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Re: Fighter Balance Issues (LONG)

From: John Leary <realjtl@s...>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 12:16:39 -0800
Subject: Re: Fighter Balance Issues (LONG)

Jerry Han wrote:
> The Nature of Fighter Combat involving Starships
> ------------------------------------------------
...Big Snip...(JTL)
> Compare this to the FT universe.  FT fighters, while more maneuverable
> their target warships, do not have an enormous speed advantage.  They
> lethal to smaller warships, but have trouble taking on the largest
> by themselves, because Level 3 screens renders batteries very weak,
> the 3 turn endurance means fighters (if they survive fire that long)
> not have the time to peck their way to a threshold check.  Thus, FT
> are used in support and screening roles, used as extra firepower at a
> decisive moment, but unable to render a decisive decision by
> (A FT battle as an equivalent to the Battle of Midway would be much
> difficult, if not impossible to pull off.)
> Okay, I'm done rambling.  (8-)  Comments are welcome.
> J.
>	   "Is there no escape from the words that plague me so?"
...Small Snip...(JTL)

     First, let me say that there is NO ESCAPE!

Second, I agree with 99% of your message.

Third, The only way to 'solve' the items you have mentioned is to 
go the route of the dreaded 'house rule'.

Examples/counter comments/suggestions/whatever:

Fighter speed: If a fighter wishes to excede its rated speed, the 
player simply announces the fighter is retaining its speed for the 
next turn.   On the next turn the fighter may accelerate form
its current speed of 12 (or 18) to as much as 24 (or 36) but it
must move as if it were a ship with thrust 12 (or 18).
Problem solved, the fighter is now faster than a ship!
(Based upon a presumption of mine that the fighters are stationary
at the start and end of the turn.)

Big ship challenge: Answer, the torpedo fighter and to a lesser 
extent the attack fighter. (The problem here is keeping these
fighters alive long enough to be useful.)

Fighter endurance: It is apparent to me due to certain comments
made during these communications that I have never really followed
fighter endurance rules. (Place this comment in the "True Confessions"
Example:  A fleet carrier launches 2 fighters a turn for 3 turns,
the carrier is doing speed 10.	 The strike goes out makes three
attacks (W/no losses) and returns to the carrier three moves later.
Now the bad news,  the last combat occured at 36 inches from the 
carrier.   Good news, the fighters can make it back in three turns
of movememt and a fighter is recovered on the third turn of movement.
Really bad news, the other five fighter squadrons are considered 
lost due to fuel depletion and cannot be recovered.   
Notes:	If the last fight had been at 24 inches or less 2 groups 
could be recovered.   At 12 inches or less 3 three groups. 
At least three groups will always be lost under the current rules.
House Rule: Eliminate the rule on endurance after combat.
Notes: The elimination of this rule will make carrier operations
conform to the real world (more or less).

A Midway battle could be done but the game master would provide
the breakdown of the fighter types available to the players.
(U.S.A.= 2 standard fighters, 3 attack, and 1 torpedo and the
Japanese = 2 standard fighter, 2 attack and 2 torpedo perhaps.)

A house rule: Eliminate ranged attacks of fighters, replace W/base 
to base contact required for combat.

A house rule: Order of movement
1) FT missiles.
2) Ships in order of thrust, low (1) to high (8)
3) Fighters
Combat occures in reverse order.

Feel free to comment,

Bye for now,
John L.

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