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Re: [FullThrust] There r nu rules being Playtested to compute CombatValue

From: Oerjan Ohlson <oerjan.ohlson@t...>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 19:49:11 +0200
Subject: Re: [FullThrust] There r nu rules being Playtested to compute CombatValue

On the FullThrust YahooGroup, Steven Gilchrist wrote:

 >>As most FullThrust players know, in a battle of larger ships versus
 >>smaller ships, the larger one has a big advantage. [...] A proposal
 >>being play tested is to calculate the combat value based on adding a
 >>modifyer based on the ship's size.[...] I think its very clever. All
 >>players of Starfire know that larger ships in that game have a more
 >>expensive frame cost per mass point. Give it a try...

Glad you like it - and if you (or anyone else) have more detailed
to it I'd be grateful to see them too; this concept is still very much a

work in progress.

To which Fred Schmidt replied:

 >I've been using this system while designing ships lately, and it seems
 >to work out really well.

Glad to hear it :-)

 >I originally got the idea from the Weapon/Archive
 >defense page (I believe Oerjan posted it)

Yes; it wasn't my idea originally (IIRC it was Jeremy Seeley who first 
thought of squaring the TMF cost), but I'm doing most of the development
it. I'm a lot better at fine-tuning other peoples' ideas than coming up 
with entirely new ones of my own :-/

 >and it suggested to not adjust
 >the cost of hull mass used for fighter bays when computing the
 >point cost (they would still be 1 point per mass used, no matter the
 >mass of the ship).

Fighter bays, cargo holds and similar make the the system up look a bit 
messier... :-(

FWIW the version on the WDA was posted over two years ago though, so the

bits about carriers etc. are rather dated nowadays. Since there has been

questions and comments about this new points system on several mailing 
lists recently, here's the latest version, including developer's notes:

This points system is called the "CPV" (Combat Points System), as
to the "NPV" (New (sic!) Points System) used in the Fleet Books. The CPV

system is NOT intended to represent any economical (procurement,
etc.) costs for the units, or *campaign* utility, or anything like that;
*only* attempts to measure their tactical combat power on the gaming

(In other words, the "Procurement Costs" given in the Fleet Books don't 
need to change just because the *points values* change from NPV to CPV!)

The basic idea is that ships get exponentially more powerful as their
goes up, so the linear basic hull cost used in the Fleet Books doesn't
very well - thus the CPV system uses a basic hull cost proportional to
TMF squared instead.

Fighter groups however act and take damage separately from their
with each fighter group being roughly equivalent to a heavy
destroyer in combat power - so the cost of a fighter group (including
compulsory fighter bay) shouldn't depend much on the size of its
It does depend a *little* on the size of the carrier, since a larger 
carrier is usually more likely to have at least some bays intact if the 
fighter group needs to rearm and/or reorganize (using the FB2 rule) -
just a little.

('Course, with the FB fighter rules the true value of each fighter group

depends on how many fighter groups the *fleet* as a whole has - but it 
doesn't matter if they're all based aboard a single huge carrier or
out over the entire fleet, so this can't be handled by the points
which is why there's a set of beta-test fighter rules too.)

Similarly things like cargo holds, passenger quarters etc. don't
to the ship's combat performance *at all*, so ideally they shouldn't
anything at all either. With the system below they still do have an 
indirect cost since they cause the engines to grow bigger and you still 
have to pay for the engines, but that's the price I pay for avoiding
to re-calculate the points value of the entire ship as if the cargo
etc. weren't there at all :-/ It works better for warships with small to

moderate cargo holds than it does for completely unarmed freighters

Because of all this, hangar bays and anything that costs 0 pts (eg.
holds) are removed from the ship's Mass when you calculate the hull
cost, ie.:

CPV Basic Hull Cost = (TMF - (Non-Combat Mass))^2/100 (round to nearest 
integer, but minimum is 1 pt no matter how small the ship is)

"Non-Combat Mass" = Mass used for Hangar Bays and for anything that
costs 0 
pts, eg. Cargo Holds, Passenger Quarters etc.

Related to this (and somewhat related to the above-mentioned beta-test 
fighter rules), we're also shuffling most of the cost of fighter groups 
from the carrier (which in the Fleet Book design rules has to pay a lot
points for the fighter bays) onto the fighters themselves. Although this

isn't really necessary for game balance as such, it recognizes that it
the fighters themselves - not their fighter bays - that do the actual 
fighting; and since quite a few players use "points value destroyed" to 
determine victory these "shuffled" points costs give a fairer idea of
got beat up the most :-/ So:

Fighter *Bays* drop to a cost of 1xMass (in addition to not counting 
towards the ship's Mass in the hull cost calculation)

The base cost of a (Standard) fighter *group* increases to 48 pts (8 
pts/fighter). The cost modifiers for the various other fighter types
the same (eg., an Attack group still costs an extra +6 pts per group).

Ie., instead of paying 18 pts for a Standard fighter group plus 27 pts
the 9-Mass hangar bay plus 9 pts for the basic hull structure holding
bay for a total of 54 pts, you now pay 48 pts for the fighter group, 9
for the hangar bay and 0 pts for the basic hull structure holding the
for a total of 57 pts. The 3 extra points are there for two reasons:
to make sure that the smallest possible FTL-capable carrier (12 Mass, 1 
hull box, 1 fighter bay) doesn't get even cheaper than it already is,
also to make the points cost of each fighter a round 8 pts instead of
pts for reasons that will hopefully become clear sometime in the future

Design examples:

Bulk Freighter

Item:			Mass	Cost(NPV)	Cost(CPV)
TMF 200 	-	200		36
Hull Integrity 20		20	40		40
Thrust Rating 2 	20	40		40
FTL drive		20	40		40
140 cargo space 140	0		0
Total			200	320		156

In the Fleet Book design rules (aka the NPV system), the basic hull cost

for this ship is 1xTMF = 200 giving a total NPV of 320 pts. That's about

the same as a light battlecruiser, eg. the ESU Manchuria (NPV 312).

In this revised system (CPV, for "Combat Points Value") we note that the

ship has 140 Mass of non-combat systems (ie., the cargo holds), so the 
basic hull cost is only (200-140)^2/100 = 60^2/100 = 3600/100 = 36 pts;
the total CPV of this ship is 156 pts. This is still rather high for a 
completely unarmed ship (more than most light cruisers), since all you 
really pay for is how long it'll take for the enemy to catch and destroy

the ship (ie., the manoeuvrability and hull boxes)... but at least it is

*better* than it used to be.

Fleet Carrier:

Item:			Mass	Cost(NPV)	Cost(CPV)
TMF 200 	-	200		213
Hull Integrity 60		60	120		120
Thrust Rating 4 	40	80		80
FTL drive		20	40		40
Level-1 screens 10	30		30
2 Fire Control Systems	2	8		8
4 PDSs		4	12		12
2 Class-1 Batteries	2	6		6
4 Class-2 Batteries	8	24		24
6 Fighter Bays		54	162		54
6 Std Fighter Groups	-	108		288
Total			200	682+108 587+288
("Unshuffled" fighter pts:				749+108)

Again the NPV basic hull cost is equal to the TMF (ie. 200), but the CPV

hull cost is (200 - 6*9)^2/100 = 146^2/100 = 213.16, rounded down to 213

pts. The total cost for fighters+carrier has increased, and at first
it looks as if it is the increased fighter costs which cause this - but 
this is only because the fighters have "taken over" most of the cost of 
their fighter bays; if you shuffle the bay costs back again you'll see
most of it is due to the carrier itself growning more expensive. (The
18 pts are those 3 "rounding error" points/fighter group mentioned

Note that this is not necessarily the final version of the CPV system.
quite a few players have asked about using "Battle Rider"-style forces 
(ie., sublight combat ships carried on FTL-capable tugs), so one CPV 
variant I've been looking at recently is to make FTL drives "non-combat 
systems" just like hangar bays or cargo holds - possibly even dropping
cost of the FTL drives to 0xMass. At the moment it looks as if the
ships/BattleRiders would have to pay for their FTL tug though - with the

FTL tug drive also counting as "non-combat mass" it'd be very cheap, but

not quite cheap enough to be negligible :-/

My main worry with turning FTL drives into "non-combat mass" is that it 
might throw the points values of existing weapons, hull integrities etc.

askew. I haven't had time to look very carefully at this yet, so try
option at your own peril (and please let me know how it goes if you do
it!) <g>



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

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