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Roberts Space Industries ®






January 3rd 2014


Lore Builder: Ten: Numbering and Sataball Wrap-Up

Hello and welcome to another installment of LORE BUILDER, where we explore the fiction of the Star Citizen universe with you, the community. As always, if you’re new to this feature, please consult the first issue for our caveats and background reading.

I hope everyone had a great holiday and New Year’s, but without further ado, let’s jump back into it. First of all:


You all certainly outdid yourselves here. There were some well-thought-out systems for building a numbering system for the ships, making it very difficult to ultimately decide on an approach. Personally speaking, while an exclusively numerically based system would certainly be able to account for the vast numbers of the ships that the UEE Navy has (and has gone through), they generally felt difficult to decipher and not suited for clarity and quick identification.

Before we get into it, many of you brought up one element that was missing from the last post; Fleet designations (one step higher than group). Several of you had the great idea of tying the fleet designation to the area of operations. Assuming that there are roughly four zones for the Navy to operate in (Vanduul border, Xi’An border, Banu border, and internal security), here’s a system using colors that could be attached in front of the Group number as a single letter:

Red (R ) = Vanduul Border
Green (G) = Xi’An Border
Blue (B) = Banu Border
White (W) = Internal Security

Group = Numeric with Purpose
Numbers based on the order in which the group was founded. These groups could potentially range in size. Quintero and Infidel offer some interesting ideas regarding their purposes. Sample purposes could be Operations, Combat, Expeditionary (more exploration than the older definition), Engineering/Technical.

Wing = Phonetic Alphabet

Squadron = Numeric
Like Groups, Squadron numbers represent the order in which it was established. The only way for a Squadron to be disestablished is if the entire squadron is killed/destroyed in action; so as long as there is one survivor, the squadron lives.

Flight = Phonetic Alphabet for Role
Using the phonetic alphabet but in a system that would identify the flight’s role/purpose. Here’s a list from Sengar’s post:

  • ALPHA: Attack/Fighter
  • BRAVO: Bomber
  • ECHO: Electronic Warfare/Countermeasures
  • FROST: Fuel Ship
  • GIZMO: Gunship
  • HOTEL: Hospital/Medical Ship
  • ION: Interceptor/Interdiction
  • LUNAR: Landing Ship/Troop Transport
  • ORBIT: Observation/Reconnaissance/Stealth/Infiltration
  • PLASMA: Patrol
  • ROCKET: Rescue/Repair
  • SIERRA: Support
  • TANGO: Transport/Supply
  • UPLINK: Utility

Individual ships could be numbered and can be referred to by their flight/number or by pilot callsign. Shipboard computers would probably know the ships by their flight/number combo, not the pilot.

In the event of multiple Attack/Fighter wings (for example), the second Alpha Flight’s numbers begin at 11 and increase, the third Alpha Flight’s begin at 21. So communication to the third ship in the second Alpha flight would be “Alpha-Two-Three.”

Captain Aidenthor had a really interesting idea of naming the flights after the callsign of the wingleader, using the Wing Commander example of a flight being led by Paladin would have callsigns as “Paladin 1,” “Paladin 2,” etc. It would be a cool way to start to identify the personalities, but I did have one question. While this system works on a small scale (the flight designation is assigned before each mission based on who’s leading the flight), is it too fluid of a system on a larger scale since the names would change so often?

Putting all of it together, here’s a quick example of the entire system:

Red Fleet, 321st Operational Group, Alpha Wing, Forty-Second Squadron, Third Alpha (Attack) Flight, First Ship


While the system described above would be the technical/official name for the ship, many of you brought up a good point: it’s the nicknames that really capture and inflame the imagination. The nicknames should be applicable at any level of the fleets, but are probably most common for squadrons or wings.
Some rough examples:
212th Expeditionary Group “Wayfarers”
31st Alpha Squadron “Flying Vipers”

So feel free to discuss in the comments what works or doesn’t work with the above system and we’ll keep refining it. Moving on, we’re going to wrap up the other topic from the previous installment:


This sport is starting to feel pretty good, but let’s address some of the lingering questions from the last post:

There were compelling points on both sides of this issue, but I think the players shouldn’t be limited by steps or given a duration to hold/control the ball. Upon reflection, one other change I would like to suggest: lose binding the player’s free hand into a fist. I’m not sure exactly what we gain by having that. It would still be illegal for players to grab and/or carry the ball in their free hand, but they could still use the hand (open or as a fist) to slap or knock the ball down.

I really liked Blaze’s idea of not stopping play to allow for substitutions. That felt like a great way to keep the momentum going.

Positron made a good point about the full-contact element of the Australian Rules Football being a little lost in Sataball’s development.
While the game seems to be lending itself towards a lot of passing, I think the free movement aspect will help contribute to more contact. Maybe it’s a bit more restrictive — for example, only the carrier can be hit — but we could take the rules directly from the AFL:

“Opposition players may bump or tackle the player to obtain the ball and, when tackled, the player must dispose of the ball cleanly or risk being penalised for holding the ball. The ball carrier may only be tackled between the shoulders and knees.”

That isn’t to say that there isn’t still jostling if you don’t have the ball. It’s a rough sport, after all.

So that will do it for Sataball. We have established a foundation and understanding of the basic rules and how it’s played, certainly enough to refine the initial game description document. Next week, we will continue to explore the squadron numbering system and start discussing a new topic. Feel free to submit ideas for future Lore Builder installments in the comments below.

Until next time …

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