Alpha Test Game 7

well, it still doesn't look like the missiles are interacting with the flak... Not a good sign. Let's see if the ships do this turn, and if they don't, I'll go through another simulated debug round.
I am mildly amused that one of the two WCnews headline images used last week was the one of the broken targeting window showing all targets. Fortunately that bug is squashed!
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So, what's holding up the game right now? It looks like it's still awaiting one set of orders, yet it looks like everybody is in.
The ghost of Gamma!
(about to be joined by the ghost of Delta)
This might be more true than you realize. Clearly there's an issue with the turn-count predictor, likely associated with deaths. Something we haven't seen before, perhaps deaths through asteroid/flak damage, although that hasn't actually happened yet.

In an unrelated note, I intend Game 7 to keep going until we get rid of all the flak/asteroid bugs, so once a player is knocked out, I'll wait a turn or so, and then respawn them.

Meanwhile, I've manually kicked Turn 4MP into processing. CP should be up now.
Reply, hmm, another flak on-fire-no-damage issue. By my reading of the rules, Snarl should have taken a chance at being hit by flak. I'll have to look into that.
The basic rules mention collision possibility between ships in the same hex, am I missing where that exists later in the manual or is that not yet written?
The basic rules mention collision possibility between ships in the same hex, am I missing where that exists later in the manual or is that not yet written?

Here's what's in the manual on the subject:

Page 2, final sentence: When playing with the basic rules, more than one unit can occupy a hex without risking a collision.

Top of the right hand side of Page 5: Collisions do not occur, except when playing with the advanced Collision rules (which are, again, not covered in the basic rules).

...and the advanced rules as they currently are don't cover ship-to-ship collision possibilities. They cover collisions with asteroids, but not other ships.

Reply, hmm, another flak on-fire-no-damage issue. By my reading of the rules, Snarl should have taken a chance at being hit by flak. I'll have to look into that.

Page 6: Flak Cannons are anti-fighter weapons which cannot be used against other capships. Target a Flak Cannon at a specific hex and place a Flak marker on it: Every unit moving to or through that hex without Phase Shields will take 10 points of damage if you equal or exceed its respective Target Roll (see below; roll once and compare to the Target Roll of all units in that hex). Bear in mind that a Flak Cannon does not distinguish between ally or enemy! All Flak markers are removed after the next turn’s Movement Phase.

This one we might need to get clarification on. The way I read it, Snarl should be immune from that particular burst of flak because he was already on the targeted hex (i.e. he wasn't moving to or through the hex, he was already there). That ain't a realistic interpretation by any means, but...
Got Alpha flying through both flak and 'roids this turn. Forgive me if I say I hope you haven't got them fixed yet...
5 CP: Aside from the apparent success of utterly trashing Alpha on both flak and roids, I need to report that the game thought both Alpha and Beta had some shooting to do. Beta had no valid targets and Alpha's only valid target was Beta, so I don't know what was going on there.
Well, missiles are still avoiding collisions; I looked into it today and discovered/remembered the problem. They're coded with what in an FPS would be considered a 'hitscan'. Basically missiles don't actually move if they could move to hit their target; instead they'll just roll a hit chance. Only if they can't hit their target do they move around and potentially interact with things like flak and asteroids. To top that off, dumb-fires are a double-exception, in that they never move, and thus never interact with the environment.

Clearly the missile movement/interaction code needs to be semi to completely rewritten to deal with this. I'm hoping for the former. That said, i won't tackle this today, but hopefully I'll find time early this week. It shouldn't take long, but I'll likely need to rework some of the chase/collision code to have a switch in it to know when to apply and when not to.

As a side test, I had reserved a shot with Scratch, so that was a test of point-defense on a cap ship. I'd tested this over in Game 6, but good to see it working in a 'live fire' environment, especially after all the bug fixes. Hopefully it prohibits me from a combat phase action this turn.
Okay, I pushed out a major update to the way missiles are handled. This easily could break all previously functional missile flight behaviour (it should have no effect on missile targetting or firing during CP ; all changes are EP related).

In Theory, missiles should now intersect with things they fly through, and then hit their targets. This means asteroid and flak, especially. They'll still ignore any in-flight LOS related concerns (so no ducking behind a 2-turn asteroid that's following you to have it lose you as a target, but it will likely have to fly through that asteroid to get to you).

Report problems, I suspect there will be many.
7 EP: Game reports Scratch attempting to lock an ImRec. I'm assuming that's supposed to be on Beta, and that would've/should've been a firing attempt. No flak on the board, either.
There was a major bug with Scratch's order processing this past turn. I happen to witness the turn kickover so I have the error messages. This was serious enough that I'll likely need to rollback and reprocess to ensure I have it fixed (once it is fixed in simulation). Fortunately no one else (currently) has any EP orders, so I'm the one holding you all up anyway. Once it reprocesses, you'll all receive a second email. I won't get to it tonight, but I likely will sometime tomorrow or Saturday.
Well, I resolved the issue involving firing flak and missiles at the same time. This lead to the discovery of a generally broken IR missile (at least for a cap ship, I don't think we've seen issues firing them on fighters). Unfortunately I can't actually get my missile locked on beta to fire this phase without rewinding a few full turns. Not only that, while it claims that scratch just got a "new" lock on Beta this time around, I can see in the database that that lock is bogus.

In the interest of the game, I'm going to just let it move forward, however I'm going to keep debugging a simulated Turn 7CP until I get that lock to (in simulation) be valid, it just won't ever get applied to the actual game.

edit: okay fix is in place that "should" address future IR missile locks. I think this bug also would have affected Torpedoes too. Not sure why fighters were unaffected in the past. Once again, this won't kick in until at least 2 turns from now, since Scratch will need first another 'fresh' lock, then a firing phase. Anyone else with IRs are encouraged to try and use them.
Progress: Looks like the missile claims to have been hit by flak! Then it goes ahead and gives a message as if it missed the target (instead of blowing up in a flak field). Still further to go. I'll do some simulations and try to get 7EP to work properly 'behind the scenes'. Meanwhile, go ahead and submit 8MP orders, so the game can progress.
I've got another update in place that should allow flaked (or asteroid-hit) missiles to properly blow up, and then not go on to hit things. Note: missiles don't leave explosion markers (I don't think Ironduke ever did, and it would just get cluttered) As mentioned previously, I won't roll this back since we already have orders in the system.
A small victory: a missile did interact with flak, and upon survival, it continued on to properly roll a hit against a target.