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High Frontier (3rd edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Flyby bonus used for first and only burn? rss

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Jay Sachs
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Suppose you're a n00B and you launched your ship towards Mars but had insufficient fuel on board. In particular, the ship is not empty, but has 1 WT and the thruster consume 2 WT per burn.

Then you realize that you can reach the Mars flyby (+1) without a burn.

My interpretation is that yes, it is legal to use the slingshot free burn on the first burn, so this ship in fact could reach Mars (via one burn + aerobrake hazard). Is this correct?

Now, suppose our mission planner had in fact caused the ship to have 0 WT at this point. At that point, the thrusters simply cannot fire, so the choices are decommission or outpost?
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Rob McArthur
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I don't have the board handy to look, but you shouldn't be able to use the Mars flyby to land on Mars. This should be true for all flybys - you cannot use them to land on the object who's gravity well you're using.

I'm sure the experts will weigh in here...
 
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Jay Sachs
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robmcarthur2001 wrote:
I don't have the board handy to look, but you shouldn't be able to use the Mars flyby to land on Mars. This should be true for all flybys - you cannot use them to land on the object who's gravity well you're using.

I'm sure the experts will weigh in here...


I'm not suggesting using it for a lander burn.

More precisely: ship has 3 WT, thruster consume 2 WT. Starts on Sol-Earth Lagrange L2. Engage thrusters, move along blue path towards Mars FlyBy. As a n00b, stops movement on the burn between L2 and MFB. With the 1WT, can I start up the thrusters, hit the Mars flyby, nabbing a +1, and be considered to be "coasting", and proceed via aerobrake through the burn between Phobos & Deimos (consuming the flyby bonus), and then hit LMO, and from there aerobrake down onto arsia mons caves?

I think it's pretty clear if I hadn't stopped for the turn on that first burn -- coast to the flyby, pick up the bonus, etc etc.
 
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Matt Watkins
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robmcarthur2001 wrote:
I don't have the board handy to look, but you shouldn't be able to use the Mars flyby to land on Mars. This should be true for all flybys - you cannot use them to land on the object who's gravity well you're using.


You can do it through an aerobrake spot. In that case, instead of a fly-by bonus, it's an aerocapture bonus. The only restriction for fly-by use is that you can't enter a lander burn with them.

jaysachs wrote:
More precisely: ship has 3 WT, thruster consume 2 WT. Starts on Sol-Earth Lagrange L2. Engage thrusters, move along blue path towards Mars FlyBy. As a n00b, stops movement on the burn between L2 and MFB. With the 1WT, can I start up the thrusters, hit the Mars flyby, nabbing a +1, and be considered to be "coasting", and proceed via aerobrake through the burn between Phobos & Deimos (consuming the flyby bonus), and then hit LMO, and from there aerobrake down onto arsia mons caves?


Yes that's all legal. You don't need fuel to coast, you just need an operational thruster.
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Drake Coker
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Right, the restriction on moving is:

a. operational thruster (e.g. thruster plus all needed supports); and
b. net thrust > 0

Fuel is only needed if you do a burn of > 0 cost.
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Jay Sachs
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Olvenskol wrote:
Right, the restriction on moving is:

a. operational thruster (e.g. thruster plus all needed supports); and
b. net thrust > 0

Fuel is only needed if you do a burn of > 0 cost.


Oh, so even if I'm at 0WT I can start coasting? I guess we gather the crew all nearby a thruster intake vent and they breathe heavily to emit enough moisture to yield just enough thrust? Cool.
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Drake Coker
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jaysachs wrote:
Olvenskol wrote:
Right, the restriction on moving is:

a. operational thruster (e.g. thruster plus all needed supports); and
b. net thrust > 0

Fuel is only needed if you do a burn of > 0 cost.


Oh, so even if I'm at 0WT I can start coasting? I guess we gather the crew all nearby a thruster intake vent and they breathe heavily to emit enough moisture to yield just enough thrust? Cool.


The game assumes there is always some fuel available, just below the level tracked. You can even land and take-off without fuel providing you meet all the other restrictions.

As a point of reference, 1 tank of water is 40 tons. The actual lunar module carried about 2.5 tons of fuel, and that was for landing on the size 9 moon. Most of the destinations in High Frontier are dramatically smaller.
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Rus
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To the OP: be careful to differentiate WT and fuel steps, these are two quite different concepts. A fuel step is basically 6.5% of your rocket mass. A WT is always a 40 ton tank. You can have several steps in one water tank or vice versa, depending on the mass of the spacecraft.

Olvenskol wrote:
As a point of reference, 1 tank of water is 40 tons. The actual lunar module (LM) carried about 2.5 tons of fuel, and that was for landing on the size 9 moon. Most of the destinations in High Frontier are dramatically smaller.


That's right, but note that what matters is the mass fraction of the rocket fuel burned, not the actual amount. The dry mass of the Apollo lunar module (LM) was also about 2.5 tons, so the LM burned about half its mass to take off from (and land on) the moon. On the rocket diagram, burning half the mass is always about 10-11 steps by definition (except for the wisp class which was fudged for balance purposes). In HF, to land on or take off from the Moon with a crew thruster (the closest approximation to the Apollo thrusters), you similarly need ~10 steps, at least if counting the afterburn. So, HF actually simulates all of that pretty well. The only problem is that the dry mass of 2.5 is off the scale on the rocket diagram.

By contrast, the delta-V cost of landing on or taking of from a site of size 5 or less, requires burning a fraction << 1 of your rocket. In the vast majority of cases, this is less than 1 step, so rounds to 0.
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