Which input page should I use? I don’t know. Third base! – 05/20/2014

May 20, 2014
By Randy Ritnour

This week we’ll work through a number of issues that have been raised in the PBEM game, Takamo.

Input Pages
There are two versions. One is a full version with the helpful drop down menus and input checks and then there is the “lite” version that is a straight input sheet with no bells or whistles. There is a variety of player preferences with some players choosing to fill their turn out by spreadsheet and then loading it into the web input page. Whichever way you choose to do it, remember that you must save the file as a .TAK (the page does this) and then attach the .TAK file to an e-mail and send it to us at pbem@takamouniverse.com. The program does not automatically send the turn to us.

Full Version Action Code Prompt Delay
In the full version of the web page, there is a delay as you input orders as the program prompts for action codes. On systems we’ve tested, it doesn’t delay more than a fraction of a second but it is annoying for some players as it can disrupt your input flow. So, if you like to input data without the prompts, the “lite” version will probably be a better fit for you.

Missed Ship Builds
We changed the message the player gets if he doesn’t enter a quantity for a ship build. We needed it to say that the player didn’t give the shipyard a number to build. Not that it helped your lost actions. However, as we thought about it, we decided it should default to 1 if no quantity is given. At least the player would build 1 of the ships he intended. Not all actions would be lost that way.

POP Build Limits
The rulebook indicates a limit of 1 POP per action but not a limit per turn. So as long as you were willing to devote actions to building POP, you could build up population quickly.

However, that actually changed during the PBEM era. Repetitive actions for building POP were restricted to protect integrity of the economic structure. A player would get an ag center on a planet, then build POP the entire turn. Then they would take the POP to a world and dump them off. Then they would pass the “Okay” signal to a cyber who’d come and execute them, gaining quite a nice haul of RU’s. Not exactly what we had in mind when we designed the game. These kinds of things are “no advancement of the game” problems. If a player can repeat one or two actions the entire turn and gain RU’s while doing essentially nothing, that’s a game that soon stagnates. So now you can only build 1 POP per planet per turn unless you have an ag center on the planet and then you can build 2.

Size 0 and Size 10 Treated as Size 1 for Military Purposes
Size 10 (gas giants) and size 0 (asteroid belts) are treated as size 1 when it comes to military capacity limitations.

So for Ftrs, MUs, Forts, ABMs, etc, treat as size 1, but for CBs treat as size 10.

Building on Colonies vs Dropping a Ship
The only thing you can build on colony worlds are colony bases, once you establish your first colony base. All other items have to be hauled there and dropped off. For example, if you want to have forts on a colony, you have to build fort ships and send them there to land and assemble the fort, every single time.