Home Forums Sci Fi 6mm Sci-Fi The God Machine

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  • #167434
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Hold back the forces of enlightenment whilst you frantically try and understand the superior technology you’ve been living with for centuries.

    Who is going to win, the tyrant who is dragging the planet out of the dark ages by its bootstraps, or the High Priestess who has custody of the God Machine?

    The God Machine

    Jim

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #167435
    ian pillay
    Participant

    Jim, yet another brilliant scenario! I really like the idea of the not so technically advanced fighting against chariots! Thanks for sharing.

    Tally-Ho! Check out my blog at…..
    http://steelcitywargaming.wordpress.com/

    #167447
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Ah but chariots with the crew have a Jezail rather than just javelins 🙂
    (That’s an upgrade you’ll not find in any army list 🙂  )

    Glad you liked it

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #167452
    ian pillay
    Participant

    Just goes to show the brilliance of the author and the system. I think after I have finished my current mini campaign using OHW I am going to get Hellfire back out on the table. There are loads of cool scenarios and articles on your site so there’s plenty to have a go at.

    Tally-Ho! Check out my blog at…..
    http://steelcitywargaming.wordpress.com/

    #167453
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Just goes to show the brilliance of the author and the system. I think after I have finished my current mini campaign using OHW I am going to get Hellfire back out on the table. There are loads of cool scenarios and articles on your site so there’s plenty to have a go at.

    Actually (he says innocently) if you use the Sci Fi stuff at the end of Hell in Microcosm it will let you add to Hellfire Campaigns. It has the stuff needed to do the full planetary invasion and just how many battalions you can get into so many tons of space shipping 🙂
    The universe is at your feet 🙂

     

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #167461
    Tony S
    Participant

    Actually (he says innocently) if you use the Sci Fi stuff at the end of Hell in Microcosm it will let you add to Hellfire Campaigns. It has the stuff needed to do the full planetary invasion and just how many battalions you can get into so many tons of space shipping

    The universe is at your feet

    Almost Jim, almost.  You still haven’t written a set of SF space fleet rules.  Although there was an old set of rules called Noble Armada, which was set in a universe on the downward side of the technology curve, like the world you describe in your scenario here.  No one knew how to manufacture FTL ships anymore, so the emphasis was on boarding actions to capture the irreplaceable vessels.  I seem to recall there was a short range microwave weapon that would cook the enemy crew, but leave the ship empty but intact.  Some post action cleaning would be involved I suspect.

    But heading back to the original post, once again I just love your ability to quickly sketch in a richly drawn society in just a few lines.  Indeed, the result roll of “12” is brilliant.  You’d better buy your Muse a beer; she sends you some clever ideas!

    And of course your ability to construct an army from the infinitely protean Irregular figures is inspiring, as always.

     

    #167462
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Thanks Tony

    I had a quick look for Noble Armada and it throws up the computer game based on it which is apparently dire in many respects, none of which need have anything to do with the original game (sound track music and graphics 🙂  )

    I never did get round to doing a space ship game. At the club we played a fair bit of Full Thrust at the time. Now there’s a bit of Firestorm Armada. I even watched the first move of a game of Silent Death (they never got into the second move)
    I did once tinker with a game for spaceships using real physics. Not for the faint hearted and fun but frustrating because you couldn’t cope with more than one ship and the winner often ended up spiralling out of control into the depths of space as they were out of reaction mass

    I’m not sure there is a good, fun, spaceship game which is fast, easy to play, but sort of accurate? I’m out of touch with that scene
    Back in the early 70s late 60s I read a short story in an anthology where nobody could build ships, priests flew them, and they landed and dismounted horsemen and infantry who were barely more than medieval, but I cannot remember the title now

     

    With regard to the backgrounds, I ‘blame’ Jack Vance as his works have always been an inspiration. I’ve tried to do something similar with my own SF novels but so far none have ventured to worlds quite that primitive 🙂

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #167469
    Tony S
    Participant

    Holistic Designs did the original.

    https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/11689/noble-armada

    Mongoose did another version, same universe but completely different rules.   https://www.drivethrurpg.com/m/product/89621

    Then most recently FASA decided a third edition was in order.

    https://www.drivethrurpg.com/m/product/199994

    I play spaceship games upon occasion.  Badly, but it seems I’m a landlubber at heart.  Some Full Thrust, some Battlefleet Gothic.  The only space game I’ve played that wasn’t Jutland in Space was a little gem  from Sam Mustafa called Freejumper.  Quite different, and especially fun at clubs with multiple players.   It’s a bit like the show Firefly, so you only have one ship, which is rather easy on the pocket book.   The game also advances beyond missiles and lasers, in that EW and effectors are included.  And since I’m a huge Iain M Banks fan, the latter is a huge draw for me!

     

    I’m surprised that your attempt at space combat was complex; your sets seem to avoid rules complexity, a trait which I heartily ascribe to!

    That old story you mention seems to ring a bell.  I have a memory of a cover illustration of some mounted warriors riding down a gangplank from the traditional silver pointy rocket.   Was it Pournelle?

    #167471
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    It could well be Pournelle.
    I like to avoid complex rules, but even with simple rules, trying to remember the vectors a ship had and then combining them was eye watering 🙂

    There is a reason why so many people produce rules which are either Jutland in Space, or The Battle of Britain in Space, everything happening in one plane is so much easier. 🙂

    If I do a rule set it’ll have to cover fleets big enough to escort planetary invasions and support them with convoys. So the rules will have to cope with ‘pitched battles’ where fighters will really be a notional cloud surrounding a ship, and c0nvoy protection actions where you have perhaps half a dozen warships a side. And obviously the convoy escorts are going to be much lesser warships, armed merchant cruisers, frigates etc. A convoy escort isn’t there to take on big ships, that’s what the big ships are supposed to do 🙂

     

    I suspect I will end up doing everything on one plane like everybody else but I’d like to work out how to include another plane without too much confusion. Really really long flight stands perhaps 🙂

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #167793
    Sam Murray
    Participant

    Great read, especially as I have just brought Hellfire!

    It could be interesting to base a space wargame around detection.

    So the miniatures on the board represent the enemy knowing a ship is somewhere there, but they need to properly detect them in order to fire.

    Each ship could have a detection rating that ratchets up throughout the game.

    That rating is how far away an enemy ship can get a lock. So, for example, a rating of 5 means an enemy ship can get a lock say 5 inches away.

    The rating goes up in four basic ways:

    1. Any course correction (roll a dice to see by how much). Continuing on the current velocity does not increase detection.
    2. Any receiving or issuing of orders (roll a dice).
    3. Firing weapons (roll a dice or a large automatic increase).
    4. Using active sensors (this increases the range you can lock on other ships, but greatly increases your detection rating).

    Ships could be issued orders prior to the game starting. The aim being to minimise the need to issue orders once the game begins (because each time increases the detection of both ships).

    Likewise, generally, ships want to minimise course corrections.

    You could imagine three game types/strategies emerging:

    1. Stealth all game (each player keeps detection to a minimum, sniping visible ships).
    2. Tension (each player silently maneuvers, but then goes loud at an advantageous point (active sensors), ending the game in a turn or two of hellfire).
    3. Reckless (one or both players go loud from the start, either because of a weapons/sensor advantage or for roleplaying reasons (reckless admiral who thinks sneaking is unsporting)).

    With detection being key, the one plane issue might be less (because all that really matters is the current course and distance to enemy ships).

    Speeds/velocity could be a simple 1 to 6 (or 1 to 12) rating tracked using dice on the base stand.

    Each ship could be capable of going any speed, but (and it is a big but) course corrections on larger ships generate much more detection.

    Likewise larger ships begin the game with a higher level of existing detection (and wise players may wish to keep them back and skirmish with smaller ships).

    You could imagine different ships types (beyond size) based on whether they prioritise weapons, defence, or sensors.

    Sorry I had to get that out of my head. Carry on.

    #167798
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    Actually you’ve pointed to something that I’ve been wondering about as well. I have often wondered about space combat. After all, there’s an awful lot of space and not much ship!
    We approach it cinematically and film makers want to show spectacle. On the wargames table we want to show off our models 🙂

    Yet even with modern war, ‘if you can see it, you can kill it’

    So the space battle with the empty table might be authentic as players struggle to detect the enemy. Whilst you’ll have active and passive sensors, you’d have computers chuntering away comparing endless images trying to spot ships by the occlusion of distant stars (which would be difficult to avoid).
    Also both sides would try and avoid course changes as that makes you potentially visible.

    And of course when you fired at something, if the beam hit a shield it would light up the target for everybody.

    But it would show where the firer was, so perhaps every time you fired, you changed course so you disappeared again?
    There’s an awful lot to ponder, thanks for prodding me 🙂

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #167800
    Sam Murray
    Participant

    No worries. Submarine wolfpacks hunting each other makes sense to me for space battles (Cold war submarines at that with long range weapons. As you say, if you can see it, you can kill it).

    Of course, this being Hellfire, you may also have to throw confusion/morale reactions, malfunctions, and technology that is not fully understood into the mix (roll a D6 to see if the battle computer actually turns on, otherwise your lot is manual plotting 🙂 ).

    #167801
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    I can still remember how to use log tables 🙂

    But suddenly this chap isn’t so unreasonable and the reason for the slide rule is obvious 🙂

    A lot of very nice ideas

    To quote the late, great Douglas Adams “Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

     

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #167852
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    As I was once told by the fella that runs Ad Astra games: realistic space fighting is really boring, right up until you explode.

    According to him and the folks at Atomic Rockets detection isn’t a problem due to albedo and heat.  Missiles will do the vast majority of the work, very little worthwhile maneuvering will be possible if the ships have human crews as they are very squishy, and you really only need to worry about running out of point defense ammo and the fragility of space craft.  I’ve played a couple of games of Attack Vector: Tactical and it’s brutal.

    Simplistic Hollywood style space fights are not realistic at all, but a lot more fun!

     

    Anywho, so this God Machine… you should write a full length novella.  Though this topic has been done before I have a feeling you’d create something much different that bends the genre/trope in unforeseen ways.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #167866
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    I did once do a set of experimental rules for two ships using real physics. I even did it in 3 dimensions (which with two ships isn’t too difficult because they’re always in the same plane)
    The usual result was one ship destroyed or crippled and the winner spinning off into the outer darkness, having run out of reaction mass to gain control 🙂

    Wasn’t what you would call commercial 🙂

    I’ve wondered about missiles. It’s a matter of speed and distance and ranges of engagement. Whereas with your lasers, again it’s speed (of light) but also focus and similar.
    I think I can make it a game that is worth playing without being so complex your brain overheats 🙂

    albedo and heat are interesting. I also thought of occultation which would enable you to pick up anything solid and at considerable distances

    It’s one of ‘those’ projects. If I do it three or four times, one day I’ll get something right 🙂

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

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