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Re: [GZG] Balanced Fleet Design

From: Eric Foley <stiltman@t...>
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2010 18:04:23 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: [GZG] Balanced Fleet Design

-----Original Message-----
>From: Ground Zero Games <>
>Wholeheartedly agree, Noam, but I think you slightly misunderstood 
>what I wrote there - when I said balanced fleets, I didn't mean 
>balanced forces on both sides - what I was referring to was the 
>question of players designing a versatile multi-mission force rather 
>than one that is just optimised to beat a particular type of opponent 
>and would be useless for any other function or mission.

At some point, I think the best advice is to encourage the mindset that
Battles Have Consequences.  If you lose an entire fleet because it
turned out that your over-specialized single-mission force got
annihilated by an enemy that followed a different strategy than the one
it was designed to counter, you might leave a gaping hole in your star
nation's defenses and jeopardize your home planets' liberty and/or very
survival.  When the drooling genocidal aliens are coming to devour your
children, do you really want to wager your survival on a guessing game? 
Or that you'd have reinforcements available in time if you lost pretty
much your whole fleet in a Pyrrhic victory?  If a catastrophic defeat
(or victory) is actually treated as a catastrophe, people will risk less
on these things.  Munchkin min-maxers have simply lost sight of this. 
(In my old all-custom-designs campaign which lasted some years, our
carrier strike forces started out early on at a little over half as many
 ghters as a soap bubble fleet could throw, and trended steadily
downwards to closer to around 35% (if we used fighters at all; my
opponent gave up on them altogether), expecting to win mostly with other
weapons.  It was just too risky to rely too much on fighters.)

However, the magazine explosion and area-effect ship explosion ideas I
had were mostly based on my experience in those campaigns.  Every fleet
tended to fly in an area defense phalanx and rarely detached any other
ships at all, and if they did it was usually fast and/or cloaked ships
with needle beams, which contributed greatly to the all-or-nothing
nature of indirect fire.  Other than an area effect risk, the main other
way I can think of to deal with it is to put a simple maximum on how
many ships can cover one another in an area-defense mode.

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