When the revised queue system was first released as an alternative to the Classic ship build process, it met with some opposition. Today, it is being systematically replaced by the new Planetary Production Queue with its random build options.
And yet, at least in my opinion, the original objections have yet to receive even a satisfactory hearing, and they certainly haven’t been addressed. Sure, anyone who objects to the new system can go back to play Classic if they want — but that’s no answer; some of the advances since 1991 haven’t been all bad. And it’s no use saying you can pick and choose in Custom games unless you and ten of your closest friends all agree on exactly which new options you like.
So let’s take a moment and review one example: the Hull Penalty.
Once upon a time, the Eleven Races were severely unbalanced. Then, hyperspace and Chunnels were invented; races gained special abilities, fighter production could happen on ships, the Super Spy mission was introduced, and so on — and we were all still unbalanced, but not by as much.
(The following is a rebuttal to “Seeing Purple and Red“, by Talespin. The opinion is that of the author, and does not necessarily reflect that of the Planets Magazine as a whole.)
Hands Off My Minefields, Dammit!
My esteemed colleague has raised several points in his article, and it’s true that there are factors that need addressing. The prevalence of short-form Planets games alongside the rise of the new PPQ system (which I’ve referred to as the New Nu Queue, to spare confusion) certainly creates new questions of balance and game flow. Steady advances under solid logistics and impeccable defenses are no longer tenable in non-Classic, non-Standard scenarios.
Planets is less a galactic combat simulator and more a space opera; it is an adventure story, flavoured with science fiction and tempered by the rules of a war game. Each sector is a mental filmstrip beaming images of Tie Fighters and X-Wings, Raiders and Vipers, and pointy-eared spies and Qapla’-shouting warriors! These exciting moments are why we toil and “turn,” but, alas, when the game we love becomes mired in purple and red circles, we lose the very soul of what makes Planets fun. Purple and red means webs and minefields, and an overabundance of these leads to long slogs and painfully-slow endings.
Look, we all know this subject is going to take place in the comments and dominate the Nu’s feed. Since no amount of discouragement is apt to eliminate this speculation — and, more to the point, since this speculation is absolutely essential to the process of creating future strategies and production tactics for use in the new system, Continue reading →
And now, as promised, some thoughts on the future desirability of post-limit cloning:
We are all certainly in agreement that, in TimHost 3.20, if this had occurred it would have been a glitch. As this is no longer TimHost, we are permitted to consider whether this ought to exist as a potential feature. We have this right simply because we are no Continue reading →