getting your car going is a lot harder than getting a baby carriage going, even if they're both carrying a toddler. They both can coast just as easily, but whenever you have to change states, inertia takes over again, and you have to do more burns. Of course, as you do more burns, each step might not take up as much of your mass because your giant ship is getting lighter as all your water is being shot out of back of it.

If you're sitting in a baby carriage and throw a baseball, the carriage may move a little bit because the masses of the two objects are similar. If you're sitting on a car and throw a baseball, that car ain't going anywhere. However, if you start throwing car parts, eventually you'll pick up the engine block and give it a good hurl, whatever's left of that car will roll the other way. Equal and opposite reaction.

That was very wordy and incoherent, but hopefully that made some sense.

Very Wordy is kinda my thing.
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Andrew Doull
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rzabcio wrote:
JohnnyR wrote:
5)It's my understanding that I could at least lift off from Venus for free, due to the aerostat, but then what?

Fact that Venus location is the aerostat doesn't matter. Such "city in the clouds" is still (almost) at the bottom of gravitational well of Venus and spaceship needs a lot of delta-v to get to orbit.


This was answered elsewhere but in the 3rd edition, you don't need to have a minimum thrust to take off from an aerostat. This is due to Zeppelin assisted lift off.
 
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Jakub Glazik
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Oh, you are right and I forgot about this rule.
 
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