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Re: [SFC] Re: Discussion topic #1 - interstellar warfare

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  • steve.davidson33@comcast.net
    Actually, the game itself was a partial response to Outreach, which utilized a fairly complicated FTL transportation system. There were several other
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 4, 2012
      Actually, the game itself was a partial response to Outreach, which utilized a fairly complicated FTL transportation system.

      There were several other "interstellar war" games of that era (70s-80s), all of which had their good points and bad points, and while I stole liberally, you can't tell because all of the serial numbers were filed off


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      Amazing Stories

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: derhexer@...
      To: sciencefictionclassics@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, September 3, 2012 8:46:21 PM
      Subject: Re: [SFC] Re: Discussion topic #1 - interstellar warfare

      Sounds like an SPI Board Game Outreach about interstellar exploration and


      In a message dated 9/3/2012 5:32:34 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
      steve.davidson33@... writes:

      Very interesting.

      Back in the 80s I developed a tabletop boardgame (GAPS! - Gravitational
      Anomaly Portal) that was essentially modelling your question.

      the board depicted a region of space 150 light years square - a "sector"
      (divided into 9 50x50 light year regions; hexagonal board map with each hex
      5 light years across) (the board could be expanded to include additional
      sectors, making the region depicted as large as you might like, though it
      would take 1,000 sectors to depict a slice across the width of the milky way)

      Stars were distributed throughout the sector in a density reasonably
      analogous to where we are now (you'd create denser for closer to the core,
      lighter further out, etc), with no more than one sun in a hex: two suns in
      adjacent hexes would be similar to Sol's relationship to Alpha Centauri.

      The game involved economics, interstellar exploration, technological R&D,
      political negotiations, etc., etc.

      Colonies could be constructed and would become sources of resource points
      (converted to build points), etc., etc.

      Players could construct ships (military and civilian), ground forces,
      planetary defenses, "special forces" (similar to space marines - used in space
      and on the ground)

      (all of this become so refined in the game system that all players
      competing could complete a turn - a decade of time - in no more than 15 minutes.
      (Most player activities were conducted by all players simultaneously)

      The only divergence from your scenario is that players could also explore
      for GAPs - instant point to point FTL portals. A player would build up a
      series of routes (secret from opposing players) used throughout the game.

      We also assumed STL at .5c (a ship could cross two hexex per turn)

      What we inevitably found was this:

      interstellar warfare was not economically viable; players who "won"
      essentially kept to themselves, building up economic strength through
      colonization, defending them with enough force to make it too costly to attack and
      preyed strictly on weakened opponents.

      (We referred to this as the Octopus Empire strategy as that was the first
      empire to use it successfully).

      Consider - if you spend 10 years of resources to build an invasion force
      and then attack a neighboring system 5 light years away (taking ten years to
      get there), the opposing system has a minimum of ten years to build up
      defenses and can always at least match the strength of your invasion force.

      The invaders have it really bad: some resources have to go to fueling and
      feeding the fleet, so you can't actually send 10 years worth of production
      as active fighting forces.

      Presumably you are trying to take over a colony, not simply destroy it
      (otherwise you are always sending your fleets on suicide missions and how hard
      are they going to fight ten years after leaving, thinking about never
      going home for a decade?)

      If you aim is simple eradication - there's no need for fleets or attacks
      or whatever - just sneak some bio agents in, sit back and wait.

      It obviously takes a very special case to make IS warfare even ponderable.


      --- In sciencefictionclassics@yahoogroups.com , derhexer@... wrote:
      > Assume
      > 1. That you have STL (Slower Than Light) interstellar travel, but you
      > accelerate to relativistic speeds.
      > 2. That you are the leader of a small interstellar empire of up 1,000
      > systems.
      > How would conduct an interstellar war against another empire?
      > You can take the position of the aggressor or defender.
      > Thanks
      > Chris
      > (I reject your reality and substitute my own)
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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