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Subject: Freighters and the van allen belts rss

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Eric Gerdts
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Question for the HF vets out there...

I'm still playing just the most basic Colonization game - with supports, slingshot boosts, radiation hazards, etc., but without any of the other modules. One thing struck me as odd today and I thought maybe I was missing something...please tell me if I am.

So it seems that the main purpose of creating your freighter (remember, I'm just using the basic freighter, not any of the ones from the freighter module), is to haul a new piece of tech back to LEO, either to sell it or to make use of it in a fresh rocket stack. But isn't it almost impossible for the freighter to actually make it back to LEO due to the Van Allen belts? The freighter only has 1 "thrust" and it is considered to have a rad-hardness of 1. It's almost certainly doomed to get melted as it approaches earth, right?

Obviously if the UN is in the game that is an option, but if they're not (or if they're not being cooperative) is it just the intended design that freighters are very unlikely to be able to get pieces of ET tech back to LEO to sell/use?

Perhaps it's intended that the player will send a rocket to meet the freighter outside the Van Allen belts to pick up the tech?

Thanks.
 
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Paul Agapow
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Well, if you're using Bernals, you won't have to brave the Van Allen belts. There's also the possibility of clever use of boosts (gravitational assists and the like) so you can get through the belts.

But largely, I'd say the freighters are more used for shunting things around beyond Earth's orbit. That's mostly what I've seen.
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Erich Schneider
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The legacy freighter itself is not affected by radiation belts, only its cargo. (It isn't represented by a card, so it has no defined rad-hardness.) For most cargoes, this means you're more likely than not to get through the VAB if you're not transiting during a red sunspot period.
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Eric Gerdts
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erich_schneider wrote:
The legacy freighter itself is not affected by radiation belts, only its cargo. (It isn't represented by a card, so it has no defined rad-hardness.) For most cargoes, this means you're more likely than not to get through the VAB if you're not transiting during a red sunspot period.


The glossary in the living rules (radiation hazard entry) says that freighters have a rad-hardness of 1 for the purpose of traveling through radiation belts.
 
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Erich Schneider
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Which version of the rules are you referring to, here?

The 31 March 2014 version of Alive and Complete (the one available on the Yahoo group files area that is not the one with 3rd Edition content) says, under Radiation Hazard:

Quote:
Radiation Hazard (Colonization) - A space marked with the radiation icon. Upon entering, a spacecraft rolls a die and subtracts its net thrust (F4) from the roll to obtain a radiation level. All cards in the stack with a rad-hardness less than this level are decommissioned.
* Freighters have a net thrust equal to their TMP's for this purpose. This is usually 1 but can be higher (e.g. push factories, antiproton sails).


The glossary entry says nothing about the freighters having a rad-hardness, only that they are considered to have a net thrust of 1. Legacy freighters have never had a rad hardness. (Freighter module freighters do.)

Phil, could you confirm or deny this?
 
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Eric Gerdts
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You're right. I misunderstood the glossary. The entry doesn't say anything about the rad-hardness of freighters. It just says their thrust is considered to be 1.

You mentioned that since the freighter isn't represented by a card, it has no defined rad-hardness. Where do you see that in the rules? Also, the current living rules entry has two more words added to the Radiation Hazard entry: "all cards AND CUBES..." Here's the full entry from the June 23, 2014 rules:


Radiation Hazard (Colonization) – A space marked with the radiation icon. Upon entering, a spacecraft rolls a die and subtracts its net thrust (F4) from the roll to obtain a radiation level. All cards and cubes in the stack with a rad-hardness less than this level are decommissioned.
● Freighters have a net thrust equal to their TMP’s for this purpose. This is usually 1 but can be higher (e.g. push factories, antiproton sails).


 
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Erich Schneider
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Colonelforbin wrote:
You mentioned that since the freighter isn't represented by a card, it has no defined rad-hardness. Where do you see that in the rules?


It's not explicitly mentioned anywhere in the rules. It didn't need to be stated in previous versions, because only cards could be decommissioned due to radiation hazards. If you look at the various PBF logs, you'll see this is how radiation checks for legacy freighters have been handled.

I believe that wording on "cubes" was added in the glossary to make things work for mobile factories, which are considered to have the rad-hardness of one's freighter card for radiation belt purposes. Section T4 also says that legacy freighter cubes are destroyed in combat "if and when their cargo is destroyed". I'll note that section K2 (Radiation Hazard) still only mentions cards and not cubes. (I am looking at the current Alive and Complete rules from the Yahoo group, dated 29 August 2014.)
 
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Erich Schneider
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If the legacy freighter not having a defined rad-hardness bugs people, I'll point out that the freighter card that most closely matches what the legacy freighter is supposed to be is the Fission-heated Steam freighter (the "M" freighter), which has a rad-hardness of 5.
 
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Eric Gerdts
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Makes sense to me. Thanks very much for the input.
 
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