Author Topic: pinnances and mine fields  (Read 2100 times)

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Offline Paul M

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pinnances and mine fields
« on: April 07, 2013, 03:08:36 AM »
Having just relooked at the rules for this I find a couple of things.

The first is the rules are not at all clear and we having been doing it wrong Starslayer.  Pn and Apn (without fXr) can't detect minefields except by flying through them and seeing if they get attacked at our tech level.

The second is once you have fXr, now it says that a small craft with fXr (pn2, Apn, Fx, or ast2) can detect the mines at range 0 and avoid them.  But exactly what happens?  Can the small craft cross the minefield hex?  Can it turn around without triggering mine attacks (that would be my best guess)?   Fighters can't see if mines are there or not without fXr and are never engaged anyway.

How have other people handled this?
 

Offline Starslayer_D

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Re: pinnances and mine fields
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2013, 03:18:50 AM »
As far as I know, pn and ast don't get attacked by mines and can't detect them. But they can detect and attack dsb's and idew, wich I was using them for. I never used pin for minefield scouting. Starships and buyos. GB and GBp have fXr and get attacked.
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: pinnances and mine fields
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2013, 03:59:55 AM »
See p. 75 3rdR rules...section 27.08.05.8 is the relevevant rule.  That is why the CD is an awesome minesweeper when used in quantity.

"Pinnaces and courier drones have drive fields as bright as pods do and are attacked as such unless they have fXr, in which case they can see the mines at range 0 and avoid them."


But it is that whole "see the mines and range 0 and avoid them" that confuses me.  As what the heck does that mean for further movement options of the small craft?

Assault shuttles are ignored by mines (see the same rule section):  "Minefields ignore fighters, DSB, RD, RD2, cutters and shuttles."  Mind you it doesn't say assault shuttles specifically...but I think that is just lumping the shuttle and assault shuttle together.

This is basically a rather borked up section that seems intended mainly to stop you using armed small craft for minesweeping so far as I can figure out.
 

Offline Starslayer_D

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Re: pinnances and mine fields
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2013, 06:47:54 AM »
Ugh.. ok.  I've read Kurt using pin to sweep dsb-L fields left and right, but I guess I overlooked that rule section when applying it myself. I guess i now know why steve uses the sacrificial ships strategy to sweep up dsb-L's when the defenders have been removed by SBMHAWK pods.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 07:27:01 AM by Starslayer_D »
 

Offline Brian

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Re: pinnances and mine fields
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2013, 06:50:15 AM »
From a practical viewpoint what seems to be happening is that small craft capable of transiting a warp point on their own have a drive field that mines can detect and attack.  Any of the small craft that can not make that jump independantly have a drive field that is to weak to draw the mines in to attack.  What the fXr adds to the equation is longer range detection of mines.  I am guessing here but the justification to me seems to be that the extra sensor capabilities allow the pinnance to keep just beyond the trigger detection range of the individual mines as it crosses the hex.  Each hex is after all a lot of empty space (1/4 light second) with the mines only using a small portion of it.  Also note that the pinnance is the smallest of the small craft that can trigger a mine and that can have the sensors as well.  Courrier Drones may be smaller, but they are very specialized designs without the kind of sensor capabilities needed, while Gunboats are much larger and have a drive field that is targetable by regular shipboard weapon systems.

Brian
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: pinnances and mine fields
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2013, 12:11:21 PM »
Well the chance to loose a pinnace to the mines is pretty small.  It is attacked by a single mine on entry and exit with a 1 to kill.  But that at our tech level is the only way a pinnace can determine there is a minefield present.

Brian, thank you, what you are saying is what I figure the rule means.  But if the pinnance has to do the slow careful way through the hex I think it should cost two MPs to do that (what 1 pt of EM is worth), what do you think Starslayer?

No one in our campaign that I know of has fXr so it is for the future.  I just don't see why fXr has to behave differently than Xr...and why the damn rule just could not have been written without being vague.  The whole rule section on the interaction of small craft and mines is nonsensical (pods are "fast, elusive, and hard to detect" but they are killed at the same rate as CDs which are anything but elusive for example) and seems to be there solely to stop the use of armed small craft as mine sweepers.  Personally an anti-mine small craft would be high on my list of things to build if I was an admiral in starfire.  Hah...in the UTM it is possible come to think on it...a gunboat with its XO racks loaded with 4 BAM-R would do the trick.
 

Offline Starslayer_D

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Re: pinnances and mine fields
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2013, 12:39:11 PM »
You might want to consider the number of GB lost for the simultaneous transit though. Anyway, TL 13 then offers the ambam pod.. the ultimate in mine sweeping.
 

Offline MWadwell

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Re: pinnances and mine fields
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 01:17:00 AM »
Personally an anti-mine small craft would be high on my list of things to build if I was an admiral in starfire.  Hah...in the UTM it is possible come to think on it...a gunboat with its XO racks loaded with 4 BAM-R would do the trick.

fR-BAM mounted on a pinnace is an even lower-tech option.....

Later,
Matt
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: pinnances and mine fields
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2013, 05:31:54 AM »
I was thinking about that Mathew...but I don't think you can fit enough warheads onto a fR to make it work.  However, you could say count each fR fired and for a certain number of them disable a pattern.  I'm a bit of two minds about the BAM-R, BAM-Rc and BAM-G.  But still I don't see why even SBMHAWK1 can't be loaded with AMBAM...it is a lot less difficult to target an area in space afterall...or for that matter just make a AMBAM Pod where the thing carries an AMBAMs worth of warheads and a dispersal system...have it move into the hex and do its thing (clearly it is not re-usable).  The AMBAM itself is sucidal to use...it also means you have to forgo firing on anything the turn of arrival just to launch a few of them at the minefield.  It seems pretty much a system that is only useful for clearing minefields after a battle.

On whacky rules: it says somewhere in the mess that if a fighter or pinnance tried to engage the minefield a pair of mines would attack and destroy them.  After it says they ignore fighters...but since it says "fighter or pinnance" on could rules lawyer out and say ast2 can do it!  Really the whole thing must be one of those cases of rules being piecemeal updated as you would think the kill chances against pods, pinnaces and CDs would be different.

I'm pretty sure the rules for CDs and pinnaces came first and are there to ensure you don't always get your CDs through mine fields.  But the result is that the CD is the worlds best minesweeper.  Just program it to fly around the warp point and watch the mines evaporate as they try and stop them.  Each CD is attacked by 1 shot with a 1 to kill it...as they can't deactivate the minefield till the next turn you get one turns worth of movement before they can turn off their mines to stop the pointless attacks.
 

Offline MWadwell

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Re: pinnances and mine fields
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2013, 07:17:58 AM »
I was thinking about that Mathew...but I don't think you can fit enough warheads onto a fR to make it work.

Why not - the fR warhead is 2 points in size? Even if you downsized it to a 1 point warhead, it can still mount the BAM-R.

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However, you could say count each fR fired and for a certain number of them disable a pattern.  I'm a bit of two minds about the BAM-R, BAM-Rc and BAM-G.

I think that the BAM-x series fills a whole in the munitions list that exists prior to the AMBAM.

I mean, the moment MF or IDEW are developed, there should be some kind of weapon used to counter them.....

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But still I don't see why even SBMHAWK1 can't be loaded with AMBAM...it is a lot less difficult to target an area in space afterall...or for that matter just make a AMBAM Pod where the thing carries an AMBAMs worth of warheads and a dispersal system...have it move into the hex and do its thing (clearly it is not re-usable).  The AMBAM itself is sucidal to use...it also means you have to forgo firing on anything the turn of arrival just to launch a few of them at the minefield.  It seems pretty much a system that is only useful for clearing minefields after a battle.

Agreed, on both points.

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On whacky rules: it says somewhere in the mess that if a fighter or pinnance tried to engage the minefield a pair of mines would attack and destroy them.  After it says they ignore fighters...but since it says "fighter or pinnance" on could rules lawyer out and say ast2 can do it!  Really the whole thing must be one of those cases of rules being piecemeal updated as you would think the kill chances against pods, pinnaces and CDs would be different.

Can you remember the rules reference?

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I'm pretty sure the rules for CDs and pinnaces came first and are there to ensure you don't always get your CDs through mine fields.  But the result is that the CD is the worlds best minesweeper.  Just program it to fly around the warp point and watch the mines evaporate as they try and stop them.  Each CD is attacked by 1 shot with a 1 to kill it...as they can't deactivate the minefield till the next turn you get one turns worth of movement before they can turn off their mines to stop the pointless attacks.

I believe that Marvin tried to address this, by stating that CD's travel straight lines between the WP's. Of course, if a CD is capable of transiting through multiple WP's, sureley it can circle a WP ad nauseum.....

Later,
Matt
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: pinnances and mine fields
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2013, 08:59:12 AM »
I'm not seeing a lot of space in a fR for the multiple warheads and dispersal system but on the other hand you probably could just use multiple fR to do it.  It certainly doesn't need to be anti-matter to make gamma and xrays to do soft kills on the guidance system.

I'm of two minds because the AMBAM varient takes forever to get into something you can fire out of a missile launcher (though for some reason only from a Wc...but I can't figure out why that is...or why you need a W to fire a sprint missile...)

I'll look up the rules reference for the 2 mines kill a fighter but it is in this section.

As for CDs and Marvin...it was his attempt to do that idiocy that broke this camel's back.  CDs can be programed to fly to a planet in one system, then fly to another planet in that system then to another system and visit 3 space stations, and then to the next system and visit two more planets and then on to another system to visit 12 asteroid belt colony hexes and so on...and you can't program to them to go through a warp point, spin 360° and then go one hex, turn left 60° and move in a circle?  Look how they are used in the novels where they fly to a system and then execute a search pattern...that is different exactly how from tooling around in a minefield and attriting it death?  I can do this exact thiing with SBMHAWKs it is just rather costly.

I also don't understand why the rules for GB and minefields are different then ships...the pattern should launch 1 mine at each gunboat.  Treating each gunboats are nothing more than a size 4 starship basically.  Then you make 1 normal point defence versus mine roll per gunboat (or 4d10 per squadron).    You can't use multiple shot and datalink doesn't help so it is at the base value.  Simple, easy to do but no...it has to be something arcane and difficult.  Double fire launches 4 per gunboat and you roll 2d10 per gunboat and see if the point defence stops the mine or not.  Doesn't change the number of dice you end up rolling (many many many).

Gaaaah I need to find time to continue reading what you sent me...mea cupia mea cupia maxima...
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: pinnances and mine fields
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2013, 10:54:54 AM »
The rule section is 27.08.05.8 ...

"Fighters and small craft are unable to engage mines, because is they were to get close enough to to do so, a pair of mines would attack it and automatically kill it (small craft D-equivalent is not effective against MF)."

Most of these rules are pretty much there to stop small craft mine sweeping so far as I can see.
 

Offline MWadwell

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Re: pinnances and mine fields
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2013, 11:05:37 PM »
I'm not seeing a lot of space in a fR for the multiple warheads and dispersal system but on the other hand you probably could just use multiple fR to do it.  It certainly doesn't need to be anti-matter to make gamma and xrays to do soft kills on the guidance system.

The BAM-x does not use multiple warheads and dispersal system - so I cannot see any reason why it cannot be mounted on a fR......

<SNIP>

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As for CDs and Marvin...it was his attempt to do that idiocy that broke this camel's back.  CDs can be programed to fly to a planet in one system, then fly to another planet in that system then to another system and visit 3 space stations, and then to the next system and visit two more planets and then on to another system to visit 12 asteroid belt colony hexes and so on...and you can't program to them to go through a warp point, spin 360° and then go one hex, turn left 60° and move in a circle?  Look how they are used in the novels where they fly to a system and then execute a search pattern...that is different exactly how from tooling around in a minefield and attriting it death?  I can do this exact thiing with SBMHAWKs it is just rather costly.

What can I say - I totally agree with you.

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I also don't understand why the rules for GB and minefields are different then ships...the pattern should launch 1 mine at each gunboat.  Treating each gunboats are nothing more than a size 4 starship basically.  Then you make 1 normal point defence versus mine roll per gunboat (or 4d10 per squadron).    You can't use multiple shot and datalink doesn't help so it is at the base value.  Simple, easy to do but no...it has to be something arcane and difficult.  Double fire launches 4 per gunboat and you roll 2d10 per gunboat and see if the point defence stops the mine or not.  Doesn't change the number of dice you end up rolling (many many many).

I agree - as this would simplify the rules somewhat.....

Later,
Matt
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: pinnances and mine fields
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2013, 05:28:14 AM »
The BAM-x does not use multiple warheads and dispersal system - so I cannot see any reason why it cannot be mounted on a fR......


Realy?  Then what on earth are they?  I assumed they were the same thing as the AMBAM just made out of fusion warheads.  Given I just dumped 18K MCr into developing the three flavors of them I'm a bit curious what I spent my hard earned MCr's on exactly.  I could fire SM or CM into a minefield hex and detonate them if that is the case.

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I agree - as this would simplify the rules somewhat.....

The odd thing about starfire rules is that they aren't complex in the sense that they are difficult to apply.  The complexity comes about because they are poorly organized (you are hunting stuff up all over the place), generally poorly written (for rules, for entertainment Webber did a good job as I can't think of any rule set I enjoy reading more than 3rdR), and suffer from the exception to the exception to the exception syndrome.

SFB's rules are more complex and certainly more "vast" but since everything is different in terms of weapons there is no need to have a rule and then a whole crap load of "but in the case of...do this other thing."  So far as my memory goes no two weapon systems in the game share anything of any significance.

It is one of the reasons I do recommend 4thE or whatever to newcomers because at least they have done something about consolidating the rules in one place.
 

Offline crucis

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Re: pinnances and mine fields
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2013, 03:51:31 PM »
I'm of two minds because the AMBAM varient takes forever to get into something you can fire out of a missile launcher (though for some reason only from a Wc...but I can't figure out why that is...or why you need a W to fire a sprint missile...)

Paul, I think that a lot depends on how one things that missile pods should be structured internally.  DW's pods clearly assume that only a very specific type and size of missile can fit into each pod.  Frankly, I don't really see why this should have to be taken to this extreme.  I could see a couple of ways to do it better.

1. Treat the missile carrying capacity of a missile pod like it was a flying box launcher, and just load whatever missiles you choose to load up to the csp capacity of a given generation of missile pod.  I think that this is the most flexible option because all you need to do is define how many csp of missiles the pod can carry, and leave the details of loading the pods to the player, with perhaps the only restriction being that all missiles loaded into a pod have to be of the same exact type.

2. Treat missile pods as being limited in terms of the sizes of specific missiles they could carry, but they could carry any missile of that specific size.  This would work better if missile sizes were more consistent (i.e. all missiles that a Rc/Wc fired were 2 csp, all missiles that a W/Wa fired were 1 csp, and so on).  This isn't as flexible as option 1, but it would work.  A down side would be that you'd have missile pods rated by both the missile size they could fire, and the number of such missiles they could carry.


But speaking of AMBAMs, why bother with putting AMBAMs in missile pods at all?  Why not just upscale the AMBAM to drone size and create a warp capable AMBAM-like drone?  This seems like the most obvious solution to me.  Just send the AMBAM-drone thru the WP, aim it at a given hex, and BOOM, lots of mines destroyed.



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I'll look up the rules reference for the 2 mines kill a fighter but it is in this section.

As for CDs and Marvin...it was his attempt to do that idiocy that broke this camel's back.  CDs can be programed to fly to a planet in one system, then fly to another planet in that system then to another system and visit 3 space stations, and then to the next system and visit two more planets and then on to another system to visit 12 asteroid belt colony hexes and so on...and you can't program to them to go through a warp point, spin 360° and then go one hex, turn left 60° and move in a circle?  Look how they are used in the novels where they fly to a system and then execute a search pattern...that is different exactly how from tooling around in a minefield and attriting it death?  I can do this exact thiing with SBMHAWKs it is just rather costly.

Honestly, Paul, I think that using CD's to sweep mines is definitely going against the spirit of the CD rules.  Could a CD conceivably fly in circles around a WP?  Perhaps, and maybe probably.  However, if *I* allowed that, I'd also rule that mines simply ignore CD's, because the intent of CD's is not to act as a minesweeper.


 

 

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