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Subject: Bernal fueling operation rss

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Eric Gerdts
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In this new edition, can you no longer use an operation to refuel your bernal in its starting orbit? Has anyone seen anything in the new rules that explicitly says you can do it?

And if you can't, does anyone know why it was changed?
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Stefano Tine'
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Refueling at LEO or at a Bernal in its start orbit is a free action. Even in 3rd edition.



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Eric Gerdts
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barbanera wrote:
Refueling at LEO or at a Bernal in its start orbit is a free action. Even in 3rd edition.


Sorry...I wasn't referring to a normal fueling action with water tanks from your WT supply. Yes, that is a free action. I was referring to this rule from 2E:

"In [the Bernal's] starting orbit, dirt-propelled only: Refuel all tanks using a factory refuel operation per H5. (Thematically, this option sacrifices its own regolith radiation shield as propellant for its electric dirt rocket. The mass of this shield is at least 5X the rest of the Bernal. It will replace the shield with new dirt at its destination.)"
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Dom Rougier
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I suspect part of the reason was a desire to eliminate as many exceptions as possible. I similarly can't find reference to decommissioning parts of your craft as fuel for a dirt rocket.

But... if you were directly converting the Bernal's mass into propellant, surely your dry mass would decrease?
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Adam Gastonguay
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Sure you can.

Q8. A Bernal can fuel and move as a rocket, and follows all rocket
rules, including movement (F), refueling, SOLAR-POWER,
THRUST-MODIFYING SUPPORTS, ESA beamed power, etc.

Refueling: Bernals refuel using all of the rocket rules
(H5).

Last sentence of H5 (point 4):
• You can also transfer fuel to your rocket as a Free Action, see
D1 (first two bullets) and K6.

Lots of words to say "Treat Bernal in Home Orbit as if it were a rocket in LEO."
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Adam Gastonguay
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Domfluff wrote:
I suspect part of the reason was a desire to eliminate as many exceptions as possible. I similarly can't find reference to decommissioning parts of your craft as fuel for a dirt rocket.

But... if you were directly converting the Bernal's mass into propellant, surely your dry mass would decrease?


Yeah, I don't think that's a thing anymore.

You can do that in Interstellar, though.

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Francisco Colmenares
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Colonelforbin wrote:
barbanera wrote:
Refueling at LEO or at a Bernal in its start orbit is a free action. Even in 3rd edition.


Sorry...I wasn't referring to a normal fueling action with water tanks from your WT supply. Yes, that is a free action. I was referring to this rule from 2E:

"In [the Bernal's] starting orbit, dirt-propelled only: Refuel all tanks using a factory refuel operation per H5. (Thematically, this option sacrifices its own regolith radiation shield as propellant for its electric dirt rocket. The mass of this shield is at least 5X the rest of the Bernal. It will replace the shield with new dirt at its destination.)"

Interestingly enough in Q8 Refueling, the language about the theme is there but it seems like the actual rule sentence is missing (or the text regarding theme should have been expunged). I have no idea if this omission is intentional. I'm trying to recall if this was game breaking. It's possible since once you promote the bernal if you could just add dirt for an op in the starting orbit that would be a huge boost to get anywhere you wanted.
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Stefano Tine'
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Colonelforbin wrote:
I was referring to this rule from 2E:

"In [the Bernal's] starting orbit, dirt-propelled only: Refuel all tanks using a factory refuel operation per H5. (Thematically, this option sacrifices its own regolith radiation shield as propellant for its electric dirt rocket. The mass of this shield is at least 5X the rest of the Bernal. It will replace the shield with new dirt at its destination.)"


Ah, ok, right. Yeah, that rule being gone rings a bell. In my latest Vassal games we were using Nyx as "the" gas station for dirt propelled Bernals.


Domfluff wrote:
I similarly can't find reference to decommissioning parts of your craft as fuel for a dirt rocket.


The "Phileas Fogg" maneuver is still there in the rules in the Glossary, under "Dirt Rocket".

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Francisco Colmenares
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barbanera wrote:
Domfluff wrote:
I similarly can't find reference to decommissioning parts of your craft as fuel for a dirt rocket.


The "Phileas Fogg" maneuver is still there in the rules in the Glossary, under "Dirt Rocket".

Yes, Phil is fond of using the Glossary to place rules he considers basic or a good reference. This is different from other practices where the Glossary is used to define terms that are later used in the rules themselves.

If you can't find a rule you think should be in a particular section, the Glossary may have it.
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Francisco Colmenares
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barbanera wrote:
Colonelforbin wrote:
I was referring to this rule from 2E:

"In [the Bernal's] starting orbit, dirt-propelled only: Refuel all tanks using a factory refuel operation per H5. (Thematically, this option sacrifices its own regolith radiation shield as propellant for its electric dirt rocket. The mass of this shield is at least 5X the rest of the Bernal. It will replace the shield with new dirt at its destination.)"


Ah, ok, right. Yeah, that rule being gone rings a bell. In my latest Vassal games we were using Nyx as "the" gas station for dirt propelled Bernals.


Domfluff wrote:
I similarly can't find reference to decommissioning parts of your craft as fuel for a dirt rocket.


The "Phileas Fogg" maneuver is still there in the rules in the Glossary, under "Dirt Rocket".


Stefano, which is the latest VASSAL version of the 3rd edition? I recall Drake made one based off the one in the VASSAL web site, but that one I believe supports 2nd Edition Colonization.
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Eric Gerdts
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colmenarez wrote:
Interestingly enough in Q8 Refueling, the language about the theme is there but it seems like the actual rule sentence is missing (or the text regarding theme should have been expunged). I have no idea if this omission is intentional. I'm trying to recall if this was game breaking. It's possible since once you promote the bernal if you could just add dirt for an op in the starting orbit that would be a huge boost to get anywhere you wanted.

It wasn't game breaking in 2E at all. Effectively just an op that was worth 6 water. But you were limited to 6 tanks (because the fuel chart only allowed 6 tanks max in a spacecraft that heavy). With the new fuel strip, yes, you might be able to get more tanks. I doubt it would be a LOT more, but realistically maybe 8 tanks would max your wet mass out. That would be a small (but potentially significant) buff to the action (now the op is worth 8 water instead of 6). Still, I highly doubt that would be serious enough to warrant the removal of the rule, as long as the idea of the operation hasn't been thematically debunked somehow.
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Stefano Tine'
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colmenarez wrote:

Stefano, which is the latest VASSAL version of the 3rd edition? I recall Drake made one based off the one in the VASSAL web site, but that one I believe supports 2nd Edition Colonization.


The latest Vassal module I have is Drake's version 0.3 for 3rd Edition. I think he published it on here/yahoo like 2 years ago, almost. We used this in many games with Xavi (an official beta tester) and once also with Xavi and Drake together. Here is the thread where he announced it:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1399748/high-frontier-3rd-e...

However, the dropbox link he indicates points to a blank folder. Either Drake has retired it for some reason or he has a more up to date version published elsewhere.

Perhaps Drake can clarify if he is reading this?
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Francisco Colmenares
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Colonelforbin wrote:
colmenarez wrote:
Interestingly enough in Q8 Refueling, the language about the theme is there but it seems like the actual rule sentence is missing (or the text regarding theme should have been expunged). I have no idea if this omission is intentional. I'm trying to recall if this was game breaking. It's possible since once you promote the bernal if you could just add dirt for an op in the starting orbit that would be a huge boost to get anywhere you wanted.

It wasn't game breaking in 2E at all. Effectively just an op that was worth 6 water. But you were limited to 6 tanks (because the fuel chart only allowed 6 tanks max in a spacecraft that heavy). With the new fuel strip, yes, you might be able to get more tanks. I doubt it would be a LOT more, but realistically maybe 8 tanks would max your wet mass out. That would be a small (but potentially significant) buff to the action (now the op is worth 8 water instead of 6). Still, I highly doubt that would be serious enough to warrant the removal of the rule, as long as the idea of the operation hasn't been thematically debunked somehow.

Well actually Dirt Refueling allows you to load up to 10 dirt tanks now, Wet Mass has been expanded to 32. I don't recall if that was game-breaking. I do recall someone using the Red Bernal to do some kind of refuel-infinite loop thing because they had the pivot advantage, I can't remember what we did to mitigate that.

Thematically speaking you could argue that sacrificing the regolith isn't an option since you're going to need that regolith if the Bernal returns to its home orbit OR if you boost the Ersatz Bernal. That operation costs 10WT, but requires thousands of dirt mass points to protect the Bernal Sphere. I can imagine someone saying: It cost us an arm and a leg to haul all that dirt there please, please don't just blow it off.

One more thematic consideration: if you're allowed to refuel the Bernal with dirt at the home orbit, what's stopping you from fueling a local rocket stack that has a dirt thruster to do the same? Instant free fuel and all of a sudden dirt rockets come into very high demand...
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Eric Gerdts
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colmenarez wrote:
Well actually Dirt Refueling allows you to load up to 10 dirt tanks now, Wet Mass has been expanded to 32. I don't recall if that was game-breaking. I do recall someone using the Red Bernal to do some kind of refuel-infinite loop thing because they had the pivot advantage, I can't remember what we did to mitigate that.


Sort of. A promoted bernal with supports is going to have something like 20 dry mass (usually a little more in my experience but let's go with that). You could put 12 tanks into it from there to get you up to 32 wet mass. But the way the fuel strip is laid out, that still only gets you 8 STEPS of fuel. Compared to the 6 steps of fuel you could have in 2E...it's significant, sure but not hugely different.

Also keep in mind that the new dirt rocket site refueling rules stipulate that you add at most 10 tanks of fuel with a single action. Presumably that would apply in the home-orbit refueling operation as well.
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Eric Gerdts
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colmenarez wrote:
Well actually Dirt Refueling allows you to load up to 10 dirt tanks now, Wet Mass has been expanded to 32. I don't recall if that was game-breaking. I do recall someone using the Red Bernal to do some kind of refuel-infinite loop thing because they had the pivot advantage, I can't remember what we did to mitigate that.

Thematically speaking you could argue that sacrificing the regolith isn't an option since you're going to need that regolith if the Bernal returns to its home orbit OR if you boost the Ersatz Bernal. That operation costs 10WT, but requires thousands of dirt mass points to protect the Bernal Sphere. I can imagine someone saying: It cost us an arm and a leg to haul all that dirt there please, please don't just blow it off.

One more thematic consideration: if you're allowed to refuel the Bernal with dirt at the home orbit, what's stopping you from fueling a local rocket stack that has a dirt thruster to do the same? Instant free fuel and all of a sudden dirt rockets come into very high demand...


Dirt rockets always were (and still are) incredibly cheap to fuel.

It was always my understanding (very rudimentary, mind you) that 1) it was the bernal specifically that had the wherewithal to churn the debris in its starting orbit into fuel. Dirt rockets couldn't do it...they would need to land at a physical site to refuel. And 2) The starting bernal orbits had sufficient resources for the bernals to be fueled up there multiple times, as often as needed/desired. (Though in most games once was all that was required.)
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Francisco Colmenares
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Right but if the Bernal can do it, it makes sense the Dirt Rocket can also do it. There's also the Phileas Fogg rule which allows you to churn components in your rocket stack into dirt fuel.

Basically, I'm saying there's a thematic disconnect between allowing the Bernal to do it but not allowing a normal dirt rocket to do it. It makes more sense to me to disallow it in general citing that the huge mass shield in the starting orbit to be something of a more permanent structure meant to support the regular Bernal if it ever needs to come home or the Ersatz-Bernal once it's boosted into orbit.

I don't think it will make much impact, as stated by Stefano, you can find easy "gas stations" for Bernals anyway. I just don't recall why it's no longer there in the rules.
 
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Eric Gerdts
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colmenarez wrote:
I don't think it will make much impact, as stated by Stefano, you can find easy "gas stations" for Bernals anyway. I just don't recall why it's no longer there in the rules.


Perhaps. All the same, I would appreciate it if someone "official" would step in with a word on whether this was an intentional or unintentional omission from the 2E rules.
 
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Greg Turner
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colmenarez wrote:
Interestingly enough in Q8 Refueling, the language about the theme is there but it seems like the actual rule sentence is missing (or the text regarding theme should have been expunged). I have no idea if this omission is intentional. I'm trying to recall if this was game breaking. It's possible since once you promote the bernal if you could just add dirt for an op in the starting orbit that would be a huge boost to get anywhere you wanted.


This confused the hell out of me. I assume they purposely dropped the special fuel op for dirt Bernals but forgot to drop the explanation for including the special fuel op.
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