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Re: Retrograde skirmishers

From: stiltman@t...
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2000 12:36:32 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Retrograde skirmishers

> wrote:
> [Stiltman writing that FB1 ships have 5-9% of their weapon mass for PD
> snipped]
> >>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.

Well... as I've said... TWICE now in as many posts on this subject...
looking at the capital ships.  The percentages go considerably down in

> On the "clarity" subject:
> [Stiltman, June 8th]
> >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
> >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
> 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.

They're not that extreme.  They've got a pretty stiff point defense of
own, backed up by Class 1 beams, and they're able to deal well with
that flat out overstock on point defense in hopes of catching my
> 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
> to get answers about *Stiltman's* fleets. Are they close enough to be
> the same thing, or something like that?

They're close.	I know about my own fleets and how I'd deal with the
myself... but the simple fact remains that my opposition doesn't tend to
fly quite as many fighters as I do, and on the occasions when they have,
usually been against my own carrier forces, I usually win those battles
some means or other, and as such they don't tend to try beating me at my
game much.  There's also the simple fact that I don't always have the
opportunity of closely studying my opponent's ships.  I can predict what
they'll do, but I won't always know for sure.

I _believe_ the last couple of times my carriers took on my bro-in-laws'
battleships he had somewhere between 60 and 100 PDS.  He did not have
significantly more than 100.  He had enough that I threw some needle
at him to take out some ADFC before I brought the fighters in to attack,
they were a factor in the battle.  But, in the end, I'm constrained to
what my opponent's going to do just as much as they are with me. :)
> [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
> battle. 

> 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
> and lvl-2 screens the non-fighter force will only take about 25%
> 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
> them. Another thing to look up when Jerry gets the June archives in
> place.

It is true that _I_ consider screens to be of dubious value, and
don't use them.  The ships I consider to be my most effective designs
armor and no screens.  My brother-in-law does not share that philosophy.

If you have that much point defense, your ships will be able to force
enemy's fighters to mass up to attack just one or two ships at a time,
because their best countermeasure to that much point defense is to try
reduce it as quickly as possible, and the best way to do that is to make
sure the ship(s) you're firing at don't survive the first attack you
at them.  If you dilute your fire more you'll just lose more fighters
less damage to any one ship and thus significantly reducing the chances
you'll have of actually reducing their defenses all that significantly.

If your ships are not completely immobile, they'll be able to reach the
carriers by the time the fighters have taken a couple or three shots. 
have enough ship-to-ship firepower that you'll then be able to respond
enough damage that you can potentially hurt the carriers just as fast as
fighters have been hurting you.  If you're able to cloak while you're at
you might well seize the advantage and do _more_ damage than the
have been doing to you, since the fighters (probably) won't be able to
your force before it gets to the carriers.

Yes, I'm probably not that sensitive to losing 25% of my force.  I
that an acceptable sacrifice if it leaves me in position to destroy a
lot more
of the other side's forces.  I look to the long term in a given battle
than bugging out if I take early losses... if those early losses are a
sacrifice that puts me in position to win the battle in the end, I'll
with them. :)

Small notes on my details:  in most cases, I am typing this up as a side
break from work, where I don't have my FT books or design notebook in
of me to check all of the details... so kindly don't crucify me if I
have to
correct myself in those cases where I _do_ just plain screw up.
 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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