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Star Trek: Ascendancy» Forums » General

Subject: Ideal Play Area? rss

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Dave Summers
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I know they suggest the home planets be 18" apart, but the area you're allowed to expand into seems pretty crucial to me. On some of the early photos of an in-progress game that GF9 put out they seem to have the home planets in a triangle, with all the player board / cards etc behind them forming a larger triangle of twice the size, about 36". I'm very fortunate that a have a circular table almost exactly this size, but I'm inevitably going to play on a square or rectangular table round friends houses. Thing is, you may think just putting two home planets at each corner of a square and the third in the middle of the opposite edge would be fine, but as far as I can see this would give an advantage to that third player; he/she has 180 degrees to expand outward into, whereas the first two players have 90 degrees.

This is far more trigonometry than I ever imagined having to do for a board game, but I guess you'd have to angle the triangle just right so that the expansion range is the same for each player. For my money, the official playmat doesn't do this, it still leaves an advantage to the top player.

What's everyone's experience? Is it too small to simply say the triangle formed by just the home planets is the whole area? So a 18" triangle? It seems small to me, plus there's no room for interesting 'round the back' manoeuvres to surprise people with. I'm half tempted to buy a cheap tablecloth and draw on it, it'd make setting up way easier.
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Dave Summers
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http://www.startrek.com/uploads/assets/articles/e0b5d62663ec...

That's what I mean, a kind of 'triforce' shape (no idea if that means anything outside of Zelda).
 
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Angelus Seniores
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since you choose your play area freely, nothing stops you from declaring part of the table off-limits as to put each player in more or less the same situation.
or avoid putting the 3 starting planets too much in corners, so they can all expand to some extent around them.
 
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Chris J Davis
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Or just gang up on the player who has the slight advantage.
 
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Nova Cat
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Mathy solution:

Place a marker in the center of your play area. Get a measuring tape and measure 12" inches from the center in several directions, placing markers that aren't likely to be accidentally moved or knocked over. This will create a 24" diameter circle, which can serve as a "fair" Galaxy.

Alternatively, if you can draw on your play area, use a string compass to simple draw a circle with a 12" radius.
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Leigh Caple
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We play on a 3 by 3 foot map with the planets in a triangle in the middle. We're not too picky if a planet overlaps a edge just a little.
 
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Alexander Steinbach
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Playing on a round play area solves all of these problems. You just need something to mark the edge of the play area, which might be harder to do when it is curved. But using some kind of play mat or round table cloth of the right size might do the trick.
 
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Dave Summers
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Leighbob wrote:
We play on a 3 by 3 foot map with the planets in a triangle in the middle. We're not too picky if a planet overlaps a edge just a little.


I have no idea where you place the three planets in the square, but here's the maths behind what I thought (or the conclusion to the maths anyway): if you arrange the triangle formed by the three planets so that one edge runs along side the bottom edge of your square (so one planet bottom left corner, one bottom right corner, one in the middle of the top edge) then the player at the top edge has 54% of the playable area nearest his planet, while the other two have 23% each. That's a huge advantage.

I'm trying to figure out if there's a fair way of arranging them but my brain hurts. I suspect there must be.
 
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John Godwin
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DaveSumm wrote:
Leighbob wrote:
We play on a 3 by 3 foot map with the planets in a triangle in the middle. We're not too picky if a planet overlaps a edge just a little.


I have no idea where you place the three planets in the square, but here's the maths behind what I thought (or the conclusion to the maths anyway): if you arrange the triangle formed by the three planets so that one edge runs along side the bottom edge of your square (so one planet bottom left corner, one bottom right corner, one in the middle of the top edge) then the player at the top edge has 54% of the playable area nearest his planet, while the other two have 23% each. That's a huge advantage.

I'm trying to figure out if there's a fair way of arranging them but my brain hurts. I suspect there must be.


You just set the player who is alone on the one side closer to the edge. Pretty much they can go left or right and the other players can go forward and back.

But you keep the planets at the recommended 14" apart.
 
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Dave Summers
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That's essentially what I was hoping to figure out, what angle you need to tilt that triangle at to make it even. But college was long, long ago and my maths is failing me. I'm pretty convinced the official playmat isn't even though, it's at a slight angle but it doesn't look enough to me.
 
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Angelus Seniores
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DaveSumm wrote:
That's essentially what I was hoping to figure out, what angle you need to tilt that triangle at to make it even. But college was long, long ago and my maths is failing me. I'm pretty convinced the official playmat isn't even though, it's at a slight angle but it doesn't look enough to me.


if you keep the square mat try moving the 2 players in the corner closer along the edge towards the one in the middle, as to free their corner.
 
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Dave Summers
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*deleted due to potential idiocy
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Eric Stevenson

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I just bought a 3' x 3' square X-wing game mat to use as I think the official GF9 will be the same size and shape. It was on red dot sale at Barnes and Noble for $20.

BUT, I can see that a circular area may be a little more fair.
 
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Eric Stevenson

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Gale Force 9 play may for Ascendancy mentioned in this news item.

http://www.gf9.com/Default.aspx?tabid=227&art_id=5272

 
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Angelus Seniores
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DoctorBox wrote:
I just bought a 3' x 3' square X-wing game mat to use as I think the official GF9 will be the same size and shape. It was on red dot sale at Barnes and Noble for $20.

BUT, I can see that a circular area may be a little more fair.

it all depends on the number of players participate in the game.

for 3 players 3' by 3' size is fine but 1 player has a slight position advantage

for 4 players, the map is slightly crowded, all start in corners or the middle of an edge so no unbalance

for 5 or more players, the map is likely too small unless you want a fast and brutal game.
 
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Dave Summers
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I can't believe how far down this rabbit hole I went for such measly differences, but down I went, so for anyone who cares here goes:

If you position your home planets so that they're equidistant from the centre of a 3ft x 3ft play area, and 18" from each other, there is a slight advantage to the 'top' player (I'm assuming they're aligned straight with the area, so one bottom left, one bottom right, one top centre). But not as much as I thought, it's about 32/32/36%. If you're like me and care about these things, you could move your 'centre' 0.8 inches above the centre of the play area to achieve a perfect third each. If you REALLY care about these things, you could even calculate how far above the centre you need to be for different sizes of play area using the following:

h = ((√3-2)/-6)x

....where h is the distance above centre, and x is half the length of your play area (i.e. the height of the centre).

#maths #needless #nobodycares
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I realize this is probably overkill, but since my dining room table is a somewhat odd 5.5' x 3.5' i decided to tape off the 3' x 3' area so there was no confusion. It worked out well.

 
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Donald Jensen

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DaveSumm wrote:
http://www.startrek.com/uploads/assets/articles/e0b5d62663ec...

That's what I mean, a kind of 'triforce' shape (no idea if that means anything outside of Zelda).


That looks much bigger than 18" apart. We found that one of each space lane with two system bisks (between the lanes) is rough,t 18".
 
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Grish
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DaveSumm wrote:
h = ((√3-2)/-6)x

....where h is the distance above centre, and x is half the length of your play area (i.e. the height of the centre).

#maths #needless #nobodycares


I disagree with your hashtags! I think it's a fun mental exercise. Math underpins all the games we play. I would have enjoyed seeing some pictures of how you broke down the board btw

Applied math is the best kind imho, and I'm no math guy, believe me!

I'd rather read thoughtful info like this than a post about someone complaining and wanting to houserule the game to death after 1 play.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Davesumm.
 
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DrakosDJ wrote:
That looks much bigger than 18"...


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Dave Summers
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DrakosDJ wrote:


That looks much bigger than 18" apart. We found that one of each space lane with two system bisks (between the lanes) is rough,t 18".


Worth noting that the home planets aren't in the corners, they're in front of the player boards. Looks about 18" to me.

R2EQ wrote:

I disagree with your hashtags! I think it's a fun mental exercise. Math underpins all the games we play. I would have enjoyed seeing some pictures of how you broke down the board btw

Applied math is the best kind imho, and I'm no math guy, believe me!

I'd rather read thoughtful info like this than a post about someone complaining and wanting to houserule the game to death after 1 play.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Davesumm.


Ah, bless you. OK you've convinced me to share the diagram I drew out. I'll dig it out later. As I said, I thought it was more uneven to begin with (a real stupid blunder, I pictured the line between the top and bottom left player as 45 degrees when it's actually 30) so I thought it was more worthwhile. But still, good to know. The board basically breaks down in three sections, separated by a vertical line in the centre from the bottom to the 'h' value, then two lines heading from 'h' toward the corners at 30 degrees. So it forms an envelope shape. Conveniently the size of your triangle doesn't matter as long as the centre is in the right place, so you can move your planets outward up to 23" apart (when the top planet hits the top of the area).

EDIT: here you go...

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Igor Horvat
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Here is what I'm gonna do.

Go to the local home hardware store.

Buy few meters of steel wire(about 2-3 mm thick), cut down to desired length and connect it in a circle.

Later for expansions you can buy longer wire for 4,5 or 6 player area.

just place the wire atop of the table and go.

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James J

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Horwath wrote:

Buy few meters of steel wire(about 2-3 mm thick), cut down to desired length and connect it in a circle.

Later for expansions you can buy longer wire for 4,5 or 6 player area.

just place the wire atop of the table and go.


I like this. I was thinking along the same lines. Long ago I purchased some cheap gray felt and cut it so I had a 3'x3' and a 3'x6' piece for X-Wing. The felt is great for reducing accidental ship nudges. But those two pieces of cloth became my #1 gaming accessory. They now go everywhere with me. Even plain as they are, they instantly "class up" any table I'm playing on, and they make it much easier to pick up cards. So I wanted to incorporate something similar in ST:A.

This game screams out for a round playing area. I can see going with a larger area and using a triangle (with each player in a point) to direct expansion towards the middle, but a smaller circle will be my main choice. Rather than cut some felt in a circle, I was thinking of a metal guide like Horwath suggested. But I want some way to temporarily attach it to the felt, just in case the table (or the metal) gets bumped. So I'm thinking magnets. Put the circular frame down, stretch the felt taught, and put a few thin but powerful magnets underneath. That might work. And it allows for easy swapping to accommodate larger play areas or different shapes.
 
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Dave Summers
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I need to learn Pages for iPad for work anyway, so I knocked this up. Doesn't actually tell you anything new, but......well, it's pretty.



(Added in (x,y) coordinates)

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Dave Summers
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I overlayed an image of the official playmat on to that, and moved the planets accordingly just to see how the areas worked out. It's not 100% accurate as you have to do a lot of it by eye, but still...

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