Favorite Photo of the Week

Saganami Island Tactical Simulator

I received my personal copy of the Saganami Island Tactical Simulator yesterday. This is a game, based on the Attack Vector game engine by Ad Astra Games. It is a true physics-based three-dimensional space naval combat simulator. It uses Newtonian1 physics in the sense that if you’re moving at a certain speed in a certain direction, you will continue at that speed in that direction until you apply thrust to change your vector. f=ma. Action, reaction. Inertia. I love it. No zooming banks like an X-Wing or the Starship Enterprise.

This game appeals to me for several reasons. One, I’m a big fan of the Honor Harrington series of books by David Weber, in who’s uninverse this game is set. Two, it purports to be a reasonably easy system to handle, once you get used to it. Three, it’s true physics! Things take time to move from place to place and you have to vector your thrust correctly to end up on the correct heading. That’s cool.

I started going through the manual last night, playing some of their practice exercises to get used to the way it works. Ack! It would be much easier if there were someone who already understood the mechanics. As it is, I got to page 5 and my brain started to hurt. I’ll work on it more tonight.

This is definitely a niche game, not for everyone.

1 I haven’t gotten through the rulebook yet, but I don’t think the game takes into account relatavistic effects (Einstenian physics). No need to account for the weirdness of relativity when your battle fleet is assaulting another fleet at a closing velocity of 0.8 c. Perhaps that is at the end of the manual.

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2 Responses to Favorite Photo of the Week

  1. James Cronen says:

    I am so playing this with you.

  2. Bill says:

    There’s some vebiage in the manual that implies some physics teachers are using this in class as a demonstration of Newtonian motion. I’ll reserve judgement on the advisability/lunacy of that notion until I’ve figured out what I’m doing and tried to teach it to someone else. I believe Jenn was looking askance at the game (and me) last night as I pored over the manual.

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