Prev: Ain't Tech Grand Next: Re: Another POINTless Argument (was Re: Scatterguns and SMPs... and PDAF)

Re: Subscatterscenarioharpoongunpointsdefencevalues and stuff

From: db-ft@w... (David Brewer)
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 18:10:52 -0400
Subject: Re: Subscatterscenarioharpoongunpointsdefencevalues and stuff

In message <> Mikko
Kurki-Suonio writes:
> On Thu, 24 Apr 1997, David Brewer wrote:
> > Fair point. The PSB is that used in FT though.
> But FT never specifies anything in real units. Or does the Official 
> Background(tm)? I never really bothered to read it.

Actually no. I am misremembering. Relevent numbers, like how
far you need to go from a planet for safe FTL and long-range
detection aren't implied even.

> > All sound good. Each has a context, something to recon, a border
> > outpost, a thing to attack. Delay is tricky in space, tho. How do
> > you delay a space fleet?
> Depends on how close to target you can FTL in. If you have, say, two
> points in a system, well away from planets and other worthwhile
> you place your fleet(s) between those points and the likely target.
> enemy must either engage you, or waste time trying to run around you
> you still might intercept him). 

Hmmm... so the enemy is travelling from A to B, probably at 
their best speed, presumably slowing only before jump. How do 
we delay them? 

> No. Let me clarify: Even though most battles took place close to land,
> that was mostly because it was easier to find an enemy there, not
> an empty stretch of beach in the middle of nowhere was particularly
> defending. 
> Take Jutland. [...]

Point taken. But we could construct a context generator around 
a simple scenario of this sort so as to flavour and complicate
a simple umpireless unplanned pick-up game. We have no coastlines, 
only significant points, like planetary systems, in a 3d space 
that is largely bypassed by FTL-travel outside of normal space. We
can infer, therefore, that we have a defending force at this place 
and an attacking force arrives to offer and receive battle (with 
neither the means nor will to assault any populated planets). 

What can we impose on this scenario to give it some extra flavour? 
The defender presumably has the upper hand in intelligence, has, 
say, many sensor bouys around the system to warn of the attackers
approach. Can we say that the defender can pick the "terrain" such
as it is, choose to fight near a planet, or an asteroid belt, or
a minefield? Can we allow fleets to plan a mid-game FTL-arrival
or flank arrival, or otherwise spring surprise tactics on each

Probably the generator should lead typically to an empty table with 
the two fleets at each end, but with the players at least wary of 
some possible tactic.

> >Seems like beams are the abnormal case in some ways.
> True, but beams are also an abstracted superclass. They *could* have 
> separated lasers, particle beams, phasers, masers, grasers, blasters, 
> macrobeams etc. etc. ad nauseum. 

For which we should be thankful.

> But something needs to be done to keep small ships usable, even in 
> one-off battles. I'd say a short-range, heavy damage, one-shot weapon 
> could duplicate the effects of torpedoes in naval warfare.

...Scatterguns. How circular...

If a small ship can carry it, so could a large one, so I'm
not sure how you mean to have it help the small fry. Do you
mean a short-range missile, that a smaller ship could outrun/

> > Not quite the only reason to my mind. Taking an escort-sized lump 
> > out of a big ship rarely loses an escort's-worth of weaponry in 
> > threshold tests. 
> Balanced by the difficulty of targeting several ships and the "wasted"

> damage in overkills.

There's a difficulty in targetting several ships? There is waste,
true, in overkill.

> True... the differences in batteries are not big enough. A real ship 
> would mount the biggest guns it could, and then fill the remaining
> with secondaries and tertiaries.

Or mount missiles. If you can cite them, so can I...

> Or... drop beam classes altogether! 

Oh, right, just when I've found a good way to give B's and C's
abilities that A's don't have, you go and abolish them. Hurumph.

> This is just an example. We could tweak the numbers more if this seems

> promising.

My gut feelings are against it. There's some balancing that can
be done with the seperate A, B, C's. Larger gets you more range,
smaller more redundancy. 

Hmmm... there's a slight advantage to having a big ship over
two small half-ships where you gain on the rounding down.

> > Consider Scott Field's idea of a "needle firecon" that can direct 
> > a beam to make a needle-gun-like attack. I would restrict this to 
> > B's and C's only, and give all ships one as it's first FC. Now
> > I've given a new ability to non-A-battery ships. Any B-battery
> > carrying escort from the basic rules can pass muster as a commerce 
> > raider or customs vessel, because it can make needle attacks to 
> > disable ships. This seems preferable to creating a specialised 
> > needle beam IMHO.
> Sounds good, though specialized needles still have a place in special 
> ships, if the needle FC can only direct a limited amount of needle

How many needle attacks do you want? I suppose a Capital could
carry three Needle FC in place of the usual, with one attack
each. You can't do any better than three needle attacks in FT
(without adding on extra firecons). 

> Well, before the World Wars weapons technology wasn't really advanced 
> enough to support this strategy, but you could consider sieges a
> form of "materialgeschlag" -- the attacker sits back flinging material
> the defenders rather than risking manpower in direct assault. In this 
> mini-cosmos, the attacker holds the "industrial" edge since he can go 
> get/build new stuff and the defender can't. 

So... what you're saying is that you don't want to game in a 
mini-cosmos where materialgeschlag is an option, right?

David Brewer

Prev: Ain't Tech Grand Next: Re: Another POINTless Argument (was Re: Scatterguns and SMPs... and PDAF)