Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

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What should we do with the SDNW game?

Poll ended at 2012-01-05 08:47pm

Continue SDNW4, without changing the map or anything else.
4
15%
Continue SDNW4, but with a map change and retcons.
11
42%
Begin a reboot as SDNW5, with similar rules and an option on using the same countries, and try to recruit some new players.
11
42%
 
Total votes: 26

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-16 08:52am

I was thinking of making it possible for them to move battleships (which means they can move battlefleets eventually), if people on both ends of the gate transfer were willing to put a lot of effort into setting it up. "A lot of effort" is defined rather nebulously, granted- the idea is that you can't do this on the spur of the moment, that it really is a rather expensive way to wage war, but you could in fact portal whole fleets from one country to another if you really wanted to and were willing to gamble on the strategic consequences.

To quote the draft set of rules I'm typing up on the side:

Warp gates are large, fixed, ridiculously expensive, power-hungry installations that let you teleport ships across multi-sector distances. Gates in normal operation are transceivers; there must be a gate on both ends of the warp transit.

A warp gate can transport nearly arbitrary volumes of cargo, including major battlefleets, over ‘short’ distances (~3 sector widths). This is expensive, but fast, compared to sending the cargo by hyperspace.

In normal operation, warp gates cannot move nearly so much cargo over longer distances. Commercially, long-range warp travel is only used for high-value cargo, passenger transport, and the like. For military purposes, ships below XY points can be sent via warp gate.

It’s at least physically possible to move larger cargoes through a pair of distant warp gates, but this is a laborious, difficult thing to set up even with the owners of both gates collaborating. Obstacles can include extensive survey work, technobabble, alignment problems, technobabble, major gate downtime for specialized refits, and technobabble.

Bear in mind that while warp gates may look like an incredibly useful piece of military technology, and to an extent they are, they represent a single point of failure in your strategy. They can be blown up, and are ridiculously expensive to replace.


That's the entire "Warp Gate" entry. Note that the commentary is just part of my authorial tone- I've noticed a fair number of new-joining players in SDNW4 who would have benefited from 'rules' that tried to explain the implications of actions. And since I've got so many 'guidelines not rules,' I need to explain in a bit more detail just what the guidelines are, where I would like people to stick to something, unless they have a good reason or unless they don't want to.

The "XY" is a spot where I haven't figured out what number to write down, but I figure it should be a two-digit number. Maybe 50 like last time, maybe a bit higher. I don't know.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Darkevilme » 2012-03-16 09:27am

Interesting. It's just I basically had an idea for the arrival of my nation as they come from far off and due to skizo tech or extreme distance the way they originally crossed the distance to known space was by launching a warp gate in an automated ship decades or centuries ahead of their arrival and then when it arrived used it to circumvent the intervening distance and get their fleet into known space.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-16 10:24am

It works for Schlock Mercenary.

Anyone object to this idea? What I want to get across is that the warp gate 'instant fleet movement' method is NOT EASY, it is something that should be done only in emergencies, by people who have spent considerable time and effort preparing themselves to do it. It would nearly always be much better and cheaper to send heavy cargoes the long way.

On the other hand, longstanding allies may have preparations in place to shift forces quickly from one warp gate to another. And over short distances, warping entire fleets is manageable, although still costly and difficult compared to moving them around by normal means.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby OmegaChief » 2012-03-16 01:29pm

So it can be done, but it's not a reactonary spur of the moment "Suddenly my fleet is in your homeworld" sorta thing, seems to work just fine to me.
This odyssey, this, exodus. Do we journey toward the promised land, or into the valley of the kings? Three decades ago I envisioned a new future for our species, and now that we are on the brink of realizing my dream, I feel only solitude, and regret. Has my entire life's work been a fool's crusade? Have I led my people into this desert, only to die?
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby White Haven » 2012-03-16 01:34pm

That's where warp gates are an interesting choice, because they're directly under the owning player's control where something like a natural wormhole/nodeline is not. Even if you're withing pissing distance, there's no way to use a warpgate as an attack tool, not en masse at least, because the receiving party has to let the traveller in, and something the size of a capital-threatening fleet is going to get noticed and cockblocked in short order.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby OmegaChief » 2012-03-16 02:17pm

It does however have the interesting potential storyline (Assuming both players were intrested) of the attackign side trying to subvert control of the reciving wargate by hook or by crook via special operations some time in advance, which is something else you can't do with wormholes.
This odyssey, this, exodus. Do we journey toward the promised land, or into the valley of the kings? Three decades ago I envisioned a new future for our species, and now that we are on the brink of realizing my dream, I feel only solitude, and regret. Has my entire life's work been a fool's crusade? Have I led my people into this desert, only to die?
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby White Haven » 2012-03-16 02:46pm

Also Grand Theft Canal. :twisted:
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Demiurgas » 2012-03-16 02:48pm

I claim Earthbound city names as my Empire.

That leaves me with Onett
Twoson
Threed
Fourside

And some other places that have nothing to do with numbers.

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Akhlut » 2012-03-16 03:02pm

Demiurgas, this isn't the thread to do that sort of thing, yet. We'll have a nation-creation thread when the time comes, mang. Right now, we're headbutting hashing out the rules for the game, not creating nations.

I'd suggest writing up what you want to do with your nation in a word document or something then copy-pasta that when the nation-creation thread is made.

As for warp gates: yeah, I like the idea being thrown around. Reminds me a lot of what they were supposed to be in 4.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Demiurgas » 2012-03-16 03:07pm

Ah. Okay. Thanks for the heads up sir.

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-16 03:49pm

OmegaChief wrote:So it can be done, but it's not a reactonary spur of the moment "Suddenly my fleet is in your homeworld" sorta thing, seems to work just fine to me.
Remember, you have to set up the transfer on both ends. Try to send a fleet through without the other side's permission, and you may run into something like this. Literally.

Or, in my guys' case, a multikilometer proton cannon platform set to fire straight down the gate and into the bow of your lead ship. Thermonuclear minefields are also a possibility.

Demiurgas wrote:I claim Earthbound city names as my Empire.

That leaves me with Onett
Twoson
Threed
Fourside

And some other places that have nothing to do with numbers.
You are free to name your planets, sectors, people, and so on whatever you please, there is no need to call "dibs." Worst case there is redundancy, and that's fine; do you have any idea how many "New New Yorks" there are going to be in the SDNW5 setting?
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Demiurgas » 2012-03-16 04:40pm

OH okay. I didn't think of that Simon.

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-17 01:07am

So, any outstanding issues or policies that need to be set? Not so much rules as meta-rules: what social conventions we agree to abide by.

I have a fairly extensive draft of a rules document by now, I'm not finished with it yet- it's long because it has a lot of explanation and contains many things we ruled in during SDNW4, the abridged edition would be comprehensible to SDNW4 vets and yet a lot shorter. What's important are the 'principles' at the top of the document, which I will reproduce here:



Rule Number Zero

DON’T BE A MORON, AND DON’T BE A PRICK.

This is the single most important rule. Most of you know how to do it. If you do not know how to avoid being stupid or obnoxious, I feel sorry for you. If you can’t help but be stupid or obnoxious in the game, then we have a problem. People will ask you to modify your behavior. If you don’t modify your behavior, you will make yourself unwelcome, and ultimately be asked to leave.

Doing things other players don’t like is not wrong, in and of itself. Indeed, the game wouldn’t get far without healthy conflict. You are encouraged to come up with interesting issues that bring you into conflict with some (or all) of your neighbors, if you feel any urge to do so. But these issues should be interesting, and they should be resolved in an amicable way. We do not want or need bad blood between players.

So if you do things other players don’t like, have sensible in-game reasons for them. Be willing to listen to reason and consider the other person’s point of view. Do not be arrogant or dismissive toward your fellow player. Be ready and able to accept that your nation cannot and will not get 100% of what it wants 100% of the time.

If you cannot follow Rule Number Zero, you shouldn’t be playing the game. Please save us the trouble of having to deal with yet another moron or prick, and go away and leave the rest of us alone.

Do I make myself clear? Good.

Rule Number One: Use Some Imagination

Be flexible, imaginative, and creative, in describing what your nation and people do among the stars. Try to think outside boxes. Without any prejudice to the ships of NASA, I can at least partly agree with the spirit of:

“I want magical entities, vibrating vehicles
To prolong to be to it abyss
Like fish of a timeless ocean. I want
Jewels, mechanics as perfect as the heart...

I want rockets complex and secret,
Humming-bird ornithopters,
Sipping the thousand-year-old nectar of dwarf stars... "
-Alejandro Jodorowsky

Of course, if what really fires your imagination is a bit generic, then such is life, but try to have something unconventional, some great question that your culture addresses, some conflict that makes your characters interesting.

Rule Number Two: Points are Points are Points

The combat power of any military unit is measured in ‘points.’ It does not matter what the unit is, whether it is an Imperial Star Destroyer clone, a starship Enterprise clone, or a spacegoing oared galley. Points are points are points. Any arguments of the form “my X-point unit should beat your X-point unit because gigatons,” “because missiles are superior to beams,” “because beams are superior to missiles,” or any other such argument will have the moderator(s) landing on it like a ton of spherical masses of iron.

Rule Number Three: Most Rules Are Guidelines

All the rules below, with exceptions I explicitly state, are in some sense ‘guidelines.’ The advantage of following them is that you can design a nation for yourself with little difficulty, without having to pester game moderators, and automatically get something that is more or less ‘fair’ compared to what other people are doing. It gives us a baseline and standard of comparison.

However, if you have a cool idea that doesn’t fit within these rules, feel free to bring it up with the mods, bounce it around the OOC threads, and generally try and play with it. You are encouraged to be creative. The rules exist to make things easier for the average player, not to be a straitjacket for the extraordinary one.

Rule Number Four: Micronations

Basically, anyone who wants to participate in the game is free to create for themselves a ‘micronation,’ along with the major nation they may or may not be playing. This is a polity much smaller and weaker than a major nation, one which is usually confined to a single sector, and often to a single system. This offers more flexibility in storylines; it was used successfully in SDNW4.

A micronation should have very limited military forces, especially in terms of power projection. Players are cautioned against making up micronations just so that they have allies in the event of a conflict- micronations should have their own independent and interesting existence, preferably one that can act as a backdrop for more than one player.

Normally, a micronation should be assembled using 5 NCP or less. A lot of good micronations will be worth 1 NCP or less- single-system or sub-planet polities of limited economic strength. If you don’t know what NCPs mean, you will in a moment...

[more stuff ensues, not relevant at the moment]
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Agent Sorchus » 2012-03-17 01:33am

Just a heads up I haven't full read the last page and a half of stuff thanks to feeling sickish. I will try again tomorrow. Needless to say the simple rule of no prickishness has been tried. Just saying it isn't going to work.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-17 01:45am

No, just saying it will not work. That much is utterly obvious to anyone. Any mod with half a brain will probably have to spend most of their effort enforcing it, as well as just saying it.

However, printing it up at the top might serve to deter some fool or jackass from making trouble.

I can't for the life of me understand why you're even complaining about it being there.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby OmegaChief » 2012-03-17 08:40am

They seem good as initial guidelines there Simon, though as it's related to moving on into the next section I really have to ask (As it's what put me off joining up with SDNW4 a few times >.>) are we simplying/making new from scratch Carrier rules this time? I mean I've been working on a few ideas that arn't quite as bad as last time myself so figured I'd just ask what we were doing about them this time before seeing if that needed to be posted.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Akhlut » 2012-03-17 10:10am

I forget, exactly, how we did carriers, but I think just "carriers cost [X] points, of which [Y] points are fighters" should be just fine. One can subdivide that into fighters of [Z] points apiece, if they really want, but that would be more for flavor, than anything else. Does that seem simple enough and workable enough for everyone?
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Darkevilme » 2012-03-17 10:26am

prior carrier rules simply said for each two points of carrier you got the ability to carry 1 point of strike craft.

That was downright sane compared to the troop rules that used an explicit number of soldiers not a value in points for how much you carried. Now on the one hand this is semi realistic as troops are not exactly the most compact thing to be carrying..but it did mean that those who were fond of transport battleships all had the common fixture of very expensive troops they stuck on them (Fin with the space marines powered by yelling 'for dah emperor' and shep's atomic killbots powered by genocide).

So from my view if we're gonna fix carriers but not troop transports then that's just bizarre.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-17 11:35am

OmegaChief wrote:They seem good as initial guidelines there Simon, though as it's related to moving on into the next section I really have to ask (As it's what put me off joining up with SDNW4 a few times >.>) are we simplying/making new from scratch Carrier rules this time?
We are if I have anything to say about it:

Carriers

Spaceships that carry smaller ‘fighter’ craft are one of the classics of the genre, many of you will probably want to have some, and this is certainly allowed. The SDNW4 rules had a rather cumbersome way of handling carriers, which is now streamlined:

A ship worth X points and designated a carrier can carry X points worth of “small craft,” using its own long-range FTL capability to transport them from place to place. For STL fighters this capability is essential; for FTL gunboats it is merely useful- and necessary for them to have inter-sector range.

Aside from its small craft capacity, carriers have no offensive weapons of note. They are not necessarily fragile, but are of negligible importance in battle between starships armed heavy weapons. Their main battery is their small craft.
There. Better?

You can, I would like you to, also work out individual point value of the carrier's small craft and how many of them are on the carrier. But actually, thinking about it, I'm not sure that's strictly necessary if you really don't feel like doing so...

Oh, wait, one more chunk of rule:

You should also pay out of your budget for any massive-scale small craft losses (fair is fair; I can lose a 100 point ship shooting down 100 points of fighters, so it should cost you to replace the fighters, as it cost me to replace the ship). The losses should be replaced at a reasonable pace, rather than all materializing at once the day after the battle.

New carriers get a freebie load of small craft when they are commissioned, just as normal ships don’t have to pay extra to get their guns installed.
I hope that's not out of line?

Darkevilme wrote:That was downright sane compared to the troop rules that used an explicit number of soldiers not a value in points for how much you carried. Now on the one hand this is semi realistic as troops are not exactly the most compact thing to be carrying..but it did mean that those who were fond of transport battleships all had the common fixture of very expensive troops they stuck on them (Fin with the space marines powered by yelling 'for dah emperor' and shep's atomic killbots powered by genocide).

So from my view if we're gonna fix carriers but not troop transports then that's just bizarre.
OK, although I think I'll insert a line about "consider the physical size of your troop transport, before you decide that you have it. A transport for a hundred thousand soldiers would be extremely large, and yet theoretically a hundred thousand soldiers might not be worth that many points, requiring only a low-powered armed-troopship to carry them. If that's all right by you, OK, but I for one intend to have my armed troopships carrying only small numbers of elite troops, while the bulk of the army rides in troopships of negligible combat power, worth 0 points each."
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby White Haven » 2012-03-17 12:18pm

As long as you're okay with a direct nerfing of carrier-based strike craft cost-efficiency, those revised rules are fine. They would, however, make me far less inclined to use strike craft in my order of battle.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-17 12:25pm

...Wait, why? What's the problem?
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby White Haven » 2012-03-17 12:37pm

The old rule was than an X carrier carried X/2 points of strike craft, but those strike craft had X killpower. Now you have an X carrier carrying X strike craft with X killpower, which is more elegant, but results in strike craft cost effectiveness being halved even as effective carrier killpower remains the same.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Darkevilme » 2012-03-17 12:42pm

The Olde rules had one point of carrier investment divided into:
carrier defence power .25
fighter defence power .25
fighter attack power .5

where as regular points are divided 0.5 0.5 between attack and defence for the capship.

So strike craft were effectively worth double their value in offence. and from a wholistic viewpoint and attack and defence they were worth 1.5 times their value.

But of course. These are sodding guidelines.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-17 12:59pm

(EDIT: More in a minute)

I don't want to try and artificially define "attack" and "defense" values for ships, because it's very hard to clearly explain just what the difference is between an "attack 5 defense 10" and "attack 10 defense 5" ship is. Especially since different nations will have different relative standards of what constitutes a 'tough ship' and a 'strong weapon.'

Slight revision of one paragraph of the carrier rules:
Aside from its small craft capacity, carriers have no offensive weapons of note. They are not necessarily fragile, in general they are no easier to kill than direct-battle ships of equal point value. However, they are of relatively little importance in battle between starships armed with heavy weapons, except insofar as the enemy might disperse their fire onto them. A carrier’s main battery is its small craft- any antiship weapons on board will be secondary weapons designed to engage much smaller targets (like the enemy’s own small craft).
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby OmegaChief » 2012-03-17 01:01pm

As long as we're using points more as a "Tonnage Guideline" to give a single scale to compare where everything is reletive in terms of power (But again as they're guidlines we're not beholden to 100 points beats 90 points because it's 10 higher) then it shouldn't really be a problem, and works in my opinion.
This odyssey, this, exodus. Do we journey toward the promised land, or into the valley of the kings? Three decades ago I envisioned a new future for our species, and now that we are on the brink of realizing my dream, I feel only solitude, and regret. Has my entire life's work been a fool's crusade? Have I led my people into this desert, only to die?
-Admiral Aken Bosch, Supreme Commander of the Neo-Terran Front, NTF Iceni, 2367


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