Author Topic: Opinion on SBMHAWK house rules  (Read 4070 times)

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Offline Paul M

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Opinion on SBMHAWK house rules
« on: September 04, 2012, 03:32:18 AM »
The RM also have "pods" and will "soon" have pod rollers, but more important than that they have the damn things for WP assaults.  If mines and IDEW change that defensively...well SBMHAWK is David Webers absurd overreaction. 

Take the last Thing-Norse attack.  The Norse had 12, lets say, interestingly designed battlecruisers on the warp point.  Not the greatest but still with elite crews they actually managed to even make the Epc look useful.  But at a guess, that is 12*1200 MCr or 14,400 MCr worth of ships plus many turns of maintenance investment.  The Thing so far as Starslayer has said lost a ship or two and had several baddly damaged.

The RM could have...expended 140 SBMHAWK or SBMHAWK(AM) and under the rules would have 10 surviving pods fire on each ship for 30*7=21 hits-7 intercepted by 2xD with elite crew and that is 14 impacts for 28 hit points of damage or 56 with anti-matter.  The first leaves the ships cripples for the E-beam armed RM assault ships to pick off, the second probably wipes them off the map.  In the first case that was 2800 MCr for this, not sure but I think 3360 MCr for AM armed SBMs.  Their shipyards ships can manufacture their repleacements in a month while 12 BCs takes even the RM 7-8 months (building 6 or 4 new BC's per month with 6 months of construction time).  Cost effectiveness on the order of 6:1 and even factoring in the SD to transport them it remains 2:1.

Addmittedly against more modern ships they would need more pods but the ships would be correspondingly more valuable to the race owning them.

What are peoples ideas for tonning down the SBMHAWK into something not quite so game destroying? 

I was thinking of limiting them to 6 pod datagroups that fire in sequence rather than the devesating single salvo which pretty much invalidates point defence.
 

Offline Tregonsee

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Re: Opinion on SBMHAWK house rules
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2012, 10:54:18 PM »
I do have a question about SBMHawks- I have cleared the WP of its bases and nearby fleet.  A different enemy fleet will most likely come in on me later on in the month.  As there are no real rules about this, how should I coordinate SBMHawk launches from my side of the WP?  I have cleared a path through the minefield from the WP, so I could have software directing the pods to go on the path before moving on to the enemy ships.  Does this make sense?  Or would it be better to retractor them to this side of the WP?

Secondly, I am a higher tech level than he is, so I would like to preserve my tech edge.  Aside from killing all of the ships in his fleet, anything else I should do?


 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Opinion on SBMHAWK house rules
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2012, 02:02:48 AM »
To coordinate the SBMHAWKs from your side of the warp point (though why you want to do this is not clear) you need to:

 1. send a courier drone with the targeting information through the warp point.
 2. upload said information from the drone to the ship that is responsible for deploying the SBMHAWKs (I assume here they are deployed and waiting inactive)
 3. that ship then downloads the the targeting information to the waiting SBMHAWKs and sends the activation signal.
 4. SBMHAWKs can start transiting as programed.  You can program their course (and infact must do so based on the status of the CD) but this means you can tell them to transit, and move through the open lane.  That will work only if you have grav surge data.  For that you need a X equiped ship to have transited the warp point and returned with the X intact.
 
What I am not sure of is timing for 2 and 3, I think that is only 1 turn.  So if you see the ships on turn 4, the CD is launched turn 4.  The CD transits the WP on turn 5.  The information is downloaded from the CD on turn 6.  The SBMHAWKs are programed and activated on turn 7 based on the information from turn 4.  They start to move on turn 8 and transit the WP, on turn 9 (5 turns later) they will be able to engage (assuming you want them to have no fire penalty).

You would be much better off to deploy the SBMHAWK on the other side of the WP.  As you would then be delayed only a turn.  But this requires you have military freighters as no CFN crew would do this.  The RMs pod rollers could easily do this (include also carrying 6 pods on tractors).

Why destroy the fleet in its entirety?  Damage it sufficiently to force break off and surrender rolls then capture those that do surrender.

One important point, active pods have a life time, and HT9 pods once activated cannot be de-activated as they self destruct.  You can't "tractor the pods" to the other side of the warp point, you have to recover them to their transport, the transport has to transit the warp point then then redeploy them.  You can't tractor anything through a warp point.

What tech edge are you worried about?  The cost of TRPT development is so crazy that you could show SBMHAWKs to anyone and they will never be able to develop them, since without SBM and Fighters the development cost goes up by another factor of 2.5.  If they have SBM and Fighters they have pods of their own. 
 

Offline Starslayer_D

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Re: Opinion on SBMHAWK house rules
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2012, 07:09:30 AM »
Well, I am not sure. SBMHAWK are two kettlesof fish...

1) if you have grav data and a good idea on the oposition, they are very effective.
2) if you ahve no grav data, the # of poods needed to asure kills has gone up by 6*.

The rework needs to cover both situations.
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Opinion on SBMHAWK house rules
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2012, 08:13:25 AM »
For a warp point assault the grav data is nice but not required as the pods can target anything inside of 20 hexs of the pod.  If the enemy is forced to hold their ships and bases back 30 hexs plus from the warp point then you win a few free transit rounds and can fire pods at them as they close.

If you have bases, you don't need 6 times as many because the pods split up automatically.  So to kill bases 15 hexs from the warp point you just need the number of pods you need.  The pods are by grav surge split 6 ways.  They then engage the bases they can detect based on their programing.  You only need 6 times as much if you have a distinct blob at only one point and want to take it out...but realistically you just establish a pod shell around the warp point and start your transit.  Either the enemy only harrasses from range (in which case the pods did their job) or the enemy closes and gets hit by successive SBMHAW waves as he crosses the pod detection range (in which case the pods did their job).

Once you can recover them, then even pods which wandered off aren't wasted anyway.  The only time pods are wasted is when a HT9 SBMHAWK is fired through a warp point blindly; programed to engage a traget that doesn't exist (not present in the fleet, or fleet not present).  In one of Kurt's stories this happens.
 

Offline Starslayer_D

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Re: Opinion on SBMHAWK house rules
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2012, 04:26:16 PM »
Without grav surge, the pods split up into 6 groups. Each group fires on al elegible targets though. Thus, if 6 groups of bases are in range, with grav data, they would get hit by one wave of missiles each. Without, they get hit by 6 waves. (assuming your pods move out and turn to deal with close in bases.). Each group of pods then has to split itself among the same number of bases.
 

Offline Tregonsee

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Re: Opinion on SBMHAWK house rules
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2012, 06:33:01 PM »
I have completed the WP assault and have had an 'X'-equipped ship go back through the WP, so grav surge is not an issue, unless you are saying that grav surge shifts daily.

The SBMHawks were deployed on the other side (I thought I might need them for the WP assault, but I was incredibly lucky in the WP interpenetration rolls), so I thought it would be easier to launch from my side.  I did not want to be caught in mid-redeployment when the enemy fleet shows up.

A good portion of my big ships were chewed up in the assault, and I used up my first set of strikefighters, so I figured the SBMHawks would help out a lot when the enemy fleet arrives.

 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Opinion on SBMHAWK house rules
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2012, 02:10:38 AM »
Without grav surge, the pods split up into 6 groups. Each group fires on al elegible targets though. Thus, if 6 groups of bases are in range, with grav data, they would get hit by one wave of missiles each. Without, they get hit by 6 waves. (assuming your pods move out and turn to deal with close in bases.). Each group of pods then has to split itself among the same number of bases.

All eligable targets it can detect.  With or without grave surge data the pods only engage one group of bases if you have them move far enough out so they can only see the single base group.  It is really only an issue if there is a single base group then you have to use 6 times the pods; otherwise for 6 base groups things work out properly anyway, more or less, depending on how far the bases are deployed from the warp point (closer is harder to avoid splitting fire).  But for close in bases you are better off to not have the pods move...then all pods fire at once and split fire evenly anyway.  Bases <18 hexs are probably best dealt with by just transiting in, waiting 1 turn for systems to stabilize and then firing. I think from 3-18 hexs the tohit number is the same.  Split all fire between all eligable targets.  Anything within 3-18 hexes of a warp point just vanishes in a pod-led attack.  One pn scout, 2-4 turns later the pods transit in, another 2 turns later anything fixed isn't there.  First time it happens I don't see any reason for the defenders to flee for their lives even...basically with pods you have to move back from the warp point by 26 hexs (20+pn movement range).  And even that defence fails once fXr for pn shows up.  The only defence is either deception mode or else cloaking and the buoys with deception ability.  Too bad we aren't getting comments from people who have used them...it is possible there is something wrong with my theory but at the moment they just seem game breakers.
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Opinion on SBMHAWK house rules
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2012, 02:21:10 AM »
I have completed the WP assault and have had an 'X'-equipped ship go back through the WP, so grav surge is not an issue, unless you are saying that grav surge shifts daily.

The SBMHawks were deployed on the other side (I thought I might need them for the WP assault, but I was incredibly lucky in the WP interpenetration rolls), so I thought it would be easier to launch from my side.  I did not want to be caught in mid-redeployment when the enemy fleet shows up.

A good portion of my big ships were chewed up in the assault, and I used up my first set of strikefighters, so I figured the SBMHawks would help out a lot when the enemy fleet arrives.

Can you see the enemy ships on the interception scale?  If not then the time it takes to deploy the pods is pretty trivial...assuming you have a bare bones military freighter with no tractors it would take 20 min to deploy or recover a SBMHAWK (per H on the freighter).  The RM's pod rollers can drop 6 on tractors in 60s (most of the complexity is shutting down and restarting the DF), or 36 per minute (that number may be wrong as I may have aggregated the holds but I think you can do that).  So you should be able to recover and move your pods in an hour or so easily.  I would put some scouts out to get a good read of the enemy ship types (or send a fighter squadron to get the data) then send in the pods and remove the pests without risking ships.
 

Offline Tregonsee

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Re: Opinion on SBMHAWK house rules
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2012, 10:04:48 PM »
If it takes only that amount of time, then I have much better chances.  I can then redeploy the SBMHawks past the minefield and don't have to worry about that.  Now, how are SBMHawks against Assault Shuttles?
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Opinion on SBMHAWK house rules
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2012, 01:55:32 AM »
SBMHAWK can only target large units...they make use of the onboard electronics on the SBM(HAWK) missile itself, and no non-anti-fighter missile can target a small craft.  So SBMHAWKs can't do diddly to ast (there is a much higher tech level pod DPOD that can but I assume you aren't talking about those).

The only thing that you need to check with your SM about is targeting program upload.  The rules are a bit different in 3rdR and UTM and you need to know what the restriction is.  The deploying ship or any ship can issue the program and activation signal.
 

Offline crucis

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Re: Opinion on SBMHAWK house rules
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2013, 03:18:00 AM »
What are peoples ideas for toning down the SBMHAWK into something not quite so game destroying? 

I think that there's a flaw in your proposition here.  And that is that you should be able to engage in essentially the same WP defense tactics after SBMHAWKs show up.  I think that's a very flawed way of looking at things.  When fighters show up, defenders have to change their tactics.  When Capital missiles show up, defenders have to change their tactics.  Why shouldn't defenders have to seriously rethink what they do when SBMHAWKs show up?

I don't think that being forced to rethink and change one's WP defense tactics due to SBMHAWKs is "game destroying" at all.  Indeed, I don't think that one should have the slightest expectation of being able to act as if nothing has changed and use the same old tactics here.  Players *should* have to change their tactics after SBMHAWKs show up, whether that means pushing their forces back from the WP or coming up with devious tactics to deal with missile pods.  (I think that I recall some players developing such devious tactics for this purpose from the old Starfire mailing list.)






Quote
I was thinking of limiting them to 6 pod datagroups that fire in sequence rather than the devastating single salvo which pretty much invalidates point defence.

The problem with this sort of limitation is that it would make it all but impossible for SBMHAWKs to have much of a chance against Asteroid Forts, for better or worse ... which would seriously go against the canonical history of the Battle of Thebes.


Having said that, I think that the "requirement" for all SBMHAWK pods to fire as a single salvo could be seen as a problem of having those SBMHAWKs firing guided missiles which are interceptable, therefore "requiring" that SBMHAWK fire be so highly coordinated so that it can swamp point defenses.  If missile pods weren't based on interceptable guided missiles, but on CAM's (like a later generation of missile pods happens to be), there actually wouldn't need to be any great requirement for massive salvos.  You could have could limit "CAMPODs" to groups of 10 or 6 or 3 or lower without really affecting their combat effectiveness, aside from the possibility that some might get destroyed by fighters, etc. flying CAP on the WP or active bases or ships close to the WP.  Of course, such "CAMPODs" wouldn't have the range of pods carrying SBM's or even SM (if such existed).  But they would alleviate some of the concerns you have about the single overwhelming SBMHAWK volley.  Also, given their somewhat limited range, CAMPODs couldn't clear as great a sphere around the WP that SBMHAWKs could, for better or worse.  But if someone did place AF's in close proximity to a WP, "CAMPODs" would still be very nasty even without firing in a single massive volley since its missiles aren't interceptable.

Anyways, just some food for thought at this late date....
 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Opinion on SBMHAWK house rules
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2013, 03:42:07 AM »
Quote
I think that there's a flaw in your proposition here.  And that is that you should be able to engage in essentially the same WP defense tactics after SBMHAWKs show up.  I think that's a very flawed way of looking at things.  When fighters show up, defenders have to change their tactics.  When Capital missiles show up, defenders have to change their tactics.  Why shouldn't defenders have to seriously rethink what they do when SBMHAWKs show up?
I think as cited in the OP it's as much a matter of cost effectiveness as anything else.    like it's okay to have SBM hawk capability of they are priced appropriately.  I believe the contention is they are either priced inappropriately low or their capabilities are inappropriately high. 
 

Offline crucis

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Re: Opinion on SBMHAWK house rules
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2013, 06:29:01 AM »
I think as cited in the OP it's as much a matter of cost effectiveness as anything else.    like it's okay to have SBM hawk capability of they are priced appropriately.  I believe the contention is they are either priced inappropriately low or their capabilities are inappropriately high. 

Shoe, for the moment, I'm not going to address whether SBMHAWK's are priced too low.  However, you then suggest that the contention may be that they may be too good, i.e. "their capabilities are inappropriately high".  That's why I made the assertion that there's a flaw in the assumption that players should be able to continue using the same WP defense tactics after SBMHAWKs show up.    Assuming that one should be able to use the same tactics sort of goes in parallel with saying that SBMHAWKs are too good.  If they weren't all that good, you probably could go on doing what you'd always did for WP defense tactics.  But if they're "too good", that tells me that one who makes this complaint is essentially asserting that SBMHAWKs are "too good" because they prevent the player from being able to use the same old tactics.

Let's face it, there's a really easy way to avoid getting nuked by SBMHAWKs.  Don't position your ships close to WP's.  Another (under 3E/3rdR rules) is to swamp the WP with fighters, assault shuttles, etc. to try to shoot down as many missile pods as possible.  And there may be other more devious tactics which haven't occurred to me or I don't remember.

SBMHAWKs are essentially a pre-battle artillery bombardment.  And the only real way to avoid getting destroyed by such a bombardment is to either dig in really deeply (not possible in space) or not be in the bombardment zone.  And to the best of my knowledge, artillery bombardments aren't particularly expensive, particularly compared to sending in the manned forces to fight the battle, be they tanks or starships, and the cost of losses that may occur without a pre-battle bombardment.

Regardless, I still think that this complaint about SBMHAWKs being "too good" boils down to some players being unhappy that they can't use the same old WP defense tactics as they did before SBMHAWKs, when the fact of the matter is that that's the entire point of SBMHAWKs... to (try to) destroy anything in range of the WP or force the defender to move further back from the WP and make it somewhat safer for the attacker to get into the system. 


 

Offline TheDeadlyShoe

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Re: Opinion on SBMHAWK house rules
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2013, 04:03:30 PM »
It's not whether or not SBMHAWKS should be able to used in their intended role, it's price:performance.  Picking an arbitrary number, If SBMHAWKS cost 4x as much, they could still do what they do now, but it would be a tough decision whether it was worth it or not.  It feels like they are better for cost than warships even if you can get warships through the point.  By 'capabilities are inappopriately high', i meant inappropriately high for how much they cost.   
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 04:07:46 PM by TheDeadlyShoe »
 

 

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