I’ve been absolutely ECSTATIC and THRILLED to see a number of ships over the past few years use our equipment and design material. It’s exactly what the design team love to see and I encourage ANYONE with a desire to design ships to jump in and use our resources.
I’m writing this post so folks can refer to a single spot for clarification about MPR and that amount of power a ship produces.
Many years ago we decided to limit the number of Warp Engines to a maximum of 4 but opened up the ability to have multiple impulse engines on a single platform. Most designers are realists and don’t go overboard with designs (the Cowabunga class not withstanding!) However, I did want to address the issue formally and give some reasons why we like to limit things.
First off – gameplay. As MUCH as anyone want to have that super powerful, unbeatable ship with 25 photon torpedo pods, 15 impulse drive and 30 warp nacelles…that makes for a boring (and frankly foolish looking) design. The game is not about sheer firepower (although that does play a part) – it’s about resource management. A single Federation cruiser that can fire 50 photon torpedoes at a single D-7m would be boring to play.
This plays into movement as well. A starship that can cross the entire board and have plenty of power left over for all its weapons and shields would ALSO be boring. With the ability to add on impulse drive and some of the super powerful warp drives, it’s not impossible for a single ship to have the ability to move 30 or even 40 hexes in a single turn. That pretty much removes any sense of tactics or strategy. Just makes the game not worth playing.
That’s not to say a powerful and maneuverable ships shouldn’t be fielded. The most efficient way of accomplishing this is simply to put an upper-limit on how far a ship can move at a given MPR. Luckily for us – the “speed of light” can make a fairly effective limiting choice.
A slight bit of realism:
For us, the game is played with a single “distance” equaling 10,000 km. (One hex.) And it just so happens that the speed of light is 286,000 km per second. While there is some question about how long a single turn is – for the sake of this argument – we’ll say 1 second. This would set an upper limit for movement of 28-29 hexes in a single turn. While this is QUITE a jump…but divided into the 3 phases of a single turn…this makes for a good play limit. With the need to raise shields and most likely arm at least ONE weapon – most ships won’t want to move this far just to be stuck there with no guns and no shields.
SO – what’s the practical solution. There are multiple ways to address the issue. One is to set an upper limit to the amount a power that can be on any one ships at a set movement point ratio.
Essentially – 28 or 29 times the movement point ratio. This can produce some VERY powerful starships and allows for some interesting design choices. And in most cases – total power is equal to half or even two-thirds of these amounts. But it definitely sets an upper limit that is workable and easily accomplished without a lot of extra rules. A maximum that allows for 28 hex movement, the raising of one shield to full power and that arming of a single beam weapon would be the most I think should be allowed.
Of course is could also be argued that setting a hard & fast limit of 28 hexes in a single turn – no matter HOW much power is available – is a viable answer as well. But I feel that this simple leave to door open to over-powered and, frankly, unenjoyable game play. (Borg cubes not included!)
I know personally I’ve got a few ships I’ll need to adjust down – but I’d encourage everyone who IS designing these days to use these limits.