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Vector Movement and SML's

From: "Thomas Barclay" <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 1999 10:58:00 -0400
Subject: Vector Movement and SML's

1. 3" is too small for vector. I didn't realize it was an optional
restriction. You hit a very low percentage versus thrust 4 ships,
almost never versus 6 given a manouvering opponent.

2. 6" is too big - the opposite reason. You hit everything that isn't
thrust 8 or something ridiculous.

3. You can evolve tactics that make the FSE work in vector to an
extent with a 3" burst radius, but only if they get to pick the type
of battle, and even then it is hit and miss. If they have to fight a
fixed engagement for some reason, without being able to jet all over
the place, then they are toast. Generally, I think a fleet must be
balanced so it can perform reasonably in all types of scenarios - if
it does really badly somewhere, that should be addressed. The easiest
way we've found to address the FSE defficiencies (the lower impact of
high thrust in vector vis a vis cinematic) is to punch up SMLs to 4".
6" seemed just too gross.

Now, I like an SML to be effective - don't get me wrong. Should it hit
all the time? No. Should it be a threat to thrust 4 ships (it already
is to thrust 2 behemoths) - yes. Thrust six agile ships? Probably some
threat but only if the captain has bad luck. So a 4" envelope nicely
satisfies this (if anyone wants to here the math for this, write me
off list - I have spent quite a while arguing this locally).

I don't like the SML absorber technique for small ships. In the
GZGverse, who the hell would ever want to crew an escort? I'd mutiny
first. I don't mind a chance of getting killed doing my job, but not a
gaurantee of same. Small ships don't pack the point defence to handle
this decoy task, and their is little in the way of ECM or
countermeasures to aide them. And you can afford (in a set piece game)
to lose escorts - in RL those hulls are probably not cheap, and the
staff on them even less so. Losing a disproportionate number is
unacceptable. Plus if that ended up being the tactic, some bright
spark would say "our enemy is kissing off escorts and crew like
water... we wish to avoid this, let us just field larger ships with
more PDS or specialized heavy PDS/ADS..." or something.... you know
they'd work out a solution to this Uberweapon. And no soldier wants to
be bait. Sometimes you have to, but if it is normal modus
operandi..... bad plan.

Additionally, (on small ships) we tend to find here that escorts
aren't worth the point cost in general (ignore SMs for a minute). They
die before they get in range. This tends to result in a heavier BC or
BB or DN style wall of battle without escorts as actually having more
value per point. The wise commander of a large ship uses his longer
ranged weapons to pound the escorts to scrap before they reach firing
range. Thus they consumed the opponents points, but only as damage
sumps not offensive production centres. If that is how you want to use
them, build them with a big ass hull, just enough drive, and lots and
lots of armour, maybe a 1 level shield. Don't even bother arming
them - or at least make the hits/damage output ratio much higher.

In general, we assume they exist to act as eyes, ears, messengers, and
other such functions of a fleet. They can get dragged into a fight in
the wrong situation, but it isn't planned. If two walls of battle face
off, the little guys just get the heck out of the way so as not to die
needlessly. Thus the big guys can slug it out.

It's just our findings. I find I dislike the idea of human bait, and I
dislike the effectiveness of escorts except as such bait in most large
fleet battles. They should exist, but in the admittedly artificial
fixed point scenario, they should stay home in favour of more WoB

Thomas Barclay
Software UberMensch
xwave solutions
(613) 831-2018 x 3008

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