Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby BigJKU316 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:37 pm

I will do this in a Q&A Format as it seems simplest. I will add to it as we move along.

1. What is the in game date?

Post Star Trek Nemesis, same as the data on this website. The reasoning for this is it gives us a list that is at least a starting point for putting together orders of battle. I am certainly open to debate on making some minor changes to things from here, but for the most part we would use the DITL numbers since it is a readily accessible and most importantly a comparable source among the various powers.

2. What is the game objective?

Short answer, whatever you decide it should be. The longer answer is your objective should be whatever your power would be looking to do in the Star Trek universe. For the Federation this is peace and security. You will answer to the Federation Council. If you start blowing apart sun's because the Ferengi got the best of you in a trade deal the Council will probably stop you from doing so. Now if you are the Klingon's, you probably can get away with it though other powers might decide you are a loose cannon and wipe you out before you ruin the whole galaxy.

3. Why would I want to play a power limited by Democratic Government?

Powers like the Federation and the reconstituted Cardassian Union do have to answer to legislative bodies. That does limit freedom of action to a degree. There are economic and production incentives to manages such a power though as they have far lower internal security cost and are more productive than other cultures. The Federation itself is economically large enough to simply bury the other powers in starships IF those powers continually provoke them.

4. Who decides what the council thinks?

For the most part the game manager. An example of something that could happen to you if you play the Federation is that say you submit to build nothing but huge battleships in a given year. The council will reject that plan and alter it to include things like science ships and explorers, probably in greater proportion than you might have had you submitted a balanced plan yourself.

Does this mean you can't build your battle fleet? No. You have to make a convincing argument to do so and present a plan that balances defense and the other missions of Starfleet. My desire is to never have to change something you do. The council in that respect is always "in session". All you have to do is ask and tell me why you think your proposal makes sense and it will probably be approved.

The only reason this exist is to keep the Federation from acting like the Galactic Empire.

Also, you will never have to defend military orders short of going to war (obviously). You can send your ships wherever you want to do whatever you want, short of starting a war.

5. Is there a map?

Yes, this was the hardest part of putting this together. For the moment the map will be the following.

Image

The reason for using this map, despite some flaws with cannon, is that it has lots of points that can be used to describe where things are. If someone has a better suggestion I am all for it and please make one here.

6. Is there exploration and colonization?


No, it is simply to time consuming to track for the benefit it provides. Your worlds will be set at the start of the game and your population will grow accordingly from there. There is simply no way a colony established in the game time frame would likely come to matter during the time we are playing. Exploration does occur but is abstracted in that it is simply an area to which you assign ships and from time to time it produces certain benefits for you.

7. Can I design my own ships?

Yes, performance is determined by the DITL ship builder. A calculator to figure the development cost and time frame is provided. It will also calculate cost and time to improve certain components like Phasers and Torpedo tubes.

8. How are ships managed?

All ships are assigned to a fleet. This is all automated through a spreadsheet function. For each fleet a list of all classes that the player could use is given. The player simply assigns a number from the total ships they have. Provisions for up to 10 Fleets per player have been made. The spreadsheet will calculate the power and max warp speed of the combined fleet for you. For perspective I set up the whole Federation Fleet (by far the largest due to having 47,000 classes it seemed) in 10 minutes.

The player then can move fleets and re-assign ships as they desire. The map provides distances between stars that can be estimated close enough for our purposes. DITL provides a calculator to tell us how long a movement will take.

9. Can I have carriers?

Since I know this will be asked let's address it now. No. Why? Because the accounting is too complicated. You have to account for fighters/shuttles for each carriers. Those have losses. They have to be replaced. It creates a nightmare of tracking and won't add much to the game so the answer is just no.

Fighters and Runabouts are simply tracked as being part of the fortifications of a given system. This might make some people mad but playability is more important than this.

10. Can I issue tactical orders to my fleets in battle, how are fleet battles resolved?

Yes, to an extent. You can't direct individual units to do certain things. You can direct your fleet commanders to say fight to the death and they will press on regardless of casualties. Or you can say order them to use say Miranda class ships to screen a withdrawl in the even they are losing, which would make the losses of those old ships high but preserve say your Akira and Nebula Class ships.

Battles will be resolved by rolling a 100-sided dice. The comparative combat power of each side is added, modification for orders are considered and each side gets their proportion. Say we have a fleet of 100,000 power vs one of 50,000 power with no particularly brilliant orders to modify it and it is a meeting engagement in empty space.

The 100,000 power fleet is the winner if the dice rolls 1-66. The 50,000 fleet is the winner if the dice shows 67-100. To add another layer to it if the 100,000 fleet rolls 13 or less (20% of their possible numbers) they have a major victory. If they roll 14-53 it would be a victory (60% of possible). 54-66 is a minor victory.

The 100 sided dice is then rolled again to determine damage. If you scored a major victory you destroy 50% and damage 80% of whatever the dice roll comes in at. So if it rolls a 60 then you would have destroyed 30% of the other fleets combat power and damaged 48% of it. Using the same dice roll your casualties are computed using a percentage based on the outcome to figure lost and damaged ships.

Final totals will be modified a bit up or down based again on your orders and other objective conditions. If you have a fleet of ships that max at Warp 8 and lost badly to a fleet with ships capable of warp 9.5 and the other side ordered their ships to pursue you to the end, they will do just that and your losses will be higher. If you are faster then your losses would be a bit lower than the die rolls would have allowed since you can get away.

11. How is diplomacy conducted?

Between players, simply copy the game admin on all exchanges that are not public so I know what is going on. If I don't see it, it is not official for obvious reasons. If you want to have a treaty with another power all you have to do is writeup the terms. Know this though, the game admin will not enforce treaty terms. Just like in real life there is no one that can make the other power follow through on their end of the deal but you.

12. Is there money?

Yes. I know the status of money in the Federation is...nebulous at best. But simply put we need a way in game to track economic activity and it is simpler to just assign everyone a generic currency unit with which to pay for everything. Feel free to call them credits or anything you want.

13. How does the Economy work?

There are four things the player does that makes a difference in income.

Your population grows, which increases your income naturally as each citizen produces a taxable income of some amount depending on the society they are in.

You can raise taxes. This is a simple %. If you need more money you can raise it but as in real life there are consequences for raising it too high so beware.

You can borrow money. Like any government today you can simply sell bonds to your own people. You pay interest each turn on the amount outstanding. The more you borrow, the more it cost. Easy way to get money quick, also easy way to bankrupt your empire. You can also borrow from other empires one whatever terms you can negotiate. Why would you do that? Well if you borrow at 7% and the Ferengi just have extra money laying around then they might loan you money at 5% (or if we have a good Ferengi player they would loan you money at 2% with an adjustable rate in 2 years to 17% and take a planet as collateral) but it is up to the two players involved.

Finally, you can sell things that you don't want to other players. This could be ships, planets, conquered people (or your own people as slaves I suppose). Whatever, again it is up to the two players.

14. How does ground combat work?

Ground combat is a very simple system as is raising an army. Each power can create a standing army if they choose or simply raise troops as needed from their population. Those troops are deployed to a fleet by order of the player. There are four grades of troops. Elite, Crack, Regulars and Militia. Elite troops are 4 times as powerful as regular troops. Crack troops are worth 2 times regular troops. Militia are worth one fourth of regular troops.

Combat is resolved by the same die roll system as fleets based on the relative power of each ground force except there is no damage round for the loser. You either win or loose and the loser is wiped out. The winner takes casualties as proscribed before in the damage round for fleets, with no modifier.

15. Can I play the Borg or Dominion

Initially, no. The Borg are not likely to ever be a player race. They occur like a natural disaster for the most part. Each turn there is a chance that they show up in one form or another. How the player/players deal with it is up to them.

The Dominion, maybe. If the game develops well and there is a good reason then they will be made active and we will seek a player.

16. What Empires are open to play?


Initially the following.

The Federation
The Romulan Star Empire
Klingon Empire
Cardassian Union
Ferengi Alliance
Breen

As I said before I am open to other races (Tholians, Gorn, Shelliak) but we need to fill the other spots first and would have to as a group agree to just what exactly these races have. There is also the major issue that they fall off the map that I have found, though that is something we could work around if necessary.

My hope is people can just resolve who is playing which power by discussion.

17. How much time will this take?

My guess, if there is not a ton of diplomacy and war is less than 30 minutes once a week. If you want to be more active then more power to you. Obviously if you are conducting major military operations you might get busier, especially if you are particular about things. However don't worry about having to do that just to play. Your fleets will react well enough based on even the simplest of orders such as defend the Romulan border from system X to system Y so if you want to take that approach you can.

If you want to write orders splitting your fleet into three parts, with elaborate covering movements, feints and other such things then feel free as well. The more you put in, the more you will get out of it but if your opponents orders say 1st fleet stays at Earth period they will just ignore you and sit there.
Last edited by BigJKU316 on Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Getting Started

Postby BigJKU316 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:11 pm

1. How will the turns be structured?

The first turn is the setup turn (shocking I know). It likely is the most time intensive of the turns as you have to decide how to deploy yourself across your empire. Each player will be provided with the following.

1. The Map, as listed above which shows the planets in your control.
2. A list of the number of space stations, shipyards and other such things you can scatter across your Empire.
3. A spreadsheet which makes all the accounting for this very simple.

A spreadsheet key so you know what you are looking at.

Grey Cells- The vast majority of cells are grey. That means it is calculated for you and you need not input anything.

Yellow Cells- These are admin cells. I will enter the necessary information into this for you prior to each turn.

Red Cells- Player cells. These are the areas that let you control things. While the overall sheet is large to display info for you there are not nearly as many red cells and many of those that exist in the setup turn will become yellow in subsequent turns reducing your work even further.

Player task are fairly simple.

1. On the tab labeled "Systems" You need to pick your major systems. Capital's and secondary homeworlds (more on this below) are already picked for you. Your job from there is to assign systems in a way to support your fleet operations. The definition of a major system in the game is one that has a major orbital installation that can support fleet operations. There is a balancing act. If you want to invade someone you need a jumping off point close to them. But the closer it is the more at risk it is as well. Put everything well back and you will be safe but have trouble projecting power. Do the opposite and someone might overrun your frontier and romp straight to your capital system.

All you have to do is find the name on the star chart and add it to the systems list in the spread sheet. Population is automatically distributed for you and everything else is calculated. Everything not on a major system is considered to be a minor system. Very simply this is the rest of your non-military population divided by an estimate of the total number of worlds in your sphere of influence. Minor systems produce income and nothing else. As you lose control of your empire in battle it gives a basis on which to reduce population size as well.

Again, for all this all you have to do is select the stars you wish to make major fixtures of your empire.

2. Deploy your Fleet. The hardest part is already done here. You can see an overview of your fleet on the tab "Starships". This list every starship class at your disposal, its status as well as giving you a snapshot of your various fleets and a list of ships being built. All the player has to do is decide where they are going. To do that you go to the tab "Fleets".

You will see each fleet auto-filled for you with the ship classes at your disposal. You can do a number of things with each fleet.

a. You can name it whatever you want. By default they are listed 1st through 10th fleet. If you wish to be more creative feel free to go all Soviet and rename your fleets the 1st Red Banner Imperial Guard Galactic Armada. It is up to you.

b. You can deploy your fleet whever you want within your territory. Simply list the star system you wish to deploy it.

c. You MUST pick a logistical base for the fleet. A drop down menu will allow you to select any of the major systems that can support a fleet. This is important because any damaged ships go here for repairs. You also MUST depart from here if you are taking troops to invade another planet.

d. You can deploy whatever mix of ships you wish within the fleet. The sheet will figure their combined firepower and will figure a maximum warp speed for the fleet (ie the speed of the slowest ship).

e. Finally you can send to refit (more on this later) any ship or you can transfer ships to another fleet. This is the automated way to transfer units. The other way is to co-locate (ie fly them to the same system) the ships and then transfer them.

All of this is done by simply entering a number of units into a given cell. Again, much of this sheet will go from Red Cells to Yellow Cells after the 1st turn.

3. Evaluate your shipyards. Your building programs underway are set for you based on my best estimates. You can modify them pretty simply, as well as expand production lines and add new ones within the following limits.

a. You may not produce more than 10 ship types. Period. I am pointing at you Starfleet. If you hit 10 and want to build something new you must shut down an old line of production. There are limits to each shipyards tonnage capacity AND limits on the absolute number of units your empire can build in a year (this is driven by warp core and weapons production limits calculated for you). One thing to remember, your shipyards each have a share of your warp core and weapon production. If everything is running as normal they can ship this stuff around. If you lose a system or it gets blockaded it can still build ship but cannot get any warp cores or weapons it was importing or exporting. BALANCE YOUR SHIP PRODUCTION ACCORDINGLY!

b. Once production is started it runs at that level every year until it is stopped. When it is stopped you lose all ships in progress (this is to capture the expense of shutting down the line). If you run out of money and have to slow your shipbuilding you have to pay again to bring it back up to speed.

c. You pay a price to establish a line based on the ship and number you want per year. You may no more than double this in any following year. It is cheapest overall if you want to build 12 Sovereigns at Earth to just pay it all up front. You can start with as few as 1 per year and work your way up. It will be more expensive but it will reduce your initial cost. Establishing and expanding lines of production is very expensive. This is by design. In a universe where many things can be replicated the primary cost driver is setting up the infrastructure to assmble and machine the parts of the ship together. Once your line is established building ships is not terribly expensive if you leave them alone. Cost reduce substantially each year production continues at a set rate.

d. If you want to expand a ship yard you simply input the additional tons you wish to be able to build in the correct cell for the shipyard. The cost is calculated for you. Again, this is very expensive by design.

Again, all of this is calculated for you. All you have to do is input the number of ships you want per year and any increase you wish to have in your capacity. 90% of the work is done for you.

4. Research and Development- So you want to build your dream ship huh? Well this is where you go to do it. Be warned though. It is very expensive and can take a long time if you want to make huge leaps from where your tech currently sits. The setup is fairly self explanitory though you do need to make use of the DITL ship calculator to figure your strengths.

Your current max numbers are listed in each column. Simply input the numbers you used to create your ship in the DITL calculator and it will spit out a cost. Adjust the mass of the ship to try and acheive an optimum size. The basic factor at play here is this. More mass makes it cheaper to have more weapons and shields but more expensive to acheive high speeds. Finding the right balance is crucial. There is nothing stopping you from making a 150 ton ship that can outfight a GCS in a straight up fight. But it will take you 111 years to do the R&D on it.

You can also upgrade your torpedo and beam weapons here. Very simple system.

Free form R&D is handled on an as requested basis. Type in what you want and I will quote you a price or say it can't be done. On all R&D, ships included, I reserve the right to simply veto a design. This is a very difficult module to put together so if someone finds an exploit where some of the many formulas running in the background produce a strange result I will just congratulate you and make the necessary corrections.

5. Set up your starbases and ground forces. All your major systems will import themselves over to this list. It is as simple as it looks. You will be given a list of starbases you have been allotted. You assign them as you please to each system. You set the fortification level for each system and then you set a number of ground forces present on each system. Later if you want to build more starbases or troops that is listed below.

For the purpose of the game there are 4 starbase types.

Starbase 74 Equivilants- Big Boys, everyone has one or just a couple of these.
Spacedock Equivilants- Still big, everyone has a few more of these.
Starbase 375 Equivilants- Smallest Starbase that can provide fleet maintenence.
Deep Space 9 Equivilant- Fleets can operate from here but ships cannot be repaired or refitted here. Higher defensive value than 375.



Once you run through that setup the economics will pretty much run themselves and the turn to turn stuff is easy. To finish your budget you simple go back to the "income/expense" sheet, and see where you stand. If you don't have enough money you can raise taxes or borrow enough to make ends meet, either internally or from another player. Or you can cut back your expenses. Or some combination of the three.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby Lt. Staplic » Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:17 pm

maybe it's just me but I thought this map is a little clustered with all of those system, starbases, ships lost, ect.

I did find this map it's not as complete on the non-Federation powers, but I would be willing to use my paint program to add some more systems to them off of the origional.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby Deepcrush » Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:41 pm

Agreed, that first map is VERY clustered. A lighter map where we could always add worlds to would be a lot easier to start with.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby BigJKU316 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:40 pm

Lt. Staplic wrote:maybe it's just me but I thought this map is a little clustered with all of those system, starbases, ships lost, ect.

I did find this map it's not as complete on the non-Federation powers, but I would be willing to use my paint program to add some more systems to them off of the origional.


That works. I will add some worlds but I am just going to give them numbers. You guys can name the added worlds in your empires if that is acceptable to everyone.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby Deepcrush » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:42 pm

I think thats a good idea. Give each empire a more personal feel.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby Tsukiyumi » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:32 pm

Sounds good. That map is pretty cool, other than the questionable sizes of certain empires (The Gorn in particular).

Where'd you find that, Staplic?
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby Lt. Staplic » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:20 pm

i did a google search of Star Trek Universe Map
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby Deepcrush » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:23 pm

God bless Google. :laughroll:
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby BigJKU316 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:03 am

First round of reports are out. We will take our time in turn 1 so everyone knows how to work things. I will post more rules and guides tomorrow. I am wiped out today.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby Deepcrush » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:21 am

Not a shock, you put a lot into this. Should we think about maybe a turn per week to start? That would give everyone time to work things out.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby BigJKU316 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:30 am

Deepcrush wrote:Not a shock, you put a lot into this. Should we think about maybe a turn per week to start? That would give everyone time to work things out.


Eventually yeah, that is about as fast as diplomacy can move. What will adjust is the time scale. Right now it will be 1 year per turn to let everyone put their fleets in order and create some differentiation from the series (DITL) numbers and types. If a major war comes we probably go to quarterly turns (3 months) and only have to do spreadsheets every 4 turns or so.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby stitch626 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:30 am

That would give me time just to read through my speadsheet. Its awesome. :)
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby BigJKU316 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:33 am

And FYI, when you are messing with shipyards you can basically ignore the numbers in under construction and years to build. You get whatever is in the annual column. Those columns represent waste and inefficiency in new lines of production and are for my purposes really. Your only concerns are cost and what you want. Just remember this rule of thumb, the longer you let a production line alone the more efficiently it will run.

This is intended to explain just why many powers would keep building the same thing. Namely, it is horridly expensive to tool up to build something new.

I will post a step-by-step guide to doing your turn tomorrow. I am just wiped out mentally tonight and don't want to make mistakes on it.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby Tsukiyumi » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:58 am

This is awesome, Big. Well done. :D

It's going to take me a bit to wrap my brain around using a spreadsheet again, but I'm working on it. I may have a few questions for you in a day or two...
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