Limiting an Empire's Fleet Size

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Limiting an Empire's Fleet Size

Postby nukesnipe on Wed 10 Dec 2014 14:24

This has been an ongoing concern of mine as I consider starting a Starfire solo campaign: How do you keep the size of the fleets manageable?

I've thought about dividing income by a factor of 10; increasing maintenance costs; increasing the production time by a factor of 3. I've even thought about assigning some sort of resource value to planets/moons/asteroids and tying the number of combatant hull spaces that can be built to it.

From a real world standpoint, the current global economy is about 73 trillion USD. The USA spends more on their military than any other country. Our GDP is approximatly 17 trillion USD and we have just under 300 deployable combatant ships in our Navy. That comes out to about 1 ship per 57 billilon USD of GDP. If one were to apply that to the world's 73 trillion USD economy, you'd wind up with something just short of 1300 ships.

I was losing that many DDs each battle in my last Starfire Online campaign....

In any case, what I'm trying to say is there seems to be too much money available to build ships in the campaign games, and I'm welcome to any thoughts on how to keep it down.

Otherwise, Cralis is going to bankrupt me with miniatures.... :shock:
Last edited by nukesnipe on Tue 30 Dec 2014 11:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Limiting and Empire's Fleet Size

Postby Cralis on Wed 10 Dec 2014 16:33

nukesnipe wrote:I've thought about dividing income by a factor of 10; increasing maintenance costs; increasing the production time by a factor of 3. I've even thought about assigning some sort of resource value to planets/moons/asteroids and tying the number of combatant hull spaces that can be built to it.


You can also limit fleets by x ships per ICC and/or x ships per admiral. But I hate arbitrary limits.

The two most effective ways of limiting fleet size is an across the board increase in costs, combined with an increase in maintenance. Try double or triple maintenance.

Otherwise, Cralis is going to bankrupt me with miniatures.... :shock:


I'm planning on have 1 mini represent a datagroup when there are lots of ships. But don't let me dissuade you from buying lots of miniatures :)
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Re: Limiting and Empire's Fleet Size

Postby PracticalM on Thu 11 Dec 2014 12:47

One idea I had that might work is to double the maintenance of any war ship and base that doesn't have tech equal or above the empire's current EL. Probably even better if you double the maintenance for each level of SL below the current empire's EL.

Forces players to either upgrade or mothball old ships which can eat up cash.

I find that if you keep the starting PU the same and start the players at EL6 or so (using the rules I posted a while back), the extra costs of the ship systems means fleets stay small. This would imply that you probably can multiply the ships costs by some factor (maintenance would scale up too) and find things working out well. NPRs would likely be very week if they had the same scaling costs, you might want to build their initial fleets without scaling costs (but increase their maintenance) and you'd get NPRs with large mothball fleets in reserve.

Increasing maintenance might even be enough to cut down the player's investment incomes to scale back the income increases.
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Re: Limiting and Empire's Fleet Size

Postby szurkey on Sat 27 Dec 2014 20:21

nukesnipe wrote:In any case, what I'm trying to say is there seems to be too much money available to build ships in the campaign games, and I'm welcome to any thoughts on how to keep it down.


Cut the free stuff out in Starfire. No free maintenance for SY, no included Q for SY (but if they're on the surface of habitable planets they don't need Q), no colonization discount, no asteroid belt income bonus.

Play on an open space map with about a 12.5% fill ratio of systems, this will drive you're colonization costs way up, and present you with very serious challenges as to how to deploy your ships.

Require SY to maintain your ships which forces you to build and maintain more of them.

Remove the rule that lets x number of PU be a construction complex. PU only allow you to build IU, and every 50 IU is a construction complex.
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Re: Limiting and Empire's Fleet Size

Postby procyon on Sun 28 Dec 2014 05:48

nukesnipe wrote:I've thought about dividing income by a factor of 10;


This would likely have the most profound effect.
If you drive up the cost of other items, but leave the income the same - it will get diverted back into income producing investments.
If you just reduce the income, then there is less money to make money with, and more of what is available will have to be devoted to doing the 'normal' things of ship building, research, etc.

We reduced habs by about a factor of 10 to get the income level we like. Simply dividing the income by 10 would have about the same effect.
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Re: Limiting and Empire's Fleet Size

Postby Sunwolf on Mon 29 Dec 2014 15:36

I guess my solo games don't go long enough because I've never run into an issue of having fleets all that large.
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Re: Limiting and Empire's Fleet Size

Postby krenshala on Mon 29 Dec 2014 20:00

Sunwolf wrote:I guess my solo games don't go long enough because I've never run into an issue of having fleets all that large.

How many turns did you manage? It seems to become a problem about one hundred turns in, give or take a few dozen turns.
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Re: Limiting an Empire's Fleet Size

Postby Sunwolf on Tue 30 Dec 2014 16:00

that would explain it then. Never got past around turn 40 or so.
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Re: Limiting an Empire's Fleet Size

Postby szurkey on Sat 07 Mar 2015 08:52

I still say the best way to limit fleet size is to increase colonization costs, this reduces the effect of compound interest.

Go back to ISF where ST planets are non-habitables for T species, and T planets are non-habitabl for ST species. You can put a domed city with 180 PU on it, but it is expensive. Make 1/3 of mT moons mST, the rest are mT. Change the HAB die roll to: +/-1 Benign; +/-3 Harsh; +/-5 Hostile. Have fixed maximum PU on habitable planets and remove EL max PU increase: Homeworlds 4,800 (equivalent to EL 7.2); Benign 3,600 (equivalent to EL 2.4); Harsh 2,400 (equivalent to EL 4.5); Hostile 1,200 ( equivalent to EL 3). mT or mST moons roll on the HAB table and have 1/3 the planets max PU: Homeworld 1,600 (Why aren't there any NPR on mT moons? - equivalent to EL 12); Benign 1,200 (equivalent to EL 8); Harsh 800 (equivalent to EL 4); Hostile 400 (equivalent to EL 0). This will increase colonization costs because there are fewer Benign, Harsh, and Hostile planets, and make all native species valuable because only they can maximize their Homeworld's PU to 4,800. Increase colonization emplacement costs for habitable slightly: Homeworlds 6 (same H and Qv as per Benign); Benign 8 MCr; Harsh 12 MCr; Hostile 16 MCr; T or ST non-habitable (you're the other type) 36 MCr (same H and Qv as per Desolate).

Replace the EL PU Growth Bonus by increasing Growth rate by 0.5%, so it is now 1.5% per turn.

Increase emplacement costs of Desolates to 48 MCr, and Extremes to 64 MCr, leave H and Qv requirements alone. This is based off of (Cost of 1 IU at 30)*(PU Growth of 1.015)*(Rich REI of 1.05)*(1.5 to front load population growth) = 30*1.015*1.05*1.5 = 47.96 rounded up to 48 MCr. Extremes are 1.333x Desolates = 64 MCr.

Maximum PU for Asteroid Belts is change to: 20*(LM^0.5). Asteroid Belt colonization costs depends where the Asteroid Belt is, if it is inside the Biosphere, it is Extreme, other wise Desolate. To get the Asteroid Belt bonus, the Asteroid Belt must have 20 PU emplaced in it, this a per Asteroid Belt requirement. Asteroid belt income bonus is changed to the following formula: 1 + ((Num Asteroid Belts ^0.5) / 10).

PU are no longer are considered a construction complex. PU allow building IU, 50x IU are a construction complex. Change IU's to buy at 30 MCr, sell at 25 or 24 MCr. If you want the liquidity of cash, keep cash on hand. Reduce interest on cash from 2.0% to 1.5%.

Trade income is reduced by the following formula: Trade Income / (1 + the number of trade partners). You can very quickly reach the point where it is no longer profitable to add another trade partner.

Ship maintenance (not bases, PDC's, SS's) is increased slightly by charging for one extra of each ship class: MCr * 0.15 * (1 + number of ships of that class).

(LQv) no longer generate income, but are required for Generals, Admirals, Governors to get their full bonus. If they are missing, the bonus is cut in half. Leadership love their luxuries.
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Re: Limiting an Empire's Fleet Size

Postby PracticalM on Sat 07 Mar 2015 17:50

If you increase colonization costs you make it better to take control of NPRs instead of colonizing. This was 3rd editions problem because colonization ROI made it stupid to do. It was far better to explore and find NPRs and control them.

If the problem is number of ships then focus on manipulating ships not other elements. Increasing maintenance or just multiplying the costs of every system (for purchase only not R&D) by 10 would work far better.
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