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 » 2012-03-20 03:30pm

Ryan Thunder wrote:
Darkevilme wrote:Non hyperspace capable fighters though probably aren't worth counting separately as they've not got much in the way of power projection.
This is more what I was thinking of. If a carrier is projecting trans-system power then I don't think its really worth differentiating from a battleship.

Hyperspace fighters on interstellar missions, I hadn't thought of at all. At that point, the carrier isn't really doing anything for them during combat that I can think of.

Then again, at that point they're looking more like independent warships.
This is why I advocate allocating point value to anything that fights, and not to anything that doesn't fight. If the carrier is good to have with you in a fight (because it can draw fire from other ships and tank it, because it has huge ECM arrays, because it has command and control facilities, whatever), then give it a point value, a point value it retains even when its small craft are off doing something else.

If the carrier is not useful in a fight, say because it's just a big defenseless hunk of victim that lacks defensive strength or useful support assets, then do not give it a point value, because it won't be making an appearance in battle except as an "Achilles' heel" for its fighter wing.



Darkevilme wrote:Esquire: No one wants to track the cost of repairing their damaged space galleons. No one. But that does lead to fighters being a bit of a disadvantage due to them costing points to replace so perhaps Ryan thunder has somewhat of a point...
If small craft are being lost in large numbers, then they will take ships with them- destroying those ships will force the enemy to spend money. If you lose few small craft, just handwave the replacement cost.

The only time you lose many small craft without doing dollar-value damage to the enemy is if you really screw up by the numbers- say, send 500$ worth of small craft to attack a 1000$ battleship. And since that kind of battle will happen on both sides of the line, it will average out over the long run.

Though gunships can attack in different starsystems so the idea of just handwaving a carrier/battlecarriers strike craft complement under the banner of 'no special rules' is a little dubious. And I think that's the issue. Carriers with jump capable fighters are capable of power projection in a way most other ships cannot be. Though the idea of a wave motion gun blast or missile that's hyperspace capable is in its own way pretty cool i have to admit.
It's cool, but... just ugh. Imagine what Chaotic Neutral, or for that matter Fin, would be like if someone gave them a Galaxy Gun.

Non hyperspace capable fighters though probably aren't worth counting separately as they've not got much in the way of power projection.
I'm really much happier counting point costs of the things that do the fighting, rather than of things which do not participate in battle except as a shuttle bus for the things that are fighting.

I still do not understand why anyone has any problem with this.



Esquire wrote:If we go tie combat power directly to point value - which I think is the right way to go about it- then repairs and replacements would also have to be tied directly to point value, i.e. it takes a week to build one point worth of combat power regardless of whether that one point is a fighter squadron or part of a thousand-point superultramegabattleship. Otherwise, it seems to me that there might be problems with fighter forces being easier to replenish (because each fighter is so cheap and easily produced compared to the aforementioned superultramegabattleship) than other sorts of navies.

Of course, that would only be a problem if this turns out to be a rules-lawyering sort of game, which the consensus seems to be against. Maybe I'm just being paranoid?
I'll take care of anyone who tries too hard to use rapid replaceability of light forces to wear down an enemy which relies on heavy forces.

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Ryan Thunder wrote:There's really no reason not to treat fighters like ammunition in my opinion. If a player doesn't feel like using space carriers with space fighters he can just use space battleships with ridiculously long-ranged weaponry (and whatever else that entails).
What if I want to use space battleships without long range weaponry? What if I want Elysian deceres as my battleships? Weapons with interplanetary range should not be a mission requirement for an SDNW4 battleship- if they are, then the next thing I know I'll be having to bawl someone out for being dumb enough to invest all their tonnage in short-ranged monitors that blow things up with incendiary plasma shells, and the hypocrisy will cause the game to collapse into a black hole.

If you make it a logical requirement that my nation mount a specific weapons suite, in order for it to make sense that X points of my ships can fight X points of your ships on equal terms, you're doing it wrong. I should not need suspiciously dildo-looking Honorverse ships with multi-AU missile ranges to be able to shoot back at a carrier-based navy in a way that has meaningful effect on them.

See, this is the problem- there is a difference in paradigm between "big things fight" and "big things don't fight, but carry small things, which fight." To make those two mutually balanced, we have to in some way acknowledge the difference in paradigm in the rules, or force every person who writes a story to contort the plot so as to make the difference irrelevant.

So why the hell is it so hard to get people to sit still for making a small addendum to the rules to define what has the point value in a "big things carry small things, which fight" weapon system? Are we really trying to preserve the 'elegance' of having the rules try to pretend that carriers which aren't risked in direct combat are totally 100% identical to battleships that are?

This doesn't make any damn sense. The carrier rules worked fine in SDNW4, why should having them work the same way only without the arbitrary half-double rule suddenly turn them into a problem?

Additionally the carrier isn't produced for free (American supercarriers are some of the most expensive ships on the planet, and they can be and are risked in combat against an equal foe) and should be a significant loss on its own unless its little more than a launch platform and a hangar with engines installed.
Then have an X point carrier associated with a Y point small craft wing. When committed to battle, the carrier and its wing have an aggregate effect of (X+Y) points.

Or we could just, you know, use the the original SDNW4 rules, or the modified rules I already came up with. Both of which track the cost of the carrier and the cost of the small craft, so that neither of them can be written off for nothing, and neither of which should be in any way 'hard' for anyone who passed fourth grade arithmetic and has the guts to ask "how does this work?"

But those do it by attributing a point cost to the carrier, and to the small craft.

Ryan Thunder wrote:There's no reason why it can't be shot at, either, though, and it does have some value of its own even if it isn't armed.
It's too easy for me to assert that my carrier is kept out of range of an enemy's weapons- especially with FTL-capable small craft, which I'm going to have to write out of the rules entirely if we treat fighters like expendable ammunition.

Unless I write a series of ridiculous contrivances to justify how I just happen to be able to drop ships on top of your carriers over and over, there's a problem keeping points as points.

Basically, if you make carriers free, there's really nothing stopping me from having a dozen of them per fighter. Which is silly. The carrier's the most expensive part, and its loaded with electronics and fuel and what have you.
Why would I care if you have a dozen carriers per fighter? It just makes you look silly, you don't get any advantages from having a huge pile of zero-point ships.

You can also decree that all your people wear bicorne hats, it doesn't affect their military performance and you don't get an undue advantage from having all those hats.

If you must, just pretend the 100-point carrier limps away after its fighters are shot down by the 200-point battleship. There's really no reason to differentiate.
That's how my own rules would work- you pay for a 100-point carrier, it comes free with 100 points of fighters. The fighters go up against a 200-point task force, they all get shot down. The 100-point carrier runs away.

As I see it, this is a perfectly viable way for the game to work: you spent 100$ on a weapon system that tried but failed to engage a 200$ force, lost, and now needs 100$ of new fighters if it's going to be effective again.

But no, we can't do that, because we have to think outside the box, don't we?

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Ryan Thunder » 2012-03-20 03:51pm

Simon_Jester wrote:This is why I advocate allocating point value to anything that fights, and not to anything that doesn't fight. If the carrier is good to have with you in a fight (because it can draw fire from other ships and tank it, because it has huge ECM arrays, because it has command and control facilities, whatever), then give it a point value, a point value it retains even when its small craft are off doing something else.

If the carrier is not useful in a fight, say because it's just a big defenseless hunk of victim that lacks defensive strength or useful support assets, then do not give it a point value, because it won't be making an appearance in battle except as an "Achilles' heel" for its fighter wing.

Eh, I'm still leery of the whole 'apparently free ships' thing that can result from that, but it still makes more sense than what I thought was being discussed, so I can get behind that.

If you make it a logical requirement that my nation mount a specific weapons suite, in order for it to make sense that X points of my ships can fight X points of your ships on equal terms, you're doing it wrong. I should not need suspiciously dildo-looking Honorverse ships with multi-AU missile ranges to be able to shoot back at a carrier-based navy in a way that has meaningful effect on them.

No, actually, that's not the intent. I'm just handwaving it so all things are considered roughly equal. You have transstellar fighters. Cool. I have transstellar missiles or flaming unicorns or whatever I need to fight that on equal terms. Does that make more sense?

See, this is the problem- there is a difference in paradigm between "big things fight" and "big things don't fight, but carry small things, which fight."

Sure, in a sense. But that's like the difference between "missile" and "missile which delivers a missile and then returns to base" (a fighter).

Are we really trying to preserve the 'elegance' of having the rules try to pretend that carriers which aren't risked in direct combat are totally 100% identical to battleships that are?

If I did the same thing with hyperspace missiles there'd be a problem, so... yes?
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-20 04:21pm

Ryan Thunder wrote:Eh, I'm still leery of the whole 'apparently free ships' thing that can result from that, but it still makes more sense than what I thought was being discussed, so I can get behind that.
Free ships of zero point value are as useless as a screen door on an airlock, because any time they try to fight something that is worth points, they get blown up, unless something else also worth points is protecting them. It's like, I can declare that my entire national population are now 0-point 'soldiers,' but it doesn't matter, because they're worth zero points: either they have no weapons, or they don't use them, or something. In a fight against a real army, the zero-point units accomplish nothing.

I can spam 0-point military equipment all I want without actually affecting my nation's combat potential or accomplishing anything except making myself look foolish. It's literally pointless.

If you make it a logical requirement that my nation mount a specific weapons suite, in order for it to make sense that X points of my ships can fight X points of your ships on equal terms, you're doing it wrong. I should not need suspiciously dildo-looking Honorverse ships with multi-AU missile ranges to be able to shoot back at a carrier-based navy in a way that has meaningful effect on them.
No, actually, that's not the intent. I'm just handwaving it so all things are considered roughly equal. You have transstellar fighters. Cool. I have transstellar missiles or flaming unicorns or whatever I need to fight that on equal terms. Does that make more sense?
But what about Bob, who chooses not to have transstellar flaming unicorns? Are his 5000 points of ships suddenly worth less than my 5000 points of mobile weirdstar factories that fire zero-cost transstellar flaming unicorns at people?

That's the problem here- and in my opinion, the argument for only assigning point values to things that actually fight. If a thing that costs points is not risked in combat, it cannot be destroyed when fighting other things with a point value. Conversely, no thing worth points should ever have to be lost to an attack force that does not itself have a point value.

Suppose my "carrier" is actually something like a Space DC-8, which contains about two hundred Superman clones that fly out and beat the shit out of things. The Space DC-8's mission is to appear a long way from you, dump the Superman clones out the doors, then run away before your righteous lazor-vengeance blows it up. Then the Superman clones fly to your ships and beat the crap out of you.

Which should carry the point cost here, the Space DC-8, or the Superman clones? The Space DC-8 can be cheap and worthless in a fight, and it really doesn't matter how many of them I brought. What matters is how many Superman clones I have trying to pick your ships up and throw them into the sun. That's what decides the outcome of the battle. I win just as effectively by squeezing twice as many Superman clones into one Space DC-8 as I do by bringing two Space DC-8s.

So bringing two Space DC-8s should not materially affect the strength of my attack force- should not give it more points. Whereas bringing twice as many Superman clones should affect the point value, because it translates into more beating the crap out of things.


See, this is the problem- there is a difference in paradigm between "big things fight" and "big things don't fight, but carry small things, which fight."
Sure, in a sense. But that's like the difference between "missile" and "missile which delivers a missile and then returns to base" (a fighter).
Thing is, we expect combat units to consume ammunition as part of fighting. It doesn't matter whether it's fuel for beam weapons, missiles for missile ships, or hero sandwiches to keep our Superman clones from getting hungry. The point value of a ship is NOT a measure of how much ammunition it carries. It's a measure of how much its presence, specifically and personally, contributes to a fight.

Superman clones, by their presence, contribute to a fight. Space DC-8s do not, not by themselves.

Simple.

Are we really trying to preserve the 'elegance' of having the rules try to pretend that carriers which aren't risked in direct combat are totally 100% identical to battleships that are?
If I did the same thing with hyperspace missiles there'd be a problem, so... yes?
I do not understand what you mean by this statement.

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Darkevilme » 2012-03-21 09:28am

Simon_Jester wrote:
Darkevilme wrote:Non hyperspace capable fighters though probably aren't worth counting separately as they've not got much in the way of power projection.
I'm really much happier counting point costs of the things that do the fighting, rather than of things which do not participate in battle except as a shuttle bus for the things that are fighting.

I still do not understand why anyone has any problem with this.

Honestly I dont. This was more aimed at the opposite proposal of abstracting small craft and me saying that with STL craft i have no problem handwaving them away entirely but hyperspace craft can't be abstracted cause of their ability to operate at a significant distance from the carrier.

I have no problem with 'cost=combat power so things that don't have combat power don't have cost'.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Akhlut » 2012-03-21 11:51am

I will say I have a bit of a problem with 0-point carriers: wouldn't that make them easy targets for anything with any point value at all? Would a 0-point carrier be able to be destroyed by a 1-point fighter?
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby White Haven » 2012-03-21 12:12pm

Which is why you might instead choose to spend points of tough, combat-capable carriers if you so chose. Basically it's the difference between modifying freight containers to contain launch rails and strapping them on a bulk freighter or sending in Galactica. This system gives you the choice, so if you're on a shoestring you can just borrow some megafreighters and stuff them full of fighters. At first, I thought it was weird, but after I thought about it a bit it sort of clicked.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Esquire » 2012-03-21 12:14pm

The idea behind the 0-point carriers, as I understand it, is that they'd never actually see combat. The launching platform for FTL fighters has no excuse for ever finding itself under fire, and if it does there's something going on that wouldn't be solved by a purely point-based argument. A daring raid aimed at a fleet's refueling facilities would be handled by OOC negotiations and the needs of the story, not by points - and that's all a 0-point carrier is, really.

Conversely, battle carriers (if that's actually a term; I mean carriers of sublight fighters that might actually need defenses for the situations they're designed for) would have a portion of their value devoted to their own weapons and defenses, and so would't be completely helpless.

EDIT: White Haven posted while I was typing this, but I'll go post anyway. Overlapping explanations are as good as overlapping fields of fire.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-21 12:16pm

WH, Esquire, that's more or less what I had in mind, yeah. It's not actually my preferred solution, but I'd rather work with it than rant and rave and yell at each other for days.

Akhlut wrote:I will say I have a bit of a problem with 0-point carriers: wouldn't that make them easy targets for anything with any point value at all? Would a 0-point carrier be able to be destroyed by a 1-point fighter?
I'm gonna go with "not necessarily." The 0pt carrier will usually be escorted, or have some of it's own small craft as a protection- the Space DC-8 keeps a few Supermen around just in case. I would if I were them.

Also, since destroying the carrier would wreck/strand/whatever the small craft, then that can't be done as an arbitrary cheap shot under normal operating conditions- you can't just assert "oh yeah, and my patrols pwned your carriers you lose."

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Ryan Thunder » 2012-03-21 12:40pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Also, since destroying the carrier would wreck/strand/whatever the small craft, then that can't be done as an arbitrary cheap shot under normal operating conditions- you can't just assert "oh yeah, and my patrols pwned your carriers you lose."

That would seem to be the primary weakness inherent in having a 0-point carrier. If you want it to be survivable I don't see why you shouldn't have to pay for escorts or put points into the carrier itself.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-21 01:30pm

Put it this way- the Space DC-8 is a legal carrier, and the Superman clones are legal small craft. There's no reason in the rules why those couldn't be your carrier/small craft combo. But it's blindingly obvious that a Space DC-8 isn't worth any points on its own.

A huge empty freighter hull with racks installed to service X-Wings might be physically large and imposing, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be cut apart by competent attackers, or at least damaged and made vulnerable to follow-up attacks.

The following is just a prediction, but most of the things people assign point values to will not have those points by virtue of sheer brute size and durability alone. A ten kilometer asteroid with no guns or jamming or other active defenses would have a pretty low point value, because it's just a matter of time and effort to smash the thing into pieces- that's all it would take, even for an atomic-age civilization that has nothing with which to fight in space in the sense of "oppose an active, armed enemy." Carriers which have only brute durability working for them as a defensive measure aren't worth a lot- caught in isolation, all that extra armor plate just translates into making the enemy shoot three times instead of one.

Carriers that do have more than durability (their own AA-gun-equivalents, their own big-gun-equivalents, electronic warfare facilities, enough command and control to yell for help and coordinate it effectively, et cetera) will have some point value even if they aren't carrying any small craft at all. Or you can model the point value of the carrier as small craft kept permanently on station to accompany the carrier, that works too.

Hm.

Two things that would need to be an addendum to this.

One: not all things of equal point value are equal in all details. A 50-point ship of mine may have less firepower and more durability than a 50-point ship of yours. What matters is that somehow, it all balances out.

A 50-point clonkenflotilla fighting a 50-point mothership may find that the mothership's passive ability to absorb damage is far greater than the clonkenflotilla- but that it lacks the hardware to shoot back very effectively, so eventually the clonkenflotilla has a good chance of wearing down the mothership's defenses. Whereas if I brought four clonkenflotillas (200 points), my victory would be assured.

Two: The attacker does not always get to decide which enemy assets are destroyed. This is to prevent exploits of the 0-point carrier. In a battle between two ships of equal point value, one of which 'models' a Ryanonian lazor-hawk and one of which 'models' a Space DC-8 full of Superman clones, you don't get to decide to just lazor the Space DC-8 and call it a day.

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby OmegaChief » 2012-03-21 02:34pm

Ideally, as we're all adults here trying to have some good collaberative fiction going here, no one would take such cheap shots to mechncially cripple someone unless both parties had agreed to make something interesting out of it, like a story about Supermanclones stranded behind enemy lines after thier space DC-8 was blown up.

But yea, as a guideline it probably helps, and ties back into guideline number one, I like this solution it gives us a lot more flexibility and story leeway and makes drawing up OOBs easier.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Esquire » 2012-03-22 03:35pm

I think I might have to crib the "shuttle full of enlightened space philosophers." :D
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-22 04:12pm

You want it, you got it.

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Esquire » 2012-03-23 04:56pm

The rules look pretty straightforward, which is always a good thing. One question - an NCP gets me $2,000, except for the warp gate? So I could have, say, three core sectors or fifteen colony sectors both giving a GDP of $30,000, or is there some kind of (economic) problem with being too large? The strategic ones are obvious.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-23 05:00pm

Yes, my idea was to slightly recalibrate things, so that all ways of spending NCP would net you the same GDP, except that warp gates get you slightly less and trade routes get... someone slightly more (they're beneficial for both parties).

I have no intention of making there be economic problems with being too large, although we only have so much room on the map and I will be somewhat irate if everyone decides they want countries made entirely of Colony sectors.

I'll post a sample rolled-up nation some time in the near future- I did my own 2d6 roll already, and it came up 7. Go figure.

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Esquire » 2012-03-23 05:01pm

Well, that's life for you. :D Any chance I could get one of those rolls?
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby White Haven » 2012-03-23 05:07pm

Heh, yeah, I've got a rough OOB set up already, predicated on a statistically-likely 7-roll. Charge of the Lightning Brigade-type warships are hilarious. :D
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-23 05:27pm

OK. [rolls dices] the beginnings of a list of rolls:

Esquire:
Something of Somewhere or possibly Somewhat- 9

Simon_Jester:
Technocracy of Umeria- 7

White Haven:
League of Thought- 8

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby OmegaChief » 2012-03-23 05:31pm

Seems straight forward enough so far, could I grab a roll for the Capellan Authority please Simon?

Knowing how much I have to play with should help me stick them together :D
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-23 05:45pm

[rolls]

OK, updated list is in the Prelim Discussion thread. I'm sorry, Comrade Omeganski, but I rolled a four for you.

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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Esquire » 2012-03-23 05:47pm

Lovely. I'm the Hellenic Confederacy; I'll post my OOB and national details as I finish them.
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Re: Poll Thread Re: SDNW4/4.5/5

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-23 05:49pm

Wonderful. Fixed the name in Discussion. Remember, it's best if we shift further discussion into the Discussion thread.

I see good things in your future, possibly involving oars.


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