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[FT] Yet Another Fighters Suggestion

From: Hugh Fisher <laranzu@o...>
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 20:56:35 +1100
Subject: [FT] Yet Another Fighters Suggestion

The problem: increasing the number of fighters in an attack
("stack of doom") has a non-linear increase in effectivess.
It is especially bad in large scale battles using standard
Fleet Book designs.

>From the archives, not every player would agree there is
actually a problem. If you want to argue against the need
for any change, please change the subject first?

My suggestion is a variation on numeric limits that doesn't
require any changes to fighter movement or PDS fire. Limits
have been suggested before - the oldest I could find is Beth
Fulton in the late 90s - and nobody seems to have any
objection other than the arbitrary nature of a fixed number.
My idea os to make the limit vary consistently between
genres/settings in a predictable way so that players
(collective) have a degree of control.

Add to the rules on fighters:

      A ship may only be attacked by fighters from a
      single carrier in any given turn. This limit does
      not apply to fighter vs fighter dogfights, or if
      the ship is asteroid sized or larger.

The PSB reason: a short range attack on a ship requires
coordination and careful flying by pilots who train
regularly together. There isn't enough time in the span
represented by one FT turn for successive waves.

The real reason: a numerical limit on fighters is a magic
number if a game that otherwise doesn't have any and is
remarkably flexible. Making the limit be 'one carriers
worth' makes it part of the setting or genre chosen by the

The limit is therefore 7 for Fleet Book 1, 8 for books 1 & 2
(barring Sa'Vasku excessive wierdness, but what would you
expect from Sa'Vasku?), and whatever the designers,
organisers, or players want it to be in other circumstances.

I've tested this rule in a number of battles by limiting
myself to never stack fighters from different ships together
against one target. The effects I've noticed are:

Carriers now scale more like other ships: an escort carrier
can fight escorts and cruisers, but if you want to take on
superdreadnaughts, you'll need a fleet carrier. However,
small carriers can defend themselves against a big one, as
the rule allows stacking in dogfights.

Small battles with Fleet Book ships (up to 1500 or so points
of capitals): carrier selection becomes more interesting. In
the past I've mini-maxed by choosing two light carriers
instead of one fleet, since eight fighters were always
better than six. With this rule it's a meaningful choice:
overall numbers or the heaviest individual punch?

Big battles with Fleet Book ships: this is where the problem
seems to be worst and this rule is most effective. You can
still have huge numbers of fighters, but won't be able to
annihilate even  big ships in a single turn.

The case I haven't tested is battles with custom designs.
Here the flexibility of a 'one carrier worth' limit instead
of a number *should* come into effect: if you've got the
points to build Battlestar Galactica you can, and get full
value from it. Your opponents likewise know what they could
be in for and can defend accordingly. But that's just a

Anyone else like to test it?


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