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Re: Retrograde from hell

From: Mikko Kurki-Suonio <maxxon@s...>
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 14:11:53 +0300 (EEST)
Subject: Re: Retrograde from hell

Interesting, I just had horror visions of the retrograde ship from hell
and then Noam pulls something like that outta his hat...

> Put it like this: my then-local opponents stopped using such tactics
> about half a year after FB1 was published, and designs like the ones
> Noam describes, because I consistently beat them with far more
> "standardized" (FB1 published style) designs.

Care to tell us how? Let's say "ultimate realism", floating edge vector.
Startup speed free within X, direction free, distance outside anyone's
weapon range. The retro ship has MD8 and an all-arc class 6 for example,
plus the usual trappings. I'm genuinely interested, especially if it
not involve "lure him closer".

You see, I don't buy the lure part. If you're betting on retrograde, I'd
say you are also willing to accept that engagements may be
draws until your opponent can be goaded into trying something stupid.
(Yes, this is horribly boring, and you can often make HUMAN opponents
make stupid mistakes out of boredom, but assume an unrelenting, coldly
calculating, has-all-the-time-in-the-world, omniscient computer
Heck, assume two computers... hmmm... maybe I should give this a

Off the top of my head, I can see two ways it could go:
In either case the retro-ship starts with maximum allowed velocity
from the opponents.

- If they try to follow, the retro-ship uses its high thrust to maintain
range. Sure, it loses some thrust in spins, so against other MD8 ships
(hmmm... I recall the ESU scout is the only one in FB1, I am correct?)
it'll actually lose about 2MU of ground per turn. Still, this amounts to
about 10-20 free shots after which you could FTL away and try again
next week.
- If they don't, end of game, no damage to either side, try again next

If you float the table in empty space, it's rather hard to give bonus
points for "holding the field", since what would define the field? If it
is a fixed point in space, then it is not an empty space game, but a one
with a virtual objective. If it's ships, whose ships? Is it like the
definition of porno: "I'll know lily-livered running away when I see

Sidenote: It's always a very intriguing possibility beating your
without taking a scratch. So interesting, in fact, that many people will
try it even if it just *seems* possible, reality not withstanding. 

Unfortunately, these tactics are often horribly boring no matter who
in the end. Thus, IMHO, a game system would need to make it BLATANTLY
obvious that they won't work.

-- (Mikko Kurki-Suonio) 	  | A pig who doesn't
GSM +358 50 5596411 Tel +358 9 8092681		  | is just an ordinary
Länsimetsä 3B1 02300 ESPOO FINLAND   Hate me? Try |	      - Porco
Rosso      hateme.html  |

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