Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
draco84oz

An example of Vector Movement

Recommended Posts

Hey guys - just thought I'd put this up here for your reference. I got it out of a ruleset I have floating around the place called Starmada. The base game is actually fairly straight forward, and has a conventional movement system (and simultaneous movement, requiring recording of a maneuver each turn), but the rulebook also includes optional vector movement rules for those who want to use them.

To quote the previous page of the rulebook: "It seems that those who play space combat games are irreconcilably divided into two camps: those who believe there is no reason to fiddle with any sort of "realistic" movement system, as the intent of the game is to have fun; and those who believe  the absence of realism prevents the game from being fun. Obviously, Starmada's basic rules fall distinctly into the former category - however, there's no reason why devotees of the latter philosophy should be left out in the cold. Thus, we present these optional rules for vector movement."

Please note that Starmada uses hex bases, and techncially uses a hex playmat (although I believe it can be adapted to use a standard play area), and uses the hexes to determine fire arcs etc.  But even so, I believe that this is a good (and somewhat easier to understand) example of what a vector movement system looks like.

BawbTvu.jpg

Use as you will

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both of which are boring. Vector movement is extremely predictable. It makes for a slow circle of death as you fly in at high speed and then start turning in to face your opponent and they do the same - then you spiral towards each other. It's meh at best and downright annoying at worst. Cinematic movement is actually fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I can see Vector movement being great for hyper realistic space battles - but I'd rather stick to a simple format for fleet based games - I like Full-thrust's turn system - but it's a bit more involved than Firestorm 2.0 - And there seems no appetite for more complexity.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was given a "bare bones" (in his own words) tutorial of full thrust's VM by a GW staffer in the BFG days. Whilst an interesting change to BFG's movement, I can't say I'd want to use it all the time an certainly not for more than a handful of ships. 

On 11/26/2018 at 9:47 AM, Spenetrator said:

 And there seems no appetite for more complexity.  

Firestorm could certainly trim the fat. That being said we maybe getting a multi-level battlefield and I think a "wet-navy" move system may the simplest way to do this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've added a quote to my OP, which I believe is actually quite a good one - whilst I agree that non-newtonian movement mechanics do allow a more accessible game, I am not against having optional rules available that allow all players to have a chance to play. After all, more players out there means more chance for you to play.

I'm also not against trying these rules at least once. If I don't like them, well, nothing lost. And if I do get the hang of them, then there's something new I can try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, draco84oz said:

I've added a quote to my OP, which I believe is actually quite a good one - whilst I agree that non-newtonian movement mechanics do allow a more accessible game, I am not against having optional rules available that allow all players to have a chance to play. After all, more players out there means more chance for you to play.

I'm also not against trying these rules at least once. If I don't like them, well, nothing lost. And if I do get the hang of them, then there's something new I can try.

My response was based on experience, but I encourage you to create your own experience as well. Give it a try, for sure. If you want to try something really different, look for "With Hostile Intent" - it incorporates both vector and 3D movement, including angle of movement and z-axis turrets. It uses a rather clever system as well. Another interesting game is the new Battlestar Galactica starship battles game. It's for fighter combat only right now, but it's built around vector movement as well.

 

Again, in my experience, these movement systems add nothing and actually make games boring, as movement becomes so predictable that the game breaks down into who has better dice rolls and nothing more. Cinematic movement actually has tactical value. That's completely negated when you can just turn your ship around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bad Idea Comics said:

Again, in my experience, these movement systems add nothing and actually make games boring, as movement becomes so predictable that the game breaks down into who has better dice rolls and nothing more. Cinematic movement actually has tactical value. That's completely negated when you can just turn your ship around.

Also, it depends on the scale of the game itself - not the model scale or the size of the battle, but the scale of the battlefield. Even in Battlefleet Gothic, it was acknowledged that the ships only made up a couple of fractions of a mm on the stand's stem, rather than the ships being to scale to each other and the battlefield - and BFG was a game where you could fly between a planet and its orbiting moon (for example, Luna is 250,000 miles from Terra). So, if you're doing a "close" action of several dozens of thouands of miles range, with what would be very low amounts of terrain (if any at all), vector movement might be a viable option, as the ships would be vectoring about trying to get shots at that range. But at larger scales, where full planets and asteroid fields come into it, vector movement wouldn't be a viable choice. Instead, the physical and temporal scale of the game would allow ships to accelerate, decelerate etc. over the space of a turn, making standard movement a more representative option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, that has zero bearing on whether you use vector movement or not. The actual speed scales the game, not whether the movement is vector or cinematic. Really, try it and see for yourself. Vector movement is predictable and reduces tactical maneuvering viability - you can always be nose on target. It changes how ships get designed because you no longer need turrets because the ship IS a turret. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It REALLY depends on the system.  Some can be quite predictable and easy to use, some are very clunky and can take time to organize the movement, and that applies to vector or cinematic.

Speed and ranges scale the game.  Most of Warmachine infantry moves as fast as 40K infantry, but the ranges on most 40K infantry are considerably longer than most ranged Warmachine Infantry (heck, average 40K pistol has better range than the average WMH rifle), and Warmachine actually cares about how far melee can hit where everyone has the same melee range in 40K.  To say nothing of how they deal with special movement like Running and Charging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/30/2018 at 11:01 AM, Bad Idea Comics said:

Vector movement is predictable and reduces tactical maneuvering viability - you can always be nose on target. It changes how ships get designed because you no longer need turrets because the ship IS a turret. 

How is vector movement predictable whereas naval movement systems are not?  It sounds more like the vector movement systems you tried didn’t give you enough maneuverability within a game turn compared to the cinematic systems you have used. For example, X-wing miniatures typically gives you 8-12 basic moves to choose from for each ship, which is often multiplied 2x-3x by special Pilot moves.  In the systems you tried, how many options did you have?  If the answer is 4-6, the flaw is with the overall design, not the ‘vector’ part of it.

And if you don’t need turrents, ever, then possibly that means the games you tried went too far the other direction... you had too many movement options available, and could always place your forces exactly where you wanted them.  In this situation, where you could have 10,000 movement options, there is only one ‘good’ choice, which means you really have no choice, which makes it boring.

A game in many ways boils down to a series of choices.  If the choices are easy to make, the game is quickly mastered and becomes boring.  Most games hide this with randomization mechanics, which can make even a simple game like tic-TAC-toe interesting (Hollywood Squares, for example).  If the choices are too difficult, like chess often becomes, then the barrier to entry can become insurmountable to most players.

I describe my favorite board game like this:  there are only 18 choices in the game, but all of them are hard... and the more you learn about the game, the harder they become. It’s because you learn how to predict what other players will probably do, so you can try to control their future choices with your current choice... and sometimes  your current ‘best’ choice isn’t the best long-term.  But people never behave how you anticipate, for a variety of reasons, but the game’s structure means someone else will probably benifit before you can from these mistakes... if they are mistakes, because maybe they’re making a ‘bad’ play to deliberately impact you in future turns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Ryjak said:

How is vector movement predictable whereas naval movement systems are not?  It sounds more like the vector movement systems you tried didn’t give you enough maneuverability within a game turn compared to the cinematic systems you have used. For example, X-wing miniatures typically gives you 8-12 basic moves to choose from for each ship, which is often multiplied 2x-3x by special Pilot moves.  In the systems you tried, how many options did you have?  If the answer is 4-6, the flaw is with the overall design, not the ‘vector’ part of it.

And if you don’t need turrents, ever, then possibly that means the games you tried went too far the other direction... you had too many movement options available, and could always place your forces exactly where you wanted them.  In this situation, where you could have 10,000 movement options, there is only one ‘good’ choice, which means you really have no choice, which makes it boring.

A game in many ways boils down to a series of choices.  If the choices are easy to make, the game is quickly mastered and becomes boring.  Most games hide this with randomization mechanics, which can make even a simple game like tic-TAC-toe interesting (Hollywood Squares, for example).  If the choices are too difficult, like chess often becomes, then the barrier to entry can become insurmountable to most players.

I describe my favorite board game like this:  there are only 18 choices in the game, but all of them are hard... and the more you learn about the game, the harder they become. It’s because you learn how to predict what other players will probably do, so you can try to control their future choices with your current choice... and sometimes  your current ‘best’ choice isn’t the best long-term.  But people never behave how you anticipate, for a variety of reasons, but the game’s structure means someone else will probably benifit before you can from these mistakes... if they are mistakes, because maybe they’re making a ‘bad’ play to deliberately impact you in future turns.

Have you ever tried a vector movement system? I don't want to have to explain all the mechanics - I'd rather you make your own decision based on your own experiences, which is what I stressed several times.

Predictability comes from inertia. Vector movement basically breaks down to a series of triangular calculations. It's VERY predictable as inertia plays a part in movement. Just try it. See for yourself. I've been poking around with starship combat games for 30 years - I've tried just about everything. You may find you like the predictability - you may even find it less predictable than I have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.