How Important Are SRW To LRW Designs?

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Re: How Important Are SRW To LRW Designs?

Postby Elminster on Thu 08 Dec 2016 05:21

SCC wrote:
  • Xa

Why?
  • And one Ia
That last will give it some cushioning against losing an engine room when operating at speed 3 for prolonged periods.

Max speed for a DD with Ia is 5, so strategic speed is 2 (2.5 rounded down). It could never reach speed 3 on a strategic scale.
Wait... are you talking about engine burnout? Then... ok. :)

On a related note, what is the exact ruling for speeds with a half speed (Like FG) operating half a speed higher for long periods? For example if I gave a FG 4 Ia could it operate at speed 3 on the strategic scale without problems? Technically it's tactical speed is 5.5, and half of that is 2.75, which rounds up (2.5 on the other hand does not)

According to [C2.02] it will have a safe strategic speed of 3.
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Re: How Important Are SRW To LRW Designs?

Postby Lomn on Thu 08 Dec 2016 10:51

Elminster wrote:
SCC wrote:On a related note, what is the exact ruling for speeds with a half speed (Like FG) operating half a speed higher for long periods? For example if I gave a FG 4 Ia could it operate at speed 3 on the strategic scale without problems? Technically it's tactical speed is 5.5, and half of that is 2.75, which rounds up (2.5 on the other hand does not)

According to [C2.02] it will have a safe strategic speed of 3.
I would disagree. According to C2.02, a ship that is "technically tactical speed 5.5" is tactical speed 5. ("Tactical speeds are always FRD"). Then, for I engines, "safe cruising speed is 1/2 tactical speed FRD" (App AA I.01), which is 5/2 (2.5), rounded down to 2. Safe cruising speed is not defined with respect to the potential maximum speed of the hullform/engine pair but with respect to the actual speed of the unit.

Note also Example C2.02 (first), "Normally this excess 0.5 speed can be ignored. There are two exceptions. First the optional rule [C2.02.1, optional fractional strategic speeds] explained below, and the second if you use Generational Hulls [another optional rule]." Neither of these invokes ordinary speed calculations.

If this is not the desired interpretation, I would suggest clarifying the "Tactical Speeds are always (FRD)" statement to state that fractional tactical speeds are not used at the tactical scale, but that they nonetheless remain the true tactical speed of the unit for other purposes.
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Re: How Important Are SRW To LRW Designs?

Postby Cralis on Thu 08 Dec 2016 12:51

The question boils down to whether C2.02 is talking about calculating the speeds at design time or at game time. Because if it is rounded during design, then Lomn would be correct. However, if it is rounded during battle, then Elminster would be correct. So which is it?

C2.02 is about fractional speeds, and that fractional speeds can be used. Logically, if we rounded speeds during design then no speed would ever be fractional and this rule would be useless. My initial reaction aligns with this, as various types of terrain can alter a unit's speed. To me this indicates that speed is calculated upon use to determine the actual speed of a particular unit.

I read the bullets in C2.02 as saying:
* when calculating tactical speed, do this
* when calculating strategic speed, do this

Now, C2.02 second bullet does not say anything about rounding tactical speed before using it to calculate strategic speed. I would rule that you use the unit's real tactical speed to calculate the strategic speed.

So... Elminster is doing it right.

P.s. I think the example is indicating what to do with the calculated speed. So if you have a fractiomal speed AFTER calculation, you can ignore unless using one of the optional rules.
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Re: How Important Are SRW To LRW Designs?

Postby Lomn on Thu 08 Dec 2016 15:36

Cralis wrote:The question boils down to whether C2.02 is talking about calculating the speeds at design time or at game time. Because if it is rounded during design, then Lomn would be correct. However, if it is rounded during battle, then Elminster would be correct. So which is it?

C2.02 is about fractional speeds, and that fractional speeds can be used. Logically, if we rounded speeds during design then no speed would ever be fractional and this rule would be useless.

Hmm... so after lots of writing and re-writing, it appears a good bit of my understanding of things stems from conflating "strategic speed" with "safe cruising speed". I'm going to take a stab at unpacking all that baggage, but here's a quick bit: "Strategic Speed" is not a well-defined term. It is not, however, synonymous with "Safe Cruising Speed"; see [C7] and "Units with military engines may operate at strategic speeds greater than safe cruising speed, but less than full...."

The Safe Cruising Speed of an (I)-engine unit is half Tactical Speed (FRD), per [I.01]. An (Ia)-equipped FG has a Safe Cruising Speed of 2, regardless of whether its Tactical Speed is judged at 5 or 5.5.

Strategic Speed, therefore, appears to come into play with movement above the Tactical Scale, and so C2.02 really looks like it should be better understood as "how do I handle fractional speeds at the Tactical Scale?" (what currently says "Tactical Speed", and is "(FRD)") and "how do I handle fractional speeds at the System or Strategic Scales?" (what currently says "Strategic Speed"). I think this is necessary because units don't have a particular "Strategic Speed" inherent to their design. They do have inherent Safe Cruising Speeds, but those rules exist in each particular engine branch.

The next question is whether the rounding for Strategic Speeds as expressed in [C2.02] is a good idea. Poke over for a minute to the example for C2.02.1, with a Speed 7.5 unit that has a Safe Cruising Speed listed of 3.75. Setting aside for the minute that the 3.75 value isn't correct, the example goes on to talk about cruising at Speed 4 and calculating burnout at Speed 0.25 above Safe. Yuck. But look at what that suggests for [C2.02]:
  • I have a speed 4 CL-Ia (cruise 2). I want to go 3 StMP this month. I can do that and chance burnout at 1% chance per day [C7]. But what if I declare that I'm going to cruise at speed 2.51? That rounds up to 3 for movement [C2], but only has a 0.51% burnout chance.
OK, that's pretty ridiculous. And there are good arguments to be made that the proposal above is not in accordance with the rules (for one, that rounding speed 2.51 up to 3 for counting StMP also means I've rounded it up to 3 for burnout). But that, in turn, suggests what I think is a better way to cut the Gordian Knot:

  • [C2.02 revised]...actually +0.5 speed (slight red shading). However, all movement at all scales is resolved with the desired speed (FRD).

Yes, this completely throws away the "those speeds can be used" line. But what are they used for? Tactical speeds as used on the table are already (FRD). Safe Cruising Speeds are already rounded to whole numbers (and the input of fractional Tactical speeds to cruising speeds can be resolved more elegantly, below). And it gets rid of the following corner case:
Code: Select all
Cheater-class FT3    [2] (iIca) (Ica) Qa Hb H×15 [3/?]
This FT has a Tactical Speed of 3.75; if [C2.02]'s language about Strategic Speed rounding is retained, it can move at high scale faster than it could at Tactical (3.75 FRN to 4). And now we've invited a whole host of odd questions, like what about burnout? Ic is the oddball case in that [Ic.01] doesn't specify rounding to get the Safe Cruising Speed, so is the true safe speed also 3.75? Again, yuck.

So, summarizing, I'd suggest the following:
  • I'd pull the "these speeds are (FRD)" note from the hull table (leaving the "certain hulls are +0.5 speed" half of the note), because I think that's an area to find a rule that is particularly suggestive of the "design time rounding" interpretation.
  • I'd specify in [H1.02.3 Engines] that a unit's tactical speed includes fractions, so that it's explicit that the rule applies to actual built ships, not just abstract hull possibilities. (This handles fractional inputs into cruising speed calculations)
  • I'd then link that rule from the [Eng Engine Root] section (something akin to [Eng.03 Hull Table Turn Modes]), so that it's got the pointer from the engine rules.
  • I'd tweak [C2.02 Fractional Speeds] as above to note that all speeds are resolved as whole numbers (FRD).
  • I'd leave the [Ic.01] Safe Cruising Speed loophole in place because it's probably more interesting if [C2.02.1] is in use; the revised [C2.02] has resolved the matter of the FT3 above already.
  • If desired for the FG that kicked off the whole thing, change [I.01] to "(FRN) except that 1/2 speed fractions are rounded down" and now your speed 5.5 FG can cruise at 3.
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Re: How Important Are SRW To LRW Designs?

Postby SCC on Thu 08 Dec 2016 22:06

Elminster wrote:
SCC wrote:
  • Xa
Why?

So it can take part in surveys, one problem with my existing survey designs is that they lack any Y systems.

I'd say that C2.02 means that somehow you can have fractional safe cruising speeds

SM to Lomn: The rules allow you to take a half point improvement to your strategic speed, not a 0.01 point improvement, raise it or lower it.
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Re: How Important Are SRW To LRW Designs?

Postby PracticalM on Fri 09 Dec 2016 01:52

SDTroll wrote:
PracticalM wrote:But then I tried started with G as my starting SRW weapon (don't do it) because sometimes you have to do odd things.


What is bad about starting with G? I have read multiple times it is, but don't get to play so I've never found out why.


My experience is that in the early game without having the energy weapons (L/E/F) for SRW hurts you very much around WP battles. Your G hit is low and while the damage of G can be high it's not as good as the damage of a good close range beam weapon.

G also isn't as good as beam weapons when you are doing the assaulting.

Basically the time I used G as the starting weapon, I only allowed the empire to research Guns, Missiles and X-ray lasers. It was fun but wasn't very effective compared to my enemies beam weapons.
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Re: How Important Are SRW To LRW Designs?

Postby Elminster on Fri 09 Dec 2016 03:12

SCC wrote:
Elminster wrote:
SCC wrote:
  • Xa
Why?

So it can take part in surveys, one problem with my existing survey designs is that they lack any Y systems.

Yeah, the universal question about Survey designs. :)

But a strategic speed 2 DD is not really effective, even in a support role. If I want an "eye" looking over my scouts I would build a DD with commercial engines, which can also keep pace when redeploying.
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Re: How Important Are SRW To LRW Designs?

Postby Cralis on Fri 09 Dec 2016 03:28

Lomn wrote:Hmm... so after lots of writing and re-writing, it appears a good bit of my understanding of things stems from conflating "strategic speed" with "safe cruising speed". I'm going to take a stab at unpacking all that baggage, but here's a quick bit: "Strategic Speed" is not a well-defined term. It is not, however, synonymous with "Safe Cruising Speed"; see [C7] and "Units with military engines may operate at strategic speeds greater than safe cruising speed, but less than full...."


Yes and no. Strategic speed is the fastest speed a ship can move in StMP at the Strategic Scale. Safe Cruising Speed is the fastest speed that military performance-style drives can move as a Strategic Speed without risking burnout. Technically an I-drive ship can move it's full speed at the Strategic Scale, but it risks burning out drives if it does that.

What I am absolutely shocked over is that the definition I just gave is not in A6.01. I've added that definition for the next version.

The Safe Cruising Speed of an (I)-engine unit is half Tactical Speed (FRD), per [I.01]. An (Ia)-equipped FG has a Safe Cruising Speed of 2, regardless of whether its Tactical Speed is judged at 5 or 5.5.


Right, so it has two "Strategic Speeds" - the safe one and the unsafe one.

Strategic Speed, therefore, appears to come into play with movement above the Tactical Scale, and so C2.02 really looks like it should be better understood as "how do I handle fractional speeds at the Tactical Scale?" (what currently says "Tactical Speed", and is "(FRD)") and "how do I handle fractional speeds at the System or Strategic Scales?" (what currently says "Strategic Speed"). I think this is necessary because units don't have a particular "Strategic Speed" inherent to their design. They do have inherent Safe Cruising Speeds, but those rules exist in each particular engine branch.


Strategic level movement has it's own section, [Q]. I'm not sure we need to complicate the tactical rules quite so much. Actually having the definition of Strategic Speed in Section A would probably have averted a lot of this, don't you think? I'm thinking that what would clarify a lot of this would be to move those definitions to the bottom of the Section C header (much like we have some definitions at the bottom of other section headers). Then it's right _there_ and easier to find, plus new readers will see them right before they need to know what they mean.

The next question is whether the rounding for Strategic Speeds as expressed in [C2.02] is a good idea. Poke over for a minute to the example for C2.02.1, with a Speed 7.5 unit that has a Safe Cruising Speed listed of 3.75. Setting aside for the minute that the 3.75 value isn't correct, the example goes on to talk about cruising at Speed 4 and calculating burnout at Speed 0.25 above Safe. Yuck.


All it's saying is that "4" is higher than "3.75" so you risk burnout. Although I do admit the example seems a bit wordy.0

But look at what that suggests for [C2.02]:
  • I have a speed 4 CL-Ia (cruise 2). I want to go 3 StMP this month. I can do that and chance burnout at 1% chance per day [C7]. But what if I declare that I'm going to cruise at speed 2.51? That rounds up to 3 for movement [C2], but only has a 0.51% burnout chance.


I think you mean .05 or a half percent chance. That's only if you are using fractional speeds. But you're missing one detail: C2.02.1 (the fractional speed rule) says that ALL fractional speeds are rounded to the nearest 1/2 MP. So you can't move 2.51, you move 3, and you suffer a chance of burnout at 3.

Honestly if someone tried to rules lawyer me like that and I'm the SM, I'd be perfectly happy to accept your 0.51 chance of burnout. :twisted:

OK, that's pretty ridiculous. And there are good arguments to be made that the proposal above is not in accordance with the rules (for one, that rounding speed 2.51 up to 3 for counting StMP also means I've rounded it up to 3 for burnout). But that, in turn, suggests what I think is a better way to cut the Gordian Knot:

  • [C2.02 revised]...actually +0.5 speed (slight red shading). However, all movement at all scales is resolved with the desired speed (FRD).

Yes, this completely throws away the "those speeds can be used" line. But what are they used for? Tactical speeds as used on the table are already (FRD). Safe Cruising Speeds are already rounded to whole numbers (and the input of fractional Tactical speeds to cruising speeds can be resolved more elegantly, below). And it gets rid of the following corner case:
Code: Select all
Cheater-class FT3    [2] (iIca) (Ica) Qa Hb H×15 [3/?]
This FT has a Tactical Speed of 3.75; if [C2.02]'s language about Strategic Speed rounding is retained, it can move at high scale faster than it could at Tactical (3.75 FRN to 4). And now we've invited a whole host of odd questions, like what about burnout? Ic is the oddball case in that [Ic.01] doesn't specify rounding to get the Safe Cruising Speed, so is the true safe speed also 3.75? Again, yuck.


First, you quoted the answer to the question "what are the fractions used for" in one of your earlier posts: Normally the fractions are used for nothing, but if you use fractional speeds or generational hulls they become important.

Second, I could have sworn there was a sentence somewhere that specifically stated that a unit's Strategic Speed cannot exceed it's Tactical Speed. And if I don't find it, then I'm going to add it. Because that's rules lawyering and needs to be squashed.

So, summarizing, I'd suggest the following:
[list][*]I'd pull the "these speeds are (FRD)" note from the hull table (leaving the "certain hulls are +0.5 speed" half of the note), because I think that's an area to find a rule that is particularly suggestive of the "design time rounding" interpretation.


It's intended to help people not have to look it up when they design ships. You can print the hull table and have the most relevant information right there. Abbreviated, but present.

[*]I'd specify in [H1.02.3 Engines] that a unit's tactical speed includes fractions, so that it's explicit that the rule applies to actual built ships, not just abstract hull possibilities. (This handles fractional inputs into cruising speed calculations)


Hmmm. The Ship Design Sheet is supposed to list what you normally use for your tactical and strategic speeds. As shorthand, I think the disconnect here is that players have traditionally put the rounded values in place so that they don't have to re-calculate or think about the speeds. I see your point, but I need to think about whether we want to specifically advise against that. Because, as you've quoted, nearly all of the time it doesn't matter.

I'd then link that rule from the [Eng Engine Root] section (something akin to [Eng.03 Hull Table Turn Modes]), so that it's got the pointer from the engine rules.

I'd tweak [C2.02 Fractional Speeds] as above to note that all speeds are resolved as whole numbers (FRD).


That should be obvious. You don't "round" to a fractional value.

I'd leave the [Ic.01] Safe Cruising Speed loophole in place because it's probably more interesting if [C2.02.1] is in use; the revised [C2.02] has resolved the matter of the FT3 above already.


It's not a loophole. It's a military drive.

If desired for the FG that kicked off the whole thing, change [I.01] to "(FRN) except that 1/2 speed fractions are rounded down" and now your speed 5.5 FG can cruise at 3.


Ah, now here's an important catch, because that does contradict C2.02 :)
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Re: How Important Are SRW To LRW Designs?

Postby Elminster on Fri 09 Dec 2016 05:24

Actually I don't see any use for C2.02 second bullet.
All engines explicitly specify the terms to calculate their strategic speed. So the special rule trumps the general rule and I can't see where the general rule can be applied to.

Or do I miss something?
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Re: How Important Are SRW To LRW Designs?

Postby Cralis on Fri 09 Dec 2016 10:45

Elminster wrote:Actually I don't see any use for C2.02 second bullet.
All engines explicitly specify the terms to calculate their strategic speed. So the special rule trumps the general rule and I can't see where the general rule can be applied to.

Or do I miss something?


You missed what I said before: C2.02 tells you the final disposition of your tactical and strategic speed. There are external factors (like terrain) that can affect your speed and make it fractional.
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