Smallcraft combat system

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Smallcraft combat system

Postby Whitecold on Fri 12 Aug 2016 14:32

Goals
A system that does not use BASV, at is it is painful to use and raises more questions than it answers.
A combat system that works on a tH level, and has different ranges for different weapons, which increase as tech progresses.
A balance for Gunboats that keeps them valid, while offering different approaches to defeating them beyond spamming fighters, and keeping them from being a death sentence for anyone caught at a lower EL by them. Also Gunboats should always be part of a fleet mix instead of being a substitute for it.
The rules should be kept reasonably simple and understandable

Rule changes
Ships/smallcraft all fire in the same round, each unit/DG firing once.
Large units fire using their normal weapons with some modifications up to short sensor range:
-2 to hit
No Pt TM targeting bonus
D fires like L without any anti-smallcraft penalties
Small units fire as before with a modifier with tH resolution.

-4 tH short range on intrinsic Sensors
(6 at SL0, 7 at SL5 comparing to 10 with Ya, 11 with Yb)


2*HS for (Bg), (Bf)
Range Table
tH 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
LRW 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 -
SRW 1 1 -1 -3 - - - -
Squadrons are not slowed down by external ordnance

Ideas (Untested):
1/2 (FRN) capital weaponry damage
1/3 (FRN) heavy weapon damage
-1 to hit in outer zone (outside of intrinsic sensor range)
Dc firing with 5 to hit, dealing 2 damage flat out to 8tH+2tH per generation above alpha
Bonus to hit for weapons with RoF greater than 1. +1 on the second shot, +2 on the third etc might work.
AF warheads might either provide +1 to damage or to hit.


Missing:
Range table for GBb, FQb and higher
More interesting squadron range tables for weapons beside R/F
Bonus for K weaponry
How to handle extended range of Bases and PDCs? Colonies with 2xYc range or more would have an enormous range increase, likely preventing any successful squadron assault on them

Rationale behind these rules.
I’m trying to get an alternative for current small craft combat out of a very strong dissatisfaction with the current system. I have severe conceptual problems with BASV, and the incentive of keeping squadrons separated from large units is the polar opposite of the mutual support and combined arms that interest me, overall the BASV tests have been the most boring fights I played.
Further I hope for a rule system that is more intuitive than the current one, as in the discussion everyone seemed to have done something different because it made sense to them, and they understood it that way. I prefer a system who’s complexity stems from the interaction of simple rules (range, speed, turn mode, available ammunition) rather than the obscurity of the rule set.
Letting all units fire in the same turn allows to keep within RoF, and make initiative matter in squadron-vs-large unit fights. This allows and encourages mixing large and small craft. I could imagine possibly building fast escort corvettes to keep up with GBs to counter enemy fighters, or counter corvettes to destroy the enemies anti-smallcraft corvettes
The reduced short range ensures that there is a difference between Ya and standard, and should make small kiter corvettes a bit harder by taking up another HS or 2.
Doubling HS should make carriers more vulnerable internally, and allows to put a few more craft into a squadron. Mostly it smoothens out the issue why miniaturized systems can deal more beam damaged combined than a mount larger than all the micro-mounts, drives, other weapons and support systems together. In compensation I am thinking about making bays cheaper to off set the increased cost due to the size
The difference in beam and LRW range makes GB maneuvering more interesting, they can close in and deal beam damage, but risk taking the worst of enemy SRW fire, or they can stand off and kite using external ordnance. Also the range is much shorter than a full sized SRW
The removal of the speed penalty should uncompromisingly optimize GBs and FQs as strike crafts, and should them get a chance of turning around on kiting corvettes. A fast Ib corvette is speed 8, if it is pursuing squadrons, GB should be able to use their better TM to force the CTs to turn away and escape or risking the GBs external strike, FQs might also get a niche at actually carrying out strikes against CTs trying to kite with +2 speed over them.
Concerning capital/heavy weapons, the idea here is twofold. First is the reasoning that fighters/gunboats are fragile, lacking heavy armor and shields. Fighting them is more a matter of volume of fire than the strength of individual hits. Many small mounts will be more effective. The second reason is that this gives GBs an opening. They appear at a similar SL where many capital weapons get unlocked. Thus the effect of GB gets dampened on less advanced empires, while the GB gets a boost against the more advanced empires.
Last edited by Whitecold on Sat 03 Sep 2016 15:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Smallcraft combat system

Postby Cralis on Tue 16 Aug 2016 17:17

I've been thinking about your idea here and I have a few questions.

Whitecold wrote:Ships/smallcraft all fire in the same round, each unit/DG firing once.


Squadrons will fire at the same time and not after large units? Or large units fire at other large units and squadrons at the same and squadrons fire after?

Large units fire using their normal weapons with some modifications up to short sensor range:


Are you presuming that weapons are firing a lower power but higher ROF? Or are you presuming the weapons are doind full weapon damage? If so, I'd like to wrap my large units in the armor in squadrons ..

-4 tH short range on intrinsic Sensors
(6 at SL0, 7 at SL5 comparing to 10 with Ya, 11 with Yb)


A fixed reduction? Won't this allow anti-squadron ranges to increase dramatically? This will reintroduce the issue from Classic Starfire where you will have to increase the range of squadron weapons to keep them able to affect their targets or be shredded on the way in. Which in turn increased their ability to fire at long-range and escape...

Squadrons are not slowed down by external ordnance


Doesn't this teduce their vulnerability before firing and increase their ability to fire at range and escape?

-1 to hit in outer zone (outside of intrinsic sensor range)


Does this mean ships can fire outside of the Short Range -4 limitation? If so, -1 is virtually no penalty...

Dc firing with 5 to hit, dealing 2 damage flat out to 8tH+2tH per generation above alpha


Does the Short Range -4 range apply? If so, why not?

Bonus to hit for weapons with RoF greater than 1. +1 on the second shot, +2 on the third etc might work.


Not additional actual shots? Doesn't this run counter to how you've already changed it to use weapon shots in the first place?

Letting all units fire in the same turn allows to keep within RoF, and make initiative matter in squadron-vs-large unit fights. This allows and encourages mixing large and small craft. I could imagine possibly building fast escort corvettes to keep up with GBs to counter enemy fighters, or counter corvettes to destroy the enemies anti-smallcraft corvettes


I think you mean the same firing sub-phase. In SSF all units do fire in the same turn, every turn, but in differrnt sub-phases. You can accomplish the same stated goal of having mixed forces matter by forcing ships to fire at both large and small units during the large unit firing sub-phase. By letting squadrons fire during the same phase you reduce the ability of large units to counter them before they fire. You can do that, of course, I'm just not sure that it won't strengthen squadrons when you are trying to reduce their effect.

The reduced short range ensures that there is a difference between Ya and standard, and should make small kiter corvettes a bit harder by taking up another HS or 2.


This will so sharply increase squadron effectiveness, especially when squadrons attack an empire that has not yet needed to build anti-squadron units. Isn't that one area we've agreed is already out if balance?

Doubling HS should make carriers more vulnerable internally,


You don't mention this above... double Bg and Bf size?

and allows to put a few more craft into a squadron. Mostly it smoothens out the issue why miniaturized systems can deal more beam damaged combined than a mount larger than all the micro-mounts, drives, other weapons and support systems together. In compensation I am thinking about making bays cheaper to off set the increased cost due to the size


It will also cut in half the number of squadrons carried by each carrier. Other similarly short-ranged weapons have similar damage outputs (such as Pg), although one thing I have considered is that reducing squadron damage would require them to loiter longer to cause damage.

It's a balancing act...

The difference in beam and LRW range makes GB maneuvering more interesting, they can close in and deal beam damage, but risk taking the worst of enemy SRW fire, or they can stand off and kite using external ordnance. Also the range is much shorter than a full sized SRW


I suspect kiting will be the dominant tactic, especially since ordnance doesn't slow the squadrons and their increased speeds will make it easier to escape.

The removal of the speed penalty should uncompromisingly optimize GBs and FQs as strike crafts, and should them get a chance of turning around on kiting corvettes. A fast Ib corvette is speed 8, if it is pursuing squadrons, GB should be able to use their better TM to force the CTs to turn away and escape or risking the GBs external strike, FQs might also get a niche at actually carrying out strikes against CTs trying to kite with +2 speed over them.


Is not part of the problem with GB now that they can kite and run away without significant injury? Won't increasing the speed not only make this easier, but also reduce reload times by enabling them to return faster?

Thus the effect of GB gets dampened on less advanced empires, while the GB gets a boost against the more advanced empires.


It will be interesting to see how this works for you in practice. You have several competing changes. Reduced damage and doubled bay size will reduce effectiveness, while increased speed and no speed reduce for ordnance will increase it. And I think you'll find that balance huge range differences ar higher TL is quite painful.

That said, you have some interesting ideas. If you can balance close range damage with a system ideal for kiting, your faster speeds might enable squadrons to get in close and give them a reason to use SRW.

Please let me know how it works out, with details :) I'm very curious, especially as your tech increases.
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Re: Smallcraft combat system

Postby Whitecold on Thu 18 Aug 2016 12:48

Cralis wrote:ISquadrons will fire at the same time and not after large units? Or large units fire at other large units and squadrons at the same and squadrons fire after?

Squadrons and large units fire in the same round.

Are you presuming that weapons are firing a lower power but higher ROF? Or are you presuming the weapons are doind full weapon damage? If so, I'd like to wrap my large units in the armor in squadrons ..

I don't fix myself on either. Some weapons might not be able to reduce power, or get a higher repetition rate. I am not sure what you mean with your comment about the armor I am afraid.

A fixed reduction? Won't this allow anti-squadron ranges to increase dramatically? This will reintroduce the issue from Classic Starfire where you will have to increase the range of squadron weapons to keep them able to affect their targets or be shredded on the way in. Which in turn increased their ability to fire at long-range and escape...

The reduction is on intrinsic short sensor range. Y short range is unaffected. Ranges will increase, and I plan on improving squadron ranges as tech advances. They also get faster, while large unit speed won't increase much as tech advances are balanced by larger slower hulls. Overall I am not worried about high SL yet. If needed, one can still fiddle with short ranges there.

-1 to hit in outer zone (outside of intrinsic sensor range)


Does this mean ships can fire outside of the Short Range -4 limitation? If so, -1 is virtually no penalty...
[/quote]
No, the penalty only applies in the range bracket between intrinsic sensor and combat sensor short range.

Dc firing with 5 to hit, dealing 2 damage flat out to 8tH+2tH per generation above alpha

Does the Short Range -4 range apply? If so, why not?

Dc like everything else needs a T type sensor contact. If you want to make full use of your Dc system, you need to mount combat sensors as well.


Not additional actual shots? Doesn't this run counter to how you've already changed it to use weapon shots in the first place?

They get a bonus on the additional shots. So Rre firing three shots at 6 instead will fire first salvo at 3, then 4 and 5 at long ranges, 4,5,6 at short ranges

I think you mean the same firing sub-phase. In SSF all units do fire in the same turn, every turn, but in differrnt sub-phases. You can accomplish the same stated goal of having mixed forces matter by forcing ships to fire at both large and small units during the large unit firing sub-phase. By letting squadrons fire during the same phase you reduce the ability of large units to counter them before they fire. You can do that, of course, I'm just not sure that it won't strengthen squadrons when you are trying to reduce their effect.

Being to engage them before they come into range at all more than makes up for the first strike potential, besides that as combat lasts multiple turns the exact firing order matters much, much less. Also, even with -3 to Hit LRW deal 50% more damage than using BASV

The reduced short range ensures that there is a difference between Ya and standard, and should make small kiter corvettes a bit harder by taking up another HS or 2.


This will so sharply increase squadron effectiveness, especially when squadrons attack an empire that has not yet needed to build anti-squadron units. Isn't that one area we've agreed is already out if balance?
[/quote]
All regular weapons already received a boost, and a fast LRW corvette is still an useful counter, and if you build LRW corvettes, you should include a Y system anyway.

You don't mention this above... double Bg and Bf size?

It is a very short mention 2*HS for Bg and Bf. The main reason here is that 4 units per squadron feel way not enough to treat them as an abstract statistic. (There should be more four jumps in combat capability whenever you blow up one of them) 8-12 feels more like a crowd.

Is not part of the problem with GB now that they can kite and run away without significant injury? Won't increasing the speed not only make this easier, but also reduce reload times by enabling them to return faster?

They can return faster, but with LRW your ships will hit them to some extend on each run, unless you run head on into them at full speed, detuning all the way in.
I left the speed penalty in at first, but there it has already swung over too far in the large units favor.

And I think you'll find that balance huge range differences ar higher TL is quite painful.

For now I am not really worrying beyond GBb, FQb. I'm confident tweaks to speed, range and cost should make it possible to keep squadrons viable for some more SLs. And once we reach EL 20 and Y short ranges become truly large (20 if I recall correctly) we could even invent some revolutionary new smallcraft using the CTJ to give them a revival. I am open for ideas, but then I don't consider it very pressing. From forum talk, I haven't heard much about people talking about playing at these ELs.
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Re: Smallcraft combat system

Postby Cralis on Mon 22 Aug 2016 01:29

Whitecold wrote:
Are you presuming that weapons are firing a lower power but higher ROF? Or are you presuming the weapons are doind full weapon damage? If so, I'd like to wrap my large units in the armor in squadrons ..


I don't fix myself on either. Some weapons might not be able to reduce power, or get a higher repetition rate. I am not sure what you mean with your comment about the armor I am afraid.


What I'm saying is that if you presume that the energy weapons are firing at full strength, and a squadron has the same HTK as a destroyer but with a fraction of the size ... I'd be building my large units out of what I'm now building the squadrons. That's what I meant.

A fixed reduction? Won't this allow anti-squadron ranges to increase dramatically? This will reintroduce the issue from Classic Starfire where you will have to increase the range of squadron weapons to keep them able to affect their targets or be shredded on the way in. Which in turn increased their ability to fire at long-range and escape...


The reduction is on intrinsic short sensor range. Y short range is unaffected. Ranges will increase, and I plan on improving squadron ranges as tech advances. They also get faster, while large unit speed won't increase much as tech advances are balanced by larger slower hulls. Overall I am not worried about high SL yet. If needed, one can still fiddle with short ranges there.


Intrinsic is not an official term :) You mean Standard Sensor range. But your comment on Y range: so you allow them to fire on the full Y range? Then what I'm saying still stands. What we found with Classic Starfire is that it created a race condition that too quickly spirals out of control. Combined with having to determine to damage across those ranges, it becomes very, very difficult to have any semblance of balance. In Classic Starfire the squadrons won hands down, but that IMHO was by design (it followed the same design practice of "new technology devastates all before it" that makes a great David Weber/Steve White novel, but doesn't work well in games).

-1 to hit in outer zone (outside of intrinsic sensor range)


Does this mean ships can fire outside of the Short Range -4 limitation? If so, -1 is virtually no penalty...


No, the penalty only applies in the range bracket between intrinsic sensor and combat sensor short range.


So yes. Standard Sensor Short Range - 4 has no modifier for anti-squadron fire (in your design), but everything from the next tH out to full Y short range has a -1. IMHO that penalty will not offset the increased difference in range.

Not additional actual shots? Doesn't this run counter to how you've already changed it to use weapon shots in the first place?


They get a bonus on the additional shots. So Rre firing three shots at 6 instead will fire first salvo at 3, then 4 and 5 at long ranges, 4,5,6 at short ranges


They get additional shots AND increased to-hit? That doesn't seem right from a realism point of view, and from a game balance point of view, it simply makes each additional shot more valuable than the one before it. It makes a ROF 3 weapon better than three ROF 1 weapons (in addition to the obvious cost and space savings of the ROF 3 weapon).

Being to engage them before they come into range at all more than makes up for the first strike potential, besides that as combat lasts multiple turns the exact firing order matters much, much less. Also, even with -3 to Hit LRW deal 50% more damage than using BASV


I'm not sure I agree with your premise, I'd have to see how it works in practice. But I can certainly tell you that increasing your LRW effect by 50% is going to be a significant balance issue. You create the very thing we moved (no, RAN) away from in Classic Starfire: squadrons either get obliterated at range or they come in close and rip you to pieces. This duality is not very much fun to play in a game.

You don't mention this above... double Bg and Bf size?


It is a very short mention 2*HS for Bg and Bf. The main reason here is that 4 units per squadron feel way not enough to treat them as an abstract statistic. (There should be more four jumps in combat capability whenever you blow up one of them) 8-12 feels more like a crowd.


Ah, I didn't notice them in the chart-like formation above. I see it now. Why not simply change the presumption of 6 fighters per FQ to 10, each with 2 DP? Then you can change the presumption of 4 gunboats per GB to 8, each with ~ 3 DP (4 DP if you increase their base DP to 32). You get the same thing without cutting your squadron potentials by 50% of the overall strike size.

Is not part of the problem with GB now that they can kite and run away without significant injury? Won't increasing the speed not only make this easier, but also reduce reload times by enabling them to return faster?


They can return faster, but with LRW your ships will hit them to some extend on each run, unless you run head on into them at full speed, detuning all the way in.
I left the speed penalty in at first, but there it has already swung over too far in the large units favor.


I'll wait for some test results, but I think you'll find this to be a massive understatement...

For now I am not really worrying beyond GBb, FQb. I'm confident tweaks to speed, range and cost should make it possible to keep squadrons viable for some more SLs. And once we reach EL 20 and Y short ranges become truly large (20 if I recall correctly) we could even invent some revolutionary new smallcraft using the CTJ to give them a revival. I am open for ideas, but then I don't consider it very pressing. From forum talk, I haven't heard much about people talking about playing at these ELs.


Partially because those SLs aren't formed in the rules yet (at least, not the new CTJ stuff), and partially because players like to start fresh and work their way up. I find new races are really fun, there is a sense of awe and wonder of what the universe might hold. Every exploration is an adventure. It just takes time. Heck, I've never started at EL/TL1 and made it past EL/TL10 in any campaign I've played in. Not yet...

I'm curious though, has anyone tried starting a campaign game at like EL/SL 10 ?
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Re: Smallcraft combat system

Postby Sunwolf on Mon 22 Aug 2016 17:08

Interesting that you should ask about a higher starting EL campaign, I was thinking of creating one that would start at EL 19
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Re: Smallcraft combat system

Postby Cralis on Mon 22 Aug 2016 18:24

Sunwolf wrote:Interesting that you should ask about a higher starting EL campaign, I was thinking of creating one that would start at EL 19


Right now all EL19+ is extensions of the current technologies. We've got a distinct idea about what should happen at the EL 20 CTJ, but we figured we should finish fixing Sections G and V first...
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Re: Smallcraft combat system

Postby Whitecold on Sat 27 Aug 2016 04:49

Cralis wrote:What I'm saying is that if you presume that the energy weapons are firing at full strength, and a squadron has the same HTK as a destroyer but with a fraction of the size ... I'd be building my large units out of what I'm now building the squadrons. That's what I meant.

I am not sure where you want to go here. I exactly thought this about BASV, why can't I build DDs out of whatever GBs are made of. The primary assumption is that no smallcraft can survive a solid hit from any weapon besides PD. Large weapon fire is serious overkill. DP aren't HtK, the number of HtK a squadron effectively has is the number of craft in the squadron. If they could, they should be a large unit and use large unit rules. If you can arbitrarily adjust ROF and weapon strength, you pick a value where each hit will be enough to kill a gunboat. Giving beams full tunability only increases their lethality.

Intrinsic is not an official term :) You mean Standard Sensor range. But your comment on Y range: so you allow them to fire on the full Y range? Then what I'm saying still stands. What we found with Classic Starfire is that it created a race condition that too quickly spirals out of control. Combined with having to determine to damage across those ranges, it becomes very, very difficult to have any semblance of balance. In Classic Starfire the squadrons won hands down, but that IMHO was by design (it followed the same design practice of "new technology devastates all before it" that makes a great David Weber/Steve White novel, but doesn't work well in games).

Squadrons still beat everything hands down using BASV. I will likely need to mess around with the short sensor ranges some more to balance them, but the end is that small mobile units are detected at T level at short range, so you can shoot at them.


So yes. Standard Sensor Short Range - 4 has no modifier for anti-squadron fire (in your design), but everything from the next tH out to full Y short range has a -1. IMHO that penalty will not offset the increased difference in range.

Standard anti smallcraft fire has -2, in the outer zone -1 in addition for -3 in total.

I'm not sure I agree with your premise, I'd have to see how it works in practice. But I can certainly tell you that increasing your LRW effect by 50% is going to be a significant balance issue. You create the very thing we moved (no, RAN) away from in Classic Starfire: squadrons either get obliterated at range or they come in close and rip you to pieces. This duality is not very much fun to play in a game.

This is why I am running from BASV. You have one turn to annihilate the GBs, or you get destroyed. As for fun, the few tests I played were certainly much more fun to play out than the BASV tests I ran. Maneuvering mattered, and tactics that make intuitive sense like keeping the range open definitely had an effect.

Ah, I didn't notice them in the chart-like formation above. I see it now. Why not simply change the presumption of 6 fighters per FQ to 10, each with 2 DP? Then you can change the presumption of 4 gunboats per GB to 8, each with ~ 3 DP (4 DP if you increase their base DP to 32). You get the same thing without cutting your squadron potentials by 50% of the overall strike size.

Because of the size required. First a CL carrier can already carry 4 squadrons. So 45 HS worth of ship cost equal to 2 CAs, giving 120HS of tonnage. That seems just plain wrong.

I'll wait for some test results, but I think you'll find this to be a massive understatement...

Kiting against some random CAs resulted in a roughly equal exchange in MCr lost, though that was actually without the additional -1 in the outer zone.
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Re: Smallcraft combat system

Postby Cralis on Sun 28 Aug 2016 02:41

Whitecold wrote:
Cralis wrote:What I'm saying is that if you presume that the energy weapons are firing at full strength, and a squadron has the same HTK as a destroyer but with a fraction of the size ... I'd be building my large units out of what I'm now building the squadrons. That's what I meant.

I am not sure where you want to go here. I exactly thought this about BASV, why can't I build DDs out of whatever GBs are made of. The primary assumption is that no smallcraft can survive a solid hit from any weapon besides PD.


And this is where I can show that you are making a completely different presumption than SSF. The way I read your rules is that that squadrons have DP but that large unit weapons do their large unit damage to the squadron DP. So your full strength weapons are doing damage to the DP of the craft. So 1 damage against a ship destroys 1 system, but 1 damage against a squadron does 1 DP of damage. This produces the "I wish I could build DD from GB armor" comment.

The difference from SSF is that SSF does not presume that a large weapon is firing full strength shots, but instead that large weapons must dial down the power in order to fire enough shots to actually hit the more maneuverable (and smaller DF sized) squadrons. Thus, they are NOT doing full strength damage and the DP of the squadron makes more sense.

Large weapon fire is serious overkill. DP aren't HtK, the number of HtK a squadron effectively has is the number of craft in the squadron. If they could, they should be a large unit and use large unit rules. If you can arbitrarily adjust ROF and weapon strength, you pick a value where each hit will be enough to kill a gunboat. Giving beams full tunability only increases their lethality.


I'm not sure how you can claim that the ability to turn down the power makes them more lethal. By definition, a less powerful beam will also be less lethal. What SSF presumes, however, is that dialing down the power enables it to fire more often. Not only does it consume less energy, but it produces less heat, and combined enables the emitter to shoot more often. But it doesn't do any damage to a large unit and thus the reason BASV cannot be used against a large unit.

Squadrons still beat everything hands down using BASV. I will likely need to mess around with the short sensor ranges some more to balance them, but the end is that small mobile units are detected at T level at short range, so you can shoot at them.


Do you mean under your system?

I'm not sure I agree with your premise, I'd have to see how it works in practice. But I can certainly tell you that increasing your LRW effect by 50% is going to be a significant balance issue. You create the very thing we moved (no, RAN) away from in Classic Starfire: squadrons either get obliterated at range or they come in close and rip you to pieces. This duality is not very much fun to play in a game.

This is why I am running from BASV. You have one turn to annihilate the GBs, or you get destroyed.


What do you mean by this? I don't think we are talking about the same thing. BASV does not make squadrons into glass canons that die in a few hits, while your system moves towards that outcome. Especially if you implement what you suggest above in that a squadron should only have as many DP as the number of small units in the squadron (4-6 or 8-12 if you double the number of small units, which I think is your intention).

The original USF squadron combat design produces combats with squadrons that are more like hit and runs. You don't sit around and shoot at each other, it is expected that squadrons will come into range and engage/be engaged only once or twice and then retreat to come back later and do it again. That is by design. That is how Marvin expected squadron combats to occur.

The changes we are looking at making are intended to give a bit more variability to the options so that there are more choices, depending upon circumstances and ship or squadron design. We'll see how that works out.

As for fun, the few tests I played were certainly much more fun to play out than the BASV tests I ran. Maneuvering mattered, and tactics that make intuitive sense like keeping the range open definitely had an effect.


Testing means someone else plays your rules for you. I have found that when you test your own rules that you make a lot of presumptions and lock yourself into a certain way of thinking. Until someone else tests for you, it's really difficult to give it a fair work over.

So far, the reasons I've found people having issues with the BASV system have all come down to not playing the rules correctly or with the same presumptions. Something as simple as how I record BASV on the Ship Data Sheet has apparently made a huge difference in how difficult BASV has been perceived.

That's why we have SDS playtesters. For example, Procyon has certainly turned our rules upside down and his family is directly responsible for many of the updates and changes that have needed to be made to make things better. That group is a powerhouse when it comes to testing and finding divergent ways to interpret and/or utilize the rules.

Ah, I didn't notice them in the chart-like formation above. I see it now. Why not simply change the presumption of 6 fighters per FQ to 10, each with 2 DP? Then you can change the presumption of 4 gunboats per GB to 8, each with ~ 3 DP (4 DP if you increase their base DP to 32). You get the same thing without cutting your squadron potentials by 50% of the overall strike size.


Because of the size required. First a CL carrier can already carry 4 squadrons. So 45 HS worth of ship cost equal to 2 CAs, giving 120HS of tonnage. That seems just plain wrong.


That statement doesn't make any sense to me. I'm not talking about doubling the small units and keeping them the same size. I'm talking about reducing the presumed small unit size to increase the number of small units in a squadron.

Let's take an example. If you have 6 HS bay with 4 fighters in a fighter squadron, you might presume that they are 1 HS in size each. But if I change it to have 8 fighters in the same fighter squadron, with the same 6 HS of size, then wouldn't it be easier to presume they are 1/2 HS in size? That was my point. You can increase the number of small units in the squadron if you presume the individual small units are smaller than they are presumed to be now, without changing the bay size. I was just trying to ask whether you had considered it.

Are you trying to say that you think 4 squadrons is simply too many for a CLf sized ship? On a second read I'm thinking this might be what you were trying to say, but it's definitely not related to what I was saying (and not what I thought you were saying before).

P.S. One thing that occurred to me. If you do decide that a squadron small unit should only be able to take a single hit, you'll want to remove any ability to repair a squadron. You would have to rebuild the small units entirely. Although, that would certainly make the ability to reuse the "damaged" squadrons repeatedly in the short term a lot harder.
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Re: Smallcraft combat system

Postby Whitecold on Sat 03 Sep 2016 16:09

Cralis wrote:I'm not sure how you can claim that the ability to turn down the power makes them more lethal. By definition, a less powerful beam will also be less lethal. What SSF presumes, however, is that dialing down the power enables it to fire more often. Not only does it consume less energy, but it produces less heat, and combined enables the emitter to shoot more often. But it doesn't do any damage to a large unit and thus the reason BASV cannot be used against a large unit.

What I am saying is that a weapon that has the option to vary strength vs rate of fire will be more effective than one that cannot tune their RoF. In any case, I don't consider a DP a hit. For one, 7.5 hits per GB are way too much. I can't really give a satisfying answer, but in the end DP will be whatever amount of fire a squadron can take, adjusted so I can get away with reusing the range tables of the large weapons.
If someone goes through the trouble of making balanced anti-smallcraft range tables for each and every weapon, I am happy to use them.

Testing means someone else plays your rules for you. I have found that when you test your own rules that you make a lot of presumptions and lock yourself into a certain way of thinking. Until someone else tests for you, it's really difficult to give it a fair work over.

If anyone wants to run a simple scenario using these rules on their own, feel welcome. If anyone has any concrete suggestions on possibly combat strategies/ship designs/balance changes to these rules, feel also welcome to state them.
I know this is not balanced, not yet. Unfortunately I don't have anyone else here to play with, so all the test I can do are on my own. It s still at a rough state, and I didn't want to claim this is a balanced system. What I was saying that I found the fights I ran on my own interesting and fun to play, while the BASV tests weren't. This is very subjective of course.

So far, the reasons I've found people having issues with the BASV system have all come down to not playing the rules correctly or with the same presumptions. Something as simple as how I record BASV on the Ship Data Sheet has apparently made a huge difference in how difficult BASV has been perceived.

My issue is twofold, for one is that I don't consider BASV balanced. So far I haven't found anything I have misread in the mechanics.
The second point is that I don't like BASV, and the way it encourages to keep smallcraft and GB separate, and I don't like the reduction to only three possible ranges. Under default rules I don't feel like I either want to play with GBs or against them. They just take the fun out of the game for me.

Are you trying to say that you think 4 squadrons is simply too many for a CLf sized ship? On a second read I'm thinking this might be what you were trying to say, but it's definitely not related to what I was saying (and not what I thought you were saying before).

P.S. One thing that occurred to me. If you do decide that a squadron small unit should only be able to take a single hit, you'll want to remove any ability to repair a squadron. You would have to rebuild the small units entirely. Although, that would certainly make the ability to reuse the "damaged" squadrons repeatedly in the short term a lot harder.

Yes, that is part of it. 4 squadrons is a lot of units, and it is one of the smallest possible carriers.
The other part is the price itself. A regular CL is a third of the price of a carrier with wing, sure the loaded carrier should be more expensive than a regular warship of the same size, but not by a factor of 3.
And I would put gunboats in the same ballpark as ast in terms of size. An ast needs about 1.5HS of bay space in terms of size, so the value seems about right for GB bays as well.
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