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Orbiting Planets

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Toa Lewa
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This is just a crazy idea I had today for a space battle game. The goal of the game is to conquer planets. The board is arranged with planets orbiting a sun, and each of the planets can be on different orbit levels. Every two turns, the planets on the inner orbit are moved one space clockwise. Every four turns, the planets on the second orbit are moved one space clockwise. Every six turns, the planets on the outer orbit are moved one space clockwise. Utilizing this mechanic, the inner planets would move faster than the outer ones.

This would make battles very interesting since the "landscape" would be constantly changing, and the amount of moves to get to another planet would increase and decrease throughout the game.

larienna
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You mean something like
Toa Lewa
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Pretty much. But I was

Pretty much. But I was thinking of a circular board with ring sections. Once you hit an "orbit" event, you rotate one of the rings (this way all of the planets on the ring would move at once).

Did you already come up with a similar idea, or did you put that together really quickly as an example?

Nix_
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Space Rings

I had an idea like that years ago. My board looks impressive but right now it is just a roll and move game. Every once and a while I come back to it seeing if I can make it into a battle game or something of the kind.

http://www.bgdf.com/node/13597

The galaxy spaces can be randomized at the beginning of each game for this prototype.

zmobie
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Pick up and deliver.

I had a similar idea awhile back, but it was a pick up and deliver game, which would make route-planning pretty difficult. I had the board just show the inner planets full orbit, and the outer planets only had a small slice of their orbit shown, since they wouldn't move much compared to mercury's solar year.

larienna
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I had the same idea for one

I had the same idea for one of my game. I made some rotation tests with the prototype above and with another prototype because I wanted to see how I should setup the initial placement and how much should be the rotation increment to end up with an interesting clumpling of planets.

In my game, they rotate every turn. One of the problem I have to deal with is making is easy to rotate. Some rings will alwyas move at the same spot, sor I could place small dot showing the next location of the planet to make movement easier.

To prevent double move, each planet will have a unique number and they will move in number order.

questccg
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Hmm...

Toa Lewa wrote:
This would make battles very interesting since the "landscape" would be constantly changing, and the amount of moves to get to another planet would increase and decrease throughout the game.

I tend to disagree... Normally spaceship are in SPACE not always in orbit around a planet. If they were always in orbit your assumption might hold true. But in a space-oriented scenario, spaceships would spend naturally MORE time in space then they would in orbit... Because what are they doing when they go visit a planet? Gathering supplies? And then what do they do next?! They travel in space to a distant planet where they will drop off their supplies...

So I think the *moving* board would just get confused since it would be hard to have *normal* space motion which would be travelling between different planets. I agree that is not the sole purpose of space travel, you can explore parts of the galaxy and such (Science/Exploration)... But having planets ORBIT around a sun and not having any *regular* space to travel in, would be very unrealistic.

That's just my opinion.

questccg
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All this talk about space games...

Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXHfZ2RA2S4

What looks like a *old* game (graphically) is the basis of a real FUN game called "Star Control"...

Anyhow, I thought the Space Battles could maybe inspire *something*.

It is RANKED in the Top 15 games ever made: http://www.pcgamesn.com/eve/15-best-pc-space-games

I'm just *putting it out there*... :D

Note: My space game doesn't have a board... It is more like a TCG where there are *zones* for play ("Space Lane", "Upgrade Piles", "Recycle Pile", "Draw Pile", "Discard Pile", "Hand", etc.)

Nix_
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It is true that not including

It is true that not including movement in space may not be realistic, but it may be in the context of the game that the planets is where the action is happening. There doesn't seem to be a need to build in a lag movement between planets if all the battles are happening on planets. I think Toa's simplification could still work in a board game.

pelle
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scale

Rotating entire board sections sounds fiddly and prone to knocking things over and expensive to produce. Also if ships jump from planet to planet, what is the purpose of planets moving? If my fleet is on Earth and wants to move to Mars and Mars is on the other side of the Sun, do I have to wait for it to get closer? I guess I can't send the fleet out on a multi-turn journey, because then it would be affected by the rotating space boards. Other than that I think scale will become a problem if you want the game to make sense.

Consider our own solar system. Uranus needs almost 85 years to orbit the Sun. If Earth moves once every other turn, Uranus moves once every 170 turns. That's a long game for it to have any effect at all. (I'm assuming the number of sections is the same for all planets, because otherwise obviously you could move all planets with the same frequency and the outer planets would need more time anyway to orbit.)

And time scale. With today's technology the time it takes to move a spaceship to another planet is measured in years. I don't know how many sectors you have in mind, but if Earth need 5 turns to orbit the sun, a spaceship going for Mars will arrive in something like 10 turns. I don't want to count the time for the outer planets.

Of course if you make up some solar system with its own configuration and technology you can bend reality, but if you do so too much it wil not make any sense. You will probably scale up the speed of spaceships for instance, but can you find a scale that makes any sense when you consider varying distances and orbit times etc?

I would just assume the game is over so quickly planets have not much time to move. Moving planets (or rotating boards) seem a bit gimmicky. Of course you could have planet tiles that can be placed in different configurations to set up different scenarios, that would actually be useful.

larienna
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Quote:So I think the *moving*

Quote:
So I think the *moving* board would just get confused since it would be hard to have *normal* space motion which would be travelling between different planets.

I'll talk for what I intend to use in my game.

http://bgd.lariennalibrary.com/index.php?n=GameIdea.GameIdea201004260825PM

In my game, you move from planet to planet in a turn. If a planet is beyond your maximum range, you cannot reach it, period. When everybody played their turn, the planets moves.

There is between 8-15 planets to move each turn. They each move a fixed amount of hexes. By doing so it similate the fact that outer ring planets revolve slower than the inner rings

So you get in situation where 2 planets could be in range of each other for 2 or 3 turns, then they can not see each other for the rest of the game. So you must plan your jumps from a planet to another to give you reach to jump to another planet.

For now, each turn is worth 5 years, and battles only occurs around planets. There is no "in space" battle and even if normally movement in space is possible , there is normally no interest in moving into dead space. People will always move toward a strategic location which planets are.

There will also be a couple of system features selected randomly a thte start of the game which influence the system like asteroid field, comets, Solar Flares, etc.

X3M
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The idea is fun. Now for a

The idea is fun. Now for a good implementation. Here are some of my idea's:

Simply having a ring for each planet.
The planets move only 1 spot each round. That is very easy to remember.
And then simply have the inner ring have X positions.
Second planet has 1 to 3 more positions.
Third planet again has 1 to 3 more positions.
etc.

Don't try to be to realistic with this. Because the inner planet could move in 3 turns, while the outer planet moves in maybe 30? Way to long I think.
The distance is indicated with lines. Meaning, each spot should be connected with the next and previous spot. But also with the closest 2 of another orbit. Unless they are in one line, then you only have 1 line. You could however, refuse to place planets in one line. Simply shifting each ring.

How much planets do you want anyway? Too much makes the game too, less fun actually.

Further more, I suggest prime numbers for the number of locations a planet can have. That way you get a maximum of possibilities. Unless you want to have more of those "less travel time" situations.
Then you get:
Planet 1: 3 spaces.
Planet 2: 5 spaces. (15 rounds to be in line)
Planet 3: 7 spaces. (105 rounds to be in line)
Planet 4: 11 spaces.
Planet 5: 13 spaces.

To spice things up, put in a comet that crosses the planets paths. No crashing of course :D. Call it, passing by. The comet moves faster closer to the sun/star.
Another thing, notice that there is a difference of 4 spaces between planet 3 and 4? Al the other ones have only a 2 position difference. You could place there an asteroid belt. Each location is a pausing place, since that is what your planets are going to do, right? The number of spaces is 9 then. No need to keep them moving though. The space ship moves around for free in that ring.

larienna
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Quote:Simply having a ring

Quote:
Simply having a ring for each planet.
The planets move only 1 spot each round. That is very easy to remember.

The problem is that it takes a larger board. I tried with 2 planets per ring (opposite to each other) and it seem to work fine.

Quote:
How much planets do you want anyway?

I think the maximum will be 13 or 15. It depends on the number of players.

Quote:
Further more, I suggest prime numbers for the number of locations a planet can have. That way you get a maximum of possibilities. Unless you want to have more of those "less travel time" situations.
Then you get:
Planet 1: 3 spaces.
Planet 2: 5 spaces. (15 rounds to be in line)
Planet 3: 7 spaces. (105 rounds to be in line)
Planet 4: 11 spaces.
Planet 5: 13 spaces.

Using predefined planets positions could be interesting where the hexes are only used to calculate distance between planets for ship movement.

Else right now, I think each planet moves like 5 or 8 hex per turn (can't remember)

Quote:
To spice things up, put in a comet that crosses the planets paths. No crashing of course :D. Call it, passing by. The comet moves faster closer to the sun/star.

Like I said in my previous post, I'll be having dozen of system modifiers that will be drawn randomly at the start of the game to make each game unique.

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