STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

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Which ruleset shall the STGOD use?

Option 1 - 2k8 Style Rules
1
10%
Option 2 - 2k8 Style Intermediate
3
30%
Option 3 - 2k8 Style Simplified
0
No votes
Option 4 - SDNW4 Style
2
20%
Option 5 - Freeform
4
40%
 
Total votes: 10

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Rogue 9
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STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-08 06:22pm

As promised, a poll to vote on the various rules options. Please at least look over each option before voting; there's been a lot of editing done over the past week. The full specializations version, in particular, has been condensed by about 16% on character count (the statistic I have handy since it's what the wiki measures) even with the addition of ground troops guidelines (not counting stripping out the introduction to the concept that's in the main article).

The first three options are based on work mostly done by Covenant, Hawkwings, Academia Nut, and Nephtys, with editing by VX-145 and myself for clarity and conciseness. My thanks to them.

Option 1: Full STGOD 2k8 style rules. These rules have the full suite of ship abilities from 2k8, though they have been edited for clarity and easier reading while not sacrificing their function.

Option 2: Intermediate ruleset. This edition has only ship specializations relevant to roleplay - stealth, speed, and counters to the same.

Option 3: Simplified ruleset. This has the combat rules and nation characteristics, but no unit stats. This is similar to STGOD 2k9, but the rules in that were never codified, just hammered out in the thread in how they differed from the previous game's.

Option 4: The SDN World 4 ruleset. These rules have a more complex method of empire generation, but extremely simplified combat rules.

Option 5: Freeform. An Order of Battle in this format is mostly descriptive, with interactions left completely up to the players; STGOD 4 and by my understanding the ones prior worked this way. By their nature they didn't have a rules thread to link to, but a quick look over the OOB thread should give you an idea.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2020-10-08 06:38pm

I'm going option 2... i like me ship specializations!
also hope we can get things running by next week or so depending on how quickly people can do an OOB,
shoot, maybe even start before everyone has one just to get things moving
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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by VX-145 » 2020-10-08 06:41pm

Crossroads, that reminds me - depending on how okay this idea is and how horrible my schedule is over the next few days, I can maybe work up some generic OOBs for people to use if they don't have the time/don't want to spend the time coming up with one for the more complex rule-sets.

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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-08 06:50pm

For a bit of history: I believe this was the first instance of us trying to put rules to the STGODs, in the aftermath of STGOD 4's crash and burn. Before this, the "structure" that is the S in STGOD was just that there were moderators who could tell you to sit down and shut up if you got out of line. We continue a long tradition.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-08 07:31pm

Anyway, even though I did the edit, I have some reservations about the intermediate level. I put in Jamming as a counter to C3, but Jamming is only about a third of what Active Defense does in the full ruleset, so I'm not sure it's worth it. But if you leave in D, suddenly it's the most powerful stat in the game without O to counter it, and pretty soon you're back at the full ruleset. (There's a reason it came out that way to begin with.)
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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by VX-145 » 2020-10-08 08:04pm

I was actually tempted to delete Jamming or (literally just thinking of this now) fold it in with C3 - make C3 counter C3 - but both of those cause other issues* and I was trying not to actually change any of the rules. Could be worth thinking about.

*Namely 1) removing the ability to bluff because all information is known about a fleet at all times, and 2) possibly setting off a C3 arms race.

Anyway - I had some other ideas as well, which are most applicable to the 2k8-derivatives but could also apply to the SDNW4 set as well. Note I haven't tried to put any numbers to these because that's where my ability to design things tends to break down:
  • Limiting combat to a fixed number of turns in order to prevent it escalating into endless calculation, D&D 3.5-style. This also helps with the death spiral problem, making it harder for a player's whole fleet to be wiped out at once.
  • Highly abstract OOBs - allowing for players to list fleets rather than specific ships.You'd have, say, Death Squadron consisting of 1000 points rather than an Executor of 500 and 10 ISDs of 50. Specific ships would still be possible - just not required. Not sure how this would interact with the specialisation rules - several possibilities, but nothing concrete.
Both of these have some issues attached to them - the first could make warfare hard to actually finish depending on the number of turns, and the second causes some issues with the ship specialisation rules. I'd personally hesitate to implement either of them as they are now, but I'm raising them as points for discussion regardless.

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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-08 08:25pm

I don't see how listing fleets helps the issue - you'd still have points destroyed, which isn't different.

The method in all of those rulesets to prevent a fleet being wiped out all at once is the retreat mechanism. If you're outmatched, run away. You're out of there in three turns, and taking half damage for two of them. Barring being hilariously overmatched (and if that's happening, you're probably not risking much of your fleet on the issue) you won't get many, if any, ships destroyed. A 100 point fleet running from a 150 point fleet, assuming immediate retreat, is going to take less than 60 damage (accounting for them degrading the larger fleet by shooting back as they retreat) - if you spread that out among ships, you might not even lose any, depending on how heavy your vessels are.

Bringing O and D into it again improves the situation - because in the full ruleset Active Defenses work as normal while retreating, you can mitigate the damage you take at full efficiency while already taking half in subsequent retreat turns. Improved Offensives get around that somewhat, but they are not immune to retreat modifiers. So assuming your opponent wants to just use his fleet to crush you and isn't interested in cutting deals (just to spell out that, again, roleplay and player agreement mean the rules don't enter play) the full specialization ruleset affords plenty of tools to avoid that result.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by VX-145 » 2020-10-09 06:51am

In the case of fleets - yes, but those destroyed points would be against a single large "unit", rather than across multiple smaller ones.

Taking the Death Squadron example - it gets into a fight and takes 673 points of damage. Against a fleet, the calculation is simple - 1000-673=327 points remaining. Against each ship, the calculation becomes a little more complex - admittedly not much more so, since that's either the Executor and three ISDs gone with 27 points remaining on a fourth, or all the ISDs gone and the Executor down to 327 points. This becomes more complex as you assign damage to each individual ship to spread it around, or have more complicated fleets.

As to the turn limit thing - that's a good summation of why it might not work from a death spiral limiting perspective, though I still think it holds some merit just to reduce complexity.

That being said - there comes a point where things become oversimplified, and I'm honestly not sure whether or not either of these ideas are over that line. That's also leaving aside my other issues with both, mentioned in the last post.

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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-10 10:50pm

Hmmm. The thing about having points be in discrete ships is that it allows attacking but not fully destroying a fleet to mean something - ships will probably be destroyed, and if none are they'll probably all be laid up in drydock until the next production phase. On the other hand, individual ships might take light or no damage in a fleet action and still be ready for combat. If the fleet is one big pool of points, how do you adjudicate the aftermath? Do you need to pull the whole fleet out of service for repairs (the equivalent effect of everything damaged but not destroyed)? Is it not repaired at all, rather simply being replenished from your industrial production in the next phase (the equivalent effect of having X number of 1 point ships destroyed)? It removes granularity, but it seems to me a solution in search of a problem.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by VX-145 » 2020-10-11 07:32am

Both of those options could work in that case, depending on the player's choice - either you keep pushing with a depleted fleet (unless the damage could be made good in one production turn - bearing in mind the opponent is likely to have that same pool of production points to build ships with) or you stop the advance entirely. That leaves you open to another player using the granular system (both being useable the way I originally imagined it) who didn't commit the same point value of ships to that battle counter-attacking.

Regardless of all that, since Freeform's winning right now - here's some proposals for general principles:
  • Don't be That Guy.
  • Use "Yes, and" wherever possible - don't shut down someone's RP completely, if it has to fail make the failure interesting. Example: "We captured your spy... but they got [INFORMATION] out!"
  • There's more - but they all fall under "Don't be That Guy". So, seriously - Don't be That Guy.

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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2020-10-11 08:10am

This is one reason why I'm hopeful this STGOD will go the distance - we're not a bunch of angry teenagers like we had been in previous games. I trust you lot to not be That Guy (gender notwithstanding) and want to tell fun stories.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-11 12:03pm

Well, right now no option has a clear majority, but we've only gotten seven votes in. If the poll's been up a week and no option has over 50% we should probably do a runoff, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by Simon_Jester » 2020-10-11 06:10pm

Is there mechanical support for approval voting?

Last I checked SDN couldn't do that, but it'd simplify a thing like this tremendously.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-11 06:31pm

No, there isn't. I wish there was. I looked into it when making the poll. I guess I could have used a third party poll maker.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-13 09:38pm

The poll stands at nine votes cast, with no option having more than three, in a tie between scaled down 2k8 and freeform. At the original plan of running for a week there are still two days for that to change, but I don't know that we have much more than nine interested players, so we're probably going to need to either do a runoff or talk it out.

To that end, is anyone going to straight up not play if their preferred option isn't chosen? I've been making the case for a tight ruleset because it's the option I prefer, but I'm going to participate no matter what, so I for one will bow to the option that's going to get us the most players.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by Simon_Jester » 2020-10-14 04:57am

I think we should just skip to a runoff. Trying to talk it out is just going to result in us going around in circles; we all have our reasons and could debate those reasons indefinitely.

I'll probably keep participating no matter what gets picked, though I can't help but find some of the old ruleset options a bit eyewatering. It may just be because I haven't had a chance to get used to them.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2020-10-14 11:44am

I agree with Simon on this one. I would definitely prefer freeform (it's what I voted for) but I'll participate either way - it will likely take me longer to get going through if we use a structured ruleset.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
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Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-10-14 12:02pm

Well, barring anyone feeling so strongly about it that it affects participation, we'll do a runoff if results don't change by tomorrow. If it helps, I'm happy to walk anybody through how to write an order of battle such that your ships behave how you want them to, and negotiated freeform is going to be my first approach in game.
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Re: STGOD 2020 Rules Poll

Post by madd0ct0r » 2020-10-14 02:13pm

As the third freeform voter, I too will play with either, but might need hand holding when figuring out what the opposition fleet does.
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