Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 Hide
12 Posts

Leaving Earth: Outer Planets» Forums » General

Subject: launch windows rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Joe Fatula
United States
Blue Tent
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Getting to the outer planets is hard. If your timing is just right, you can get there cheaply. If your timing isn't quite as good, you can still get there, but it takes a lot more thrust. If your timing is really bad, you can't get there at all.

Some maneuvers can only be done during certain years. For example, you can slingshot around Jupiter to get to Saturn, but only if the planets are aligned the right way. Keeping track of where all the planets are, and calculating slingshot trajectories, is much more difficult than what this game is about, so I've simplified it significantly for the game.

The availability of these maneuvers is shown using two parts:
- The maneuver itself is marked with a symbol and a corresponding color. For example, Jupiter Fly-By > Saturn Fly-By is marked as a Saturn maneuver, using the Saturn symbol and color.
- Each year on the calendar is marked with the same symbols to show which types of maneuvers are available that year. Some years have 0 symbols, some have as many as 3.

All routes to a particular planet use the same symbol, which makes it easier to figure out which symbol you ought to be looking for on the calendar. These planetary windows recur on a periodic basis:
- Jupiter every 2 years
- Saturn every 3 years
- Uranus every 5 years
- Neptune every 6 years

(These periods are purely for game purposes, having very little to do with actual planetary alignments.)

So, if you'd like to slingshot around Venus to get to Jupiter, you could launch in 1962, reach Venus Fly-By in 1964 (which is a Jupiter year, so you can start the Jupiter-bound maneuver), then arrive at Jupiter Fly-By in 1965. It would be nice if you could continue on to Saturn, but the next Saturn year isn't till 1966. You could slow down to stay in the Jupiter system and wait, but you'll need a massive amount of thrust to escape again later.

Based on how these windows align, you can do a series of slingshots on the Earth-Venus-Jupiter-Saturn route by launching in 1960, 1966, 1972, and 1978. The launch in 1972 allows you to slingshot around Saturn to Uranus, and from there to continue all the way on to fly by Neptune in 1986 at the end of the game. This Grand Tour configuration would repeat only every 30 years in the game, so if you miss the 1972 launch window, your next chance wouldn't be till 2002.
17 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Hoyt

Butte
Montana
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sounds awesome. I pushed LE off the table to play a few other titles, and therefore missed out on most of the contests here, I'm regretting not keeping LE on the table and this kind of expansion is going to give you a near monopoly!

(Just a plea to be careful with color-coding the fly-by's please. Us color-blind gamers still want to be able to play, even in less than perfect light)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Fatula
United States
Blue Tent
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
blockhead wrote:
Just a plea to be careful with color-coding the fly-by's please. Us color-blind gamers still want to be able to play, even in less than perfect light

You're in luck -- all the launch window markings can be distinguished by:
1) color,
2) symbol,
3) and (more or less) location, since Jupiter windows are only on Jupiter maneuvers and so on.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Hoyt

Butte
Montana
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
buffalohat wrote:
blockhead wrote:
Just a plea to be careful with color-coding the fly-by's please. Us color-blind gamers still want to be able to play, even in less than perfect light

You're in luck -- all the launch window markings can be distinguished by:
1) color,
2) symbol,
3) and (more or less) location, since Jupiter windows are only on Jupiter maneuvers and so on.


Perfect. Incorporating a symbol is a thoughtful addition, much appreciated. And I suspect less a matter of luck than good design choices. Again, thank you
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
(ɹnʎʞ)
Germany
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
buffalohat wrote:
Keeping track of where all the planets are, and calculating slingshot trajectories, is much more difficult than what this game is about, so I've simplified it significantly for the game.

That's the real challenge, good streamlining which keeps things simple but at the same time interesting.

I hope you have the time to find the right balance and the game does not get clunky in terms of gameplay or visuals here, because the idea sounds in theory really interesting.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lee Griffiths
United Kingdom
Aylesbury
Buckinghamshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The the starting points for the periods change each game? Or will every game have the same dates of alignment?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Fatula
United States
Blue Tent
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Poddster wrote:
The the starting points for the periods change each game? Or will every game have the same dates of alignment?

Every game has the same dates of alignment. These dates (and data derived from them) are printed on several of the cards in the game to make planning a bit easier.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lee Griffiths
United Kingdom
Aylesbury
Buckinghamshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
buffalohat wrote:
Poddster wrote:
The the starting points for the periods change each game? Or will every game have the same dates of alignment?

Every game has the same dates of alignment. These dates (and data derived from them) are printed on several of the cards in the game to make planning a bit easier.


I remember reading a while back that you didn't want the dates to be static, or something, as you didn't want the game to play out the same way each time? Am I remembering correctly? I was expecting some kind of crazy multi-wheel alignment indicator.

I guess having more alignment dates than real-life helps alleviate that problem of everyone rushing for the big 'historic' events?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Fatula
United States
Blue Tent
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, I was originally playing around with changing alignments each game, but the first thing you'd do every game was make up a table of where you needed to be when. Making that table took some time, and once it was made, everyone had the same targets to aim for. I decided it'd be more straightforward if the table came preprinted with the game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger BW
United Kingdom
High Wycombe
Buckinghamshire
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
buffalohat wrote:
Yeah, I was originally playing around with changing alignments each game, but the first thing you'd do every game was make up a table of where you needed to be when. Making that table took some time, and once it was made, everyone had the same targets to aim for. I decided it'd be more straightforward if the table came preprinted with the game.
It seems to me a software tool to do this would be an interesting optional add-on - I'll look into it once I have access to the rules.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Fatula
United States
Blue Tent
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Firedrake wrote:
buffalohat wrote:
Yeah, I was originally playing around with changing alignments each game, but the first thing you'd do every game was make up a table of where you needed to be when. Making that table took some time, and once it was made, everyone had the same targets to aim for. I decided it'd be more straightforward if the table came preprinted with the game.
It seems to me a software tool to do this would be an interesting optional add-on - I'll look into it once I have access to the rules.

Actually, if you wanted to do that, you could probably just start in a random year on the calendar, looping around if you hit the end, then just track how many years it is till the end of the game.

The planets' arrangements in the game repeat every 30 years (least common multiple of 2, 3, 5, and 6). 1956 (the first year of the calendar) and 1986 (the last) are at the same point in the cycle.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
(ɹnʎʞ)
Germany
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
buffalohat wrote:
Yeah, I was originally playing around with changing alignments each game, but the first thing you'd do every game was make up a table of where you needed to be when. Making that table took some time, and once it was made, everyone had the same targets to aim for. I decided it'd be more straightforward if the table came preprinted with the game.

That's exactly what I was talking about before:

Kyur wrote:
That's the real challenge, good streamlining which keeps things simple but at the same time interesting.

Good game design does not just add, but often also cut in the right moment.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.