Author Topic: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR  (Read 14273 times)

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Offline airboy

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2013, 08:59:16 AM »
Were did you buy the game?  Is this something you bought recently?

Offline mirth

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2013, 09:16:51 AM »
Were did you buy the game?  Is this something you bought recently?

Airboy, you can get the full game through the link I listed above. Also check out Martok's discussion thread I linked to for more info. I'm also happy to talk about the game installation in that thread. I don't want to hijack Martok's AAR thread more than I already have.
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Offline W8taminute

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2013, 11:34:17 AM »
It is indeed free.  I still have the CD that I bought way back when but using mirth/Martok's link I was able to download the vanilla game and play it fine on my Vista machine.  Just make sure to run it in compatibility mode. 

Man I forgot how much fun this game is and I see there is a multiplayer option now.  Can it be PBEM'd or do you have to play it live?
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Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2013, 02:56:18 PM »
I think you have to play it live. But it's been a long time since I've tried.

I just downloaded the free version and forgot how much the computer can dump on you. I tried a quick game at lunch as the Federation and had the damn Ferengi literally four blocks away on a medium-sized galaxy. I only had one block of Fed space between Sol and the big-ears. Then I had about six random events in 20 minutes (earthquakes, polar shifts, natural disaster after natural disaster). The icing on the cake was that damned crystaline entity - can't recall what it's called, but it decided to hang out on my end of the map and destroy every outpost I built and every ship I managed to get constructed. I didn't bother to save that game. :)

Offline Martok

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2013, 02:10:31 PM »
So much for not derailing my own thread ( ::) )... 




Were did you buy the game?  Is this something you bought recently?

Not sure if you're asking me or someone else, but I've had BOTF since 1999 when it was first released.  (I received it as a birthday/Christmas gift from some friends who chipped in to buy it for me.)  I've been happily playing it ever since.  8) 

While I still have the original disk, box, etc., I now play the game on the Multi-installer, which you can get here.  The BOP mod can be downloaded here.  (Note:  To download both, you need to have/create an account there first.) 




Man I forgot how much fun this game is and I see there is a multiplayer option now.  Can it be PBEM'd or do you have to play it live?

MP is played live.  I understand it's a little trickier to set up an online match these days (since MP originally went through the original (and now long-defunct) MSN Gaming Zone), but it's still possible. 




I just downloaded the free version and forgot how much the computer can dump on you. I tried a quick game at lunch as the Federation and had the damn Ferengi literally four blocks away on a medium-sized galaxy. I only had one block of Fed space between Sol and the big-ears. Then I had about six random events in 20 minutes (earthquakes, polar shifts, natural disaster after natural disaster). The icing on the cake was that damned crystaline entity - can't recall what it's called, but it decided to hang out on my end of the map and destroy every outpost I built and every ship I managed to get constructed. I didn't bother to save that game. :)

Damn BC, that's pretty brutal.  A couple comments/suggestions: 

1.)  I strongly recommend turning off random events, at least until you're used to playing the game again.  As you've already (re)discovered, they really, really suck, especially the natural disaster types.  (There *are* positive random events -- I've experienced them firsthand -- but they don't occur anywhere near as often.)  The Crystalline Entity isn't too bad once you have at least a few heavier ships in your fleet, but it is a royal PITA early on. 

2.)  Choose the largest map setting, especially when you're playing vanilla BOTF.  The algorithms governing map generation aren't that great at spacing out the five major factions on smaller maps.  (Heck, even on the large maps, you can still start too close to someone, although it's obviously not as bad on the small/medium maps.)  That's one thing I love about the mods, as most of the newer ones have a "Large Map" version, which gives everyone plenty of space to expand into before running into each other.  :) 

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Offline Martok

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #35 on: September 21, 2013, 07:33:04 AM »
Bloody hell.  >:( 

So I've run into a bug -- one that's fortunately very rare overall (I only know of one other bloke who's ever even come across it), but it's one I personally experience somewhat regularly, and it tends to kill my campaign whenever it pops up... 



Every now & then, when I load up a campaign, it will no longer accept input from either my mouse or keyboard.  I can move the mouse cursor around on the galactic map, but the game doesn't respond to my clicking the left/right mouse buttons, nor does it register any of the keyboard commands. 

I can sometimes recover the campaign if I have an earlier save.  If I don't, however, I'm pretty much SOL...which unfortunately is exactly what happened in this case.  (I often have two save files for a campaign to cover just such a situation, but I screwed up this time and had both save files at the same point in the campaign.)  That means the Federation campaign on which this AAR was based is now effectively dead.  :-[ 




So now I have a two-fold question: 

1.)  Presuming I turn down the verbosity compared to what's been thus far displayed (especially in that last chapter), is there any interest in my doing another AAR?  I won't deny I enjoy writing them, but I obviously don't wish to bore whatever audience I have to tears. 

2.)  If there is interest, is there a preference for any particular faction?  I was thinking of doing the Cardassians or perhaps the Klingons next, but I don't have my heart set on them. 

"Like we need an excuse to drink to anything..." - Banzai_Cat
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"Government is so expensive that it should at least be entertaining." - airboy

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Offline besilarius

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #36 on: September 21, 2013, 08:11:00 AM »
Very sorry to hear about the bug, Mart.  Was really enjoying this thread.
Doing an AAR is a lot of work.  If you are not burned out on this endeavor, I would vote to try again.  But only if you would enjoy it as well.
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Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #37 on: September 21, 2013, 09:03:56 AM »
Very sorry to hear about the bug, Mart.  Was really enjoying this thread.
Doing an AAR is a lot of work.  If you are not burned out on this endeavor, I would vote to try again.  But only if you would enjoy it as well.

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Offline bob48

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #38 on: September 21, 2013, 09:56:49 AM »
Yep - its a great read Martok - thanks for doing it.
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Offline SidDan

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Re: "Ex Astris, Scientia": a Birth of the Federation AAR
« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2014, 02:11:54 AM »
After endless procrastinating, tinkering, false starts, and general dithering, I'm finally getting this show on the road.  Given the interest I seem to have recently sparked in this game, I figured now was as good a time as any to do another AAR (hopefully without the technical problems this time!). 






As usual, I'll be playing BOTF with the "Balance of Power" mod (the Large Map version), along with some tweaks of my own.  The game settings are shown below: 



The game setup screen.  Most of the settings I've selected are pretty standard for my preferred style of play:  Normal difficulty, largest map size (which, with the Large Map version, means the maps are very big indeed), Elliptical galaxy, maximum number of minor races, etc. 


There are, however, two main game settings that I've recently changed when playing BOTF: 

1.)  I've bumped up the other four factions to Civilization Level 2, which not only means they start with Level 2 technology (instead of Level 1), but they start out with another star system already colonized as well (although it's usually not fully developed).  I've found this generally allows the computer opponents to be much more evenly matched against the human player, but without making them so absurdly aggressive it breaks immersion (which is what happens anytime I set the difficulty level to Hard/Impossible).   

2.)  I've also been enabling Random Events as of late.  I always have mixed feelings about this option, as a lot of the events are fun (running into "Tin Man" and the Borg), but others not so much (such as planetary climate shifts, which can cause that lush jungle world you colonized to suddenly turn into a volcanic wasteland).  The latter kind are especially irritating when you consider they become more frequent the better the player is doing.  I may or may not disable this option as the campaign progresses. 





My original plan (way back when I'd first contemplated that I might do more than one of these) was to kick things off by playing out a Cardassian AAR.  However, you'll see here I've now decided to first do a Federation campaign instead.  Given I suspect those who've recently started playing BOTF are mostly playing as the Federation, I thought this might be a little more helpful/useful for those wondering how to play and/or what to do. 

I'll generally be trying to write more of a storyline AAR (much like what SDR is currently doing in his HoI3 campaign), but early on it will likely include more mechanical explanations/demonstrations of what I'm doing (gameplay-wise) as well.  Not that this AAR is intended as a tutorial in any way -- far from it! -- but I felt some reference points might at least be appreciated by those who are interested in such things.  So for those who prefer the more story-oriented AAR's, you may want to skim through the first couple chapters.  :) 



Note:  I'll just go ahead and apologize now, but the first chapter is *very* short -- in fact, it only covers the first turn.  :-[  It's taken me considerably longer to write up both it and this intro than I'd anticipated (thanks to my stupid OCD/perfectionism >:(), and I have to get to bed fairly soon here.  (The second chapter will be more substantial, I promise!) 


And with all that out of the way, let's begin! 

[Additional note:  Going forward, out-of-story comments will be in bracketed italics like this.]

Very very exciting game indeed.. I have never heard about this. I will download it for sure and have some fun.