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Re: FB2... hmmmm...

From: stiltman@t...
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 10:22:49 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: FB2... hmmmm...

> G'day,
>  >Yes.  Salvo missiles, when piled up, can also be horrifically 
> ugly.  However...
> You've pretty much pointed out all the downsides to SMs here, but it 
> probably took you a while to figure them all out right? I'd guess
> going to be the same kind of learning curve with plasma bolts.

Not really... I saw that the salvoes would probably be something of a
straight off and drew up the designs for the ships I used against my
that I mentioned in my last message pretty early... I just didn't happen
use them in a game until recently.  (My brother-in-law lives a three
drive away now so we don't get as many chances to play as we used to.)

>  >[near-digression warning]....
> At this point Beth start's to think maybe she's out of her experience
> ship-wise... how big are these ships...mmmm?

The typical carriers I'm throwing are usually somewhere in the 200-300
The Warbirds mentioned are 320.

>  > Yes, but the nightmare lies in something like this:

>  >I'm envisioning a giant "Death Star" like varmint...1200 mass
> Yep can safely say I've never flown and never played something that
> Its probably a credit to the FB design system and FT as a whole that
> can stretch it that far and it don't break! ;)

Well... it doesn't break in the sense that you can design something
about as
big as you want.  Whether or not it breaks the gameplay... well, I leave
as an exercise for the individual player.  Battleships that size can be
_extremely_ vulnerable to just an escort or two quickly zipping over and
needling out their drives.

>  >1. If you try to take it head-on with an area defense phalanx, it
won't be
>  >terribly tricky to space out fighters and plasma to be able to
attack you
>  >with both at the same time. Put the fighters a short distance behind
>  >the plasma a short distance ahead of you, make sure their radii
> enough
>  >that I can hit all at once, and you have to take a choice between
> the
>  >fighters have a free shot every other turn or letting the plasma
>  >large portions of your force all at once.
> OK I am particularly muddle headed this morning explain this one to
> are you saying that you hit the ships not covered by plasma bolts with

> fighters??

More likely both, if I can manage to do it.  Keep the 6 MU radii of the
fighters and plasma bolts overlapping without the fighters actually
in danger, and you can hit with both at once.

> What if you just peppered your entire force with extra PDS so 
> there were no/few dedicated PDS ships, but as a whole they have a
> amount (maybe not 192 though)...this is assuming they don't also pick
> supership (maybe 1200 mass and all PDS and class 1s) and do it back to
you ;)

Well, all PDS and class 1's on a supership that size probably would not
done in these games simply because you'd be betting your life that I'm
the carrier plan at you.  If I throw just about anything else, you're
Which is why I added the parenthetical comment that there weren't very
"broadly sound" tactics that would work against the carrier. :)

And even an ultra-battleship that doesn't go all class 1's is still not
best plan.  If your opponent knows you're flying an ultra-battleship
when you give them a pre-warning of the thing's mass, they will...
much over 1200 mass is going to _scream_ "I'm a battleship") there are a
great many tricks that can be pulled to beat it, far more than for
ultra-carriers.  The two that come most easily to mind would be (a) any
of carrier force (cloaking or otherwise) that, knowing that they won't
have to
worry about enemy fighters, "cheat" on their fighter complements and go
for fourty-odd torpedo bombers, and (b) just about any fleet that has
cloaking escorts or stiff, fast cruisers equipped with enough needle
to make sure that your drives are prohibitively unlikely to survive the

These are options that work against an ultra-battleship that don't work
an ultra-carrier.  (Although, to be fair, if you just keep the
at 1200 mass and give it escorts so that people won't necessarily know
what it
is, that's another story...)

>  >With 15 needle beams, that can disable even a conventional
>  >capital ship in a turn or two of fire.

> You obviously don't roll as many 1s as I do ;)

Perhaps not.  But with 15 needle beams, that's two and a half hits per
Point that at a conventional capital ship and their fire controls
will not survive more than two or three turns of sustained fire.

>  >With that much plasma, how hard is it to cover
>  >pretty much the entire fighting field in overlapping saturation and
make it
>  >prohibitively unlikely that anything's going to avoid getting hit?
> If I was facing it I'd accept I was going to be hit and try and
> the impact, so PDS (to reduce number of hits) and then level 2 screens
> even shrouds would be something you saw on my ships - dropping off
those 5s 
> and 6s can make the damage a lot less painful. I know your opponent is

> going to know for sure you're bringing the killer to the table today,
> they may as well try and guess ;)

Yeah, but if they throw K-gunned fighters _and_ the plasma bolts at you,
screens and PDS will only do so much good.

I'm personally not as sold on screens as I was in FT2.	In FT2, it was
practically a given that any custom ship that was expected to be
near a battle line had level 3 screens, because you could basically have
them for free.	Now, having to take 10% of your ship mass just to get
2's makes it expensive enough (and with torpedoes, missiles, and K-guns
to go right through it anyway) that I don't know if it's usually a sound

>  >Back in FT2, it was a pretty easy cut-off:	if it was a "supership"
> Must admit I've never played FT2, Derek has but he didn't convince me
> join in until FB came out (I'm more of a hysterical's player by


>  >In the fleet books, we haven't really arrived at a real cut-off yet
> other
>  >than the dreadstars mentioned above we haven't actually played with 
> superships
>  >much yet.  I would say for the sake of discussion that anything much
>  >than 300 mass would probably give a warning, anything below that,
>  >not.
> So I haven't even played a supership yet, maybe I'll have to go and
> out a scenario with one just to see how it goes. We have played a
couple of 
> games with starbases in, but they've been more along the lines of
> the line than being vs a supership.

Immobile, orbital starbases, you mean?	Yeah, those can potentially give
rough idea of what a giant supership might be like.  (The official
for those giant ships that I use is "mobile starbase"... :)
>  >Heh.  We've actually had various running jokes that the most cruel
>  >for any sort of misdeed committed with a task force is to be
assigned as an
>  >interceptor pilot.	Some of our various "custom races" in our games
are known
>  >to lobotomize some of their crewmen and wire them into the
interceptors so
>  >that they'll have no more sentience than is needed to pilot their
craft (i.e.
>  >they won't care about the futility of self-preservation), and others
>  >plain consider it an ethical breach to use living pilots in their 
> interceptors
>  >in the first place, since the survival rate on the things is usually

> downwards
>  >of 15% in our games.  :)
> Sounds like a pretty good background idea actually.

I've actually got quite a bit of background material for my various
races.	They all (at the moment) use FB1 tech, so it's not like I'm
new weapons for them or anything, but each one has a different ship
philosophy (that's far more variant than the various human sides in the
official Full Thrust background) and their own range of tactics.  One of
these days I'll have to get around to putting all this on a web site and
paste the URL here.

>  >The mess I see is that, the more spare hull you reserve for
fighters, the
>  >slower your ships are going to be and the more expensive everything
>  >will get to move the things.  So in the end, it might cost you more
>  >the Sa'Vasku than it would for the others.
> Can't seeing it cost that much, if any, more than human groups where
> got to have the extra hull to put the fighter bays in in the first
> that optical illusion again ;)

Yeah.  It could be that Sa'Vasku carriers with enough pod launchers and
could theoretically get themselves fighter superiority for free,
stack up the expendable biomass, crank out enough interceptor pods to
enemy fighters, and once you've brought enough of them down start
out your own fighters.	The pods would be an efficient way of taking
enemy fighters (costs less biomass) and then once you'd dealt with them
could just crank out as many of your own as you wanted.

I need to get my usual victims together and try some of this stuff out. 

Reminds me of Star Control 2 with all the possible variants that could
out of the woodwork, though. :)
 The Stilt Man
   < We are Microsoft Borg '98.  Lower your expectations and	>
   < surrender your money.  Antitrust law is irrelevant.	>
   < Competition is irrelevant.  We will add your financial and >
   < technological distinctiveness to our own.	Your software	>
   < will adapt to service ours.  Resistance is futile. 	>

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