• Welcome to the new COTI server. We've moved the Citizens to a new server. Please let us know in the COTI Website issue forum if you find any problems.

Can you maneuver with Auto/Evade?


SOC-14 1K
In Book 2, if you want to use your M-Drive, you need to have a Maneuver program running in your computer.

However, there is also a suite of Maneuver/Evade programs that can be used in lieu of Maneuver, and also offer defensive DMs to the ship.

There is also the Auto/Evade program.

The text under Maneuver/Evade includes this:
In addition, these programs allow the use of the maneuver drive as required, in lieu of the normal maneuver program.

That seem pretty clear and straightforward.

In Auto/Evade, though, we have this:
Auto/evade is similar to maneuver/evade, but performs at a lower level; it allows a defensive DM against laser fire of -2.

"similiar to maneuver/evade". And manuever/evade, well, maneuvers.

However, M/E is expensive in both storage and cost. A/E is cheap. Really cheap. With a +2 Pilot, you'd need M/E 4 to match A/E.

There is this example, though.
During the computer reprogramming phase, specific programs may be removed from the computer and others inserted. To continue the example above, both jump-1 and navigation would be required for the performance of an interstellar jump. Both programs would be fed into into the computer during the reprogramming phase, but only after sufficient space had been cleared (perhaps by removing the maneuver and auto-evade programs).

Which implies that you need both.

Everything to me points to have to run both Maneuver and Auto/Evade, but curious if others agree with that.
If you want to maneuver and auto/evade then yes you need both running.

But there is always the option of running the auto/evade program by itself and not changing your vector...
If you want to maneuver and auto/evade then yes you need both running.

But there is always the option of running the auto/evade program by itself and not changing your vector...
but wouldn't evading be changing the vector? i.e., jinxing is changing your direction though it may return to the original vector. unless you just slow down/speed up, in which case you are travelling in a straight line so no evading that I can see
Well it would suggest that if you're evading you are, indeed, maneuvering, even if slightly, but the Maneuver program may jsut be what makes the pilots yoke work in the first place.
Maneuver program enables control of the maneuver drive output (kind of required).
Auto Evade program gets stacked on top of the Maneuver program to enable Auto Evade to provide the inputs for an evasive course, rather than having the pilot do them manually.

Basically, the Maneuver program is a pre-req for any other evasive programs.
Auto Evade =may= only operate the attitude control system, producing random 'jitter' along the established vector while Maneuver/Evade does operate the M-drive. So the authors may have been thinking that players could choose to give up the ability to change their vector in any meaningful way in exchange for the -2 DM from Auto Evade.
I had not considered that you could use A/E alone and get the benefit without Maneuver.
I did, and rejected it. If you want to maneuver, you need Maneuver or Maneuver/Evade. If you want to use AutoEvade, I'm NOT letting you maneuver. Which is what makes the Maneuver/Evade worthwhile, IMO.

But, I've not used the programming rules in over 20 years... ;)
The way I understood it is that "maneuvering" (and "use of the maneuver drive") means deliberate course change, specifically applying acceleration during the movement phase. Maneuver let's you do that. Auto/evade jiggles you around, but allows no deliberate course changes.

So you can run Maneuver alone without the evasion DM.
Or you can run Auto/evade alone for the evasion DM, but no acceleration during movement phase.
Or you can run both, at the cost of 2 "computer space".
Or you can run Maneuver/evade with space requirements depending on version.

Looking at the costs for M/e 1-6, my interpretation would be a bit more differentiated than "it's expensive":

Maneuver/evade 1 - space 1, 1 MCr, DM -1/4 pilot
This is useful for very good pilots (4+) with small computers.
Maneuver/evade 2 - space 2, 2 MCr, DM -1/2 pilot
Useful only for extremely good pilots (6+), but relatively inexpensive.
Maneuver/evade 3 - space 3, 3 MCr, DM -3/4 pilot
A straight upgrade if you have the space, cash, and a very good pilot (4+).
Maneuver/evade 4 - space 4, 4 MCr, DM -pilot
Significantly better than Maneuver + Auto/evade for a good pilot (3+), if you can afford it.
Maneuver/evade 5 - space 2, 5 MCr, DM -pilot
As good as M/e 4 but at the space of M+A/e! As long as you have the cash.
Maneuver/evade 6 - space 3, 6 MCr, DM -5
Significantly better than M+A/e for any pilot, at the cost of some space and a lot of money.

The above is all just compared to the combination of Maneuver and Auto/evade. As to the question whether you should be able to run Auto/evade without Maneuver, I would say yes, just going by the word of the book. Rationale:
  • Auto/evade does not allow course changes. This is made clear by the example, where it is used together with Maneuver.
  • Maneuver/evade allows course changes. This is implied by its name, the description of Maneuver ("often replaced by Maneuver/evade"), and the fact that otherwise M/e 1 would be useless.
  • So the phrase "use of the maneuver drive as required" in the description of Maneuver/evade does not necessarily refer to a mechanical requirement to use the drive for evasion. It may simply refer to the player's requirement to use it during the movement phase.
  • The description of Auto/evade makes no mention of a requirement. Requirements in other descriptions are made very explicit (e.g. Launch, Multi-target, Return fire).
I don't see why not. Eveding are minimal movements to difficult hitting it, but the general course of ths ship may me modified (maneuer).
The description of Auto/evade makes no mention of a requirement.

But it's described as "similar to maneuverlevade, but performs at a lower level". So, As I understand it, it is as amy Maneuver/evade but with a fixed (I won't say lower, as it may even be higher) DM, but I don't see any reason it should not allow the use of the MD as required too, as any of them.

Of course, that's my interpretation, and YMMV...

I would not allow in any case to perform delicate maneuvers (as docking), though...
But [Auto/evade] is described as "similar to maneuver/evade, but performs at a lower level". So, As I understand it, it is as any Maneuver/evade but with a fixed [...] DM, but I don't see any reason it should not allow the use of the MD [for course changes], as any of them.

Auto/evade cannot allow regular maneuvering (course change during the movement phase) because then the example would be nonsensical (you would never combine it with Maneuver in combat).

It is worth noting, that the phrasing "similar to ..., but ..." does not necessarily mean "exactly the same as ..., except for ...". So the similarity of A/e to M/e may well mean that they perfom the same obvious function, evasion, while differing in the fact that one replaces Maneuver and the other does not.
Efficiency would have both programmes drawing from a single set of instructions regarding manoeuvring, rather than duplicating them.
I think the rules for Mayday shed some light on the intent behind these rules: iirc, in Mayday using auto/evade precludes changing your vector. Maneuver/evade permits doing both, but at 1G less than the ship's capability.

My take on it is that using auto/evade doesn't let you maneuver, but maneuver/evade does; I'd go so far as to say that A/E replaces Maneuver when it's running. Otherwise there's vanishingly few times M/E 1 or 2 are of any benefit at all, despite being much more expensive.

I love puzzling over this stuff but then I go running back to the arms of High Guard...
I'm on the no maneuver side of the interpretation.

I do think Auto/Evade has benefit to run during even no maneuver periods, as a means to avoid space rocks/debris and as an auto defense even if the crew is not at alert, along with Return Fire.
So A/E is a computer program that introduces 'random' minor course/attitude adjustments to the ships vector.

A program.

Manually inputted vector/course changes just pause the program, execute the manual adjustments, and resume the program after they are executed.

That's how I've always interpreted how it works. Just adding another level of randomness to the flight path.