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The interception challenge

From: Mikko Kurki-Suonio <maxxon@s...>
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 12:23:22 +0300 (EEST)
Subject: The interception challenge

Ok, time to put your money where your mouth is.

I challenge all list members to produce the parameters (and proof
thereof) under which fleet A can force fleet B to fight. 

Scenario: B jumps into system and tries to move to fixed, known point C.
is patrolling the space in between.

Define the patrolling zones, patterns and habits of fleet A. If you want
the ships to sit at a specific point fine, just define that point
Fleet B might jump in at any moment, at any point legal by FTL rules.

All movement is carried out under tactical rules, i.e. assuming you're
simply playing a normal game on an infinite-sized table. Specifically,
abstract "medium range" rules in the campaign section are NOT used.

The playing area does not have edges. There are no time limits.
Vector or cinematic -- you choose.
2D space or 3D space -- your choice (better start with 2D)

Anything A can fly, B can fly too (e.g. you can't assume A has twice the
MD of B). 

B does NOT want to fight. If it can disengage, it will, by e.g. running
through A's picket line. I.e. it is not enough to simply get close, A
must be able to *stay* in weapon range.

Interception must happen before B is within 20 turns of movement from C.

While navigational hazards might exist, they are considered
inconsequential. I.e. B can easily either avoid them or pick a clear

For simplicity at first, let's assume B is simply doing a straight, max
accel halfway, max decel halfway run to C. It may make minor adjustments
to avoid SML barrages or like, but will not take wide detours. For added
complexity under cinematic, figure in the possibility of doing circular

Category 1: Straight Vanilla

The rules as printed, plus official errata. Only basic tech, FB1 humans.
No genre-specific stuff (though I guess cloaks are the only thing that'd
really make any difference). No a priori knowledge.
Exception: You may assume omniscient sensors. 

If something is not defined in the rules, assume it is not restricted in
any way. E.g. unlimited ship endurance. E.g. no "you run into unexpected
space debris if you go too fast".

Category 2: House rules

As above, except you are free to invent/change rules. The only
is that said rules apply to all sides equally, in all situations. E.g.
can't say A can use any speed but B has max speed of Z.

You can even assume a priori knowledge if you define exactly how much of
it is required. I.e. you can't say "enough warning to do this or that",
but must say "X free turns before B jumps in, which results in being
able to...".

Bonus question 1:

Assume fleet A is composed entirely of fighters and unarmed carriers.

Bonus question 2:

Translate your parameters into real world terms and calculate what kind
g-stresses your crew is under. 

Trivial solutions (e.g. "A is waiting at known endpoint") not accepted,
nor are implausible ones (e.g. "build an asteroid shield impenetrable to
ships flying too fast"). In-system FTL is not allowed either.

Solutions based on getting lucky must include the probability of such a
lucky occurance. E.g. if your solution is based on having a picket ship
within X MU of B's path, you must show either how likely that is or how
many picket ships you'd need to guarantee having one so placed.

To make this interesting, I'm chipping in 10 euros to buy official FT
miniatures for the person who comes up with the best, most widely
applicable and foremost PROVEN solution by September 1st, 2000.

(Proof will be submitted to a neutral mathematician if necessary. Widest
applicability chosen by list vote if necessary. GZG employees and their
relatives *may* participate, but any new errata/rules published is not
considered official for the purposes of this competition.)

Call it a summer school project ;-) 

-- (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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