Author Topic: Re: Siliconate War  (Read 8669 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MWadwell

  • Commander
  • *********
  • Posts: 328
  • Thanked: 1 times
(No subject)
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2007, 12:39:38 AM »
Quote from: "crucis"
Quote from: "MWadwell"
[quote="
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by MWadwell »
Later,
Matt
 

Offline Shinanygnz

  • Lieutenant
  • *******
  • S
  • Posts: 175
  • Thanked: 1 times
(No subject)
« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2007, 12:10:30 PM »
Quote from: "MWadwell"
[<snip>
Well, to be honest I've come to dislike the "mainstream" HH novels as well.

I loved the series up to "War of Honor" - but I really disliked how HH was becoming a "uber" character (and this is what turned me off the series).


I really liked them up to Ashes of Victory, but have gone off them more and more.  Very, very stupid "bad guy" politicians and bigger & bigger fleets and missile salvoes don't make for a good story.  A massive fleet battle just doesn't carry the excitement for me.  ISW4 and the matching books suffer from this problem too, IMO of course.  It's a problem I've noted in many book series where the author seems to feel that every battle has to be bigger than the last.  I much prefer the smaller scale squadron battles where the characters can have more impact and the action can be described better.
I'm very fond of the Worlds of Honor series.  Stories are short, focused on a particular event that can be described more fully and don't suffer from the 200 SDs per side syndrome the main books now do.  Hoping the Shadow of Saganami series is back to similar roots; got to pick that up soon.

Stephen
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Shinanygnz »
 

Offline Kurt

  • Global Moderator
  • Vice Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Thanked: 351 times
(No subject)
« Reply #47 on: September 12, 2007, 03:36:23 PM »
[quote="
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Kurt »
 

Offline Kurt

  • Global Moderator
  • Vice Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Thanked: 351 times
(No subject)
« Reply #48 on: September 12, 2007, 03:43:54 PM »
Quote from: "crucis"
I'm with you,
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Kurt »
 

Offline crucis

  • Lt. Commander
  • ********
  • Posts: 247
(No subject)
« Reply #49 on: September 12, 2007, 04:31:28 PM »
Quote from: "Kurt"
[quote="
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by crucis »
 

Offline Þórgrímr

  • BTS! Playtesters
  • Rear Admiral
  • **
  • Posts: 863
    • The World of the Gunny
(No subject)
« Reply #50 on: September 12, 2007, 04:55:38 PM »
For myself personally, I bought everything I could for 3R for the background 'fluff'. I don't think I have ever played a scenario out of the modules once ISF came out. I just loved the background and fought the ISF generated battles.

@Crucis, if you ever wish to run a E-Mail SF campaign, I am all for it. I would like to get into one and use my Romans again. Talking about Starfire has awoken a desire to give SA a run again.  :D




Cheers,
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Þórgrímr »
Sic vis pacem, para bellum
If you want peace, prepare for war
 

Offline Kurt

  • Global Moderator
  • Vice Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Thanked: 351 times
(No subject)
« Reply #51 on: September 12, 2007, 07:35:12 PM »
Quote from: "crucis"
Quote from: "Kurt"
[quote="
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Kurt »
 

Offline crucis

  • Lt. Commander
  • ********
  • Posts: 247
(No subject)
« Reply #52 on: September 12, 2007, 09:26:59 PM »
This is getting to be quite the quote tree.  I'll see what I can do to trim it....

Quote from: "Kurt"
I was involved in the list for quite a while, although not as long as some others, and I was in the middle of a lot of the mess that led to the demise of the 3rd Ed. and the schism between 3rd Ed players and 4th Ed players.  Over all of that time I came to the conclusion that there were two main types of strategic starfire players, those who essentially role-played their empires, and the competitive players out to beat their opponents in multiple player games.  Steve, myself, and I suspect you are all role-players, who like to build empires with interesting back-stories and personality.  Marvin, and many others who support 4th, are what I call power-gamers, who prefer competitive gaming and don't care as much or at all about back-story or personality.  

Yes, I'd call myself more of a roleplayer.  


Quote
This difference ultimately led to the schism, because neither side could really understand or appreciate the other's goals.  Marvin doesn't really care about the fiction, back-story, or personality, he wants a balanced game where the rules preclude any loop-holes that allow a player to win by "Gaming the system".  He, and his supporters, don't care if the result is flavorless because the competition is what they are after.  The 3rd Ed role-players don't care about loop-holes for the most part because they won't use them unless it fits the personality of their race, and then its all good.  For the role-players the flavorless, bland system of 4th was repellent.  

I guess what gets me is that a business owner/game producer should be smart enough to understand these divisions and be trying to find the best way to fill the gap between the two groups of players.  After all, if he's in it to make money, he should be wanting to have the largest number of customers possible, not simply creating the his personal House rules and slapping the Starfire label on it.






Quote
Quote from: "crucis"
I'm probably a hard core 3rd ed player.  I never bought Galactic SF, but of course, I was also on a Starfire hiatus up until recently.  But I have purchased Ultra.  And I'm of much the same opinion as you.

There are some interesting things in it. The uncertainty thing is  interesting, even if I find the R&D rules rather baffling.  

I challenge anyone to pick up a rule book for 4th ed, ultra or whatever, read it and be able to play a game without asking the starfire list a million questions.  The tech research system is very difficult to figure out, and I speak as a man who has played board games for over twenty-five years.

I haven't really tried to fathom the R&D rules yet, but there are other rules sections that I've found to be overly complex.

And to be honest, this pisses me off.

I don't mean to rag on ML, but I can't help myself.  Here he goes, competely gutting some of the best parts of the tactical system, wiping out missiles, etc. all in the name of simplicity, etc. and yet then at the same time, he produces some ridiculously complex rules abortions that would only be "simple" for a computer.  ARGH!!!

I'll admit that I like the concept behind the tech trees and trying to create a situation where have NPRs having different weapons and system mixes.  That's a great concept.  However, the follow thru on that concept shouldn't be so complex that it turns off the players.

To be honest, I think that I could come up with a far simpler version of tech trees that would accomplish the same general goal without all of the pain and complexity.  I could probably think of one as I'm typing right now, although it would probably be as full of holes as swiss cheese.  

Try this...

Put all of the basic weapons into different trees or silos.  Like in Ultra, take a SRW and a LRW.  Then say that you can only develop new weapons within those trees until you either see a weapon from another tree in use against you in combat (possibly requiring scanner readings or not), or perhaps you encounter an NPR who uses weapons from another tree and is willing to share information.  And there might be a provision for a breakthru or a technological epiphany that lets you open a new tree.  But it just doesn't need to be so horrifyingly complex.

And most of the same things could hold true for non-weapons trees, BTW.  Engine trees would be pretty important in this regard.

I'm actually trying to work on something along these lines for my upcoming solo campaign, just to create some racial differentiation, which is a worthy goal, even for "role-players".


Another thing that I despise about Ultra is the horrifically high number of generations of the same weapons.  Now, I'll give ML a little pass since his tech trees go all the way up to SL50.  But what the hell does he need to bother with going up in TL's that high for?  Has anyone ever heard of a campaign that went much past TL20 or so?

I also hate how he has all these generations of the SAME weapons.  Did I say that already?  Yes, but a dozen or so generations of the SAME weapon... without any exposition, without any difference worth noting?  Are all lasers exactly the same, just little upgrades that aren't worth mentioning?  It's a Mark I laser, a Mark 2 laser, a Mark 9 laser, yada-yada-yada.  Blah, blah, blah.  BORING!!!!!!    I want Lasers, Masers, Grasers, HET Lasers, and so on.  I want to know WHY they're bigger and better.  The damage numbers are useful in battle, but they're just data.  WHY is a TL9 laser better than a TL1 Laser???!!!  

Also, the very idea that nearly all weapons seem to start at TL/SL1 almost without exception and are the same weapons that exist for the entire game,  is a ridiculous concept to me.    

The idea that there are NO revolutionary technological developments is seems historically stupid to me.  Yes, there are evolutionary changes in technology.  They're the developments that occur between the big revolutionary technological leaps.    I've read (probably some 4e devotees) complain about how life sucks in 3e if one side gets Cap Missiles before the other.  Well, tough bleeping-crap!!!  That's the way history is!  When one nation (or whatever) develops some revolutionary new technology, they're SUPPOSED to have a major advantage!!!  Life is supposed to suck for the side that doesn't have some big breakthru.  That's why researchers are always trying to come up with big breakthroughs... so that their side gets a big advantage.  Sorry, I'm ranting.  But this idea of squashing out revolutionary tech developments really pissed me off when I read ML's little disertation on the SDS website, comparing 3e and 4e.





Quote
Quote from: "crucis"
I like the expanded system generation rules and a lot of the galactic oddities.  As I said previously, I'm going to be starting a new solo campaign soon and had written up a new system generator script for my 3e rules, before I got Ultra.  But I was so impressed with most of the sys gen rules in Ultra, that I've been working to Ultra-ize my sys gen script.  (I don't like how he's made WP's more likely to be attracted to starless regions.  The underlying pseudophysics was that WPs are attracted to mass, not a lack of mass.  And the greater the mass, the greater the likelihood of a larger number of WPs.  So, I've used my own version of a WP's for my system generator.)

I like what I've read in the NPR political rules, although I wish that he'd have included racial description generation rules (which I happen to have a couple of versions of, BTW) ...

I like a lot of the galactic oddities, although I find the artifacts too cheesey for my taste.  The Leader's Baton seems like a freakin' +1 D&D magic item to me.  ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by crucis »
 

Offline Kurt

  • Global Moderator
  • Vice Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Thanked: 351 times
(No subject)
« Reply #53 on: September 12, 2007, 11:01:04 PM »
Quote from: "crucis"
Quote
This difference ultimately led to the schism, because neither side could really understand or appreciate the other's goals.  Marvin doesn't really care about the fiction, back-story, or personality, he wants a balanced game where the rules preclude any loop-holes that allow a player to win by "Gaming the system".  He, and his supporters, don't care if the result is flavorless because the competition is what they are after.  The 3rd Ed role-players don't care about loop-holes for the most part because they won't use them unless it fits the personality of their race, and then its all good.  For the role-players the flavorless, bland system of 4th was repellent.  

I guess what gets me is that a business owner/game producer should be smart enough to understand these divisions and be trying to find the best way to fill the gap between the two groups of players.  After all, if he's in it to make money, he should be wanting to have the largest number of customers possible, not simply creating the his personal House rules and slapping the Starfire label on it.

Well, I think that Marvin did not fully appreciate the difference in views until after 4th came out.  Marvin had gotten quite a few complaints from people about strategic starfire concerning "explorer's luck", which usually let a person win almost regardless of how good of a player they were.  Because these complaints fit in with his own view of the game, I believe he came to think that everyone, or most everyone, felt the same.  

Quote from: "crucis"
Quote
I challenge anyone to pick up a rule book for 4th ed, ultra or whatever, read it and be able to play a game without asking the starfire list a million questions.  The tech research system is very difficult to figure out, and I speak as a man who has played board games for over twenty-five years.

I haven't really tried to fathom the R&D rules yet, but there are other rules sections that I've found to be overly complex.

And to be honest, this pisses me off.

I don't mean to rag on ML, but I can't help myself.  Here he goes, competely gutting some of the best parts of the tactical system, wiping out missiles, etc. all in the name of simplicity, etc. and yet then at the same time, he produces some ridiculously complex rules abortions that would only be "simple" for a computer.  ARGH!!!

Marvin and I (and others) had many discussions about missiles.  Marvin felt that the problem with missiles is that in the strategic game they are inherently unbalanced against beams in that they are superior in almost every way.  For instance, a HT 1 missile launcher can launch a standard missile with anti-matter warheads and other nifty add-ons without modification, upgrading, or refit, just as a HT 5 capital missile launcher can fire capital missiles with HT 11 or 12 add-ons without refit.  If a player wants to use a beam-only strategy, though, he is forced to constantly refit his ships to upgrade to the latest beam weaponry.  A HT 1 laser cannot fire a HT 7 HET laser beam.  This puts a beam-only player at a disadvantage from the beginning, and Marvin's goal was to make multiple strategies viable.  

My objection to his solution was that by watering down missiles he made things so that no one cared what weapons system they were using.  If everything is balanced, what is the point?  

Also, and this was the big one for me, how much can you change everything before it isn't Starfire any more?  I felt that he had crossed that line.  Marvin disagreed, and felt that the changes were needed to produce a balanced strategic game that could only be won by skill and experience, rather than by dumb luck.  

Quote from: "crucis"
I'll admit that I like the concept behind the tech trees and trying to create a situation where have NPRs having different weapons and system mixes.  That's a great concept.  However, the follow thru on that concept shouldn't be so complex that it turns off the players.

To be honest, I think that I could come up with a far simpler version of tech trees that would accomplish the same general goal without all of the pain and complexity.  I could probably think of one as I'm typing right now, although it would probably be as full of holes as swiss cheese.  

Try this...

Put all of the basic weapons into different trees or silos.  Like in Ultra, take a SRW and a LRW.  Then say that you can only develop new weapons within those trees until you either see a weapon from another tree in use against you in combat (possibly requiring scanner readings or not), or perhaps you encounter an NPR who uses weapons from another tree and is willing to share information.  And there might be a provision for a breakthru or a technological epiphany that lets you open a new tree.  But it just doesn't need to be so horrifyingly complex.

And most of the same things could hold true for non-weapons trees, BTW.  Engine trees would be pretty important in this regard.

I'm actually trying to work on something along these lines for my upcoming solo campaign, just to create some racial differentiation, which is a worthy goal, even for "role-players".


Another thing that I despise about Ultra is the horrifically high number of generations of the same weapons.  Now, I'll give ML a little pass since his tech trees go all the way up to SL50.  But what the hell does he need to bother with going up in TL's that high for?  Has anyone ever heard of a campaign that went much past TL20 or so?

I also hate how he has all these generations of the SAME weapons.  Did I say that already?  Yes, but a dozen or so generations of the SAME weapon... without any exposition, without any difference worth noting?  Are all lasers exactly the same, just little upgrades that aren't worth mentioning?  It's a Mark I laser, a Mark 2 laser, a Mark 9 laser, yada-yada-yada.  Blah, blah, blah.  BORING!!!!!!    I want Lasers, Masers, Grasers, HET Lasers, and so on.  I want to know WHY they're bigger and better.  The damage numbers are useful in battle, but they're just data.  WHY is a TL9 laser better than a TL1 Laser???!!!  

Also, the very idea that nearly all weapons seem to start at TL/SL1 almost without exception and are the same weapons that exist for the entire game,  is a ridiculous concept to me.    

The idea that there are NO revolutionary technological developments is seems historically stupid to me.  Yes, there are evolutionary changes in technology.  They're the developments that occur between the big revolutionary technological leaps.    I've read (probably some 4e devotees) complain about how life sucks in 3e if one side gets Cap Missiles before the other.  Well, tough bleeping-crap!!!  That's the way history is!  When one nation (or whatever) develops some revolutionary new technology, they're SUPPOSED to have a major advantage!!!  Life is supposed to suck for the side that doesn't have some big breakthru.  That's why researchers are always trying to come up with big breakthroughs... so that their side gets a big advantage.  Sorry, I'm ranting.  But this idea of squashing out revolutionary tech developments really pissed me off when I read ML's little disertation on the SDS website, comparing 3e and 4e.!!!

Again, this goes back to his desire to balance everything.  My argument to him against this was that real life is inherently unbalanced, and by balancing everything he was creating a game environment that was uninteresting and unreal, didn't get very far.  

Of course, Marvin did have a point, Imperial Starfire and 3rd Ed are unbalanced, and to pure gamers that are in the game to fight against other people and defeat them, those imbalances are a significant problem.  SM#2 went a long ways towards eliminating some of the luck factor by making NPRs much more nasty, thus less likely ally themselves with the race that discovers them.  

Quote from: "crucis"
Quote
After many conversations with Marvin I believe that he came to the conclusion that 3rd was fundamentally broken on the strategic level.  He wanted balance, balance, balance, so that one player was not given an unfair advantage because of early exploration luck, or because he met a pliable NPR right off the bat.  For a competative player, that kind of thing is frustrating.  

And that's that sort of thing that shouldn't be that hard to tweak.  Like the idea of every player starting with the same basic star system, 3 WPs in their home system, and knowledge of the 3 adjoining systems.  Not a big deal, and hardly something that couldn't have been added to 3e.  

I should also say that I think that it should have been pretty possible to gut the 3e strategic rules without gutting the tactical rules in the process.

Perhaps my biggest single problem with ML and his gang is this worshipping of balance uber alles.  Balance is obviously important, but not at the expense of a lot of other things, like game playability/simplicity, and game flavor and soul, etc.  I think  in a very large way that Ultra is a soulless game.  The heart and soul of 3e was the HISTORY. Raw rules do not engender the enduring love that the hardcore players had for the 3e and earlier versions of Starfire.

As I said above, I agree with your point of view as stated above.  I think we are in complete agreement on this.  

Quote from: "crucis"
Quote
I too liked this concept, and I really liked the ?tough hulls?, where more than one point of damage was required to do damage inside of the shields/armor.  Marvin wanted to get away from the armored-eggshell concept of standard starfire, where even dreadnoughts evaporated quickly once their shields and armor were breached.  

I'm not as fond of tough hulls, but I understand what Marvin's getting at.  I just don't buy that "hulls" give you this toughness.  The point of armor in Starfire is that "armor" represents the toughness of the hull and its ability to take damage.  Having said this, I had a scheme for making armor tougher that I presented on the List prior to it going down about a week into August.

My idea was roughly that armor should take damage differently than it does currently.  Say that you have 10 points of normal armor.  And you take only 9 points of damage.  The armor repels the damage without taking any damage to itself.  If you took exactly 10 dp, you'd mark off 1 A, but the armor penetration would do no further damage.  But, if you took 11+ points of damage, the armor "belt" would lose 1 A and the remainder would penetrate the armor and damage the inside of the ship.  However, you'd still have 9 A remaining, so that the next volley that hit that ship would have to do 9 or more damage to the armor belt to penetrate and possibly do internal damage.  A ships armor belt would be able to withstand a number of penetrations equal to the # of A it started with.

Having proposed this, I don't know how well it would work out or what problems would come from it.  It might be necessary to limit the number of hullspaces of armor to a percentage of the ship's total HS to prevent creating nearly invulnerable ships.  of course, any "invulnerably" armored ship would probably be severely lacking elsewhere.

BTW, I proposed doing much the same thing with shields.  My thought process was to give some serious advantages to larger ships.  Clearly, smaller ships would be limited in the number of S and A that they could mount, but larger ships would become much tougher customers.  

One thing that I *do* know would result from such rules is that they'd severely weaken swarms, since shields and armor that could repel damage that isn't strong enough to penetrate would make plinking attacks by swarms of ships each only doing 1 dp totally useless against much larger ships.  My first wild guess is that you'd probably need to take on a large ship so protected with a similarly large ship, like BB vs BB, so that your ship would be mounting enough weapons to produce enough damage to create shield and armor penetrations.  I also mentioned on the list that this protection scheme wouldn't TOTALLY make swarm ships useless, but what it would do is to force them to mount certain kinds of weapons, such as primary beams or weapons capable of producing heavy damage, although at short ranges, like perhaps force beams, plamsa guns, or plasma torpedoes, etc.  And the result of this is that you'd have your swarms having to act like swarms have always done historically ... i.e. having to charge their larger enemies and make "torpedo runs" or get in really close so that their pop guns might do more than scratch the paint of their enemies.  I actually find this idea to have an interesting historical feel.  


I suppose that if with tough hulls, if you didn't do the full 3 dp to destroy the system, the partial damage was ignored, you'd end up with the same effect as my armor belts.  I guess that I've always felt that ships really are just eggshells.  It's just that the "shells" in Starfire simply are not strong enough in any historical context.  It seems to me that the "shells", i.e. the shields and armor should have the ability to repel damage that cannot penetrate, just as the armor on a WW1/2 battleship could take LOTS of hits, but unless you actually penetrated it, you did no damage, and even if you did penetrate it, that didn't mean that all of the rest of the ship's armor simply vanished.

The thing I didn't like about Starfire was that ships retained 100% of their combat ability right up to the point that their passive defenses were penetrated, and then they evaporated.  Even battleships tended to take some damage, even from shells that didn't penetrate.  They might even be destroyed or knocked out by the first shell to hit them if it penetrates their armor, which can't happen in Starfire.  Of course, real life battleships don't have shields, either.

Quote from: "crucis"
Quote
Interesting stuff.  I always liked the Star Union, and thought it should have gotten more attention.  

Kurt

To be fair, Kurt, it was only in the final Starfire product that Dave Weber produced.

However, had things been different back then, Dave and I had seriously discussed doing a small number of followup modules for the Star Union, based on some ideas of mine ... that I still have on my computer.

Ideas like:

The First Crucian-Arachnid War (100 yrs before ISW4), a bit of a ISW4 prequel.

The Pitariad-Star Union War (immediately after the Terran Civil War)

And the strangest of the bunch..

The Heeaqi War  with a big change from the Nexus article where the Heeaqi were first presented.

In the Nexus article, the Heeaqi fought against the Terrans and Orions.  In the Heeaqi War that Dave and I discussed, the Heeaqi would have ended up fighting the Star Union in the time period about halfway between ISW4 and the Terran Civil War.

I actually plotted out the 1stCAW and have all of the ship designs, althought they'd need some 3rdR updating and tweaking, etc.

And I roughly plotted the Heeaqi War.  Aside from the use of the Star Union, the HW would have been rather different than presented in the small nexus article.  Remember that the Heeaqi homesystem is many months travel thru deep space from the WP where the first battle takes place.  This fact plays a big part in some of the tech involved on the Heeaqi side.  I'm holding back on the details, cuz ya just never know if I might get a chance to do something with it.  

And the Pitariad-Star Union was is by far the least pre-plotted of the three.  I know a few details.  One, it takes place in the immediate aftermath of the Terran Civil War (the Insurrection) for a number of reasons.  a) The Terrans, all of them, will be war weary and in no position to help out the Star Union, b) the Orions are about to join the Pan-Sentient Union and, while they greatly respect the Star Union, they don't want to muck up the amalgamation, c) ditto for the Ophiuchi, and d) the Pitari know much of this, because they have a pretty good idea of what's going on in the rest of the known galaxy (they have their sources ... the Tangri), and timed their attack on the Star Union for a time when they'd be the weakest and their allies would be least willing and able to help them.  And while I don't really know much about the plotting of the battles themselves, I do know that the Pitariad-Star Union War would have been the most carrier/fighter intensive war since ISW3, since both sides would have heavily carrier/fighter focused navies.  ... except that in this war both sides would appreciate the value of balanced fleets, unlike the Rigellians who had a nearly 100% carrier/escort fleet.


I seem to remember that Dave Weber was pretty excited about the these ideas since they were a way to do more more historical modules without mucking around with Terran Federation's history as he envisioned it.  I remember a very long phone conversation with Dave (remember that Email didn't exist at the time) when he helped me flesh out the Pitariad.  And I think that he was really, really warming up to my nasty lizards.  And I thnk that he also like the ideas that I had for the Heeaqi War as well.    I can't say as much about the 1stCAW, since it occurs at lower TL's and isn't quite as exciting from that perspective.  But it was some great historical backstory for the Star Union and Telik, etc.


Once again, I've gone on and on and on...  

My fingers are begging for a rest.  ;)


Like I said, good stuff.  I look forward to any campaign reports you would post.  

Kurt
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Kurt »
 

Offline crucis

  • Lt. Commander
  • ********
  • Posts: 247
(No subject)
« Reply #54 on: September 13, 2007, 12:01:54 AM »
Quote from: "Kurt"
Quote from: "crucis"
Quote
This difference ultimately led to the schism, because neither side could really understand or appreciate the other's goals.  Marvin doesn't really care about the fiction, back-story, or personality, he wants a balanced game where the rules preclude any loop-holes that allow a player to win by "Gaming the system".  He, and his supporters, don't care if the result is flavorless because the competition is what they are after.  The 3rd Ed role-players don't care about loop-holes for the most part because they won't use them unless it fits the personality of their race, and then its all good.  For the role-players the flavorless, bland system of 4th was repellent.  

I guess what gets me is that a business owner/game producer should be smart enough to understand these divisions and be trying to find the best way to fill the gap between the two groups of players.  After all, if he's in it to make money, he should be wanting to have the largest number of customers possible, not simply creating the his personal House rules and slapping the Starfire label on it.

Well, I think that Marvin did not fully appreciate the difference in views until after 4th came out.  Marvin had gotten quite a few complaints from people about strategic starfire concerning "explorer's luck", which usually let a person win almost regardless of how good of a player they were.  Because these complaints fit in with his own view of the game, I believe he came to think that everyone, or most everyone, felt the same.  


There's always going to be some luck.  Crap, just look at some of those artifacts in the Galactic Oddities chart in Ultra!  Talk about adding luck to the game.  

Unless you change Starfire from Warp Points (where you have no clue at all what's on the other side of the WP until you go look) to a hyperspace game (where you'd have a minimal idea what sort of system you might chose to go explore, before you jumped into hyperspace), there will always be a level of luck in system generation.  It's the nature of the beast.

Wanna reduce luck?  Get rid of NPRs.

Wanna reduce luck?  Make all star systems exactly the same.

At some point, you just have to accept that in the Starfire paradigm, luck in exploring is, as they say in golf, the rub of the green.




Quote
Quote from: "crucis"
Quote
I challenge anyone to pick up a rule book for 4th ed, ultra or whatever, read it and be able to play a game without asking the starfire list a million questions.  The tech research system is very difficult to figure out, and I speak as a man who has played board games for over twenty-five years.

I haven't really tried to fathom the R&D rules yet, but there are other rules sections that I've found to be overly complex.

And to be honest, this pisses me off.

I don't mean to rag on ML, but I can't help myself.  Here he goes, competely gutting some of the best parts of the tactical system, wiping out missiles, etc. all in the name of simplicity, etc. and yet then at the same time, he produces some ridiculously complex rules abortions that would only be "simple" for a computer.  ARGH!!!

Marvin and I (and others) had many discussions about missiles.  Marvin felt that the problem with missiles is that in the strategic game they are inherently unbalanced against beams in that they are superior in almost every way.  For instance, a HT 1 missile launcher can launch a standard missile with anti-matter warheads and other nifty add-ons without modification, upgrading, or refit, just as a HT 5 capital missile launcher can fire capital missiles with HT 11 or 12 add-ons without refit.  If a player wants to use a beam-only strategy, though, he is forced to constantly refit his ships to upgrade to the latest beam weaponry.  A HT 1 laser cannot fire a HT 7 HET laser beam.  This puts a beam-only player at a disadvantage from the beginning, and Marvin's goal was to make multiple strategies viable.  

My problem (among many) is that missiles SHOULD be superior to beam weapons.  Throughout the history of weaponry superiority fell to the weapons with the greatest range.  And what has always been one of the most important features of new technological development in weapons?  The seeking to increase range over your enemy's weapons.  Superior Range almost always equals victory.

People whining about how missiles are too superior to missiles sound like battleship admirals complaining about naval aricraft and aircraft carriers, and trying to fudge the wargames to make them look inferior.  (Sort of like as DW presented it a parallel situation in one of his HH books.)

Also, it's exactly proper that older missile launchers should be able to fire newer weapons.  Old guns are perfectly capable of firing newer ammunition, as long as the ammo's fitted to the old gun's calibre.  I'm not a gun person, but there's no reason I know of that you can't take an old 1910-something Colt 45 pistol and put the latest teflon coated bullets in it and use it as it.  This crap about requiring a new missile launcher for every missile upgrade is a bunch of bullpucky.


Quote
My objection to his solution was that by watering down missiles he made things so that no one cared what weapons system they were using.  If everything is balanced, what is the point?  

Exactly.  If every weapon is the same, what *IS* the point?  

Part of the reason that you do tech research is so you can get the bigger, badder, longer ranged gun than your enemy so you can open a big can of whup-ass on his fleet.



Quote
Also, and this was the big one for me, how much can you change everything before it isn't Starfire any more?  I felt that he had crossed that line.  Marvin disagreed, and felt that the changes were needed to produce a balanced strategic game that could only be won by skill and experience, rather than by dumb luck.  

A. "how much can you change everything before it isn't Starfire any more?"  I've had the same thoughts as well.  While 3e is a much larger and involved product than the old 1e baggie game, you can clearly see 3e roots in 1e.  This is not true of 4e.  4e might as well stick a different name on the cover, cuz it's only barely recognizable as Starfire any longer.  


B. If he cares so much about skill, why doesn't he just take die rolls out of the game too?

Frankly, Kurt, the more you describe Marvin to me, the more he sounds like a ... person  at TFG that Dave had to deal with who was , in our opinions at the time, a very clueless person who made life miserable for him for years, before there was some sort of shakeup.

It had gotten so bad, that Dave, Steve, and I actually had produced a complete manuscript for a game to compete against Starfire.  We never got around to trying to submit it to any game company becuase there was a shakeup at TFG that moved the objectionable person out of the way, and allowed Dave to work with more reasonable people and he was able to produce the 3e games and mods with far, far less resistance.




Quote
Quote from: "crucis"
I'll admit that I like the concept behind the tech trees and trying to create a situation where have NPRs having different weapons and system mixes.  That's a great concept.  However, the follow thru on that concept shouldn't be so complex that it turns off the players.

To be honest, I think that I could come up with a far simpler version of tech trees that would accomplish the same general goal without all of the pain and complexity.  I could probably think of one as I'm typing right now, although it would probably be as full of holes as swiss cheese.  

Try this...

Put all of the basic weapons into different trees or silos.  Like in Ultra, take a SRW and a LRW.  Then say that you can only develop new weapons within those trees until you either see a weapon from another tree in use against you in combat (possibly requiring scanner readings or not), or perhaps you encounter an NPR who uses weapons from another tree and is willing to share information.  And there might be a provision for a breakthru or a technological epiphany that lets you open a new tree.  But it just doesn't need to be so horrifyingly complex.

And most of the same things could hold true for non-weapons trees, BTW.  Engine trees would be pretty important in this regard.

I'm actually trying to work on something along these lines for my upcoming solo campaign, just to create some racial differentiation, which is a worthy goal, even for "role-players".


Another thing that I despise about Ultra is the horrifically high number of generations of the same weapons.  Now, I'll give ML a little pass since his tech trees go all the way up to SL50.  But what the hell does he need to bother with going up in TL's that high for?  Has anyone ever heard of a campaign that went much past TL20 or so?

I also hate how he has all these generations of the SAME weapons.  Did I say that already?  Yes, but a dozen or so generations of the SAME weapon... without any exposition, without any difference worth noting?  Are all lasers exactly the same, just little upgrades that aren't worth mentioning?  It's a Mark I laser, a Mark 2 laser, a Mark 9 laser, yada-yada-yada.  Blah, blah, blah.  BORING!!!!!!    I want Lasers, Masers, Grasers, HET Lasers, and so on.  I want to know WHY they're bigger and better.  The damage numbers are useful in battle, but they're just data.  WHY is a TL9 laser better than a TL1 Laser???!!!  

Also, the very idea that nearly all weapons seem to start at TL/SL1 almost without exception and are the same weapons that exist for the entire game,  is a ridiculous concept to me.    

The idea that there are NO revolutionary technological developments is seems historically stupid to me.  Yes, there are evolutionary changes in technology.  They're the developments that occur between the big revolutionary technological leaps.    I've read (probably some 4e devotees) complain about how life sucks in 3e if one side gets Cap Missiles before the other.  Well, tough bleeping-crap!!!  That's the way history is!  When one nation (or whatever) develops some revolutionary new technology, they're SUPPOSED to have a major advantage!!!  Life is supposed to suck for the side that doesn't have some big breakthru.  That's why researchers are always trying to come up with big breakthroughs... so that their side gets a big advantage.  Sorry, I'm ranting.  But this idea of squashing out revolutionary tech developments really pissed me off when I read ML's little disertation on the SDS website, comparing 3e and 4e.!!!

Again, this goes back to his desire to balance everything.  My argument to him against this was that real life is inherently unbalanced, and by balancing everything he was creating a game environment that was uninteresting and unreal, didn't get very far.  

Of course, Marvin did have a point, Imperial Starfire and 3rd Ed are unbalanced, and to pure gamers that are in the game to fight against other people and defeat them, those imbalances are a significant problem.  SM#2 went a long ways towards eliminating some of the luck factor by making NPRs much more nasty, thus less likely ally themselves with the race that discovers them.  

As you said, real life is inherently unbalanced.  Technological research is a process designed to create imbalance.  People who are reasearching a new weapon aren't looking for a fair fight.  They're looking to IMbalance the status quo, and they're looking to do so in the biggest way possible.  It's the nature of real life.

But by pushing the balance uber alles system for competitive (aka power-) gamers, he's ended up alienating the non-power gamers.  And pissing off a huge chunk of your customer base is REALLY stupid for someone trying to sell a product.


Quote
Quote from: "crucis"
Quote
I too liked this concept, and I really liked the ?tough hulls?, where more than one point of damage was required to do damage inside of the shields/armor.  Marvin wanted to get away from the armored-eggshell concept of standard starfire, where even dreadnoughts evaporated quickly once their shields and armor were breached.  

I'm not as fond of tough hulls, but I understand what Marvin's getting at.  I just don't buy that "hulls" give you this toughness.  The point of armor in Starfire is that "armor" represents the toughness of the hull and its ability to take damage.  Having said this, I had a scheme for making armor tougher that I presented on the List prior to it going down about a week into August.

My idea was roughly that armor should take damage differently than it does currently.  Say that you have 10 points of normal armor.  And you take only 9 points of damage.  The armor repels the damage without taking any damage to itself.  If you took exactly 10 dp, you'd mark off 1 A, but the armor penetration would do no further damage.  But, if you took 11+ points of damage, the armor "belt" would lose 1 A and the remainder would penetrate the armor and damage the inside of the ship.  However, you'd still have 9 A remaining, so that the next volley that hit that ship would have to do 9 or more damage to the armor belt to penetrate and possibly do internal damage.  A ships armor belt would be able to withstand a number of penetrations equal to the # of A it started with.

Having proposed this, I don't know how well it would work out or what problems would come from it.  It might be necessary to limit the number of hullspaces of armor to a percentage of the ship's total HS to prevent creating nearly invulnerable ships.  of course, any "invulnerably" armored ship would probably be severely lacking elsewhere.

BTW, I proposed doing much the same thing with shields.  My thought process was to give some serious advantages to larger ships.  Clearly, smaller ships would be limited in the number of S and A that they could mount, but larger ships would become much tougher customers.  

One thing that I *do* know would result from such rules is that they'd severely weaken swarms, since shields and armor that could repel damage that isn't strong enough to penetrate would make plinking attacks by swarms of ships each only doing 1 dp totally useless against much larger ships.  My first wild guess is that you'd probably need to take on a large ship so protected with a similarly large ship, like BB vs BB, so that your ship would be mounting enough weapons to produce enough damage to create shield and armor penetrations.  I also mentioned on the list that this protection scheme wouldn't TOTALLY make swarm ships useless, but what it would do is to force them to mount certain kinds of weapons, such as primary beams or weapons capable of producing heavy damage, although at short ranges, like perhaps force beams, plamsa guns, or plasma torpedoes, etc.  And the result of this is that you'd have your swarms having to act like swarms have always done historically ... i.e. having to charge their larger enemies and make "torpedo runs" or get in really close so that their pop guns might do more than scratch the paint of their enemies.  I actually find this idea to have an interesting historical feel.  


I suppose that if with tough hulls, if you didn't do the full 3 dp to destroy the system, the partial damage was ignored, you'd end up with the same effect as my armor belts.  I guess that I've always felt that ships really are just eggshells.  It's just that the "shells" in Starfire simply are not strong enough in any historical context.  It seems to me that the "shells", i.e. the shields and armor should have the ability to repel damage that cannot penetrate, just as the armor on a WW1/2 battleship could take LOTS of hits, but unless you actually penetrated it, you did no damage, and even if you did penetrate it, that didn't mean that all of the rest of the ship's armor simply vanished.

The thing I didn't like about Starfire was that ships retained 100% of their combat ability right up to the point that their passive defenses were penetrated, and then they evaporated.  Even battleships tended to take some damage, even from shells that didn't penetrate.  They might even be destroyed or knocked out by the first shell to hit them if it penetrates their armor, which can't happen in Starfire.  Of course, real life battleships don't have shields, either.

True, BB's don't have shields.  But Shields are just another form of armor.

And as far as the rest of it, you always have to remember that SF is a very simple tactical system and there are limitations to what you can do and still keep the system simple.

And there's the problem of balancing the tactical game between the "needs" of people who only play the tactical game and those who play strategic Starfire.  The people who only play the tactical game might like a smidge more complexity, particularly since it seems that many of them like small battles.  However, the strategic player probably favors the simplicity since it speeds the play of the tactical battles and helps to prevent the strategic game from getting overly bogged down with those pesky battles.  ;)


Also, the system I describe above would actually create a situation wherein your were getting internal damage without completely wiping out all of the passives.  Of course, depending on the size of the ship and the numbers of passives it was mounting, the target ship could absorb quite a bit of punishment before you penetrated the passive.  Honestly, I think that there's a workable idea in there, it just needs to be honed.



Quote
Like I said, good stuff.  I look forward to any campaign reports you would post.  


I hope to finish my Ultra-ized system generator soon, as well as my "3rd Fred" House rules.  Maybe then I can get started on my solo campaign.

I actually already have my two player races created.

One is Earth,  called The Solar Concordium.  Nothing fancy.

And the other is The Pitariad.  The Pitari deserve to get played in some way, so what the heck.  The Matriarch is itching to conquer somebody!


Aside from the above work on my system generator and house rules, I'm also trying to give some thought to a campaign theme.  it seems that the best campaigns that I've seen on the list have good themes.  Like the After the Fall theme, or the (ugh) TrekFire theme, etc.  Good themes seem to be inspiring.  I have a theme idea that I'm working on, although
it seems to have ended up suspiciously similar to the Markukan campaign in ISF and Ultra.




BTW, I've got a question for you, Kurt.  I've seen in plenty of List posts by Marvin that he's always been properly concerned about the copyrights for the Dave and Steve's 3e history.  But I'm confused as to why he feels that he can use "Berzerkers" without any copyright problems?  Do you know if he has some sort of waiver from Fred Saberhagen?  Or is he thinking that Berzerkers are public domain?  Seems a bit fishy to me...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by crucis »
 

Offline sloanjh

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral of the Fleet
  • *****
  • Posts: 2754
  • Thanked: 86 times
(No subject)
« Reply #55 on: September 13, 2007, 12:53:11 AM »
Quote from: "crucis"
Quote from: "sloanjh"
Quote from: "crucis"
In the words of a well known Honorverse character, "Oooops".

ROFL - and they both have the same effect!! :-)

John

Good point, John.  That didn't even cross my mind when I wrote it.


Have you seen/got the "Oops!" shirt?  Scott (Pegasus Publishing) sells them.

Quote
That reminds me of when I mentioned to Dave Weber back when he was creating AM warheads that putting AM warheaded missiles on XO racks might be a "bad thing" (since destroying such a missile in its XO rack could destroy the ship).  

Dave's response:   "D'oh!"


And did you point this out before or after your fleet started shooting at his ships that were carrying them?  O: -)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by sloanjh »
 

Offline Father Tim

  • Vice Admiral
  • **********
  • Posts: 1101
  • Thanked: 103 times
(No subject)
« Reply #56 on: September 13, 2007, 03:19:06 AM »
Quote from: "crucis"
Quote from: "Kurt"
<--Lots of armour talk-->


Car Wars' metal armour handled this beautifully, in my opinion, with its semi-ablative nature.  In that game weapons' damage was measured in d6s - the total damage done was compared to the strength of the armour (with any excess penetrating) but the armour itself was only reduced by the number of 6s rolled.  Metal armour would slowly wear away, sometimes under shots that couldn't penetrate (a single d6 vs 10 points of armour, for example), but that final one or two points seemed to last forever, virtualy irrelevant vs heavy rockets yet still shedding light pistol bullets like road gravel.

Starfire would need a slighty different system (maybe each 1 rolled to hit would ablate a point of armour, or maybe every full 5 points of damage from an attack) but I would love to see semi-ablative armour in the game.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Father Tim »
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

  • Aurora Designer
  • Star Marshal
  • S
  • Posts: 7630
  • Thanked: 3423 times
    • http://www.starfireassistant.com
(No subject)
« Reply #57 on: September 13, 2007, 08:22:07 AM »
Quote from: "Kurt"
This difference ultimately led to the schism, because neither side could really understand or appreciate the other's goals.  Marvin doesn't really care about the fiction, back-story, or personality, he wants a balanced game where the rules preclude any loop-holes that allow a player to win by "Gaming the system".  He, and his supporters, don't care if the result is flavorless because the competition is what they are after.  The 3rd Ed role-players don't care about loop-holes for the most part because they won't use them unless it fits the personality of their race, and then its all good.  For the role-players the flavorless, bland system of 4th was repellent.  

I understood Marvin's desire for a competitive game and I enjoy a lot of competitive games myself. However, I don't think Starfire is at all suitable for a competitive game. For something as complex as Starfire with a playing time of months or years, you have to want to play for the sheer joy of playing and an interest in seeing what happens, regardless of the result. Unless you play a tiny universe, it would be extremely hard to get a result anyway and the 'competitive' gamer would likely quit once it was obvious he was going to lose, which spoils the game for everyone else. In fact, I don't think I have heard of even one Starfire campaign played to a competitive result. I would be intrigued to hear if anyone else has.

To me Starfire is more like a roleplaying game, where you play for the enjoyment of the game and try to play in line with your character's (race's) personality, even if that gives you some disadvantages. If everyone always went for a in-depth calculation of the optimum tech and strategy at all times, it would be a very boring game.

The idea of balance is also very difficult. In a game with as much variety as Starfire (or Aurora), some races are sometimes going to get an advantage through a lucky break or two and NPRs are going to vary hugely in size and capability. That's life. If you play the game for enjoyment though, that type of thing adds to the challange. One of my favourite games is Europa Universalis and that game is anything but balanced because it is based on actual history. Some of the best games are playing as a totally outclassed nation, trying to survive while the great powers battle around you. 3rdR Starfire (and I hope Aurora too) are the same. Races of varying sizes and capabiltiies with different personalities build up a fascinating history as the game progresses. In the Rigellian Campaign some races, such as the Holy Dragon Empire or the Trajan Dynasty, were dwarfed by the superpowers but they were still very interesting to play in their own way because they had a completely different set of problems and challenges to the Rigellians or Andromedans.

I enjoy playing both Star Fleet Battles and Advanced Squad Leader as competitive games (when I can find opponents :)) and they are both as complex as Starfire. However, they can be played to a definitive close in a few hours or a few days and that is the key difference. The only game I ever found where a competitive game could be sustained for several months or longer was Diplomacy and that has extremely simple machanics. The gameplay was in the letters and phonecalls between each three-weekly turn as we plotted the demise of our opponents. Even that depended on players seeing it through to the end when they were plainly not going to win. I am just not convinced that a complex, competitive game (of any type) with a relatively small number of players (3-10) can be sustained for months or years if winning is the reason for playing and competitive balance is the overriding design goal.

Steve
« Last Edit: September 13, 2007, 08:55:34 AM by Steve Walmsley »
 

Offline crucis

  • Lt. Commander
  • ********
  • Posts: 247
(No subject)
« Reply #58 on: September 13, 2007, 08:45:00 AM »
Quote from: "Steve Walmsley"
Quote from: "Kurt"
This difference ultimately led to the schism, because neither side could really understand or appreciate the other's goals.  Marvin doesn't really care about the fiction, back-story, or personality, he wants a balanced game where the rules preclude any loop-holes that allow a player to win by "Gaming the system".  He, and his supporters, don't care if the result is flavorless because the competition is what they are after.  The 3rd Ed role-players don't care about loop-holes for the most part because they won't use them unless it fits the personality of their race, and then its all good.  For the role-players the flavorless, bland system of 4th was repellent.  

I understood Marvin's desire for a competitive game and I enjoy a lot of competitive games myself. However, I don't think Starfire is at all suitable for a competitive game. For something as complex as Starfire with a playing time of months or years, you have to want to play for the sheer joy of playing and an interest in seeing what happens, regardless of the result. Unless you play a tiny universe, it would be extremely hard to get a result anyway and the 'competitive' gamer would likely quit once it was obvious he was going to lose, which spoils the game for everyone else. In fact, I don't think I have heard of even one Starfire campaign played to a competitive result. I would be intrigued to hear if anyone else has.

To me Starfire is more like a roleplaying game, where you play for the enjoyment of the game and try to play in line with your character's (race's) personality, even if that gives you some disadvantages. If everyone always went for a in-depth calculation of the optimum tech and strategy at all times, it would be a very boring game.

The idea of balance is also very difficult. In a game with as much variety as Starfire (or Aurora), some races are sometimes going to get an advantage through a lucky break or two and NPRs are going to vary hugely in size and capability. That's life. If you play the game for enjoyment though, that type of thing adds to the challange. One of my favourite games is Europa Universalis and that game is anything but balanced because it is based on actual history. Some of the best games are playing as a totally outclassed nation, trying to survive while the great powers battle around you. 3rdR Starfire (and I hope Aurora too) are the same. Races of varying sizes and capabiltiies with different personalities build up a fascinating history as the game progresses. In the Rigellian Campaign some races, such as the Holy Dragon Empire or the Trajan Dynasty, were dwarfed by the superpowers but they were still very interesting to play in their own way because they had a completely different set of problems and challenges to the Rigellians or Andromedans.

I enjoy playing both Star Fleet Battles and Advanced Squad Leader as competitive games (when I can find opponents :)) and they are both as complex as Starfire. However, they can be played to a definitive close in a few hours or a few days and that is the key difference. The only game I ever found where a competitive game could be sustained for several months or longer was Diplomacy and that has extremely simple machanics. The gameplay was in the letters and phonecalls between each three-weekly turn as we plotted the demise of our opponents. Even that depended on players seeing it through to the end when they were plainly not going to win. I am just not convinced that a complex, competitive game (or any type) with a relatively small number of players (3-10) can be sustained for months or years if winning is the reason for playing and competitive balance is the overriding design goal.

Steve


Many good points, Steve.  It's just not the nature of strategic Starfire for a competitive game to be played to a true conclusion.  I suppose that one might say that ISF (and previous strategic versions) perhaps should have have brought this up to the game player, so that it was understood that playing a large game to a conclusion was difficult, but that there could be great fun in in the playing and the role-playing, even if no definitive conclusion to the entire campaign was never reached.  Sometimes, just beating a tough, well played NPR can be superemely satifying.

BTW, I can safely say that I never played a SF campaign to a definitive conclusion.



Oh, one deficiency that I see in Ultra is that it includes no rules for generating NPR species and societal descriptions.  Sure, player can do these themselves, but sometimes it's just easier to let rules generate descriptions and just fill in around the edges and smooth over any inconsistencies.

I suppose that this deficiency is very much indicative of Marvin's focus on the competitive nature rather than the role-playing nature of strategic Starfire.  I suppose that if you're just in it to beat the other guy, you may not care about the nature of the NPR's physical or societal descriptions, or your own race's descriptions.  It just seems to me that if you're not interested in absorbing the ambience of the overall sci-fi Starfire environment, you might as well be playing chess or checkers.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by crucis »
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

  • Aurora Designer
  • Star Marshal
  • S
  • Posts: 7630
  • Thanked: 3423 times
    • http://www.starfireassistant.com
(No subject)
« Reply #59 on: September 13, 2007, 08:52:08 AM »
Quote from: "crucis"
My problem (among many) is that missiles SHOULD be superior to beam weapons.  Throughout the history of weaponry superiority fell to the weapons with the greatest range.  And what has always been one of the most important features of new technological development in weapons?  The seeking to increase range over your enemy's weapons.  Superior Range almost always equals victory.

People whining about how missiles are too superior to missiles sound like battleship admirals complaining about naval aricraft and aircraft carriers, and trying to fudge the wargames to make them look inferior.  (Sort of like as DW presented it a parallel situation in one of his HH books.)

Also, it's exactly proper that older missile launchers should be able to fire newer weapons.  Old guns are perfectly capable of firing newer ammunition, as long as the ammo's fitted to the old gun's calibre.  I'm not a gun person, but there's no reason I know of that you can't take an old 1910-something Colt 45 pistol and put the latest teflon coated bullets in it and use it as it.  This crap about requiring a new missile launcher for every missile upgrade is a bunch of bullpucky.

As someone who had played a lot of tactical battles in the Rigellian campaign, I thought the missile rules in 3rdR were fine. Yes, capital missiles were a big advantage in deep space against a non-CM opponent but try assaulting a warp point with them or fighting a close action against gunboats. Below are several currently in service Rigellian designs using different weapon types. If the game was unbalanced toward certain weapon types then why would I be using different weapons on different ships. Answer, because the usefulness of a weapon depends on the intended role of a ship and the situation at any given time. Some ships are designed for long range missile action, some are designed for close or point blank warp point defence and other are designed as mid-range fighter and gunboat killers. I do think that the introduction of the Wc at TL11 swings things toward the missile-equipped ships because capital missile ships suddenly gain a powerful short range capability as well.

However, a simple way to give missile ships a more realistic balancing effect in 3rdR would be to remove their magical ability to reload their magazines whenever they like (thanks to the omnipotent Missile Fund and CFN). In the original 3rd rules, those missiles had to be built and moved to the ships, which gave missile ships a logistical tail that the beam ships didn't need to worry about. I have added this logistical element to missiles in Aurora and you really need to think about manufacture and supply if you want to use a lot of missile ships and/or carriers. The gutting of missile weapons in 4th was using a sledgehammer to crack a nut (a nut that Marvin added in the first place with the CFN and the Missile Fund).

Examples of Current Rigellian Designs
Code: [Select]
BATTLE MOD 5 class BC   AM2 10 XOg Racks 80 Hull TL 12
[2]S2x20Al2Ac2x4Al2Ac2x4Al2Ac2x4Al2Ac2x4Al2Ac2x4Al2Ac2x4H(BbS)Q(III)Q(II)Q(III)(II)(III)Wax6M5?j!2DczWaWaXrsLhQDcz?3DczWaZ2(II)Mgx3[6]
80 RCP  20 MCP  100 FCP     Trg:6  Bmp +6  Tem -2     Cost =  3039/ 455.8
HTK 93 S2x20  Al2x6  Ac2x24  Dczx3  Wax9  Mgx3  
350x SM-b, 120x AFM, 160x fR-b, 40x fL, 320x fM3-b
Code: [Select]
CATACLYSM MOD 2 class SD   AM2 26 XO Racks 130 Hull TL 10
[3]S1x30AiAcx30ZHs(BbM)H(IIII-It)Q(IIII-It)(IIII-It)(IIII-It)XrFcQ?jDcxFcFcDcxFcMi1FcDcxFc!2LhQFcDcx?Dcx(IIII-It)Fc[5]
130 RCP  20 MCP     Trg:9    Atk +1    Def -3  Tem -2     Cost =  3964/ 594.6
HTK 112 S1x30  Aix1  Acx30  Dcxx5  Fcx8  
Code: [Select]
HARBINGER MOD 3 class SD   AM2 16 XOg Racks 130 Hull TL 12
[3]S2x40Al2Ac2x8Al2Ac2x8Al2Ac2x8Al2Ac2x8Al2Ac2x8Al2Ac2x14H(BbS)H(IIII-It)QLhQ(IIII-It)Q(IIII-It)Q(IIII-It)QWcx4Dcz!2Wcx3Mi1DczLhXrsQWcWcDcz?3DczZ2(IIII-It)Mgx4[5]
130 RCP  160 FCP     Trg:9    Atk +1  Bmp +6  Tem -2     Cost =  4915/ 737.2
HTK 158 S2x40  Al2x6  Ac2x54  Dczx4  Wcx9  Mgx4  
150x CBM-b, 36x CAM2-b, 18x AMBAM2, 90x AFM, 192x fR-b, 64x fL, 526x fM3-b
Code: [Select]
TRIBAL MOD 11 class DD   AM2 6 XO Racks 30 Hull TL 12
[1] S2x5Al2Ac2x5Al2Ac2x5Al2Ac2x5ZHsQsM4(I)(I)(I)(I)(I)(I)!2WaWaQs?3WaDcx(I)Mg [7]
30 RCP  20 MCP     Trg:5  Bmp +6  Tem -2     Cost =  1040/ 156
HTK 42 S2x5  Al2x3  Ac2x15  Dcxx1  Wax3  Mgx1  
80x SM-b, 80x AFM
Code: [Select]
VALHALLA MOD 6 class CA   AM2 12 XO Racks 60 Hull TL 9
[1] S0x3Acx12ZHs(BbS)Q(II)(II)(II)(II)(II)Pgx9?jM5DzPgPgLhQPgDz?DzPg(II)Pg [6]
60 RCP  40 MCP     Trg:6  Def -3     Cost =  1615/ 242.2
HTK 53 S0x3  Acx12  Dzx3  Pgx14  
Code: [Select]
BS3H-M class BS3   17 XO Racks 85 Hull TL 7
[0] S0x18Aix18ZH(BbS)Q(MCS)(HET)x4Dc(HET)M6(HET)LhQDc(HET)?Dc(HET) [0]
85 RCP  15 MCP     Trg:7  Def -3   Cost =  1552/ 77.6
HTK 56 S0x18  Aix18  Dcx3  (HET)x8  
Code: [Select]
SWORDSMAN MOD 6 class BC   AM2 10 XOg Racks 80 Hull TL 12
[2]S2x30Al2Ac2x6Al2Ac2x6Al2Ac2x6Al2Ac2x6Al2Ac2x6Al2Ac2x6H(BbS)Q(III)Q(II)Q(III)(II)(III)WcWcDczWcM5!2DczWcLhQ?3WcXrDczZ2(II)MgMg[6]
80 RCP  20 MCP  100 FCP     Trg:6  Bmp +6  Tem -2     Cost =  2997/ 449.5
HTK 109 S2x30  Al2x6  Ac2x36  Dczx3  Wcx5  Mgx2  
81x CBM-b, 15x CAM2-b, 40x AFM, 120x fR-b, 40x fL, 320x fM3-b


Steve
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Steve Walmsley »
 

 

Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55