Draft Hull Table

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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby Crucis on Sat 30 Mar 2013 21:37

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:I can understand your point of view. I've also seen a game system where 3 races seemed to have very different ideas as to what a cruiser was. Some of this is conjecture on my part, but when a race builds C series hulls that are as big as it's neighbor's DN's and their D series hulls are effectively CL's and CA's you start to wonder what their philosophy was. I suspect that us old geezers will use nomenclature that best matches what we are familiar with for our house campaigns.


Actually, Alexei, I think if you read back thru this thread, you'll come across a story that I passed on from the old Starfire Mailing List where a campaign had a house rule that players could use different hull type name nomenclatures. All each player had to do was provide the SM with a translation table between their nomenclature and the official version.

The upshot is that one time player A spied on player B and discovered that something like 30 BC's were going to be in system X on a certain date. So player A sent in 30 (official name) BB's into the system to tackle the battlecruisers. But player A forgot about the House rule, and ran into 30 SD, which player B called "battlecruisers" under his personal nomenclature. Oooops.


Don't get me wrong. I'm not opposed to evolution in terminology. It's just that the new hull tables remind me of the size creep in Honor Harrington. Yes, it does mirror Earth history, but the current HH ships up to BC's are at least a size class bigger then when the series started.


The size creep is built into the story line though. Even in the latest HH novel, Shadow of Freedom, some SLN commander sees a force of Manty ships that he thinks are CL's, but are by Manty definitions, DD's.

In Starfire, this might just be thought of as a different player's redefinition of hull types, or it could be an example of generational hulls, from Ultra or Solar.



My other concern is that even though we're building a new setting, using the new rules to adapt existing Classic scenarios is going to involve a massive retcon. Either the ships get redesigned to fit the new larger size, or the story get's retconned to reflect that the ships are correct, but the naming convention has been altered.


Honestly, it doesn't seem likely that I'll be updating the old scenario mods to the Cosmic rules at this point, for the reason you point out... It would involve a massive retcon.... When I was decided to go this different direction, I could have decided to partially go in this direction, but retcon the Canon history, rather than start a new history. But doing a massive retcon has some significant issues. One, it would cause the scenario modules to be different from the novels (well, those that were novelized). Second, some of the changes I have in mind would have significant impacts on the way some battles would be fought out. Third, I wouldn't feel entirely comfortable messing with Dave Weber's history. And fourth, while it probably wouldn't be a problem since to the best of our knowledge, SDS owns the history, just not the characters in the novels, I wouldn't want to get into any legal difficulties in doing a retcon.

So, chances are that I won't want to do a conversion of the old scenario books. I'd rather focus on new scenario books, if I can ever get this thing done, that is.

Furthermore, when all's said and done, it's going to be more than just the hull table that's going to change. Frankly, if one wanted to do a conversion, one could just use the old 3rdR hull tables rather than the Cosmic one (whatever it finally ends up looking like). But the tech would be a more difficult issue, since there are going to be some significant changes there too. Probably even more significant. This might sound ... odd ... but the way I'm looking at it is that I'm trying to tell a new story. Or put another way, I'm creating a new fictional universe and the assumptions about how things work won't always be the same, and some tech will be different. If I just took the old 3rdR tech tables nearly verbatim with a fix here and there and some new tech, the "story", the Cosmic "universe" probably wouldn't feel all that different from the one where the Canon History takes place. I intend to make some changes that will give this new universe, this new setting a significantly new feel to it.

A new setting, a new history, some new tech, some existing tech, some tweaked old tech, a new feel to the setting and history, but hopefully it'll still have a classic Starfire feel to it.
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby Crucis on Sat 30 Mar 2013 22:13

Here's what the "Tue 26 Mar 2013 05:57" version of the hull table would look like with the HDD hull type placed between DD and CL. Just for yucks, mind you. (Of course, it may be pretty good, so you never know.)



Hull TypeTech LevelMax Size(I/Ic/J) I/MP
CTIND-2 or TL1151/2
DDTL1301
HDDTL2451-1/2
CLTL3602
CATL4752-1/2
BCTL5903
BBTL61204
DNTL81505
SDTL101806
MT ?TL12 ?2408
SMT ?TL14 ?30010
Hull TypeTech LevelMax Size(I/Ic/J) I/MP
Or, replacing the 15 hs type... (version 1)
CTIND-2101/3
FGIND-2202/3
Or, in addition to the 15 hs type... (version 2)
CTIND-2151/2
FGIND-2223/4


I gotta admit that I kinda like this one. As I mentioned above, in WW2 there was a considerable gap between DD's and CL's, but there were some oversized destroyers built that were referred to as "Destroyer Leaders", since they were intended to be destroyer flotilla leaders. However, I prefer the term "Heavy Destroyer" instead.

In truth, I could have just done what I did in a previous version of the I30 hull table and put FG at 30 hs and DD at 45, and so on. But I like having some distance between CL and DD. The problem for me here is that we're at the bottom end of the hull table (in terms of size), and I don't like ships being too small. In theory, I could replace the 15 hs type with a 10 hs type (I/MP = 1/3) and a 20 hs type (I/MP = 2/3). But this would create 2 types using fractions that weren't 1/2, and worse, it would create a type that was for me "too small", i.e. the 10 hs type. The upside would be that the two types could be the CT and the FG, and those two names would show up in the table for our traditionalists. And the size differences between 10 hs, 20 hs, and 30 hs are significant enough that each hull type would feel significantly more capable than the one below it, which was a problem with the 3rdR table for 16 hs CT's vs 20 hs FG's. (Those 20 hs FG's never seemed worth the trouble.)

Either way, this table has a pretty nice feel to it.
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Sat 30 Mar 2013 22:29

I like the 10 HS/20 HS version even though it uses fractions other than 1/2. The 10 HS CT's make an ideal IND-2 ship. Small enough to fit with the tech base, yet large enough to fit into the game system. The FG's to me seem to be perfect for a race that has just (or is about to) hit HT1. Big enough to show the next step in technology, but not a 15HS increase in size.
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby Crucis on Sat 30 Mar 2013 22:39

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:I like the 10 HS/20 HS version even though it uses fractions other than 1/2. The 10 HS CT's make an ideal IND-2 ship. Small enough to fit with the tech base, yet large enough to fit into the game system. The FG's to me seem to be perfect for a race that has just (or is about to) hit HT1. Big enough to show the next step in technology, but not a 15HS increase in size.



Alexei, the problem with a 10 hs ship is that you can't really put anything into it, which is a large reason I've never been fond of such small ships. I've usually thought of the 15-16 HS CT as the smallest size that is reasonably capable of doing anything.

Also, a problem that gets increasingly challenging as sizes get smaller, is that every HS makes a huge difference. In 3rdR, ES's were 12 hs. And here, I'm looking at the smallest hull being 10 hs. Those 2 hs make a significant difference, but the i30 math says that a ship with an I/MP of 1/3 should be 10 hs, so 10 hs it is. And it'll be barely capable of mounting 3 I to get a speed of 8 (presumably) and one 4 hs beam. It's gonna be one lame little bugger. ;)


I suppose an alternative to a 10 hs hull would be to go with a 15 hs, I/MP=1/2 type and a 22 or 23 hs, I/MP=3/4 type. A mix of 15 hs and 20 hs is a no-go because a 5 hs gap is too small, but a 7-8 hs gap is useable.
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Sun 31 Mar 2013 05:05

Crucis wrote:
AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:I like the 10 HS/20 HS version even though it uses fractions other than 1/2. The 10 HS CT's make an ideal IND-2 ship. Small enough to fit with the tech base, yet large enough to fit into the game system. The FG's to me seem to be perfect for a race that has just (or is about to) hit HT1. Big enough to show the next step in technology, but not a 15HS increase in size.



Alexei, the problem with a 10 hs ship is that you can't really put anything into it, which is a large reason I've never been fond of such small ships. I've usually thought of the 15-16 HS CT as the smallest size that is reasonably capable of doing anything.

Also, a problem that gets increasingly challenging as sizes get smaller, is that every HS makes a huge difference. In 3rdR, ES's were 12 hs. And here, I'm looking at the smallest hull being 10 hs. Those 2 hs make a significant difference, but the i30 math says that a ship with an I/MP of 1/3 should be 10 hs, so 10 hs it is. And it'll be barely capable of mounting 3 I to get a speed of 8 (presumably) and one 4 hs beam. It's gonna be one lame little bugger. ;)


I suppose an alternative to a 10 hs hull would be to go with a 15 hs, I/MP=1/2 type and a 22 or 23 hs, I/MP=3/4 type. A mix of 15 hs and 20 hs is a no-go because a 5 hs gap is too small, but a 7-8 hs gap is useable.


IMO, the 10 HS ship isn't designed for combat. It's an exploration vessel or at most a lightly armed patrol ship designed to take on smugglers/pirates and collect tax revenue. Remember that it's an IND-2 design. Most races would replace them with FG's fairly rapidly, converting the remaining hulls to in system freighters/transports as part of the local CFN. Look at the Khanate X Class ES. It's easy to envision a 10 HS version by dropping the Z and D and changing the F to L.
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby Crucis on Sun 31 Mar 2013 07:08

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:
Crucis wrote:
AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:I like the 10 HS/20 HS version even though it uses fractions other than 1/2. The 10 HS CT's make an ideal IND-2 ship. Small enough to fit with the tech base, yet large enough to fit into the game system. The FG's to me seem to be perfect for a race that has just (or is about to) hit HT1. Big enough to show the next step in technology, but not a 15HS increase in size.



Alexei, the problem with a 10 hs ship is that you can't really put anything into it, which is a large reason I've never been fond of such small ships. I've usually thought of the 15-16 HS CT as the smallest size that is reasonably capable of doing anything.

Also, a problem that gets increasingly challenging as sizes get smaller, is that every HS makes a huge difference. In 3rdR, ES's were 12 hs. And here, I'm looking at the smallest hull being 10 hs. Those 2 hs make a significant difference, but the i30 math says that a ship with an I/MP of 1/3 should be 10 hs, so 10 hs it is. And it'll be barely capable of mounting 3 I to get a speed of 8 (presumably) and one 4 hs beam. It's gonna be one lame little bugger. ;)


I suppose an alternative to a 10 hs hull would be to go with a 15 hs, I/MP=1/2 type and a 22 or 23 hs, I/MP=3/4 type. A mix of 15 hs and 20 hs is a no-go because a 5 hs gap is too small, but a 7-8 hs gap is useable.


IMO, the 10 HS ship isn't designed for combat. It's an exploration vessel or at most a lightly armed patrol ship designed to take on smugglers/pirates and collect tax revenue. Remember that it's an IND-2 design. Most races would replace them with FG's fairly rapidly, converting the remaining hulls to in system freighters/transports as part of the local CFN. Look at the Khanate X Class ES. It's easy to envision a 10 HS version by dropping the Z and D and changing the F to L.



Alexei, you don't seem to understand that such tiny ships have historically (game players history, not canonical history) been misused/abused, at least IMO, as tiny armed swarm ships or to create a swarm of survey ships. This is why I loathe such small classes and am so hesitant to include them. To me, 10 hs (or less) just isn't a proper starship.
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Sun 31 Mar 2013 07:27

Oh believe me I know how badly escorts can be abused. I've been on the short end of a 300 ES swarm. It's not fun when your fleet of DD's gets vaporized after half the swarm gets behind them. The survey swarm dates back to 2nd ed with the Crasher Force article. In those days the swarm was split into 10 ship groups as that was the most efficient way to survey a system. The swarm would essentially search and sift massive numbers of systems, report back to base via cd and then the colony ships would be sent out. I've been on the wrong end of that situation as well.

I think it's a story vs game issue that needs to be hashed out. 15 HS does make for a useful little ship, but to me it stretches things a bit from a tech base standpoint. 10 HS fits the tech base and potential story better, but is rife for abuse in a campaign.

Another thing to consider is that assuming 3rdR construction rates, there is nothing in the rules to prevent players from building swarms of 12 HS ships each month at HT1. With the 10/20 HS split those 12 HS ships will have a MF of 2/3, which makes them an unattractive option vs a ship with a MF of 1/2 in the 15 HS scheme.
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby Crucis on Sun 31 Mar 2013 08:00

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:Oh believe me I know how badly escorts can be abused. I've been on the short end of a 300 ES swarm. It's not fun when your fleet of DD's gets vaporized after half the swarm gets behind them. The survey swarm dates back to 2nd ed with the Crasher Force article. In those days the swarm was split into 10 ship groups as that was the most efficient way to survey a system. The swarm would essentially search and sift massive numbers of systems, report back to base via cd and then the colony ships would be sent out. I've been on the wrong end of that situation as well.


I don't worry all that much about really low tech combat swarms. After all, it's about the only tactic those races have, plus the fact that those are about the only hulls that they have.

As for survey swarms, the driving force behind survey swarms, which hasn't changed even up thru Ultra and Solar, is that the rules limit a ship to a single "X" installation. And when that's the case, economics forces dictate that you try to build the absolutely smallest, cheapest hull around that single "X". Which is why you'd see swarms of EX survey ships. And statistical analysis bears this out (not that it wasn't difficult to see without digging into the numbers). If you look at different hull types and determine a cost per X, assuming only 1 X per ship, even if you pack the rest of the ship full of 1 MC holds, EX's would crush every other hull type simply because it wasn't having to pay for any more hull than was absolutely necessary for the 1 X, a speed 4 Ic engine set, and whatever else was absolutely required by the rules. About the only exception to this was for planetary survey when you could use small craft to enhance your survey efforts, and then CT's were particularly good, IIRC.

The way to deal with the problem of the single "X" on the absolutely smallest ship is to allow ships to mount multiple installations of science instruments, plus include advanced generations of X that may be larger than 1 HS but produce more survey points per HS than the original 1 hs version of X. (Also, going with a flat per-HS cost regardless of warship hull type helps here, since you wouldn't pay a greater per-hs cost to build a larger survey ship hull.)




I think it's a story vs game issue that needs to be hashed out. 15 HS does make for a useful little ship, but to me it stretches things a bit from a tech base standpoint. 10 HS fits the tech base and potential story better, but is rife for abuse in a campaign.


I don't know that I can agree that the 10 HS hull fits the tech base and potential story better. That seems like a judgement call to me. Regardless, I think that my preference between those two options would be to avoid campaign abuse and just let the story work itself out.



Another thing to consider is that assuming 3rdR construction rates, there is nothing in the rules to prevent players from building swarms of 12 HS ships each month at HT1. With the 10/20 HS split those 12 HS ships will have a MF of 2/3, which makes them an unattractive option vs a ship with a MF of 1/2 in the 15 HS scheme.


Huh? Exactly why would a 12 hs ship have an I/MP of 2/3, if there's a 15 hs hull type on the hull table? You've lost me here.

If the hull types below DD were 15 hs CT and 22 hs FG, then a 12 hs hull would be in the CT hull range and have an I/MP of 1/2. And even if the two types were the 10 hs CT and the 20 hs FG, a 12 hs hull would then be a very small 12 hs FG.

Anyways, my preference at this point is the 15 hs CT (I/MP=1/2) and 22 hs FG (I/MP=3/4) combo, where the HS ranges for each would probably be something like 11-15 hs for CT and 16-22 HS for FG.
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Sun 31 Mar 2013 19:02

I'm comparing the 10/20 CT/FG version where ships between 11-20 HS have a MF of 2/3 to the 15 HS version where ships up to 15 HS have a MF of 1/2.

What I'm getting at is when looking at the construction rates of a HT1 race, the two tables can lead to very different build paradigms. Do I go with single month sub optimal builds to have more hulls faster or do I build better ships that take 2 months to complete. To me, a 15 HS CT construction table screams crank out the undersized 12 HS ships every month UNLESS there is a 22 HS hull available for a two month build. OTOH, a 10/20 HS CT/FG table seems to give me options.

Remember, I'm looking at a starting empire. At higher TL's the paradigm shifts as the smaller hulls are no longer effective.
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Re: Draft Hull Table

Postby Crucis on Sun 31 Mar 2013 19:21

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:I'm comparing the 10/20 CT/FG version where ships between 11-20 HS have a MF of 2/3 to the 15 HS version where ships up to 15 HS have a MF of 1/2.

What I'm getting at is when looking at the construction rates of a HT1 race, the two tables can lead to very different build paradigms. Do I go with single month sub optimal builds to have more hulls faster or do I build better ships that take 2 months to complete. To me, a 15 HS CT construction table screams crank out the undersized 12 HS ships every month UNLESS there is a 22 HS hull available for a two month build. OTOH, a 10/20 HS CT/FG table seems to give me options.

Remember, I'm looking at a starting empire. At higher TL's the paradigm shifts as the smaller hulls are no longer effective.


Alexei, since the publication of SM#2, starting empires start having just attained TL2 but with none of the tech systems, which would mean that any shipyards are building at the TL2 rate of 14 hs/month, rather than the TL1 rate of 12 hs/month.

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.
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