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

From: Eric Foley <stiltman@t...>
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 22:04:54 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: [GZG] FT:XD changes, part 1

>From: Tom B 
>Whereas I generally agree with Damond (and to a lesser extent Eric) on
the point system's inherent
>natural flaw (all point systems have some exploits and I am a big
proponent of SG because it has NONE),
>I also think there are reasons it is worth looking at some problems
within the context of the point
>After all, you've bothered enough to *have one in the first place*, so
trying to make it work as well
>as possible isn't a bad idea. Otherwise, why have it? Rely entirely on
campaign frameworks to make a
>workable larger campaign. 

There's a certain amount of merit to that... but there's also an
automatic caution that's already been brought up.  That being, no matter
where you put the point system to adjust for it, you're _never_ going to
have a perfect situation in a system that's got this many different
things you can do in it and which is intended to represent as many
different genres as possible.

Stargrunt might well be a lot more balanced in this respect, but it's
also got simplicity working for it:  it's only attempting to model a
form of not-far-removed futuristic infantry-centric small unit combat
between generally human-motivated opponents.  Get back to me when I can
play the Jedi versus the Jem Haddar versus the demons from Doom versus
an army made up of Jason Vorheeses versus Aliens versus WH40K Space
Marines versus Predators versus Glitter Boys versus Terminators versus
the Time Lords versus the Flood versus the Borg in it and all the edge
cases are still stable and everybody's happy with the result.  :P

>Eric is right insofar as it is entirely possible to build fleets that
have design flaws and get
>whacked. And he points out there are counters for most of them in the
form of alternate designs.
>But in order to figure out if these combinations are somewhat balanced
against one another, one must 
>look at what % of cost and mass you have to devote to dealing with
<enemy tactic>. To deal with the mid 
>to large fighter swarm, you need to devote *a lot* of mass and cost to
dealing with this. A well 
>rounded ship will loose to the fighter swarm in many cases. 

It depends.  If your ship is going to get killed easily by fighter
swarms, I would tend to say that this, by itself, indicates that it
isn't very "well rounded", now, is it?

However, I'll skip ahead to the convention example...

>Having been on the recieving end of Can Am 1 (due to an intelligence
failure, and you can read that
>either way and both would have been true), three beam heavy battleships
and their escorts were utterly
>consumed by fighters with (I believe) little or no damage to the enemy
carrier force, I got a good luck
>at the far extremum of being owned by fighters. The battleship fleet
had better than FB level PDS, ADFC
>and DDEs. But the enemy had something obscene like 25-30 fighter
groups, against 4 or 6 groups of heavy
>interceptors and the point defense. And the death swarm just ate their
way through a modified Komarov
>(more mid sized beams, more PDS) in each attack, after concentrating on
the DDEs for a round,
>eliminating them. 

I do _understand_ the issue... 25-30 fighters in what looks like it was
probably a roughly 3000 NPV game is a _little_ high even for my games. 
(The average, half-balanced carrier force in my games would've been
closer to about 15-20 at that NPV.)  On the other hand, I wouldn't have
called it truly ridiculous or anything.  If it were me, I'd have swapped
out at least the fighters, PDS, and maybe about 11 hull boxes for
scatterguns, which (in formation) is pretty much untouchable against
naked fighter strikes of comparable NPV -- at the resulting 810 NPV,
that many scatterguns kills 14 fighter groups per ship on average with
overkill spillover; soap bubble carriers filling out that NPV can only
deploy 12.8.  It just gets worse for a carrier force if I've got some
more densely scattergun armed DDEs on top of it.  If I _had_ to use
ADFC/PDS then I won't beat soapies any more, but I'd still probably win
the CanAm1 fight.  (And if somebody told me they're allowed to use
soapies an
 d I can't use scatterguns I'd be reaching for a trout to slap them

And moreover, neither of those two variants touches the Komarovs'
offensive weapons at all.  If someone used battleships against the
scattergun variant, oh well... here's 72 + escorts' scatterguns on your
ships if/when I get within range plus the Komarovs' regular weapons,
have fun with that.

(My plasma-and-torpedo bombers tactics would still kill the described
fleet whether it used scatterguns or PDS, so no, it's not impervious to
_supported_ fighters, just _naked_ fighters.)

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