RogerBW's Blog

Painfully Realistic Vector Movement 04 April 2014

Lots of wargames, particularly those simulating space combat, have some sort of acceleration value for their units: you were going at speed 5, you accelerate by 5, you're now going at speed 10, so you move 10 units this turn.

This is wrong.

Games have finite turn lengths, and acceleration is applied gradually over the entire duration of the turn rather than happening all at once at the beginning and not at all the rest of the time. (Unless you're using an Orion drive.) What would be more accurate would be to apply half the speed change on the turn it's happening, and all of it on subsequent turns.

This system is a way of doing that without long calculations. It's not as quick as the abstracted form, but it is accurate to physics.

You will need one marker per unit ("marker-1"), and one spare marker ("marker-2"). If the game requires it, plot your movement (amounts and directions of thrust) as usual. When it comes to moving the unit follow this procedure:

  • Place marker-1 at the unit's current position.

  • Work out where the unit will arrive without manoeuvreing, given its previous drift speed and direction; place the miniature at that position.

  • Place marker-2 on top of the miniature, then take it through the current turn's movement orders (applying thrust, rotating, and so on).

  • Find the half-way point between the miniature and marker-2. Move the miniature there (and turn it to match the final facing of marker-2).

  • Measure the distance and direction from marker-1 (where the unit started) to marker-2; these are the drift speed and direction values for next turn's movement, which should be recorded (either with markers on the table or on pieces of paper).

  • Remove the markers.

Note that since this halves the distance by which units can displace themselves from their predicted position you may well want to halve the radii of any area-affecting weapons.

Tags: wargaming

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2022 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1