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Re: A Stealth Primer (long reply)

From: John Leary <john_t_leary@p...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 12:44:24 -0800
Subject: Re: A Stealth Primer (long reply)

Izenberg, Noam wrote:
> Sorry I wasn't able to join the discourse this weekend. I'll also be
> mostly absent the rest of this week, but I'll calrify what I can for
> about Stealth.
     Well, I hope you will be able to read this prior to departure.
Having you ideas will make comments less general, and hopefully of 
more value.  Some of the content will no doubt be repeated from
prior posts.   JTL
> Stealth Tech
> 1)	  Stealth Hull - comes in 2 levels and makes a ship harder to
> Mass is same as partial and full streamlining., cost 50% more
> Stealth level 1 reduces enemy  range bands by 1/4.  Stealth level 2
> (Super Stealth) reduces range bands by 1/3. Includes vs. Fighter ,
> and PDS (i.e. fighters bust be within 5" or 4" to attack, SMLs must be
> within 5 "or	4" to acquire target,  PDS anti-ship at 5" or 4").
> Enhanced sensors tied with Firecon reduce stealth level by 1, Special
> sensors by 2. Stealth also effects detection (but rules unworked) SSD
> symbol: Black Hexagon next to damage track for each level. Stealth 1
> ships cannot have Super strength hulls, Steath 2 ships cannot have
> Strong or Super hulls.
>	  PSB: Special hull construction and materials, sacrificing hull
> integrity for reduced sensor profile.
     I cannot get around the fact that this system affects the weapons
the enemy ship!   Affects ALL enemy weapons the SAME, EXCEPT when the 
stealth is acting as a SCREEN! 
      Now to explain the last line:
  'Affects ALL enemy weapons the SAME,' - All the beam weapons have
maximum range reduced.	 Problem: The only logical way that all types of
beam weapons can have the max range reduced by the SAME ammount is to
the ship sensors blanked out, (PSB: your stealth ship can be generally 
tracked by your exhaust.).  This means that you have 'created' a 'local 
fire control' for each weapon, and the weapon may fire when the stealth
ship is within the reduced range.   (This concept means that the FCS has
no usefulness any more, and may be dispenced with on the SSD.) JTL
Note: for the second half of the line see the fighters, item 2.
> 2)	  Stealth Fighter - Stealth fighters are +12pts/group and are
> same as Heavy fighters except for PSB (stealthy hull
> design/shape/materials rather than an active jamming or screening
> system). Super-Stealth (Stealth level 2) fighters cost +24pts/group
> act as having Screen 2 vs. PDS/ADFC/other fighters. This is more
> balanced than forcing PDS/ADFC to have reduced range, IMHO, as the
> latter way would give a range for fighters to be immune to ship-based
> defenses.
     Comments and thoughts, typed as they happen to come to me.
1) They do cost a lot, no comment on that, they should.
2) Personal preferance: I do not like to 'stack' the fighter abilites,
   and do not look forward to the heavy, fast, long-range, attack,
3) Stealth = screen:   This is a fact, however inconsistant in
4) I understand the problem with the PDS/ADFC/FTR, you do not want the
   fighters the hang around just outside of ships range and fire away
   without the ship having some chance to respond.   I solved this 
   problem (and the ambush problem) by eliminating the ranged fire for
   fighters.   For Fighters to have combat here, they must be in base to
   contact.   I highly reccomend this change to all players to quicken
   simplify the game.  (Sorry, I now terminate preach mode.)  
5) I take it from your comment that the type 1 beam ignores the stealth
   of the fighters when they come into range, Yes?   This naturally
leads to
   the repacement of all PDS with type 1 beams as they have the same
> 3)	  Stealth System (not tested). ECM version of stealth with same
> levels and effects, but damageable via needle attack or threshold.
> similar to screen, cost ~ 2x screen or more. Ships with stealth system
> can't use screens or enhanced sensors. PSB - more like the Minbari
> stealth system in the B5 universe.
     In the current campaign, we are treating the ECM as a level of
The effect of ECM is to reduce the enemys sensor range by 50 percent.
The result is very simple to use and in MOST cases the effect shows up
in the stratigic rather thsn the tactical game.   Base sensor range is
inches for standard sensors and range doubles every additional level.
     You mean the ship cannot use screens or sensors for fear of
not that the ship cannot be equipped with them, Yes?   JTL
> Oprationally, stealth 1 is harder to use, as the range reduction is
> smaller (This assessment from the first ime I took Stealth ships
> Indy over a month ago. Several additional strategic problems resulted
> my being mauled, but keeping the range to where I needed it was a
    Yes, I can see that the operational window is very small.	JTL
> NI AAR analysis:
>	  I can concur with Indy on most everything in his report. NI
> ships have fewer systems than average ships of the same mass, due tot
> hte stricutres of stealth, and the desire for long range weapons. The
> CA's (CH's actually) had 2 class 3's each and 4 PDS. Once CE had 2
> 3's and 1 PDS, the other had 2 Class 2's 4 PDS, and an ADFC.
> The NI was fortunate with rerolls early in the game, and did well with
> thresholds and damage control in later turns (After the first CH was
> destroyed).
>	  Poor indy rolled Crappily much of the game.
     The legend grows!	:-) 
Indy, send me your address, I'll send you some dice.   JTL
 I think I rolled
> about average overall, and with better timing than Indy.Givent eh
> of the combat, If we had kept on, my ships would probably have done as
> Indy opined, but if the law of averages were not Indy's enemy, chances
> are he would slowly be getting systems up while I hunted him down and
> make things more expensive during the 'mopping up'.
>	  I wouldn't consider the fight a rout for NI by any means, as a
> few more 4's instead of 3's on indy's part would have left me with at
> fewer ships by late-mid game. (or 3's instead of 4's on mine).
>	  I do believe the scenario should probably be re-played as-is,
> though, to check balance. I would like for stealth to be a viable,
> balanced system.
     Agreed, and simple also. JTL
> As for fighter-rerolls, I always thought of PDS fire as abstracting a
> close firefight where a bunch of small guns were blasting at a bunch
> small ships. If all the fighters are 'heavy' than each is protected by
> their own armor, and one being destryed makes it no easier to destroy
> another, so rerolls should be the same as initial rolls. Stealth would
> use the same justification. Ican also see it the other way around, but
> that much weaker protection would make it harder, IMHO to justify the
> additional 12 points per fighter group for heavy fighters.
     While I agree with most of the above, heavy fighters are considered
be at level one screen, not armored.   Kra'vak fighters are armored not 
     The object of 'stealth' is to reduce/eliminate the ability of the
to detect the stealth ship.   Once detected, the stealth ship is just
target!   It is wildly unfair to change the premise of stealth to equal
of a screen simply because you are likely to be shot at.   This also
the same change at ship level when the ship is likely to be shot at.
I personally dislike situational rules, they invite abuse and hard
> 'zall for now.
> Noam
> Noam R. Izenberg

Comments are intended to clarify terminology and direction for:
 'The NI Stealth Project'

Bye for now,
John L.

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