Thinking about Fighters (FQ)

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Re: Thinking about Fighters (FQ)

Postby Cralis on Mon 05 Dec 2016 14:59

Whitecold wrote:The range limitation might work, though it goes in the opposition of what I would adjust, though we went over that before.
Anyway, using life support as argument doesn't make much sense. To matter squadrons would have to be launched at really close ranges, take 240tH for start, so Yca can detect the carrier. This are 30 turns of flight at speed 8, making it 60 back and forth, 30 min flight time. I definitely wouldn't want to send out anyone with that narrow margins of life support, for the matter 24h seems low.


Life Support for squadrons is a combination of consumables that includes fuel (whatever the source may be). I agree - whether 30 minutes, 60 minutes, or a couple of hours; it's just too short of a survival period for any sane navy to consider.

I'd rather use some argument about drive endurance as an argument, maybe powering GB of capacitors and requiring space for an internal powerplant, as a few more carbon scrubbers and some bottles of oxygen hardly justify dropping half your armament.


Those are pretty good potential background explanations. The capacitor-as-the-power-source is one that I've already used and still plan to use for miniaturized tech. In the rules I have tended to leave some explanations (like this one) a little open ended because there are a number of possible explanations. And the player might have a preference.

For the steering issue, as SRW generally move close to the speed of light, you can't dodge them by predicting if and where the enemy fires; you have to dodge all the time in random directions to evade fire.


Those are some good points. But defending unit's evasion AI is going to be countered by the attacking unit's targeting AI and if you tell it to deny an area but concentrating fire there, chances are the evasion AI will notice and evade the other way. Btw, this would be my justification for double damage if you ignore the dogfight, if you do get hit it will be in a higher concentration of fire.

It also doesn't matter if this is due to fighters, GB, shipboard SRW or point defense, if you see a reason what should be special/better about fighter fire, please tell me. If you constantly dodge, you get slower, improving your defense, which is pretty much what EM does already.


Not in SSF. (E)ngine (M)odulation is not any form of evasive or erattic maneuvers. It is a deformation of the drive-field to cause the defractive effect of crossing the DF barrier to point off-center. This makes it harder to hit the ship merely by hitting the DF.

As far as allowing fighters to intercept GB, how about increasing sensor ranges for detecting smallcraft? That way fighters will be able to intercept GB further out, giving them enough time for battling out before they come close to the fleet.


They can already be detected at medium-range. If you use scouts, you should be able to detect them up to a couple sH away... at least early on.
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Re: Thinking about Fighters (FQ)

Postby PracticalM on Tue 06 Dec 2016 09:12

The pinning mechanic should be tied to the ability to disrupt the GB's drive field. Something that cannot be done to larger ships but something like Stellaris' FTL snare that slows down or stops GB's.

It could be short ranged (requiring the fighter to be in the hex with the GB). It could be an area effect, affecting all the GB in the hex. It should also affect drones.

I could see a higher SL version being fired from the larger missiles hitting a stack of GB to stop or slow them.
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Re: Thinking about Fighters (FQ)

Postby Whitecold on Tue 06 Dec 2016 12:45

Cralis wrote:Those are some good points. But defending unit's evasion AI is going to be countered by the attacking unit's targeting AI and if you tell it to deny an area but concentrating fire there, chances are the evasion AI will notice and evade the other way. Btw, this would be my justification for double damage if you ignore the dogfight, if you do get hit it will be in a higher concentration of fire.

I am not questioning that evading is a good idea, what I don't see is why this should be a peculiarity of fighters. If you look at firing arcs, GBs have a 300° arc, giving them little reason to actually dogfight, as they can fire back without having to fully turn.
Any turreted weapon can get all the steering/suppression capability without needing to maneuver the mounting platform at all. The only craft that must dogfight is the fighter itself, due to its extremely narrow firing arc.
This could also be used for balance, reduce the GB's firing arcs, and possibly increase the fighters, forcing the GBs to either turn around and face the fighters, or continue on and take damage without replying. 300° allows you to conduct a running engagement without having to slow down much.

Not in SSF. (E)ngine (M)odulation is not any form of evasive or erattic maneuvers. It is a deformation of the drive-field to cause the defractive effect of crossing the DF barrier to point off-center. This makes it harder to hit the ship merely by hitting the DF.

I know that the justification is different, what I am saying that introducing two Trade-MP-for-defence mechanics will lead to some redundancy in rules.

They can already be detected at long-range. If you use scouts, you should be able to detect them up to a couple sH away... at least early on.

Smallcraft can only be detected at medium range. Detecting them themselves at sH ranges would require a load of scouts, and any scout that far out is a prime target for a few GBs, isolated from any support
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Re: Thinking about Fighters (FQ)

Postby Cralis on Tue 06 Dec 2016 13:05

PracticalM wrote:The pinning mechanic should be tied to the ability to disrupt the GB's drive field. Something that cannot be done to larger ships but something like Stellaris' FTL snare that slows down or stops GB's.


Oh that's a fascinating idea. It would be related to the ADM in concept, and even then I need to step carefully around some physics continuity issues... I could see this impacting squadrons uniquely because of their hybridized miniaturize engines. That could also explain why it's a temporary affect, and why it would never work against non-hybrid large unit DFs.

This would probably not be a uniquely "fighter" thing, as it would affect all squadrons equally. Although I suppose it could be similar to a plasma torpedo in that it could affect gunboats more than fighters (or more likely to affect) because of their larger DF. Especially if we change fighters to have a faster TM...

Should it temporarily halt squadron movement or just slow it? Or allow cumulative hits to further slow a squadron?

Oh... could you imagine a buoy version???

It could be short ranged (requiring the fighter to be in the hex with the GB). It could be an area effect, affecting all the GB in the hex.


Ironically my inclination would be to say this would likely be a large unit weapon at first. Though the concept of it as a super short-range munition is intriqing. External only...

Why couldn't a gunboat use it on a fighter or other gunboats?

It should also affect drones.


Definitely!

I could see a higher SL version being fired from the larger missiles hitting a stack of GB to stop or slow them.


If it's small enough to fit into a squadron munition, why wouldn't it fit into a ship-fired warhead?

And I could see an ADM-sized version that could affect multiple squadrons...
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Re: Thinking about Fighters (FQ)

Postby Dawn Falcon on Thu 08 Dec 2016 21:05

I think adjusting fire arcs will have a relatively large effect.

Thinking out loud...you could also give fighters the ability to, say, 1MP = 1EM level? Then increase the effect of EM levels versus Sc ordinance?


In terms of "fields" affecting small craft, perhaps we might also look again at jammers, a system which isn't very useful it's current iteration but could be used to disrupt Sc datalinks, giving them a substantial penalty to damage?

The anti-drive function sounds like a CTJ20 tech thing to me.
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Re: Thinking about Fighters (FQ)

Postby PracticalM on Fri 09 Dec 2016 01:46

If it's small enough to fit into a squadron munition, why wouldn't it fit into a ship-fired warhead?


I wasn't thinking this was a fighter munition, it was something built into the fighter itself which is why it has to be in the same hex as the GB it's affecting. It would stop working after the Fighter has less than 50% of it's damage.

1. Only affects GB/Fighter/Drone DF
2. Not sure why GB or drones wouldn't mount them other than it would be harder to stop GB with other GB. It might have to be something about the Fighter DF (smaller than GB) that prevents it from being mounted on anything larger. Maybe using this system on a DF larger than a Fighters DF drops the drive field of the larger unit. That would prevent it from being used on GB at least. (Or is there not a rule any more about GB DF cannot be shutdown without them being reactivated in a bay/launch system) And Ship DF cannot mount it as the DF of a ship cannot be distorted enough to cause the effect.
3. I was thinking of requiring it on the Heavy Launchers or the ones larger than those. Though some ADM variant could work as well.
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Re: Thinking about Fighters (FQ)

Postby Cralis on Fri 09 Dec 2016 03:50

PracticalM wrote:
If it's small enough to fit into a squadron munition, why wouldn't it fit into a ship-fired warhead?


I wasn't thinking this was a fighter munition, it was something built into the fighter itself which is why it has to be in the same hex as the GB it's affecting. It would stop working after the Fighter has less than 50% of it's damage.


Hmmm... that is much much harder to explain for me. I can't think of anything that would be small enough to work in a fighter that doesn't occupy internal or external rack space, that couldn't also be used by GB or any AP. Under our current pseudo-physics definitions, I'm pretty sure we can't define it as part of the fighter's drive system...

So ignoring the "how" for a moment, let's look at the details:

1. Only affects GB/Fighter/Drone DF


Technically any small unit DF since they are all hybrid fields, but buoys don't have MP so it's irrelevant for them. And it wouldn't have any affect on LRW DF since they have static DFs.

2. Not sure why GB or drones wouldn't mount them other than it would be harder to stop GB with other GB. It might have to be something about the Fighter DF (smaller than GB) that prevents it from being mounted on anything larger. Maybe using this system on a DF larger than a Fighters DF drops the drive field of the larger unit. That would prevent it from being used on GB at least. (Or is there not a rule any more about GB DF cannot be shutdown without them being reactivated in a bay/launch system) And Ship DF cannot mount it as the DF of a ship cannot be distorted enough to cause the effect.


A ship's DF is dynamic and constantly in a state of flux. The DF can flex and it's constantly being renewed. This affect would be so small as to have no effect.

And yes, the rule is still there. But it's a side-effect of the hybridized static DF that make squadrons possible. Originally I had the goal of removing that rule because I thought it was silly, but as we got into defining how things worked the hybridized drive explanation worked so well I went with it.

3. I was thinking of requiring it on the Heavy Launchers or the ones larger than those. Though some ADM variant could work as well.


With your definition, I can see where you're coming from. I just can't figure out how to make that definition fit in our pseudo-physics. I'll have to think about how it might be possible... and I'll be honest, as a munition it would fit perfectly with our explanations given ADM and such :)

Just as a feeler, what do you think about making this as a munition instead?
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Re: Thinking about Fighters (FQ)

Postby Whitecold on Fri 09 Dec 2016 12:30

Dawn Falcon wrote:I think adjusting fire arcs will have a relatively large effect.

GBs and FQs are still fast and have TM 1, so it should mostly affect combat between them, and between FQ and GB, a large effect seems exactly what is needed

Thinking out loud...you could also give fighters the ability to, say, 1MP = 1EM level? Then increase the effect of EM levels versus Sc ordinance?

That would allow FQ to stack a max of 9 levels of EM. In any case, I am not very satisfied with EM on squadrons. Against GB LRW, it corresponds to around 10% dmg reduction, while against FQ it gives around 20%. Even weirder are BASV values, Rb is completely unaffected as it already sticks to the minimum of 1 BASV, while Da is reduced by 50%, or a Db is reduced by 33% by a level. For Kh one doesn't need to bother with EM at all, the effect is negligible.

The anti-drive function sounds like a CTJ20 tech thing to me.

It feels like an advancement of ADM to me, which should correspondingly appear later. That would remove it however from affecting ~SL6 combat where GBs are absolutely dominant.
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Re: Thinking about Fighters (FQ)

Postby Cralis on Fri 09 Dec 2016 13:33

Whitecold wrote:
Dawn Falcon wrote:I think adjusting fire arcs will have a relatively large effect.

GBs and FQs are still fast and have TM 1, so it should mostly affect combat between them, and between FQ and GB, a large effect seems exactly what is needed


Previous testing has shown that the squadron arcs are important primarily when they close and fight each other, and in that the existing arcs are already enough. But the are overshadowed by LRW. I've been wanting to test pushing LRW back to SL8 and see how the squadrons work with only the shorter ranged wespons at first.

Thinking out loud...you could also give fighters the ability to, say, 1MP = 1EM level? Then increase the effect of EM levels versus Sc ordinance?


That would allow FQ to stack a max of 9 levels of EM. In any case, I am not very satisfied with EM on squadrons. Against GB LRW, it corresponds to around 10% dmg reduction, while against FQ it gives around 20%. Even weirder are BASV values, Rb is completely unaffected as it already sticks to the minimum of 1 BASV, while Da is reduced by 50%, or a Db is reduced by 33% by a level. For Kh one doesn't need to bother with EM at all, the effect is negligible.


As Whitecold says, EM with small craft has a pretty small effect. And it doesn't fit the pseudo-science for squadrons. Been thinking about totally banning EM for squadrons and using decoys or jammers or something with a finite but tangible effect. That and it eliminates the pseudo-physics implications. Still just a concept right now.

The anti-drive function sounds like a CTJ20 tech thing to me.

It feels like an advancement of ADM to me, which should correspondingly appear later. That would remove it however from affecting ~SL6 combat where GBs are absolutely dominant.


And I have to agree with Whitecold. We need to rework SL6-9 before we move forward.

That said, I don't see a munition-based version of this ADM-like weapon as being such a high tech.
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Re: Thinking about Fighters (FQ)

Postby Whitecold on Fri 09 Dec 2016 15:13

Cralis wrote:And I have to agree with Whitecold. We need to rework SL6-9 before we move forward.

That said, I don't see a munition-based version of this ADM-like weapon as being such a high tech.


I'd see overall the large unit munition coming before the fighter based one.
One thing to consider is that if this special munition is also XO exclusive, it starts getting pretty crammed there, especially if you still want to mount regular munitions. I take it box launchers able to deploy specialty munitions, but were broken on their own. If we introduce more specialties, I'd suggest some sort of appropriate universal launcher, able to launch various munitions, but bigger and more expensive than regular launchers.
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