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Author Topic: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race  (Read 17176 times)

Alsadius

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #630 on: 15 August 2018, 19:36:32 »
The Rim Worlds Republic has done well with their research into miniaturization of capital missiles, and the newly developed rockets are being rolled out to the vehicles of the Army as fast as they can be produced. Not to be out-done, the Navy has decided to invest in a major modernization program for their fighter fleet. While their new short-ranged missiles are seen as unsuitable for WarShip use, they pack more punch into a smaller package than the old cannons, and fighters are maneuverable enough to make the reduced range into a fairly minor issue.

BUDGET: $26B
Maintenance (@100%): $6.748B
2x Vittoria: $12.574B
4x small craft: $40m
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Research: $1.238B

marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #631 on: 16 August 2018, 17:07:24 »
A bit of a side topic. but is anyone else seeing some circular dominance in their build plans?  Ive got 3 different designs in mind when I go back to heavy construction.. and its very much A>B>C>A.  I suppose what I build will depend on the threat environment at the time...

Although the issue of 'threat environment' is a pretty fluid one.  Lets say I have 3 1MT designs, and have prototyped 1 of each.  Lets further assume that (because I am clever), they all cost about the same.  Given yard space, it would be a matter of little money and yard-time to turn the A above into the B or C.  I guess its just something were going to have to kinda 'play nice' on?

Alsadius

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #632 on: 16 August 2018, 17:30:24 »
A bit of a side topic. but is anyone else seeing some circular dominance in their build plans?  Ive got 3 different designs in mind when I go back to heavy construction.. and its very much A>B>C>A.  I suppose what I build will depend on the threat environment at the time...

Although the issue of 'threat environment' is a pretty fluid one.  Lets say I have 3 1MT designs, and have prototyped 1 of each.  Lets further assume that (because I am clever), they all cost about the same.  Given yard space, it would be a matter of little money and yard-time to turn the A above into the B or C.  I guess its just something were going to have to kinda 'play nice' on?

If you want to blow an extra $15-20B on the additional prototyping costs, then that flexibility seems like a fair trade tbh. Effectively you're just paying extra for an "OmniBattleship", and aside from not being able to mount heavy weapons in the arms unless you mount the hand actuators sideways, it doesn't seem like an unreasonable level of gain for the cost. It's not like it can be all three of them at once, or like it can even switch right before a battle to take advantage of last-minute intel - it only gives you long-term strategic flexibility, and most of you seem to prefer to get your strategic flexibility by building jack-of-all-trades battlestars that can deal with most realistic situations well enough. (Well, except your Lyrans, who seem to prefer all-in strategies. Which might be fun - I need to give you some battles soon so we can see how that works  >:D )

marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #633 on: 16 August 2018, 18:25:13 »
Frankly, Id probably have been better served by 18 hybrids rather than 9 CAs and 9 CVs.  So Im lampshading furiously and pretending there is advantage in universe that my commanders -think- they get by dividing those roles.  Unity of purpose and focus?  Easier to conduct flight ops when NOT under fire?  Whatever it is, its not in the rules, but my guys can get stuff wrong on occasion.

The first batrep or two of the Lyran Cloud Generators (and Tyr has a lot of tubes, too, they are just overshadowed by its huge cannon arrays) is going to be interesting.  The Lyrans went with some very out there, makes sense on paper assumptions - because I wanted to not build ‘The Star League Navy, 3/5, only with less cargo and more armor and point defense’.  To me, were in the crazy years between the first ironclad and dreadnought, and we havent figured out the ‘right’ answers yet.

marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #634 on: 16 August 2018, 20:37:03 »
and aside from not being able to mount heavy weapons in the arms unless you mount the hand actuators sideways

So... how much mass for conversion equipment, and do I get a mass discount for weaponry that can only be used in one mode?

Do we have rules for punch damage?

Alsadius

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #635 on: 16 August 2018, 22:06:36 »
Yeah, there's definitely exploration of the design space to be done. And it's good to see I'm not the only one making characters who think too highly of their own wisdom - I'm not sure if it was obvious, but Brian Cameron was being a real jerk to Young in my post last page. Young deserved some criticism, of course, but a good portion of it was over the top. But Cameron is the Director-General, so he gets to be a bit of a jerk with impunity.

Also, I love the phrase "Lyran Cloud Generators".

truetanker

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #636 on: 16 August 2018, 22:16:02 »
So... how much mass for conversion equipment, and do I get a mass discount for weaponry that can only be used in one mode?

Do we have rules for punch damage?

Can we get Particle Wave Motion Cannons too?

 :drool:

TT
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marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #637 on: 16 August 2018, 22:24:59 »
You can thank our friend in the Draconis Combine for that, and several other similar versions.  The designs in service are actually less extreme than some Ive written up and thrown away...

Yeah.  Im kinda intentionally -not- going for even what I the player percieve as ‘perfect designs per the math and rules’.

 Lyran Command is some mix of certain that ‘Angler had it right and built the perfect navy’ and ‘we have built enough ships for parity for now, and rather than build more ships that may be rendered obsolescent before they fire a shot, lets invest in yards that can built whatever we discover the right answer’.  Amusingly, if Angler was still alive, shed probably be building at full speed on the 3 Escort/ 3CA/ 3CV squadron  1 new saquadron per turn paradigm... she believed that 2 okay ships in space are better than 1 great ship still working working up and an infinite number of perfect ships on drawing boards.

Kiviar

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #638 on: 16 August 2018, 23:04:55 »
Can we get Particle Wave Motion Cannons too?

 :drool:

TT

You should have seen the Hegemony heavy battleship design I gave Alsadius.

Smegish

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #639 on: 16 August 2018, 23:41:28 »
The Walkure-class Eclipse Generator is less extreme...  :o

Have we considered the Space Bombing rules (In SO I believe) as an alternative to having 50T fighters carrying 30T capital missiles? Each bomb may only do 0.5/1 capital damage each or something (depending on what you want to rule) but when the fighter is packing 10-20 tons of bombs, thats going to hurt. Catch for the fighter is he's gotta get REAL close to let em go.

Another alternative could be some kind of primitive Arrow IV ASMs (which is missing from the tech tree btw, should be roughly Reunification War-era) weighing the same, maybe doing the same damage but short ranged/inaccurate/susceptible to ECM.

Just a thought.

Alsadius

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #640 on: 17 August 2018, 09:07:12 »
I've given some thought to possibly departing from canon in terms of available techs, as you say. For example, what if techs would add ECM missiles, or maybe orbital minefields(perhaps $1m per mine, and each one is a one-shot capital missile launcher)? I've limited it to canonical tech in my notes, but that can always change. What's the feeling of the player base here? It'll stay mostly canonical throughout, of course, but a few changes here and there might be fun.

As for the bomber rules, I kind of like capital missiles as the "bombs" of choice for the role, but I'm open to suggestions. It needs to be compatible with how the game has gone thus far, but if nothing else I always like hearing well-designed fan rules.

marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #641 on: 17 August 2018, 09:21:00 »
I've given some thought to possibly departing from canon in terms of available techs, as you say. For example, what if techs would add ECM missiles, or maybe orbital minefields(perhaps $1m per mine, and each one is a one-shot capital missile launcher)? I've limited it to canonical tech in my notes, but that can always change. What's the feeling of the player base here? It'll stay mostly canonical throughout, of course, but a few changes here and there might be fun.

As for the bomber rules, I kind of like capital missiles as the "bombs" of choice for the role, but I'm open to suggestions. It needs to be compatible with how the game has gone thus far, but if nothing else I always like hearing well-designed fan rules.

Well, the RAW provide for 'lighter' anti-ship missiles and using bombs against ships.  Given that 30 ton missiles barely dent capital ship armor (2 damage for a Barracuda), Id tend to view Anti-Ship Arrow 4 and Bombs as standard scale weaponry, unable to penetrate capital grade armor, though perhaps useful against surface emplacements (sensors, standard scale weapons, etc), and against exposed SI.  The current paradigm has ASFs as basically being Backfires throwing telephone-pole sized missiles in massive strikes - this would be WW2, closer attacks.

I think even if I had 'low tech' AA Arrow IV and Bombs, Id still use the capital missiles/maybe close to use guns style.

Captor mines seem reasonable - and the ability of ships to lay them would open the door to both mine layers and Honorverse style Podnaughts.  >:D 

I wouldnt worry too much about ECM Missiles or other high grade 'penaids' unless they are needed to get missiles through poitn defense belts that dont yet exist, but likely will in time.

Smegish

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #642 on: 17 August 2018, 09:42:59 »
I figured most of that 30 ton weight is fuel and a big honkin engine to get the cap missiles to reach as far as it does. Also seems a bit odd that we can strap a 30 ton missile to a fighter that's only allowed 10-15 tons of bombs, but as we're abstracting fighter strikes anyway I guess it matters little.

According to Tac Ops, ASM Arrows do 3 Cap damage each, weighing 6 tons. Gotta close to standard Long range though, so return fire will be happening. Anti-Ship E-Warfare Arrow IVs also exist, though they are FC-CW/Early Jihad era apparently.

Space bombing rules can be found on pg 116 of Strat Ops. Have to close to point blank range for that, which is WAY too dangerous against some of the 'Ships we're packing.

And just to be clear I am good with whatever direction we go in, just shooting ideas out there at this point.

marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #643 on: 17 August 2018, 10:06:59 »
I figured most of that 30 ton weight is fuel and a big honkin engine to get the cap missiles to reach as far as it does. Also seems a bit odd that we can strap a 30 ton missile to a fighter that's only allowed 10-15 tons of bombs, but as we're abstracting fighter strikes anyway I guess it matters little.

According to Tac Ops, ASM Arrows do 3 Cap damage each, weighing 6 tons. Gotta close to standard Long range though, so return fire will be happening. Anti-Ship E-Warfare Arrow IVs also exist, though they are FC-CW/Early Jihad era apparently.

Space bombing rules can be found on pg 116 of Strat Ops. Have to close to point blank range for that, which is WAY too dangerous against some of the 'Ships we're packing.

And just to be clear I am good with whatever direction we go in, just shooting ideas out there at this point.


Hmm.  6 Tons.  Lets assume you can carry at least 5 of them.  (Which you can totally do, if nothing else, as a bomber with the bomb bay quirk and cargo).

5x3=15 Capital Damage Per Fighter

~700 Fighters per CVA.

700x15=10,500 Capital Damage in one launch

As the guy who built carriers, I think we have to treat these things as 'not penetrating capital armor' for the same reason we treat all normal scale weaponry that way.  Because otherwise normal scale weaponry 'eats' capital weaponry, and fighters/CVs 'eat' battleships.

Close analysis of the Capital Ship Weapons Rules seem to indicate that 1.) They assumed no custom built warships would exist and the rules exist to make existing designs semi-playable.  2.)  The authors thought that carrier dominance in WW2 was a paradigm that BTech should naturally follow, with the non-carrier battleship warships as big expensive dinosaurs built by stupid people, or 3.)  They were trolling us.  Which is uncertain.

Alsadius

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #644 on: 17 August 2018, 11:16:56 »
WW2 is my go-to mental model here(because it's the time when both carriers and battleships were viable), so I was thinking more of torpedo bombers than Backfires. However, either one works. The advantage of space combat is that the same model can do that and also be a useful interceptor afterwards, because you don't have anything like the same aerodynamic or stall-speed concerns, so you can just load up an interceptor with its own weight in missiles in a way you never could with a Spitfire.

I'll look at the space bombing rules in more depth later, but I remember thinking they were unsatisfactory on the whole.

My theory is that they never considered custom designs. This is why so many of my changes are about nerfing the abusive strategies you can try with customization("four corners" designs, standard weapon spam, cutting cargo down to three boxes of ship's biscuit, etc.) - you need that in order for canon designs to be even moderately sane.

marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #645 on: 17 August 2018, 11:32:03 »
And yet, amusingly, they design canon 4-corners 3-boxes-of-biscuits designs, as well.

I don't think we will ever be able to completely escape 4-corners.  Its the 'Zone of Immunity' 'Armored Box' of the rules, and exists purely because of the insanity that is the fire control rules.

Im not sure if 4-corners is abuse or a work-around for a bad rule, something more like 'dont leave your AC/5 ammo the only thing on the side torso'.

Ive always just mentally slapped a zero on the difference between standard and capital scale weaponry.  At 100-1, the biggest and meanest aerofighters ever do about 1 capital damage per turn, and can survive about the same.  Still dont want 700 of them on you all at once, but its way better than the 'book standard' condition.
« Last Edit: 17 August 2018, 11:36:50 by marcussmythe »

Alsadius

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #646 on: 17 August 2018, 12:33:20 »
I don't want to totally escape it - you'll notice that my non-canon Vincent went some ways down that path. But it should be limited at least somewhat, instead of being abused to hell and gone.

"Add a zero" isn't a bad approach, but it means canon designs packing 12 fighters are kind of a joke, and you need to really go all-in on carrier designs. I didn't want to force that, though it's possible I went a bit too far the other way. Ships will be getting better anti-fighter defences in the not-too-distant future, so maybe that'll help some.

marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #647 on: 17 August 2018, 12:58:48 »
Well, and I may have missed reading the batreps - but I dont really have a feel for how effective fighter-standard weapons are against capships.  I think any impact they have may get occluded by the capital missile launches (for which purpose a fighter is just a 1-2 shot cap missile launcher that can operate independently) and capital guns. So I cant really say if fighters attacking ships with their AC/5s is a problem or not.  Sure, anti-fighter weaponry is improving, but fighter weaponry improves at the same time.  AMS is coming, but so are improvements in off-angle launches, and the gamechanger that is bearings only.

Re: 12 fighter designs.  I think 12 fighters kinda -has- to be a joke, other than as light fighter defense/scouting and backup for ship based AAA.  Because if 12 fighters are a force, and significant, then 120 fighters is huge and 600+ is too powerful.  Finally, mounting an AAA suite that can swat 12 fighters can be done as casually as mounting thise 12 fighters.  It all comes down to how much impact on the enemy force you can get for how much tonnage/cbill.

For your game, my ‘mental model’ for standard scale weapons vs capships is ‘pretty much useless against capital armor, can do meaninful damage or kill once internals are exposed, and barring that can damage fragile surface features such as sensors, standard scale weaponry, bays, etc., with a smaller chance of some effect on less fragile surface features like capital weapons, manuvering thrusters, and drives.  Basically standard scale weapons cant hurt armor, can hurt internal structure, and have an individually tiny but collectively non-trivial chance of through armor criticals.

Alsadius

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #648 on: 17 August 2018, 13:17:45 »
The main use cases for fighters are, as best I can tell: 

* Missile spam, obviously.

* Killing other fighters. This was best displayed by the FedSuns at Tikonov on turn 2, where a clever commander stopped the Capellan missile wave from hitting nearly as hard as it should have by badly disrupting the attack.

* Strafing weak surface equipment off enemy warships. This has been happening throughout, but tends to not be very flashy compared to the MacRoss missile massacre - I've talked about the efforts, but not about the loss of capability it causes, so maybe I should switch focus a bit.

* Killing cripples has generally not gone all that well for fighters overall as of yet, though they did kill a Bonaventure at Kentares last turn. They'll do better as bigger guns get introduced - an AC/20 hits as hard as a Barracuda, so it'll have substantially better TAC chances than an AC/5 - but I suspect armour levels will more or less increase to keep pace.

* Ground support doesn't get discussed much by the nature of the game, but it's a useful role and I try to mention it in one form or another when ground combat comes up(e.g., the extra Capellan fighter losses on turn 3).

And yes, even in this game I think 12-fighter designs are mostly there to give you scouts and a bit of versatility. A few of those ships working together can pack a bit of a punch, and even though fighters have short legs compared to small craft or large vessels, they do give you a better set of eyes than the mothership alone. Your mental model is correct as well, FWIW.

marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #649 on: 17 August 2018, 13:43:14 »
RE:  AC20s and Barracudas...

Id think that Barracudas, as capital weaponry, would still hit far harder than an AC20... since in your game the AC20 doesnt actually -do- 2 capital damage to capital armor.  Should I be reading you to say ‘bigger fighter guns are better at the TAC function’?  Or that ‘big fighter guns let fighters do straight up capital scale damage’?

Im also considering, as technology improves, superheavy heavy standard scale batteries mounted as much for their suppression and explotiation power against other capital ships as for anti-fighter roles. 

Finally, Mc Ross Industries, the Commonwealth’s leading manufacturer of fine missile products, thanks you for your patronage.
« Last Edit: 17 August 2018, 13:46:47 by marcussmythe »

Alsadius

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #650 on: 17 August 2018, 15:22:13 »
Barracudas get a built-in TAC roll, which normal weapons don't. So even if it's a bad penetrator by missile standards, it's still way better than an AC/20. An AC/20 will be noticeably better than an AC/5, especially against lightly armoured ships, but it's still not a capital weapon. Against a really lightly armoured ship like a Vigilant, it'll be fairly effective, but against a battleship it'll still basically just bounce off the armour.

The best analogy for fighter weapons being used against WarShips might be the early ironclad era, when they'd figured out how to put 4" thick steel on a ship, but not how to build a gun that was much more damaging than a Nelsonian muzzle-loader. A fighter's weapons will score hits a high percentage of the time, but each hit is individually very unlikely to do much. A sufficient number is still a concern, because golden BBs do exist and there's usually something on the skin of your ship that doesn't like to be hit by shells very much, but as long as you have some way to keep them from hitting you with impunity it more often amounts to "sweepers, man your brooms" than a serious threat.

Two capital ships fighting each other with only standard-sized weapons would look a lot like Hampton Roads or Lissa, a long fight where the ships mostly flail at each other and try to deal attritional damage, because they lack the firepower to kill things with their guns. But if the AC/20(or Gauss, or other similarly high-damaging weapons) existed right now, heavy fighters would be a meaningful threat to the lightest tier of ships, even without missile loads or support. I don't remember the exact tech order, but I suspect that by the time they are available, the overall armour level of fleets will have grown substantially and they once again won't pose a major threat to most modern ships without support.

Smegish

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #651 on: 17 August 2018, 18:12:04 »
No canon warship -unless you count a Potemkin with full carrier dropper load- comes CLOSE to the fighter complement you put in that thing.

The rule makers probably never considered that someone would build a ship that could hold so many fighters.

And hurry up with your turn Kiviar! *Prepares Gilly's Cricket Bat of Six Hittin'*

Kiviar

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #652 on: 18 August 2018, 04:50:29 »
Federated Suns Turn 5
2380-2399


Kentares IV

On the 16th of January 2383 in high orbit over the world of Kentares IV the galaxy changed forever. The titanic clash between the might of the Federated Suns and Hegemony Navy had not only given the Terrans their first real defeat since the fall of the Alliance, but it had also shown that the burgeoning new nations of the Inner Sphere would no longer be cowed by their old masters.

While officially, the government had issued statements decrying the overzealous actions of Admiral Hasek and his senior staff, few, if any took these seriously. The Admiral had become not only a hero, but came to represent the new national pride growing within the Federated Suns. What had started 66 years ago as a defensive pact between the desperate worlds of the Crucis Reach had, through the fires of Tikonov and Kentares, grown in to a true nation.

Peace with Honor

Even before the dust had settled at Kentares IV, President Paul Davion had enacted his plan to diffuse the increasingly apocalyptic situation between the 'Suns and Hegemony. What few jumpships as could be spared had been organized into a rudimentary command circuit to deliver the President's sister, Marie Davion to Terra as quickly as possible. While many on New Avalon openly questioned the President's choice at such a crucial time, Paul Davion had the utmost faith in his sister. This was immediately proven to be well paced, as within days of arriving on Terra, Marie had through a mix of charm, intelligence and supreme competence, diffused the situation entirely. Both the Federated Suns and Hegemony had stepped back from the precipice, and as the negotiations drew to a close two years later, and the ink dried on a bevy of new trade, navigation and emigration treaties, both nations had, despite all the bloodshed, violence, and death, emerged victorious.

The world marches on

"Look, I've seen our projections on a possible Combine battleship too. Yes, it could probably blast something like the Crusis to scrap, but by the time they get anything out of that new yard of theirs we will have almost as many battleships as they have cruisers."
"So you are saying they aren't a threat?"
"No, I'm saying we aren't worrying about paper spaceships and imaginary naval-races with neutral powers whose whole navy has less combat experience than the ****ing Albion, when we have real and credible threats to deal with."


- Adm. Michael Hasek to reporters on Wake Up Avalon City! 2389

Kentares IV had not only been a wake-up call to the Hegemony, but also the to the Federated Suns other rivals. Not only was the FPF equipped with larger, faster, and better armed warships than any other Inner Sphere power, they also possessed the most experienced force in the Inner Sphere, which had, despite an inauspicious start, emerged victorious in nearly every engagement it fought.

This was clearly not a situation which the other nations of the Inner Sphere could allow to continue, and, in the 2390s Federated Suns intelligence operatives began reporting on massive new shipyard construction programs across space. They projected that within the next decade, not only would the 'Suns perennial foe the Capellan confederation be able to construct warships on par with the much vaunted Crucis-class battleship, but the ever-growing Draconis Combine would be able to construct ships which rivaled even the Hegemony's behemoths.

The situation was becoming increasingly concerning. The FPF Navy may have had superior ships to its rivals, but, in terms of overall fleet weight, it was a less optimistic story. Many of their ships were also beginning to show their age. The Galahad-class had never received its proposed upgrades after the battle of Highspire, and the venerable Albion-class had proven to not be of sufficient size or power to serve as a ship-of-the-wall. In the halls of power on New Avalon, panic was beginning to set in. The Navy was still in the midst of repairing the damage dealt to it at Kentares IV, and their budget was stretched to the breaking point. Many petitioned the President to order the Navy to scrap all current production and invest nearly the entire procurement budget for the next decade in to a audacious plan to upgrade the Universal Shipyards facilities at Delevan to a similar size and capacity to those that the Combine was rumoured to be constructing in orbit of New Samarkand.

While the President understood that nations like the Draconis Combine and Free Worlds League must, to some extent, view the Federated Suns as a threat to their security, that threat paled in comparison to the juggernaut of the Terran Hegemony. He, and most of the moderates on the Navy Board felt that while upgrades to some shipyards were advisable to keep pace with their neighbor`s growth, the proposed upgrades to Delevan came at too high a cost. In a compromise it was decided that the smaller yards at Delevan would be upgraded to match the current largest over the next 20 years, and more focused production on heavier warships would be undertaken to mitigate any possible capability gap.

New Units

Kentares IV-class Carrier

A Fleet Carrier had been in the works since the inception of the FPF Navy in the early 2300s. However the "gunboat clique" which ruled the Navy's procurement bureaucracy felt that fighters were only suited for reconnaissance, and that any ship which sacrificed significant space to the support and maintenance of them over conventional weaponry was folly. This attitude began to change gradually in the 2370s when fighters proved instrumental at the battle of Tikonov, and unequivocally in 2383 when massed fighter formations devastated the Hegemony fleet at Kentares IV.

Ultimately the Navy went with a Universal Shipyard's design which had been kicking around naval circles since the inception of the Federated Suns. It was a simple design which lacked many modern features such as dropship collars or advanced targeting and tracking systems, but, what it lacked in advanced technology it it made up for in speed, protection and fighter capacity. With 4 squadrons of fighters, and 60kt of supplies to sustain them, the Kentares IV offered a drastic improvement to both fighter coverage and endurance. For defence the ship primarily relied on its incredible speed to keep it out of range of hostile warships. At 4g of acceleration, few dropships, and even fewer warships would be able to keep up. However, it did also mount an impressive weight of armour for a carrier as well as a sizable array of class 55 naval lasers to make what few opponents who could catch up to the Kentares IV think twice about it.

Code: [Select]
Class/Model/Name: Kentares IV-class Carrier
Tech: Inner Sphere
Ship Cost: $7,112,484,000.00
Magazine Cost: $464,000.00
BV2: 42,273

Mass: 750,000
K-F Drive System: Compact
Power Plant: Maneuvering Drive
Safe Thrust: 5
Maximum Thrust: 8
Armor Type: Standard
Armament:
32 Naval Laser 55
32 AC 5
64 Machine Gun (IS)

Class/Model/Name: Kentares IV-class Carrier
Mass: 750,000

Equipment: Mass
Drive: 225,000
Thrust
Safe: 5
Maximum: 8
Controls: 1,875
K-F Hyperdrive: Compact (16 Integrity) 339,375
Jump Sail: (5 Integrity) 68
Structural Integrity: 50 37,500
Total Heat Sinks: 2715 Single 2,000
Fuel & Fuel Pumps: 13500 points 5,508
Fire Control Computers: 0
Armor: 330 pts Standard 750
Fore: 70
Fore-Left/Right: 40/40
Aft-Left/Right: 40/40
Aft: 70

Dropship Capacity: 0
Grav Decks:
Small: 0
Medium: 2 200
Large: 0
Escape Pods: 150 1,050
Life Boats: 0

Crew And Passengers:
41 Officers in 2nd Class Quarters 287
154 Crew in 2nd Class Quarters 1,078
48 Gunners and Others in 2nd Class Quarters 336
525 Bay Personnel 0
10 1st Class Passengers 100
600 2nd Class Passengers 4,200
Steerage Passengers 0

# Weapons Loc Heat Damage Range Mass
8 Naval Laser 55 Nose 680 440 (44-C) Extreme-C 8,800
4 AC 5 Nose 4 20 (2-C) Medium 32
8 Machine Gun (IS) Nose 16 (1.6-C) Short-PDS 4
2 Naval Laser 55 FR 170 110 (11-C) Extreme-C 2,200
4 AC 5 FR 4 20 (2-C) Medium 32
8 Machine Gun (IS) FR 16 (1.6-C) Short-PDS 4
2 Naval Laser 55 FL 170 110 (11-C) Extreme-C 2,200
4 AC 5 FL 4 20 (2-C) Medium 32
8 Machine Gun (IS) FL 16 (1.6-C) Short-PDS 4
4 Naval Laser 55 RBS 340 220 (22-C) Extreme-C 4,400
4 AC 5 RBS 4 20 (2-C) Medium 32
8 Machine Gun (IS) RBS 16 (1.6-C) Short-PDS 4
4 Naval Laser 55 LBS 340 220 (22-C) Extreme-C 4,400
4 AC 5 LBS 4 20 (2-C) Medium 32
8 Machine Gun (IS) LBS 16 (1.6-C) Short-PDS 4
2 Naval Laser 55 AR 170 110 (11-C) Extreme-C 2,200
4 AC 5 AR 4 20 (2-C) Medium 32
8 Machine Gun (IS) AR 16 (1.6-C) Short-PDS 4
2 Naval Laser 55 AL 170 110 (11-C) Extreme-C 2,200
4 AC 5 AL 4 20 (2-C) Medium 32
8 Machine Gun (IS) AL 16 (1.6-C) Short-PDS 4
8 Naval Laser 55 Aft 680 440 (44-C) Extreme-C 8,800
4 AC 5 Aft 4 20 (2-C) Medium 32
8 Machine Gun (IS) Aft 16 (1.6-C) Short-PDS 4

Ammo Rounds Mass
AC 5 Ammo 1920 96.00
Machine Gun (IS) Ammo 6400 32.00

Number Equipment and Bays Mass Doors
200 Bay Fighter 30,000 2
25 Bay Small Craft 5,000 8
60,000 Cargo, Standard 60,000 2






Turn

Administration
Budget - 100
Upkeep - 22

R&D
Kentares IV-class Carrier - 7.1

Construction

Ships
2x Crucis - 23.3
2x Kentares IV - 14.2
Stations
1x Northumberland - 1
5x Barghest - 0.072

Misc
10x Lt Dropship
380x Fighter

Research & Other
Research - 69 - 0.029
Fleet Repairs - 12

Smegish

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #653 on: 18 August 2018, 18:03:02 »
In an attempt to clean up the Master Sheet a touch, I have separated the station designs from the Warships. They're still on the same tab, just with a bit of space to make it easier to go through each factions warship lists.

Can undo if it bugs people.

marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #654 on: 18 August 2018, 19:59:53 »
I've given some thought to possibly departing from canon in terms of available techs, as you say. For example, what if techs would add ECM missiles, or maybe orbital minefields(perhaps $1m per mine, and each one is a one-shot capital missile launcher)? I've limited it to canonical tech in my notes, but that can always change. What's the feeling of the player base here? It'll stay mostly canonical throughout, of course, but a few changes here and there might be fun.

As for the bomber rules, I kind of like capital missiles as the "bombs" of choice for the role, but I'm open to suggestions. It needs to be compatible with how the game has gone thus far, but if nothing else I always like hearing well-designed fan rules.

After spending a lot of quality time with the design space, I think what would give us the most increase in decision making flexibility would be:

1.)  Some way to further reduce the mass of the KF Drive, at some high cost.  My rough gut feel is an improved Compact Core at 40% of the ships mass and roughly double cost of the KF Drive, and a Super-Compact Core at 30% and quadruple core cost.  This would make a large difference in effective mass fractions, and given that core costs make a smaller and smaller impact as hull size increses, would increase the upward pressure on yard sizes (which will likely stall at around class 5-6 in the current condition)

2.)  Some way to reduce the mass of the Main Drive.  This is the other huge barrier to design flexibility.  Something along the paradigm of the Lite/XL/XXL Engines, at 2/3, 1/2, and 1/3 mass for... ballparking... x5, x10, and x20 cost on the Drive, despite the mass reduction.
Obviously very valuable to high thrust designs, and would allow for 5/8 and even 6/9 vessels with at least some role in combat.

3.)  Decouple SI from Safe Thrust.  Because it is nonsensical that you have to add engines to further reinforce your hull.  Would put a bit more flexibility in the 2/3 and 3/5 ships.

4.)  Treat overthrust as 1.5 safe thrust, without rounding.  We arent using hexes, and it avoids the default 3/5 sweet spot being even -better- for getting a free .5 overthrust.

5.)  Maybe slow improvements in jump range over time?  Would also help promote block obsolesence, rather than ‘build in 2350, upgrade armor once or twice, use forever’


This would allow for some behavior outside the 'corners' of the currently possible, and would follow the relentless IRL advancement in ship speed from the era of ironclads to fast battleships.  If we dont allow ships to replace their KF Drive or 'Main Drive Type' over time, it could lead to real obsolesce, which we do not see here.

As to why its being seen here, and not in main timeline?  I think weve got a much more competitive naval enviornment than in the OTL.  This would take us off in some very non-cannon directions, however, and leave us with ships that dont play well with the base rules.

Just 'off the top of my head'.
« Last Edit: 18 August 2018, 21:45:02 by marcussmythe »

Smegish

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #655 on: 18 August 2018, 20:12:44 »
Would allow us to come up with some out of the box ideas, if we're willing to spend the cash.

Not sure about the jump range though, the engines by themselves should do a fine job of making old designs obsolescent.

Next question of course is when does this stuff come around? XL engines are out in 2579, XL drives are made about the same time? Before like NPPCs compared to standard PPCs? Or would they be a mid-late League-era kind of thing?
« Last Edit: 18 August 2018, 21:45:31 by Smegish »

marcussmythe

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #656 on: 18 August 2018, 20:35:12 »
Duplicate deleted.

Alsadius

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #657 on: 19 August 2018, 00:39:14 »
After spending a lot of quality time with the design space, I think what would give us the most increase in decision making flexibility would be:

1.)  Some way to further reduce the mass of the KF Drive, at some high cost.  My rough gut feel is an improved Compact Core at 40% of the ships mass and roughly double cost of the KF Drive, and a Super-Compact Core at 30% and quadruple core cost.  This would make a large difference in effective mass fractions, and given that core costs make a smaller and smaller impact as hull size increses, would increase the upward pressure on yard sizes (which will likely stall at around class 5-6 in the current condition)

I'm loath to add any really big changes to the design space like a new KF drive type. It pushes us away from this being BattleTech, and it's the sort of thing I don't trust myself to balance properly. I'll think about it, but right now I lean against it.

That said, I do think you're right about yard sizes capping out in practice. The Terrans can count to 10 (and probably will, because I like the Newgrange), but nobody else ever will. Maybe I should just cap the cost at $50B per level - it won't affect the game thus far, but it'll make it less punishing down the line.

2.)  Some way to reduce the mass of the Main Drive.  This is the other huge barrier to design flexibility.  Something along the paradigm of the Lite/XL/XXL Engines, at 2/3, 1/2, and 1/3 mass for... ballparking... x5, x10, and x20 cost on the Drive, despite the mass reduction.
Obviously very valuable to high thrust designs, and would allow for 5/8 and even 6/9 vessels with at least some role in combat.

It's not just the engine mass that's an issue - max accel in a fast ship is already crushing, and getting up to 5-6g is going to pose tremendous engineering challenges. If anything, I might want to make big engines even more mass-intensive.

3.)  Decouple SI from Safe Thrust.  Because it is nonsensical that you have to add engines to further reinforce your hull.  Would put a bit more flexibility in the 2/3 and 3/5 ships.

This makes sense to me. I never much liked that rule, tbh. Naturally, the guy with a 2/3 fleet is most in favour of it, but there's logic there. If I do that, I might also mess with rules like maximum door count. No promises, though.

4.)  Treat overthrust as 1.5 safe thrust, without rounding.  We arent using hexes, and it avoids the default 3/5 sweet spot being even -better- for getting a free .5 overthrust.

I've more or less been doing this already. The rounding hasn't been getting factored in. Actually, if I wanted to mess around in this space with the opportunities afforded to us by a narrative-based game, why are we limiting thrust to round numbers at all? A cruising accel of 1.2g(i.e., 2.4 thrust) should be perfectly possible. That'd loosen up design space somewhat and make ships less samey, and I don't think it'd mess with the construction tool much. Obviously, that couldn't work with any third-party construction tools, because MML and HMA would not build ships like that. Given that you're one who's been reluctant to use the Google Docs spreadsheet due to technical issues, would that be a problem?

5.)  Maybe slow improvements in jump range over time?  Would also help promote block obsolesence, rather than ‘build in 2350, upgrade armor once or twice, use forever’

This is a bit like #1 to me. Also, jump ranges over 30 LY make most of the mapping tools I've used to plan operations stop being useful, which would be annoying.
« Last Edit: 19 August 2018, 00:42:41 by Alsadius »

Kiviar

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #658 on: 19 August 2018, 01:51:09 »
I would argue that the real issue with design flexibility is directly the fault of the C-Bill costs of warships skewing heavily towards larger ships. Right now a 500kt ship with less than half the BV of a 1mt ship is still around 70% of the cost,  and this only gets more egregious the larger the size disparity gets. If we just ignored the vanilla C-bill cost of ships and instead did something like BV*100,000 plus some amount for sensors/collars we would get a more granular price curve on warships which would see smaller ships lowered in price to a level where people might actually consider building escorts again, while keeping the cost of medium ships about the same and increasing the cost of 1mt+ ships all without changing any of the core rules.

So i went through my ships and did some rough calculations

Corvette (200kt 27k bv) would drop from about 6b to under 2.7
Albion, (400kt 51k bv) would drop from 7b to 5.1
Robinson (500kt 73k bv) drops very slightly from 7.9 to 7.3
Kentares IV (750kt 42k bv) drops from 7 to 4 (carriers might prove to be a problem)
Galahad (900kt 115k bv) goes up from 10.7 to 11.5
Crucis (1mt 138k bv) goes up from 11.6 to 13.6
4/6 Battlecruiser (1mt 93kbv) goes down from 11.2b to 93.6b (this one is due to the armament)
Battleship+ (1.25mt 187k bv) goes up significantly from 13.5 to 18.7
« Last Edit: 19 August 2018, 02:50:28 by Kiviar »

Maingunnery

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Re: Group Design Challenge: WarShip Arms Race
« Reply #659 on: 19 August 2018, 02:45:02 »

I would like to stick to canon technology, however I won't mind seeing an early introduction of sub-cap weapons and screen launchers.
Herb: "Well, now I guess we'll HAVE to print it. Sounds almost like the apocalypse I've been working for...."