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Re: Retrograde gimmickry

From: stiltman@t...
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2000 19:37:13 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Retrograde gimmickry

> on 6/10/00 13:58, at
> > IMHO, show me a game where keepaway tactics are considered sound,
and I'll
> > show you a game that has just flat out lost sight of what an
> > war is _really_ about.
> I'm not sure your assumption that all battles will take place near
enough to
> a vital, static concern is appropriate in many circumstances/campaigns
> course yours may be one though).  The critical thing is the background
> these cases - since up till this point nothing has been indicated one
way or
> another about this issue.

Yes, that's true... but if you're only putting a die or two of beam fire
a ship every turn, how far out they start from their target isn't going
matter a terrible amount.

In Star Trek it's indicated that you can't FTL inside a solar system,
this doesn't seem to matter a terrible amount because going from warp to
impulse speeds only means that it takes you a few minutes to get where
you want
to go inside a solar system anyway.  In Star Wars, you can go in and out
lightspeed pretty easily from wherever you want to go, though the
speeds are somewhat less dramatic than the fraction-C speeds that Star
deals with even at impulse.  Closer to home, the Kra'Vak in the "Assault
Starbase 13" scenario in MT pop right out of FTL within striking
of a starbase and its garrison force, faster than a light carrier docked
the starbase can even power up its systems and faster than its escorts
get into full alert state.

All of these examples seem to agree that bringing a ship out of FTL and
a stationary target doesn't take a terrific amount of time.  A skirmish
regardless of the exact amount of time involved, probably is not going
present a meaningful strategic obstacle to anyone who wants to hit a
installation.  An attacking fleet could simply FTL in and ignore any
skirmishers defending the system while they assumed an orbital position
dropped enough biogenic weapons to turn the entire planet's population
precambrian sludge, then simply FTL out with minor damage.  If the
fleet doesn't make it a lot more expensive for them to ignore it than
they're simply not going to win very many wars.

Anyone who has ever played MOO2 can probably relate somewhat when they
fast, long ranged craft that can't do a terrible amount of damage but
stay out of range of the enemy's weapons just fine.  The enemy will just
in, annihilate your planet, and leave if they're not sure they can ever
down your ships.  The only reason you'd ever win any battles is if you
manage to needle out some FTL drives while you're at it.

> As others have mentioned the settings under which the battle take
place are
> going to be crucial to balance.  For instance - There may be a need to
> in to a system at some distance away from the intended planetary
target for
> safety reasons.  If this is the case nothing prevents the fast fleet
> engaging the enemy force, especially when engaging a slow one, a ways
> from the static resource.

Most likely, this is only going to happen if you've got either a large
concentration of asteroids or other cosmic hazards there -- in which
it may well be that faster ships may have some problems themselves.  In
whatever case, that's likely only going to mean that that particular
system falls last, after everything else gets pulverized.

> Another issue with the dreadstar is the inability to be in more than
> place at a time.  True, the same can be said about a large fleet of
> equivalent "size" but then again that fleet can be easily dispersed as
> for it change.  This alone makes dreadstar issues very limited if one
> about them from the perspective you're speaking of, one of the limits
> considerations that a star faring race might have.

That's quite true.  That's a more valid argument against the Dreadplanet
Roberts than the skirmish tactics... the DPR is probably only going to
able to be feasible for a force that's already somewhat ahead in a war
effort.  (Incidentally, that _is_ the case for the side that operates

> All that said, I do enjoy playing the occasional game of having one or
> super ships.

As do I.  I don't fly the DPR in every single game, by any means. 
basically begging to lose it.  I vary my tactics in size, speed,
maneuverability, and payloads pretty much every single game, so I both
don't get bored and don't get into a situation where I'm more or less
begging to get any one good tactic stomped by over-adjustment.

 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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