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Subject: G4 Example 2 contains suboptimal play? rss

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Dave J McWeasely
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Example 2. Your mission is to take a mass 3 refinery from LEO to Mercury. You use the Space X 10•8 thruster crew, a 1•0 sail card, and 5 tanks of water as lander fuel to make a rocket stack with a dry mass of 5 and a wet mass of 10. But this is transport class, so your sailing net thrust is 0 and you can't move. So you add 6 more tanks of water, bringing the wet mass to 16. During movement, first activate the 10•8 thruster to get through the first burn in the orange path. This lowers the fuel figure 8 steps to wet mass 9 ½, and the rocket is now in the Venus heliocentric zone, which gives a +1 thrust to sails. Now you can switch your thruster to the sail, sail over the next 4 years to just outside the lander burn of Mercury. Finally switch to your crew thruster again, and expend your last 10 steps of fuel for an afterburning landing. The afterburn is necessary to bring the net thrust to 11, greater than Mercury’s size of 10.


I have some questions about this example.

1) There are no longer any 1*0 white thrusters, so this example presumes a black thruster, right?
2) To get to Venus heliocentric zone, it presumes you're stopping at the indicated radiation Lagrange after the first year, right?
3) The total fuel is 18 steps: two burns at 8 steps a piece, plus two steps for the afterburner. The scout arrives with three burns left: not enough to lift off with, so why bring it at all? It's more economical to leave with wet mass 13, which knocks the size class down to wet mass 8 "scout" after year 1, allowing one extra burn in year 2 and year 3, shaving a year off the mission. Right?

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Phil DeKoning
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Radiation spaces are not burns. If you're playing the Basic Game, you just pass through them. Playing the advanced rules, you'd need to roll for rad hardness for your rocket's components, but you don't need to expend fuel.

You might be able to stop moving on one, I'm not sure, but there really isn't much point to doing so.
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BozemanPhil wrote:
You might be able to stop moving on one, I'm not sure, but there really isn't much point to doing so.


There are are least 2 reasons:

1. Switch to a solar thruster, because the radiation point is in a higher solar zone.

2. Switch between low and high thrust thrusters, for purposes of better surviving the radiation roll. (Basically using a high thrust thruster to momentarily zoom by the van allen belts, at negligible fuel cost.)
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Jerald Block
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I am trying to learn the game but I don't understand this example.

The first burn of the 10-8 gets you through HEO. You then switch engines to overcome the burn before the L4 Lagrange. The next year, you continue with solar and have a Net Thrust of 1 (+1, minus 1 for transport size, +1 for Venus sun exposure). So it is that you continue until 4 years later when you are in the space titled polar insert. On the 5th year you land, using afterburners.

The instructions indicate you get there a year earlier. Is that correct? Or am I understanding the example wrong?

Addendum: One other thing...to get through the "polar insert" space you need to do a burn. Doesn't that bring your Net Thrust (with afterburner) down one, from 11 to 10? So when you get to the Lander, you don't have enough Thrust to set down?

Thanks,

Jerald
 
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Jerald Block
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Adding photo...
 
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Francisco Colmenares
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GhosterlyGus wrote:
Addendum: One other thing...to get through the "polar insert" space you need to do a burn. Doesn't that bring your Net Thrust (with afterburner) down one, from 11 to 10? So when you get to the Lander, you don't have enough Thrust to set down?

Thanks,

Jerald

You're net modified thrust doesn't change. What happens is that you spend a TMP (Thruster Movement Point). But going through burns doesn't reduce your modified thrust.
 
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Dom Rougier
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Your thrust is determined and fixed at the start of your movement - this means that, for example, a solar sail can start close to the sun, and use the extra thrust to make it out to Jupiter or whatever).

Which thruster to use is also decided and fixed before you start moving. so changing thrusters will require more than one turn's travel.

Performing burn could never *decrease* modified thrust - making the vehicle lighter by burning propellant could only ever increase modified thrust on subsequent turns.
 
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Juan Valdez
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Domfluff wrote:
Which thruster to use is also decided and fixed before you start moving. so changing thrusters will require more than one turn's travel.


I was looking for an action or operation for "switching thrusters" and wasn't able to find one in the basic rules.

Have I missed something?

If so, a section number for reference would be super helpful. I'll be rereading everything in the meantime, will update here if I a relevant section.
 
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Francisco Colmenares
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What we refer to as switching thrusters means: During turn 1 choose thruster A and move your rocket with it until you reach a point where it would be a good for you to change thrusters. Then stop, your move id over this turn.

Now during turn 2 pick thruster B and move your rocket with that thruster to finish your trip (typically a high thrust card so you can land somewhere)

There is no action or reference to switching thrusters. It's just that each turn when you're ready to move your rocket you always pick which thruster to use and doesn't need to be the same one as the previous turn.
 
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Juan Valdez
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colmenarez wrote:
What we refer to as switching thrusters means: During turn 1 choose thruster A and move your rocket with it until you reach a point where it would be a good for you to change thrusters. Then stop, your move id over this turn.

Now during turn 2 pick thruster B and move your rocket with that thruster to finish your trip (typically a high thrust card so you can land somewhere)

There is no action or reference to switching thrusters. It's just that each turn when you're ready to move your rocket you always pick which thruster to use and doesn't need to be the same one as the previous turn.


Thanks for the help.

I'll see how this flies (so to speak) with one of my more rules-oriented opponents. He will definitely want to see this explicitly stated in the rules.
 
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Francisco Colmenares
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The Overview in F. Rocket Movement Procedure has this explicitly stated:

Overview: To move a rocket figure on the map, choose a thruster,
calculate net thrust, and move up to this many BURNS on the map.
For each burn entered, expend fuel steps on the Fuel Strip equal to
the thruster’s fuel consumption, following the solid black line.

Emphasis on "Choose a thruster", you do this every time you move the rocket. Now you can't change your thruster mid-move. But what I described above isn't changing thrusters mid-move but a change during a multi-turn voyage of a rocket that consists of several moves. Each of those distinct moves can pick any thruster card available in the rocket stack.
 
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Frank Karinsky
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mtngrown wrote:
colmenarez wrote:
What we refer to as switching thrusters means: During turn 1 choose thruster A and move your rocket with it until you reach a point where it would be a good for you to change thrusters. Then stop, your move id over this turn.

Now during turn 2 pick thruster B and move your rocket with that thruster to finish your trip (typically a high thrust card so you can land somewhere)

There is no action or reference to switching thrusters. It's just that each turn when you're ready to move your rocket you always pick which thruster to use and doesn't need to be the same one as the previous turn.


Thanks for the help.

I'll see how this flies (so to speak) with one of my more rules-oriented opponents. He will definitely want to see this explicitly stated in the rules.

F1. ACTIVATE THRUSTER
Quote:
Choose one card with a thruster triangle to be the ACTIVATED thruster, and place this card on top of your Rocket Stack.
(...)
NOTE: Thrusters cannot be combined. Only one thruster can be used for a stack in a turn.
There you go


Edit: ninja'd
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Juan Valdez
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Karinsky wrote:

F1. ACTIVATE THRUSTER
Quote:
Choose one card with a thruster triangle to be the ACTIVATED thruster, and place this card on top of your Rocket Stack.
(...)
NOTE: Thrusters cannot be combined. Only one thruster can be used for a stack in a turn.
There you go


Edit: ninja'd



Yes! Thank you!

I see it now in the second grey box for Section F1.

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Aaron Carruthers
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I still do not understand how this example makes sense. The rocket arrives at the polar insert with a dry mass of 5 and is at 9 on the fuel step. To enter the landing burn requires 8 fuel steps for the crew thruster dropping the fuel to 5 + 1/3. It simply does not have enough fuel to fire the afterburner which would have required 2 more fuel steps (for a total of 10) to have the required 11 thrust necessary for the powered landing. There is only 9 steps left between 9 and dry mass of 5, one shy of the afterburner use. As such it couldnt enter the landing burn and is stuck in orbit. The example says it only requires 2 fuel in total to land? What am I missing here?
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Matt Stephans
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brithon wrote:
I still do not understand how this example makes sense. The rocket arrives at the polar insert with a dry mass of 5 and is at 9 on the fuel step. To enter the landing burn requires 8 fuel steps for the crew thruster dropping the fuel to 5 + 1/3. It simply does not have enough fuel to fire the afterburner which would have required 2 more fuel steps (for a total of 10) to have the required 11 thrust necessary for the powered landing. There is only 9 steps left between 9 and dry mass of 5, one shy of the afterburner use. As such it couldnt enter the landing burn and is stuck in orbit. The example says it only requires 2 fuel in total to land? What am I missing here?


Afterburners are calculated before any other modifier, so you get to burn the two steps of fuel first. It arrives with Wet Mass at 9 1/2, so it has the 10 steps, but looking more closely the afterburn only gets it to 8 1/2., which is still transport cclass, which means Net Thrust is still 10+1-1=10. So now I am trying to figure out what I'm missing.
 
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Matt Stephans
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mstephans wrote:
brithon wrote:
I still do not understand how this example makes sense. The rocket arrives at the polar insert with a dry mass of 5 and is at 9 on the fuel step. To enter the landing burn requires 8 fuel steps for the crew thruster dropping the fuel to 5 + 1/3. It simply does not have enough fuel to fire the afterburner which would have required 2 more fuel steps (for a total of 10) to have the required 11 thrust necessary for the powered landing. There is only 9 steps left between 9 and dry mass of 5, one shy of the afterburner use. As such it couldnt enter the landing burn and is stuck in orbit. The example says it only requires 2 fuel in total to land? What am I missing here?


Afterburners are calculated before any other modifier, so you get to burn the two steps of fuel first. It arrives with Wet Mass at 9 1/2, so it has the 10 steps, but looking more closely the afterburn only gets it to 8 1/2, which is still transport class, which means Net Thrust is still 10+1-1=10. So now I am trying to figure out what I'm missing.


And there it is. The example sited isn't what the manual says. The manual example has a Dry Mass of 4 and a Wet Mass of 9, which works correctly as the afterburner gives both the Net Thrust bump and reduces the Wet Mass to Scout class, for a Net Thrust of 11.

The Lesson? Sometimes the manual is correct.
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Aaron Carruthers
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I see this error was highlighted by Drake's proof reading in July and was not changed in the final rule book. I found Drake's proofed version in the KS thread from July and printed it so that I can begin to sift through the labyrinth of incorrect and broken rules. HF is already a complicated game to learn without having the examples, inserted for the sole intent to bring clarity, be utterly useless and incorrect. I am loving the components and the concept of the game, despite some misprints on a few cards and the playing board. But the rule book definitely needs a serious reprint. Totally confusing and the Read This First manual started off well and then the bottom completely fell out of it right after LEO. Its like someone just gave up and said "You know what? You should go open the real rule book and start there instead."
 
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Juan Valdez
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brithon wrote:
I see this error was highlighted by Drake's proof reading in July and was not changed in the final rule book. I found Drake's proofed version in the KS thread from July and printed it so that I can begin to sift through the labyrinth of incorrect and broken rules. HF is already a complicated game to learn without having the examples, inserted for the sole intent to bring clarity, be utterly useless and incorrect. I am loving the components and the concept of the game, despite some misprints on a few cards and the playing board. But the rule book definitely needs a serious reprint. Totally confusing and the Read This First manual started off well and then the bottom completely fell out of it right after LEO. Its like someone just gave up and said "You know what? You should go open the real rule book and start there instead."


Any chance the rule book could be converted to markdown or *TeX and posted on github so there would be a canonical version with a commit log?

FWIW, the first 2/3 of the starter book is fine up to the assemble the rockets. From that point on, if correct examples and rules cross-referencing were added (LaTeX *cough*), it would be fine, good even.


 
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