Jump Drives, Mines, Swarms, Hull Costs, etc.

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Re: Jump Drives, Mines, Swarms, Hull Costs, etc.

Postby Crucis on Mon 20 May 2013 01:29

SCC wrote:Mines shouldn't fundamentally cost anything to maintain, it's not like mines needed topping up of reaction mass or anything. The lack of maintenance costs is why mines are used in the real world.

In Starfire the biggest reason/explanation for maintenance would be needing to reposition them once they drift off station.


I don't disagree with what you've written here, SCC. BUT whatever the explanation, it's necessary for mines to pay maintenance for game balance reasons. Otherwise, players can build up such titanic minefields that no enemy could ever hope to break through them.
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Re: Jump Drives, Mines, Swarms, Hull Costs, etc.

Postby SCC on Mon 20 May 2013 01:51

Best option is to require a mine-layer to reposition the mines, there's a limit on how many patterns of mines a mine-layer can maintain and that mine-layer needs maintenance
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Re: Jump Drives, Mines, Swarms, Hull Costs, etc.

Postby Crucis on Mon 20 May 2013 02:18

Guys, I was thinking about swarms tonight, and I remembered that perhaps the single most dangerous situation for encountering swarmers is in a WP assault. That is, when the defenders are using swarmers, an attacker using large ships under the current Classic rules is at a massive disadvantage.

For starters, the attacker can only send through a limited number of ships, unless he uses a simul-transit. But the most significant disadvantage are the transit effects, which disable most of the important electronic systems that usually give large ships their edge over small swarms ships. Things like datalink, multiplex tracking, and ECM in particular. Under the normal Classic rules, without multiplex tracking, any ship suffering from transit effects would normally be limited to a single target without a to-hit penalty (not counting the to-hit penalty from transit effects). But if faced by swarms of small ships, battlewagons are at a severe disadvantage because it might have far too many beams for a single target, but spreading its fire would incur a -4 (IIRC) penalty for exceeding its allowed number of targets without multiplex (which is only made worse when including the transit effects to=-hit penalty).

In this situation, it may almost be better to only send in smaller units that wouldn't need to spread their fire. But of course, such units would also die far more easily... which then leads one to think that perhaps one should use a simul-transit of one's own small ships as a counter swarm. Oh ... joy. :roll:

Which leads me to wonder if maybe the problem might be the transit effects themselves. It almost seems as if a swarmer defense is specifically designed to take advantage of the rules (or abuse them). Which then leads me to wonder if the solution is to re-examine the transit effect rules themselves. While they may make for good reading, maybe if there were no transit effects rules, then swarmers would find themselves in a considerably different situation. For example, instead of facing 6 transit effect addled BC's, they might find themselves facing 6 BC's with their datalinks, multiplexs, and ECM operational, ready to wreak terrible damage on any swarmers daring to close on them.

It would be a paradigm shift to be sure, but it would guarantee that the attackers weren't completely abused by a defense that seems to me to be designed to rules-lawyer the rules. Of course, it would also mean there'd probably have to be a re-examination of the readiness states for WP defenders, because obviously transit effects were meant to give defenders a chance to get to battlestations.

BTW, this doesn't mean that there couldn't be any transit effects. They'd probably just have to be a little different. For example, a small to-hit penalty is still probably OK in this concept, since the killer for the attackers is less the to-hit penalty than it is the disabled electronics. No use of evasive maneuvering is legit, since one has to declare it at the start of movement and one can't exit a WP while Evasive Maneuvering. Fighters really should be able to launch. After all, aren't they using the same technology in their catapults that missile launchers are using to catapult missiles out of their launchers?

Anyways, I thought that I'd just throw this out there for people to chew over today.
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Re: Jump Drives, Mines, Swarms, Hull Costs, etc.

Postby Crucis on Mon 20 May 2013 02:21

SCC wrote:Best option is to require a mine-layer to reposition the mines, there's a limit on how many patterns of mines a mine-layer can maintain and that mine-layer needs maintenance


I think that that's complicating things a bit too much for my taste. The point is to make empires pay an economic penalty for maintaining lots of active minefields around their empire. If they want to avoid the cost, don't deploy mines in peacetime.
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Re: Jump Drives, Mines, Swarms, Hull Costs, etc.

Postby Vandervecken on Mon 20 May 2013 05:21

Crucis wrote: SCC wrote: Best option is to require a mine-layer to reposition the mines, there's a limit on how many patterns of mines a mine-layer can maintain and that mine-layer needs maintenance

I think that that's complicating things a bit too much for my taste. The point is to make empires pay an economic penalty for maintaining lots of active minefields around their empire. If they want to avoid the cost, don't deploy mines in peacetime.


I agree that for the standard Cosmic rules that a simple maint. cost for mines is the way to go. But I'm sure that many would like an optional rule that gives Minesweepers / Minelayers REAL duties that they can or need to perform. SCC's idea is one interesting possibility.

also

I really like taking away (for the most part) the additional penalties [Not the base to-hit penalty] to fire that happen currently during a WP transit. I think your idea above is the best/simplest solution. It won't get rid of Swarmer defenses, but they will be a bit more hurtable with this rule modification. Although, I probably would say that no vessel could launch Squadrons on the impulse they exit from a WP.

I've got a few reasons thought up that I'll use for why I play with that '1st entry impulse = no launch' stipulation if I need to make it a 'House Rule'. Also: since I'm Nerfing Fighter and Gunboats EL-wise in my current campaign <albeit, a Solar campaign> It will make carriers a bit stronger in a WP assault when they finally do arrive on the scene than if I used the current rules.


OR - I could also see why the penalties for fire after exiting a WP currently in the rules would affect any vessels that exited on the last (6th) movement impulse would still occur; as even ultra-modern systems may take up to an impulse (about 5 seconds?) to become 100% effective after a WP transit. It would complicate your nice simple solution though, but it gives a realistic feel that some things do happen when you break the normal laws of physics and use WP movement. Like with my launch Idea, that last vessel(s), the 6th impulse exit ones, would be a little more useless for one turn than those that preceeded it.
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Re: Jump Drives, Mines, Swarms, Hull Costs, etc.

Postby Crucis on Mon 20 May 2013 05:46

Vandervecken wrote:
Crucis wrote: SCC wrote: Best option is to require a mine-layer to reposition the mines, there's a limit on how many patterns of mines a mine-layer can maintain and that mine-layer needs maintenance

I think that that's complicating things a bit too much for my taste. The point is to make empires pay an economic penalty for maintaining lots of active minefields around their empire. If they want to avoid the cost, don't deploy mines in peacetime.


I agree that for the standard Cosmic rules that a simple maint. cost for mines is the way to go. But I'm sure that many would like an optional rule that gives Minesweepers / Minelayers REAL duties that they can or need to perform. SCC's idea is one interesting possibility.


Actually, I'd think that unless you're at war, the great majority of an empire's minesweepers and minelayers might just be in mothballs.


I really like taking away (for the most part) the additional penalties [Not the base to-hit penalty] to fire that happen currently during a WP transit. I think your idea above is the best/simplest solution. It won't get rid of Swarmer defenses, but they will be a bit more hurtable with this rule modification. Although, I probably would say that no vessel could launch Squadrons on the impulse they exit from a WP.

I've got a few reasons thought up that I'll use for why I play with that '1st entry impulse = no launch' stipulation if I need to make it a 'House Rule'. Also: since I'm Nerfing Fighter and Gunboats EL-wise in my current campaign <albeit, a Solar campaign> It will make carriers a bit stronger in a WP assault when they finally do arrive on the scene than if I used the current rules.


You don't seem to like fighters much, do you, Van? ;)

I agree that my idea doesn't get rid of swarmers, but it should give invading ships much more of a fighting chance.


OR - I could also see why the penalties for fire after exiting a WP currently in the rules would affect any vessels that exited on the last (6th) movement impulse would still occur; as even ultra-modern systems may take up to an impulse (about 5 seconds?) to become 100% effective after a WP transit. It would complicate your nice simple solution though, but it gives a realistic feel that some things do happen when you break the normal laws of physics and use WP movement. Like with my launch Idea, that last vessel(s), the 6th impulse exit ones, would be a little more useless for one turn than those that preceeded it.


I think that the problem with this idea is that if the 6th unit thru a WP was doomed to suffer full blown transit effects, you just might see attackers just not bring thru a 6th unit that was going to be dead meat. Or a more devious race with some money to spend might create some sort of decoy ship (that mounted LOTS of passives) whose job was to try to get the enemy to target this transit addled ship and absorb LOTS of damage which would otherwise be directed at the other units in the assault wave.
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Re: Jump Drives, Mines, Swarms, Hull Costs, etc.

Postby Vandervecken on Mon 20 May 2013 07:02

Crucis wrote:I think that the problem with this idea is that if the 6th unit thru a WP was doomed to suffer full blown transit effects, you just might see attackers just not bring thru a 6th unit that was going to be dead meat. Or a more devious race with some money to spend might create some sort of decoy ship (that mounted LOTS of passives) whose job was to try to get the enemy to target this transit addled ship and absorb LOTS of damage which would otherwise be directed at the other units in the assault wave.


It would be no more of a dead meat than the current 6th impulse vessel(s). Some empire may try to send more than one ship thru that impulse figuring that as they are more usless already, that extra effects of simultanious transits (If they survive) wont hurt much more anyway. I like giving my empires options so I kind of dig this mechanism, but it is more complex that getting rid of some or all of the extra negatives as you suggested. So again , maybe a house rule. If you said , "My, thats kinda cool" then I'd hope you would think it was worth the extra lines in the rules; otherwise just dump it. Any who like the idea can add it to their house rules options.
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Re: Jump Drives, Mines, Swarms, Hull Costs, etc.

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Mon 20 May 2013 07:16

I like a small to hit penalty, and no evasive maneuvers for the attacker on the turn of transit. I do think that fighter catapults are a bit different than the system that missiles use. Having them take time to stabilize for launch operations makes sense to me. It's not just the launcher, it's a sensitive crew operated fighter, and I think that even the most seasoned of pilots is going to need a few seconds to get oriented after a wp transit.
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Re: Jump Drives, Mines, Swarms, Hull Costs, etc.

Postby Dawn Falcon on Mon 20 May 2013 12:16

Crucis wrote:Under the normal Classic rules, without multiplex tracking, any ship suffering from transit effects would normally be limited to a single target without a to-hit penalty (not counting the to-hit penalty from transit effects). But if faced by swarms of small ships, battlewagons are at a severe disadvantage because it might have far too many beams for a single target, but spreading its fire would incur a -4 (IIRC) penalty for exceeding its allowed number of targets without multiplex (which is only made worse when including the transit effects to=-hit penalty).


So give a penalty to Mx rather than disabling it outright. I believe both the Rigellian and Phoenix campaigns used -4 targets (min1), but also halving Mx's effect would work. 1HS for a Mx is pretty minor compared to the other changes needed for an assualt ship, and it's far simpler than having datagroups transit in prime condition to smash defenders.

Also, I disagree on fighter cats - the sort of shaking a missile can survive..
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Re: Jump Drives, Mines, Swarms, Hull Costs, etc.

Postby Crucis on Mon 20 May 2013 12:30

Dawn Falcon wrote:
Crucis wrote:Under the normal Classic rules, without multiplex tracking, any ship suffering from transit effects would normally be limited to a single target without a to-hit penalty (not counting the to-hit penalty from transit effects). But if faced by swarms of small ships, battlewagons are at a severe disadvantage because it might have far too many beams for a single target, but spreading its fire would incur a -4 (IIRC) penalty for exceeding its allowed number of targets without multiplex (which is only made worse when including the transit effects to=-hit penalty).


So give a penalty to Mx rather than disabling it outright. I believe both the Rigellian and Phoenix campaigns used -4 targets (min1), but also halving Mx's effect would work. 1HS for a Mx is pretty minor compared to the other changes needed for an assault ship, and it's far simpler than having datagroups transit in prime condition to smash defenders.

Also, I disagree on fighter cats - the sort of shaking a missile can survive..


I guess the problem I have is that I find the entire Multiplex concept bogus from the start, as you know. I have greater faith in the ability of computers to handle scores of targets with ease, even at relatively low relativistic speeds. So in all honesty, I have serious problems lowering a number that I already find so low that it fails my giggle test abysmally. :?

As for what's simpler, how can having datagroups transit WP's and operating at what is the game's normal operating level be "complex" in the slightest? If anything is "complex" it's the use of transit effects in the first place.
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