Warp Points, Take 3

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Re: Warp Points, Take 3

Postby Crucis on Wed 20 Feb 2013 19:00

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:
Crucis wrote:Now in all honesty, I find that having no WP capacities whatsoever is my strong (and very old school) preference. However, if one likes WP capacities combined with multi-impulse transits, then a smaller capacity range seems to be a better and more interesting alternative than the old ISF capacity range. (I'll try to up with a potential table of WP capacities for a 50 to 200 hs range later today...)


I think part of the old school players perspective is that given that ships were unlikely to exceed a wp's capacity, such cap's were just a curiosity. Think of it this way. If a race can only build 60 HS CA's and hasn't encountered another race with bigger ships, they most likely going to treat variable wp size as an oddity to be filed for the eggheads back home to figure out.


Yes, I agree, Alexei. Using the old ISF WP capacities, up until you can build a SD, all those WP sizes are nothing but curiosities. And even once you can build SD's, only 14% of ISF WP's are of the 100 hs variety. And it's not until you can build MT's that the 180 hs WP becomes an issue.


And even with the ~50-200 HS soft limits capacity idea, the same would still be true, though to a considerably lesser degree, with CL's being the largest hull that could transit all WP's without disrupting the WP. And since CL's become available at TL2, the issue of potential multi-impulse transits comes into play much, much sooner (at TL3, once CA's become available), it wouldn't be quite so much of an oddity for research as with the scenario you describe. Of course, with a 50 hs WP, a SD could traverse it, but would also disrupt the WP for 2 additional impulses, limiting the number of ships that could use the WP in a given turn. Come to think of it, that'd be a darned painful WP to try to assault, if you could only send thru 2 SD's or 1 SD + 3 CL's, or just 6 CL's in a turn against a serious defense. Such a WP almost seems to be begging for a simultaneous transit to try to offset the difficulties imposed by the WP's small capacity ... which might arguably be a good thing, i.e. choosing between a difficult regular "serial" transit or a costly simul-transit to get enough ships thru the WP to make a difference.
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Re: Warp Points, Take 3

Postby Crucis on Thu 21 Feb 2013 15:33

To continue this discussion...


One issue with WP capacities, though not directly related TO the capacities is that unless one uses a table somewhat like ISF's WP Type Table with capacities hardcoded to specific WP types, one can end up needing to make a separate die roll for each WP's capacity. Right now, there's one roll for the # of WP's, followed by 2 die rolls per WP for Type (i.e. visibility) and distance from primary. So if WP capacities aren't hard coded to type, another die roll could end up being required for each WP's capacity. Of course, if the system only has 1-3 WP's, it's not all that much of a burden. But if you start talking about 5-10 or more WP's all those die rolls start adding up.

Of course, hardcoding capacity to WP type (i.e. visibility) is entirely do-able. For example, thinking along the lines of the 50-200 HS capacity range I discussed yesterday, the following might be reasonable.


Die Roll (1d10)TypeVisibilityCapacity
1-5AOpen200 HS
6-7BConcealed150 HS
8CHidden100 HS
9DShrouded75 HS
10EClosed50 HS


NOTE: As always, Type E "Closed" WP's would only be possible as entry WP's for exploring ships. Otherwise, any WP rolling a result of "10" should be considered a Type A "Open" WP.


As described above, this sort of table hardcodes capacity to WP Type, which also has the effect (for better or worse, depending one's PoV) of skewing WP capacities heavily towards 200 hs. Also remember that these capacities assume the use of soft capacity limits, i.e. multi-impulse transits for over-capacity starships.

Personally, I'm not entirely sure that I'd be comfortable with having about 30% of all WP's be below the SD hull size, though that 30% number is a bit iffy, given that closed WP's can only exist as entry WP's when a star system is generated, meaning that at generation, the max number of closed WP's in a system is one. (Additional closed WP's are "created" whenever another exploring ship enters a previously generated star system.) However, for those people who would like WP capacities to have somewhat more meaning than in ISF without going quite as far as Ultra, this type of table might be what they're looking for.

Of course, as starships get increasing large, those tiny 50 HS WP will be disrupted for longer and longer times. For example, a 300 HS SMT would disrupt a WP for 6 impulses (including the impulse it entered the WP), meaning that if the SMT entered the WP on the first impulse of the turn, the WP would be disrupted for the remainder of the turn. Ouch! :o


Another thing that sort of bugs me is that hardcoded WP capacities always feel a bit contrived, particularly when the values are smaller and compared to hull tables. Why is it 75 and not 80 or 85? Did the designer intentionally set the value at 75 hs to screw over BC's, for example? And in truth, even if one rolled separately against a table with the above capacity values, those values would still seem just as contrived. This is probably one of those times when if a player/SM wants to truly use WP capacities that do not feel contrived, about the only choice is to use randomized capacity values.

Here's an example of one way that one might semi-randomize the capacity values for the above table. The top row of the table contains the base capacity values. And the following rows contain the randomized capacity values for each base capacity value.

Die Roll (1d10)200 hs150 hs100 hs75 hs50 hs
1176 hs132 hs88 hs66 hs44 hs
2184 hs138 hs92 hs69 hs46 hs
3-4192 hs144 hs96 hs72 hs48 hs
5-6200 hs150 hs100 hs75 hs50 hs
7-8208 hs156 hs104 hs78 hs52 hs
9216 hs162 hs108 hs81 hs54 hs
10224 hs168 hs112 hs84 hs56 hs


I produced this table by multiplying the base capacity values by 88%, 92%, 96%, 100%, 104%, 108%, and 112% of the base capacity value, with the table being weighted towards the midpoint base value for each column. It may seem like a somewhat busy table, but it's probably better than just listing out the percentile values and asking the players to do the math, or using a model where, for example, 75 HS is replaced by 2d10+65. Actually, 2d10+65 doesn't seem too bad. But it gets uglier when 200 HS is replaced by 5d10+150. That's a lot of excessive die rolling.

Frankly, this sort of randomizing of WP capacities may be something better left to house rules for players who just aren't comfortable with capacities that feel to artificial and are willing to put in the extra work.
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Re: Warp Points, Take 3

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Thu 21 Feb 2013 21:00

I know that it's more involved, but I see visibility and size a being independent variables in wp generation. Visibility to me is the strength of the particle interaction due to a wp's gravitational field. Size relates to the area of effect. For example a wp could have a very strong gravitational gradient over a small area, thus being open with a low capacity. OTOH, a wp could have a much weaker gradient over a larger area thus being "closed" with a higher capacity.
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Re: Warp Points, Take 3

Postby Crucis on Thu 21 Feb 2013 21:41

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:I know that it's more involved, but I see visibility and size a being independent variables in wp generation. Visibility to me is the strength of the particle interaction due to a wp's gravitational field. Size relates to the area of effect. For example a wp could have a very strong gravitational gradient over a small area, thus being open with a low capacity. OTOH, a wp could have a much weaker gradient over a larger area thus being "closed" with a higher capacity.


I don't think that visibility and capacity are necessarily independent. Also consider that a WP's capacity isn't necessarily the size of its event horizon, cuz if it was, I'd think that ST's would be nearly impossible. ;)

Regardless, I'm thinking beyond any potential pseudo-physics here. I'm thinking about how many die rolls are required. Like I mentioned above, for starters, there's the "# of WP's" die roll, then there's a die roll per WP for WP Type (i.e. visibility) and for distance from the system primary. That's 2 die rolls per WP. If capacity also required an independent die roll, that's make it 3 die rolls per WP. If you're talking about 1-3 WP's in a system, you will have to make 10 total die rolls for generating the WP's. But imagine having 10-15 WP's. Then you're talking about 31 to 46 die rolls for generating the WP's (3 per WP plus 1 to determine the # of WPs).

Of course, if one has a sysgen program or writes one's own, all that tedium disappears. But that's something that I don't think is wise to assume.


Now, of course, if I don't worry about WP capacities and just have a single, universal WP capacity of, say, 300 or 500 HS, then the entire issue is moot. But I think that it's worth remembering that any talk of making WP capacities independent of visibility or randomizing capacities to some degree adds die rolls to an already time-consuming process, which for players who aren't as into astronomy and system generation as some of us are, may too boring for their taste.

And besides, I think that simply having a universal (hard) WP capacity of 300 or 500 HS is closer to being canonical than most of the other options.
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Re: Warp Points, Take 3

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Fri 22 Feb 2013 06:36

I would go for a universal ( or at least a limited number) wp size as the standard rule. Variable size should be an optional or house rule.

Speaking of canon, I'm working on a revised hull table for smaller ships taking into account the 3rdR take on engine power. It's not canon, but with the exception of ES it's very close. My idea is that based on the novels, ships (short of having It) are limited to speed 6. Using those parameters I went back to the 3rd sizes for FG and CL and added a 50 HS CM class.
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Re: Warp Points, Take 3

Postby Crucis on Fri 22 Feb 2013 13:04

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:I would go for a universal ( or at least a limited number) wp size as the standard rule. Variable size should be an optional or house rule.

Speaking of canon, I'm working on a revised hull table for smaller ships taking into account the 3rdR take on engine power. It's not canon, but with the exception of ES it's very close. My idea is that based on the novels, ships (short of having It) are limited to speed 6. Using those parameters I went back to the 3rd sizes for FG and CL and added a 50 HS CM class.


Have you checked out the Cosmic hull table sticky thread, Alexei?

(BTW, if this is going to turn into a significant discussion tangent, I'd suggest moving it over into the Cosmic hull table sticky thread.)

And and also BTW, I agree that limiting ships smaller than CL to a base speed of 6 with "I" engines is definitely canonical. And allowing speeds greater than 6 for those hulls causes some significant issues with fighters and gunboats, not to mention the fact that it makes swarming tactics with ES-DD hulls more effective. (Just as a side note, it's entirely possible to use WP defense swarms even with ES-DD limited to speed 6 for the simple reason that you don't have to run down the attacker.)

OTOH, allowing ES/CT's to go spd 8 and FG/DD's spd 7 seems to make a lot of sense, since it gives those hulls (particularly the ones smaller than DD) a reason to be used. Regardless, it's definitely a 2 edged sword. But on the whole, I'm strongly leaning towards keeping the 3rdR speeds for those hull types.

As for a "CM" hull type, read the Cosmic hull type sticky thread, particularly the initial post.
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Re: Warp Points, Take 3

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Fri 22 Feb 2013 20:32

I'll post my thoughts on hull size in the appropriate thread. I only mentioned it in relation to the hypothetical smaller wp's.

If ships with speed >6 had more opportunities for transit I wouldn't be opposed to them. Other than that I'm leaning towards canon speed and transit limits.
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Re: Warp Points, Take 3

Postby Crucis on Fri 22 Feb 2013 20:41

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:I'll post my thoughts on hull size in the appropriate thread. I only mentioned it in relation to the hypothetical smaller wp's.

If ships with speed >6 had more opportunities for transit I wouldn't be opposed to them. Other than that I'm leaning towards canon speed and transit limits.


Alexei, the question of whether there should be more than 6 transit impulses in a turn is very good one. IIRC, it was a bit unclear in pure 3E whether this was true or not. I think that it was true to the best of my recollection because it made including engine tuners on some ships a lot more worthwhile, since it meant that you might be able to get a 6th SD thru a WP, or a 7th ship, such as a BC or a CVA thru a WP. Actually, even now in 3rdR there's no reason you couldn't put an engine tuner on a SD or BB to get another such hull thru a WP on the 6th transit impulse. It's just that 3rdR limits you to only 6 transit impulses, though not in pure 3E, I think.

But it then causes one to need to consider the implications for J drives (assuming that they are allowed to transit WP's normally) or higher TL drives with greater speeds.

However, I'm a bit less concerned about the confluence of higher speeds for ES-DD with I-drives and more than 6 transit impulses only because such small ships aren't of terribly much use in serial WP assaults (as opposed to ST's), except at lower TL's when those hull types don't seem so small and the largest hulls are CL's and CA's.
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Re: Warp Points, Take 3

Postby Cralis on Sat 23 Feb 2013 18:20

Crucis wrote:Alexei, the question of whether there should be more than 6 transit impulses in a turn is very good one. IIRC, it was a bit unclear in pure 3E whether this was true or not.


We always ruled that when using the optional "1 MP at a time until all MP are exhausted" versus the 6 MP chart, there were as many transit pulses as there were MP. So using the chart, there were only 6. Using the other rule, if the max ship speed was 3, there was 3. If the max ship speed was 9, there was 9.
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Re: Warp Points, Take 3

Postby Crucis on Sat 23 Feb 2013 18:57

Cralis wrote:
Crucis wrote:Alexei, the question of whether there should be more than 6 transit impulses in a turn is very good one. IIRC, it was a bit unclear in pure 3E whether this was true or not.


We always ruled that when using the optional "1 MP at a time until all MP are exhausted" versus the 6 MP chart, there were as many transit pulses as there were MP. So using the chart, there were only 6. Using the other rule, if the max ship speed was 3, there was 3. If the max ship speed was 9, there was 9.


"We" as in your play group, or "we" as in SDS? Curious minds would like to know.
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