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Re: [GZG] FT:XD changes, part 1

From: Tom B <kaladorn@g...>
Date: Sat, 1 May 2010 04:03:13 -0400
Subject: Re: [GZG] FT:XD changes, part 1

For the record, I was speaking about a version of fighter rules where
you could shoot at all targets with all PDS on a ship. You may not
have been able to fire at fighters with ship weaponry, but I thought
you could at least fire PDS and B1s against loiterers. I may have that
wrong, but the 'all PDSes fire at every group' was a characteristic of
that. In that system, I believe there was some way to expend CEF to
avoid casualties or something of that sort (not fully avoid the PDS
entirely) when attacking. There was also some increase to endurance
since you burnt endurance for secondary moves, attacks, and evasions
of anti-fighter fire.

But that's all from memory. And distant.

Waves don't make sense. In build your owns, how would waves make sense
against two ships of varying masses, say mass 30 and mass 600? I'm not
saying you'd do this, but the point is the waves would have to scale
with size and you'd get breakpoints.

Looked at another way:

IF fighters are attacking from a great distance, ship size is
irrelevant, but then wave size is everyone. If they have to get in
close, then ship size is relevant to wave size and waves might make
sense against a ship. What is engagement range? 6 km or 6000 km? That
really changes how sensible a wave feels.

I find it funny Eric hates CPV since:
a) it is marginally different in use than NPV (one figure per ship to
b) it more accurately reflects combat value of a number of ships

Points in a game that is going to bother with them for 'play balance'
have to be about actual value on the table, not about economics. If
you want to use them to establish flavour, you are bending play
balance. Even balance means any combination of X points should, *give
or take some small variance*, yield about equal efficacy.

With FB designs and even moderate fighter imbalances, this is not so.
With BDNs with single fighter groups, this sure isn't so either. Even
the actual designs in the FB don't make sense with the existing rules
unless you really cherry pick your fleet combos and that's just silly
to try to preserve that state of affairs.

So, if you want to change it, what do you change?

SSDs are published and common and NPV, while not CPV, works reasonably
for most things. Virtually no two playing groups understand the FT
rules the same way to start with, due to versions of the game, vague
points in rules, and variants inflicted by even supposedly 'official
rules' groups for various reasons.

To me, preserving SSDs make sense. They are the common base to the
game for many people. For those that aren't using them, they're no
worse off. They already probably use house rules, so they aren't
affected by any changes in the official rules which are mostly used by
those playing with cannon fleets. Those fleets SHOULD work within the
point system.

CPV tweaks it for some stuff like freighters, carriers, and very large
ships. Otherwise, it is low impact. Hence a change that does some
good, but costs little or nothing to implement.

The playtest fighter rules were more extensive overhauls, but they
addressed all of the problems of the existing SSDs and point costs of
fighters and published carriers. They also did some good versus

Just as Eric hates my notion of rules, I find his distasteful. That's
just simply down to a matter of taste and embodies no personal slur. I
assume our tastes are not better or worse - mine is just oriented
around making the official rules make the official designs make more

Whatever changes anyone makes, some of us won't like it. Some people
resent the FT to MT changes, some resent FB1 changes from FT/MT,
others resent FB1 -> FB2 changes, and others resent various playtest
rules or interpretations to fix the various observed problems. Most of
the time, the dislike is because the game (in one variant or another)
falls closer to group or personal prejudices. If you feel combat
should reflect a certain feel, rules that go against that won't be
popular with you.

I think FT3 will annoy about 3/4 of us. In the long run, half of us
might use the rules, 1/2 not, staying with prior versions in some
form. Of the half that use it, many of them will house rule some
aspect of it.

My own prejudice is easily stated:

I want the FB designs to be as close to sensible and balanced in any
normal mix as feasible. With CPV and the playtest fighter rules I got
to play once up on a time, many of the problems with FB designs were
resolved. I would be equally open to any other system that addressed
the same criteria. I don't have a 'feel' for any particular style of
combat, I just want the existing SSDs to be useful and reduce the
obvious fighter-heavy exploits in the point system now.

Okay, now I've run long. <blah blah, shut the he** up, Tom...>

I liked some things in Cross Dimensions. I thought some ideas were
good. Some I didn't like. In that respect, I felt it was much like FB.
I thought FB was less broken than FT/MT, although I miss a few of the
older aspects. I think FT3 may or may not be a step forward but
suspect if it ever ensues, it will be different. In the long run,
we'll all house rule what we want for a feel anyway.

Me, my main use for FT until I can get a more complete production of
the aforementioned playtest fighter rules and NPV and thus find the FB
designs useful again, is using it as a basis for my Stargate: Armada
adaption. But unlike Dean Gundberg's 'Mix it up cross genre' games, my
adaption is strictly aimed at simulating fights in the show, including
some ludicrious weapons and very large (in FT terms) ships.

But I'd still like to see the official SSDs make sense. Any system
that can do that without breaking the things which work in FB already,
I'm willing to try.

Tom B
Gropos sticking his nose beyond the dirtball for a moment
Gzg-l mailing list

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