Custom Start

Im looking to make a custom start, for background me and 2 of my friends have played a couple games to learn the basics, now we want to run a custom game, 2v2v2 where each one of us has one of our friends who hasn’t played in a formal alliance.

My question is, for setting custom start locations so the formal alliance players are closer to each other, what should the coordinates be for a fair set up? If the map is 144 stars total (24 per player) would the grid be 72x72 (having a -36,-36 to a 36, 36 coordinate set)

If you have NP Premium membership, then NP2 allows you to create custom games.
You would create this map with password for a private game, then share the URL with your friends.
You might need a bright galaxy & pre-assign teams to their two HW, perhaps by prior negotiation.

The NP2 Triton game creator can create a 6 player generic circular (hexagon shaped) map that also scatters stars within the circle, which allows players to travel through the center of the circular galaxy to attack the other side. Each player would have two neighbors equal distances apart.

But it sounds like you want a fair map with three teams of two FA players who begin the game nearer
to each other ? This sounds like it would not be a generic circular map ? A custom map would
be needed. The NP2 Triton game creator allows you to create a custom map by specifying the
HW locations. Read this help file. 

You could create a 6 player map, then players would fly around the circle (similar to a hexagon) to attack the next neighbor.

Or you could create a 7 (or more?) player map by placing the extra HW (plus more stars) near the center of the galaxy which would allow players to fly through the center to attack the far side of the galaxy.

After all 6 players have joined the HW around the edges of the map, you as game creator having
admin privileges could Force Start the game on the OPTION screen (shortcut key “O”). This would
make the 7th center empire, not having any human control, become AI.

However if the two FA players have HW nearer to each other, then this would be slightly squished hexagon. Jay’s star scatter algorithm will remove stars that are too near each other. I could use my map designer tool to calculate HW locations for you.

How many HW do you want ? 6 ? 7 ? 8 ? 9 ?
I think 7 is good, but if you want more then how close together would you want AI HW to be if 8 or 9 ?
There might not be enough room to put too many.

I assume 24 stars per player & HW medium = 12 LY between enemies. Then what distance would you
want between FA allied HW ? 11 LY (less obvious) ? 10 LY ? 9.5 LY ? 9 LY ? 8 LY ? Let me know
and I can calculate these HW locations for you.

If you want a dark galaxy, then there would be extra tasks to perform, requiring more help, or more descriptions. Bright galaxy is probably easier for new players.

HW = medium actually means 1.0 LY per 1.0 unit distance on the custom map.

And since this will be a custom map, any distances could be used. 11.7 LY ? 11.3 LY ? etc. . .