Author Topic: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?  (Read 3058 times)

DevianID

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #120 on: 08 July 2024, 05:41:04 »
Note that, provided you have enough resource(again, not only cash, but also resource, infrastructure, time, etc, to actually build and have one), the best fast ship is a 2,500,000 tons warship.

Of course, it only applies when those '2,500,000 tons warship' is actually available for some nations and is not something difficult to produce enough to allows some of those to be such a specific design, though, which wasn't happend at all through all canon era of battletech and will not be realized even on AD3250 either.

The best fast ship is 2.5 MT, but the best fast ship loses to the best slow ship, so I can see an argument that, since you will lose to a slower warship anyway at fixed point battles, the fast ship could still do its job and kill dropships while being much smaller, by giving up its anti-warship main guns (as they wouldnt help win the fight anyway.)

you probably only need like 60 capital damage to chase down and wreck most dropships, until very late era when castrums come around... so a very lean and scrappy small destroyer, used in small numbers, might be economical--you dont need 120 HNPPCs to wreck some dropships.

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #121 on: 08 July 2024, 06:04:30 »
Another wrinkle in the smaller ship discussion is how alien space warfare is in attack/defense, versus ship speed.

So say you are on the attack, what speed is ideal?  You probably dont want to be much faster then 2/3 or 3/5, just enough to lazily roll around if needed to change arcs.

There are no real rules about getting places faster, for good or bad... Like a 5/8 warship can burn at 4Gs for 10 years and the crew carry on like normal.  We all know this isnt realistic/survivable, but the game doesnt care.  However, does that speed even matter?  Being fast means you can escape, or chase something else down, but say you have a fat 2/3 speed fleet coming to take your planet.  Being 5/8 doesnt seem to help here, right?  Like, youd want some 5/8 ships to chase down dropships, which tend to be 4/6 at best but 3/5 minimum to leave a planets surface, but for actual combat speed is super secondary and possibly detrimental.  The main advantage of being faster is the ability to carry more armor, so perhaps there is a ratio of capital damage attack bays to armor im missing, but for something mckenna shaped you get about 5 capital damage for 1k tons, and have 2214 armor at 2/3.  At 3/5 you get 3690 armor, for 242k tons.  So the bump up in speed for armor provided 6 armor per 1k tons.  So, after 2 salvos, you are better off having more guns then less gun and that same tonnage spent in armor via going faster to get more SI.  Not sure if thresholds matter much, how many crits does it take on a ship from thresholds before you care?  Cause at a glance, you die before the crits stack up to matter at all.

This does mean you might want 2 types of ships.  A fast warship, for raiding duty, to chase down dropships in deep space.  And a slow warship, for fighting things that dont move--space stations, orbital stations, planets, crossing engagements.  At these fixed points, the faster speed warships being able to escape doesnt matter, as the 2/3 slow warships are there to destroy the fixed point, and they win exchanges against faster better armored ships.

So the faster warship, since it wont win anyway versus slower warships, can afford to be smaller, as it doesnt need much to crack down on dropships.  This idea of 'escort' ship, fast, small, not great in a fight, but deadly to dropships, wouldnt be very cost effective in terms of battling other warships, but it would give a navy a capability it wants in the raiding department.  You would probably want the 'dropship destroyer' class of warship pretty tightly tuned with not a lot of fat, as its a known waste of resources in terms of capital ships... but you need SOMETHING to do its job, as dropships dont cut it as 'dropship destroyers' until way later in the timeline when sub capital weapons come out.  However, youd also only want a small number of these 'fast' warships, as again they do fill a need, but the greater need is in attacking/defending fixed points, which means the bulk of the fleet needs to be slower to efficiently carry the guns required to win fights.

Edit: How critical is it to make a ship with 601 armor in every location to stop threshold crits?  Looking at it, a slower 2/3 ship will take about 13 hits of 70 damage before dying, assuming hit location rolls, which is about 5-6 crits from threshold (all ships have to deal with non threshold crits, so im not counting these).  The 3/5 ship, in the time it deals 13 hits, will take 26 hits back due to the slower ship having double the guns, but dies at 19 hits of 70 damage.  Im not sure 5-6 crits will reduce 26 hits down to less then 19, especially as so many crits dont do anything right away.  Edit2: or is this moot anyway, as by just taking a larger ship and using ferro lamellor you are immune to threshold even at 2/3 speed?
Well isn't the immunity against capital damage of 70 is given when you reach to 691 points, for at the time the 10% of this is more than 69?

Well a 2/3 ship can have up to 90 SI, so on a 100,000t ship you can have up to 306 points when you use lamellor ferror carbide, so it's impossible on such a light raider class. If you want to plate the ship's sides with at least 591 points(well it seems that you want to protect it with 60 points of capital damage anyways)ou will need at least around 1,400,000 tons, where you can get about 2500 armor points, but since you do need to put the armor on the front and rear as well so, about 1,800,000 tons it can gets near 3300 points or armor. With about 2,200,000 tons you can get about 4,000 points of armor, so you may plate all sides with about 700 points and spend remaining 1200 points to front and rear. At 2,500,000 tons you can get up to 4,554 armor points by SI 90.

Although, the faster ships are struggle to found the remaining tonnage meanwhile. That said, it's fully doable to make a 2,500,000 tons warship with speed of 7/11.



Daryk

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #122 on: 08 July 2024, 07:01:08 »
A faster ship can kite a slower one.  Granted, there's only one weapon that outranges the HNPPC, but there is one...

EPG

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #123 on: 08 July 2024, 07:41:19 »
The best fast ship is 2.5 MT, but the best fast ship loses to the best slow ship, so I can see an argument that, since you will lose to a slower warship anyway at fixed point battles, the fast ship could still do its job and kill dropships while being much smaller, by giving up its anti-warship main guns (as they wouldnt help win the fight anyway.)

you probably only need like 60 capital damage to chase down and wreck most dropships, until very late era when castrums come around... so a very lean and scrappy small destroyer, used in small numbers, might be economical--you dont need 120 HNPPCs to wreck some dropships.

The best fast ship only looses to the best slow ship if it chooses to fight.  If it chooses not to fight, it can just sail away. That’s a huge strategic advantage, because it means you never have to fight unless you think you can win (or at least damage the other side so much that the trade is worth it)

Challenger

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #124 on: 08 July 2024, 09:37:05 »
The best fast ship only looses to the best slow ship if it chooses to fight.  If it chooses not to fight, it can just sail away. That’s a huge strategic advantage, because it means you never have to fight unless you think you can win (or at least damage the other side so much that the trade is worth it)

True, unless the wider strategic situation means you have to fight whether you want to or not. That has happened plenty of times in real naval campaigns where the inferior force is obliged to engage a stronger enemy because uncovering the prize they are defending without a fight is unacceptable for various reasons. Sometimes they even manage to pull off the win anyway. The Battle of the Barents Sea being a particular example.

That said, working out how to force an unwilling opponent to engage in space combat is an interesting problem if you stretch it out over a solar system. On those scales it hardly matters if you have 2/3 or 4/6 thrust as you'll spend most of your time using sustainable thrust at 1G anyway. I can't say I know the solution to that one.

On a tactical level I agree that additional speed gives you a better chance of fighting in the range you want to and of disengaging if you need to. I'd be curious to see the numbers ran on the 'ideal' speed. I suspect that adding too much thrust will turn your ship into a Battlecruiser that struggles against other Battleships whilst handing too much initiative to your opponent.

None of these forces take ANY planets - in fact I never assumed they even had ground forces. All they do is attempt to make the planets as low value as possible to the enemy, for as long as possible - blow up space infrastructure, blow up orbital infrastructure, hit major civilian fusion power plants, blow up space ports, blow up critical defense factories.  If it's a planet that depends on engineered solutions to keep them habitable blow that stuff up too (ex. - domes on domed cities, water purification systems, weather control systems, etc.) The people on that planet might all live through the whole thing (at least until they start dying from lack of crtical infrastructure, repairs, etc. which I cut them off from, with all their ground forces, and most of their industry intact, but they can no longer meaningfully contribute to strategic war on the intersteller level - in fact if they depended on imports of anything critical they may now be a liability if the other side makes attempts to keep them all alive.  I was envisioning this as the opening stages of a major war between two reasonably well matched space empires that are intent on total conquest, or destruction. Ground forces don't get mobilized to take/retake planets until later.  Even if there is some sort of planned attack with ground forces in this initial stage of the war, those forces are coming in on normal jumpships after the warship contingent loaded with aerospace fighter carriers and assault dropships wipes the system clean of deep space defences. 

Ahh, I see what you mean by 'lose'....

I should mention that targeting a lot of your suggested targets would be war crimes and the sort of thing that led to the 1st and 2nd Succession Wars being, well the 1st and 2nd Succession Wars. You can go down that route, but if you start routinely rending your enemy's planets uninhabitable, don't be too shocked when they start using colony drops on your planets. Down that road mutually assured destruction awaits. There is a reason real world nations have so far always stepped back from doing that.

Within reason, space ports, stations, infrastructure are fair game as would be any military installations/industry along with certain civilian industry supplying those. However I question how much truly critical infrastructure like that would be so weakly defended that a lone Lola III could afford to spend long enough in orbit/system to destroy them. I suspect any world with critical military infrastructure on it will be well enough defended to require your BB's attention (or at least a combined force of multiple Lola III) and would make a good reason for two battle fleets to get stuck in.

This adds to my reasoning that whilst I agree some dispersal is required, so is concentration and in far larger amounts than your model suggested. In fact I would suggest that concentration in case of surprise attack is all the more important. I want the defences/mobile forces around my critical nodes strong enough that anything short of a Pearl Harbour level surprise attack is unlikely to succeed.

I would agree that attacks on minor worlds will certainly add up over time, but I contend they are unlikely to have a major strategic impact in the short/medium term. (Unless you pump for outright murder, in which case all bets are off.  :angel:)

As I think about it more, the better mix is probably no vincents at all, and a bunch of Lola's and LevII.s, after we determined that the Lola is something like the 'minimum viable warship' by the fall of the star league.  Everything smaller is basically old stuff left over, or something odd built for some specific purpose. 

Probably Lola sized as I noted above. 

Now this neatly illustrates a real world problem, hypothetically, I've defined my minimum warships as a Vincent, you've gone for the Lola III, our neighbour therefore builds the Congress as their minimum warship and we all end up building bigger ships in response....

In broad strokes, that is how RW Navies went from the first armoured/protected cruisers in the 1870's to Battlecruisers in the late 1900's. A development which forced the invention of the Light Cruiser to cover the roles the BCs were now too expensive and valuable to cover. Those ships in turn became large and larger until we ended up with the Alaska class and we probably would have seen a repeat of the whole cycle if jet aircraft hadn't proven to be a better counter to a surface ship than another surface ship.

Amusingly everyone agreed that smaller warships were required for commerce protections/raiding, but no-one wanted to have the smallest.

I see this kind of arms race to be a major issue with trying to carve out a role for smaller warships. I concur with your Age of Sail observations that ships built between the sizes of Frigates and Ships of the Line were rarely useful. I wondering if your minimum warships should be as small and cheap as possible to free up maximum resources to build BBs for actual fighting. In that case, would any resources expended on DD/FF/CL/CA just be wasted on ships that are overkill as patrol/raiding vessels, yet too weak to stand in the line of battle?

Detailing the differences between an Arleigh Burke and a Ticonderoga was a question on my Surface Warfare qualification board some 20 years ago.  The president of said board had commanded an Arleigh Burke, and the second most senior one had been a Department Head on a Ticonderoga.  Let's just say that question took the longest time to answer, and really came down to the latter's ability to embark a Flag staff if necessary.  And the president of the board counted that as a DISadvantage! :D

ROFL, this is my new favourite anecdote :)

Challenger

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #125 on: 08 July 2024, 10:22:59 »
Both fast ship and powerful ship have its advantage. For fast ship can avoid combat and actively harrass the enemy from afar, while the fast ship cannot keep 'stand' on an objective and face to face the harder enemy. Powerful and/or durable but slow ships are usually have the opposite pros and cons. So, ultimately both have their own preferred area of battle, while fast ships are better at recon, skirmish, harrass and blockade, slow ships are better at attacking and defending the position.

Cannonshop

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #126 on: 08 July 2024, 10:49:16 »
Both fast ship and powerful ship have its advantage. For fast ship can avoid combat and actively harrass the enemy from afar, while the fast ship cannot keep 'stand' on an objective and face to face the harder enemy. Powerful and/or durable but slow ships are usually have the opposite pros and cons. So, ultimately both have their own preferred area of battle, while fast ships are better at recon, skirmish, harrass and blockade, slow ships are better at attacking and defending the position.

but the game only provides for slugfest, not strategies or tactics.  weight of armor and broadside are it, that's all that the game really accounts for...and all that i really CAN account for.

there is no Admiral Yi, in Battletech, nor Horatio Nelson, nor Chester Nimitz or Doernitz or John Paul Jones.  The setting itself is specifically geared to prevent such thoughts and ideas (outside the fan areas on the message board).

"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #127 on: 08 July 2024, 11:25:09 »
But that can't be helped, for the duty of the general/admiral is to make their army/fleet to win the war, and even if they are concentrated on the smaller area, what they need to do is make the 'field' that is advantageous to them. After they are deployed, it's mostly the field officers who try to win the battle, although as the commander those generals/admirals are required to react against change in the situation. An evenly balanced pitched battle isn't anyone's victory, just a draw, for the generals/admirals, but on the game it's a normal.

Perhaps, for admirals, it would be not so true, for they may command a fleet and a fleet can be viewed as only have few numbers of individual units which is not so different with lance vs lance to company vs company on the ground battle? But if we consider this perspective, a pitched fight would be not so bad for them.

Challenger

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #128 on: 08 July 2024, 12:48:01 »
but the game only provides for slugfest, not strategies or tactics.  weight of armor and broadside are it, that's all that the game really accounts for...and all that i really CAN account for.

there is no Admiral Yi, in Battletech, nor Horatio Nelson, nor Chester Nimitz or Doernitz or John Paul Jones.  The setting itself is specifically geared to prevent such thoughts and ideas (outside the fan areas on the message board).

This need not be the case, but the scale of the game can be an issue. I’ve always suspected that space based games needs ALOT more space than any wargaming table I’ve ever seen would allow for.

The rules as written should allow for quite a bit of tactics with faster warships trying to set the range, slow warships holding their formation whilst trying to concentrate fire, the various gambits you can try with aerospace fighters. The problem is that when a warship can reach out to 50hexes, which is clean across a 4’ table, it undercuts the ability/need to manoeuvre.

I’d love to have the time, space and software to play out a full blown solar system battle. The maths required would be formidable though.

Challenger

Daryk

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #129 on: 08 July 2024, 13:01:11 »
More time consuming than formidable.  RAW are just algebra at most.  I suppose you COULD throw some calculus in if you really wanted to.

EPG

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #130 on: 08 July 2024, 13:11:44 »
I was working up a great response when the power went out again and killed it  :cheesy: Thanks Hurricane Beryl!

True, unless the wider strategic situation means you have to fight whether you want to or not. That has happened plenty of times in real naval campaigns where the inferior force is obliged to engage a stronger enemy because uncovering the prize they are defending without a fight is unacceptable for various reasons. Sometimes they even manage to pull off the win anyway. The Battle of the Barents Sea being a particular example.

That said, working out how to force an unwilling opponent to engage in space combat is an interesting problem if you stretch it out over a solar system. On those scales it hardly matters if you have 2/3 or 4/6 thrust as you'll spend most of your time using sustainable thrust at 1G anyway. I can't say I know the solution to that one.

On a tactical level I agree that additional speed gives you a better chance of fighting in the range you want to and of disengaging if you need to. I'd be curious to see the numbers ran on the 'ideal' speed. I suspect that adding too much thrust will turn your ship into a Battlecruiser that struggles against other Battleships whilst handing too much initiative to your opponent.

Agreed - threaten the right target, and you can force the other side to engage.  That is a more limited set of strategic options than are available than if you at least had teh chance to run down' the enemy.  Sustainable forever is 1G, but for unsustainable periods with combat trained crews (and no groundlings in dropship cargo) you can do it. If you believe that it will take you 2 weeks to overtake the enemy, then 10 days at 1.5-2 G (say parts of each day at 2 G, other parts at 1G) followed by a few days at 1G to give the crew a rest is perfectly workable.  Alternately, a sustained 'overtaking' at say 1.2G, might be considered worth it if it gives you a decisive battle  that you think you can win that you might not otherwise be able to force on the enemy.  Risking the effectiveness and health of the crew by sustained effort over 1G would definately be worth it in some situations, just as real life navies will push it in bad weather or night actions if they think the risks are worth it. Of course your opponent can do similar things, but if their maximum thrust is 2/3 (only 1.5G!), and you are 3/5 or better with crews in good physical condition, you WILL eventually catch them (although maybe not before they charge up their KF drive and escape!)


Ahh, I see what you mean by 'lose'....

I should mention that targeting a lot of your suggested targets would be war crimes and the sort of thing that led to the 1st and 2nd Succession Wars being, well the 1st and 2nd Succession Wars. You can go down that route, but if you start routinely rending your enemy's planets uninhabitable, don't be too shocked when they start using colony drops on your planets. Down that road mutually assured destruction awaits. There is a reason real world nations have so far always stepped back from doing that.

Within reason, space ports, stations, infrastructure are fair game as would be any military installations/industry along with certain civilian industry supplying those. However I question how much truly critical infrastructure like that would be so weakly defended that a lone Lola III could afford to spend long enough in orbit/system to destroy them. I suspect any world with critical military infrastructure on it will be well enough defended to require your BB's attention (or at least a combined force of multiple Lola III) and would make a good reason for two battle fleets to get stuck in.

Yes - but the 'all war crimes route' isn't the best one anyway - I don't want to kill everyone (or even any significant fraction) of the people on your planets.  I just want them unavailable to participate in the wider interstellar war because they are too busy trying to keep the lights on, so to speak. That said, any scenario that assumes both sides have a number of warships somewhere in the range of the # of planets available to them is either a 1st succession war, or early 2nd succession war, age of war, or Amaris civil war scenario.  Nobody else has even remotely the number of warships to play that sort of game otherwise.  The clans have that sort of warship concentration, but each clan controls so few worlds so close to one another, that an unrestricted 'black sea' war would  be a war of total annihilation within days if not hours.  The concentration of planet cleansing firepower to planets and population is too high, so you effectively have a cold war scenario. 

This adds to my reasoning that whilst I agree some dispersal is required, so is concentration and in far larger amounts than your model suggested. In fact I would suggest that concentration in case of surprise attack is all the more important. I want the defences/mobile forces around my critical nodes strong enough that anything short of a Pearl Harbour level surprise attack is unlikely to succeed.

I would agree that attacks on minor worlds will certainly add up over time, but I contend they are unlikely to have a major strategic impact in the short/medium term. (Unless you pump for outright murder, in which case all bets are off.  :angel:)

For a 2-3 year war, agreed - however for a 5-10 year war they absolutely are worth targeting.  However even in a 'short' war it may pay off to slow the economic progress of the enemy.  Unless one of us completely conquers the other, they will still be around after the war.  If I can brake/slow their economic growth sufficiently, without having mine affected the same way, I can 'win the peace' regardless of the outcome of the war. Pulling off a surprise attack depends on the nature of the target(s) and the sort of surprise - many variations are possible.

Now this neatly illustrates a real world problem, hypothetically, I've defined my minimum warships as a Vincent, you've gone for the Lola III, our neighbour therefore builds the Congress as their minimum warship and we all end up building bigger ships in response....

In broad strokes, that is how RW Navies went from the first armoured/protected cruisers in the 1870's to Battlecruisers in the late 1900's. A development which forced the invention of the Light Cruiser to cover the roles the BCs were now too expensive and valuable to cover. Those ships in turn became large and larger until we ended up with the Alaska class and we probably would have seen a repeat of the whole cycle if jet aircraft hadn't proven to be a better counter to a surface ship than another surface ship.

Amusingly everyone agreed that smaller warships were required for commerce protections/raiding, but no-one wanted to have the smallest.

I see this kind of arms race to be a major issue with trying to carve out a role for smaller warships. I concur with your Age of Sail observations that ships built between the sizes of Frigates and Ships of the Line were rarely useful. I wondering if your minimum warships should be as small and cheap as possible to free up maximum resources to build BBs for actual fighting. In that case, would any resources expended on DD/FF/CL/CA just be wasted on ships that are overkill as patrol/raiding vessels, yet too weak to stand in the line of battle?

ROFL, this is my new favourite anecdote :)

Challenger

Yes - and then all the 'new small but bigger' warships get too big, and somebody starts fresh it little again!' IRL submarines and strategic nuclear weapons sort of ended this cycle, but these elements dont' really exist in battletech. 
« Last Edit: 08 July 2024, 13:17:08 by EPG »

EPG

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #131 on: 08 July 2024, 13:20:18 »
This need not be the case, but the scale of the game can be an issue. I’ve always suspected that space based games needs ALOT more space than any wargaming table I’ve ever seen would allow for.

The rules as written should allow for quite a bit of tactics with faster warships trying to set the range, slow warships holding their formation whilst trying to concentrate fire, the various gambits you can try with aerospace fighters. The problem is that when a warship can reach out to 50hexes, which is clean across a 4’ table, it undercuts the ability/need to manoeuvre.

I’d love to have the time, space and software to play out a full blown solar system battle. The maths required would be formidable though.

Challenger

Something like a cube 1,000 x 1,000 x 1,000 mapboards big for each star system should work, with one cube for each star system in the wargame, which at a minimum would have to include all stars (inhabited or not) within 30 light years of the objective would work.  Does that fit in your living room?

Challenger

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #132 on: 08 July 2024, 14:56:40 »
In my living room? Not likely, maybe if I asked the local Earl or Duke I could borrow his :)

Of course to use double blind I'd need a second 'living room' :)

If I was going to go into this hardcore I'd want to be able to add in gravitational pull from the systems planets (irrelevant over a single turn maybe but surely important for multi-day burns) to try and confuse my opponent about my exact trajectory, use the speed of light to calculate when information about course changes etc will reach commanders, the various detection rules to determine if a change was even detected, set up non-traditional orbits to enable non-traditional engagements....your right Daryk its not really formidable except in the volume that would need to be calculated.....though I suspect working out the thrust required to arrive in a particular part of space depending on the movement of celestial bodies and enemy forces would be fairly involved.

(I thought I wanted to be an astrophysicist when I was younger, the training is hard to forget :) )

EPG, I mostly agree with your points. I think it would be very interesting to see what acceleration profile a human could plausible sustain for days on end and that might enable a warship with superior thrust to run down an uncooperative enemy. Likewise, the longer a war goes on the more the economic hits start to become critical. Those hits are more sustainable in the short/medium term simply because the majority of planets won't actually be contributing to the war effort (yet) in any meaningful sense.

I would caution about assuming the WMD and MAD tactics will be pulled out on day one. Obviously that is how it went down in canon (and neatly demonstrated why you shouldn't do this) but in real life the examples of WMD use are fleeting and except in WW1 never against anyone capable of striking back in kind. Most leaders, when presented with the option to commit mutual suicide with their foe, step back. The almost complete lack of gas deployment in WW2 being my go to example.

(NB: The fact you can't guarantee your enemy will follow that logic is one of the reasons MAD works as a strategy. Just because it is stupid, doesn't mean someone won't do it!)

Thinking on it though, the BT Universe has seen WMD's pulled out so often and so regularly now defending against them should probably be right there on the top of the to do pile. Deep underground NBC Bunkers for all important military/industry targets for a start.  :cry:

Challenger

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #133 on: 08 July 2024, 15:35:28 »
I'm not sure you need 1000x1000 to play, but, more than 50, the range of cap guns, is very much needed.

I'd say 200x200 & using "Rolling Maps" would work.

Even a table that can do 4-5 maps long would work, but again, that is a lot of map movement.

Though something like MegaMech could handle it, in person will be mildly annoying & time consuming.

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EPG

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #134 on: 08 July 2024, 15:52:36 »
In my living room? Not likely, maybe if I asked the local Earl or Duke I could borrow his :)

Of course to use double blind I'd need a second 'living room' :)

If I was going to go into this hardcore I'd want to be able to add in gravitational pull from the systems planets (irrelevant over a single turn maybe but surely important for multi-day burns) to try and confuse my opponent about my exact trajectory, use the speed of light to calculate when information about course changes etc will reach commanders, the various detection rules to determine if a change was even detected, set up non-traditional orbits to enable non-traditional engagements....your right Daryk its not really formidable except in the volume that would need to be calculated.....though I suspect working out the thrust required to arrive in a particular part of space depending on the movement of celestial bodies and enemy forces would be fairly involved.

(I thought I wanted to be an astrophysicist when I was younger, the training is hard to forget :) )

EPG, I mostly agree with your points. I think it would be very interesting to see what acceleration profile a human could plausible sustain for days on end and that might enable a warship with superior thrust to run down an uncooperative enemy. Likewise, the longer a war goes on the more the economic hits start to become critical. Those hits are more sustainable in the short/medium term simply because the majority of planets won't actually be contributing to the war effort (yet) in any meaningful sense.

I don't think you would have to account for gravity from planets and the like much, if at all - the acceleration and burn rates of battletech warships is FAR in excess of gravitational pulls of planets, stars, etc. at long ranges, and aren't the limited from operating too close in to gravity wells to avoid KF damage? Or is it only that they can't use them in high gravity areas? The other points all count though, and you might also be able to use naturally occuring EM, or the 'shadows' of various astronomical bodies to help mask your activities (turns, changes in speed, etc.) temporarily.

I would caution about assuming the WMD and MAD tactics will be pulled out on day one. Obviously that is how it went down in canon (and neatly demonstrated why you shouldn't do this) but in real life the examples of WMD use are fleeting and except in WW1 never against anyone capable of striking back in kind. Most leaders, when presented with the option to commit mutual suicide with their foe, step back. The almost complete lack of gas deployment in WW2 being my go to example.

(NB: The fact you can't guarantee your enemy will follow that logic is one of the reasons MAD works as a strategy. Just because it is stupid, doesn't mean someone won't do it!)

Thinking on it though, the BT Universe has seen WMD's pulled out so often and so regularly now defending against them should probably be right there on the top of the to do pile. Deep underground NBC Bunkers for all important military/industry targets for a start.  :cry:

Challenger

I wasn't assuming any WMD usage at all - just good old fashioned orbital bombardment, and normal strafing and bombing from a few wings of aerospace fighters (either from the warship, or from carried dropships) You would still need major protection for anything important though.  This is why so many key surviving battlemech factories, command centers, etc. are located in places like inside of mountain ranges (Hesperus and Irian for example) underwater accessible only by submarine (At least some of the stuff on Coventry) underground on moons (Talon/Wernke) underneath frozen solid tundra (New Syrtis) in an astroid belt (Al Na'ir) or VERY deep within defended space (all the capitals except Sian) AND heavily defended. 

Nukes would probably be used against space and maybe also orbital targets.  They don't cause the sort of side effects that might inhibit their use on land in those environments.

Nukes aren't the big 'oh no' in the battletech universe that they are in ours.  These are states that are far more spread out geographically than our modern world, with much lower population concentrations (a discussion worth a sperate post is worth having on the why and the political conseqeunces of this) In a nation of a trillion people and 500 planets,  if one of them gets a severe nuking, and has 1/4 of it's population eliminated - well - these things happen.  Unless there was some OTHER reason for it to be an important place, then there's plenty of other planets around, land is pretty easy to come by on them, or other ones, and there isn't a lot of population growth pressure to make settling/finding new areas a priority for most polities anyway. 

This is in direct contrast to our own world where loosing 1/4 of the population of our planet would be a catastrophe - that's 1/4 of all the humans there are, and if targeted correctly ALL of the ones involved in the hostilities, ending the war permanently - that's a completely different outcome for the war, and our species.  Eventually after a LOT of nuking and other WMD's (no numbers are given - but you can hypothesize that it might have been 15-20% of all humans alive at the start of the first succession war) once things settled down enough for anyone to notice how bad the situation was, they mostly stopped for a little while, until the WOB brought it back into fashion.   

AlphaMirage

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #135 on: 08 July 2024, 15:53:18 »
Yeah the range issue is why I prefer the Alpha Strike abstract space combat map or the High-Speed Engagement Flow-Chart

EPG

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #136 on: 08 July 2024, 15:55:36 »
I'm not sure you need 1000x1000 to play, but, more than 50, the range of cap guns, is very much needed.

I'd say 200x200 & using "Rolling Maps" would work.

Even a table that can do 4-5 maps long would work, but again, that is a lot of map movement.

Though something like MegaMech could handle it, in person will be mildly annoying & time consuming.

For a strategic level warship game, 200 x 200 is far too close - I plan to start maneuvers to gain the tactical advantage and assess your strategy WELL outside of this range - certainly within a shortish relatavistic range.  It needs to cover at least the distance between the zenith and nadir jump points, although if I am attempting to achieve surprise I may well jump into your system well beyond that range.

Hellraiser

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #137 on: 08 July 2024, 20:11:22 »
For a strategic level warship game, 200 x 200 is far too close - I plan to start maneuvers to gain the tactical advantage and assess your strategy WELL outside of this range - certainly within a shortish relatavistic range.  It needs to cover at least the distance between the zenith and nadir jump points, although if I am attempting to achieve surprise I may well jump into your system well beyond that range.

It sounds as if your talking about doing a double blind game for WS Scale & trying to track movement all over the system on a map.

To me that would honestly be a waste of time for game play & instead if you wanted to simulate something like that you would instead have something more akin to hidden movement orders & hidden mine locations & some chart for detection & narrow what might be hours/days of play time down to a "Ok, this is when/where/how contact is finally made, and then pick up play then."

Basically having each side have a set of parameters on how they "act" & then figure out what your scenario will be for the actual battle.

« Last Edit: 08 July 2024, 20:13:07 by Hellraiser »
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Cannonshop

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #138 on: 08 July 2024, 21:54:19 »
It sounds as if your talking about doing a double blind game for WS Scale & trying to track movement all over the system on a map.

To me that would honestly be a waste of time for game play & instead if you wanted to simulate something like that you would instead have something more akin to hidden movement orders & hidden mine locations & some chart for detection & narrow what might be hours/days of play time down to a "Ok, this is when/where/how contact is finally made, and then pick up play then."

Basically having each side have a set of parameters on how they "act" & then figure out what your scenario will be for the actual battle.

Minefields, while a staple of the fiction, aren't very useful in space.  (3 dimensional movement, little to no confining terrain, infinite sight lines...)

The distances, and the material cost, are prohibitive even in the earth/moon or earth/close orbit scenario.

MORE useful, would be things like hidden airbases on asteroids or moons (much easier to defend and far more structurally sound than, say, a space station), the location of fueling points/docks, early warning detection satellites, traffic control observation sats, and that sort of thing.

Crust defense is absolutely NOT going to work in space, so you need a flexible, highly mobile, reaction force defense if you actually want to defend anything.

(Notably, crust defense plans have failed in the Sol system three or four major times (aka every time they've been tried) so far, if we're looking from 3150 backward).

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Hellraiser

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #139 on: 09 July 2024, 00:00:44 »
Minefields, while a staple of the fiction, aren't very useful in space.  (3 dimensional movement, little to no confining terrain, infinite sight lines...)

The distances, and the material cost, are prohibitive even in the earth/moon or earth/close orbit scenario.

MORE useful, would be things like hidden airbases on asteroids or moons (much easier to defend and far more structurally sound than, say, a space station), the location of fueling points/docks, early warning detection satellites, traffic control observation sats, and that sort of thing.

Crust defense is absolutely NOT going to work in space, so you need a flexible, highly mobile, reaction force defense if you actually want to defend anything.

(Notably, crust defense plans have failed in the Sol system three or four major times (aka every time they've been tried) so far, if we're looking from 3150 backward).

You completely missed what I was saying CS.

Not that I explained it well.

I was saying using the "game handling method" for Hidden Movement &/or Minefields.
IE....  Writing things down on a piece of paper to be compared/revealed later.

As a way to handle what I think EPG is wanting which is to be able to move around (undetected) the solar system (strategically) to attack certain targets w/o facing off against the main enemy Warship.

And my point was, having a GIANT map & playing that all out is an exercise in wasting time.

Instead come up with some sort of hidden commands, priorities, order of operations, etc etc,  combined w/ sensor rolls to just play through all that in a matter of minutes in order to figure out what the actual "Scenario" will be.

IE.  Does his 2 Corvette fleet manage to arrive at the dockyards w/o being detected & having the BB blocking that location?
Is the BB still in Planetary Orbit?    Is it at the Nadir,  Zenith,  Lagrange?

At least that is what I'm thinking he wants, the ability to play a "Strategic / Solar System Wide" game of hide & seek in order to use #s v/s the BB & see exactly what damage can be done v/s just playing a pit fight w/ the BB & seeing what is left standing at the end.


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DevianID

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #140 on: 09 July 2024, 01:22:42 »
I tried to make sensors work, but found that the initiative bonus (which is what the naval comms scanners also do, and the existing force commander rules do), was a much better system.  Sensors for strategically engaging long range stuff didnt matter, using the actual rules no house rules.  You might make a set of scenarios to force scanners into play, but initiative was super ace for the long range stuff.

I just mapped out travel by the day for a cylinder of space from zenith to nadir.  Initiative for moving meant the side with a naval comm scanner had a slightly better chance of moving later, which was critical for plotting crossing engagements or dodging crossing engagements via the init roll.  In deep space, the range of the longest combat usable sensor roll was less then 1 combat turn of movement at the distances the ships in deep space are moving, so even on a max sensor roll you dont have any time to do anything before the crossing engagement, which has decent rules for handling that encounter that already includes missile fire and such. (Firing solution radar is 10k kilometers, 3x for large NSCS, but after 1 day of 1 G burn you are moving 51k kilometers in 1 game turn, so you are already crossing before you detect each other for firing solution radar)

Now, hidden units at the planets using the hidden unit rules/mine rules does make sense.  I do like that, and those rules are right in total warfare.  You hyperspace in, the defender has a map with a collection of locations akin to the maps used in the Tukayyid campaign book, so like 3-4 strategic locations, and players divvy out their naval forces in hiding on the planet, moon, asteroid bases/whatever was chosen as campaign objectives in the system, and the attacker finds out whats hiding on the far side of the planet once they commit to steady orbit.  This is definitely campaign operations play though, as you would be dividing up your forces on both the attacker and defender side and fighting a number of battles towards overall campaign win/loss using probably the chaos campaign system like Tukayyid did.
« Last Edit: 09 July 2024, 01:41:14 by DevianID »

EPG

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #141 on: 09 July 2024, 05:41:39 »

As a way to handle what I think EPG is wanting which is to be able to move around (undetected) the solar system (strategically) to attack certain targets w/o facing off against the main enemy Warship.

And my point was, having a GIANT map & playing that all out is an exercise in wasting time.

Instead come up with some sort of hidden commands, priorities, order of operations, etc etc,  combined w/ sensor rolls to just play through all that in a matter of minutes in order to figure out what the actual "Scenario" will be.

IE.  Does his 2 Corvette fleet manage to arrive at the dockyards w/o being detected & having the BB blocking that location?
Is the BB still in Planetary Orbit?    Is it at the Nadir,  Zenith,  Lagrange?

At least that is what I'm thinking he wants, the ability to play a "Strategic / Solar System Wide" game of hide & seek in order to use #s v/s the BB & see exactly what damage can be done v/s just playing a pit fight w/ the BB & seeing what is left standing at the end.

yes - this is the sort of idea I had in mind.

Cannonshop

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #142 on: 09 July 2024, 06:21:18 »
You completely missed what I was saying CS.

Not that I explained it well.

I was saying using the "game handling method" for Hidden Movement &/or Minefields.
IE....  Writing things down on a piece of paper to be compared/revealed later.

As a way to handle what I think EPG is wanting which is to be able to move around (undetected) the solar system (strategically) to attack certain targets w/o facing off against the main enemy Warship.

And my point was, having a GIANT map & playing that all out is an exercise in wasting time.

Instead come up with some sort of hidden commands, priorities, order of operations, etc etc,  combined w/ sensor rolls to just play through all that in a matter of minutes in order to figure out what the actual "Scenario" will be.

IE.  Does his 2 Corvette fleet manage to arrive at the dockyards w/o being detected & having the BB blocking that location?
Is the BB still in Planetary Orbit?    Is it at the Nadir,  Zenith,  Lagrange?

At least that is what I'm thinking he wants, the ability to play a "Strategic / Solar System Wide" game of hide & seek in order to use #s v/s the BB & see exactly what damage can be done v/s just playing a pit fight w/ the BB & seeing what is left standing at the end.

Probably did miss it, you didn't really screw up explaining, though your clarification is much clearer.

A system battle isn't one fight, it's a campaign, with maybe a campaign structure.

at least, that's the way I could see your idea working out-using the campaign rules to govern the "battle".

why? because space is that much more complex than a ground fight.

The basic objectives, and the means to achieve them, really aren't similar until you actually GET to the pit fight.

or in this case, pit fights-as in multiple.

I tried to make sensors work, but found that the initiative bonus (which is what the naval comms scanners also do, and the existing force commander rules do), was a much better system.  Sensors for strategically engaging long range stuff didnt matter, using the actual rules no house rules.  You might make a set of scenarios to force scanners into play, but initiative was super ace for the long range stuff.

I just mapped out travel by the day for a cylinder of space from zenith to nadir.  Initiative for moving meant the side with a naval comm scanner had a slightly better chance of moving later, which was critical for plotting crossing engagements or dodging crossing engagements via the init roll.  In deep space, the range of the longest combat usable sensor roll was less then 1 combat turn of movement at the distances the ships in deep space are moving, so even on a max sensor roll you dont have any time to do anything before the crossing engagement, which has decent rules for handling that encounter that already includes missile fire and such. (Firing solution radar is 10k kilometers, 3x for large NSCS, but after 1 day of 1 G burn you are moving 51k kilometers in 1 game turn, so you are already crossing before you detect each other for firing solution radar)

Now, hidden units at the planets using the hidden unit rules/mine rules does make sense.  I do like that, and those rules are right in total warfare.  You hyperspace in, the defender has a map with a collection of locations akin to the maps used in the Tukayyid campaign book, so like 3-4 strategic locations, and players divvy out their naval forces in hiding on the planet, moon, asteroid bases/whatever was chosen as campaign objectives in the system, and the attacker finds out whats hiding on the far side of the planet once they commit to steady orbit.  This is definitely campaign operations play though, as you would be dividing up your forces on both the attacker and defender side and fighting a number of battles towards overall campaign win/loss using probably the chaos campaign system like Tukayyid did.

we almost need for some clever people to put together a 'working example campaign' fan-supplement or something, so we can get practical examples of these ideas at work and whether they actually work in the hands of players who were NOT involved in designing them.
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idea weenie

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #143 on: 09 July 2024, 20:32:30 »
I said one shipyard for both cases. so one shipyard capable to produce up to 2,500,000 tons, versus one shipyard capable to produce up to 1,250,000 tons, though.

Also, only for custom unit, you can make this by make a light space station and put the repair facility. Since it's the unit without a K-F drive, it does not requires to be up to 1/4 of the weight the facility can sustain. Even a 100k station can have an unpressurized facility that handle up to 2,500,000 tons, and it weights 62500 tons. The repair facility just costs equally per its capacity, so the costs for a repair facility worth for 2,500,000 tons is just a double of a repair facility worth for 1,250,000 tons.

So, it's a double. You need to spend twice as expensive C-Bill to wait until it's done.

That's my mistake.  I figured since you were using 1.25 MTon Warships vs 2.5 MTon Warships, that you'd want twice as many of them, meaning you'd need twice as many shipyards, and potentially using a cheaper shipyard to make up for the higher priced per ton Warships.

Detailing the differences between an Arleigh Burke and a Ticonderoga was a question on my Surface Warfare qualification board some 20 years ago.  The president of said board had commanded an Arleigh Burke, and the second most senior one had been a Department Head on a Ticonderoga.  Let's just say that question took the longest time to answer, and really came down to the latter's ability to embark a Flag staff if necessary.  And the president of the board counted that as a DISadvantage! :D

I bet that would have been a fun conversation to listen to afterwards.

I seem to recall a quote from somewhere in canon that as expensive as Warships (billions) are, the infrastructure to build warships in terms of the Shipyards, was a TRILLIONS of dollars investment.

But with smaller ship you don't need as fancy of infrastructure, and you can get by with mass production.  For example smaller ships only need you to be able to reliable build KF Cores 50 ktons and smaller, while a Battleship or larger hull needs KF cores of 800 ktons+ reliably.

The KF Core is the key; it is over 90% of the ship's price, and you have to pay the 3.371 billion price for every ship instead of just once.  For smaller ships it inflates their price quite well, but for larger ships it is 'only' over 70% of the cost.  There is very little variation in the price of a KF Drive from changing the mounting unit's tonnage, and the KF Support systems have the high constant cost that always come into play forming 2 Billion of that 3.371 Billion 'hump'.

If we want Escort Warships, the KF price needs to be worked on so small ships make financial sense.


If people want I'll start a thread in the Fan Rules (Aerospace) section so we can post ideas and poke holes in them.  That way we can discuss actual values there instead of here.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #144 on: 09 July 2024, 20:45:58 »
I actually ran all the numbers in my Fleet Doctrine Design thread here using the Industrial Tycoon Handbook's rules. In the post above the one linked I proposed a 1.55 MT Supership that only costs 17.2 Billion c-bills while a 155kt ship costs 5 billion with a more middle range (550kt) ship costing 9 Billion and the 970kt Dreadnought costing 12 Billion.

PuppyLikesLaserPointers

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #145 on: 13 July 2024, 13:50:59 »
That's my mistake.  I figured since you were using 1.25 MTon Warships vs 2.5 MTon Warships, that you'd want twice as many of them, meaning you'd need twice as many shipyards, and potentially using a cheaper shipyard to make up for the higher priced per ton Warships.

Sorry for the late reply but I do understand that it could be mistaken. No worries.

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #146 on: 13 July 2024, 17:19:07 »
But with smaller ship you don't need as fancy of infrastructure, and you can get by with mass production. 

If we want Escort Warships, the KF price needs to be worked on so small ships make financial sense.

If people want I'll start a thread in the Fan Rules (Aerospace) section so we can post ideas and poke holes in them.  That way we can discuss actual values there instead of here.

1.  Agreed, but, this starts to get into are area we lack info on.  "World Building"
Or more specifically "Shipyard" building.  Not just a single space station.
But the total # of various sizes/types of Space Stations are required for a "Ship Yard"
And for that matter, for the various sizes/capacities of "Ship Yard".

We just don't know if it is Faster/Slower/Cheaper/More Expensive to build any given part/portion of a shipyard to any other given part/portion or if capacity matters really.

2.  I agree the KF costs are bad.   They used to be bad.  With the "Support" costs that were added a while back, they are REALLY BAD.
Again, the thing that should have been changed was the Total Cost Modifier, not the KF itself.
Or perhaps, I should say, they BOTH needed to change & the KF didn't need a big fat flat cost boost the way they did.

3.  If you want go for it, it might trigger some interesting formula/option suggestions.
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Cannonshop

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #147 on: 13 July 2024, 17:25:19 »
forgetting the popularity thing for a microt here...but...

would ANY of you actually participate in an Aero/Space naval tourney with the rules as they exist currently?

I mean, seriously.  How many of you would even be interested if it were in your home city?

How playable is it really?

Thre are a lot of 'ground units only' tourneys out there (virtually all of the ones with CGL support are).

so is there actually any real interest? 

Why am I bringing this up here? because it influences the original question and relates to some of the issues brought up, such as KF costing formulas.

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AlphaMirage

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #148 on: 13 July 2024, 17:52:47 »
I'd play an Alpha Strike match but for Classic it's just to complicated with vector rules and all that. I'd actually rather execute the high speed intercept flowchart but escorts don't really matter there.

Now if there was a giant holographic table that can automate the vector math I'd be down but I'd be down to play on any holographic table.

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Re: Are ‘Escort’ Warships Useful?
« Reply #149 on: 13 July 2024, 18:04:15 »
I have tried introducing classic aerotech a couple of times, with me supplying all the minis & maps.
Dueling, as in ASF vs ASF goes quite well, players are willing to do it now and again when they have extra time.
However people didn't like the massive play surfaces that were required for actual classic capital scale ships. Players were not interesting in trying that out more than one time.
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