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Re: FB2... hmmmm...

From: stiltman@t...
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2000 15:48:31 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: FB2... hmmmm...

> This got a bit long, since I'm replying to two posts at once.
> wrote:
> >>OK, this explains a lot. The fighter morale rule is *the* major
> >>balancing mechanism for human/Phalon fighters; removing it 
> >>roughly doubles their firepower.  ("Balance" as in "don't need to 
> >>pick exactly the right super-specialized gimmick fleet to have a 
> >>chance against my enemy's super-specialized gimmick fleet, but
> >>have a fighting chance with a fairly wide selection of fleet

> >Oh, that's _much_ too harsh a description of the situation,
> Not at all. It is a somewhat toned-down version of how I read your
> previous descriptions of your situation, and it is my own experience
> against "immoral" human fighters.

Well, perhaps I should have stated my situation more clearly.

We do not, in any stretch of the imagination, have a paper-rock-scissors
situation in our own games.  We've hit about a "balance point" where our
warships that don't expect to have fighter support typically are able to
throw a mix of PDS and Class 1's to the tune of about 60-120 total of
both.  If one throws much more than that, you gain a little against
but typically lose a lot more against other battleships, whereas if you
throw much less than that, you gain a little against battleships but
a lot more against carriers.  A battle between two battleship forces
one's sacked 30 or so PDS for more ship-to-ship guns is not a foregone
conclusion... a battle between that battleship force that's sacked the
and a decent carrier force is.	Thus, no one risks it.

> >The adjustment that's been made to facilitate this is that ths bulk
> >our fleets that don't carry large numbers of fighters have their
> >individual ships -- all of them, not merely the escorts -- designed
> >cogs for an area defense phalanx.  Each large battleship is built
with a
> >good 10-20 PDS and an ADFC.
> According to your own previous post, your opponents usually "don't do
> that because of your _other_" [infamous design, don't remember your
> exact words here], ie. the one with neither missiles nor fighters but
> level-2 screens and lots of P-torps.

That's probably what I get for posting a general description of the
tactic in question.  The Warbirds themselves typically fly in a phalanx
three, each has an ADFC, and carry 20 PDS and about 15-17 Class 1's

They are effective at keeping people honest on PDS, yes.  But they are
themselves VERY stiffly protected from fighter attack as well.	The sort
of thing I'm describing them beating as "keeping people honest" is more
along the lines of someone piling on a good 150 PDS or more.

Plus the Warbirds themselves are fun as all heck to play.  :)

> [On KV fighters]
> >>The big gain is their Ro'Kah ability, and that's a rather two-edged
> >>sword. They effectively treat all targets, screened or not, as
> >>having level-1 screens (or level-0.95).

> >Well, beam fighters do 4 26/36 points of damage per six dice to
> >unscreened ships, 3 26/36 points to level 1, and 2 26/36 points to
> >level 2.
> Unless you have modified the re-roll rules (to not re-rolling re-rolls
> that
> come up with a "6"), the correct values are 4 4/5, 3 4/5 and 2 4/5.

4 2/3, 3 2/3, and 2 2/3 then, isn't it?  4 out of 6 on the rerolls?
> >K-gun fighters do 4 points to everything. The damage drop to 
> >screened ships is, IMO, well worth being able to combine the extra 
> >attack power against screened ships with no sacrifice at all in
> fighter-
> >to-fighter attacks (where the K-gun fighters are identical to 
> >everything else).

> Beam fighters get to re-roll 6s in dogfights, so inflict 4 4/5 hits
> 6
> dice vs non-Heavy fighters and either 3 4/5 or 3 3/5 vs Heavies
> depending on how you interpret the rule. Interceptors (which are a
> sub-set of beam fighters) inflict 7 1/5 hits per 6 dice vs non-Heavies
> and either 6 1/30 or 6 damage vs Heavies. Kra'Vak fighters inflict a
> flat 4 per 6 dice against all targets. "Identical"?

No, re-read the book.  It says that Kra'Vak fighters reroll against
fighters anyway, just not against ships.

> >>>Positioning fighters together with plasma bolts so that both can
> >>>attack shouldn't be that hard.  Position the fighters on one side
> >>>where you expect them to be, position the plasma on the other.
> >  
> >>And where exactly do you expect a high-thrust (or 
> >>Kra'Vak/Sa'Vasku) ship starting at speed ~24 to be? <g>
> >If you're flying that fast, I won't care about predicting.  Your guns
> >have one arc.
> <sarcasm>
> That was news to me, actually. I was quite unaware that any Sa'Vasku
> ships only had one-arc weapons, and I also didn't know that the
> high-thrust (6+) human and Phalon ships were so restricted. Must've
> done something seriously wrong the past six or so years...
> </sarcasm>

Um, I think it's _probably_ obvious that I was referring to the Kra'Vak
that case, since that was the original context we were discussing at the
> My gaming table is slightly larger (in measuring units, not in
> size) than your floor, and at speed 20-24 I can maneuver thrust-4
> or Phalon ships comfortably without having to float the table.
> ships are comfortable at speeds around 30. On your slightly smaller
> gaming area I may need to slow down the thrust-4 ships to on average
> speed ~20 and the thrust-6 ones to on average speed ~24, but I'll
> be up to around 30 during the attack runs.

We haven't found that to be a serious problem against slower moving
parking and spinning typically allows slow ships to deal with fast ones
fairly well, enough that the extra guns and passive defenses they carry
make the difference.

> >However... on that note, I'm going to set up a game with my wife to
> >try this out.  I'm going to probably do a nice fleet math design and 
> >give her five 1000 point off-Kra'Vak megabattleships with a total of 
> >around 95 scatterguns (which is about twice what normal Kra'Vak 
> >ships in the FB2 book will sport for 5k points).

> By choosing your ships carefully you can get about 90 scatterguns for
> 5000 points of unmodified FB2 KV designs, though it'll be a bit light
> in big-K strength.

We threw 5 battleships, mass 250 each, 90 total scatterguns and 30 total

> >That will give her enough scattershot to annihilate half again the 
> >monster's total fighter complement. 
> That's assuming rather lucky die rolls, unless you regroup the
> the very instant they take losses. With no carry-over of excess
> 2 scatterguns per squadron (82 in total) give an average kill rate of
> "only" of 91% since overkills against each squadron is wasted, and
> she'll want some scatterguns against your PBs as well.

Oh... perhaps I should clarify a point here then.  Not only do we allow
fighters to recombine at will and don't use morale rules, we _also_
just about anything shooting at fighters to carry over excess losses. 
40-odd groups and 90-odd things shooting at them on the board we don't
to do a lot of individual group math.  Just roll your dice, total it up,
we take off as many groups' worth as you killed.  When it's all one
group attacking a phalanx anyway, I find the group divisions rather
in more ways than just fighter morale and recombining groups.  Perhaps
dilutes their advantage a bit.

> >We'll see if she can keep the things away from plasma well enough to
> >take out the mothership before I can dilute her scattershot enough to
> >let the fighters shred her.	That'll be a tough fight.

> Depends on how good she is at maneuvering. I'm quite certain I can do
> it - if I can do this to a squadron of Voth-class Phalon heavies, a
> ship with
> only half the maneuverability and firepower shouldn't be *that* much
> harder <g> - but if she hasn't flown Kra'Vak before it might take her
> couple of battles to learn how to handle them well. At least that was
> the general experience during the FB2 playtests.

She didn't do a terrible amount of maneuvering... she didn't think she
keep her guns pointed at me better than I could guess where to put the
so she just took a dead man's charge.  Given that it only takes one full
of plasma to reduce the scattergun count to an amount that the fighters
just dogpile the things, she decided not to try dancing around.  She did
fine until she ran out of scatterguns.
> >>However, most or all of those designs were created for use with the
> >>fighter morale rules just like the FBx ships were; I'd be quite
> >>interested in adding your designs to the archive as examples of
> >>ships designed for other types of games.
> >I've got a good sized notebook full of both my own designs and a few
> >of my brother-in-law's.  I can probably put up some sort of sampling 
> >of  them.
> Please do :-)

Heh... all right, I'll get to you by email off the list.

> BTW, which fire arcs do you suggest for the various 1- and 3-arc
> weapons on the dreadstar, and how fast would you fly it?

L = forward/port
M = forward
R = forward/starboard

The (currently still somewhat experimental) version I've got has the 8
plasma bolts at 2L/4M/2R, the 10 class 3's are at either 2L/6M/2R or
the needles are all M.	The beams and plasma are designed more for
while being able to nose-on rather than concentration; the needles are
expected to be all fired at a single target at a time.	(With the plasma
bolts around, I'm considering yanking the needles in later versions...
the FB1-only design had a nova cannon, 45 fighters, and about 25 Class
I might yank the needles and put the Class 1's back on before I'm
with this thing.)

It's designed based on a fixed-edge, cinematic background.

I'd probably keep the thing flying pretty slowly so that it pretty
park and spin.	I was able to put all the plasma on my wife in our game
night without a terrible amount of trouble.  If you're flying faster
either pile all the plasma at once if you're going with hit-and-run or
go half-and-half if you're staying within range from turn to turn.  Once
the plasma's burned down your scatterguns, the fighters will start
 The Stilt Man
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