WP Stagnation

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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Tue 25 Dec 2012 11:22

Actually, improved drives( faster not jump) may be an answer to wp stagnation without unbalancing the game. Let's say a drive has a sprint setting. It can only be used for a limited amount of time and using it at all risks engine burnout. The sprint setting would be twice tactical speed and could only be activated for say 5 turns before it shuts down. The down side of going to sprint mode is that your offensive systems are offline due to power being diverted to the drive. Ships moving at sprint speed would have a chance to get away from the kill zone around a wp. The Desai drive would be a continued improvement of drive field tech.
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby Crucis on Tue 25 Dec 2012 15:38

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:Actually, improved drives( faster not jump) may be an answer to wp stagnation without unbalancing the game. Let's say a drive has a sprint setting. It can only be used for a limited amount of time and using it at all risks engine burnout. The sprint setting would be twice tactical speed and could only be activated for say 5 turns before it shuts down. The down side of going to sprint mode is that your offensive systems are offline due to power being diverted to the drive. Ships moving at sprint speed would have a chance to get away from the kill zone around a wp. The Desai drive would be a continued improvement of drive field tech.



A faster drive doesn't do you any good when the WP is mined, which is at the crux of WP stagnation. Mines aren't a problem for jump drives, since you "jump" over the kill zone.

As for jump drives "unbalancing the game", I don't see it that way. To a degree, they're already a part of the game, thru Alkelda Dawn as well as inclusion in Ultra/Solar. It's only a question of implementation to me. Additionally, as I said, I don't see them as unbalancing. I see them as changing the nature of the battle field, and forcing the players to adjust, just as things like CM's and fighters and SBMHAWKs changed the nature of the battlefield, each in their own way.
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Tue 25 Dec 2012 16:52

I don't mind change and evolution. What I'm leery of is a combination of technologies that could allow a player to avoid combat except when attacking a planet.

Let's say I as a HT15+ player with access to both jump and Desai drives find a multi system npr of about HT6. I've gotten their astrogation data, so I know how their warp lines lay out. With that knowledge I elect to head for their home system. Using my jump and Desai drives I can make that voyage with almost no chance that the npr can even attempt to slow me down.

Perhaps something similar to the Andromedan displacement device from SFB could work. It would activate on the impulse of entry and give a ship the chance to jump past the minefields. The jump would be d10 hexes with 0 being failure to jump. You would have a decent chance to get away from the kill zone, but the defenders would also have a chance to engage if the jump was too short or unsuccessful.
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby Crucis on Wed 26 Dec 2012 14:18

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:I don't mind change and evolution. What I'm leery of is a combination of technologies that could allow a player to avoid combat except when attacking a planet.


Ahh, but 3E is also about the occasional revolutionary technological change, not merely evolutionary change.

As for the second point, I don't think that one has to require a combo of jump drives and super fast engines to create that situation. Basically any time a player enters a star system through a closed WP, they can try to avoid combat except when attacking a planet. Or perhaps one might say that they can try to avoid combat until it's at a time and place of their choosing. That's the way of things.

A "problem" of WP's is that they are the perfect choke point. And in most circumstances, a defender is going to prefer to take advantage of that chokepoint. This tends to mean that most battles are WP battles. A few years back, I asked did a survey on WP's. And one of the responses was that some people didn't like the fact that it seemed like almost all battles were WP battles. But short of getting rid of WP's, or effectively doing it by using super jump drives that might jump you multiple interception (or worse, system) hexes from the WP, most battles are going to occur in the vicinity of the terrain feature that gives the defender a powerful advantage. One can hardly blame defenders for preferring to fight where they have the advantage. That's just the way of things.


Let's say I as a HT15+ player with access to both jump and Desai drives find a multi system npr of about HT6. I've gotten their astrogation data, so I know how their warp lines lay out. With that knowledge I elect to head for their home system. Using my jump and Desai drives I can make that voyage with almost no chance that the npr can even attempt to slow me down.


You'd have to have survey data for a lot of star systems to use this tactics to bypass all defenders to move deep into an enemy's space. Still, I can't say that I like the combo of the super-fast Desai Drive and jump drives. The combo seems too potent.

Another problem I see with the Desai Drive is that it would really screw up things like the CFN. It would seem that the Desai Drive would have to be obscenely expensive for it to not be useful for commercial freight lines.


Perhaps something similar to the Andromedan displacement device from SFB could work. It would activate on the impulse of entry and give a ship the chance to jump past the minefields. The jump would be d10 hexes with 0 being failure to jump. You would have a decent chance to get away from the kill zone, but the defenders would also have a chance to engage if the jump was too short or unsuccessful.




The defenders already have a chance to engage, even if the Jump drive has a range of 10, 20, or even 30 hexes. You just have to adjust your defensive tactics accordingly. If you know that the attacker can jump to a range of up to 20 tac hexes, then squatting on the WP is dumb. You have to pull back and be certain to block whatever direction you think that the enemy is going to want to go. You'll probably need to have a stronger reliance on missile armed ships and bases in this defense. Beam armed buoys can be somewhat useful in this defense, though they'll likely not be able to be laid in the concentrations to make them devastating.

In a way, it's not all that different from when you know that the attacker can SBMHAWK close-in WP defenses into dust bunnies. In that situation, you have to either come up with some strategy for dealing with missile pods, or just plain pull back out of SBMHAWK range. And of course, if you do that, you will be positioning your fleet to block whatever direction you do not want them to take (i.e. directly towards inhabited planets, most likely).
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Wed 26 Dec 2012 22:32

Crucis wrote:Another problem I see with the Desai Drive is that it would really screw up things like the CFN. It would seem that the Desai Drive would have to be obscenely expensive for it to not be useful for commercial freight lines.


I would make the Desai drive a purely military system. If I recall, It is limited to being used in the outer system. The other issue would be long term reliability. I would have an upgraded version of Ic though.

Crucis wrote:The defenders already have a chance to engage, even if the Jump drive has a range of 10, 20, or even 30 hexes. You just have to adjust your defensive tactics accordingly. If you know that the attacker can jump to a range of up to 20 tac hexes, then squatting on the WP is dumb. You have to pull back and be certain to block whatever direction you think that the enemy is going to want to go. You'll probably need to have a stronger reliance on missile armed ships and bases in this defense. Beam armed buoys can be somewhat useful in this defense, though they'll likely not be able to be laid in the concentrations to make them devastating.


You might block a direct advance on the planets, but what if the enemy elects to jump out system and consolidate their forces before turning to fight? Without rough parity in fleet size the attacker would gain a major advantage. Look at several of the battles in ISW-3. In a number of cases (Timor and Gozal come to mind), had the alliance ceded the wp and allowed the Rigellians to get organized, it would have been a bloodbath. At Timor the Rigellians had 3 carriers destroyed and the others damaged because the TFN chose to fight on the wp. At Gozal, Lord Talphon mauled the CVL's before he was forced to concede the wp.

You may see players invest heavily in IDEW's to effectively ring the wp. Add the big Rc bases and you may still have a stalemated situation. The other outcome may be siege warfare at the planets. Granted, that was the historical outcome in the novels and many of the scenarios.
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby Crucis on Wed 26 Dec 2012 23:05

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:
Crucis wrote:Another problem I see with the Desai Drive is that it would really screw up things like the CFN. It would seem that the Desai Drive would have to be obscenely expensive for it to not be useful for commercial freight lines.


I would make the Desai drive a purely military system. If I recall, It is limited to being used in the outer system. The other issue would be long term reliability. I would have an upgraded version of Ic though.


Not sure how you're defining "outer system".

As for an upgraded version of Ic, of course it's do-able. The thing is that you'd have to re-write or at least make some allowance for that within the CFN rules. Right now, the CFN is almost entirely built around an assumption of a CFN speed of 4. Under the unrevised 3E rules under which the Desai Drive was written up, you'd be looking at ships with a speed of 30 (50% C). (Or a speed of 60 in 3rdR.) Commercial drives would have to get one incredibly heft speed boost to keep pace with that jump in engine tech. Also, if it any new commercial drive was related to the Desai Drive, it wouldn't work in the inner system, which would REALLY play havoc on the CFN if it couldn't always have a consistent speed through out all star systems.

Honestly, I'm not a big fan of the Desai Drive. It's fine for a novel. But within the context of the game, it causes a lot of problems. I'm not averse to faster drives. But an increase in speed by a factor of something like x5 or x10 is more than a bit too much even for my tastes.



Crucis wrote:The defenders already have a chance to engage, even if the Jump drive has a range of 10, 20, or even 30 hexes. You just have to adjust your defensive tactics accordingly. If you know that the attacker can jump to a range of up to 20 tac hexes, then squatting on the WP is dumb. You have to pull back and be certain to block whatever direction you think that the enemy is going to want to go. You'll probably need to have a stronger reliance on missile armed ships and bases in this defense. Beam armed buoys can be somewhat useful in this defense, though they'll likely not be able to be laid in the concentrations to make them devastating.


You might block a direct advance on the planets, but what if the enemy elects to jump out system and consolidate their forces before turning to fight? Without rough parity in fleet size the attacker would gain a major advantage. Look at several of the battles in ISW-3. In a number of cases (Timor and Gozal come to mind), had the alliance ceded the wp and allowed the Rigellians to get organized, it would have been a bloodbath. At Timor the Rigellians had 3 carriers destroyed and the others damaged because the TFN chose to fight on the wp. At Gozal, Lord Talphon mauled the CVL's before he was forced to concede the wp.


Ah, but that's the nature of game changing revolutionary technologies! They change the nature of the battle field. They can change prior tactical and strategic paradigms. This is no different. Besides, jump drives are already a part of the game. It's not like I'm talking about some completely new tech.


You may see players invest heavily in IDEW's to effectively ring the wp. Add the big Rc bases and you may still have a stalemated situation. The other outcome may be siege warfare at the planets. Granted, that was the historical outcome in the novels and many of the scenarios.


This is exactly what you'd probably see happen. Defenses would become more LRW based. Beam Buoys couldn't exist in concentrations high enough to stop the enemy dead in his tracks, but you could seed them around the WP well enough to cause significant problems. And you might see some mines being around the missile bases to try to make it more painful for attackers trying to close to point blank beam range. For that matter, one could lay fields of mines around the WP to try to prevent the attacker from having a direct path away from the WP. Such fields wouldn't have to be thick enough to destroy heavy ships, but enough to cause them turn to avoid them, thus slowing them down. I suspect that there are a number of interesting things one could do with mines.
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Thu 27 Dec 2012 06:31

Crucis wrote:Not sure how you're defining "outer system".


I think it was only usable outside the theoretical rock zone of a system. Similar to the hyper limit in Honor Harrington.

Crucis wrote:As for an upgraded version of Ic, of course it's do-able. The thing is that you'd have to re-write or at least make some allowance for that within the CFN rules. Right now, the CFN is almost entirely built around an assumption of a CFN speed of 4. Under the unrevised 3E rules under which the Desai Drive was written up, you'd be looking at ships with a speed of 30 (50% C). (Or a speed of 60 in 3rdR.) Commercial drives would have to get one incredibly heft speed boost to keep pace with that jump in engine tech. Also, if it any new commercial drive was related to the Desai Drive, it wouldn't work in the inner system, which would REALLY play havoc on the CFN if it couldn't always have a consistent speed through out all star systems.


If I recall, standard I tech had improved a bit after the events in Insurrection. For the sake of 3rdR rules, lets say improved I drives max out at speed 12 for most ships (CL to BC). The resulting Ic would go to speed 8.
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby Crucis on Thu 27 Dec 2012 07:54

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:
Crucis wrote:Not sure how you're defining "outer system".


I think it was only usable outside the theoretical rock zone of a system. Similar to the hyper limit in Honor Harrington.


Hmmm.... Myself, I tend to look at systems in terms of inner, middle, and outer system, essentially corresponding to the rocky, gas, and ice zones.

Crucis wrote:As for an upgraded version of Ic, of course it's do-able. The thing is that you'd have to re-write or at least make some allowance for that within the CFN rules. Right now, the CFN is almost entirely built around an assumption of a CFN speed of 4. Under the unrevised 3E rules under which the Desai Drive was written up, you'd be looking at ships with a speed of 30 (50% C). (Or a speed of 60 in 3rdR.) Commercial drives would have to get one incredibly heft speed boost to keep pace with that jump in engine tech. Also, if it any new commercial drive was related to the Desai Drive, it wouldn't work in the inner system, which would REALLY play havoc on the CFN if it couldn't always have a consistent speed through out all star systems.


If I recall, standard I tech had improved a bit after the events in Insurrection. For the sake of 3rdR rules, lets say improved I drives max out at speed 12 for most ships (CL to BC). The resulting Ic would go to speed 8.


Recalling it from where, Alexei? I don't recall this at all.

Of course, let's also remember that the novels were written using the assumptions of unrevised 3E, in which DD's and below still had a max speed of 6.
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Thu 27 Dec 2012 20:30

Crucis wrote:Recalling it from where, Alexei? I don't recall this at all.

Of course, let's also remember that the novels were written using the assumptions of unrevised 3E, in which DD's and below still had a max speed of 6.


Chapter 2 of Exodus explicitly gives speed 7 in 3rd terms (.117c) with incremental advances leading up to the Desai drive.

The more I think about it, the more I'm warming up to jump drives. In fact jump drives could be the impetus for pod development. The original pod could be an immobile version that would hold 3 SM and be used as a missile equivalent of an IDEW. The first upgrade would be mobile but not wp capable. The second upgrade would be a wp capable SM pod. After that you would get the familiar SBMHAWK's, I might even go a far as having an immobile pod with a single ADM as an option available at HT7.
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Re: WP Stagnation

Postby Crucis on Thu 27 Dec 2012 21:53

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:The more I think about it, the more I'm warming up to jump drives. In fact jump drives could be the impetus for pod development. The original pod could be an immobile version that would hold 3 SM and be used as a missile equivalent of an IDEW. The first upgrade would be mobile but not wp capable. The second upgrade would be a wp capable SM pod. After that you would get the familiar SBMHAWK's, I might even go a far as having an immobile pod with a single ADM as an option available at HT7.



I don't see it that way. I see the impetus for missile pods as being a proliferation of minefields specifically, and WP defenses in general.

Also, another way of describing an "immobile missile pod" would be a missile buoy. Remember that mines are really nothing but tiny missile buoys, where the range of the "missile" is less than a hex. I'm not real keen on the idea of following Ultra's lead on build-a-buoy and build-a-drone. I don't mine beam weapon buoys and explosive laser buoys, but that's generally about as far as I want to go. Also, if missile buoys were allowed to exist, you just end up with "mines" with ranges of 20 or 30 or more hexes. Of course, this will still be possible with mobile missile pods used defensively, so I'm not sure that I see the need for an immobile version. And if those pods are too cheap, it can create a further impetus for jump drives to have greater and greater ranges to avoid the missile storm.
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