Warp Points, Take 2

Discussions about Cosmic Starfire.

Moderators: SDS Members, SDS Owner

Forum rules
Cosmic Starfire is being designed by Fred Burton (aka 'Crucis'). Please direct all inquiries to him.

1. Nothing obscene.
2. No advertising or spamming.
3. No personal information. Mostly aimed at the posting of OTHER people's information.
4. No flame wars. We encourage debate, but it becomes a flame when insults fly and tempers flare.

Try to stick with the forum's topic. Threads that belong to another forum will be moved to that forum.

Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Fri 18 Jan 2013 18:59

Crucis wrote:
AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:I'm not sure how crew grade would affect a pseudo natural phenomenon. If we're talking about avoiding IP, perhaps last second course corrections could come into play. If it's the space time geometry of the wp itself being changed, then it's not really a shipboard action, unless the crew can abort the transit itself.


You misunderstand.

If you are rolling for IP losses, the ultimate generic situation is when all of the ships in an ST wave are exactly the same in every way. But what if you have 10 ships in an ST wave and 9 of them are average in grade and 1 is elite. And if the IP% was 30% and you didn't want to roll the dice, you would have lost 3 ships. But since all 10 are not exactly the same because 9 are average and 1 is elite in grade, how do you know whether you lose the elite graded ship or not? But if all 10 were of the same design and average in grade, would it matter which 3 you lost? probably not (though datagroup assignments could be a differentiator...).

The point is that crew grade isn't affecting anything. It represents yet another way in which 2 ships might differ from one another when you're trying to determine IP losses without die rolling.

You might also have a graded admiral on one of those 10 ships (yet another differentiator). Short of rolling the dice, how do you know if his flagship was one of those lost?

Do you see what I'm getting at, Alexei?


I do see your point. What needs to be clear is that there is no crew grade drm for IP rolls. I could imagine someone (most likely a Bug player) trying to make an assault fleet with elite crews and use the drm to negate the chance for IP's.
Charles Rosenberg.

Alexei Timoshenko is the name of my protagonist in the fanfics, although I wish it could have been me.
AlexeiTimoshenko
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
 
Posts: 1634
Joined: Sun 05 Sep 2010 21:16
Location: Baltimore MD

Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby Crucis on Sat 19 Jan 2013 15:06

tmul4050 wrote:I have to admit the thought of rolling multiple D10s on a ST is not a happy one. Say you had a ST with 50 ships plus, all different classes, all different grades. Thats not a fun game situation. Nearly makes the whole idea unpalatable. Repetitive strain injury from dice rolling.



Well, it does give one reason to avoid such a situation and try to make the ships in an ST have as few differences as possible.

But the truth is that this was just as true in ISF and is true in Ultra/Solar. There are no easy answers if one wants to keep Simultaneous Transits and keep the risk of losing some ships for whatever reason (i.e. interpenetration, unexplained losses in transit, whatever). But if one wanted a simple answer and get rid of the risk of loss, there are 3 possible options I can think of off the top of my head.

1. Don't allow ST's at all. The problem here is that this greatly favors the defender, since ST's are one of the few options left to an attacker to break a strong defense, particularly prior to missile pods or jump drives. It's also against the canon history, which makes it unlikely that I'd choose this route.

2. Allow ST's without any risk of loss or maximum size. This, of course, heavily favors the attacker. With no risk of loss, there's no reason not to use ST's all the time. One would hardly need missile pods here, though they'd still be a nice way to soften up an enemy prior to the ships coming in, like a pre-assault artillery bombardment. And it'd be against the canon history.

3. Allow no-risk ST's but only up to a set multiple of WP capacity. This still seems to favor the attacker, though less so than completely unlimited size no-risk ST's. And of course, it'd be very anti-canonical. Oh, and if an attacker tried to send through a larger ST wave than allowed, the entire ST wave would be lost.

4. Make ST's all or nothing. That is, rather than rolling for every ship in the ST wave, make a single die roll (say 1%, or maybe 5%. 10% seems quite high, but is possible I suppose.) and if you roll that number or less the entire ST assault wave interpentrates each other and is lost. All or nothing. This probably still favors the attacker, given the low chance of disaster. But when one fails the die roll, you fail spectacularly, losing EVERY ship in the assault wave. It's very anti-canon, but it is very, very simple.

5. Limit ST's to the "safe" ST's I described in a much earlier post. That is, divide the WP's capacity by the number of ships you're thinking of sending thru together in a single impulse, and that's the total number of HS allowed to safely make transit. For example, with a 300 HS WP, if you wanted to send thru 2 ships in an impulse, divide 300 HS by 2 and get a safe transit size of 150 total HS, which might be two 75 HS BC's or maybe a BB and a CL, or maybe a BC and a CA. 2 ships whose total # of HS wouldn't exceed 150 hs. And if you wanted to consider 3 ships, it'd be 300/3 = 100 HS, which might be 3 DD's which could safely make transit together in the same impulse thru that 300 HS WP.

It's hard for me to say who this idea favors. It does allow for a limited degree of safe simultaneous transits without allowing for mass ST waves, which in the end would probably favor the defender whenever the defender has a very strong defense assembled. It'd be nice for the attacker at times, when it might be advantageous to send through multiple smaller ships rather than a single large one, like when attacking a defensive swarm that wasn't too, too large. It probably also favors the attacker at lower TL's when he doesn't have access to hull types that are large enough to use a WP's full capacity. That is, at TL5, you wouldn't have a 300 HS SMT to use a 300 HS WP, but you could send through a couple of 75 HS BC's or 3 DD's.


At the moment, I have no preference beyond preferring simple solutions, though an all-or-nothing ST option may be too extreme.

I should also note that there may be other options that I haven't thought of yet.
User avatar
Crucis
SDS Member
SDS Member
 
Posts: 1888
Joined: Tue 30 Jun 2009 19:27

Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby tmul4050 on Sat 19 Jan 2013 21:56

Here is an option although its not canon
Say that ship interpenetration doesn't happen, but give the vessels the following issues
total the hull spaces rensisting the WP, and divide that total by its capacity. Round up. This is the penalty duration (PN).
then apply it as follows
1/ All vessels that transisted the WP suffers all transit penalties for the PN in turns, including but limited to hit penalty, no battle groups, no fighter launches, ECM, multiplex targeting and so on.
2/ the Warp point cannot be entered form the entering side for the PN in turns.

This means that you could do a ST but the vessels are penalised for at least 2 trns, and are cut off from any asistance also for at least 2 turns. And the more ships, the greater the penalty duration.

It could explain why the bugs use light crusiers for their STs.
tmul4050
Commander
Commander
 
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun 27 Dec 2009 20:28

Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby Crucis on Sat 19 Jan 2013 23:40

tmul4050 wrote:Here is an option although its not canon
Say that ship interpenetration doesn't happen, but give the vessels the following issues:

total the hull spaces transiting the WP, and divide that total by its capacity. Round up. This is the penalty duration (PN).
then apply it as follows:

1/ All vessels that transited the WP suffers all transit penalties for the PN in turns, including but limited to hit penalty, no battle groups, no fighter launches, ECM, multiplex targeting and so on.

2/ the Warp point cannot be entered from the entering side for the PN in turns.

This means that you could do a ST but the vessels are penalised for at least 2 turns, and are cut off from any assistance also for at least 2 turns. And the more ships, the greater the penalty duration.

It could explain why the bugs use light cruisers for their STs.


The penalties described in item #1 is roughly the same as currently exist, except for the penalty duration. The penalty described in item #2 isn't in Ultra but probably should be. Ultra's rules already state that if a single ship exceeds the WP capacity, the WP is destabilized for a number of impulses equal to the ship's size divided by the WP capacity. Frankly, if one is going that route, it should be extended to ST's, thus destabilizing the WP for a LOT of impulses.

I'm hesitant to be too aggressive in applying transit penalties as described in item #1 across a great number of turns. It's one thing to do it for 1 or 2 turns (which is basically the case in 3E and Ultra), but beyond that, you'd be making the attacking ships sitting ducks for the defenders as they came on-line and moved into combat range. And splitting up the overall assault into separate waves isn't going to work as well because the WP will be disrupted for a number of turns.

It might be possible to allow for the WP to be disrupted for a considerable number of impulses, while using a less aggressive transit penalty. The attackers would be on their own for a while, but wouldn't be completely nerfed.

Regardless, I appreciate your input, tmul. Keep it coming. Simul-transits are a tricky subject. Some people object to seemingly unlimited ST sizes. And yet at the same time, large ST's are the one sure tactic that one can use to break a strong defense, particularly prior to missile pods or other higher tech options like jump drives. However, as I described earlier, ST's come with some annoyingly tedious issues if one tries to insert any sort of random IP loss rate into the mix.

It may be that the best solution to all this may be a non-canon solution, such as not having any ST losses but disrupting the WP for a while. At the very least, it's a simple solution.





As for why the Bugs used CL's in their ST's, I can explain that one with ease, since I designed the Arachnid fleet for ISW4 (as well as the Star Union and Zarkolyan fleets). They used CL's because they were cheap and quick to build. And it stayed within the intended limitation that the Bugs only have 3 initial hull types:, SD's, BC's, and CL's.
User avatar
Crucis
SDS Member
SDS Member
 
Posts: 1888
Joined: Tue 30 Jun 2009 19:27

Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby Crucis on Sun 20 Jan 2013 00:47

WP Capacity is a tough issue for me. I’m almost always of two (or more) minds on it.

Despite what ISF says, the Canon History never makes an issue of WP capacities up through ISW4 and Insurrection. So, part of me wouldn’t be particularly bothered it WP capacity was a non-issue.

OTOH, ISF does include a variety of WP capacities, and I also know that from a survey on the old Starfire List I did a while back that some people don’t particularly like the seemingly unlimited capacities of ISF WP types (and “unlimited” simultaneous transits).

And on one hand, I find the idea of nature being more random in WP sizes and not being limited to multiples of 100. WP sizes in such round numbers seem so unnatural and arbitrary. (Of course, the flip side of this is that creating “natural” randomness in capacity is just one more little complexity.)

OTOH, I’ve never been a huge fan of WP’s limiting the movement of large ships. And yet OTGH, WP capacity numbers provide a useful tool if one is going to do things like disrupting a WP for a length of time based on a comparison of the ship size and the WP capacity.

There’s also the fact that without WP capacities being HARD limits, there’s no limit on ship sizes, for good or bad. But one might even ask how can truly hard limits on WP capacities exist if simultaneous transits are allowed in the first place? If you try to send 200 HS through a 100 HS WP why should it matter if it’s 200 HS in a single MT or two 100 HS BB’s?


So, here’s a rough, very non-canonical idea.

1. Actual WP Capacities: In this idea, they could either be a set of fixed ISF-ish values or more “natural” randomized values. The idea works with either one.


2. WP Capacities would NOT be hard limits. Rather, they’d only represent the number of HS that could transit a WP in a single impulse without noticeably disrupting the WP.


3. Disrupting a WP: Anytime the number of HS making transit exceeds the WP’s capacity, the WP is disrupted for a number of impulses equal to the total HS making transit divided by the WP’s capacity (FRU). This number includes the initial impulse of transit. Thus, if a 300 HS ship transits a 100 HS WP, the WP will be disrupted for the impulse of transit and next two impulses.

During the time that the WP is disrupted, nothing can enter the WP from either end. In effect, the WP functionally ceases to exist while disrupted.


4. Simultaneous Transits would be allowed and be 100% risk free (with no interpenetration or whatever), though with increased transit penalties (see item #5 below). But the downside would be that the WP would be disrupted for a considerable number of impulses (see item #3 above). Example: Send a fifty 100 HS BB’s (5,000 HS total) thru a 200 HS WP, then the WP would be disrupted for 5,000/200 = 25 impulses, or a bit over 4 turns.

All ST’s (including those with a total transit size less than the WP’s capacity) disrupt a WP for a minimum of 1 impulse (not counting the impulse of transit). If the ST occurs on the final impulse of a given turn, the WP is disrupted in the first impulse of the next turn.


5. Transit Penalties: As in Ultra, there would be two levels of transit penalties. The first level would be for single ships not exceeding the WP’s capacity. Those would probably be similar to the ones in 3E and in Ultra (i.e. a to-hit penalty to offensive weapons, most electronics <ECM, Multiplex, Datalink, etc.> are non-functional, fighters can't launch, etc., etc.). The second and more severe level of transit penalty would be for all ships in a simultaneous transit and those individual ships exceeding a WP’s capacity. This second level would include all of the penalties from the first level, PLUS no offensive fire or launching of small craft, whether from hangers, boat bays, or gunboat racks.

Ships which incur the second level of transit penalty would suffer the level 2 penalties for the turn of transit, and then level 1 penalties for the next turn. Ships incurring only the first level of transit penalty would only suffer the effects for a single turn.


That's it for now. I'm not firmly wedded to this idea. It's more of a case of brainstorming, I suppose. Anyways, fire away.
User avatar
Crucis
SDS Member
SDS Member
 
Posts: 1888
Joined: Tue 30 Jun 2009 19:27

Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby Vandervecken on Sun 20 Jan 2013 12:04

Crucis wrote:

4. Simultaneous Transits would be allowed and be 100% risk free (with no interpenetration or whatever), though with increased transit penalties (see item #5 below). But the downside would be that the WP would be disrupted for a considerable number of impulses (see item #3 above). Example: Send a fifty 100 HS BB’s (5,000 HS total) thru a 200 HS WP, then the WP would be disrupted for 5,000/200 = 25 impulses, or a bit over 4 turns.


This would mean that just about everyone would send in their entire fleet(s) on the 1st impulse of every WP battle. And have the bonus of not having to worry about the enemy trying to sneak past you back into your territory, because your movement has "Locked" the WP for impulses up to turns worth of time.

It's gonna be your call, but I personnaly like to see risk in abusing a WPs value (which I prefer to be a random # and not one that ends in 'x00'. Whether the risk is due to interpenetration or destabilizing the fabric of the WP, it gives commanders a tangible decision process that they have to weigh the risks vs the rewards of getting more ships thru. One thing that you could use with the destabilizing of a WP version is that you could rationalized a rule that says that higher mass vessels would get a negative survival roll modifier as they are better focuses the displacement process. Each class could have a modifier or the modifiers could be in like 4 categories. Something like,


uder 50 HS is +10%
50 to 125 HS is +0%
126 to 300 is -15%
and over 300 HS is -35%

Now your 20% destroyed number could be a 55% if you sent in your mega-juggernaut thru a WP or tried to send in 2 or 3 x 300 HS vessels thru that 437 HS capacity WP..

I really like this idea yet I know that it does not simplify the WP rules. I put it on the table though for your consumption.

I like systems that make a player think about why he he will or wont do something and your last proposal cuts out one of those moments, It is easier, but ... at ... what COST ! (In best Shatner accent)
I weary of the chasssse. Wait for me. I will be mercccciful and quick.
User avatar
Vandervecken
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
 
Posts: 1214
Joined: Sun 29 Jan 2012 20:21
Location: Minnesnowta

Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby Crucis on Sun 20 Jan 2013 13:20

Vandervecken wrote:
Crucis wrote:

4. Simultaneous Transits would be allowed and be 100% risk free (with no interpenetration or whatever), though with increased transit penalties (see item #5 below). But the downside would be that the WP would be disrupted for a considerable number of impulses (see item #3 above). Example: Send a fifty 100 HS BB’s (5,000 HS total) thru a 200 HS WP, then the WP would be disrupted for 5,000/200 = 25 impulses, or a bit over 4 turns.


This would mean that just about everyone would send in their entire fleet(s) on the 1st impulse of every WP battle. And have the bonus of not having to worry about the enemy trying to sneak past you back into your territory, because your movement has "Locked" the WP for impulses up to turns worth of time.


This is true (about locking the WP). But I was thinking in terms about avoiding having another ship entering the WP during the disruption period forcing a ST situation, as is done in Ultra, by either side.

It's gonna be your call, but I personally like to see risk in abusing a WPs value (which I prefer to be a random # and not one that ends in 'x00'. Whether the risk is due to interpenetration or destabilizing the fabric of the WP, it gives commanders a tangible decision process that they have to weigh the risks vs the rewards of getting more ships thru. One thing that you could use with the destabilizing of a WP version is that you could rationalized a rule that says that higher mass vessels would get a negative survival roll modifier as they are better focuses the displacement process. Each class could have a modifier or the modifiers could be in like 4 categories. Something like,


under 50 HS is +10%
50 to 125 HS is +0%
126 to 300 is -15%
and over 300 HS is -35%

Now your 20% destroyed number could be a 55% if you sent in your mega-juggernaut thru a WP or tried to send in 2 or 3 x 300 HS vessels thru that 437 HS capacity WP..


The problem I have with this idea is that I don't particularly like ideas that further devalue large ships. I don't like swarms, and I'd rather try to minimize the number of lesser rules that favor the small ships over large ships.



I really like this idea yet I know that it does not simplify the WP rules. I put it on the table though for your consumption.

I like systems that make a player think about why he he will or wont do something and your last proposal cuts out one of those moments, It is easier, but ... at ... what COST ! (In best Shatner accent)


Well, like I said, I'm not wedded to this idea. It was just something that came together in my mind as I was typing it up.

As for the cost, I guess that it seems like there's no middle ground. If the ST model is simple, it's also probably favoring the attacker rather strongly. And if the ST model includes a random loss percentage factor, it will always be a bit tedious if one has to make a die roll for every ship, or complex, if one wants to skip the die rolling and just take straight percentage losses, because to do it fairly, one needs to split up all the ships in the ST wave by every differentiating factor so that losses are applied to each distinct group ... which might take more time and effort than simply rolling a single d10 for each ship individually.

There's really not much of any middle ground here.
User avatar
Crucis
SDS Member
SDS Member
 
Posts: 1888
Joined: Tue 30 Jun 2009 19:27

Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby Vandervecken on Sun 20 Jan 2013 14:01

I agree. Ultimately Cosmic is your baby, so do what you think is best for it. I'm just glad that you put these questions on the forum to get our feedback. Thanks for letting me be the little devil on your shoulder whispering the virtues of a more diversified, decision making WP paradigm. Those kind of rules make the universe seem more real (and sometimes more hostile) to me. You'll have to provide the little angel to balance against my "ideas" through others on the forum and whats going on in your own head. I may not agree with your ultimate choice on this matter, but you already know that you yourself won't 'love' some of the choices you'll have to make to see that Cosmic Starfire is both Fun and Playable. We on the furum will still keep whispering (typing) out thoughts so as to give you a expanded palatte of ideas to choose from. Having choices, whether in the design process or on the Battlefield is a good thing usually. But I've seen 1 or 2 terminal cases in my day of 'analysis paralysis' brought on by choice overload as well.
I weary of the chasssse. Wait for me. I will be mercccciful and quick.
User avatar
Vandervecken
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
 
Posts: 1214
Joined: Sun 29 Jan 2012 20:21
Location: Minnesnowta

Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Sun 20 Jan 2013 16:07

The problem I see with the current wp destabilization proposal is that there really is no effective penalty for ST's. What I would like to see is a lock down that gets progressively worse the more HS that ST.

For example, using a 200 HS wp.

Up to 1200 HS of ships can transit in a turn. If done as a ST the wp locks for 1 turn.

For 1201-2400 HS the lock would be 4 turns

For 2401-3600 HS the lock would be 9 turns and so on.

Other wp sizes would use the same percentage formula.

This was a player has to make a choice. Do I want a big initial push and have to wait several minutes for reinforcements or do I come in gradually a get more of my fleet in faster. Remember that the lock works both ways, so the assault wave would be stranded for a time if the operation goes sour.
Charles Rosenberg.

Alexei Timoshenko is the name of my protagonist in the fanfics, although I wish it could have been me.
AlexeiTimoshenko
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
 
Posts: 1634
Joined: Sun 05 Sep 2010 21:16
Location: Baltimore MD

Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby tmul4050 on Sun 20 Jan 2013 23:06

You know, you take the honor Harrington approach to wormholes in that a large fleet distabilises the wormhole for hours. A little extreme perhaps :shock: .
I think that a ST should be considerd an extreme option that is not taken lightly (bugs and maybe robot races to one side), and that the rules should reflect that. But as you said there seems to be little middle ground on your options here. I am kind of hoping that we can avoid mass dice rolling ;) .

AS I see it there are three types of penalties discussed here - Combat penalties, WP penalties (no transit for a while) and ship destruction. I have to admit I favour the Combat penalties, but I can see the point of the others.

BTW if you are using the WP no transit penalty that can be exploited a bit. One other use of a ST is a rapid, emergency evacuation. For example my fleet of 50 ships is running from a fleet of 200. I mass transit through a WP, and now the enemy cannot pursue for what ever time it distabilises. Combat or electronic penalties are not a problem as I just keep running.

I just had an idea. Maybe during a ST, vessels emerge from the point moving in random directions (roll a D6 for direction). Hmmm more dice rolling :(.

Another idea, why not impose an economic cost, for extra fuel and needed maintenence that is expensive enough to give pause. :)
tmul4050
Commander
Commander
 
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun 27 Dec 2009 20:28

PreviousNext

Return to Cosmic Starfire

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest