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Subject: Shuttle House Rules rss

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Larry L
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From Greenjinjo's excellent session report:

greenjinjo wrote:
Having said that, I'm thinking about several house rules for the Shuttle, either used separately or together:
- The Space Shuttle must be crewed (possibly by a Pilot) for it to operate.
- Each Space Shuttle can only be used once per year.
- Space Shuttles can't be combined with other rockets to perform a maneuver, including another Space Shuttle.
- Space Shuttles cannot be built until half-way through the game.
I'm leaning towards the first option, but I'm looking to see what other opinions are out there about this.


I've thought about requiring crewed shuttles as well. During my last session, though, this would have only affected early shuttle testing. I would have started testing launch and landing with a Daedelus. Heat shield testing could then be accomplished by a shuttle + pilot + 3 Vostoks.

After that everything was either 1) Manned or 2) Could easily have been manned, even with dangerous conditions as I had a medical station in Earth orbit.

Still it would limit some utility, so might be worth considering.

I've been playing around with ideas for delayed technology as well.
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greenjinjo
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I agree, I don't think requiring crew is enough. I'm most strongly leaning towards either:

- Shuttle can only be used once per year
- Shuttle can only be used up to Earth Orbit

Both of these represent the amount of time it takes to get the Shuttle ready for use before another flight. Also, SRBs aren't explicitly modeled in Stations, but they could be the reason why, thematically, a Shuttle can't be used beyond Earth Orbit. Too much effort is required on the ground to use a Shuttle on this scenario.
 
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Pawel Garycki
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A delayed technology would be just one sentence: "All tier 2 technologies can only be bought in 1966+".

There is also an incidental suggestion of reading "Draw Reentry" literally on Shuttle's reentry, leading to the solution:
- "Clarification: on Shuttle's reentry, always draw an outcome for reentry from the bank, implement its results and discard the drawn outome card."
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Pawel Garycki
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I hope game designer is reading all those house rules posts and will sooner or later respond to them proposing a definite variant which cound be printed int eh next Rulebook, together with the "suplies from OP" clarification.
Otherwise forums will be flooded with Shuttle/Deadalus/fuel generator discussion.
 
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Larry L
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One possible way to delay stage 2 technology would be to require fully reliable stage 1 technology before developing stage 2.
 
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Pawel Garycki
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RingelTree wrote:
One possible way to delay stage 2 technology would be to require fully reliable stage 1 technology before developing stage 2.

What about this:
"Whenever you buy a tier 2 technology, put an additional amount of outcome cards on it equal to the current outcome amount on the prerequisite technologies. Whenever a prerequsite technology loses an outcome card, discard one from the corresponding tier 2 technology."
This works almost the same as your suggestion but gives more freedom. You may rush earlier for your tier 2 technology but with an increased risk. Or you can fully research tier 1 technologies and have a usual risk.
Otherwise we will end up with the situation in which player is forced to clear some technologies.
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Rakaydos Vashini
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If large fuel tank price and mass were 6 and and thrust was still 75...

5 mass to orbit, 4 extra suborbital lift. Price tag of 12 mil for 5 mass, vs 18 mil for 7 mass for soyuz, or 30 mil for 20 mass for Saturn, but includes a free apollo.

Erratta'd shuttle thrust cheat sheet (with 6 mass tankage)
Difficulty 1: 75/1-10= 65 mass
Difficulty 2: 75/2-10= 27 mass
Difficulty 3: 75/3-10= 15 mass
Difficulty 4: 75/4-10= 8 3/4 mass
Difficulty 5: 75/5-10= 5 mass
Difficulty 6: 75/6-10= 2 1/2 mass
Difficulty 7: 75/7-10= 5/7 mass

Not being able to bring a large fuel ttank into orbit so easilly shuts down the worst abuses of deep space shuttles.
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Pawel Garycki
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But then you need to reprint your reference sheet for Shuttle (how much paylod to which difficulty. Players often look at them.
 
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Andrew McBrien
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How about:

Space Shuttles always flip to their damaged side whenever they have faced re-entry
A damaged Space Shuttle may only be repaired on Earth at the end of the year

I.E. this is basically the idea of restricting use somewhat and just once a year.
 
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Pawel Garycki
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macbee wrote:
How about:

Space Shuttles always flip to their damaged side whenever they have faced re-entry
A damaged Space Shuttle may only be repaired on Earth at the end of the year

I.E. this is basically the idea of restricting use somewhat and just once a year.

Thematically correct (refurbishment). This makes Shuttle mission to Mars/Venus a one-way trip, so a bit harsher then draw outcome from the bank.
This solution still implies a change to the card text (namely Shuttle technology ->success outcome).

BTW. I think there should be a central thread for fixing Shuttle/Deadalus/Fuel Generator which would collect and compile various proposals and keep them up to date. There are already 3 threads for Shuttle/Deadalus. Then a voting could be performed to hear from community what they like most - serving as a guide for choosing a house rule.
 
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Larry L
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macbee wrote:
How about:

Space Shuttles always flip to their damaged side whenever they have faced re-entry
A damaged Space Shuttle may only be repaired on Earth at the end of the year

I.E. this is basically the idea of restricting use somewhat and just once a year.


I like this, but ultimately it means keeping a mechanic and spare parts on board.
 
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Andrew McBrien
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A mechanic plus spare parts doesn't help if:
macbee wrote:
A damaged Space Shuttle may only be repaired on Earth at the end of the year
 
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Larry L
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macbee wrote:
A mechanic plus spare parts doesn't help if:
macbee wrote:
A damaged Space Shuttle may only be repaired on Earth at the end of the year


Sorry, I didn't realize that was a rule, not a comment. blush

That's not bad. I might try it. I like it better than the card draw because the 1 in 6 chance of burning up means manned flights from orbit aren't sensible, which is somewhat against the actual use of the shuttle.
 
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greenjinjo
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How about the following combination of changes:

1) A Pilot must be present for the Shuttle to operate.
- This represents the complexity of landing the Shuttle in an atmosphere, so maybe this should only be required for a Re-entry maneuver. Not sure on this one.

2) A Mechanic must use a Spare Part to "attach" a Large Fuel Tank to the Shuttle to use the Shuttle from Earth Orbit and beyond.
- This represents the fact that the Large Tank must be connected with hoses / etc to the Shuttle.

3) Any time the Shuttle faces the Re-entry hazard, it may not be used again this year and may not be used the following year unless it starts the next year on Earth or if a Mechanic uses a Spare Part.
- This represents the need to verify the integrity of and repair all of the heat shield tiles. I do not suggest flipping the Shuttle over to the Damaged side, as I think it should still be able to sustain Life Support if necessary.


I'd also recommend removing the Spare Part requirement to the Fuel Generator, with the restriction that it cannot be used on Earth.
 
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Rakaydos Vashini
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greenjinjo wrote:


I'd also recommend removing the Spare Part requirement to the Fuel Generator, with the restriction that it cannot be used on Earth.


Without some kind of daedelus buff, I dont see an 8 mil fuel generator being worth it's investment even on earth without spare parts, as you still have to find 3 locations that spending a daedelus fuel tank is worth doing.
 
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Larry L
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I've been messing around with more or less complex ideas for a 'technology deck' which delays the development of tier two technology for an unspecified amount of time.

Here is one of the more complex variants:

1) Put aside 8 (or 9 or 10) outcome cards

2) Take one small technology card for each tier two technology (rover for rover technology, maybe a Juno for aerobraking, etc.) add a number of outcome cards to make this stack equal 10 cards (depending on if you are using outer planets or not)

3) Shuffle the 10 cards under the table, add the original stack of outcome cards on top.

At the start of each year draw the top card. If it is a technology card, that tech is now available (note that, technology cards will be revealed on the top of the stack for a year, representing imminent breakthroughs). If it is a success, put it aside. If it is a minor failure, flip it up on top of the stack. Research is delayed, but remove the card next year. If it is a major failure, research is delayed, and remove the bottom card from the technology stack from the game, which may exclude some technology entirely (aerobraking! ouch!)
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Pawel Garycki
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RingelTree wrote:
I've been messing around with more or less complex ideas for a 'technology deck' which delays the development of tier two technology for an unspecified amount of time.

Here is one of the more complex variants:

1) Put aside 8 (or 9 or 10) outcome cards

2) Take one small technology card for each tier two technology (rover for rover technology, maybe a Juno for aerobraking, etc.) add a number of outcome cards to make this stack equal 10 cards (depending on if you are using outer planets or not)

3) Shuffle the 10 cards under the table, add the original stack of outcome cards on top.

At the start of each year draw the top card. If it is a technology card, that tech is now available (note that, technology cards will be revealed on the top of the stack for a year, representing imminent breakthroughs). If it is a success, put it aside. If it is a minor failure, flip it up on top of the stack. Research is delayed, but remove the card next year. If it is a major failure, research is delayed, and remove the bottom card from the technology stack from the game, which may exclude some technology entirely (aerobraking! ouch!)


Looks like a very good direction for the possible Goddard expansion in which there could be some proto techs with some rules of "basic" tech accessability. A Goddard expansion would surely delay e.g. Saturn if it starts in 1946 with some clever mechanism.
 
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Brent Pollock
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greenjinjo wrote:
How about the following combination of changes:

1) A Pilot must be present for the Shuttle to operate.
- This represents the complexity of landing the Shuttle in an atmosphere, so maybe this should only be required for a Re-entry maneuver. Not sure on this one.


Well, if Wikipedia is any help:
The approach and landing phase could be controlled by the autopilot, but was usually hand flown.

I would interpret this as "yeah, you need a Pilot to land/re-enter".
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Fasquardon Quardon Rhee
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macbee wrote:
How about:

Space Shuttles always flip to their damaged side whenever they have faced re-entry
A damaged Space Shuttle may only be repaired on Earth at the end of the year

I.E. this is basically the idea of restricting use somewhat and just once a year.


Such a change still leaves the Shuttle king of manoeuvring in deep space and the best choice for landing on the Moon and Mercury (and a decent choice for landing on Phobos and Ceres). Ironically this change would discourage people from re-entering their shuttles at all and encourage them to focus on using them in hard vacuum, which thematically is the opposite of what you want to do.

I'm very interested to hear if this change balances the Shuttle with the other rockets though. Have you tried playing with this rule?

fasquardon
 
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Andrew McBrien
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fasquardon wrote:

I'm very interested to hear if this change balances the Shuttle with the other rockets though. Have you tried playing with this rule?

fasquardon

I probably ought to have mentioned that I'm still waiting for my copy. I was shooting from the hip.

When I do get my copy I may try something like: shuttles always require refurbishment after re-entry; refurbishment on Earth costs 5 spare parts; off-Earth refurbishment costs maybe 20 spare parts...

My issue with the shuttle becoming the go to vehicle for longer missions would be the obvious lack of any artificial gravity for the crew. But I don't think that's featured in the game.
 
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Andrew McBrien
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Actually I've now changed my mind. I think I'll try using the idea of large fuel tank mass = 6, as suggested by Rakaydos earlier in the discussion.
 
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Disclaimer - I've ordered LE:S and haven't played it yet, but am following the shuttle problems with interest. Joe - I'm also really looking forward to everything else in the expansion, especially features and stations (in KSP I spend my whole time building space stations and have yet to build an SSTO/spaceplane).

There are two factors about the real-world shuttle that aren't represented in-game, as far as I can see:

1) the shuttle's real-world design assumed earth atmospheric pressure and high-speed gliding - the former at least isn't present anywhere else in the solar system .

2) it also assumed an 'empty' weight when landing. There's no way the shuttle could have landed with the fuel tank attached, let alone full.

Surely there's a way to represent this with a hard fuel tank limit for the shuttle (ie, two) and a rule that says it must make reentry empty?

I like the auto-damage-upon-landing rule and the must be crewed rule too. Very thematic. Can't say for gameplay - as I say, haven't received my copy yet. Sorry if these are dumb/already suggested.
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