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Kobold
 
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:00 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Santa Clara, CA
 Post subject: Battlestations - first session report
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:58 pm 
Battlestations, from Gorilla Games, "is a pulp sci fi adventure boardgame. Ongoing adventures feature simultaneous ship-to-ship and boarding combat in space. Players work together as a starship crew aboard a ship of their own design facing referee-controlled forces. You’ll track the heroes' positions on the starship layouts and the starships’ positions on the space map. The action in Battlestations is character driven. If you want the ship to turn, speed up, or launch a missile or blast the enemy ship, a hero has to take an action to make it so." For info on the game, see http://battlestations.info

Suffice it to say, I've considered running Battlestations in MapTool for a while now and finally broke down and made it a project. Luckily, the ship tiles are on their site, as are a number of other image resources. I took the high-res graphics of the races and GIMP'd them to make the background transparent, plus I'm using auras to highlight where the PC tokens are on the ship map.

Biggest problem I've struggled with is that Battlestations uses two maps, the first, a hex grid, where each token represents a ship, planet or whatnot. The other, a square grid, for the crew-level view of the ship (where the ship is comprised of 5+ ship tiles, each 5x5 squares, and where the crew run around, primarily moving from battlestation to battlestation to activate ship systems.) I use two maps (well, I'll probably use 3+ when I have NPC crews moving around their ship in secret.)

So far I've gotten this to work by projecting the hex map (requiring a separate copy of MapTool for the projector.) But overall it seems to be working out quite well. Having the ability to have multiple OS windows open on the same MapTool app (and each window having all of the same UI capability) would suffice, but I'm ok with having two copies of the app running.

We're trying out different bookkeeping techniques--a critical aspect of Battlestations is the ship's speed and power levels, which traditionally is tracked on a chart with glass beads; currently we're just doing that and reflecting the state changes in MapTool occasionally for the remote player and for "saving state" between sessions. Some liberal use of macros will likely make this more interesting; particularly as there are some very mechanical aspects to the rules that occur and that would be easy to model in MapTool as macros (such as: every round, the ship loses one in speed and one in each of the power subsystem; skill checks are all affected by OOC, every phase the OOC goes down by one, etc.)

If folks are interested in the campaign property sets and tokens and a sample campaign file, I can upload.

Two other very minor beefs, the hex map really needs to show coordinates and a black grid on a black background doesn't work, having a white grid would be keen.

Lastly we always have a love-hate relationship with the stat sheet. If it could be semi-transparent, much smaller font and less white space, and not intercept mouse clicks (allowing users to click on tokens underneath it) it would be much appreciated. Or if it could be a "window" I could dock, instead of a pop-up...


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Demigod
 
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:37 am
Posts: 3108
Location: Germany
 Post subject: Re: Battlestations - first session report
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:18 am 
claud9999 wrote:
Two other very minor beefs, the hex map really needs to show coordinates and a black grid on a black background doesn't work, having a white grid would be keen.

Lastly we always have a love-hate relationship with the stat sheet. If it could be semi-transparent, much smaller font and less white space, and not intercept mouse clicks (allowing users to click on tokens underneath it) it would be much appreciated. Or if it could be a "window" I could dock, instead of a pop-up...


You can set the grid color. Menu bar: Map -> Adjust Grid -> Color (click the black box)

The stat sheet is very limited. It wont be redesigned for maptool version 1.3 and MT1.4 wont be in any useable state for quite a while. What you can do is design some kind of html form based "character sheet". So you can design it any way you like and its a dockable window. You'd use the onTokenSelect-Event to update that window. More information about this technique is in my Forms tutorial

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Kobold
 
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:00 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Santa Clara, CA
 Post subject: Re: Battlestations - first session report
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:52 pm 
For the record, attached is a campaign file with relevant resources and properties. Most were available on the Battlestations.info site; a couple I generated myself with the Token tool. I use halos for character tokens to make them easily identifiable against the maps.


Battlestations.cmpgn [1.36 MiB]
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