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

From: Robert Mayberry <robert.mayberry@g...>
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 15:35:00 -0400
Subject: Re: [GZG] FT:XD changes, part 1

I think all the "naval gazing" that's going into this is confounding
the key problem. As Chris points out, each fighter grows in its
in-game effectiveness the more of them you have. So a single flat
point cost will over-charge at one point and undercharge at another.

All this other talk about campaign rules, industrial capabilities and
PSB ignores the fact that:

a) they're situational and setting-dependent
b) not used at all in one-off games, and
c) defeat the point of FT being adaptable for many settings

A point cost formula evaluates the relative likelihood of fleet A
beating fleet B, not counting the cleverness of the player. That's all
that's important, really. If at the end of the day we can adapt the
points system to also work as an economics system or justify it using
PSB, then great. Wonderful. But not actually necessary. And, hell,
we're smart people. We can figure out a PSB explanation for any points
system we invent.

Now, I don't think that Damond's answered Chris's point. Sure, we
could extrapolate what a FT fighter would cost if it had been a ship
and not a fighter, and then apply some kind of discount/penalty for
its fighter attributes. But then you'd be back to charging a linear
points cost to an asset whose actual value increases exponentially. No
matter how cleverly your calculation method, or how many decimal
points you calculate the fighter's value to, you'll be stuck with this
problem. And I doubt that, for 2-3 squadrons, that the number we have
already is that far off.

If 1 squadron in a fleet is less powerful than listed, why not give a
discount for it? And if 10 are too powerful, why not charge for that

Yes, one solution is to drop fighters entirely, or somehow limit them
so that they can't gang up like they can now. Another is to create an
inverted U-shaped relationship, some reason why large numbers of
squadrons is bad, to force people to have a certain number and be done
with it. But one of the strengths of FT2 is its flexibility.

Star Trek doesn't have fighters at all. B5 and Star Wars have some,
but they aren't the be-all and end-all of space combat. In BSG, they
are, and everyone uses huge carriers with colossal numbers of
fighters. I like that flexibility, that FT2 can model all of these
settings and more. It's what most people seem to use FT for. So it
seems crazy to drop that advantage just because we can't use a table
or handle the exponent key on our calculators.

On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 3:04 PM, Damond Walker <> wrote:
> On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 2:33 PM, Chris Ronnfeldt <>
>> Doubling the cost just changes where you transition between the two
> Sure if you view that sliding scale as the only variable in play --
> but it's the interaction between fighters and other assets that's
> important here.  You can't build a thrust 24" ship with six beams
> using the normal rules but you can start to figure out parts of it ( 2
> * (120% mass for the engines) + 18 for the beams...) .  You have one
> scale used to build everything -- and then fighters slapped on top of
> it using an arbitrary scale.
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