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

From: Eric Foley <stiltman@t...>
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 12:44:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: [GZG] FT:XD changes, part 1

-----Original Message----- 
From: John Tailby 

>If fighters are very hard to replace, then their campaign cost (if you
want to think of it
>that way) would have to reflect that. At that point, other units other
than carriers would
>come into vogue and you have problem solved on the mass-fighter
appearance. OTOH, you haven't
>solved the BDN single fighter squadron being worthless. 

Well, the logistics limit I've suggested is a couple of things.  It's a
way to explain why the GZGverse _hasn't_ evolved ADFC phalanxes as a
mainstream doctrine, because in all brutal reality, regardless of what
you do for point defense rules there isn't a reason _not_ to other than
that they're simply not that afraid of getting swarmed by fighters.  The
logistics limit establishes that reason, and although I'm still okay
with allowing ship-to-ship weapons to have _limited_ effectiveness
against fighters, I think it's best to have the limits of logistics
quantified in a way that doesn't force you to come up with complex
campaign rules to explain why fighters and missiles are limited enough
that the FB1 ships can manage to make sense.

Gunnery spotters are actually pretty good for a dreadnought against
enemy battleships, though.  I'm actually quite pleased with that idea in
my own campaign.

>I don't think a BDN with a single squadron is worthless. I can see the
single squadron being
> used as:
>Extra point defence if attacked by enemy ordnance..
>Recon to de blip the enemy at long range and get a scan of what you are
going up against.
>Also to stop the enemy getting such information from your ship.
>Pursuit of enemy scout ships, frigates and destroyers that your BDN has
encountered and you
>want to stop them getting away, a squadron of fighters could make a
real mess of an enemy
>unit that is trying to activate it's FTL and so can't manouvre or use

Yeah... even without the gunnery spotter rule, you can still do all of
these things.  One of my campaigns is running on an anti-piracy theme;
the pirates in question have not, and will not, develop powerful ADFC
doctrines, because although they've got a fair number of (stolen)
resources, they're never going to be gearing up to go toe-to-toe with
the federal starfleet that they're up against.	The pirates' fleets
consist of a few black-ops cloak-capable warships that they somehow got
their hands on (stole?	provided as privateers by a rogue government? 
uncertain) that are the enforcers (for bigger ones) and/or raiders (for
smaller ones), and converted freighters that try to sneak up on merchant
convoys by hoping they don't realize they're armed before it's too late.
 The pirates' weapons emphasize needle beams, boarding shuttles, and tug
FTL drives, with the enforcers usually being fitted out as something
like a real warship.

Regardless of the exact make-up of a pirate raider fleet, their
objectives always boil down an idea to overpower convoy escorts with
their enforcers and/or converted freighters, steal as many ships as they
can, and then run (or cloak) before the feds can hunt them down.  The
federal starfleet makes significant use of dreadnoughts in their
missions to stop them, and they're _very_ powerful in these scenarios
even with only a few fighters to work with.
>In our games (and our ships are custom designs with higher point
defence suits) fighter
>groups are pretty much one shot.
>Even if you adjusted the existing fleet SSDs to increase the PDS suits
all you do is make
>the problem a lot worse. If ships typically run with 10% of their mass
as PDS then you
>either need to have a doctrine of every ship is a carrier or you don't
bother at all.

Yeah... this is exactly what I've found, at least until the gunnery
spotter rule came along.  Either you come prepared to overwhelm the
point defenses or you come with direct fire battleships, there's really
no middle ground.  The gunnery spotter rule was designed with exactly
this sort of eventuality in mind, so that a dreadnought force still has
a shot at getting _some_ benefit out of a fighter wing that just flat
out can't survive a direct assault on battleships that are geared to
survive attacks from a carrier force with many many more fighters.
>I think if you want to fix the ordnance "problem" then you need to
review the whole firing
>rules. Having completey different rules for targetting fighters and for
targetting small
>frigates seems to me to be the root cause of the problem and you won't
fix it until you have
>PDS as short range rapid fire weapons at one end of a graduated scale
of weaponry.

To some degree, I agree... although if you allow easy fire at fighters,
they just stop being effective.  I look at a scenario like, say, the
gunboats from Starfire or assault scouts from the really old TSR Star
Frontiers game, or even just trying to model something like a superheavy
bomber from World War II, all of which seems like concepts that Full
Thrust doesn't really have a clear mechanism for.  Heck, even large
shuttles or dropships that aren't armed but might still have a relevance
to a particular game's objectives kind of are a grey area.  I don't have
anything more than brainstorms for this that I might have occasionally
used for individual games that weren't even consistent from one game to
the next (other than the pirates' boarding shuttles).

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