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High Frontier (Third Edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Can I enter the same burn twice in one turn if not a U-turn? rss

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Andro Hsu
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I have a rocket in LMO that has just Bernal refueled. The rocket takes the burn leading to the Sol-Mars Lagrange, returns to the Sol-Earth Lagrange, and jettisons a bunch of WT in flight. The rocket then follows the blue signpost route to the Mars flyby, where it aerobrakes into the same burn that it entered when leaving LMO, and lands on Phobos.

Rule F4 says no U-turns, but are you allowed to enter a burn you entered previously on the same move, if you enter it from a different route?

Similarly, could I launch from Phobos, follow the same route to the Sol-Earth Lagrange, take the Mars Flyby, and then land on Phobos in the same move?

With the Space Elevator and a card with aerobrake safety, this could become a very attractive way to get lots of WTs!
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I remember this question coming up before. I could be very wrong, but I think the ruling was that if you moved along a path, you cannot later in the same movement, move along that path in the opposite direction. That would preclude you from taking off and landing on the same site in the same movement, for most sites.
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Andro Hsu
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rbelikov wrote:
I remember this question coming up before. I could be very wrong, but I think the ruling was that if you moved along a path, you cannot later in the same movement, move along that path in the opposite direction. That would preclude you from taking off and landing on the same site in the same movement, for most sites.


Yes, rule F4 says "You can’t reverse direction during your move. However, if you halt on an space, on your next turn, you may move in any direction."

But many burns and sites have multiple paths leading to them. So my question is whether leaving a site/burn from one direction and then entering it from a different direction qualifies as "reversing direction."

My literal interpretation of the language—"reverse direction"—would be that doing so is allowed. But I am wondering whether the rule is really meant to represent that a rocket cannot enter the same site/burn more than once in a move. Is there some real-life reason why this would not be feasible and/or thematic?

Here's another wrinkle. Even if one interprets the rules to say that a rocket cannot enter the same burn/site more than once in a move, a rocket could lift off from Phobos following the "southern" path, move down to the Sol-Earth Lagrange, take the Mars Flyby and aerobrake to the burn adjacent to both Phobos and Deimos, and then land on *Deimos*. If the rules would allow that, why wouldn't they also allow landing on Phobos?
 
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Brett Burleigh II
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I might be entirely incorrect - but the "no U-turn" especially in a LaGrange point - makes me think that the velocity required to move in space makes it impossible to turn on a dime at that kind of speed.

I'm no rocket scientist, not even close - it just makes sense that something going that fast couldn't pivot inside those gravity soft-spots in that way.

You're not asking about that, though. Without knowing the rules like the back of my hand, in this situation, I would certainly allow it (or maybe even plan a similar route) - until Phil or someone else kindly pointed out that this was an invalid route and highlighted the rule we'd abused.

Just my .02 - which might not be worth much... laugh
 
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Josh
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I interpret the rule to mean when you leave a space you must leave it on a different path from the one you entered it on. And only that -- no restrictions on entering burns twice or even on from which direction you can enter a burn for the 2nd time, etc.
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Colin Booth
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joshaubry wrote:
I interpret the rule to mean when you leave a space you must leave it on a different path from the one you entered it on. And only that -- no restrictions on entering burns twice or even on from which direction you can enter a burn for the 2nd time, etc.

That is my understanding as well. For example, with a net thrust of five you can do a loop from Sol-Venus L5, to Sol-Earth L3, to Sol-Venus L3, to Sol-Mercury L5, back to Sol-Venus L5, and leave again in any direction except for back down to Sol-Mercury L5. If you had started that trip at Nyx you could exit the Sol-Venus L5 back towards the Sol-Mars L5 and if you really wanted to (and had the thrust) go right back to Nyx.

The real question is: is it worth it. And the answer is pretty much always no. There are no loops that I know of that are free using conventional thrusters (the Sol-Mars L5 -> Burn -> Sol-Earth L4 -> Sol-Earth L4 -> Earth-Luna L2 -> Earth-Luna L5 -> Sol-Earth L5 -> Sol-Mars L5 is the cheapest with a cost of one) and only one that gives a net positive with the Mag Sail (Jupiter flyby -> veer right between Calisto and Europa, hard right near Tekamon after passing Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann I, then veer right to get back onto the green path heading towards Earth - that's a net boost of two thrust over the simple in-and-out path (after burning six to turn around and counting Jupiter twice, which I don't see any rules against) if you have a path that hits all eight radiation spaces, but that two extra thrust is basically useless if you're trying to get any where interesting.
 
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Andro Hsu
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In the case of leaving Phobos and returning on the same trip, I'm not trying to get anywhere interesting, but trying to maximize WTs/turn/human for a small number of turns in a row. (Maybe I'm waiting for the solar cycle to enter the right phase, or I have a freighter or Bernal moving a payload.)

I have the Juiced Cosmonauts (an Engineer colonist) on Phobos, with the Space Elevator and a factory on Mars Arsia Mons. Because Arsia Mons is colocated with Phobos, I can factory refuel 16 WT directly to the Juiced Cosmonauts' rocket on Phobos using my Crew and Juiced Cosmonauts' operations.

With dry mass 3 and wet mass 19, it costs 4 steps = 4 WT for the Juiced Cosmonauts to return to Sol-Earth Lagrange (colocated with LEO with the Space Elevator) and drop off 11 WT, leaving it with 1 WT = 4 steps to return to Phobos via the Mars Flyby (Juiced Cosmonauts enter aerobrakes safely, so no need to pay for FINO).

Counting the 1 WT paid for the Juiced Cosmonauts' op, that's a net of 10 WT in a single turn, and ready to do it again the next turn. Given that particular rocket, I think that is the most efficient and repeatable way to make WTs.

If I have a second Engineer perform a 3rd factory refuel for 2 WT, doing this nets 14 WT, because of the increased fuel consumption. Having a third Engineer perform a 4th factory refuel also nets only 14 WT because the rocket maxes at wet mass 32, consumes 8 WT for the Juiced Cosmonauts' initial burn, and the Engineer ops cost 6 WT.
 
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Colin Booth
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Yup, sounds about right, good path! This isn't a counter point, but odds are if you're playing with Colonists, you're not starting at LEO. It's a non-issue if you're playing as NASA and a minor point if you're playing as ESA (the L5, L2, Geo loop only goes through one burn) but the other factions have less useful home orbits for a Phobos milkrun like that.

It does of course require you to have gotten the Cosmonauts, be the first to Mars, and to have gotten the space elevators venture (doable with the Cosmonauts if you get lucky on Demos). But this is a game that rewards lucky/clever plays.
 
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Andro Hsu
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Since WTs are banked in either LEO or your Bernal home orbit, you can drop off WTs at the Sol-Earth Lagrange, which is colocated with LEO because of the Space Elevator. And since you can boost to LEO without the radiation roll typically required of a Bernal boost, the Sol-Earth Lagrange becomes the new staging point for pretty much everything.

I usually avoid Mars because it's difficult to get things off the surface, and there are no C-type GW thrusters. But I happened to get the Juiced Cosmonauts as my first colonist, so their high thrust, ISRU 3 (allowing prospecting of Arsia Mons), and safe aerobrake ability made me reconsider going for Mars.

We'll see if I can catch up...my opponent got the Calypso colonist and already has a lab on Comet Borrelly!
 
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Colin Booth
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I'd forgotten that you can bank in either LEO or your home orbit and was thinking you could only access your (non-FFT) water assets in your home orbit. Good luck!
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