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RE: DSII questions

From: "Brian Bell" <bkb@b...>
Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 19:08:41 -0400
Subject: RE: DSII questions

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gzg-l@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU
[mailto:owner-gzg-l@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU]On Behalf Of Oerjan Ohlson
Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2000 13:26
To: FT
Subject: DSII questions


The easy question first:

When drawing damage chits for a weapon with "All/2" chit validity, do
you round fractions and if so which way? (Personally I'd say "don't
round at all", but I want other opinions. The authors are welcome to
chip in as well - hint, Mike! ;-) )

[Bri] My first impression would be to round down (always give a break to

the target). But then I also realized that I am totaling the chits and
then dividing by 2. But it says all chits at half value. So if you have
a DFFG/3 at long range and draw 1,1,3 and round down. I was getting
2 (5/2 = 2.5 round down). But if you half the chit value (as opposed to 
the total) and round down you get 1 (.5 rounds to 0, .5 rounds to 0, 
1.5 rounds to 1). After considering this I would agree with Oerjan,
and not round. For a damage, you must exactly equal the armor rating.
To kill it you must only exceed the armor rating (even if it is by .5
points). Thus a 2.5 result would kill an armor 2 vehicle, but not 
damage a armor 3 vehicle. 

Then a somewhat harder one:

I know I said I didn't want to meddle too much with the parts of DSII
which aren't directly related to the design system, but, well...

Can someone explain the difference between Stealth and ECM to me?
Not the effects in game terms, I'm well aware of those, but in the PSB?

Stealth is described as:
"STEALTH covers a wide variety of methods, both physical
(radar-absorbing paint, heat-emission masking etc.) and electronic,
which render the vehicle more difficult for the enemy to see and
'acquire' as a target."

In other words, Stealth is designed to disrupt enemy targetting systems
in general. The "electronic" Stealth systems can either be passive (eg
de-magnetizing systems like those on some of the later ex-Soviet tanks)
or active (ie, ECM) - the description doesn't say.

ECM is described as:
"Systems designed to jam the guidance of incoming Missiles."

DSII Missiles are fire-and-forget - ie. self-guiding, so there is no
link between the firer and the missile which can be disrupted by active

What is the big difference between the guidance systems of a GMS and
the sensors of an AFV or a sensor drone which makes the systems able to
fool the AFV or drone unable to fool the missile and vice versa?

The reason I ask is this:

In the current rules, ECM works against GMSs but nothing else (should
work against MAK artillery too, though), whereas Stealth works against
just about everything except missiles and artillery. By coincidence,
level-1 Stealth gives pretty much the same protection against
direct-fire weapons as Basic ECM gives against GMSs, level-2 Stealth
corresponds very closely to the effects of Enhanced ECM, and level-3
Stealth to Superior ECM. There's no ECM equivalents to level-4 and
higher Stealth, of course - not yet, at least <g>

So... we have two complementary systems with very similar effects
against their respective "targets", and which seems to have rather
similar PSB. Baking them together into one system would make it *much*
easier to determine their proper points values :-/

[Bri] I was thinking that Stealth was basically passive and ECM was 
basically active. 
Stealth would be such things as radar absorbing material, camoflage, 
lower profiile vehicle, shielded heat emmisions, etc.  Anything that 
tries to hide the vehicle.
ECM I had seen as EMP projectors, IFF spoofing, hologram projection, 
flairs, chaff, decoy drones, etc.  Basically anything to get the
missile to pick another target. 
The difference in game play could be explained by the extreemly short
time that the AI on the missile has to overcome the ECM and determine 
which target is the real one and which one is fake. People in AFV's,
however, have a little longer time to spot the enemy despite the 
stealth's ability to hide it. 
The arguement against this is that Stealth is lost when a "Target
Systems Down" chit is drawn. I use the PSB that the hit damaged some
of the absorbant coating, chameleon skin, etc. and that it must be
repaired before it can be effective again.

Finally the hardest question of them all:

Do you have any feelings for how much high mobility is worth in DSII,
de-coupled from weapon types used etc?

That is to say, assume that two forces have identical vehicles, except
that one uses (say) Hi-Mob Wheeled and the other Fast GEV mobility.
Further assume that the two commanders are of roughly equal skill. How
many more (or less) vehicles will the Wheeled side need to have an even
chance to beat the GEVs?

I know that this is a very artificial set-up and that few people would
willingly fight such a battle... especially enough times to determine
the force levels necessary for balance :-/ 
Unfortunately this is one game balance aspect which is utterly
impossible to do any meaningful mathematical analysis on, which means
that the only data I have at the moment is my DSII gaming experience
and that of the other locals... I'd much prefer to have a considerably
larger sample of opinions than this, from as many people as possible

[Bri] A lot of this depends on the terrain and the players. Fast GEV
and Grav have an ability that other movement does not: it can perform
evasive maneuvers. This can allow a force to close on the objective
with acceptable casualties. The value of one mobility type over the
other depends a lot on the terrain. If you are going through swamp or
open GEVs would be preferable to Tracked. If going through scrub or 
mountains, Tracked would be better. Also the scenario can make a 
fast force valueable (enemy reinforcements arrive in X number of 
turns, you must take the objective before then). I would suggest 
making it an aditive rather than multiple (+ vs. *) cost factor. Unlike
Battletech where speed is rewarded by being harder to hit, DS2 does
not factor speed into the hit probability (except for the evasive
maneuver listed above).


Oerjan Ohlson

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

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Brian Bell <>
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