SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-04-03 01:15pm

The question you need to ask yourself is why you want to have ships currently undergoing construction or upgrades at game start. Why is this a good thing? If there's no specific reason to have it, don't have it just because someone else did.

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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Scottish Ninja » 2012-04-04 02:16pm

What about reserve/mothballed ships? I had the idea that the Volscian Navy has quite a large number of ships in reserve, with a much-diminished force in active service; I'm fine with having to take those at their full-point value but just wanted to hear some thoughts on what the best way to represent that is.
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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Rabid » 2012-04-04 03:01pm

In the same vein, I wanted to ask, in case of total war, how you could simulate the "quick" conversion of existing civilian hulls for military purpose ?

I was thinking about 1/4-1/6 the construction-time and double/triple the money cost (compared to what would be normal for a purely military hull with the same amount of points), plus a limited loss of GDP in the case of the Stellar Nation. And maybe tacking on top of that some possible reliability issues. :twisted:

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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Esquire » 2012-04-04 03:12pm

Regarding 'reserve' ships, maybe they could be maintained at something like 50% of combat power (so a 100-point reserve cruiser costs 50 points at game start) and take the remainder of their total worth as points of your construction budget required to restore to active-duty status, to represent crews, munitions, and general repairs?
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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby OmegaChief » 2012-04-04 03:26pm

Perhaps 1/3 more then 1/2 combat effecivness, otherwise I'd agree with Esquires suggestion.
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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Zor » 2012-04-04 03:40pm

Does anyone want a trade route with the Unified Imperium?

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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-04-04 03:46pm

The Umerian naval reserve is pretty much empty, with the exception of a few Metropolis-class paleocruisers. The Independents stole a lot of it during the Browncoat Wars about a decade ago, and much of the rest has been sold off to Third Galaxy nations.

Some have been stolen by Scumdoggians, too, the bastards. But never fear, Admiral Deatherage will catch up with them one of these stardates...

Scottish Ninja wrote:What about reserve/mothballed ships? I had the idea that the Volscian Navy has quite a large number of ships in reserve, with a much-diminished force in active service; I'm fine with having to take those at their full-point value but just wanted to hear some thoughts on what the best way to represent that is.
Obvious suggestions:

1) The ships are mothballed because they're obsolete, and reactivating them entails "building" swarms of relatively low point value ships with your extra construction budget after war mobilization. So you get a big slug of ships in the opening wave of the war, but they are easy to kill. I can live with getting a big slug of small ships in the opening months- it's the long term advantage of being able to replace 10 30 point ships faster than the enemy can replace 1 300 point ship that I refuse to make a factor in war.

2) Have the ships be worth very few points now, and pay for "upgrades" that model the recommissioning process, more or less as Esquire suggests. There will be upgrade rules in this iteration, fairly simple ones. I'll post those rules, along with construction rules, later, when I'm not so damn tired.

Rabid wrote:In the same vein, I wanted to ask, in case of total war, how you could simulate the "quick" conversion of existing civilian hulls for military purpose ?
Build very cheap warships worth, say, 10 or 20 points. They can be converted in a month's time, you could literally spam hundreds of them a year under the construction rules I have in mind, and they die in droves against a regular navy, but take significant enemy tonnage with them.

Simple.

Nobody said a 20-point warship has to be small.

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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Rabid » 2012-04-04 04:43pm

Here's what I had in mind :

[spoiler=Tangent hijack]
> take a ship hosting around a million people & measuring multiple kilometers long, re-locate the people to other ships and strap this one of everything not combat related.
> upgrade the powerplant to military specs.
> equip with a dozen cruiser-grade gravgun turrets, point defense & anti-fighter lasers, a capital-grade Torpedo-launcher [1] and one Heat Venting Unit [2]

[1] : a special kind of gravgun launching a guided twenty-ton projectile at 0.05 C.

[2] : basically, a fraction of all the waste-heat accumulated in the Heat Banks (insert technobabble here) is converted into a Laser (insert more technobabble). For ships burning TNT-kilotons worth of antimatter per second. :twisted:


Somehow, I doubt it'd be worth only 20-point. In fact, I was thinking in term of raw-firepower it would be maybe more powerful that my 500-point Pacifier. However, as it's an humongous hull it's not as maneuverable, all the systems aren't integrated as well, and damage-control might be a bit problematic. So I envisioned them more like 400-point Super-Battleship.

This is why I proposed to have them take a little bit more of time and money to build than what you proposed, to balance things.

However, I also had the idea to complement them via swarms of purpose-built ships which would use the converted-battleships as carriers. Like, 100 or 200-point worth of 20-point corvettes.[/spoiler]

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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-04-04 04:50pm

I don't think I like the idea of being able to pull superships out of the ether in a hurry, even if you pay extra. It undermines "points are points are points" by introducing bickering over "but how many points do I have to sacrifice to get this X point ship NOW" which in turn leads to "2X points today are worth X points later." Which is crap.

Also, refitting a civilian ship not designed for combat for war will require a lot of modifications, or can. It's not just bolting guns on, not if you want it to be survivable; it needs to have the structural strength and other hardware to survive enemy fire effectively or you end up with an eggshell armed with a sledgehammer.

At which point it starts taking a lot of time.

I'm not comfortable with the idea that you have many ships that are effectively decommissioned battleships and can be quickly and cheaply retrofitted into high-point-value warships. That seems kind of... inappropriate.

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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby OmegaChief » 2012-04-04 05:07pm

I'd have to agree with Simon there, if you want to throw them out as combat ships quickly, give them a low points cost, point cost doesn't indicate size after all!

And considering the amount of time it'd take to retrofit something so huge anyway, it might as well be the saem tiem taken to make a 500 point ship from scratch, so you could just fluff it as doing that isntead of building it, mechnically they'd be the same thing.
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: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Rabid » 2012-04-04 05:13pm

@ Simon :

I agree that it seems a bit unfair, this is why I preferred to share the thought now rather than later ; as it would have been behind everyone's mind in case of the Stellar Nation's entry into a Total War footing :

"They live in these huge, huge ships, right ? And they have hundreds of thousands of the things, right ? What would happen, if, say, they were to put arms on them ?"
"I dunno, mang, I dunno..."
[beat]
(instant of sudden realization, both. horrified look.)
"OH. SHIT."
(one of them)
"We are soooo fucked."


And as for the "eggshell armed with a sledgehammer" feel, this was totally intentional : points are points are points, if we were basing ourselves on the raw-firepower only, in the RabidVerse the armament I described would be closer to 600-700 point than 400.


@ OmegaChief :

Well, the thing is these ships (the Communes, the big ships with hundred of thousands of people inside them), as civilian assets, are very precious on their own, so they wouldn't risk losing them if it wasn't to turn them into über-weapons.

Nah, I think I'll stick to only corvettes-spam in this case. :mrgreen:




Anyway, I think I got it :

"No, we won't touch these fucking ships, they are our homes and we are supposed to protect them ! So you go back to work and you build me these new hulls now !"

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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby OmegaChief » 2012-04-04 05:17pm

More or less, I mean where would you even put all those millions of people you'd be unloading from those ships anyway? Into... other... ships? But you just sent a bunch of them to be emptied and converted...

Yea, so as neat of an idea as it might have been, it just seems impractical both in universe and from a mechnics eprspective to do alas.
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: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-04-04 07:10pm

Given the sheer number of the things the Doxa have, which is staggering when you think about it, they could probably afford to write off several hundred of the things if they needed to- just relocate a hundred million people or so onto other ark-ships, they've got to have the reserve life support capacity. But the point is that from a rules standpoint, I don't want anybody pulling battleships out of their ass, especially not in the preposterous numbers that a race of spacefaring nomads theoretically could if every one of their habitat-ships is treated as a potential battleship. Small point value ships are fine, whether they represent war-corvettes or hastily rearmed humongo-merchant-habships. But no spamming a horde of battleships in three months, because that's too big an ability that other people can't match if they play their nation concept faithfully.

Also, the fact that they're "kilometer-long" doesn't necessarily impress people: there are wildly divergent standards of what firepower and size a warship of a given point value has, so sheer physical bulk doesn't guarantee that these ships are battleship-equivalent in everyone's eyes. To someone else, that thing might just be a kilometer-long chunk of victim, guns or no guns.

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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Skywalker_T-65 » 2012-04-04 07:14pm

Well considering that my cruiser (which granted isn't near as strong) is based on the Normandy 2...that makes it quite a powerful ship for its size (400 or so meters). Or the fact that my super-dreadnought is based on the Asgard O'Neill class from Stargate, which is smaller than the ISD that the Valkyrie class is based off. Size does not matter in this game.

EDIT: Incidentally, I also put up the descriptions for the ships in the Nation Thread.
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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-04-04 07:20pm

Well.

I would personally expect a rough consistency of size within national fleets- most people are happier thinking their stronger ships are bigger than their weaker ships. And you can always take an "ISD-based" ship and arbitrarily scale it up or down to the right physical size.

But there's no consistency of size between fleets, and I for one intend to be very vague about exact sizes, precisely to avoid creating weird suspension of disbelief issues ("how come the Umerians can't pack 100 points of warship into X cubic meters of space like everyone else?" or "how come Bob can't pack 100 points of warship into Y cubic meters of space like the Umerians do?")

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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Skywalker_T-65 » 2012-04-04 07:25pm

Good point. The Normandy 2 (Musai class) was about as specific in size as I was going to get. I'm still not sure on how big the Valkyrie and Asgard class are going to be, so they could be sent up in size. Not much point in saying just how big, unless you want some weird technobabble post.
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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Beowulf » 2012-04-04 08:18pm

The Clans, incidentally, have 0 mothballed ships. Ships get decommissioned by fire. They fight amongst themselves a decent amount. I do like Esquire's suggestion of reserve ships being worth x/2 now, (or some other denominator), with the rest having to be paid before it can actually be activated. I dislike the idea of superships available from merely converting civilian vessels. You're essentially bolting new bits on. A conversion that's effective enough to turn it into a real supership should be thorough and expensive enough to essentially be building a new ship from nothing.
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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-04-04 08:36pm

If we want to implement reserve ships, we can, under the upgrade rules.

I don't think I'll actually have any- or at least, nothing that wouldn't be more accurately represented by 'new' construction of a whole ship.

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SDNW5 Military Construction Short Form

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-04-06 12:19pm

Military Construction Rules: Short Form


Military Construction

Ships take a certain amount of time and effort to create. Some of this comes out of the ongoing operating budget, which is basically abstracted away in this game. New soldiers are constantly recruited to replace retirees. You can safely assume continuous production of spacegoing small craft sufficient to replace routine losses. The same goes for ground combat hardware like artillery pieces and atmospheric fighter jets. Ammunition, spare parts, and so on, all these things are being made by your nation all the time, assuming you need them.

You don’t have to keep track of this. Seriously, it’s fine.

Therefore, small-scale losses compared to the overall strength of your military are not a big deal. But when your losses become noticeable, you really ought to pay for them somehow. It’s only fair.

Limits to Construction Rates

The limit of your construction budget is defined as a percentage of your GDP- this is the other reason why GDP is the main measure of national strength. The EXACT percentage you spend on military expansion and replacements is up to you, within reason.

If you allocate too much GDP to military construction, there will be mod-enacted penalties for excessive construction, because it’s poor form to force a ridiculous arms race on the neighbors.

As a rule, nations in a relatively peaceful and secure state of affairs (i.e. little chance of a major war breaking out) would likely have military construction budgets of 5% or less of GDP. Nations which have unusually state-controlled economies or which are highly militarized might go as high as 10% of GDP for construction, as might ordinary nations which have special reasons to arm themselves- and I expect that given the sort of game this will be, most countries will have such reasons.

As a general rule, consider 10% of GDP to be an upper bound on allowable peacetime construction budgets, unless you have an extremely good reason.

Wartime construction rates will of course be higher; a country in the grip of total war mobilization might be able to sustain military construction of up to 20% of GDP, if its citizenry is willing to organize and sacrifice for the sake of the war effort. Of course, this construction boom will be offset by wartime casualties.


Naval Construction

So here’s a tentative table of ship construction times, where X is the point cost of the ship...

3 < X ≤ 240: 1 month per 20 points of unit cost, rounded up
240 < X ≤ 250: 12 months
250 < X: 12 months, plus 3 months per 50 points of unit cost, rounded up

Thus, a 120-point ship takes six months. A 170-point ship takes (170/20 rounded up) nine months. A 300-point ship takes 15 months, a 400-point ship takes 21 months, a 750-point ship takes 42 months, and a 1000-point ship takes 57 months- they’re hard to replace.

Please don’t do anything silly like having all your ships cost X-1 points, where X would be just enough to tip you into the next construction time class. We all know what you’re doing, and it makes us sad inside.

If you want to argue that a ship which falls ‘in the middle’ of two categories (such as a 375-point ship) takes X-and-a-half months to build, that’s fine, I’m not going to split hairs.

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. Exactly what a reasonable rate is will depend on details.

Related Question: Hybrid Ships

To reiterate, construction TIME for a ship that has some combination of X points of direct-combat-utility, Y points of small craft capacity, and Z points of troop capacity, is the same as for a normal ship with point cost (X+Y+Z). However, you pay for the small craft and the troops separately. Thus, if I wish to build a ship with 40 points of direct combat utility, which carries 20 points of gunboats and 20 points of ground troops...

I pay 40$ for the ship, 20$ for the gunboats, and 20$ for the troops. The ship will be ready in four months’ time.

Related Question: Naval Repairs

On a related note, a warship might well be damaged, but not destroyed, in a battle. I can’t be bothered to estimate monetary costs for fixing reparable damage to a ship, so as far as I’m concerned, you can do so without spending money from the construction budget. However, the repairs should take a decent amount of time, commensurate with the size, expense, and complexity of your ships. The ship should not be good to go the next day, unless the damage was light enough to be repaired entirely using spackle, space tape, and elbow grease.

Related Question: Upgrades

This came up in SDNW4 several times and we never agreed on an answer. Upgrades to a ship that increase its point value take either:

A) The same time it would take to build a ship of point value equal to the upgrade from scratch,

or

B) 25% of the time it would take to build the original ship from scratch,

whichever is longer.


Ground Force Construction

First of all, we look at each ‘force’ within your overall ground army separately. Accounting for the Peopleitarian Militia is handled separately from that for the Kaboom Commandos, since each organization will need its own training and logistics establishment, appropriate to its manpower and equipment needs.

To make up for small losses to your armed forces (say, fifty thousand troops out of an army of hundreds of millions), no real change in policy needs to be made- as noted earlier, stop-loss orders and a few extra recruitment programs can solve your problem. Even relatively serious losses- a few percent of the total size of the force- are nothing really out of the ordinary. Up to a limit, recruitment is very simple.

You’ll have to allocate money from the construction budget to pay for raising and equipping the new troops, but that’s it. The extra ground forces are integrated into your army at a reasonable, moderate rate (a roughly equal number per month, spread over a year, or possibly more or less depending on your own assessment of the circumstances).

For Elite troops, this limit is 5% of the current size of a force per year. For Guard and Regular troops, it is 10% of the current size of the force, for Conscripts, 20%, and for Screaming Hordes, 50%...

If you wish to undertake a major expansion of the armed forces, or begin assembling an entirely new category of troops (say, a new mass-numbers army recruited by conscription during wartime), then things take a little longer. Training and/or production facilities have to be set up, to create a faster-flowing pipeline. In that case, you can continue recruitment at the usual (slow) expansion rate described above, but to begin recruitment of the really large extra army, you need to wait for them to start coming out of the pipeline.

The first troops trained under the accelerated program start appearing some months after the initial investment. TYPICAL but nonbinding numbers, for human-ish troops that have to be trained in order to fight effectively, might be:

Screaming Horde: 1 month
Conscript: 3 months
Regular: 4 months
Guards: 8 months
Elites: 12 months

Related Question: Superheavy Ground Unit Construction

Superheavy ground units (ones worth a meaningful fraction of a point in their own right) are a thorny question when it comes to build rules. The best I can come up with is to default to a “no rules rule:” If you have them, build them at a reasonable rate, consistent with some concept of ‘production lines’ and prototyping. Don’t just pull tons of stuff out of a hat in an instant as soon as you decide to spend the money on it, and everything should be fine.

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SDNW5 Military Construction Long Form

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-04-06 03:13pm

Military Construction Rules: Long Form


Military Construction

Ships take a certain amount of time and effort to create. Things like shield generators, hyperdrives, suicidal smart-missiles, and beam weapons that run on the power of peanut butter and the outrage of honest politicians don’t come cheap.

Some of this comes out of the ongoing operating budget, which is basically abstracted away in this game. New soldiers are constantly recruited to replace retirees. You can safely assume continuous production of spacegoing small craft (fighters and gunboats), sufficient to replace routine breakdowns, training accidents, and simple obsolescence. The same goes for ground combat hardware like artillery pieces and atmospheric fighter jets. Ammunition, spare parts, and so on, all these things are being made by your nation all the time, assuming you need them.

You don’t have to keep track of this. Seriously, it’s fine.

Therefore, small-scale losses compared to the overall strength of your military are not a big deal. If one little patrol frigate out of 400 of the things gets blown up, no one’s really going to notice, and you can probably pull an old one out of mothballs or something without too much trouble. If a few dozen battle tanks of your empire’s thousands are destroyed, you just get the guys on the assembly line to work overtime, problem solved. If someone massacres an infantry division from the Grimdark Empire, with its draftee army of billions, they can just conscript a few more oppressed peasants and continue merrily on their tyrannical way.

But when your losses become noticeable, you really ought to pay for them somehow. It’s only fair. Likewise if you want to expand that military. In-game, I’d like a mechanism to keep people from just pulling new legions and fleets out of a hat whenever they suffer a defeat in battle. So if you want to build new additions to your space-going forces, or replace significant losses to those forces, you should pay for it out of your construction budget.

Limits to Construction Rates

The limit of your construction budget is defined as a percentage of your GDP- this is the other reason why GDP is the main measure of national strength. The EXACT percentage you spend on military expansion and replacements is up to you, within reason.

To define ‘within reason,’ bear in mind that most of your money needs to be spent on other parts of your economy- not to mention the upkeep costs we’re totally abstracting out! So if you allocate too much GDP to military construction, you will experience undesired events. Your military-industrial complex may start to break down under the strain. Your civilian economy will be increasingly stressed by the huge proportion of your resources going to building and maintaining the military, and your people may not like it. The sheer size of the war machine can lead to severe corruption and waste.

In other words, there will be mod-enacted penalties for excessive construction, because it’s poor form to force a ridiculous arms race on the neighbors. As a rule, nations in a relatively peaceful and secure state of affairs (i.e. little chance of a major war breaking out) would likely have military construction budgets of 5% or less of GDP. Nations which have unusually state-controlled economies or which are highly militarized might go as high as 10% of GDP for construction, as might ordinary nations which have special reasons to arm themselves- and I expect that given the sort of game this will be, most countries will have such reasons.

As a general rule, consider 10% of GDP to be an upper bound on allowable peacetime construction budgets, unless you have an extremely good reason.

Wartime construction rates will of course be higher; a country in the grip of total war mobilization might be able to sustain military construction of up to 20% of GDP, if its citizenry is willing to organize and sacrifice for the sake of the war effort. Of course, this construction boom will be offset by wartime casualties.


Naval Construction

Because of the expected time-scale of the game, very long construction times would be bad for play. While these construction rates may appear unreasonably rapid, do bear in mind that this is THE FUTURE (TM), and they offer the average player a much more realistic hope of getting capital-class ships into commission before the game ends. A brief period of ‘teething’ after construction is finished, for things like commissioning trials, is advisable, especially for new types of ship. But it is not demanded, within reason, and I expect that usually the ‘teething/commissioning time’ issue won’t be relevant to the game.

So here’s a tentative table of ship construction times, where X is the point cost of the ship...

3 < X ≤ 240: 1 month per 20 points of unit cost, rounded up
240 < X ≤ 250: 12 months
250 < X: 12 months, plus 3 months per 50 points of unit cost, rounded up

Thus, a 120-point ship takes six months. A 170-point ship takes (170/20 rounded up) nine months. A 300-point ship takes 15 months, a 400-point ship takes 21 months, a 750-point ship takes 42 months, and a 1000-point ship takes 57 months- they’re hard to replace.

Please don’t do anything silly like having all your ships cost X-1 points, where X would be just enough to tip you into the next construction time class. We all know what you’re doing, and it makes us sad inside.

If you want to argue that a ship which falls ‘in the middle’ of two categories (such as a 375-point ship) takes X-and-a-half months to build, that’s fine, I’m not going to split hairs.

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. Exactly what a reasonable rate is will depend on details.

Related Question: Hybrid Ships

To reiterate, construction TIME for a ship that has some combination of X points of direct-combat-utility, Y points of small craft capacity, and Z points of troop capacity, is the same as for a normal ship with point cost (X+Y+Z). However, you pay for the small craft and the troops separately. Thus, if I wish to build a ship with 40 points of direct combat utility, which carries 20 points of gunboats and 20 points of ground troops...

I pay 40$ for the ship, 20$ for the gunboats, and 20$ for the troops. The ship will be ready in four months’ time.

Related Question: Naval Repairs

On a related note, a warship might well be damaged, but not destroyed, in a battle. I can’t be bothered to estimate monetary costs for fixing reparable damage to a ship, so as far as I’m concerned, you can do so without spending money from the construction budget. However, the repairs should take a decent amount of time, commensurate with the size, expense, and complexity of your ships. The ship should not be good to go the next day, unless the damage was light enough to be repaired entirely using spackle, space tape, and elbow grease.

Related Question: Upgrades

This came up in SDNW4 several times and we never agreed on an answer. Upgrades to a ship that increase its point value take either:

A) The same time it would take to build a ship of point value equal to the upgrade from scratch,

or

B) 25% of the time it would take to build the original ship from scratch,

whichever is longer.


Ground Force Construction

Recruitment of ground troops in SDNW4 was handled in a somewhat awkward way that discouraged people from doing much ground troop purchasing during the game. I want to avoid this.

First of all, we look at each ‘force’ within your overall ground army separately. Accounting for the Peopleitarian Militia is handled separately from that for the Kaboom Commandos, since each organization will need its own training and logistics establishment, appropriate to its manpower and equipment needs.

It is safe to assume that if your army already has some category of ground troops, there is a continuous ‘pipeline’ of equipment and/or killbots in production. And that new soldiers, bioforms, or whatever are continuously being inducted into the force to replace those lost to age, retirement, wear and tear, or routine peacetime losses.

So to make up for small losses to your armed forces (say, fifty thousand troops out of an army of hundreds of millions), no real change in policy needs to be made- as noted earlier, stop-loss orders and a few extra recruitment programs can solve your problem. Even relatively serious losses- a few percent of the total size of the force- are nothing really out of the ordinary. Up to a limit, recruitment is very simple.

You’ll have to allocate money from the construction budget to pay for raising and equipping the new troops, but that’s it. The extra ground forces are integrated into your army at a reasonable, moderate rate (a roughly equal number per month, spread over a year, or possibly more or less depending on your own assessment of the circumstances).

For Elite troops, this limit is 5% of the current size of a force per year. For Guard and Regular troops, it is 10% of the current size of the force, for Conscripts, 20%, and for Screaming Hordes, 50%.

Thus, if the billion-strong Peopleitarian Militia (a 200k/$ conscript force with x1 equipment modifiers) suffers a paltry eighty million casualties in the pacification of the minor planet Limonady, then you can simply pay the price (400 points) and get replacement troops trickling into your forces at some reasonable pace. Likewise if the elite Kaboom Commandos take 20 points of losses out of their overall 500-point force: 20 points is less than 5% of 500, so they can simply replace this by slightly upping the ante of their normal recruitment process.

But sometimes, maybe you’ll want a LOT of troops. I mean, a really big number. Suddenly you need twice as many Imperial Marines. Now what?

If you wish to undertake a major expansion of the armed forces, or begin assembling an entirely new category of troops (say, a new mass-numbers army recruited by conscription during wartime), then things take a little longer. Training and/or production facilities have to be set up, to create a faster-flowing pipeline. In that case, you can continue recruitment at the usual (slow) expansion rate described above, but to begin recruitment of the really large extra army, you need to wait for them to start coming out of the pipeline.

The first troops trained under the accelerated program start appearing some months after the initial investment. TYPICAL but nonbinding numbers, for human-ish troops that have to be trained in order to fight effectively, might be:

Screaming Horde: 1 month
Conscript: 3 months
Regular: 4 months
Guards: 8 months
Elites: 12 months

Thus, if I want to double the number of Kaboom Commandos, I could proceed with low-rate recruitment for this year, and get an extra trickle of men. But if I start paying for accelerated recruitment to fill out the vastly expanded force structure, I would make myself wait 12 months for the extras to show up. It's not fair that I can spam new commandoes right away.

(Note: if you see a war coming ahead of time, you may want to start your ground troop production pipelines ahead of time. The mod(s) will be friendly to further scaling-up of recruitment within a large pipeline that’s already running, even if it’s in a hurry- once you’ve started drastically expanding your recruitment infrastructure, it’s pretty easy to keep expanding it.)

Related Question: Superheavy Ground Unit Construction

Superheavy ground units (ones worth a meaningful fraction of a point in their own right) are a thorny question when it comes to build rules. The best I can come up with is to default to a “no rules rule:” If you have them, build them at a reasonable rate, consistent with some concept of ‘production lines’ and prototyping. Don’t just pull tons of stuff out of a hat in an instant as soon as you decide to spend the money on it, and everything should be fine.

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Esquire
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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Esquire » 2012-04-06 08:01pm

Out of curiosity, would it be possible to build ships in a reserve status? Take a hundred-point cruiser, build fifty points worth of it, call it the hull and reactor, and stick it in a spare-parts bin somewhere until I lose something, then glue fifty points worth of crew and weapons to it and call it a day, for example.
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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Crossroads Inc. » 2012-04-06 08:16pm

Esquire wrote:Out of curiosity, would it be possible to build ships in a reserve status? Take a hundred-point cruiser, build fifty points worth of it, call it the hull and reactor, and stick it in a spare-parts bin somewhere until I lose something, then glue fifty points worth of crew and weapons to it and call it a day, for example.


But that is still 50 points you would not have available, sitting gathering dust.
The question is what advantage would that give you?
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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-04-06 08:21pm

Sure you can, if you don't mind the process of getting the ship ready for a fight taking as long as it would take to build a 50-point ship.

That's the upgrade rules, right there.

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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Esquire » 2012-04-06 11:21pm

Crossroads Inc. wrote:The question is what advantage would that give you?


Nothing mechanical; I was thinking about a storyline I may write later on.

Thanks for the clarification, Simon.
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Re: SDNW5 Rules Discussion Thread

Postby Shinn Langley Soryu » 2012-04-07 12:12am

How do we pay for ships with construction times longer than a year? Do we have to pay the full cost up front, or can we divide it by however many years it will take?
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