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Re: [GZG] Gzg-l Digest, Vol 37, Issue 24

From: Eric Foley <stiltman@t...>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2010 10:56:54 -0700 (GMT-07:00)
Subject: Re: [GZG] Gzg-l Digest, Vol 37, Issue 24

I'm definitely more in the "game designer" crowd rather than hard sci
fi, I just happen to like sci fi while I'm at it.

I wasn't really pondering the PSB physics of why a magazine explosion
would damage nearby ships when I suggested it in the beginning, I was
thinking purely from a game design perspective.  To me, two of the main
things that do actually bug me about Full Thrust (and don't get me
wrong, I love the game and have played it for a decade) are the
all-or-nothing nature of fighters and/or missiles, partly due to the
bunch formation which is generally the best tactical layout whether or
not you're actually intentionally using it for area defense and/or
missile decoying.

So I thought that the magazine explosion and/or the power core explosion
when a ship is destroyed might partly alleviate both.  Like to carry
lots of missiles and/or fighters?  Fine, but if one of the magazines or
fighter bays thresholds you'll very possibly lose the ship.  (Maybe a
roll similar to a too-close FTL jump... if you roll a 4+ or a 5+ or
something like it, maybe a number equivalent to the threshold roll but
for each unexpended missile/torpedo, the magazine goes up; otherwise
it's a less catastrophic problem like the conduits between the magazines
and the missile tubes being damaged.)  And similarly, a radius of
potential destruction if a ship's power core and/or magazines blow up
(the power core would go when the ship's destroyed or if the core system
thresholds) would mean that ships would possibly not want to
particularly stick too close to each other.  It creates more
opportunities for fighters and missiles to hit stuff even if they're
heavily defended because 
 just killing one of them could blow away a whole formation if they're
too close together, but at the same time it also creates a greater risk
to carrying too many fighters and missiles because the ship is a little
bit more volatile when it's damaged.

PSB?  Figure the power core, missiles, and fighter torpedoes use
antimatter and/or plasma.  More powerful than nukes, but also a lot more
brittle if you take a hit to the magazines.  Similarly, so might the
power core.  The explosion goes off like an accidental plasma bolt or
plasma torpedo.  Similarly, a power core explosion could happen if the
failsafes on the reactor don't shut it down safely when the ship's
destroyed (or by the thresholds normally; destruction of the ship could
simply be a 3+ final threshold roll on the power core unless it's been
previously jettisoned or shut down, which can be done on any turn by a
ship knowing it's about to die but not after its destruction -- if the
reactor fails, leave the ship on the board going in a straight line on
its last course and its comrades will be able to know to get out of the
way before it blows; roll like the power core's failed a threshold
normally for whether it blows, but there's no way to fix it now), and it
could c
 ause damage scaled to the size of the ship similar to an FTL drive
explosion.  In a scenario or campaign setting where ship salvage is
useful for intelligence or simple victory points purposes, this could
become an additional interesting factor.

Again... this is primarily the game designer in me talking.  The hard
science, I'm far less interested in.


-----Original Message-----
>From: Doug Evans <>
>Sent: Sep 28, 2010 8:47 AM
>Subject: Re: [GZG] Gzg-l Digest, Vol 37, Issue 24
>Why, Mr. Burton West, you aren't about to go 'swoosh' on us, are you? I
>thought you were in the hard sci fi crowd
>You know, those who'd rather fight than swoosh?
>Roger Burton West wrote on 09/28/2010 10:10:36 AM:
>> On Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 09:56:19AM -0500, Allan Goodall wrote:
>> >A variation of that is actually a plot point in Brin's "Startide
>> Just so. But surprise weapons don't make for interesting wargames.
>> (Nor, it could be argued, do realistic battles. But that's a separate
>> discussion.)
>> R
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