Captured ships

Home of SOLAR STARFIRE, 6th edition, rules based on the upcoming history of the Terran Solar Union.

Moderators: SDS Members, SDS Owner

Forum rules
1. Nothing obscene.
2. No advertising or spamming.
3. No personal information. Mostly aimed at the posting of OTHER people's information.
4. No flame wars. We encourage debate, but it becomes a flame when insults fly and tempers flare.

Try to stick with the forum's topic. Threads that belong to another forum will be moved to that forum.

Captured ships

Postby tkinias on Fri 26 May 2017 14:54

M2.06 covers refurbishing captured ships. I don’t see anywhere else that gives restrictions on captured ships – what happens if you capture a ship that includes tech your race doesn’t have?

In the case that has arisen for me, one NPR – the Mitsugoan Alliance – captured several ships when it annihilated the fleet of the neighbouring Ogyokuans. There are three technologies in the captured ships the Mitsugoans don’t have: A2, R, and GB/FQ. My inclination is to say that the A2 can “operate” fine, since they’re passive systems, though probably the Mitsugoans couldn’t repair them if they were damaged. (In that case, I guess they’d have to replace all the armour in a refit, since we can’t mix armour types on a single ship.) For the R, even if they could operate them, they can’t manufacture the ammo, so they need replacing. And obviously the GB/FQ bays are useless without squadrons, though frankly the carrier is pretty useless without them – it will probably be mothballed untill the Mitsugoans develop squadrons, which should be pretty soon.

How’s that sound?
tkinias
Lieutenant SG
Lieutenant SG
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue 20 Jan 2015 01:33

Re: Captured ships

Postby Cralis on Sun 28 May 2017 16:09

Ok, I guess I owe you an apology. I thought I responded to this post on my phone, but here I am and there's no post... :?

tkinias wrote:M2.06 covers refurbishing captured ships. I don’t see anywhere else that gives restrictions on captured ships – what happens if you capture a ship that includes tech your race doesn’t have?


I presume that you are talking about after examining the captured unit's systems that you don't already have the technology to build (M2.05)? This is arguably far more important because it allows you to get Tech Items/Copies as per N9.03.2 and that has the potential to give you decent boosts to research.

But the refit/refurbishment is basically converting all of the panels and controls to something you can use, refitting life support, etc. So you basically have to be able to refit everything to be able to use it. I could have swore the rule (M2.06) said that any unrefitted systems cannot be used until they are refitted...

In the case that has arisen for me, one NPR – the Mitsugoan Alliance – captured several ships when it annihilated the fleet of the neighbouring Ogyokuans. There are three technologies in the captured ships the Mitsugoans don’t have: A2, R, and GB/FQ. My inclination is to say that the A2 can “operate” fine, since they’re passive systems, though probably the Mitsugoans couldn’t repair them if they were damaged. (In that case, I guess they’d have to replace all the armour in a refit, since we can’t mix armour types on a single ship.) For the R, even if they could operate them, they can’t manufacture the ammo, so they need replacing. And obviously the GB/FQ bays are useless without squadrons, though frankly the carrier is pretty useless without them – it will probably be mothballed untill the Mitsugoans develop squadrons, which should be pretty soon.


It's more than that. They can't maintain the system and they can't control it. That means that it can't be turned on or off, reset from an error mode, etc. You can't hook up your own power or do anything with it. Remember that armor is more than ablative plating, it consists of integrity fields, absorption systems, etc. The intent was that any system you cannot refit (whether by choice or because you don't have the ability to build the system), you cannot use.

I'll see if I can find the rule I'm remembering... unless someone else beats me to it!
Image
User avatar
Cralis
SDS Member
SDS Member
 
Posts: 10089
Joined: Tue 30 Jun 2009 19:27
Location: Oregon, USA

Re: Captured ships

Postby tkinias on Mon 29 May 2017 03:56

Cralis wrote:Ok, I guess I owe you an apology. I thought I responded to this post on my phone, but here I am and there's no post... :?


No worries – if a delayed reply to a game forum post is the worst indignity I ever endure, I’m living rather a charmed life :)

Cralis wrote:
tkinias wrote:M2.06 covers refurbishing captured ships. I don’t see anywhere else that gives restrictions on captured ships – what happens if you capture a ship that includes tech your race doesn’t have?


I presume that you are talking about after examining the captured unit's systems that you don't already have the technology to build (M2.05)? This is arguably far more important because it allows you to get Tech Items/Copies as per N9.03.2 and that has the potential to give you decent boosts to research.


Right. Although that brings up a different question, actually: Can I get benefit from more than one captured system? Say, if I’ve captured 50 A2, can I disassemble them all for research purposes?

Cralis wrote:But the refit/refurbishment is basically converting all of the panels and controls to something you can use, refitting life support, etc. So you basically have to be able to refit everything to be able to use it. I could have swore the rule (M2.06) said that any unrefitted systems cannot be used until they are refitted...


So what confused me is this part of M2.06:

Systems the refurbishing empire has not yet developed may be uninstalled or left in place.


It doesn’t say that you can’t refurbish them; indeed, the rule doesn’t actually talk about refurbishing systems, only units (first sentence).

Cralis wrote:It's more than that. They can't maintain the system and they can't control it. That means that it can't be turned on or off, reset from an error mode, etc. You can't hook up your own power or do anything with it. Remember that armor is more than ablative plating, it consists of integrity fields, absorption systems, etc. The intent was that any system you cannot refit (whether by choice or because you don't have the ability to build the system), you cannot use.

I'll see if I can find the rule I'm remembering... unless someone else beats me to it!


OK, that does make total sense. I just couldn’t find anything in the rules that specified it.

So the way to interpret this is that when I refurbish a unit containing systems I don’t have, I can leave the systems in place but they’re inoperable.

This gets more complicated, though, because if the system is in place though inoperable it should absorb damage. This is fine for most systems, but is a real problem for armour systems, since they don’t “operate” in game terms – they just passively absorb damage (notwithstanding that, in pseudoscience terms, they’re doing something active).

Is a simpler way to get the desired effect to rule that any system I cannot use must be removed as part of the reburb? Or treat them as damaged on the SSD?
tkinias
Lieutenant SG
Lieutenant SG
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue 20 Jan 2015 01:33

Re: Captured ships

Postby Cralis on Mon 29 May 2017 13:01

tkinias wrote:
Cralis wrote:Ok, I guess I owe you an apology. I thought I responded to this post on my phone, but here I am and there's no post... :?


No worries – if a delayed reply to a game forum post is the worst indignity I ever endure, I’m living rather a charmed life :)


:lol: Yeah, there are many days where I would gladly accept that as my only problem.

tkinias wrote:Right. Although that brings up a different question, actually: Can I get benefit from more than one captured system? Say, if I’ve captured 50 A2, can I disassemble them all for research purposes?


The effects of N9.03.2 part 1 can only be done once (it does not say you get cumulative effects...remember the golden rule), and while part 2 can be done repeatedly (if you fail the examination chance), the chance for a breakthrough only occurs on the first attempt (last sentence).

tkinias wrote:So what confused me is this part of M2.06:

Systems the refurbishing empire has not yet developed may be uninstalled or left in place.


It doesn’t say that you can’t refurbish them; indeed, the rule doesn’t actually talk about refurbishing systems, only units (first sentence).


You are splitting too fine a hair; a unit is made up of a series of systems. Once you refit the unit you refit the systems in the unit. You just can't use the systems that you haven't researched. This was added to give the empire the option to take those systems out so they don't have to be sent out with the ship and chance that they get destroyed, and in fact is how you get Tech Items for N9.03.2.

Cralis wrote:It's more than that. They can't maintain the system and they can't control it. That means that it can't be turned on or off, reset from an error mode, etc. You can't hook up your own power or do anything with it. Remember that armor is more than ablative plating, it consists of integrity fields, absorption systems, etc. The intent was that any system you cannot refit (whether by choice or because you don't have the ability to build the system), you cannot use.

I'll see if I can find the rule I'm remembering... unless someone else beats me to it!


OK, that does make total sense. I just couldn’t find anything in the rules that specified it.


And that's the part that worries me. I distinctly recall this rule existing, I just cannot recall where. And it's bugging me.

So the way to interpret this is that when I refurbish a unit containing systems I don’t have, I can leave the systems in place but they’re inoperable.

This gets more complicated, though, because if the system is in place though inoperable it should absorb damage. This is fine for most systems, but is a real problem for armour systems, since they don’t “operate” in game terms – they just passively absorb damage (notwithstanding that, in pseudoscience terms, they’re doing something active).

Is a simpler way to get the desired effect to rule that any system I cannot use must be removed as part of the reburb? Or treat them as damaged on the SSD?


We have updated and refined the terminology since the beginning, so we should probably use it. If you look at the Section M definitions (in the introduction), we should declare these systems "inactive" so we are consistent. Of course they have other restrictions (can't be repaired, can't be activated, etc.).

But more importantly, D4.03.1.1 specifically states that the only systems skipped are destroyed systems. Inactive systems still take damage. So your A2 will work... once. It's more valuable uninstalled and used for research.

Ah! Ok, we should probably do a more definitive declaration, but I found what I was looking for in M9. There it talks about doing construction work on an ally's units, and states that you can only build, repair, or install systems that you have the ability to do so (aka have researched).

Since we've been changing the terminology to be more clear we'll specifically address systems that your empire has not researched yet. The end result is that you cannot build, repair, refit, or activate any such systems (whether you capture them or an ally builds them for you) and they are considered inactive at all times.

Does that sound right? Am I missing anything?
Image
User avatar
Cralis
SDS Member
SDS Member
 
Posts: 10089
Joined: Tue 30 Jun 2009 19:27
Location: Oregon, USA

Re: Captured ships

Postby tkinias on Mon 29 May 2017 16:12

Cralis wrote:
tkinias wrote:Right. Although that brings up a different question, actually: Can I get benefit from more than one captured system? Say, if I’ve captured 50 A2, can I disassemble them all for research purposes?


The effects of N9.03.2 part 1 can only be done once (it does not say you get cumulative effects...remember the golden rule), and while part 2 can be done repeatedly (if you fail the examination chance), the chance for a breakthrough only occurs on the first attempt (last sentence).


OK, so basically for one type of captured system – as opposed to for a given example of that system – I can boost one R&D project via N9.03.2 part 1. Disassembling further examples of the system gives no additional effect.

I’d thought that perhaps if I had a pile of captured A2, I could disassemble one for, say, A SL6, one for SL7, one for SL8, and one for the A2 devel project itself. But what you’re saying is that if I come in at SL5, I burn my chance accelerating the SL6 project, and then it’s back to normal R&D in that tree.

Cralis wrote:We have updated and refined the terminology since the beginning, so we should probably use it. If you look at the Section M definitions (in the introduction), we should declare these systems "inactive" so we are consistent. Of course they have other restrictions (can't be repaired, can't be activated, etc.).

But more importantly, D4.03.1.1 specifically states that the only systems skipped are destroyed systems. Inactive systems still take damage. So your A2 will work... once. It's more valuable uninstalled and used for research.

Ah! Ok, we should probably do a more definitive declaration, but I found what I was looking for in M9. There it talks about doing construction work on an ally's units, and states that you can only build, repair, or install systems that you have the ability to do so (aka have researched).

Since we've been changing the terminology to be more clear we'll specifically address systems that your empire has not researched yet. The end result is that you cannot build, repair, refit, or activate any such systems (whether you capture them or an ally builds them for you) and they are considered inactive at all times.

Does that sound right? Am I missing anything?


Yes, that makes sense. “Inactive” is the concept I was looking for, but I overlooked that intro part in M.

I think there could be some further clarification on alien technology – there’s also a mention of it in L7.02, where it has a 10% breakdown chance per month, which implies that it can be active. I can definitely see the possibility of a player wanting to give ships to an ally which the ally might not be able to maintain – this would allow them to get some use before they break down.

One place in the rules where it addresses alien tech and cross-references these things might be useful.
tkinias
Lieutenant SG
Lieutenant SG
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue 20 Jan 2015 01:33

Re: Captured ships

Postby dazrand on Tue 30 May 2017 14:35

The rules on captured tech usage after refurbishment was moved under the maintenance section in L7.02.
User avatar
dazrand
SDS Member
SDS Member
 
Posts: 1397
Joined: Sat 08 Aug 2009 06:06
Location: South Florida

Re: Captured ships

Postby Cralis on Wed 31 May 2017 00:44

tkinias wrote:OK, so basically for one type of captured system – as opposed to for a given example of that system – I can boost one R&D project via N9.03.2 part 1. Disassembling further examples of the system gives no additional effect.

I’d thought that perhaps if I had a pile of captured A2, I could disassemble one for, say, A SL6, one for SL7, one for SL8, and one for the A2 devel project itself. But what you’re saying is that if I come in at SL5, I burn my chance accelerating the SL6 project, and then it’s back to normal R&D in that tree.


Re-read the text of N9.03.2 Part 1: The disassembled Tech Item generates Free RP on Table N9.01 for any SL project leading to the Tech Item, in addition to the Tech Item itself.

That means, using your example above, the disassembled A2 provides the RP bonus for A SL6, A SL7, and A SL8, as well as for the A2 tech project.

Where multiple A2 may come in handy is under Part 2, where an examination can lead an empire to the next earlier (or alpha) generation of the tech. So for example, if you had discovered A2 but was still using A, then the examination has a 33% per Tech Item examined of immediately gaining A1.

Yes, that makes sense. “Inactive” is the concept I was looking for, but I overlooked that intro part in M.

I think there could be some further clarification on alien technology – there’s also a mention of it in L7.02, where it has a 10% breakdown chance per month, which implies that it can be active. I can definitely see the possibility of a player wanting to give ships to an ally which the ally might not be able to maintain – this would allow them to get some use before they break down.


See my response to Dazrand below.

One place in the rules where it addresses alien tech and cross-references these things might be useful.


We do need to get the references into the right spot and make sure that the rules are following the same principle. See below.

dazrand wrote:The rules on captured tech usage after refurbishment was moved under the maintenance section in L7.02.


This rule block hasn't changed since Ultra 4-2009 (I just checked). So we didn't move or change it, it is a hold-over rule.

And it's a problem since it directly contradicts the intent under M9 (which states that an empire can only build large craft for an ally as long as they can maintain the unit... which we don't define).

If I had to guess, the intent under L7.02 was to allow an empire to build ships that the ally can't build, but designed so that the ally can use them, at least until they fail. Perhaps with some sort of canned "put can of maintenance spidersbots here each month" type of automated maintenance.

However, this could never be the case for a captured ship. If the refitting empire can't refit the systems due to a lack the technological knowledge, the empire could never activate or make them usable. So this is just straight out impossible.

However, the question will remain on whether or not we want to allow an empire to build a unit for an ally knowing that he can't repair all of the systems and that they will work for a while and then break down. I could see this... to a degree. Perhaps within the Rule of 3 limitation? And with a successive higher chance of failure depending upon how much higher the SL is?

And can anyone else think of any other situation where an empire might end up with ships that have systems of a higher SL?

Thoughts?
Image
User avatar
Cralis
SDS Member
SDS Member
 
Posts: 10089
Joined: Tue 30 Jun 2009 19:27
Location: Oregon, USA

Re: Captured ships

Postby Goose on Wed 31 May 2017 05:06

Stumbling across the remains of an ancient battle while surveying a new system, perhaps
User avatar
Goose
Lieutenant JG
Lieutenant JG
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri 15 Feb 2013 01:53
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Captured ships

Postby dazrand on Wed 31 May 2017 06:32

Goose wrote:Stumbling across the remains of an ancient battle while surveying a new system, perhaps


There are oddities and events which cover this, so it does exist within the rules.

I suspect the L7.02 section was there to support artistic license in the original Starfire history, though it only played out in Crusade (where the Thebans were considered "the same empire" as the Terrans) where captured ships were used. I see Matt's point, after all how do I operate equipment designed for eight-tentacled aliens? Even a refurbishment to replace the controls would lead to adapters, cross-patching, and bypasses which would limit functionality. While this is covered by the constant chance of failure, it does add complexity to the game and can fail the giggle test.
User avatar
dazrand
SDS Member
SDS Member
 
Posts: 1397
Joined: Sat 08 Aug 2009 06:06
Location: South Florida

Re: Captured ships

Postby tkinias on Wed 31 May 2017 08:09

Cralis wrote:
tkinias wrote:OK, so basically for one type of captured system – as opposed to for a given example of that system – I can boost one R&D project via N9.03.2 part 1. Disassembling further examples of the system gives no additional effect.

I’d thought that perhaps if I had a pile of captured A2, I could disassemble one for, say, A SL6, one for SL7, one for SL8, and one for the A2 devel project itself. But what you’re saying is that if I come in at SL5, I burn my chance accelerating the SL6 project, and then it’s back to normal R&D in that tree.


Re-read the text of N9.03.2 Part 1: The disassembled Tech Item generates Free RP on Table N9.01 for any SL project leading to the Tech Item, in addition to the Tech Item itself.

That means, using your example above, the disassembled A2 provides the RP bonus for A SL6, A SL7, and A SL8, as well as for the A2 tech project.


Ah, OK. I had assumed that it would have read “all SL projects” if that were the correct interpretation; “any project” seemed to imply just one project. Now the thing about only disassembling one example makes more sense.

Cralis wrote:Where multiple A2 may come in handy is under Part 2, where an examination can lead an empire to the next earlier (or alpha) generation of the tech. So for example, if you had discovered A2 but was still using A, then the examination has a 33% per Tech Item examined of immediately gaining A1.


Right. I hadn’t been focused on part 2, since the examples I was working with didn’t meet the “item SL <= capturer’s EL” requirement.

Cralis wrote:However, the question will remain on whether or not we want to allow an empire to build a unit for an ally knowing that he can't repair all of the systems and that they will work for a while and then break down. I could see this... to a degree. Perhaps within the Rule of 3 limitation? And with a successive higher chance of failure depending upon how much higher the SL is?


I can’t help thinking of some recent discussions I’ve heard about replacing the Afghan air force’s Mi-17s with UH-60s. There’s apparently some concern that UH-60s are simply beyond the Afghans’ ability to maintain. Regardless of whether that concern IRL is misplaced or not, the analog in a SF campaign seems like it should be possible – even if giving unmaintainable tech to an ally is stupid, I like the idea of giving players the option to make bad choices.

The rule as written in L7.02 has three cases:

  1. item SL <= operator’s EL: can’t repair but no chance of failure
  2. item SL > operator’s EL but < EL+3: 10% chance of failure
  3. item SL > operator’s EL + 3: 30% chance of failure

I think that basically covers what Cralis suggests already, no?

Incidentally, case (a) there is the same as the part 2 conditions in N9.03.2, so there’s some consistency among different rules.

Cralis wrote:And can anyone else think of any other situation where an empire might end up with ships that have systems of a higher SL?


...and...

dazrand wrote:
Goose wrote:Stumbling across the remains of an ancient battle while surveying a new system, perhaps


There are oddities and events which cover this, so it does exist within the rules.


In cases like remnant units (GG1.04.5), I presumed they are treated the same as captured units.

Looking over GG1 and GG2, however, it seems that there are oddities and events that contradict the spirit of the rule that unmaintainable captured tech can’t be operated. The Weapons Cache event, for example, lets the finder install and operate such weapons in their ships, and pretty much the whole of the Ancient Artifact odditiy category consists of systems the discoverer can install and operate – in the latter case without even having breakdown rolls.

In terms of consistency, if I can find an ancient artifact (or just a Fci) created by a long-vanished alien race and install and operate it, it seems like less of a technological obstacle to install and operate an item captured from an enemy I’m currently at war with. I think I’d be inclined to argue that such installation and operation should be disallowed, with the Weapons Cache event only allowing N9.03.2. (Personally, I don’t use the Alien Artifact oddities anyway.)
tkinias
Lieutenant SG
Lieutenant SG
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue 20 Jan 2015 01:33

Next

Return to Solar Starfire

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron