Albedo Combat Patrol

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Author Topic: What makes Albedo great?  (Read 300 times)

Offline ACP_Mike

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on: September 05, 2018, 08:00:34 AM
We were just discussing this in the design team and we each have our own ideas.

But honestly, yours are surely  just as good...  tell me why you were drawn to Albedo in the first place, and what is it you like about the comics and game...



Offline Geo Vaughan

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Reply #1 on: September 11, 2018, 07:20:20 PM
I actually just wrote another game designer an email on this exact subject.... odd coincidence.

I had seen Albedo in comic book stores but never really took an interest until I played Platinum Catalyst at a convention back in 2013. I've loved it ever since but couldn't articulate my thoughts until I really sat down and thought about it.

I think the overall appeal of Albedo is that it's a science-fiction setting that doesn't put its setting before the characters, and makes sure those characters are realistic. I like comparing it to Firefly because they take similar approaches to sci-fi. Both are clearly in sci-fi settings but keep those settings realistic, and never let the setting have so many elements that they overshadow the characters. The setting is inferred rather than explicit, and only exists as a vehicle for the characters to interact. History only extends far back enough to give the characters appropriate context (and in Albedo's case, history literally begins no further back than that) and the reader is left to focus on the characters and muse over the environment later.

The characters in Albedo are unlike humans in so many ways, and behave in ways that humans don't, and yet their behaviors and routines make perfect sense in the culture they occupy. They're naive in a number of ways. Religion is nonexistent, philosophy is dedicated solely to speculating the nature of the universe and the species therein. Art and music are new concepts to them.They have vast levels of scientific knowledge but find themselves stuck with very simple problems. Their methods of warfare are foreign to us and lack our level of sophistication, yet they are perfectly suited to the situations they find themselves in.  They have no prior history to draw upon for inspiration or teaching; everything they do must by definition be new. In many ways, they are extremely human characters, but simply humans without baggage, starting completely from scratch.

Albedo could have been just another sci-fi world with animals-as-people, weird terminology, rule-of-cool science, lasers everywhere, and outlandish cultures that couldn't possibly sustain themselves if logic were applied for more than sixty seconds. Instead it's a down-to-earth military story about characters trying to solve very real problems of competing interests and ideologies in a universe on the brink of war.

Also, killer rabbits. Seriously, it's not easy to make a rabbit scary, and Albedo has a galaxy full of them. Hats off to Gallacci.



Offline ACP_Mike

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Reply #2 on: September 17, 2018, 05:23:47 AM
I totally agree with you.  I was reading the comics again on the weekend, and those Rabbits are just damn evil.

What are you expecting from the miniatures version of the game that will keep the ‘feeling’?



Offline Geo Vaughan

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Reply #3 on: September 19, 2018, 02:15:22 AM
Hard to say. I'd assume from the setting that smaller, squad based tactics combat as opposed to large massed battles, with an emphasis on limited combined arms warfare. If my memory serves correctly the standard EDF  battle doctrine emphasized bombardment from space, with personal combat limited to mop up and security operations with aerodyne and land vehicle support in cases of heavy fighting.

With that said, I'd imagine most scenarios would contain heavy elements of asymmetrical warfare, with the rabbits fighting with superior speed and positioning while the EDF has the advantage in firepower and material support. "Insurgency" type scenarios would also fit the setting, since the conflict between the EDF and the ILR produced a lot of internal friction within the ConFed, and many planets experienced a good deal of civil unrest. Those would present particularly interesting problems since the EDF would have to achieve their objectives with minimal enemy casualties to prevent further dissent. In both cases, I'm guessing collateral damage would be a significant factor; if the EDF gets too trigger happy, they risk making more enemies than the ones they neutralize.

I don't know why but I can't help thinking of the GMT COIN series of games like A Distant Plain, where players have to balance various metrics for victory against one another to inform their decisions from round to round.



Offline ACP_Mike

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Reply #4 on: September 19, 2018, 03:33:27 AM
Funny you should mention that, Geoff.  We've included a whole section in the rules about non-lethal weapons.  I think that this will come in to play in later extensions - or maybe we should include a 'student demonstrators' stretch goal?

I think that modern day EDF tactics are exactly as you suggest, but in my mind, that's the current state and it was not always thus.  The sourcebook for ACP will extend the canon of Albedo backwards, so that we can explore the fighting that left Erma's Dad in such a mess, and drove the EDF towards their current approach.

If this kickstarter goes as well as we hope, we've got a lot of extensions planned that will explore various less military aspects....



Offline Geo Vaughan

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Reply #5 on: September 21, 2018, 11:29:40 AM
Oh, that's a nifty thought. Never thought about exploring the history in more depth. Has Gallacci had any input on it? I'd be stoked to hear he's still working on expanding his world.

A stretch goal for atypical scenarios would be pretty neat. Maybe have scenarios where the EDF has to root out ILR agents hiding among a crowd while avoiding unnecessary casualties, or where the EDF and ILR are clashing in heavily populated areas. Could also do hostage rescue situations, a-la X-COM.

Edit: I just realized Gallacci did expand on some of the mid war tactics and one thing I forgot about was the ILR’s use of genocide, scorched earth and dispersal among the general population during the later half of the war. Collateral damage prevention scenarios or trap sweeping missions could be fun to do too.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 06:26:50 PM by Geo Vaughan »



Offline ACP_Mike

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Reply #6 on: September 24, 2018, 08:08:47 PM
Hi Geo.

  Steve’s been kept informed all the way, and we love it when he gives feedback.

Those are a couple of great scenario ideas, and I’m going to pinch them shamelessly.

Cheers,

Mike



Offline Nathaniel

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Reply #7 on: October 16, 2018, 04:32:02 AM
What I dig most about the comic---which I had no idea existed until I happened across the Facebook page for this project, and of the admins (Chris, I think) linked me to the PDFs online---is the lived in world. So little time is  burned on explaining it. It just is. Makes it highly readable and engaging.



Offline Emu2020

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Reply #8 on: October 18, 2018, 09:17:24 PM
For me it has always been the honest attempt to tell a legitimate science fiction story. While it may have piggy-backed the furry animal craze of the 80s Erma Felna EDF has been scifi in the classic sense, telling a story that discusses politics, society, even philosophy.



Offline Prollo

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Reply #9 on: October 20, 2018, 12:28:27 PM
For me it's the role playing game, such a great setting.  Plus the ability to be all manner of different anthropomorphics, I've played a Doberman, Hamster, Warthog and Dalmatian, great memories.

 



Offline MikeMurdock

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Reply #10 on: October 22, 2018, 06:49:59 AM
Really love the story of the comic and the Hard science fiction setting that other sci-fi though I love wouldn't scratch the same itch until The Expanse novels and television show. Steve really did do attention to detail with the technology of the verse. the RPG game was also fun as well. did get some new friends from it as well.
 



Offline JamesTownsend

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Reply #11 on: October 29, 2018, 10:39:34 PM
Well I didn't know much about this until the KS came up(i'm a furry though i should have known right!), but i read the comic, grabbed the RPG and I'm sold on Steve's world.



Offline duhred

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Reply #12 on: December 07, 2018, 03:07:21 AM
O' so many good replies.

What I really liked was that it WAS focused on people and systems of government.

As a younger player I was slightly annoyed with the first edition and it's focus on "forcing" specific behaviors. Later when I realized the short comings of no "enforcement" of game world restrictions/cultures/behaviors and the lack of gamers who were willing to actually ROLEPLAY I saw the mechanics as a needed part of the game.

Is there any way to expand this into the minis game or any future cross over with an RPG?

I watched the "let's play" video and I thought I'd caught something of the like with the different card sets.



Offline ACP_Mike

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Reply #13 on: December 07, 2018, 07:56:32 PM
The sourcebook contains an optional rule for converting your RPG characters to the game.  So yes, it should work!