Author Topic: Mines and fXr equipped Pn/APn/GB  (Read 975 times)

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Offline Paul M

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Mines and fXr equipped Pn/APn/GB
« on: November 05, 2014, 03:18:23 AM »
In the rules on mines 27.08.05.8:

27.08.05.8 Minefields ignore fighters, DSB, RD, RD2, cutters and
shuttles.  Fighters  and  small  craft  are  unable  to  engage  mines
because if one was to get close enough to do so, a pair of mines
would attack it and automatically kill it (small craft D-equivalent
is not effective against MF). 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.


The point in bold is the issue, does anyone know how to use that in game?  Mechanically I mean.  Can a Pn2 enter a MF hex, without being attacked?  Can it remain in the hex without being attacked?  Can it leave the hex without being attacked?  How do I move a Pn2 (with fXr) in a situation with MFs is basically what I can't figure out.

This apparently doesn't count with GBs which also have fXr.  But it also means that GBs would not be able to mine sweep or be considered minesweepers and so as I was pointing out to Starslayer the chance of the GBs Dx or Dxz intercepting a mine is -2 from the base chance and a single roll is made.  Targeting is not effective against mines, nor are datalinked point defence.  Targeting is multiple shots against the same inbound just incase that isn't clear.  Neither are small craft point defence...not to put to fine a point on it.  The game doesn't do this but the mine rules would say that gunboats should die in job lots to mine fields.  From a balance point of view that sucks so the rules were "adjusted" it seems.

I assume for the sake of argument that fighters and ast with fXr can count mines at range 0.  I'm utterly uncertain if they would otherwise detect them, I have always assumed not.

The PGBs in our game are causing fairly sever holy havok but they are also taking ever increasing losses.  The Shanirians are still 2 TL from them so have to see how that goes.
 

Offline Starslayer_D

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Re: Mines and fXr equipped Pn/APn/GB
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2014, 08:56:49 AM »
Heh, the PGB may cause holy havock if spend recklessly. In the last battle I used them far more cautiously, which resulted in them being lost approximately in same amounts as their carriers, but alos causing far less damage and only used mopping up instead of softening things up.
replacing 400 PGB costs 32000 MCrs... ouch. Though replacing 2 SD, 3 BB, 3 BC costs not uch less, amunition included.

As to the GB.. if they can enter minesweeping mode, they loose the -2. But can they if they can only detect mines at 0? And apn and pn2 sure would love to bypass minefields.

Also established: Don't face GB without Second generation IDEW and their control upgrade.. else one can waste a lot of shots on gun boats. On the other hand, a lot of cheap idew-l or so may be just the backup a minefield needs to reduce GB numbers.
Hmm.. an idea for the undines next defense setup.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 09:00:51 AM by Starslayer_D »
 

Offline MWadwell

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Re: Mines and fXr equipped Pn/APn/GB
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2014, 12:22:18 AM »
In the rules on mines 27.08.05.8:

27.08.05.8 Minefields ignore fighters, DSB, RD, RD2, cutters and shuttles.  Fighters  and  small  craft  are  unable  to  engage  mines because if one was to get close enough to do so, a pair of mines would attack it and automatically kill it (small craft D-equivalent is not effective against MF). 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.

The point in bold is the issue, does anyone know how to use that in game?  Mechanically I mean.  Can a Pn2 enter a MF hex, without being attacked?  Can it remain in the hex without being attacked?  Can it leave the hex without being attacked?  How do I move a Pn2 (with fXr) in a situation with MFs is basically what I can't figure out.

Well, minefields only attack "large spacecraft" (see 04.18.02.2 - R3rd ed page 35) - which does not include gunboats or pinnaces (see 01.05.02).

So, I would say that the pn2(fXr) can move freely, without being attacked. Note: As they are not attacked, the MF is not used up (i.e. swept).

Quote
This apparently doesn't count with GBs which also have fXr.  But it also means that GBs would not be able to mine sweep or be considered minesweepers and so as I was pointing out to Starslayer the chance of the GBs Dx or Dxz intercepting a mine is -2 from the base chance and a single roll is made.  Targeting is not effective against mines, nor are datalinked point defence.  Targeting is multiple shots against the same inbound just incase that isn't clear.  Neither are small craft point defence...not to put to fine a point on it.  The game doesn't do this but the mine rules would say that gunboats should die in job lots to mine fields.  From a balance point of view that sucks so the rules were "adjusted" it seems.

I assume for the sake of argument that fighters and ast with fXr can count mines at range 0.  I'm utterly uncertain if they would otherwise detect them, I have always assumed not.

The PGBs in our game are causing fairly sever holy havok but they are also taking ever increasing losses.  The Shanirians are still 2 TL from them so have to see how that goes.

I would say that the gunboat equipped with fXr are considered the same as the pinnace - i.e. it can avoid the attack, and so can move freely through the MF. However, those without fXr would be attacked, and as they can't use their point defence against the mines (as gunboats are a type of small craft, and as per 27.08.05.5, they are automatically killed by a pair of mines), they would die in droves....

Later,
Matt
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Mines and fXr equipped Pn/APn/GB
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2014, 02:07:00 AM »
Oh wow...thanks Matt.  That means fXr equipped APn can move through mines with impunity.   That may have dire consiquences.  Admittedly though they have to give up half their weapon load and the fXr is not cheap, so this may balance out.

Gunboats are detected as large units and there is seperate rules for how they are treated by mines.  It also means that they are targets for IDEW/DSB-L.  Under those seperate rules the mines treat the gunboat squadron as a ship, fire 10 mines at it, and then a whole bunch of nonsense comes into play as you then roll a d10 for each GB in the squadron and on basically a 0 (most of the time), 1 (rarely) or 3 (very rarely) you kill a gunboat.  The base number is 1, if the gunboat has any level of EM it is -1 and on the turn of tranist it is +2 (or +1).

As I said to starslayer, they basically tossed out every rule that existed for minefields, ignored how the tech systems work (as datalinked point defence is useless against mine attacks), and played fast and loose all over the place with gunboats.  Under the mine rules gunboats should die hard to a mine field as any failure to intercept the mine is destruction...pretty much exactly like what would happen to EX class ship trying to force a minefield.  But on the other hand that would make gunboats hard to employ in WP assaults as they are described in the books.  Though admittely it is rarely true the gunboats are thrown at intact minefields in the books if my memory is correct.  Even at Alpha C I thought the light cruisers forced the mines then the gunboats charged through the gaps...will go re-read.
 

Offline MWadwell

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Re: Mines and fXr equipped Pn/APn/GB
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2014, 03:41:20 AM »
Oh wow...thanks Matt.  That means fXr equipped APn can move through mines with impunity.   That may have dire consiquences.  Admittedly though they have to give up half their weapon load and the fXr is not cheap, so this may balance out.

True - the cost in weapons loadout and cost dramatically reduces the effectiveness of the gunboats and Apn.

Quote
Gunboats are detected as large units and there is seperate rules for how they are treated by mines.  It also means that they are targets for IDEW/DSB-L.  Under those seperate rules the mines treat the gunboat squadron as a ship, fire 10 mines at it, and then a whole bunch of nonsense comes into play as you then roll a d10 for each GB in the squadron and on basically a 0 (most of the time), 1 (rarely) or 3 (very rarely) you kill a gunboat.  The base number is 1, if the gunboat has any level of EM it is -1 and on the turn of tranist it is +2 (or +1).

What rule is this from, as 27.08.05.8 states "Fighters and small craft are unable to engage mines, because if they were to get close enough to do so, a pair of mines would attack it and automatically kill it (small craft D-equivalent is not effective against MF)." As gunboats are treated as small craft, I would have thought that this rule describes how mines attack gunboats.

Also, 04.18.02.1 (Target Selection - IDEW) states that IDEW will only attack large spacecraft, not small craft (like gunboats).

So where did your description come from?

Quote
As I said to starslayer, they basically tossed out every rule that existed for minefields, ignored how the tech systems work (as datalinked point defence is useless against mine attacks), and played fast and loose all over the place with gunboats.  Under the mine rules gunboats should die hard to a mine field as any failure to intercept the mine is destruction...pretty much exactly like what would happen to EX class ship trying to force a minefield.  But on the other hand that would make gunboats hard to employ in WP assaults as they are described in the books.  Though admittely it is rarely true the gunboats are thrown at intact minefields in the books if my memory is correct.  Even at Alpha C I thought the light cruisers forced the mines then the gunboats charged through the gaps...will go re-read.

Yeah, in Alpha C, the gunboats came in after the CL's had reduced the MF....
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 03:45:18 AM by MWadwell »
Later,
Matt
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Mines and fXr equipped Pn/APn/GB
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2014, 05:52:28 AM »
Gunboats get fXr for free...it is part of the basic cost.  That includes the PGB.  Looking at the story the Gunboats and CLs entered first as a simultaneous transit...and the gunboats were largely ignored by the mines, though they say something about half having AFMHAWK on their racks which would have been worthless in a furball...but ok maybe for shooting at incoming fighters or something.  The 2000 GBs lost 700 or so in the intial few rounds, relatively few to the mines.  In the book anyway the GBs are hard to engage by mines, as they charge the forts once they start firing pods equiped with CAM2-b.  Nothing is said about the mine field at that point, and the mines on the warp point were gone by then but not the belts around it.  Or the belts infront of the fortresses to stop rammers.

The rules for GBs are in 27.14.x, but the relevant ones are:

27.14.06.5 There are certain offsetting disadvantages to the GB.  First, because it is so large (for a small craft) and has such a powerful emissions signature, it is detected as if it were a starship and
may be targeted by anti-starship weapons at -3 to the hit number (Table 28.01) or engaged on the Fighter Kill Table by any type of unit at a +1 bonus to the hit number (this +1 includes AFM-type
missiles). A single point of damage destroys any GB and GB do not benefit from "f?". GB spend 2 MP per -1 for EM, with a limit of -2 on the fighter table (28.03) and -3 against starship weapons
(28.01). Avian races (or any other races that receive a bonus for operating fighters) do not receive any racial benefits for operating GB and the superior dogfighting ability of the strikefighter means
that any fighter has an additional +1 to kill a GB on the Fighter Kill Table (for a total of +2, which means that an "fG" at range 1 would have a to-hit of 5 and an "fL" at range 3 would have a 3 to hit).

27.14.06.6 Unlike fighters and other small craft, GB are subject to minefield attacks. GB drive fields are far stronger than any pn drive but somewhat weaker than that of a very small starship. As
mines are very dumb and nearsighted, not all of them attack the GB; but the patterns that do attack view each squadron as one "starship" and therefore spread the attacks over the entire squadron--
and often guess wrong about where the GB actually are. This makes the mines easy to intercept for the GBs' Dxz but for a GB even one mistake is lethal. Each GB squadron which enters,
leaves or spends an MP in place in a minefield is attacked by one pattern which fires a 10-mine salvo. (Each pattern can only fire at one GB squadron, so if there are more squadrons than patterns
some squadrons will avoid attack altogether.) Rather than rolling lots of dice for point defence, each salvo rolls 4 dice (even if the squadron has less than 4 GB). The basic to-hit number is 1, modified
by:
• +1 if the GB squadron made transit on this turn (even if it was´carried on "XOg")
• +1 if the mines are AMMF
• -1 if the squadron uses any level of Engine Modulation (see UTM6)
• (remember the non-auto hit/miss rule!)

Each hit kills one GB, up to the number of GB in the squadron.

27.14.06.6.1 If a GB makes transit directly into a minefield placed in the same hex as a closed WP, each squadron is still engaged by´a single pattern (up to the number of patterns in the hex). However,
the initial mine attacks are confused due to the short engagement times and many mines miss. On the impulse in which the´GBs made transit, only a single roll is made (as described above)
against each attacked squadron rather than four separate rolls. Each attacking pattern still expends 10 mines.

But so far as I can see the GB violates essentially every rule in the minefield section.  They also soak up IDEW and DSB fire...though in Centauri I assume they had 2nd gen control systems and could target the IDEW specifical by class.  The basic kill number is equal to the chance of a non-minesweeping mode point defence in general and is -2 from the basic...and there is no targeting bonus (extra shots) allowed on mines, so they should die in job lots.

In the books they don't, and in the game they are relatively immune to mines, unless you try charging a AAMF on the turn of transit then you face a kill number of 3... Most of the time the kill number is 0, so the losses are 5%.
 

Offline MWadwell

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Re: Mines and fXr equipped Pn/APn/GB
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2014, 03:58:08 PM »
Gunboats get fXr for free...it is part of the basic cost.  That includes the PGB.  Looking at the story the Gunboats and CLs entered first as a simultaneous transit...and the gunboats were largely ignored by the mines, though they say something about half having AFMHAWK on their racks which would have been worthless in a furball...but ok maybe for shooting at incoming fighters or something.  The 2000 GBs lost 700 or so in the intial few rounds, relatively few to the mines.  In the book anyway the GBs are hard to engage by mines, as they charge the forts once they start firing pods equiped with CAM2-b.  Nothing is said about the mine field at that point, and the mines on the warp point were gone by then but not the belts around it.  Or the belts infront of the fortresses to stop rammers.

The rules for GBs are in 27.14.x, but the relevant ones are:

(SNIP)

Quote
But so far as I can see the GB violates essentially every rule in the minefield section.  They also soak up IDEW and DSB fire...though in Centauri I assume they had 2nd gen control systems and could target the IDEW specifical by class.  The basic kill number is equal to the chance of a non-minesweeping mode point defence in general and is -2 from the basic...and there is no targeting bonus (extra shots) allowed on mines, so they should die in job lots.

In the books they don't, and in the game they are relatively immune to mines, unless you try charging a AAMF on the turn of transit then you face a kill number of 3... Most of the time the kill number is 0, so the losses are 5%.

Crap! I looked at the rules for AW (04.18) and mines (27.08.05), but not gunboats. And the rules for gunboats contradicts the rules for AW/MF!

I suppose that there are two options:
1) Follow the rules in the AW/MF sections - but remove the in-built fXr capability on the gunboats. This will result in non-fXr equipped GB's suffering 100% losses from mines, and fXr equipped gunboats being immune to mines. Obviously this is a classic case of going from one extreme to another.
2) Follow the rules in the gunboat rules sections (27.12.16, 27.14.06, 27.16.09, etc.), resulting in an average of 0.2 gunboats lost per GB squadron when the enter and exit the MF (assuming EM is used - otherwise it is 0.4 gunboats lost per GB squadron). So this is a 10% loss for moving completely through a MF (if EM is used - rising to 20% losses if no EM is used). If a AMMF is used, the loss rate doubles.


Thinking about it, part of the problem in this game is the tech imbalance. If both sides were TL 10 (when PGB appear), then the presence of AMMF doubles the PGB losses to 20% (if EM is used) - which feels about right.

What do you think - if both sides were TL 10 (with both AMMF and PGB), would the system be balanced then?
Later,
Matt
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Mines and fXr equipped Pn/APn/GB
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2014, 03:19:23 AM »
(SNIP)

Crap! I looked at the rules for AW (04.18) and mines (27.08.05), but not gunboats. And the rules for gunboats contradicts the rules for AW/MF!

I suppose that there are two options:
1) Follow the rules in the AW/MF sections - but remove the in-built fXr capability on the gunboats. This will result in non-fXr equipped GB's suffering 100% losses from mines, and fXr equipped gunboats being immune to mines. Obviously this is a classic case of going from one extreme to another.
2) Follow the rules in the gunboat rules sections (27.12.16, 27.14.06, 27.16.09, etc.), resulting in an average of 0.2 gunboats lost per GB squadron when the enter and exit the MF (assuming EM is used - otherwise it is 0.4 gunboats lost per GB squadron). So this is a 10% loss for moving completely through a MF (if EM is used - rising to 20% losses if no EM is used). If a AMMF is used, the loss rate doubles.


Thinking about it, part of the problem in this game is the tech imbalance. If both sides were TL 10 (when PGB appear), then the presence of AMMF doubles the PGB losses to 20% (if EM is used) - which feels about right.

What do you think - if both sides were TL 10 (with both AMMF and PGB), would the system be balanced then?


The best person to comment is Starslayer as he is actually seeing them in action, and from both sides.  As far as contridicting the rules, yeah I noticed that too.  Gunboats are someones special snowflake because they basically violate every rule in the book in one way or another.  At the moment we have only the lesser evil (the prototype gunboat) and it has been very ugly but as you point out they are TL10 small craft engaging what is essentially a TL7 opponent.

The UTM nerfed, unintentionally so far as I can see, small craft bad with the introduction of Dz, Zi, S0, and Ai...then gave something back by not making Di datalinked (which seriously it should be).

The RM who have just hit TL10...would be much tougher customers against the Red Fleet.  At the moment they are fully involved in refitting to TL10...a costly but necessary proposition.   Balancing it all in our game is our low income levels, this makes replacing the lost gunboats hard and makes throwing them away senselessly (the ISW4 bugs do this all the time) something I doubt we will see happen.  The PGBs for example are being transited in via starship not thrown in with STs.  Also it is clear that the TL7-9 in our game is hard on the races...your ships cost skyrockets and your income doesn't keep up.  I am seeing that with the SCN and saw that with the RM.
 

Offline Starslayer_D

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Re: Mines and fXr equipped Pn/APn/GB
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2014, 04:15:43 AM »
Layered belts of mines do work. The undines main problem so far was not the gunboats, but simply the starships. AM + Mix + capital beams + Ac + S1 + Dx

The pgb mostly served to mop up already damaged units in the last few battles, and sending them in unsupported like the arachnids of isw4 did just serves to loose them in huge numbers.
The undines will now be in a belter situation tech wise, alas strategically they are in for a world of hurt yet, with now 4 points of contact existing. They just don't have the resources to defend everywhere.
 

 

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