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BattleTech Player Boards => Fan Designs and Rules => Topic started by: Lagrange on 14 December 2018, 11:38:42

Title: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 14 December 2018, 11:38:42
What are the minimal easy houserules required to make naval combat interesting?  This is something I've been debating with marcussmythe in relationship to the warship design challenge (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=61764.0).  I'm curious about other's take as well. 


Edit: We seem to have converged on attempt 9 (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1469448#msg1469448) with marcussmythe and UnLimiTeD in rough agreement around:

Standard scale damage does not affect capital scale armor greater than 10 times the standard scale value.  For standard scale weapon bays use the damage of the largest weapon in the bay.  For cluster weapons, use cluster damage (i.e. 5).  Where standard scale weapons can damage capital armor, add up all damage to a facing from an attacker and divide by 100, rounding normally.  Critical hits can only be delivered by individual attacks dealing at least 1 capital damage.

In addition, there was quite a bit of discussion leading to point defense rules which make more sense (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1469485#msg1469485). 
There is no convergence around nuclear weapons rules.



The problem: The current rule set (and all previous as far as I know), suffer from severely overpowered standard weapons compared to capital scale weapons.   As an example, a clan ER Large Laser doing 10 points of standard damage with 10 tons (=4 base + 6 tons of double heat sinks) is comparable to an SCL1 doing 1 capital damage (=10 standard scale damage) with 162 tons (=150 base + 12 double heat sinks).   This disparity in damage/ton gets only worse with larger scale naval weapons.  As a consequence, standard scale weapons tend to heavily dominate in naval warfare anywhere they can be applied.  Furthermore, since aerospace fighters are much more mobile than capital weapons ranges a game with design collapses into a single kind of combat warships and dropships: carriers. 

Aerospace fighters do radically more damage/ton at a radically larger range than capital weapons and their cost is easily amortized by the high cost of warships and dropships.  The only notable weakness of ASF is a lack of SI which make thrust beyond 9 (=4.5g ) cause structural damage for all but light scouts.  This hole is easily filled by somewhat more expensive fast combat smallcraft.  You could still try to make a combat warship or dropship based on standard scale weapons.  For both dropships and warships of any significant scale it's easy to carry enough ASF to destroy any plausible assault/battleship of a similar scale in a single round making the number of weapons on standard scale weapon assault/battleships irrelevant.  In addition, fire control tonnage grows quadratically with the number of weapons, so only quite light warships could even benefit from heavy use of standard weapons.  These observation makes all warship designs based around capital scale weapons easy pickings for carriers.

Solution attempts:
Attempt 1: standard scale / 100 = capital scale.   
Effects include:
The above generally seems like what we are looking for, but there are problems remaining or introduced as well.
Points 1 and 2 still leave carriers dominant while drawbacks 3&4 seems undesirable.  Further changes to scale (e.g. 1000:1) do not address this issue and exacerbate the drawbacks so we need some new rules.  The best I've come up with is:

Attempt 2: Standard scale / 100 = capital scale.  Only capital scale damage from a single event can cause a lucky critical hit.  Capital missiles require standard damage = 10x capital damage in point defense to destroy.  Ortillery operates according to standard scale = 10x capital scale.  Remove the individual weapons rule for stochastic capital damage. 
Looking at the issues again, we see:

Edit: This leaves dropships unable to effectively contribute in combat against warships as Atarlost says (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1466428#msg1466428).  I don't see how to cope with this other than via another rule.
Attempt 3: Standard scale / 100 = capital scale.  Only capital scale damage from a single event can cause a lucky critical hit.  As an exception, standard scale damage remains only 10x capital damage for the purpose of damaging dropships, shooting down capital missiles, and ortillery.  Remove the individual weapons rule for stochastic capital damage. 

This modification allows assault dropships to modestly threaten dropships while consolidating the rules from attempt 2 and otherwise functioning as before.

Edit again:  Attempt 3 fails because a smallcraft carrier is still overwhelming (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1466743#msg1466743).  We need a new approach.  I like the damage reduction idea, but we've established that -5 damage reduction isn't adequate and it seems desirable to avoid the need to recompute damage statistics.

Attempt 4: Standard scale damage by a standard weapon bay or a unit not using bays against capital armor is reduced by the amount of capital armor on a location before it is applied.  Only capital scale damage can cause a lucky critical hit against capital armor.

Examples: An AC/20 does half damage against a jumpship with 10 capital armor and no damage against a space station with 20 capital armor.  A warship mounting a 70 PPCs in a bay would do no damage against a warship with 700 capital armor.   A smallcraft with a bay using 12 medium lasers would do no damage against a warship with 60 capital armor. 
This seems to fail by leving standard weapon armed warships too powerful (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1467174#msg1467174). 

Attempt 5: (From monbvol) (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1467258#msg1467258) Standard weapons don't damage capital armor.  Advanced Point Defense, Missile Waypoints, and Bearings only launches are no more.  Antiship Missiles are backdated to always be available. 

This seems to leave ASF carriers dominant (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1467889#msg1467889).

Attempt 6: here (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1468483#msg1468483) Capital damage by standard weapons is equal to the damage on a facing by an attacker / 100, rounded down.  The maximum number of weapons in a weapons bay is 6 for Smallcraft, 12 for Dropships, and 40 for Warships, Jumpships, and Space Stations.  Critical hits on capital units can only be caused by individual attacks dealing at least 1 capital damage.

No counterexamples yet exist although it is odd that standard scale units have an easier time doing damage to capital armor than capital structure.

Attempt 7: from marcussmythe (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1468585#msg1468585).  Non-capital weapons effect capital IS at 1:10, but cannot harm capital armor.  Fighter carried ASMs deal 1 point of capital scale damage. No optional rule for AMS.

This eliminates ramming (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1468407#msg1468407) as per cannon and it makes missileers to powerful (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1468810#msg1468810).

Attempt 8: Standard scale damage does not affect capital scale armor. 

This again eliminates ramming as per Miraborg.  It means that jumpships are very robust against ASF although they can be easily boarded by smallcraft.  ASF still have roles to play in naval battles via Antiship Missiles, in damaging exposed structure, or in electronic warfare.

Attempt 9: Standard scale damage does not affect capital scale armor greater than 10 times the standard scale value.  For standard scale weapon bays use the damage of the largest weapon in the bay.  For cluster weapons, use cluster damage (i.e. 5).  Where standard scale weapons can damage capital armor, add up all damage to a facing from an attacker and divide by 100, rounding normally.  Critical hits can only be delivered by individual attacks dealing at least 1 capital damage.

Under this rule:

Am I missing effects of these rule tweaks?  Do side effects seem intolerable?  Once you start tweaking rules it becomes tempting to tweak many more, but it seems important to minimize tweaks.  Is there a better alternate set of tweaks which is no larger?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Atarlost on 14 December 2018, 12:44:00
I would suggest sticking to the 1:10 scale because you failed to recognize two side effects: 
1) Assault dropships are too fragile to operate in eras with warships.  Since most of them are either from the SL era before warships went away or after warships returned post-Helm this is a serious lore problem.
2) Capital missiles and fighter launched ASMs are massively overpowered in dropship vs dropship combat. 

Instead, I would make two or three less extreme changes:
1) standard damage is reduced by 5 per weapon before being applied to capital armor (but not to missiles).  MLs and AC-5s do absolutely nothing, AC-10s half a point, standard gausses one point, and AC-20s 1.5 points.  LRMs hit in 5 clusters so they also do no damage to capital ships.  Fighters can be optimized as anti-capship platforms, but most aren't and an anti-capship plaftorm cannot spam weight efficient lasers. 
2) Through armor criticals are always based on single weapon damage.  Squadron rules I believe already do this, but it prevents massed standard scale weapons on warships from being powerful and makes otherwise disfavored naval gauss and naval autocannons more useful. 
3) optionally, capital weapons TAC on armor/5 instead of armor/10 to make it possible to TAC large warships again with the right weapons.  This depends on how lossy you want capital ship fights to be.  If you want the Royal Navy sparring with the High Seas Fleet indecisively and only thin skinned battlecruisers being lost don't use this rule.  If you want to see the Bismark blowing up the Hood do use it. 
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 14 December 2018, 13:19:09
I would suggest sticking to the 1:10 scale because you failed to recognize two side effects: 
1) Assault dropships are too fragile to operate in eras with warships.  Since most of them are either from the SL era before warships went away or after warships returned post-Helm this is a serious lore problem.
2) Capital missiles and fighter launched ASMs are massively overpowered in dropship vs dropship combat. 
Good, that seems correct. 

Instead, I would make two or three less extreme changes:
1) standard damage is reduced by 5 per weapon before being applied to capital armor (but not to missiles).  MLs and AC-5s do absolutely nothing, AC-10s half a point, standard gausses one point, and AC-20s 1.5 points.  LRMs hit in 5 clusters so they also do no damage to capital ships.  Fighters can be optimized as anti-capship platforms, but most aren't and an anti-capship plaftorm cannot spam weight efficient lasers. 
2) Through armor criticals are always based on single weapon damage.  Squadron rules I believe already do this, but it prevents massed standard scale weapons on warships from being powerful and makes otherwise disfavored naval gauss and naval autocannons more useful. 
3) optionally, capital weapons TAC on armor/5 instead of armor/10 to make it possible to TAC large warships again with the right weapons.  This depends on how lossy you want capital ship fights to be.  If you want the Royal Navy sparring with the High Seas Fleet indecisively and only thin skinned battlecruisers being lost don't use this rule.  If you want to see the Bismark blowing up the Hood do use it.
W.r.t. 2).   This seems to take care of critical problem fine, but do you mean to remove capital missile criticals as well?  Also, NACs aren't disfavored in my experience as they generate pretty good damage/ton. 

W.r.t. 1), carriers are still left dominant.  A heavy fighter with 2 Ultra AC-20s capable of overtaking most warships is pretty feasible implying they could deal 1.5 capital damage  up to 4 times in a round.  Given the way that rounding works with capital armor, this implies an average of about 5 capital damage if everything hits---maybe call it 4 capital damage taking into account the chance of a miss at short range.   That means 250 ASF taking up 37.5K tons of bays are capable of generating 1000 capital damage/round.   Comparing, the same weight in Heavy Naval PPCs might generate 165 capital damage/round if everything hits.   But they won't hit against the carrier, because it will just stay out of range and send the piranhas ASF to kill the warship.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: KaiserDunk on 14 December 2018, 14:16:52
I prefer the idea that standard weapons do not have the potential to cause a 'Golden BB' cascade through critical hits.   If a heavy ASF squadron can carry a couple of Barracuda missiles like WWII torpedoes each, then I could see that working.   Chucking 37mm anti-tank cannon rounds at the Bismarck or the Yamato should not have the capacity to score a lucky TEP shot.   It would also give larger DropShips the ability to act PT boats when armed with Barracuda tubes.

I like the idea of decreasing the capital weapon damage of standard weapons to 1/100 for the same reason.   Maybe decrease the point-defense hits needed to shoot down incoming capital missiles to make systems like AMS more valuable.   
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 14 December 2018, 16:22:21
I put up attempt 3 to deal with the dropship concern.

If a heavy ASF squadron can carry a couple of Barracuda missiles like WWII torpedoes each, then I could see that working.   
The Antiship missiles aren't Barracudas but they seem to have the same sort of function.  They seem a bit ridiculous to me in that Barracudas weigh 30 tons and have (effectively) 1.25 tons of armor (at 16 points/ton) while doing 2 capital damage.  Antiship missiles weigh 2 tons (7%) and have (effectively) 1.875 tons of armor while doing 3 points of capital damage. 
Maybe decrease the point-defense hits needed to shoot down incoming capital missiles to make systems like AMS more valuable.
I'm not quite following this--AMS is super-valuable already because it can fire repeatedly until you run out of heat sinks or ammo.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: KaiserDunk on 14 December 2018, 18:50:57
I stand corrected in regards to the differences between Barracuda and ASMs; the only thing I can think of between the two is that the Barracuda has a much longer range than the ASM, hence the greater mass.   Still, I like the idea of ASFs having the ability to pose a threat to capital WarShips, making point defense and anti-ASF weaponry necessary.   Maybe change the rules to allow aerodyne small craft to carry external ordnance, giving assault small craft the ability to carry ASMs as well.

As to the AMS, my point is to make it easier for an AMS to take out a given capital missile in as few shots as possible through hitting components of the missile.

Another idea is to maybe give the Streak SRM system the ability to fire at capital missiles, similar to the RAM currently in use by several navies today.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Atarlost on 14 December 2018, 22:16:37
W.r.t. 2).   This seems to take care of critical problem fine, but do you mean to remove capital missile criticals as well?  Also, NACs aren't disfavored in my experience as they generate pretty good damage/ton. 
I'm not sure what you mean about capital missile criticals.  NACs have less range and with crits by bay the large values are not more valuable.  With the 70 per bay limit, in fact, the NAC-40 can only be single mounted, severely penalizing it for TAC threats.  Every single other capital weapon can achieve a larger bay. 

W.r.t. 1), carriers are still left dominant.  A heavy fighter with 2 Ultra AC-20s capable of overtaking most warships is pretty feasible implying they could deal 1.5 capital damage  up to 4 times in a round.  Given the way that rounding works with capital armor, this implies an average of about 5 capital damage if everything hits---maybe call it 4 capital damage taking into account the chance of a miss at short range.   That means 250 ASF taking up 37.5K tons of bays are capable of generating 1000 capital damage/round.   Comparing, the same weight in Heavy Naval PPCs might generate 165 capital damage/round if everything hits.   But they won't hit against the carrier, because it will just stay out of range and send the piranhas ASF to kill the warship.
Shutting out fighters entirely is impossible without also shutting out dropships and from a lore standpoint is undesirable. 

You're also miscounting ultra autocannon damage.  If using the normal rules an ultra autocannon does 0.75x rated damage per cluster, which amounts to 1 capital after the 5 damage reduction per hit.  If using individual weapon rules Each weapon must roll on the 2s column of the number of missile hits table.  If you are firing 500 UAC-20s using the individual weapons rules there is no saving the game. 

To put your 800 damage 250 fighter strike in perspective, the same weight would get you 57 Killer Whale launchers with 579 missiles.  With bearings only launches these have the same ability to be used outside of the range of all other capital weapons.  They collectively do 2316 damage. 

The way canonical ships are designed you won't have this sort of problem unless you let one player bring a Potempkin with a full load of Vengeances or Titans. If you're designing your own ships look at Screen Launchers.  If you still have issues consider increasing the naval laser anti-fighter mode bonus or backdating subcapital weapons to the Age of War. 
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 14 December 2018, 23:49:06
I stand corrected in regards to the differences between Barracuda and ASMs; the only thing I can think of between the two is that the Barracuda has a much longer range than the ASM, hence the greater mass.   
The range has some significant value, but it's hard to swallow at x15 tonnage.  A Light PPC has 2x the range of a medium laser (similar to BC vs. ASM) and requires only 2x the mass.
Still, I like the idea of ASFs having the ability to pose a threat to capital WarShips, making point defense and anti-ASF weaponry necessary.   
I think we are there with the proposed houserules.  ASMs are certainly threatening at 3 capital damage each.   Even if it's only 30 standard (on a 100:1 scale), an ASF could carry two and very plausibly manage to do the 50 points of damage on a location necessary to inflict a point of capital damage.  Even without that somewhat specialized heavy ASF can often reach the threshold of 50 damage on a location in a round.  Consider for example a heavy fighter with MPL + TC using called shots (SO page 99) to target a location.  They should reach the 50 point damage threshold consistently at short range. 
Maybe change the rules to allow aerodyne small craft to carry external ordnance, giving assault small craft the ability to carry ASMs as well.
This seems doable but not necessary as ASF can function in this role.
As to the AMS, my point is to make it easier for an AMS to take out a given capital missile in as few shots as possible through hitting components of the missile.
I don't see the motivation I guess.  AMS on largecraft is already incredibly effective.
Another idea is to maybe give the Streak SRM system the ability to fire at capital missiles, similar to the RAM currently in use by several navies today.
There is already the 'Targeting Capital Missiles' rule on SO 117 which allows this.
I'm not sure what you mean about capital missile criticals. 
Capital missiles have a bonus chance of causing criticals---see TW page 239.
NACs have less range and with crits by bay the large values are not more valuable.  With the 70 per bay limit, in fact, the NAC-40 can only be single mounted, severely penalizing it for TAC threats.  Every single other capital weapon can achieve a larger bay. 
A NAC-40 does almost twice as much damage/ton as an HNPPC and can be paired with a NAC/30 to create a 70 point bay.  See Alsadius's analysis (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=60530) for details.
Shutting out fighters entirely is impossible without also shutting out dropships and from a lore standpoint is undesirable. 
Attempt 3 in the (edited) original post tries to do this.  Do you think that doesn't work also?
You're also miscounting ultra autocannon damage.  If using the normal rules an ultra autocannon does 0.75x rated damage per cluster, which amounts to 1 capital after the 5 damage reduction per hit.  If using individual weapon rules Each weapon must roll on the 2s column of the number of missile hits table.  If you are firing 500 UAC-20s using the individual weapons rules there is no saving the game. 
My impression was that under standard rules UAC-20s deliver a flat 30 damage/hit in ASF? 

Anyways, no matter how you slice it, twin UAC-20 ASFs from a carrier warship are far more deadly than a comparable battleship under the 'standard-5' rule because 250 of them generate far more capital damage than a comparable weight of capital-scale weapons.
To put your 800 damage 250 fighter strike in perspective, the same weight would get you 57 Killer Whale launchers with 579 missiles.  With bearings only launches these have the same ability to be used outside of the range of all other capital weapons.  They collectively do 2316 damage. 
This is way worse than the ASF carrier for several reasons.
The way canonical ships are designed you won't have this sort of problem unless you let one player bring a Potempkin with a full load of Vengeances or Titans.
I mostly agree here although the Thera is pretty capable as a carrier.
If you're designing your own ships look at Screen Launchers. 
Screen launchers are great.  The area effect damage is also absurd and they are only available 600 years after warships are a thing.
If you still have issues consider increasing the naval laser anti-fighter mode bonus or backdating subcapital weapons to the Age of War.
Subcapital weapons don't fix the issue because they just don't generate enough damage in the standard rules to kill many ASF.  Similarly, Naval Lasers in anti-fighter mode need to be operating on a one-hit-to-kill basis in order to really put a dent in a carrier's ASF swarm at an appreciable rate.  This is approximately what the 100:1 ratio for standard:capital damage is doing.  You also need to make the warship more robust since it essentially dies in one round when attacked by the ASF swarm under either default rules or the standard-5 rule.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: truetanker on 15 December 2018, 00:47:25
Not a tech head, so following...

Interesting none the least...

TT
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: idea weenie on 15 December 2018, 14:54:53
How about for standard damage, if you get a critical, you instead do double standard damage?  You then roll again to see if you actually got a critical hit

So a 4-strong ASF squadron does a total of 8-12 standard damage (2 Gauss Rifles per ASF = 2-3 standard damage per ASF).  The attacker rolls for to-hit, and gets a critical.  The ASF squadron now does 16-24 pts standard damage instead, and the player rolls 2d6 again to see if they actually got a crit.  Warships firing capital weaponry can choose to do either the doubled damage or score the critical hit (declared before firing, but they don't need to confirm).

This will require knowing how many weapons are in an arc.  For example, the following weapon setups appear to deliver identical standard (ignoring ranges):
Nose - Laser - 40 dmg
LW - Laser - 40 dmg
RW - Laser - 40 dmg

But if you look at the design, you see that the nose is 5 Large Lasers (8 standard dmg per), while each wing is 8 medium lasers (5 standard damage per).  Without that knowledge, if you just reduced the standard damage by 5 pts you would still have 35 pts of damage per arc.  Halving the damage would not be effective either.  Needing to look up the design during the game is definitely not practical (since there may be multiple designs flying around).

But if you make a note about how many weapons are per arc:
Nose - Laser (5) - 40 dmg
LW - Laser (8) - 40 dmg
RW - Laser (8) - 40 dmg

Then if you subtract 5 pts of standard damage from each weapon, you know how many weapons are per arc, and you effectively get:
Nose - Laser (5) - 15 dmg
LW - Laser (8) - 0 dmg
RW - Laser (8) - 0 dmg


For ASF, they should only do full standard damage once all the armor in a location is gone.  So you can send them after wounded ships, but you should really use combat Dropships and Warships to kill other Warships.

What I would want to see is a way that squadrons get better benefit than an ASF on its own.  This encourages the players to keep ASF in squadrons, instead of trying to keep track of every ASF on the map.  (on the scale of Warships and Dropships, ASF should be considered as infantry is compared to Battlemechs).  Perhaps a bonus on the dice to determine if you got a critical, based on the number of ASF not firing?  So if a 4-strong ASF squadron has 2 fighters not firing, it would do half damage, but as long as the squadron hit, it would count 2-4 as permission to roll for a critical?

The problem is that you might get someone who tries to have a single giant ASF squadron, so anti-fighter weapons would need a bonus when firing at a squadron based on the size of the squadron?  You'd have to figure out a way so that 4, 5, and 6 are their own 'steps' in this calculations, to reflect the Inner Sphere, Clan, and C*/WoB squadron sizes.



I also want to make a unified design system for Jumpships/Warships/Dropships/Spacestations/Monitors.  You can design whatever you want, and use nearly the same rules for everything. 

As an example, the final multiplier for the different designs is based on the following options (in increasing order of price):
1) dis/assembly capability (so multi-part items built elsewhere cost more, but it means you can build that 2.5 MTon station in an unpopulated system, then take it apart after the job is done)
2) FTL capability (carried externally) or FTL capability (jumping) (can only select one)
3) multi-atmosphere capability (aka Dropships, plus they have to use the 6.5% engine mass instead of 6% space-only engine mass)
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 15 December 2018, 23:40:41
It seems like attempt 3 fails.   To understand this, we need to setup some notional opponents.    Let's pick 600K ton warships as a mid-sized mid-cost choice and use introductory tech.   At this level ASF can't reliably manage to do 50 points of damage to a location, but smallcraft can.  So our notional ships are all 600 ton 3/5 150 SI with 135 capital armor/facing and either:
The smallcraft we'll look at is:
Code: [Select]
Antiwarship Smallcraft
Base Tech Level: Standard (IS)
Tech Rating: D/D-E-D-D 
Weight: 200
tons BV: 2,788
Cost: 16,090,100 C-bills 
Movement: 5/8
Heat Sinks: 24
Fuel Points: 400/400 (5.0 tons)
Tons Per Burn Day: 1.84 
Structural Integrity: 16

Armor
Nose 296
Left Side 246
Right Side 246
Aft 196

 
Weapons Loc Heat
24x Small Laser NOS 24
   
Crew
Officers 2
Enlisted/Non-rated 1
Gunners 4
   
This smallcraft can provide point defense almost sufficient to destroy a Killer Whale or inflict one point of capital damage at the 100:1 ratio as per attempt 3.  Paying for the smallcraft essentially doubles the price, so we should consider 1 carrier vs. 2 missilleers or 1 carrier vs. 2 antifighters.  Against the missileers, the smallcraft can simply use point defense to destroy every killer whale (308/round) with about 90 left to attack.  Against the Antifighter configurations, the smallcraft can evade while closing so the NL35s can really only hit at short range where the smallcraft can hit back.  Taking into account aspect penalties (+1) and the AAA fighter mode penalty (+3), only about 55 smallcraft are killed/round so it looks like:
Round 1: 55 smallcraft killed, 1 Antifighter warship has a sides eviscerated with 312 capital damage on target.    Interestingly, _no_ damage to structure occurs because each smallcraft can only inflict 1 capital damage which is halved and rounded down to zero against the structure.  Nevertheless, many critical hits from a variable crit threshold render the warship nonfunctional.
Round 2: 28 smallcraft killed, the other Antifighter warship loses the aft side with about 272 capital on target. 
Round 3: ~14 smallcraft killed, the last Antifighter warship is rendered nonfunctional.

How about for standard damage, if you get a critical, you instead do double standard damage?  You then roll again to see if you actually got a critical hit
Reducing critical hits to a .077% chance could be effective.   I'm a little bit wary because the rule adds complexity.
So a 4-strong ASF squadron does a total of 8-12 standard damage (2 Gauss Rifles per ASF = 2-3 standard damage per ASF).
By 'standard', I think you mean 'capital'.  If 4 ASF do 8 capital damage then a notional 3/5 600K ton carrier could launch fighters to generate over 1K capital damage/round.   It still generates the collapse to carrier warfare.

The squadron bonus on criticals and the unified design system ideas are also interesting but not the problem I'm trying to solve here.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 16 December 2018, 00:21:32
Can anyone name a naval combat system, that allows customized ship design or even customized force composition, that incorporates fighters in an anti-ship role... where fighters dont ‘blow up the game’?

Off the top of my head, I cannot.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Atarlost on 16 December 2018, 01:21:14
Capital missiles have a bonus chance of causing criticals---see TW page 239.
I still see no connection.  Changing how bays interact with armor thresholds also has no effect on crits from rolling boxcars or crits from hitting a location from which the armor has been stripped. 

A NAC-40 does almost twice as much damage/ton as an HNPPC and can be paired with a NAC/30 to create a 70 point bay.  See Alsadius's analysis (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=60530) for details.

Odd, Alsadius makes a point of considering the bay size for various weapons.  He even notes a bay size above the common 600 as an advantage for the MNPPC.  How sure are you about mixing weapons? 

Attempt 3 in the (edited) original post tries to do this.  Do you think that doesn't work also?

You're using a different scale conversion for different targets.  This is incredibly inelegant. 

Anyways, no matter how you slice it, twin UAC-20 ASFs from a carrier warship are far more deadly than a comparable battleship under the 'standard-5' rule because 250 of them generate far more capital damage than a comparable weight of capital-scale weapons.

This is way worse than the ASF carrier for several reasons.
  • The ASF do a factor of 4+ more damage/round.
  • The ASF can adjust course when the enemy moves.
  • The KWs inflict no damage on a warship that invests in 14 AMSs + 400 heat sinks + 665 tons of ammo.
  • Thr ASF themselves can easily mount sufficient point defense to shoot down every KW.  You need 7 small lasers or 10MGs per ASF.
1) Damage in a round matters little when the missiles are already in flight. 
3) Infinite AMS is another problem you should be fixing, not invoking as an argument.
4) Now you're not only putting two UAC-20s but 7 SLs on your antiship fighter.  This is an extreme level of munchkinry.  If you have a munchkin at your table willing to roll 500 jamming rolls for one round of combat you should refuse to game with him to achieve an advantage in a tabletop game where money is not at stake you should neither play nor even be friends with him. 

For that matter, you have a friend who is running 42 squadrons.  Regardless of whether or not he's using weapons that require jamming rolls you should not be letting someone bring that many individual units to a Battletech game.  Maybe Alpha Strike if you have all day, but even then it's a lot of units.  That's a fair few units for one side even on a simple hex and counter wargame. 

To solve all of your alleged problems simply institute a unit cap.  Your examples of cheese are so absurd in the amount of dice rolling it would require to use them that I do not believe you have ever actually had anyone try to use them.  If you had you wouldn't be complaining about balance but about the lack of an aerospace rule set sufficiently abstract to operate under the weight of that many units. 

Also, remember when the UAC-20 was invented and where.  The Clans almost never involved warships in trials other than entirely simulated internal Snow Raven trials due to their value and rarity.  There was the Wolverine Annihilation, but Clan prototype UACs enter widespread use only in 2825, too late to participate in large numbers.  Prior to that you'll cap out at 3 damage from twin AC-20s which come with shorter range as well.  By the time warship vs warship combat is possible screen launchers not only exist but have lost their faction restriction. 
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 16 December 2018, 11:03:14
I made an attempt 4 around a form of damage reduction in the OP---reducing standard scale damage by the amount of capital scale armor.  Does that seem viable?

Can anyone name a naval combat system, that allows customized ship design or even customized force composition, that incorporates fighters in an anti-ship role... where fighters dont ‘blow up the game’?
If I recall correctly (it's been 20 years), Masters of Orion (the computer game) managed this.  One of the species allowed you to design big regenerating ships which allowed you to whittle down fighter hordes. 

I still see no connection.  Changing how bays interact with armor thresholds also has no effect on crits from rolling boxcars or crits from hitting a location from which the armor has been stripped. 
I see---your language seemed more absolute.

Odd, Alsadius makes a point of considering the bay size for various weapons.  He even notes a bay size above the common 600 as an advantage for the MNPPC.  How sure are you about mixing weapons? 
I'm quite sure. TM page 195 says "Unlike fighters, however, these aerospace units may combine weapons of different sizes (such as a mix of medium and large lasers) in a single weapon bay..." referring to smallcraft and dropships.  SO page 154 says "the weapons usable by advanced aerospace units are sorted into weapon classes in the same fashion as for Dropship units. These weapon bay classes are..."   There is no indication of a rules change from smallcraft/dropship except that more categories of weapons bays are available.
You're using a different scale conversion for different targets.  This is incredibly inelegant. 
I tend to agree.
1) Damage in a round matters little when the missiles are already in flight. 
Why not?  Damage in a round controls how many missiles can be shot down consistently.
3) Infinite AMS is another problem you should be fixing, not invoking as an argument.
It's a minor issue compared to the one we are looking at here.
4) Now you're not only putting two UAC-20s but 7 SLs on your antiship fighter.  This is an extreme level of munchkinry.  If you have a munchkin at your table willing to roll 500 jamming rolls for one round of combat you should refuse to game with him to achieve an advantage in a tabletop game where money is not at stake you should neither play nor even be friends with him. 
On one hand, I totally agree---500 rolls/round is not reasonable.  On the other hand, I want a rules set which doesn't break and which can be reasonably abstracted for large scale battles. 
To solve all of your alleged problems simply institute a unit cap. 
This doesn't work either.  To see this, the same notional 600K ton 3/5 150SI warship can mount 490 PPCs in each of Aft/Broad/Fore sides creating 7 70-capital bays/arc and bringing 21 70-capital bays to bear in the broadside.   This is a factor of 3 more than the damage generated by mounting NAC-40s while having the same range.
Prior to that you'll cap out at 3 damage from twin AC-20s which come with shorter range as well. 
Sure, but it's still to much.  We've established that 1 capital damage/smallcraft is to much so 3 capital damage/ASF is way to much.
By the time warship vs warship combat is possible screen launchers not only exist but have lost their faction restriction. 
There is plenty of warship vs. warship combat in the 2500s.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: KaiserDunk on 16 December 2018, 13:38:53
My bottom line would be that ASFs should not be able to do anywhere near as much damage as capital weapons save for the aforementioned ASMs.   The ASMs are there for a reason; standard weapons should not have any or at most very limited punch vs WarShip armor or crits.   The only way for an ASF without ASMs to impact a WarShip should be with a suicide ramming; otherwise I would expect the weapons of an ASF like a Sparrowhawk or Transgressor to have on a Warship would be comparable to gnats hitting a car's windshield.

I like the idea of having a 1:10, 1:50, or 1:100 ratio for standard weapons to capital weapons, with ASMs having 2 damage per successful hit.   It keeps the use of standard weapons where they belong, as ASF and CIWS defense batteries.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 16 December 2018, 13:51:42
As presented the analysis does not indicate it takes the following considerations into full account:

Small lasers(and other non-AMS Point Defense Weapons) can only fire once at incoming missile attacks and must be declared to be in Point Defense mode and halve their damage to do so.  This mode change is declared in the end phase.(Strategic Operations pages 96 and 97)

Evasive movement prevents firing offensively.(Total Warfare page 77)

Capital range brackets are not the same range as Standard range brackets.  They are double.(Total Warfare page 235)

Bracket Fire would actually be the better option for the laser armed Warships, at least until SCL-1s become available then swap those for the NL-35s and use AAA mode for a Gunnery+Range+3 to hit and hitting at medium or even long range isn't out of the question.

All that said I do not disagree that everything space needs a lot of work to be made more sane and reasonable.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 16 December 2018, 16:23:10
My bottom line would be that ASFs should not be able to do anywhere near as much damage as capital weapons save for the aforementioned ASMs.   The ASMs are there for a reason; standard weapons should not have any or at most very limited punch vs WarShip armor or crits.   The only way for an ASF without ASMs to impact a WarShip should be with a suicide ramming; otherwise I would expect the weapons of an ASF like a Sparrowhawk or Transgressor to have on a Warship would be comparable to gnats hitting a car's windshield.
Attempt 4 generally has this property for any warship mounting 50+ capital armor on a facing.  For jumpships, and particularly lightly armored warships, or space stations the ASF weapons have reduced (but significant) effect.
I like the idea of having a 1:10, 1:50, or 1:100 ratio for standard weapons to capital weapons,
Attempt 1,2,3 had 1:100, but that seems to be inadequate and, further, caused other problems.
with ASMs having 2 damage per successful hit.   It keeps the use of standard weapons where they belong, as ASF and CIWS defense batteries.
ASMs do 3 capital damage/hit in the current rules.  I don't expect the distinction between 2 and 3 to be particularly meaningful for game balance here.  I would say that ASMs seem rather ridiculous at 2 tons in comparison to other capital missiles.  At 20 or 30 tons they would make quite a bit more sense. 

As presented the analysis does not indicate it takes the following considerations into full account:
I'm aware of all of these and I believe they are taken into account w.r.t. the suggested outcomes.  If you are worried about otherwise then let's pick one and expand it in more detail. 
Small lasers(and other non-AMS Point Defense Weapons) can only fire once at incoming missile attacks and must be declared to be in Point Defense mode and halve their damage to do so.  This mode change is declared in the end phase.(Strategic Operations pages 96 and 97)
So, a smallcraft with 24 small lasers in a bay can do 36 damage to missiles and if you have a large number of smallcraft then a fraction of the smallcraft can be in point defense mode to achieve immunity to missiles for all while the remainder stay in normal mode and deal capital damage.
Evasive movement prevents firing offensively.(Total Warfare page 77)
Which is completely fine when you are using evasive movement at ranges beyond short where small lasers can be used.
Capital range brackets are not the same range as Standard range brackets.  They are double.(Total Warfare page 235)
Potentially, this would give the NL35s an extra round of fire before the smallcraft could counterattack, depending on closing velocity.  This does not appear to alter the outcome. 
Bracket Fire would actually be the better option for the laser armed Warships, at least until SCL-1s become available then swap those for the NL-35s and use AAA mode for a Gunnery+Range+3 to hit and hitting at medium or even long range isn't out of the question.
I'm skeptical about this.  Bracketing fire requires bays of 4 to get a benefit in to-hit over AAA mode.  This implies reducing the number of shots by a factor of 4.  Consider: 11=4(base)+2(Medium)+5(capital vs. smallcraft)+1(nose)-3(Bracketing fire)+2(evasion) vs. 12=4(base)+2(Medium)+3(AAA)+1(Nose)+2(Evasion).  If every shot kills, you would rather use 4 shots in AAA mode than 1 shot in bracketing fire mode.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: KaiserDunk on 16 December 2018, 18:08:19
I don't see the problem with standard weapons having 1/100th of a single point of capital weapon damage, especially light weapons like small lasers.   As to the armor limit, it makes sense regarding DropShips and JumpShips.   As to space stations, use the same armor concept regarding WarShips.   ASF weapons should have no significant impact vs WarShips; they just don't have the 'oomph' to do anything other than scuff the paint.

As to the damage potential of ASMs I think you may have a point, though I also think that no ASF should have any ability to damage a WarShip without ASMs unless the armor has been stripped away by previous damage.   Even then, it should be very limited damage; WarShips are just too large to take any significant structural damage from ASFs.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 16 December 2018, 18:42:28
Made my own error there in the reading of 96-97 of Strategic Operations.

The halving of damage is in regards to standard missile attacks.  So an LRM-20 goes from 12 standard to 6 standard if a point defense bay intercepts it but capital missiles work different.  The wording in the AMS section could be a little better as it does make it sound like you're supposed to halve point defense damage values.

Which only leaves two problems for those Small Craft.  No matter how many missles come in they can only engage once and by putting all their Point Defense in the nose the missile armed ship can potentially use waypoints launches to not even have their missiles intercepted at all unless some turn to cover the flanks/rear and if they do that it creates interesting variables about maintaining attack group cohesion and pursuit.

Which already raises interesting variables about exactly how this scenario goes down for either Warship design.

Evading may seem fine but it does take dedicating thrust to maintain.  Thrust you can't use to close.  If fuel consumption and high thrust rules and the gravitational effects it has on crews are in play that does change those aforementioned variables and makes it a good question if your Small Craft crews will actually be in any shape to fight by the time the range is sufficiently closed.

For how many extra times a Capital weapon can engage thanks to it's increased range is much more variable than just one extra turn of fire and saying that is all you're going to get does show a fundamental lack of considering the range advantage and how closing the distance actually works with the rules as currently written once minis are actually on the map sheet.  Now don't take that for me saying it isn't entirely too easy to close the distance but it is not without consequences that do make it far too variable to say only one extra turn of fire is all you can expect.

Bracket fire though I'd go ahead and go for the TN of 11 instead of 12 because while 1:12 odds versus 1:36 don't completely close the gap due to the drop in volume of fire it does make it more likely I'll get some and each time I do get some that is two critical checks(one for threshold and one for a standard scale unit taking capital damage) but certainly switching to AAA as they get closer or if you have SCL-1s instead and just using AAA from the get go certainly does make more sense.

Still I don't disagree that as things are now is entirely unacceptable in how poorly balanced it all is.

Like if you do look at SCL-1s instead of NL-35s for the anti-fighter ship.  You can easily mount four SCL-1s in place of an NL-35.  You'll actually have more firepower and more tonnage to do other stuff with while maintaining range and that TN of 12 is now for Capital Long Range thanks to subcapital weapons only taking a +3 instead of a +5.

All that said though I feel like I've gotten distracted from some of your proposals and thus need to go back and re-read them to see how you propose solving what I consider a bigger problem than Warship's ability to perform orbital bombardment, when anything with Capital(or sub-Capital) grade weapons manages to engage a troop carrier.  Which is something that will come up at some point no matter what.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: HobbesHurlbut on 16 December 2018, 21:55:23
Quote
Potentially, this would give the NL35s an extra round of fire before the smallcraft could counterattack, depending on closing velocity.  This does not appear to alter the outcome.
Except, the double range bracket mean they generally have better accuracy at greater distance in certain brackets.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 16 December 2018, 22:38:36
I don't see the problem with standard weapons having 1/100th of a single point of capital weapon damage, especially light weapons like small lasers.   
The claim here (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1466743#msg1466743) is that 1:100 is not enough.

I think we are in agreement on everything else.
Made my own error there in the reading of 96-97 of Strategic Operations.

The halving of damage is in regards to standard missile attacks.  So an LRM-20 goes from 12 standard to 6 standard if a point defense bay intercepts
In my reading: not quite.  The exact text is:
Quote from: Advanced Point Defense
It reduces the effect of enemy missile attacks ... by an amount equal to half (round up) the point defense weapon/bay's capital scale attack value.
So, 24 small lasers with a capital attack value of 7 would reduce missile attacks by 4 (=7/2 round up) capital.  In other words, 3 LRM-20s would have all their missiles shot down but 4 LRM-20s would still deliver 1 capital damage.
it but capital missiles work different.  The wording in the AMS section could be a little better as it does make it sound like you're supposed to halve point defense damage values.
It looks like an errata happened w.r.t. capital missiles here page 5 (https://bg.battletech.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Strategic-Operations-v2.1-2016-06-06.pdf?x64300).  The errata expands things so any point defense weapon can attack a capital missile, not just AMS.   It does seem unclear whether the 1/2-damage rule applies to capital missiles since, when introduced, it applies to just standard-scale missiles.  I was assuming the 1/2 damage rule does apply since capital missiles is a subheader after the 1/2 damage rule is introduced, even though it's introduced in the context of standard-scale missiles. 
Which only leaves two problems for those Small Craft.  No matter how many missles come in they can only engage once and by putting all their Point Defense in the nose the missile armed ship can potentially use waypoints launches to not even have their missiles intercepted at all unless some turn to cover the flanks/rear and if they do that it creates interesting variables about maintaining attack group cohesion and pursuit.
Waypoints can only be used within 3 hexes of the launch location so while closing with a warship, all fire is effectively coming from the same direction.  This must be used with a Bearing's only launch to actually have all the arcs able to hit.  Since the missiles only detect in their nose cone and are moving away from the launching warship, they only attack the nose of an actively closing opponent. 
Evading may seem fine but it does take dedicating thrust to maintain.  Thrust you can't use to close.  If fuel consumption and high thrust rules and the gravitational effects it has on crews are in play that does change those aforementioned variables and makes it a good question if your Small Craft crews will actually be in any shape to fight by the time the range is sufficiently closed.
I was assuming the High-G maneuvers rules were in effect (TW, page 78) which says that crews can take up to 6g before risking damage.  Since the smallcraft max out at 4g there is no danger. 

W.r.t. closing, if the enemy warship moves 3/5 and the smallcraft move 5/8, then the delta-v is 1 for closing while evading.    The tactically faster ship can generally choose the closing velocity so something relatively high (20?) seems advantageous for the smallcraft.  They only need to make 2 passes to knock out 2 warships.
For how many extra times a Capital weapon can engage thanks to it's increased range is much more variable than just one extra turn of fire and saying that is all you're going to get does show a fundamental lack of considering the range advantage and how closing the distance actually works with the rules as currently written once minis are actually on the map sheet.  Now don't take that for me saying it isn't entirely too easy to close the distance but it is not without consequences that do make it far too variable to say only one extra turn of fire is all you can expect.
I'm sympathetic to the idea that playing on mapsheets introduces some issues, but I expect these are mostly due to the finite nature of 1-2 mapsheets.  If you have no 'borders', then there is little issue with having the smallcraft build up a closing velocity of 20 so each side gets one short range shot / pass.  This may not be the way it is typically done, but it seems like rules for space combat should function with the borderless nature of space.
Bracket fire though I'd go ahead and go for the TN of 11 instead of 12 because while 1:12 odds versus 1:36 don't completely close the gap due to the drop in volume of fire it does make it more likely I'll get some
The probability of hitting at least once with 4 1-in-36 chances is .1066.   The odds of hitting once with a 1-in-12 chance is .0833.
and each time I do get some that is two critical checks(one for threshold and one for a standard scale unit taking capital damage)
Unless we are playing with a 1-in-100 capital to standard scale damage ratio, the situation seems utterly hopeless for the warship.    And if we are, criticals are irrelevant because one hit kills the smallcraft. 
but certainly switching to AAA as they get closer or if you have SCL-1s instead and just using AAA from the get go certainly does make more sense.
SCL1s in AAA mode are iffy since it takes many hits (~7) to kill the smallcraft, even at a 1:100 ratio.  Maybe taking into account criticals, this is only ~5 on average?  But there is not real advantage here. 
Like if you do look at SCL-1s instead of NL-35s for the anti-fighter ship.  You can easily mount four SCL-1s in place of an NL-35.  You'll actually have more firepower and more tonnage to do other stuff with while maintaining range and that TN of 12 is now for Capital Long Range thanks to subcapital weapons only taking a +3 instead of a +5.
Again, SCL-1s are a bit weak, even at a 1:100 scale.  Also, fire control starts kicking.  Altogether, I end up getting only 105 SCL1s per arc on the notional 600kton 3/5 150 SI warship so overall firepower is marginally degraded compared to 33 NL35s/arc.   The +2 attack bonus is very welcome, but if SCLs are around we should probably also take into account advanced smallcraft/ASF systems which adds complexity.  I'd like to avoid that complexity with the observation that the rules should be reasonably balanced with basic tech (and also reasonably balanced with advanced tech).
All that said though I feel like I've gotten distracted from some of your proposals and thus need to go back and re-read them to see how you propose solving what I consider a bigger problem than Warship's ability to perform orbital bombardment, when anything with Capital(or sub-Capital) grade weapons manages to engage a troop carrier.  Which is something that will come up at some point no matter what.
I'm not following this.   Troop carriers are generally dropships which should generally stay away from enemy warships.

Except, the double range bracket mean they generally have better accuracy at greater distance in certain brackets.
There is no better range bracket than short and short is the only range at which the NLs can hit reasonably often. 

If there are serious doubts about the smallcraft being able to take out warships, even at a 1:100 scale, we can work it out in more detail.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: truetanker on 16 December 2018, 22:45:30
In our, now defunct game, we had Anti-Ship and Anti-Fighter Missiles...

ASF fighter carried what, 1 ASM or 2 AFM capital weapons each, How much would a Small Craft be able to carry, 1 more?

Would they have been allowed 1 each? ... just thinking out loud again!

TT
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 17 December 2018, 01:18:47
Two errors.  I'm losing it.

I can get some of the missiles(how many depends on the approach angle determined by the initial positions) to not cross the single hex of the nose covered by your Small Craft's point defense with only three hexes from launch point for waypoint launches and thus force choices about do you continue pursuit and take loses, turn to engage and break up your attack force, or turn to engage and lose thrust advantage and all ability to actually close.  Not enough missiles on the missile armed Warship to ensure kills with 432 Small Craft in play if properly deployed but I could get the Warships out of there alive by discouraging pursuit enough times.

Also double checking the bearings only launch rules and I absolutely can use those to get the attacks to come from directions not covered by your Small Craft's point defense at engagement time also forcing decisions about if to let up on the acceleration or take loses.

Got caught doing existing math there versus your revision for Bracket firing for the critical considerations.  I can admit it is a less than ideal solution but at least having a chance to start landing hits at Medium Capital range and possibly break up the formation or reduce it's functionality is something to consider.  Having more shots doesn't change the individual probabilities but I can concede it does make it a reasonable choice as end of the day the overall probabilities do seem to indicate the same number of overall hits can be reasonably expected(1 of the 33 NL-35s each being fired individually or 1 of the 8 bracket fire shots).

While I don't entirely disagree that the system should be reasonably realistic where possible the simple fact is that play space is always going to be limited and a primary concern and it does present a fair number of considerations of how the variables involved can change depending on the situation and makes it impossible to count on building up enough of a velocity advantage to keep it one turn of fire exchange due to the range advantage Capital Weapons currently have over Standard.  It also makes it unreasonable to expect that players will agree to start with different starting velocities to make up for it.

True scattering to other facings could be a problem for the SCL-1s but the extra hit opportunities combined with their weight savings means you can actually get more than 4:1 even with fire control penalties and thus would be a much better choice if they are available.

That said yeah while I might be able to get the Warships armed with missiles out alive by discouraging pursuit I'm not sure I can get the NL-35 armed ones to kill enough to get out and even going to SCL-1s instead almost certainly wouldn't be enough but would definately increase Small Craft loses.  So even 1:100 doesn't seem to be enough there.

Troop ships getting jumped by units carrying capital weapons is a distinctly likely scenario as capital grade weapons are not confined to just Warships.  Dropships have been able to carry capital missiles since the Battlespace rule set and sub capital weapons being added to the mix as a valid option only makes it more likely as multiple factions deploy such equipped Dropships.  Surface to orbit batteries could also be in play with their own capital grade weapons.  As I've established I'm willing to accept that it is easy to push ranges so a Warship can also push past escorts and kill troop ships.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Cannonshop on 17 December 2018, 10:18:26
simplify.

alright, let's look at what the developers were looking at when they concieved of this; Anime and World War 2.

Simplest solution, therefore:

1/10 with standard weapons per the rules, but no crits with standard weapons.  They just don't cross that threshold.

Fighter-scale antiship weapons are the exception; aka your underwing hardpoints are now valuable spaces because they can carry bombs, big-bore missiles and other weapons that can actually harm a warship beyond slowly abrading the paint.  THEY can crit, in other words, on the following scale:

Arrow-IV/antishipping: Critical hit on 8 or more per the standard crit rules
AC/20: Crit on an unmodified 12 (boxcars crit), does 1 critical chance.
Alamo: doubles critical hits (it's a Nuke, after all)
"Heavy bomb": a high-explosive bomb does 1 point capital with criticals of (1 at 8-9, 2 at 10-11, 3 at 12). (Note: bombing requires being in the same hex for release as the target ship).

everything else? no crits, but if it can do at least 1 point of cap damage, it will do that point to the hull.

This still lets your fighters/smallcraft do their damage.

Now, moving on to 'patrol boats' (Dropships and such)

These crit normally and have no restriction beyond doing at least one capital point of damage.  Reason: better targeting software, better aiming software, better supports for the weapons, better weapons of equal or greater weight, take your pick.

Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 17 December 2018, 10:31:54
I can get some of the missiles(how many depends on the approach angle determined by the initial positions) to not cross the single hex of the nose covered by your Small Craft's point defense with only three hexes from launch point for waypoint launches and thus force choices about do you continue pursuit and take loses, turn to engage and break up your attack force, or turn to engage and lose thrust advantage and all ability to actually close.  Not enough missiles on the missile armed Warship to ensure kills with 432 Small Craft in play if properly deployed but I could get the Warships out of there alive by discouraging pursuit enough times.

Also double checking the bearings only launch rules and I absolutely can use those to get the attacks to come from directions not covered by your Small Craft's point defense at engagement time also forcing decisions about if to let up on the acceleration or take loses.
It looks like you are right---in particular you can use a preprogrammed waypoint + bearings only launch to put 3 arcs of missiles into the side arc. 

However, there is a design response---only 18 SLs are needed in the nose to inflict 1 point of capital damage so it's easy to put about 6 SLs into each fore-side arc.
Code: [Select]
Antiwarship Smallcraft
Tech Rating: D/D-E-D-D 
Weight: 200 tons
BV: 2,630
Cost: 15,777,600
C-bills 
Movement: 5/8
Heat Sinks: 24
Fuel Points: 400 (5.0 tons)
Tons Per Burn Day: 1.84 
Structural Integrity: 15

Armor
Nose: 347
Left Side: 200
Right Side: 200
Aft: 145

Weapons Loc Heat
18x Small Laser NOS 18
6x Small Laser RS 6
6x Small Laser LS 6
   
Crew
Officers: 2
Enlisted/Non-rated: 1
Gunners: 5
This more optimized design can:
(a) Survive a direct hit from an NL35 61% of the time at a 1:100 ratio.  This shifts the optimal antifighter NL weapon to an NL45.  However, optimizing the NL warship a bit more we can put 18 NL45s into each arc and bring 54 to bear on the broadside.   This means that 2 NL warships kill
(b) Put side-arcs into point defense mode.   I asked a question here (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63773.0) about point defense damage vs. capital weapons as it seems ambiguous whether you should halve damage vs. capital weapons or not.  If you don't, the 432 side-arc bays can dispose of 216 KWs/round while if you do it's only 108.  Two of the 600Kton ships can put 132 KWs into the side arcs so the exact outcome is ambiguous until we have an answer.   Which do you think is correct?
While I don't entirely disagree that the system should be reasonably realistic where possible the simple fact is that play space is always going to be limited and a primary concern and it does present a fair number of considerations of how the variables involved can change depending on the situation and makes it impossible to count on building up enough of a velocity advantage to keep it one turn of fire exchange due to the range advantage Capital Weapons currently have over Standard.  It also makes it unreasonable to expect that players will agree to start with different starting velocities to make up for it.
I'm not sure how I feel about this.  On the one hand, yes you want balanced play with boundaries.  On the other hand, you also want balanced play without boundaries because boundaries feel super-artificial in space.  I've played in some games where players use relative velocity and position on a virtual board. 
True scattering to other facings could be a problem for the SCL-1s but the extra hit opportunities combined with their weight savings means you can actually get more than 4:1 even with fire control penalties and thus would be a much better choice if they are available.
The real issue with SCLs is that your opponent is going to use advanced tech (double heat sinks, FF armor, more damage efficient systems, etc...).  Perhaps stick with basic tech for now?
That said yeah while I might be able to get the Warships armed with missiles out alive by discouraging pursuit I'm not sure I can get the NL-35 armed ones to kill enough to get out and even going to SCL-1s instead almost certainly wouldn't be enough but would definately increase Small Craft loses.  So even 1:100 doesn't seem to be enough there.
Ok, we see the same thing here.

The damage reduction approach seems to be enough for these scenarios, but I'm worried about massed use of standard weapons on warships.
Troop ships getting jumped by units carrying capital weapons is a distinctly likely scenario as capital grade weapons are not confined to just Warships.  Dropships have been able to carry capital missiles since the Battlespace rule set and sub capital weapons being added to the mix as a valid option only makes it more likely as multiple factions deploy such equipped Dropships.  Surface to orbit batteries could also be in play with their own capital grade weapons.  As I've established I'm willing to accept that it is easy to push ranges so a Warship can also push past escorts and kill troop ships.
Where is the balance problem?

1/10 with standard weapons per the rules, but no crits with standard weapons.  They just don't cross that threshold.
The carrier wins overwhelmingly with this through raw damage (no crits needed). 
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 17 December 2018, 12:57:36
Then the Warships in question should get design responses too.  The missile armed one is simple.  Take two launchers off each facing put 20 teleoperated Killer Whales in the nose, swap all the others to teleoperated versions, and it still isn't optimal as it generates a third design response in the Small Craft where it covers all it's facings with point defense but by then firepower could be so diluted for them to not be as much of a threat.

Not all players are going to have access to virtual table spaces or large play areas.  While people may agree to starting velocities it's something that can't be counted on to be the norm.  So any rules need to account for not having access to or using such things.

I'm starting to suspect it is less important to worry about the damage aspect and may actually be more important to worry about how easy it is to close ranges.

I'll admit it is less of a balance issue exactly for worrying about how vulnerable troop carriers are and more of a practical consideration.  If taken to their logical extremes the rules as they exist now already make focusing on the ground aspect of the game and setting kind of silly.  Changing the scales just makes it worse.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 17 December 2018, 14:30:20
Then the Warships in question should get design responses too.  The missile armed one is simple.  Take two launchers off each facing put 20 teleoperated Killer Whales in the nose, swap all the others to teleoperated versions, and it still isn't optimal as it generates a third design response in the Small Craft where it covers all it's facings with point defense but by then firepower could be so diluted for them to not be as much of a threat.
Doing warship design responses makes good sense, but the KW-T only exists at 3056+.  Do you agree that carriers dominate with Attempt 3 prior to that?  Or can you find a redesign using older tech?
Not all players are going to have access to virtual table spaces or large play areas.  While people may agree to starting velocities it's something that can't be counted on to be the norm.  So any rules need to account for not having access to or using such things.
I agree, and furthermore believe we should have rules which also account for having access to such things.   
I'm starting to suspect it is less important to worry about the damage aspect and may actually be more important to worry about how easy it is to close ranges.
An interesting thought...

A 7/11 warship would have 1/3 the armor/weapons load but could keep the range and roast most smallcraft with NLs. 

Responding with smallcraft design, a 9/14 smallcraft is the minimum necessary to close with evasion.  Armor is necessarily compromised so that 2 capital damage autokills implying warships could use NL35s (6/arc or 18 in the broadside) or Barracudas (10/arc or 70 with waypoints).   The Barracudas seem hopeless since <1/3 of the smallcraft would be needed to for point defense.    The NL35 7/11 warship would also kill only 1/3 as many smallcraft as the NL45 3/5 warship.    There's also a difficulty in bringing a broadside to bear while minimizing closing velocity.

Overall, I don't see how to make this work although it does seem you could reduce the effectiveness of the carrier somewhat by randomizing the speed of the opponent warship so the carrier must bring a mixture of smallcraft to deal with opponents. 
I'll admit it is less of a balance issue exactly for worrying about how vulnerable troop carriers are and more of a practical consideration.  If taken to their logical extremes the rules as they exist now already make focusing on the ground aspect of the game and setting kind of silly.  Changing the scales just makes it worse.
I think people intrinsically like giant stompy humanoid robots so I don't expect making space combat rules work effectively will detract from that aspect of the game.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 17 December 2018, 17:54:22
No disagreement from me that swarm tactics do seem to be far too superior in general and really looking at what it would take to fend off any C-Bill balanced force of 499 ton or smaller forces does leave very few reliable options and most of said options I do admit may not actually be reliable enough/cost effective enough.

The interesting part is that the rules as written can already support the idea of virtual table spaces and starting velocities.  That they are not presented in that way in Total Warfare should be telling as TPTB certainly have more market research data on the matter than you or I.

Increasing thrust of the Warships would be a fairly straight forward way to make the swarm tactic less effective, especially against lower tech ASFs and Small Craft.  Still I suspect it may be necessary to actually re-work the construction rules because of how much they impact the game play.  It also raises questions about what the desired end goal is.  Personally I think gathering up 400 some Small Craft should be able to threaten a Warship or two.  Even fairly big ones but that it should also be a fairly major effort to do so.  Where I'm undecided is how many of the swarm should get swatted for various tonnages/capabilities of Warships being swarmed.

One of the hurdles of making the space aspect of them game less of a niche of a niche is that it already creates a disjunction with the more popular portion of the game.  Changing the Standard:Capital conversion rates I can only see causing that disjunction becoming worse and thus making it harder to get people into the space portion of the game.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 18 December 2018, 08:48:25
Attempt 4 seems to fail.   It fails in a new way and it seems to take out damage reduction with published statistics (i.e. standard weapon bays).

The failure mode is a 5/8 600kton warship optimized for high speed intercepts using 350x AC/20 in the nose and fore side arcs.  This provides 10 bays/arc doing maximum damage which would be reduced to "only" 57 capital damage/bay by the damage reduction approach in attempt 4.  Altogether, the warship can put out 1140 capital damage against a single target.  Add to this a regiment (108) of fighters with 20 small lasers each for point defense. 

Doing damage reduction on a per-weapon basis would fix this, with the downside that damage would need to be recalculated.

The interesting part is that the rules as written can already support the idea of virtual table spaces and starting velocities.  That they are not presented in that way in Total Warfare should be telling as TPTB certainly have more market research data on the matter than you or I.
Maybe, although I don't know how practical the existing rules are on actual maps.  100 hexes at 1"/hex is 8 1/3 feet.  Obviously, you could go smaller, but then the weapons with more range gain no meaningful advantage from that. 
Increasing thrust of the Warships would be a fairly straight forward way to make the swarm tactic less effective, especially against lower tech ASFs and Small Craft.  Still I suspect it may be necessary to actually re-work the construction rules because of how much they impact the game play.  It also raises questions about what the desired end goal is.  Personally I think gathering up 400 some Small Craft should be able to threaten a Warship or two.  Even fairly big ones but that it should also be a fairly major effort to do so.  Where I'm undecided is how many of the swarm should get swatted for various tonnages/capabilities of Warships being swarmed.
Attempt 3 seems close.   Maybe it can be modified?
One of the hurdles of making the space aspect of them game less of a niche of a niche is that it already creates a disjunction with the more popular portion of the game.  Changing the Standard:Capital conversion rates I can only see causing that disjunction becoming worse and thus making it harder to get people into the space portion of the game.
You may be right, but right now the solution to all combat problems in all eras is "add more ASF" which seems rather one dimensional.  Maybe with a more interesting game it would attract more interest?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 18 December 2018, 12:06:23
Might be able to solve some of the issues by dropping the optional Advanced Point Defense rules altogether and just use Total Warfare's.  Under those rules not even dedicated AMS can intercept Capital Missiles but that doesn't seem too much of an issue if also taking away Bearings Only and maybe even Waypoints.  Might also have to take away the tele-operated versions just to make sure it isn't possible to make up for their poor damage to weight ratio by just spreading them out and taking advantage of their just plain low weight(at least compared to other Capital grade options) to make up for it by having more launchers.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 18 December 2018, 12:41:57
So, what is the verdict?
I'm currently a bit too tired to read all of this, I might do so in a week.
I do remember someone ran a test in the past where he pitted a McKenna against a similar ship, but with a 4/6 engine and all weapons replaced by banks of thousands of cLLs and Heatsinks.
The regular McKenna won.
So I assume it's really only about fighters?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 18 December 2018, 14:32:04
My verdict is:

Rules as written do overly favor standard weapons what ever unit type they are mounted on if the only considerations are taking the construction rules to their logical extremes.  C-Bills as a balancing factor do make pure swarms very cost effective.  Battle Value as a balancing factor doesn't really work in space because of how much BV is tied into one large unit and how easy it is to eliminate a huge chunk of a player's force and create a cascading effect.

I'm starting to think the easiest straight up fix is Standard Weapons shouldn't hurt Capital grade at all, no change to Standard:Capital conversion, removing Advanced Point Defense, back date the ASM to as having always been available to keep ASFs and other units capable of carrying external ordinance that otherwise would no longer be a threat as threats, removing Bearings only, and removing Waypoints.  Dropships might need further adjustments to keep them from picking up some of the exploit slack and to keep some of their roles that fluff says they can occupy as valid but I'll have to give more thoughts to what that specifically means.  Likewise sub-Capital weaponry may need some revision if not outright removal as well.

As for that McKenna fight I vaguely remember it too but I also seem to recall having some serious questions about the design and testing methodologies.  Also can't remember how many times the fight was actually played out.  Push the Standard armed McKenna up to 5/8 and it should have no trouble winning more often than not unless you really rig the starting conditions in favor of the as written McKenna under existing rules as written.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 18 December 2018, 14:57:30
If we keep the ASMs, it might be worthwhile to see how many ASMs a fighter can carry, how much damage those ASMs can be expected to do, and how lany fighters a dedicated carrier can plan to launch.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: truetanker on 18 December 2018, 19:15:04
My question is :

Just how many Barracuda could our " Generic " fighters carry... and how many Killer Whales.

Cause I have a solution....

Which depends on how many of each those fighters use.

TT
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 18 December 2018, 21:03:29
The Antiship Missiles I'm talking about are the ones on page 358 of Tactical Operations.  They take up 6 bomb slots each.

As yet there is no way to mount Killer Whales, White Sharks, Barracudas, or Kraken missiles to ASFs or Small Craft as external ordinance.  You probably could get a Barracuda launcher on a Small Craft if it wasn't for the minimum ammunition requirements.

So up to three of these ASMs can be mounted to a 100 ton ASF per sortie.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 19 December 2018, 08:09:32
The Antiship Missiles I'm talking about are the ones on page 358 of Tactical Operations.  They take up 6 bomb slots each.

As yet there is no way to mount Killer Whales, White Sharks, Barracudas, or Kraken missiles to ASFs or Small Craft as external ordinance.  You probably could get a Barracuda launcher on a Small Craft if it wasn't for the minimum ammunition requirements.

So up to three of these ASMs can be mounted to a 100 ton ASF per sortie.

You can put about 1 fighter bay on a warship per 1000kt of its mass, while retaining some significant cargo and an AAA/PDS array.  If you cut back the fighters a but, you can slap on decent drives, and maybe some capital guns as well. 

How does a 1MT BB deal with, say, 500 fighters lobbing 1000 ASMs?  1000 fighters tossing 2000 ASMs?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 19 December 2018, 09:51:11
You can put about 1 fighter bay on a warship per 1000kt of its mass, while retaining some significant cargo and an AAA/PDS array.  If you cut back the fighters a but, you can slap on decent drives, and maybe some capital guns as well. 

How does a 1MT BB deal with, say, 500 fighters lobbing 1000 ASMs?  1000 fighters tossing 2000 ASMs?
On-board point defense bays are negligible for a full-scale ASM attack so the only viable approaches are carrier-based point defense and multifire AMS. 

The best non-AMS point defense is the small laser, for which either 17 or 9 hits are required (depending on this ruling (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63773.0)) to kill an ASM.   ASF can provide up to 20 small lasers so they can kill 1 or 2 ASMs.  A smallcraft can have up to 36 small lasers while maintaining reasonable speed (5/8) allowing them to kill either 2 or 4 ASMs each.   So, depending on ruling, an alpha-strike with 3 ASMs/ASF either can only be defended against by a carrier or not even a carrier can defend against it. 

W.r.t. multifire AMS, the situation is much better.  If the 600Kton warship has 600*3=1800 ASMs incoming, it could use 16.2K heat sinks and 1.35K tons of ammunition to shoot it all down.  That's a significant but acceptable investment. 

Overall, making ASMs available without multifire AMS implies carriers remain completely dominant, and the possibility of massed-use ASMs implies that warship-mounted missiles are negligible.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 19 December 2018, 09:59:22
On-board point defense bays are negligible for a full-scale ASM attack so the only viable approaches are carrier-based point defense and multifire AMS. 

The best non-AMS point defense is the small laser, for which either 17 or 9 hits are required (depending on this ruling (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63773.0)) to kill an ASM.   ASF can provide up to 20 small lasers so they can kill 1 or 2 ASMs.  A smallcraft can have up to 36 small lasers while maintaining reasonable speed (5/8) allowing them to kill either 2 or 4 ASMs each.   So, depending on ruling, an alpha-strike with 3 ASMs/ASF either can only be defended against by a carrier or not even a carrier can defend against it. 

W.r.t. multifire AMS, the situation is much better.  If the 600Kton warship has 600*3=1800 ASMs incoming, it could use 16.2K heat sinks and 1.35K tons of ammunition to shoot it all down.  That's a significant but acceptable investment. 

Overall, making ASMs available without multifire AMS implies carriers remain completely dominant, and the possibility of massed-use ASMs implies that warship-mounted missiles are negligible.

So, without multifire AMS, carrier strikes rule the field.  Once multifire AMS is introduced, any large ship becomes immune to shipborne launchers and effectively immune to same size ship carrier missile strikes.

Qn:  RAW, can ship A fire AMS in defense of ship B, which shares its hex?  If yes, fighter birne missiles are a non-issue, if no, then multiple carriers could in theory focus their deckloads onto one defender, overwhelming any number of heat sinks.

The more I look at it, the more convinced I become we cannot fix these rules with some simple house rules, not if we also want to allow custom ship design.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 19 December 2018, 10:19:35
Qn:  RAW, can ship A fire AMS in defense of ship B, which shares its hex? 
Yes.  Point defense weapons (including AMS) defend an entire hex.  A dedicated multifire AMS warship can defend a fleet against 5 carrier's worth of ASM missiles from any arc with single heat sinks or 8 carrier's worth with double heat sinks. 
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 19 December 2018, 11:34:44
I'm starting to think the easiest straight up fix is Standard Weapons shouldn't hurt Capital grade at all, no change to Standard:Capital conversion, removing Advanced Point Defense, back date the ASM to as having always been available to keep ASFs and other units capable of carrying external ordinance that otherwise would no longer be a threat as threats, removing Bearings only, and removing Waypoints.
Removing advanced point defense means there is no means to defend against capital missiles.  This appears devastating in the presence of ASMs, which count as capital missiles as far as point defense, so you end up with carriers and a very strong preference for decisive first strikes.
As for that McKenna fight I vaguely remember it too but I also seem to recall having some serious questions about the design and testing methodologies.  Also can't remember how many times the fight was actually played out.  Push the Standard armed McKenna up to 5/8 and it should have no trouble winning more often than not unless you really rig the starting conditions in favor of the as written McKenna under existing rules as written.
Right.  Standard weapon arrays are most effective on light and/or fast warships because (a) fire control penalties are quadratic and (b) standard weapons have shorter ranges.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 19 December 2018, 13:38:03
But by taking away Advanced Point Defense it also actually helps the Warships to fend off swarms.  They can now use Capital Missiles starting at Extreme Capital Range to start swatting swarms that can't protect themselves(4 Gunnery +6 Extreme Range +2 for evading targets for a TN of 12 does make it at least possible).  Add in that anything carrying External Stores are still slowed down in space and it becomes a much more interesting fight.

Now I admit despite that it still may be necessary to include some sort of Capital Point Defense.  Something less effective than the existing Advanced Point Defense rules though would seem to be wise though.

Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 19 December 2018, 19:20:08
Standard weapon arrays are most effective on light and/or fast warships because (a) fire control penalties are quadratic and (b) standard weapons have shorter ranges.
Which would mean ships with less weapons, as they need stronger engines.
At least two people have also made convincing cases for subcaps, with range bracket rules, being a competitive investment to standard weapons against small craft, against which they even suffer a penalty.
I am not convinced that standard weapons on Warships are actually in need of balancing.
Well, if fighters are effectively less powerful, then obviously they'd be too strong as their main job is killing those fighters.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 19 December 2018, 20:48:02
But by taking away Advanced Point Defense it also actually helps the Warships to fend off swarms.  They can now use Capital Missiles starting at Extreme Capital Range to start swatting swarms that can't protect themselves(4 Gunnery +6 Extreme Range +2 for evading targets for a TN of 12 does make it at least possible).  Add in that anything carrying External Stores are still slowed down in space and it becomes a much more interesting fight.

Now I admit despite that it still may be necessary to include some sort of Capital Point Defense.  Something less effective than the existing Advanced Point Defense rules though would seem to be wise though.
Capital missiles doing 20/30/40 standard damage just aren't that scary to ASF that are designed for it.  A well designed strike fighter might have 100+ armor points on nose and sides implying that a half-dozen hits are needed to really threaten it.   Also, ASF evade with a +3 modifier making extreme range irrelevant, and ASMs have range 'long'. 

Which would mean ships with less weapons, as they need stronger engines.
On a tonnage basis, yes, but on a damage basis the standard weapons are far stronger even with lesser tonnage.  Try for yourself---design a 600K ton ship capable of doing 1000+capital damage in a single round. 
At least two people have also made convincing cases for subcaps, with range bracket rules, being a competitive investment to standard weapons against small craft, against which they even suffer a penalty.
I'm not sure which house rule you have in mind here.  Clarify?  Without a houserule, subcaps are not particularly threatening to swarms of well-designed ASF. 
I am not convinced that standard weapons on Warships are actually in need of balancing.
What's the conventional response to a 5/8 warship 600K ton warship that does 1000+ capital damage/round? 
Well, if fighters are effectively less powerful, then obviously they'd be too strong as their main job is killing those fighters.
Not following this.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 19 December 2018, 21:41:39
True you can get those armor numbers if you don't particularly armor the Aft location as low as 40 tons and could potentially still get some good thrust profiles.  Bigger begins to potentially have issues with having enough thrust advantage.

I think you are under estimating how threatening Capital Missiles are even when they cannot ensure a kill.  Each hit would be three critical checks even for a Barracuda for less than 201 armor.  Even above 201 armor Barracudas would still get two critical checks with each hit.  At that rate ASFs and Small Craft will start to lose effectiveness unless they have a very substantial thrust advantage that will limit the number of turns they are under fire.  You can't proof all three valid locations against White Sharks or Killer Whales with the armor limits of ASFs against Threshold critical checks.

Add in the consideration that carrying even 1 ASM will slow the unit in question by two thrust that alone raises some interesting variables that gives Warships a bit more of a chance as it is no longer a certainty that ASFs will be able to afford to Evade, let alone close.

Add in fuel tracking and suddenly all sorts of considerations come into play that reduce a swarm's ability to be as certain of winning.

Also SCL-1s and LSCCs make NL-35s and NAC-10s pointless.  Yes firing individually they don't do as much damage but there is no reason you could not group them into bays that will do enough damage to ensure kills.  I've checked the rules for firing/mounting weapons in bays.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 19 December 2018, 22:15:25
And thinking about it further there may already be a solution as I grant some form of actual Capital Point Defense still seems required. 

The rules for attacking Capital Missiles slightly modified.  ASMs and Capital Missiles can be engaged with a +3 to hit offensive attack that also doubles angle of attack modifiers.  Capital Missiles and ASMs outershells for purposes of damage done to them are Standard Scale and thus follow the existing 10:1 conversion taking the damage they deliver to be destroyed.

That way all the existing Warships that we have with mixed Standard and Capital batteries still make sense and those that don't already needed screening forces before anyway to not be overwhelmed so the dynamic hasn't really changed but fighting chances now exist at higher disparities of numbers than previous.

Still needs a bit more work to be fair but I think it'll mostly have to come in the form of a better balancing system than C-Bills and BV.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 20 December 2018, 04:41:54
I'm not sure which house rule you have in mind here.  Clarify?  Without a houserule, subcaps are not particularly threatening to swarms of well-designed ASF. 
Well, as it was explained in one of those topics:
0-6 hexes: Standard Weapons 4+; Sub-Capital Lasers 5+
7-12 hexes: Standard Weapons 6+; Sub-Capital Lasers 5+
13-20 hexes: Standard Weapons 8+; Sub-Capital Lasers 7+
21-24 hexes: Standard Weapons 10+; Sub-Capital Lasers 7+
Sub-Caps are, on average, more accurate, and they offer a concentrated punch - that means crits.
They also offer this crit potential against larger ships, but we probably all agree that their damage potential often outstrips that of actual capital weapons.

Which is where I see a problem: The large weapons seem to be balanced around the existing ships, which are all armoured with tinfoil and paper.
Once we start armouring warships to the point they can't be crit out, capital weapons lose their draw.
The reason the original McKenna won, if I remember right, was that it got two salvoes in before the std-armed ship was in range, and the crits decided the battle.
Raw damage wise, yes, standard weapons are the best option for everything. Sad as that is.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 20 December 2018, 22:20:07
I think you are under estimating how threatening Capital Missiles are even when they cannot ensure a kill.  Each hit would be three critical checks even for a Barracuda for less than 201 armor. 
Where do you get 3?   I see one for the threshold (8+) and one from it being a Barracuda (11+).  What's the third source of a critical hit?
Add in the consideration that carrying even 1 ASM will slow the unit in question by two thrust that alone raises some interesting variables that gives Warships a bit more of a chance as it is no longer a certainty that ASFs will be able to afford to Evade, let alone close.
Ok, let's do this.

A 7/11 65 ton ASF could mount 25 tons of armor for 120/100/100/80 on the facings as well as 5 tons of fuel and a weapons load.   It would be degraded to 5/8 after mounting an ASM which is adequate to evade and close against a 3/5 warship that's fleeing.  The fuel here is adequate for 36 rounds at max thrust.   The criticals which matter are Nose/FCS (5/36) and Nose/Sensors (2/36) and the expected criticals are Threshold(15/36) and Barracuda (3/36), so the chance of a critical that matters is 10%/hit.  It's probably 10 Barracudas to kill a fighter through damage so we can simplify here by assuming that a fighter with 5 hits does half damage.

A 3/5 600K ton warship designed for killing fighters and fleeing under these rules might mount 83 Barracudas in Aft and Aft-sides with 10 shots each.  Let's assume two Barracuda Missileers for a total cost of ~12B.
A similarly optimized same-size carrier might mount 6 regiments of ASF bays (648 ASF) for a fully loaded cost of ~8B.

At extreme range, the to-hit is: 12=4(base)+6(extreme)+3(Evasion)+1(Nose)-2(Barracuda), generating 9.2 hits/round, mission killing ~1 ASF/round. 

At long range, the to-hit is 10, generating 83*2*2*6/36 = 55 hits/round, mission killing 5.5 ASF/round.

At Medium range, the to-hit is 8, generating 83*2*2*15/36 = 138 hits/round, missile killing 13.8 ASF/round.

At Short range the ASF fire their ASMs, with a to-hit of 7=4(base)+3(ECM)+0(Aft). 

Starting at range 51 with zero relative velocity, the fighters will add 1 to their closing velocity each round while evading.   The end of round ranges are then 50, 48, 45, 41, 36, 30, 23, 15, 6 so the missileers get 4 shots at extreme range, 2 at long range, and 2 at medium range which mission kills ~43 ASF.  The remaining ASF hit with ~353 ASMs which do 1059 capital damage, likely gutting both warships for plausible armor distributions.  You also generate ~30 capital missile critical hits (+potential threshold and structure hits) which likely render the warships combat inoperative, even if the warships put almost all their armor in the aft and aft-sides. 

Also SCL-1s and LSCCs make NL-35s and NAC-10s pointless. 
I have no doubt these are good weapons, but I don't see them tipping the balance.

The rules for attacking Capital Missiles slightly modified.  ASMs and Capital Missiles can be engaged with a +3 to hit offensive attack that also doubles angle of attack modifiers.  Capital Missiles and ASMs outershells for purposes of damage done to them are Standard Scale and thus follow the existing 10:1 conversion taking the damage they deliver to be destroyed.
The +5 to hit here means only 27% of shots fired hit.  This means you need about twice as many defensive ASF as incoming ASMs at 50 damage/ASF (plausible for the Age of War/3025 tech I'm working with here).   This also means that no plausible amount of on-board standard scale weapons will dent an ASM wave and that the Barracuda warships inflict less damage against 6 regiments of ASF-with-ASM since it's better to shoot down missiles instead of evading.

Well, as it was explained in one of those topics:Sub-Caps are, on average, more accurate, and they offer a concentrated punch - that means crits.
They also offer this crit potential against larger ships, but we probably all agree that their damage potential often outstrips that of actual capital weapons.
Let's consider an SCL1 armed ship.  Bays of 13 will mission kill the notional fighter here.  You can mount 10 bays of 13 in the Aft and Aft-side arcs, so using 2 SCL1 warships you can bring 40 bays to bear on pursuing ASF in a round.

At long range, the to-hit is: 4(base)+1(Nose)+4(Long)+1(subcap AAA)+3(Evasion)=13, so no hits.
At medium range the to-hit is: 11, mission killing 3.33ASF.

So, using the same attack profile, the ASM armed ASF lose ~7 before they release missiles.   Switching to SCL3s and placing them in bays of 5, you can take out ~13ASF before they release missiles.

Overall, I think we are left with the conclusion that carriers significantly dominate both on offense and defense under monbvols proposal, even against a pretty good anti-fighter designed warship.

Edit: added monbvols proposal as Attempt 5 to the OP.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 21 December 2018, 00:10:24
At one point I know I read a rule that Standard Scale units suffer a Critical chance whenever struck by a Capital weapon thus creating potentially 3 critical chances but I'll admit I'm having trouble finding it now.  I'll retract until I can cite.

Distributing the Barracudas would probably be better as Warship ECM extends out two hexes so the two defending Warships don't have to be in the same hex and thus can potentially cover each other with a lot more missiles while still maintaining ECM protection.

Could considerably drive up the number of loses for the ASFs.

Of course if C-Bills were not the only balancing factor that'd help too.  Which I'll say again is needed.  Battle Value might offer some hope again under my revisions but I won't be surprised if it is still wanting.

And yes there is still some adjustments that need be made to make the targeting Capital Missiles a reasonable replacement for dropping Advanced Point Defense.  I'll maintain that it is important to make it an offensive attack for purposes of if a player can do it while evading or not.  Perhaps to retain AMS in it's primary role and help it make sense on Warships since some have it drop the +3 and double angle of attack modifiers for them.  Maybe dropping the double angle of attack modifiers completely for all weapons would be good too.  I'll have to run some numbers and maybe even some practical experiments to see how that works.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 21 December 2018, 08:27:26
Distributing the Barracudas would probably be better as Warship ECM extends out two hexes so the two defending Warships don't have to be in the same hex and thus can potentially cover each other with a lot more missiles while still maintaining ECM protection.
It looks like you can increase the number of missiles on target by only using the aft arc.  That allows you to fit in 219 Barracuda launchers for 32% more. 

By staggering the BC warships, you can give one a +4 to hit penalty(the maximum) from ECM while the other has +3.   This is modestly helpful, although it's important to note that ECM is not a panacea because the ASF can be steered to attack at range 0, which I didn't do in the analysis.
Could considerably drive up the number of loses for the ASFs.
Optimizing both ASFs and warships, I see only a modest (32%) increase in the number of ASF casualties and a modest (42%) increase in fired ASMs on target if the ASF optimize for a 0 intercept at firing time.  Keep in mind as well that the BC warships cost ~50% more than the loaded carrier.  Overall, the outcome looks unchanged.
Of course if C-Bills were not the only balancing factor that'd help too.  Which I'll say again is needed.  Battle Value might offer some hope again under my revisions but I won't be surprised if it is still wanting.
Battlevalue makes sense when trying to aim for fair play, but that's not the logical goal when designing things.
And yes there is still some adjustments that need be made to make the targeting Capital Missiles a reasonable replacement for dropping Advanced Point Defense.  I'll maintain that it is important to make it an offensive attack for purposes of if a player can do it while evading or not.  Perhaps to retain AMS in it's primary role and help it make sense on Warships since some have it drop the +3 and double angle of attack modifiers for them.  Maybe dropping the double angle of attack modifiers completely for all weapons would be good too.  I'll have to run some numbers and maybe even some practical experiments to see how that works.
Making it easier for an offensive fighter swarm carring ASMs to shoot down the Barracudas just makes them more overwhelming.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 21 December 2018, 11:04:55
There simply put needs to be a balancing factor or else swarms will always be the better option.  C-Bills obviously utterly fail but that is not new information.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: idea weenie on 21 December 2018, 20:53:18
There simply put needs to be a balancing factor or else swarms will always be the better option.  C-Bills obviously utterly fail but that is not new information.

The only options I can think of are:
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 21 December 2018, 23:20:03
It really comes down to as things are now Battle Value doesn't work in space.

Under my proposal I think it has hope without causing a lot of other weirdness/new issues or hand waving.

Now I do recognize my proposal is likely still in need of further refinement but it does not necessitate yet another redesign of the construction rules and largely salvages what is already written.

I also consider it a possible outcome that the construction rules will need changed to truly address all the issues but I've gotten to a point where if I can do less radical revisions first I will.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 22 December 2018, 23:29:39
Maybe another approach to solving this problem is to first specify the constraints we want to obey, and then try to find a solution.

Here's a set of constraints I'm aware of.
Are there other constraints we should consider?

Attempt 2 failed constraint 2, leading to attempt 3.  Attempt 3 seems to fail constraint 4 via smallcraft carriers.  Attempt 4 failed constraint 3. Attempt 5 seems to fail constraint 4. 

A form of resistive armor, so you need heavier weapons to punch through
Attempt 4 had a form of this.  It ended up not working well because a warship could still create monster bays of standard weapons so the damage reduction was relatively unimportant, failing constraint 3.
Some sort of area effect/bonus, where the more units in a hex the attacker gets a benefit/reroll(s) (mainly with missile weapons, as they can retarget)
I don't expect this to have much effect because ASF can carry enough point defense to shoot down missile waves.  It fails constraint 4.
Dedicated electronics systems, that provide bonus to-hits to the mounting unit, and heavier jammers that make enemy units have bigger penalties to hit the mounting unit (similar to Beagle and Guardian, but providing target bonuses/penalties)
It's hard to rule these things out, but inventing new custom design elements is more complex than I was hoping for, failing constraints 5&6.
Drop the engine acceleration limit on structural mass
So 1/2 or 2/3 warship designs become heavy hitters.  But, since it also allows a carrier to bring more ASF, it doesn't really alter the equation failing constraint 4.
Drop the structural mass limits on armor
This is a very significant change.  Warships carrying 100K tons of armor become possible.  All existing warship designs become totally obsolete.  Probably to invasive and it still leaves standard weapons as the preferred armor stripping device failing constraints 3,5,6.
Mass increases allowing enhancements for weapons, to reflect better tracking systems (i.e. stronger servos moving laser mirrors faster to allow NL to hit fighters a bit easier)
Maybe, but it's a design change with lots of custom rules.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 23 December 2018, 02:15:31
Not an unreasonable list of criteria.

Heck I even re-read a thread where I defended the Castrum as a reasonable alternative to Monitors and made a fairly compelling analysis for how they can threaten Warships many times their size.  So I'm forced to grant we need the subcapital weapons.

Trouble is as they currently exist SCL-1s and LSCCs make NL-35s and NAC-10s pointless on Warships once they are introduced and I can't think of a logical reason to deny these weapons to Warships if they can be mounted on Dropships.

I'll have to give a lot of thought on how to address this under my proposal.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 23 December 2018, 09:04:46
Trouble is as they currently exist SCL-1s and LSCCs make NL-35s and NAC-10s pointless on Warships once they are introduced
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: HobbesHurlbut on 23 December 2018, 09:26:12
As yet there is no way to mount Killer Whales, White Sharks, Barracudas, or Kraken missiles to ASFs or Small Craft as external ordinance.  You probably could get a Barracuda launcher on a Small Craft if it wasn't for the minimum ammunition requirements.
Not even sub-capital missiles?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 23 December 2018, 11:34:51
How about this?

Attempt 6: Capital damage by standard weapons is equal to the damage on a facing by an attacker / 100, rounded down.  The maximum number of weapons in a weapons bay is 6 for Smallcraft, 12 for Dropships, and 40 for Warships, Jumpships, and Space Stations.  Critical hits on capital units can only be caused by individual attacks dealing at least 1 capital damage.

After a review, I believe the weapons bay limits invalidate no existing designs.  The Lyonesse (http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Lyonesse) was the extreme for smallcraft, the Titan (http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Titan_(DropShip_class)) for dropships, and the Pinto (http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Pinto_(WarShip_class)) for warships. 

ASF will have difficulty inflicting 100 damage on a facing, but they could certainly manage sometimes by flushing external ordnance in combination with on-board weapons, in a high speed engagement, or in a ramming attack.  Using more advanced technology, Antiship missiles can consistently cause damage although that arrives after multifire AMS.    Advanced clan technology like mass use of heavy medium lasers allows a 5/8 ASF to be capable of hitting the 100 damage threshold on a facing with internal weapons although by that point LFC armor, screen launchers, and subcapital weapons are available.

Appropriately designed smallcraft can certainly generate 100 damage even with AoW/3025 tech, but the odds of it all landing on the same facing are commonly low given the bay size limits.  The high tech situation is similar to ASFs.

Assault dropships can consistently do capital damage with standard weapons, but the high cost associated with such dropships makes them a relatively niche item.  Subcapital weapons and capital missiles are an attractive alternative due to a combination of lower cost and greater range.

Warships might mount standard scale weapons, but primarily in secondary roles since fire control tonnage make them inefficient compared to naval weapons at even the 600Kton scale and naval weapons generally have a better chance of inflicting critical hits.   For example, 40 AC-20s generates 8 capital damage at short range with a little over 1000 tons, but this is less efficient and lower range than a NAC/40 while being not nearly as critical threatening.

Not even sub-capital missiles?
The lightest is a piranha which weighs 100 tons for the launcher and 10 tons/missile.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 23 December 2018, 12:42:36
I'll admit I didn't include crew requirements in my analysis and I don't think anyone else did in theirs.  It is an oversight.

Hmmm...

I'd still be inclined to reduce the effectiveness of Advanced Point Defense somehow.  Removing it and using a modified Attacking Capital Missiles rule may still be the best alternative.  It gives all units ways to defend themselves against ASMs and Capital Missiles but by making it offensive for purposes of if you can evade at the same time or not and also counting it as that bay/individual weapon attacking that forces some interesting dynamics.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 23 December 2018, 13:22:24
Let's consider an SCL1 armed ship.  Bays of 13 will mission kill the notional fighter here.  You can mount 10 bays of 13 in the Aft and Aft-side arcs, so using 2 SCL1 warships you can bring 40 bays to bear on pursuing ASF in a round.

At long range, the to-hit is: 4(base)+1(Nose)+4(Long)+1(subcap AAA)+3(Evasion)=13, so no hits.
At medium range the to-hit is: 11, mission killing 3.33ASF.

So, using the same attack profile, the ASM armed ASF lose ~7 before they release missiles.   Switching to SCL3s and placing them in bays of 5, you can take out ~13ASF before they release missiles.
May I ask how you get to those numbers? Not doubting them, but I'd like to understand them.
Under Squadron Rules, a Fighter has to roll for destruction when receiving 1/4 of it's total armour as damage in a single hit - that's 108 for a Hydaspes, which off the top of my head is one of the toughest birds around. That'd be just 11. And that's a bird so slow that, with mounted missiles, it can't be a "pursuing" ASF anymore if it actually evades. I assume every Flak-Warship would go at least 4/6.
If we're not using squadron rules, which I think we should on that scale, I'd just pack them in 2-SCL bays and rely on criticals, as a mission kill for me is achieved if I either damaged their engine to the point they can't follow, or sensors sufficiently that they miss, but I'd be ok with preventing a second sortie. Ammo explosions are ok, too.
Also, at long range, instead of Anti-Fighter mode, why not just bracket-fire? That's less damage, yes, and a 12 to hit isn't great, but it's decidedly better than nothing.
Most fighters that can evade and close at the same time while carrying a missile or a heavy armament probably need less than a dozen sub-capital lasers to kill, anyways. Though that whole argument really only said that subcaps are a valid choice compared to standard weapons, not that fighters aren't too strong in relation to capital ships. I don't think anyone seriously disputes that.

All that said, I'm not sure if they've been mentioned so far, but: what about minefields?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 23 December 2018, 17:08:28
I'll admit I didn't include crew requirements in my analysis and I don't think anyone else did in theirs.  It is an oversight.
I used crew requirements for my design test points.
I'd still be inclined to reduce the effectiveness of Advanced Point Defense somehow.  Removing it and using a modified Attacking Capital Missiles rule may still be the best alternative.  It gives all units ways to defend themselves against ASMs and Capital Missiles but by making it offensive for purposes of if you can evade at the same time or not and also counting it as that bay/individual weapon attacking that forces some interesting dynamics.
I'm not understanding the advanced point defense issue.  More detail?

There are only two practical ways to mount serious point defense: via a carrier with appropriately designed fighters and via multifire AMS.   Removing advanced point defense leaves only the carrier approach and reduces expected damage by a factor of 10/36=17% (= hit chance for 9+).  Expanding the set of units capable of this has no meaningful impact since fighters are a much better delivery platform---a carrier can deliver significantly more standard weapons than other approaches. 

Perhaps it's worth keeping in mind the most extreme case.  A carrier could mount 648 ASF, and a 90-ton ASF could carry 3 ASMs to use with a speed of 3/5.  This is obviously slow, but entirely reasonable in a defensive posture.  An attacking warship would therefore need to shoot down 1944 ASMs to avoid damage, and anything less than almost all of that would result in destruction of the warship.    Using multifire AMS, this requires 26244 double heat sinks and 4374 tons of ammo.  Using a carrier's ASFs to defend with advanced point defense instead, you can shoot down 74% of the missiles, leaving 504 missiles hitting and killing a warship if used effectively.  Hence, only multifire AMS can effectively defend against a maximal ASM strike as-is. 

Anyways, aside from the Advanced Point Defense issue (which I don't yet understand), do you see any serious flaws in attempt 6?

May I ask how you get to those numbers? Not doubting them, but I'd like to understand them.
I was thinking about something like this:
Code: [Select]
60 ton offensive ASM carrier
Tech Level: Standard (IS)
Tech Rating: D/C-E-D-D 
Weight: 60 tons
BV: 1,462
Cost: 3,115,580 C-bills 
Movement: 7/11
Engine: 300
Heat Sinks: 10
Fuel Points: 400 (5.0 tons) 
Structural Integrity: 7

Armor
Nose 120
Left Wing 100
Right Wing 100
Aft 80
 
Weapons Loc Heat
5x Small Laser NOS 5
5x Small Laser LWG 5
5x Small Laser RWG 5
Small Laser AFT 1
Under Squadron Rules, a Fighter has to roll for destruction when receiving 1/4 of it's total armour as damage in a single hit - that's 108 for a Hydaspes, which off the top of my head is one of the toughest birds around. That'd be just 11. And that's a bird so slow that, with mounted missiles, it can't be a "pursuing" ASF anymore if it actually evades. 
The offensive ASF travels at 5/8 while carrying an ASM.   I wasn't considering squadron rules---just the basics and I was assuming you would rather do 13 damage and generate a guaranteed mission kill rather than 11 damage with a decent (40%) chance of a mission kill.
I assume every Flak-Warship would go at least 4/6.
I was using a 3/5 Flak warship.  If you want to shift the Flak-warship to 4/6, then obviously armor & weapons decrease.   
If we're not using squadron rules, which I think we should on that scale, I'd just pack them in 2-SCL bays and rely on criticals,
The odds of a mission kill critical aren't that great---maybe 9%/hit so the expected number of SCLs hitting for a mission kill becomes more than 13.
as a mission kill for me is achieved if I either damaged their engine to the point they can't follow, or sensors sufficiently that they miss, but I'd be ok with preventing a second sortie. Ammo explosions are ok, too.
Engine hits don't happen on the nose aspect, and there is no ammo to explode, so it's sensors or fire control that generate a mission kill.
Also, at long range, instead of Anti-Fighter mode, why not just bracket-fire? That's less damage, yes, and a 12 to hit isn't great, but it's decidedly better than nothing.
Good point.  This is unlikely to kill an ASF since you only have 40 bays doing 40% damage, but in 2 rounds of long range fire you might take out an additional ASF.
Most fighters that can evade and close at the same time while carrying a missile or a heavy armament probably need less than a dozen sub-capital lasers to kill, anyways. Though that whole argument really only said that subcaps are a valid choice compared to standard weapons, not that fighters aren't too strong in relation to capital ships. I don't think anyone seriously disputes that.
I agree that most fighters that can evade and close with an ASM require less SCLs to kill.  But, we're trying to cover the range of allowed design.

Subcaps seem outstanding if they allow you to outrange fighters on a more mobile platform than fighters.  Usually, that's a dropship. 
All that said, I'm not sure if they've been mentioned so far, but: what about minefields?
My understanding of the minefield rules is that they don't really affect a fighter swarm which will clear them without really noticing.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 23 December 2018, 19:45:53
So is my understanding, but a warship mine-launcher is a relatively light weapon, and if you're retreating from incoming fighters, even at abysmal thrust, you can probably layer a few hundred hexes with them. That's bound to cause some attrition.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 23 December 2018, 19:59:33
I should have clarified that I was referring to the analysis thread that was linked earlier.

Advanced Point Defense just renders Capital Missiles impotent with no rolls and no choices needing to be made all too easily.

Just to clarify because not everyone realizes under Total Warfare rules AMS actually cannot intercept Capital Missiles(Total Warfare page 130).  It actually requires Advanced Point Defense from Strategic Operations.

It becomes a choice and a risk under Attacking Capital Missiles if it is considered an offensive attack and keeps AMS intact in it's role against even Capital Missiles.  To me that seems like better game design.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 23 December 2018, 20:20:13
What does the design space look like if we keep the 10:1 ratio but set -all- standard weapons (no matter how many in a bay) to doing zero damage against capital armor (I like letting them wreck internals).

Of course, as illustrated, fighter-borne ASMs are still a cataclysmic threat, that seems to required the optional advanced point defense rule to handle.  But that rule obviates ship-borne launchers at a trivial cost.  So instead, let the fighter carried ASMs do 1 point only to ships.  This means a 700 fighter strike package bearing 1400 ASMs has a maximum damage of 1400 and an expected damage closer to 700 - which is still A LOT, but survivable once better armors come along - which they will have done, if fighters are carrying ASMs.

So, proposal:

1.)  Capital Weapons effect non-capital armor and IS at 10:1 (as per standard)

2.)  Non-capital weapons effect capital IS at 1:10, but cannot harm capital armor. (Rules change)

3.)  Fighter carried ASMs deal 1 point of capital scale damage. (Rules change)

4.)  No optional rule for AMS. (Forcing use of standard rule).



Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 23 December 2018, 23:16:41
So is my understanding, but a warship mine-launcher is a relatively light weapon, and if you're retreating from incoming fighters, even at abysmal thrust, you can probably layer a few hundred hexes with them. That's bound to cause some attrition.
Essentially, you can force an incoming fighter swarm to have 6 fighters face 5*Margin_of_Failure damage per hex they traverse.  It's something, but it would take a very long time for the damage to add up enough on a single fighter to take it out.
Advanced Point Defense just renders Capital Missiles impotent with no rolls and no choices needing to be made all too easily.
I think this is correct for multifire AMS, but I'm skeptical about the rest of Advanced Point Defense based on the analysis here (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1468542#msg1468542) which shows you can't effectively defend against massed ASMs without multifire AMS.  In any case, I'm more accepting of the entire missile category being marginalizable.   By nature, missile weapons often do significantly more damage than anything else so the rules make for a double-or-nothing nature which differentiates from other weapon classes, at least in a design game.  Tactically, there is always the question of whether or not you should put your point defense into point defense mode which can lead to some high stakes decisions as a battle closes. 

2.)  Non-capital weapons effect capital IS at 1:10, but cannot harm capital armor. (Rules change)
3.)  Fighter carried ASMs deal 1 point of capital scale damage. (Rules change)
4.)  No optional rule for AMS. (Forcing use of standard rule).
One thing that I like about 2) compared to attempt 6 is that the standard weapons do more damage to capital IS than armor, while attempt 6 requires 200 points of standard scale damage to affect capital IS and 100 points of standard damage to affect capital armor. 

Nerfing ASMs to 1 point of capital scale damage definitely helps with a more realistic notion of damage.

By 4, do you just mean that AMS can only fire once doing 3 standard damage to missiles?  Or 1.5? (Is the "standard rule" advanced point defense sans AMS? Or is it the TW rule?)

Looking at the desiderata here (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1468407#msg1468407) these rules don't seem to handle the Miraborg incident (1).  The also make jumpships immune to ASF without ASMs and assault dropships without capital weapons.

The removal of multifire AMS makes carriers more desirable in a defensive role but the combination of (2) and (3) make carriers less desirable in an offensive role.  Comparing, a 600Kton ASF carrier can potentially bring up to 648*3=1944 ASMs to the party while a Missileer can bring 154 Killer Whales.  The KWs are killable with 5544 small lasers while the ASMs are killable with 5832 small lasers so if a warship carries 3 regiments of fighters, it can both defend against missile attacks and finish off warships damaged by naval weapons.  Possibly, you could get by with just 2 regiments of fighters, but probably not less than that because the Missileer (who has 10 rounds) will otherwise win.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 23 December 2018, 23:33:51
Fighters can do many other things, with greater flexibility, and at longer ranges, than capital missiles.  Im okay with a CV being moderately inferior to a CG as a straight up combatant.

As for Tyra Miraborg, Im willing to let her go in the name of making the game work.  If fighter ramming was a good way to kill warships, then we would see fighters used as anti-ship weapons all the time - if necessary, with drone controls.  We dont see that.

Fluff is fluff, crunch is crunch, and Ive never felt it necessary to fiddle with the rules to allow for Morgan Kell’s ghostmech.  File Tyra under ‘she got lucky and the Clans got arrogant and had their command staff on an observation deck outside the armor belt’ and go on.

As for point defense weapons or AMS vs missiles - Im perfectly happy to just not let them shoot at incoming missiles, or only at nukes.  Missiles, as Ive said before, are actually pretty mediocre even in the absence of point defense.  Waypoint and bearings only and the like help - but a missile boat that goes light enough on ammo to make missiles worthwhile lives in terror of shooting itself dry - and once youve got 10+ rounds per tube, you might as well have mounted NPPCs.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 24 December 2018, 00:50:44
Reading through Bandit Queen's questions in addition to yours about Capital Missiles and Advanced Point Defense is actually making me inclined to want to wait until we get answers to said questions because the answers to all those questions can really change the dynamics of either Advanced Point Defense and Attacking Capital Missiles.

What does the design space look like if we keep the 10:1 ratio but set -all- standard weapons (no matter how many in a bay) to doing zero damage against capital armor (I like letting them wreck internals).

Of course, as illustrated, fighter-borne ASMs are still a cataclysmic threat, that seems to required the optional advanced point defense rule to handle.  But that rule obviates ship-borne launchers at a trivial cost.  So instead, let the fighter carried ASMs do 1 point only to ships.  This means a 700 fighter strike package bearing 1400 ASMs has a maximum damage of 1400 and an expected damage closer to 700 - which is still A LOT, but survivable once better armors come along - which they will have done, if fighters are carrying ASMs.

So, proposal:

1.)  Capital Weapons effect non-capital armor and IS at 10:1 (as per standard)

2.)  Non-capital weapons effect capital IS at 1:10, but cannot harm capital armor. (Rules change)

3.)  Fighter carried ASMs deal 1 point of capital scale damage. (Rules change)

4.)  No optional rule for AMS. (Forcing use of standard rule).

I have no objection to 1 and 2.  3 I wouldn't go that far but can be persuaded.  4 is more problematic than the comparative lack of damage of Capital Missiles.  So I'm still in favor of having a way of shooting them down but it does need to be less certain than Advanced Point Defense and just mounting enough AMS, ammo, and heat sinks.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Daemion on 24 December 2018, 04:19:56
Okay. I'm interested in this, but I'm mot in a position to read all of it in one sitting, now that I've found it. But, I will!

That said, upon reading some of the first page, I have a suggestion.  Forgive me if someone brought this up.

It strikes me that Fighter Craft and standard weapons are pin-point weapons.  Warships are huge. I don't care how mobile you are, you're not spreading all that damage out over a kilometer cubed of hull.

So, instead of having fighters light weapons doing x amount of damage, let them act like how Armor Piercing AC munitions function in the ground game.  Or how Tandem Charged Warheads worked.  The damage a fighter/dropper does, regardless of strength, is one point of armor damage. But, they get to potentially threshold, and the total damage dedicated to the attack is collated and used as a modifier to the result, which is also modified by the threshold value for an item on a big ship*.

I think that fighters/droppers against warships have to get inside point blank range (IE - occupy the same hex) in order to make these attacks. Against other fighters/droppers, they can engage at range as normal. But, by doing so, they can pick and choose effects to go after.

If we were to redesign warships, I'd strongly recommend that the total threshold value for a facing be split up among whatever items and bays can be struck on that facing. As I said, there's a lot of volume in a ship, especially a jumper or warship.  They should be operating under the space version of mobile structures.  (I actually took the time to map out how a spheroid dropper might break up armor locations and structure if it were mapped in 30 meter chunks. I was inspired by how a dropper looks when grounded on the ground map. It stands to reason each of those hexes should only take so much damage, instead of going after the entire side before breaching. A Warship aught to be no different.)

With those restrictions, suddenly, dedicated naval weapons have the range to reach out and do damage against another warship.  All light weapons would have to act like point defense against the bigger ships.

If you block out a warship and give it multiple locations that can be destroyed without completely crippling the ship, much like BattleMechs versus tanks or Battle Armor, it might actually make for a much more interesting game.



Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 24 December 2018, 09:03:08
Fighters can do many other things, with greater flexibility, and at longer ranges, than capital missiles.  Im okay with a CV being moderately inferior to a CG as a straight up combatant.

As for Tyra Miraborg, Im willing to let her go in the name of making the game work.  If fighter ramming was a good way to kill warships, then we would see fighters used as anti-ship weapons all the time - if necessary, with drone controls.  We dont see that.

Fluff is fluff, crunch is crunch, and Ive never felt it necessary to fiddle with the rules to allow for Morgan Kell’s ghostmech.  File Tyra under ‘she got lucky and the Clans got arrogant and had their command staff on an observation deck outside the armor belt’ and go on.
But fighter ramming is a good way to kill warships.
If you're willing to pay 3-10 million per 50 ton missile, requiring a one-shot, 150 ton launcher, with either fanatical suicidal pilots that are available in limited quantities, or high tech drone controls that spike the cost further while being horribly susceptible to ECM, you ought to get some result out of that. Whether it's a sensible way of doing things.... eh.

One musing of mine: If we assume that fighters mostly perform surgical strikes - warships get little armour per ton because they actually get a lot of armour per ton, but spread over a large area in a very abstracted game, and fighters would have to repeatedly hit a small area while an NAC can just hit all of it - wouldn't that be the space equivalent of a called shot?
If so, I'd just have all fighter weapons, and standard weapons on warships, deal half damage to capital armour, and then require targeting numbers that make it difficult for regular pilots to actually hit. Say, a 2/3/3/4 penalty at E/L/M/S range, to be raised by max 1 when stacking with ECM.
Could be fluffed as multiple fighters coordinating their fire on one spot of perceived importance. That would allow fighters to still hit jumpships and non-military stations, which tend to not move very much and won't bother the pilots with distracting counter fire. In high speed engagements, instead of highly multiplying the damage, the to-hit numbers could just be lowered - more for ballistics, obviously.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 24 December 2018, 09:13:20
But fighter ramming is a good way to kill warships.
If you're willing to pay 3-10 million per 50 ton missile, requiring a one-shot, 150 ton launcher, with either fanatical suicidal pilots that are available in limited quantities, or high tech drone controls that spike the cost further while being horribly susceptible to ECM, you ought to get some result out of that. Whether it's a sensible way of doing things.... eh.

One musing of mine: If we assume that fighters mostly perform surgical strikes - warships get little armour per ton because they actually get a lot of armour per ton, but spread over a large area in a very abstracted game, and fighters would have to repeatedly hit a small area while an NAC can just hit all of it - wouldn't that be the space equivalent of a called shot?
If so, I'd just have all fighter weapons, and standard weapons on warships, deal half damage to capital armour, and then require targeting numbers that make it difficult for regular pilots to actually hit. Say, a 2/3/3/4 penalty at E/L/M/S range, to be raised by max 1 when stacking with ECM.
Could be fluffed as multiple fighters coordinating their fire on one spot of perceived importance. That would allow fighters to still hit jumpships and non-military stations, which tend to not move very much and won't bother the pilots with distracting counter fire. In high speed engagements, instead of highly multiplying the damage, the to-hit numbers could just be lowered - more for ballistics, obviously.

Given that 50 ton dedicated anti-ship missiles, consisting of nothing but blam and the computer/sensors/armor/short burn engine to get that blam to do its job, are one a good day questionable as anti-ship weapons...  I can’t justify fighters, a much more complex machine that has to do many many different jobs, being better at the ONLY job ASMs have than the ASM.

Ive tried every way I know how to let standard scale weapons do something, without dominating.  I cant find one. 

Im dealing with the following facts:

3 BBs of 1MT each cost about the same as 2 CVs of the same size, along with 2000 fighters - which is about as pure a carrier you can build.

If you can come up with a set of rules that allows those 3BBs to fight against those 2000 fighters without being casually wiped out - while letting the fighters standard scale weapons do any damage at all - I will be happy to use them.  I have not been able to do so.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 24 December 2018, 09:41:25
I personally think a to-hit chance of under 17% coupled with 20/1 conversion does a decent enough job at that.
In an actual system wide game, I think the possibility to just maneuver around to make fighters waste their fuel already helps blunting the imminent danger somewhat. Assuming you have sufficient patience.
What absolutely must be ensured is that capital weapons still have a crit chance against capital ships. Their damage clearly doesn't cut it.
Also, in our deceased navy game, I couldn't help but notice that we did have to invest money into shipyards, yet not into fighter fabrication nor crew academies. One would assume that a faction that doesn't build up large capacities for fighter production would in turn have larger ships, which are more cost efficient.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 24 December 2018, 10:28:33
I personally think a to-hit chance of under 17% coupled with 20/1 conversion does a decent enough job at that.
In an actual system wide game, I think the possibility to just maneuver around to make fighters waste their fuel already helps blunting the imminent danger somewhat. Assuming you have sufficient patience.
What absolutely must be ensured is that capital weapons still have a crit chance against capital ships. Their damage clearly doesn't cut it.
Also, in our deceased navy game, I couldn't help but notice that we did have to invest money into shipyards, yet not into fighter fabrication nor crew academies. One would assume that a faction that doesn't build up large capacities for fighter production would in turn have larger ships, which are more cost efficient.

Hmm.  2000  fighters at 20:1 is prob 2 damage per fighter, for 4k total.  At a mere 10% hit chance, thats 400 per turn - and fighters will always get their choice of angle.

I dont see 3 BBs cutting down fighters fast enough.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 24 December 2018, 11:23:46
What absolutely must be ensured is that capital weapons still have a crit chance against capital ships. Their damage clearly doesn't cut it.

Disagree.  Its pretty easy to put together a 1.25 MT BB 2/3 with 40 HNPPCs out the broadside.  40 HNPPCs is potentially 600 damage - which will badly maul an equivalent ship in the standard armor era - and even a Leviathan doesnt WANT to take 600 to a facing.  One you start looking at squadron or fleet level battle, your crippling or killing one or more ships a round, even at maximum range, with that sort of firepower.  Switching out for big NACs can double that firepower, at the cost of some reach (whether or not this is a good trade depends on other factors, such as number of engaged units, starting ranges and velocities, etc.)

Massed Subcapital or even Standard Scale fires run into a really nasty fire control wall... where that wall lives depends on the size of the ship, speeds, and starting conditions.  That said, Im not convinced that even in the core rules of 10:1 that massed standard weapons are decisive in a fleet engagement situation - the range advantage means that the ‘big gun’ ships start killing the ‘small gun’ ships outside their ability to reply.  Further, a focus on small guns leaves you catastrophically vulnerable to the ship with lonner range weapons and equal or greater thrust.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 24 December 2018, 12:23:41
I put attempt 6 and attempt 7 into the OP.

As for point defense weapons or AMS vs missiles - Im perfectly happy to just not let them shoot at incoming missiles, or only at nukes. 
Allowing shooting only at nukes seems technologically incongruent---you really expect that non-nuclear and nuclear missiles are subject to the same point defense.   Allowing no shooting at missiles means (a) that nuclear weapons are super dominant (b) that capital missiles are dominant.  To see (b), note that you can create a 600Kton warship and use bearings only launch to effective bring 219 to bear at extreme range with a to-hit of 5=4+2(facing)+1(ECM)-2(Barracuda) leaving 182 hitting and doing 364 capital damage.  HNPPCs have a to-hit of 14=4+1(facing)+6(range)+3(ECM).      Even with advanced armors, it seems inevitable that the Barracuda missileer kills a couple HNPPC warships before running dry.

Reading through Bandit Queen's questions in addition to yours about Capital Missiles and Advanced Point Defense is actually making me inclined to want to wait until we get answers to said questions because the answers to all those questions can really change the dynamics of either Advanced Point Defense and Attacking Capital Missiles.
Yeah, sounds reasonable.
So I'm still in favor of having a way of shooting them down but it does need to be less certain than Advanced Point Defense and just mounting enough AMS, ammo, and heat sinks.
You could make point defense stochastic by declaring that each point defense weapon has a 1-in-<n> chance of killing the capital missile where n = capital damage * 5 / point defense damage.  This provides stochasticity while still providing similar levels of bulk defense as current.

So, instead of having fighters light weapons doing x amount of damage, let them act like how Armor Piercing AC munitions function in the ground game.  Or how Tandem Charged Warheads worked.  The damage a fighter/dropper does, regardless of strength, is one point of armor damage. But, they get to potentially threshold, and the total damage dedicated to the attack is collated and used as a modifier to the result, which is also modified by the threshold value for an item on a big ship*.
There are two issues here:
(1) Fighters doing 1 capital damage each is to much when we are talking about a 600K ton warship carrying 6 regiments of fighters (648).
(2) The bonus chance of critical hits goes the other direction, making fighters even more deadly.

But fighter ramming is a good way to kill warships.
W.r.t. ramming, the rules already make this rare since you need to:
(a) End movement in the same hex at a significant closing velocity.
(b) Succeed on a 'nerve' roll (1-in-12)
(c) Win an opposed control roll.  This step makes drone fighters unable to ram by default in the presence of warship ECM.

With that said, the damage from ramming is to high as-is.  Miraborg's 65 ton Shilone does 63 standard damage = 6 capital damage hitting after 1 round of max thrust.  A Killer Whale should hit for 50*5=250 standard damage = 25 capital damage from kinetic impact alone using the standard ramming rules.   Under attempt 6, the Killer Whales kinetic damage is just 2 capital and the Shilone has to use max thrust for 2 rounds in a row to do 1 capital damage.

One musing of mine: If we assume that fighters mostly perform surgical strikes - warships get little armour per ton because they actually get a lot of armour per ton, but spread over a large area in a very abstracted game, and fighters would have to repeatedly hit a small area while an NAC can just hit all of it - wouldn't that be the space equivalent of a called shot?
There is already a space version of called shot (SO page 100) which imposes a +4 penalty to hit.   You'll only use this option at short range, so I expect it's roughly equivalent to what you laid out.

Ive tried every way I know how to let standard scale weapons do something, without dominating.  I cant find one. 
Take a look at attempt 6---I think it satisfies this.

3 BBs of 1MT each cost about the same as 2 CVs of the same size, along with 2000 fighters - which is about as pure a carrier you can build.
10 regiments of fighters takes 30 minutes to launch even with all 18 bay doors dedicated to fighters.   They also take 2.5 hours to recover.  The fighters need to carry fuel for thrust 5 over the 2.5 hour duration or the maneuverability of the CV will be compromised.  That's 9.375 tons.   Plus, you'll want some tonnage for the ASF's mission.  This isn't impossible but you are running into significant compromises---the CV goes slower, the fighters reduce their warload, you switch to smallcraft, you are more easily forced to abandon fighters, etc...
If you can come up with a set of rules that allows those 3BBs to fight against those 2000 fighters without being casually wiped out - while letting the fighters standard scale weapons do any damage at all - I will be happy to use them.  I have not been able to do so.
Under attempt 6, the standard scale weapons cause a point of capital damage if they can inflict 100 standard scale damage to a single facing in a single turn.   This is not really possible with an ASF using 3025/Age of War tech.  With SL tech it's probably not possible?  With late IS tech, it's certainly possible between AAA or RL-10 external ordnance and onboard weapons, however it's not likely.  With clan tech (i.e. mass use of (improved) heavy medium lasers) it's possible to threaten capital damage on a sustained basis.   At this point though, screen launchers start destroying fighter swarms in wholesale lots.

Massed Subcapital or even Standard Scale fires run into a really nasty fire control wall... where that wall lives depends on the size of the ship, speeds, and starting conditions.  That said, Im not convinced that even in the core rules of 10:1 that massed standard weapons are decisive in a fleet engagement situation - the range advantage means that the ‘big gun’ ships start killing the ‘small gun’ ships outside their ability to reply.  Further, a focus on small guns leaves you catastrophically vulnerable to the ship with lonner range weapons and equal or greater thrust.
Smart carriers launch their ASF and then stay beyond extreme range for the duration of the engagement so the only question is whether or not the ASF kill the BBs or not.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 24 December 2018, 13:32:59
even at maximum range, with that sort of firepower. 
I'm skeptical about this.   A to-hit of 15=4(base)+6(extreme)+2(side)+3(ECM) suggests you can't win at extreme range without alternate tactics.  Adding in +2(Evasion) and you'll even defeat bracketing fire at long range.
Massed Subcapital or even Standard Scale fires run into a really nasty fire control wall... where that wall lives depends on the size of the ship, speeds, and starting conditions.  That said, Im not convinced that even in the core rules of 10:1 that massed standard weapons are decisive in a fleet engagement situation - the range advantage means that the ‘big gun’ ships start killing the ‘small gun’ ships outside their ability to reply.  Further, a focus on small guns leaves you catastrophically vulnerable to the ship with lonner range weapons and equal or greater thrust.
I'm pretty sure that standard-only warships capable of destroying a similar-scale naval only fleet with standard rules.  We went through this a bit at 600Ktons and Age of War tech.  Do you have other design parameters in mind?  Number of ships, tonnage, tech level?  Are individual weapon ranges in use?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 24 December 2018, 13:37:02
Lagrange - in my last point I was just talking balance for ship-mounted small weapons vs subcaps vs caps.

I like the stochastic point defense.  Keeps any amount of PDS from being certain immunity, allows enough point defense to pop a few nukes inbound.

Still think nukes are bad for the naval game - if they exist, and their use is permissible, the game goes away in a bright flash of light.  If they dont exist and/or their use is impermissible, why have rules?  I still think given the velocities and energies involved, we would be justified in saying capital scale weapons and missiles are already nuclear in scale.

My only concern with attempt 6 is it feels a bit cumbersome and break-pointy.  Ifs effective but... inelegant?  Or so I percieve it.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 24 December 2018, 13:43:26
I'm skeptical about this.   A to-hit of 15=4(base)+6(extreme)+2(side)+3(ECM) suggests you can't win at extreme range without alternate tactics.  Adding in +2(Evasion) and you'll even defeat bracketing fire at long range.I'm pretty sure that standard-only warships capable of destroying a similar-scale naval only fleet with standard rules.  We went through this a bit at 600Ktons and Age of War tech.  Do you have other design parameters in mind?  Number of ships, tonnage, tech level?  Are individual weapon ranges in use?

Substitute ‘long’ or even ‘medium’ as you feel necessary.  The longer ranged weapons still gets there first, assuming individual weapon ranges.

And I am assuming individual weapon ranges, yes. 

If you go with the default weapon ranges, then absolutely - the space layer collapses to point-blank exchanges in capital short range.  In such a game, yes, Clan eRLLas, subcap, etc. dominate, and at worst NACs - McKenna neve gets built and the NPPC, NLaser, etc. are just dead entries in a book.  Frankly, I think you illustrate well, above, how Ill-concieved the entire warship ruleset is.  ECM is crazy good and fire outside a knife fight is a joke, until you start using Naval C3 and Active Probes at suicide ranges... 

Option 7 - throw it all out and start over?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Cannonshop on 24 December 2018, 15:04:57
Substitute ‘long’ or even ‘medium’ as you feel necessary.  The longer ranged weapons still gets there first, assuming individual weapon ranges.

And I am assuming individual weapon ranges, yes. 

If you go with the default weapon ranges, then absolutely - the space layer collapses to point-blank exchanges in capital short range.  In such a game, yes, Clan eRLLas, subcap, etc. dominate, and at worst NACs - McKenna neve gets built and the NPPC, NLaser, etc. are just dead entries in a book.  Frankly, I think you illustrate well, above, how Ill-concieved the entire warship ruleset is.  ECM is crazy good and fire outside a knife fight is a joke, until you start using Naval C3 and Active Probes at suicide ranges... 

Option 7 - throw it all out and start over?

Maybe not, but if you'er going to toss it all out, let's work out the situationals.


Tyra Miraborg.  isn't a problematic situation to resolve, if you want to prevent Kamikaze moves becoming 'the requirement' you add a PSR to the ramming attack-with a severe modifier, and a penalty.  the penalty being that the fighter or squadron of fighters breaks off and runs for the nearest map-edge, and is removed from the game.  BAsically an 'all or nothing' situation where either the attack 'succeeds' (doing cap damage and crits) or fails, (no damage) but either way those fighters are out of the game.

The PSR is a 'guts check'-they make it, they die, they fail it, they're out of the fight and fleeing blindly in a rout.

That's your 'constraint' on 'Tactical ramming your fighter into the capital warship', not all pilots have it in them to commit suicide for king and country, and the PSR should take a hit based on the pilot's (or unit's) experience; Greens will take a modifier of 0, with hyper-green/untrained (piloting of 7 or higher) being given a modifier to increase the success of the guts-check. (Untrained or poorly trained pilots made up the bulk of Kamikaze attacks in ww2, the GOOD  pilots tend to have a good, strong survival instinct.)

as for cap vs. conventional.....

Keep the 10/1 ratio, but only for big-bore weapons like AC/20 or Gauss Rifle.  Divide the others as follows;

LRM: 50/1 (takes 50 LRMs to do 1 point of damage)

SRM: 20/1

LBX Cluster: Ratingx10/1

MG: 200/1

and so on. for critz, an AC/10 or 10 standard hit can crit once, on a natural roll of 12. 

Underwing munitions:

Critical per the normal table for ASM and similar 'big bore' weapons, rocket pods don't crit, and only do 1 cap point for every 50 conventional points that hit.

Dropships:

10/1 damage for big bore weapons, but improved critical hits chance (Dropship fire controls are heavier than fighter fire controls,obviously they're going to be better for nailing critical systems and exposed weak points with conventional fire.)
Cluster weapons (LRM, SRM, etc.) do Clusterx10/1 (aka muliply the cluster average times ten, then that outcome is how much has to hit to do 1 point of cap damage), but with a restriction on crit table to requiring a boxcars roll to do 1 critical roll until the armor's gone.

Subcaps: work as written when mounted to dropships, and pose a better-ranged threat to warships.



Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 24 December 2018, 16:43:57
Still think nukes are bad for the naval game - if they exist, and their use is permissible, the game goes away in a bright flash of light. 
If multifire AMS is used effectively then nukes are just a money pit.
If they dont exist and/or their use is impermissible, why have rules?  I still think given the velocities and energies involved, we would be justified in saying capital scale weapons and missiles are already nuclear in scale.
The physics works out.  25g (=50 thrust missile) for 60 seconds makes the closing velocity 15000 m/s.  If half the mass  of a killer whale is left at closing, I get 672 kilotons of tnt equivalent which is certainly in the nuclear range.   As a plus, no radiation problems are left from a kinetic hit.
My only concern with attempt 6 is it feels a bit cumbersome and break-pointy.  Ifs effective but... inelegant?  Or so I percieve it.

I'll take 'effective' as there aren't many competitors, but can you pin down what seems inelegant?

And I am assuming individual weapon ranges, yes. 
With individual weapons, NAC/35 and NAC/40 are obsolete in the presence of a Gauss rifle which has more range and far more damage / ton with the standard rules.

More generally, if you allow standard weapons at 10:1, it seems like a general recipe for success is to make a nose fighter out of big honking weapons such as an AC/20, up-engine the warship and conduct high speed passes until the enemy is destroyed.  You don't get a bonus to hit of -2 from capital-long and capital-extreme weapons, but the damage output disparity (maybe 3:1 after accounting for fire control issues) is so great that the advantage remains with the standard weapon warship.
ECM is crazy good and fire outside a knife fight is a joke, until you start using Naval C3 and Active Probes at suicide ranges... 
ECM makes pre-active probe (or pre-electronic warfare equipment) fights strongly favor short range, except for capital missiles with bearings-only launch.  But it's quite delicate---active probes cancel all smallcraft and 2 large craft ECM bubbles.   Thus, a small number of ASF mounting active probes are essentially required for warships in a world with ECM.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 24 December 2018, 19:47:27
If multifire AMS is used effectively then nukes are just a money pit.The physics works out.  25g (=50 thrust missile) for 60 seconds makes the closing velocity 15000 m/s.  If half the mass  of a killer whale is left at closing, I get 672 kilotons of tnt equivalent which is certainly in the nuclear range.   As a plus, no radiation problems are left from a kinetic hit.I'll take 'effective' as there aren't many competitors, but can you pin down what seems inelegant?
With individual weapons, NAC/35 and NAC/40 are obsolete in the presence of a Gauss rifle which has more range and far more damage / ton with the standard rules.

More generally, if you allow standard weapons at 10:1, it seems like a general recipe for success is to make a nose fighter out of big honking weapons such as an AC/20, up-engine the warship and conduct high speed passes until the enemy is destroyed.  You don't get a bonus to hit of -2 from capital-long and capital-extreme weapons, but the damage output disparity (maybe 3:1 after accounting for fire control issues) is so great that the advantage remains with the standard weapon warship.ECM makes pre-active probe (or pre-electronic warfare equipment) fights strongly favor short range, except for capital missiles with bearings-only launch.  But it's quite delicate---active probes cancel all smallcraft and 2 large craft ECM bubbles.   Thus, a small number of ASF mounting active probes are essentially required for warships in a world with ECM.

1.)  That fits what I was thinking about the speeds these things move at - energy contents are at nuclear levels.

2.)  Probably better therefore to just eliminate the super-powerful nuke rules, and let missiles hit, than use infinite-firing-chance AMS and eliminate a class of weapons.

3.)  I find the idea that 1000 fighters doing 99 damage each are meaningless and 1000 figters doing 100 damage each do 1000 damage between them and are an all-destroying force inelegant.  Maybe Im just simple-minded, but making capital ships immune to standard weapons (and taking 1 damage from ASMs) seems to solve most of my problems.

4.)  Given the -massive- impact of BAPs in countering warship ECM, combind with the massive impact of that warship ECM - its such a hard off/on digital flip.  I think that sooner or later you would put tiny drone controlled disposable ‘fighters’ (sensor drones) on every warship in sufficient quantities to see you through the fight.  Id just leave the ECM rules at home and have one less complication, where that complication doesnt seem to add much.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 24 December 2018, 20:38:41
There is no such thing as a radiation problem in space.
It's already pretty much radioactive.
If we want anywhere close to realistic parameters, it becomes a game of not being hit, and an entirely different game, so we'll have to live with not having that.
I do agree that we'd need a solution that is gradual. Softcaps, probabilities, etc..
Special rules always leave holes.
In the end, I think that every combat unit needs to be able to deal sustained damage to every other co,bat unit, for otherwise it will be ignored and might as well not exist. I also think that a warship shouldn't have a significantly easier time of killing a dropship than it has under the existing rules.
...  One you start looking at squadron or fleet level battle, your crippling or killing one or more ships a round, even at maximum range, with that sort of firepower.
So once we're at the point where whole ships are blown away by damage alone, what is the issue with crits?
Going for crits means spreading fire, and while that may on average reduce enemy firepower more, in my experience most players of just about every game prefer reliability.
Quote
You'll only use this option at short range, so I expect it's roughly equivalent to what you laid out.
It's close enough. Basically I want precision fire to be the only way for fighters (not dropships) to deal damage to undamaged capital armour.
The low hit chance would reduce the damage notably, but highly skilled pilots would get a good enough roll to make it desirable to remove them, and it feels more elegant than a hard cutoff. It also allows dropships to still exist with their larger banks of weapons and better electronics, and means jumpships are at risk due to usually not performing evasive maneuvers.
If we go the stochastic direction for AMS, why not for fighter offence, as well?

Also, I'd like to suggest fighters to be limited to either firing their onboard weapons or carried capitals, in a given round.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 24 December 2018, 22:25:23
Whether one focuses fire to kill ships or spreads fire to suppress enemy firepower is a tactical decision - and probably a more situational one than we can address here.

Ive got a set of HR’s I can live with out of this, which I think solves my problems:

1.)  Standard Weapons cant hurt capital armor (they impact capital IS at 10:1)
  -  fighters and droppers can still fight each other
  -  fighters arent a threat to warships without special munitions, unless
  -  ships have exposed facings, in which case fighters are deadly.
  (This makes fighters part of a combat team)
2.)  ASMs impact capital armor for 1 damage.
  -  Lets fighters in large numbers threaten warships - but they arent a go to weapon here.
3.)  No nukes
  -  As discussed, these things are already at nuclear levels of energy.  And getting rid of super-special-game-breaking nukes cuts down on table flipping.
4.)  AMS/Small Lasers/Etc. Cant shoot down capital-scale missiles
  -  Or for that matter Subcap missiles, or ASMs.  Since we dont have supernukes, hits are allowable.  As discussed, capital missiles are iffy weapons -anyway-
5.)  Individual Weapon Ranges
  -  Because otherwise so many weapons dont make sense.
6.)  Capital ships ignore capital ECM.
  -  Because otherwise we suicide 1 BAP-equipped fighter a turn every turn as it charges into range to get the same effect.  And if we cant do that, McKenna never got built.

And at my home table:
1.)  Drop Collar costs are lower than listed.
2.)  Dropship cost multipliers are lower than listed.

Good enough for me.  Dont expect anyone else to buy in, but it gives me what I percieve to he an environment that allos for existing ships, and additional strategies, without having a single ‘I win’ approach.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 24 December 2018, 23:12:30
2.)  Probably better therefore to just eliminate the super-powerful nuke rules, and let missiles hit, than use infinite-firing-chance AMS and eliminate a class of weapons.
I think nukes are there because Battletech is set in the "Future", and we have nukes in the present so nukes should be present in the future.  With that said, it does seem that nukes could be toned down at capital scale from the viewpoint of physics.   A Peacemaker (500KTon) Killer Whale-N maybe just does double damage.   The top end US nuclear stockpile is presently a 1.2Mton warhead that weighs ~1 ton and would presumably do ~12 capital damage when mounted on a Killer Whale.  The US stockpile used to contain a 4 ton warhead that produced a 9Mton explosion which would translate linearly to 64 capital damage.
3.)  I find the idea that 1000 fighters doing 99 damage each are meaningless and 1000 figters doing 100 damage each do 1000 damage between them and are an all-destroying force inelegant. 
It's not that simple, because it's about damage received on a facing, not damage delivered.  There is uncertainty in both whether and where a fighter hits which makes incremental changes in fighter tech have incremental impact on capital damage delivered.  Also, tactics matter---it's much easier to deliver the requisite damage to the aft or nose facings.
Maybe Im just simple-minded, but making capital ships immune to standard weapons (and taking 1 damage from ASMs) seems to solve most of my problems.
I'd have to agree, I guess.  And, I don't think you need to play with ASMs if you don't play with advanced point defense.
4.)  Given the -massive- impact of BAPs in countering warship ECM, combind with the massive impact of that warship ECM - its such a hard off/on digital flip.  I think that sooner or later you would put tiny drone controlled disposable ‘fighters’ (sensor drones) on every warship in sufficient quantities to see you through the fight.  Id just leave the ECM rules at home and have one less complication, where that complication doesnt seem to add much.
It certainly adds somewhat to tactical complexity.  Is tactical complexity desirable or not in a game?  I could see it being interesting to some people and not to others.
In the end, I think that every combat unit needs to be able to deal sustained damage to every other co,bat unit, for otherwise it will be ignored and might as well not exist. I also think that a warship shouldn't have a significantly easier time of killing a dropship than it has under the existing rules.
Attempt 6 seems to be in the ballpark here.
It's close enough. Basically I want precision fire to be the only way for fighters (not dropships) to deal damage to undamaged capital armour.
The low hit chance would reduce the damage notably, but highly skilled pilots would get a good enough roll to make it desirable to remove them, and it feels more elegant than a hard cutoff. It also allows dropships to still exist with their larger banks of weapons and better electronics, and means jumpships are at risk due to usually not performing evasive maneuvers.
If I understand right, your proposal is that damage stays at 10:1 (or even 5:1), but there is a +4 to hit penalty for standard weapons to cause damage on capital armor?
Also, I'd like to suggest fighters to be limited to either firing their onboard weapons or carried capitals, in a given round.
Why?

1.)  Standard Weapons cant hurt capital armor (they impact capital IS at 10:1)
Minor nitpick: because capital damage is divided by 2 when applied to structure, in the standard rules you need 15 damage to deal 1 to capital structure, 35 for 2, 55 for 3, etc...
4.)  AMS/Small Lasers/Etc. Cant shoot down capital-scale missiles
  -  Or for that matter Subcap missiles, or ASMs.  Since we dont have supernukes, hits are allowable.  As discussed, capital missiles are iffy weapons -anyway-
I'm cautious here.  Bearings-only launches with Waypoints seem quite frightening in terms of doing significant damage at extreme range, particularly with the Barracuda.  With ECM eliminated, the to-hit at extreme range for HNPPCs is 11=4(base)+6(extreme)+2(Side)+2(Evasion)-3(Bracketing Fire), so damage inflicted is 3.3% of potential.  On the other hand, Barracudas are hitting with 6=4(base)+2(Side)+2(Evasion)-2(Barracuda), so damage inflicted is 72% of potential with more arcs and the potential for over-the-horizon shots.  This seems like a new category killer.  My rough design suggests a 600Kton warship can send 285 Barracudas downrange while present a side arc, doing 412 expected capital damage.  As far as I can tell, the Barracuda's damage output dominates at _all_ ranges for the 10 rounds of fire it can sustain, and the 10 rounds of fire is more than adequate to destroy 3x it's own weight in warship, even at extreme range, and even through LFC armor. 

In general, I think rule 1 gives you lots of mileage.  You can eliminate rules 2, 3, 4, and 6 with the game staying intact.  (Yes, Nuke proof implies missile proof, nerfing a class of weapons.  That's ok compared to the current situation which nerfs all strategies other than fighter carriers.).  Rule 5 isn't a house rule.  Rule 4 seems deeply imbalancing. 
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 24 December 2018, 23:38:14
Hmm.  A few notes:

If were using individual weapon ranges, Barracudas dont get +2 to hit - they just have an unusually long short rangeband (and as a result, longer medium and long bands).  So that cuts your expected damage - though that double sized short band does make putting the target ‘in the basket’ for short range a lot easier.  Theres also going to be guesswork for the attacker, and the need to dodge missiles may drive ship thrust levels up...  for all of that said, Id be equally comfortable with a stochastic, ‘each AMS shot has a 1 in N’ chance of killing a missile style defense, if convinced that its needed to prevent CG dominance.  I dont want any strategy to be dominant.

As for nukes.... Im more of the ‘this is the future, nukes were a long time ago’ school.  I like the idea that nuclear weapons are trivial compared to the weapons these ships mount, and find it cooler than waiting for someone to press the Shiny Red Button amd flip the board.

As for ECM and BAPs... I just dont see ‘I send in a sacrifical BAP equipped fighter every turn’ as being tactically interesting?  Maybe that way lies a cool, deep game of fighter vs fighter backed up by dropship v dropship backed up by warship v warship, and Ive not thought it through.

And I went with the 1 damage ASMs because by my math, the full damage ASM takes is back to the all destroying fighter swarm.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 25 December 2018, 01:39:10
If were using individual weapon ranges, Barracudas dont get +2 to hit - they just have an unusually long short rangeband (and as a result, longer medium and long bands). 
Good point, I'd missed this.
So that cuts your expected damage - though that double sized short band does make putting the target ‘in the basket’ for short range a lot easier.  Theres also going to be guesswork for the attacker, and the need to dodge missiles may drive ship thrust levels up... 
A warship needs an unrealistically high speed to dodge the Barracuda short range band.   Let's shift the BC warship to use a nose aspect so 7 arcs can be brought to bear through waypoints, each with 63 BCs.  Let's launch the BCs at range 60 and set the designation range to be 50 hexes away.   The enemy warship is completely out of range so the best it can do is evade.  There is no way it can generate 10 thrust to escape the BCs short range band, so it will be hit.  The best modifier possible without ECM is 8 (=4(base)+2(side)+2(evasion))  so 184 BCs are expected to hit doing an expected 368 damage.  As a consequence it takes <4 hits to kill, even with LFC armor and a single missileer can kill ~2.5x it's weight in enemy warships before running dry, potentially without taking any return fire.  Killer Whales are somewhat more damage efficient, so we can potentially use them to kill 3.4x our weight in enemy warships for the cost of somewhat more difficult firing solutions.
for all of that said, Id be equally comfortable with a stochastic, ‘each AMS shot has a 1 in N’ chance of killing a missile style defense, if convinced that its needed to prevent CG dominance.  I dont want any strategy to be dominant.
The stochasticity makes sense on a realism basis and monbvol wants to see that as well.
As for nukes.... Im more of the ‘this is the future, nukes were a long time ago’ school.  I like the idea that nuclear weapons are trivial compared to the weapons these ships mount, and find it cooler than waiting for someone to press the Shiny Red Button amd flip the board.

And I went with the 1 damage ASMs because by my math, the full damage ASM takes is back to the all destroying fighter swarm.
It's a 3-for-0 in my mind.  If you keep multifire AMS, then you can keep nukes and full power ASMs in the game. 

On a "realism" basis (as opposed to a "balance" basis), I believe that ASMs do to much damage and have way to much armor.   

Also, nukes, as stated, seem to do to much damage in comparison to the missile itself which could be fixed by either reducing nuke damage (potentially to 0 additional) or by increasing the yield.
As for ECM and BAPs... I just dont see ‘I send in a sacrifical BAP equipped fighter every turn’ as being tactically interesting?  Maybe that way lies a cool, deep game of fighter vs fighter backed up by dropship v dropship backed up by warship v warship, and Ive not thought it through.
Suddenly you want to have screening elements in a manner that did not exist previously.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 25 December 2018, 07:30:57
  Is tactical complexity desirable or not in a game?
It always is, that's the whole point of this discussion. Create choices for the players, allow them to react. Realism doesn't quite work with that without creating an entirely new system that wouldn't quite be fun either.
If I understand right, your proposal is that damage stays at 10:1 (or even 5:1), but there is a +4 to hit penalty for standard weapons to cause damage on capital armor?
...
Why?
Essentially. What conversion is used for damage could me modified to fit balance, I think even a 20:1 would work well for that. The reason I originally suggested lower penalties at longer range was basically just a play to allow longer ranged shots at even lower odds. I figured we already have probabilistic hit chances, and low odds would mean low average damage while still allowing some danger.
In our recently deceased game, I remember we had no capital damage from fighters, and I thought about it long and hard and came to the conclusion that in that environment, fighters are worth neither my budget nor my attention. That said, I think screen launchers would need to be nerfed as well if fighters are rebalanced.
...
The idea behind that was as follows: Fighters, usually, have small arms installed and carry a missile. Said small arms can and will be used to defend against incoming capital missiles. If they can only use one or the other, that creates a moment of vulnerability when they fire on their primary target.
MAD, if you will. I guess it would make more sense to limit their forward arcs to one target on the capital scale, with other fighters or incoming barracudas being a secondary you can't properly target - or at least at a significant penalty, which is a rule I believe is in the game, but I'm not sure it extends to point defence.

Regarding ECM, I think we absolutely should have that in the game.
Maybe it's a bit strong, maybe it's too easy to circumvent entirely with Active Probes, but ECM is a significant part of the 'tactical landscape'.
It gives us the Battlespace equivalent of terrain.
You can hide ships behind the ECM bubble of other ships, thus forcing an opponent to remove those first or take worse odds.

Lastly, I think if we're at the point where we create significant house rules, we need to take a look at construction in general.
There is no reason apparent to me why a warship would not carry the maximum amount of capital armour it can, while that is common place for ground units in the same system.
There is no reason to create small ships if you can build large ones, unless you need a minimum amount of hulls for entirely non-combat reasons.
The whole space ruleset to me looks like a second thought, and I think that's mostly because it was.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 25 December 2018, 10:59:00
Hitting with Bearings Only Launched Missiles:

Im working the math.  If your firing Barracuda, set at short range, youve got a 20" equilateral triangle 'basket', measured from the nose of your missile.  Your shooting one turn blind if within 50mu of the target hex at the time of launch.

So, on turn 1, you know where your opponent will be on Turn 2, IF he does not maneuver.  You can place your opponent at the center of your 20" equilateral triangle 'basket'.  A point at the dead center of such a basket is at most 5" from the nearest edge...

So it looks like you can dead-eye a 3/5 warship every time, if your using a barracuda.  In fact, you wont use anything BUT Barracudas.. the slightly increased damage efficiency isn't worth having to set the range basket to medium.

THN for missiles is gonna be at most 8 in that basket, if ECM isnt a factor (and since weapons fire is simultaneous, and after movement, I don't see a way to avoid ECM always being reduced to zero by brave little boys and girls with BAPs and a death wish).   That may still be too good.. its 40% hits, and missiles are bad, but they arent ~that~ bad.

It really balances better with WS and KW, I think.  The much smaller short range basket makes you either have to set the range gate to medium, or you accept some salvos are going to be wasted.

How would you set up your stochastic point defense to make it playable at the table, if you had salvos of 100s of missiles inbound on a side?  For that matter, how much are you planning on mounting at all?  Your 600KT ship with its 400 missile launch inbound - how much AMS/PDS did you figure the target would mount?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 25 December 2018, 11:32:38
The difficulty with using a probability system is that we're still talking about a tabletop.
We're not playing much at a table, and if I ever did I'd use a computer, but we still need to think about a system that works on a table.
We'd need to have a chance to intercept missiles, which rises with point defense, but may only reach 100% with very high amounts of that and a very small inbound salvo.
The chance would turn into the equivalent of a cluster hits roll in larger games, with bonuses for both the amount of inbound missiles and the number of defending ships - but ultimately, one turn of defensive fire would still be a large roll for all defenders combined, or maybe staggered by means of inheriting modifiers. There would never be a guarantee to shoot down all incoming missiles until such a point where rounding even with a 3d6 isn't feasible anymore.
In the ballpark of 40 MGs for a single, lone KW.
I think mathematically, this is quite the interesting conundrum.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 25 December 2018, 13:33:46
Essentially. What conversion is used for damage could me modified to fit balance, I think even a 20:1 would work well for that.
I don't think it works---the ASF can still inflict to much damage even with regular pilots.

Consider: 10=4(short)+4(capital armor)+0(ECM)+2(evasion) attacking the aft arc from the same hex giving a 1-in-6 chance of hitting.  A 5/8 ASF could have 15 forward facing medium lasers that will commonly hit 2.5 times and cause 1+ capital damage (remember you round normally).   1+ capital damage/ASF/round is to much.  Screwing with the conversion factor alone has deleterious effects as per attempt 3.  Attempt 6 avoids this by only screwing with the conversion factor in one direction which you could do here.  10 standard for 1 capital might leaves regular pilots still commonly hitting with AoW/3025 tech.  With 15 or 20 standard damage, the optimal strategy is probably a double AC/20 ASF which would do 1 capital damage/round.  However, a smallcraft could use a weapons bay to hit the 15 or 20 threshold quite regularly.  The high end of damage for a smallcraft is about 90 capital damage/round so if you want the capital damage for regular crews to be less than 1-in-3, you need a threshold of 40 or so which makes even an elite pilot on an ASF have difficulty at this tech level.   Maybe that works?
The idea behind that was as follows: Fighters, usually, have small arms installed and carry a missile. Said small arms can and will be used to defend against incoming capital missiles. If they can only use one or the other, that creates a moment of vulnerability when they fire on their primary target.
It seems ok, but it's not addressing a problem?
There is no reason apparent to me why a warship would not carry the maximum amount of capital armour it can, while that is common place for ground units in the same system.
If we use a 100:1 standard:capital ratio as per attempt 6, it seems quite logical to allow a factor of 10 more armor (by tonnage) on warships but not change the amount of capital armor allowed.   This would decrease free tonnage slightly and greatly increase the cost of armor so that LFC is no longer a no-brainer.
There is no reason to create small ships if you can build large ones, unless you need a minimum amount of hulls for entirely non-combat reasons.
While I agree, it seems worth pointing out that you wanted two hulls to take advantage of ECM  :)  There are also plenty of different roles for warships, some of which don't really require firepower.
The whole space ruleset to me looks like a second thought, and I think that's mostly because it was.
The current rules seem way better than the older rules so that's something...

Im working the math.  If your firing Barracuda, set at short range, youve got a 20" equilateral triangle 'basket', measured from the nose of your missile.  Your shooting one turn blind if within 50mu of the target hex at the time of launch.
Which notably means that you can hit something beyond range 50 since the target can be beyond the designated hex.
So, on turn 1, you know where your opponent will be on Turn 2, IF he does not maneuver.  You can place your opponent at the center of your 20" equilateral triangle 'basket'.  A point at the dead center of such a basket is at most 5" from the nearest edge...
The exact formula (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equilateral_triangle) seems to be 5.77".
It really balances better with WS and KW, I think.  The much smaller short range basket makes you either have to set the range gate to medium, or you accept some salvos are going to be wasted.
Can you abort misprogrammed bearings-only launches?  I don't see why not on a logical basis.  Given this, it's just a matter of trying again.
How would you set up your stochastic point defense to make it playable at the table, if you had salvos of 100s of missiles inbound on a side?  For that matter, how much are you planning on mounting at all?  Your 600KT ship with its 400 missile launch inbound - how much AMS/PDS did you figure the target would mount?
I'd assume you go up to maybe 320 small lasers and then start using Smallcraft/ASF to further enhance point defense.

As far as stochastic rules... maybe point defense = 4 * capital damage generates a 50% chance to kill the capital missile (or a flight from a capital missile bay).  Multiple 50% chances to kill the same capital missile(s) are possible, but all point defense must be designated against incoming capital missile (flights) before rolls to kill the capital missiles are made.    These rules imply that point defense is about as effective in expectation as the current rules in the limit of to many missiles.  They also imply that getting every single missile implies overkill is needed by a factor of log(#missile flights) + log (1/probability something gets through anyways).  This rule means that the number of defensive rolls is never much larger than the number of offensive rolls.

I also thought about multifire AMS.  I think the primary objection is that it's super unrealistic to shoot at 400 missiles in a 60 second window consuming 33 tons of ammunition.  As a comparison point, I'd estimate a Phalanx (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalanx_CIWS) (a 6 ton system) as burning through .35 ton with 60 seconds of continuous fire.  If multifire AMS was limited to 6 shots it would seem more reasonable, and that's how often it can fire in a ground game over a minute.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 25 December 2018, 15:07:32
You cannot, in the rules, abort and retarget misanned launches launches.

Once we go beyond 50 hexes, we add an additional turn of uncertainty to the targets position - beyond 100, two turns, etc.  Obviously, everything depends on hiw deep your ammo supply is and how agile your target, but Id think very very hard and want to be very certain of my math before I start burning ammo against a more than one turns possible manuvers.  Two turns gives you 15” of uncertainty in the final position of a 3/5 ship....

Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 25 December 2018, 16:28:50
You cannot, in the rules, abort and retarget misanned launches launches.
The editor's intention seems ambiguous enough that I opened a question here (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63860.0).
Once we go beyond 50 hexes, we add an additional turn of uncertainty to the targets position
My understanding is that this is not quite right.  The designated hex must be within 50 hexes, and the targets position must be within the designated range band from the designated position.  Hence, if the designated range band is short on a Barracuda, you could theoretically hit a target 70 hexes away without additional delay.   That risks the target escaping to 71 hexes though, so instead firing from 60 hexes and setting the designated hex to be 50 hexes from the firing warship and 10 hexes from the target seems about right.
- beyond 100, two turns, etc.  Obviously, everything depends on hiw deep your ammo supply is and how agile your target, but Id think very very hard and want to be very certain of my math before I start burning ammo against a more than one turns possible manuvers.  Two turns gives you 15” of uncertainty in the final position of a 3/5 ship....
Against space stations & jump ships it seems possible to attack from very far away, particularly against an unsuspecting opponent.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 25 December 2018, 18:49:09
I don't think it works---the ASF can still inflict to much damage even with regular pilots.
...
We are free to modify the numbers.
Does 2/3/4/5 + half ECM effect sound better?
There is a difference in approach, though: You always go by the single fighter, while I usually think in squadrons.
At 20:1, I'd have calculated a whatever% chance to deal 23 capital damage with a 6 bird squadron armed only with medium lasers.
Those fighters will need a notable amount of heatsinks, reducing their speed/armour values to the point where it's more feasible to take them out with subcaps or banks of standard weapons, or barracudas, while robbing them of any potential to mount point defense to defend against the latter or help their parent carrier. It seems to me that such a fighter force would be exceptionally vulnerable to missile cruisers.
All in all, this seems rather acceptable to me.
At longer ranges, fighters have one attack, then unless the carriers house extra pilots efficiency will drop.
If they start disembarking the fighters while the enemy approaches, said enemy can just reverse and break, as, as you said, a large fighter force will take a while to disembark - in a prolonged chase, some fighters might run out of fuel to return. Chasing an enemy while performing evasive maneuvers will exasperate these potential issues.
In a furball, with warships dancing around each other trading blows, fighters can only really choose their facing if they burn with them, costing yet more fuel.
... Quick interlude: Now that I think about it, a hangar is essentially a large, open space. A ship consisting mostly of hangar decks should actually have more vulnerable internals. ...
I am ok with minimum thresholds as well, but I still don' think they are elegant. They are, however, befitting of a tabletop.
An option for large scale engagements would be the approach Alsadius used, with weapons dealing less damage against far stronger armour - that would be an elegant solution, but it might be difficult to implement.
Quote
If we use a 100:1 standard:capital ratio as per attempt 6, it seems quite logical to allow a factor of 10 more armor (by tonnage) on warships but not change the amount of capital armor allowed.   This would decrease free tonnage slightly and greatly increase the cost of armor so that LFC is no longer a no-brainer.
Ah, so you actually want to not touch the conversion, but the raw damage of capitals and the armour those ships mount.
That's eminently agreeable (because more or less the same), and would neatly take care of that problem.
Then we'd only need to do the same for heatsinks (which also simulate power supply), and then possibly grant some free max armour or structure to ships  to grant small frigates a cost efficiency bonus.
Speaking of warship design: I think corner posting is a tad bit too efficient - all ships end up somewhat the same.
If designers were forced to mix weapons on arcs, and thus pay for larger fire control penalties, we'd have less excessive point defense, and less reason to reign it in. Of course, it's kind of needed with fighters carrying capital grade missiles.

Regarding nukes, I like their existence. I disagree with their power, though.
If I remember the discussions from newtonian aurora right, nukes have a very limited effect, courtesy of their cubic drop in effect over distance, but a strong warhead could at least threaten a ship at 200m or so.
So maybe nukes would have less excessive damage, but allow to transfer some damage more easily?
I'm a fan of tac-ops rules like the glancing blow, and in the same vein, nukes could have something akin to a "near miss":
A bonus to hit, with standard or slightly larger damage, and damage based on a margin of success. Thus, a nuke would, in the absence of point defence, deal relatively large damage, but it'd at best reach the effect of a small bay of standard missiles, at a significantly higher cost and a political impact one might like to avoid.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 25 December 2018, 22:08:03
What are the minimal easy houserules required to make naval combat interesting?  This is something I've been debating with marcussmythe in relationship to the warship design challenge (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=61764.0).  I'm curious about other's take as well. 

snip


Sorry, I'm confused. Are you complaining about Fighters being dangerous to ships, and for ships mounting a lot of small scale weaponry compared to capital scale? I know Aerospace has problems but I'm not seeing these as problems. Fighters have ruled the waves since WWII and smaller weapons have outnumbered larger ones since people started arming ships. So what am I missing?






Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 25 December 2018, 22:27:07

Sorry, I'm confused. Are you complaining about Fighters being dangerous to ships, and for ships mounting a lot of small scale weaponry compared to capital scale? I know Aerospace has problems but I'm not seeing these as problems. Fighters have ruled the waves since WWII and smaller weapons have outnumbered larger ones since people started arming ships. So what am I missing?

What you are missing is the existence of in-universe big gun ships, and in-universe big guns. 

The observed problem is that the rules we are given dont result in big gun ships, or even the existence of big guns.  They result in a pure carrier environment.  While that happened historically, with the carrier displacing the big-gun battleship for good reasons, nothing in the BTU published history matches that.  The ships that they built dont match that.  And frankly, a game environment with ‘one right answer’ isnt very much fun - so this conversation happens.

(Its actually a bit worse than that.  Not only are carriers the ‘one true way’, even if they are reined in to the point that ‘build CV or BB’ becomes an interesting question, were left with a second problem design, the Missile Ship.  Missile ship performance varys insanely based on exactly which optional rules you use - bearings only launches turn them into the hammer of the gods, and a few seconds later you realise that mtifire AMS makes them not just ‘bad’ but ‘utterly worthless’)

So what were trying to do is find the minimum rules (house rules plus some but not all optional rules) that give the most interesting, and varied, play environment, with tactical richness and decision making.

Discovering that pure carriers (which dont get built in setting) and pure missile arsenal ships (same) are RAW amazingly better than the things that were actually -built- in the setting is like sitting down and realizing that if you actually apply the RAW, the best ground unit in battletech is a LAM kicking people in the head in airmech mode following up with machine guns.  If the rules say that this the best answer, then the rules need to be changed - cause I dont wanna play that game (any more than I want to play a space game with ONLY carriers or ONLY missile boats or ONLY NAC boats or ONLY capships with broadsides if 1000s of Clan ERLLas.)

Make sense?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 25 December 2018, 23:29:41
To clarify a little more aircraft since WWII are dangerous to anything about cruiser size up due to having external ordinance and are under threat of return fire to deliver said ordinance.  Destroyers there are incidents where lucky .50 cal hits touched off something and sent them to the bottom that way but it was not because applying enough .50 cal fire would work.

Even in the modern missile environment aircraft still are at risk of taking hits and modern defense systems can be overwhelmed but to do so takes a fair amount of effort that most nations can't afford and even the ones that can will likely sustain loss rates that make it difficult to pull off repeatedly.

Now yes what rules are in place for a given match do drastically change the power of Warships but ASFs are still very potent threats no matter what to the extent that you're at a disadvantage even bringing a Warship to a fight if the enemy has enough ASFs and for me the number that constitutes enough is surprisingly low as things stand now.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 26 December 2018, 04:04:46
What you are missing is the existence of in-universe big gun ships, and in-universe big guns. 

The observed problem is that the rules we are given dont result in big gun ships, or even the existence of big guns.  They result in a pure carrier environment.  While that happened historically, with the carrier displacing the big-gun battleship for good reasons, nothing in the BTU published history matches that.  The ships that they built dont match that.  And frankly, a game environment with ‘one right answer’ isnt very much fun - so this conversation happens.

(Its actually a bit worse than that.  Not only are carriers the ‘one true way’, even if they are reined in to the point that ‘build CV or BB’ becomes an interesting question, were left with a second problem design, the Missile Ship.  Missile ship performance varys insanely based on exactly which optional rules you use - bearings only launches turn them into the hammer of the gods, and a few seconds later you realise that mtifire AMS makes them not just ‘bad’ but ‘utterly worthless’)

So what were trying to do is find the minimum rules (house rules plus some but not all optional rules) that give the most interesting, and varied, play environment, with tactical richness and decision making.

Discovering that pure carriers (which dont get built in setting) and pure missile arsenal ships (same) are RAW amazingly better than the things that were actually -built- in the setting is like sitting down and realizing that if you actually apply the RAW, the best ground unit in battletech is a LAM kicking people in the head in airmech mode following up with machine guns.  If the rules say that this the best answer, then the rules need to be changed - cause I dont wanna play that game (any more than I want to play a space game with ONLY carriers or ONLY missile boats or ONLY NAC boats or ONLY capships with broadsides if 1000s of Clan ERLLas.)

Make sense?

I can understand wanting to use a variety of ships. However, since Battletech history contains WWII I'm not sure why carriers and missile boats wouldn't continue to be produced more. I'm also not sure why you couldn't build a gunship in you wanted. I wouldn't call capital scale weapons light. But it has been a while since I tried to build a spaceship. But I do know you can mount more than just Naval Autocannons in a broadside.


To clarify a little more aircraft since WWII are dangerous to anything about cruiser size up due to having external ordinance and are under threat of return fire to deliver said ordinance.  Destroyers there are incidents where lucky .50 cal hits touched off something and sent them to the bottom that way but it was not because applying enough .50 cal fire would work.

Even in the modern missile environment aircraft still are at risk of taking hits and modern defense systems can be overwhelmed but to do so takes a fair amount of effort that most nations can't afford and even the ones that can will likely sustain loss rates that make it difficult to pull off repeatedly.

Now yes what rules are in place for a given match do drastically change the power of Warships but ASFs are still very potent threats no matter what to the extent that you're at a disadvantage even bringing a Warship to a fight if the enemy has enough ASFs and for me the number that constitutes enough is surprisingly low as things stand now.

This makes a bit more sense but while .50 cal machine guns wouldn't sink a Battleship they would kill off AA crew, get through windows/view ports, possibly some hatches, and knock out antennas and dishes. I see the same thing happening now only with lasers and ACs. And yes its the external ordnance that does most of the damage, then and now, but capital ships can still shoot back at the fighters. So I guess I'm still missing the problem. Sorry.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 26 December 2018, 06:13:16
No, capital weapons are not light. They are, however, weak at their actual job. Standard weapons deal far more damage, and fighters are very hard to hit with large weapons. So yes, you can build ships with guns. But you could also drill a hole in your leg and fill it with milk.
The only reason that capital weapons work in the setting is
A) No one actually built a 100-squadron carrier, and
B) Battletech canon ships are armoured with used toilet paper, allowing capital weapons to crit through armour due to aerospace rules.

Coming to the real world analogy: Fighters, on earth, operate in an entirely different medium; They fly.
And actual space combat would contain few humans, if any, so maybe realism isn't what we're going for.
Though I don't share the same fear of fighters some others here exhibit, I agree they are too strong, given the insane cost of warships.
And drop collars, so dropships barely get used, either.
In the modern day, with just dropships and fighters and the few warships being essentially mobile jumpships, that problem ceases to be, but if we aim to recreate the heyday of the age of war or star league, one can't help but wonder if what actually happens is completely removed from what canonically happened in the setting.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 26 December 2018, 16:51:59
I put up attempt 8: standard scale damage does not affect capital armor.   This is by far the simplest rule although it is unable to explain Miraborg's ram. 

Attempt 6 hasn't been fully shot down, but it does seem odd to have capital structure be significantly more resistant to standard damage than capital armor.

It seems like we are chronically running into "realism" issues as well as balance issues (Nukes, ASM damage, multifire AMS, deterministic point defense, etc....) which seem less important but potentially interesting to address.  Any comments on the stochastic point defense and finite multifire AMS (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1468890#msg1468890) proposal (near the bottom)?

W.r.t ASMs, the closest comparator is the Piranha subcapital missile which is introduced one year later, on the same techbase, has the same range, same cost, and does the same damage.   The only advantage of the piranha is a -1 to hit.  The piranha weights 10 tons while the ASM weighs 2 tons which is rather incongruous.   The simplest fix is to just increase the mass of ASMs. 

I'm not going to touch nukes for the moment (maybe later). 

We are free to modify the numbers.
Does 2/3/4/5 + half ECM effect sound better?
I'm worried that no number will work well, because it's possible to get a -4 modifier to hit (targeting computer + VSP lasers) which overwhelms the 2 difference in gunnery between elite and regular ASF. 
It seems to me that such a fighter force would be exceptionally vulnerable to missile cruisers.
Consider something like the following:
Code: [Select]
Bruiser ASF
Tech Rating: D/X-X-X-D 
Weight: 100 tons
BV: 2,055
Cost: 6,191,250 C-bills 
Movement: 5/8
Engine: 300
Heat Sinks: 14
Fuel Points: 400/400 (5.0 tons) 
Structural Integrity: 10
Armor
Nose:125
Left Wing: 104
Right Wing: 104
Aft: 83

Weapons Loc Heat
2x AC/20 NOS 14
3x Small Laser NOS 3
5x Small Laser RWG 5
5x Small Laser LWG 5
5x Small Laser Aft 5

Ammo Loc Shots
AC/20 Ammo NOS 30
This would inflict 20 point chunks of damage fairly easily and be pretty capable in an alternate roles as a point defense fighter.  The design is also super robust with 26 tons of standard armor, faster than most warships, and some significant tail weapons for a dogfight.
If they start disembarking the fighters while the enemy approaches, said enemy can just reverse and break, as, as you said, a large fighter force will take a while to disembark - in a prolonged chase, some fighters might run out of fuel to return. Chasing an enemy while performing evasive maneuvers will exasperate these potential issues.
There is a practical upper limit to the number of fighters based on launch/recovery time, but since launch is much faster than recovery the launch is not the limiting factor.   Even if it takes 30 minutes to launch all fighters, the first fighter launched burns just 1.875 tons while maintaining thrust 5.  Notably, there is no need to get within range of an fleeing warships that the swarm is chasing---you can stay a little bit out of range and build the swarm, then once the swarm is complete begin an overtake. 
In a furball, with warships dancing around each other trading blows, fighters can only really choose their facing if they burn with them, costing yet more fuel.
Sure, but that seems ok.
An option for large scale engagements would be the approach Alsadius used, with weapons dealing less damage against far stronger armour - that would be an elegant solution, but it might be difficult to implement.
Right, that's the concern.
Then we'd only need to do the same for heatsinks (which also simulate power supply), and then possibly grant some free max armour or structure to ships  to grant small frigates a cost efficiency bonus.
I don't quite understand the heat sink issue?
Speaking of warship design: I think corner posting is a tad bit too efficient - all ships end up somewhat the same.
I'm less sure of this.  There are also good reasons to consider 3 corner, 2 corner, and 1 corner designs.  3 corners are good for sniping because you can keep 1 arc on an opponent no matter whether they approach or flee.  2 corner designs can provide concentrated firepower via ECHO.  1 corner designs are great for high speed engagement based designs.
Regarding nukes, I like their existence. I disagree with their power, though.
If I remember the discussions from newtonian aurora right, nukes have a very limited effect, courtesy of their cubic drop in effect over distance, but a strong warhead could at least threaten a ship at 200m or so.
In general, the energy transfer of a nuke should drop like the square of the distance.   Typically, damage is nonlinear in energy transfer, but exactly how much is unclear.
So maybe nukes would have less excessive damage, but allow to transfer some damage more easily?
I'm a fan of tac-ops rules like the glancing blow, and in the same vein, nukes could have something akin to a "near miss":
A bonus to hit, with standard or slightly larger damage, and damage based on a margin of success. Thus, a nuke would, in the absence of point defence, deal relatively large damage, but it'd at best reach the effect of a small bay of standard missiles, at a significantly higher cost and a political impact one might like to avoid.
This sounds plausible.

Sorry, I'm confused. Are you complaining about Fighters being dangerous to ships, and for ships mounting a lot of small scale weaponry compared to capital scale? I know Aerospace has problems but I'm not seeing these as problems. Fighters have ruled the waves since WWII and smaller weapons have outnumbered larger ones since people started arming ships. So what am I missing?
I'm reiterating what others have said, but I did a review of primitive tech.  Starting with the primitive jumpship in 2100, carriers are overwhwhelmingly powerful with design.   The 2100 carrier would be 100 tons and have a 15 light year jump while carrying a regiment of smallcraft, each of which mounts a plethora of machine guns, making the ship immune to capital missiles (the only naval weapons) and capable of rapidly chewing through armor and structure.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 26 December 2018, 17:50:20
Any comments on the stochastic point defense and finite multifire AMS (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1468890#msg1468890) proposal (near the bottom)?
As I commented already, the system needs to somehow factor in the amount of ships. Multiple ships between the attacker and target should provide more efficient point defense than just one, aka we need diminishing returns both per ship and in total. All for it, but how can we implement that in a way that, on a table, requires no more than 2 dice? Well, or repeated dice rolls, but preferably not too many to bother.

Quote

...
This would inflict 20 point chunks of damage fairly easily and be pretty capable in an alternate roles as a point defense fighter.
 ...
Even if it takes 30 minutes to launch all fighters, the first fighter launched burns just 1.875 tons while maintaining thrust 5.  Notably, there is no need to get within range of an fleeing warships that the swarm is chasing---you can stay a little bit out of range and build the swarm, then once the swarm is complete begin an overtake.
Well, now we have a very slow fighter that probably can't carry a missile, with very short range. Can it even still evade if it attempts to close?
Starting to build the swarm would have to happen when the enemy is still inbound and expected to potentially arrive within ~31 minutes. If the closing speed is low, the attacking fleet can decelerate, trying to match the carriers speed. This means that the fighter force, once fully ready, still needs to spend some time actually burning towards the target, so I do actually see fuel as a concern, if a small one. I think minefields could be used efficiently in this scenario.
Again, I'm in no way arguing here that fighters aren't op, they are and they need to be brought in, but I think they provide more logistical challenges than you give them credit for. As such, I don't want to see them simply as missile carriers. I do think they should at the very least be able to exploit damaged, but not yet stripped capital armour, if at difficulty.
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I don't quite understand the heat sink issue?
In the same way that there is no reason to not go for max armour, there is no reason I'm aware of to not go for max heatsinks. Maybe 80%+ heatsinks on a min-maxed design carrying a heavy energy armament.
On a mech, there are bracket fire designs that are low on heatsinks in favour of maximising firepower in given range bands through specialized weaponry, or to mount necessary armour or a combination of heavy hitters and crit seekers. In canon, there's warships that only have enough heatsinks to fire two arcs. But that's silly, no one would build that.
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I'm less sure of this.  ...
Basically, what irks me is the 'heavy weapons in the corners / small weapons in the cardinal directions' (or the other way around) approach taken to it's logical extreme. If I can place 300 standard weapons on a facing with very little extra cost, and still bring 40 capital weapons to bear on the enemy with no extra cost, of course I will do that. Yes, I could also build a ship that has the entire side filled with heavy weapons and maybe some token point defense, and then have a dedicated flak ship, but why not build two min-maxed do-it-alls?
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... nukes ...
It's not quite as simple, but for our purpose, it actually might be.
I looked it up, and a nuke would miss the shockwave and heatwave that it has in atmosphere.
Basically, only around 15% of a nukes power in atmosphere comes from direct radiation.
The energy from that would largely fall of with the square of the distance, while the rest will sort of not exist outside a rather limited range, and then there's heat radiation that works like you would expect which doesn't propagate in atmosphere.
All that said, I'd rate nukes at about 20% power on a direct hit, and 15% power on a near miss, though that obviously means a lower base of calculation as distance is already involved.
So even from a realism viewpoint, which normally advise against, nukes could be brought down significantly.
Taking an existing 100 capital nuke, with no extra balancing, it might hit a little easier and deal between 10 and 20 damage. Not quite as worrying anymore.
Which actually seems about right - after all, NACs are driven by nuclear explosions.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 26 December 2018, 18:34:56
Ill note as an aside that many of the drivers for tactics we are starting to think about (detection ranges, resulting closing speeds, carrier launch rates and asf endurance, etc.) might well be fodder for an -excellent- operational level naval game, but are adressed inartfully, if at all, in the tactical scale game we have.


Further note:  “There are only so many doors” always seemed a troubling, left-handed attempt to solve the fighter issue, one based on an implausible rules artifact.  Its a game, there will be implausible rules artifacts (engine size scaling on standard combat units, anyone?) but I could just never wrap my head around ‘cutting more holes in the side of a ship, from which fighters may be thrown out’ as one that made sense - especially when, as weve seen, the effect of that constraint is pretty nebulous and hard to quantify.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 26 December 2018, 18:40:18
This makes a bit more sense but while .50 cal machine guns wouldn't sink a Battleship they would kill off AA crew, get through windows/view ports, possibly some hatches, and knock out antennas and dishes. I see the same thing happening now only with lasers and ACs. And yes its the external ordnance that does most of the damage, then and now, but capital ships can still shoot back at the fighters. So I guess I'm still missing the problem. Sorry.

Actually pretty much everything you list still happened almost exclusively due to external ordinance even on small vessels, not massed .50 cals.  Getting the kind of precision needed to actually even have a chance at what game rules would call a critical hit was just next to impossible given the distances and speeds involved even in the early days of WW2.

Under current rule sets though it isn't actually that hard to get ASFs packing enough integrated firepower, durability, and mobility that they can be very significant threats at much lower investments that are much more easily brought to bear because any Planet, Space Station, Warship, or Jumpship can easily be turned into a CV either by having the bays or by bringing Dropships that have the bays.

I do have to admit though as far as I can see there are three factors that do keep how asymmetrically powerful* ASFs are from being obvious:

1: A player really has to know how to use them, not just design them.

2: Most people abide by the rule of don't be a jerk.

3: Most people don't have the play space to let them shine.

*I do contend it is to the point that if all we used were the rules as written taken to their logical extent it raises serious questions about why anyone would willingly build Warships, even as dedicated CVs.

Ill note as an aside that many of the drivers for tactics we are starting to think about (detection ranges, resulting closing speeds, carrier launch rates and asf endurance, etc.) might well be fodder for an -excellent- operational level naval game, but are adressed inartfully, if at all, in the tactical scale game we have.


Further note:  “There are only so many doors” always seemed a troubling, left-handed attempt to solve the fighter issue, one based on an implausible rules artifact.  Its a game, there will be implausible rules artifacts (engine size scaling on standard combat units, anyone?) but I could just never wrap my head around ‘cutting more holes in the side of a ship, from which fighters may be thrown out’ as one that made sense - especially when, as weve seen, the effect of that constraint is pretty nebulous and hard to quantify.

It also doesn't help that the sensor detection rules we do have make it all but impossible to actually ambush a CV before it can get all of it's fighters out.  It is not hard to get multiple hours of notice an enemy is inbound making even the XTRO Boondoggles Enterprise able to get all it's ASFs out and formed up long before an opponent is in Extreme Capital Range.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 26 December 2018, 19:16:55
Actually pretty much everything you list still happened almost exclusively due to external ordinance even on small vessels, not massed .50 cals.  Getting the kind of precision needed to actually even have a chance at what game rules would call a critical hit was just next to impossible given the distances and speeds involved even in the early days of WW2.

Under current rule sets though it isn't actually that hard to get ASFs packing enough integrated firepower, durability, and mobility that they can be very significant threats at much lower investments that are much more easily brought to bear because any Planet, Space Station, Warship, or Jumpship can easily be turned into a CV either by having the bays or by bringing Dropships that have the bays.

I do have to admit though as far as I can see there are three factors that do keep how asymmetrically powerful* ASFs are from being obvious:

1: A player really has to know how to use them, not just design them.

2: Most people abide by the rule of don't be a jerk.

3: Most people don't have the play space to let them shine.

*I do contend it is to the point that if all we used were the rules as written taken to their logical extent it raises serious questions about why anyone would willingly build Warships, even as dedicated CVs.

It also doesn't help that the sensor detection rules we do have make it all but impossible to actually ambush a CV before it can get all of it's fighters out.  It is not hard to get multiple hours of notice an enemy is inbound making even the XTRO Boondoggles Enterprise able to get all it's ASFs out and formed up long before an opponent is in Extreme Capital Range.

Players (at least the sort I prefer to play with) very much abide by the rule of ‘dont be a jerk’.

Militaries, and Nations, on the other hand, do their buisness by avoiding anything like a fair fight and doing their level best to run the score up to 100-0 ASAP in the hopes the other team will go home.

My forlorn hope is that we can hammer out something that removes as many ‘jerk’ designs as possible, leaving only different, interesting choices.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 26 December 2018, 19:29:33
*nod*

I can't disagree there and I think some of it is the weirdness of how there is a simultanious disconnect between the setting and the table top game and the rules are written in such a way that it is a major chore to use the rules for anything other than the official setting.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 26 December 2018, 23:08:52
As I commented already, the system needs to somehow factor in the amount of ships. Multiple ships between the attacker and target should provide more efficient point defense than just one, aka we need diminishing returns both per ship and in total. All for it, but how can we implement that in a way that, on a table, requires no more than 2 dice? Well, or repeated dice rolls, but preferably not too many to bother.
An interesting challenge.   How about the following:

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 for passing through that hex.   Additional point defense may be applied in successive hexes.

The above requires no more rolls than before.  It's plausibly easier because point defense need only be declared on a hex-by-hex basis.  It also allows defense in depth to mean something since the nth layer does not allocate point defense to capital missiles killed by earlier layers.
Well, now we have a very slow fighter that probably can't carry a missile, with very short range. Can it even still evade if it attempts to close?
Most warships are 3/5 or slower, in which case 'yes'.
Starting to build the swarm would have to happen when the enemy is still inbound and expected to potentially arrive within ~31 minutes. If the closing speed is low, the attacking fleet can decelerate, trying to match the carriers speed. This means that the fighter force, once fully ready, still needs to spend some time actually burning towards the target, so I do actually see fuel as a concern, if a small one. I think minefields could be used efficiently in this scenario.
I agree that fuel is a concern.  If the enemy warship that you want to attack are fast enough, you really need to switch over to assault smallcraft.
Again, I'm in no way arguing here that fighters aren't op, they are and they need to be brought in, but I think they provide more logistical challenges than you give them credit for. As such, I don't want to see them simply as missile carriers. I do think they should at the very least be able to exploit damaged, but not yet stripped capital armour, if at difficulty.
Attempt 6 is in the ballpark for this, but it had the drawback that capital structure was nigh-immune to standard damage which doesn't seem right...
In the same way that there is no reason to not go for max armour, there is no reason I'm aware of to not go for max heatsinks. Maybe 80%+ heatsinks on a min-maxed design carrying a heavy energy armament.  On a mech, there are bracket fire designs that are low on heatsinks in favour of maximising firepower in given range bands through specialized weaponry, or to mount necessary armour or a combination of heavy hitters and crit seekers. In canon, there's warships that only have enough heatsinks to fire two arcs. But that's silly, no one would build that.
Thanks.  I'm mostly ambivalent here.  I agree that coping with heat(aka power) in battlemechs is a part of design in a way that isn't true with warships but it's not particularly high priority to me.
Basically, what irks me is the 'heavy weapons in the corners / small weapons in the cardinal directions' (or the other way around) approach taken to it's logical extreme. If I can place 300 standard weapons on a facing with very little extra cost, and still bring 40 capital weapons to bear on the enemy with no extra cost, of course I will do that. Yes, I could also build a ship that has the entire side filled with heavy weapons and maybe some token point defense, and then have a dedicated flak ship, but why not build two min-maxed do-it-alls?
I'm still a bit ambivalent.  The 4 corner design has difficulty dealing with a high speed engagement and it can only bring 1/4 (instead of 1/3) of it's sniper weapons to bear when maintaining range against a slower opponent.    Basically, the 4-corner is a good basic design, but far from everything.  A navy optimized for high speed engagements or sniper would be different and a navy that left point defense / antifighter roles to parasite craft and only stuck naval guns on warships would not suffer particularly much.
Which actually seems about right - after all, NACs are driven by nuclear explosions.
I wasn't aware of that.  Looking into TO page 331, it says "controlled plasma explosions" which might mean that.  Do you have a more thorough reference?

Further note:  “There are only so many doors” always seemed a troubling, left-handed attempt to solve the fighter issue, one based on an implausible rules artifact.  Its a game, there will be implausible rules artifacts (engine size scaling on standard combat units, anyone?) but I could just never wrap my head around ‘cutting more holes in the side of a ship, from which fighters may be thrown out’ as one that made sense - especially when, as weve seen, the effect of that constraint is pretty nebulous and hard to quantify.
I interpreted the door limit as an abstraction of "volume grows faster than surface area" from which viewpoint it vaguely makes sense.
*I do contend it is to the point that if all we used were the rules as written taken to their logical extent it raises serious questions about why anyone would willingly build Warships, even as dedicated CVs.
Under current rules, it seems like the primary reason to build warships is pirate jump points.  A warship can jump in and maneuver in situations where a jumpship simply cannot, leaving it easy pickings.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 27 December 2018, 02:33:51
Under current rules, it seems like the primary reason to build warships is pirate jump points.  A warship can jump in and maneuver in situations where a jumpship simply cannot, leaving it easy pickings.

Which even that possible "advantage" can be rendered moot with a few options.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 27 December 2018, 03:45:39
No, capital weapons are not light. They are, however, weak at their actual job. Standard weapons deal far more damage, and fighters are very hard to hit with large weapons. So yes, you can build ships with guns. But you could also drill a hole in your leg and fill it with milk.
The only reason that capital weapons work in the setting is
A) No one actually built a 100-squadron carrier, and
B) Battletech canon ships are armoured with used toilet paper, allowing capital weapons to crit through armour due to aerospace rules.



Capital scale weaponry has always had a harder time tracking and targeting small fast moving targets. They're ment to hit big ones. Why should that change in space? I'm also not seeing where Fighters hit that hard. Only a few standard weapons automatically will do Capital Scale damage. The rest you have to roll 2d6 for.

The Construction and armor rules have been odd. And why is it AMS and Machine Guns can be used for Anti-Missile duty but ACs and Guass ammo are too small to track?


I'm reiterating what others have said, but I did a review of primitive tech.  Starting with the primitive jumpship in 2100, carriers are overwhwhelmingly powerful with design.   The 2100 carrier would be 100 tons and have a 15 light year jump while carrying a regiment of smallcraft, each of which mounts a plethora of machine guns, making the ship immune to capital missiles (the only naval weapons) and capable of rapidly chewing through armor and structure.

I know I'm missing something here  because from what I'm reading, Machine Guns aren't going to do any damage at all to capital scale armor.




Actually pretty much everything you list still happened almost exclusively due to external ordinance even on small vessels, not massed .50 cals.  Getting the kind of precision needed to actually even have a chance at what game rules would call a critical hit was just next to impossible given the distances and speeds involved even in the early days of WW2.

I wouldn't say impossible since fighters could hit and destroy smaller targets.


Quote
Under current rule sets though it isn't actually that hard to get ASFs packing enough integrated firepower, durability, and mobility that they can be very significant threats at much lower investments that are much more easily brought to bear because any Planet, Space Station, Warship, or Jumpship can easily be turned into a CV either by having the bays or by bringing Dropships that have the bays.

Why should that change from now?  ???

Quote
I do have to admit though as far as I can see there are three factors that do keep how asymmetrically powerful* ASFs are from being obvious:

1: A player really has to know how to use them, not just design them.

2: Most people abide by the rule of don't be a jerk.

3: Most people don't have the play space to let them shine.

*I do contend it is to the point that if all we used were the rules as written taken to their logical extent it raises serious questions about why anyone would willingly build Warships, even as dedicated CVs.

It also doesn't help that the sensor detection rules we do have make it all but impossible to actually ambush a CV before it can get all of it's fighters out.  It is not hard to get multiple hours of notice an enemy is inbound making even the XTRO Boondoggles Enterprise able to get all it's ASFs out and formed up long before an opponent is in Extreme Capital Range.


There's also the fact that aerospace fighters are supposed to be more rare in universe than other units. That would help warships some. Although I do think there should be more conventional fighters.

I think you'd still want warships to clear the path for dropships.

Maybe the detection rules should be changed?

Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 27 December 2018, 07:44:57
DERP: Forgot to post this 12 hours ago:

Ill note as an aside that many of the drivers for tactics we are starting to think about (detection ranges, resulting closing speeds, carrier launch rates and asf endurance, etc.) might well be fodder for an -excellent- operational level naval game, but are addressed inartfully, if at all, in the tactical scale game we have.
An astute observation that I'm bound to agree to. However, what scale are we aiming for? A purely tactical duel limits the problem space to a few mapsheets populated with units bought with BV. How much of an imbalance still remains if a McKenna is only worth as much as 70 strike birds, and not a carrier filled with 600?
I admit that my viewpoint is influenced both by our recently deceased naval game and my participation or at least observation of the discussions surrounding newtonian Aurora.
Most of our issues stem with a disconnect of what supposedly happened in the setting, and what makes sense in the setting given the rules.
And tabletop-scaled battles are a real world limitation that may not quite fit in. We can either balance around it, or ignore it.

Just for reference so I can read new posts first.
Ok, I catched up. Above is paraphrased from what I intended to post as it was mostly gone somehow.
@RifleMech:
Weapons are in bays. Even discounting squadron rules, where even a single machinegun, x6, would deal a point of capital damage, a fighter with 2 medium lasers already inflicts sufficient capital damage for a point. Look at Trace's FotW articles, for the heavier fighters he usually lists the capital damage for a squadron.
Machine guns and AMS are used against capital missiles. Why an AC2 can't, I don't know, but missiles of 30 tons or heavier are surely harder to track than a half-ton gauss slug moving at twice the velocity.

...How about the following:
...
Seems good.
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If the enemy warship that you want to attack are fast enough, you really need to switch over to assault smallcraft.
I think speed is really of the essence for a Flak Ship, or in general for facing off against carriers. Fighter engines become far heavier with rating, while large craft engines have linear output/weight increases. A high thrust rating also depletes fuel faster, while a warship with its physically impossibly efficient drives will hardly notice. Once the carrier force switches to small craft, the warship force may employ some fighters of their own to pick them off.
It's really a matter of the scale what is feasible.
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I wasn't aware of that.  Looking into TO page 331, it says "controlled plasma explosions" which might mean that.  Do you have a more thorough reference?
I'll be back at home in about 10 days, which is the earliest I can begin to search for it. I seem to remember having read that, but it was probably offhand fluff in an older entry.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 27 December 2018, 08:36:06
Which even that possible "advantage" can be rendered moot with a few options.
What do you have in mind? 

I know I'm missing something here  because from what I'm reading, Machine Guns aren't going to do any damage at all to capital scale armor.
Using individual weapons rules (SO page 114), individual MGs do 1 capital 2.8% of the time.  So if a smallcraft mounts 18, they inflict 1 capital damage half the time, and a regiment of attack smallcraft will inflict ~54 capital damage/round.   Under TW rules (page 238) modified by errata (https://bg.battletech.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Total-Warfare-2018-06-06-v5.01.pdf?x64300) the smallcraft could have bays of 9 MGs and do 2 capital damage each and a regiment can inflict 216 capital damage/round.  Either way, it's to much.

Why should that change from now?  ???
It didn't happen in the BT universe.
There's also the fact that aerospace fighters are supposed to be more rare in universe than other units.
Yeah.  Why? The lawn dart rule severely limits them in ground combat but since they are super-powerful in space combat any era that invests in warships should have hordes of ASF.
Maybe the detection rules should be changed?
Why/how?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 27 December 2018, 11:05:25
Capital scale weaponry has always had a harder time tracking and targeting small fast moving targets. They're ment to hit big ones. Why should that change in space? I'm also not seeing where Fighters hit that hard. Only a few standard weapons automatically will do Capital Scale damage. The rest you have to roll 2d6 for.

That is only if you're using certain optional rules.  By default just slapping enough Machine Guns on a design will do Capital scale damage.

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The Construction and armor rules have been odd. And why is it AMS and Machine Guns can be used for Anti-Missile duty but ACs and Guass ammo are too small to track?

The particular rounds in question are actually inert, so even if you can hit them there is nothing to detonate and you're not going to meaningfully alter their course with AMS or shatter them.

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I know I'm missing something here  because from what I'm reading, Machine Guns aren't going to do any damage at all to capital scale armor.

Expanding on above by default current rules 3 machineguns in the same arc/bay will round up to one Capital damage.  They can do this out to 6 space hexes.

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Why should that change from now?  ???

The rules as they are now make for an unfun game that is very easy to get exploitative advantages over an opponent.  To the point even if someone is obeying the rule don't be a jerk they can still have an exploitative advantage without realizing it.

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There's also the fact that aerospace fighters are supposed to be more rare in universe than other units. That would help warships some. Although I do think there should be more conventional fighters.

That is where we have one of our disjunctions.  We have an era where there was a power that was easily capable of putting out an insane number of ASFs, enough that the depictions I'm familiar with make saying ASF are rare completely untrue.  That power?  The Terran Hegemony.  Their navy easily had tens of thousands of ASFs, possibly up to hundreds of thousands.

Exact numbers are never given but considering they had over 400 Battleships(explicitly mentioned in the class's write up) in service at one time for just one class and each of those carried 100 ASFs and I never saw any mentions of having trouble filling all those bays at the same time that is at least 40,000 ASFs right there alone.

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I think you'd still want warships to clear the path for dropships.

Proper use of ASFs and Carrier Dropships would work just as well for less loss of expensive hard to replace material.

Quote
Maybe the detection rules should be changed?

I actually wouldn't.  If anything the detection ranges might be a bit short.

What do you have in mind? 

I've disliked the term pirate point mostly for the point part of the terminology.  Evokes an image in people's minds that these areas of space are much smaller than they actually would be.  That out of the way on to the options.

Standard Jumpships can manuever with just their station keeping drive so depending on how fast the pirate point chosen moves they may actually be able to keep up, at least well enough that they can jump out.  Admittadly it may not always be possible to do this as some points would move/dissipate too fast.

Option two is if you have them it is possible to put a LFB on Jumpships.  Jump into the pirate point, launch your strike, jump out.  The jump out doesn't even have to be in another system, just where the enemy is not and you can wait for the Dropships that survived the attack to make their way back to you after their work is done.

Or use some of the Dropships as tugs.  It may not keep the Jumpship away from a counter attack but it can keep up with a moving pirate point.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 27 December 2018, 11:44:57
An astute observation that I'm bound to agree to. However, what scale are we aiming for? A purely tactical duel limits the problem space to a few mapsheets populated
with units bought with BV. How much of an imbalance still remains if a McKenna is only worth as much as 70 strike birds, and not a carrier filled with 600?
Obviously, it's not as bad, but it's still striking.   70 5/8 fighters can be easily setup to have sufficient point defense to make them immune to the AR-10s leaving only the NL55s with a significant chance of hitting.   The general strategy of the fighters is to match velocity/position and then gnaw the McKenna to death from the aft arc using the "Targets in the same hex" rules (TW page 236).   If you swap the small lasers for machine guns in the 5/8 fighter I put in earlier, the fighters can each dish out ~5 capital damage/round after figuring miss chances, implying 420 capital/round.  The McKenna can expect to kill at most 1 fighter/round with NL55s in AAA mode.
I think speed is really of the essence for a Flak Ship, or in general for facing off against carriers.
Pick any speed and I'll give you a carrier at the same speed and carried at overtake with evasion speed that easily wins with the existing rules.   This will shift towards smallcraft at higher speeds, but the outcome becomes even more striking as you go faster because warships lose free tonnage linearly with speed and are impossible beyond 8/12 while for smallcraft the cutoff is at 12/18. 
Once the carrier force switches to small craft, the warship force may employ some fighters of their own to pick them off.
If it's carrier vs. carrier then the outcome is in doubt.  But, if you just have a small number of ASFs compared to smallcraft the warship should quickly die leaving the ASFs to surrender or die.

I've disliked the term pirate point mostly for the point part of the terminology.  Evokes an image in people's minds that these areas of space are much smaller than they actually would be.  That out of the way on to the options.
FYI, I estimate the L1 pirate point diameter for earth-sun at ~68 hexes.
Standard Jumpships can manuever with just their station keeping drive so depending on how fast the pirate point chosen moves they may actually be able to keep up, at least well enough that they can jump out.  Admittadly it may not always be possible to do this as some points would move/dissipate too fast.
This doesn't worry me.  .1g is amazing compared to the 0g of planets in orbit.
Option two is if you have them it is possible to put a LFB on Jumpships.  Jump into the pirate point, launch your strike, jump out.  The jump out doesn't even have to be in another system, just where the enemy is not and you can wait for the Dropships that survived the attack to make their way back to you after their work is done.
That is pretty nice.  It only applies once LFB becomes available 2531+, so there are reasons for warships before that.   The only other drawback I see is that a warship using LFBs to double strategic movement speed will be able to jump in with a depleted LFB while it will take a jumpship an extra week to charge the LFB.   The cost of warships with LFBs you'd probably rather just have more jumpships with LFBs.

Comparing costs, a 600Kton 3/5 warship with an LFB can carry 612 ASF for a cost of maybe 12.5B.   Using a 200 Kton jumpship with LFB battery, 2 docking collars, and 2 100k ton carrier dropships that go 3/5, you can carry the same number of ASF for maybe 7.6B.  Plus you get a few more doors and more tactical maneuverability while losing a bit on armor.  The costs savings make this a substantial advantage for the jumpship approach.   
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 28 December 2018, 01:39:17
What do you have in mind? 
Using individual weapons rules (SO page 114), individual MGs do 1 capital 2.8% of the time.  So if a smallcraft mounts 18, they inflict 1 capital damage half the time, and a regiment of attack smallcraft will inflict ~54 capital damage/round.   Under TW rules (page 238) modified by errata (https://bg.battletech.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Total-Warfare-2018-06-06-v5.01.pdf?x64300) the smallcraft could have bays of 9 MGs and do 2 capital damage each and a regiment can inflict 216 capital damage/round.  Either way, it's to much.

It didn't happen in the BT universe.

Yeah.  Why? The lawn dart rule severely limits them in ground combat but since they are super-powerful in space combat any era that invests in warships should have hordes of ASF.

Why/how?

Individually 2 divided by 10 rounded up is .5. That won't be enough to damage capital scale armor. The example uses a PPC and it only causes 1 point of damage on a successful roll because 10 divided by 10 is 1.

The massed damage for a bay though I'm not having a problem with. It's the same damage 9 AC/2s would do. Mounting 9 machine guns in 1 bay though seems like something only a very specialized fighter would have though.

That fighter are built powerful enough to threaten ships that cost a whole lot more than them? I don't see that it ever stopped.
Once upon a time I would think that there would have been hordes of fighters. Why don't we see lots of CVs now? Because the capital scale ship/station building is in tatters.


Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 28 December 2018, 02:17:23
That is only if you're using certain optional rules.  By default just slapping enough Machine Guns on a design will do Capital scale damage.

Only if you mount three. Just one isn't enough.



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The particular rounds in question are actually inert, so even if you can hit them there is nothing to detonate and you're not going to meaningfully alter their course with AMS or shatter them.

It reads as if you can use machine guns for Anti-Missile but not Autocannons or gauss rifles because their rounds are too small. Which is odd since machine gun rounds are smaller.

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Expanding on above by default current rules 3 machineguns in the same arc/bay will round up to one Capital damage.  They can do this out to 6 space hexes.

Which class of machinegun are we talking? Light Machineguns have a range of 6 but you need 5 in a bay to do 1 point of capital damage.

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The rules as they are now make for an unfun game that is very easy to get exploitative advantages over an opponent.  To the point even if someone is obeying the rule don't be a jerk they can still have an exploitative advantage without realizing it.

True but I don't see how that can be fixed. There's always going to be something that gives ones unit an advantage over another.



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That is where we have one of our disjunctions.  We have an era where there was a power that was easily capable of putting out an insane number of ASFs, enough that the depictions I'm familiar with make saying ASF are rare completely untrue.  That power?  The Terran Hegemony.  Their navy easily had tens of thousands of ASFs, possibly up to hundreds of thousands.

Exact numbers are never given but considering they had over 400 Battleships(explicitly mentioned in the class's write up) in service at one time for just one class and each of those carried 100 ASFs and I never saw any mentions of having trouble filling all those bays at the same time that is at least 40,000 ASFs right there alone.

How many BattleMechs did the Hegemony have compared to Fighters?


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Proper use of ASFs and Carrier Dropships would work just as well for less loss of expensive hard to replace material.

I actually wouldn't.  If anything the detection ranges might be a bit short.


They can't be used as ortillery though.

There should be some way to launch a surprise attack even if it isn't easy.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 28 December 2018, 02:50:18
Only if you mount three. Just one isn't enough.

Mounting 3 is trivial for most units.

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It reads as if you can use machine guns for Anti-Missile but not Autocannons or gauss rifles because their rounds are too small. Which is odd since machine gun rounds are smaller.

The passage in question isn't saying AC and Gauss rounds are too small/inert to be used as point defense but that point defense cannot be used agains AC and Gauss rounds.  ACs and Gauss rifles are easy to explain for why they can't be used as Point Defense, they are too big and bulky to track such objects.

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Which class of machinegun are we talking? Light Machineguns have a range of 6 but you need 5 in a bay to do 1 point of capital damage.

The bog standard Machine Gun.  Under rules as written it has an Aerospace Range of Short and is a Standard scale weapon.  This means under these rules it can engage a target six hexes away in space.

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True but I don't see how that can be fixed. There's always going to be something that gives ones unit an advantage over another.

True there will never be a way to completely eliminate it but there are some surprisingly simple ways to make the advantage less pronounced, which makes for a more fun game and even helps resolve some of the disjunctions.

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How many BattleMechs did the Hegemony have compared to Fighters?

Here the writers are vague so no way to be sure.  Older writings do indicate many mechs were produced in the high six figure range but it is not clear if this was just in the Hegemony's day or lifetime to the date of writing.

But based on what numbers have been given they had ASFs integrated with their ground units to provide organic air support, filling easily thousands of Warships, and had enough left over to provide additional attachments/screens.

Then churned out more to be part of their SDS programs.

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They can't be used as ortillery though.

No but they can be just about as effective with not much more time invested.

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There should be some way to launch a surprise attack even if it isn't easy.

The closest pirate points are still going to give hours of notice before an attacker will even be in orbital bombardment range.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 28 December 2018, 07:52:33
There is no such thing as surprise in space. It's space. There's no way to hide. By physics, everyone should be omniscient, but writers normally prefer limits.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 28 December 2018, 08:02:50
There is no such thing as surprise in space. It's space. There's no way to hide. By physics, everyone should be omniscient, but writers normally prefer limits.

By Physics, there probably also arent fighters in space, certainly not ones that function, optimally, in both space and atmosphere.  Or for that matter bipedal war machins as decisive combatants.  But here we are... :)
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 28 December 2018, 09:27:39
Individually 2 divided by 10 rounded up is .5.
I was always taught that rounding up is always to the nearest whole number unless stated otherwise.
Mounting 9 machine guns in 1 bay though seems like something only a very specialized fighter would have though.
Fighters don't have bays---you need a smallcraft for that. 

In 2100 (which is what I was discussing) machine guns are actually the only weapon available, so this is not very speciaiized.  The bay can also be used for point defense.
Once upon a time I would think that there would have been hordes of fighters. Why don't we see lots of CVs now? Because the capital scale ship/station building is in tatters.
Check here (http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Category:WarShip_classes) to see that carriers never existed.
The closest pirate points are still going to give hours of notice before an attacker will even be in orbital bombardment range.
It is possible to mount a minute scale surprise attack using a (very) high speed engagement as per here (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=61764.msg1444988#msg1444988). 

If you want a 0/0 intercept, then...
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Cannonshop on 28 December 2018, 12:16:07
There is no such thing as surprise in space. It's space. There's no way to hide. By physics, everyone should be omniscient, but writers normally prefer limits.

Just because you CAN see a thing, doesn't mean you WILL see it.  To spot an approaching ship, you've got to have your telescopes/radar/etc. pointed in the right direction to see it.

You forget: Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space.

The frequency of "Oops, we were almost hit" stories about massive objects passing through earth's orbital path, not to be noticed until either almost on top of us, or after they missed is one highlight of this. 

Second, unlike your open steppes, or even open ocean, movement in space is in three dimensions.  this means you need to have a sphere of detection and enough either bodies, or computing power, to watch in all directions simultaneously.

Third being, if you have enough bodies (b/c the computers to do it were vaporware even in the Star League era) you've got to have analysts who can separate the pinprick of a star from the pinprick of a drive plume, know enough about astronomy to know that that object didn't come from there, and have enough influence to be heard over the thousands (it would literally take thousands) of other observers/voices all reporting, many of whom will report ordinary phenomena or regular traffic as 'suspicious' out of either paranoia, or a desire to distinguish themselves.

Fourth being the nature of jump points; a good astronomer with a good stopwatch and teh right math, can calculate jump points that are obscured from in-system observation platforms such as, say, the telescopes looking for thermal bloom.  I think someone brought up a sunside lagrange point as an example of this (the point of gravitational equilibrium between earth and Sol, for example, is probably closer to earth, than it is to the sun, a "L" point in the Jovian system more likely than not will be obstructed by numerous intervening objects, and so on.)

a system like the Sol system is FILLED with reflective objects at astronomically close distances (that is 'close on the astronomical scale' not the scale of the trip from your flat to the chemist's), and if it's a developed system, that includes objects in motion.

therefore, it's possible to see an approaching force a long way away, but it's not even necessarily likely that the right people, will get the right data, in the right time to scramble an appropriate response before said force is 'surprise close'.

Unless, of course, they're being very very polite and come in on the stable jump points (Zenith and Nadir), announce their presence, and advance slowly enough to give plenty of warning and time to respond.

because "Locking the door" on a star system is that difficult.

Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 28 December 2018, 12:19:51
I put up attempt 9, which I'll restate below.  Attempt 9 uses thresholded damage immunity and a divisor of 100 against capital armor while rounding normally.   It's slightly long, but other than that it seem playable and it seems to have a reasonable effect structure.  Do you see any issues?

Attempt 9: Standard scale damage does not affect capital scale armor greater than 10 times the standard scale value.  For standard scale weapon bays use the damage of the largest weapon in the bay.  For cluster weapons, use cluster damage (i.e. 5).  Where standard scale weapons can damage capital armor, add up all damage to a facing from an attacker and divide by 100, rounding normally.  Critical hits can only be delivered by individual attacks dealing at least 1 capital damage.

Under this rule:
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 28 December 2018, 12:26:26
I put up attempt 9, which I'll restate below.  Attempt 9 uses thresholded damage immunity and a divisor of 100 against capital armor while rounding normally.   It's slightly long, but other than that it seem playable and it seems to have a reasonable effect structure.  Do you see any issues?

Attempt 9: Standard scale damage does not affect capital scale armor greater than 10 times the standard scale value.  For standard scale weapon bays use the damage of the largest weapon in the bay.  For cluster weapons, use cluster damage (i.e. 5).  Where standard scale weapons can damage capital armor, add up all damage to a facing from an attacker and divide by 100, rounding normally.  Critical hits can only be delivered by individual attacks dealing at least 1 capital damage.

Under this rule:
  • Capital armor of 50+ is immune to standard scale cluster weapons and capital armor of 250+ is immune to all standard weapons including the heavy gauss in normal play.
  • Jumpships generally remain vulnerable to standard scale weapons although they may have immunity to particularly light weapons and a particularly large jumpship may achieve immunity to cluster weapons on some facings.
  • Warships short of the Leviathan III are vulnerable to a standard scale AC/20 used in a high speed engagement.
  • Warships can take damage (and a critical hit) from a ramming attack as per the Miraborg ram.
  • Critical hits can only be delivered by a ram attack or a hit during a high speed engagement with a particularly heavy weapon (i.e an AC/20).
  • When standard scale weapons can damage capital armor, the damage they inflict is inline with naval weapons on a damage/ton basis.
  • ASF can inflict capital armor damage (i.e. achieve 50 damage on a threshold) even in the Age of War with a well-built heavy ASF.  More modern ASF can be lighter/faster or potentially inflict 2 capital damage.
  • Capital structure is more vulnerable than capital armor, since 15 standard scale damage inflicts 1 point of capital structure damage as per existing rules.

So a middle ground between the 100:1 and Immunity proposals.

I can work with this.  It leaves open the question of missiles (Whether shipborne and used in massed bearings only Barracuda Strikes, or fighter-carried ASMs) and what point defense rules if any we are using.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 28 December 2018, 14:52:55
I can work with this. 
Cool.  Thoughts from others? 
It leaves open the question of missiles (Whether shipborne and used in massed bearings only Barracuda Strikes, or fighter-carried ASMs) and what point defense rules if any we are using.
The existing strat ops rules set doesn't look unbalanced to me, merely unrealistic (and somewhat unfun).

Collecting notes from the thread, something like the following seems natural and playable.
Here (1) leaves point defense capable of destroying about as many missiles as currently but it becomes a stochastic process and rewards forces with screening elements.

Similarly (2) caps the power of antimissile systems naturally---they can fire no faster than in ground combat.  This leaves AMS superior for point defense but 50% more expensive than 6 small lasers, as seems reasonable for a dedicated system. 

For (3), doing 3 capital damage is absurd in a 2 ton missile given other tech so it seems like you either increase tonnage or decrease damage.   Decreasing damage means that the amount of point defense necessary is closer to the ballpark of warship based missile systems so it provides versatility and somewhat increased peak damage over a missile cruiser rather than dominating missile combat. 
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: idea weenie on 28 December 2018, 21:28:13
Maybe another approach to solving this problem is to first specify the constraints we want to obey, and then try to find a solution.

Here's a set of constraints I'm aware of.
Are there other constraints we should consider?

Attempt 4 had a form of this.  It ended up not working well because a warship could still create monster bays of standard weapons so the damage reduction was relatively unimportant, failing constraint 3.

That is why I recommended adding in a number to reflect how many weapons are in the bay.

For example, a bay doing 15 capital pts of damage from a single Heavy Naval PPC would look like:
HNPPC (1) 225 - 15 (150) - (ranges)

A Sub-Capital Laser/3 bay doing 150 standard damage would look like:
SCL/3 (5) 160 - 15 (150) - (ranges)

A PPC Bay doing the same damage would look like:
PPC (15) 150 - 15 (150) - (ranges)

While a Medium Laser Bay might look like:
ML (30) 0 - 15 (150) - (short ranges)

Assuming you are firing on armor with 1 pt of damage resistance (standard damage), the bays would effectively be:
HNPPC (1) 225 - 14.9 (149) - (ranges)
SCL/3 (5) 160 - 14.5 (145) - (ranges)
PPC (15) 150 - 13.5 (135) - (ranges)
ML (30) 0 - 12 (120) - (short ranges)

The 1 pt of damage resistance removes only 1 pt of standard damage from the HNPPC, but removes 1 pt from each of the SCL/3 by, 1 pt for each of the PPCs in the standard weapon bay, and cuts 20% off the damage of the ML bay.  You basically multiply the number of weapons by the resistive armor value, and subtract that from the damage done by that bay.

This keeps weaker weapons in a point defense role as they are effectively useless against Warship grade armor, but it needs an additional value on the weapon line to reflect the number of weapons in use.


As I commented already, the system needs to somehow factor in the amount of ships. Multiple ships between the attacker and target should provide more efficient point defense than just one, aka we need diminishing returns both per ship and in total. All for it, but how can we implement that in a way that, on a table, requires no more than 2 dice? Well, or repeated dice rolls, but preferably not too many to bother.

You may have to go with giving AMS a bonus based on range between firing unit and AMS equipped, along with a penalty based on distance from a straight line between target and firing unit (the AMS unit will do a better job if it is in the path of the missiles).  Additional AMS units only get a benefit based on distance from distance past the first AMS unit to themselves, penalized by distance from the straight line path.  So you can stack additional AMS ships between your main ship and the enemy missile barge, but their AMS will be tracking missiles that will get destroyed by the first ship, and effectively waste their fire.  You might also want to give an option where an AMS unit takes penalties if it is protecting against multiple salvos of missiles (point defense degradation).

For the range benefit, I'd be tempted to go with a square root of the distance (FRD), so AMS gets better to-hits if it is right next to the targeted unit.  So if you were dealing with an opponent firing missiles at range 63, that first AMS unit next to the target would be getting a +7 bonus, while additional AMS units in the same hex would treat their bonus as zero (missiles might have their own ECM/defenses to where you need those bonuses).


Just because you CAN see a thing, doesn't mean you WILL see it.  To spot an approaching ship, you've got to have your telescopes/radar/etc. pointed in the right direction to see it.

Pirate points should be under observation by any decent tech planet in BT.  Jump points can be monitored to see if a ship pops in, so closer pirate points should definitely be monitored.  But if a planet doesn't have that level of scan capability, then someone shouldn't feel the need for a surprise attack, the locals probably won't even notice until their orbital traffic guy says "come here, this is weird".

The frequency of "Oops, we were almost hit" stories about massive objects passing through earth's orbital path, not to be noticed until either almost on top of us, or after they missed is one highlight of this. 

Massive objects in space that nearly hit Earth are also close to the cosmic background in temperature, aka nowhere the heat needed to keep living beings alive.  Manned objects in BT also tend to have the capability to put out fusion torches, so should be gamma ray sources.

Second, unlike your open steppes, or even open ocean, movement in space is in three dimensions.  this means you need to have a sphere of detection and enough either bodies, or computing power, to watch in all directions simultaneously.

A decent computer should be able to do a sky scan in less than 24 hours.  Just spot all the heat sources, record their bearing/azimuth, and send that database back to the planet.  On the planet, a mainframe will take that list, remove the ones that are known, and flag the unknown for a human to look at.

Those unknown would then be sent to the orbital tracking HQ for filtering.  Smart Orbital HQs would have a second program that removes known objects in orbit, or transiting to/from the planet, only leaving a few for people to bother with.  This is likely where planetary raids can come in, inserting a record of the raiding DS into that database so when you are spotted the computer automatically ignores you.

Third being, if you have enough bodies (b/c the computers to do it were vaporware even in the Star League era) you've got to have analysts who can separate the pinprick of a star from the pinprick of a drive plume, know enough about astronomy to know that that object didn't come from there, and have enough influence to be heard over the thousands (it would literally take thousands) of other observers/voices all reporting, many of whom will report ordinary phenomena or regular traffic as 'suspicious' out of either paranoia, or a desire to distinguish themselves.

Star pinpricks should be well known/mapped, a moving pinprick would be cause for alert.  For amateur/professional astronomers, a local database of stars should be within their reach, so if they spot something weird (partially cloudy night and they glimpsed one light source), they should still be able to put in their latitude/longitude, the bearing/altitude of the contact, and get a response back in a few minutes of "we already know about that star".  If it isn't on the star database, it should be passed on to the local spaceport who matches the sighting with known orbital/space-based objects, who might respond with "congratulations, you're the thousandth person to spot the cargo Union in orbit".
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 29 December 2018, 03:12:14
Mounting 3 is trivial for most units.

True.



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The passage in question isn't saying AC and Gauss rounds are too small/inert to be used as point defense but that point defense cannot be used agains AC and Gauss rounds.  ACs and Gauss rifles are easy to explain for why they can't be used as Point Defense, they are too big and bulky to track such objects.

Yes but if you don't read it carefully...And if fi AC and Gauss are too big and bulky to shoot at capital scale missiles, why should capital scale weapons be able to shoot at fighters?


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The bog standard Machine Gun.  Under rules as written it has an Aerospace Range of Short and is a Standard scale weapon.  This means under these rules it can engage a target six hexes away in space.

Thank you. Knew I was missing something.


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True there will never be a way to completely eliminate it but there are some surprisingly simple ways to make the advantage less pronounced, which makes for a more fun game and even helps resolve some of the disjunctions.

True but the real trick is to get everyone to agree on how to fix things.

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Here the writers are vague so no way to be sure.  Older writings do indicate many mechs were produced in the high six figure range but it is not clear if this was just in the Hegemony's day or lifetime to the date of writing.

But based on what numbers have been given they had ASFs integrated with their ground units to provide organic air support, filling easily thousands of Warships, and had enough left over to provide additional attachments/screens.

Then churned out more to be part of their SDS programs.

Wasn't the Wasp Mech produced in the 6 figures alone?

All which leads to a lot of units getting blasted at the end of the Star League and Succession Wars.


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No but they can be just about as effective with not much more time invested.

But they're also subject to AA fire. Ortillery, not so much.


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The closest pirate points are still going to give hours of notice before an attacker will even be in orbital bombardment range.

yes because of the jump wave lets people know theres a ship incoming. But units just using thrust should be able to surprise others with much less time to react.


I was always taught that rounding up is always to the nearest whole number unless stated otherwise.

Depends on the rules. I've read that .5 up rounds to 1 point while .4 down does no damage. I'm still looking for where it says that for capital units but I've found it for squadrons and for standard damage. Otherwise a single infantry trooper throwing a turnip would do 1 point of capital damage.

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Fighters don't have bays---you need a smallcraft for that. 

A Fighters bays are the location you can mount weapons, Nose, Aft, Forward Wing, Aft Wing.

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In 2100 (which is what I was discussing) machine guns are actually the only weapon available, so this is not very speciaiized.  The bay can also be used for point defense.

So why aren't they still mounted on fighters and why aren't people complaining about hordes of small and micro lasers and such?

Perhaps it's not the damage that's the problem but the range? Maybe some weapons should be point blank or something?


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Check here (http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Category:WarShip_classes) to see that carriers never existed.

I never said they never existed. I said we don't see lots of them and we don't. Even with Warship yards in good condition.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 29 December 2018, 14:18:21
That is why I recommended adding in a number to reflect how many weapons are in the bay.
...
This keeps weaker weapons in a point defense role as they are effectively useless against Warship grade armor, but it needs an additional value on the weapon line to reflect the number of weapons in use.
Yeah, that would be helpful.

There's several levels of rules modifications we can think about here.
I've been aiming at level 1 since that is a universal common denominator.  Nevertheless, damage reduction ideas along the lines of what you are mentioning seem appealingly continuous rather than having hard thresholds of immunity.  I convinced myself around attempt 4 that this can't be done without going to level 2, and that it would slow down tabletop game play in practice.   At level 3, it seems very appealing to allow x10 more armor but have it give 1/10th as many capital armor points. 

You may have to go with giving AMS a bonus based on range between firing unit and AMS equipped, along with a penalty based on distance from a straight line between target and firing unit (the AMS unit will do a better job if it is in the path of the missiles). 
This seems complex to me.   What did you think of this (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1469485#msg1469485)?

...
A decent computer should be able to do a sky scan in less than 24 hours.
...
I generally agree.  It's actually every hour for every large craft in the Advanced Sensors section (SO 117-119) with jump signatures having the longest range and drive plumes the second longest range.

Depends on the rules. I've read that .5 up rounds to 1 point while .4 down does no damage.
You need to decide if you want to use TW rules, in which case an MG bay works, or SO individual weapons rules, in which case you round up to the nearest whole number with a certain probability.  Either way, MGs can inflict capital damage.
A Fighters bays are the location you can mount weapons, Nose, Aft, Forward Wing, Aft Wing.
The word 'bay' has a very particular meaning for units in space since it implies that ability to group weapons and inflict damage equal to their sum.  Using it for facings (which you mean here) generally causes confusion.
So why aren't they still mounted on fighters and why aren't people complaining about hordes of small and micro lasers and such?
Exactly.  That's what we are trying to address through a change in rules.  What do you think of attempt 9 (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1469448#msg1469448)?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 30 December 2018, 09:37:38
You need to decide if you want to use TW rules, in which case an MG bay works, or SO individual weapons rules, in which case you round up to the nearest whole number with a certain probability.  Either way, MGs can inflict capital damage.

I'm not seeing that all individual weapons always do damage. Otherwise a single infantry trooper armed with a dart gun would cause capital damage as any damage rounds up.



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The word 'bay' has a very particular meaning for units in space since it implies that ability to group weapons and inflict damage equal to their sum.  Using it for facings (which you mean here) generally causes confusion.

Its what the book said.



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Exactly.  That's what we are trying to address through a change in rules.  What do you think of attempt 9 (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1469448#msg1469448)?


I'd have to say I'm not in favor. Fighters should be able to do damage to a capital ship. Not a lot but some. Otherwise they wouldn't be a danger to ships. I would change the ranges though to bring them in line with ground combat. This would force them to have to get closer and thus be more at risk of getting hit before they can fire.



Also Machine Guns are not the only weapon used during and even before 2100. There's lasers, missiles, rail guns, AMS. The problem is we don't have any rules for these weapons. Also there's rifle cannons and artilelry weapons and to say that they can't be used in space is silly. 




Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 30 December 2018, 10:24:37
I'm not seeing that all individual weapons always do damage. Otherwise a single infantry trooper armed with a dart gun would cause capital damage as any damage rounds up.
I'd suggest reading the rule.
Its what the book said.
Citation please?
I'd have to say I'm not in favor. Fighters should be able to do damage to a capital ship. Not a lot but some.
Perhaps 1000 standard damage does 1 capital damage?  That would leave standard scale weapons less powerful per ton than capital weapons but still allow some damage.  A 6 regiment carrier might be able to inflict 30 to 35 capital damage/round with Age of War / 3025 tech.
Otherwise they wouldn't be a danger to ships.
Under attempt 9, ASF are a serious danger to jumpships, light warships, or wounded warships.
I would change the ranges though to bring them in line with ground combat. This would force them to have to get closer and thus be more at risk of getting hit before they can fire.
This would not work.  Managing to reach the same hex is not that hard and capital weapons are insufficiently dangerous to cause significant damage to a swarm in relevant time frames.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 30 December 2018, 22:12:38
I'd suggest reading the rule.

Citation please?

Perhaps 1000 standard damage does 1 capital damage?  That would leave standard scale weapons less powerful per ton than capital weapons but still allow some damage.  A 6 regiment carrier might be able to inflict 30 to 35 capital damage/round with Age of War / 3025 tech.


Under attempt 9, ASF are a serious danger to jumpships, light warships, or wounded warships.This would not work.  Managing to reach the same hex is not that hard and capital weapons are insufficiently dangerous to cause significant damage to a swarm in relevant time frames.



I did and I don't see were .4 down does damage. Like I said, if true, then single troopers could do capital scale damage with weapons that wouldn't scratch a mecha.

Ill post when I get back to my books.

1 fighter should be a threat to a ship because it carries so much fire power. Squadrons should be scary. Changing that makes fighters in effective.

At that range the ship should be using its own standard scale weapons. That's why they're there. To engage small close targets. If your still using the big guns that close something is wrong. They're for big targets and distance. It's like trying to hit VTOL infantry with a Long Tom from 2 hexes away.  It can be done but it'd be easier to use. a machine gun.

Really what the prereunificatipn era needs is to have more weapons statted out then to Nerf fighters.

Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 31 December 2018, 06:29:05
Strategic Operations page 28 under Weapons.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 31 December 2018, 08:58:46
Strategic Operations page 28 under Weapons.
This is for fighter squadrons, not fighters.
1 fighter should be a threat to a ship because it carries so much fire power. Squadrons should be scary. Changing that makes fighters in effective.
It sounds like you reject the thesis of the thread and simply prefer a game where fighters are overwhelming.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 31 December 2018, 12:42:39
This is for fighter squadrons, not fighters.

Also page 28 under Capital Fighters. Single Fighters can be a squadron of one. Also on page 28
under Maximum Damage Threshold. It'd done by single fighter.

Quote
It sounds like you reject the thesis of the thread and simply prefer a game where fighters are overwhelming.

Isn't that what I've been saying?  ??? To do otherwise rejects past and current history.

I do think there's rules that need to be fixed and clarified but fighters being a threat isn't one of them.


Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: truetanker on 31 December 2018, 13:35:41
Also Machine Guns are not the only weapon used during and even before 2100. There's lasers, missiles, rail guns, AMS. The problem is we don't have any rules for these weapons. Also there's rifle cannons and artilelry weapons and to say that they can't be used in space is silly.

IO is the book with everything listed in the Alternate Era pages... from P- ( whatever ) rules to modern Dark Ages. P- standing for prototype...

TT
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 31 December 2018, 14:19:23
Isn't that what I've been saying?   
Yes.  You appear insistent that a history of every warship design not being a carrier is consistent with ASF being dominant.  Maybe start your own thread on that premise?

The premise for this thread is that these things are contradictory with a goal of coming up with house rules that justify the design of canon warships. 
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 31 December 2018, 19:21:53
To be more accurate for my stance it'd be more that I don't mind that ASFs are a threat, it's just that standard weapons in general are too good for hurting Warships that are shrugging off damage that compares similarly to nukes and it creates unwelcome implications and ASFs become the posterchild simply because they can more reliably exploit the advantages of Standard Weapons over Capital Weapons.

Especially if you want to play something other than the official setting.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 31 December 2018, 22:40:44
Then the problem is with Nukes. If they're damage is so reduced then even regular capital missiles shouldn't do any damage at all.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 01 January 2019, 00:43:14
Okay obviously shrug off is the wrong word as it isn't that nukes are doing reduced damage but other posters have done the math with the numbers we do have and Capital Scale firepower on some of these weapons I remember being in the kiloton range for what they worked out to in comparison to real world nukes.  Battletech nukes can be very potent and a good roll one can take out even the most durable Warship we have stats for.

So Capital Weapons are more reliable when dealing with enemy Warships but Battletech nukes with a little luck significantly out damage them when rolls go right would be a better way to put it.

None of which really changes the fact that Standard Scale weapons, what ever they are mounted on, are too good at killing multi-billion C-Bill Warships.

So much so I'd have trouble justifying them if I took the rules we have now to a new setting.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 01 January 2019, 02:10:41
So Capital Weapons are in the kiloton range but you have to get a lucky roll for Nukes to be deadlier? There's something wrong there.


I still don't see Standard Weapons being that deadly to Capitol Ships. I do think the ranges need to be changed though. Get rid of the range brackets and use the weapons individual ranges.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 01 January 2019, 02:57:41
I'm still not explaining it right, that is my fault.

So I'll try again.

As an explicit example a Type Ia warhead(0.5 kilotons) if it impacts the armor does 1 Capital Scale damage to the armor thanks to the lack of atmosphere but if it penetrates the armor it instead does 10 Capital Damage straight to the SI of the Warship.  It does this on an 11+.

So comparing a NAC-10 to a Type 1a the NAC-10 will be more reliable but get lucky enough times and the Type Ia will end a Warship faster.

Being fair to the nukes probably would be better to compare the NAC-10 to the Type II.  The chart is on page 170 of Interstellar Operations if you want to look at it and decide for yourself which is the more fair comparison.

Individual weapon ranges probably would help but it's still too trivial to close distances and make the vastly better damage to weight ratios of standard guns start telling.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 01 January 2019, 21:46:15
I guess I wasn't being clear. Sorry about that.

A Type Ib fired from an Arrow IV does 1 Capital Point of damage in space.
A standard Arrow IV does 2 Capital Points of damage in space.
An Anti-Ship Arrow does 3 Capital Points of damage in space.

The Type Ib does a third to half as much damage as the Arrows?  :o There is a problem there. All the reasons for Nukes doing less damage should apply to the standard Arrow and all other missiles. Then again why wouldn't the Type Ib, and other nukes, be designed to penetrate armor just like every other missile? ??? If instead the Nukes started at 10 Capital points of damage like you suggest it makes nukes very scary.

I think individual weapon ranges would help. So would having more weapon types for pre-reunification eras. I'm not so sure about changing Capital Weapons.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 01 January 2019, 22:12:51
Nukes really rely on an atmosphere to do their damage.  So it isn't inconceivable that they do little surface impact damage in the vacuum of space.

And nukes do get rolls to see if they penetrate so it is arguable they are designed to do so already.

What makes it worse?  A bog standard Inner Sphere PPC competes with that surface impact damage.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 01 January 2019, 23:15:18
I was looking into nuclear weapons and realized I had miscalculated Killer Whale damage up-thread.  Let me set this straight.

There are three ways we can imagine doing damage with a Killer Whale missile. 
Presumably, (2) is less than (1) because (2) is a part of how damage from (1) is expressed.  This suggests standard damage should be divided by 100 or more.  It also makes it clear that a nuclear weapon is releasing substantially more energy than a conventional killer whale.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 02 January 2019, 00:00:31
Making the conclusion that 2 is part of 1 may not be correct.  Depends on if it is a proximity fuse(likely since it does not suffer to hit penalties against small targets) or not.

Even so armors can react differently based on how the energy is delivered, not just how much is delivered.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 02 January 2019, 04:32:14
Nukes really rely on an atmosphere to do their damage.  So it isn't inconceivable that they do little surface impact damage in the vacuum of space.

And nukes do get rolls to see if they penetrate so it is arguable they are designed to do so already.

What makes it worse?  A bog standard Inner Sphere PPC competes with that surface impact damage.

That's just it they depend on lucky rolls while other missiles don't. Why wouldn't the Type Ib Arrow have the same armor penetration as a Non-Homing Arrow or the AS Arrow? Why wouldn't any nuke armed missile have the same armor penetration as their non nuke counterparts?

The PPC competes because the rules for nukes are whacked. The way the rules are written Nukes are more like mines than missiles.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 02 January 2019, 10:01:29
Back from vacation. Sort of.
Collecting notes from the thread, something like the following seems natural and playable.
I think it's a very serviceable approach to missile defence.

As for Balancing-attempt 9, it works for a tabletop, so it's probably pretty decent. For lager games, like our romp with alsadius, a more fluent system is probably the order of the day, like a mix of 9 and 4.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 02 January 2019, 10:59:59
Making the conclusion that 2 is part of 1 may not be correct.  Depends on if it is a proximity fuse(likely since it does not suffer to hit penalties against small targets) or not.
TM page 210 says that capital missiles only deliver kinetic damage.  Given that the missiles have the same damage profile at all ranges, the only way for this to make sense is if they can do much more thrust in a much shorter time frame so they can hit a similar impact velocity regardless of distance.  Using a mass penetrator warhead actually makes some sense given that the kinetic energy is at least an order of magnitude greater than anything you could hope for with a chemical explosion.
Even so armors can react differently based on how the energy is delivered, not just how much is delivered.
Yeah, we can see that here. 
I'm not sure we can conclude much more given the inconsistency and clearly aphysical nature of armor.  It does seem notable that if nuclear weapon damage scaled like KE damage then a 500 kiloton warhead would only do ~32 capital damage.

...
Thanks  :)
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 02 January 2019, 12:07:11
Ablative armour is a sci-fi concept that we can only try to partially explain by the described weave, so I generally assume is is some sort of thermally conductive reactive armour.
As for the missiles, I generally assume it reserves at least a third of it's fuel for maneuvering and it might actually have a booster stage for speed. With orbital bombardment, they could instead keep the booster fuel to ignite nearby air.
I believe it is common sense to somewhat flatten the kinetic energy curve, because otherwise the game becomes less controllable, and less fun.

Again going back to nukes, assuming the nuke damage is originally based on atmosphere, which I assume it is, it's base damage would only be 15% of that in space. Maybe 20%, let's be somewhat generous. And unlike ground units, a space ship will be built to withstand radiation, because there's clearly a lot of it.
But then, nukes are a plot point, and a weapon with political impact in Battletech, so we'd need to find a way for their damage to be more believable while being impactful, and as a consequence uncommon.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 02 January 2019, 12:49:24
That's just it they depend on lucky rolls while other missiles don't. Why wouldn't the Type Ib Arrow have the same armor penetration as a Non-Homing Arrow or the AS Arrow? Why wouldn't any nuke armed missile have the same armor penetration as their non nuke counterparts?

The PPC competes because the rules for nukes are whacked. The way the rules are written Nukes are more like mines than missiles.

That presumes there is a penetration chance for ASMs.  It is entirely possible to achieve at least some, potentially all, the critical effects of the ASM or Capital Missiles without the weapon penetrating the armor.  The ones that I can think of that are debatable depend on the armor scheme used by Battletech Warships.

Even if we accept that the Critical chance of ASMs and Capital Missiles are penetrating the 11+ of Type Ib is exactly the same as the 11+ of the ASM and Barracuda.

So it is my contention that nukes are not too weak, standard weapons are too powerful.

TM page 210 says that capital missiles only deliver kinetic damage.  Given that the missiles have the same damage profile at all ranges, the only way for this to make sense is if they can do much more thrust in a much shorter time frame so they can hit a similar impact velocity regardless of distance.  Using a mass penetrator warhead actually makes some sense given that the kinetic energy is at least an order of magnitude greater than anything you could hope for with a chemical explosion.

That really makes the Advanced Point Defense rules troublesome and makes the Attacking Capital Missile rules more reasonable/realistic.

Quote
Yeah, we can see that here.
  • Ram damage is proportional to velocity but the kinetic energy is the square of the velocity so ram damage is proportional to the square root of the velocity.
  • A nuclear weapon's damage is proportional to the energy.
  • In real physical systems, you generally expect damage to scale super-linear in the incident energy up to the point where the energy is no long captured by the system (i.e. overpenetration).
  • In real physical systems, you typically expect kinetic damage to exceed other forms of bulk energy damage.   For example, a bullet delivering 4kilojoules is equivalent to one food calorie.   If a bullet does damage to a kilogram of an object then a similarly focused source of heat would raise the temperature by 1 degree celsius assuming the thermal inertia of water.
I'm not sure we can conclude much more given the inconsistency and clearly aphysical nature of armor.  It does seem notable that if nuclear weapon damage scaled like KE damage then a 500 kiloton warhead would only do ~32 capital damage.

Real world armors do provide different levels of protection that depend on how the energy is delivered so I wouldn't call Battletech's armor aphysical but I certainly agree that the rules as written in this case does seem rather inconsistent and unhelpful in establishing some form of baseline to build from.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 02 January 2019, 15:59:41
I'm not sure we can conclude much more given the inconsistency and clearly aphysical nature of armor.  It does seem notable that if nuclear weapon damage scaled like KE damage then a 500 kiloton warhead would only do ~32 capital damage.

So a 500 kiloton nuke would do 32 points of capital damage?  That's a lot more than the 1 point they do now.

That presumes there is a penetration chance for ASMs.  It is entirely possible to achieve at least some, potentially all, the critical effects of the ASM or Capital Missiles without the weapon penetrating the armor.  The ones that I can think of that are debatable depend on the armor scheme used by Battletech Warships.

Even if we accept that the Critical chance of ASMs and Capital Missiles are penetrating the 11+ of Type Ib is exactly the same as the 11+ of the ASM and Barracuda.

So it is my contention that nukes are not too weak, standard weapons are too powerful.



So your saying a dud nuke would do more damage than one that blows up? ???  I don't remember conventional weapons being a scary threat to warships. It was nukes and fireships that caused so many losses. If nukes do so little damage why bother using them in space at all? 
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 02 January 2019, 17:39:32
A Killerwhale with a nuclear warhead, by the standard rules, deals what? 1000 Damage?
That is wildly ridiculous, but it's rules.
And about remembering:
The canon ships barely mount weapons, and they also barely carry fighters. As such, it's not too much of a problem, as they weren't employed too much, but if you play a large scale game where a player can set their own force composition, yes, they are.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 02 January 2019, 17:46:00
So a 500 kiloton nuke would do 32 points of capital damage?  That's a lot more than the 1 point they do now.


So your saying a dud nuke would do more damage than one that blows up? ???  I don't remember conventional weapons being a scary threat to warships. It was nukes and fireships that caused so many losses. If nukes do so little damage why bother using them in space at all?

Per the rules now it is a 0.5 kiloton warhead that deals 1 Capital damage, not a 500 kiloton.  A 500 kiloton warhead is a Type 4 and does 1000 capital damage.

For reference it takes 22 Type 1b warheads(at the aforementioned 0.5 kilotons) to equal the real world Little Boy.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 02 January 2019, 18:07:22
Per the rules now it is a 0.5 kiloton warhead that deals 1 Capital damage, not a 500 kiloton.  A 500 kiloton warhead is a Type 4 and does 1000 capital damage.

For reference it takes 22 Type 1b warheads(at the aforementioned 0.5 kilotons) to equal the real world Little Boy.


In which case ships wouldn't be worried about nukes. Or at least they'd be less so then the rules make them now.



A Killerwhale with a nuclear warhead, by the standard rules, deals what? 1000 Damage?
That is wildly ridiculous, but it's rules.
And about remembering:
The canon ships barely mount weapons, and they also barely carry fighters. As such, it's not too much of a problem, as they weren't employed too much, but if you play a large scale game where a player can set their own force composition, yes, they are.

Cannon ships do mount wespins and many do carry fighters? How many do you expect them to carry? The Iowa has 9 big guns and 2? Aircraft. Some ships now don't even have that. Why should future space warships be any different
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 02 January 2019, 18:34:37

In which case ships wouldn't be worried about nukes. Or at least they'd be less so then the rules make them now.



Cannon ships do mount wespins and many do carry fighters? How many do you expect them to carry? The Iowa has 9 big guns and 2? Aircraft. Some ships now don't even have that. Why should future space warships be any different

Youll note Iowa is no longer in service, the BB replaced as the primary capital ship by the CV. (Note that the CG waits in the wings, and advances in anti-missile and anti-aircraft technology will likely at some point replace the CV - some serious naval theorists argue that the SSN/SSGN already have, we just havent had a large naval conflcit to drive this home)

In the rules-as-written, this SHOULD have happened in the BTU.  Its trivial, and cheap, to build CVs that can easily defeat more than their cost and tonnage in BBs, due to how much damage ASFs can deal.  (Thus this thread).

Future Space Warships will look nothing like historic naval combat of any era - no more than WW1 Dogfights involved crossing the T.  But we wanted the game to not devolve into pure carrier wars - which they will under RAW.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 02 January 2019, 19:07:17
In which case ships wouldn't be worried about nukes. Or at least they'd be less so then the rules make them now.

I still don't think you understand what the rules for nukes are and what they mean.

The Type Ib is a 0.5 kiloton Warhead and does 1 capital damage if it fails to penetrate the armor.  If it does penetrate the armor it deals 10 capital scale damage to the SI of the ship.  This is the smallest nuke on page 170 of Interstellar Operations.

Type IV is a 500 kiloton weapon that does 1,000 Capital damage when it fails to penetrate the armor.  There are a lot of Warships as currently designed that this damage is more than sufficient to still outright destroy despite failing to penetrate the armor.

Type IV isn't even the biggest nuke on page 170 of Interstellar Operations.

So under rules as written nukes are very capable of destroying Warships and there is plenty to worry about.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 02 January 2019, 22:35:17
That's if the nuke penetrates, which requires a good roll of the dice. Otherwise the smallest nuke does as much damage as a single trooper throwing a rock at the passing warship. I'm sorry but that just seems wrong to me.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 02 January 2019, 23:08:31
That's if the nuke penetrates, which requires a good roll of the dice. Otherwise the smallest nuke does as much damage as a single trooper throwing a rock at the passing warship. I'm sorry but that just seems wrong to me.

You are still failing to comprehend the nuke rules.

I explicitly stated that the Type IV's 1000 Capital damage is when it fails to penetrate.  I have explicitly stated that the Type Ib's 1 Capital damage is when it fails to penetrate.

When they penetrate that goes to 10 damage applied directly to the ship's SI for the Type Ib.  For the Type IV that goes to 10,000 applied directly to the SI of the Warship.

I'm not sure I can be any clearer.

So I'll provide the relevant rules:

Quote from: Interstellar Operations Page 169-170

Capital Damage (Crit Chance): These values apply when thenuclear device impacts the hull of a spacecraft while in vacuum or space. Because there is no atmosphere to carry the pressure wave and freball, capital damage from a nuclear weapon is equal to only 1 percent (rounded down) of the weapon’s normal impact damage.

If the weapon then scores a special critical hit—made by rolling 2D6 and meeting or exceeding the value presented under this column in parentheses—this damage also penetrates the armor and delivers 10 times its Capital Damage value directly to the spacecraft’s SI. For instance, if a 5-kiloton Type II “Alamo” warhead hits a DropShip in space, it will deliver 10 points of capital-scale damage to the ship’s hull, at which point the attacker makes a second 2D6 roll against a TN of 10+. If this roll is 9 or less, the DropShip has suffered only the hull damage and any normal damage effects that might come with it, but if the roll is 10+, the DropShip also sustains 100 points of capital damage directly to its SI, and rolls for critical effects against that (assuming the vessel has any structural integrity left).
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 03 January 2019, 04:08:29
I'm comprehending the rules. I'm questioning why they must roll for additional damage. I'm also questioning why the Type Ib should do less damage compared to its non nuke counterparts.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 03 January 2019, 08:16:17
With orbital bombardment, they could instead keep the booster fuel to ignite nearby air.
This doesn't quite make sense to me.  If it's a chemical fuel rocket then all necessary reactants are onboard.
I believe it is common sense to somewhat flatten the kinetic energy curve, because otherwise the game becomes less controllable, and less fun.
Yep.
Again going back to nukes, assuming the nuke damage is originally based on atmosphere, which I assume it is, it's base damage would only be 15% of that in space. Maybe 20%, let's be somewhat generous. And unlike ground units, a space ship will be built to withstand radiation, because there's clearly a lot of it.
But then, nukes are a plot point, and a weapon with political impact in Battletech, so we'd need to find a way for their damage to be more believable while being impactful, and as a consequence uncommon.
A couple points:
(1) There is significantly more 'bang' available with nukes.   The US had a 9MTon ICBM launchable nuclear warhead for many years.  Given the existing scaling, this would inflict 18K capital damage.  The point here is that if nukes have their damage degraded, then the definition of what is a 'tactical' nuke will naturally shift towards larger warheads.  In a sense, A 'tactical' nukes dealing 1000 capital damage is the definition of 'tactical', not a 500kton explosion. 
(2) The energy going into the pressure wave of a nuke does not disappear in space precisely.  Instead, it's just that a much larger fraction of the energy is incident as energy rather than as a pressure wave.   Again, kinetic energy (the pressure wave) is typically more destructive than other forms of energy.
That really makes the Advanced Point Defense rules troublesome and makes the Attacking Capital Missile rules more reasonable/realistic.
Yeah deterministically dissuading a kinetic warhead does seem implausible.
Real world armors do provide different levels of protection that depend on how the energy is delivered so I wouldn't call Battletech's armor aphysical but I certainly agree that the rules as written in this case does seem rather inconsistent and unhelpful in establishing some form of baseline to build from.
It's easy to believe in varying effectiveness against different energy sources.  What I find hard to believe is scaling with the square root of the incident energy.  In the large-scale limit, it should at least be linear and plausibly superlinear.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Maingunnery on 03 January 2019, 09:53:46

Personally I think that currently nukes do too much damage for their yield.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 03 January 2019, 10:08:17
Well, part of the problem with nukes in game is that the writers want nukes to interact with BTU units they way they interact with IRL units.

And BTU units are, on the whole, rather a lot tougher than IRL units - but we have nothing to indicate that BTU nukes are over-performing RL nukes by the same multiple orders of magnitude.  Now, perhaps they -could-, being a product of the same super-high tech base...

But it all comes down to ‘are nukes good for the game’.  And I dont believe they are.  Having an instant ‘everyone loses’ button lying around wouldnt allow for the sort of battles we see in universe, and saying ‘they are there but they never get used unless plot demands it for tension/drama’ is cheap, lazy writing.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 03 January 2019, 11:06:57
In most of the cases they are used, however, they are used on the ground.
Where actually it entirely depends on type - some of the larger vehicles can quite survive a close detonation of a smaller model.
In space, they'd be weaker, and it indeed is lazy writing that they are supposedly still t bees knees.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 03 January 2019, 11:19:03
In most of the cases they are used, however, they are used on the ground.
Where actually it entirely depends on type - some of the larger vehicles can quite survive a close detonation of a smaller model.
In space, they'd be weaker, and it indeed is lazy writing that they are supposedly still t bees knees.

Well, as we have discussed, theres no reason (other than narrative) for nukes to be special magic in a can.  They are just big explosives, and the math suggests that the BTU already slings around energy on a level to make nukes nothing special, at least when used against naval targets (they would remain devastating to civilian infrastructure - but naval equipment is already a big glowing delete button to civilian infrastructure, due to BTU drives if nothing else).

To go off topic - consider a nice, hefty warship, say a McKenna, sitting at 1G on its tail at the edge of the atmosphere interface. Setting aside the actual weapons, how much energy is that fusion torch pumping into the atmosphere under it?  What effect if any does it have on the ground beneath it?  I sadly lack the science or the math to address it, but were looking at what.. a stream of very fast, very hot helium out the back?  Does anyone know which fusion cycle the BTU fusion plant runs on, and what its byproducts are?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 03 January 2019, 11:33:19
When it comes to a standard atmosphere, that humans could easily live in, the effects are negligible, if at all noticeable.
In fact, nukes and missiles would be the go to equipment for attacking a planet, as lasers would be at least slightly degraded, especially targeting through clouds, while anything slinging mass around would be swallowed up by the thinner layers of the stratosphere leaving a spectacular light show at best.
The exhaust of a McKenna, if it followed physical principles, would slightly warm up the air below it, but other than that have little effect.
Of course, Warships throw out mass at impossible velocities, up to a multiple of lightspeed, so we have no idea what would happen.
It could conceivably affect the local weather, however, and you probably shouldn't try attacking it with fighters from below.
Which, now that I think about it, should always apply. It should be completely impossible for fighter weapons to shoot into a warship drive, even a heavy gauss slug should just disintegrate in a fraction of a second.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 03 January 2019, 11:57:04
I'm comprehending the rules. I'm questioning why they must roll for additional damage. I'm also questioning why the Type Ib should do less damage compared to its non nuke counterparts.

Primarily because the Type Ib is only equal to 500 tons of TNT exploding in the vacuum of space unless it penetrates the armor and inside the armor protection of a Warship there tends to be an atmosphere.

The presence, or in this case the lack of, an atmosphere really does drastically change how effective nuclear weapons are.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 03 January 2019, 19:37:44
Well, as we have discussed, theres no reason (other than narrative) for nukes to be special magic in a can.  They are just big explosives, and the math suggests that the BTU already slings around energy on a level to make nukes nothing special, at least when used against naval targets (they would remain devastating to civilian infrastructure - but naval equipment is already a big glowing delete button to civilian infrastructure, due to BTU drives if nothing else).
Do note the correction here (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=63746.msg1470483#msg1470483)---I think I slipped 3 orders of magnitude in an earlier calculation.

To go off topic - consider a nice, hefty warship, say a McKenna, sitting at 1G on its tail at the edge of the atmosphere interface. Setting aside the actual weapons, how much energy is that fusion torch pumping into the atmosphere under it?  What effect if any does it have on the ground beneath it? 
Here's an estimate:
A 2 megaton ship thrust at 1g for 1 second creates kinetic energy 2*10^9 kg * 10 m/s * 10 m/s / 2 = 10^11 joules.   There are 1400 joules of sunlight incident on a square meter of Earth, so this is something like 7*10^7 square meters of sunlight.  If the exhaust from a warship 100km up is incident on a circle of radius 1km, then this works out to be about 20x the heat from sunlight.   If it's a circle of radius 10km, then it will be .2x the heat from sunlight.    It's unclear how tight the exhaust is from a warship, but designers will aim for a tight beam to maximize thrust.   The .2x sunlight will have significant climatic and observable weather effects.  The 20x sunlight case would slowly cook an area and possibly create a hurricane/tornado effect where rising hot air sucks in cold air at the base of the column leading to the development of a vortex.
I sadly lack the science or the math to address it, but were looking at what.. a stream of very fast, very hot helium out the back?  Does anyone know which fusion cycle the BTU fusion plant runs on, and what its byproducts are?
It's supposed to produce mostly helium although I don't think a particular path has been specified.  I'd guess it's one of these (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proton%E2%80%93proton_chain_reaction) which aren't particularly bad radiationwise.  In particular, they don't produce bare neutrons, the source of radioactive contamination.  The neutrino's are meaningless.  The gamma rays penetration should be similar to that from the sun.  The charged particles will produce some ionization but that should be minor.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 04 January 2019, 07:54:10
Primarily because the Type Ib is only equal to 500 tons of TNT exploding in the vacuum of space unless it penetrates the armor and inside the armor protection of a Warship there tends to be an atmosphere.

The presence, or in this case the lack of, an atmosphere really does drastically change how effective nuclear weapons are.

Its the same missile hitting the ship. The only difference is the payload. If the nuke is going "BOOM" equal to 500 tons of TNT shouldn't the Non nuke have a much smaller "boom"?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 04 January 2019, 10:54:06
The non-nuke is supposedly factored as a kinetic penetrator.
I suppose you could just fire the nukes inert, but then why use them at all.

Edit: Anyone know off the top of their head the fire scattering when attacking a warship? As in, how much of the hitting fire actually hits a single facing?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 04 January 2019, 11:06:39
Indeed as already stated several times it isn't just about how much of a boom there is but how it is delivered.

The real world physics that we know for nukes does back up that they would have a very significant drop off in effectiveness on top of that.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 04 January 2019, 11:24:48
The non-nuke is supposedly factored as a kinetic penetrator.
I suppose you could just fire the nukes inert, but then why use them at all.
I'd like to point out this analysis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proton%E2%80%93proton_chain_reaction) again. 

It seems fairly reasonable to have a 1.34kton kinetic strike do 4 capital damage and a 0.5kton nuke do 1 capital damage.

The kinetic component of all nuke delivery systems (type I(1 ton, 30 mapsheets), II(5 tons, 25 space hexes), III(40 tons, 50 space hexes), IV(50 tons, 50 space hexes)) is always negligible compared to the nuclear payload and hence reasonably neglected in game.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Vition2 on 04 January 2019, 12:09:31
Just to add some anecdotal evidence to the non-penetrating damage being drastically less effective.  When I was training in the US military, our instructors set up an example of this.  They placed two sets of five identical charges.  One set was placed about a foot, maybe two, below ground, the others were set on top of the ground - all this was fairly loose dirt/mud as it was an explosives training range.  After detonation, each of the above ground explosions produced a crater roughly the size of a beachball, the ones placed below ground's cavities merged and could fit, roughly, a bus and a half.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 04 January 2019, 15:22:44
It has to be wondered how the hell a nuke would penetrate, though. They aren't exactly bomb pumped lasers, or nuclear shaped charges, which, btw, is both theoretically possible.
Quote
It seems fairly reasonable to have a 1.34kton kinetic strike do 4 capital damage and a 0.5kton nuke do 1 capital damage.
I certainly agree, but I can see the point that it's somewhat off when the nuke deals less damage then a non-nuclear missile, or the same, but costs far more.
All that said, I think nukes are at worst a side conflict to the fighter issue.
And to that point, I'll repeat my question that I edited in late in my last post:
How is the damage of a fighter squadron actually spread?
I'd assume about half or more of the damage would hit a single facing?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 04 January 2019, 16:29:48
I certainly agree, but I can see the point that it's somewhat off when the nuke deals less damage then a non-nuclear missile, or the same, but costs far more.
In general, there are plenty of overly-expensive ways to cause damage and that seems realistic.  It's also worth noting that the type I nuke is not really meant for space battles. 
How is the damage of a fighter squadron actually spread?
It should be like any other incoming damage source.   In other words, aft or nose aspects put 61% on the aft or nose armor and 19.4% on aft or fore sides respectively.  The side aspect is more spread with 50% on the aft side, 38.9% fore side, 8.3% aft, and 2.8% nose.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 04 January 2019, 17:54:28
Maybe anti-ship nukes are casaba howitzers?  I mean, it beats radiating >50% of your energy off into space, and might even allow some standoff.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 04 January 2019, 21:28:02
There's shrapnel bombs (which that basically is), shaped charges, and bomb pumped lasers. None of those would be particularly usful in atmosphere, though. Admittedly, it might not have an adverse effect, either.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 04 January 2019, 21:40:21
The non-nuke is supposedly factored as a kinetic penetrator.
I suppose you could just fire the nukes inert, but then why use them at all.

Edit: Anyone know off the top of their head the fire scattering when attacking a warship? As in, how much of the hitting fire actually hits a single facing?

Indeed as already stated several times it isn't just about how much of a boom there is but how it is delivered.

The real world physics that we know for nukes does back up that they would have a very significant drop off in effectiveness on top of that.

Except its the same missile that goes boom when used in an atmosphere.


Signifigant drop, yes but it shouldn't be less effective than other explosives. The other nukes do more damage.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 04 January 2019, 22:13:29
Except its the same missile that goes boom when used in an atmosphere.

Signifigant drop, yes but it shouldn't be less effective than other explosives. The other nukes do more damage.


Ah I see.  The misconception is in your understanding of how nukes actually primarily do their damage.

Nuclear explosions are really reliant on atmospheres for their damage.  So much so that 1% of their standard scale damage is Battletech actually being generous compared to what real world physics says should be the damage drop off due to just the lack of medium for shock wave and thermal effects.

So it is entirely possible that in space more conventional explosives that do not rely on the same kind of effects can actually be much more deadly and most Capital scale weapons are heavily implied if not outright stated to use pure kinetic impacts instead(NACs, NGauss, and Captial Missiles).
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 05 January 2019, 02:26:00
Ah I see.  The misconception is in your understanding of how nukes actually primarily do their damage.

Nuclear explosions are really reliant on atmospheres for their damage.  So much so that 1% of their standard scale damage is Battletech actually being generous compared to what real world physics says should be the damage drop off due to just the lack of medium for shock wave and thermal effects.

So it is entirely possible that in space more conventional explosives that do not rely on the same kind of effects can actually be much more deadly and most Capital scale weapons are heavily implied if not outright stated to use pure kinetic impacts instead(NACs, NGauss, and Captial Missiles).

Damage from explosions are by heat, shrapnel, and from the pressure wave. Correct? Something all explosives would have a problem with in space unless shaped? Correct? And if conventional explosives can be shape charged and if its possible to do the same with nukes, why do they do less damage? And if I'm reading write why is it just the Arrows?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 05 January 2019, 11:56:58
Only if you really super over simplify what is going on and even then it'd be a very limited extent.

Nukes in space really are not the same frightening weapon they are in an atmosphere even if you 'shape' the warhead or go for a contact detonation instead of a proximity detonation.

It really is that simple.  Sci-fi tropes have propped it up beyond what it's realistic effects would be for a long time.

Even if you still insist on dismissing that as I also stated most Capital grade weapons are either implied or outright explicitly stated to be relying on kinetic impacts with the only explosives involved being the propellant/fuel.  To expand on that further of standard scale weapons only the LRM and SRM seem to be using explosive payloads as standard AC ammo has been often described as depleted uranium kinetic penetrators but it being the propellant that is what explodes on a critical hit.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 05 January 2019, 14:15:34
Weve wandered a bit far afield.

Where is everyone on ‘what option packages, taken together, create a design space that allows for CGs and CVs to matter, while still making room for large gunships to be at least a good enough option to explain why thats what got built?’
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 05 January 2019, 15:43:09
Well I do think it is important to this discussion to determine if we are happy with the nuke rules too.

For me they work well enough and only look so bad on the surface because of how effective standard weapons are in general and in specific against Warships.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: marcussmythe on 05 January 2019, 16:40:21
Well I do think it is important to this discussion to determine if we are happy with the nuke rules too.

For me they work well enough and only look so bad on the surface because of how effective standard weapons are in general and in specific against Warships.

Well, at my own table, I treat it as if Nukes are nothing unusual - as if the energy content of weapons are already on that scale, and as if putting a nuke on the head of a KW does no more to the target than just sending in a 50 ton kinetic impactor.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 05 January 2019, 16:46:48
Well I do think it is important to this discussion to determine if we are happy with the nuke rules too.

For me they work well enough and only look so bad on the surface because of how effective standard weapons are in general and in specific against Warships.
As a game element the nuke rules seem substantially worse in ground play where there is no real defense against them and they are more overwhelming.  Basically, nukes seem like an inevitable 'game over' on the ground.  However, we aren't really worried about this. 

In space, it seems reasonable to justify the nuke damage rules given that capital damage / kinetic energy kiloton for capital missiles is in the same ballpark as capital damage / nuke kiloton.  As a consequence, they seem "realistic". 

As a game element, balance is more questionable.  A target either has sufficient point defense or it is destroyed.   With the proposed point defense rules modifications this becomes a more stochastic process, but it doesn't alter that fundamental equation.   This isn't inherently unbalanced because point defense is generally more effective than capital missiles on a tonnage basis.  It is however opposed to existing designs in the sense that none of the star league era warships had any kind of serious point defense. 

Hence, I think the best basis for a rules change is not "realism" or "game balance", but rather "agreement with canon designs".   Why didn't the canon warship designs mount serious point defense? There's a partial answer in the Ares convention and a partial answer in the lack of missile cruisers.   Maybe the powers that be decided to not build nuclear missile carriers because they knew that it would be easily countered by a refit improving point defense?   It is reasonably easy for canon designs to carry adequate point defense for a canon warship's missiles by using their small complements of ASF / smallcraft as a point defense battery. 

Nerfing nukes further seems pretty difficult to do in a realistic fashion.  There is no reason to build larger warheads for space combat under the existing rules, because the type IV nuclear weapon is entirely adequate for killing nearly any unit.  However, if the damage from a nuclear weapon changes, then the yield would realistically be dialed up to compensate.  As far as I can tell there is no logical reason why the yield couldn't be dialed up to at least 25 megatons with a Killer Whale delivery mechanism using something like the B41 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B41_nuclear_bomb).  Under the existing scaling that would inflict 50K capital damage.  Even nerfing this to scale damage with the square root of the energy as per ramming attacks it would suggest doing 223 capital damage.   That still doesn't help since if you can build a missileer capable of putting one hit through point defense it's not that hard to build a missileer capable of getting a dozen hits through point defense, and a dozen hits will kill anything.

Overall, I'm inclined towards not touching the nuke rules.  They are "realistic".  They are "balanced" in a design environment and in a canon environment where fighters are used as bonus point defense.  You can sort of squint at the Ares Conventions and the outcome of an arms race between missile cruisers and point defense to see a reason for existing designs.  And, I don't see a rules modification which satisfies the criteria of "realistic" and "balanced" while having them do radically lesser damage.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 05 January 2019, 18:02:44
*nod*

I think we're pretty well in agreement there.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 06 January 2019, 05:45:35
Only if you really super over simplify what is going on and even then it'd be a very limited extent.

Nukes in space really are not the same frightening weapon they are in an atmosphere even if you 'shape' the warhead or go for a contact detonation instead of a proximity detonation.

It really is that simple.  Sci-fi tropes have propped it up beyond what it's realistic effects would be for a long time.

Even if you still insist on dismissing that as I also stated most Capital grade weapons are either implied or outright explicitly stated to be relying on kinetic impacts with the only explosives involved being the propellant/fuel.  To expand on that further of standard scale weapons only the LRM and SRM seem to be using explosive payloads as standard AC ammo has been often described as depleted uranium kinetic penetrators but it being the propellant that is what explodes on a critical hit.

I believe I said Arrows. All the other nukes do more damage than their conventional counterparts. Arrows to less. That makes no sense.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 06 January 2019, 08:14:21
I attempted to summarize the rules changes we are near consensus on in the OP. 
I think we're pretty well in agreement there.
monbvol, what did you think of attempt 9?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 06 January 2019, 08:54:49
Also, I wanted to directly reply to marcussmythe's question about the role of a CG under these rules.

In essence, the CG seems to be the premier nutcracker.  It's relatively easy to create a constellation of space stations that overwhelms fleets engaging in direct attack on a cost basis.  The missileer provides an answer to this since it can jump in far out, accelerate to low-c velocity for a week and fire 7 arcs of missiles with preprogrammed waypoints + bearings only launch, then jump out while remaining undetected.   The poor space station in orbit around the inhabited planet will be hit by many missiles with <1 minute of warning.  Since the primary defense against missiles is provided by fighter/smallcraft many of these will get through and cause quadruple damage.

You can also crack a space station with some warning at lower speeds.  Just launch missiles, accelerate a little bit, launch missiles again, accelerate, launch, etc... timing everything so all missiles hit in the same round. 

Obviously, a CG is also potentially effective against enemy warships that forswear or forsake sufficient point defense.  Since "sufficient point defense" tends to require smallcraft/fighters operating around a defense-in-depth paradigm, clever maneuvering including mid-fight jumps could be effective. 

I'd sort-of like to see a CG in an antifighter role, but that seems invalid under attempt 9 both because fighter point defense can squelch missiles and because the missiles simply don't do enough damage at a 10:1 ratio. 
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 06 January 2019, 11:21:49
I believe I said Arrows. All the other nukes do more damage than their conventional counterparts. Arrows to less. That makes no sense.

It makes plenty of sense if you really understand how a nuke primarily does it's damage.

Plus Arrow IVs have to be modified in some way to be able to target Warships as their standard or air launched versions cannot attack Warships.  The only options I see are the Air to Air Arrow and Anti-ship Missile.  Both lose the AE quality so both are clearly changing their warheads and changing how they do damage as a result.  Both are also considered Capital Missiles for what ever point defense rules are in effect.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 07 January 2019, 00:31:30
I attempted to summarize the rules changes we are near consensus on in the OP.  monbvol, what did you think of attempt 9?

Meant to get back to this sooner.  I think depending on some answers about Advanced Point Defense and Capital Missiles it could be workable.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 07 January 2019, 02:46:30
So how does the current attempt affect capital weapons used against dropships?
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 07 January 2019, 05:22:22
It makes plenty of sense if you really understand how a nuke primarily does it's damage.

Plus Arrow IVs have to be modified in some way to be able to target Warships as their standard or air launched versions cannot attack Warships.  The only options I see are the Air to Air Arrow and Anti-ship Missile.  Both lose the AE quality so both are clearly changing their warheads and changing how they do damage as a result.  Both are also considered Capital Missiles for what ever point defense rules are in effect.

I see nothing that says that Arrows cannot target warships. What I do see is that they do standard scale damage equaling 2 points of capital damage and have an automatic chance of a critical hit. Their not doing AE damage is a reflection of the scale in range.   The only difference I see between nuke and non nuke Arrows is that nukes weigh a lot more but that should mean they'd have more kinetic energy upon impact. So I still don't see why nukes do less damage than non nukes.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 07 January 2019, 07:29:50
So how does the current attempt affect capital weapons used against dropships?
No effect.
Meant to get back to this sooner.  I think depending on some answers about Advanced Point Defense and Capital Missiles it could be workable.
Thanks.  My experience here is that rules questions may take quite awhile.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 07 January 2019, 11:42:17
I see nothing that says that Arrows cannot target warships. What I do see is that they do standard scale damage equaling 2 points of capital damage and have an automatic chance of a critical hit. Their not doing AE damage is a reflection of the scale in range.   The only difference I see between nuke and non nuke Arrows is that nukes weigh a lot more but that should mean they'd have more kinetic energy upon impact. So I still don't see why nukes do less damage than non nukes.

Unmodified Arrow IVs do not have an Aerospace range.  Thus they cannot be targeted at Warships.

Air to Air Arrows and Anti-Ship Missiles can target ground units.  They still do not get the AE quality if doing so.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 09 January 2019, 04:20:25
Unmodified Arrow IVs do not have an Aerospace range.  Thus they cannot be targeted at Warships.

Air to Air Arrows and Anti-Ship Missiles can target ground units.  They still do not get the AE quality if doing so.


Strategic Operations page 97.
[quoteArrow IV Missiles: Arrow IV missiles are treated exactly like
capital missiles, except that in place of capital-scale damage,
use standard-scale damage, giving an Arrow IV missile 20
points of standard-scale armor.][/quote]
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 09 January 2019, 11:47:48

Quote from: Strategic Operations page 97.
Arrow IV Missiles: Arrow IV missiles are treated exactly like
capital missiles, except that in place of capital-scale damage,
use standard-scale damage, giving an Arrow IV missile 20
points of standard-scale armor.


I'll be honest I can see why you think those rules mean that unmodified Arrow IVs can be used against Warships but that's not what is going on there.

It's just the game designers giving a way to treat Arrow IVs as the missiles they are.

After all keep in mind unmodified Arrow IVs cannot be used in Surface to Orbit fire, can only be fired from a unit in flight if it is the air launched version, and still has no Aerospace range even then.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 09 January 2019, 18:02:19


I'll be honest I can see why you think those rules mean that unmodified Arrow IVs can be used against Warships but that's not what is going on there.

It's just the game designers giving a way to treat Arrow IVs as the missiles they are.

After all keep in mind unmodified Arrow IVs cannot be used in Surface to Orbit fire, can only be fired from a unit in flight if it is the air launched version, and still has no Aerospace range even then.


They can't be used for Surface to Orbit fire because they don't have the range. They also don't have ranges in space as they use bombing rules.

They also would have been one of the few Arrow IV types available during the Star League.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 09 January 2019, 19:03:05
Okay I'll admit I missed the bombing rules and you really should have cited those not the Advanced Point Defense rules but the point still stands nukes suck in space.  Really bad.  To the point that you are better off using other means.

But I'll say it again.  Battletech is being really generous to a Type Ib by allowing it to do 1 Capital damage when failing to penetrate.  It is only a 500 ton Warhead after all.  That's a baby nuke.  Super low end tactical scale.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 10 January 2019, 04:21:06
Okay I'll admit I missed the bombing rules and you really should have cited those not the Advanced Point Defense rules but the point still stands nukes suck in space.  Really bad.  To the point that you are better off using other means.

But I'll say it again.  Battletech is being really generous to a Type Ib by allowing it to do 1 Capital damage when failing to penetrate.  It is only a 500 ton Warhead after all.  That's a baby nuke.  Super low end tactical scale.

I've been sighting rules as things come up. Damage see X rules. Range see Y.

And I get nukes aren't going to do as much damage in space as they would in air. I get that. But I don't believe 500 tons of TNT smacking into a ships hull is going to do more damage than its equivalent nuke. At minimum the damage should be the same. The problem is not only do we not have that but we have weapons doing more damage than nukes with less explosive.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 10 January 2019, 11:06:42
500 tons of TNT probably would be pretty bad in space too but a shaped charge using something like semtex probably be very much more effective.

Or delivering a pure kintetic impact that works out to the same 500 tons of TNT.  Since most Battletech space born weapons that are really damaging are either explicitly using kinetic impacts it really shouldn't be that surprising that you need big nukes to compete.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 11 January 2019, 02:44:18
500 tons of TNT probably would be pretty bad in space too but a shaped charge using something like semtex probably be very much more effective.

Or delivering a pure kintetic impact that works out to the same 500 tons of TNT.  Since most Battletech space born weapons that are really damaging are either explicitly using kinetic impacts it really shouldn't be that surprising that you need big nukes to compete.

That's just it. Arrow IVs aren't changed. So why do they do more damage than their nuke counterparts? That's what I don't understand.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: Lagrange on 11 January 2019, 08:11:09
Two things of note:
(a) The EO Arrow IV weighs 1 ton, 5x more than the baseline Arrow IV as per TO page 414.   It's not clear that you can put a type I nuke into an air launched Arrow IV because as Arrow IV ammo, it also weighs 5x more than normal.
(b) The disparity between a 1 ton conventional bomb doing 20 points of standard damage and a mininuke doing 1 capital damage supports the thesis that a point of capital damage should mean more than 10 points of standard damage.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 11 January 2019, 11:39:17
I had glossed over that tidbit myself, that the air launched Arrow IV is by definition modified.

Despite the AE quality there could be a lot of abstracted/unstated modifications that can explain why it does a consistent 2 Capital damage.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 12 January 2019, 10:33:44
I blame lazy writers and insufficient communication.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 12 January 2019, 12:23:20
It doesn't quite feel right to call it lazy writing but unfortunately that is what it comes down to doesn't it?

As much as there may have been directives handed down and the aerospace portion of the game is to take a back seat to the ground game there could have been a surprisingly small number of changes made to make a more interesting and fun game that isn't so easy to abuse/exploit.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 12 January 2019, 12:55:29
Two things of note:
(a) The EO Arrow IV weighs 1 ton, 5x more than the baseline Arrow IV as per TO page 414.   It's not clear that you can put a type I nuke into an air launched Arrow IV because as Arrow IV ammo, it also weighs 5x more than normal.
(b) The disparity between a 1 ton conventional bomb doing 20 points of standard damage and a mininuke doing 1 capital damage supports the thesis that a point of capital damage should mean more than 10 points of standard damage.

Increased weight doesn't mean that the nuke is 5x bigger. Just heavier. It also has the same range so it didn't change there.

20 points of standard damage equals 2 points of capital damage. And to me the nuke should do more than that. Not less.



Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 12 January 2019, 17:54:48
And it does when there is an atmosphere.

A lot more.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 13 January 2019, 13:37:45
We're talking about space though.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: UnLimiTeD on 13 January 2019, 14:38:54
The point has clearly been reached, passed, and reached again where you are arguing in circles and not going anywhere, argumentative or otherwise. I believe by now we could have a moderator split of "nukes in space" into it's own topic and we'd cut off a third of this thread.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: monbvol on 13 January 2019, 14:55:26
Fair point UnLimiTeD.
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: RifleMech on 13 January 2019, 23:29:38
 :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Balancing naval rules for interest
Post by: truetanker on 14 January 2019, 23:08:45
How else do you make popcorn in space without nukes?  ;)

TT