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Re: Directional screens (armor dropped)

From: Sean Bayan Schoonmaker <schoon@a...>
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 22:07:37 -0800
Subject: Re: Directional screens (armor dropped)

Jared wrote:


>Looking at the directional screens:
>Your ship _might_ have better defensive ability in some directions than
>others, thus maneuvering defensively becomes a concern (or as I prefer,
>'Option')  This is a defensively analogous to the fact that your ship
>already has offensive abilities that vary with direction (i.e. fire
>The modifications to vanilla rules shielding is minimal, and absolutely
>ship design is invalidated.  All-round screens are still perfectly
>In fact the only change to design them is to draw a couple of arcs
>the screen icon to show which arcs it covers.

Using the vector system, this creates a problem. With a Main Drive
of 4 you can rotate to thrust and then rotate back to a defensive
and the odds of not having your strongest screens/armor facing the enemy
are extremely low.

>Effect on Play: opens new defensive abilities, as well as offensive
>abilities as you can attempt to attack through weakened or destroyed
>screens.  Note that since many weapons ignore screens, and screens
>generally still allow damage through to the ship, this will not be the
>of make-or-break effect as in SFB, but still could help a skillful
>increase his odds of scoring more damage. Also, I can have increased
>defense for part of my ship at the cost of reduced defense elsewhere. 
>may be good for me on the attack, but where this most quickly turns
>me is in larger fleet battles where flanking becomes a more viable

Once again, getting to those weakened screens/armor is easier said than
done using the vector system. Even using cinematic movement, it's
not too hard to figure which arcs are likely to be hit.

>Impact to complexity: Effectively _none_ - You can measure incoming
arcs as
>easily as fire arcs.  You can see at a glance exactly what shields are
>operational, so level of defense is clear-cut.

Almost true. I agree that one more arc estimation is not that bad.
you're not including the time it will take to allocate shields, the
increased time to figure the best defensive posture with arced

It also invites specific fleet design abuses, such as high thrust ships
with "one sided" defenses, ships designed with a specific formation in
mind, etc. This, much more than any superficial SFB resemblance, is what
disturbs me.


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