Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

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Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

Postby Furry Dragon » Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:31 am

So, I've been trying to figure out belt mining, as I'm starting a campaign more or less centered around my solo traveler PC running with a belt mining crew and throwing in the occasional random encounter here and there or bit of combat etc. Seems to be going well so far. But, looking everywhere, the whole Belt Mining section of 2nd Edition High Guard seems to lack, a lot, as far as how to figure out what you're getting and how to get it. For instance, the big concern i'm having is something like this.

We're in the N Zone and we do some prospecting, we locate some "Dense Materials" (Letter D on the Scan Potential chart) asteroid and go to scan it and get a better picture as per the rules from pages 74-75.
so then we move on to the next step, where I as the referee need ot secretly determine if there is anything actually in the asteroid and what it is as well as it's size and yield. great.

first things first, I roll on the Composition chart to determine if it's Mineral, Crystal, or Ice. I get a 7, it's a Mineral Composition.

Next, I use the rules as written of "Determine if the resource is present using the Resource Presence table. Cross reference the Composition of the material from the Composition table with the Resource indicated on the Scan Potential table. The result is the target number for a roll of 2D indicating the resource type is actually present."
So. it's a Mineral Composition, and it's Dense Material Resource I'm looking for, great. Going down the M column it is a 10+ for Crystal, a 9+ for Dense MAterial, an 11+ for Radioactives (a result that is not available at all on the Composition results anyway), or a 10+ if I was looking for Ice.

But, lets say I get a 10, great. I confirmed that there is in fact Dense MAterials inside the asteroid and my players' crew didn't waste 6 hours scanning the rock for nothing.

now I roll for Size and yield. lets just say it's a 1,000 ton asteroid with 10% yield. so it has 100 tons of "something" in it.


The confusion comes with the fact that, of those 100 tones of "Dense Materials" found in the N Zone rock (the common metal zone) as "M class asteroids are reasonably dense in composition, containing high-grade sources of metal, along with exotic elements such as radioactives and super-dense metals."

Now, I go to the commodities table to find the materials, and from the above description it could either be the Nickle Iron "Common" Ore for 1000 Cr/ton, or possibly the Dense Metals at 50,000 Cr/ton. And, the fact that the Scan Potential came up as Dense Materials in the common Metal composition, that the ore is obviously Dense Metals for the 50KCr/ton, and in another light, this being the only way to actually have the ore be in the asteroid and not have it just be raw rock, then logically, it would be impossible to ever get the low price common ore.

That is unless it means that, for instance, if I'm looking in the N Zone fore ore, and roll a Potential of say 2 and get Dense Material again, then find the Composition to be Metallic again, so I need that 9+ on the Resource Presense table, and I get a 5 and fail, does that then mean that the Metal asteroid is still Dense (for the +1 Yield) but it is now just regular metal and not Dense metal? Or does it, like the rules suggest, not actually have anything useful in it?

Of as another example, still in the N Zone, I pick up another Potential Dense asteroid, and then scan it to find it is Crystal Composition rock. So I need to get a 10+ to actually have there be crystals inside this metal asteroid. If I succeed, obviously that means there is Crystal in it not metal, but if I fail, does that mean it is just common nickle iron ore, or is it just useless stone?

it's all very confusing, and given the prospects of being able to potentially have my player find for instance a one million ton asteroid with (given incredible luck) 96% yield, giving him 960,000 tons of dense metal ore, coming out at a flat market value of 48 Billion credits if they managed to ferry and sell it all at the normal market value, is insane. and, even if it's only common ore (wich the issue is still unclear on how to even obtain the low value ore through the tables) then that's 960 MCr potential there.

I think, my biggest confusion comes from the fact of weather or not failing the secret Resource Presense check means nothing is there, or if it is just common ore? As well as the confusion of in the event they roll a planetoid of some kind, how to deal with that, and how to do the math to determine the volume of the planetoid, and to figure out what it would mean in terms of, if for instance they want to sell it as a ship hull, how much hull is it worth, does it get sold at the ship price of 4KCr per ton of possible ship hull (again determined on volume of the planetoid not diameter), and, if it is sold as a ship hull, do they still receive the appropriate tonnage value of the 400cr/ton "Nickle Iron Planetoids" ore on top of the payment they receive for it being converted into a ship or habitat Hull as well?

So, did some maths, the smallest volume of a planetoid is a 200m radius sphere. this equals 3.35103×10^7 cubic meters. this equals 2,393,592 displacement tons, with some decimals repeating for infinity. wich comes out to be a ship hull valued at 9,574,368,000 Credits, with 1,914,870 tons of material scooped out of the inside, with, (again massive luck giving that magical 96% yield) a value of 1,838,280 tons of ore at 735,312,000 Credits of value.

Making the smallest planetoid one could roll, worth 10.3 Billion credits at it's most, and if they simply sell it on the spot, that's a 10% value of 1.03 billion credits, with the ability to sell it for an average of 103 Million credits through a broker in immediate cash funds. Tho, knowing my player, he would very much likely stay and mine out the while thing himself and just slowly amass more ships to mine more out faster and start his own free company or something at that rate. it's very confusing and concerning at the same time.

Thank you for reading this far and please, if I have anything wrong here, please correct me.
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Re: Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:44 am

The rules are for mining ideas from. See Referee.
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Re: Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

Postby Jeraa » Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:56 am

Unless, you know, he is the referee. Which it sounds like he is.

If something is included in the books, it should work. You shouldn't have to ignore it and make something up. That just makes those pages a waste of space.
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Re: Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

Postby locarno24 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:46 am

Now, I go to the commodities table to find the materials, and from the above description it could either be the Nickle Iron "Common" Ore for 1000 Cr/ton, or possibly the Dense Metals at 50,000 Cr/ton. And, the fact that the Scan Potential came up as Dense Materials in the common Metal composition, that the ore is obviously Dense Metals for the 50KCr/ton, and in another light, this being the only way to actually have the ore be in the asteroid and not have it just be raw rock, then logically, it would be impossible to ever get the low price common ore.
I think that's where the issue is.

Getting to a point where you can say "It's a 1000 Tonne Asteroid, with a workable resource deposit taking up about 10% of its total mass" is easy, but translating from there to the Commodity Prices is where guidance is missing.

I would suggest that 'Carbonaceous Material', 'Nickel Iron Planetoids' and 'Ice' feel like they're probably meant to represent the 'normal stuff'. That is, if you find a non S-type asteroid, you can assume any part of the volume which isn't something important is made up of the respective 'basic' mineral type.

Nickel Iron Planetoids being, for example, worth so much less than Nickel Iron Ore, because the composition is awful due to loads of silicate impurities or whatever.

By comparison, Dense Materials =/= Dense Metals (at least, not automatically. At 50,000 Cr/Tonne, this is some exotic stuff - it's worth more even than uncommon ore. If you pick up dense materials in what turns out to be a Metallic asteroid, that could just as easily be a high-purity 'Nickel Iron Ore' deposit inside a rock that's mostly 'Nickel Iron Planetoid'.

Equally, an Ice asteroid (Type I) will be mostly Ice. It has about a 28% chance (9+) of something funky dissolved in the ice if you've gone to look at it because you got an initial 'ping' on the sensors, but the bulk of it will be Ice.



Essentially, I agree. This is all my guesswork - there really should be some guidance on turning a 'strike' rolled into what minerals you've actually found.
If you look at the Trade Goods table, there's a bit more explanation of types:

Cr20,000 - Crystals & Gems - examples given: Diamonds, synthetic or natural gemstones (this isn't just crystalline metal salts or something)


Cr1,000 - Common Ore - examples given: Ore bearing common metals (basically iron and aluminium)
Cr5,000 - Uncommon Ore - examples given: Ore containing precious or valuable metals (so anything > iron and nickel but not in the 'gold and silver' league. Stuff like trace elements used in alloys, like molybdenum or chromium)
Cr50,000 - Precious Metals - examples given: Gold, silver, platinum, rare elements. (Basically the most valuable non-radioactive stuff)
Cr1,000,000 - Radioactives - examples given: Uranium, plutonium, unobtanium, rare elements (speaks for itself)






As an aside, yes, no matter what restrictions you put on it, there will always be the potential of finding a 1 million tonne asteroid that's 66% + industrial-grade ore.
But it's very low. A 'ping' in a Trojan Asteroid (a rich Trojan Cluster has the best chance of finding something) has about a 4% chance of having an actual metal deposit worth at least the cost of a claim beacon (because the rock is likely to be a fairly useless C-type).

The odds of it being a megatonne rock that's 2/3 sellable ore is about 0.5%. The world-changing strike is not going to come up often - it'll be at the back of every belter's mind, but not many will find one!



That is, frankly, a thing. See the boxout about 16 Psyche on page 74. If you find one of these, then you are officially rich. If you can realise it.

At which point the campaign becomes about (a) how do you exploit it and (b) how do you protect it. If you keep making mining runs to the same asteroid, some smart bugger with extended arrays on their ship is going to be aware you keep going to a particular asteroid and coming back with Cr100,000 dTons worth of Nickel Iron Ore, time after time.




At which point you might have legal claim-jumping by corporate types, or physical claim jumping by the smart bugger (who's probably also fitted a triple pulse laser turret to prove a point).

Selling it to a broker and having MCr 103 in your pocket sounds awesome - and you could easily retire to a life of luxury. But if you plan to keep working, your "strike of a lifetime" translates into maybe a trio of Type J mining ships - a respectable little mining company, but hardly the dominant force in the system.

(It's much the same argument you get with PCs in a lot of traveller games: "why doesn't my SOC 13 noble just sell up their share of the ship for several million credits and go find the nearest drinking establishment looking for pliable young gender-of-preference-individuals?")



[Goes away to read stuff]


The Belt Mining chapter in High Guard 2e is more or less lifted in its entirety from the 1e adventure Beltstrike. It didn't have any more guidance in there either. Sometimes stuff gets lost between editions but it doesn't look like it in this case. The only thing it really adds is a section on example minerals and what their industrial applications are, both today and in Traveller science, which is interesting but doesn't really help.
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I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

Postby MongooseMatt » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:31 am

Hey everyone,

Just to let you know, mining is something we are looking into in a big way - covering all sorts, from surface mining to the traditional Belters...
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Re: Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

Postby locarno24 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:20 am

MongooseMatt wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:31 am
Hey everyone,

Just to let you know, mining is something we are looking into in a big way - covering all sorts, from surface mining to the traditional Belters...
Sounds good. An updated Beltstrike might be a nice way to do it, for that matter - the campaign itself was pretty cool.
Throw in a couple of other mining designs (like the non-jump variant of the seeker) and a station plan for the generic mining platform and Sharanan/Vinen habitats (using the proper High Guard II station rules) and some more fleshed-out mining rules and you'd have a nice second edition supplement.

I'm not sure if Beltstrike would work relocated to the Reach as written - a half-dozen mercenary cruisers turning up at once is into real "oh crikey heck" territory for most of the reach system governments, let alone a recalcitrant mining company!


The rules at the moment are okay, but I guess the main complaints are that (a) as noted guidance on picking an appropriate cargo type for a strike would be nice, and (b) as written, there is no link between the Scan Potential table and the Resource Presence - i.e. no matter what effect I get on my initial sweep, there is very little chance of the mineral type (D or C) lining up with what I actually find (C, M or I).

If I have a nominal 'expert' with a DM+3 with Electronics (Sensors) and a Mineral Detection Suite, I would like to think that with a good roll not only am I likely to find something, but the thing I expect to find should generally line up with what I actually find when I perform the full survey.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

Postby MongooseMatt » Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:37 am

locarno24 wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:20 am
Sounds good. An updated Beltstrike might be a nice way to do it, for that matter - the campaign itself was pretty cool.
Just finished replaying it in the office campaign :)
locarno24 wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:20 am
Throw in a couple of other mining designs (like the non-jump variant of the seeker) and a station plan for the generic mining platform and Sharanan/Vinen habitats (using the proper High Guard II station rules) and some more fleshed-out mining rules and you'd have a nice second edition supplement.
While I would like to see a 2e Beltstrike (there are a fair few things in there I would change/tweak/add), what we are looking at initially is a dedicated rules book for mining - as I say, not just belting, but surface mining, the outposts that support them, financing and building said outposts, and then covering the refining and selling of the materials.

In effect, a 160-ish page book that covers everything from a bunch of Travellers trying their luck in a newly discovered ring system to a campaign centred on starting as a small independent and building up into a multi-system corporation. Maybe even a box set, but that might be pushing things a bit far (though with a Kickstarter - not that we are thinking in that direction for this project - anything is possible...).

Probably something for next year, but this is something we really want to do.
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Re: Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

Postby Baldo » Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:09 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:44 am
The rules are for mining ideas from. See Referee.
See Uranium Fever too, it's good :) :

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/23 ... rs_id=9571
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Re: Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

Postby Condottiere » Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:48 pm

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Re: Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

Postby locarno24 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:12 pm

MongooseMatt wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:37 am
In effect, a 160-ish page book that covers everything from a bunch of Travellers trying their luck in a newly discovered ring system to a campaign centred on starting as a small independent and building up into a multi-system corporation. Maybe even a box set, but that might be pushing things a bit far (though with a Kickstarter - not that we are thinking in that direction for this project - anything is possible...).

Probably something for next year, but this is something we really want to do.
So essentially a mix of Beltstrike and Dynasty? Sounds great!
Just finished replaying it in the office campaign :)
How'd it end up finishing?
With the way beam lasers are waaaaay nastier in 2e Traveller (DM+4 to hit essentially making them 1D+4 damage), I feel like the Maas warships are going to be a lot scarier than I remember.....
Haven't played it in a couple of years. We really liked it - aside maybe from G. We'll check if he enjoyed it when his character gets out of the stasis bubble he set off around himself in 999,998 years or so.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

Postby MongooseMatt » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:38 pm

locarno24 wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:12 pm

So essentially a mix of Beltstrike and Dynasty? Sounds great!
Pretty much (at least, on a commercial level), though it will scale down to a very low level too, which is where I think most people will play.
locarno24 wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:12 pm
How'd it end up finishing?
With the way beam lasers are waaaaay nastier in 2e Traveller (DM+4 to hit essentially making them 1D+4 damage), I feel like the Maas warships are going to be a lot scarier than I remember.....
Haven't played it in a couple of years. We really liked it - aside maybe from G. We'll check if he enjoyed it when his character gets out of the stasis bubble he set off around himself in 999,998 years or so.
We abstracted out the final battle using miniatures, which is something I would change in the revised book. Needs to be way more narrative, and needs way more guidance for the referee - seriously, that end battle takes up all of two paragraphs in the book!

However, the Travellers ended up winning a victory over the combines and freeing (?) the system from corporate control. Their psion (who gained her powers after touching the sphere) finally broke her secrecy at the end and became a multi-millionaire and a major celebrity, while the others formed the command crew of the first ship equipped with a jump drive - the campaign ends as they make their first jump.
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Re: Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

Postby Furry Dragon » Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:42 pm

MongooseMatt wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:31 am
Hey everyone,

Just to let you know, mining is something we are looking into in a big way - covering all sorts, from surface mining to the traditional Belters...
I mean I'm glad to hear that things are getting worked on, but I've seen the same statement that 2e mining as being reword as well in 2017. Now, I don't know the structure, and I'm sure there's bigger things on your plate Matt. Don't know if you are the only person working on the stuff, but I just figured it was pushed aside for other things in the 2-3 years since the last time I saw someone asking about mining and you said it was being worked on.
locarno24 wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:20 am
The rules at the moment are okay, but I guess the main complaints are that (a) as noted guidance on picking an appropriate cargo type for a strike would be nice, and (b) as written, there is no link between the Scan Potential table and the Resource Presence - i.e. no matter what effect I get on my initial sweep, there is very little chance of the mineral type (D or C) lining up with what I actually find (C, M or I).
Also the fun fact that it's impossible to get radioactives with anything other than an Exotics roll, but there is also the fact it is impossible to find a S-Class asteroid, tho that's fine since there is not commodities related to the Silicate based materials.
Jeraa wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:56 am
Unless, you know, he is the referee. Which it sounds like he is.

If something is included in the books, it should work. You shouldn't have to ignore it and make something up. That just makes those pages a waste of space.
Yes I am the Referee myself, I'm running a "campaign" for just one PC and they wanted to go into mining (after they found the detailed rules first and had a look at how profitable it could be). where he is the sensor operator on the mining ship that the the captain's father found one of the small planetoids that was full of dense metals (after a misjump that put him 5 parsecs into uncharted space) and who spent the next 45 years mining it out to sell the ore and start his own small mining company, going from a solo belter on a courier to having the, at the time 105 year old, 500 ton ship that the captain is currently using any my PC is aboard.
locarno24 wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:46 am
Getting to a point where you can say "It's a 1000 Tonne Asteroid, with a workable resource deposit taking up about 10% of its total mass" is easy, but translating from there to the Commodity Prices is where guidance is missing.

I would suggest that 'Carbonaceous Material', 'Nickel Iron Planetoids' and 'Ice' feel like they're probably meant to represent the 'normal stuff'. That is, if you find a non S-type asteroid, you can assume any part of the volume which isn't something important is made up of the respective 'basic' mineral type.

Nickel Iron Planetoids being, for example, worth so much less than Nickel Iron Ore, because the composition is awful due to loads of silicate impurities or whatever.
I certainly agree with you on this one, I'm just on the fence about if they do for instance find the 1000 ton asteroid and it's 10% Dense Metal, i'm not sure what to do about the other 900 tons. My assumption is that it is just useless stone and not anything worth mining, or if they do ping that it is Dense Materials but fail the Presense roll, then it just turns out to be 100 tons of common metals.
locarno24 wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:46 am
By comparison, Dense Materials =/= Dense Metals (at least, not automatically. At 50,000 Cr/Tonne, this is some exotic stuff - it's worth more even than uncommon ore. If you pick up dense materials in what turns out to be a Metallic asteroid, that could just as easily be a high-purity 'Nickel Iron Ore' deposit inside a rock that's mostly 'Nickel Iron Planetoid'.

Equally, an Ice asteroid (Type I) will be mostly Ice. It has about a 28% chance (9+) of something funky dissolved in the ice if you've gone to look at it because you got an initial 'ping' on the sensors, but the bulk of it will be Ice.

Essentially, I agree. This is all my guesswork - there really should be some guidance on turning a 'strike' rolled into what minerals you've actually found.
If you look at the Trade Goods table, there's a bit more explanation of types:

Cr20,000 - Crystals & Gems - examples given: Diamonds, synthetic or natural gemstones (this isn't just crystalline metal salts or something)
Cr1,000 - Common Ore - examples given: Ore bearing common metals (basically iron and aluminium)
Cr5,000 - Uncommon Ore - examples given: Ore containing precious or valuable metals (so anything > iron and nickel but not in the 'gold and silver' league. Stuff like trace elements used in alloys, like molybdenum or chromium)
Cr50,000 - Precious Metals - examples given: Gold, silver, platinum, rare elements. (Basically the most valuable non-radioactive stuff)
Cr1,000,000 - Radioactives - examples given: Uranium, plutonium, unobtanium, rare elements (speaks for itself)
Exactly, I think the point comes that, if they for instance "ping" on a C-Class asteroid to begin with but then it turns out to be a Metalic Composition, I'm now under the assumption that if they were to fail the "check" to verify it actually having crystal in it, then the asteroid is just common Nickle Iron ore at whatever yield it comes out to be. Tho, I did make a few small homebrew changes and my own little charts, just to make things a lot simpler for myself. using a mix of High Guard, Beltstrike, and the simple mining rules found in the normal "Encounters" section of the core book on pg 145

New Mining Steps
1) prospect for asteroid as normal
2) if passed roll 1d3 if 1 rock is empty
3) if rock not empty roll on modified ore table (Fig. 3)
4) Time to scan is 6 hours per 100 tons of ore rounded up (ie. 120 tons = 12 hours)
5) Harvest ore per normal measure, following standard mishap roles and checks per 6 hours mining per standard high guard rules (Pg 77), and applying BeltStrike Incident DMs (Pg 8)
6) repeat until cargo hold full, if cargo full, move to step 7
7) sell ores through standard selling procedures

Fig. 3
Roll 2D6
2= Exotics
3= 2D Precious Metals
4= 2Dx20 Common Ore
5= 2Dx50 Common Ore
6= 2Dx10 Uncommon Ore
7= 2Dx20 Uncommon Ore
8= 2Dx10 Crystals
9= 2Dx20 Crystals
10= 2Dx5 Dense Metals
11= 2Dx10 Dense Metals
12= 1D Radioactives
locarno24 wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:46 am
At which point the campaign becomes about (a) how do you exploit it and (b) how do you protect it. If you keep making mining runs to the same asteroid, some smart bugger with extended arrays on their ship is going to be aware you keep going to a particular asteroid and coming back with Cr100,000 dTons worth of Nickel Iron Ore, time after time.

At which point you might have legal claim-jumping by corporate types, or physical claim jumping by the smart bugger (who's probably also fitted a triple pulse laser turret to prove a point).

Selling it to a broker and having MCr 103 in your pocket sounds awesome - and you could easily retire to a life of luxury. But if you plan to keep working, your "strike of a lifetime" translates into maybe a trio of Type J mining ships - a respectable little mining company, but hardly the dominant force in the system.
That's a very good idea, I hadn't even thought about other claim jumpers or having the team being followed, that's definitely a way I could make use of my PC's enemy to start on some kind of corporate sabotage plots and just throwing wrenches into the works as far as ways to make trouble and things for the PC and the crew. I hadn't thought of anything like that since I sort of figured with the small company mining zone being more or less dead to rights on my NPC's small company having solitary claim over the chunk of space that they mine in, considering with the jump 1 ship they load the cargo hold with unrefined fuel and process in en-route as they're jumping just to get there, and the previous planetoid has been converted into a small fuel processing plant for automated fuel refining from the local gas giant to be able to make the trip back to inhabited space. Tho, I may also break the fuel refinery at some point beucase I didn't look at the station rules and didn't realize it still needed crew to operate, and just assumed that the ship engineers and mechanics would perform general maintenance on it every time they stopped to refill the tanks and make sure everything was running properly.



My big eventual goal is to, if the funds hold out, to have the ship be sold out and traded up for a larger 1 or 2 thousand ton ship with it's own onboard smelter so that all of the common and uncommon ore is smelted into ingots and useable metals on the 5-6 week journey back to the industrial world that Captain Winter calls home, and make even more advances for Winter Wolf Mining Ltd
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Re: Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

Postby locarno24 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:59 pm

We abstracted out the final battle using miniatures, which is something I would change in the revised book. Needs to be way more narrative, and needs way more guidance for the referee - seriously, that end battle takes up all of two paragraphs in the book!
Might be an opportunity to have a slightly more fleshed out example of the High Guard Capital Ship Battles system? I agree that playing out a naval engagement with 12,000 dTons of light combatants with two dozen ships a side (and that's assuming the Corsairs don't carry fighters) is something I'd never approach other than narratively without a 'macro-scale' ruleset.

A Maas Mercenary Cruiser like the Random Pattern boils down to something far more useable.

Crew Skill 1 (might be worth drawing a line in quality between Maas' hired goons and the regular navy, especially since the latter are on the short end of the quantitative stick)
Hull 32
Thrust 3
Armour 12%
Defence 2
Salvo Defence 12
Turrets - Long - DM+2 - 48 damage
Missiles - 6 Missiles - 10 Damage

I know it's not a capital ship, but that feels like the sort of scale where the Capital Ship Battles rules would work well; 3 mercenary cruisers need to combine their fire to punch through the defence of one, so the big ships should go down fast but not too fast.

Squadroning up the smaller ships would work too - though I doubt they'd achieve much in 2e. Laser Drills have a 4D damage, making them officially as scary as a particle barbette (and available in a triple-mount turret!) but with a 1km effective range, DM-3 to hit, trying to close and attack Maas warships with a higher acceleration and a dozen pulse lasers apiece is not going to go well.

(You'd have to figure out what to swap the Corsairs for, since they're not a standard High Guard ship anymore - maybe Patrol Corvettes?)
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Re: Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

Postby phavoc » Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:46 pm

Unless the asteroid is pretty small, I would think that your mining scanners would give you a best guess on what the composition of the asteroid is expected to be in (iron, silica, etc). Exact assay and such should require core drillings to analyze, and then you'd have to do some actual mining (digging tunnels on larger ones) to find out what the true composition is.

Mining should always have uncertainty in it. So miners may think they've hit the motherload, but then they find out their motherload is the equivalent of iron pyrite.
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Re: Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

Postby Galadrion » Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:59 pm

Furry Dragon wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:42 pm
Fig. 3
Roll 2D6
2= Exotics
3= 2D Precious Metals
4= 2Dx20 Common Ore
5= 2Dx50 Common Ore
6= 2Dx10 Uncommon Ore
7= 2Dx20 Uncommon Ore
8= 2Dx10 Crystals
9= 2Dx20 Crystals
10= 2Dx5 Dense Metals
11= 2Dx10 Dense Metals
12= 1D Radioactives
Just a quick correction here, based on probability distributions: Common Ore table entries should be centered around 7 on a 2D6 roll, as those will be the highest probability results. (For a result of 7 and either 6 or 8, that comes out to 11/36. On your Fig. 3 table, with a roll of 4 or 5, that has "common" ores as the result 7 times out of 36, making "uncommon" ores about 50% more likely.)

If it was in my hands, I'd probably make the roll 3D6, with something similar to the following:

Roll (3D6) === Result
3 === Exotics
4 === 2D Precious Metals
5 === 2Dx20 Crystals
6 === 2Dx10 Crystals
7 === 2Dx10 Uncommon Ore
8 === 2Dx10 Uncommon Ore
9 === 2Dx20 Common Ore
10 === 2Dx20 Common Ore
11 === 2Dx20 Common Ore
12 === 2Dx50 Common Ore
13 === 2Dx10 Uncommon Ore
14 === 2Dx20 Uncommon Ore
15 === 2Dx5 Dense Metals
16 === 2Dx10 Dense Metals
17 === 2Dx10 Crystals
18 === 1D Radioactives

This keeps the most common materials centered on the chart (and thus, the most likely, or common), and makes the larger strikes of any given type more rare. As an example, Common Ore on this chart comes up 104 times out of 216 (just barely under 50% of the time), with the smaller strike (2Dx20 tons) slightly more than three times as likely as the larger strike (2Dx50 tons). I've tried to balance other results similarly, although the proportions aren't exactly the same (as they probably shouldn't be). I would also probably include an entry on the "Exotics" chart for another Radioactives strike, making Radioactives a bit more frequent than other sorts of exotic discovery - probably making the Radioactives entry on the Exotics table a larger strike (as it's less likely than the result from the basic table).
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Re: Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

Postby Furry Dragon » Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:43 am

Galadrion wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:59 pm
Just a quick correction here, based on probability distributions: Common Ore table entries should be centered around 7 on a 2D6 roll, as those will be the highest probability results. (For a result of 7 and either 6 or 8, that comes out to 11/36. On your Fig. 3 table, with a roll of 4 or 5, that has "common" ores as the result 7 times out of 36, making "uncommon" ores about 50% more likely.)

If it was in my hands, I'd probably make the roll 3D6, with something similar to the following:

Roll (3D6) === Result
3 === Exotics
4 === 2D Precious Metals
5 === 2Dx20 Crystals
6 === 2Dx10 Crystals
7 === 2Dx10 Uncommon Ore
8 === 2Dx10 Uncommon Ore
9 === 2Dx20 Common Ore
10 === 2Dx20 Common Ore
11 === 2Dx20 Common Ore
12 === 2Dx50 Common Ore
13 === 2Dx10 Uncommon Ore
14 === 2Dx20 Uncommon Ore
15 === 2Dx5 Dense Metals
16 === 2Dx10 Dense Metals
17 === 2Dx10 Crystals
18 === 1D Radioactives

This keeps the most common materials centered on the chart (and thus, the most likely, or common), and makes the larger strikes of any given type more rare. As an example, Common Ore on this chart comes up 104 times out of 216 (just barely under 50% of the time), with the smaller strike (2Dx20 tons) slightly more than three times as likely as the larger strike (2Dx50 tons). I've tried to balance other results similarly, although the proportions aren't exactly the same (as they probably shouldn't be). I would also probably include an entry on the "Exotics" chart for another Radioactives strike, making Radioactives a bit more frequent than other sorts of exotic discovery - probably making the Radioactives entry on the Exotics table a larger strike (as it's less likely than the result from the basic table).
Thank you for the new table, i'm not one for probabilities and such, I just took the default table and shoved the dense metals into it somewhere, I wasn't really thinking about the odds all things considered.
But, it does certainly give me another method to use the slightly simpler method to determine both composition and yield in one go.

Tho, I think with my new look on how to operate under the standard rules, I may just remove the option to get planetoids from the chart so the biggest astoid that could be found is a 1 million ton one and then go from there. Since I logically want them to be able to find either a decent number of materials and have to make multiple trips.

I think failing on the precense roll coming out to mean that it's just common ore and not dense all the time. Tho, that being said, I may go on with using the tables and processes solely from Beltstrike and go from there, since that potential table has the option to find radioactives immediately as well, tho that could still result in several hundered tons of radioactives available.

Tho, that still comes up with the issue that, yes you can find the Potential for a kind of resource to be there, then you can spend several more hours to Confirm your first ping was correct and it is in fact there. But, that still just leaves you with some kind of material, weather it be Crytaline, Dense, Radioactive, or Exotic. It still doesn't break anything down to letting you know if it is Common, Uncommon, Radioactive, Dense, Crystal, Carbarous, or Ice

Also, I'm still unsure on what to do with planetoids if I do allow them to be located. Do I just make a yield percentage, find out the total tonnage, and value it as the Nickle-Iron Planetoid?

And, if the system does not detail the specifics, as far as if the asteroid is a single type of ore, then would I then treat it more like "Unprocessed Ore" and then, they sell it to a refinery and are paid based on what comes out, using the refineries 50% Common Ore, 30% Uncommon Ore, 15% Crystals & Gems and 5% Precious Metals? Because, that doesn't seem to make sense to me, since those figures are based off of what comes out when you drag a whole 100 ton asteroid into the refinery where it gets crushed up and sorted. Whereas the belters are basically already doing the crushing and sorting, picking and choosing what specific asteroids they want to mine.

The issue comes that either way, the system seems to stand at the fact you can
1) go looking for mineral rich asteroids
2) find those asteroids and scan them for what's inside
3) (GM only) determine the size of the rock, and if there actually is minerals in it, and how much
4) begin the mining process and extract the percentage of ore from the asteroid
5) go and sell the raw ore on the market after you mine it, or sell the location of the asteroid to others who will do the hard part

but, at no point can you actually find out what specific material or mineral is inside the rock, just that it is a vague mix of metals or icy/crystalline minerals. It's very confusing, we need at least one more table or chart like the Composition table, with the C - M - I compositions in it, and then depending on if you can actually get said materials from an asteroid, you roll the 2d6 to find what is actually in it, leaving out the ones that don't make sense. like you can't find Ice in a Metallic composition rock. IDK, the more I look at it and think I've solved the issue, two more show up because of those "solutions" I puzzled out.
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Re: Any Updates on Belt Mining? I Have Many Questions

Postby Galadrion » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:37 am

Okay, first of all, I wouldn't worry too much about planetoids - you can essentially regard them as "larger than the players are ever going to bother mining for themselves". (To figure the volume of a planetoid - or any other sphere - you take the radius in meters (100 m for the smallest possible planetoid), cube that, multiply by pi (3.14 should be more than enough accuracy - remember, it won't be a perfect sphere) and then multiply by 4/3. That gets you the cubic meters of the planetoid. To convert to displacement tons, simply divide by 14 (or 13.5, or whichever magic number your particular sect of the Holy Canon espouses). Running the numbers quickly tells me that the smallest possible planetoid on the chart (200 meter diameter) is about 300,000 displacement tons - not exactly something an adventurer-class mining ship is going to load into the cargo bay and fly off with.

As for how to handle them, well, once you have the size, treat them just like smaller asteroids. After all, they are just like the smaller rocks - just bigger. It'll take longer to survey them, the yields are going to be larger, and the chances of the players sticking around long enough to completely exploit them are next to nil. Once you make it clear to them that it's going to take their dinky little prospector ship - with its twenty-six ton cargo hold (for a Seeker mining ship) - about two thousand round trips to take away all the (literal) paydirt, most adventure-minded Travellers are going to be looking for someone to sell their claim to, not working on ways to wring every last centavo out of this chunk of rock. And that's just for the smallest planetoid - which are extremely uncommon; most of them will be considerably bigger than that, and the volume goes up with the cube of the rock's radius, which means the volumes quickly get utterly ridiculous. Tying themselves to a mining claim (if it's rich enough) may be a way to make a good chuck of money, but it's not going to be exciting for very long.

Also, don't assume that a planetoid is automatically an M-class asteroid. C-class and dirty snowballs can also get that big - most of the really spectacular comets are planetoid-sized ice-balls. As for "the specifics" of what gets mined, that's probably unnecessary detail - "Common Ore", "Uncommon Ore", and the other commodity categories are likely as detailed as you need to get for most players, since they're interest in selling them rather than trying to make something out of them. "The specifics" are something for the smelters to be concerned about, not the miners. It's usually a non-problem. Remember, only bother with the detail you actually need, otherwise, you're piling up more work for yourself without really adding much to the story-line.

Edited to add:

If you really want a rule-of-thumb for "exact" breakdowns on what comes out of an asteroid, you could try something like the following. (Bear in mind, Locarno already listed the prices of various mining results farther up-thread.)

Roll another check on the Resource Yield table to determine the purity of the ore you mined; if you have a smelter of some sort, you can use this percentage to work out the tonnage of common or uncommon (depending on what type of ore you're smelting) raw materials. The remainder - if you're determined not to waste anything - will be about two-thirds carbonaceous and/or silicate material (worth about Cr 600 per displacement ton - ballpark guesstimate, which you can adjust as needed), about two-third of what remains after that will be water (worth roughly Cr 100 per displacement ton - probably more valuable to the miners if it's fed into the fuel refiner, honestly), and anything left over will be "volatiles" such as frozen methane, ammonia, and other such things, worth about Cr 500 per displacement ton. That's the waste from smelting, and will probably take considerable work to recover. The non-ore components of the asteroid (what got discarded while the miners were crushing and sorting rock) will be of similar composition to the smelter waste, but easier to recovery (as it's not being essentially boiled off of the molten metal).

So, quick, not-so-wordy recap: if you're not going to tow the rock to a shipyard to become a hull (and incidentally, the shipyard will be doing the tunneling - and selling what gets tunneled out; after all, those rock-rats don't know how to preserve structural integrity!) then what you're digging out of a rock is ore, and the amounts are already covered in the HG2 belt mining rules reasonably well. (I might tinker with distributions a bit, but that'll be house-rule quibbling.) If you're going to process the ore yourself (which takes considerably more capital investment) then you're going to be reducing your cargo to a smaller amount of higher-value raw materials (see the Core Rules trade tables for values) and (probably) a considerable amount of low-value dross - to add to the large amounts of it you already had left over from pulling the ore out of the rest of it. Most asteroid miners are going to regard the dross as too low-value to be worth hauling back to sell, and there's some point to that view. So, overall: yes, it's possible to make a huge strike which appears to make all the miner's dreams and fantasies possible... but it's incredibly unlikely, and it's going to be an awful lot of work to realize that payoff. A modestly-sized asteroid is going to take dozens, hundreds, or thousands of trips to play out, unless you're planning on bringing in a reasonably-sized mining company, so that's probably out of the scope of most games - unless your players really do want to be playing Papers & Paychecks!

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