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 Post subject: A battlestar galactica game?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:37 am 
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I wonder if anyone ever tried to do a wargame set in the battlestar galactica second series universe? Looks like it could be cool, the new series is military enough to do one in.

Plus I'd love to see the AA miniature crew do a miniature galactica, that thing would be beautiful....


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:02 pm 
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Of course you know that there already is a BSG RPG on the way from the same fine folk who brought you Serenity... 8)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:06 am 
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Yes, a role playing game, not the same as a wargame.

I wonder if they'll pt a real ship to ship action system in it. Doubt it. They'll save that for an expansion. KAAACHING!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:10 am 
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It'd be interesting to see how practical Vipers end up being when you apply real physics and fuel constraints to them.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:11 am 
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Trent Hammerstein wrote:
Yes, a role playing game, not the same as a wargame.

I wonder if they'll pt a real ship to ship action system in it. Doubt it. They'll save that for an expansion. KAAACHING!


Kaching indeed! Serenity makes a stab at ship to ship by pretending that spaceships are made much the same as characters (skills, attributes, and such). It works after a fashion, but requires a lot of input on the part of the GM.

The AV:T, SITS, BoP system would work well with BSG and would not be all that hard to do, IMNSHO! 8)

Course, this also works for B5, donchaknow? 8)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:53 am 
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Michael Scott wrote:
Of course you know that there already is a BSG RPG on the way from the same fine folk who brought you Serenity... 8)

Serenity was a Universal license, BSG is a Universal license.

Universal refuses to let Weis do more Serenity material than the book and the one expansion.

Weis Productions says they've got a better deal this time, but I think I'll remain a little skeptical. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:06 pm 
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Andrew Mitchell wrote:
Michael Scott wrote:
Of course you know that there already is a BSG RPG on the way from the same fine folk who brought you Serenity... 8)

Serenity was a Universal license, BSG is a Universal license.

Universal refuses to let Weis do more Serenity material than the book and the one expansion.

Weis Productions says they've got a better deal this time, but I think I'll remain a little skeptical. :)


The original Serenity license was for three products. MWP purportedly didn't know that the separate SKU for the GM screen counted as the third product until they were sitting on the dock in Hong Kong.

I would love to do a BSG version of Squadron Strike. Actually, two versions.

One where fighters are handled in fistfulls, the other where the carrier is an off-map objective, or an immobile piece of real estate.

I'm still trying to talk to someone at MWP about either sublicensing from them (may not be possible) or getting their contact at NBC Universal.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:15 pm 
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Andrew Mitchell wrote:
Michael Scott wrote:
Of course you know that there already is a BSG RPG on the way from the same fine folk who brought you Serenity... 8)

Serenity was a Universal license, BSG is a Universal license.

Universal refuses to let Weis do more Serenity material than the book and the one expansion.

Weis Productions says they've got a better deal this time, but I think I'll remain a little skeptical. :)


From the "Waves in the Black" message board and quotes from Jamie Chambers, MWP had the rights to do 3 Serenity books (Main Rules, GM Screen, "Out in the Black" sourcebook). They're negotiating for more. Right now, they are licensed for 6 Galactica books. The main rules are a $39.95 256-page hardcover, Amazon.com says it'll release March 14th, but MWP is not saying anything (as usual). In all likelihood, the level and timeliness of support will be the same as for Serenity (i.e. "Poor")

Sorry, I know I'm being pessimistic. MWP and Jamie in particular do good work, and made a fine system, but timely support is not their strong suit.

Galactica is "crunchier" than Firefly/Serenity. I'm not sure how well their "attribute" system for ships will work with Galactica ships. The game is going to live or die by that - most of the fans want to fly vipers and blow up cylons as much as they want to play the interpersonal stuff.

I'm going to get the book, but I'll be looking at it with a critical eye. The Serenity RPG had a lot of stuff that violated canon, didn't make sense, or was poorly researched. Unless MWP has put a couple of anally-minded people on their staff to catch the gaffes, I expect the same thing to happen to Galactica.

At least with Galactica, there's enough source material that we won't have the "whatever happened once in the series is compulsory" issue that Serenity has.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:48 pm 
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An example of a mistake Ken's RPG will never make:

Original Firefly script from "The Message":

"Because the technology's not ready.
The blastomeres are unapproved.
Likely unstable. You're not just a
carrier -- you're an incubator. "

Serenity RPG:

"Cloning and growing organs for those needing transplants has become a viable practice in the Core, but Blastomeres - a recent Newtech creation - could make this practice obsolete." ... "blastomeres are longer-lasting, and are more durable than normal human organs"

Blastomeres are not organs, they're cells.

If they'd bothered to Google "blastomere", they would have learned that blastomeres are cells produced by the division of a fertilized egg. This implies that fertilized eggs are used to create the organs (likely the fertilized egg produces stem cells, which are harvested to grow organs). Assuming the cells have been modified to grow faster, the modified cells are "unapproved" (kind of like stem cell research in the US today, except for a very few lines), and thus, illegal.

A perfectly normal medical manufacturing procedure twisted into "Newtech" thanks to a lack of research. MWP forgot the cardinal rule of Firefly - 99% of it is ordinary, everyday stuff. Look for the everyday explanation before the "whiz bang".

Fortunately, Ken has a large stable of science, engineering, and social science fanatics ready to pounce on the slightest inaccuracy. (and mostly before things go to print, rather than after) ;-)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:56 am 
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Well, vipers are fueled by some weird science substance called "Tyllium" which I assume to be a stable transuranic element created by some ghawdawfgul supernova, and is not in the terran system, so the viper fuel bits would be moot. As to viper movement, heck remember that the blackbird had jump drive! Also remember that a ship with full tyllium tanks can apparelty make hundreds of jumps, so again fuel's not too big an issue.

The thing about a BSG game would be handling fighters, but since traveller has fighters and they're doing power projection I guess they've a way of handling them sans miniatures.

I'm not that interested in the game, really, I just wanna see a galactica miniature done to the standards of the others that AA produces. ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:13 am 
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I'm almost certainly not typical, but it seems to me that BSG isn't a terribly good setting for a wargame. Not only are there only a tiny handful of ship types, it also seems almost impossible to determine how they measure up against each other. Plot concerns seem to utterly overwhelm any comparative strengths or weaknesses - if the Cylons need to seem dangerous in an episode, they are; if there's a need for a Colonial victory, then the Cylons are tissue paper. It seems especially difficult to rate the battlestars against the base ships, as they aree hardly ever seen manouvering against each other, or operating within their weapons' range.

There's also the problem that there are really only one or two Battlestars out there - show based scenarios seem limited to the initial one-sided slaughter, one battle against purportedly extreme odds, and screening actions to gain time for the refugee fleet to run away.

In a way, I find it similar to the Star Wars setting of Ken's Battlestar opponent in the SS playtest he's discussing elsewhere. How do you tell how good a combatant a Star Destroyer is? We never see them engaging their equals, usually they're just backdrops and straight-men for the actions of 'our heroes'.

The SS playtest is a neat way of seeing how the rules work with dissimilar combatants, but I don't know that SW or BSG ships can really be meaningfully simulated.
-Kle.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:49 am 
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The thing the game could do that the show probably won't is the "What if we were ready for them?" scenario. Add in the escorts and support ships and the original series "historical" ships, and play out fleet combats from the first and second Cylon wars.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:50 pm 
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Klebert L. Hall wrote:
I'm almost certainly not typical, but it seems to me that BSG isn't a terribly good setting for a wargame.


I agree, if you're going for simulating the show. But that's true for every license out there: plot and drama trump realism in every show, from Andromeda to Voltron. To my mind, the reason to get a licensed product is familiarity. We often have trouble visualizing what a Ten Worlds ship looks like (or at least I do), but we know what Star Wars ships look like. We've seen them inside and out, and can purchase technical drawings if that isn't enough.

It might have something to do with gaming goals too. I've never understood historicals: we know how the battle went in real life, I don't honestly think I would have done better if my brain were downloaded into, say, Napoleon, so why am I gaming this? Some people treat licensed products like historicals, only with a fictional history. But some people treat them as a starting point for new scenarios: Zulus vs. Napoleon, Aztecs vs. Phoenecians, Empire vs. Federation.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:34 pm 
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Brian Trotter wrote:

It might have something to do with gaming goals too. I've never understood historicals: we know how the battle went in real life, I don't honestly think I would have done better if my brain were downloaded into, say, Napoleon, so why am I gaming this? Some people treat licensed products like historicals, only with a fictional history. But some people treat them as a starting point for new scenarios: Zulus vs. Napoleon, Aztecs vs. Phoenecians, Empire vs. Federation.



So what are your gaming goals that a BSG game would support? It seems as though once you've done 'let's take a Base ship against a Battlestar' that has sort of exhaused the options.
-Kle.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:36 pm 
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Charles Oines wrote:
The thing the game could do that the show probably won't is the "What if we were ready for them?" scenario. Add in the escorts and support ships and the original series "historical" ships, and play out fleet combats from the first and second Cylon wars.


That's true, and the First Cylon War is the closest thing the setting offers that looks (to me) like good wargame material. These things' relationships to the show setting are kind of rareified, though.
-Kle.


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