Community Event / Creation Buckyball Racing Club presents: The Race to the Poles - Polar Ship Fram Celebration. 14-22 July 3304

Thanks Inodoro for a great race!

Many congratulations for Ozric and Factabulous for daring the regulation DBX, which was too scary for me to touch. :D

And also to Crotalus and Darplata94! I'm glad someone else can share the joy of negative times, and his 20 minute lead was definitely what inspired me to think outside the box and fly the long unwieldy box bottom boat.

Darplata's time is so tantalizingly close, and I'm glad to see some crossover from the Sag A* run, I need to go do that soon, this race has made me fear long distance travel less, I've shied away from it for a long time due to the long sessions I thought necessary, and the trauma of "The Long Haul" race with a 17ish Ly cutter to Colonia and no neutron stars. :p

Referenced during below discussion: my calculations.
See tabs on bottom for descriptions of charts.

I would like to direct all accolades and congratulations to Spansh and his amazing tool, which I used and abused heavily over the past two weeks trying to figure out the optimal route. Mine is definitely not perfect, but in this case it was good enough).

DBX AspX Spansh String

Conda Spansh String

Video part 1 (switched to increase quality)


Video part 2


I can't say there's a ton interesting here, since I still ahven't learned how to video edit unlike some other awesome racers (I love when people make cool videos), and I apologize for the eating and the baby intrusions, it was a busy weekend and my only chance for lunch. :p

Baby comes at 32:30 2nd video. Unfortunately he's below the camera most of the time, but he does make cute noises at 44:00, big eyes at 45:40 and leaves at 46:50.

Sorry, bit late spotting this (although I think it was actually published in time for people to hear it and sign up).

Race to the Poles shout-out on Pete Wotherspoon's Galnet News Digest ..
(fast forward to the 5 minute mark)

The race also got a nice shoutout on last week's Guard Frequency podcast ..
(fast forward to 50:50)
Woohoo! I love when we get publicity, more fame and racers is always good. :D

Thanks (again) for the race Inodoro, really enjoyed the few runs I managed (and I still might give the neutron run a go for my own education since I've never tried using spansh to run a neutron highway route). Couple of quick questions on that - is an AMFU essential (due to the unavoidable FSD degradation)? - and - where spansh comes up with a whole series of neutrons in a row each 1 jump to the next, did you have to manually plot to some scoopables in-between to keep the fuel levels topped up?.
Oh, and to Cmdr Bruski, apologies for my earlier teasing about beating your first neutron run, obviously I'm the one who looks "daft" now so hopefully no offence taken? :D
None taken, teasing is always appreciated and deserved! :D That's the fun of being in a club, right?

In my case, I took an AFMU on my DBX, AspX, and Conda, although on my later better runs I didn't need it as much, and not at all on the Conda run. However, the fuel stops were essential for the routes I found at least. For the DBX, anything over a 62.23 Ly range had at least 4 probable fuel stops, and if you reduced the fuel tank to 10 tons there were an insane 14 probably fuel stops necessary. However with a 24 ton tank you could get away with 1.

I look at the Aspx since it could scoop SO much faster, I estimated I could save 10+ minutes on scooping time alone, and with a 20 ton tank it ought to need only 3 pit stops.

Then I realized the Conda could scoop as fast as the AspX, and with enough range to vastly reduce the number of jumps necessary. I calculated the jumps for the DBX and AspX to generally be 101-106 jumps (this included fuel stops, which I thought I could usually do with one extra jump, by jumping to a scoopable star near my next target). When I first calculated Conda jumps I did a double take, since it could theoretically complete the course in 88-92 jumps, and a 15 jump decrease easily compensated for the slowness of planetary landings and my general hatred of large ship supercruise handling. I settled on a larger fuel tank (56t) for safety and simplicity reasons, I only needed to make one uncharted fuel stop halfway through the 12 neutron star chain which showed up in all of my plots for all ships, apparently I would've needed to decrease the range more to avoid it, or change the efficiency of the plotter. A smaller tank (40t) could be optimal, but the dangers of running out of range and adding an extra ump or two several places seemed too risky for me, since my run time was limited.

I think that if you are fairly proficient at neutron boosting, you could make the trip without AFMUs - although I had lots of trouble on the way out my FSD was already damaged before reaching my first neutron. On the way back, my FSD got a malfunction on the final NS, but again I'm not very good - I took 2-3 attempts to get a supercharge from a couple of the neutrons, which I think increases the damage. I also crashed out at one of them, which definitely damages the FSD.
Ohhhhh, that makes sense as to why my FSD was less damaged later. My first run I was trying when I dropped into a Neutron system to aim for the cone and set throttle at half while I opened the GalMap and plotted. However this meant I missed or went through a lot, and had to double around, which was slower AND probably damaged my FSD more, though I didn't know that at the time. Thanks for the info! :D

The route I was taking had something like 21/22 neutron jumps each way. On the way out, the FSD only got down to 80% (i.e. just before it starts malfunctioning) before arriving at Amundsen Terminal, where repairs could be made. On the way back, my route had a couple of extra neutron jumps (at the Amundsen Terminal end), so the FSD did just get down to 79% / 78% so risk malfunctioning, but on my best run I had no time lost from that, and even on the previous run I decided the time loss from malfunctions was less than the time that would be needed to stop and use the AFMU.
That was probabl a wise choice, it took forever to repair my FSD on my first DBX run.

The range of the DBX with a full-sized fuel tank turned out to work just nicely so that the longest segment of neutron stars in a row was just under a tank's worth of fuel, and then the route needed an intermediate star anyway, where I stopped for fuel. Of course the limitation of the DBX's fuel scoop means that the fuel stop in question involved a complete lap (and a half) of the fuel star, which is why some investigated using Asp or Anaconda instead.
Yeah, I'm currently trying to decide what ship to take on DW2, and I'm leaning away from the Conda because I hate driving it (and it feels like driving, not flying) and away from the DBX because it's scooping is so atrocious. I'm kinda thinking the Krait might be my ship for that, it's just got a couple fewer internals slots than I really want.
Edit: This might be bad, but I just realized the DBX can actually fit a 32 ton tank. I fly mine with a 16 so often I forgot that larger was the default.

Well done to Bruski for the insane time, I did say before the race (in PM to Inodoro) that you were the most likely to do something like that! :D
Thanks so much! I guess I'm a bit predictable. :D

P.S. 1: After hosting my first race, I feel much more grateful to all the race hosts, of past and future races, because it requires plenty of time and dedication doing it [yesnod] (and it's a lot of fun!).
P.S. 2: I think my initial assessment of 80min for the "Going to the extreme" bonus was better than the 100min, because we finished with a clustered leaderboard... With 80m the position in the scoreboard would have been the same. But 80min may have not tempted the craziness to emerge... running 10000ly in less than 2hs.
Yeah, race hosts are the best, which reminds me, I need to get started on some planning for Octoberfest...
I agree the 80 minute time might've clustered the board more, but there wouldn't have been any negative time, which makes Space Bears cry. :(
It also would've rewarded the extra time taken in running less so it might've been less utilized.

I liked the 100 minute bonus:
  • Those that made the long run in a good time deserved the big bonus I think - and it was great to have a quick race that included a big trip out of the bubble (and back).
  • Anything with a chance of a negative time is going to attract Space Bears. ;)
  • If my outbound trip had been as good as my inbound one, I'd have had an adjusted time of about 10 minutes, so I think 100 minutes was good to encourage giving neutron runs a go, 80 minutes might have appeared to be for experts.
  • Crotalus would have done it even for a 10 minute bonus. :D
1. I'm so happy to have discovered this is possible, I may leave the safe confines of the bubble more often now that I know it's speedy and safe. :D
2. Guilty as charged. :D
3. Definitely, I like that it encouraged people who hadn't used the neutron highway before to try it. (like me!)
4. Ain't that the truth. Crazy pilot with HOW many Sag A* records? :p

... Space Bear presented a submission video that includes doing jumps of 250ly from the bubble to Amundsen Terminal with the Baby Space Bear in his lap... ...That's probably forbidden in the bubble!... :eek:
Wait why?! I got the inertial and dimensional dampers in my ship checked! (I think). Is there some danger to growing Baby Space Bears I'm unaware of? :eek:
Also, "forbidden" is just a word that tempts me. :D See: The Black Riband.

Woohoo, I won a race! (don't mention the fact there was only one other competitor in my class and it was their first race)

No, you're not allowed to use qualifications, YOU WON A RACE!
Now where's the glamour shot of your speedy ship? ;)

Also, has anyone ever made a progression path for buckyballing?

Something like
BoostlessFinished a Race
Mostly BoostlessFinished 3 Races
TraineeFinished 5 Races
SpeederFinished 10 races
WantedPlaced top half
RacerPlaced 3rd
NotoriousPlaced 2nd
LegendWon a race
EliteHosted a Race
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My core route was the same as Ozric for the short route, and the same as Crotalus for the long route.

Crotalus has better engineering on his ship, as well as slightly less fuel. My DBX was carrying a full 32T fuel tank for the long route, which gave me a laden range of 58.11LY.

One key thing I found was that data from different searches on Spansh can be combined to give a better overall route. I spent some time comparing the Spansh results for different ranges (57, 58 and 60LY) and different efficiencies (focusing on 40%, 50%, 60%), in both directions. Then I plotted the neutron stars out with bookmarks, and eyeballing it allowed me to (a) use pretty much the same bookmarks out and back, and (b) spot one section where heading directly was one jump fewer than going via a neutron star. Thus while Spansh's best results for a 58LY range were 45 jumps from Data Tri to Lagoon Sector NI-S b4-10, and 43 jumps back to Polaris Australis, I was actually able to make the trips in 42 and 40 jumps respectively.

I think that actually means I had slightly fewer jumps than Crotalus, despite a shorter jump range, which just goes to show that his overall technique (across neutron charging and refuelling) is better than mine!

Details of the route:
Waypoint *Jumps from prev
Daga Tri-
PSR J1752-28069
Nova Aquila No 34
Col 359 Sector NN-T e3-31
B133 Sector DB-X d1-301
Col 359 Sector UP-F d11-781
Swoiwns IT-F d12-531
Bleia Eohn KM-C d622
Bleia Eohn RY-Y d1-241extremely fast spinning neutron star (and in close trinary system)
M25 Sector BQ-Y d691extremely short and wispy jet cone
Bleia Eohn FN-Q d6-751
Bleae Thua PX-L d7-1071
Bleae Thua ZJ-I d9-1011
Bleae Thua FB-F d11-361
M20 Sector LN-T d3-702
Smojue LL-Y d561
Droju VU-V d3-643
Smojue GL-P d5-522
Smojue TD-K d8-471outbound and inbound diverged between here and Lagoon Sector
Droju ZL-J d10-371
M21 Sector KC-V d2-182
Traikaae NG-Y d122
Lagoon Sector NI-S b4-103
Total outbound (Daga Tri to Lagoon Sector NI-S b4-10) = 42 jumps

On the return leg, the route from Lagoon Sector NI-S b4-10 was via:
Waypoint *Jumps from prev
Lagoon Sector NI-S b4-10-
Traikaae RR-W d1-805
Traikaae JV-Y d51
Smojue KS-B d3-131
Smojue AV-G d10-92
Smojue TD-K d8-472
then the exact same list as above all the way back to PSR J1752-2806
Polaris Australis4
Total for inbound route (Lagoon Sector NI-S b4-10 to Polaris Australis) = 40 jumps

* all the listed waypoints are neutron stars (and the only neutron stars used), apart from the start and finish
Quick question.... Why the exotic fuel tank configuration?
I used 26 tons of fuel as well for my long run as it gave 10+ jumps and pushed my "base" range up to 57ly with 2 tons of cargo. A full 32 ton tank reduced my range a little too low - even though the extra jumps would be good.
Also, has anyone ever made a progression path for buckyballing?

Something like
BoostlessFinished a Race
Mostly BoostlessFinished 3 Races
TraineeFinished 5 Races
SpeederFinished 10 races
WantedPlaced top half
RacerPlaced 3rd
NotoriousPlaced 2nd
LegendWon a race
EliteHosted a Race
May need some work, otherwise I'm Notorious for my second (out of 2) finish ;)
4. Ain't that the truth. Crazy pilot with HOW many Sag A* records? :p
Including the original race I have done 22 runs including 1 since the last scoreboard update, only 2 of the runs used neutron stars
14 current records

Quick question.... Why the exotic fuel tank configuration?
My original loadout when I posted about being able to do the run in under 20 minutes which based rough numbers I was still flying back Sag A* was with 32t of fuel I decided to lower originally to 30 then lowered it again I have had various distractions over last week or so and I didn’t realise the exact configuration I had used until I submitted the first run.

I placed all the bookmarks when I did a scouting run on Saturday something I don't normally do

Fuel scooping technique

Varies depending on how obscured the next jump is, if I think I can get the next jump unobscured by the time the Frame Shift drive cools down by flying close to the star I will, otherwise I dive away from the star will gaining some fuel, once it is unobstructed then I will fly towards the star until the ship gets around 80 percent heat depending on the star while charging the frame shift drive. Before getting to a neutron star depending on the next leg and amount of fuel I zero throttle the ship, scooping at the maximum rate with the next jump unobstructed at this point I might plot the next section depending on whether the route plotter gave the correct route, once close I throttle up dive away from the star and star charging.
Also, has anyone ever made a progression path for buckyballing?

Something like
BoostlessFinished a Race
Mostly BoostlessFinished 3 Races
TraineeFinished 5 Races
SpeederFinished 10 races
WantedPlaced top half
RacerPlaced 3rd
NotoriousPlaced 2nd
LegendWon a race
EliteHosted a Race
Great idea! But you forgot the couple ones just after Elite:

EpicTechnically crossed the finish line before even starting
Batsh1tSame as before, but done twice

I'll amend my former statement: Aquarian Job *and* The Race To The Poles. Lest we forget.

Space Bear and Ozric, congratulations!

And a heartfelt "thank you" to Inodoro for hosting yet another fine addition to the BRC record, the only thing preventing me from making additional runs (and especially the DBX regulation I planned to) was the lack of time I had for most of the week. I rarely had more than half an hour for session to dedicate to gaming, a bit tight for this race schedule...still very happy to have made my first Orca entry, the ship has some great moves. Final time on the leaderboard may look a bit underwhelming, but I think most of it depended on having to plan a route for L-capable landing facilities, more than the Orca capabilities that aren't really that far from an AspX (50+ ly range and 500+ m/s boost are respectable numbers for a luxury liner). The L-route was pants, but flying the Italia around it was a blast!
I used 26 tons of fuel as well for my long run as it gave 10+ jumps and pushed my "base" range up to 57ly with 2 tons of cargo. A full 32 ton tank reduced my range a little too low - even though the extra jumps would be good.
I ask because if you want 26T tank, you can make 16+8+2 and keep one class 3 compartment for the AFMU. Maybe Crotalus don't need the AFMU... or there is another reason to use 16+4+4+2.

Regarding the race....
I tried to make it... the shortest possible, without losing the required explorers and the poles and Scott... but as it was not short (minimum 1700ly/34jumps), the possible ship list reduced, and made the regulation ship quite expensive...
Not very difficult... I chose one medium range (ls from star) orbital station, one short range planetary (to get big landing pads), and another in the middle/interesting/tricky; for each of the Explorers... and I wasn't able to resist having that Amundsen @4KLy...
I Got the list of all the stations for all the selected explorers from EDTS (Alot-Furrycat), plotted all in 3D and selected looking for Nansen close to Polaris, Sverdrup in the middle, and Amundsen close to P Australis, and Scott in the way back to Archer. The problem was that nearly 80% were planetary bases, so that limited the selection. Looking for low G places was another factor, because Buckyballers tend to fly with weak thrusters....
The bonuses were calculated for a ship with 55ly range, and then I increased it a little, because I wanted everybody to go to Scott, and I was curious about the Neutron Highway...
In the end it was positive, because some of us learned/mastered a new game mechanics, and others got an idea of how it works, and that it's not so dangerous.

The ideal run I think was...
"Katuci/Archer Port"
"Kayan/Nansen's Progress"
"HR 286"
"Daga tri/Sverdrup Plant"
"Tiriku/Amundsen Vision" or "Lagoon Sector NI-S b4-10/Amundsen Terminal"
"Polaris Australis"
"RBS 1843/Scott Orbital"
"Katuci/Archer Port"

P.S: Sorry for my English... in this and all the posts...:D
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I ask because if you want 26T tank, you can make 16+8+2 and keep one class 3 compartment for the AFMU. Maybe Crotalus don't need the AFMU... or there is another reason to use 16+4+4+2.
Looking at criolios I may have been intending on using 16+8+4+2 which would have still given me over 60ly of range which what I used for spansh.

Regarding the AFMU I was reasonably confident I wouldn't need one as I could repair at Amundsen Terminal

The A* Challenge is an excellent way of learning improving on jumping and fuel scoop techniques
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