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Re: cm scale

From: mehawk@c... (Michael Sandy)
Date: Fri, 28 Nov 1997 12:20:45 -0800
Subject: Re: cm scale

Warning, I am a newbie without the books handy, so I may make
some obvious mistakes.

Um, why not just have two maps with different scales?  Have the main
battle scale and a 10x scale for strategic maneuvering?

I'm a big fan of having a small squadron of ships 'pin' the enemy at
extreme scanner range, while a fleet with lots of one-shot weapons
closes at really high speed.

On re-entering the main battle map there will be some positional
error of course, but as long as you aren't doing it cloaked that
isn't a problem.

I think that as long as part of your fleet stays in contact with
the enemy fleet you shouldn't be penalized for a legitemate design.

However, there are a number of things to make missile ships less

Cloaks are kind of amusing.  A missile ship spends 10 turns building
up a speed that will take it through the engagement window as fast
as possible and your fleet cloaks for the one phase it is in range.
Your enemy has spent 50% of his expenses on tenders and missile
boats and when he fires off all his missiles in a devastating
volley all of his missiles lose lock because you spent about
10-20% of your expenses on cloaking devices!

Or, you allow long range beam weapons to fire 'en passant'.  The
defending fleets AA and A batteries should be able to fire before
you close to point blank missile range.  I've done some damage
calculation and noticed that unless a missile is fired at fairly
close range it does less average damage than the hull that launched
it can take.  This means that while the missile boats can do damage
and theoretically get away, they can't hold the field and they
can't actually kill an equal point cost fleet.

If the missile boats have no place to get more missiles because their
bases are all wiped out, that is their problem.

Another idea:
Versus a ship which comes from beyond sensor range in one turn, ECM
can generate bogies equal to the defending ship's fire control.
Instead of an expendable 20+ point decoy, you use the ECM and Fire
Control to generate temporary bogies.

Here is an example of how it might work, ( I forget the exact ECM
Ships with no points spent on ECM can't do this, multiple the
ECM rating by the number of committed Fire Control and you get the
number of bogies vs missiles only.  These bogies last as long as
the ECM and Fire Control is committed, and as the bogies are
scanned there is a battle-long reduction in the number of generated
bogies.  The bogies don't work versus beam weapons because the
ECM requires time to decoy the missiles off target.

Big ships become suddenly really hard targets unless you take the
time to scan the bogies down.

After a while, ships which stick around get a much more solid fix
and the ECM bogies will become less effective.

Another way to deal with missile boats doing this, even in a campaign
game, is to have a bunch of 2 mass and 4 mass Missile Boat Interceptors
with C-beams, B-beams and ADAFs which go after the Missile Boats.
After the 'Eggshells with Sledgehammers' battle is resolved...

I have another reason for prefering large map boards.  While the book
says AA batteries can only be mounted on Capital ships, I have a
Cruiser design that takes advantage of them beautifully:

Parthian Cruisers:
These cruisers have AA batteries broadsides.

Mass 36
10  2 Port Arc AA batteries
 2  Superior Sensors
 3  Shield level 1
 3  3 PDAF, or 1 ADAF

Thrust 8
Mass 30
10  2 Port Arc AA batteries
 2  Superior Sensors
 3  Cloaking Device

Naturally, these aren't going around unsupported by other ships
which cover their weak spots.

The tactics these guys would use would be to engage at extreme
range and keep the enemy fleet in their 8 (or it their 4?).
Whichever, they can roll to make it appropriate.  They attempt
to keep the range between 36" and 54" for as long as possible.

With such tactics, if the enemy fleet splits up in an attempt
to intercept or get past the Parthian Cruisers the likelihood
of drifting off the map becomes huge.

In a campaign game, it should require a technological development
to be able to mount AA batteries on cruisers.  It would be
hideously expensive to put thrust 8 on Battlecruisers just to
do this, but a thrust-8 Battlecruiser with thrust-8 Escorts
and Cruisers with anti-missile and anti-fighter defenses would
be a very interesting unit.  Put nothing but AA batteries and
a little PDAF on the Battlecruiser and more versatile armaments
on the cruisers and escorts.

Basically, design the force to either snipe, or to hit and run, in
no circumstances hang around in A-battery range of Dreadnoughts
for very long!	If outgunned in the AA department, the fleet
either runs away, or closes rapidly for missiles and submunitions
targetted at the enemy ships with AA batteries.

Naturally, I have many devious plans of my own in case I ever
meet a fleet of such composition... :) :) :)

Michael Sandy

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