WP Stagnation

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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby Crucis on Fri 07 Dec 2012 23:09

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:You're right. I'm not used to playing with ships as large and slow as a SM.

ECM-3 did have deception mode, which could fool opposing ships at long range. I'm not sure how effective it would be on MF at a wp due to the short range. Beyond point blank range though it should be effective.


Agreed, but usually small things like mines tend to have rather lame sensors, so it's ... possible ... that they might be fooled. But certainly not any ship mounting MCS at a short enough range.


One reason I'm thinking of limiting simultaneous transits to a single data group per pulse is that the groups electronics are synchronized to a degree by the datalink. That should make it somewhat easier for those ships to coordinate their movement compared to a random assemblage of ships.



Yes, but what to you think of dividing the normal WP capacity by the number of ships that want to transit safely in a single tactical pulse?

Besides, datalink is a fire control system, not a synchronized movement system. ;)
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Sat 08 Dec 2012 07:55

Division as you intend to implement it is an alternative that should work.

Datalink itself is a fire control system. What I'm thinking of is to utilize the telemetry links to track and coordinate movement of the group.
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby Dawn Falcon on Sat 08 Dec 2012 08:28

I think between requiring maintenance (it's not a big issue, after all, you just track how many deployed minefields you have), raising the price of minefields somewhat and requiring colliers to lay MF's, would stop them being spammed in the same way. I'd also raise the price of IDEW, personally.
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby Crucis on Sat 08 Dec 2012 22:12

Dawn Falcon wrote:I think between requiring maintenance (it's not a big issue, after all, you just track how many deployed minefields you have), raising the price of minefields somewhat and requiring colliers to lay MF's, would stop them being spammed in the same way. I'd also raise the price of IDEW, personally.


Yes, and hopefully with having to actually pay maintenance on MF's, it would be an incentive to not have so many MF's deployed, which in turn would make tracking the ones that are deployed that much easier.
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby tmul4050 on Sun 16 Dec 2012 01:12

There is a wrinkle to the use of swarm tactics. Consider their use on the defense. Masses of small vessels packed onto the warp point is very hard to attack. Under 3e you get six or so vessels a turn onto a point. If I have 60 or 70 vessels on the point armed with lasers say, bye bye fleet. Back it with mines and its even worse :D . I don't even want to think about with OWP's :shock: . With a larger swarm I would hold back a large group at about 25 to 30 hexes as reinforcements and rotate them through at general quarters.

These units would be speed 8, armed with either a gun or laser (some primaries when avaiiable) and minimal shields (which should be improved as tech allows). When antimatter appears gun units might be more scarey. Plasma guns are also a good idea.

If small enough these units can be mothballed and unmothballed quickly and have a fast strategic speed. They are also cheap.

In the defense swarms are worse than attack swarms in my mind. Also there is their use as a counter attack group.

BTW all bets are off of course when sbmhawks appear.
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby Crucis on Sun 16 Dec 2012 01:34

tmul4050 wrote:There is a wrinkle to the use of swarm tactics. Consider their use on the defense. Masses of small vessels packed onto the warp point is very hard to attack. Under 3e you get six or so vessels a turn onto a point. If I have 60 or 70 vessels on the point armed with lasers say, bye bye fleet. Back it with mines and its even worse :D . I don't even want to think about with OWP's :shock: . With a larger swarm I would hold back a large group at about 25 to 30 hexes as reinforcements and rotate them through at general quarters.

These units would be speed 8, armed with either a gun or laser (some primaries when available) and minimal shields (which should be improved as tech allows). When antimatter appears gun units might be more scarey. Plasma guns are also a good idea.

If small enough these units can be mothballed and unmothballed quickly and have a fast strategic speed. They are also cheap.

In the defense swarms are worse than attack swarms in my mind. Also there is their use as a counter attack group.

BTW all bets are off of course when sbmhawks appear.


Good post, tmul! :D

Yes, a defensive swarm mostly armed with lasers can be really, really dangerous. And heck, those swarm ships don't necessarily need to be all that fast in that role, though at that small a size, the value of the movement points probably outweighs any additional shields or armor.

In an early solo (pure ISF) campaign of my own, I had a case where a TL2 race was actually able to hold off a TL5 race with this tactic. Of course, it also helped that the TL2 race was filthy rich (full exploitation, good REI), while the TL5 race was rather poor (minimal home system exploitation). The TL2 race had very few SY's, but did have so much money that they could afford to build swarms of laser-armed CT's on the planet.

Also, a reason why beam-armed swarms are effective in this role is that they don't have to run down the enemy. They know exactly where the enemy will be... on the WP.

And it occurs to me that one way to counter this sort of defensive swarm is with a simultaneous transit with your own swarm ships. And in this case, assuming that you're at least TL4, I'd go with Force Beams rather than lasers. Defensive swarms like lasers to skip the shields of larger attacking ships. But against other swarm ships, that should be less of a concern, and the greater range and strong short range punch would seem to make F a good counter weapon vs laser armed swarms. Gun-armed swarmers might not be too bad either, though they'd have a range disadvantage against 3rdR lasers (they'd certainly be cheap). W-armed swarmers wouldn't have the short range punch of G, but they'd have the ability to reach out and crunch any enemy swarmers that wanted to try to avoid a knife fight.
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Sun 16 Dec 2012 19:11

Another counter to the L swarm is a variation of what Hannah Avram did in Danzig. Her ships had minimal shields and heavy armor to counter the Thebans X-ray lasers. At short range F armed BC's will take the swarm apart fairly quickly.
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby Crucis on Sun 16 Dec 2012 19:40

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:Another counter to the L swarm is a variation of what Hannah Avram did in Danzig. Her ships had minimal shields and heavy armor to counter the Thebans X-ray lasers. At short range F armed BC's will take the swarm apart fairly quickly.


Actually, you're overlooking an important fact, Alexei.

In 3E, in the turn of transit, one of the systems that is temporarily disabled is Multiplex Tracking. This means that that BC can only target a single ship without incurring the "no Multiplex Tracking" penalty of -4. Furthermore, on the turn of transit, all ships take a -3 to offensive fire. So taking a combined -7 penalty to try to engage multiple ships in a swarm would be seriously painful. This is the advantage of using a counter-swarm, since each ship will only be mounting 1-2 weapons, which is more than enough in this sort of battle. You create a default form of "multiplex" by using a counter swarm.

Of course, if your counter-swarm can carve out some space at the WP and force the defender to focus on them, you can probably buy time for your heavier ships to make transit more safely. I do agree that the attacker can do some serious damage with heavier F-armed ships ... once they can survive the turn of transit.
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Sun 16 Dec 2012 20:29

You're right, I forgot to account for the lack of multiplex on the turn of transit. Also in Crusade, it was Hannah Avram's swarm of F armed DD's defending against the Thebans.
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby tmul4050 on Tue 18 Dec 2012 22:26

And it occurs to me that one way to counter this sort of defensive swarm is with a simultaneous transit with your own swarm ships. And in this case, assuming that you're at least TL4, I'd go with Force Beams rather than lasers. Defensive swarms like lasers to skip the shields of larger attacking ships. But against other swarm ships, that should be less of a concern, and the greater range and strong short range punch would seem to make F a good counter weapon vs laser armed swarms. Gun-armed swarmers might not be too bad either, though they'd have a range disadvantage against 3rdR lasers (they'd certainly be cheap). W-armed swarmers wouldn't have the short range punch of G, but they'd have the ability to reach out and crunch any enemy swarmers that wanted to try to avoid a knife fight.



In the case of swarm vs swarm the defenders know the place, and the attackers know the time. Regardless heavy losses are to be expected. The problem I see with the simutaneous transit is that you lose about 20% of your attack and suffer penalties on the first turn. And isn't this tactic only for very militaristic races (I seem to remember that in the campaign rules). Having said that it does seem like the most viable tactic I can see. At least until SBMHawks
This is starting to look a bit like world war one trench warfare. Lots of casualties with little gain. Attrition warfare I suppose :( . Whoever can afford the losses, wins in the end.
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