specularium

Rebel Physics

Peter J. Carroll

Latest Blog Post

  • The voyage of the Leif Erickson and the Garuda

    The voyage of the Leif Erickson and the Garuda.

    I would like to contact the people we had an extraordinary adventure with, in India around 1979.

    A group of us built two boats in North Goa, the Leif Erickson, and the Garuda, and sailed them south. The boatbuilding took four months, so we set off rather late in the season. Both boats were about 30 feet long and based on the hulks of old rotten dugout riverboats that we bought. We added freeboard planking, outriggers, rudders, masts and sails, and rowing benches and oars that we constructed ourselves having replaced the rotten parts of the hulls with local wood and caulked them with local materials that the native fishermen showed us how to make. Each boat also towed a small dugout canoe for shore visits.

    Both boats set off southwards down the coast hoping to round the cape to Sri-Lanka, but we had set off rather late in the season for favourable weather. Nevertheless, we had a couple of good weeks sailing, occasionally pulling into incredibly remote fishing villages for water and supplies, to the astonishment of the inhabitants. The ocean seemed idyllic, we saw turtles and flying fish and swam in the phosphorescence at night, but then disasters struck:

    The Garuda hit a rocky offshore island partway down the coast, the crew survived but the boat did not. The Leif Erikson continued and then ran into a typhoon in the night somewhere off the Malabar coast. After a titanic struggle against the typhoon the Leif Erickson limped into Cochin harbour with most of its rigging wrecked. An hilarious scene ensued when a motor launch from the Cochin Yachting Club came to inspect our craft, having heard that ‘a British yacht had arrived’. ‘That’s us’, we said. They took one disbelieving look at the bedraggled hippies in their ramshackle vessel and made a swift exit.  We swapped the remains of the boat for a few crates of beer. After a few days, the group dispersed on their travels and we have not seen them since.

    About 20 people became involved in various part of the boatbuilding and sailing, we would like to contact any of them with a view to exchanging memories and photos and maybe writing a book about it all.

    They say that everyone on the planet lies no more than seven links of acquaintance away from anyone else, so if you know any of these people please send them this article, or if not please forward it to someone who you think might know of them.

    Herewith a list of those names we can remember: -

    Leif Erickson Crew.

    Pete Carroll, Christine Hutchinson, Simon Dunsford (British), Lars Jorgenson, fisherman, (Danish), Alfonso Lerna, racing driver, Alvaro Dominguez, chess master, (Spanish), Satayabodhi (Dutch guy, sannyasin name) Tony D’Souza (Anglo-Indian)

    Garuda Crew.

    ‘Herr Robert’ as we called him, (German) he had worked on cruise liners, and a German couple. ‘Saco’ (Indonesian) and a skilled Chef. Ralph (Australian)

    It would be great to hear from any of you 40 years on.

    Regards, Pete and Chris Carroll, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

     

    I do not usually do verbal interviews online, I prefer the more leisurely medium of email interview as it gives more time to think, nevertheless I did become persuaded to do this one: -


    https://thothermes.com/episodes/season-5-episode-4-the-birth-of-chaos-peter-j-carroll/

     

    You can tell that I would have preferred more time as I keep saying, Well…. Erm….

     

    Meanwhile a team of mathematicians and physicists crawl all over the Hypersphere Cosmology chapter of the Occultaris, eventually to appear in book form.

     

    Written on Sunday, 09 August 2020 19:17 in Blog Read 236 times

Latest Games Post

  • Frontier Space War 2.

    Frontier Space War 2. Multiplayer or Solitaire.

    Outline. This strategy game models a possible future in which various groups have colonised the nearest habitable star systems and then started to dispute territory, economics, ideology, and alliances. It can accommodate up to five players or alternatively a single player can play each faction in turn to evolve a narrative and perhaps put names to all the star systems and major warships.

    The structure of the game can support a variety of backstories. Backstory ‘A’ relates a geopolitical expansion of various human factions into space. Alternative backstories appear at the end.    

    Backstory A. In AD 2050 humans discover a warp-drive mechanism that can enable ships to travel to star systems within 20 light years in about 3 months. This fortuitous discovery came at a time when ecological, climatic, population, and political crises on Earth had almost reached breaking point. European backed missions settled large numbers of people on habitable planets in six nearby star systems forming what became known as the Terran Sphere governed according to Synarchist principles by a vast self-perpetuating bureaucracy.   

    Over the following decades various factions dissatisfied with the philosophy and politics of the Terran Sphere of seven worlds ventured further into space to colonise other worlds.

    Eurasian backed colonists established Vostok on Soviet Neo-Communist principles where hierarchies of endless committees decide everything.

    Colonists backed by the Americas established Kalifornia on Darwinian and Capitalist principles where wealth and power and a certain amount of democracy decides everything.

    Various mystically and religiously inclined groups, particularly the New-Age-Ecumenicists backed the establishment of Nirvana which operates as an Aquarian Theocracy run by those considered the most enlightened.

    Exactly who initially conspired to back the establishment of R’lyeh remains a matter of ongoing debate, but it attracted a mixed consortium of misfits, occultists, illuminati, anarchists, rebels, devils, and chaoists who eventually settled for the collective name of Goths. R’lyeh operates as a Magiocracy run by those considered to have the most magical charisma by popular acclaim.

    Within a century the four splinter factions based on Vostok, Kalifornia, Nirvana, and R’lyeh colonised secondary systems in their vicinities and developed increasingly distinct cultures and slightly divergent technologies. Despite interstellar trade and commerce, tensions over resources and the control of unaligned worlds led first to the Treaty of Terra which recognised spheres of influence and neutral worlds, and then to its breakdown as diplomacy failed and factions started building warships and interstellar struggles began.

    The conflict plays out with each faction using limited numbers of huge and expensive vessels. Factions can also employ specialised command vessels denoted as Flagships which add to the combat capabilities of flotillas of ships and which factions can exchange in alliances. Some backstories attribute the enhancements conferred by flagships to AI computers, others to genetically enhanced human capabilities.

     

     

    Factions.      Philosophy     Colour         Capital World      Flagship AI Capability

    Imperials      Synarchists     Silver          Terra                    Tactical Attack and Defence

    Soviets         Communists    Red             Vostok                 Tactical Defence

    Capitalists    Darwinians     Bronze        Kalifornia             Tactical Attack

    Aquarians     Mystics          Green           Nirvana                Psychic Defence

    Goths           Occultists        Purple          R’lyeh                  Psychic Attack

     

    The following chart shows the ideological relationships of the five factions.

                            

                           Individualist

                                      l

                                      l

           (Goths)               l              (Capitalists)

                                      l

                                      l

    Magical -----------------(Imperials)----- Rationalist

                                      l

                                      l

          (Aquarians)         l               (Soviets)

                                      l

                                      l

                             Collectivist

     

    Types of Vessel.

    Cost   Type                                                                    Dice             Number available/Faction

    5       Fortress                                                           – Icosahedron D20.           4 (all)

    5       Battleship                                                       – Dodecahedron D12         2 (1A, 4I)

    4       B-Cruiser/H-Cruiser/P-Battleship/Monitor.  – Octahedron D8         (2G, 2A, 2C, 2S)

    3       Cruiser (Frigate/Fortress Carrier).                 – Cube D6                           4 (6I) 2I 1

    2       Destroyer                                                       – Tetrahedron D4                6 (all)

    1      Frigate                                                            – Tetrahedron D4                 (10I)                                            

    5      Flagship                                                           – Tetrahedron D4               3 (4I)

     

    Star systems have production values 1, or 2, or 3, or (5, Earth), shown by relative size.

    Sequential turns. Throw for first turn.

     

    1) Count production from all occupied systems. Purchase extra vessels if possible and place at a Fortress. If no Fortress, purchase one if possible and place on a home system. Factions may store unused production as markers at a Fortress. The number of ship pieces provided reflects the maximum that a faction can maintain.

    * Occupied means either a system held by a ship or fortress or a home territory not occupied by a rival.

    2) Move any number of vessels from any star system to any adjoining one connected by a jump route. Frigates and Fortresses can only move if carried in a Frigate or Fortress carrier.

    3) Black holes act as long-range jump ports, 1 turn to move directly from one to any other one.

    4) Settle any conflicts arising. Risk protocols – up to 3 attack dice against up to 2 defence dice. Players may advance chosen ships into a round of combat in a concealed fashion and then mutually reveal them if desired.

    Flagships. Act as combat modifiers to a whole flotilla, (all of a Faction’s vessels at a system).

    Tactical AI, Supercomputer using massive parallel calculation. Attack or Defence.

    Dice                          Tetrahedron   Cube   Octahedron     Dodecahedron     Icosahedron

    Attack or Defence          +1              +2           +3                      +4                       +5

    Psychic AI, Quantum computers with a mysterious degree of prescience. Attack or Defence. Roll each dice thrice. Use the highest of 3 rolls.

    Initial dispositions, numbers and production values of star systems, and total.

    7 Imperials     53 222 11 (16)

    8 Aquarians    3 2 111111 (11)

    6 Goths           3 22 111 (10)

    8 Capitalists   3 22 11111 (12)

    8 Soviets        3 22 11111 (12)   

    14 Neutrals    222 11111111111 (17)         (Total systems, 51)

    Combat Resolution, in each round attacker and defender must put forward at least one piece.

    Attacker puts forward up to 3 units. Defender puts forward up to 2 units. Roll appropriate dice. (Adjust for flagships if present.) Pair off dice, attacker highest against defender highest, defender second highest against defender second highest, to determine casualty numbers, defender wins draws. Each side removes the appropriate number of casualties at will, (irrespective of the ship’s dice scores).

    Flagships do not need to participate in a round of combat to lend their enhancement to all vessels (including themselves) in a flotilla. A flotilla can only use one flagship to enhance it.

    Rounds of combat continue until either all attacking, or all defending forces become eliminated. Or by mutual agreement participants can decline combat. Any non-home territory with more than one faction occupying it does not contribute production.

    Treaties.

    Any Faction may send a Flagship to assist an allied Faction. It then acts under the control of the receiving Faction. However, the Faction which gave it retains two options: -

    a) In its own turn the donating Faction can reclaim it and order it to move.

    b) At any point during combat involving the Flagship, the donating Faction can order it to change sides.

    Special heavy vessels, dice modifications: -

    (Aquarians) Dreadnought – D20 attack or defence, cost 6. (Instead of a second battleship.)

    (Aquarians) Heavy Cruiser - D12 defence

    (Capitalists) Pocket Battleship, (Goths) Battlecruiser - D12 attack

    (Soviets) Monitor – D20 attack, D4 defence.

    (All) Fortress in Carrier – D20 in attack or defence. Fortress Carriers can be scrapped to allow rebuilding elsewhere.

    Starting Positions.

    Each Faction places a Fortress at their capital, and one turns worth of produced ships anywhere on their home-worlds. A second round then begins, and conflict can occur.

    Ships may remain on black holes, but no production can occur there.

    Victory Points. – Control of Earth +1. Control of another Faction’s Capitol +1. Loss of own Capital -1. Ending with more territory +1. Ending with less territory -1.

    The Imperials start with more territory and productive capacity, but rival factions surround them. Alliances prove crucial to the outcome.

    Alternative Backstories.

    B, Alien Powers. The five factions represent Humans plus four other Alien species with advanced technology that all acquired interstellar capability at about the same time.

    C, Neo-Feudalism. The factions represent the five ‘Great Houses’ that developed the biotech that gave them personal dominance over humanity and the ability to devise warp-drive. Flagships represent the personal command ships of senior family members and/or their clones.

    Written on Friday, 17 July 2020 20:41 in Games Read 420 times

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