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Re: [FT] Starfire Bug designs

From: "Oerjan Ohlson" <oerjan.ohlson@t...>
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 18:09:42 +0100
Subject: Re: [FT] Starfire Bug designs

Here we go again... If I sound snappish, it's because of that year and
a half I spent playtesting the Starfire module :-/

Robertson, Brendan wrote:

>Reading through the novel again about the Auger SDN, it describes
>them as capital forces beams that ignore shields;

It describes them explicitly as being armed with capital primary beams.

While the primary beam was developed from force beam technology, the
difference between a force beam hit and a primary beam hit is similar
to the difference between hit from a two-handed sword and one from a
surgeon's scalpel.

The Starfire "capital primary beam" is a weapon with somewhat shorter
range than a capital force beam, but which punches a 2"-hole through
the target, destroying the one system it hits but inflicting very
little hull damage (unless they hit something - eg. magazines - which
could blow up): 

"Over seventy primaries scored direct hits on the ten lead ships. The
narrow-focus weapons punched tiny holes, little more than five
centimeters across, but they punched those holes through anything..."
(In Death Ground, chapter 9)

Primaries also ignore armour completely. The closest thing to this in
FT is a long-ranged needle beam, not the P-torp. 

Full Thrust P-torps are very similar (in damage effects but not PSB) to
the Starfire capital lasers (hetlasers and X-ray lasers) used by
various Alliance members. These are mentioned eg. in chapter 17, but
for a better description of them read the novel "Crusade" (where
Admirals Antonov and Avram, among others, are introduced). These
weapons ignore screens but not armour, and are somewhat shorter-ranged
than the capital force beams but have a similar potential for
inflicting hull damage.

(The somewhat suicidal Theban capital X-ray lasers featured in Crusade
could be represented by P-torps with Mass 3+1/extra arc, but which
inflict an automatic Core critical hit on the firing ship whenever it
rolls a "1" to-hit for any of its lasers :-/ )

>AFHAWK SML salvoes are treated as Sa'Vasku Interceptor pods (1 >mass).
Normal SML salvoes can also be used as Interceptor pods, >but subtract
1 from kill numbers.

OK for the AFHAWK. It makes the normal SML salvoes extremely powerful
compared to AFHAWKs though - I'd suggest half range (6mu) and half
damage (1D3) compared to AFHAWKs, and even that is probably too strong.

>Pulsetorps are capital force/primary beams.

No, see above.

>Pulsar-C are Plasmaguns.


>Fighters only receive Torpedo/Interceptor bonuses on the first turn
>(ordinance launch) and revert to standard fighters for remaining

Torpedo bonus yes (representing fRAAM). Interceptor bonus no - at least
not for fighters, since the fighter guns used primarily by Ophiuchi
pilots tasked with interception duties are multi-shot. 

Gunboats are discussed below.

>Standard FT Scale:
> Acid SDN (Plasmagun)
> Mass: 200
> Hull: Average
> Hits: 60; 15/15/15/15
> Crew Factor: 10
> FTL: None (not in Starfire)
> Main Drive: 2 (commercial x 2 mass)

But they only cost Mass/2. Not that the cost is particularly relevant
in these battles, of course :-/

> Screen-2
> Firecons: 6
> 6 x Pulsar-C (FP/F/FS)
> 7 x Pulsar-C (AP/FP/F)
> 7 x Pulsar-C (F/FS/AS)
> 2 x SML (AP/FP/F; F/FS/AS)
> Magazine: 9 std salvoes (18 mass)
> (later 7 std salvoes, 4 AFHAWK)

That's an awful lot of missiles for the Acids. A single launcher would
be plenty.

>Archer SDN (Missile carrier)


>Auger SDN (Primary Beams)
>Mass: 200
>Hull: Average
>Hits: 60; 15/15/15/15
>Crew Factor: 10
>FTL: None (not in Starfire)
>Main Drive: 2 (commercial x 2 mass)
>Firecons: 4
>2 x SMR (ER) (FP/F/FS)
>6 x Pulsetorps (AP/FP/F)
>6 x Pulsetorps (F/FS/AS)

No. See above.

> 4 x PDS

> Avalanche SDN (Energy weapons)

Capital force beams, to be exact :-/ OK design.

> Ambush BC
> Mass: 80
> Hull: Average
> Hits: 24; 6/6/6/6
> Crew Factor: 4
> FTL: None (not in Starfire)
> Main Drive: 3 (commercial x 2 mass)
> Screen-1
> Firecons: 4
> SMR (std)
> 4 x Class-2 (AP/FP/F)
> 4 x Class-2 (F/FS/AS)
> 4 x PDS

The Ambush-class BCs have pure missile armaments. No beam weapons at
> Antelope BC
> Mass: 80
> Hull: Average
> Hits: 24; 6/6/6/6
> Crew Factor: 4
> FTL: None (not in Starfire)
> Main Drive: 4
> Screen-1
> Firecons: 4
> 2 x SMR (std) (FP/F/FS)
> 2 x SML (AP/FP/F; F/FS/AS)
> Magazine: 3 x std, 3 x ER (18 mass)

No standard missiles on the Antelopes, only ER and AFHAWKs.

>Derringer CH


>Danger CH


>Cannon CL


>Carbine CLG


>Cataphract CLE
>Mass: 40
>Hull: Average
>Hits: 12; 3/3/3/3
>Crew Factor: 2
>FTL: None (not in Starfire)
>Main Drive: 4
>Firecons: 2
>2 x ADFC
>5 x Class-1
>9 x PDS

Too many Class-1s and too few PDSs. In the novel, the Cataphracts
didn't have *any* anti-ship weapons; in the game module they have a
single small force beam (1 x Class-2) because otherwise they'd be
useless as minesweepers under the Starfire minesweeping roles...

> Cleaver CL
> Mass: 40
> Hull: Average
> Hits: 12; 3/3/3/3
> Crew Factor: 2
> FTL: None (not in Starfire)
> Main Drive: 4
> Firecons: 2
> 2 x Pulsetorps (FP/F/FS)
> 2 x PDS

No, needle beams. See above. The Cleaver has considerably shorter range
than the Auger, too, so normal FT needles for this one.

>Bug Gunboats
>Treat as Heavy Fighters.

Gunboats were *easier* to destroy than fighters, not the other way
around! That is to say, it took no more damage to destroy a gunboat
than to destroy a fighter, and the gunboats were considerably easier to
hit... In the novel they could also be engaged by normal starship
weapons, but they were harder to hit for the big weapons than larger

>Torpedo/interceptor only applies on the first turn, revert to normal

I assume this represents their light load of AFHAWK or Standard
Missiles? I'd allow them to carry 1 AFHAWK salvo or 1/2 SMR (roll 1D3
missiles to hit), chosen before the battle starts, in addition to their
normal fighter weapons.


Oerjan Ohlson

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

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