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Re: FTIII Rules Tryout

From: "Oerjan Ohlson" <oerjan.ohlson@n...>
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 1998 19:49:24 +0100
Subject: Re: FTIII Rules Tryout

[Yes, Jon, I know you get two copies of this :-/ ]

John wrote:

> Note:   The following comments a based on a PARTIAL use of the 
> FTIII design and combat rules.
>      The results of the monthly club meeting follow:
> Two FT games were presented one was FTII (By John Fox) and
> the second was FTIII (By Phil Pournelle)


> Phil P. presented an FTIII based game using the FTIII design
> rules.   The points on each side: 830 +/- 5.	 The attacking
> force was 2 capitals, 2 cruisers, 2 destroyers.   The defenders
> had 1 capital, 3 cruisers, 4 destroyers. (As best I recall, I 
> never saw the defenders sheets.)   
>      The result was once again a draw (stratigic victory to the 
> defense).   Not one ship was lost in combat in a game that lasted
> almost three hours.  (two attacking DDs were down to the last 
> hit points.)	 

This I find rather surprising. The few FTIII games I've had time to play
(with forces around 700-1000 Mass per side) have been finished in times
comparable to FTII ones (1-1.5 hours, depending on the styles of play) -
and with quite a few dead ships, too.

> Notable points: 
> 1) Cruisers will carry two screens making them (defensively) the 
>    same as capitals.

If cruisers (up to Mass 40 or so) carry two screens, they'll either be
rather slow or seriously undergunned in my experience. 'course, if the
designs were well protected and undergunned, I'm not too surprised to
that the casualties were low!

> 2) Spinal mount weapons reguardless of power are of no value if
>    they cannot be brought to bear on a target.  (Sounds like the 
>    NSL is going to lose big time to me.)

If you have low thrust and use cinematic movement, I agree. Using vector
movement, or a ship with a thrust rating of 5 or better in the cinematic
movement system, I've had no bigger problems to bring my weapons to bear
the targets. OTOH, I use single-arc weapons quite a lot (GW's Imperial
ships and RL lookalikes are very much broadside-armed, and GW's Eldar
most of their weaponry concentrated in the forward arc); it may be that
more used to them than you are.

> 3) The change to six sixty degree firing arcs and allowing ships
>    to fire out the rear arc does not really improve the game.
>    (It will make the conversion to a boardgame/hex move system

Agree to a point. I want several of my ships to have a "forward 180" arc
rather than the 270 or 90 degree forward arcs I can have in FTII
the turrets or weapon blisters don't look like 90 or 270, but they do
capable of 180 degree arcs). OTOH, broadside arcs are easier to
in FTII than in the (current, non-finished) FTIII rules. The best (for
would be to have 8 arcs instead, or to allow 90-degree arcs to be
up to 45 degrees.

> 4) The SLM (salvo lunched missiles) look like a form of remote
>    sub-munitions pack.   One must wonder why the SLM cannot be used
>    in a direct fire mode?   (I personally dislike the guessing game
>    targetting concept.)

It is much more of a toned down missile system than a remote SMP,
Again, try using the vector movement rules - that makes the salvo
a LOT more powerful.

> 5) It sounds a if a number of the new weapons will require at 
>    least one reroll to reach the final damage number.

Hm... which ones?

There is a "roll an extra damage die if you roll a 6" rule which applies
all weapons and increases the damage by 20%, but that's all I can think
AFAIK, the rule is optional, too.

> 6) The 'A' batteries have nowhere near the distructive ability
>    that the point cost/mass values indicate.	 (A sledgehammer
>    solution to what was at most a marginal problem.)

All-arc A batteries are pretty weak, yes. However, the B batteries have
been weakened in proportion - in my experience 2 B batteries are worth
about as much as 1 A with the same field of fire. Similarly, a (FTII)
three-arc weapon is pretty much worth the same as two single-arc ones
to the higher flexibility of the turret. A and B batteries under the
system follow both these guidelines pretty closely. And no, I definitely
don't think the A battery superiority from FTII to be a "marginal
- the A was the only worthwhile beam weapon, and that's it. The C has
been reduced in power, though, making it very potent at short ranges.
not sure if this is good or not; I'd prefer it to have 3 arcs at Mass 1

Of course - if you don't use _very_ powerful drives, you have quite a
more space to carry weapons in, so the higher weapon masses don't affect
you so badly! :-)


Oerjan Ohlson

"Life is like a sewer.
What you get out of it, depends on what you put into it."
- Hen3ry

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