Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

How to Guide- Financials

Postby BigJKU316 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:54 pm

1. I want/need more money! How do I get it.

Well, there are three answers to this question.

A. You can sell something to another player, ships, industrial production, technology, worlds ect. Negotiate the terms and let me know and I will add it to your income.

B. You can raise taxes. On the Income and Expense Spreadsheet you can change the tax rate from anywhere from 1% to 100%. However this has effects on other things in the game. If taxes get too high population can start to shrink, planets can revolt and all sorts of bad things can happen. If the government dumps 100% of the GDP into military spending then people will starve to death. To do this simply adjust the percentage in the cell labeled tax rate.

C. You can borrow money. There are two ways to do this. You can borrow internally...you can do this to a nearly unlimited number but your interest rate will rise as you borrow a greater precentage of your annual GDP. Be warned, if you can't service your debt your government will collapse under the financial weight and go into a transitional phase for a number of years.

You can also borrow from other players. Again, just send me the terms. It should include an interest rate and a repayment schedule. An example of what you might put in your turn orders would be "We are loaning the Romulans 2,000,0000 credits at a rate of 7% to be repayed 500,000 credits each year plus interest." It will be added to your sheet for the next turn. Your cash account will be reduced to fund the loan. Several things to note. The Admin will NOT force other players to pay you back. If they elect to default it is up to you to do something about it. Also, if you default on foreign debt be prepared to watch your internal debt interest rate go up.

2. What is the difference between my excess and shortage in a given year and my cash reserve?

Cash reserve (cell b-57 on the income sheet) is a running total of excesses and shortages carried from year to year. If you run an excess in one year and just leave it there it will sit there, waiting to be used the next year. Then if you run a shortage the following year the system will first deduct from your cash reserves on had, before calculating what you must borrow to implement your spending program.

3. How do I pay loans back?

Simply enter the number into column E (Additional Principal Payment) and this will be deducted from the balance next turn. There are no pre-payment penalties on any debt, foreign or domestic. Interst expense is automatically calculated and added to your budget.

4. Why would I want to borrow, Dave Ramsey says that is bad after all...

1st, Ramsey is an idiot. 2nd, things like new ships, expanded shipyard capacity and raising ground troops for invasions and to repel them is expensive. You likely will need to borrow from time to time as you pay all the cost up front, even if the ship you are creating will take 7 years to design and build the first copy of.

You can certainly manage things out of your cash and taxes alone, but most players will from time to time need to borrow. In times of war it is likely you will borrow heavily as troops are chewed up rapidly. Finally, one more note of caution. When you are borrowing to finance a war, if you start losing, expect your interest rates to rise. This happened historically and will happen here. Dead people can't pay me back, so I get more money to lend them mine.
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How to Guide- Systems

Postby BigJKU316 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:01 pm

1. What is the difference between a major/minor system?

Two things, major systems have orbital installations for game purposes and can raise ground troops. They can also be fortified.

Also they have the majority of your people and thus are responsible for the majority of your income. That makes them major targets.

2. Can I change my major systems?

Yes, but you must remove one to add a new one and you must go to the Bases and Ground troops screen and construct a new starbase at your new major system. Anything at the old system other than troops gets demolished (sorry but it is for bookkeeping purposes).

3. What do all the numbers mean for the military?

It simply subtracts the number of people you need to support your fleet and army from your income producing population.

4. Can I defend a minor system?

Yes, you can move ships and troops there if you desire. This will be covered in more detail in the military orders section of the how to.
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How to Guide- Starships Tab

Postby BigJKU316 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:03 pm

How to- Starships Tab

1. Can I do anything on this screen?

No, it is all informational.

2. What do the deployed, in refit/rebuild, in transit and in reserve mean?

Deployed and in transit ships are active ships and take a full expense to maintain. Ships in rebuild/refit take a partial expense but take 1 year for the refit to occur. There are several reasons to refit ships. If you want to upgrade ships (more covered in the R&D how to) you have to rebuild them. If a ship is damaged it goes into refit/rebuild as well.

Ships in reserve are mothballed ships. They have no crew and are maintained for later use at a much-reduced expense. This allows you to maintain a much larger fleet on a given budget, but it does take one year to activate reserve ships to active status.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby BigJKU316 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:04 pm

How to- Fleet Tab

1. Can I have more than 10 Fleets?

No, the sheet gets too long to be useable.

2. Can I split my 10 Fleets into task force?

Yes, under the following restrictions. You must split the fleet evenly. This means if you have 3 task forces each one comprises a third of each ship type. (Again, this is for ease of managing the game.) You can split up as many times as you like and assign each task force its own set of orders under the larger fleet structure.

3. Can you give an example?

Sure, say I split my 1st Fleet into 5 task forces. I can give the following order.

"1st Fleet is to patrol the Romulan Border between planet X and planet Y. Task forces 1 and 2 are assigned to patrol duty. Task forces 3, 4 and 4 are held in reserve at planet Z. In the event of an isolated raid the patrolling task forces can engage the enemy if victory is likely. In the face of a large incursion they are to fall back towards planet Z which is to be held by 1st Fleet at all cost."

By doing this you can effectively have unlimited numbers of forces out in space, just remember the more scattered they get you run the risk of defeat in detail.

4. How should I deploy my forces?

This is a much trickier question. A couple of general rules.

A. Remember, your fleets do more than just attack people. There are pirates and other assorted nasty things in space. If you send everyone to on small part of your empire be prepared for bad things to happen in the part of the house you are not watching. Non-player empires will stay pretty passive unless you just ignore them all-together, in which case they might well take advantage.

B. Think about the geometry of things a bit. If you push all your forces right up to the border and your enemy finds a hole to either pass through or blow through you might not catch them until they have flattened your capital world. Try to keep in mind that you need space to move and counter an enemy incursion. Much like American football, if everyone is on the line all you need is one hole to get a TD.

C. Keep in mind the relative value of certain worlds. Some you must hold at all cost. Others not so much. While I just said you can't concentrate everywhere remember what Napoleon said when shown a plan to distribute troops evenly across the frontiers of France. "Is the plan to stop smugglers?" You likely can't be everywhere in force.

5. What does it mean to re-assign a ship?

This places a ship in transit so you can deploy it to another fleet and is one of two ways to transfer ships. You can transfer single units by using the transfer function, which takes 1 year to re-deploy the ship in its new fleet, or you can co-locate two fleets and handwrite your transfer orders for immediate effect (once you move to that spot at least). You can also transfer a whole task force by ordering it to move to another fleet. You cannot transfer single ships from a task force provided you are within one turns travel distance(again a bookkeeping thing).

6. How is maximum speed calculated?

It is the speed of the slowest ship in the fleet. You cannot leave it behind. If you don't want the class there move it somewhere else or put it in reserve.

7. How do I figure out how long it takes to get somewhere?

There is a scale on the map. In your orders if you want to go somewhere you are not you must estimate the distance in LY's to where you want to go AND use the DITL calculator to compute the time of travel at your max warp speed (unless you want to go slower). You must list both the distance and time to travel in movement orders.

For regular, non-critical movements I will probably just eyeball things and go ahead and do it.

For more crucial wartime orders I will probably re-calculate myself and if it is way off (ie I think you are openly trying to cheat which makes my life more difficult as I have to check all your stuff) then bad things might happen to that fleet (ie it might run over a big chunk of Quantum something or run into a wormhole and end up slumming it with the Kazon).

8. How do I invade another planet?

This is pretty simple. First you have to get your fleet on a planet with troops. You then specify in your orders to transport X number of troops for the invasion of Planet Y. Calculate your arrival and off you go. A few things to note.

Your invasions fleets will go straight to the target. They will fight as normal if engaged and if defeated in a space battle all your transports will get wiped out. If successful they will continue to the target.

It is not necessary to build troop transports. The solution to this is handwavium but it makes things work. They just ride along with the Fleet in some way or another. Does it makes sense? Not really but then again the Allies planned to invade Cardassia Prime and there was not a transport in sight. Plus it makes our lives simpler in the game.
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How To- Shipyards

Postby BigJKU316 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:28 pm

How to- Shipyards

1. What do all these numbers mean?

To keep it simple, focus on column B. Almost all player important information is here.

Next to each class is a number in "Desired Annual Production". This is the number you get that year and each year you don't change it.

Next to that is the mass of each ship and the number of years that production line has been running at its present number of units. When you increase the number of units by more than double that a line is producing this goes back to 1. That is important later.

Time to Build and Number under construction are numbers more for me than for you. It represents the effort being put in to running that line. When a production line is new or expanding it does not operate efficiently. New people, new machine tools and new sources of material must be found and this increases the cost. See the Boeing 787 or Airbus A380 for reference. These numbers represent that effort and play a role in the cost.

KT/YR is the total amount of construction done per year on the line and is again a cost factor.

Active/New is a selector for me that determines if the line is active or new. Establishing new lines is very very expensive. You have to build all the machine tools and train everyone from scratch. A line is only considered new once. So long as it keeps running, it is never new again, it just increases or decreases in production.

Annual Cost is simply the annual cost, figured on the basis of what you are building and how efficient you are at doing it.

2. So I can jump straight into rolling ships off the line in year 1?

Yes, part of the R&D cost is starting the first production line. You then pay to activate the line once your new ship enters service. The assumption is that your yards are operating on a brute force solution. When they want more production rather than doing it slowly and efficiently they simply throw more bodies, money and resources at the problem right now until they produce what you tell them to.

3. Can I produce more than 10 designs at any one time? Or Different designs at different yards?

No, 10 per empire is the max.

4. How do I add or change a line of production?

New lines are added when R&D is completed. Simply let me know which design you will drop, if any, from your available options.

To change a line simply adjust the desired annual production number.

5. What limits my production?

First and foremost, money.

But beyond that you are directly limited by the KT/YR capacity of each shipyard. You can increase this by adding to the maximum production in the Capacity to Add column of each shipyard. This is very expensive.

You also have a unit limit per year per yard. This is reflected in the unit limit per year column for each shipyard. When not under blockade these numbers are pooled empire wide. Watch for imbalances here because if you produce just a handful of large units somewhere and a ton of small units other places you run the risk of having a blockade drastically cut your production.

6. Who setup the production as it starts?

Me, and I just made it up with a best guess sort of way.
Last edited by BigJKU316 on Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby BigJKU316 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:47 pm

How To- R&D

1. I want to design a new ship, where do I start?

First, before you come here, go to the DITL ship calculator and design what you think you want. Don't delete it as you might make changes once you see the cost.

Input the numbers you want for everything but mass all the way down through B-21. Now you can play with the mass number to optimize the cost of your ship. Higher mass lowers the cost of higher firepower and shields but raises the cost of speed and overall integration of the ship. Once you have something you are happy with make sure it matches the DITL report and then leave the R&D section with the same numbers. Send the spreadsheet to me at the end of the turn and the clock starts on your new ship design.

2. This seems expensive, what do I get at the end of this?

At the end of the process you get 1 ship, the prototype, and the ability to start mass production. However, if you lose the prototype in action before mass production begins you will be delayed in production.

3. How do I design new weapons?

Weapons are very simple. You simply upgrade your ROF for torpedo tubes or your max TJ per array/bank on beam weapons. It spits out a time and then after it passes I change the number. The advantage is this lowers your integration cost greatly. It is much simpler to have a ship with 10 more powerful phasers than one with 20 less powerful models.

4. What are special development projects?

You want a trilithium torpedo? This is where you ask for it. Cloaking devices ect. Anything you can think of. It is free form. I quote you a price and timetable. You can ask for a Deathstar if you really want it or a transporter that could move a planet. Now the cost I quote and the timeframe will be hundreds or thousands of years. But you can always ask.

5. What is the technology locker?

This is where you get a list of special weapons and techs you possess. Cloaking devices, WMD, special torpedoes are all listed here as well as the terms of their use.

6. Is this sheet the final word on cost?

Sadly no. This is by far the hardest part of the sheet to program. It is almost assured that I will find errors in it that can be exploited, as will you. I reserve the right to arbitrarily adjust the cost of any project you come up with, as well as to change the sheet at any time in the game to handle new things we come across.
To put it in perspective determining the cost of going warp 9.8 for a ship with a mass of X and a previous largest mass of Y and a previous best speed of Z has about 15 different IF commands running at once. Determining how they all interact takes some time and will be refined as we go. I probably spent a whole day on this section and am still not happy with it.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby stitch626 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:03 pm

Big question, can we submit our spreadsheet for a lookover before the official entry?
At least this early in?

Also a question about the map: Whom does Gamma Hromi belong to? It is close to the Romulan border and is in a greenish area called the Hromi Cluster.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby BigJKU316 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:11 pm

stitch626 wrote:Big question, can we submit our spreadsheet for a lookover before the official entry?
At least this early in?

Also a question about the map: Whom does Gamma Hromi belong to? It is close to the Romulan border and is in a greenish area called the Hromi Cluster.


Gamma Hydrae is a Federation world, just outside the neutral zone.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby stitch626 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:28 pm

BigJKU316 wrote:
stitch626 wrote:Big question, can we submit our spreadsheet for a lookover before the official entry?
At least this early in?

Also a question about the map: Whom does Gamma Hromi belong to? It is close to the Romulan border and is in a greenish area called the Hromi Cluster.


Gamma Hydrae is a Federation world, just outside the neutral zone.

I'm asking about Gamma Hromi. Its just south of the 2150 on the Romulan border.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby BigJKU316 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:57 pm

stitch626 wrote:
BigJKU316 wrote:
stitch626 wrote:Big question, can we submit our spreadsheet for a lookover before the official entry?
At least this early in?

Also a question about the map: Whom does Gamma Hromi belong to? It is close to the Romulan border and is in a greenish area called the Hromi Cluster.


Gamma Hydrae is a Federation world, just outside the neutral zone.

I'm asking about Gamma Hromi. Its just south of the 2150 on the Romulan border.


Ahh, that is some independent power, imagine like the Vatican inside of Italy. I suppose you could talk to them but they are not going to take a dump without getting Federation permission.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby stitch626 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:34 am

Bummer, I was thinking it was one I owned... the color and all. :oops:

Also, you may have answered this, but can we deploy troops to our own worlds or do they stay in one place till needed?
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby Deepcrush » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:37 am

You can deploy them where ever you so please.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby BigJKU316 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:49 am

Deepcrush wrote:You can deploy them where ever you so please.


Yup, you just have to have a fleet drop them from a world they can be trained on.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby BigJKU316 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:42 pm

Proposed Turn Structure

Unless anyone objects I propose the following structure.

1. Turns are due weekly by Saturday morning, US time. This gives me a day and a half to look them over and hopefully get back to everyone by Monday night. Certainly you can turn things in sooner if you wish.

2. Here is how I propose to start this thing.

Turn 1 (Current Turn)- A setup turn during which no time passes.

Turn 2 (5-Year Turn)- Essentially you can use turn 1 to ramp up and setup your production. Turn 2 will then basically have everything multiplied by 5 and we will move ahead so as to allow people to create unique fleets for the game because that is half the fun.

Turn 3 (5-Year Turn)- Same concept, basically you can adjust what you were doing and plow ahead again. These two 5-year turns will basically allow one to turn over a good chunk of their fleet and really put their feel on their Empire. Plus it adds a lot more mystery to the game when dealing with other powers.

Turn 4 and on- Semi-Annual turns, ie 6 months. You do a budget every other turn.

If there is a major (ie multi-power) war- We can slow down to quarterly or even montly turns as is needed to manage things in the way you would all like. If we go to a montly structure we may increase the pace of each turn to twice a week turn in's since there would be no budget and really just military orders to move things along, especially if there are players no invovled in the war.
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Re: Star Trek Sim, Rules and Guidelines

Postby BigJKU316 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:14 am

Seem to be less questions today. If no one objects I say we shoot for this Saturday for our first turn submission.
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