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Re: Thoughts on FB3

From: "Oerjan Ohlson" <oerjan.ohlson@t...>
Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 19:52:07 +0200
Subject: Re: Thoughts on FB3

Alan Brain wrote:


The fighter screen and furball rules need revision as well. They're...
crystal clear at the moment :-/

>* Sensors (and ECM/ESM etc).
>* MT Missiles
>* Needle Beams (although that's in FB1, no FB1 ships use em)

Only pirates, custom patrol forces and others who want to capture their
victims relatively intact are likely to use them much anyway.

>* Some Spinal Mount Gun? The Wave Motion Gun might be OK, the >Nova
Cannon is right out! I'd prefer not to have either, but the UN
>SuperDread model is crying out for one. *shrug*

The Tasmanians don't seem to be overly worried about NCs or WGs
in Vector, where those weapons are easier to aim/harder to dodge than
in Cinematic. Or perhaps they *are* overly worried, and make sure no
NC- or WG-armed ship survives to fire more than once... either way
they've complained about these weapons being too weak <g>

>* UN (Of course)
>* IF (the ships are available)

*Some* ships are available, at least :-/ Hey Jon, I'm still waiting for
those IF cruisers you promised half a year ago... <G>

>* OU (range is very low at the moment)

Is the OU range is the property of GZG? I thought most of them were
made by Eureka, not GZG.

>* MT missiles - here we need to consider the things, as we now have a
>directly competitive system (SMLs) and fighters no longer move 12" vs
>18", but 24" with a possible extra.
>Some options:
>* Minimal Change - they still move 18", like ships, for 3 turns. Of
>course this means that fighters will always eat them.

The most important thing to do with the MTMs is to explicitly specify
fighters and point defences shoot them down. AFAIK the current (FB)
rule, as implied by the FB1 PDS rules and also by the FAQ comments, is:

'Each individual MTM counts as a separate "missile salvo" when attacked
by enemy fighters or point defence weapons.'

This has several corollary implications, not least of which is that a
fighter squadron can only target one MTM per turn unless it uses a
secondary move to move into base-to-base contact with the missiles (ie,
engage them in a furball). Unless the fighter bases are very big, good
missile placement can limit the number of MTMs each squadron can
furball in one turn.

Below I assume the above rule interpretation is in force; if it is
all the numbers below are completely out of whack:

>* Same sort of rules as ER SMLs, 36" range, 1-turn endurance. They'd
>be directly competitive to SML ER-racks, cost 5 mass each. So you
>could get 5 MTs for the price of 2 SML-ERs if they cost 2 mass each.
>That would do 10 dice vs 7 dice (average), but require 5 hits to
>destroy vs 7 (on average). 

Since "1 hit" means a different number of PDS dice in the two cases,
this comparison doesn't say very much.

>And they home in on the selected target, not the closest. Certainly
>under these circumstances they'd be not over-costed!

Assuming the same total number of defending PDSs in both cases, the
average damage of 5 MTMs is some 30-50% higher than that of 2 SMR-ER.
(OK, I haven't checked for more than 12 PDSs (>6 per SMR) but at that
point the MTMs are pulling away from the SMRs rather than losing ground
- and the average damage of either attack against this strong a defence
is rather low anyway...)

So no, with 30-50% higher damage and a higher hit probability (since
they can't be decoyed by BJ tactics), MTMs using this mechanic are
definitely not *over*-costed compared to the SMR-ER :-/

>* Same rules as Fighters but: endurance 3, speed 18(say)
>CAN burn the an endurance to go 6" like a fighter can 12.
>MUST attack closest target within 6".

You mean that the MTMs burn 1 endurance per *turn* (+1 per secondary
move) rather than 1 endurance per *attack* (as fighters do), no? <g>

>This way at longer range they'd still be capable of doing damage, just
>you  have to guess the position of your target rather better. 

Uh... Better than what?

>At short range, you 
>could pick your target, and even move to within attack range if you
got it 

This sounds like an OK compromise - slower than the SMs, but with
multiple chances to attack. If the MTM secondary move is made after
fighter secondary moves, it also gives the MTMs a limited ability to
avoid attacking fighter squadrons (unless of course the fighters burn
CEPs to furball the missiles or are screening the missiles' target) -
but at the cost of reduced range and/or accuracy.

Roger Books wrote:

> one minor problem with FB ships.  They were a nice starting
>point but didn't go through a weapons evolution which we are seeing
>in the game and see in the real world.  They don't have the requisite
>PDS/ADFC suites to deal with a fighter/missile heavy environment.

The weapons evolution we are seeing in the real world is rather slow,
with most weapon systems having a development time measured in decades
rather than years - and with doctrine adjustments lagging behind tech
development, and vehicle design generally lagging behind doctrine

The weapons evolution we have seen in our various gaming groups is
roughly equivalent to 50+ years of intensive warfare without any tech
developments whatsoever, and for the most part without any worries
about logistics (which put a rather big crimp in any attempt to create
missile- or fighter-heavy environments at any real distance from your
major naval bases :-/).

I submit that the lack of tech development during such a long period of
intensive warfare and the complete freedom from logistic problems, not
to mention the total lack of high-ranked but incompetent politicians
and officers formulating bad doctrines (cf the recent Newsweek coverage
of the Kosovo cover-up) is rather atypical for any kind of realistic
environment :-)


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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