What's so great about it?
Is there a play example for this anywhere? I set it up to play and just got confused. I normally don't have a difficult time figuring out how to play a game, but the rules on this (using the rules in the Alive and Complete) don't really seem to cover what it is I'm supposed to be doing and how the heck I'm supposed to do it. Any help would be wonderful .
I'm part way through a run using my variant rules (see the variant forum) but I've written it up in enough detail that it should be helpful for people playing the vanilla game. Reproduced below - I'm planning on jazzing it up somewhat for the final version. Note I've avoided domestics which I've mentioned elsewhere is a great tactic to use.
“Fast picket run for Alpha Centauri”
Shimizu Sol exit Daedalus 3He-D Inertial Fusion with Electrostatic Membrane and Z-Pinch Microfusion – 1 Bernal and 8 decatanks of fuel (10 steps).
Crew: Smart Pets (space walker), Heavy Water Survivalists (engineering age 2), Shimizu crew (science age 4).
Hand: Electrophoretic Sandworm, H-B Cat Inertial Robonaut.
Turn 1: Science crew promotes Heavy Water Survivalists succeeding on the second attempt. Heavy Water survivalists print Electrophoretic Sandworm and cube nanofactures it.
Move: Accelerate to 4% speed and move Galactic South (right) 1 space. 2 fuel steps left.
Ship event roll of 6. Science crew content, no one in the vats, radiators decommissioned.
Turn 2: Science crew researches but fails on two attempts (consecutive 6s). New Attica Successionists go to school and learn finance. Smart Pets patch the radiator.
Move Galactic south (right) 1 space.
Ship event roll of 6, again. Stare at the RNG. Radiator damaged again.
Turn 3: Science crew researches Squid Turing, Wakefield e-beam and Diamond Electro-dynamic Tether, then Breakthroughs innovation. New Attica Successionists 3D prints Squid Turing (engineer), Diamond Electro-dynamic Tether. Space Pets patches the radiator.
Move Galactic South (right) 1 space and hits the LIC. Demotes bernal.
Ship event roll of 6… hmmm… Radiator damage.
Turn 4: Space Pets EM Shield Repairs the bernal. Science team researches Security System, Babbage Halbonaut, Arcjet and attempts a Breakthrough of Protium Fusion which fails, adding one data cube to Protium Fusion. New Attica Successionists 3D prints radiator and Babbage Halbonaut (engineering). Squid Turing 3D prints the Security System (Network).
Move Galactic South (right) 1 space. Bernal demotes again as we move through the LIC.
Ship event roll of … uh. 6. Radiator damage.
Turn 5: Space Pets EM Shield Repairs the bernal. The Squid Turing 3D prints the radiator. The Babbage Halbonauts reprints them as pilots. The Science team researches Protium fusion twice, failing on both attempts but adding two data cubes. The New Attica Successionists add the science specialisation to themselves using the improved Innovation ability which the Innovation breakthrough grants, then attempt to research Protium fusion but fails. Protium fusion now has four data cubes on it. We should be able to research it next turn, assuming our two science teams survive this ship event roll. The Security System busts Alpha Centauri.
With Alpha Centauri bust, my options get more complicated. I should have done the network operation first to see what other choices I had and possibly used New Attica Successionists to make one of the robots a Biotech and moved them to the vats next turn. I’ll still do this, but I need to make it through this one. Looking at my options, I don’t have to decide until next turn, so I move Galactic South (right) 1 step and demote the bernal.
Ship event roll of 3. From the top:
Space pets die in an accident (2D6 roll of 4), but New Attica Successionists survive (2D6 roll of 11, they have 10 stress) along with the newly printed Babbage Halbonauts (age 2, roll of 8).
Ships crew dies of cancer (I can’t roll low enough on 1D6), and New Attica Successionists also killed (roll 4, I needed a 6 to survive).
My Security Systems promote themselves to Frankenstein Navigators and the politics moves to the centre as a result (no crew alive), suffering no stress. Given all the humans died earlier in this turn, I believe I know where the fresh supply of body parts came from for the Security System to wear.
We have alert engineers, so no reactors need overhauling.
Turn 6: The Babbage Halbonauts 3D print Smart Pets (space walker) in order to get the Bernal shield repaired next turn. My newly sentient Network specialist can now do 2 network operations per turn but Earth won’t help me with promoted robots on board, so my only option with the Frankenstein Navigators is to explore: we check both WISE 1049-5319 first and find a habitable planet (2D6 roll of 2), then Proxima Centauri and bust it.
I’m in a bind. If I can make it to the planet I’ve just found, I’ve got points on the board, but that track has one more LIC space ahead of me which will destroy my Bernal this turn and expose me to 6 turns of radiation and a hazard roll. The Bernal shields down and no way to promote the stack has forced my hand. I turn Galactic East (upwards) instead and move one space.
Ship event roll of 1. The Babbage Halbonauts avoid Alzheimer’s with a roll of 4. While I have plenty of robots, none are stressed at this stage.
Turn 7: The Babbage Halbonauts 3D print the Arcjet, as backup in the event of failure of the Smart Pets. Smart Pets promotes the Bernal stack. The Frankenstein Navigators starts scanning the LIC ahead of Epsilon Eridani – it is unlikely we’ll be able to stop and then start moving again but it may give us the ability to dry dock in an emergency. The two LIC spaces in front of Epsilon Eridani are both busted.
We keep moving.
Ship event roll of 2. The Babbage Halbonaut’s grey goo threat is averted by their radiation hardness and the 5 alert badges of our robot crew (and rolls of 3 and 1). However the newly created Arcjet is destroyed in an accident.
Turn 8: The Babbage Halbonauts 3D reprints the Squid Turing as pilots. Without Protium Fusion discovered, the engineering team is more hindrance than help at this stage, but I need them around in the event I need to reprint one of the other robot crew, and the easiest way to ensure I can do this is by having a young backup robot available which I can switch to engineering if required. The Frankenstein Navigators have only one LIC which we can scan forward, so we do that, and scan the last LIC we left, busting both of them.
We keep moving – we’re now one space from Epsilon Eridani’s 6 light year range, which will allow us to send an exploration wisp assuming the Frankenstein Navigator’s survive. A ship event roll of 5 demotes them to Security Systems, and kills the Smart Pets, but not before the Squid Turing mutinies and promotes. We haven’t used the star drive this turn, so no chance of the thruster misfire.
Turn 8: The aging Babbage Halbonauts prints the Smart Pets again. The Security System scans Epsilon Eridani but finds only a fuel planet. We’re in for the long haul, with no way to refuel any time soon. I’m going to have to dry dock there though, and hope that either 40 Eridani A or B/C or Tau Ceti gives me a chance to refuel.
Ship event roll of 4 has no effect with alert engineers.
Turn 9: The Babbage Halbonauts reprints the Security Systems. Ship event roll of 6 results in the radiator being decommissioned.
Turn 10: The Smart Pets patches the radiator, and are then reprinted by the Babbage Halbonauts as space walkers. Ship event roll of 3 results in the Babbage Halbonauts destruction, but the Smart Pets promote to Creeper Neogen and the Security System promotes again. Without an alert engineer, the reactors on both the Neumann Turings and the Creeper Neogen are disabled, which will prevent me using the H-B Cat Inertial should I ever need it.
Turn 11: The Creeper Neogen goes to school to learn Biotech – and if they survive the next 3 turns I’ll have an immortal robot crew member to keep the ship alive. The Neumann Turings learn engineering as I need to reprint. Ship event roll of 5 but they and the Frankenstein Navigators both avoid demotion.
Turn 12: The Neumann Turings reprint the Babbage Halbonauts as engineers and the Arcjet. The Neumann Turings are moved into the vats by the Creeper Neogen to avoid further risk to themselves: I’ll make them into pilots when they come back out. I also move the Frankenstein Navigators into the vats: I’m not going to benefit from further Network scans for a while.
We hit the LIC just after the 6 year light boundary from Sol and the bernal shield demotes.
Ship event roll is 4 - the Creeper Neogens demotes as a result of an accident. Now I have alert engineers this has no effect on the generator.
Turn 13: I bring the Neumann Turings out of the vats as pilots and the Smart Pets promote themselves up to Creeper Neogen again. The Arcjet fixes the bernal shield. I need to be more considered about the next LIC. Seven turns left to reach Epsilon Eridani and the Bernal is age 14.
Ship event roll is 3: the Babbage Halbonauts survive the accident which is lucky, because this is the first turn of rapid aging due to Bernal damage – I’m debating the merits of making them Spacewalkers as well to give them a chance to promote should they survive the next one. We have no reactors left to damage.
Turn 14: The Babbage Halbonauts can reprint themselves – a tactic I only just realised I could use – but since the Bernal age is higher than 12, they’ll rapidly age unless I reprint them, but reprinting them adds 2 stress every time I do it and stress opens the door to the possibility of losing my precious immortal Creeper Neogens through an unlucky double ship event. So I send them to school, hoping I can promote them through mutiny, and make them space walkers. Ship Event roll is 6, which demotes the Frankenstein Navigators in the vats, and destroys the radiator.
Turn 15: Radiator repaired and Security System in the vats promoted by the Creeper Neogens. Ship Event roll is 5. The Babbage Halbonauts are destroyed by Alzheimer’s and the Creeper Neogens are demoted. Luckily we hadn’t fired the thruster this turn. I must remember to avoid this combination when we next use it.
Turn 16: At Bernal age 12+, I can’t run without an engineer because any supports I 3D print will be on white side and, although the white side cards are fine, I need a (n) reactor to go with it, which I won’t get unless the Neumann Turings/Squid Turing are 3D printed again. So we send them to engineering school to keep the ship running. The Smart Pets promote themselves back to Creeper Neogens status. We enter the final LIC before Epsilon Eridani with a corresponding Bernal demotion. Ship event is 2 – the Neumann Turings trigger grey goo but survive it but everything in the vats is aged by 1. Accidents destroy all the robonauts and demote the Creeper Neogens again.
Turn 17: I have a hard choice to make: keep the Bernal up and risk losing the Smart Pets, or promote them again. But with the radiation I’d risk, it is no choice at all. I promote the shield and risk the Pets. I’m going to sit tight otherwise, and watch the Bernal shield demote. Ship event roll is 3, which kills the Neumann Turings. This is a good result: I want to 3D print them again to get their on board Nuclear Reactor working.
Turn 18: In order to 3D print, I need engineers, so I revive the Frankenstein Navigators as engineers and pilots (the pilot profession adds no risk to them). The Smart Pets promotes the shield again. Ship event roll is 6. Radiator damage.
Turn 19: The Frankenstein Navigators 3D prints the Babbage Halbonauts as engineers and the Squid Turing as pilots, both of which get 2 stress. I’d like to send the Navigators to the vats but this stage, they have aged enough in a single turn that I’ll lose them if I fail to defend against Grey Goo and I need them for breaking operations. I’m going to get the Babbage Halbonauts to reprint themselves every turn to try to defend against accident and Alzheimer’s. The Smart Pets promote themselves rather than repairing the radiator – we can safely do that next turn. We enter the last space before Epsilon Eridani. Ship event roll is 3. And in an unlucky roll the Babbage Halbonauts are killed, along with the long lived Frankenstein Navigators and the Squid Turing lose their reactor.
Turn 20: The Creeper Neogens repairs the radiator. The Squid Turing go to school to learn engineering: I’m running an unavoidable risk of losing all my engineers but I have to take the chance. Ship event roll is 4. I’m safe – for the moment, although the Creeper Neogens demotes.
Turn 21: I’ll reach Epsilon Eridani during the move this turn without the pilots necessary to stop it. Does this matter? I’ve got at least 11 spaces to travel to get to another system and in the best braking scenario I’d only have enough fuel to get up to ½ speed. That’d extend my precarious journey to at least an effective 22 turn journey, and I’m barely surviving at turn 20. I think another 11 turns at this speed is doable, provided I don’t have the same bad luck as happened on turn 19.
But then I have stressed robots. That is probably the most dangerous risk of the whole trip. As robots promote, I can put them in the vats to remove the stress – but otherwise I run a non-zero risk of losing my nearly immortal Creeper Neogens.
The Squid Turing prints the Babbage Halbonauts (engineering) and the Security System (network) – each with 2 stress. The Smart Pets promote themselves. Ship event roll is 5 – the Security System survives Alzheimer’s, the Squid Turing promotes to Neumann Turings, the Creeper Neogens demotes to Smart Pets.
Turn 22: Braking calculations: I have magnetic braking, beam core breaking and two steps of fuel to stop, then two steps to start again. But I can’t refuel at a fuel planet with my star drive, so any trip from here will take twice as long if I do. And the only mass for beam core braking I have is my bernal. Which means radiation hazards from here on. And yet…
All my cards are rad hardness 5 – Creeper Neogens promoted buffs the radiator up to this level. The Mech Transistors ability of the Babbage Halbonauts will buff everyone up to 6, except themselves. And the Interstellar rules notes that with regards to the green text ‘Normally they are valid as long as the colonists are alive, even in the vats.’
I could move everyone except the Creeper Neogens and Babbage Halbonauts to the vats, and have the Babbage Halbonauts reprint themselves every turn. The Creeper Neogens can vat promote in the event of Alzheimer’s. With an almost completely rad hard crew, I only have to roll 6 for the Babbage Halbonauts to fail, the odds of death by Gray Goo, Accident or Alzheimer’s are even less, and the robot stress will only accumulate after dry dock.
But 1/6 failure checked 22 times in a row is a lot worse than the higher failure chance less of the time. I think. It’s a viable mission plan should I be forced to move onwards from the next star system, but not at the moment.
The Security System finds Gas Giants (and Fuel Planet) at 40 Eridani A. With this in mind, I decide to aim for Tau Ceti and hope for better luck. It is a slightly shorter trip:- one space, and the LIC is spread out which means I can recover from it more readily. Smart Pets promotes themselves. The Babbage Halbonauts prints the Tungsten Resistojet. We move one space from Epsilon Eridani.
Ship event roll is 2. Grey Goo risk from the Babbage Halbonauts and Neumann Turings, who survive due to the rad protection of the Babbage Halbonauts offers (roll of 5 for Babbage and 6 for Neumann Turings – I forgot the modifier would save them). With 6 badges alert, there are no further ill effects. Accidents demote the Creeper Neogens and kills the Security System, but the Tungsten Resistojet survives.
Turn 23: Neumann Turings put themselves in the vats to remove their riskier professions. Smart Pets promotes. Babbage Halbonauts prints the Security System as Network. Ship event roll of 5. Creeper Neogens demotes. Security System killed by Alzheimer’s (unlucky roll of 1).
Turn 24: Neumann Turings resuscitate as pilots. Smart Pets promotes. Babbage Halbonauts prints the Security System as Network. We enter the LIC and the bernal demotes. Event roll of 5 again. Creeper Neogens demotes. Security System survives Alzheimer’s this time around.
Turn 25: Smart Pets promote the Bernal. Babbage Halbonauts prints the Tungsten Resistojet. Security System explores Tau Ceti and finds a Gas Giant. Enter the LIC a second time and demote the Bernal. Event roll of 1. Alzheimer’s kills the Babbage Halbonauts. Smart Pets incurs a grey goo risk which they survive and doesn’t affect the vats. And two of my robots are stressed: Security Systems with 2 stress and Neumann Turings with 1. No effect.
Turn 26. The Tungsten Resistojet promotes the Bernal. Smart Pets promote themselves. Security Systems scans the LIC in front of Tau Ceti and busts it. Even a stop and dry dock a turn earlier would have bought me time. Neumann Turings go back to school and learn engineering. Always a risk. Ship event roll of 2. Grey goo hazard from the Turings which they survive; I have no one in the vats. Accidents destroy the Tungsten Resistojet and demote the Creeper Neogens.
Turn 27: Smart Pets promotes. Neumann Turings 3D print the Tungsten Resistojet and the Babbage Halbonauts as engineers. Security Systems scans the outbound LIC and finds a fuel world just past Tau Ceti. Ship Event roll is 2 again, more grey goo. Grey Goo from the two engineers: Neumanns immune thanks to the Halbonauts, who also survive. Nothing in the vats. The newly printed Tungsten Resistojet avoids destruction; the Creeper Neogens demotes.
Turn 28: Neumann Turings put themselves back in the vats. Babbage Halbonauts 3D prints the Cat Fusion Z-Pinch Torch. Smart Pets promotes. Ship event roll of 3 kills the Babbage Halbonauts, promotes the Security Systems to Frankenstein Navigators.
Turn 29: Frankenstein Navigators put themselves into the vats. Neumann Turings come out of the vats as stress free engineers. Smart Pets promotes. Ship event roll of 2 – gray goo, which the Neumann Turings survive but kills the Frankenstein Navigators. The two robonauts are destroyed in accidents along with the Creeper Neogens being demoted
Turn 30: Neumann Turings 3D prints the Security Systems as Network and Babbage Halbonauts as space walkers. Smart Pets promotes. Ship event roll of 6. Radiators damaged.
Turn 31: Creeper Neogens repairs the radiator. Neumann Turings put themselves into school to become pilots which we desperately need as we’ll hit Tau Ceti during the move next turn. Security Systems finds another gas giant at YZ Ceti. Ship event roll of 5. Babbage Halbonauts decommissioned. Hazard roll is 5 – we make it safely through the debri but demote the bernal.
Turn 32: Creeper Neogens promotes the Bernal. Neumann Turings print the Babbage Halbonauts as space walkers and the Tungsten Resistojet. We reach Tau Ceti. One ship event roll left, then we brake. Gray goo. The Neumann Turings survive. The Babbage Halbonauts are destroyed in an accident along with demoting the Creeper Neogens but the tungsten resistojet makes it.
Turn 33: The Neumann Turings mag brake, and scoop break, surviving the hazard and getting one decatank back. The Smart Pets promote themselves. We use fuel to come to a dead stop. Ship event roll of 4. The Creeper Neogens demotes.
Turn 34: The Neumann Turings dry dock, and print the Babbage Halbonauts as engineers. The Bernal and all robots are set to age 1. The Tungsten Resistojet is promoted to black by the dry dock operation continues to refuel, adding another 3 decatanks. The Smart Pets promote themselves. Ship event roll of 6. Radiators are damaged.
Turn 35: The Neumann Turings dry dock again, then print the H-B Cat Inertial. The Babbage Halbonauts repair radiators. 8 decatanks are added by the Arcjet and the Creeper Neogens refuelling the ship completely. We get underway, going galactic west, with a complete burn accelerating up to 6.5% speed of light with the intention of a complete stop at YZ Ceti for further refuelling next turn. Ship event roll of 4. The Creeper Neogens demotes.
Turn 36: The Neumann Turings mag brake then scoop brake, adding a decatank to bring it to 1 total. Smart Pets promotes. We bring ourselves to a dead stop using 4 steps of fuel, emptying the ship completely. Ship event of 2. Grey goo risk from the robot engineers, destroying the Babbage Halbonauts, but all space walkers survive accident risk.
Turn 37: The Babbage Halbonauts are reprinted as engineers by the Neumann Turings, who are put in the vats by the Creeper Neogens. The security system scans Lacaille, finding a fuel planet and gas giant. We refuel the ship completely again and set off at 6.5% light speed – with a pilot in the vats who the Creepers can protect and a gas giant at the next destination, we’re a lot more confident about our braking ability.
- Last edited Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:55 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:14 pm
What's so great about it?
very helpful stuff
Thanks a ton! This should help me get going. I was originally left wondering just what the heck to take in my ship and how big my card stack should be, etc.
My card stack is probably too small - you could easily add more up front instead of researching - because I'm trying to get a ship that could move relatively quickly. Alpha Centauri is a nice early target to aim for - be sure to explore wisp Barnard's Star on the first step out as an early alternative.
For a fast picket run to Alpha Centauri, you are already 444 years into the mission and if you are sitting on YZ Ceti, still have 10 light years to get to Epsilon Indi, the next possible habitable zone. Do you care to repeat why you find domestics so troublesome in a starship?
For a fast picket run to Alpha Centauri, you are already 444 years into the mission and if you are sitting on YZ Ceti, still have 10 light years to get to Epsilon Indi, the next possible habitable zone.
In my defense, I bust Alpha Centauri, and the one habitable planet I've found would have involved 6 turns without radiation shielding at high speeds.
Do you care to repeat why you find domestics so troublesome in a starship?
I was avoiding them because I've played the immortal domestics run previously, not because I find them particular 'troublesome'. You may note in the variant I'm working on, I don't touch domestics - I'm happy with them the way they are.
I think High Frontier: Interstellar does a great job modelling the human factors involved in a long interstellar voyage. What I think is missing is the challenges of maintaining the technology over this long time. At the moment, the only points of hardware failure are the Bernals and radiator. If you go domestics + biotechs + age 1 pilots in the vat, the radiator is the only weak point because your biotechs can promote your Bernal as well as themselves.
What is less obvious is that although I have 'immortal' Creeper Neogens, in my variant it is forced to be a space walker as well as biotech in order to keep the Bernal promoted. As a result it spends at least half the time demoted and only able to promote itself as its only action, and I have the real possibility of it dying as I move through the LIC without other alert space walkers.
I'm also forced to keep alert engineers to avoid losing the supporting generator. In a couple of turns, this hilariously causes me to overshoot Lacaille, where I had planned on stopping, because I lose the generator support while I have my pilot/engineers in the vats, during the one time I risk taking the engineering team offline.