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

From: Eric Foley <stiltman@t...>
Date: Sun, 2 May 2010 15:01:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: [GZG] FT:XD changes, part 1

-----Original Message----- 
>From: Tom B 

>Again, I'm not married to any particular solution, but I want one that
addresses the range
>of issues that have been identified. No sense fixing half of the gaping
hole in the hull
> - the air is still getting out. :0)

>Let's say I agree that, by manifestation of design + tactical rules,
ships appear to have
>too little point defense. You'd fix this by changing the amount of
point defense and
>requiring reconstruction of various SSDs. That's one solution, though I
think it makes the
>single-squadron BDN and small carriers look *even worse* instead of
better. So I call this
>a 'half the problem' solution. 

Okay.  I'll stop quoting there and just come up with a suggestion or
three that I think is pretty good.

First, establish a pre-game, semi-optional but semi-official rule for
faction logistics, that puts a hard upper limit on the number of
fighters (and other expendible munitions like missiles, submunitions,
and scatterguns) each faction in a Full Thrust game can field per 1000
NPV.  For major GZGverse powers, I would suggest that this number for
fighters is between 1.0 and 3.0 (i.e. they don't have the logistics to
commit even a single fleet carrier to anything short of a major task
force).  For most minor powers, I'd say it's probably pretty darn near
if not equal to zero.  In custom brew games, it'd be strongly
recommended to have the limits agreed upon by all players, but could
otherwise be set wherever you wanted -- hence, even in a custom game you
would never have to face soapies unless you _wanted_ to, but you could
have whatever flavor of campaign you mutually desired other than that.

The ship design system remains relatively intact.  And fleet book SSDs
suddenly start making a lot of sense, because the kind of nightmares
we're envisioning where they're getting overwhelmed finally have a
quantified reason why it never happens, and once the game starts you
don't even care about it any more other than enjoying having as many or
as few fighters on the board as you're comfortable with.  It adapts well
to any sort of campaign, establishes that some factions might be better
at carrier operations than others (which was sort of an implied thing I
was using in my custom campaigns anyway), and... oh yeah, did I mention?
 It makes the fleet book SSDs make perfect sense in a quantifiable way
without having to adjust them, without having to hand-wave that the
admirals are idiots.

I'd also suggest putting a pre-game technology limit on both the overall
maximum cost of a fighter group, at least in general terms.  For major
GZGverse powers, the max would be 36 (the cost of a torpedo bomber), the
Japanese might get a flyer at 42 (for those silly uberfighters).  Minor
powers might only be able to field standard fighters, if at all.  Custom
powers... well, go as nuts as you want.  Again, it's something I've
already been generally implying in my campaigns, but it's not
necessarily a bad thing to have as a simple rule governing any game you
play.  It's also a counterbalance to going too far nuts with
megafighters in your custom games and/or using the XD swing-role fighter
rules beyond simply having a budget cost you don't want to exceed.

As for BDNs, I would suggest a new fighter type I've already been using:
 the gunnery spotter.  It costs 24 NPV per group, fights and dies like a
standard fighter, but it has the option to "paint" an enemy ship within
6 MU (adjust this distance optionally if you like for vector) with a
targeting system that assists its mothership (and only its mothership,
not for any other ships) in firing at that target without the fighters
having to actually attack that ship.  If the spotter chooses to evade
ship-to-ship fire it may not use this ability, but it may not be engaged
by point defense weapons if it is only spotting.  The spotter confers
the following two bonuses to its mothership against a "painted" target:

1.  All direct fire from the spotters' mothership against that target is
at a +1 DRM to hit.  K-guns and pulse torpedoes are not allowed to
either auto-hit or extend their range, they just get a +1 bonus in their
existing range bands.  This applies ONLY to the spotters' mothership,
not to any other ships.
2.  All indirect fire (i.e. missiles, AMTs, and plasma bolts) fired by
the mothership against that target may redirect itself slightly after
ship movement, within the already existing range limitations.  (i.e. no
firing a standard range salvo missile to 24 MU and then adjusting it
further out with spotters, you have to stay within the range radius.) 
I'm currently going with 6 MU as the adjustment distance, but I could
see it going to 3 MU for vector.

Dreadnoughts would love them, there's historical precedent for it in wet
navy battleships, and most importantly, it makes a dreadnought with a
limited fighter payload make sense regardless of how much point defense
is on the table.  Whether or not a carrier would use them would depend
on the carrier philosophies; the NSL and ESU almost certainly would use
them, the FSE probably would, and the NAC probably wouldn't bother.

It's a simple set of mechanics.  It adds some fun to the game (or
prevents it from being taken away).  And it makes lots of things make
sense that otherwise wouldn't.	Mix and stir as you like.

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