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Re: [GZG] Hugh's New Fighter/Point Defence rules

From: Hugh Fisher <laranzu@o...>
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 2010 22:27:52 +1000
Subject: Re: [GZG] Hugh's New Fighter/Point Defence rules

At 5:11 PM -0500 26/11/10, Eric Foley wrote:
>My first observation is that while salvo missiles are not 
>significantly different than they were before (you can overkill one 
>salvo and spill the extra onto the next), while fighters, heavy 
>missiles, and (possibly) plasma bolts potentially can be completely 
>stopped by just putting up a high enough point defense level.	This 
>potentially makes salvo missiles a lot more powerful just by virtue 
>of their being the one thing that isn't drastically affected.

I did start redesigning salvo missiles as well ... but I got
better :-) Working well enough, no need to change.

As to the other weapons, fighters can still be deadly, just
not so overwhelmingly "this battle is predetermined, why
don't we just go get a drink?" as before. A large fighter
force can still chew through an opposing fleet, but will
take longer and probably require some actual tactics rather
than just forming up the Swarm Of Death.

Heavy missiles can be completely stopped, but any ship with
that high a point defence level would have shot down most
or all under the existing rules anyway. And heavy missiles
aren't (?) used much.

>1.  Attack fighters keep their current +1 to which PD band they 
>strike in, but also get a +1 to their to-hit roll.

That +1 band is a significant advantage to fighters attacking
heavily defended targets. And because fighter casualties are
lower, the fighters get more opportunity to attack. Over a few
turns, that extra +1 really adds up.

>2.  Torpedo bombers should get a +2 to which PD band they strike in, 
>and keep their current ability to retain their to-hit roll as their 
>damage die on a hit.  (i.e. if they need a 6 to hit and get it, they 
>do 6 damage, etc)  Torpedo bombers should be worth that 36 NPV cost, 
>and they _should_ be terrifying to a fleet when someone's willing to 
>expend the budget.

I'd agree that torpedo fighters ought to get the same +1 band
as attack fighters, since they're also anti-shipping specialists.

The D6 damage per hit is to remove a special case and make them
work the same as other torpedoes and missiles. Plus it makes
them more dangerous against poorly defended targets. But I don't
feel too strongly either way.

>3.  (Maybe)  Heavy fighters also get a +1 to which PD band they 
>strike in, because their pilots feel less deterred to break off an 
>attack by point defense fire.

That was in an early draft, because it simplifies casualty
allocation. But heavy fighters are already better than anything
other than interceptors in a dogfight. I don't want to make them
better than regular fighters at attacking ships as well. In FT
the 'special advantage' of heavy fighters is taking fewer
casualties, not dealing out more damage. Attack fighters are
the FT equivalent to something like a current day A-10.

>changes to plasma bolts, and I'm not a big fan of allowing any task 
>force or squadron that can put up 11 PD hits between them to 
>completely ignore them here, either.  I've been pondering allowing 
>plasma bolts (and/or mi
>  ssiles) to always be allowed to hit on a to-hit roll of 6, but that 
>still seems a little too easy to ignore them.	I'll think about it, 
>but it needs work.

I don't believe these rules make plasma bolts less effective,
in fact I worry that they will become more powerful!

Under the existing rules, the ships in the target area of a
plasma bolt combine their PDS fire. Under my suggestion, the
plasma bolt rolls against the PD level of each individual
ship. So if there are 4 class-5 plasma bolts hitting the
squadron, under the existing rules they have to get 20 PDS
hits between them to be safe. Under the new rules, EACH
ship has to get 11 hits to be safe. Any ADFC escorts in the
zone can only contribute to another ship's defence by
sacrificing themselves.

Could you try recreating a turn or two from a battle you've
played that involved plasma bolts? Put the same kinds of
ships in a squadron, hit them with the same number of and
classes of bolts, and see what happens?

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