Author Topic: Are Carriers Better?  (Read 2309 times)

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Offline Tor Cha

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2017, 02:50:57 PM »
It takes truely enormous amounts of handwavium to make anything but missiles the primary weapon in a quasi-realistic space setting.  (Or missile-like attacks, like kinetic strikes against immobile targets.)

The most amusing settings are those where missiles are ineffective but kamikaze fighters are the scariest things ever.
Agreed Kamikaze Fighters are very Bad,
1 there Controlled By Some one that is Willing to Die to get the Job done.
2 there Agile as they are a Fighter.
3 there Impact against a Ship will Kill the Fighter But Do Medium to Large Damage to the Ship it Hits.
4 Unless You have fighter of your own (as a Fighter is the Best way to take a Fighter out) small, Fast & Agile missiles are about the only way to stop them , unless you have a very good Close in defense System.
 
 

Offline Andy8583

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2018, 05:04:03 PM »
I think the reliance on missiles as a primary weapon comes from the influence of the Honor Harrington books, if what I've read is correct, and in those books missiles are basically the big killer, though the ships also operate a lot more like ships of the line, bashing at each other and using various tricks to try and get past PD and keep their own PD up, until either one side is eliminated by overwhelming missiles or enough time passes to enter energy range, at which point the battle ends very quickly as both sides maul at each other.

Honestly, having read a fair bit of sci-fi its nice to see some of these concepts put into a game.
 

Offline Viridia

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2018, 05:25:33 PM »
I think the reliance on missiles as a primary weapon comes from the influence of the Honor Harrington books, if what I've read is correct, and in those books missiles are basically the big killer, though the ships also operate a lot more like ships of the line, bashing at each other and using various tricks to try and get past PD and keep their own PD up, until either one side is eliminated by overwhelming missiles or enough time passes to enter energy range, at which point the battle ends very quickly as both sides maul at each other.

This is deriving from the fact that Steve's been influenced by, among other things, Starfire, an old tabletop game. One of Starfire's fiction writers (and the writer of one edition, IIRC) was David Weber, who then went on to write the HH novels. All recommended reads, both the Honor Harrington stuff and the Starfire novels.
 

Offline Tor Cha

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2018, 02:40:58 PM »

Posted by: Viridia
« on: April 07, 2018, 05:25:33 PM »

    Insert Quote


Quote from: Andy8583 on April 05, 2018, 05:04:03 PM

    I think the reliance on missiles as a primary weapon comes from the influence of the Honor Harrington books, if what I've read is correct, and in those books missiles are basically the big killer, though the ships also operate a lot more like ships of the line, bashing at each other and using various tricks to try and get past PD and keep their own PD up, until either one side is eliminated by overwhelming missiles or enough time passes to enter energy range, at which point the battle ends very quickly as both sides maul at each other.


This is deriving from the fact that Steve's been influenced by, among other things, Starfire, an old tabletop game. One of Starfire's fiction writers (and the writer of one edition, IIRC) was David Weber, who then went on to write the HH novels. All recommended reads, both the Honor Harrington stuff and the Starfire novels.

Agreed I have heard that Webber is to make More Of the HH universe, with More of HH and other shorts from other writers. ( Hint)
that being said some of the Ideas in HH cannot work here. Some Ideas here cannot work in HH universe.  tho I Think that the Shrike type fighter are more of a Gunboat than a true Fighter, it has way too much stuff to be a Fighter, But has a very good Load out for a gunboat. 
A good to great Fighter Missile has to have a good+ Dmg, Very good+ speed, and Very good+ Accuracy yet be small enough to  Have 5-10 of them.  the fighter Must be able to get to the target then back to the CV 60+% of the time. work on those Problems and You have a great Carrier group.
 

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2018, 12:26:07 PM »
Aurora is an evolution and upgrade of the old Starfire Assistant which was a computer program Steve made to help with running the tabletop game Starfire. To promote the game, multiple Starfire books have been published that portray various campaigns and battles in the setting, many of which were written by David Weber. The Starfire books are actually free to read, legally available on the Internet nowadays.

As you said Tor Cha, Starfire has some stuff that isn't possible in Aurora, and vice versa. I don't miss jump-capable missiles, for example. But fighters and gunboats(FAC/LAC) do exist in Starfire.
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2018, 10:59:50 AM »
To promote the game, multiple Starfire books have been published that portray various campaigns and battles in the setting, many of which were written by David Weber.

I think the motivation of the Starfire books was to promote the writing careers of David Weber and Steve White (the authors) :) My understanding is that the first (in real world time) book Insurrection was Weber's (and White's) first novel to be published.  It's publication date, however, was 1990; two years after Task Force Games was sold (according to Wikipedia).  In Death Ground (3rd book in real world time) and later were after Weber was a well-established author and Starfire had been sold to a private individual; it is almost certainly not the case that they were written to promote the game.

Quote
The Starfire books are actually free to read, legally available on the Internet nowadays.

Could you give a reference for this please?  I just checked the Baen Free Library and don't see any of them there.  You'd think at least Crusade (the first in the Starfire Universe's chronology) or Insurrection would be up, but I didn't see them.

And while we're on this (missile-dominance in combat) topic, there's a point of history that the OP might not be aware of.  Aurora originally had MUCH shorter missile ranges (albeit still longer compared to energy range than in Starfire IIRC).  The transition to long ranges was due to Steve's drive for internally consistent mechanics in the game.  IIRC (and my recollection is a little cloudy here) the introduction of gunboats got him thinking about engine power, and he came up with the idea of types of engine power with differing power/size, with higher levels costing more fuel/power.  This allowed him to make military and gunboat engines fit into the same theoretical framework, and he extended the idea to include commercial, fighter and missile engines (again, I'm a little fuzzy on the detailed order of events).  When he ran the numbers for missiles (which IIRC were two steps up from fighters), he got HUGE ranges compared to what he'd been using (motivated by Starfire).  [EDIT] Rereading this jogged my memory:  I think what happened was that missile engines had to be two steps up from gunboats in order to get the needed power levels.  This "hole" in the physics offended his sense of consistency :) so he introduced fighters (actually fighter engines) to occupy that slot in the power spectrum.[/EDIT]  At that point people started analyzing the tactics/IRW analogues and discovered that Starfire had morphed from "Wooden Ships & Iron Men (or maybe Jutland) in Space" to "Harpoon in Space", i.e. from relatively short-range combat to the equivalent of over-the-horizon missile strikes.  It was actually REALLY cool (and I believe unexpected by all) - that setting up a set of rules for Steve's game universe resulted in a tactical situation analogous to Modern Naval Warfare.

About fighters and gunboats:  Yes they exist in Starfire, but a similar (and related) story holds for them.  My recollection is that many people had been clamoring for fighters for a long time (because hey, space fighters are cool, right?) but that Steve was resisting putting them in because they would be inconsistently over-powered (in terms of mounting small weapons with a big punch - why not put those weapons on regular ships as well?)  The way I remember it is that I made a suggestion to cut the size of weapons systems by having support personnel and maintenance be house (and left on) a mother ship - that would give a tradeoff of more powerful systems but lack of independent deployment ability.  This suggestion didn't fly, but it got Steve thinking and he came up with the idea for "gunboat engines" mentioned above, which led to power levels and the natural creation of a "fighter engine" [EDIT] (which I now remember was due to the unoccupied "hole" in the power levels")[/EDIT] as well.  My recollection is that my initial suggestion was a response to the "how do we get a small craft combatant" problem; if I was thinking about replicating anything specific it was the gunboats from Starfire.

So I would say that in both cases the analogies with the Honorverse are more a case of convergent evolution in game mechanics than direct motivation.  Both Weber and Steve strive extremely hard for internally consistent "physics" in their fictional universe, which led to similar solutions to similar problems.  Both had "excitement" pressure to introduce something like a fighter; both ended up with something analogous to a FAC (although both were probable also drawing from Starfire).  It's pretty obvious from the first Honorverse books that Weber is consciously drawing parallels with Napoleonic naval warfare; it's only in the later books as technology advances that missiles become the big killers.  I just realized that there's also convergent evolution at the meta-level here too; Aurora started out with short-range missiles; as "technology" (meaning Steve's understanding of what works for consistent game mechanics) improved the system evolved to long range (modern) missile combat.

[EDIT2]Whaddaya know - I thought it was lost in a board crash, but I just went to the oldest posts in Suggestions found this thread: http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=795.0 that was launched by my original gunboat post.  From the comments, it's pretty obvious that the game mechanic came first and the analogies came later.  I'm not sure what I meant by "fighters are already taken" with respect to naming; I don't think fighters were in Aurora at the time, so it's probably just a language thing.  It's also surprising just how early in Aurora development this was - it was only about a year after Erik moved the board to pentarch, so maybe two years into Aurora.  Haven't read it far enough to see if the missile changes are in the same thread or not - if I find that thread I'll further edit this post[/EDIT2]

[EDIT3]
Ok, just spent some fun and nostalgic time reading through old posts and found the rest of the history:

1)  I was misremembering about fighters.  Apparently, they were in the game from the start, but (it sounds like) with squadrons as the unit (like in Starfire); individual fighters were abstracted away as a count attribute of the squadron.  Funny thing is I have essentially NO recollection of this.  The change-over happened soon after the introduction of gunboats: http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=998.0

2)  I was wrong about the extra slot in the power levels.  The multipliers were 1x for ships, 2x for FAC/gunboat, 3x for fighters and 5x for missiles.  I think Steve filled the 4x slot later with "drones", which were low-powered, long range missiles.

3)  This thread is the big one: http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=1012.msg8328#msg8328  Brian launched Steve with a suggestion about magazine sizes, which got Steve thinking about an inconsistency in missile and magazine sizes.  Somewhere in there the 5x power level missile stuff entered, and the end result was the current huge ranges.  This shows up in the 11th post on the 1st page "The can of worms just got a LOT bigger..."  Note that here Steve says "what if I changed Aurora to that type of model.  It is now Harpoon instead of Honor Harrington".  I don't think the context here is HH as a motivation for Aurora, however, I think it's an observation of analogy.  In particular, he says that the original missile ranges were what they were because that's how Starfire worked.

Another interesting post in the thread is the 2nd post on the 2nd page.  Steve's replying to Shinanygnz and says "The funny thing is that the more internally consistent and 'realistic' I try to make the game, the more it resembles modern naval warfare."  This is what I was basing my original comment on - the current mechanics are much more driven by playability and consistency considerations rather than being based off some other game.
[/'EDIT3]

John
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 02:20:29 PM by sloanjh »
 
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Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2018, 04:22:05 AM »
I just reread the thread you referenced. Fascinating trip down memory lane.
 
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Offline sloanjh

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2018, 07:30:00 AM »
I just reread the thread you referenced. Fascinating trip down memory lane.

Yeah - reading those old threads was a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon....

John
 

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2018, 08:25:50 PM »
Hmm, seems that Baen has taken down the online CD-ROM's that used to be available freely. Good thing I saved them. Even Wikipedia doesn't have the links anymore, though they used to have them. I remember being surprised that so many books by Weber, Ringo and others were available for free.

Anyway, thanks for the history lesson, it's quite interesting. I didn't know the books came so late vis-a-vis the game.
 

Offline conquer4

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2018, 01:33:30 AM »
Most of the CDs are hosted at the Fifth Imperium.   hxxp: baencd. thefifthimperium. com/
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2018, 07:29:30 AM »
Hmm, seems that Baen has taken down the online CD-ROM's that used to be available freely. Good thing I saved them. Even Wikipedia doesn't have the links anymore, though they used to have them. I remember being surprised that so many books by Weber, Ringo and others were available for free.

Anyway, thanks for the history lesson, it's quite interesting. I didn't know the books came so late vis-a-vis the game.

Ah - ok; the CD's were the other place they might have been and yes, I see Stars At War I & II on one of the Weber CDs.  That being said, I just looked at 5th Imperium site and when I clicked through to one of the CDs there's a note from Joe saying that he'd taken links to individual books down and one should go to Baen.com to download the ISOs.  So I suspect (but do not know) that their (Baen's) intent is/was not to fully release the content of the CDs into the wild (for free download across the internet).  I don't remember the licensing terms on the CDs themselves.

BTW, as part of the nostalgia tour I hit the SDS site to see what they're selling.  Marvin's bio says he bought the rights to Starfire in 1997, so there's still significant overlap with the first two books.

John
 

Offline conquer4

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2018, 04:40:15 PM »
I think you are pretty correct there.  The CDs were orgionaly released for free distribution however, but the rise of the internet and easy search probably prompted them to bring it back some.  The ISOs of the CDs are still there and downloadable  :)

Now that I've thought about it, none of the recent books I've gotten have CDs in them anymore.
 

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2018, 06:49:44 PM »
I believe most of the CD content was migrated to the free library at Baen.com.
 

Offline Tor Cha

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Re: Are Carriers Better?
« Reply #28 on: May 04, 2018, 06:03:03 PM »
I think we have went a Bit astray from the Carrier Topic.
Are they Better? Yes & No! if going after a Non-carrier Empire Maybe, if going after a Empire with Carriers then Yes if Your Ships,Fighters,Missiles are Even or Better. If Not then You Better Hope the Empire does not bring it's CV's in to the fight.
Now i am going to Use StarFire for Examples. TFN was/is as the US Navy Ships & Carriers+ good+ Missiles. Kon was/is a Mostly Carrier or fighter Carrying Ships and Support to the Fighter.
the Rigillan Empire was a Mostly Carrier Force, they wanted the Most Bang for there Buck, and did not want anyone else to be around to Complain.

If you should Have any of the Old or New star fire stuff it Might be a Good Idea to bring it out and study the way the Empires Did there Ships. It Might Help you to get a Feel for the Style of Ships and Combat for that Style. If you do not Read the HH Universe as it should help you get a Feel for the Game. However the HH Universe is Not perfect for Aurora.

Also i think ( not sure(Help from GM's)) that if you use Fighter & GB against a Empire that does not have them even if they do not get any Salvage of Fighter/ Gunboats/ Carriers/ Escorts they can Research them because they Now Know such a thing is Possible!
 

 

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