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Author Topic: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race  (Read 77441 times)

marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1440 on: 06 December 2018, 10:13:30 »
1.) Dropships are useless for everything but troop transportation already, and you want them to die to a single NL/35? I disagree.

2./3.) I honestly don't see the problem. A Fighter strike of that size, dealing 350 Capital, seems fine to me in practice.
Someone calculated in the past, in detail, how subcaps would usually be better weapons than conventionals against nearly everything despite their far worse dmg/weight ratio. Effective range is everything.
They made a McKenna copy with higher speed, armed exclusively with clan Lasers, and faced it off against a standard. The standard won, even though it nominally did far lower damage.

Yes, carriers have a high damage potential - but they should. If the carrier dies, all those fighters go down the drain. It's also a force that's guaranteed to not go without losses.
And they need a lot of fuel, while Warships run on fairy dust.
And similar to how MLs have far better damage output for their weight and size than an AC/20, that AC/20 has it's use.
A large NAC will tear huge, bloody chunks out of a warships hide. A large fighter strike, by standard rules, will at best scatter their damage evenly over as many as three different facings.

In short, I think fighters are usually too effective against Warships, but not on that scale. Besides, as they will be dwindling away during combat, they could just be countered by allowing warships to mount, say, 50% more armour.
Most capital weapons have more than enough endurance for that, fighters do not.

I.)  A hypothetical Union-V carries 12 fighters and 300 armor on a facing.  If we make that 3000, those 12 fighters will need~15 turns to kill their carrier, unopposed.  This seems a bit much.

~thoughtful~  Maybe Dropships act like fighters against fighters, but like warships against warships?  Fighters can get in and exploit vulnerabilities on droppers, but capital weapons just arent super-effective against the smaller, more agile dropships?  This lets dropships perform like we are accustom against both fighters and warships, without leaving us at the situation where carriers sweep all other warships from the skies.

II.)  Supcaps are what they are.  Id be tempted to handle them like I suggested with droppers... fighter scale against fighters, capital scale against warships.  Where the breakpoint between standard:subcap:capital is, in terms of preference, depends on available tonnage, fire control penalties, and desired engagement ranges.
« Last Edit: 06 December 2018, 11:11:31 by marcussmythe »

Lagrange

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1441 on: 06 December 2018, 11:29:24 »
Smegish, do you have an opinion here about good rules?   Do others?

~thoughtful~  Maybe Dropships act like fighters against fighters, but like warships against warships?  Fighters can get in and exploit vulnerabilities on droppers, but capital weapons just arent super-effective against the smaller, more agile dropships?  This lets dropships perform like we are expecting against fighters (and against warships!)
This seems ok.  Dropships would basically have a capital armor rating and a standard armor rating with a 1:10 ratio.
II.)  Supcaps are what they are.  Id be tempted to handle them like I suggested with droppers... fighter scale against fighters, capital scale against warships.  Where the breakpoint between standard:subcap:capital is, in terms of preference, depends on available tonnage, fire control penalties, and desired engagement ranges.
The subcaps don't break anything treating them as 100:1 so I see little value.   Suppose we have double heat sinks.  SCL1 (6.17/kton) is worse than NAC-20 at worse range.  SCL2 (9.34/kton) and SCL3 (11.27/kton) is a bit better than a NAC40 at the same range, but the disparity in fire control is huge.  Also, a clan ERPPC (11.11/kton using 1:100) is similar with substantially more range.    Looking at the SCCs they deliver a consistent 9.7/Kton which is a marginally better than a NAC/35 or NAC 40 at similar or worse ranges and marginally worse than standard weapons at worse ranges.

Given the fire control penalty, subcaps seem particularly useful on light warships or dropships in an anti-ASF role where they would not overkill as much as an NL35 and provide one-shot-kill firepower for dropships vs. ASF.  They are also excellent in ground combat---a subcap dropship can provide highly accurate ortillery compared to a warship.

Alsadius

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1442 on: 06 December 2018, 21:34:51 »
As a quick update, I'm kind of sick right now, so I haven't done much. I haven't even had time to go through those posts above, just skimming them.

My first reaction from skimming the above is that it wouldn't help much. A fighter bay and WS missile is 190 tons, while a WS launcher with missile is 160 tons. You start getting fire control weight issues after some point, but a few hundred missiles on a WarShip is quite practical(load up the six broadside arcs, keep NACs in the nose, and fly straight in). The Lyran fleet at Vega had 18 ships, and 18*300 = 5400. And that'd get you salvos every minute (until ammo runs dry), instead of every few hours. Your own ship is in gun range with that plan, so you'll take more losses, but the salvo density could happen if someone wants it to. So if someone wants it to, we're back to needing to come up with a decently balanced set of PD rules that can handle thousands of missiles flying.

A ground-up rework could fix a lot of these issues, but that's outside my scope here. I think patches are much more likely in practice, both here and in any set of tabletop house rules. It's not ideal, and if there is a good idea in the full posts above that I can steal then I will. But I suspect it's going to keep looking like this.

marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1443 on: 06 December 2018, 22:13:14 »
As a quick update, I'm kind of sick right now, so I haven't done much. I haven't even had time to go through those posts above, just skimming them.

My first reaction from skimming the above is that it wouldn't help much. A fighter bay and WS missile is 190 tons, while a WS launcher with missile is 160 tons. You start getting fire control weight issues after some point, but a few hundred missiles on a WarShip is quite practical(load up the six broadside arcs, keep NACs in the nose, and fly straight in). The Lyran fleet at Vega had 18 ships, and 18*300 = 5400. And that'd get you salvos every minute (until ammo runs dry), instead of every few hours. Your own ship is in gun range with that plan, so you'll take more losses, but the salvo density could happen if someone wants it to. So if someone wants it to, we're back to needing to come up with a decently balanced set of PD rules that can handle thousands of missiles flying.

A ground-up rework could fix a lot of these issues, but that's outside my scope here. I think patches are much more likely in practice, both here and in any set of tabletop house rules. It's not ideal, and if there is a good idea in the full posts above that I can steal then I will. But I suspect it's going to keep looking like this.

Ive fiddled with missile-pure ships.  TLDR: They sound good in my head, but you really want a speed advantage, which eats into warload.  Without a speed advantage (though a small one is likely enough cause all aspect fire), you shoot yourself dry at extreme - or you dont fire back.  And, again, once youve got ~10 rounds of fire on board, you might as well have brought lasers/ppcs.

Also?  Get better.

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1444 on: 07 December 2018, 09:30:11 »
I second that. Best wishes.
That aside, do we necessarily need to intercept all missiles?
We can't intercept PPCs, either.
I believe the only reason fighter strikes are seen as so dangerous is that they can offer massive strikes at extreme distances.
If the oppositon uses shipboard launchers, they'll usually be within range of return fire within a turn or two, while lacking either the endurance or weight of fire to win that engagement once the range has been closed. Or both, in case they are faster.
The only way I see missiles be a significant threat by quantity alone is on defensive stations.
Of course, a missile based fleet would be a hard counter to a carrier fleet, so there's that.
« Last Edit: 07 December 2018, 09:39:09 by UnLimiTeD »
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marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1445 on: 07 December 2018, 09:43:17 »
I second that. Best wishes.
That aside, do we necessarily need to intercept all missiles?
We can't intercept PPCs, either.
I believe the only reason fighter strikes are seen as so dangerous is that they can offer massive strikes at extreme distances.
If the oppositon uses shipboard launchers, they'll usually be within range of return fire within a turn or two, while lacking either the endurance or weight of fire to win that engagement once the range has been closed. Or both, in case they are faster.
The only way I see missiles be a significant threat by quantity alone is on defensive stations.
Of course, a missile based fleet would be a hard counter to a carrier fleet, so there's that.

I'm exploring Alsadius's contention that shipboard missiles can, if we focus heavily on them, get us right back into the same places as fighter strikes, leaving us with the need for either an increase in PDS effectiveness for MGs, from what is written in the rules.  The number crunching is sloppily in code tags below.

TLDR:
Unopposed, a pure missile ship is terrifying.  A Buri takes 10 turns to kill itself with PPC fire at extreme range.  If you replace the PPCs with 600 Killer Whale Tubes, 5 rounds each, and allow off bore fire, it kills itself in 3 turns.  Rising numbers of MGs on the defender raise this total... at 2K MG, the missile ship shoots itself dry in killing itself.  At 3K MG, it takes the full load of 2 missile ships to kill one gunship, and the gunships killing speed is the same.  4K MGs gives immunity.

If you switch the Missile Battleship for a Missile Arsenal ship, with no other armament, no defenses, and only 90 SI - the arsenal ships do better, hitting 'shoot itself dry' somewhere between around 3.2K MGs on the defender.  However, they are also more fragile, because 90 SI - the 3.2K MG condition looks like it makes a 0-0 draw, with both sides running out of hulls and missiles at the same time. 4K MGs is enough to let the gunfleet win handily, thought its not immune.

Once we upgrade to full Lamellor Ferro-Carbide, it gets much, MUCH worse for the missile boats.  The 'standard' missile ship shoots itself dry killing itself, even in the absence of defenses, and even the arsenal ship can barely handle a standard gunboat, once it has a mere 1000 MGs.  Once you have 2000MGs, neither the missile battleship nor the arsenal ship have enough missiles to kill the gunships.  4000MGs will make it a slaughter in favor of the gunships - it takes the full missile loads of nearly 3 arsenal ships to kill ONE gunship, and the gunships are killing arsenal ships FASTER than they are dying.

((On further examination, a 'reasonable' load for a Buri-G is closer to 500 tubes than 600, so downgrade fleet missile results from above example to fit.  At 600 tubes, your nudging into arsenal ship already))

Concerns:
Q:  What about a faster ship, able to close the range?
A:  This is basically the NAC vs NPPC fight above.  But a faster ship means less total tubes - a 'fast' Buri-G (4/6, ~120 SI, ~400 tubes) might get in closer, but its going to throw less missiles per salvo, is going to lose launching tubes while trying to close, and wont necessarily face much better THNs as it closes, as an opponent will give up its own fire to create crossing aspect and to take evasive maneuver, once the missile fleet is in its killing range.  The THN 10 example could actually apply at any range outside of short - even at medium, crossing aspect plus evasive creates a THN around 10, all of this before ECM.

Q:  500MG?  1000?!!!  Are you insane, man?
A:  1000 MG on a facing is not actually a huge investment ~about 3000 tons - save inasmuch as you abandon using that facing for capital weapons.  Even 2000 is fairly manageable, at 10KT.  The missile boat has made the same choice - its missile facings will carry neither 'standard' capital weapons, nor will they carry point defense.  The Arsenal ship described eschews even point defense and AAA in the name of massive anti-ship firepower.  That said, weight climbs fast past 2K of anything - might want to spread your PDS out onto multiple facing arcs.

Q:  Sure, but I dont have NEARLY that many MGs on anything, nor does anyone else.
A:  Yup, and noone has that many missile tubes either.  Given fire control limitations, the proper response to such designs might be a small, cheap as possible escort to carry those machine guns, so they arent interfering with the fire control on your capital ships.

Q:  So what sort of missile fleet would you build, if you were going to cheddar this?
A:  It depends on whats on my border.  If I rebuilt my whole fleet (for free), and decided to go with missile variants, Id probably build something between my arsenal ship and the 'standard' BBG, likely reducing missile throw weight to get some guns or fighters, likely at 2/3.
Frankly, my most likely response is to keep my current designs, and if someone else starts building arsenal ships, to put about 1200MGs per size class on everything I build.

Q:  But cant a missile fleet kill your ships and go home and you dont get to fight back? 
A: 4/6 missile strikefleet is tempting - empty tubes at extreme range, get some kills, go home.  Unfortunately, while its good at killing (A FEW) ships, it would be bad at defending territory - sure, I might be happy to trade a meaningless world for a few enemy hulls, and then repeat it - but if the enemy decides to show up over the capital or a major shipyard, I'm going to feel really dumb if all I get to do is kill some ships in exchange for losing the capital.

Q:  What if you go with more reloads and less tubes?
A:  Outcomes get more complex.  To go from 5 to 10 rounds of fire per tube, you have to cut from 500 launchers and 2500 missiles carried to  tubes to 380 Launchers (3800 ready rounds).  This is going to cut you from 83 hits per salvo to 63 hits.  Against a foe with heavy PDS, you may actually get less total hits, as well as taking longer to get them - giving them more time to engage your ships and kill your magazines while they still have missiles in them.  I really thing 5 rounds is about the right balance between weight and endurance of fire, under the RAW.

Q:  Why are you allowing off-bore fire?
A:  Cause Alsadius said you can kind-of off-bore right now, its eventually a formal technology, and we will get it sooner or later.  Since Alsadius is worried about missiles, Im testing them at their best.

Q:  What About Bearings Only Launches?  Cant you use them to make everything 'Short' Range?
A:  Bearings Only will be where the rubber hits the road.  Under a Bearings-Only system, you want to shoot from JUST outside extreme, so as to only have a 1 turn delay... id bet you can basket anyone within short or medium range gate if your only 1 turn delayed.  If you can short-basket, your probably firing on 8s or so (cross bearing, evasive, short range).  Thats going to increase your hits by about 2.5x

IF Bearings Only comes out around the time Lamellor Ferro-Carbide does, we end up in about the same place as the current condition, though the missile ships are a bit better, and can empty their bays without taking return fire against any slower fleets.  If it comes out significantly after LFC, missile use may have withered.  If it comes out before LFC (or god help us, before IFA!) then life gets INTERESTING - the capital missile launcher might eclipse the NAC as the primary weapon for a while, until armor and point defense catch up.

Q:  What about PDS?
A:  Actual PDS is better at shooting down missiles than MGs, I believe 50% better.  This will help the defense, but mostly by lowering required numbers and thus the massive fire control weight.  Its a 'lean this way or that' change, not a 'radical paradigm shift' change.

(Edit - turns out AMS is twice as good, and Small Lasers are 1.5x as good)



Quote
Assumptions:
1.)  Missiles can fire off bore.
2.)  40MGs kill 1 Killer Whale missile that would otherwise have hit.
3.)  Fire is calculated at THN-10*

*10 is selected because at higher than 10, decisive fire becomes nigh impossible, and because in this example, both ships have the same thrust, giving typical THNs at Extreme range of around 10-12.  If one ship goes evasive, the other fleet can manuver to try to close the range.  Close-range engagement by missile ships will be addressed in a following example that will be edited in.

Our combatants:
1.)  Buri, PPC model, with various levels of MG carriage concentrated on sides.  It will hit with 6.33 PPCs, 100 damage.
2.)  Buri-G, carrying 125 KW tubes on each corner, with 5 rounds per launcher.  It will hit with 83 missiles, 333 damage.
3.)  Buri-AS, an Arsenal ship with a total of 800 tubes, 90 SI, and no other armament. 

In each case, the Buri-G falls to the PPCs of the Buri-P in 10 salvos.

If Buri-P has no PDS, it takes a mere 3 salvos to kill.
Every 1000 MGs added removes 25 missiles.  At 1000 MGs, Buri-P dies on turn 5, and Buri-G goes home, empty but happy.
At 3000 MGs, Buri-G runs out of missiles with half the armor on Buri-P gone.
4000 MGs creates immunity.

Against the arsenal ship, 4000 MGs is not immunity, but it is superiority - arsenal ships run out of missiles before the targets run out of armor.

If we upgrade ships to Lamellor Ferro-Carbide, killing speed evaporates as a concern, and we are only left worrying about 'did you bring enough missiles'

With LFC armor, it takes the entire, unopposed missile load of Buri-G to kill Buri-P, 5 rounds of fire.

As soon as the defender starts applying MGs, this gets worse... at 2000 MGs, it takes 10 salvos to kill, and the 'G' ships only have 5...

4000 is still immunity.  Against the arsenal ship, 4000 is not quite immunity, but it will take ~3~ arsneal ships firing themselves drive to kill ~1~ Buri-P

Buri-G Modeling
THN: 10 (however we get there), 1 in 6 hits
Armor/SI: 1000 (Whole side)   OR 1900 (LFC)
500 missiles per salvo, 83 hits   
400 damage per salvo (missiles), 100 damage per salvo (PPC)

3 STK OR 5 STK (10 and 19 for the PPC ships)
1000 MG – 25 Missiles killed, 300 DPS, 4 and 7 STK   (10 and 19 for the PPC ships)      

2000 MG – 50 Missiles killed, 200 DPS, 5 and 10 STK

3000 MG – 75 missiles killed, 100DPS, 10 and 19 STK       (10 and 19 for the PPC ships)

4000 MG – 100 missiles killed, Immunity

Buri – Max G Modeling (2/3, 90 SI, Arsenal Ship)      
Same THN
Armor/SI is 1000, and 500, or 1900 (and 950) if LFC
800  missles per salvo, 135 hits

~533 damage per salvo. 2 STK      4STK      (5 and 10 for the PPC ships)         
1000 MG, 433 DPS, 3 STK      5 STK         (5 and 10 for the PPC ships)            
2000 MG, 333 DPS, 3 STK      6 STK
3000 MG, 233 DPS, 4 STK      9 STK      (5 and 10 for the PPC ships)
4000 MG, 133 DPS, 8  STK      14 STK  (5 and 10 for the PPC ships)   


« Last Edit: 07 December 2018, 20:13:26 by marcussmythe »

Lagrange

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1446 on: 07 December 2018, 15:24:38 »
Q:  500MG?  1000?!!!  Are you insane, man?
The tonnage costs are reasonable, and the need to blunt missile attacks seems clear as they are otherwise much more damaging than anything else.   I think the biggest missing element in making such designs accepted is the lack of canon designs that provide something like the battlestar galactica point defense system.
Q:  Sure, but I dont have NEARLY that many MGs on anything, nor does anyone else.
Note the Matador here :-) 
A:  Yup, and noone has that many missile tubes either.  Given fire control limitations, the proper response to such designs might be a small, cheap as possible escort to carry those machine guns, so they arent interfering with the fire control on your capital ships.
Smallcraft are pretty good here.  The Fireshield design can take out a Killer Whale under standard Battletech rules.
Q:  What if you go with more reloads and less tubes?
A:  Outcomes get more complex.  To go from 5 to 10 rounds of fire per tube, you have to cut from 500 launchers and 2500 missiles carried to  tubes to 380 Launchers (3800 ready rounds).  This is going to cut you from 83 hits per salvo to 63 hits.  Against a foe with heavy PDS, you may actually get less total hits, as well as taking longer to get them - giving them more time to engage your ships and kill your magazines while they still have missiles in them.  I really thing 5 rounds is about the right balance between weight and endurance of fire, under the RAW.
It seems worth noting that the battletech rules (minimum 10 missiles/tube) do slightly nerf the missile boat inline with the above. 
Q:  Why are you allowing off-bore fire?
A:  Cause Alsadius said you can kind-of off-bore right now, its eventually a formal technology, and we will get it sooner or later.  Since Alsadius is worried about missiles, Im testing them at their best.
Off-bore fire for all but one arc are allowed by SO page 102 under "Preprogrammed Waypoint Launches".  I don't see that in the tech progression?  So maybe it's just available now?
If it comes out before LFC (or god help us, before IFA!) then life gets INTERESTING
Technology advances creating transitory imbalances seem good. 
Q:  What about PDS?
A:  Actual PDS is better at shooting down missiles than MGs, I believe 50% better.  This will help the defense, but mostly by lowering required numbers and thus the massive fire control weight.  Its a 'lean this way or that' change, not a 'radical paradigm shift' change.
What do you mean by PDS here?  Small Lasers are 50% better if you can use someone else's heatsinks.

marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1447 on: 07 December 2018, 15:53:17 »
Arrgh.  By ‘PDS’ I mean ‘AMS’, which I recall doing 3 damage against capital missiles.

RE:  Small Lasers:
Given the massively escalating fire control tonnage, small lasers are better at anti-missile duty than machine guns - even if you have to use your own heat sinks.

2000MGs - 11,000 Tons

1,333SLas - 6,300 Tons, with heat sinks.

For the record, I'm an ass for overlooking the ability of the small laser to replace the Machine gun as a PDS weapon - that starts tilting the board quite heavily back towards the gunships.

Of course, a facing with 1000+ Machine Guns or Small lasers cannot afford even ‘normal’ AAA - and you want at least 2 PDS arrays.  My thought at that point is to put your PDS on broadsides, Capital Guns on flanks, and use nose and tail mounted ‘cuda as your AAA.


« Last Edit: 07 December 2018, 16:20:20 by marcussmythe »

Lagrange

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1448 on: 07 December 2018, 17:55:46 »
Arrgh.  By ‘PDS’ I mean ‘AMS’, which I recall doing 3 damage against capital missiles.
AMS does 3 damage, MG in point defense mode 1, and SL in point defense mode 1.5 with 20/30/40 to kill BC/WS/KW.
Given the massively escalating fire control tonnage, small lasers are better at anti-missile duty than machine guns - even if you have to use your own heat sinks.
Interesting.
2000MGs - 11,000 Tons
Call it 13438 tons with 2nd class quarters and 10 rounds of ammo.   The cost is 8M before the multiplier.   Note also that you typically need multiple arcs. 
1,333SLas - 6,300 Tons, with heat sinks.
Or, 7960 tons with quarters.  The cost is 17.7M before the multiplier.

And to finish off, 667 AMS would be 2657 tons with heat sinks and 10 rounds of ammo each.   The cost is however 271M before the multiplier.

Edit: And, if AMS were allowed to fire unlimited times, it would be 14 AMS weighing 1230 tons including heat sinks and ammo.  The cost is 2.7M before the multiplier.
For the record, I'm an ass for overlooking the ability of the small laser to replace the Machine gun as a PDS weapon - that starts tilting the board quite heavily back towards the gunships.

Of course, a facing with 1000+ Machine Guns or Small lasers cannot afford even ‘normal’ AAA - and you want at least 2 PDS arrays.  My thought at that point is to put your PDS on broadsides, Capital Guns on flanks, and use nose and tail mounted ‘cuda as your AAA.
You could also use your doors to carry ASF as a more direct counter.   Also, enemy ASF that wander into the PDS kill zone are going to evaporate.   That's particularly significant against ASF that are short range focused (i.e. Rager II).
« Last Edit: 07 December 2018, 18:07:00 by Lagrange »

marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1449 on: 07 December 2018, 18:24:26 »
AMS does 3 damage, MG in point defense mode 1, and SL in point defense mode 1.5 with 20/30/40 to kill BC/WS/KW.Interesting.Call it 13438 tons with 2nd class quarters and 10 rounds of ammo.   The cost is 8M before the multiplier.   Note also that you typically need multiple arcs.  Or, 7960 tons with quarters.  The cost is 17.7M before the multiplier.

And to finish off, 667 AMS would be 2657 tons with heat sinks and 10 rounds of ammo each.   The cost is however 271M before the multiplier.

Edit: And, if AMS were allowed to fire unlimited times, it would be 14 AMS weighing 1230 tons including heat sinks and ammo.  The cost is 2.7M before the multiplier.You could also use your doors to carry ASF as a more direct counter.   Also, enemy ASF that wander into the PDS kill zone are going to evaporate.   That's particularly significant against ASF that are short range focused (i.e. Rager II).

Defending fighters might be your best choice for anti-fighter work, to be honest.  After crunching the numbers, the most fighters I expect to see per hull class, on a carrier is ~200 (Tyr is an extreme).  While handing 200 inbound on a Class I vessel is doable with standard scale weapons, handling 1000 inbound on a Class V BB really calls for barracuda swarms - and the 2000 barracuda missiles and 200 launchers you want to deal with 1000 fighters before they totally wreck your BB ends up massing nearly as much as your broadside!

May also re-figure BURI with NL/55s, and accept the fire control penalty, just to get the dual purpose.

truetanker

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1450 on: 07 December 2018, 21:17:12 »
Page 49 folks... let's start think II soon...

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marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1451 on: 07 December 2018, 22:06:30 »
This will be my last post until we hear from Alsadius.  We probably want him to do the first post on the II thread, and let him set up links to this thread where he needs them.

DOC_Agren

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1452 on: 08 December 2018, 12:47:55 »
I second that. Best wishes.
That aside, do we necessarily need to intercept all missiles?
We can't intercept PPCs, either.
I believe the only reason fighter strikes are seen as so dangerous is that they can offer massive strikes at extreme distances.
If the oppositon uses shipboard launchers, they'll usually be within range of return fire within a turn or two, while lacking either the endurance or weight of fire to win that engagement once the range has been closed. Or both, in case they are faster.
The only way I see missiles be a significant threat by quantity alone is on defensive stations.
Of course, a missile based fleet would be a hard counter to a carrier fleet, so there's that.
As a observer here, can I add my own $0.02
I've played other games where, "fighters and missiles" can be claimed to game winner.
Yep Massive PDS can work, but it then becomes a design choice.
Because if my fleet loads up on massive PDS, and the attaching fleet not carrying missile or fighters but heavy, that "wasted" space my ship that could carry guns.
Second not much is done here that the other players don't see the designs before conflict, not like TT is going sneaky all missile fleet and take on the Purple Bird in an naval ambush   >:D
Once you start changing "defensive" system you are going to effecting how designs are and what it takes to kill them, as it is here you have removed SI limits.

What the next step a Sandcaster so those PPC and Laser stop being so effective
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Alsadius

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1453 on: 27 December 2018, 17:30:04 »
I've gotten a couple PMs asking about me, so I'll put this here to keep everyone in the loop. I haven't been working on the next turn, but I'm not dead, just taking a break. I don't think I realized how much I needed it, plus there's the usual Christmas social calendar and a lot of fun household stuff to work on(a sewage backup, accidentally mixing ammonia and bleach while cleaning up a sewage backup, and other such festivities). 

I have a few more things that need doing IRL before I want to come back to this, but I've promised my wife that all of those will be done by New Year's Day. My intention is to start writing again after that.

Hope everyone has had a good holiday season.

marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1454 on: 28 December 2018, 09:54:28 »
Merry Christmas!  Welcome back!  Avoid making chlorine gas!

Alsadius

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1455 on: 31 January 2019, 15:47:05 »
I've been writing a bit, but my heart hasn't really been in it. So I'll put a marker down at this point - if I haven't finished the current turn by next weekend, the game is officially dead. I'll post what I have - currently about 60% of a turn - make some follow-up comments, and pack it in. (If someone else wants to be GM I'll play, but I suspect that won't happen.)

Thanks to everyone.

Smegish

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1456 on: 31 January 2019, 18:48:48 »
It was fun while it lasted

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1457 on: 01 February 2019, 06:24:13 »
Aye - it was certainly entertaining for the one turn I was in it. ;)
You did sure set up a monumental task for yourself.
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Lagrange

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1458 on: 01 February 2019, 09:40:15 »
I certainly ended up understanding the ins and outs of rules quite a bit more.

Alsadius's effort here seems like the key limiting factor.  Word count is the least of this.  The major things I see are:
  • The creativity behind creating outcomes.
  • Tracking everything that is going on.
  • Settling rules changes / disputes.
  • Limiting imbalances.
For (1), we'd probably need to switch to a distributed neutral 3rd party mechanism and standardize rules for setting up conflicts.  A narrative based conclusion seems required given the scale.
For (2), Smegish has been helping quite a bit, but maps have become increasingly necessary as time goes on.  I expect attempts to draw things by hand to fail because the effort is just to great (I did it last round for the TC).  What we need is something like this, except with dynamically controlled content.  This really requires a program---not to hard, but it would require some doing to setup.
For (3), I think we'd primarily need to set rules (houserules, tech advances, economy, etc...) at the beginning and just cope with the requisite warts.  Allowing consensus changes mid-stream and majority resolution of ambiguities also seems required.
For (4), the TH is the elephant, since they could plausibly take out everyone without breaking a sweat.   A lesser concern is periphery powers being easily wiped out.  Some limiting factor not yet stated in the rules must exist.

marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1459 on: 01 February 2019, 10:12:22 »
I certainly ended up understanding the ins and outs of rules quite a bit more.

Alsadius's effort here seems like the key limiting factor.  Word count is the least of this.  The major things I see are:
  • The creativity behind creating outcomes.
  • Tracking everything that is going on.
  • Settling rules changes / disputes.
  • Limiting imbalances.
For (1), we'd probably need to switch to a distributed neutral 3rd party mechanism and standardize rules for setting up conflicts.  A narrative based conclusion seems required given the scale.
For (2), Smegish has been helping quite a bit, but maps have become increasingly necessary as time goes on.  I expect attempts to draw things by hand to fail because the effort is just to great (I did it last round for the TC).  What we need is something like this, except with dynamically controlled content.  This really requires a program---not to hard, but it would require some doing to setup.
For (3), I think we'd primarily need to set rules (houserules, tech advances, economy, etc...) at the beginning and just cope with the requisite warts.  Allowing consensus changes mid-stream and majority resolution of ambiguities also seems required.
For (4), the TH is the elephant, since they could plausibly take out everyone without breaking a sweat.   A lesser concern is periphery powers being easily wiped out.  Some limiting factor not yet stated in the rules must exist.

These are good points.  That said, I very much have enjoyed what we have, and seeing Alsadius continue it would be a preferred solution.

If he is unable to do so (and this is understandable, no criticism implied), the next best solution would be to see if someone was willing to take over.  I cannot.

Barring either solution, Id be down to take another run up at this, with a new setup reflecting lessons learned, under a new GM.  Its exactly my catnip.

truetanker

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1460 on: 01 February 2019, 18:13:12 »
Must pirate somebody to expand Empire!!!

I too wish to continue, if possible... or a rehash.

TT
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Smegish

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1461 on: 01 February 2019, 18:28:40 »
I would also like to continue this thought experiment, whether we continue this under new management or restart doesn't greatly bother me though I lack the time or fluff writing experience to run it myself beyond the spreadsheet work I was already doing.

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1462 on: 02 February 2019, 20:32:35 »
Now, I don't exactly want us to reach the page limit just yet, but:
Given a break of a month or so, I'd be willing to try myself at a program for mapping.
Also, it's not for me to say, maybe, but I'd generally also be ok with a few month breaks - creativity sometimes wants to focus on other things.
If we end this, and want to ever continue it in the future, I suggest we'd sit down to look at the rules create something that is close to the existing rules for modified for us, and then actually create things like a shipbuilder incorporating all of those from what tools we have. A lot of very complex calculations wouldn't be a problem if no one has to actually make them.
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Alsadius

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1463 on: 11 February 2019, 10:31:29 »
Yeah, this isn't happening. Here's the partially written turn. Un-finished stuff and notes to myself are in italics

Turn 7: 2410-2419
Previous Turn: 2400-2409

Player Turns:
Draconis Combine: Budget $117B.
Federated Suns: Budget $103B.
Capellan Confederation: Budget $98B.
Free Worlds League: Budget $107B. (Design and Doctrine, Budget)
Lyran Commonwealth: Budget $112B.
Marian Hegemony: Budget $24B. (Turn, Design Errata)
Taurian Concordat: Budget $23B.

NPC Turns:
Terran Hegemony: Budget $775B.
United Hindu Collective: Budget $26B.
Rim Worlds Republic: Budget $38B.

Armies and Technology
This was discussed at length in a previous comment.
TH gains PPCs, Improved Ferro-Aluminum, and Naval Gauss.
DC gains Blazer and Mechs.
FS gains AC/10.
FWL gains AC/10, Castles Brian, and Naval Gauss.
UHC gets AC/10.

Armies are now defined and tracked independently. No new builds yet this turn - that will begin on turn 8.

2410:
The negotiations over the Ares treaty were lengthy and acrimonious, with many pious sentiments repeated, but little agreement on what it would mean in practice. The use of weapons of mass destruction against civilian targets was agreed to in principle almost immediately, but discussions over what exactly constituted a civilian target took far longer. Likewise, discussions of "no first use" vs "no use" vs "no use on civil targets", and a hundred variants thereof, occupied months of time for the negotiators.

In the end, the treaty didn't live up to Aleisha Liao's dreams, but it would serve. The old Geneva conventions on treatment of wounded soldiers, prisoners of war, and the protection of civilians in war zones, were formally incorporated into interstellar law almost unchanged. Assorted updates were made to deal with new technological considerations and the nature of interstellar warfare, but few were of any significance.

After the official treaty had been negotiated, the Terran negotiator announced that in addition to the bilateral, binding treaty, the Terran Hegemony would make a unilateral declaration that any use of weapons of mass destruction would be deemed to be a war crime by the Hegemony, and that the Hegemony would take action against any perpetrators. That much had been suggested in the negotiations(and in fact, was counted on to be a backstop to the slightly anemic text of the treaty), so that was no surprise. The surprise came a moment later, when the Lyran representative took to the podium and made the same declaration, word-for-word, of the Lyran commitment to do the same. While the Lyrans had taken the hardest line on WMD usage in the negotiations, that had not been foreshadowed, and even a couple of the experienced diplomats looked momentarily shocked. The Lyran government refused to clarify whether this was a publicity stunt, an effort to shame the other nations into doing something similar, or if it had another purpose entirely, but in any case the declaration was not repeated by any other power.

While the initial negotiations had merely involved the six major powers, the treaty was intended to allow expansion, and the outer regions participated to some extent. The Rim Words Republic had delegates at the conference area, despite not being officially invited to take part in the process, and signed the treaty on the same day as the major powers. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the United Hindu Collective refused to sign, fearing that it would legitimize offensive warfare and remove the stigma from attacking other humans. The Taurian Concordat was especially passionate on the topic of how prisoners were treated, and while they denounced the hypocrisy of powers that started unprovoked wars trying to reduce the impact of warfare, they felt a limited treaty of this nature would be beneficial to all. The Marian Hegemony also signed on quickly, as did the puppet government of Rasalhague.

2411: Lopsided battle(TH vs CC) - if fight happens, TH 3 crew, 2 command, 6 luck, CC 9 crew, 10 command, 7 luck (TH 9 aggro, CC 2 aggro)

2412:
In July 2412, Robert Kurita was on a tour of the first BattleMech factory, watching the first of the mass-produced new war machines come off the line. Unfortunately, the factory had been constructed at high speed and with tremendous secrecy between different branches of the design team due to the bleeding-edge technology of the Mech design. In the confusion, it seems that insufficient tolerances were built into the design, and the shaking caused by the giant 90-ton war machine walking off the line caused major issues. As Kurita walked through the open doorway ahead of the Mech, the gigantic door snapped loose, and fell directly on Kurita, who was crushed instantly.

A few engineers were known to express skepticism about this sequence of events, suggesting that the forces involved could not plausibly break a brand-new door motor. However, ties were quickly made between them and some low-credibility conspiracy theories, and the fact that they generally pinned the blame on Robert's own sister, proved that these were not people to be taken seriously.

Robert's younger brother Parker took over, and was known to lament the size of the shoes he needed to fill. However, he sought out to fill them as he imagined Robert would have done in his place, and spent months trying to interview everyone who was close to Robert to see if he could assemble as much knowledge of his older brother's methods as he could manage.

2413:
Langdon Echohawk had not been a young man when he launched his coup, and the twenty years since had taken a toll on his body. Even with an average life expectancy on Terra of nearly a century, age 88 was still old. Old enough to be concerning for many, especially when Echohawk had no children of his own to form a traditional dynastic line of succession. His mind was still as sharp as ever, though, and he knew this was an issue he would need to face.

Echohawk's solution was a new constitution, explicitly designed for an era of dynasts. Drawing on historical as varied as the careful balancing of powers in the United States, the failure of Bismarck's constitutional design to survive his own fall from power, the adoptive succession of the Roman emperors, and the chaotic battles of the Second Soviet Civil War, he designed a new system not entirely like any other in existence to pass along his powers to capable heirs for as long as possible.

The basic secession principle would be of chosen heirs for each leader, but an era of nuclear and even relativistic attacks requires significant fallback plans. The focus of the fallback system was a group of 21 Ministers of State. Each Minister would be a direct appointee of the Director-General, save that a Director-General in their first year could appoint no new Ministers without the approval of two-thirds of the existing Ministers(to ensure that they can be removed if they prove unsuitable). A new heir must be approved by at least one-third of the Ministers, and two-thirds of Ministers can impose a new heir over a Captain-General's objections, or impeach a Captain-General outright. No more than three Ministers may ever be in the same ten-mile radius, and no more than 15 may ever be in the same solar system. Other checks and balances added up to a mildly complex system, but one where people of good judgement were likely to be able to preserve that trait over time.

Echohawk's initial Ministers of State included two generals, three admirals, seven planetary governors, two CEOs, two of his chief advisors, his wife, his youngest brother, the Chief Justice, a famed political science professor, and(to the surprise of many) a mildly successful and generally well-regarded author of historical fiction that Echohawk had never expressed any public praise for. Named as Heir was Josefine Vernon, a retired THN Commodore who had entered the Terran Congress in 2405, impressed many by her passionate speeches, declined to run again due to her party's failure to pass a bill funding veteran's hospitals as promised, then started a defence contracting company with reasonable success. Not all were pleased with this choice - Vernon was 68 years old, and her fiery ways had earned her enemies - but the Ministers of State approved her by a 20-1 vote. Interestingly, it was Echohawk's wife Larissa who cast the solitary Nay vote, explaining that it was the job of Ministers to act as a check on the succession, not merely a rubber stamp, and that it was important to set the proper precedents for the sake of history.

2414:
After taking some time to refit their fleet to an updated design, the Free Worlds League was out to protect themselves from being victims of Lyran aggression yet again. Admiral Ernest Starek, operational commander of the FWLN fleet, noted that most previous attacks had been wildly successful in the initial phases, but that they tended to peter out as the fleets began to clash - the ground forces lost their orbital bombardment support, the logistics got bogged down, and the need to consolidate gains reduced advances to a crawl. Lyran naval discussions, both publicly and those reported by Marik intelligence agents, were focusing heavily on concentration of force, and

To deal with this, he came up with an unusual plan of attack. Instead of taking planets to court a fleet battle, in hopes of driving his enemy away and allowing the advance to continue, he decided to prolong the opening phases for as long as possible in order to capture territory. The first wave was launched in the far west, to liberate Promised Land and several other nearby worlds. Four worlds were targeted in the first wave of attacks, with ten regiments earmarked for the symbolically important planet of Promised Land and five for the other nearby worlds. Each of these forces had exactly one Heracles in support - the location of the other 13 battlecruisers, plus the three Phalanx-class commerce raiders, was not immediately apparent.

The region was somewhat remote from Lyran reinforcements - Tharkad was 15 jumps away from Promised Land, and even the primary forward base at New Kyoto was 8 jumps away. Griffith, Timbiqui, and Epsilon fell fairly quickly. The Free Worlds League had received reports that the planetary garrison at Promised Land had been strongly reinforced, as it was an obvious target of attack, and expected a more serious fight there. In this, they were initially disappointed - the capital fell quickly, with only a few battalions providing any resistance, and the commanding general began to suspect that the reports were in error.

In fact, the defending forces were nearly as strong as his own - a full combined-arms division was stationed on Promised Land, in addition to the typical garrison, and it had merely been waiting for its moment to strike. That moment came when the attackers fanned out to capture secondary towns in the planet's temperate zones - one of the regiments was proceeding without cover from the Heracles II-class FWLN Orpheus, and with only a fighter battalion providing cover. With this report in hand, the whole fighter strength of the defending forces - a full brigade, over 300 fighters - came out of hiding to ambush the Mariks. The attack was not a perfect ambush, and the Mariks got a few minutes' warning, but the slaughter was still brutal. Despite the light missile loads the Lyrans carried to preserve their agility, half the FWL fighters died to Barracuda missiles without firing a shot, and the Lyran fighters killed three DropShips outright with their initial missile barrage, and opened wounds in seven others. The swarming fighters rapidly dispatched the remaining fighters, and three DropShips fell from the sky before the rest offered to surrender.

However, the surrender was short-lived. The Marik fighter forces were a third again as numerous as the Lyrans, and they sortied quickly to catch the defenders before they could flee. With an attack inbound, the Lyrans could not pause to secure their captives, and they "escaped" by simply flying back to base in the ensuing dogfight. The Lyrans were outraged at this breach of their surrender terms, while the Free Worlders felt that the duty of a prisoner was to escape, and that the Lyrans were hardly in any position to judge how surrenders were supposed to work. The fighting took a marked turn for the brutal after this, with guerrilla tactics being used readily in regions that had mostly Lyran settlers, aggressive bombardment of anything even suspected to be a fighter base, and several reports of prisoners being mistreated on both sides. Promised Land eventually fell to the invaders, with major combat operations ceasing after a bit less than a month, but the Lyran areas continued to cause difficulty for years afterwards.


LC-FWL combat
FWL does "bite and hold" tactics, heavily using pirate points for communication between dispersed forces - fleet all has giant fuel bays, so non-sail recharge is quite reasonable. Poor crew skill, though, so a mis-jump? Or just bad in fighting?
LC uses high-speed engagements, slashing fighter attacks, and disengages from fights well. Bad luck, though - one high-speed attack features the enemy ship jumping out right as fighters fly by, so the energy bleed from the jump kills a bunch of fighters for absolutely no damage
LC: 9 crew, 9 command, 1 luck (150% on gunships and fighters = 10/10/4, 100% otherwise)
FWL: 3 crew 10 command, 9 luck (100%)



2415:
Aleisha Liao and her husband Arden Baxter were expecting their first child in late 2415, but a routine medical check-up early in her pregnancy revealed that she had an aggressive form of cancer, and found herself with only a few months to live. Heroic efforts were made to preserve the life of her unborn heir, including a deathbed C-section, but young Caroline was simply too premature to survive, and died less than a day later. Aleisha's nephew Stephen was the next heir in line, but he was only 15 years old. As such, Stephen was named Chancellor, but his powers were vested in a regency council led by Arden Baxter. Baxter promised to continue with his late wife's dream of peace, and committed to working on more complete Ares protocols which might allow for widespread disarmament in the future.

Twins Edmund and Edward Davion had been tightening their grip on the Federated Suns for years, spurred on by the memory of their manipulative mother, worry about popularity of other Davions, and the fears of Edmund's aggressive and paranoid husband Jason. The most likely successor, their cousin Simon, had acquitted himself well in the Ares Convention negotiations, and seemed free of the vices that had plagued the Davion family in recent decades. After a posting as Ambassador to the Terran Hegemony, Simon was recalled to New Avalon for re-assignment. With rumours having reached him that his life was in danger from his cousins, many urged Simon not to return, but Simon took a different approach.

Working with a friendly naval commodore who was sending ships back to Delevan for refit, Simon took a somewhat roundabout path through the inner systems on the way home, speaking to large audiences in every system he passed through and trying to drum up public support(and private offers of assistance). By the time he and the escorting Crucis-class battleship reached New Avalon, he was a celebrated figure in the public's eye, far too prominent to be squelched quietly by Edmund's security forces. An assassination attempt took place as he exited his DropShip, but he survived the attack with minimal injuries due to a sharp-eyed assistant, and made his way to a scheduled meeting of the High Council, with his brothers in attendance. After he took his seat next to his cousins, he reached under his chair, grabbed the hidden pistol, and shot Edmund and Edward dead in the High Council chambers, then dropped his weapon and demanded a trial for his crimes.

Both the Presidential Guard and the High Council were shocked by these actions, and he only narrowly escaped being killed on the spot. However, his supporters had laid the groundwork well, and they eventually declared that he had only done what was necessary. However, the thought of placing a regicide in charge of the realm, even so, was too hard a sell to make it through the Council. The lack of other viable heirs led to a rather awkward negotiation, which was eventually settled by placing the position of President into commission, to be shared between five Princes, one for each region of the realm. Simon would be the "First Prince", but other than the power to set the agenda of formal meetings and oversee the process of naming Princes and heirs, he would have no official powers that the other Princes did not share.

A bunch of changes to canon here. In canon, Arden Baxter was a vengeful fool who fast-talked his way into power and tried to sabotage the realm, but that seemed overly harsh. In canon, Edmund Davion's homosexuality was a secret and shame, which seemed plausible in 80s writings but kind of unlikely today, so I juggled that a bunch.

2416: FS-DC running battle - long campaign, lasts more than one advance (FS 3 crew, 7 command, 5 luck, DC 1 crew, 8 command, 7 luck)
2417: (continued from 2416)


Kiviar ops plan:
Quote
So, about the btech campaign
thinking the navy's plan to deal with the combine would probably be a 3 stage operation
phase 1 would be a disinformation/espionage phase, where attempts are made to convince the combine that a massive strike on New Samarkand is being planned.
this would use both media leaks, and counter-counter espionage in the combine
ie agents with false information being intentionally compromised
but also the high-space fleet would be assembled in, lets say, Robinson combining the crucis, terran, and draconis fleets. so basically 3/4 of the navy in one place
and the capellan fleet is pulled back for the best coverage of the capellan and crucis march
actually maybe fairfax would be a better staging point
either way, some major-ish spinwards world
phase 2 would be the ground assault on the galedon military district
while the commonwealth assaults the Rashalague worlds
if their government goes with the plan obviously
and honestly if their government doesn't go with it, i doubt the suns would be successful, but, space prussia does crazy shit so maybe they would do it alone
anyway, the high-space fleet jumps out at the start of phase 2 together, but targeting tifferent areas, the combine march fleet goes to support the invasion forces, and the terran/crucis fleets to uninabited systems in the draconis march to wait for phase 3
hopefully the combine is fooled by the counterintelligence and believes that we're going for new samarkand.
and once it is evident if the combine decides to sortie its fleet against the assault in Galedon or turtle up in its important worlds the reserve fleet will act, either jumping to support a naval counter-action against the draconis fleet or embarking on a long-range raid to support the lyran fleet in rashalague and benjamin
if the combine counter-attacks in Galedon, the army will fall back and draw them, hopefully in to the jaws of the rest of the high-space fleet
if they don't and they sit tight protecting their yard there, that is a win, and the high-space fleet not assigned to that theater will hit luthien with the commonwealth and burn its orbital-industry to the ground and then turn around and help secure Galedon
if they bypass the fleet altogether and assault the Draconis march, the capellan fleet will move to reinforce
if the capellans try to take advantage of it, they'll obviously stay in place
if someone jumps in to layover, new syrtis or delevarn, defense stations will be authorized to nuke the shit out of them, because we're the federated suns and therefore the good guys, and we can use nukes if we want
which is, actually how the suns basically worked
anyway
that is the navy's plan with contingencies
the government probably wont' like it
but so long as the commonwealth is on board, I think it will be doable
if the cappelans assault before this goes off, it is called and we beat the shit out of them
if the lc doesn't get on board we just probably beat the shit out of capella anyway
if the terrans invade
we just die

2418: UHC internal event

2419:
Popular Science of Terra, December 2419 Edition
"The 2410s: The Decade of Science!"

The 2410s have been an impressive decade for science and technology, especially in applied engineering. Here are a few of the new inventions we're most impressed by.

Advanced Energy Weapons
The theft of detailed plans for advanced laser technologies from an Alshain Weapons research team, and subsequent leak to the whole Inner Sphere by a group of Rasalhague separatists, led to an explosion in applied energy weaponry. Aside from merely copying the existing designs, Krupp Armament Works here on Terra took the principles of compact energy weaponry and combined it with the existing PPC designs it produced for Potemkin-class transports, to produce a new and innovative micro-PPC design, which is expected to provide the effective striking power of a large missile battery at similar ranges, without the need for bulky ammunition.

The new leadership of Alshain Weapons has worked hard to wipe out the stain of their previous security breach by offering an interesting new extra-large laser design. Using two laser cores, the "Binary Laser Cannon" still has a few beam interference issues to resolve, but Alshain's CEO promises that they'll be resolved within a few years.

P5 Computer Chips
Defying yet another era of naysayers, Moore's Law continues its inexplicable record of accuracy, with petapetapetapetapeta-core(P5) computer chips. Featuring an astonishing 10^75 transistors on a single computer chip, these chips may soon provide the computer power necessary to make rudimentary artificial intelligence a reality.

Strongest Armour Ever
Armouring compounds are sometimes hard to compare, as the available weapons to attack them diverge more every year. However, the ferro-aluminum compound recently announced by Ceres Metals seems to offer an impressive mixture of protection. The alloy is extremely strong against high-speed impact, the layered construction of the design is effective at spreading out shockwaves from explosive impacts, and the bright sheen of the alloy has proven to dissipate energy impacts better than any previous design as well. However, the most impressive part of the design is that these features together allow the armour an unprecedented degree of protection against nuclear attack for any practical mobile armouring. While no plausible ship will be able to withstand a direct impact by a typical nuclear warhead, the test in orbit around Io(where a megaton-range warhead was detonated less than a hundred metres from a plate of armour no heavier than that mounted on an Aegis-class cruiser, which survived with only minimal warping - see our March 2419 issue for details) proves that the terrifying weapons used around Ford may soon be something that our proud sailors might be able to survive.

Big, Beautiful Bullets
Energy weapons have advanced substantially in the last ten years, but ballistic weaponry wasn't far behind. Improved gun-forging was a focus of research in many outlying realms, with no less than three nations announcing guns twice the size of their previous production models. Even more impressive was the new railgun designs created by Di Tron Heavy Industries. With neither the long flight time of a traditional naval gun shell, nor the beam collimation issues of lasers and PPCs, these "Gauss Cannon"-brand railguns have shown vastly superior performance when fighting against maneuvering enemies at long ranges.

Self-Cleaning Shower Breakfast Gel
It's rare to see so many useful properties performed by a single substance, but when it all comes together, the result can be expected to take the world by storm. SC Johnson & Johnson & Johnson has managed it with their new product that acts as soap, shower cleaner, and nutritious breakfast all in one. Just dump it on, and everything becomes the way it should be. It's even available caffeinated for people in slightly more of a hurry.

Mechs
The newly created "mechs" developed on New Samarkand are an impressive combination of new technologies. Myomer muscle strands, better known for prosthetic use, have been expanded to unprecedented size and used to drive artificial limbs much larger than Echohawk's right leg. A fusion engine like an aerospace fighter's, weapons and armour similar to that of a tank, and improved mobility in difficult terrain are all expected to be big advantages for the first Mech-equipped units to see combat. Some are skeptical, with General Gavin(ret.) remarking that "it seems like a poor gimmick on the part of the Snakes, investing a fusion plant in something more likely to fall over than fight". However, the potential to this technology cannot be overlooked, even if it may turn into a dead end.

Budgets
« Last Edit: 11 February 2019, 10:40:28 by Alsadius »

marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1464 on: 11 February 2019, 16:57:15 »
Thank you very much for your time and effort..

I have no idea if the Commonwealth would have gone along with the plan, but would have been interesting either way!

In retrospect - Id love to have Alsadius's thoughts on what worked, what didnt, and what would be done differently if it were ever done again.

Still, a massive project, and I had a good deal of fun with it!

Alsadius

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1465 on: 11 February 2019, 17:54:12 »
Two main things come to mind.

1) I never really figured out how serious I wanted the game to be. There was a part of me that wanted a super- detailed simulation, which led to all the maps and spreadsheets and long battle reports. But that was at odds with the part that wanted to keep the rules hidden for fear of max-minning, the bare-bones methods of resolving battles based on whatever would make a good story, as well as my lack of support tools and my relative lack of time that I could dedicate.

I didn't really realize that tension in broad strokes until now, though it cropped up in things like battle report lengths long ago. I started this to get a detailed sim, but didn't have the tools, the rules, or the time to make it happen (at least, without imposing an unacceptable long-run burden on the rest of my life). That made it really tough to meet my own expectations, never mind everyone else's.

2) My writing setup was horrible in many ways. I was on three different machines(work, home, and occasionally cell), and my notes and drafts were a pain to pass around between them. A lot of tools(particularly Google Sheets) couldn't be opened on one or two of them, and I eventually wound up using PMs to myself on this forum to store my drafts. That's really unwieldy.

My best writing times were when I took an hour or two at lunch while I was at work, when I'm only supposed to get half an hour, so I stopped that quickly due to guilt and low productivity at my day job. And for a lot of the run of the game, the discussions were more interesting than writing new turns, so game progress stalled there a couple times too.

I'm a pretty good writer, I know the system fairly well, and I'm crazy enough to try it in the first place. That counts for a lot. But both of those problems hurt, and I didn't find good solutions to either one. This feels like something I'd be better off trying after retirement, but that's decades away.

What did you guys think? What worked well and what didn't? Can you think of anything that the next poor bastard to try this might want to do differently?

Lagrange

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1466 on: 11 February 2019, 18:45:39 »
I enjoyed the game even though I started late.  Thank you Alsadius.

As far as things for future attempts: I felt like the rules changed somewhat to often and the dice rolls were a little to strong compared to the designs in determining outcomes.

I'm going to include the naval doctrine PM I sent to Alsadius earlier below in case it's of interest.  (It's out of date---I'd change several things :-) )
This is a doctrine guide for TCN forces.  It's quite long, so save and read at your leisure.  TCN doctrine is built around different threat levels, with each threat level provoking a different kind of response.  The exact definition of what is threat level A-F depends on both invading forces and existent TCN forces so threat levels can go up or down mid-invasion as a result of combat.

The Matador: The Matador stays constantly (and unpredictably) mobile in systems with hostile forces, using it's extreme maneuverability to avoid contact.  The Matador plays three roles in combat: intelligence gathering, complicating/slowing the enemy's plans, and harrying the enemy.  Intelligence gathering is straightforward with the LNCSS. Intelligence is typically broadcast throughout the system for other naval forces in system.  Complicating/slowing the enemy's plans comes about naturally, because enemy forces will be forced to convoy all forces with sufficient firepower to hold off the Matador.

Harrying is active harassment of enemy forces from beyond their effective response range using Naval Lasers.  The most dangerous form of harrying is attacking enemies who can use capital missiles at extreme range.  This is only done on a zero expected incoming damage basis. The TCN knows nothing about diminishing returns, so their calculation is based on around 1/6th of missiles achieving lock at extreme range and 500 MGs achieving sufficient overkill to plausibly halt every missile.  Based on this, exposure to a missile wave of 1000 missiles at extreme range or 500 at long range is considered an acceptable risk.  The value here is that the NAC navy of the Fed Suns can potentially be forced out in a running battle with one or two Matadors.  Although the Fed Suns can launch dropships and fighters to force the Matador out of extreme range, these forces can be steadily pared down through Naval Laser fire that they cannot effectively respond to.  Harrying in battle situations can also occur during stand-off launches of ASF, either before missile launch (if they have <1K missiles), after missile launch, or against warship forces that no longer have sufficient ASF support to keep the Matador away.

In harrying situations, the Naval Lasers and armor are both placed to support running circles around slower opponents keeping them under constant Naval Laser fire while presenting a mobile broadside. The only forces capable of consistently closing with it are light scout ASF (10/15+), assault smallcraft (7/11+, finally, a use for them!) and assault dropships (7/11+).  Massed light scout ASF are rare, massed assault smallcraft are rare, and assault dropships are easy targets for Naval Lasers.  The closing velocity is relatively low so they will be savaged by NL 55s all the way making attacking the Matador quite difficult. 

In general, a successful harrying strategy requires knowledge of the common designs and weaponry that may be faced so a database will be built and maintained to support this strategy.

Threat level A: Threat level A is a police++ situation such as a smuggler disobeying naval traffic control.

Local naval forces, primarily marines or ASF, cooperate with the local gendarmerie to handle the situation in near-space.  Care must be taken to exert minimal sufficient force to successfully resolve the situation.

Every colony (approaching 214) and every Siesta station has forces on site to deal with threat level A situations with response times varying between a minute and an hour.  All threat level A incidents should be reported ASAP to central command so that patterns can be discerned.

Threat level B: Threat level B is a threat to a colony's survival with a minimal Concordat response.  Pirates are a typical example.

In this situation, forces coordinate with local military (if any) to delay, degrade, and destroy incoming forces.  Typically, ASF forces remain in hidden locations until dropships breach the atmosphere and then attack with capital missiles attempting to destroy both the invading dropship and their occupants.  Dropships that land and smallcraft transports are second priority targets while ASF are tertiary and enemy land forces are the lowest priority.  Note that this is not a
blind attack order: sometimes ASF must be attacked or distracted to open the way for a run against enemy dropships.  In terms of communication, the local government, the local navy, and the gendarmerie are all trained to broadcast overviews to any merchants who happen by with encrypted payloads containing details.  In addition, various 'black boxes' are setup that operate as hidden data sinks in the event the colony is overrun.

Threat level B is the first level meriting central response.  The TCN offers large bonuses to all merchant jumpships on the custody path to fleet command of the transmission of a threat level B or greater events.

The standard level B response is with a Matador, often arriving via a pirate point to minimize transit time.  For a pirate scale dropship/jumpship invasion fleet, the Matador itself should be adequate as it can outrun almost anything and strafe them from beyond their response range with Naval Lasers.  A requirement of additional forces whether ASF, army transport, or Nova implies a level C+ response is required.  Up to two simultaneous level B responses can be handled.

Threat level C: A level C threat is a single system scale invasion from a hostile power that can be met with a measured response.  It includes a Matador as well as use of the Mothers.

Additional forces are dispatched based on the nature of the threat.  To make this precise, let's quantify CC/FS designs as:

Albion:      1.1 Nova
Galahad:     2.4 Nova
Crucis:      2.4 Nova
Robinson:    1.4 Nova
Kentares IV: 2 Taurus I's

Wife's Wrath:      1.3 Nova + 1/3 Taurus I's
Bringer of Shots:  1.3 Taurus I's
Wind Spirit:       1 Nova
Rapid Ventilation: 2.3 Nova

Ground forces: by regiment count.

Forces with a land invasion component will add at least 2 Taurus I's loaded for a land invasion (4 regiments of armor + Skyfall assault shuttles).  If additional forces are required, then a Siesta + multiple Taurus Is are brought in. All land force transports are escorted by 1 or more Novas as well.

Forces with a warship component are countered with Novas.  The admiralty generally plans to respond with approximately a factor of 2 overforce to achieve decisive victory and allow for the uncertainties of war, including the capacity to react against a multipronged force.  The admiralty also will not send Nova's alone without at least a Taurus I in support.

These calculations could result in sending all forces, but that implies this is threat level D+.  Typical threat level C responses include:
Nova + Taurus I(ASF) + Siesta.  //minimal response, no land invasion.
Nova + 2x Taurus I(Land) + Taurus I(ASF) + Siesta //minimal counter-invasion.
3x Nova + 2x Taurus I(Land) + 2xTaurus I(ASF) + Siesta //maximal level C response.

1-2 threat level C responses can be made simultaneously. 

In a typical response scenario, the Matador jumps in-system first via a pirate point and surveys the setting with it's large sensor array.

The typical next (or simultaneous) jump-in comes from Mothers carrying Taurus I (ASF), Taurus I(Land), Novas, and a Siesta.  The Mothers jump into a random point 15+ AU from the Zenith, Nadir, and primary locations so they are always beyond detection range of even large naval comm scanner suites.  After unpacking (6-12 hours to unpack and then another 6 hours to unload the Ticks and configure for use), the Taurus I ASFs head in-bound lining up a ghost fighter strike next to the primary.  The Matador guides the ghost fighter strike with a typical time on-target of 11-12 days post jump.  As comparators, it's 9.1 days for a 0/0 intercept from the hyperlimit to Earth using 1g acceleration at Sol and invading forces wishing to use a 15+ AU insertion requre ~11 days for a 0/0 intercept at 1g.

A properly executed ghost fighter strike is guided by the Matador, on a target that has been under constant harassment from the Matador for days, with a minute or less of warning, and at a high velocity (4600 kilometers/second ~= 15K hexes/minute), potentially yielding very high damage through both surprised defenses and extra KE damage.  Of course things can go wrong.  Often, the exact location in orbit of an invading fleet may require some last-minute adjustments to the vector, particularly for colonies that have multiple significant locations spread across the globe.  Earth is about 352 space hexes in radius, so mistargeting by an earth radius requires an 11 minute late correction with the warning that implies.  Terminal burn times scale with the sqrt of the distance.

The Siesta meanwhile stays with the Mothers in deep space providing the fuel necessary to charge them for a jump out of the disputed system. 

The Taurus I(Land) and Novas will accelerate for a minimal time 0/0 intercept at the primary, taking about 16-17 days and arriving 5 days after the ghost fighter strike.  If the ghost fighter strike is insufficiently effective, this leaves plenty of time to abort and try again.

When approaching residual enemy forces, the Novas will form the primary wall of battle with the Taurus Is just behind in a position to provide interlocking point defense.  The Matador will not be part of the wall of battle.  Assuming a maximal level C response, 144 ASF, 42 Crestbreaker, and 3 David Marine transports will be arrayed around the Novas providing joint fleet point defense.  216 Skyfall shuttles will be deployed near the Taurus Is until they have a chance to land their 2 regiments.  In total, this provides 5928 MGs for point defense against a single incoming vector.  For missiles striking towards the second tier, more MGs become relevant.

If/when a battle is joined the Novas are an unignorable fighting force and the likely primary target.  The first priority targets are jump capable targets with the most range working down through all jump capable targets and then to parasitic forces (dropships/smallcraft/ASF) if they refuse to surrender.  The wall of battle will typically function on a tactical defensive during combat, trying to keep the range extreme for as long as possible. 

The ASF will defend against missile strikes and seek an opportune moment to release their own missiles, followed up with strikes on exposed structure when they are no longer needed for point defense. The David marine transports will board and secure vessels which surrender while the Matador will harry survivors that flee.

The Skyfall shuttles will land their regiments, possibly via dropchutes as the army dictates, and then return to the Taurus Is to load a second regiment each.  After reloading the Skyfalls from cargo, two more regiments of armor (4 in total) will be landed with the Skyfalls typically staying grounded thereafter to suport rearm and repair of the armor.  Ortillery may be employed in open areas.  For city fighting, a siege and eventual negotiated surrender is a preferred strategy.  Surviving ASF can support ground forces.

The outbound Taurus I (ASF) will add a random component to their vector so it is not easy to predict where they will slow down.  After slowing down, they may return for a 0/0 intercept arriving at jump+38 days (if needed), or return to Diefenbaker if not.

Threat level D: Threat level D corresponds to a determined invasion from a great power that can plausibly be defeated through a maximal response by naval forces as determined by the scoring rubric.

As always a Matador leads the way.  In a threat level D condition, the highest priority is breaking the strategic maneuverability of enemy forces.  This makes enemy jumpships delivering dropships a primary target if they are sighted.  A Matador might for example discover them through it's powerful sensor suite and then make an intrasystem jump to attack an undefendend enemy jumpship fleet.  Because this possibility is preferred to spotting near a planet, both Matadors respond to threat level D events so one can spot and one can hunt jumpships.

The Mothers will first bring in 5 Taurus I(ASF), 2 Taurus I(Land), and a Siesta.  All the Taurus Is will participate in a particularly strong (1014 ASF) ghost fighter strike.

After recharging, the Mothers will jump out and bring in a second wave of Novas for close combat while the Siesta stays in system using it's station keeping drive (.1 g) to travel to another randomly chosen (but pre-arranged) position 15+ AU from the primary, Zenith, and Nadir.

The Taurus Is will slow down while adding a random transverse vector so their turnaround point cannot be plotted effectively.  After slowing down, they'll either:
  • Make another pass 22 days later (33-34 days after initial jump) to soften up an invasion fleet further with another ghostfighter strike.  On the outbound vector, they'll correct to rejoin the Siesta and the incoming Novas.
  • be transported by intrasystem jump to join the Siesta and Novas.

The exact choice depends on the efficacy of the first ghost fighter strike and the timing of the Nova arrival.  Either way, the complete fleet will be assembled.  The Siesta reloads the Taurus I(ASF)s with 5 regiments of armor (54000 tons) and supplies (9000 more tons) stored in cargo. 

The combined fleet (Sans Mothers and Siesta) will move towards a 0/0 solution arriving ~15 days later.  The wall of battle is designed as per threat level C, but much stronger.  8 Novas face the enemy while 7 Taurus Is reinforce to provide interlocking point defense.  All 1014 ASFs (less losses), 132 Crestbreakers point defense shuttles, and 38 David marine transports will be deployed with the Novas.  216 Skyfall shuttles will be deployed near the Taurus Is until they have a chance to land their 2 regiments.  The Matadors will again not join the wall of battle.  Altogether, this is potentially 22018 machine guns capable
of defending against a single incoming missile attack vector.  (OOC: this calculation uses Rager ASFs with 11 MGs/Rager).

Tactics for the fleet elements are similar to the level C scenario with one variation: The David Marine shuttles will attempt to aggressively board enemy warships under the cover of ASF swarming them.

After the battle, the Skyfalls will land an additional 5 regiments of armor (9 in total) in waves of 2 and ASF will begin supporting armor elements.

Some things may go wrong with the plan.  Possibly, enemy warships do not stay put long enough to execute the plan, in which case a counter-invasion is easy.  Possibly enemy forces move on to another TC world, implying a need to transport to another system (likely nearby) and start over. 

Threat level E: Threat level E is an overwhelming threat from a great power, beyond the capability of the Taurian Concordat to hope to counter even with a level D response.

The strategy at level E is to delay and degrade invasion forces buying time for a deep penetration offense to force the invader to sue for peace.
  • The nuclear stockpile will be unlocked and dispersed for active use against military targets.  Civilian targets are still considered illegitimate under threat level E.  Naval Yards are military targets.
  • For a multifront invasion, this implies dispersing the Taurus Is so every front has at least one Taurus I(ASF) executing ghost fighter strikes against invading forces.  ASF losses will be replaced by drawing down (as uniformly as possible) the ASF reserve from hinterland worlds.  Sierra stations will be co-opted to bring spare ASF and missile reserves for ghost fighter strikes.  The Novas will avoid engagement until a time or location where they have a fair chance of success or they are driven back to Taurus itself.
  • Naval yards of opposing forces will be attacked on deep penetration strikes.  4 Mothers (with 3 Taurus I(ASF) and 1 Siesta loaded with capital missiles) and a Matador will be dedicated to this.  The general strategy is to use deep space jumps to position for a modified (nuclear tipped) ghost fighter strike.  The modification is that the Matador will use a stealth approach.  Starting from 15AU away, this implies accelerating inbound for 5.4 days at 1g then accelerating outbound for slightly less time at 1g leaving a closing velocity of 360 hexes/minute.  Then, the Matador runs silent for ~7 days (6.966 to be precise) as it approaches.  A terminal burn of 40 minutes at 4.5g leaves it on a 0/0 solution with only the terminal burn being visible (even with an LNCSS).  Everything here is timed so the fighter arrive at the same time as the 0/0 solution allowing for any requisite terminal burns.  After the ghost fighter strike hits, the Matador will finish off any undefended portions of the naval yard.

    For the Fed Suns, the New Syrtis yard is regarded as insufficiently sized to make the point implying that Delavan is the target, 12 deep space jumps away from Deifenbaker, implying it takes ~198 days to execute and return.  Resistance is expected to be quite heavy given the DC's successful attack on Layover.  Nevertheless, with a heavy attack on the TC as implied by this scenario, presumably few mobile forces will be present.  If sufficient forces survive, they will resupply from the Sierra and try again.

    For the CC, both the Capella and Sarna yards are 8 deep space jumps from Deifenbaker implying about 139 days to approach, execute, and return.  Capella is obviously the more attractive target but the choice will be left up to the commander as will the option of hitting both yards or hitting the same yard again in a second pass.

    Given the long lead times for these attacks, a prearranged code word on a prearranged frequency will abort the attack.  This code word is top secret, known only to the commander and the Protector prior to the departure.  At the Protector's discretion, the code word/frequency will be released to invading forces so the strike can be called off.  Naturally, there are two code words, one of which indicates the deep space raid should be aborted and another which indicates a state of total war.

To assist with threat level E (and F) situations, merchant-based intelligence of potential target yards and sites of economic value will be collected so as to piece together a solid database of potential targets.

Threat level F: Threat level F is total war.  This threat level is only reached if an invading party uses mass casualty weapons, and even then only if the Protector authorizes it.

In a threat level F situation, half of the forces will be used to degrade/delay enemy forces as per threat level E.  The other half will work to inflict maximum economic destruction so as to make the enemy unable to sustain the war.  Possible tactics include:

  • Dispersing the Taurus Is to multiple enemy systems for simultaneous ghostfighter strikes against surface targets.  Since they are at completely predictable locations, no Matador is needed for success.  With reassembly and resupply from the Siesta, 14 economically valuable worlds could each be hit with 174 nuclear capital missiles before running out of supplies.
  • The Matador could go raiding.  Jumping in from a pirate point, it can start using indiscriminate ortillery to wreck the industrial infrastructure on a planet with a couple hours warning, then accelerate outbound doing a high-V jump to repeat the process about once a week.  Catching a Matador is quite difficult so this process could repeat many times.

Trace Coburn

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1467 on: 12 February 2019, 00:41:41 »
  Honestly, after following this entire game with great interest from the very first, I’m seriously, seriously tempted to take the work I’ve done towards Renegade Tech 2.0 and its WarShip combat systems and use that as the basis for a game similar to this.  I even have tech-tree progressions worked out for the advancement of multiple weapon-types, armour, etc.  I just worry that I’ll run into the same issues that did in Alsadius: time, energy/focus, and striking a balance between fluff and crunch....

Smegish

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1468 on: 12 February 2019, 01:44:03 »
I really enjoyed the ship building exercise this was, with the banter back and forth between us, and plotting with Admiral Steiner to leave each other alone and stomp our other neighbours (though Alsadius screwed that up quite well) while I offloaded my older ships to Maid Marian.
The multiple month wait on the last few turns was painful though.

Would like to know how the davions planned on getting their fleet to Luthien and back with the rather small cargo holds they had, cargo DS help and all but it is a LONG way to Luthien from their border.

Trace Coburn: I would be interested in that, but have nfi how Renegade Tech works

Trace Coburn

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #1469 on: 12 February 2019, 03:30:24 »
Trace Coburn: I would be interested in that, but have nfi how Renegade Tech works
  Basically you design a ’Ship as normal, then convert it to an RT2 record sheet (I have a procedure for that, with a certain degree of fudge factor, so I can handle that part for anyone who plays).  Manoeuvring is the same as in BT aerospace.  The main change is in attacks: each weapon has a damage ‘template’, and armour and internal structure/SI are represented as blocks of boxes; you roll to attack as normal, but when you roll damage locations, you also roll a centre-point and apply the appropriate template.  Systems are knocked out if a template overlaps their hit-box; in my take on aerospace, you also have threshold crits from hitting armour (hit damage > threshold means a crit roll) or by the template hitting the SI over that system (automatic roll for hitting the SI).

  I’ve attached my converted record-sheet for an Essex-II light cruiser as an example.  G is an NGR mount (triple-NGR20 for the Essex); L is naval lasers (triple Large Laser Cannons); P is an NPPC mount (twin Medium PCs); M is a missile launcher (triple-tube AR10s).  The circles mark the fire-arcs of the turret (matching the hex-sides it can fire through).  Critical hits to weapons mounts knock them out of action for the rest of the battle.
  S is a sensor mount; crits or direct hits knock them out for the rest of the fight.  If you have no sensors left that can see into a given arc, you can’t fire direct-fire weapons into that arc, and missiles would only be able to fire in waypoint/bearing-only mode.
  Damage to a Fusion Room costs you a quarter of your WarShip’s Safe Thrust; destroying the FR cuts Safe Thrust to half; damaging half or more of an FR’s boxes in one hit holds the potential for a Stackpolean Kersplosion that kills the ship outright.
  There are thrusters marked on the sheet as well; hitting one of those increases the Thrust cost of turning the other way by 1.  So does a hit to Avionics.

  Now, I’ve done a bit to simplify the game, borrowing a bit from second-edition Full Thrust.  Turns are now 2 minutes and hexes 72km across.  Direct-fire weapons now attack with a single d6; you need 4+ to hit at Short range, 5+ at Medium, and 6 at Long.
  Point Defence: Gen-1 point defence rolls 1d6 against fighters or missile passing within 1 hex of the parent ship: each PD dice kills 1 missile/fighter on a 5, 1 + reroll on a 6
  Lasers: lose damage-done over range, penetrate poorly, but can shoot down missiles or fighters within Short range (5 = 1 kill, 6 = kill + reroll)
— Terran Space Navy cap-lasers as of 2300: Gen-2 light laser cannon ranges 4/6/8, damage 3/1/1*, Gen-2 medium laser cannon ranges 6/8/10, damage 4/3/1
  Particle Weapons: also lose damage at range; penetrate well at close range, but lose some at longer distances; can’t target missiles or fighters
— (will develop in play) example Gen-1 light particle cannon ranges 4/7/10, damage 8/6/4
  KEWs: don’t lose energy over range and have devastating penetration on their templates, but projectile flight-times make effective ranges horribly short
Gen-1 railguns: ranges 1/2/3 (game start), come in Class 2, 5, 10, 15, 20
— Gen 2: ranges 1/3/5 (will develop in play; canon NACs)
— Gen 3: ranges 3/6/9 (will develop in play; canon NGRs)
— Gen 4: ranges 6/12/18 (will develop in play; canon Mass Drivers)
  Missiles: carry nukes, can make waypoint turns 1 hexside past their base arcs before continuing their attacks, each missile attacks individually with its base Intelligence at all ranges, but missiles can be shot down by lasers or point-defence
— Terran Space Navy cap-missiles as of 2300: Gen-4 capital missile, range 6, Intelligence 5, carries 100kT nuke (8 damage)
  Fighters: mount internal point-defence weapons that can attack other fighters, DropShips, or passing cap-missiles, and can carry short-ranged nuclear torpedoes as external ordnance; any hit from any capital weapon kills a fighter outright
— Terran Space Navy fighters as of 2300: Gen-1 light aerospace fighter (canonical S-2 Star Dagger): 6-ship flight has Thrust 6/9 (8/12 without XO), carries 6 XO missiles (range 3, Intelligence 5, 50kT nuke (4 damage)), has 3 PD dice for anti-missile/anti-fighter work

  I’d give each navy a mix of technologies that I’d like to think would be mostly-fair, yet flavourful.  There would also be ‘hidden’ technologies that I’d unveil during play — for instance, the aerospace fighter and the particle cannon would be as much shocks to the established naval balance as the introduction of Dreadnought herself (with possible exceptions), and represents a new tech-tree of its own.  I’d also try to keep the pace of technological advance fairly brisk; I aim for WarShips to last about 100-120 years (with two or three major refits in that time) before being scrapped as obsolete or worn-out.

  Note for would-be designers: there would be six broad categories of WarShip: small escort (think 100-300 kT), large escort (310-500 kT), light cruiser (510-700 kT), large cruiser (710-1,000 kT), small battleship (1,010-1,400 kT), and large battleship (1,410-2,000 kT).  When designing ships, bear in mind that I’d give escorts a free +1 bonus to their Safe Thrust, while battleships would suffer a -1 penalty.  (Actual class designations in service would be purely political, as they are IRL.)