Dawn of the Stars Campaign rules

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Re: Dawn of the Stars Campaign rules

Postby Whitecold on Mon 03 Jul 2017 13:00

Cralis wrote:I think you'll find out, as we did, that squadrons will simply move out of range to recharge and then attack again. XO munitions are spent upon use and your squadrons have to return to the carrier to reload. That's why there are no true LRW launchers with multiple loads of munitions in Ultra or Solar (yet), because the launchers enable your squadrons to put more munitions on target over time.

Two Rb can hold 10 rounds, and take 6 spaces, the same as 10 XOb's, so without magazines the ammo breaks even. Also, with lower range than defending ships they will take multiple turns of fire to catch up, and similarly D armed fighters can fire on them every turn. Between them, I don't see many smcft surviving 30+ turns, by then most battles should be over already one way or another.

I'm playing devil's advocate here, but K isn't a homing weapon. So why should anti-small craft be one of it's strong points?

I took it for one because K has a great rate of fire, and even a single submunition is likely to ruin a smcfts day if it hits.
From a balancing perspective I took it over as higher than average BASV for K was mentioned multiple times, compared to Rs abysmal value, which indicates that K would make for a decent anti-smcft weapon. (assuming BASV made for a decent smcft defense)
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Re: Dawn of the Stars Campaign rules

Postby Cralis on Mon 03 Jul 2017 16:40

Whitecold wrote:
Cralis wrote:I think you'll find out, as we did, that squadrons will simply move out of range to recharge and then attack again. XO munitions are spent upon use and your squadrons have to return to the carrier to reload. That's why there are no true LRW launchers with multiple loads of munitions in Ultra or Solar (yet), because the launchers enable your squadrons to put more munitions on target over time.


Two Rb can hold 10 rounds, and take 6 spaces, the same as 10 XOb's, so without magazines the ammo breaks even. Also, with lower range than defending ships they will take multiple turns of fire to catch up, and similarly D armed fighters can fire on them every turn. Between them, I don't see many smcft surviving 30+ turns, by then most battles should be over already one way or another.


I think you've mentioned that your resolution to the early squadron imbalance was to make the anti-squadron fire more deadly. In that case, you're probably right that they won't last that long. Running battles between ships can last hundreds of tac turns depending upon the number of ships involved.

I did reread Sunwolf's question and your response and it's not clear whether those launchers will fire every turn or every 3 turns, as Sunwolf was saying every 3 turns for weapons without ammo.

I'm playing devil's advocate here, but K isn't a homing weapon. So why should anti-small craft be one of it's strong points?


I took it for one because K has a great rate of fire, and even a single submunition is likely to ruin a smcfts day if it hits.

From a balancing perspective I took it over as higher than average BASV for K was mentioned multiple times, compared to Rs abysmal value, which indicates that K would make for a decent anti-smcft weapon. (assuming BASV made for a decent smcft defense)


I understand, I was asking because many people have suggested to us that K should have a lower basv than R and Pt at medium and long range because it is unguided, and maybe a higher basv only at short range where the rapid fire is more likely to cause more hits.
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Re: Dawn of the Stars Campaign rules

Postby Whitecold on Wed 05 Jul 2017 14:34

Cralis wrote:I think you've mentioned that your resolution to the early squadron imbalance was to make the anti-squadron fire more deadly. In that case, you're probably right that they won't last that long. Running battles between ships can last hundreds of tac turns depending upon the number of ships involved.

I did reread Sunwolf's question and your response and it's not clear whether those launchers will fire every turn or every 3 turns, as Sunwolf was saying every 3 turns for weapons without ammo.


I updated the rules post. Both will fire every third round (like AP currently, just faster).
As for the dodging in and out of range, I consider it a valid tactics if you can pull it off. Because shipboard weapons are longer ranged, they are able to get in multiple shots in return per run if correctly designed and handled.
With BASV, ships must speed match gunboats to pull this off, at which point they are way too fragile to be viable.
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Re: Dawn of the Stars Campaign rules

Postby Cralis on Fri 07 Jul 2017 12:12

Whitecold wrote:Both will fire every third round (like AP currently, just faster).


I've been avoiding the multi-turn firing rates because it becomes one more thing to track. Plus...

As for the dodging in and out of range, I consider it a valid tactics if you can pull it off. Because shipboard weapons are longer ranged, they are able to get in multiple shots in return per run if correctly designed and handled.


I'm wondering if this is going to be counterintuitive and completely discourage the use of these weapons. You are going to make ship weapons outrange the squadrons. So squadrons will fire on turn 0, move away on turn 1, turn around on turn 2, then move in and fire on turn 3. But that means they will never be more than a dozen tH from the ship -- still in range of ship's weapons and taking fire the whole time. I would never do this, I would load up on external weapons, fire at max range, then run away completely.

At least if the fire rate is every turn, even if the damage is one-third, you won't feel like your squadrons are just targets most of the time. And if your objective is to keep squadrons close enough to swat like flies, what better incentive then a weapon to fire every turn?

With BASV, ships must speed match gunboats to pull this off, at which point they are way too fragile to be viable.


Only early on. But you can fire at squadrons at the same distance they fire at you. I think part of the issue is that the full LRW loads are immediately available so there is no reason to use any other weapon or non-standoff tactic.
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Re: Dawn of the Stars Campaign rules

Postby Whitecold on Mon 10 Jul 2017 15:28

Cralis wrote:At least if the fire rate is every turn, even if the damage is one-third, you won't feel like your squadrons are just targets most of the time. And if your objective is to keep squadrons close enough to swat like flies, what better incentive then a weapon to fire every turn?

I'm worried about rounding errors, and players trying to optimize that. Most weapons available deal 1 dmg per hit, and only 1 or 2 fit into a single craft. Otherwise it would be a neat solution.
In any case, I expect XO armed smcft to make up most GB designs. I see roles for beam armed smcft to either try sit in blindspots point blank, or to fight off fast corvettes that try to intercept XO gunboats dry on ammo.
In regards to outranging, only certain weapons do so. Point defense and beams will for the most part be outranged by LRW smcft.

But you can fire at squadrons at the same distance they fire at you.
I'm not talking about the turn the smcft actually fire, I am talking about either firing on them before they come into range, or firing on them as they try to retreat after a run.
With only a single round of combat, they can exactly reload at the carrier each time, negating the disadvantage of not having magazines.
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Re: Dawn of the Stars Campaign rules

Postby Cralis on Tue 11 Jul 2017 12:45

Whitecold wrote:
Cralis wrote:At least if the fire rate is every turn, even if the damage is one-third, you won't feel like your squadrons are just targets most of the time. And if your objective is to keep squadrons close enough to swat like flies, what better incentive then a weapon to fire every turn?


I'm worried about rounding errors, and players trying to optimize that. Most weapons available deal 1 dmg per hit, and only 1 or 2 fit into a single craft. Otherwise it would be a neat solution.


That is one of the biggest reasons Ultra and Solar Starfire treat squadrons as a whole unit. Instead of dealing with (6) 1-point hits, we deal with (1) 1-6 point hit. It completely circumvents the very problem
you describe.

The other big reason is on the other side of the coin. Instead of 4-6 easily damaged fighters, we have one not-so-easily destroyed multi-dp fighter squadron. This makes the squadron be less of a glass canon that makes anyone wonder who would ever pilot such a dangerous thing.

IMHO the SDS's problem is that BASV is a little more complex than roll-and-hit, and we currently have the balance wrong.

In any case, I expect XO armed smcft to make up most GB designs. I see roles for beam armed smcft to either try sit in blindspots point blank, or to fight off fast corvettes that try to intercept XO gunboats dry on ammo.
In regards to outranging, only certain weapons do so. Point defense and beams will for the most part be outranged by LRW smcft.


Agreed on both counts. Squadrons are good at hit and run attacks, and external XO provides the best alpha strike for such an attack.

But you can fire at squadrons at the same distance they fire at you.
I'm not talking about the turn the smcft actually fire, I am talking about either firing on them before they come into range, or firing on them as they try to retreat after a run.

With only a single round of combat, they can exactly reload at the carrier each time, negating the disadvantage of not having magazines.


Agreed. This is why I think it was a mistake to have LRW available right away at SL 6. If squadrons had to close to short or medium range then they would be in the envelope for more turns.

If I remember correctly, in Classic Starfire the fighter is available at TL 7 and the fighter missile at TL 9. Now we know why...
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Re: Dawn of the Stars Campaign rules

Postby eoghantodd on Fri 14 Jul 2017 11:27

Couple of questions on the new facilities;

The Maintenance and Supply facility has to be orbital so...it's in it's own space station, I guess? I like it.


Colonization facility. Not quite clear how it works....does it allow colonization from where it is, basically handling all the stuff to be able to send colonies?
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Re: Dawn of the Stars Campaign rules

Postby Morpheus on Fri 14 Jul 2017 13:39

I like the modifications as well as the ability for ships to have longer anti-small craft range (at the same generation once the range is there) than the 9 tH limitation with the BASV rules. This seems more realistic since at the same generation ships would be able to mount higher resolution and more complex fire control and target tracking systems as well as weaponry than the smaller, more miniaturized small craft of the same generation.
If I remember correctly, in Classic Starfire the fighter is available at TL 7 and the fighter missile at TL 9. Now we know why...

I double checked my Classic rules, and 1st Gen Fighters (F1) become available at HT8 along with fG (fighter gun) and fR (fighter close attack missile), which are both SRW. Then, at HT9, fL (fighter laser) and fM1 (1st Gen. fighter missile), become available. The first long range anti-fighter weapon does not become available until HT10 with AFM (anti fighter missile). So for a couple tech levels, fM1 has a longer range than the anti-small craft weapons, however at the long ranges, fM1 only hits 30% of the time.
Agreed. This is why I think it was a mistake to have LRW available right away at SL 6. If squadrons had to close to short or medium range then they would be in the envelope for more turns.

I would think it may make sense to allow SRW only at the same generation of the small craft, and then LRW of the same generation one SL later (i.e. with the modified rules, gba [SL6] could mount SRW only at SL6 and LRW at SL7; and gbb [SL9] could mount "b" generation SRW and "a" generation LRW at SL9, but "b" generation LRW would not be available until SL10).
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Re: Dawn of the Stars Campaign rules

Postby Whitecold on Sun 23 Jul 2017 12:07

eoghantodd wrote:Couple of questions on the new facilities;

The Maintenance and Supply facility has to be orbital so...it's in it's own space station, I guess? I like it.


Colonization facility. Not quite clear how it works....does it allow colonization from where it is, basically handling all the stuff to be able to send colonies?


The MSF must be mounted in some orbital hull. This will most likely be a SS, but you can also put it in a base, or a freighter, if you want. You can put it in the same station as your yards, or different stations.

Cralis wrote:Agreed. This is why I think it was a mistake to have LRW available right away at SL 6. If squadrons had to close to short or medium range then they would be in the envelope for more turns.

If I remember correctly, in Classic Starfire the fighter is available at TL 7 and the fighter missile at TL 9. Now we know why...

But LRW/SRW are not truly long range/short range anyway. They just have different damage profiles, vanilla smcft beams can be used at long range, and do plenty damage there as well, or are you proposing to get rid of the long range bracket at the start? Also, as far as I know, in classic there were longer ranged anti-smcft weapons.

Morpheus wrote:I would think it may make sense to allow SRW only at the same generation of the small craft, and then LRW of the same generation one SL later (i.e. with the modified rules, gba [SL6] could mount SRW only at SL6 and LRW at SL7; and gbb [SL9] could mount "b" generation SRW and "a" generation LRW at SL9, but "b" generation LRW would not be available until SL10)

smallcraft weapons already have reduced preformance. I guess this would be an alternate way to keep smcft weapons inferior, but both together are a bit too much for my feel.


As far as every third round vs 1/3 damage goes, how do players feel about this? What is easier/more appealing to you?
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Re: Dawn of the Stars Campaign rules

Postby Vandervecken on Sun 23 Jul 2017 12:29

Hard choice: 1) Not a fan of fractional damage but, 2) Hate more record-keeping of remembering when the last time squadron #5 or Flight #11 fired.

So I'll put this back in the hands of GOD (GM). Sorry ;)
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