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Author Topic: Warship Race Redux  (Read 60610 times)

marcussmythe

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Warship Race Redux
« on: 10 March 2020, 12:24:14 »
It is 2350.  The TAS Dreadnought has raised the bar on naval conflict in human space, and rising tensions between the powers demand a response.  Across the Inner Sphere, shipyards swing into action, and Warships are laid down in expectation of conflicts to come...

We will be starting another Warship Arms Race Game/Thread.  In this, players will take the role of the commander of the navy, be that Grand Admiral, First Lord, CNO, or however you want to style it.  The player will have responsibility and authority over all things naval, from budget, design, construction, doctrine, and policy.  You wont be able to decide when war happens (that is a political decision), nor when and where battles happen and with what forces (that is the purview of commanders closer to the scene - but you can advise as to both.

The intent is first to have fun with it, and along the way to produce interesting warships that are designed to fit actual roles the navies actually need.  Its important to remember that Jutland and Midway get all of the press, but a navy spends the vast majority of its time doing flag-showing, anti-piracy, relief, and various soft power roles - and even in a shooting war, the seat of naval purpose is always -on the land-.

The game will open in 2350, and I would like to see players for all five great houses (Yes, House Liao only forms in 2366.  Were going to treat it as if they were cooperating on naval matters before that, being surrounded by larger powers, so that for our purposes it can be assumed functional as of 2350.  This gives House Liao a bit of a leg up compared to its historical position - which I am okay with)  and if interested for various periphery powers.  There are currently two GMs, myself and Smegish, and we will play NPC powers (Terran Hegemony, unclaimed periphery realms) and possibly any unclaimed Houses if we cannot find enough players for them - though we would prefer not to.

Starting setup will be very similar to those from Alsadius's excellent Warship Arms Race:  https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=61764.0, though budgets will be larger, technology research simpler, and maintenance higher (to allow faster regeneration of major losses). 

Turns will be 10 years, with people designing and building warships and stations and building jumpers and droppers and fighters, etc., researching technology, deciding how much mainteance to budget, selling ships and buying ships from allied powers, and all that jazz.

Rules are discussed at some length below, but in short we will be playing by the rules as written with all optional rules.  There will be some changes, and other 'assumptions', that everyone should know, below:

1.)  Capital Scale (Weapons, Armor, Structure) is 100:1, rather than 10:1.  In addition, Capital ARMOR has an absolute threshold against Standard Scale damage at 10:1 - thus a vessel with 50 Capital Armor is immune to medium lasers, and takes 5 less damage from any standard scale weapon.   Note that damaging the armor reduces its threshold value, and exposed structure has no threshold.  Rationale:  Without this, fighters and massed standard scale 'broadsides' define combat, and we have a carrier arms race with no place for anything else.  With this, fighters are a support system, deadly against dropships, lightly armored warships, and hideously dangerous to damaged warships with depleted or exposed armor.  But fighters are not a stand-alone all-destroying solution to every problem.

2.)  Nukes Arent Magic:  Nuclear Weapons, as defined in the published rules, do not exist at the warship scale.  We assume that existing weapons already inflict damage/transfer energy on a scale appropriate to a nuclear weapon, so the use of a nuclear weapon as a warhead would provide no advantage - or may already be taking place.  Rationale:  Nukes, RAW, completely flip the table when they come out, OR you scale PDS effectiveness enough to stop them, and make missiles useless.  Neither generates fun outcomes and both change it, again, from a 'warships arms race' to a 'Carriers with Nuke Armed Fighters briefly and then they all blow up' arms race.  Realistic perhaps, but not much fun.

3.)  PDS:  This is from Lagrange, and I believe it is a good fit:

"Point defense standard damage equal to 4 * capital damage generates a 50% chance to kill a capital missile (or a flight from a capital missile bay).  Multiple 50% chances to kill the same capital missile(s) can be generated, but all point defense applied to a capital missile passing through a hex must be designated before rolls to kill the capital missile are made.   Additional point defense may be applied in successive hexes.
Antimissile systems and bays on smallcraft and largecraft may fire up to 6 times in a turn, generating heat and consuming ammunition each time."

The net effect is that more PDS is better, but there is no amount equal to immunity - merely that 4*Incoming Capital Damage cuts the damage by half (roughly), doubling that halves it again, etc.  Layered defenses become more valuable.

4.)  Bays:  Bays are a TT convenience and abstraction.  Bracket firing and high damage weapons creating threshold crits before armor is depleted will be a 'thing', but it wont be as mechanical and absolute.  A NL/45 can in theory get a lucky shot in on anything, a NAC/40 wont necessarily, but bigger is going to be (unsurprisingly) better for getting shots through before armor is depleted.

5.)  Cargo:  In general, a 5% mass fraction is enough for 'normal operations' - inside your own territory, or leave your territory to throw a fight and go home shortly thereafter.  A ship that never leaves friendly territory or carries a large amount of dropships, or which is in a navy with a lot of jumpships and dropships to provide fleet train, can go further, or get by with even less - but there are trade-offs, and fleet train is a vulnerability.  A raider, long endurance flag-shower, deep space scout, or the like, will want more, perhaps much more.  A BB that never budges from home without an extensive fleet train may be able to get by with a little less.  The TH/SL standard designs should be taken as an EXTREME endpoint - those ships are designed to cruise, unsupported, for years, and while months or more away from home, possibly while supporting invasions.  They aren't bad because of it - the TH/SL has different priorities, due to its economic and military power and vast commitments - just different than what a PC power (who probably isn't trying to make war in the periphery on the other side of the sphere) does.

6.)  Dropships:  Players will build dropships and jumpships.  These are fleet and invasions support, and the droppers will be a mix of tender/cargo, military assault transport, and combat designs - I'm not going to ask you to break them down by type, just assume that the more droppers you have, the more likely you are to have the ones you need where and when you need them.  Jumpships provide fleet logistics and transport.  Offensive military action (planetary raids and invasions) will be informed by your logistics train of droppers and jumpers (and warship based collars and cargo, yadda).  If you scrimp here to spend elsewhere, your navy will find itself trying to herd civilian crewed soft-skinned merchant dropships and jumpships into offensive action in the face of nasty opponents, while the flower of your nations armed forces ride, uncomfortably, on them.  Is that worth another battleship?  Up to you.

7.)  Feel free to design fighters, dropships, small craft, tanks, mechs, etc.  It will have zero effect on the game, but fluff and doctrine is important, and also fun.  Have fun, go crazy.

So who wants to play?

GM:
marcussmythe
Smegish

Powers and their Players:
Draconis Combine - Unlimited
Lyran Commonwealth - kindalas
Free Worlds League - VensersRevenge
Capellan Confederation -
Federated Suns - Jester Motley
Marian Hegemony - True Tanker
Principality of Rasalhague - Tyler Jorgensson
United Hindu Collective -
Illyrian Palatinate -
Rim World Republic  -
Taurian Concordiate -


Unclaimed Powers - NPC/Smegish, though players are welcome to take anything unclaimed they want.
Terran Hegemony - NPC/marcussmythe, though we MIGHT consider allowing a player to run it if we fill out the others


Game State Spreadsheet (Rules, Technology, Ships in Service, Maps) Link below:  (This is a WIP, thanks to Smegish for his work - note that as of today, were making this GM edit only, for safety sake - well edit stuff in, all you have to worry about is posting turns on the turn thread)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rIBaiLqUhwppFvoNmXGHpS0HWSVSEuxLY25m-u0uaPc/edit?usp=sharing

IC/Turn Thread:  Turn Posting and Turn Results
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=68675.0

Master Ship Design/Construction Spreadsheet - save a local copy to your google drive!
Modified by Smegish 4/4/2020 - properly calculates dropshuttle bay costs for this game.  NOTE:  Do not combine dropshuttle bays and collars on the same vessel.  Will cause errors.

Further modified by Motley Jester 4/23/20.  Bays should properly display in the TRO workup -scroll to the right

Most Recent Bugfix Version 6/16/20 - Properly pricing life support and quarters, courtesy of Lagrange:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11SbQ3R1b_P44yznQEmPfc7XHKWc8aELd_TuN-HL3_QM/edit#gid=0
« Last Edit: 16 June 2020, 14:21:35 by marcussmythe »

Lagrange

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #1 on: 11 March 2020, 07:42:20 »
I'm interested, but don't have the personal time to organize.

  • How are combats to be resolved?  In the last one, it appeared to be pure luck at times which is at odds with a design challenge.
  • How can state be tracked over turns?  Divergence from the standard timeline became increasingly difficult to handle in the last one.

marcussmythe

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #2 on: 11 March 2020, 09:27:57 »
Thats unfortunate.  Ive enough time and energy to play, but if I were to run it, Id have to set aside another hobby to make the space, and of course whoever is running it isnt -really- getting to play.

1.)  Combat Resolution - In a perfect world, it would be played out by the ST or involved players.  This world is wildly imperfect, and I just dont see the time commitment being manageable for anyone.  In an imperfect world, Id trust someone to look at the forces involved, think through the best tactics and how they would play out, roll some dice to reflect that nothing in a battle is a given (I think a 3d6 bell curve modifier would be about right to give us variance while keeping the noise from swamping the signal entirely).

2.)  Tracking the overall ‘state of things’ - butterflies, etc. - is simultaneously a large burden and the best fun, to me.  This would involve a lot of writing and thinking and likely grow into its own AU in as much detail as is liked.  My -thought- is that the moderator should allow it to butterfly - because the need to keep it ‘on the rails’, with the attendant cross-checking published history required, would seem a large cost (and a good arguement for letting the setting change to the point where you are not beholden to that which has been published before)

Hairbear541

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #3 on: 11 March 2020, 15:24:12 »
i'm still mining the original warship race thread , since there is such a lack of canon warships around . i wouldn't mind joining if my ancient mind could ever figure out how to use the different calculator sheets , and get the results i think should come out at the end .

Smegish

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #4 on: 11 March 2020, 17:12:26 »
I also miss the old game, and while I would love to take part, I don't have the time or energy (specially with a wedding to plan) to run the damn thing sadly.

marcussmythe

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #5 on: 11 March 2020, 19:02:38 »
So, some interest, several potential players, noone with the spare budget to run the thing (yet)

So, what can we do to lower the cognitive load on any potential GM?  Is there a way to share the load between multiple players (and coincidentally allowing a GM to also be a player?)  What does it look like if one person is responsible for dice rolling and resolutions and another is tasked with doing the writing?

What eras interest people?  AoW was great, but its also been done recently, and a post helm or post jyhad launch has advantages (though it would cost us the ‘tech race’... but Im not sure that the juice was worth the squeeze on the tech race, inasmuch as it seemed to be overhead with few really game changing effects.  Reasonable minds may differ!)

What sort of rules sound good?  I -think- that we had a quasi-consensus around 100:1 standard:capital, Nukes Arent Special, Advanced Ranges, fractional thrust, decoupled SI, and Dropships as Fighter/Warship Hybrid Scale - but thats just my recollection.  I dont recall if we ever came up with a good answer on point defense interactions.

Hairbear541

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #6 on: 11 March 2020, 20:49:21 »
i was really hoping the original thread had gone at least to the reunification war and if possible further . would have loved to have seen what the OA and MC came up with warship wise .

Lagrange

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #7 on: 13 March 2020, 08:35:29 »
W.r.t. state tracking, it seems essential to have a shared dynamic map.  It was becoming genuinely difficult to understand the state of the game (in terms of who controlled what star systems) towards the end.  Is there a way to do that?

W.r.t. resolution, I believe this could be handled in a distributed manner.  For more "realism" the forces should not be evenly matched in each combat as well.   Using luck to determine the mixture of forces in play as well as having a defined offset on ability (green/regular/veteran/elite) seems good.  Maybe luck could increase/same/decrease ability by one category?  That seems like a fairly realistic degree of impact from luck.

W.r.t. era, it seems interesting to simply start at the beginning and run forward tech-wise as this would produce designs at many techs.   Anytime a new player wants to join, we could have a civil war.  However, this is an inessential decision to me.

W.r.t. rules, it seems important to have every design be BT legal and to be conservative in house rules.  Otherwise, people won't be able to follow (and join).  This leaves freedom to interpret the designs somewhat differently.

  • 100:1 standard:capital seems like an essential house rule to have a sane game.
  • For nukes, I don't see an essential reason to change the rules.  Nukes are expensive and point defense can shut them down.
  • Advanced ranges seem good, and aren't even a house rule.
  • Fractional thrust doesn't seem essential and it would make designs not BT standard.  However, interpreting odd thrust as giving exactly x1.5 overthrust seems fine.
  • Decoupled SI makes BT illegal designs.   Even though it makes great sense, I'd prefer to avoid.
  • W.r.t. point defense, the house rules here seem somewhat more realistic.  However, this is not a must-have.
  • I'd personally like to use actual fusion physics, which imply a maximum of 80 thrust points / .001 mass fraction.  This has minor effects once you take it into account properly.  Pirate points become essential for commercial traffic.  Astrogators need to work on refining solutions all week long rather than 1 day/week.  Most trips require two jumps.  Asteroidal bombardment becomes much more difficult.
So, (1), (3), and maybe (6) or (7)?

marcussmythe

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #8 on: 13 March 2020, 09:23:35 »
W.r.t. state tracking, it seems essential to have a shared dynamic map.  It was becoming genuinely difficult to understand the state of the game (in terms of who controlled what star systems) towards the end.  Is there a way to do that?

W.r.t. resolution, I believe this could be handled in a distributed manner.  For more "realism" the forces should not be evenly matched in each combat as well.   Using luck to determine the mixture of forces in play as well as having a defined offset on ability (green/regular/veteran/elite) seems good.  Maybe luck could increase/same/decrease ability by one category?  That seems like a fairly realistic degree of impact from luck.

W.r.t. era, it seems interesting to simply start at the beginning and run forward tech-wise as this would produce designs at many techs.   Anytime a new player wants to join, we could have a civil war.  However, this is an inessential decision to me.

W.r.t. rules, it seems important to have every design be BT legal and to be conservative in house rules.  Otherwise, people won't be able to follow (and join).  This leaves freedom to interpret the designs somewhat differently.

  • 100:1 standard:capital seems like an essential house rule to have a sane game.
  • For nukes, I don't see an essential reason to change the rules.  Nukes are expensive and point defense can shut them down.
  • Advanced ranges seem good, and aren't even a house rule.
  • Fractional thrust doesn't seem essential and it would make designs not BT standard.  However, interpreting odd thrust as giving exactly x1.5 overthrust seems fine.
  • Decoupled SI makes BT illegal designs.   Even though it makes great sense, I'd prefer to avoid.
  • W.r.t. point defense, the house rules here seem somewhat more realistic.  However, this is not a must-have.
  • I'd personally like to use actual fusion physics, which imply a maximum of 80 thrust points / .001 mass fraction.  This has minor effects once you take it into account properly.  Pirate points become essential for commercial traffic.  Astrogators need to work on refining solutions all week long rather than 1 day/week.  Most trips require two jumps.  Asteroidal bombardment becomes much more difficult.
So, (1), (3), and maybe (6) or (7)?

Its an issue of house rules vs. book rules and a playable game, and we will likely not agree exactly on where to draw the line.

WRT 100:1 - Yeah

WRT Nukes:
My recollection of the rules is even one nuke hit was essentially a mission kill, due to computer disruption on the target, and it takes far fewer nukes to hard-kill a ship than missiles.  If missiles are good enough at breaching point defense to matter, when they are not nuclear, then once they are nuclear, they define the whole setting.

How many ships can a Walkurie CV from the old game kill, if all her fighters have nukes hanging off of them?  And how expensive are nukes, compared to watching 700 fighters wipe out an entire fleet?

WRT Fractional Thrust:  I could be convinced here.  Certainly having 3/5 be actually 3/4.5 is a bit better.

WRT Decoupled SI:  Id like to see 2/3 ships have a place - 'slower with bigger guns and heavier armor' is a real world thing, and a choice. 

I recall liking the point defense rules that you posited.

WRT Fusion Physics:  For me, getting rid of the 'standard jump points' changes the setting and feel pretty radically.

I think the truth is either one of us would be happy to put up with the others rules choices, if the other one was willing to run it. :)

Wrangler

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #9 on: 13 March 2020, 09:24:35 »
i'm still mining the original warship race thread , since there is such a lack of canon warships around . i wouldn't mind joining if my ancient mind could ever figure out how to use the different calculator sheets , and get the results i think should come out at the end .
There have been fan-made Technical Readouts with stats for Warship posted by people. Some of them are listed on the Battletech Fandom wiki
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marcussmythe

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #10 on: 13 March 2020, 09:50:46 »
There have been fan-made Technical Readouts with stats for Warship posted by people. Some of them are listed on the Battletech Fandom wiki

Its worth noting that the outputs of a warship race like this will likely not match closely to 'book' designs, for a couple of reasons:

1.)  We are going to diverge from 'real history' pretty quickly.  This will put different demands on various powers.

2.)  Book designs are inorganic - they evolve from a need to publish books, or fill niches, or use new technology, or to add something to the game.  Outputs from something like this tend to be organic - responding to the pressures the various states find themselves operating under (real or perceived).  As such, I anticipate that we will see a lot of same-ness that wouldnt show up in a TRO (Oh, look.  3/5 ships covered in NACs, in slightly different sizes with slightly different collar counts and weapons ratios.  Books of them) and then some random outliers that you would NEVER see published (NAC 40s covering the nose, missiles on every flank!  Space Station and Tug 'Warships'!  PDS Small Craft!) as various powers, especially smaller or more stressed ones, try more and more outlandish approaches and accept greater and greater weaknesses to try to keep up.

3.)  The crucible of competition is going to turn us into fairly relentless min-maxers, though likely in ways that dont reflect what we consider 'battlefield' min-maxing.  We may see crazy cargo capacities or not, depending on role.  Maximum collars or none, same reason.

This doesnt make one set of outcomes 'good' and another 'bad', just looking at how it will differ and why.
« Last Edit: 13 March 2020, 10:07:26 by marcussmythe »

Lagrange

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #11 on: 13 March 2020, 11:08:52 »
WRT Nukes:
My recollection of the rules is even one nuke hit was essentially a mission kill, due to computer disruption on the target, and it takes far fewer nukes to hard-kill a ship than missiles.  If missiles are good enough at breaching point defense to matter, when they are not nuclear, then once they are nuclear, they define the whole setting.
The Type II missile a fighter carries does 1000 standard damage.  At a 100:1 ratio, that's 10 capital damage.  It also has a 1-in-6 chance of inflicting 100 capital damage directly to SI.  There is also a control roll (with a +4 modifier) and +2 to hit modifier for every unit in the same space hex for the remainder of the battle.

So, it's a kill for dropships and probably jumpships.  Larger warships could survive and continue to contribute meaningfully to combat.

It takes up 10 bomb slots so a fighter can only carry 1 and is significantly slowed.  There is some contradiction about whether or not an internal bomb bay can be used---the Alamo rules in IO say 'yes', but the internal bomb bay quirk in SO says 'no' since you can't bomb with 10 bombs in a round.  It attacks with AC/10 ranges and can be shot down as a Barracuda.  It costs 1M. 

How many ships can a Walkurie CV from the old game kill, if all her fighters have nukes hanging off of them?  And how expensive are nukes, compared to watching 700 fighters wipe out an entire fleet?
1 per fighter if internal bomb bays don't work (i.e. 700 costing 700M). 

The 700 fighters could might wipe out 0 warships if the fleet has serious point defense.  Using standard rules 6 AMS + 4200 heat sinks/ammo eliminates everything.   Using the modified rules I pointed out 4585 AMSs each firing 6 times would have a >50% chance of killing every missile in the salvo.  Those AMSs could be mounted on any platform smallcraft or larger and the number required declines if you use a defense-in-depth deployment.

The offense cost here (700M, assuming you have the fighters anyways) should be compared to the defense cost (8.4M in standard rules for AMS ammo, or 55M in modified rules for AMS ammo).  The equation structure does not change when you add in the cost of the launchers (fighters or AMS+heat sink).

WRT Decoupled SI:  Id like to see 2/3 ships have a place - 'slower with bigger guns and heavier armor' is a real world thing, and a choice. 
I fully believe that 'slow with big guns & heavy armor' is a real world thing.  It's available in battletech except although it starts at 3/5. 

More generally, I think realism could be pled in any number of ways to generate house rules.  Monitors for example are quite realistic.

WRT Fusion Physics:  For me, getting rid of the 'standard jump points' changes the setting and feel pretty radically.
Standard jump points would still exist as they are much easier to jump to & from.   Pirate points would become pretty essential to commerce however and create natural choke points (...which could be avoided at a cost in reactant or speed).  Some of the combat descriptions are consistent with choke points.  For example, I can't understand Sarna's description of operation liberation without it.
I think the truth is either one of us would be happy to put up with the others rules choices, if the other one was willing to run it. :)
To an extent, yes.  However, it does seem important to minimize house rule overhead to maximize ease of participation.

marcussmythe

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #12 on: 13 March 2020, 11:37:26 »
RE: Nukes

1.)  Taking the 100:1 change into account does change the math.  Im not certain it changes the math -enough- to save the BB as a unit when you could have built a CV instead, but Id have to push it around the table.  Possibly we would see defense in depth, with layers around Potemkin like motherships surrounded by CV Droppers, then fighters launched on demand, maybe with small craft outriders?  Id have to look at sensor rules vs flight endurance vs effective range.

2.)  Are Nukes an optional rule?  :)

RE:  Fractional Thrust and Decoupled SI:

My struggle here is that 3/5 is just -so good-, inasmuch as 3/5, 150 SI, 15% mission package, ~ 5% remainder in utility, is just such a perfect balance for a tooth heavy main combat unit, and my brain wants to hard reboot every time I say to myself ‘No, we cant put any more armor on or hull reinforcement in unless you hang more fusion torches off the back’.  That said, your point about generating designs that can be used legally is well taken.  I could be convinced.

3.)  Realistic Fusion Drives:  Pirate points are usually dangerous to jump to and often transient, right?  That said, cutting the Delta-V of fusion fuel may just mean we take longer to go from the zenith and nadir points.  Whats the change in travel time while maintaining consistent fuel mass consumption (IE:  Burn same amount of fuel by tonnage, and spend quality time at zero G, rather than living at 1G Brachistone trajectories).

This would have a positive knock-on effect, however, of making fuel bunkerage, refuling stations, docking collars for supply droppers, fleet train, etc A Big Deal, which makes for a richer environment.  Again, I could be convinced, as this creates a potentially more interesting environment - but is the advantage in playability and realism worth changing the rules?

marcussmythe

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #13 on: 13 March 2020, 12:19:54 »
Tech Thoughts:

We tried handling tech two different ways last time, and I was a bit disenchanted with both (of course, I rolled very poorly on both, so that may colour my perspective).

More broadly, I think the research rolls put a bit too much random into the process, and the relentless spread of technology made it hard to value such an investment.  Also, Im starting to think 'simpler is better'.

Proposal A:
There are 3 Tech Trees (matching Alsadius's revised tech trees).  Each turn, a player may spend $5B to acquire the next technology in a tree.  No more than one technology in a tree in a turn.

Variant A1:  Cost of purchase is reduced by $1B for every power in possession of the technology
Variant A2:  May purchase more than one technology per tree per turn, budget permitting.
Variant A3:  May purchase any one technology of the three lowest unresearched.

Proposal B:
One Tech Tree, Alsadius's original.  The universe advances one decade per decade, establishing the 'technology floor'. Players may purchase (10B?  20B?) a semi-permanent tech advantage, such that they will be 1 decade ahead.  This may be purchased multiple times.  Tech leads have a cost to maintain (half the purchase price?  Less?) and if that cost is not paid, the tech advantage is lost.  In game events (first succession war and bottled sunshine for everyone, Holy Shrouds, Jihad, etc.) may in fact delete tech advances all on their own.

Proposal B1:  No free advancement, players pay for and then pay to maintain their military technology base.  Possibly at a discounted rate, as above.

Hairbear541

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #14 on: 13 March 2020, 17:26:52 »
not really looking for canon designs , but fan designs that seem likely to have been produced by the different periphery states(tech wide) that is . already mined every forum thats'  still active . but as i see it the more designs the merrier game wise , that is .
always thought the devs' really missed the boat by not developing the periphery states much further . as has already been stated in other threads here , they made one to drink some very strange koolaid , another a nation of amazons and last but not least the ultra space ammish . now how implausible is that ?

Lagrange

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #15 on: 13 March 2020, 18:28:53 »
My struggle here is that 3/5 is just -so good-, inasmuch as 3/5, 150 SI, 15% mission package, ~ 5% remainder in utility, is just such a perfect balance for a tooth heavy main combat unit, and my brain wants to hard reboot every time I say to myself ‘No, we cant put any more armor on or hull reinforcement in unless you hang more fusion torches off the back’.  That said, your point about generating designs that can be used legally is well taken.  I could be convinced.
ASF are so good that you must go with standard 100 = capital 1 or the game certainly devolves into carrier warfare.

If you look at the designs created, there is actually quite a bit of variation including 2/3, 3/5, 4/6, 5/8, and 6/9.  Given this, I expect there would be natural variation amongst design philosophies in practice.
3.)  Realistic Fusion Drives:  Pirate points are usually dangerous to jump to and often transient, right? 
The L1 point is not transient.  That's basically the "standard" pirate point.  Note that a stellar system may have multiple such, one per planet.  Transient points are much messier, involve 3-body solutions, and are even more difficult to calculate. 

As far as the danger of a pirate point, if an astrogator is allowed to compute a solution multiple times and choose the best, it's not terrible.
That said, cutting the Delta-V of fusion fuel may just mean we take longer to go from the zenith and nadir points.  Whats the change in travel time while maintaining consistent fuel mass consumption (IE:  Burn same amount of fuel by tonnage, and spend quality time at zero G, rather than living at 1G Brachistone trajectories).
I'm not quite following this---you most efficiently spend fuel over a trip if you burn it at the same rate all the way.  For Earth/Zenith, that requires ~33% of vessel mass at 1g and ~10% of vessel mass at 1/10th g.  The 1/10th g trip takes sqrt(10) ~= 3 times longer.

There is some discussion here.
Again, I could be convinced, as this creates a potentially more interesting environment - but is the advantage in playability and realism worth changing the rules?
It's not clear to me.  The game breaks under the current rules when you start calculating kinetic energies and realize you can do much more than standard nukes then extrapolate damage.  Obviously, we could just limit to attacks that are in the rules.

The high speed engagement rules, which are significantly softened given the kinetic energies involved but still pretty killer, would become substantially harder to use in the "high" high speed engagement mode.   Maybe that's not necessary for the game? 

marcussmythe

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #16 on: 14 March 2020, 09:38:01 »
I think if I end up running this thing, Ill probably go big or go home - a lot of house rules or nearly none (barring 100:1, which I think is unavoidable)

Side note on 100:1 - how do we want to handle droppers and subcap weapons?  My thought is to treat subcap weapons as capital scale (which means they are sudden death to fighters), and to have dropships take damage from capital weapons as if they were warships, but from standard weapons as if they were standard scale.

I also think -some- newtech along the way might be worth doing, just to shake things up.  This will spiral into an AU very quickly, and whats an AU without some new toys?

Edit:  The problem with thinking about a thing is the longer you think about it, the more reasonable it starts sounding.  That said, Alsadius burnt himself out hard, and I dont want to do that.  If I take official responsibility for the thing, what are other people willing to take on, which parts?  Managing a map and updating it would be huge, as would having someone super good with the rules willing to handle combat resolution (at least for combats not involving them).  Other thoughts?
« Last Edit: 14 March 2020, 10:10:06 by marcussmythe »

truetanker

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #17 on: 14 March 2020, 10:06:52 »
The Marian Hegemony stands at ready to redeploy at a moments notice.

Hail Cesar! *thump!*

Truetanker  8)
Khan, Clan Iron Dolphin
Azeroth Pocketverse
That is, if true tanker doesn't beat me to it. He makes truly evil units.Col.Hengist on 31 May 2013
TT, we know you are the master of nasty  O0 ~ Fletch on 22 June 2013
If I'm attacking you, conventional wisom says to bring 3x your force.  I want extra insurance, so I'll bring 4 for every 1 of what you have :D ~ Tai Dai Cultist on 21 April 2016
Me: Would you rather fight my Epithymía Thanátou from the Whispers of Blake?
Nav_Alpha: That THING... that is horrid
~ Nav_Alpha on 10 October 2016

Lagrange

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #18 on: 14 March 2020, 18:46:04 »
I think if I end up running this thing, Ill probably go big or go home - a lot of house rules or nearly none (barring 100:1, which I think is unavoidable)
"Nearly None" seems like the right default to maximize participation.  The minimal change seems to be 100 standard = 1 capital.
Side note on 100:1 - how do we want to handle droppers and subcap weapons?  My thought is to treat subcap weapons as capital scale (which means they are sudden death to fighters), and to have dropships take damage from capital weapons as if they were warships, but from standard weapons as if they were standard scale.
Subcapital weapons dealing capital damage seems fine.  They generally trade range and fire control limits for firepower, a tradeoff that we are all familiar with elsewhere. 

Using this thread, there are good reasons for each element.

Going through it in detail:
Quote
Standard scale damage does not affect capital scale armor greater than 10 times the standard scale value.
Without this it devolves into pure carrier warfare once good energy weapons come online.  Consider an ASF loaded up with clan ER small lasers for example.  1 capital damage/round from an ASF rivals capital weapons on damage/ton and is extraordinarily more flexible. 
Quote
For standard scale weapon bays use the damage of the largest weapon in the bay.
Using the damage of a bay instead would lead to stacking standard weapons to make death rays.  Even at at 100:1 ratio, a clan ER SL bay delivers 33 capital/kton, significantly more than capital weapons. 
Quote
For cluster weapons, use cluster damage (i.e. 5). 
Not really necessary: A minor clarification.
Quote
Where standard scale weapons can damage capital armor, add up all damage to a facing from an attacker and divide by 100, rounding normally.
Not really necessary: this is the standard rules when it's 100:1.   
Quote
Critical hits can only be delivered by individual attacks dealing at least 1 capital damage.
This is a clarification.  Technically (I think), any hit can cause a critical hit, which would be disastrous.

W.r.t. dropships, just keeping their armor at standard scale seems the easiest.  Otherwise, you get strange effects where a 200 ton dropship is 10 times tougher than a 200 ton smallcraft and 12K ton spheroid dropships could be much tougher than a 100 Kton warship. 
I also think -some- newtech along the way might be worth doing, just to shake things up.  This will spiral into an AU very quickly, and whats an AU without some new toys?
I'm skeptical about newtech if a minimal-changes route is in use. 
If I take official responsibility for the thing, what are other people willing to take on, which parts?  Managing a map and updating it would be huge, as would having someone super good with the rules willing to handle combat resolution (at least for combats not involving them).  Other thoughts?
I'm happy to help, but it's difficult to promise any particular level of support given other duties.

In my mind, the difficult element which could be made much easier here is tracking state to maintain a long running game.  Is there a database of star locations?  Can we just make a git-based webpage that displays stars-by-owner and tracks other state?   That would make it much easier.

W.r.t. techs, I think a "realistic" version of this would put a price on techs, and then halve the price every decade after it's first discovered.  Perhaps it can also be halved again in any decade via battle salvage.   The base cost should be significant on the scale of warships or warships would be free.  Maybe a base price of 1/20th a greater power's budget?

marcussmythe

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #19 on: 14 March 2020, 19:38:49 »
State Tracking:  I wouldnt know where to begin setting up a website or anything of that nature to track information like that.  The best I could manage would be a google doc spreadsheet of data and an edited as necessary map, probably also stored online.

Standard Scale Weapons:  As Im reading that rule, a capship with 100 armor on each facing would be immune to normal scale PPCs, but could be damaged by normal scale Gauss Rifles (at 100:1).  Is this correct? 

If the Gauss Rifles lower the armor below 100, would standard scale PPCs then become useable

Standard Scale Weapons, 100:1, and Dropships:  Does this mean that capital missiles and subcapital cannon are now instant death to fighters, and cataclysmically dangerous to dropships (I can live with this).  It also means, as I read it, that a HNPPC is 1,500 standard scale damage - instant death to dropships.

This creates a situation where fighters can support capital strikes on other capital ships, but are never going to be stand alone attackers.  I can live with this.

Your probably right on non-standard techs, though Id like keep my options open on ‘in setting but un/underdeveloped techs’ - Casper, WoB Superjump, that sort of thing.

RE:  Tech - I think your proposal (flat cost, declining for later adopters) is a sensible one, and maps pretty closely to some of my proposals and things I was thinking about.

truetanker

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #20 on: 14 March 2020, 20:34:34 »
What if we went and started out with the 3025 Era star map, deciding the starting realms and assuming the nearest border areas as independent owners / colonies to be absorbed later on?

This way we can just color our factions in...

Thoughts?
TT
Khan, Clan Iron Dolphin
Azeroth Pocketverse
That is, if true tanker doesn't beat me to it. He makes truly evil units.Col.Hengist on 31 May 2013
TT, we know you are the master of nasty  O0 ~ Fletch on 22 June 2013
If I'm attacking you, conventional wisom says to bring 3x your force.  I want extra insurance, so I'll bring 4 for every 1 of what you have :D ~ Tai Dai Cultist on 21 April 2016
Me: Would you rather fight my Epithymía Thanátou from the Whispers of Blake?
Nav_Alpha: That THING... that is horrid
~ Nav_Alpha on 10 October 2016

Smegish

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #21 on: 14 March 2020, 20:54:26 »
There was an attempt at this kind of game on Spacebattles, was starting at the launch of the TAS Dreadnought, and he had custom maps made. Will ask him what he used for it.

Other than that, I can run the spreadsheet that tracked everyone's fleet elements like last game.

truetanker

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #22 on: 14 March 2020, 21:01:14 »
Will we have enough group discussion and combat?

TT
Khan, Clan Iron Dolphin
Azeroth Pocketverse
That is, if true tanker doesn't beat me to it. He makes truly evil units.Col.Hengist on 31 May 2013
TT, we know you are the master of nasty  O0 ~ Fletch on 22 June 2013
If I'm attacking you, conventional wisom says to bring 3x your force.  I want extra insurance, so I'll bring 4 for every 1 of what you have :D ~ Tai Dai Cultist on 21 April 2016
Me: Would you rather fight my Epithymía Thanátou from the Whispers of Blake?
Nav_Alpha: That THING... that is horrid
~ Nav_Alpha on 10 October 2016

marcussmythe

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #23 on: 14 March 2020, 21:09:20 »
Its a pity the spacebattles one died aborning, but I think he put himself into a trap by making it happen in essentially a homebrew setting with rules that (reading the thread) I never really understood.

I think having two separate threads, one for discussions like this and one for the game proper, is probably a good thing.  Keep the game thread limited to posting turns and the like, to whatever degree we can, maybe?

Having you manage some or all of the spreadsheets would take a lot off of the me.  Im also thinking about -not- running full detail turns for Every NPC Power In Space - its enough to know that the TH has More Warships Than God, that the UHC has enough for piracy patrols, and the RWR is building a typical small power overgunned, under-armored, short legged but really scary on paper handful of ships.  Or like that.

If I had my druthers, the local rules guru Lagrange would handle combat resolution for everything not involving him - but Im comfortable enough to do it if need be.

Andras

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #24 on: 14 March 2020, 22:32:43 »
Re AMS, how does the new rule look? Each wave is handled as an entity, not as individual missiles, if not destroyed outright due to damage, it takes the to hit penalty. So AMS may force the entire wave to miss, even if there isn't enough damage to kill every missile.

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63819.0

Xotl said:
Capital Missile Bays: For the purposes of PDW fire, treat all missiles fired from a single bay as a single combined missile (i.e. PDW fire damages and inflicts to-hit penalties on the entire group, not against individual missiles). Similarly, the damage value of the missile flight is not reduced unless the entire flight is destroyed by PDW fire.

Smegish

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #25 on: 16 March 2020, 06:24:28 »
Another feature that was going to be in the stillborn Spacebattles game we may wish to consider is construction time. Alsadius' game simplified it to two ships a year, any size up to the size of a given yard. The Spacebattles one had ships taking 1 year per size category to build, with larger yards being able to build multiple smaller ships at once (for example, the Size Two yard I started with would have allowed me to build 2 Size One ships a year).

I propose a slight amendment to that idea:

Ships take a year per Size to build. Undersized yards multiply that time, with each size category smaller getting exponentially worse. Oversized yards reduce construction time by a year per size bigger, with a maximum time of 2 per year.

Example 1: A Size 3 Cruiser takes 3 years to build in a Size 3 Yard, 2 years in a Size 4 yard, 1 year in a Size 5 yard, and a Size 6 yard can pump out 2 a year as long as you can afford it.

Example 2: That size 3 Cruiser takes 6 years in a Size 2 Yard, and 12 years in a Size 1 Yard, if you're desperate enough.

Would be an added complication, but an idea I wanted to throw out there.

marcussmythe

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #26 on: 16 March 2020, 07:19:54 »
Thats an interesting idea, Smegish.  Is the additional overhead worth the advantage?  Im thinking our best bet is to keep it as simple as possible...

To that end, whats everyones thoughts on simply adopting Aldasius’s starting positions and rules, with the following changes:

1.)  PDS interactions as discussed above (to keep missiles from being obsolete before we start - their still gonna be poor weapons in damage per ton, but their range and crit possibilities keep them useful, I think$

2.)  100:1 Cap:Normal, no normal weapon can penetrate capital armor of value >10x its damage.  Keeps the Cloud Generators from dominating, but theyll still be death on droppers, unarmored ships, and damaged ships.

3.)  Increased Budgets and Maintenance - We couldnt build many ships, and couldnt recover from losses if they happened.

4.)  Simplified tech rules (some version of ‘buy from menu, menu defined by how far along the tech tree you are overall, cheaper as other powers get the trch your trying to buy’)

5.)  Naval Dropships and Jumpships serve as fleet train and invasion support - and without them, your stuck stealing civilian hulls for it (unless your warships can do fleet train and invasion duty).  Naval Droppers also represent Assault Dropper/PWS.  Basically if you didnt budget for it, it never helps you in a fight, and if you didnt budget for it, fights may be harder - civilian droppers are slower and more fragile, thus invasions are tougher and more dangerous for -everyone-

Other than those learned-by-experience things, I think he gave us a great starting point.  No need to reinvent the wheel.

marcussmythe

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #27 on: 16 March 2020, 07:22:14 »
Separate Post:  Player List

Id like to get at least 5, for the 5 major powers, using periphery and secondary powers as spill over.  RWR, UHC, anything in existence at the time is available.  Ill probably take whatever noone else wants on as my personal fun project, and see if I can get someone else to manage the battles.  So whose interested, and in what nation?  First come and all of that.

Players:
Draconis Combine - Smegish
Marian Hegemony - True Tanker
« Last Edit: 16 March 2020, 15:19:37 by marcussmythe »

truetanker

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #28 on: 16 March 2020, 13:59:23 »
The Marian Hegemony stands at ready to redeploy at a moments notice.

Hail Cesar! *thump!*

Truetanker  8)

Secondary question : What if we use a Research / Espionage roll to determine tech advance a few turns ahead of TH default ? Costs in Billions per roll. Also how about limited mining, like for every 5B used a 2.5B interest?  But put a max of 20B for a 10B max interest cap? Let's smaller states a slight better money , but allows economic growth. Bigger status ones get a little bit as well...

Thoughts?

TT
Khan, Clan Iron Dolphin
Azeroth Pocketverse
That is, if true tanker doesn't beat me to it. He makes truly evil units.Col.Hengist on 31 May 2013
TT, we know you are the master of nasty  O0 ~ Fletch on 22 June 2013
If I'm attacking you, conventional wisom says to bring 3x your force.  I want extra insurance, so I'll bring 4 for every 1 of what you have :D ~ Tai Dai Cultist on 21 April 2016
Me: Would you rather fight my Epithymía Thanátou from the Whispers of Blake?
Nav_Alpha: That THING... that is horrid
~ Nav_Alpha on 10 October 2016

Smegish

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Re: Warship Race Redux
« Reply #29 on: 16 March 2020, 15:18:51 »
Grand Admiral Pu-Bah shall reclaim his position as head of the DCA.