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Re: Starship! and FT, from the author

From: Charles Stanley Taylor <charles.taylor@c...>
Date: Fri, 08 Sep 2000 18:56:54 +0100
Subject: Re: Starship! and FT, from the author

In message <>
	  "Oerjan Ohlson" <> wrote:

> Charles Stanley Taylor wrote:
> >>From e-mail from him, he's provided a weapon design system, much
> FT has a ship design system. Essentially, he has provided detailed
> >>meta-rules on how to generate rules, within limits.
> >
> >Hmm... gets me thinking - has anyone considered doing something >like
> this for FT (I think I need a :-) here :-)
> Yes <g>
> The main problem is that the efficiency of a particular weapon depends
> on a lot of factors, like the size of your gaming table or which
> weapons your enemies like to use. What balances in your group doesn't
> necessarily balance in other groups... it all adds to the fun :-7

Good point - I guess it applies to all the _published_ systems as well
(I think there's proof of that in this list :-).
> >On a related note - has anyone any ideas about the effect on
> >mass/cost of varying the size of a weapon's range bands:
> Yep :-)
> >For Example:
> > 
> >I am considering the difference between neutral and charged particle
> >beams - assume the beams in FT are neutral. Charged particles repel
> >each other, so a charged particle beam disperses, and thus has a
> >reduced range.
> > 
> >Assume that the Charged Particle Beam (CPB) has half the range of a
> >normal beam (so each band is 6 mu, rather than 12).
> > 
> >I've done some maths that imply that such a CPB is half as effective
> >(and hence, for balance reasons, should be half mass & cost) as a
> >normal beam - but I don't think I took everything into account (guess
> I'll
> >have to play test it then - when I get time!).
> >
> >So a Class-2 CPB is MASS 1 Cost 3, for 3 arcs, MASS 2 Cost 6 for 6
> >arcs a Class-3 CPB is MASS 2, +1 per 2 extra arcs, COST = MASS >x3,
> etc. 
> >  
> >Has anyone else played about with ranges like this.
> Yep :-) 
> On a small, fixed table, long range isn't that important - the enemy
> will run out of table sooner rather than later and then you get to
> pound him; on a larger table you may not be able to fire at all...
> seen the latter happen to all-Close-configured Phalon fleets quite a
> few times over the past year :-/
> My experience with variable range bands, almost all of which is on
> large tables, is that half the size balances pretty well with 2/3 the
> range. (The reason it's not "half range - half size" is that the range
> *in itself* doesn't help you hit more targets; it is the extra *area*
> in which you can look for targets which counts. With twice the range,
> the long-ranged weapon covers four times the area... provided your
> table is large enough that the *short*-ranged already covers most of
> it!)

Arrgh! flaw in my math spotted - the shame! the shame!
> For example, Aaron Teske uses three different sizes of P-torps in his
> Space Fleet/Full Thrust conversions: the small one with 4mu range
> and Mass 2, the normal one with 6mu bands, and the large one with 9mu
> range bands and Mass 8. I've used them quite liberally over the years;
> so far they seem to balance OK.
> The real problems come when you design a weapon which has a different
> damage profile than the ones you compare it to, eg. Pulsers vs beam
> batteries or B2s vs B3s :-/
> >Also, has anyone any ideas on the cost breaks / penalties of
> >'combined' systems - such as:
> > 
> >Multiple Class-1's combined to give a weapon that has a range of 12
> >mu, and does multiple beam dice - and probably looses the PDS
> >capability.
> This combi-weapon is easier to repair than the multiple B1s, but can't
> split its fire over multiple targets. To figure out how much it is
> worth:
> 1) Figure out how much the equivalent number of B1s cost *including
> their share of the ship's engines and basic hull structure* (ie. the
> 1xMass you pay just to get the hull)
> 2) Deduct some for the loss of PD capability. The B1 has half the PD
> firepower of a PDS but requires a dedicated FCS to act in PD mode, so
> it's worth somewhat less than half the total cost of the weapons - IF
> your enemies use missiles and/or fighters, that is - otherwise it
> worth anything at all!
> 3) Add some to account for the fact that this combi-weapon is easier
> repair when it fails threshold checks than multiple B1s are.
> Unfortunately this term depends on how many FCSs your ship has, and
> also on the general hull configuration. Eg. a Phalon-style ship
> probably wouldn't have lost even the B1s until very close to its total
> destruction and wouldn't have had time to repair even the large system
> if it went down, because the majority of its damage boxes are either
> armour or the first hull row; OTOH an unarmoured, strong-hulled ship
> (eg. an ESU capital ship) would start taking threshold checks early
> spaced well apart, thus giving it more chances to repair damage. For
> the Phalon ship, the total availability of the combi-weapon is pretty
> close to that of the multiple B1s; on the ESU capital, it might be
> quite a bit higher.
> 4) Finally, now that you've figured out how many points your
> combi-weapon should cost you fiddle around with its points/mass ratio
> and its Mass so you get the total cost (including hull and engines) as
> close as possible to the "target" cost for as wide a range of engine
> strengths as possible.
> >Weapon + dediced FireCon - doesn't need a firecon - it has it built
> in.
> The value of this weapon can be estimated in a similar fashion to the
> above, but there are some differences. The value depends on:
> * How many weapons (of this type) the ship is likely to fire at a
> single target in one turn. If you're likely to fire each of these at a
> single target, the "initial" cost of the weapon (corresponding to step
> 1 above) should include the full cost of the FCS; if you expect to use
> two of these weapons together you only include half the cost of an
> etc.
> * How many FCSs the ship would normally have had, ie. the probability
> that your ship won't lose all of its FCSs at once. This is similar to
> step 3) above, with the added twist that losing the FCSs reduce your
> firepower to 0 whereas losing one B1 out of several will only degrade
> your firepower a bit - you still have some of it left.
> Later,
> Oerjan Ohlson
> "Life is like a sewer.
>   What you get out of it, depends on what you put into it."
> - Hen3ry
Thanks for the advice.



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