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Offline Paul M

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Opinion on Fighter Laser House Rules
« on: September 03, 2012, 08:04:02 AM »
Starslayer and I are talking about the fL in our game and we are bouncing around a house rule.  Figured I'd ask on other peoples opinions.

Basically what we are talking about is something that we were discussing a long time back in our München SF days.  The fL is well rudely overpowered.  Its existance dooms bases because it is fully possible to do the 1 LS circle of death.   Orbiting the base at 4 hexes and turning inwards to fire gives you, especially with better crews, a good way to kill bases for few fighters lost.  D are at -1 to hit, Dc are at 1's and against Dc bases there is no reason to not just close in and do it quickly.

But the problem is that the weapon does huge amounts of damage at ranges where fighter suvivability is high.  Anti-laser armour stops it cold but that is at much higher tech level, so from TL9 till it shows up basically there is no reason to not arm your fighters with fL.  fR, and fRAM are pointless compared to it.  It skips shields, it kills XO racks, it is useful against buoys and other fighters...all round it is the best fighter weapon going.

So what we were talking about was making it one shot against ships (basically the capacitor is drained by any shot that would do damage to a ship).  It can fire any number of times against other fighters or buoys as the onboard reactor can trickle charge it, but it needs to have the fL recharged by the carrier when used on a large target.  I think this means the price has to come down for the system.

The thing is the RM has them now...so one part of me would rather they have a significant advantage but weapon system is absurdly overpowered.  Anti-laser armour is HT11, and the fL2 makes the fL look wimpy...how could it have made sense to make it that powerful is a good question.  It actually outperforms the L system originally in the game, and even the modified L is only slightly better range wise and it does more damage than that system.

Anyone want to toss out an opinion?

===extra section===

My suggestion is also we forbid the fP as that is totally crazy.

One thing that surprises me is that the later generation small craft don't have datalink.  Given it is present on lower tech level fighters it is a bit hard to understand why it isn't on the higher tech level armed small craft.  Or why armed pn loose so much to add in a minor amount of firepower since with both it and the ast that isn't a point defence they have but instead are weapons that can be used as a point defence equivalent.  Gunboats probably actually have a "point defence" the rest of them it is just their onboard weapons being used to fire on the inbounds.  It is one of the bigger mysteries to me that 3rdR didn't do a better job with rationalizing development of fighters/armed small craft/gunboats and their weapon systems.
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Opinion on Fighter Laser House Rules
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2012, 07:25:44 AM »
I have been running numbers looking at the whole fighter situation, largely as it applies to Starslayer's and mine game but with some interesting results.  My experience with fighter combat is largely from playing ISW3 scenarios.

Looking at the 3rdR rules again a number of things show up:
1.  That ISW3 in Stars at War is very much like fighting a HT4 race in 3rdR.  The existance of Ai, and S0 change dramatically the HTK of ships.  In SAW TL9 BBs have 62 HTK, TL9 CAs have 42 HTK and TL9 DDs have 22 HTK.  Looking at the SCN ships for TL7 you have BBs: 86, CAs: 55, DDs: 28 and by HT9 you can easily expect that you have BBs: 96, CAs: 61, DDs: 30.

2.  That the existance of Dz and Zi dramatically changes things for the fighters compared to SAW or Crusade.  Dz does not have to be allocated pre-battle to defend but can be swapped around freely.  It has a -2 to intercept if used to intercept shots into the blind spot of another ship.  Zi makes it so that you have to essentially kill the ship before it is no longer protected by consort datalinked point defence.

3.  That filling the magazine of a carrier costs as much as building the carrier.  Largely due to the cost of fL and fRAM.  This is a non-trivial consideration.

Looking at the weapons available at HT9 it is clear that for fighter survival it is best to attack into blindspots generally.  If you can be assured to destroy the target then a range 0 fRAM attack pays off otherwise for the most part range 1 fR-x attacks and fL at range 1 enhances survivability greatly.  It is also clear that fM fired into anything but the targets blindspot is a waste of time.

For the F1 (3 fXo), using a tohit number of fR-x R0:8, R1:4; fL R1:8, R4:2; fM 6
For fighter missile I assume that HT4 is in blindspot no intercepts from PD; for HT7 until Z assume 60% stopped for BB and CA, or 7 of 11 hit for DD, after that damage = 11; for HT9 assume for BB and CA 60% stopped, and 7 damage per SQN for DD.
For fL I reduce HTK by 10 for HT4BB, 20 for other BBs, 6 for HT4CA, 12 for others, 3 for HT4DD, 6 for others.

Weapon  Damage/SQN SQNperHT4BB SQNperHT7BB SQNperHT9BB SQNperHT4CA SQNperHT7CA SQNperHT9CA SQNperHT4DD SQNperHT7DD SQNperHT9DD

fR          R0-28                2.2                 3.1                3.4              1.5              2                  2.2                 0.8                1                 1.1
             R1-14               4.4                  6.1                6.9              3                3.9                4.4                 1.6                2                 2.1
fRAM      R0-56                1.1                 1.5                1.7              0.8              1                   1.1                0.4                0.5               0.5
             R1-28                2.2                 3.1                3.4              1.5              2                   2.2                0.8                1                 1.1
fL          R1-14 (laser)       3.7                 4.7                5.4              2.6              3.1                3.5                1.4                 1.6              1.7
            R4-4 (laser)         13                 16.5               19               9                11.8              12.2                4.8                 5.5              6
fM         base 11 hits         5.6                13.8               21.8            3.8               8.6               13.8               2                   3.3               4.3

The fL lines can also be read as SQN-turns.

But this table shows the effect of technology (and rules changes).  The addition of S0, Ai, Zi and Dz pretty much destroy the effectiveness of fM.  Having to basically destroy a HT9 ship to knock its datalink out makes it a brutally hard fM target.  To the point where the concept of using them not in a blind spot is pretty much pointless as changing the intercept from a 6 to an 8 would esentially double the number of squardrons required.  The fL may actually be not so bad with the regular rules or possibly needs to get a number of shots, a single shot might be too strong a restriction on it.  The effect of the rules/tech changes on it are almost a halfing of its effectiveness against a HT9 ship.  fR/fRAM is essentially constant over all rules and tech changes.

fM is the least effective weapon but the one which risks the fighters the least.

Comments?
   
 

Offline crucis

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Re: Opinion on Fighter Laser House Rules
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2012, 09:29:17 PM »
Hi Paul.

First, fighter missiles.  Remember that fM's were created in 1st edition, and at that time, they were excellent, because IIRC, they had the same range as regular missiles and the best anti-missile point defense available was only regular ol' "D" and there was no ECM.  Also, IIRC, at the time, an "L" fighter could carry 4 FM's, so that's 24 in a full Squadron.  FM's at that time were pretty nasty.  Since then, fM's got toned down.  1st and 2nd gen fighters got toned down (fewer fXO per ftr).  And higher TL versions of PD were created.  All in all, FM's have been essentially neutered, unless you get to shoot into a blindspot.  And even then, a smart enemy might turn some of the other ships in the data group onto other headings so that every ship in the DG has some blind spot protection.


Second, remember that when 3e and the 3e scenario books were written, a system like Zi did not exist, and IIRC, Dz was a higher TL system.  And fR did 3 points of damage.  Some of the changes like this that were made changed the balance of those scenarios, perhaps very significantly.


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One thing that surprises me is that the later generation small craft don't have datalink.  Given it is present on lower tech level fighters it is a bit hard to understand why it isn't on the higher tech level armed small craft.  Or why armed pn loose so much to add in a minor amount of firepower since with both it and the ast that isn't a point defence they have but instead are weapons that can be used as a point defence equivalent.  Gunboats probably actually have a "point defence" the rest of them it is just their onboard weapons being used to fire on the inbounds.  It is one of the bigger mysteries to me that 3rdR didn't do a better job with rationalizing development of fighters/armed small craft/gunboats and their weapon systems.

I have to agree with the sentiment here (I think).  I'm not fond of point defense on any small craft.  I really despise how it turns assault shuttles into a low tech counter to fighters.  And worse, when you start talking about ast2 and pn2 with their fXO racks, you're right.  Why wouldn't someone start thinking about wanting to put a fighter-like datalink onto them and turn them into some sort of LAC squadron?  pn2's with that sort of datalink would be like light-gunboats, but in a way more dangerous because they'd be targeted like small craft, not starships.  Yikes!!!  No, in all honesty, I don't like what should be general purpose small craft being armed.


 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Opinion on Fighter Laser House Rules
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2012, 02:47:18 AM »
Well I only know 3rd and later editions so what they were like before is minor mystery to me.  The balance change is not that dramatic if you play the Stars at War scenarios as the ships are built to the original rules and the minor modifications to fighters and fighter systems don't make a significant impact.  What makes a major impact is the changes from 3rdR and the UTM...Dz and Zi plus Ai and S0 pretty much neuter fM.

Armed small craft are probably about as good for the game as a hole in the head but they exist and it is hard to fathom why someone would not put a data link on them.  After that it then becomes a question of making them worthwhile to have or justifying their existance.  The 2nd gen small craft take a lot of space 4 or 6 HS so you need to get at least a bit of payback from the equivelent of a fighter squadron space wise.

For me the excersize was interesting largely to see what the effect of rule and technology changes was.  The key point is that fM not fired into a blindspot isn't going to do anything most of the time in 3rdR/UTM.
 

Offline crucis

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Re: Opinion on Fighter Laser House Rules
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2012, 12:39:40 PM »
Well I only know 3rd and later editions so what they were like before is minor mystery to me.  The balance change is not that dramatic if you play the Stars at War scenarios as the ships are built to the original rules and the minor modifications to fighters and fighter systems don't make a significant impact.  What makes a major impact is the changes from 3rdR and the UTM...Dz and Zi plus Ai and S0 pretty much neuter fM.

Well, that was my point, Paul, that changes to existing systems and new systems added after the fact have had a significant impact on the effectiveness of fighter missiles.  I could say that at higher TL's where fighters have more fXO racks and thus larger volleys, fM's make a comeback, bit I think I'd be wrong because of Zc and its ability to allow all 6 ships in its DG's to protect each other.  Thus, even squadrons with 24 or 30 fM volleys aren't going to make much of a dent against that level of anti-missile defense.



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Armed small craft are probably about as good for the game as a hole in the head but they exist and it is hard to fathom why someone would not put a data link on them.  After that it then becomes a question of making them worthwhile to have or justifying their existence.  The 2nd gen small craft take a lot of space 4 or 6 HS so you need to get at least a bit of payback from the equivalent of a fighter squadron space wise.

Well, at the moment, those 2nd gen armed SC don't have datalink, and adding it would be a "change".  But frankly, I think that a better change would be to remove the fXO racks and return those smallcraft to being unarmed.  Heck, I'd be all for removing their point defense as well, and let improvements for next generation upgrades to small craft come in areas other than arming them.  It'd be a small move away from what was presented in the novels, but I think that the game would be better for it.


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For me the exercise was interesting largely to see what the effect of rule and technology changes was. 

Oh, there's certainly nothing wrong with doing that, Paul.  :)

 

Offline Zume

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Re: Opinion on Fighter Laser House Rules
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2012, 06:36:02 PM »
I wondered why the 2nd gen pinnace and assault shuttle were given XO racks and no datalink, especially since the former loses cargo points in the process while the latter doesn't.  I suppose it was to make them fit in with the boarding sleds rules way back with Crusade supplement, allowing them to break down the shields of ships and bases and allow for boarding actions. Having a ship being shields down and without an active drive field makes boarding combat a not so casual affair, but the case can be made for shuttles to board a shield-down base, asteroid fort, or space station since such installations' station-keeping drives are that much weaker compared to that of ship. Having them spend an entire turn to situate themselves in the same tactical hex as the shields-down base, to 'muscle through' the station-keeping drives, would entail casualties for the boarders in compensation.

Getting rid of point defense on small craft, especially pinnaces, would remove the niche role as buoy killers. To make up for this perhaps pinnaces can have the sensor range of regular ships (20/30), making them more effective warp point probes.

Then there's armed pinnaces. It was mentioned earlier that while AFSC could be datalinked in groups of three the Apins couldn't. After giving up all of their cargo and personnel capability why couldn't they have datalink, if only for groups of three? External racks are just that, external, and the point defense mount is an equivalent to that used on a ship, not a direct copy, since it can't be used to defend against mine attacks (though it might still work against plasma guns since the packets are very bright and obvious targets).  Also there is room for improvement for Apins, such as additional XO racks, improved point defense, and increase space for internal weapons. With an equivalent to Xrs (either 30/40 or 40/60), an Apin can avoid mines (so long it's not the same turn it made warp transit). UTM 27.08.05.8 mentioned this with the 2nd gen pinnace in mind, as that craft has fXR as standard equipment.
 

Offline crucis

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Re: Opinion on Fighter Laser House Rules
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2012, 07:59:02 PM »
I wondered why the 2nd gen pinnace and assault shuttle were given XO racks and no datalink, especially since the former loses cargo points in the process while the latter doesn't.  I suppose it was to make them fit in with the boarding sleds rules way back with Crusade supplement, allowing them to break down the shields of ships and bases and allow for boarding actions. Having a ship being shields down and without an active drive field makes boarding combat a not so casual affair, but the case can be made for shuttles to board a shield-down base, asteroid fort, or space station since such installations' station-keeping drives are that much weaker compared to that of ship. Having them spend an entire turn to situate themselves in the same tactical hex as the shields-down base, to 'muscle through' the station-keeping drives, would entail casualties for the boarders in compensation.

Honestly, I have no insight on why pn2's and ast2's were made as they were.  Personally, I don't like them.  Heck, I don't even like having point defense on any smallcraft (not counting GB's here).  But I've said that already.  ;)    

SM#2 talks about "bombs" and smallcraft (pages 6-7), but I don't particularly agree with how it was executed.  I think that this sort of "bomb" (probably more like a cruise missile) should be limited to assault shuttles, since planetary combat is their specialized task, whereas shuttles and pinnaces are more generalized and more non-combatant.  Of course, that may beg the question: are these "bombs" only for general planetary bombardment, or could they be used to attack PCF's, or could they be used to bomb PDC's?  And I don't have an answer to that one.




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Getting rid of point defense on small craft, especially pinnaces, would remove the niche role as buoy killers. To make up for this perhaps pinnaces can have the sensor range of regular ships (20/30), making them more effective warp point probes.

I could see doing that for pinnaces.  Heck, I could even see the possibility of having a different version of the pn2 which had the equivalent of a built-in fXr, or creating a special "scout pinnace" for that purpose.  That is, a pinnace that gave up all cargo and personnel carrying ability, but was built around a sensor suite.  It would have a couple of obvious advantages of any fighter carrying fXr:  endurance and the ability to transit WP's.

EDIT:  I see from reading 3rdR (smallcraft table on pg 57) that pn2's already have an innate fXr ability, and all small craft except cutters have a sensor range of 20 tH.



As for assault shuttles, I'm not sure what an appropriate upgrade for them would be.  It's one thing to say that pinnaces are non-combatant small craft, but that's not really entirely true of assault shuttles.  Perhaps one should say that ast's are non-space combatants, but they could be planetary combatants, of a sort, I suppose.

« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 11:29:52 PM by crucis »
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Opinion on Fighter Laser House Rules
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2012, 08:36:41 AM »
Fighter missiles face the problem that only 70% of them hit (at best), and of that 70%, only 30% will penetrate any datagroups point defence; the icing on the cake is that shields regen.  21% impacts even for 24 missiles is only 4-5 pts of damage, so it is going to be a long slow road to bring down a TL 12+ BC or larger with fighter missiles.  And if you don't kill it, you will have to fight through the shields again when you come back to finish the job.  About the only good news is that with AAM you can arm the missiles with a 2 pt warhead.

Both Pinnace and Assault Shuttles are armed, both are intended to be used in ground assaults.  The value of them in ground assaults should increase with TL, but Starfire makes ground assaults non-issues by making the nuke-em from orbit option a trivial task.  It costs sö little to use the nuke the PCFs from orbit option that it it doesn't pay to even consider a ground assault.   Bombs from shuttles are again just icing on the cake of this issue.  As you can find below I tend to throw up my arms in disgust at the ground attack rules in Starfire.

But you have to justify the existance of the armed small craft somehow.  Armed Pinnace, and Pn2 are both dangerous, but both take 6 HS to deploy plus a Mg...I'll know better later on as the SCN can't use fighters how easy it is to build transports for them.  Theoretically at least freighters would work.  But both they and gunboats are best based on planets, where dock space is relatively cheap.  But I'm not a fan of fighters, gunboats, etc anyway so my view on them is biased.
 
 

Offline crucis

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Re: Opinion on Fighter Laser House Rules
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2012, 11:18:59 AM »
Fighter missiles face the problem that only 70% of them hit (at best), and of that 70%, only 30% will penetrate any datagroups point defence; the icing on the cake is that shields regen.  21% impacts even for 24 missiles is only 4-5 pts of damage, so it is going to be a long slow road to bring down a TL 12+ BC or larger with fighter missiles.  And if you don't kill it, you will have to fight through the shields again when you come back to finish the job.  About the only good news is that with AAM you can arm the missiles with a 2 pt warhead.

Isn't fM-AM 2 dp and fM-AAM 3 dp?

Also as for fighter missiles, yeah, they're not much good for attacking larger ships, and worse so once Zc comes along.  They seem better for pruning back smaller screening ships.  And they're probably good for attacking GB's too.  It gets better I suppose when they're using AM or better yet AAM warheads.  But still, their down fall is too small salvos, not really good enough to-hit #'s at TL's when their targets are probably getting increasingly more difficult to hit with anything but major salvos.


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Both Pinnace and Assault Shuttles are armed, both are intended to be used in ground assaults.  The value of them in ground assaults should increase with TL, but Starfire makes ground assaults non-issues by making the nuke-em from orbit option a trivial task.  It costs sö little to use the nuke the PCFs from orbit option that it it doesn't pay to even consider a ground assault.   Bombs from shuttles are again just icing on the cake of this issue.  As you can find below I tend to throw up my arms in disgust at the ground attack rules in Starfire.

I'm not so sure that I'd say that pinnaces were "intended" for ground assaults any more than regular shuttles, though they can obviously do it.  It seems to me more like pn's were meant for more of a scouting role, given that they can transit WP's and other small craft can't.  But that's neither here nor there.

As for your disgust at the ground attack rules in SF, I read your post.  Honestly though, I don't think that the designers of SF thru the years have really cared all that much about ground attack rules because I think they have felt that it was a game of space combat, and that ground combat was a general annoyance.  Heck, personally, I didn't mind the old 1st ed Starfire III rule that planets surrendered when you controlled the star system.  Of course, that might not be a popular opinion.



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But you have to justify the existence of the armed small craft somehow. Armed Pinnace, and Pn2 are both dangerous, but both take 6 HS to deploy plus a Mg...I'll know better later on as the SCN can't use fighters how easy it is to build transports for them.  Theoretically at least freighters would work.  But both they and gunboats are best based on planets, where dock space is relatively cheap.  But I'm not a fan of fighters, gunboats, etc anyway so my view on them is biased.


Ahhh, but do I really?  The "Armed Pinnace" is not exactly canonical.  And I tend to think that 3rd Ed would be better off without small craft armed with point defense or fXO racks.

As for GBs or other potential large armed smallcraft being based on planets, that's understandable.  Any sort of internally carried armed smallcraft is probably going to be at a numerical disadvantage vs. fighters due to their large size and large hanger requirements, not to mention the other ways in which fighters have advantages. 


 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Opinion on Fighter Laser House Rules
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2012, 03:31:20 AM »
There is no fM-a, only fM-b and it only does 2 pts of damage.  Fighter missiles can't accept AM warheads only AAM ones and their effect is reduced in 3rdR.  Even against smaller ships the fM fails to be effective because even a DD datagroup (Z or Zi) can muster either 8 or 16 shots (from the other two ships in the data group) and given even a F4 can only launch 24 missiles it is an uphill battle.

Armed small craft are the Pn2 and Ast2 and those are cannonical (see Imperial Starfire and Crusade).  The pn is supposed to be armed (see Honor Harringswine's On Basilisk Station for a good description of what Weber was thinking of for it).   Again I am not a fan of fighters, and other armed gnats but apparently it is such a staple of space combat games you can't avoid it.  The use of suicide shuttles bothers me equally as much since I don't think a small craft that has no warheads in its cargo would do sufficient damage to even an escorts drive field to effect it.  Again this is something that I think Aurora handles better, but then Steve had lots of experience with fighters in starfire.  I'd perfer to avoid any fighters and armed small craft but...

It is clear that ground combat was the left handed step child hidden under the stairs of starfire.  I just think it is an important part of conquoring a race, and should not just require a few TL 1 escorts with G or R to clear the enemy ground troops.
 

Offline crucis

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Re: Opinion on Fighter Laser House Rules
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2012, 06:44:55 AM »
There is no fM-a, only fM-b and it only does 2 pts of damage.  Fighter missiles can't accept AM warheads only AAM ones and their effect is reduced in 3rdR.  Even against smaller ships the fM fails to be effective because even a DD datagroup (Z or Zi) can muster either 8 or 16 shots (from the other two ships in the data group) and given even a F4 can only launch 24 missiles it is an uphill battle.

Well, maybe it's time to revisit fM-a vs fM-b and change it so that fM-a does exist and does 2 dp, and fM-b does exist and does 3 dp.  if they have that difficult a time get any hits thru a target's PD, then it seems to me that the change would be warranted.


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Armed small craft are the Pn2 and Ast2 and those are canonical (see Imperial Starfire and Crusade).  The pn is supposed to be armed (see Honor Harringswine's On Basilisk Station for a good description of what Weber was thinking of for it).   Again I am not a fan of fighters, and other armed gnats but apparently it is such a staple of space combat games you can't avoid it.  The use of suicide shuttles bothers me equally as much since I don't think a small craft that has no warheads in its cargo would do sufficient damage to even an escorts drive field to effect it.  Again this is something that I think Aurora handles better, but then Steve had lots of experience with fighters in starfire.  I'd perfer to avoid any fighters and armed small craft but...

Yes, I'm aware that pn2 and ast2 are canonical.  But I also think that they're bad for the game, as is allowing any PD to be carried by small craft. 

Also, I tend to agree with you on kamikaze smallcraft without any warheads.  I think that it'd probably be better if smallcraft without any warheads were nothing but bugs on a windshield. 

That said, supposedly st's, ast's, and pn's carry bombs (which do 1 dp of nuke damage), though there's no mention in SM#2 of how many they carry, only that they can drop 1 (for st) or 2 (for ast/pn) bombs per turn.  I suppose that given that bombs are 1 csp per bomb, they'd be limited by their cargo capacity ... which wouldn't be much of a limit since st/ast have a capacity of 100 csp and pn's a capacity of 200 csp.  That's a lot of "bombs", though with the Large Explosions table that comes out to 5 dp for a st or ast, or 6 dp for a pn.  And since bombs are only 0.01 Mc per bomb, that's 1 MC for the st/ast payload or 2 MC for the pn payload, and not including the cost of the smallcraft that'd be lost as well (20 for a st, 30 for an ast, and 45 for a pn).  That seems rather pricey to me, but I suppose if you've got a boatload of money to spend and a higher TL enemy that traditional means aren't able to defeat, it might be worth the cost particularly if there's no defensive counter in existence at the time other than ship-mounted PD and other weapons.  (It's also worth noting that if you're going to use this strategy with bombs, that's a LOT of Magazine space you'd need for the bombs.)



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It is clear that ground combat was the left handed step child hidden under the stairs of starfire.  I just think it is an important part of conquoring a race, and should not just require a few TL 1 escorts with G or R to clear the enemy ground troops.

Different people having different opinions.  Some people will want to go thru the motions of ground combat.  Others won't.  I suppose that the PCF model was Dave's way to attempt to split the difference with an abstracted ground combat model that may end up not satisfying either camp.




 

Offline Paul M

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Re: Opinion on Fighter Laser House Rules
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2012, 09:45:11 AM »
The bombs can be carried in cargo holds and yes 100 of them per shuttle but you don't need so many.  I used a mix of conventional bombs, and Kinetic Interdictors with the RM's invasion and they took the world with minimal casualties in 2 ground combat rounds.  If I had used nuclear bombs I could have done it for next to nothing, money wise. 

The fighter missile needs a bit of work, with the other technology changes.  The changes to the point defence rules may speed up play but they make a mess of the fighter missile.  They are pretty harsh on missile ships in general but fighters are even harder hit since they need to re-arm after each attack.  The effect of not being required to pre-designate Dz or Dx to support of a datagroup member or self defence may seem like a minor thing but it makes a huge difference in terms of how effective the system ends up being.  As it stands there is remarkably little difference between Dz/Dx and Dxz outside of the total number of available shots for the data group.  The Zc and Z2 system is only superiour in that 6 ships can join the net rather than 3.  This change dramatically alters the combat in ISW4 scenarios where the bug SDs are a lot more missile resistant then they would be under the original Imperial Starfire rules.  It is a case of the road to hell being paved with good intentions. 

It looked like the ground combat system that Weber came up with was intended to support the combat as shown in the Novel Crusade.  And yes peoples interest in ground combat varies, but I feel it is an important part of the flavour of a 4X game.  The fact that almost every military SF book that features space combat also has marines (even E.E. "Doc" Smith's books right there at the start) and ground combat says something to me.
 

Offline IanD

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Re: Opinion on Fighter Laser House Rules
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2012, 10:52:25 AM »
It looked like the ground combat system that Weber came up with was intended to support the combat as shown in the Novel Crusade.  And yes peoples interest in ground combat varies, but I feel it is an important part of the flavour of a 4X game.  The fact that almost every military SF book that features space combat also has marines (even E.E. "Doc" Smith's books right there at the start) and ground combat says something to me.

In an old edition of Nexus there is the mention of Groundfire (which I assume was Weber's invention) that was I believe meant to interface with Starfire and provide the ground combat for planetary invasions.

Ian
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Offline crucis

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Re: Opinion on Fighter Laser House Rules
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2012, 12:02:12 PM »
In an old edition of Nexus there is the mention of Groundfire (which I assume was Weber's invention) that was I believe meant to interface with Starfire and provide the ground combat for planetary invasions.

Ian

Yes, you are correct about there having been mention of a "Groundfire" product that never got released.  I don't remember if it was a Weber product or not, and I never saw or had a manuscript to it.

 

 

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