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Subject: Infinite slingshots rss

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Ulrik Bøe
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I cannot find any rule about a slingshot maneuver only being useable once per turn. I'm not even sure that such a rule should exist, given that maneuvers such as the jupiter - sol - jupiter exit is possible.

However, if you're using the black solar sail that gains moon boosts from rad hazards, there is an infinite loop around Mercury - going between Sol - Mercury L3 to L5 there are four rad hazards, but only 3 burns. So what's stopping me from using that to spin up to infinite TMPs and move my Bernal to Sedna in one turn?
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Brent Pollock
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Until someone digs up a rule: nothing.
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Simon Skov
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I don't have the rules handy, but earlier living rule versions definitely stated that slingshots cannot provide their bonus more than once per turn. While a real-life spacecraft can get several slingshot boosts from the same body (e.g. Rosetta and Earth - look up the wonderful video showing its multi-year trajectory), they could not do so multiple times within one year, which is what one turn represents.

Even so the High Frontier map is not really conducive to that kind of maneuver. The Jupiter-Sol-Jupiter is an exception, and is any way not really modeled on the map. It too, I think, would be a multi-year maneuver.
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Scott Mansfield
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ulrik wrote:
I cannot find any rule about a slingshot maneuver only being useable once per turn. I'm not even sure that such a rule should exist, given that maneuvers such as the jupiter - sol - jupiter exit is possible.

However, if you're using the black solar sail that gains moon boosts from rad hazards, there is an infinite loop around Mercury - going between Sol - Mercury L3 to L5 there are four rad hazards, but only 3 burns. So what's stopping me from using that to spin up to infinite TMPs and move my Bernal to Sedna in one turn?


It's in the glossary under SAILS: "...The Mag Sail receives a +1 moon boost for each radiation hazard it enters in a move. However, each radiation hazard can boost a sail only once per turn, in the case where a sail circles and re-enters the same point."

Cheers
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Geoff Speare
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A good example of a rule which should be somewhere else. It seems like it should be a general rule; I'd put it in K1, but in the glossary under "Flyby" seems reasonable as well.

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Isaac Shalev
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galfridus wrote:
A good example of a rule which should be somewhere else. It seems like it should be a general rule; I'd put it in K1, but in the glossary under "Flyby" seems reasonable as well.



Or, heavens forbid, it can be in multiple places, so that players with different intuitions about where to find it can all be rewarded with an answer, instead of a treasure hunt.
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Brent Pollock
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srmansfield wrote:
It's in the glossary under SAILS: "...The Mag Sail receives a +1 moon boost for each radiation hazard it enters in a move. However, each radiation hazard can boost a sail only once per turn, in the case where a sail circles and re-enters the same point."


Give that man a gold star!
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Brent Pollock
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ender7 wrote:
Or, heavens forbid, it can be in multiple places, so that players with different intuitions about where to find it can all be rewarded with an answer, instead of a treasure hunt.


Amen. I have been writing in cross-references/notes in my rule books, player board & map.
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Geoff Speare
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ender7 wrote:
Or, heavens forbid, it can be in multiple places, so that players with different intuitions about where to find it can all be rewarded with an answer, instead of a treasure hunt.


Heresy!
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Rex Stites
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ender7 wrote:
galfridus wrote:
A good example of a rule which should be somewhere else. It seems like it should be a general rule; I'd put it in K1, but in the glossary under "Flyby" seems reasonable as well.



Or, heavens forbid, it can be in multiple places, so that players with different intuitions about where to find it can all be rewarded with an answer, instead of a treasure hunt.


And exponentially increasing the chance of unintentional conflicts in the rules.

A rule should be stated once, and once only. Any more than that is unnecessary and creates more problems than the perceived convenience it allows. If there's any doubt about where a rule should appear, then a good index is all that is required.
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Isaac Shalev
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rstites25 wrote:
ender7 wrote:
galfridus wrote:
A good example of a rule which should be somewhere else. It seems like it should be a general rule; I'd put it in K1, but in the glossary under "Flyby" seems reasonable as well.



Or, heavens forbid, it can be in multiple places, so that players with different intuitions about where to find it can all be rewarded with an answer, instead of a treasure hunt.


And exponentially increasing the chance of unintentional conflicts in the rules.

A rule should be stated once, and once only. Any more than that is unnecessary and creates more problems than the perceived convenience it allows. If there's any doubt about where a rule should appear, then a good index is all that is required.


I agree that the downside of stating rules in multiple places increases the chances of introducing unintentional conflicts. That becomes an important aspect of the role of stewarding the rules. (It's not like the current method has been so spectacular at reaching a definitive ruleset either. Phil doesn't appear to be that interested in having a final ruleset. In a real way, the use of this technical writing style of rules serves the designer most of all, by making it easy to track rules changes. It serves new players least well, by making learning to play and looking up rules quite a bit more challenging than it needs to be).

Nevertheless, the gains to moving to a different system are substantial. They make the rules easier to learn from, quicker to look up, and more human. What you see as unnecessary others appreciate enormously for how much easier they make it to learn and play the game.

My interest and orientation is to make High Frontier a more accessible game that can reach a broader audience. I routinely piss off the old-time fans because of this, but I'm up-front about what I'm hoping to achieve.
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Rex Stites
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ender7 wrote:
rstites25 wrote:
ender7 wrote:
galfridus wrote:
A good example of a rule which should be somewhere else. It seems like it should be a general rule; I'd put it in K1, but in the glossary under "Flyby" seems reasonable as well.



Or, heavens forbid, it can be in multiple places, so that players with different intuitions about where to find it can all be rewarded with an answer, instead of a treasure hunt.


And exponentially increasing the chance of unintentional conflicts in the rules.

A rule should be stated once, and once only. Any more than that is unnecessary and creates more problems than the perceived convenience it allows. If there's any doubt about where a rule should appear, then a good index is all that is required.


I agree that the downside of stating rules in multiple places increases the chances of introducing unintentional conflicts. That becomes an important aspect of the role of stewarding the rules. (It's not like the current method has been so spectacular at reaching a definitive ruleset either. Phil doesn't appear to be that interested in having a final ruleset. In a real way, the use of this technical writing style of rules serves the designer most of all, by making it easy to track rules changes. It serves new players least well, by making learning to play and looking up rules quite a bit more challenging than it needs to be).

Nevertheless, the gains to moving to a different system are substantial. They make the rules easier to learn from, quicker to look up, and more human. What you see as unnecessary others appreciate enormously for how much easier they make it to learn and play the game.

My interest and orientation is to make High Frontier a more accessible game that can reach a broader audience. I routinely piss off the old-time fans because of this, but I'm up-front about what I'm hoping to achieve.


A technical writing style serves the gamers because it creates a clear, concise, unambiguous, and non-contradictory set of rules that can be applied to resolve disputes that arise in how to play the game. You're looking for something else entirely--a teaching tutorial.

Games with simple rules (most euro games) can get away with bloated prose style rules, but that's not the case of games with any complexity. There's a reason why the "case" system/technical style is so prevalent in wargames--anything else simply confuses more than it clarifies.

Personally, I had no problem with the 3rd Edition rules. And I'm someone with only very minimal experience with previous editions (one or two plays 3 or 4 years ago).

All the information is there to create a "better" rulebook. Perhaps people would take you seriously if you rewrote it rather than merely complaining.
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Scott Mansfield
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rstites25 wrote:
ender7 wrote:
rstites25 wrote:
ender7 wrote:
galfridus wrote:
A good example of a rule which should be somewhere else. It seems like it should be a general rule; I'd put it in K1, but in the glossary under "Flyby" seems reasonable as well.



Or, heavens forbid, it can be in multiple places, so that players with different intuitions about where to find it can all be rewarded with an answer, instead of a treasure hunt.


And exponentially increasing the chance of unintentional conflicts in the rules.

A rule should be stated once, and once only. Any more than that is unnecessary and creates more problems than the perceived convenience it allows. If there's any doubt about where a rule should appear, then a good index is all that is required.


I agree that the downside of stating rules in multiple places increases the chances of introducing unintentional conflicts. That becomes an important aspect of the role of stewarding the rules. (It's not like the current method has been so spectacular at reaching a definitive ruleset either. Phil doesn't appear to be that interested in having a final ruleset. In a real way, the use of this technical writing style of rules serves the designer most of all, by making it easy to track rules changes. It serves new players least well, by making learning to play and looking up rules quite a bit more challenging than it needs to be).

Nevertheless, the gains to moving to a different system are substantial. They make the rules easier to learn from, quicker to look up, and more human. What you see as unnecessary others appreciate enormously for how much easier they make it to learn and play the game.

My interest and orientation is to make High Frontier a more accessible game that can reach a broader audience. I routinely piss off the old-time fans because of this, but I'm up-front about what I'm hoping to achieve.


A technical writing style serves the gamers because it creates a clear, concise, unambiguous, and non-contradictory set of rules that can be applied to resolve disputes that arise in how to play the game. You're looking for something else entirely--a teaching tutorial.

Games with simple rules (most euro games) can get away with bloated prose style rules, but that's not the case of games with any complexity. There's a reason why the "case" system/technical style is so prevalent in wargames--anything else simply confuses more than it clarifies.

Personally, I had no problem with the 3rd Edition rules. And I'm someone with only very minimal experience with previous editions (one or two plays 3 or 4 years ago).

All the information is there to create a "better" rulebook. Perhaps people would take you seriously if you rewrote it rather than merely complaining.


I'm not sure game complexity and rule density are synonymous. It really depends on the style of game. A game in the COIN series can be deeply complex but gameplay and rule questions can mostly be answered via the board and player aid cards. A game like Panzer needs a larger ruleset for there is a lot of modularity, nuanced situations and gameplay questions that can't be answered via the aid cards or board positions alone. High Frontier falls in the latter camp with so much modularity, unique situations and combinations that need the rules to clarify. I am a huge fan of concise rules (nobody writes strategy game rules as good as Chad/Kai Jensen or Volko Ruhnke), but the lead question of this post is a prime example where a sidebar note next to the primary rule (in the case K1) would be helpful, noting the limitations of the black side sail OR it could have been printed on the card itself, max +1 burn per radioactive space per movement. Also, it should mentioned that Phil's rules are...known to be of a particular style...
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Isaac Shalev
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rstites25 wrote:
ender7 wrote:
rstites25 wrote:
ender7 wrote:
galfridus wrote:
A good example of a rule which should be somewhere else. It seems like it should be a general rule; I'd put it in K1, but in the glossary under "Flyby" seems reasonable as well.



Or, heavens forbid, it can be in multiple places, so that players with different intuitions about where to find it can all be rewarded with an answer, instead of a treasure hunt.


And exponentially increasing the chance of unintentional conflicts in the rules.

A rule should be stated once, and once only. Any more than that is unnecessary and creates more problems than the perceived convenience it allows. If there's any doubt about where a rule should appear, then a good index is all that is required.


I agree that the downside of stating rules in multiple places increases the chances of introducing unintentional conflicts. That becomes an important aspect of the role of stewarding the rules. (It's not like the current method has been so spectacular at reaching a definitive ruleset either. Phil doesn't appear to be that interested in having a final ruleset. In a real way, the use of this technical writing style of rules serves the designer most of all, by making it easy to track rules changes. It serves new players least well, by making learning to play and looking up rules quite a bit more challenging than it needs to be).

Nevertheless, the gains to moving to a different system are substantial. They make the rules easier to learn from, quicker to look up, and more human. What you see as unnecessary others appreciate enormously for how much easier they make it to learn and play the game.

My interest and orientation is to make High Frontier a more accessible game that can reach a broader audience. I routinely piss off the old-time fans because of this, but I'm up-front about what I'm hoping to achieve.


A technical writing style serves the gamers because it creates a clear, concise, unambiguous, and non-contradictory set of rules that can be applied to resolve disputes that arise in how to play the game. You're looking for something else entirely--a teaching tutorial.

Games with simple rules (most euro games) can get away with bloated prose style rules, but that's not the case of games with any complexity. There's a reason why the "case" system/technical style is so prevalent in wargames--anything else simply confuses more than it clarifies.

Personally, I had no problem with the 3rd Edition rules. And I'm someone with only very minimal experience with previous editions (one or two plays 3 or 4 years ago).

All the information is there to create a "better" rulebook. Perhaps people would take you seriously if you rewrote it rather than merely complaining.


Rex, why you gotta make it personal?

Btw, I do rulebook editing for board games, and I'm the primary writer for my own rulebooks. At this point I've edited about 20 books, and participated in editing for quite a few more. I'm not complaining, I'm offering suggestions for improvement along the vector of making the game more accessible. The main issue is that the homers in here don't actually share that desire for greater accessibility. I can't imagine that the group that actually works with Phil and develops the game would be an especially welcoming place for me.

Anyway, I'm sorry. There's only one way to do things that's the absolute best way. Phil already did it, and you, Rex, have blessed it. I'll show myself out.
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Brent Pollock
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When the quote-within-quote boxes get this deep, it reminds me of mirrors-in-mirrors, disappearing into the infinite murk...
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Rich James
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Adding a comprehensive index was a particularly good suggestion.
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Matt Watkins
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arjisme wrote:
Adding a comprehensive index was a particularly good suggestion.


Agreed. And there really should not be rules that are found only in the glossary unless the rules reference in total is structured like a glossary (as Fantasy Flight tends to do for its LCGs.) The High Frontier Rules Reference is actually pretty well structured and written. It's pretty accessible, with good illustrations. But having little bits and pieces in the glossary, when you wouldn't necessarily think to look there for them is probably not the best way to do it.
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Rex Stites
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srmansfield wrote:


I'm not sure game complexity and rule density are synonymous.


That's true generally speaking, but we're talking about rules complexity. I don't think there's any dispute that High Frontier is substantially more complex than your typical Euro game--the sheer number of rules necessarily results in some fairly complex interactions.

Quote:
It really depends on the style of game. A game in the COIN series can be deeply complex but gameplay and rule questions can mostly be answered via the board and player aid cards.


Mostly. But not all. That's why the actual rules are ~12 pages of dense technical writing that establish the actual rules with a high degree of clarity and precision. The player-aid cards condense the rules down to their most basic form. They probably cover 90% of situations. But for the other 10% you have to read and apply the text of the actual rules to determine what moves are legal or not.

Quote:
A game like Panzer needs a larger ruleset for there is a lot of modularity, nuanced situations and gameplay questions that can't be answered via the aid cards or board positions alone.


This is really no different than the COIN series or the vast majority of wargames. Good play aids provide a shorthand representation of the rules to address the majority of situations/questions that will arise in play. But the rulebook is the definitive answer to what is/is not legal.

Quote:
High Frontier falls in the latter camp with so much modularity, unique situations and combinations that need the rules to clarify. I am a huge fan of concise rules (nobody writes strategy game rules as good as Chad/Kai Jensen or Volko Ruhnke), but the lead question of this post is a prime example where a sidebar note next to the primary rule (in the case K1) would be helpful, noting the limitations of the black side sail OR it could have been printed on the card itself, max +1 burn per radioactive space per movement. Also, it should mentioned that Phil's rules are...known to be of a particular style...


And I've heard many wargamers complain about the rules for Combat Commander and the COIN series, usually from people voicing similar criticisms as what Isaac levels--"they're terrible to learn from"; "I have no idea how the game plays by reading them"; "they're organized terribly"; etc.

Different people want different things from a game's rulebook. As I said in my previous post, it seems like Isaac--and many others--want something different from a rulebook: namely, a training manual (notably, the GMT does this with their playbooks, especially the COIN series, walking players through several turns demonstrating the various mechanics). But that's something different than the actual rules of gameplay, which I'll stand by my assertion should be written in a technical manner because those are the rules that must be applied and interpreted to play the game.
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Colin Booth
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ulrik wrote:
I cannot find any rule about a slingshot maneuver only being useable once per turn. I'm not even sure that such a rule should exist, given that maneuvers such as the jupiter - sol - jupiter exit is possible.

However, if you're using the black solar sail that gains moon boosts from rad hazards, there is an infinite loop around Mercury - going between Sol - Mercury L3 to L5 there are four rad hazards, but only 3 burns. So what's stopping me from using that to spin up to infinite TMPs and move my Bernal to Sedna in one turn?


The Sails entry covers this specific case (the Sol - Mercury L3-L4-L5 loop). The reason that the rules don't cover this in the generic case is that there are no places where you can gain infinite TMPs due to the cost of getting back to the slingshot space. The only place where it isn't prohibitively expensive is you can get from the Jupiter slingshot to the Jupiter slingshot at a net cost of only two thrust (LEO to Enceladus line, take a left where it zig-zags right, take a hard left at the next Hohmann, and a final left right under the Asgard Ice Spires) but I don't think that's actually useful since a single slingshot leaves you with four net thrust and doing a Jupiter turnaround isn't actually useful for getting back to Earth (it's 5 burns from the Jupiter slingshot to LEO regardless of which route you take).
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