Friday, October 01, 2010

Experimenting More with Solitaire

So, yeah: been playing the Trading Game, as a way of experimenting with MTU and stretching it some.

What I've been experiencing is that a merchant with a ship and any kind of admin/bribery skill at all is going to make hand over fist unless he does something really stupid, which last generally consists of taking his ship anywhere but an A or B port. Doing otherwise (unless one is lenient about type A or R ships using unrefined fuel, and I'm not) leads to the three big crash landings:


1. Misjump into an empty hex, everybody dies
2. Drives fail expensively from unrefined fuel, captain's broke, ship's repossessed
3. Pirate takes ship, captain & crew takes a walk in vacuum, everybody dies

Generally, none of these things happen to captains who stick to A&B ports.

Even considering difficulties moving spec cargo across starport lines, my intrepid merchant has been able to pay down a Subsidized Merchant without a subsidy, and has money set aside for what is essentially a customized 600 ton liner. His old crew are going to be able to put a down payment on the old ship (still quite new, actually) with their percentage of the ship's shares. They're all fabulously wealthy.

It seems to me there should have been more, I don't know, competition?

In civilized ports, it seems unlikely that even thoroughly hostile competing merchantmen will open fire: In C-D-E ports I envision no such circumspection, and there have been a few exchanges of fire along those lines... but might the crew/company of a competing firm make things more difficult planetside on the A and B port -worlds as well? Onworld encounters should have more of an effect on how successful a merchant is in securing cargo. I need to be more systematic about that. Just because a cargo is available for purchase on spec, doesn't mean you can automatically get it. The next phase of my intrepid captain's adventures is going to be a little more rigorous that way.

So a ship hits system:
  • Day 1: Jump insystem, Starport
    • check for drive malfunction (if necessary)
    • check for ship encounter
    • If using broker for sale of cargo, process sales; OTHERWISE:
    • check law for customs to get cargo cleared for onworld sale
    • roll for encounter (1D, 5-6)
    • if encounter, roll reaction and resolve as appropriate.
    • arrange for refueling, supplies
  • Day 2 +
    • Check law (or bribe, esp. if packing illegal heat)
    • Seek buyers for cargo (8+, street or admin apply, use patron table for specifics) 
    • Seek cargo for purchase (8+, street or admin apply, use patron table for specifics)
      (In other words, if you don't look you don't find
      ; after 1st, roll is 13+)
    • roll for encounter (1D, 5-6)
    • if encounter, roll reaction and resolve as appropriate.
  • Launch Day -2
    • transport cargo to starport
    • roll for encounter (1D, 5-6)
    • if encounter, roll reaction and resolve as appropriate.
    • Check law for customs to clear cargo for export
    • load ship
  • Launch Day -1
    • arrange cargo
    • arrange passengers
  • Launch
    • check for drive malfunction (if necessary)
    • check for ship encounter
    • check for hijack attempt / resolve
    • jump (check for misjump)
What am I forgetting, kids?

    2 Comments:

    Blogger Craig A. Glesner said...

    Not much, perhaps buying fuel and food. :p

    2:45 PM  
    Blogger Festeria said...

    Just about, yeah.

    7:40 AM  

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