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  #1  
Old May 30th, 2011, 07:35 PM
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Default Ship Movement.

I'm thinking of having the players engage in some kind of spaceship race (non-jump), but I am not finding how to make this work using the existing rule set. Perhaps some kind of home brew is in order.
So, my question is, if I were to use 1" hex paper/map how would a ships thrust/maneuver values work in this scenario?
I am thinking of using a thrust to weight ratio system. Of course thrust is only one part of the equation, as I'd like to figure out how to assign the various ship designs a agility rating. Like a F1 car vs a Dragster. Sure the dragster will will in a straight line, but the F1 will crush the dragster at the first turn.
So if I were to draft a space race track on 1" graph, what kind of formulas could/should I use?
Is there a rule about this already that I'm overlooking?
Thanks,
Louis
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Old May 30th, 2011, 11:36 PM
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You'll have to create new rules or just go with MT and rules in Star ship operators manual.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 11:37 PM
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Mechanic = task check

Given G ratings, the acceleration is essentially fixed - so equal G rated drives are going to nominally have the same 'race' characteristics (i.e. a 1 G drive covers the same distance in the same time)... but task checks to see who 'wins' a drag race should be no problem.

I'd probably use any TL differences as DMs (upto +/- 3). Don't forget cascade checks for Engineer + Pilot skilled characters. There are also the options of boosting P.P and M-Drive for higher Gs!
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Old May 30th, 2011, 11:47 PM
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Realistically there is no "agility" of that kind in space. It's not like you have different sizes of tires and stances with varying treads to impart friction on the road.

The only way your race might realistically have a difference in performance of space craft would be by putting atmospheres along the course and allow designing the ships with wings.

In that case your dragster would be the standard hull with 6G drive. It goes fast and straight but to make the turns it has to change its vector by devoting thrust. While your F1 would be a streamlined hull with wings and a 5G drive (for example). It'll take longer to get to the turns around the planets or gas giants but it can dive into the atmosphere and use the wings and air-friction to turn much faster.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 12:37 AM
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You're best off using mechanics based in CT's Mayday if you want tactical movement.

Races are best handled by abstraction, tho.... they're won or lost by fractions of a G difference, and by skill at correcting, and slingshotting.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 01:09 AM
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Thanks guys. Since our campaign will be much more pulpy instead of hard-science, I think that finding some kind of balance between mass, Engine G Diff, and pilot, astrographer's skill might be the way to go.
I'm sure it will be a bit messy at first, but until I try it I won't really know what to fix.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 01:20 AM
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The racers, unless using realistic fuel rates, will win or lose a weeklong race by fractions of a G measured in the mm per second per second range. As in hudredths of a percent of a G.

It's the n-space course plot, the pilot's skill at executing same, and the engineer's ability to keep the engines over rating consistently and constantly...

The best example of this is from a later season of SG-1... It's the turns around the waypoints and the engineer's skill that matter most.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 12:01 PM
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Probably the best way to do this is to assume all racers have the same maneuver drive level (probably set by the race organization's charter), and treat it more like a yacht racing competition than car racing.

Have your engineer make engineering checks to boost the m-drive output (with failures hurting the output), and have a number of planets or other gravity wells along the flight path, so your navigator can roll to get extra "boost" from the gravity sling shot parameters. It might also be fun to mandate that no ship's computer is allowed, making the navigation a Difficult task.

If you want to, you could also have a piloting component, like if the ship has aerodynamics enough to allow it to use aero-assist maneuvering (you can get a tighter turn for less engine acceleration if you use your aerodynamics to impart some of the thrust, though you have to be very precise so you don't lose more energy to friction than you save - yes, this is real physics).

I imagine a race around (for example) a moon-rich gas giant, approaching from another planet and then returning to that same planet after making a certain number of orbits around the gas giant. Clever navigators can shave time off by using various moons' gravity and atmosphere while their engineers push the engines right up to the breaking point on the straight hauls. To make things interesting, maybe you have to return to station keeping around the starting nav buoy, so you can't just "blow past" it, you have to precisely stop within a given sphere around the buoy. (Until you make your piloting roll to exactly match vectors, you aren't "finished".)

Plus there will be the inevitable dirty tricks, like hiding more than the allowable extra parts, or having some sort of "cheat" booster engine, a repulsor to mess with competitors' vectors or computer assist, but if you're caught, you are disqualified.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 05:35 PM
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I'd think that a ship's configuration and size will have an affect because of variations in the ship's 'moment of inertia' when compared to other ships. How quickly a ship can change its orientation for its main thrusters might mean a lot.
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Old September 13th, 2011, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
I'd think that a ship's configuration and size will have an affect because of variations in the ship's 'moment of inertia' when compared to other ships. How quickly a ship can change its orientation for its main thrusters might mean a lot.
Configuration wouldn't make difference because of the lack of air resistance. Size wouldn't make a difference because the drives are already calculated for maneuvering thrust with the mass already taken into account for a given drive size, correct?
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