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SN I and II ?


Clan Elder 'Keen

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I'd like some background as well. I played in SN1 for the first 15 turns and dropped out. It started around 1986 if memory serves. I seem to recall that in that game the economics were a bit of a problem. You had a limited stockpile of raw resources to mine from a given planet (unlike the continuously renewing stockpiles you have in SNROTE). So you had to colonize aggressively right from the get go or you had no production after about 20 turns. I quit because I went all military and conquered someone's homeworld on turn 10, but I realized that I had 2 planets with rapidly diminishing resources and I had made no effort to colonize. Having the 2 planets meant I needed to actually supply raw materials for both industrial bases, meaning that I needed double the colonization effort to keep afloat. The research system was also different. You didn't use your RC's to research specific techs. Instead, you researched tech areas, and different combinations of points in different areas would yield specific tech advances. Sort of like the way it works in Master of Orion. As I recall, in that game you also gained no tech advantage from conquering player homeworlds. I'd kind of like to know how long that game lasted.

 

- woolfe

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I played SuperNova I until SuperNova II came out. That was when Pete and Russ moved to Broomfield Colorado which is where I was living at the time. I was one of those who lobbied for the fighter option since at the time Battlestar Galactica was airing on television. Also, drones were used quite frequently in StarMaster which came out before SuperNova (Designed by Schubel & Son). The drones seemed like a natural fit as well. After I had read the rules about ship targeting I realized that building thousands of tiny ships instead of 1 big ship was the way to go...a sort of rules exploit. Each ship could only target one other ship per combat round (or more with better sensors / computers) which meant that each round I would lose a few shiips but the rest would be unharmed and able to fight at full strength. If each had a pulse laser for example and each was able to choose it's own target I could effectively eliminate larger ships through attrition. If I remember right there was also a limit on the length of combat...15 rounds or so. The battle did not always end with one side completely victorious. The descriptions were very detailed which made it even easier to exploit this loophole. I only played SuperNova II for a few turns though since most of my friends did not carry over to the new game and my finances back then were scarce. Still, I loved the game and loved the player interaction. I also find that people that I would assume would have no interest in the game are fascinated when I start talking about it and want to know more. It is an easy sell except for the cost. Of course, we all realize that the game could not exist without the associated cost so we pay...happily.

 

Which brings me to another point. What if you charged by the order with a minimum of $6. If each order costs .15 then you would get 40 orders for $6 but would only have to spend a few cents more for those extra orders (I have run out of things to ANZ).

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I did try to get into SN II but had no PC at the time and never got into the game, which seemed both unintelligible and cliquey.

 

Also I didn’t like having to choose a particular race, wanting to design my own.

 

I am sure it would have been good had I got over the initial problems.

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SN II worked on a $6.00 turn just like now. The turns sheets had 3 parts which consisted of construction orders (15?), movement action type orders (8) and special orders (4). There was also the option for a 1/2 order sheet for $3.00 the I liked a bit.

 

The universe was set up in regions with a new region opening up alot like victory games. Each player was limited to 2 positions and the galaxy was layed out in a 3D grid that was +/- 26 on the X & Y and +/- 4 on the Z axis. Each grid intersection was a distinct location and you could travel to these grid locations. The game basically worked as follows;

 

build ships

find neighbor/neutral

attack

find next neighbor

attack

etc..

 

 

The economy was set up so you not only had to have resources of heavy raw materials HRM and light raw mateials LRM, but you also nad money in the form of Mega Credits, MCR's. The LRM and HRM were converted to IOP Industrial Output Product and this was what was used to build stuff. You needed to set up a trading colony to make money. Each planet had a buy and sell price and an amount available or needed for the various resources. Most of the money was made by having a colony on an ocean world and moving water to a desert world. You also needed to build freighters to collect HRM and LRM from colonies and asteroid fields or your planet would run out.

 

There were a dozen or so diffeent lifeforms and you just picked on and went with it. THere were also 4 different tech brances, hot, cold, chemical and transmutation. These were alrady assigned to lifeform. Each tech type had it's good stuff and bad as you can imagine. Ships were a tech that you could get so you had to have a given tech level to buld bigger ships. For research you had apool of points that you would divide up into about 16 different areas as you saw fit, this was predicated by your tech type. As you gat the minimum total in all the required elements of research you would get an advance. These included better troopsm better industries, weapons and bigger ship classes.

 

Ship desgn was based on the idea that you had minimum % of certain elements to be that class of ship. FX a warship my have required 5% thrusters minimum or something.

 

The problem with SNII was that you couldn't defend. There were no choke points and once your homeworld skys were cleared you were dead. You could be found and destroyed before you even knew about it.

 

It also seemed much easier to be outspent by a player with deeper pockets

 

:P

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Except BSE is not really an empire building game. For instance you start as a starfleet captain not a ruler of an empire. There are races and empires in BSE but as I recall they are made up of groups of many players and a great many "positions". It is very "2 dimensional" though, with each system laid out on a X-Y chart.

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I played SN II in 1992/1993.

I think Pete and Russ licensed it to the PBM express in Holland, where I played it.

Many Germans and Dutch players were involved.

 

Besides some remarks already made (like having to trade within your empire to generate money, that could also be used to advance research), there are a few other things I remember:

 

- Everyone was in a XYZ box of 61-61-9 spaces, so it was relatively easy to identify where everybody was located. You could fly anywhere, with difficulty of being detected and that made defense almost impossible.

The usage of warp points in SN:ROTE is much better: you do not know where you are relative to anyone else untill you meet someone. Also, knowing where someone is doesn't mean that you can go there easily. You still have to SURV your way in, like in a maze. In SN II moving in was so much simpler.

 

- In SN II you could give "random" free text orders. I once swung a neutral with Fire Dragons by placing dried spunges and nitroglycerine on the surface of their homeworld for a celebration after trying all the usual diplomacy stuff. This free text approach was awarded by the GM's by letting the neutral join as an ally!

 

- In battles, the power was swung too much towards having drones and fighters. All other weapons were mostly useless against them, unless have your fleet would exists of point defense weapons. I hope it will be different in SN:ROTE.

 

- There was only initial attrition on planets. A big chunk would be lost usually, but after that every colonist that survived landing would stay and new borns didn't suffer attrition either. Not very realistic, but it was easier to do. No need to keep on shipping in colonists to hostile planets just to keep production going.

 

Kind regards,

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