Warp Points, Take 2

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Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby Vandervecken on Mon 21 Jan 2013 01:32

tmul4050 wrote:Another idea, why not impose an economic cost, for extra fuel and needed maintenence that is expensive enough to give pause.


While this is not more die rolling, it IS more paperwork, and I detest more empire book-work. But I see where your Idea has some element of risk/reward decision-making, and might also make for good fiction.

Crucis wrote: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.


maybe have the bonuses/penalties

under 50 HS is -5%
50 to 125 HS is +0%
126 to 300 is +5%
and over 300 HS is +10%


Starfire already has shown thru the SysGen that WPs are affected by mass, so it is easy to assume that mass will have an effect on them when up close and personal. A second table could be developed quickly that adds negative modifiers to all vessels traveling thru a WP that impulse based on number of masses (Vessels) that make the journey when the WP value is exceeded. An off the cuff one could be:


1-2 vessels: +0%
3-5 vessels: +5%
6-12 vessels +10%
13-20 vessels: +15%
21-75 vessels: +20%
76+ vessels: +35%

So if the Drubaar Horde sends in 1 x 400 HS vessel, 2 x 60 HS Vessel, and 63 x 22 HS vessel, it would roll for loss at 50%, 40%, and 35% for the three groups in order. Logic would dictate the Horde should not send its BIG ship with the rest of the vessels, but that Drubaar Horde is just wild enough to try it, hehehee! And if it makes it thru the WP, their enemy now have 2 issues to deal with, eh? I love letting players make those risk/reward choices.

But of the Overborrd Confederate sent 4 x 525 HS vessels thru, each would have a 35% chance of not making it.

In the 2 examples above the 63 x 22 HS and the 4 x 525 HS vessels have the same chance per vessel of being lost.

The Dinglhoff Union sends in just 2 x 711 HS vessels and has a 30% of losss. Once you get bigger than 300 HS the penalty never gets bigger; well, unless you go over 10 x the WP capacity (see below).

This assumes we use the new (less anti-big ship) modifiers and a base ship lost number of 20% for going over the WPs value. I would add an additionl modifier of +15% for each multiple of 10 x the WP value you send in mass thru it (For those who really want to stretch the fabric of null-space.

If you like the concept but want slightly less-harsh losses, make the base loss % = 15 or even 10. I personaly think the universe is a harsh mistress. It gives the starfaring races WP to cheat the distances between stars, but don't mess with her WP values unless you are willing to pay for the consequences.

P.S. I like it enough that I just might add a version of this to my house rules for my '3 Empires' campaign.
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Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby Crucis on Mon 21 Jan 2013 14:58

tmul4050 wrote: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: .


Ya think? ;)


I think that a ST should be considered 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 ;) .


Well, other than "no risk of random destruction" ST's (with no die rolls) or "all or nothing" ST's (with a single die roll for the entire ST wave), I'm not sure how mass die rolling can be avoided since that basically leaves random destruction for individual ships within the ST wave ... which means individual die rolls.


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.


Actually, the primary "combat" transit penalties (i.e. reduction of weapons accuracy, degradation of electronics, and inability to launch fighters, etc.) are the standard transit penalties that always occur in regular "serial" transits. :)

The second level of transit penalties (i.e. no offensive fire for 1 turn in addition to the standard level 1 penalties on the next turn) is the ST penalty.


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 destabilises. Combat or electronic penalties are not a problem as I just keep running.


Of course, though in the situation you describe above, the chasing fleet would probably have to be VERY close on your tail for the destabilization I've currently envisioned to matter much. OTOH, if one was using Alexei's multi-TURN destabilization, it'd be an even better nasty trick to play on a chasing fleet ... temporarily locking the door behind you as you run.


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 :(.


Well, if you don't have survey data on the WP's grav surges, you're already going to come out in random directions. For simplicity's sake, an SM could just rule that 1/6'th of your ST wave is facing in each of the 6 directions thusly: ship #1 is facing direction #1, #2 facing #2, ... #6 facing #6, #7 facing #1, #8 facing #2, and so on and so on. Or maybe use a 1-3-5-2-4-6 "rotation" when reading down the list of ships in the ST.

But yes, more tedious die rolling.
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Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby Crucis on Mon 21 Jan 2013 22:00

I was just skimming through the 2 ISW4 novels, In Death Ground and The Shiva Option, and I found that at the Second Battle of Alpha Centauri (the final battle of IDG), the Bugs started the battle with an ST wave of 150 CL's for 6000 HS (using the 40 HS CL size that was the norm when ISW4 was written). Yikes! But then near the end of the assault, when the Bugs had decided that the battle couldn't be won, they still sent through a final ST of 15 older MT's, 76 BC, and various other craft. The 15 MT's and 76 BC's alone totaled about 9,000 HS, and all the other ships not listed in detail probably bring the total over 10K HS. And the closed WP thru which the Bugs attacked was a 500 HS Type 15, so we're looking at an ST that was at least 20 times the capacity of the WP. Wow!!! :o

I just thought that I'd post this for informational purposes.
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Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby Crucis on Tue 22 Jan 2013 13:53

I have to admit that in skimming through the 2 ISW-4 novels, I was reminded how enormous the ST's were in that war, particularly on the Bug side. Changing that would be a significant change to the Canon, though arguably, if WP's were disrupted but ST sizes were capped, one could do 6 smaller ST waves, 1 per impulse, and end up with pretty much the same overall effect.

And severely limiting ST sizes only serves to help the defender, which would further strengthen the effects of WP stagnation. So I have to admit, that if I was going to favor one side of this situation over the other, it would be in favor of the attackers, I think.


Also, at this point, I'm starting to lean towards just using the existing 3E model for ST's, though possibly with a little tweaking around the edges. No limits on ST sizes. Size limits favor the defender. And even if you have moderate size limits, without any sort of WP disruption, you can effectively evade these limitations just by turning a single large ST into 6 smaller ST waves, as described above. But if significant disruptions are included with ST size limits, this appears to strongly favor the defender.

One thing that doesn't exist is any sort of secondary transit penalty for ST's, as exists in Ultra. Right now, in 3E, there's only a single transit penalty.

However, I have to admit that I'm a bit wary of the Ultra version of the more penal transit penalty for ST (i.e. no offensive fire on the turn of transit), because when reading the ISW4 novels, it occurs to me that those penalties would be a big help to kamikazes, since they'd prevent any offensive fire against potential kamikazes on the turn of transit. Of course, the ramming rules prevent ramming of ships during the turn of transit because ramming must be declared at the start of the turn, and that may be before the attackers make transit. In the existing 3E rules, what you'd see is ships attacking potential kamikazes on the turn of transit before they had a chance to make a ramming run to thin out the herd, so to speak. But if the transiting ships can't attack those potential kamikazes, it leaves more of them in play and more of them to make those kamikaze runs.


So, back to transit penalties, currently in 3rdR, the standard transit penalty is: -3 to offensive fire (this was -2 in unrevised 3E), point defense at -1; long range sensors, datalink, multiplex tracking and all ECM are inoperable, and fighters, smallcraft, or ships in jump racks cannot be launched (though GB's in XOg racks can be launched, though why they'd transit a WP for an assault in XOg racks is beyond me). And there are no secondary penalties for ST's. OTOH, in Ultra, ST's endure all of the above penalties, plus no offensive fire on the turn of transit, and then endure the above penalties on the turn after the turn of transit. I'm thinking of something a little less nasty.

Maybe the "normal" transit penalties will be as above, but with the old -2 to offensive fire from unrevised 3E, but the ST penalty might be -4 to offensive fire on the turn of transit and then -2 on the turn following the turn of transit (with all of the other penalties remaining in place for both the turn of transit and the turn following). And perhaps PD should take a -2 penalty for ST's on the turn of transit, reducing to the lower -1 on the turn following. Or let me spell it out more clearly:

Class 1 Transit Penalties: -2 to all offensive fire; -1 to point defense; long-range sensors, datalink, multiplex tracking, and all forms of ECM are inoperable, fighters, small craft, and ships in jump racks cannot be launched, but GB's in XOg racks can be launched. These penalties last only for the turn of transit.

Class 2 Transit Penalties: -4 to all offensive fire; -2 to point defense; long-range sensors, datalink, multiplex tracking, and all forms of ECM are inoperable, fighters, small craft, and ships in jump racks cannot be launched, but GB's in XOg racks can be launched. Class 2 penalties occur only on the turn of transit, but in the following turn, ships suffering class 2 transit penalties continue to suffer class 1 transit penalties.

Class 1 transit penalties would be for ships making normal, non-simultaneous transits (and ships involved in an ST in the turn following the turn of transit). Class 2 transit penalties would be for ships involved in a simultaneous transit.
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Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Tue 22 Jan 2013 17:39

From the examples given above, at the battle of Centauri, the initial 150 CL ST would have locked the wp for 4 turns under my parameters. The final ST would have locked the wp for 16 turns but for the story it wouldn't have mattered much.

I don't mind the proposed two stage penalties for ST's. On the turn of transit the attackers are most likely going to concentrate on close in defenders where they at least have a chance to hit. Of course the defenders could just hang back and take effectively free shots as the attackers will generally need 2's to hit (modified by crew grade).
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Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby Crucis on Tue 22 Jan 2013 19:17

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:From the examples given above, at the battle of Centauri, the initial 150 CL ST would have locked the wp for 4 turns under my parameters. The final ST would have locked the wp for 16 turns but for the story it wouldn't have mattered much.


The initial ST would have mattered a lot given that any delay would just give the defenders more time to activate their entire force and get them into combat range. As for the final ST, yes, it probably wouldn't have mattered any since the Bugs didn't follow it up and those ships already in the system weren't going to be retreating.


I don't mind the proposed two stage penalties for ST's. On the turn of transit the attackers are most likely going to concentrate on close in defenders where they at least have a chance to hit. Of course the defenders could just hang back and take effectively free shots as the attackers will generally need 2's to hit (modified by crew grade).


I have to admit that I'm not entirely sure that I like the two stage penalty myself. It isn't consistent with the Canon History, but neither is it horrifically offensive to that history either. It's not as penal as as Ultra's disallowing ANY offensive fire on the turn of transit for ST's. Of course, the defenders aren't going to be entirely on-line either, so a two stage penalty does delay the attacker's full effectiveness. On the flip side, at least for defending ships, it shouldn't matter too greatly since any defender using his brain is keeping the inactive ships out of combat range to prevent them from being targeted while coming on-line. So whether it takes the assaulting ships 1 turn or 2 turns to become fully active, probably isn't a big deal for inactive defending ships well back from the WP.

It may be that a -2 to PD on the turn of transit for ST ships is too nasty.

As for the active defenders hanging back, that's a tactical decision. Yes, it would be advantageous to have a serious to-hit advantage. OTOH, being in real close allows you to really hammer the attacker hard, if you have the weapons to do it. Of course, the decision may hinge on whether the attacker is known to have missile pods or not, among other things.
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Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby Crucis on Wed 23 Jan 2013 02:20

BTW, for whatever it's worth, if ... IF ... I allow for ships to exceed the WP's capacity and use multiple impulses to transit the WP, I think that they'll also have to endure the same transit penalties as ships that engaged in a simultaneous transit, i.e. the possible 2 levels of transit penalties. There ought to be some penalty beyond merely requiring multiple impulses for ships that exceed a WP's capacity daring to make transit.

Indeed, I might even go so far as to suggest that perhaps they should have to make a die roll similar to the ST's IP% roll, and risk destruction for daring to attempt to transit a WP whose capacity their ship exceeds. Of course, it wouldn't be a true "interpenetration" situation. It'd be more like the ship being destroyed while in transit, rather than when exiting the WP.

And perhaps the penalty should be related to the WP's capacity. (Yikes, I could say the same thing for ST's and I think that I want to avoid that.) Maybe the destruction percentage is something like 10% for every multiple of WP capacity exceeded. That is, from 101-200% of capacity, it's 10%. From 201-300%, it'd be 20%. From 301-400%, it'd be 30%. And so on. This wouldn't be a big deal for WP's with large capacities, but for large ships attempting to force small WP's, it could be risky. A 300 hs SMT trying to transit a 100 hs WP would have a 20% risk of destruction (followed by the transit penalties). Like you said, Vandervecken, the universe can be a harsh mistress. :twisted:

And it occurs to me that if one tries to force that 300 hs SMT thru the 100 hs WP, at the same time as a simul-transit, it could get nasty and complicated. Maybe too much so. It may be that it'd be best to limit their penalties to the transit penalties. But even then, it does beg the question ... what does happen when you combine a over-sized (compared to the WP's capacity) ship with a ST? Seems like it'd still be complicated. :?

To be honest though, I'm not a big fan of multi-impulse transits, mostly because it violates the Canon History's view of WP mechanics. (Otherwise, it's a good enough idea.)



EDIT: Maybe the solution is to not require oversized ships to require multiple impulses to make transit in the first place. Maybe replace that "penalty" with the risk of destruction die roll. And when it comes to including oversized ships in an ST, they might have to make 2 die rolls. The first to see if they even survive the transit, and then the second to see if they avoid ST interpenetration.
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Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby Dawn Falcon on Wed 23 Jan 2013 17:11

Honestly, I think ST's are rare enough that rolling for ships lost is acceptable. I did like the idea of the losses ramping up as you pushed ever-more through the WP, and there's also an argument for locking it down for x turns as well.

I'd be tempted to say making that lockdown one-way though, because it takes out an important option (striking back through the WP, either with ships or SBMHAWKS) otherwise.
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Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby Crucis on Wed 23 Jan 2013 18:16

Dawn Falcon wrote:Honestly, I think ST's are rare enough that rolling for ships lost is acceptable. I did like the idea of the losses ramping up as you pushed ever-more through the WP, and there's also an argument for locking it down for x turns as well.

I'd be tempted to say making that lockdown one-way though, because it takes out an important option (striking back through the WP, either with ships or SBMHAWKS) otherwise.


Thanks for the input, DF.

While I understand the that a 2 way lockdown removes certain options, it also seems hard to justify from a pseudo-science PoV, as long as WP's are a single "road" and not a "divided highway", if you catch my drift. I don't think that you can treat a WP like a divided highway and only lockdown half of the road to traffic. I think that it has to be all or nothing.

Also, locking it down only one way also doesn't prevent the ships in the ST from retreating either. And beyond that even with a one-way lockdown, it can be used against as a "weapon" against an enemy, as tmul described earlier, when you're retreating from an overwhelming force, you could (or might need to) ST a WP and lock it down for a while, this giving yourself some breathing room as you continue to run away.

A 2-way lockdown can help or hurt either side. After all, if the defender can't send through a missile pods attack immediately, neither can the attacker send through reinforcements. And if the defender has enough strength (probably not likely, but it could happen I suppose), he has the attackers stuck with no ability to retreat for a while.

Furthermore, I'm wary of making ST''s too penal to the point that they'd make the battles with ST's seen in ISW4 impossible. Of course, I suppose that it may be unlikely that battles in Cosmic would reach the scale of those battles in ISW4, but one never knows. Besides, I prefer the simplest reasonable solution and am a bit wary of getting too complex (or too penal), because if ST's become too penal, it only further enhances a defenders's position and increases the problem of WP stagnation. And as I've stated already, I prefer to somewhat favor the side of the attacker here for this very reason.
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Re: Warp Points, Take 2

Postby tmul4050 on Thu 24 Jan 2013 08:34

I guess we have gone full circle. For my 10 cents worth, I would rather a percentage chance for each ship, saying that the vessel was destroyed.Lockdowns and extra penalties are simply to discourage the ST (speaking meta gamer of course ;) ) and you said you did not want to disadvantage attackers to much. The percentage of destruction can be adjusted abit I suppose. A way of sppeding the action could be to link identical ships and saying that you remove the percentage to be destroyed. So if the bugs attacked with 150 identical CLs (I know they didn't :) )and the percentage was 30%, just remove 45 units. Or roll 150 times.

One thing about the original system is that it was easy to work out. Any replacement hopefully will be the same.

I do have a question. Are WP capacities and ST survival determination worked out per impulse or per turn?
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