Archive through July 16, 2013

Star Fleet Universe Discussion Board: Federation & Empire: F&E PRODUCTS: F&E Future Products (Near Term): F&E WARBOOK: Warbook Update – Fighter Operations (FO) : FO - Section 600 Reports – Scenarios and Options : (607.0) Four Powers War - Scenario Reports: Archive through July 16, 2013
By Daniel Glenn Knipfer (Dgknipfer) on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 01:20 pm: Edit

Actually Peter the Lyran DNE and BCE are both major conversions that exist during the 4PW time frame and are available in this scenario. They may not be quite as nice as the CA/CL conversion to full DN/BC, but they’re still worth the EPs. That doesn't really matter if the Lyran CLS is still allowed 1 substitution per turn though. If they don't need to convert it to get their one per turn why would they? Even the proposed language is a little ambiguous as it says that heavy scouts must be, "produced in a capital shipyard conversion facility" but not that they take up that conversion or must be produced by conversion. I’m sure that is what it intended, but rules lawyers will seek any possible ambiguity or loophole.

I am pretty sure that is what Chuck wanted though (please confirm that for me Chuck). If required to use a major conversion the proposed heavy scout limit would at least affect the Lyran production of extra flag ships forcing players to make a choice. Peter is right that it would have zero effect on the Klingon though. They get two major conversions per turn and are already limited to one D6S per year. How many TGB/A and Survey Ship conversions will they need?

Maybe we need to look at that as an additional restriction as well. Limit major conversions to 1 per year, pay 5 EP for a second MC per year (Klingon and Fed, 1 per turn). Considering how few major conversion there are, it wouldn’t really hurt much.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 02:12 pm: Edit

The Lyrans are limited to one DNE and one BCE by any means per year. As they already have those ships on the actual schedule, few if any actual conversions will be done.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 02:13 pm: Edit

I don't think I've done a single major conversion as the coalition aside from a D6S or 2 (which has a max production rate of one per year).

This is as the coalition player in Awful Green Things from Outer Space, a playtest of this scenario.

By Daniel Glenn Knipfer (Dgknipfer) on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 02:23 pm: Edit

I missed those limits in the SIT notes. Yeah, that pretty much means that there is no additional limit on the heavy scouts by tying them to major conversions as nobody has any major conversions that they need to do.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 03:08 pm: Edit

How about this for a solution?

Each empire can produce up to one size-3 scout ship a year by any means. In Y161, the Kzinti and the Klingons increase this rate to one size-3 scout ship a turn. No empire can produce more than one size three scout by any means in a turn. Up to two Klingon drone pods can count for the drone ship or scout ship.

In addition, each empire can produce one size four scout ship per turn.

Each empire can only produce one auxiliary scout per year, but can increase this to one per turn if they use one of their size-4 scout slots for that purpose.

This will reduce the number of scouts available.

By Chuck Strong (Raider) on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 03:14 pm: Edit

The LAS is SC3.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 03:29 pm: Edit

Specify above that aux's are separate from scout ship production limitations.

By Chuck Strong (Raider) on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 06:07 pm: Edit

Version 3 proposed language....

(607.583) Scout Limitations: During this period, one scout of any size may be produced once per year by any means at the capital shipyard. Additional size class 4 scouts may be produced at rate of one per turn by any means.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 06:14 pm: Edit

This would limit D6Ds to one a year and none if you built a D6S?

It would also limit Kzinti to building one CLD or one CD a year (not both)?

It IS simple and would certainly limit EW usage.

Would SAS/LAS class auxiliaries count as a scout for this?

By Chuck Strong (Raider) on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 07:49 pm: Edit

Auxes are included.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 08:02 pm: Edit

If that is the case, would anyone ever build one?

By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 08:13 pm: Edit

Chuck wrote:
>>(607.583) Scout Limitations: During this period, one scout of any size may be produced once per year by any means at the capital shipyard. Additional size class 4 scouts may be produced at rate of one per turn by any means.>>

Huh. Let's see what that does:

-Klingons: Can build 1xD6D or D6S per year, and then 2xF5S/E4S per year.

-Lyrans: Can build 3xSC per year until CLS, and then 1xCLS per year, and then 2xSC per year.

-Kzinti: Can build 1xCD/CLD per year, and then 2xSF per year.

-Hydrans: Early on, can build 3xSC per year (and/or SRs). Later on, can build 1xPGS per year and then 2xSC/SR per year.

That is certainly a significant limit on scouts, and reasonably simple. It'll hurt the Kzinti significantly, EW wise (as under current rules, they can build 2xCLD a turn, plus more SFs, which gives them significant EW power), but I suspect it'll hurt the Klingons about the same (until D6Ss show up).

I can't imagine that anyone would ever build an Aux Scout under these rules. But also doesn't seem out of the realm of reason.

Seems simple and reasonably effective.

By Daniel Glenn Knipfer (Dgknipfer) on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 09:24 pm: Edit

I'd recommend 2 changes, Chuck.

1: Allow one aux scout per year above that limit. Their use is limited enough as an aux that most players won't build a ton of them due to their natural vulnerability. That makes them a possible build without their getting crazy.

2: Allow the Klingon to build one D6D and the Kzinti to build one CLD per year outside that limit. That way these two ships don't disappear from the game due to more important requirements.

Recommended change:
>>(607.583) Scout production limit: Each empire may produce one scout per year of any size at the capital shipyard. In addition each empire may produce one size class 4 scout per turn by any means allowed, and one auxiliary scout of any type available per year. Drone using empires may produce one size class 3 drone ship with EW capability per year above this limit, within empire applicable limits. No more than two scouts plus one auxiliary scout may be produced on any one turn within these limits.<<

That should limit the Coalition and Alliance to 9 total scouts per year without overly restricting drone ship production or eliminating aux scout production. It will also punish front loading your EW for the Kzinti and Klingon by forcing them to skip a frigate scout if they build both their heavy scout and their second drone cruiser on the same turn. They can still do it, but at a cost. I always like options that have a price. Sometimes the price is worth it, sometimes it isn’t. It is up to players to figure out if it is or not.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 09:40 pm: Edit

I think I like this idea, it's very similar to my idea, but it's more streamlined.

By Daniel Glenn Knipfer (Dgknipfer) on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 09:42 pm: Edit

I just edited the text to note that the extra size three drone ship is an EW ship. Probably wasn't necessary since there are no non-EW size 3 drone ships in this time period, but I like to be thorough.

By Chuck Strong (Raider) on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 10:50 pm: Edit

Proposed version 4...

(607.583) Scout Limitations: During this period, one scout of any size may be produced once per TURN by any means at the capital shipyard. In addition, one size class 4 scout may be produced at rate of one per TURN by any means plus any one auxiliary scout per YEAR. Other empire specific production restrictions still apply.

By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Monday, July 15, 2013 - 11:43 pm: Edit

That gets everyone up to 5 scouts per year (a big scout and a small scout per turn, plus an Aux per year).

Seems reasonable. Will still be a lot of scouts, though.

By Chuck Strong (Raider) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 12:42 am: Edit

But we're really only talking about four real warship scouts per year...and I thought that was the issue you all raised...you do know that there is an overall cap on aux scouts?

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 06:13 am: Edit

Yes.

By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 10:35 am: Edit

I'd still be more inclined to go with the first option (i.e. 1 scout of any size per year, plus 1 SC4 scout per turn; 1 AUX per year could certainly be added in). The fewer scouts in production and play, the more the start of the General War makes sense. And with that limit, Aux Scouts would probably get made (as opposed to in the second suggestion).

With the 1 scout of any size per year and 1 SC4 scout per turn, the production of D6D/CD/CLD ships will be more limited (especially when D6Ss show up), which makes sense--at the start of the GW, there are not that many of those ships around (1 per fleet, give or take), and given how insanely useful they are (for main line combat and EW support, rather than drone bombardment), there would have to be a reason that there weren't more of them around. Limits to production could be that reason (perhaps highly refined Special-Sensorium is very hard to produce until the mod 160's...).

I mean, the Kzinti will still make the one allowed CD per year and then tons of SFs and the Klingons will do the same, but that ends up with, like, +10 CD/CLDs instead of +20.

By Daniel Glenn Knipfer (Dgknipfer) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 12:47 pm: Edit

Peter, with a one per year restriction the D6D and CLD will not be produced at all once D6S is available (CD already being available). A once per turn limit restricts those two ships to once a year with D6S and CD production already limited to one a year by their own restrictions. With additional scout production limited to one size class 4 scout, we won't see a ton of scouts proliferating everywhere so I think this is probably about right. It prevents players from converting a scout at every starbase on top of their one scout substitution which is I think what we want.

By Peter Bakija (Bakija) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 12:53 pm: Edit

Daniel wrote:
>>Peter, with a one per year restriction the D6D and CLD will not be produced at all once D6S is available (CD already being available).>>

Correct. Which makes sense with the existing start of the GW.

The Kzinti will make CDs as often as they can, occasionally possibly making CLDs if it makes more sense (they have a CL to covert and want the CA hull for something else like a CC or a TGT). The Klingons will make a few extra D6Ds in the first two years of the war, and then build D6Ss instead.

So instead of having lines full of D6Ds/CLDs (which is what is happening currently in the 4PW) all the time, there will be fewer of all of them. Which matches established history.

Having to chose between a D6S and a D6D is a totally reasonable thing to force the Klingons to do (one is better for EW support, one is a good combat unit). Not building CLDs much, except in corner case circumstances, as CDs are better, is a totally reasonable thing for the Kzinti to be doing (as, really, CLDs aren't that good, and the Kzinti shouldn't end the war with 20 of them).

By Daniel Glenn Knipfer (Dgknipfer) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 01:05 pm: Edit

A suggestion on why there would not be a ton of scouts just sitting around prior to the General War. How much good as a patrol ship is a lone scout? Or a lone drone ship? In peacetime one of the first things that has to happen is unrequired support ships get stripped and converted back to something useful in peacetime or decommissioned due to the peace time cost of maintaining such equipment. Politicians hate seeing expensive military equipment sitting around doing nothing. Big scouts might be retained if too many are built and their usefulness becomes obvious. Small scouts would get converted back to base hull for 1 EP or funneled through the depot and converted to base hull for nothing (well, for maintenance and refit costs that are subsumed into the game).

Yes there are some units I think the 4 Powers should have retained, but for various political, social, and economic reasons they did not. As long as we limit EW enough that it does not become the sole combat doctrine of the Four Powers War that will explain why these empires didn't develop massive pre-General War EW. That's the goal. Reasonable EW within the known history of the SFU that can explain why things progressed as they did. Not a hard and fast, 'THIS IS WHY' but a reasonable explanation within the scope of what we know that accounts for what we do not know.

There is an old military expression, “You always train for the last war you fought.”

By Daniel Glenn Knipfer (Dgknipfer) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 01:17 pm: Edit

Oh, and speaking of the last war they fought. Chuck, is there a reason that we must have a free scout position during the Four Powers War? That would really help explain why we didn't have massive EW prior to the General War (and why the Alliance didn’t expect it). With slower drones and fighters along with slower combat speeds in fleets prior to the development of faster war hulls and fleet refits scouts would be harder to protect.

Perhaps the free Scout position needs to be reviewed for a Year in Service date that empires began adjusting their tactics to include a scout above the command limit of flag ships as technology improved. Perhaps the older DNs just didn't have the CnC capabilities to support that extra EW platform outside their command rating. And perhaps all scouts above the first one in a fleet only add 1 EW regardless of size due to the difficulties of coordinating massive amounts of EW (which nobody had practice at prior to the Four Powers War). These are serious thoughts for why squadrons of EW platforms and heavier EW platforms did not proliferate so quickly.

FEDS: I am not going to go there as that would be a huge, fundamental change to the game itself that will have impact beyond the 4PW.

By Richard B. Eitzen (Rbeitzen) on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 01:24 pm: Edit

I dunno. I like changing construction rates, as it doesn't suggest rules changes for this time period (or earlier ones) in SFB and/or other games (possibly).

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