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Thursday, October 02, 2014

Hydran Master Starship Book Delayed

This is Steven Petrick posting.

I had planned on the Hydran Master Starship Book being released yesterday, but things did not go as planned.

While the individuals asked to check the book did their best, many suffered from "real-life issues" that interfered with their doing so. And, as I have often noted, real life must take precedence over a game.

We have delayed the project for three weeks to allow the checkers more time. Part of this is that not only do I not regard myself as perfect (shocking, I know), but in going over several issues in the book some things caught my eye on a basis of "that needs to be explained." It is always easier to see things when you are no longer actually in the trench trying to get the job done.

Jean is reading the book even now (something that was scheduled but in the press of other issues she did not have time to get to last month), and already the page budget has been blown (the book has grown by two pages, and Jean has only read 14 of the originally budgeted 106, so it might grow by two more pages when she is finished).

There is also the fact that this, while in one sense the first book ever done (the Hydrans provided the original prototype sold at Origins several years ago), it is benefiting from being the second book. Comments made about the Federation Master Starship Book are being incorporated into the Hydran Master Starship Book. A big one is that rather than each ship's picture coming at the end of its entry, the picture is now included within the entry, generally just before the "this ship is a variant of/this ship is a base hull" entry. This puts the picture closer to the title of the ship description and makes it obvious what ship description it belongs to. (The placement in the Federation Master Starship Book had all pictures following all text, i.e., the picture came after the listing of ship names and before the beginning of the next ship description. This was the same system that was used in the original Hydran prototype, but now all of the Hydran ship pictures have been moved as noted, and that was done just yesterday.)

Every Hydran General ship that is able to use the (R9.R6) local defense fighter rule is noted as such. Thus while the "Hospital freighters" were not mentioned in the Federation Master Starship Book, for example, they are in the Hydran book together with a specific statement of whether or not they can do the swap once, or twice. Rule (R9.R6) itself has been expanded to cover not just the Stinger-F, but the Stinger-1F (pushing the year it is available back), and of course the transition years (when there were Stinger-1F+s and Stinger-Fes among other transitional fighters available) are covered. The rule has also been revised to cover the differences in BPV this creates [it is not a straight five BPV which only covered swapping a Stinger-F (seven BPV) for an admin shuttle (two BPV), but the cost of the fighter replacing the shuttle in each case, the top being the Stinger-F at seven BPV but the Stinger-1F and various transition fighters are cheaper than that.]

Notes have been specifically added in some cases to make sure it is understood that some fighters on some ships are considered to be Hybrid fighters and do not count against the total number of fighters brought to the scenario (such as the four fighters on the HAC). And Hydran carriers that count as "interdiction" carriers are noted (those that bring a lot of fighters, but some or all of whose fighters count as only a single squadron of 12 for purposes of the number of fighters that can be brought to a battle).

I think the next three weeks will help insure that this product is well polished when it is released.