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Re: Some more comments to the WeapDef archive

From: "Oerjan Ohlson" <oerjan.ohlson@t...>
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2001 22:35:03 +0100
Subject: Re: Some more comments to the WeapDef archive

> Scattered thinking during bus journeys to work:


Bother. That was supposed to go to Noam, not to the list. 

Ah well... read Noam's tech archive and Skunk Works web pages for the
systems and rules I commented :-/

Oerjan Ohlson

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

> Resonance Field Generator [Noam Izenberg] 
> [OO: Plain weird. Inspired by the SFB ESG, or something?]
> FTL Missile (aka "Emergence Missile", "Hyperspace Concussion
> Damage is exactly as for ships entering the board form FTL in the
> section: All ships/objects in 6" radius around actual point of
> emergence takes 1d6 damage (1-5 damage = roll, 6 damage =6*1d6).
> is applied as with P-torps. Fighters may escape blast radius by using
> reaction move, but will be destroyed if caught within. 
> [OO: PSB question: How do the fighters know where/when the missile
> emerge? *Are* fighters affected by ships entering/leaving hyperspace
> the FT2 rules aren't entirely clear on this?]
> Globular Shield [Bif Smith] (GZG-L 1-Feb-2001) 
> [OO: Conceptually similar to the Phalon vapour glands, but the
> Shield gets better the more of it you can carry (ie., the bigger your
> own
> ship is). Still, considering its size and penalties it probably isn't
> too
> much of a problem - eg., replacing the normal screens on a
> Komarov-class SDN with Globular Shields gives the Komarov 7 "free" DP
> per turn - equivalent to the average damage its normal screens save
> from 21 beam dice - but only if the ship doesn't maneuver or fire.
> in all I'd say this is a Kerr-style system: potentially very
> but so loaded-down with restrictions that it becomes virtually
> useless.]
> Interceptors (Earth Alliance) [Sean Penn's B5 Conversion] 
> [OO: Way unbalanced, for the same reason the fixed-Mass FT2 screens
> were unbalanced: Since the Interceptors are fixed-Mass, they becomes
> very cheap way of providing level-2 screens for large ships (and one
> which allows for much improved multiple redundancy as well). Eg., an
> ESU Komarov could replace its lvl-2 screens (Mass 22, Cost 66) with 4
> Interceptors (Mass 8, Cost 40), saving 14 Mass to carry extra weapons
> etc. Sure, it'll cost a bit more, but the extra cost is nowhere close
> to how much more powerful it becomes with another 14 Mass of weapons.
> Also, the PSB given seems to have little relevance for B5 - the Pulse
> Cannon the EFSB Interceptors defend against in the B5 universe fire
> relatively slow-moving plasma blobs, and the B5 Interceptors shoot
> those blobs with smaller plasma blobs of its own. No "energy shield"
> involved.]
> Jammer (Minbari) [Sean Penn's B5 Conversion] 
> [OO: Cost = Massx20... hm.
> Massacred table follows:
> Probability to get a shot off for varying numbers of FCSs:
>		#FCS
> Range 1	2	3	4	5	Avg:	Surv.	Value:
>							boost:
> 0-6	100%	100%	100%	100%	100%	100%	0	0
> 6-12	67%	89%	96%	99%	100%	84%	19%	2xMass
> 12-24 50%	75%	88%	94%	97%	71%	41%	6xMass
> 24-36 33%	56%	70%	80%	87%	54%	86%	15xMass
> >36	17%	31%	42%	52%	60%	31%	226%	38xMass
> Note: The "average". is weighted by the percentage of the ships in my
> design archive which have that number of FCSs (on the 9th of
> 2001). The "Survivability boost" is roughly "how much more firepower
> does the enemy need to throw at the ship to kill it", though in this
> case it only applies fully if the enemy has no non-jamming targets to
> shoot at - otherwise he can shoot at some other target instead. The
> "Value" is a rough calculation of how good the system is at that
> (screens = 3xMass).
> Hm... yes, 20xMass could work, or could be a bit high (as usual it's
> better if the cost is too high than if it is too low!). A ship with
> jammers and extreme-range weapons is dangerous if it has enough
> to keep the range open, but so is *any* fast ship with extreme-range
> weapons simply because they're so difficult to catch. Inside range 36
> (where considerably more weapons are able to shoot at it) 20xMass
> seem to make it somewhat overpriced, except that I assume that you
> to *dedicate* FCSs to the intended target (ie., if you fail the
> roll you don't get to use that FCS to engage another target). The
> jammer-equipped fleet needs to keep the range open at all costs
> And, of course, this is another system which favours large ships
> can carry multiple FCSs)...
> What does it do to missiles etc.? (I assume that missiles can't be
> jammed since they only aquire targets within 6mu anyway.) How does it
> interact with enhanced/superior sensors?]
> Parasite Fighter Rack [Mike Wikan] 
> [OO: The "Parasite racks may be used on civilian transports" and "a
> parasite rack may launch at any time" bits are irrelevant in FBx,
> *any* ship can have fighter bays and *any* ship can launch all its
> fighters in one turn. Balance-wise, I dunno... Put it like this: I
> put an entire fighter squadron on a single TMF 4 scout. Yes, it is
> expensive - but it is considerably *less* expensive (about 75% the
> cost) of a normally bay-carried fighter squadron. The proposal says
> nothing about rearming and reorganizing fighters (FB2 rules), but IMO
> the rack shouldn't be able to do either during combat (or else it
> should take very much longer than for bays).]
> Targeting Lidar[Noam Izenberg] 
> [OO: Looks interesting. Why "each full 10" of range" instead of the
> normal 12mu bands? Or, if you want to include the various P-torps,
> each *begun* 12mu band (so a PT can benefit from 3 TLs)? Also, since
> this is a piece of targetting electronics I think it should cost 4
> like FCSs - for simplicity only, not really based on balance
> considerations.]
> Structural Analyzer [Andrew Ayres] (GZG-L 3-Feb-01) 
> [OO: Too expensive? If the target has no armour it improves the
> from all beam-style weapons by 17%... 5 Mass/25 pts is certainly a
> much for a DD, but it is quite a bargain for a SDN. 
> The description is incomplete. What does "System penetrates 1 layer
> armour. Rest of damage is done straight to ship." mean? The system
> itself doesn't inflict any damage whatever...?]
> Needle Pod (G) [Nick Garbett] (via e-mail) 
> [OO: This Needle Pod is *extremely* powerful. Also, a Mass-1 critter
> being able to pin-point target an unlimited number of target
> ships/systems, but only one system on each one? Why not allow it to
> target every system on a single target instead - that's the same
> of target systems, and just as unbalanced?] 
> Reenforced hull  - Bif Smith and Charles Taylor
> [OO: Thought I had commented this on-list, but appearently not :-/
> Charles is quite right in that you can achieve almost exactly the
> effect BIF aims for (except vs K-guns) simply by replacing some of
> hull boxes by armour; similarly you can spend the 49 points BIF spent
> on some 11-13 extra hull and armour boxes, making the first row
> "effectively" 16 boxes long and the other rows 11-12 boxes each. 
> Another problem with BIF's suggestion is that it has very different
> effects on larger or smaller ships. His example ship (40 hull boxes)
> looks like a TMF 120-130 BB (transformed a 10/10/10/10 hull box
> to 16/9/8/7), but if you do the same thing on the ESU Komarov it'll
> cost 97 pts and transform it from 22/22/22/22 to 28/21/20/19, (a
> relatively much smaller effect but at twice the cost). On a small
> the effect is much bigger instead; do the same operation on the NAC
> Huron and it goes from 4/4/4/3 to 10/3/2/0 - the last row disappears
> entirely, and the first row becomes 2.5 times as long! - but it only
> costs 26 points.
> Charles's suggestion works... sort of, but his guesses at points
> are off by about 100% in both cases: getting 2 hull boxes per Mass is
> worth 6-7xMass, while getting 1 box per 2 Mass is worth 0xMass
> (actually it is worth even less, ie. *less* than 0 pts per box, but
> not too keen on negative points costs...).
> I'm still playtesting my "variable number of hull rows" idea, but so
> far it
> looks reasonable:
> Instead of giving all ships 4 rows of hull boxes, they can be
> with 3, 4 or 5 rows. Apart from the different number of hull rows,
> hull boxes are distributed between the rows as per the standard FBx
> rule. Thresholds are taken as normal (ie. systems are damaged on 6+
> after the 1st row, 5+ after the 2nd, 4+ after the 3rd, and 3+ after
> 4th). The costs for these hulls are:
> 3 rows of hull boxes - cost 3xMass.
> 4 rows of hull boxes (FB standard) - cost 2xMass. 
> 5 rows of hull boxes - cost 1.5xMass
> I'm not too happy with the fractional points costs for the 5-row
> but
> 1xMass is definitely too low :-( And no, I don't have any figures for
> 1, 2
> or 6 hull rows :-/]
> *Targeting beacon 
> [OO: Interesting. No idea if it is *balanced*, but it looks like a
> idea
> <g>. PSB-wise DCPs should have a chance to remove them though.]
> BFG Lances: "stranger"
> [OO: Lots of comments posted on the mailing list]
> Skunk Works Weapon Tech [You've seen most of these comments before
> Raking fire
> [OO: What does "+1 to hit" mean for weapons which don't have a to-hit
> roll? +1 do the beam die (ie., inflict 1 point on rolls of 3-6? This
> always worse than standard beam fire against level-0 and -1 screens
> (unless the target has only 1 damage point left and you know it,
> isn't that common), and is always better than standard beam fire
> against level-2 screens. Since it has no penalty associated with it,
> its only real effect is to reduce the value of every lvl-2 screen in
> the game. Oh, OK, you get a better chance to kill BJs with a single
> hull box with a single shot too...]
> Spread [Still in Active Playtesting] - for Torps, SMs. + 1 to hit (or
> SMs
> that hit), reduce damage by 1/3 (round down). 
> [OO: How do you "spread" a single SM submunition...? The description
> suggests that you're doing just that since its damage is reduced!]
> Focused Fire [Still in Active Playtesting] - Group multiple batteries
> (any
> type) or other groups of like weapons under a single die roll: roll
> die, determine its damage, and multiply with the number of dice
> together. Reroll die follows same pattern. Can use with rake. 
> [OO: No effect on average damage, but makes "extreme" results (in
> directions) far more common than normal.]
> Ortillery Anti-ship mode - Ortillery systems can be fired against
> in a limited fashion. The precision beam batteries, munitions, and
> particle
> canons are focused for very short range, atmosphere-piercing attacks,
> and their open-space effects reflect this. Range is 6" in the 180
> degree front arc. Damage is 2 beam dice, ignore screens. 
> [OO: Should be a OK. The main value of Ortillery is in ground/space
> interface games anyway.]
> Programmable PDS Modes 
> Programmable modes can have a severe impact on one-off scenarios. 
> [OO: Not only *can*; they *do* have a severe impact on one-off
> scenarios. They essentially have to be priced to reflect their best
> performance, not their average one.]
> Meson Flechette
> [OO: OK. Though given the recent "Meson Gun" discussion, the name
> be a bit confusing <g> ]
> Weak Arcs
> [OO: Sounds very complex, and is also rather vaguely defined.]
> Planetary Defense Missile (PDM)
> [OO: Sounds relatively easy to take out with massed fighters, but
> work. More of a strategic weapon than a tactical one though.]
> Dedicated FireCon 
> [OO: *Seriously* unbalanced. Improves already-long-ranged weapons
> vastly more (for a fixed Mass) than short-ranged weapons. The
> Targetting Lidar is a similar concept, but much better balanced - use
> that instead!]
> Gravitic Shields 
> [OO: See my comments to Brendan Robertson's K-shields.]
> Evasive Maneuvers -
> [OO: The first notice you have that you're being targetted may well
> the beams burning through your hull. Might work against sublight
> weapons - missiles, K-guns, P-torps etc., but not against light-speed
> ones.]
> Side-Slip - Common house rule - allows 2+ point turn to be port then
> starboard (or opposite). 
> [OO: Recommended. Should go into FT3 or FB3 (whichever comes first),
> provided I can find a big enough club to bash Jon over the head with
> <g>]
> Starburst Attack
> [OO: With the fighter re-arming rule in FB2, this has gone from
> somewhat unbalanced to very unbalanced. Spending excessive amounts of
> EPs is no longer a serious penalty - heck, on several occasions my KV
> fighters have gone Ro'Kah, rearmed, returned to the fray, gone mad
> *again*, rearmed *again*, and had time for a third attack - and that
> battles 7-8 turns in length. If KV fighters can rearm this often,
> fighters can do it too. 
> Besides, it effectively gives non-KV fighters the same benefits as
> those of going Ro'Kah, but without the restrictions - the humans can
> it at any time rather than when the dice force them, and they only
> 3 EP rather than all remaining EP.]
> Design Tech 
> Miniaturization - (From FT list) Systems take ½ mass and cost 3x as
> much. 
> Maximalization - Systems take 2x mass and cost 1/2 as much. 
> [OO: Both should be OK. Note that "cost X as much" means that the
> POINTS COST is X times that of the normal system, not that the
> COST/MASS is X times that of the normal system. Example: a system
> normally is Mass 2, Cost 3xMass = 3x2 = 6 will be Mass 1, Cost 6x3 =
> (not (3x3)x1 = 9) if miniaturized and Mass 4, cost 6/2 = 3 (not
> = 6) if "maximalized"]
> Later,
> Oerjan Ohlson
> "Life is like a sewer.
>   What you get out of it, depends on what you put into it."

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