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Thread: Buckyball Racing Club presents: The Last Gasp (06.01.3304 - 14.01.3304)

  1. #1

    Buckyball Racing Club presents: The Last Gasp (06.01.3304 - 14.01.3304)








    Back Story

    "Hey Bump, it's been a while huh?"

    The man at the bar turned, his velvet coat spinning out in a graceful arc.

    "How you doin' Daily, long time no see!"

    "Delia please! only my staff call me Daily"

    "Jeez, the last time I saw you must have been over 2 years ago, back when we put on that Buckyball Race ... what was it called again?"

    "The Bump 'n' Grind Outpost Dash ... utter chaos from start to finish ... fancy doing another one?"

    Barnum started to laugh but a subtle arch of the woman's eyebrows stopped him in his tracks.

    "Oh god, you're actually serious ... what have you got in mind?"

    "Well last week I was checking up on a few remote outposts where I have ... errr, let's just say, vested interests, and this hit-and-run punk took a pot-shot at me and blew out my tharging canopy. Luckily I had the 'A' grade life support so no biggie but as I was running for the nearest station with that damn O2 timer counting down my last 25 minutes of air I found myself thinking - hell, I could probably just finish doing my rounds and still make it home with time to spare.

    I didn't of course, I'm not completely insane, but then I thought - no, but I know a bunch of space jockeys who are and I know just the person to encourage them to give it a try. Hell, make some deals with the shipyards and insurance brokers and you might just turn a profit while you're at it?"

    "Oh I don't know Delia, I'm getting too old for all that malarky and besides, I have more than enough money to see out the rest of this life I reckon'!"

    "Shame ... it woulda' been nice to see the name 'Bump' Barnum back in Galnet news one more time, it'd make a pleasant change from all this tedious Aegis nonsense. Ah well, take care of yourself Bump!"

    And with that she was gone, back into the bustle of the starport. Barnum turned back to his drink and caught the eye of the bartender who was looking at him curiously.

    "Same again please kid ... oh, and by the way, about Miss Grind - it's not a good idea to overhear too much of what she says! If she doesnt have you killed personally then following her crazy ideas might do the job just as well. Flying on life support's no joking matter, people die doing that kinda thing! What's your name anyway, you're new here aren't you?"

    "The name's Jak sir" said the bartender as he turned to pour another gin. "It's none of my business really, reckon' my flying days are over anyway, but ... that race? If I was a Buckyballer, hell I'd be all over that like a Thargon swarm!"

    With a wink he put the drink down on a fresh coaster in front of the man and headed off into the back room, calling over his shoulder as he went.

    "That one's on the house mate!"





    Rules

    The race begins at Vo Dock in the LHS 142 system (one of Mr Obsidian Ant's personal favourites and you'll soon see why). You need to be docked and have an 'A' class life support fitted (the one that gives you 25 minutes of emergency Oxygen).

    The objective of this race is to fly to as many remote outposts as you can in the time afforded to you by that life support and make it back to Vo Dock before your air runs out. At each outpost you successfully dock at (more on this in a minute) you get to add that system's distance from LHS 142 to your score.

    Note: you must stick to outposts only as it's not possible to enter the controlled atmosphere of a large station without stopping the emergency Oxygen countdown.

    For example, suppose you locate 3 systems which are 170ly, 180ly and 190ly away from LHS 142 with 1 outpost in the first system and 2 each in the 2nd and 3rd, and suppose you land at all 5 outposts (in whatever order seems best) and then successfully return to Vo Dock without suffocating. Your final score would be 910 (1x170 + 2x180 + 2x190).

    So ... plan your route, setup your bookmarks and then get yourself on the launch pad at Vo Dock, facing the right direction and ready to fly. Go to your modules list in the right-hand panel, select life support and turn it OFF. Don't panic! The Oxygen countdown won't start until you exit the station.

    Whenever you're ready, launch and head on out. As soon as the blue O2 countdown appears, take a screenshot that shows the current time, the countdown timer and your current location at Vo Dock. Unusually for a Buckyball race I don't really care about your actual launch time.



    Now fly to each of your chosen outposts. When you arrive at each outpost, land, take another screenshot showing the station clock and your O2 countdown, and then select Launch to head off again. Don't worry, simply turning around on the pad without fully entering the station will not restore your Oxygen and the countdown should continue uninterrupted. Do NOT select Enter Hangar.

    Keep an eye on the clock and leave yourself (just) enough time to get back to the start. When you've visited as many outposts as you dare, head back to LHS 142 and the safety of Vo Dock. Take a screenshot as you're approaching the mail slot which shows the current time, the countdown timer and the location, then land and take one final screenshot showing the station clock (to prove you actually made it safely back inside).

    You must not replenish or otherwise halt or reset your emergency O2 countdown at any point during the run except when you finally pass back through the mail slot at Vo Dock. Any indication that you've done so will invalidate your run. If you find you have not left yourself enough time to get safely back inside Vo Dock you can either push on regardless and hope for the best or choose to abandon the run and turn your life support back on.

    There will be a special "Very Last Gasp" trophy for anyone submitting a Vo Dock screenshot showing 0:01 on the countdown clock. This award will come in blue and red varieties. The blue one is for pilots who's screenshot is part of a successful race submission. The red one ... well, you can probably work out what the red one is for!

    Bonus distance

    In order to add an (admittedly small) incentive to try and re-run your route faster (in classic Buckyball tradition) you will get 1 bonus ly added to your total distance for every 2 seconds of O2 remaining in your penultimate Vo Dock mailslot screenshot. This does mean of course that you could simply take off, turn around and fly straight back in again to achieve a score of 750ly but no self respecting Buckyballer would ever do such a thing ... would they?




    Race Classes

    I'll be maintaining scoreboards for two different race classes.

    For the Unlimited class you can use any type of ship and outfitting you like (as long as you have an 'A' class life support). The ship can be engineered and you can use white dwarf/neutron supercharged jumps but you can NOT use FSD injection.

    For the Regulation Hauler class you must fly a Hauler outfitted exactly as follows:

    - 2D thrusters
    - 2D shields
    - 1A life support
    - 1D power distributor
    - 2A FSD
    - 3D fuel scoop
    - 1D sensors
    - 2D power plant

    Coriolis link for regulation Hauler outfitting

    The regulation Hauler must NOT be engineered and you can NOT use FSD injection however you are still allowed to use white dwarf/neutron supercharged jumps if you wish to do so.

    Although the Hauler itself can be purchased at Vo Dock in LHS 142, you'll need to fly to the nearby Archambault Hub in G 268-47 to fit all the necessary modules.




    Submitting your race entries

    To submit your race entries (you can run the race as many times as you like throughout the duration of the race and may enter in both classes if you wish) upload your set of screenshots to an image hosting website such as imgur.com. Then drop me a pm here on the forums (or send me an email at alec.turner@buckyballracing.org.uk) with a subject line of "Last Gasp - <your commander name>" and the following details in the body of the message:

    - Your commander name.
    - Your forum name (if different).
    - The race class (Unlimited or Regulation Hauler).
    - The name of your ship.
    - A link to the imgur album (or other) containing your set of screenshots for this run.
    - The list of system names for the outposts you flew to (these should be repeated if you landed at more than one outpost in the same system) along with the distance between each system and LHS 142 plus the total scoring distance that you're claiming for your run.

    I'll be checking those distances along with your maths but it will really help if you include them as a guide (it's rare but Buckyball Race marshals have been known to make mistakes in the past).

    If you're flying in the regulation Hauler class then I'll also need a screenshot of the modules tab in the right-hand panel taken either just before or just after your run.

    I will accept any entries where the time shown in the first screenshot (taken just after you exit Vo Dock) is between 00:00:00 on 06.01.3304 and 23:59:59 on 14.01.3304.

    Lastly, to register your intent to take part in this race please post in this thread and complete the following sentence:

    If I only had 25 minutes left to live I would ...



    FAQ

    Q) Could you also use Megaships providing that you do not select Enter Hangar?
    A) No - although it would work I've decided not to allow megaships since there's a danger that moving megaships and/or the appearance of new megaships if and when more stations come under attack by Thargoids could significantly alter the landscape of the race during the course of the event.

    Q) Are plantery ports not allowed?
    A) I did test that and it would work (i.e. you can turn around on the pad without restoring O2) but, for the sake of keeping things fair for people without horizons, I'm gonna say no again ... sorry.

    Q) Can I restock my life support with mats?
    A) Absolutely not!

    Q) Can I visit the same station more than once?
    A) No.

    Q) Alec, Is it really a good idea to change the rules mid-race after a night down the pub?
    A) Yes.

    If you have any further questions then post them here in this thread and I'll add them to the FAQ.




  2. #2
    Cmdr Inga Stevenson walks into the bar, her hair slightly damp.

    "I thought I'd never escape from that water-world I crashed on." She sniffs the end of her plait. "I still haven't gotten the smell of salt water and seaweed out of my hair."

    She glances at the poster on the bulletin board.

    "'The Last Gasp,' eh?" She smiles, reading the details. "Count me in! It's not like I aren't spent the last three weeks learning the fine art of free diving. If I only had 25 minutes left to live, I would spend it at 'Dr Sparkles's Fun-Time Family Variety Show,' now banned in 37 systems!"

  3. #3
    Excellent idea, going to need a bit of thinking about strategy and then scouting.

    Looking at your write up this caught my eye:

    Now fly to each of your chosen outposts. When you arrive at each outpost, land, take another screenshot showing the station clock and your O2 countdown, and then select Launch to head off again. Don't worry, simply turning around on the pad without fully entering the station will not restore your Oxygen and the countdown should continue uninterrupted. Do NOT select Enter Hangar

    I'm so going to fail on that point....

  4. #4
    Strategy will indeed be very interesting and it's one of the reasons I posted this thread early to give people some thinking/planning time. Will it be better to dedicate more of the 25 minutes to getting far away from the start and then just visiting a few outposts before heading back or will it be better staying closer to home and trying to visit more outposts? I honestly have no idea.


  5. #5
    Could you also use Megaships providing that you do not select Enter Hangar

  6. #6
    It'll be a few days - more than a few days, really - but count me in.

  7. #7
    Originally Posted by crotalus View Post (Source)
    Could you also use Megaships providing that you do not select Enter Hangar
    I've given that some thought and decided ... no. Although it would work I've decided not to allow megaships since there's a danger that moving megaships and/or the appearance of new megaships if and when more stations come under attack from Thargoids could change the landscape of the race during the course of the event. I'll add this to the FAQ.

  8. #8
    This sounds like fun and it's actually the motivator I need to get back into the game. Hoping to be able to participate! I'll advertise it on my forums as well

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by rootsrat View Post (Source)
    This sounds like fun and it's actually the motivator I need to get back into the game. Hoping to be able to participate! I'll advertise it on my forums as well
    Cool and please do. As the first Buckyball Race of 2018, and with people still regularly asking things like "why don't we have any racing in Elite", I'm keen to spread the word.

  10. #10
    Originally Posted by Alec Turner View Post (Source)
    Cool and please do. As the first Buckyball Race of 2018, and with people still regularly asking things like "why don't we have any racing in Elite", I'm keen to spread the word.
    So much this...and every time in such cases/threads I brought up all the BRC or Elite Racers stuff, I invariably got responses on the line of "but Frontier didn't provide tools for setting up races, there are no official races and no prizes, it's not the same! DooooooM!"...when I was a child no one bought me spaceships, and yet I had countless adventures aboard the dreadnought "USS TV-Remote" and its fleet of Pen-Cap Shuttles ....looks like people truly lost the will or ability to make do with the stuff that's given at times...

    Sorry for the rant, of course I'm here to declare my intent to die a choking death!
    This race appears to be all about planning...and given I can't even plan my next meal, think I'll just be there for the fun. Everything TBD, coming soon.

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by AkenBosch View Post (Source)
    So much this...and every time in such cases/threads I brought up all the BRC or Elite Racers stuff, I invariably got responses on the line of "but Frontier didn't provide tools for setting up races, there are no official races and no prizes, it's not the same! DooooooM!"...when I was a child no one bought me spaceships, and yet I had countless adventures aboard the dreadnought "USS TV-Remote" and its fleet of Pen-Cap Shuttles ....looks like people truly lost the will or ability to make do with the stuff that's given at times...
    In 1984 we had 10% in-game graphics and content and 90% imagination. Now that we've got 90% graphics and content people seem to really resent having to come up with the last 10% themselves ... Pfffft!

    Sorry for the rant, of course I'm here to declare my intent to die a choking death!
    This race appears to be all about planning...and given I can't even plan my next meal, think I'll just be there for the fun. Everything TBD, coming soon.
    So I did a couple of test runs, one in a completely un race-prepped Python and one in a regulation Hauler. I spent maybe 15 min's in the galaxy map finding a bunch of remote outposts (filtered galaxy map on allegiance) to fly out to. Finished the Python run with 5 min's to spare and the Hauler run with 1 minute (boy was that one exciting!). I won't say how many stations I landed at, nor how far I went but suffice to say that flying FAST is still definitely a thing and I wouldn't worry too much about perfecting your race bookmarks until you've done at least a couple of baseline runs. There's definitely a lot of scope in this for eeking out one extra landing and/or eeking out a few extra ly of distance (and I love the fact that people will be flying off in all sorts of different directions ... chances of two people following the same route? zero!). I'll actually be quite surprised if anyone claims a blue "Very Last Gasp" trophy ... to plan a 25 min run down to the final second? Surely nobody is gonna get THAT close! Hang on ... what am I saying ... surveys the list of names on past leaderboards ... yeah, OK, fair enough.

  12. #12
    You just got me wasting the first half page of paper. And realizing that, one of these days, I'll have to build a proper racing Hauler (no, not a DBX. DBX could jump a bit further, but the Hauler can run faster).

    Which again means a long list of stuff to engineer .

    Oh, that piece of paper.... depending on how long you actually (reliably?) need for an outpost landing (including approach), you get a maximum in the number of stations you can visit vs. the distance you can still fly out (and back). No need to actually solve any equations, it's simple enough to count on your fingers, provided you have an idea on how long you need for a landing. Although you might run into a problem on the sanity check, given the size of the bubble and the average jump range of a race ship...

    Naturally, if you botch the approach on the n-th station, you might have a problem

    Off now - need to scan wakes and find me some Arsenic, Cadmium and Pharmaceutical Isolators, then drop off 200 tons of Gold...

  13. #13
    Incidentally, people feeling somewhat befuddled by the planning aspect of this race might like to know that one of my original concepts was not simply the total linear distance of all of the stations visited but the total volume of space enclosed by those stations.





    Maybe I'll do a sequel later in the year!

  14. #14
    Hmmm, I've always played ED pretty straight, but I guess I could try this BuckyBall thing.

    Originally Posted by Alec Turner View Post (Source)
    suffice to say that flying FAST is still definitely a thing ... There's definitely a lot of scope in this for eeking out one extra landing and/or eeking out a few extra ly of distance...
    Hmm, well it's going to have to be the Cobra MK3 for me, even if another ship is more efficient. A quick look at Coriolis, with current FSD and G5 DDs, shows I can hit 607 m/s and 41.62Ly: https://eddp.co/u/pFBl2mpa with room to eek out a bit more distance with light engineering.
    I suspect the real trick will be finding a good route...

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by Stinja View Post (Source)
    Hmmm, I've always played ED pretty straight, but I guess I could try this BuckyBall thing.
    Hey Stinja, nice to see you in here! I'll tell you what, I've learned a lot and honed a whole bunch of skills from Fuel Ratting but I've probably learned even more from Buckyball racing. I thoroughly recommend giving it a try.

    Hmm, well it's going to have to be the Cobra MK3 for me, even if another ship is more efficient. A quick look at Coriolis, with current FSD and G5 DDs, shows I can hit 607 m/s and 41.62Ly: https://eddp.co/u/pFBl2mpa with room to eek out a bit more distance with light engineering.
    I suspect the real trick will be finding a good route...
    I should point out that when I said "FAST" I was thinking more about efficient supercruise approaches, planetary braking and fast landings than raw thruster speed. That said, getting out of mass lock fast will always save a few seconds and a few extra m/s on approach might just make the difference between a red "Very Last Gasp" trophy and a blue one!

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