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Re: Retrograde skirmishers

From: "Oerjan Ohlson" <oerjan.ohlson@t...>
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2000 19:17:25 +0200
Subject: Re: Retrograde skirmishers wrote:

[Stiltman writing that FB1 ships have 5-9% of their weapon mass for PD

>>The average amount of PDSs+ADFCs (you counted the ADFCs into >>the
"mass used for point defences" on Noam's design, so I do the >>same
here) on the FB1 ships is 16.3% of the weapon mass if >>"weapon mass"
means PDS+ADFC+FC+weapons, or 13.9% if it >>means "everything which
isn't hull or engines".
>You're probably looking at smaller ships than I am, then.

I'm looking at all the warships in FB1, including the ADFC-equipped
cruisers, though the percentages don't change much if you ignore the
DDs and smaller.

>Would you like to delete all the specific comparisons again in order
to >claim some more that I'm being hopelessly vague, or are you having
>fun responding to posts where I say one thing by characterizing me as
>saying another?  This is three times in as many days here...

I'll be happy to go through the gzg-l archive for June and collect your
conflicting PDS statements as soon as Jerry gets it up on his web page.
I'm afraid I don't all of the early posts saved, including the first
one where you described the cause of your infamy in the local FT
circles and the one where you implied that 60 PDSs (which is what you
then thought that 20 Beijing/BE cruisers have) would be very
insufficient to handle 40+ fighter squadrons. (I fully agree that this
few PDSs are insufficient for that many fighters, particularly under
your rules, but that was one of the posts which gave me the impression
that you didn't use as few as 60-80 PDSs).

On the "clarity" subject:

[Stiltman, June 8th]
>The adjustment that's been made to facilitate this is that ths bulk of
>our fleets that don't carry large numbers of fighters have their
>individual ships -- all of them, not merely the escorts -- designed as
>cogs for an area defense phalanx.  Each large battleship is built with
>a good 10-20 PDS and an ADFC.

This is the closest I can find to a clear statement concerning what
Stiltman on the 14th thought of as 

>... an exact count of ships and numbers [Kra'Vak description snipped]
>60 PDS on three screen-2 cloak-capable battleships with ADFC in one
>of my more common groups).

The original post said "a good 10-20 PDS", nothing about how many
such ships there were, and nothing about their equipment apart from the
PDSs and the ADFC. You had described the Warbirds (which fit the above
description) in more detail, but when you did you indicated that they
were one of your "extreme" fleets designed to keep your opponents
honest rather than an average one.

Hm... one thing which strikes me while going through the old posts is
that when I ask about details on Stiltman's *opponents'* fleets, I seem
to get answers about *Stiltman's* fleets. Are they close enough to be
the same thing, or something like that?

[Stiltman, June 8th]
>If you don't want to worry about fighters, build a phalanx with about
>100 PDS. If your opposition doesn't pile the fighters well into the
>fourties they're not even going to significantly touch you.  Even if 
>they do, they're going to need to bring backup help to last more than
>about three turns.

FWIW, using Stiltman's house rules, if the enemy has 100 PDS (+ADFC)
but only level-1 or no screens vs 41 fighter squadrons (which may not
be *well* into the fourties, but at least into the fourties), on
average at least half the enemy fleet will be destroyed by the time
Stiltman runs out of fighters - assuming that Stiltman's 200-250 Mass
of ship-to-ship weapons haven't done anything up to that point of the

If all ships have level-2 screens, it's enough with 80 or more PDSs to
save half of your fleet from destruction by the fighters. With 100 PDSs
and lvl-2 screens the non-fighter force will only take about 25% losses
before the fighters are destroyed; Stiltman is probably less sensitive
than I about losses if the sudden disappearence of 25% of his fleet
counts as "not even going to significantly touch you" <shrug> I can't
find any of Stiltman's comments on screens right now, but IIRC he has
implied that he finds them to be of dubious value and often doesn't use
them. Another thing to look up when Jerry gets the June archives in

[Stiltman, June 7th]
>Yes, with the designs in FB1... however, IMHO, the designs in FB1 are
>very poorly equipped in the PDS category.

The FB1 ships in general have about 57 PDSs in a 5000-point fleet; more
if they bring their specific ADFC/PDS ships (only NSL and ESU). Another
statement giving the impression that Stiltman & co. use rather more PDS
in their fleets.

While digging for the PDS references, I also found this exchange (which
isn't directly related to PDS):

[Oerjan, June 6th]
>>>>>>Firing plasma bolts at an ADFC phalanx means that 1) your own
>>>>>>fighters can't easily attack said phalanx without getting fried
>>>>>>themselves and 2) you maximize the number of PDS or
>>>>>>equivalent systems available to shoot the plasma bolts down.

[Stiltman, June 7th] 
>>>>>Positioning fighters together with plasma bolts so that both can
>>>>>attack shouldn't be that hard.  Position the fighters on one side
>>>>>of where you expect them to be, position the plasma on the other.

[Oerjan, June 7th]
>>>>And where exactly do you expect a high-thrust (or
>>>>Kra'Vak/Sa'Vasku) ship starting at speed ~24 to be? <g>

So far, so good. But then:

[Stiltman, June 8th]
>>>If you're flying that fast, I won't care about predicting.  Your
>>>have one arc.

[Oerjan, June 8th]
>>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...

[Stiltman, June 9th]
>Um, I think it's _probably_ obvious that I was referring to the
>Kra'Vak in that case, since that was the original context we were
>discussing at the time.

As can be seen above, this part of the discussion began with combined
PB/fighter attacks on an ADFC phalanx. Since Kra'Vak don't have ADFC it
seems quite clear, at least to me, that we were in fact *not*
talking about the Kra'Vak at the time. Stiltman, had you skimmed the
previous posts since you had lost track of the original context?

> > Right in the middle of your (now withdrawn) claim of
> > 10-20% of the weapon mass used for point defences. The average Mass
> > PDSs+ADFCs in a random 5000-point FB1 fleet is 57.
>This much is potentially true.  But let's cut a bit deeper... a
>random force might have 57 PDS, but they're likely to have about 20-30
>ships carrying that many, each of which is likely to have 1-3 PDS,
most >of them are likely to take a threshold roll (or two or three)
from any two >to four fighter groups attacking them at once, and
overall they're likely >to get utterly shredded in very short order by
concerted fighter attack.

Granted. A well-chosen FB1 force (one with Beijing/BEs or Kronprinz
Wilhelm/Es) will of course do a lot better than a completely random

>>If you play 5000-point battles (which you have said several times),
>>20-25% of your weapon mass (which you state above) should be >>some
120-140 Mass used for PDSs and ADFCs and not 60-80 as >>you previously
claimed. It seems that you actually were about as >>unclear as I
percieved you to be on this point.
>Oerjan... what you're doing here is ignoring specific numbers that
>I've repeatedly given for actual PDS counts,

Incorrect. I am comparing some of your specific numbers ("5000-point
battles", "20-25% of weapon mass used for PDS") and some of my own
(quick calculations on how many PDSs you need in order to lose less
than half of your fleet to 41 fighter squadrons under your fighter
rules) against some of your other specific numbers ("on average 60-80
PDSs in the fleet"). They didn't match, so you seemed to be giving
specific examples about something else than you were talking about in
the previous posts.

Part of the problem is that you posted guesstimates about your own
fleets (and about your opponents' as well?), whereas I thought that you
had checked the numbers you were posting. This explains the


Oerjan Ohlson

"Life is like a sewer.
  What you get out of it, depends on what you put into it."
- Hen3ry

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