Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Create, read, or participate in text-based RPGs

Moderators: Thanas, Steve

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

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28671
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

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

OmegaChief wrote: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.
That was always the rule, in my opinion- a 10% margin in point cost difference makes it likely that the stronger ship will win, but far from guaranteed.


White Haven wrote: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.
The way I interpret it, this is addressed by how I redrew the build rules- you get the initial small craft complement of the carrier as a freebie.

Before (discounting freebies at game start), you had to spend 150$ to get a 100$ carrier and 50$ of fighters to put on it. The 50$ of fighters were, when launched, a match for a 100$ enemy battlecruiser warbird battlecruiser warbird battlecruiser OK, warbird.

Now, you spend 100$ to get a 100$ carrier, with a "main battery" of 100$ worth of fighters- which, when launched, are a match for that 100$ enemy warbird. Thus, your spending on carriers and his spending on warbirds balances. In a protracted war, your spending on replacing lost carrier/fighters and his spending on replacing lost warbirds should continue to balance, assuming equal commitment of forces and no strategic master-strokes on either side.



One thing I want to avoid is having a situation where it becomes trivially and stupidly obvious that small craft and carriers are more efficient than normal warships. I feel that for a genre-savvy person in SDNW4, this would have been true, because if you really CAN expend 50$ of fighters to kill 100$ of warbird, then why wouldn't you just keep doing so indefinitely?



Anyway, White Haven, I really am open to suggestions, I just can't think of anything that works better without making people's eyes water when they consider joining the game.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
Siege
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4108
Joined: 2004-12-11 12:35pm
Contact:

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Siege » 2012-03-17 02:04pm

Akhlut wrote:Siege seems like he has a good head on his shoulders, I'd say he can be a mod, whether he likes it or not. :P


Be careful what you wish for. I'm yelling at you people anyway, it wouldn't really change anything for me to be doing it in an official capacity ;).

I wouldn't mind serving as attack dog mod, by the way. Just, be aware that that's what I'd be doing.


On carriers: I've never seen the point in having a separate section for them. It's very simple: a carrier worth 100 points is just as powerful as a battleship worth 100 points. It doesn't matter if X damage value is delivered with strike craft, turbolasers, a wave motion gun or the power of love: that's all fluff, and therefore separate from game mechanics.
Image
SDN World 2: The North Frequesuan Trust
SDN World 3: The Sultanate of Egypt
SDN World 4: The United Solarian Sovereignty
SDN World 5: San Dorado
There'll be a bodycount, we're gonna watch it rise
The folks at CNN, they won't believe their eyes

User avatar
White Haven
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6300
Joined: 2004-05-17 03:14pm
Location: Richmond, Virginia: The Capitol of Treason
Contact:

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby White Haven » 2012-03-17 02:10pm

To clarify, I'm not AGAINST an X X X carrier ruleset, I just wanted to point out that it WAS a major departure in terms of cost-effectiveness, and didn't want it to sail by without a word. On a personal level, my planned nation won't have any carriers at all, so I'm unbiased in this particular discussion. If an X X X system gets the go-ahead, fine by me.
Image
Image
Chronological Incontinence: Time warps around the poster. The thread topic winks out of existence and reappears in 1d10 posts.

Out of Context Theatre, this week starring Darth Nostril.
-'If you really want to fuck with these idiots tell them that there is a vaccine for chemtrails.'

Fiction!: The Final War (Bolo/Lovecraft) (Ch 7 9/15/11), Living (D&D, Complete)Image

User avatar
Darkevilme
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1514
Joined: 2007-06-12 02:27pm
Location: London, england
Contact:

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Darkevilme » 2012-03-17 02:13pm

Siege wrote:On carriers: I've never seen the point in having a separate section for them. It's very simple: a carrier worth 100 points is just as powerful as a battleship worth 100 points. It doesn't matter if X damage value is delivered with strike craft, turbolasers, a wave motion gun or the power of love: that's all fluff, and therefore separate from game mechanics.


I fail to see why this can't just be the way we do this. If White Haven or anyone else wants a Freespace style fighter dominated ethos then he just narrates them that way. The only minor aspect where there's a hiccup is hyperspace capable strike craft. As unlike most other forms of X damage (excluding some of the really badass forms of wave motion gun) they're able to attack things in other star systems.
STGOD SDNW4 player. Chamarran Hierarchy Catgirls in space!
Image

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28671
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-17 02:28pm

Siege wrote:On carriers: I've never seen the point in having a separate section for them. It's very simple: a carrier worth 100 points is just as powerful as a battleship worth 100 points. It doesn't matter if X damage value is delivered with strike craft, turbolasers, a wave motion gun or the power of love: that's all fluff, and therefore separate from game mechanics.
I basically agree, and White Haven's argument sorely tempted me to push for exactly that, although we have since come to a more amicable resolution by means of AIM chatting on the side. ;)

The main argument for carrier rules is that it's hard to see how NOT to write stories where the carriers' striking range advantage matters. It interacts strangely with one of the meta-rules of game combat, which is "both sides should have something to lose in a fair fight."


You see, normal ships, be they missiles or beamers or giant mecha powered by Care Bear Stares, have to get close enough to each other in a fight to shoot back at each other. So it's never hard to justify having the loss of 500 points of my ships be balanced by the loss of X hundred points of your ships.

With carriers, the carrier really should be able to launch its attack from outside the enemy's effective range and avoid giving battle, that's kind of the point from a narrative perspective. So if we just treat the fighters as another way for the carrier to deliver its attack, then we effectively turn carriers into a special class of missile ships that can strike without being struck at.

But translating that into a point system, we have a problem, because I can send 1000 points of carrier to launch a fighter attack on 1000 points of battleship... and the battleships never get to shoot back at the carriers, unless I really screw up. If I screw up, I lose a lot of carriers fast (fluff-wise, based on typical portrayals of carriers); if I don't screw up, they lose a lot of battleships and I lose nothing that matters. It's very one-sided, either way.

If I do it right I have nothing to lose, if I do it wrong you have nothing to lose.



At the heart of it, the problem is that while the small craft are what deliver the punch of the 1000 point carrier group, the small craft of a carrier are supposed to be reusable, not expended like so many rounds of ammunition. Ammunition expenses aren't tracked, but carrier fighter losses probably do need to be, because the fighters are the only part of the overall weapon system that actually gets exposed to danger when everything works as intended.

Which... well, I honestly think it merits separate carrier rules. And a lot of people agree with me, which means that if I don't have carrier rules I may end up having to sort out a lot of silly arguments later. I wanted to make the carrier rules as simple and transparent as I could, though, so that they won't get in the way too much.

"X points of carriers can carry X points of small craft, spending X$ on a carrier gets you an up-front investment of X points of small craft to load it with when the carrier pops into the game" is about as simple as I could think of.

Darkevilme wrote:
Siege wrote:On carriers: I've never seen the point in having a separate section for them. It's very simple: a carrier worth 100 points is just as powerful as a battleship worth 100 points. It doesn't matter if X damage value is delivered with strike craft, turbolasers, a wave motion gun or the power of love: that's all fluff, and therefore separate from game mechanics.
I fail to see why this can't just be the way we do this. If White Haven or anyone else wants a Freespace style fighter dominated ethos then he just narrates them that way. The only minor aspect where there's a hiccup is hyperspace capable strike craft. As unlike most other forms of X damage (excluding some of the really badass forms of wave motion gun) they're able to attack things in other star systems.
On the other hand, they're also popular. Think about it, an X-Wing would be modeled as a gunboat under the SDNW4 rules.


If we get broad agreement, I can just say "fuck it, carriers are just a differently-fluffed version of battleships" and punish anyone who tries to use their carriers IC range advantage to justify blowing away fleets of battleships at zero cost to themselves. But if I do that, I have to more or less abolish the idea of small craft as units with point costs in their own right, since the "point cost" of a fighter under those conditions is no more meaningful than the "point cost" of individual shots fired by a shipboard energy weapon, or the "point cost" of the ordnance expended by a missile frigate.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
Siege
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4108
Joined: 2004-12-11 12:35pm
Contact:

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Siege » 2012-03-17 02:45pm

You are making this far more complicated than it has to be, and needlessly so, by mixing fluff with mechanics.

From a purely mechanical standpoint the only thing that ought to matter is balancing out points values, i.e. if player X's 500-point force comes to blows with player Y's 400-point force, then X will end up with 100 points left, and Y with nothing. Whether those 100 points are a handful of damaged battleships, one surviving carrier overloaded with survivors to the point where they have to shove the Hueys off the deck to make room for more, or a single cruiser in pristine condition is completely irrelevant: that's fluff, and should be divorced entirely from mechanics. Mechanics dictate that the militaries of both players drop 400 points, end of story.

The specifics of that drop are left to the players to describe, and are basically irrelevant from a points perspective.
Image
SDN World 2: The North Frequesuan Trust
SDN World 3: The Sultanate of Egypt
SDN World 4: The United Solarian Sovereignty
SDN World 5: San Dorado
There'll be a bodycount, we're gonna watch it rise
The folks at CNN, they won't believe their eyes

User avatar
OmegaChief
Jedi Knight
Posts: 904
Joined: 2009-07-22 11:37am
Location: Rainy Suburb, Northern England
Contact:

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby OmegaChief » 2012-03-17 02:50pm

I have no objection to making fighters just another fluff description of how the ships actually fight, it'd allow Battlestar like warships that just happen to carry fighters too that I personally find neat, and it eliminates a rule complexity, these are both pluses in my book.
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

User avatar
White Haven
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6300
Joined: 2004-05-17 03:14pm
Location: Richmond, Virginia: The Capitol of Treason
Contact:

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby White Haven » 2012-03-17 02:52pm

Except that that absolutely mandates that the carrier navy has to do everything wrong or be ambushed by the battleship navy. It dramatically limits the narrative options, because there are only a few scenarios that result in battleships being able to range and destroy carriers directly, so if they use the exact same mechanics, every meeting between battleships and carriers has to fall into one of those very few categories. Not, say, a few carriers and their deck-loads square off against a battleship squadron, which never actually gets to the carriers, but manages to burn off their strike craft complements entirely at the cost of a few crippled and one destroyed line-ships, or what-have-you. There comes a point where too much simplification is as much a problem as too much complexity. The revised carrier rules are very, very simple; any more so, and you start to actually made writing an appropriate narrative more difficult because the points stop reflecting sense.

EDIT: This is even more true, as Dark noted, in the case of hyper-capable gunboats, which would make about as much sense as a three-dollar football bat under a system any simpler. And Omega, the rules already allow for multirole ships with carrier decks, you don't need to change them to arrive at a battlestar.
Image
Image
Chronological Incontinence: Time warps around the poster. The thread topic winks out of existence and reappears in 1d10 posts.

Out of Context Theatre, this week starring Darth Nostril.
-'If you really want to fuck with these idiots tell them that there is a vaccine for chemtrails.'

Fiction!: The Final War (Bolo/Lovecraft) (Ch 7 9/15/11), Living (D&D, Complete)Image

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28671
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-17 03:06pm

Siege wrote:You are making this far more complicated than it has to be, and needlessly so, by mixing fluff with mechanics.

From a purely mechanical standpoint the only thing that ought to matter is balancing out points values, i.e. if player X's 500-point force comes to blows with player Y's 400-point force, then X will end up with 100 points left, and Y with nothing. Whether those 100 points are a handful of damaged battleships, one surviving carrier overloaded with survivors to the point where they have to shove the Hueys off the deck to make room for more, or a single cruiser in pristine condition is completely irrelevant: that's fluff, and should be divorced entirely from mechanics. Mechanics dictate that the militaries of both players drop 400 points, end of story.

The specifics of that drop are left to the players to describe, and are basically irrelevant from a points perspective.
I respect the attitude and am trying to maintain it, but there are two catches.

One is that I refuse to enforce 1-to-1 point loss ratios on everyone all the time, because that leaves very little room for the role of strategy. I can enforce equitable deals, that things be fair and that no one be allowed to say "I flatten your entire military easily," but I don't want to try and say that blow by blow, a battle between 500 points and 400 points always ends with exactly (or almost exactly) 100 points and 0 points left.

The other problem is that if I do it your way we have to keep track of ship repair costs, which is a prospect I groan at. Turning a 100-point "damaged battleship" back into a 500-point "intact battleship" would need to take construction budget money. That's not totally unreasonable, but I'm honestly happier not tracking repair costs and worrying about the accounting only for ships permanently put out of action.

OmegaChief wrote:I have no objection to making fighters just another fluff description of how the ships actually fight, it'd allow Battlestar like warships that just happen to carry fighters too that I personally find neat, and it eliminates a rule complexity, these are both pluses in my book.
Those would be allowed anyway, Omega. See "hybrid ships." SDNW4 had them. Shep built most of his navy around them, so did some other people.

And I really... I just don't think this is so complex, although it's driving me bonkers trying to think of an explanation, which is probably a sign that like quantum mechanics, it's just one of those things that seems perfectly sensible to me and not to anyone else.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
Siege
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4108
Joined: 2004-12-11 12:35pm
Contact:

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Siege » 2012-03-17 03:39pm

White Haven wrote:Except that that absolutely mandates that the carrier navy has to do everything wrong or be ambushed by the battleship navy.


Nonsense. You can write whatever you want, as long as it reflects the underlying mechanics. This is in no way or shape different from any other setup you could care to imagine; it's just simpler.

Simon_Jester wrote:One is that I refuse to enforce 1-to-1 point loss ratios on everyone all the time, because that leaves very little room for the role of strategy.


If players want to work out a deal between themselves that's obviously just dandy, exactly the way it was in previous games. However if for some unfathomable reason they don't, if we're dealing with an OOC conflict situation between players, then I insist that the loss ratio be settled purely mechanically. Because anything else muddies the waters by allowing moderators to make rulings in favor of one or the other, rulings that cannot in any way be said to be objective, and which will thus inevitably cast doubt on moderator neutrality. Moderators should attempt to mediate an amicable solution but if that's not on the table, then let the mechanics sort it out.

The other problem is that if I do it your way we have to keep track of ship repair costs, which is a prospect I groan at.


You're going to have this problem one way or the other, because there's always going to be damaged ships that need repairing. Me, I don't care for that level of spreadsheeting so I'd say that's the point where mechanics end and players should be expected to handle the aftermath themselves -- and moderators come down on them if they're being cockweasels about it.
Image
SDN World 2: The North Frequesuan Trust
SDN World 3: The Sultanate of Egypt
SDN World 4: The United Solarian Sovereignty
SDN World 5: San Dorado
There'll be a bodycount, we're gonna watch it rise
The folks at CNN, they won't believe their eyes

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28671
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-17 04:14pm

Is it that important to fight for "carriers are just refluffed battleships" and against "carriers have their own rules?"

This is the flip side of "rules aren't really that important." If you're an adaptable, intelligent person, the existence of a rule shouldn't stop you from writing a good story. Not unless the rule was very badly thought out, or alters the world in a way that interferes with normal literary expectations.

Siege wrote:
White Haven wrote:Except that that absolutely mandates that the carrier navy has to do everything wrong or be ambushed by the battleship navy.
Nonsense. You can write whatever you want, as long as it reflects the underlying mechanics. This is in no way or shape different from any other setup you could care to imagine; it's just simpler.
Siege, by making the underlying mechanics extremely simple, you can actually make it harder to write a story that reflects them accurately.

There are plenty of examples in game-related fiction that hang affectionate (or not so affectionate) lampshades on this. Abstractions like "hit points," tile-based movement in wargames, "resource points" and the like can all get in the way if they become too intrusive, even if the mechanical rules they represent are very, very simple. How do I write a story about a sword fight between two men if it becomes blatantly obvious that I can hack at someone with a sword repeatedly (taking away HP) without actually impairing his combat performance, until suddenly he falls over dead (runs out of HP)? In that case, I'm better off ignoring the mechanics and writing fluff outcomes that barely even resemble the mechanics... even though I just simplified the mechanics as much as possible.

"Hit points" in the novelization of a D&D adventure aren't a less intrusive way to handle combat by simplifying the combat rules. They're a method so intrusive that the only way to write a believable story at all is to ignore them.


In SDNW4, "points" were a relatively non-intrusive aspect of the system. We could all get our brains around the idea that everyone had roughly equivalent naval capability, that all warships' strength could be measured against each other, but that the outcome of fights between near-equal point values wasn't totally deterministic, and that good strategy could make up for a lack of point value. Most of our stories were as good or better as they would have been without points.

I am really, really trying to preserve this for SDNW5, because it worked. I do not expect "remove the rules and just tell everyone to use common sense" to work, because people will get into irresolvable debates and I will be forced to rule on them and someone will bitch about every ruling I make until I quit in disgust and let one of my critics try it himself. I can foresee that entire sequence of events from right here, and I want to avoid it.

Which means, yes, having some rules just so that the number of "how should this work" debates goes down to a manageable level. And yes, I think that includes having at least a simple, three sentence set of rules for how carriers work:

"X points spent on a carrier give it X points of small craft capacity, which fight like any other X point force. Carriers get a free complement of small craft when they are commissioned. Any major replacement of fighters on a large scale comes out of the construction budget."

If players want to work out a deal between themselves that's obviously just dandy, exactly the way it was in previous games. However if for some unfathomable reason they don't, if we're dealing with an OOC conflict situation between players, then I insist that the loss ratio be settled purely mechanically. Because anything else muddies the waters by allowing moderators to make rulings in favor of one or the other, rulings that cannot in any way be said to be objective, and which will thus inevitably cast doubt on moderator neutrality. Moderators should attempt to mediate an amicable solution but if that's not on the table, then let the mechanics sort it out.
Point- but in that case, the mechanics are a method of last resort.

If I had to work out a situation like that, I'd try to apportion "ships destroyed" as fairly as possible, with certain ships damaged and in need of repairs that put them out of action for some period of time... during which the other side can do more harm than if those ships were intact.

The other problem is that if I do it your way we have to keep track of ship repair costs, which is a prospect I groan at.
You're going to have this problem one way or the other, because there's always going to be damaged ships that need repairing. Me, I don't care for that level of spreadsheeting so I'd say that's the point where mechanics end and players should be expected to handle the aftermath themselves -- and moderators come down on them if they're being cockweasels about it.
Yep.

My solution is simple: repairs are free but take time. To me, that's much easier than saying they have monetary costs and take time.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
Siege
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4108
Joined: 2004-12-11 12:35pm
Contact:

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Siege » 2012-03-17 05:37pm

Simon_Jester wrote:How do I write a story about a sword fight between two men if it becomes blatantly obvious that I can hack at someone with a sword repeatedly (taking away HP) without actually impairing his combat performance, until suddenly he falls over dead (runs out of HP)?


How on Earth can you read everything I just wrote and take this away from it as being what I must have meant?

Mechanics determine outcome, i.e. X overcomes Y by a margin of Z. Prosewise, what form the margin takes or how the outcome is arrived at is completely up to the players, and exist wholly outside the realm of the game's mechanical functioning. To say that this somehow makes it harder to write a story is quite frankly insane.

My approach is that X points = X points.

Your approach is X points = X points + a literally pointless carrier vessel.

I cannot for the life of me see how the latter option is somehow not demonstrably needlessly complex and mathematically suspect, much less how the former impacts the ability for players to arrive at the mechanically derived outcome of the battle in whatever way pleases them.


Point- but in that case, the mechanics are a method of last resort.


I really should not have to reiterate that yes, mechanics should be a last resort; yes, I hate spreadsheeting; yes, players should be able to just do what they please unless an irreconcilable conflict comes along. I have been saying these things for years, everyone that's paid a little attention ought to know my position by now, so stating the obvious like this is a little insulting, a waste of my time, and starting to irritate the hell out of me.
Image
SDN World 2: The North Frequesuan Trust
SDN World 3: The Sultanate of Egypt
SDN World 4: The United Solarian Sovereignty
SDN World 5: San Dorado
There'll be a bodycount, we're gonna watch it rise
The folks at CNN, they won't believe their eyes

User avatar
Agent Sorchus
Jedi Master
Posts: 1130
Joined: 2008-08-16 09:01pm
Contact:

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Agent Sorchus » 2012-03-17 06:08pm

Responding one poster at a time so this is going to be massive. I apologize in advance and am likely to snip sections for brevity. And this is only a fraction of the thread, but is just the stuff that my Cluster idea set in motion and was most important to get back to.

Darkevilme wrote:However. There are two major problems with node systems that must be addressed before even I will consider using them again:

Blockades: Unless the entrance area to an inter node route is absolutely collossal then it's a natural choke point. This changes the feel of interstellar warfare significantly.

A world of only highways:

Of these two issues the first is somewhat more flavour really and might be mitigated if we solve the second issue. However the second issue MUST be rectified if we're to use node graphs for our map.
Blockades is why I would want massive sizes for warp points, such that they are a sector in size and impossible to reasonably stop people from coming in.

Sort preamble. In Essence the Nodes structure is the same as clusters except with all points leading to all others. Since of course now you don't have to go through people you don't get the World of Highways problem.

Nodes are alright by me if just slightly more problematic.
Darkevileme wrote:This hybridization is really intent on making the map flexible more than anything which is I assume the intent of Sorchus's cluster idea. Still, the idea has serious problems. So I'm just tossing it out there.
Actually the motivation that is behind my idea is to get rid of the map and let story take over, except that the map is beloved and does have some uses so a compromise is necessary.

White Haven wrote:The node thing does remind me of something that I, as a late-joiner, ran into a LOT in 4. Specifically, hyperlanes, and where in the blue blazes they actually were. When they're such a crucial component of strategic mobility and trade, having them totally undocumented was...
Total agreement. The hyperlanes were less than worthless since all they did was a whole lot of bullshit that gave a gdp boost. Similarly the Warp Gates could send a fleet two sectors, but was that from one warp gate to another or just into free space, though this was answered really late and was basically a problem that should've been brought up early in discussion. (WHICH is why I call Simon a brick wall. Little things slip through the cracks when only one or two people are talking, which are far more likely to be caught if more people are involved.)

White Haven wrote:The chokepoints bit does come up rather viciously there, depending on how much more effective relays are than offroading. Not saying it's a good or bad thing, but a node-map system versus a free-flight FTL system makes a huge difference both for long-range deployments and for the scale of wars. Free-flight encourages dispersion to cover vulnerable areas, nodes encourage concentration because you know where your enemy's going to be coming through. You end up with fewer, more cataclysmic battles, because in essence everyone knows it's going to be numbered fleets for all the marbles, not a skirmishing task force that slipped around to needle at an exposed system. If that's what we want, fine, but the ramifications do need to be considered.
And here is the reason I went for Clusters. They allow for free flight ftl and have the story advantages of a closer more jump gate system. Hell, free flight vs jump gates was one of the first things brought up when planning SDNW4. To ignore it and just say we are playing SDNW4 again without considering options is why I think this attempt will fail to ignite peoples imagination and bring people back to the world.

Siege wrote:As far as clusters/nodes go: I don't see the point. I only paid lip service to the concept of travel times in the last game and nobody noticed or cared. If the map has been carefully designed you don't need travel speed book-keeping. What are these things even trying to achieve? Force people to take the predictable route from A to B? Why would you want to do that? Was this a problem before? Because I don't think it was. Fleets got intercepted just fine in a galaxy where everyone could take every route.
I would like to say that a well designed map would work nicely, but am to cynical to think that it will. Also I would rather forgo a map in the entirety but acknowlege that that is very unlikely. It is the same thing as asking if the WIKI was a good thing, is the map a good thing especially as it was.
Simon_Jester wrote:Whoo. Lots of discussion here...
Exactly as i had hoped, once it was away from a one on one conversation there began real discussion.
Simon_Jester wrote:Now, how do we track which points have wormholes? Can we get everyone to agree on a wormhole layout? Remember, there's a reason we never mapped the hyperspace lanes in SDNW4, with a few exceptions: no one was actually likely to agree on where they were. That's one reason why the rule-draft I'm constructing, purely to have a starting point for discussion, doesn't have hyperspace junctions or explicit talk of lanes. There might be fast routes through hyperspace, but writing them into the explicit rules and maps doesn't work well in most cases.

I don't want to take responsibility for arranging the wormholes. Maybe Sorchus would like to do it.
Haha, fuck you to. ;) No one wants this, and is why I went for an indefinable all points equidistant from all others, so that arguments of arrangement wouldn't be necessary.

But yes getting rid the arbitrary hyperspace shit is a good thing, and if I hadn't been feeling sick I would've mentioned earlier.
Simon_Jester wrote:I don't mind that, but I do mind being expected to make rulings proactively if someone's going to shriek at me every time I make a ruling. Remember what happened when I ruled against Pollux because he overbuilt his military? And how I got objections, from multiple people, even though Pollux himself later turned out to be totally OK with it?

If not, then either you can get someone else to do it, or you can accept that I'm only going to mod when I really think it's necessary for the good of the game, which will probably take enough time for some serious bullshit to happen and some bad blood to be created.
Nice to see something of a selective memory. You messed up horribly there, and it was far from just me calling you out. That ruling was a straight out of left field IC post that did need a response from a mod, but was massively out of scale with the small deviation in growth from the "NORM :x". And yes I would rather be permissive of bullshit, since the difference between bullshit and just unexpected can be small. But here is where having an active area for people to communicate grief or concern can be made, though in the case of quiet players Mod's need to be more active somehow.

Though this is just another reason I want to get rid of military growth.
Simon to Siege wrote:I agree with almost everything you said, except that I paid a bit more attention to travel times because they were plotwise-relevant to me a number of times, and I chose to worry about it. If you didn't, it worked out well, so I won't criticize, and you're welcome to do it again next time.
But that is why I want to do away with the map. IF more of the active players are like you and only concerned with the people close to them they will ignore others who just don't care about the distance.
the engines cannae take any more cap'n
warp 9 to shroomland ~Dalton

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28671
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-17 06:24pm

[waits]

I'm going to wait to see what other people think of what Sorchus is saying, before saying what I think of what Sorchus is saying.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
Agent Sorchus
Jedi Master
Posts: 1130
Joined: 2008-08-16 09:01pm
Contact:

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Agent Sorchus » 2012-03-17 06:28pm

So some of my thoughts that have slipped through the cracks. And while I continue to play catchup.

As for the warp gates... I hated them. They were too easy to defend and too precious to lose. They served one important function, connecting distant nations to others for diplomacy; but that only worked as well as the ability of players to be interested in more distant nations.

Also I laugh looking back at the entire idea of pirates in a world where high value merchants could bypass a good fraction of the easiest piracy locations by going by warp gate and staying within a nations well patrolled hyperspace lanes.

Advice for new players

DON"T make a utopia nation. While it might feel nice and fit in with your own political ideals there is a big problem with it. You can't easily write internal conflict. Think TNG and how shallow it felt in the begining. It is possible and a confident strong writer can do it as the struggle in mantaining utopia but it isn't easy or ideal. And there is a much more satisfying story for those who want utopias, write the struggle to create a utopia.

DO ask questions. Keeps you active and more likely to stay active if you are questioning others on their actions and ideas. And you might even get an idea and join in on their story.

DO have a go too character with goals. Doesn't matter if they are flawless so long as they can't get what ever in no time and they still want to achieve things.

Don't think of war as the only thing in your history. Sometimes the subtler acts of governments allow them to more easily differentiate themselves from a similar nations. And even the smallest thing can carry forward into a potential story.

DO consider all stories equally. This is the corollary to the above. Just because there is a war story looming doesn't mean it will be more interesting then joining someone else in telling a story of a lost locket or a small and insignificant ring.

Anyone have some other advice?
Last edited by Agent Sorchus on 2012-03-17 07:07pm, edited 3 times in total.
the engines cannae take any more cap'n
warp 9 to shroomland ~Dalton

User avatar
Agent Sorchus
Jedi Master
Posts: 1130
Joined: 2008-08-16 09:01pm
Contact:

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Agent Sorchus » 2012-03-17 06:43pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Rule Number Zero
DON’T BE A MORON, AND DON’T BE A PRICK.
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.
Or at least communicate why you want to do something and if it is prickish that you are going to do something as such.

Rule number one is great mind you and rule two is good too. Micronations are just shit though. Especially if ADHD states were to be bumped down to them. But mostly cause what you can do in a micronation is less important than actually interacting with other players, not that the occasional micronation is a bad thing. Rather a micronation created by you and your neighbors is more likely to attract a variety of stories and players into it's backyard. Again creating something with your fellow players is more interesting than having a small puppet to play with when you have the bigger puppet of your own nation.
the engines cannae take any more cap'n
warp 9 to shroomland ~Dalton

User avatar
Agent Sorchus
Jedi Master
Posts: 1130
Joined: 2008-08-16 09:01pm
Contact:

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Agent Sorchus » 2012-03-17 06:58pm

White Haven wrote:Except that that absolutely mandates that the carrier navy has to do everything wrong or be ambushed by the battleship navy. It dramatically limits the narrative options, because there are only a few scenarios that result in battleships being able to range and destroy carriers directly, so if they use the exact same mechanics, every meeting between battleships and carriers has to fall into one of those very few categories.

Not really. Say you have your carrier group attack just be light enough that some ships are dammaged and others not (based on the points of each group). What then is stopping a fast destroyer from chasing down the strike craft until it comes upon the weak carrier while under recovery? You either get the carrier destroyed or it escaping somewhat at the cost of strike craft. And it might not even escape if the destroyer is bold enough and bloody minded enough to chase it down in hyperspace and force her out.

Even with hyperspace capable strike craft, a destroyer can chase them down with it's superior deep space range kill them or find the carrier and kill it.

It is just a matter of imagination and speed. If STL craft are faster then the destroyer it might just leave the system and set up an attack run out of hyperspace that will drop it within range before the stl craft can even arrive back at the carrier. If they are not and FTL manuevers don't make that more advisable it still allows a destroyer to harass a fighter group all the way back to their carrier. Then you need to defend the carrier, so you have to have points of fleet that didn't go out on the carrier strike and thus means the carrier strike is less likely to kill anything much.
the engines cannae take any more cap'n
warp 9 to shroomland ~Dalton

User avatar
Agent Sorchus
Jedi Master
Posts: 1130
Joined: 2008-08-16 09:01pm
Contact:

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Agent Sorchus » 2012-03-17 07:04pm

Siege wrote: I have been saying these things for years, everyone that's paid a little attention ought to know my position by now, so stating the obvious like this is a little insulting, a waste of my time, and starting to irritate the hell out of me.
And now you know why I don't like stand up conversations with just Simon. Not that some of his supporters will have a discussion with you because they back him to the hilt.

Now I am going to leave the thread be for a bit, since I caught all the way up.
the engines cannae take any more cap'n
warp 9 to shroomland ~Dalton

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28671
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-17 07:42pm

Still waiting on replying to Sorchus, although I have this weird image of... no. Sorry.

Anyway, the reason I'm here again is that I realize I accidentally overlooked Siege's post, which merits a response, I think I owe him a bit of an apology.

Siege wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:How do I write a story about a sword fight between two men if it becomes blatantly obvious that I can hack at someone with a sword repeatedly (taking away HP) without actually impairing his combat performance, until suddenly he falls over dead (runs out of HP)?
How on Earth can you read everything I just wrote and take this away from it as being what I must have meant?...
Ah, I'm sorry, I think I see the source of my misunderstanding.

Mechanics determine outcome, i.e. X overcomes Y by a margin of Z. Prosewise, what form the margin takes or how the outcome is arrived at is completely up to the players, and exist wholly outside the realm of the game's mechanical functioning. To say that this somehow makes it harder to write a story is quite frankly insane.
I take a somewhat different approach.

I prefer to avoid actually pushing the rules too hard altogether- point ratios in combat are a guide to what I expect the outcome to be, relative to the forces at the point of contact, for example. A fleet which attacks an enemy at 4:1 odds is unlikely to get a 1:1 casualty ratio out of the engagement, for instance- although while that fight is going on, another battle fought at 1:4 odds may be evening up the score on the other end of the warfront.

Of course, you prefer the same thing, it seems. So the difference appears to be that you were talking specifically about times when we use the mechanics to resolve an otherwise irresolvable conflict. And I was talking about... a sort of weird gestalt of my overall attitude, which includes times when things can be resolved much more amicably.

Sorry.

My approach is that X points = X points.

Your approach is X points = X points + a literally pointless carrier vessel.

I cannot for the life of me see how the latter option is somehow not demonstrably needlessly complex and mathematically suspect, much less how the former impacts the ability for players to arrive at the mechanically derived outcome of the battle in whatever way pleases them.
Actually, that's a good point.

Maybe we should just make pure carriers free, and make the fighters cost?

Or can we just agree to leave the damn carrier rules, or lack thereof, alone until we get the "start game" thread going and I can get more like twenty people to weigh in on what they think of the rules, instead of it being the same five bickering back and forth?

Point- but in that case, the mechanics are a method of last resort.


I really should not have to reiterate that yes, mechanics should be a last resort; yes, I hate spreadsheeting; yes, players should be able to just do what they please unless an irreconcilable conflict comes along. I have been saying these things for years, everyone that's paid a little attention ought to know my position by now, so stating the obvious like this is a little insulting, a waste of my time, and starting to irritate the hell out of me.
I apologize if I stated something that obvious. To me, it is not entirely obvious that creating an expected ruleset which is very simple can place the player in a difficult bind, if he actually tries to limit the possible outcomes he expects down to the list of things the simple ruleset allows to happen. I hadn't really thought about the possibility that way.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
OmegaChief
Jedi Knight
Posts: 904
Joined: 2009-07-22 11:37am
Location: Rainy Suburb, Northern England
Contact:

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby OmegaChief » 2012-03-17 08:37pm

Hey Scorchus, Re: Clusters (Again).

I think my biggest problem/concern with the clusters idea is how nebulous it makes the galaxy, distance between allies and enemies can make for good storytelling, such as far flung outposts or the debate over commiting support to someone quite so far away for what can be little local benefit, with how I udnerstand it anything outside the local cluster you start in becomes or less some variable equal distance betwen all points? I just feel it reduces some kinds of story potential is all.

Hmmm, posting more when I'm not very tired.
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

Karmic Knight
Jedi Master
Posts: 1004
Joined: 2007-04-03 05:42pm

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Karmic Knight » 2012-03-18 05:38am

Simon_Jester wrote:Actually, that's a good point.

Maybe we should just make pure carriers free, and make the fighters cost?

Or can we just agree to leave the damn carrier rules, or lack thereof, alone until we get the "start game" thread going and I can get more like twenty people to weigh in on what they think of the rules, instead of it being the same five bickering back and forth?


I guess it is time for someone else to weight in, Siege has this completely right, carriers don't need special rules because they are simply X point ships. There are only two times where the actual point weight should come into play, when planning a storyline (with or without someone else involved) or during arbitration because two parties just incapable of working together to resolve a conflict. And in these cases X is X is X, no need to add new variables into the equation.
This is an empty country and I am it's king, and I should not be allowed to touch anything.

User avatar
Ryan Thunder
Village Idiot
Posts: 4139
Joined: 2007-09-16 07:53pm
Location: Canada

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Ryan Thunder » 2012-03-18 12:13pm

White Haven wrote:Except that that absolutely mandates that the carrier navy has to do everything wrong or be ambushed by the battleship navy.

Or that the battleship has long range weaponry that can compete with the carrier's fighters.

Seriously, man, this isn't bloody rocket science.
SDN Worlds 5: Sanctum

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28671
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-18 12:46pm

Does this penalize everyone whose idea of a battleship isn't "vaporize things from 3 AU away with FTL beam weapons" or "has missiles that can hit things arbitrarily far away?"

I will say that if we're going for "an X point carrier is treated exactly like an X point battleship," then when writing fights I'm going to be very open to the idea of horrific massacres among carrier pilots- because they aren't worth any points, the game is treating them like so many rounds of ammunition and nobody hesitates to slaughter 80% of an incoming missile salvo in order to write the effects of the other 20%.

And we're probably going to need to get rid of FTL-capable gunboats (which I for one was hoping to keep) because it's just ridiculous that ships can launch 'manned ordnance' which costs nothing to replace from twenty light years away; that lends itself much too readily to "LOL I murderize you" attacks.
______________

If we've got to do it this way, I'd much rather just track the costs of the fighters and not the carriers. The fighters are the part of the weapon system everyone actually wants to write anyway, and the carriers are the means to the end, so why not just make the carriers free and the fighters trackable, instead of the other way round?

I'd be happier with my own idea, I'd be happier to not have to bang heads with people over the damn carrier rules; if they're "not important" then I don't see why it's so important to get rid of them, but if we're going to do it, let's at least do it in the way that doesn't mean a carrier-heavy navy has to fuck up, or that the enemy has to have some kind of Weber-style missile range, just to make sure the enemy gets a chance to shoot back at them.

EDIT: Again, just to make this clear, I'm proposing that we treat the 'carrier' as actually being a blob of fighters with point value, with the carrier itself being irrelevant since it's not really worth anything in a fight when it doesn't have a fighter wing. All it does is turn the fighters from a defensive asset (which is pretty much nailed in place to one of your systems) into an offensive one.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
White Haven
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6300
Joined: 2004-05-17 03:14pm
Location: Richmond, Virginia: The Capitol of Treason
Contact:

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby White Haven » 2012-03-18 02:27pm

And that subsequently removes the possibility of battlestar-style warships, which was something that Omega specifically wanted to have. Honestly, I don't even get why people are so against a rule as bloody SIMPLE as the proposed carrier system. For that matter, for anyone capable of the arcane art known as dividing or multiplying by two, the old rules were pretty simple, but fine, people want them done away with, and I'm not wedded to them so whatever. Do people really have that much of a hate-on for carriers being in the slightest bit different, given that they're an entirely different paradigm of naval combat conceptually? Seriously, people, look to your navels, examine why you are so bloody dead set on this. It's weird from where I sit.
Image
Image
Chronological Incontinence: Time warps around the poster. The thread topic winks out of existence and reappears in 1d10 posts.

Out of Context Theatre, this week starring Darth Nostril.
-'If you really want to fuck with these idiots tell them that there is a vaccine for chemtrails.'

Fiction!: The Final War (Bolo/Lovecraft) (Ch 7 9/15/11), Living (D&D, Complete)Image

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28671
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-18 03:18pm

White Haven wrote:And that subsequently removes the possibility of battlestar-style warships, which was something that Omega specifically wanted to have.
Well, you'd just treat a battlestar as, say, a 60-point warship that just happens to provide mothership capacity for 30 points of fighters: so whenever you deploy a battlestar somewhere, you are deploying 90 points of combat potential, not 60.

Zero-point carriers probably lend themselves to accounting shenanigans I haven't thought of. But in my opinion, if we really do care about "write stories that reflect the outcomes predicted by the mechanics," it makes much more sense to have X-point fighters and 0-point carriers than vice versa, because the fighters will always participate in combat whenever carriers are used, while the carrier hulls themselves won't.

Honestly, I don't even get why people are so against a rule as bloody SIMPLE as the proposed carrier system. For that matter, for anyone capable of the arcane art known as dividing or multiplying by two, the old rules were pretty simple, but fine, people want them done away with, and I'm not wedded to them so whatever. Do people really have that much of a hate-on for carriers being in the slightest bit different, given that they're an entirely different paradigm of naval combat conceptually? Seriously, people, look to your navels, examine why you are so bloody dead set on this. It's weird from where I sit.
I think it's carryover from SDNW4.

The carrier rules were one of the most popular targets for annoyance in SDNW4, partly because they seemed unnecessary (what with the halving-doubling thing, which was just an extra random step to punch into a calculator for no obvious reason). And partly because there were several iterations- the decision to grant free small craft for carriers present at game start came at a time when several people had finalized their orders of battle, including me. I found it somewhat annoying, too, though I never had trouble doing the arithmetic. And it didn't help that the carriers themselves got an artificial distinction between "offensive" and "defensive" strength, which I think most of us would be just as happy to abolish. I can accept ships that are lightly armed but difficult to destroy, but trying to formalize "It's worth 50 points when being shot at and 5 points when shooting" is just awkward.

Most of the SDNW4 rules were either very transparent (points are points are points in a fight), or 'use-once' things that you only had to think about very rarely (like nation creation). The carrier rules fell somewhere in between, and that wasn't good.

However, it does worry me that we're getting so much flak thrown around over carrier rules, including from people who just a few days ago were telling me not to worry about details of the rules because it was more important to make sure we were committed to dealing with random ADHD players and have good communications.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov


Return to “STGOD role-playing games”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests