Community Project: Terrain Adjustments

Hi all. I have a project I would like everyone to voice opinions.

I really like terrain. Black Hole Mania, for example is way crazy fun, as is ducking in and out of an asteroid belt. However, many many players balk at terrain, citing that terrain unbalances the game by either favoring or hampering ships from certain Empires.

Using the precedent in the cloaking rules that give a BPV adjustment of (I think) +33% for hidden movement, I would like to set up a chart of BPV adjustments for each Empire, plus special circumstances, like the Fed NCD which is more like a Kzinti than a Feds

So, I am asking for your experience to come up with BPV adjustments for terrain. Terrain includes would also include Open Map.

Now, I know BPV is not an exact science, but it is the best we got!

So, grab your section P and contibute!

Rock On

Great idea!

Love the idea! Thank you for sharing it here.
I doubt I have much to add, but I'm happy to see your creative juices bubbling over new material like this.


interesting idea and

interesting idea and something i never really considered (i just avoided using certain races in certain terrain)

maybe pay a reduced (or no?) cost in BPV for drone upgrades in asteroid fields, or likewise for fighters in terrain that chews them up (radiation? i don't remember)

as far as adjusting ship BPVs - i have no idea

i used to get a kick out of playing black hole scenarios (we called 'em "scrubbing bubbles" scenarios - down the drain you go)

Looking at Problems in Terrain

Figuring out the adjustments themselves could come in a lot of different ways. The first thing to do is to figure out what empires have problems in what terrain. Let’s try to figure out the problems for each, by terrain type. Of course if an effect causes the same problem to all, that’s a wash. Let’s start with the Basic Set terrain:

Asteroids: Seeking weapons take damage en route. Tholian webs are mucho fantastico when using asteroids as anchors.

Black Hole: ESGs cannot work real close to a BH (5 hexes. If you are 5 hexes from the bH you are probably in trouble anyways). Does the movement make seeking weapon’s less powerful?

Pulsar: The pulsar flares every few turns. The pulsar damages seeking weapons. Tholian webs can block some of the effects.

Nebula: Random movement- how badly does it gimp seeking weapons? Fighters and shuttles are destroyed (while everyone has them, is this more problematic for Hydrans). These things don’t work and may be a disadvantage for the empires: webs, cloaking devices, stasis field generators, EW lending (including ECM drones), expanding sphere generators, displacement devices, ATG, and dogfight drones. Andromedan TR beams cannot be used as tractor beams. Drones and plasma take damage en route.

plasma torps take damage from

plasma torps take damage from asteroids (seeking weapon), but they could be bolted

so i guess some kind of adjustment would be called for

and if fired normally, they could get thru with a weakened strength, but not totally destroyed like a drone might be

just tossing it out there for consideration

Andro PA panels cannot dissapate energy in a radiation zone (not sure if that's basic set or advanced missions)

No, Adv. I'm thinking maybe

No, Adv. I'm thinking maybe there should be an adjustment per weapon or system that is enhanced or degraded. Much like the Commander's Options list. Make it easy.

Wow, I forgot how nutty nebula's are. I need to play in one soon.

yer right about cloaking

yer right about cloaking devices and nebulae

since they're pretty much useless, maybe find what a comparable Orion would pay for a cloaking device and back that out of the BPV for a Romulan

and races that have good turn modes are going to have that advantage magnified in asteroid fields

so since i'm sure it's factored into a ship's BPV (for open space), in close quarters it's going to be even more of a factor

Good point on the turn mode

Good point on the turn mode in asteroids.

This sort of thing I can

This sort of thing I can speak from some limited experience due to playing games with some of these terrain options.

Asteroids: Races with advantages = Tholians and Jindarians. Races mostly unaffected by them = Hydran, ISC, some Klingons, some Federation, Andromedan, Orion. Races affected to a greater degree = Kzinti, Romulan, Gorn, Lyran.

Black Hole: Races least affected by them = Lyran, Hellbore armed Hydrans, Andromedan, Orion. Races more severely affected by them = Federation, Jindarian, Gorn, Romulan.

Nebula: Race most benefitted by it = Jindarian. Race with a good edge = Andromedan. Races somewhat advantaged by it = Hydran (though they can't use fighters, their internals and powerful weapons help with the weaker shields), Romulans, Gorn, ISC. Races hindered by it = Federation, Klingon, Lyran, Tholian, Orion

Radiation zone: Race most benefitted = WYN. Race most hindered = Andromedan. All other races equally hindered.

Planets: Races advantaged around or dealing with planets (compared to others) = Andromedan, Gorn, Federation, Orion. Races neither hindered nor helped = Kzinti, Klingon, Romulan, ISC, Tholian. Race most hindered = Lyran

We did one battle in a heat zone, but I don't remember much about it. Beyond that, I didn't play with any other terrain types in actual combat so I can only make guesses as to the rest.

As for percentages...for the asteroids I'd put the advantaged races as counting as +10& to +15%.
The black hole I'd only put the advantage at around around 5% or so, with maybe a slight bump of a couple percentage points for the darned Orion.
Nebula, I'd give the advantage Jindos an offset of 25% or more. Andros I'd put at +15% or so.
Rad zones I wouldn't change the WYN points, since they are pretty much geared for that area and can be taken apart (albiet sometimes with some difficulty) when they're not in a rad zone. You might want to make the Andromedans maybe 20% cheaper since they are so hobbled and hindered in this area.
For planets, well...I wouldn't put the offset very high. Maybe 5% or so for the four races that have an edge. Likewise I'd make the Lyrans 5% or so cheaper on account of their hinderances around planets (especially planets with atmosphere)

That's all I can offer from experience.


Well, I am keeping in mind what everyone is saying. However, I don't know if maneuverability in a terrain should have an adjustment. Ships are already point valued if they are more maneuverable or not, so I think that that is a wash.

Anyway, here are some of the "per unit" adjustments I have figured for Nebulas (seemed like a good starting point as lots of stuff is messed up in them). Some things, like displacement devices, are not on there as I haven't found the point value yet (I'm using Annex 6, 6a, and S3.0 (which is not in the Capt. Ed books, but is updated in the SFB website to calculate values).

Here is a point adj. so far for Nebulas. This is either an adjustment for points, or a % reduction):

Cloak: -15% (minimum 10 points)
Stasis Field: -9
ESG -8
Shields: -1 for each 6 points not activated when at min shields
Web Caster: -15
Drn Rack A: -2
Drn Rack B or C: -3
Drn Rack D: -5
Drn Rack E or G: -3
PL-F: -2
PL-D:-3 (per pair!)
PL-S: -8

Even though all ships go to minimum shields, this means shields would have to adjust point value because different ships will have varying shield amounts, but they all drop to 5 at minimum shields. Cloaking Device is based on the S3.0 cost for adding it, so use these on Roms; Orions have their cloak PV on the sheet.

Taking a look at the Gorn BC. It has a value of 160 BPV. Adjusting for reduced or no effect using the above data:

2 x PL-F: -4
2 X PL-S: -16
Shields Reduction: -19

New BPV: 121 in the Nebula.

Here is a list of item costs

Here is a list of item costs from S3. The problem is it is missing a few items. What doi you think the point value should be for one Displacement Device. Compare the costs from below to price it.

Battery, Cargo, Hull, shuttle, trans, Probe, Ph-3 ...................1
ADD 6, Phaser-2, Probe-10................................................1.5
APR, ready rack, Lab, Fusion-120°, mine rack, ph-1 ............2
Bridge, Impulse engine, AWR, Web, ADD-12, Disr-15..........3
Disruptor-22, Drone Rack A, Warp, Ph-4, Plas-F..................4
Photon, Disruptor-30 .............................................................5
Disruptor-40, Snare, Ion Cannon...........................................6
Plasma-D rack (cost is for two racks, opposite 180° arcs)....6
ESG, Hellbore-120°, Ion Pulse Generator.............................8
Plasma-G, special sensors..................................................10
Web Caster, plasma-S (not on size class 4), SFG..............15
Aegis/limited: 1 point per weapon
Shields: six boxes for one point

Phasers are listed with 120° arcs; 180° are 125%, 240° are 150%, 360° are 200% of these costs. Phaser-4s on bases include 240° arcs.

Next week we're gonna start

Next week we're gonna start adding terrain to our scenarios.

I will definitely keep these adjustments in mind.

Terrain Adjustments: As all

Terrain Adjustments:

As all players know, some Empires are gimped in a terrain field, while others are boosted, leading to a lack of play in one of the most interesting parts of the game. This system is designed to bring balance to terrain maps and allow different Empires a level battlefield in that terrain.

When choosing a ship from an Empire, after adding in refits option mounts, the BPV at that point is the base BPV of the ship.Twenty percent of the base may be used for commander’s options.

Next, consult the following chart, and reduce each listed item by the amount shown for the terrain the scenario is in. This will adjust the BPV of the unit and the value of the command options.

Terrain Adjustments (more to come):

Web Caster: +15
Drn Rack A: -1
Drn Rack B or C: -1
Drn Rack D: -2.5
Drn Rack E or G: -1.5
PL-F: -1
PL-D: -1
PL-G: -2.5
PL-R: -5
PL-S: -4

Black Hole
ESG: -1
Drn Rack A: -1
Drn Rack B or C: -1
Drn Rack D: -3
Drn Rack E or G: -2
PL-F: -1
PL-D: -2
PL-G: -3
PL-R: -5
PL-S: -4

Cloak: -15% of the raw BPV of the ship (minimum 10 points)
Stasis Field: -9
ESG: -8
Shields: -1 for each 6 points not activated when at min shields
Web Caster: -15
Drn Rack A: -2
Drn Rack B or C: -3
Drn Rack D: -5
Drn Rack E or G: -3
PL-F: -2
PL-D: -1.5
PL-G: -5
PL-R -10
PL-S: -8
ATG: ???
TR Beam: ???
Displacement Device: ????

Drn Rack A: -1
Drn Rack B or C: -1
Drn Rack D: -1
Drn Rack E or G: -1
PL-F: -1
PL-D: -1
PL-G: -1
PL-R: -2
PL-S: -2
Web Caster: +2

I'm not a fan of individual

I'm not a fan of individual system point reduction.

The reason for this is that some races (like the Orion) are intrinsicly better, as in the Black Hole situation, than other races. Since the Orion has option mounts, they could end up with weapons that get reduced in value and it effectively gives the Orion an even bigger edge in that terrain.

Also, you give a massive deduction for plasmas in a nebula. From my experience, all plasma races actually fair slightly BETTER than some of the other races. The reason for this is both the reduced shielding on all of the ships AND the fact that plasma torpedoes have some offsetting EW built into them to handle the impressive quantity of ECM provided by the nebula. So making the plasma so inexpensive really offers an even bigger benefit to the plasma races.

I really think you should do it on a "by race" situation. So like the adjustment for hidden movement, you should have a percentage adjustment for certain races in certain terrain. There's just too many issues with a "per system" reduction, especially when considering Orions, WYN, Heavy War Destroyers, PFs, and fighters (as well as other types).

My suggestion is you convince your opponents to play in a few of these different terrains with different races so you can see how they work first hand. Just go with normal BPV, that way you can decide if everyone at 150 BPV is equal, advantaged, or disadvantaged in particular terrain. I've got quite a few games with terrain under my belt, and I'd hate to use some of those "per system" adjustments you presented because it would make some races too powerful in the terrain instead of balanced.

GRIMACE: Well, this is


Well, this is exactly the kind of reply I need. I want more than my opinions here. I am going down my first road, but you are right about the options. Okay, so everyone look at it so far, and I am going to go back and take a look at this other approach in those terrain (Im not doing all terrain just to throw it all out).

Thank ye!