Age of Dreadnaughts game

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Age of Dreadnaughts game

Postby procyon on Tue 17 Jul 2012 01:56

When we start new games, we tend to look at things we are interested in trying out to see if they will work out or change a game in a way we want.

The middle boy loves the big ships. Once smcft come on the scene big ships tend to either become carriers or targets. A single sqn parked in a blindspot that you can't shake slowly destroying your DN at EL7 is a real bummer for him.

My wife hates that her CTb that cost twice what a FQ costs can't kill the FQ, but if the FQ can get in a blindspot it can toast her CTs.

After talks started by the middle boy revolving around this GB kills ships, FQ kills GB, and ships kill FQ, he decided on two things.
#1. If ships kill FQ, ships plus FQ do it even better. And on the table it is true. If your DNs have FQ cover they are much safer than when alone.
#2. Of that triangle, two out of the three need carriers. Which means you need carriers, and they cover 2/3rds of the engagements. Add in that ships plus FQ take out FQ and it kind of covers all three.

Ok, where this is going.
We have already started a game between I and the middle boy using Solar rules. (Based in a fictional binary-distant trinary named Terra 2 Chronicles).

We are looking to the past to try and improve something with the smcft issue. To wit-

The big issue is that they jump onto the scene at EL6/7 and begin to dominate. Not as much as they did in 3e, but even in Ultra a force with carriers has always beaten one without in our table top tests. Not what the middle boy wants. We are hoping for an age of dreadnaughts as it were - at least for a little longer into the game. To that end we are looking at implementing some new rules to see how they work.

#1. GBa and FQa will move down the SL tree one step, as will all other gen of those tech lines. (SL9/10)
#2. The current GB at SL6 will become a GB0 (zero), and SL7 will become an FQ0. These will become what the old 'prototype fighters' were.
#3. LRW mods will follow standard advancement, so both GB0 and FQ0 will receive a -3.
#4. SRW mods will not follow standard advancement. GB0 and FQ0 will only be armed with ast guns. The SRW chart for smcft will change the ast gun to -2 for all sqns (ast/GB/FQ) with ast receiving a -1 for each ast lost. GB and FQ will follow the normal damage reduction. This is to prevent the current -4 for ast guns on GB or FQ making ast shuttles into the premiere dogfighter.
#5. FQ0 will continue to recieve the +1 on SRW fire to allow it to continue as the dominant dogfighter.
#6. GB0 will be speed 7, and FQ0 will be speed 10. External loads will slow them normally.
#7. Fly time will be figured as if gen 0 (so half of gen 'a').
#8. GB capable of warp transit will still be GBb and available at SL12.
#9. DPs will follow standard progression, with GB0 at 24DP, and FQ0 at 16DP.
#10. Sensor ranges for GB0 will be 15 hexes. FQ0 will be 5tH. These ranges WILL limit weapon fire. So FQ0 will not engage targets beyond 5tH (ie past med range).
#11. sY and sQ will be available at normal times and have normal rules.
#12. Bg0 and Bf0 will remain at 6HS.
#13. Munitions will be figured as if gen is 0. (ie 10msp for GB0 and 5msp for FQ0)
#14. ast guns will be able to damage large units without a drive field (ie Cp ships outside their df arc).
#15. All GB and ast take x2 damage on the SRW results. This is to prevent ast from outdogfighting GB.


We are hoping this will reduce the early impact of smcft. With only ast guns, GB0 and FQ0 will be unable to park in the blindspot of large units and damage them endlessly. They will be like the earlier carrier aircraft that had smaller payloads and 30cal guns that were ineffective on vessels (other than chasing crew below deck). Think pre Billy Mitchell. To use cralis metaphor on half a dozen 22s or a single 45 - it makes a difference if you are wearing body armor that can stop a 22 but not a 45. We want these smcft to carry 22s for internal weapons. Letting the ast damage the Cp is on the line of the Cp being the old wooden ships of the line. They wouldn't have been fun to be on if four 30 cal Brownings/Vickers had been strafing them...
We want the prototypes to feel like the old biplanes. Dangerous, but fragile and with limited ablility past the main payload.

EDIT
We realize this gives ast an advantage in sensor range over GB0 without some form of sY. We are kind of looking at the ast as the 'Catalina's' of the era. Good for recon and carrying passengers/cargo with some ability to shake off fighters. But not a good replacement for a fighter or bomber.
...and I will show you fear in a handful of dust....

Cralis wrote:I would point out that the "what was" which is different from "here and now" can easily change in the "future then."
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Re: Age of Dreadnaughts game

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Tue 17 Jul 2012 04:37

I like the basic idea of this game. Why not take it a bit further and have a campaign that effectively mirrors Earth from say 1880-1920. No carriers, the only smct would be planet based. Ship sizes would get progressively larger. Targeting would improve to allow long range actions. You could even mimic design differences between the various European, American and Japanese navies.
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Re: Age of Dreadnaughts game

Postby TerryTigre on Tue 17 Jul 2012 10:06

Another way to go about it is to introduce a new defense that works well against many small attacks, but below average against strong attacks.

For example an armor or screen that stops 1 dmg/volley. This would affect small craft/swarmers more than large volleys. To balance it out, it needs a certain minimum hullsize.
Status: 26 types of tech system. Working on fleet tactics. Added b generation weapons, including G, Gb. Possible to give Ships Movement Orders. Working on SysGenV2
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Re: Age of Dreadnaughts game

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Tue 17 Jul 2012 19:37

After rereading this I have another analogy. Think of the carriers as seaplane tenders. have the GB's effectively be flying boats. Decent range but slow.
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Re: Age of Dreadnaughts game

Postby Zume on Tue 17 Jul 2012 22:11

If the game was set with 3rdR rules then armed pinnaces and dedicated pinnace tenders could be used. Just like the early seaplane carriers in WW1.
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Re: Age of Dreadnaughts game

Postby procyon on Wed 18 Jul 2012 00:27

TerryTigre wrote:Another way to go about it is to introduce a new defense that works well against many small attacks, but below average against strong attacks.

For example an armor or screen that stops 1 dmg/volley. This would affect small craft/swarmers more than large volleys. To balance it out, it needs a certain minimum hullsize.


Not a big fan of that. If it isn't fairly big, ships will mount a bunch and make smaller ships useless. To big and only huge ships can use it and even then they become vulnerable to other ships devoting the space to weapons. If you want a system to stop a point of damage, just use A or S.

AlexeiTimoshenko wrote:I like the basic idea of this game. Why not take it a bit further and have a campaign that effectively mirrors Earth from say 1880-1920. No carriers, the only smct would be planet based.


We don't want to completely do away with smcft (yet...), just reduce their significance so they aren't a 'must have'. But maybe sometime. We did away with DFs (for the most part) in one game - so it isn't impossible. It just isn't what we are looking at for the moment.


Zume wrote:After rereading this I have another analogy. Think of the carriers as seaplane tenders. have the GB's effectively be flying boats. Decent range but slow.


We are kind of thinking of the ast as the seaplanes. Can land your troops, bomb simple targets, move cargo, have a few guns to protect themself (but shouldn't look for trouble)...
The GB are more like the torpedo bombers and the fighter are, well, fighters. But think biplanes instead of Corsairs.

Zume wrote:Just like the early seaplane carriers in WW1.


This will make the ships with a Bsb and an ast more dangerous. We are going to let the ast damage ships with no DF/df, and with Cp being fairly common in this game (at the moment) they will have some ability to effect table top resolutions.
And we have always allowed FT to carry in excess of 20% of their HS in military systems at the expense of paying the 15% maint of a warship - so the Merchant Aircraft Carrier has always been a part of our games. This will just extend that.


And one thing I did forget to list. The Bg0 and Bf0 will stay the same size, but be reduced in cost to 50MC. The GB0 will cost 300MC, and the FQ0 will cost 160MC. So it will give a price break.
...and I will show you fear in a handful of dust....

Cralis wrote:I would point out that the "what was" which is different from "here and now" can easily change in the "future then."
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Re: Age of Dreadnaughts game

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Wed 18 Jul 2012 05:15

If you think of the Cp as essentially a solar sail the rules really make sense. Your "biplanes" are shooting holes in the sails while your ships weapons are hitting the superstructure. I wasn't really thinking of doing away with smct. Just using the fighters as land based until later in the game. The GB's would have been the early torpedo boats or river gunboats.
Charles Rosenberg.

Alexei Timoshenko is the name of my protagonist in the fanfics, although I wish it could have been me.
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Re: Age of Dreadnaughts game

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Wed 18 Jul 2012 07:16

With Cp being sails are you thinking of other engine tech mirroring the advancements in steam engines in the 19th and 20th centuries? With the most advanced engines being effectively gas turbine/nuclear?
Charles Rosenberg.

Alexei Timoshenko is the name of my protagonist in the fanfics, although I wish it could have been me.
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Re: Age of Dreadnaughts game

Postby Dawn Falcon on Sat 21 Jul 2012 21:56

I still think this is only a delay, and it's not really fixing the issue.
I personally use a quite different Sc system, but within the Ultra/Cosmic rules...

The issues are;

* Sc's movement advantage
* The inability to engage Sc at over their own range.
* The poor ability of smaller ships at engaging Sc (indeed, escorts can be counter-productive in some situations).
* The fairly good once-off strike ability of unescorted Sc.


How would I fix those?

* Using pulsed movement. Also, it may be worth considering making Sc TM2.
* Allowing anti-SC fire at over range 9, but at sharply reduced values.
* Removing the stacking penalty for firing on Sc. Adding a "Df" flack weapon for anti-SC work.
* Allow a second shield mode. In this mode, shields subtract 1 from the damage of anything which hits them (Sc LRW are a number of 1-damage hits, not a single large hit!). Shields are NOT knocked offline by hits in this mode, and the *number* of shields is irrelevant. Shields maintain their ability to prevent x3 nuclear damage.

Shifting shield mode requires the generators are taken offline for 1 turn. Hence, it's mainly useful for use against non-escorted Sc. Mixed-force strikes make using this mode dangerous, and Sc could try and dive in for a SRW shot.

(R will need to be changed to a 2-damage weapon with associate rebalancing, but that's hardly impossible. And some weapons will lose the end of their range, which adds some tactical possibilities. Alternatively, you can apply the -1 to Sc-Fire only)

* Another interesting thing to try is this: Sc LRW are small warheads, and do NOT cause x3 damage versus DF-down targets. For long-range Sc-only strikes, dropping your DF and potting the Sc behind you becomes a valid target!

(Bearing in mind this is true for non-R Sc LRW anyway)
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Re: Age of Dreadnaughts game

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Sun 22 Jul 2012 17:17

I like the last idea for fighters. Gunboats being larger should be able to carry standard shipkiller missiles but the quantity should be limited.
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