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