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Author Topic: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?  (Read 879 times)

marcussmythe

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Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« on: 03 April 2020, 21:58:55 »
Ive got a question Id like to ask the PTB about a rule.  Not ‘what is this rule’ or ‘how does this rule work’ but ‘why is this rule the way it is, it seems strange to me’

Specifically, the rule I want to ask about is ‘why do dropshuttle bays and non-KF Docking Collars impact the cost of the KF drive?’.  I can see why a KF collar, that extends the KF field around an external dropship, impacts the KF cost.  I just cant wrap my brain around why a purely internal shuttle bay (albeit a large one) or for that matter a simple cargo transfer hatch (a non-KF Collar just lets a dropship attach and move cargo) interacts with the KF Drive.

Cant decide if its an ‘ask the developers’ ‘ask the writers’ or ‘IO Rules Question’, and dont want to be an unnecessary bother.

If a Mod sees fit to simply move this post and rename it, that would be fine, too.

Thanks in advance.

Daryk

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #1 on: 04 April 2020, 06:32:41 »
I'd be inclined for "Ask the Writers", but I've had questions shuttled between Writers, Developers, Rules and Errata forums before, so I could be wrong.

Paul

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #2 on: 04 April 2020, 23:15:07 »
It's a 'Why' question, so that's never a Rules forum question.

Could be ATW given that it's pretty recent (all things considered), though it probably falls back to an overall game balance/aesthetic thing.
Answer's probably along the lines of "Because we need the older tech to be worse than the new so that it makes sense for the new tech to obsolete it."


Cost in BT in general is a horrible mechanism that should be aggressively ignored whenever possible. It truly makes everything worse, nothing better, and we're all worse off for it existing at all.

Daryk

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #3 on: 05 April 2020, 06:24:02 »
Poor implementation doesn't necessarily make the concept bad...

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #4 on: 05 April 2020, 20:46:37 »
I have a question: What book describes a non-KF Collar? I've never even heard of these existing before.
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Frabby

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #5 on: 06 April 2020, 01:40:41 »
I have a question: What book describes a non-KF Collar? I've never even heard of these existing before.
Since yonder days of DropShips and JumpShips the aerospace rulebooks have spelled out that every Small Craft, DropShip and JumpShip has at least one (for larger ships, often several) universal docking adapter. This is a "minor item" in the sense of taking up no tonnage, and explains why under BT rules any two spacecraft can dock with each other and exchange personnel, cargo, water/air supplies, power, etc.
It's a simplifying rule that had a generic collar to explain/handwave it in fiction.
For what's commonly called collars, you need to add a KF Boom to the mix.

(At least I think this is what the OP inquired about.)

Unfortunately I'm on my stupid smartphone with no access to my books right now and can't actually look it up, so working from memory here...
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Liam's Ghost

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #6 on: 06 April 2020, 02:53:52 »
Actually I would assume he's referring to the docking collars that predate KF-booms described in Interstellar Operations, since they impact the KF drive cost in the same manner as standard docking collars.
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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #7 on: 06 April 2020, 03:32:55 »
Poor implementation doesn't necessarily make the concept bad...
True.
But in this case, yes it’s bad.
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SCC

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #8 on: 06 April 2020, 04:13:16 »
Actually I would assume he's referring to the docking collars that predate KF-booms described in Interstellar Operations, since they impact the KF drive cost in the same manner as standard docking collars.
This could be part of it, because as you say the rules draw no distinction between them when they probably should, there should be an indicator in brackets or the like, but I think what he's really talking about are DropBays, but upon further explanation he could instead be talking about the fact that pre-K-F Boom JumpShips would likely need/want at least one docking collar (The Dreadnought would be a prime example, [I think, Dreadnought is a bit of a weird case]) to transfer personal and the like.

True.
But in this case, yes it’s bad.
I could probably post a list for you, but that would probably be bad form.

Daryk

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #9 on: 06 April 2020, 04:27:10 »
No argument that FASAnomics is bad, but economics isn't.

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #10 on: 06 April 2020, 06:09:15 »
I have a question: What book describes a non-KF Collar? I've never even heard of these existing before.

Interstellar Ops, p122. Its effectively the same as a standard collar but you can't jump with a unit attached to it.

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #11 on: 06 April 2020, 06:23:13 »
Ive got a question Id like to ask the PTB about a rule.  Not ‘what is this rule’ or ‘how does this rule work’ but ‘why is this rule the way it is, it seems strange to me’

Specifically, the rule I want to ask about is ‘why do dropshuttle bays and non-KF Docking Collars impact the cost of the KF drive?’.  I can see why a KF collar, that extends the KF field around an external dropship, impacts the KF cost.  I just cant wrap my brain around why a purely internal shuttle bay (albeit a large one) or for that matter a simple cargo transfer hatch (a non-KF Collar just lets a dropship attach and move cargo) interacts with the KF Drive.

There's no reason Non-KF Docking Collars should effect the cost of a KF-drive, but Interstellar Ops p187 says they do - that could well be in need of errata.

As for why DropShuttle Bays do, its likely along the lines of game balance. Is it a good mechanism? - arguably not. Is it a simple mechanism? - yes.

Chris W

marcussmythe

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #12 on: 06 April 2020, 16:19:01 »
This could be part of it, because as you say the rules draw no distinction between them when they probably should, there should be an indicator in brackets or the like, but I think what he's really talking about are DropBays, but upon further explanation he could instead be talking about the fact that pre-K-F Boom JumpShips would likely need/want at least one docking collar (The Dreadnought would be a prime example, [I think, Dreadnought is a bit of a weird case]) to transfer personal and the like.
I could probably post a list for you, but that would probably be bad form.

Im referring to both, because both the non-KF Docking Collar (A ring, a hatch, and some stabilizing arms, at most) and the Dropshuttle Bay (A hole in the side of the ship like the ones we already cut for small craft, but bigger) both implicated cost changes to the KF Core for... reasons? 

Im pursing this cause the Warship Arms Race downstairs, one of my players was asking after Dropshuttles, and we discovered that lordy be, Dropshuttle Bays cost as much as KF Collars (more, actually!) for reasons that escaped everyone.

(My suspicion is they put in huge warships, then put docking collars on warships, then had to explain why every warship wasnt Potemkin and why Compact Core Corncobs didnt drive Jumpships out of buisness, so they then made KF Collars insanely, mind-boggling expensive, and THEN realized that you needed to explain why Compact Core ships used collars at ALL, and then...   My other suspicion is the writers were very busy, and as I've opined before, professionals cant afford to spend as much time on this stuff as amateurs - we work for free, professionals have to pay the bills)

Paul

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #13 on: 06 April 2020, 20:27:48 »
No argument that FASAnomics is bad, but economics isn't.

Please provide a list of games that:

A. Are successful
B. Have a point system to balance game forces
C. Show cost in a currency

Hint: you don't need C to score on A.


Daryk

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #14 on: 06 April 2020, 20:44:37 »
Nor do you need B.  Games are games... A has little to do with anything some of us care about here.  You know which game saw the most increase in sales with the current lockdown?  Monopoly...  ::)

Paul

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #15 on: 06 April 2020, 20:59:46 »
Monopoly...  ::)

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #16 on: 06 April 2020, 21:06:07 »
You have GOT to teach me that trick!
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Daryk

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #17 on: 06 April 2020, 21:06:41 »
What?  All I did was cite The Economist...  ;D

Crimson Dawn

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #18 on: 06 April 2020, 21:52:03 »
Nor do you need B.  Games are games... A has little to do with anything some of us care about here.  You know which game saw the most increase in sales with the current lockdown?  Monopoly...  ::)

And with all the new sales who thinks that only about 5% of the people actually bother to read and play by the actual rules.

guardiandashi

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #19 on: 06 April 2020, 23:34:22 »
my 2cents

realistically jumpships (and warships) should have different methods of determining cost re carrying capacity.

IMO dropshuttle bays should NOT vastly increase the cost of the KF core, to the extent that they do.

the big issue is if they are internal bays why do they vastly increase the cost when a cargo bay doesn't?

if you removed that feature (cost) my thought is that you could make reasonable internal bays that just included:
intended maximum mass of the bay (cargo weight allocated)
pressurized or unpressurized repair bay (cost and weight)
docking clamps (optional) allows the craft to remain in the bay while the larger craft maneuvers, without causing damage to either unit.

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #20 on: 07 April 2020, 01:55:23 »
I'm of the opinion that DropShuttle bays should be cheap to offset the fact they're only allowed to carry DropShuttles, and are objectively worse in every way compared to a docking collar that can carry KF-boom equipped DropShips.
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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #21 on: 07 April 2020, 02:20:25 »
Im referring to both, because both the non-KF Docking Collar (A ring, a hatch, and some stabilizing arms, at most) and the Dropshuttle Bay (A hole in the side of the ship like the ones we already cut for small craft, but bigger) both implicated cost changes to the KF Core for... reasons? 

Im pursing this cause the Warship Arms Race downstairs, one of my players was asking after Dropshuttles, and we discovered that lordy be, Dropshuttle Bays cost as much as KF Collars (more, actually!) for reasons that escaped everyone.

(My suspicion is they put in huge warships, then put docking collars on warships, then had to explain why every warship wasnt Potemkin and why Compact Core Corncobs didnt drive Jumpships out of buisness, so they then made KF Collars insanely, mind-boggling expensive, and THEN realized that you needed to explain why Compact Core ships used collars at ALL, and then...   My other suspicion is the writers were very busy, and as I've opined before, professionals cant afford to spend as much time on this stuff as amateurs - we work for free, professionals have to pay the bills)
OK, you've got to realize that anything Primitive is a Retcon, added more then 20 years after the game started, so there's going to be bugs. Beyond that the reason Docking Collar increase the cost of the K-F Drive is because they are part of it K-F Drive, something needs to channel the K-F Drive energies to anything docked to it, and that something is the Docking Collar, it's just accounted for in the K-F Drive because it only matters if the unit mounts a K-F Drive.

Frabby

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #22 on: 07 April 2020, 05:23:07 »
The terminology is a bit inconsistent. I ran into that problem while trying to tidy up Sarna articles. In particular, there seem to be three different definitions of what constitutes a Docking Collar:

Docking Collar:
(I) Basically anything that will allow two spacecraft to dock with each other and transfer stuff and people. Intrinsically built into every spacecraft, at no specific extra cost during construction.
(II) In a somewhat more restrictive sense, the defining element of a DropShip - a docking collar with KF Boom extension that will permit a JumpShip Hardpoint/DropShip Collar coupling.
(III) Finally, also often (and misleadingly) used synonymous with "Hardpoint".

Hardpoint:
A docking collar with KF Boom on a JumpShip (or WarShip), ready to dock DropShips and carry them along in a jump. Often (misleadingly) called "Docking Collar" or "JumpShip Collar".

DropShuttle Bay:
A primitive precursor to the Hardpoint, widely used on primitive spacecraft back when there was no distinction between JumpShips and WarShips. Amounts to a super-large small craft bay and will carry DropShuttles (of up to 5,000 tons) through a jump. Details unexplained so far but implication is that DropShuttles/DropShuttle Bays, unlike small craft bays, had some sort of KF coupling which is incompatible with modern DropShips.

Small Craft Bay:
Can dock Small Craft of up to 200 tons and will carry them through a jump within the JumpShip's (or DropShip's) jump bubble. No KF boom or other KF coupling required, implicitly because at 200 tons or below, these vessels are small enough to ride shotgun in their mothership's KF field.

Aerospace fighter bays, 'Mech bays, cargo bays and everything else: See Small Craft Bay.

Why it is impossible to carry spacecraft over 200 tons as regular cargo? Has been an inside joke for KF physicists for centuries. You probably can, but you cannot launch vehicles or spacecraft from your cargo bay. To do that, you'd need a DropShuttle Bay or Small Craft Bay.
You apparently cannot carry DropShips as cargo. Fan theory is that their KF-boom Collars require them to have a similar germanium mesh structure in their fuselage as KF drive cores, so unless properly linked to a hardpoint they'll play havoc with your KF field much like nearby drive core.
(Another fan theory was that perhaps the "magically effective" transit drives of spacecraft have some KF field effect.)
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marcussmythe

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #23 on: 07 April 2020, 08:06:25 »
I think for purposes of my own gaming, Im going to slap a ‘this rule is does not spark joy’ label on the issue, and restrict the KF Core Cost Implications to KF Docking Collars.

I may just tempt fate and let Dropships be carried as cargo.

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #24 on: 07 April 2020, 16:22:06 »
I'll be very curios to see how that goes in your game... Tempting fate like that is VERY interesting...  ^-^

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #25 on: 07 April 2020, 21:18:23 »
Point of order.

What is this "Cargo Transfer Hatch" that is being spoken of.

I thought there was a rule in TM or SO, somewhere that plain old "Cargo Bay Doors" allowed for any 2 spaceships to link up for Cargo Transfer.

The costs for these is added to the KF core?

I seem to recall that "all" bay doors  (Cargo, Mech, ASF, SCC, etc etc)  had some cost but I didn't recall it being added to the KF calculations.

I always assumed the cost was in the extra mechanics involved for having a moving wall installed in the side of your armor plated hull.

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marcussmythe

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #26 on: 07 April 2020, 21:22:56 »
Point of order.

What is this "Cargo Transfer Hatch" that is being spoken of.

I thought there was a rule in TM or SO, somewhere that plain old "Cargo Bay Doors" allowed for any 2 spaceships to link up for Cargo Transfer.

The costs for these is added to the KF core?

I seem to recall that "all" bay doors  (Cargo, Mech, ASF, SCC, etc etc)  had some cost but I didn't recall it being added to the KF calculations.

I always assumed the cost was in the extra mechanics involved for having a moving wall installed in the side of your armor plated hull.

Evidently there is something different from those things and the pre-KF Docking Collars, such that pre-kf collars, intended purely as a docking point, implicate the KF Core?

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #27 on: 07 April 2020, 21:30:37 »
The only thing I can think of for "Pre-KF collars" in the rules is the ones installed on Space Stations that allow them to dock in the repair bays.

But I'm not familiar with Age of War construction rules.

Are these Pre-KF collars supposed to be the "Super-Shuttle" bays for early "dropships".

I can still see a major cost for those but not sure why it would be related to KF drives.

That said, it might just come down to they were following the rules for current era DC & didn't want to let anything be "more useful" in any way.


On a side note.

Do we have any TRO entry for these "super-shuttle" pre-dropships dropships?
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marcussmythe

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #28 on: 07 April 2020, 21:43:54 »
I cant find any dropshuttles, but it notes that many early dropships were derived therefrom, with the necessary hookups for a docking collar added on.

Its also noted in an old QnA about dropshuttles, referenced on Sarna, that you cant carry dropships in a thing like a pressurized repair bay, because once you add the collar hookup to the dropship, it changes the relationship to the KF field.

This -implies-, if we squint at it, that the reason the dropshuttle bays include the collar cost is to allow those dropshuttle bays to also carry dropSHIPS - essentially the dropshuttle bay has the full-up collars required to make dropSHIPS comfy through a jump.

So, -perhaps- when we see prices listed for dropshuttle bays, were seeing the price for the high tech version?

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Re: Where to ask a question about non-KF Collars?
« Reply #29 on: 07 April 2020, 22:46:02 »
Here's how it works:

1) Ships can dock together at cargo bay doors.

2) Dropshuttle bays are specific bays capable of carrying two such craft (Or alternately two stations), each massing up to five thousand tons. The whole assembly is wicked heavy.

2A) Any dropship built before the introduction of the modern docking collar and massing five thousand tons or less can be considered a dropshuttle and can use a dropshuttle bay. It cannot use a modern docking collar unless subsequently upgraded. Upgrading the ship (or simply being a modern ship) also prohibits it from occupying a dropshuttle bay during a jump, due to the kf boom on the dropship interfering with the jump drive.

3) Docking collars are a discrete item and come in primitive pre-boom* and modern varieties. Pre-boom docking collars allow a dropship to dock with the parent vessel, but the collected group cannot jump through hyperspace together**. Modern docking collars can carry modern dropships (but not old dropshuttles) through hyperspace. And preboom collars can be upgraded to modern standards.

4) Modern repair bays incorporate docking collars and can carry dropships through hyperspace, though I believe you're limited to a maximum of two (which likewise reduces your maximum docking collar capacity)

*pre-boom docking collars probably exist because when they wrote early warships into TRO 3075R some chuckleheads started adding docking collars to ships that clearly predated their existence.
**The fact that they're only useful for cargo transfer raises the question of why you'd want pre-boom docking collars at all, since you can dock to a convenient cargo bay door and transfer cargo that way, and the limits on the number of cargo bay doors is a lot more forgiving. I like to house rule that it's faster to transfer cargo through a docking collar. 
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