Belt mining

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Reynard
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Belt mining

Postby Reynard » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:42 pm

I've been a fan of the various iterations of beltstrike and that includes the new version found in High Guard. It's one way to solo adventure and I have someone interested in Traveller who's intrigued after reading the Belt Mining section. I figure I'll learn it by building a couple characters and using a seeker.

First thing I realize is the Drifters/belter is lousy skill wise. You need a diverse bunch from various careers to have needed skills for successful belting.

For me anyway, I found the sequence for prospecting confusing. Had to break it down step by step and write it down. If I'm right, after you establish a path in the belt you scan for an object worth evaluating. To me you need to know the object size at this point to know how many 6 hour 'watches' from the size table you have for Electronic(Sensors) check to see if it has potential or risk looking elsewhere. IF you succeed, you continue with Scan Potential and everything else. Am I correct?

Last for now, what do you use the Yield percentage for? It doesn't seem to actually tell you when you mine out a claim.
Last edited by Reynard on Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
phavoc
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Re: Belt mining

Postby phavoc » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:02 am

If you use terresterial equivalents, a mining deposit with a 5% purity rate is considered extraordinairly rich. Most deposits are about 1% ore, 99% junk (for 100 tons of rock you get 1 ton of ore - that still has to be smelted and purified).

While there are probably going to be some very rich finds, if it's in a system with much mining they should be few and far between.
Reynard
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Re: Belt mining

Postby Reynard » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:24 am

"Roll 2D twice on the Asteroid Size and Yield table: once for the object’s size, and again for the object’s Resource Yield. The Resource Yield indicates the percentage of the object’s mass that has been determined in the Resource Presence table. Remember to apply any DMs for Dense materials or Exotics. Any remaining mass is split into 50% Common Ore and 30% Uncommon Ore, with valueless waste taking the rest."

The size attribute is a radius in meters of the object while the percentage value measures the tonnage of the useable material of the object. Am I assuming I do a bit of math to determine the maximum tonnage of minable ore or is this mostly dressing and you can mine forever because it's a lot of ore?
phavoc
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Re: Belt mining

Postby phavoc » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:57 am

If asteroids are that rich you'd hardly ever have to mine.

The rules present a fantastical yield level.
arcador
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Re: Belt mining

Postby arcador » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:22 am

Yes,

When rolling 2D, the average is 7. Both the size and yield are very generous on 7. Even claiming an asteroid and selling it to corp (net ~1% value, (10% for unmined and 10% for getting the cash immediately from a corp)) results in far too much money.

If I would change something, I would reduce the yield tenfold.

Of course, the whole belt mining thing should be moderated by the Referee. If it's played as a mini-game, it can quickly go out of hand, and become dull.
bluekieran
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Re: Belt mining

Postby bluekieran » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:42 pm

I've just tried to play through this out of curiousity, I figured on starting in the N zone. Assumed the piloting check to enter orbit passed, as I'm not sure what you do otherwise - I'm guessing you're not getting close enough to roll a collision, unless perhaps you roll a 2, so I guess you just try again.

So, whenever they first pass a sensors check:

First roll on the scan potential table - 7. So Dense materials and a +1 to the resource yield check.

Second, roll on composition table - 5, Metal. Okie dokie, looking good. Resource presence on a 9+.

Third roll: 5. So... it's not present and we start over? Wait, that check was secret... when does that come out? Do I have them mining for non-existent resources, crappier resources, or just admit that it didn't pan out?

Assuming the latter is the case, let's see what the second (successful scan) attempt gets us: 7, 11, 8. Same result.

Attempt three: 5, 9, 6. Crystalline rocks, metal again, 10+: 7, nope.

Attempt four, we move out to the M zone: 11, 7, 6. Still nope...

Yeah, I can't say I'm keen to have my players try this out. I think I'll fudge that last roll so they find something. Size roll 10, 1km-radius planetoid, cool. 5 watches to survey it... not sure what difference that makes unless they're running out of food or patience, but anyway.

Total yield, 8: 34%. That'a s lot of dense metals. But how many tons is in a 1km radius? Don't know. But admittedly this was with a fudged roll... still, I'm guessing they would quickly be billionaires.

Attempt five: 4, 12, 9. Dense... ice. Hmm. I get a pass on the presence check, but I guess ice is valueless (which I'm reluctant to assume largely because I love'd Asimov's "The Martian Way"). Oh wait, no, it's Cr75/ton... Size 7, 1Mil tons, Yield 10, 45% ice. 450ktons of ice, MCr33.75, which they only get offered 3% for, so just over 1MCr cash.
*edit: Cr100,000, as they're getting 3% of the 10% value. I also forgot the leftovers: Plus 825,000 for the common ore, plus another Cr2,475,000 for the uncommon - a total of about MCr3.4. And that's with them getting shafted! It should have been M10Cr.

Boring but eventually pretty lucrative!
Reynard
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Re: Belt mining

Postby Reynard » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:07 pm

"I've just tried to play through this out of curiousity, I figured on starting in the N zone. Assumed the piloting check to enter orbit passed, as I'm not sure what you do otherwise - I'm guessing you're not getting close enough to roll a collision, unless perhaps you roll a 2, so I guess you just try again."

You're settling your craft to match the overall velocity of the surrounding debris field to optimize your sensor sweeps. Each attempt takes 1-6 hours which will be added to the number of 6 hour watches once you begin scanning for useful ore. The maximum number of watches before attempting a search in a new area of the belt is determined by rolling for the size of the most potential object's size. (That was the section that was confusing me.) All that adds to the overall 'day's' work. You might spend a lot of time on the first 24 hour 'day' establishing orbit and get little to no scan time in that first day. This would be important since you need, as a scenario or campaign, to know how long you're out prospecting for your life support. I'm keeping a log, as the adventure, of all hours and days described with each activity. This is especially true when you begin mining which will be measured in days rather than hours. That month may come up fast before filling the hold and you need to 'head back to town' with what you have for supplies, monthly maintenance and portside or ship encounters. This is very important if you have a Seeker and must travel out-system to deliver ore. Also remember you can have communication events when ships pass near and receive news and rumors.

If you can still find Mongoose's Beltstrike, get it for the belter adventure material.
bluekieran
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Re: Belt mining

Postby bluekieran » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:40 pm

Reynard wrote:
Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:07 pm
This is especially true when you begin mining which will be measured in days rather than hours.
Are you better off mining rather than continuing to scan with the intent of selling off the rights, I wonder?
Condottiere
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Re: Belt mining

Postby Condottiere » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:35 pm

You can form a limited liability company, private or public, and get investors to buy your shares, which you'll use to finance exploitation of your claim, not inflate your salary, use the corporate credit card to have business lunches at gentlemen's clubs, and pay off your three alimonies.
bluekieran
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Re: Belt mining

Postby bluekieran » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:37 pm

Quickie spreadsheet - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing (make a copy if you want to edit).

A quick play with the numbers suggests it would be quite easy to become a billionaire selling claims, and I don't expect it would take more than a couple of weeks. As such, I expect any companies that want an asteroid will go to the trouble of finding their own, and if my players want to make money mining they can damn well mine it themselves.
DickTurpin
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Re: Belt mining

Postby DickTurpin » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:15 pm

Reynard wrote:
Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:07 pm
The maximum number of watches before attempting a search in a new area of the belt is determined by rolling for the size of the most potential object's size. (That was the section that was confusing me.)
I think you are still confused. The rules do not say how long you must scan before moving on to a new area, that would be for the players or GM to decide. You scan until the roll is successful or you give up. Once you have a successful Electronics(sensors) roll you move on to the Scan Potential table to find out what you think the asteroid may contain.

At this point the GM makes secret rolls to determine the true composition , resource presence, size and yield. Then the characters move closer to the asteroid and begin a survey scan. After the indicated number of watches spent surveying the asteroid the characters will discover the true nature of the target asteroid and either proceed with staking a claim if it is a worthwhile find or move on to another area if it is not.
Reynard
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Re: Belt mining

Postby Reynard » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:42 pm

Ah, so the number of watches means you must spend that much time on that which finally leads to whether it was worth it. That sounds logical. I was probably over thinking the situation. Back to rewriting the sequence of play. Thanks.
phavoc
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Re: Belt mining

Postby phavoc » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:12 am

Scans are useful, but I would say that players need to put some sweat equity into determining the true yield of the asteroid. And that means getting out there and drilling core samples to verify the yield. Investors (smart ones at least) should expect to see core samples along with the scans.

Plus it would make more sense. It's already pretty damn easy to make a killing prospecting asteroids, and the yields are pretty fantastical. At least make em sweat a bit (plus you never know what some dastardly set of dice could pop out as a problem/adventure when working on the surface of the asteroid).
Reynard
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Re: Belt mining

Postby Reynard » Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:39 pm

I've been reading the adventures in the very old Beltstrike box set and caught an interesting bit of technical information. Describing flying near Bowman Prime gas giant there is a radiation hazard from it. The adventure mentions that maneuver drives screen ships from that level of radiation as well as micrometeors. Hmm.
phavoc
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Re: Belt mining

Postby phavoc » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:49 pm

Finding an asteroid like Psyche should be pretty profitable. However I'd think the odds of finding one would be pretty damn slim - these types of asteroids would be detected and claimed pretty early on in the scan of a belt. Or at least ones the size of Psyche.

Would be interesting to try and calculate the armor value of a hundred kilometers of metal. :)

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa ... lar-system
Reynard
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Re: Belt mining

Postby Reynard » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:24 pm

Hmm, Psyche is about 240 km in diameter and fairly spherical so it has a volume of 5.79058E+16 m3 divided by 14 for 413,612,857,142,857 tons displacement. Damn good armor.

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