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Re: Islamic Federation, was Re: [FT] OU & IC & FB3

From: "Nathan" <Nathan_at_Spring_Grove_UK@e...>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2001 00:40:24 -0000
Subject: Re: Islamic Federation, was Re: [FT] OU & IC & FB3

>>>> Finally, just to throw a new idea into the FB3 pot, has
>>>> anyone considered IF suicide crews in the past
>> ... the suicide ship can fire off a rack or a few sub-
>> munition packs as well as ramming, whereas SMs
>> have to get through whatever defences the target has.
>> Would we agree that ramming damage should be
>> calculated after weapons fire, so that (a) the ramming
>> ship gets a chance to launch these weapons, and (b)
>> the target ship gets a chance to shoot down suicide
>> ships?

From: Laserlight <>
Date: Tuesday, January 02, 2001 12:39
Subject: Re: Islamic Federation, was Re: [FT] OU & IC & FB3

> Yes.	But let's say you have an 8 mass stingboat ramming.
> Okay, you can take four mass of weapons in the standard
> configuration (say 4 submunitions, 12 dice) and then ram
> with 1 point of hull to do 1 extra die of damage.
> Or you can outfit it with 5 hull and no weapons and do a
> total of 5 dice of damage.  Somehow this doesn't seem
> worth it, particularly when you're expending 300 million
> credits each time you do this.

Yes, the only gain is the extra die of damage in the first
example. I'm more accustomed to dealing with FT designs
where there would be more hull. Under FB it does seem to
make more sense to have more weapons on a very weak
hull, assuming that the strikeboats are numerous enough
for survivability to not be an issue. To put the case even
further against ramming, the designs you have in mind
appear to be only thrust-6, which doesn't give a very good
chance of ramming an undamaged (non-Swabian) target.

> Now, you could pack the hull with explosives if you like.
> That converts your ram ship into, well, the equivalent of a
> couple of salvo missile strikes, except you have to get
> within 2mu instead of 6mu and your target can use all its
> weapons, not just B1 and PDS, to pick you off on the way
> in.

I hadn't thought of fitting out a ship with explosives, and
the nearest thing I can think of in the rules are the MT and
FB1 missiles. Under MT, an unspecified proportion of a
mass 2 system does 2D damage, average 7. Under FB1
a perfect hit from 2 mass of salvo missiles of which an
unspecified proportion is warhead will do 6D damage,
average 21. For this sort of damage (plus whatever we
can get for blowing up the drive) the rammer will probably
need to be VERY close to the target, so the ram rule will
still be required.

To carry the analogy through to its conclusion, our suicide
bomber is more likely to be piloting an old freighter with
holds full of things that go boom into an unsuspecting space
dock rather than attacking in open battle.

When you refer to 2mu range I presume you are thinking of
the MT Battle Debris rule; this would cause additional damage
dependant on the speed of the target as well as the rammer.
Game balance then becomes an issue, as a high-speed
head-on suicide run would be extremely unpleasant and
possible from beyond beam range, though I conceed that the
chance of getting a hit by blowing up early without a ram roll
varies from slight to none.

I had always considered intentionally causing damage
through FTL entrance or exit to be unsporting, though it is
almost impossible to distinguish between a desperate
attempt to escape and a deliberate suicide intended to
damage the enemy. The text of both FT and MT implies
that ships are far more likely to flee or strike than resort to
these measures. Fortunately the IF as we conceive them
don't have the drives to throw away on this type of tactic.

If ramming with ships just won't work, what can be done
with fighters? As far as I recollect, a fighter ramming a
ship has about as much effect as bug on a windscreen.
If a torpedo fighter that hits causes on average 5 points of
damage, I can't see an expendible fighter doing a great
deal more, and this probably means that fighters won't do
the job either.


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