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Re: [FT] Hardened Systems

From: "Oerjan Ohlson" <oerjan.ohlson@t...>
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 23:34:18 +0100
Subject: Re: [FT] Hardened Systems

Thomas Anderson wrote:

> On Thu, 14 Jan 1999, Oerjan Ohlson wrote:
> > > Från: Sean Bayan Schoonmaker <>
> > > Till: gzg-l@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU
> > > Ämne: Re: [FT] Hardened Systems
> > > Datum:  den 14 januari 1999 05:12
> cool! however, i'm not sure it's legal; is 'Från' a valid RFC822
> email header :-)?

"Från" is Swedish for "From". Microsoft has approved it, so I guess that
automatically makes it illegal <G>
> > With a 25% mass penalty for hardened the forces are almost 
> > identically balanced
> > 
> > However the above doesn't apply for engines and fighter bays. The
> > fighters aren't much affected by if their bay survives or not and
> > effect of engines on combat outcomes isn't anywhere close to linear
> > 
> > Because of this, the +25%/-20% hard/weak systems can't be allowed
> > engines and fighter bays.
> yes it should. armouring hangars is no use, so people won't do it.

*Armouring* hangars is no use, no - nor is armouring engines much use.
*Weakening* hangars, and to a lesser extent engines, using these rules -
that gives you 20% more fighters or reduces your engine Mass by 20%
(which means *in*creasing your WEAPON payload by the same amount of
though not necessarily the same percentage) - and the cost for that is
very, very low.

So, OK - you can *harden* engines and bays, but you can't *weaken* them
without blowing game balance out the airlock.

> you say that "the effect of engines on combat outcomes isn't anywhere
> close to linear"; do you mean that doubling it is less than or more
> linear? 

That depends entirely on what you double it from. Going from Thrust-2 to
Thrust-4, for example, means you go from virtually no chance to a decent
chance of dodging SML salvoes (which obviously is going to help a huge
lot if your enemy likes SMLs); going from, say, Thrust-6 to Thrust-12
removes just about all your weaponry and much of your hull integrity as
well. Are these examples "less than or more than linear"? No. They're
simply non-linear, and that's all I can say about it for now.

This should be contrasted to weapons or hull boxes - 2 Mass of any given
weapon has twice the firepower of 1 Mass of the same weapon, and 2 hull
points absorb twice as much damage as 1 hull point. They're not exactly
linear either since they're interrelated - if I double the weapon
of a given design, I have to reduce something else (usually hull
integrity or engines), but it is fairly easy to analyse what happens if
you do it.

> if the former, we should allow armouring the engine, it's just
> that nobody sensible will use it.

I don't mean that it is "less than or more than" linear. It can be
either, depending on what thrust ratings you're looking at.

> note that if we go with the separate hangar / launch bay idea that has
> been proposed, hangars have a mass of 1 x the mass of contents; if you
> let people build weak hangars, they can fit 1 mass of fighters into
> mass of hangar, which is a pretty good trick! 

Exactly my point.

> in fact, i'm skeptical of
> the weak system idea altogether. weakening one part and being 
> dependent on the strength of another is usually bad engineering.

Think of it like this:
Standard weapons have a lot of back-up systems built into them, to keep
them working for as long as possible. Weak systems lack much of this
redundancy, which means that you can cram more of them into the same
Mass... but at the same time, it means that they're going to fall apart
as soon as someone shakes them around a bit. That is exactly what
if you reduce a weapon's mass by 20% but give it a +1 to all treshold

For fighter bays, well... I guess there's not very much back-up empty
space in the hangar to begin with, so there's nothing to remove! :-)

Oerjan Ohlson

"Life is like a sewer.
  What you get out of it, depends on what you put into it."
- Hen3ry

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