Draft Hull Table

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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Sun 31 Mar 2013 19:38

Crucis wrote:Having said that, I agree that *IF* one was starting out at TL1, and the hull table had only a 15 hs CT then a 30 hs DD, then 12 HS builds would makes plenty of sense in an emergency. However, I think that in peace time, you'd see full 15 hs builds as well as some 30 hs DD's. There's a significant difference in capability between a 12 and a 15 hs ship, and it doesn't seem wise to go for the quickie 12 hs builds unless you're in a critical situation. Indeed, if one was going to be really forward looking, one might only build DD's if one's empire was at peace, since those DD's should be viable hulls for a much greater length of time than the CT's.


Combat wise, I agree that the extra 3 HS is a big difference. Heck, if I'm arming my survey ships at start I'd probably go for the extra HS. If OTOH, I'm building UNARMED survey vessels until I meet another race (player or npr), and the campaign has a HT1 start (quite possible in a house rules campaign), the 12 HS survey ships will allow for faster exploration. As far as the DD's go, I would be building some fairly early, but not in the first couple of turns for the reason mentioned above. I prefer a fairly aggressive exploration strategy so that I can get a jump on exploiting other systems.
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby Crucis on Mon 01 Apr 2013 19:38

Alright guys, here's a radically different idea... a whole numbers-only I/MP hull table. No I/MP's of 1/2, 1/3, 2/3, 1.5, or 2.5. Only whole numbers. (Well, maaaaybe the I/MP=1/2 fraction might be used...)


Hull TypeTech LevelMax Size(I/Ic/J) I/MP
FGIND-2301
DDTL1602
CLTL2903
CATL31204
BCTL51505
BBTL61806
DNTL82408
SDTL1030010
Hull TypeTech LevelMax Size(I/Ic/J) I/MP
One possible exception to the whole numbers only rule could be:
CTIND-2151/2


This is clearly a seriously different table from the traditional hull tables from any edition of Starfire. However, it has a number of things to be said for it. One, without any fractional I/MP values, it makes the engine room rules a good deal shorter, and easier for the newbies to understand. Second, the progression is solid and very straightforward. Third, a "small" ship such as a frigate is no longer quite so small in terms of HS's. It wouldn't be a 1-2 weapons ship. It'd have a decent complement of weapons.

One obvious concern (at least for some) would be built times. This would be offset by an increase in the basic build rate from 10 hs (+2 hs/TL) to 20 hs (+2 hs/TL).

Another concern would be the greatly increased sizes would mean that ships would mount a LOT more weapons as well as other stuff. This is easy enough to deal with by tweaking the sizes of various tech systems, particularly weapons.


So there it is... Fire away! :D
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Mon 01 Apr 2013 20:44

It's solid but it doesn't feel like Starfire. Even as a new player almost 30 years ago the 1.5 MF didn't faze me. Things only got complicated when the engine rules were changed in GKW (for the newer players (I) were originally variable sized based on the hull class). If we were designing a new game from the ground up, I could accept this hull table. For Cosmic, which is designed to feel like Classic Starfire to an extent, it's a no go for me.

Crucis wrote:Another concern would be the greatly increased sizes would mean that ships would mount a LOT more weapons as well as other stuff. This is easy enough to deal with by tweaking the sizes of various tech systems, particularly weapons.


Tweak the weapons size and the FG could well be back to a couple of weapons. Looking at the ships in 3rd/3rdR, FG's tend to have 2 weapons and maybe a single D. Ca's at triple the size tend to have 5-7 weapons and a couple of D (unless it's a carrier escort which has more D at the expense of offensive weaponry). As a long time player, playing mostly at fairly low TL's, these numbers seem reasonable (I expect combat vessels to have roughly 35-50% of their HS devoted to offensive weaponry). By comparing weapon size to total expected amount of hull dedicated to offensive weapons, it's not hard to determine roughly how many offensive weapons a given ship should have (for example, a 60 HS CA should have 5-7 beams in a purely energy based weapon configuration).
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby Crucis on Mon 01 Apr 2013 20:59

Alexei, I'll give you a more full reply later. (I'm practically falling asleep as I write this...)

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:It's solid but it doesn't feel like Starfire. Even as a new player almost 30 years ago the 1.5 MF didn't faze me. Things only got complicated when the engine rules were changed in GKW (for the newer players (I) were originally variable sized based on the hull class).


That may be, but the original engine rules from 1st edition stunk because they treated a single engine regardless of size as a being of the same size and requiring the same amount of damage to destroy. The engine room rules, first proposed in a NEXUS magazine article, were a great leap forward in this regard. However, they did makes things a smidge more complicated. But it was a complication for the better.



Crucis wrote:Another concern would be the greatly increased sizes would mean that ships would mount a LOT more weapons as well as other stuff. This is easy enough to deal with by tweaking the sizes of various tech systems, particularly weapons.


Tweak the weapons size and the FG could well be back to a couple of weapons.


No, this would be quite unlikely. The tweaking I had in mind was more along the lines of +1 hs for most standard sized beam weapons. Capital weapons might see a larger size increase.
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby Vandervecken on Mon 01 Apr 2013 21:53

The new table is quite playable. And easier for new players. You'll have to see what other fans of the Classic era think, I'm not as locked into that era as many. I already let the board known that more designs are better in my opinion, but clean rules never hurt either. I can always modify, if I really need more classes, eh ?
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Tue 02 Apr 2013 04:25

Existing DD's from SAW have at most 4 weapons (most have 3 and various other support systems). Increasing the size of weapons means that the 30 HS FG's lose those support systems or become eggshells.

Crucis wrote:That may be, but the original engine rules from 1st edition stunk because they treated a single engine regardless of size as a being of the same size and requiring the same amount of damage to destroy. The engine room rules, first proposed in a NEXUS magazine article, were a great leap forward in this regard. However, they did makes things a smidge more complicated. But it was a complication for the better.


I'm not disputing the improvement from the original rules. The old rules made small ships (ES and CT) too powerful as their engines became de facto armor. Bigger ships were at a disadvantage as their engines were too easy to destroy. The current engine rules are far better and not all that complicated.
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby Crucis on Tue 02 Apr 2013 07:17

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:Existing DD's from SAW have at most 4 weapons (most have 3 and various other support systems). Increasing the size of weapons means that the 30 HS FG's lose those support systems or become eggshells.


I don't think that it'd be necessary that a 30 hs FG in this paradigm matches the capabilities of a 30 hs DD in 3E. For the most part, the entire point of increasing weapon sizes a little wouldn't be about the 30 hs hull, but about slightly reducing the numbers of weapons on much larger hulls.




Crucis wrote:That may be, but the original engine rules from 1st edition stunk because they treated a single engine regardless of size as a being of the same size and requiring the same amount of damage to destroy. The engine room rules, first proposed in a NEXUS magazine article, were a great leap forward in this regard. However, they did makes things a smidge more complicated. But it was a complication for the better.


I'm not disputing the improvement from the original rules. The old rules made small ships (ES and CT) too powerful as their engines became de facto armor. Bigger ships were at a disadvantage as their engines were too easy to destroy. The current engine rules are far better and not all that complicated.


Of course, I don't disagree. But "not all that complicated" can be a very relative thing. I'm sure that veteran Starfire players are completely comfortable with them. But for some newbies, fractional engines may pose a problem. Also, degree of complexity is also determined by what fractions are used. If the fractions used are limited to 1/2 (i.e. 1/2, 1-1/2, 2-1/2), it makes the issue simpler because there's never a question of how many engine systems does one need for an engine power of 5-1/3 or 4-2/3.

Still, having no fractions IS simpler than having any, since it removes the need for half-size engines and the rules covering them.
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Tue 02 Apr 2013 15:26

Just to plat devil's advocate, there are several other systems especially in Solar that have fractional HS versions. S,A,H, and Mg come to mind offhand. If any of those systems are going to have half HS versions in Cosmic, then I see no reason why I can't also have such a version. In fact H may be the easiest to integrate with half space engines. The .5 HS unused could become a half sized H for the appropriate cost by default.
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby Crucis on Tue 02 Apr 2013 15:51

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:Just to play devil's advocate, there are several other systems especially in Solar that have fractional HS versions. S,A,H, and Mg come to mind offhand. If any of those systems are going to have half HS versions in Cosmic, then I see no reason why "I" can't also have such a version. In fact H may be the easiest to integrate with half space engines. The .5 HS unused could become a half sized H for the appropriate cost by default.


Those systems also have fractional versions in 3rdR (or from the UTM), though with S and A, one usually buys them in whole HS increments. Usually, though not always.

And half space H and Mg were usually meant for tiny hulls since they'd sometimes have fractional engine sets, plus tiny ships often don't need a full magazine to support their missile needs, since the low survivability of such small ships tends to make having a full sized Mg with 200 SM's for perhaps 2 or 3 W's at most tends to be overkill. (In fact, before the introduction of the half size Mgs, I remember reading about some players who simply wouldn't fill up a full sized Mg, since they felt that it'd be a waste of money.)

As for: "If any of those systems are going to have half HS versions in Cosmic, then I see no reason why "I" can't also have such a version." Sorry, this logic doesn't fly.

S and A don't exist in fractional sizes for the sake of creating smaller, lesser versions of S and A. They're fractional because it means that you're getting a fully capable S or A in a smaller package, or put another way, you're getting more S or A per HS. They don't necessarily have to be fractional, per se. Arguably, one could rule that you bought them in full HS increments. Meaning, that if S1 was 3 S per HS, you could only buy 1 full HS of 3 S1's, not three 1/3 hs instances of S1. (BTW, I'm not saying that this is my intent; only that one could in theory do it.)

As for Hs and Mgs, those systems were largely created DUE to the existence of half-space engines creating unused half hull spaces, and Hs and Mgs provided a way for players to use those half-hull spaces with something useful. It's worth noting that you'd rarely see Hs and Mgs on larger ships, because it'd be rare that you'd have a lose half-HS hanging around unused. Were it not for unused half HS's in some tiny ships, I doubt that SDS would have bothered creating half sized Hs and Mgs systems.

As for whether I'll include half sized holds and magazines in Cosmic, it depends ... probably on the nature of the hull table.
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Tue 02 Apr 2013 20:34

One positive that I see with the latest table is that it has the potential to keep fleet sizes manageable. Smaller fleets would also keep expansion in check as there won't be as many survey squadrons searching and sifting systems for prime real estate.

If I had the time and play group available I wouldn't mind using a Last Stage Out Of Dodge style campaign to test the various proposals laid out. Personally, a game with fewer hulls to manage suits me fine. It will get tactical battles over a bit quicker. Fewer hulls in the fleet also cuts record keeping down a bit which is a plus for the P&P players.
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