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Mines?
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Paul B
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Joined: 27 Dec 2006
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:55 am    Post subject: Mines? Reply with quote

How do mines work in SFB? And would they ever be translated to FC other than in the BoM rules? I've got some old SSD books and noticed some minesweepers or minehunters or whatever in there.
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Ravenhull
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 231
Location: Mobile, AL

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mines work in two ways, though they 'detonate' the same way. Overall, a mine explodes of a target (you can set it for size class or number of valid targets, but not for race or class) gets within 1 hex of it, for 10 points of damage to everything within 1 hex, 35 if it is a large mine.

A ship can carry a number of 'transporter bombs' which are 10 point mines that it can send out via a transporter action or rolling out the shuttle hatch. If it is transported, it can be seen by everyone, but it is hidden (you write down the info secretly) if out the hatch. There is a arming delay, so it isn't auto boom on top of somebody.

A minefield is an area of all hidden mines of both sizes (plus some special ones that act like defsats and such). Minesweepers specialize in being able to find and 'sweep' mines in minefields to allow other ships to pass. They are mostly useless unless there is a concentration of mines, but they can lay mines on their own (this function was meant for minefield maintnence and slipping your own mines in opposing border fields).

As for if and when they might be in FC, I don't know.
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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ravenhull wrote:
...As for if and when they might be in FC, I don't know.


At first, mines were a definite no-no in FC, but now that the VBAM campaign System is being worked on... they may be a part of that, if only to provide a means to defend a base against assault.

They will definitely function differently than they do in SFB - and may well be limited to BoM or VBAM only, and not for general use in FC. Only time will tell...
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junior
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ravenhull wrote:
Mines work in two ways, though they 'detonate' the same way. Overall, a mine explodes of a target (you can set it for size class or number of valid targets, but not for race or class) gets within 1 hex of it, for 10 points of damage to everything within 1 hex, 35 if it is a large mine.


With one important caveat -

When the ship moves into a hex that might set off the mine, you roll one die and if the die roll is equal to or less than the speed of the ship, then the mine blows up. So if you're moving veeeeeery slowly, then it's possible to move through a mine field (or sweep it using phasers to target the mines that you've detected while you're in the adjacent hex).

Of course, FedCom doesn't allow movement at speeds 1-6 (there's acceleration, but that's not quite the same thing), so there would need to be some work done to get that aspect adapted.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy.
Baseline speed = 0.
Acceleration of 1 per Impulse allowed. Therefore, speed during that Impulse is 1.
Roll a 1, hit a mine. Roll 2-6 and its a miss.
Simple.
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junior
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Except that if I accelerate 4 times during the turn, then the rolls would look something like this -

Impulse 1 - roll 1 to set off a mine
Impulse 3 - roll 1-2 to set off a mine
Impulse 4 - roll 1-3 to set off a mine
Impulse 7 - roll 1-4 to set off a mine

Whereas in SFB, during impulses 8, 16, 24, and 32, a ship moving at speed 4 (i.e. at the same practical speed as our hypothetical FedCom ship above) would set off a mine on a 1-4 during all four of the impulses. There's no gradual increase like there would presumeably be in FedCom.

There's also another issue in that mines would be MUCH less effective against someone moving 0+1 during the early portions of the turn (when they haven't accelerated as many times) than they would be during the later portions of the turn (when they would have accelerated multiple times during the turn already). Where you started the turn in relation to the mine would have more bearing on your ability to get past a mine than anything else would. Someone who started two hexes away from a mine and moved at 0+1 the entire turn would have a fair chance of not setting the mine off, whereas someone who started the turn five hexes away and moved 0+1 every impulse past it would be guaranteed to set it off.

So no, it isn't quite as simple as that.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is not what Mike said. He said that, assuming a base speed of zero, any impulse in which you accelerate you would have a flat 1 in 6 chance of triggering the mine. Regardless of what impulse, and how many impulses you accelerate. There is no increase in the odds to trigger a mine.

Quite frankly, that is how I would end up recommending to do it, too. It is simple, stays within the structure of FC, is consistent, and works well enough.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, MJ, for explaining that. You were correct in your interpretation of my comments.
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Dal Downing
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Joined: 06 May 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have played with mines but we always used straight up plain jane vanillia mine rules. I suppose now you could add Def Sats to you mine fields and treat them like Captor Mines. But I am still trying to find a good fix to Mineweeping I may try the Speed Zero +1 with a straight 1 in 6 next time.
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junior
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:
That is not what Mike said. He said that, assuming a base speed of zero, any impulse in which you accelerate you would have a flat 1 in 6 chance of triggering the mine. Regardless of what impulse, and how many impulses you accelerate. There is no increase in the odds to trigger a mine.

Quite frankly, that is how I would end up recommending to do it, too. It is simple, stays within the structure of FC, is consistent, and works well enough.


I dislike it myself. It allows a ship to basically move at speed 8 during a turn (0+1 every impulse) and only have a 1 in 6 chance of triggering a mine when it moves. At that speed in SFB, you'd be guaranteed to set off every last mine that you come across.

A compromise might be possible, though. When a ship moves, there are one of two alternatives. Either -

1.) You automatically set off the mine, or
2.) You declare at the start of the turn that you're only going to move one hex total (meaing that your base speed is 0, and you can only accelerate once during the turn), and when you make that move you have a 1 in 6 chance of setting off an adjacent mine.

Moving through a minefield, or clearing a minefield, is supposed to be a long, slooooow, process. Allowing a ship to move at 0+1 every impulse with minimal chance of setting off the mines makes it too easy to get through a minefield, imo.
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sbartholome
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about just increasing the chance to run in a mine the more times you move during the turn. So at 0+1, Impulse 1, 1 of 6. Impulse 2, 2 of 6, Impulse 3 3 of 6, etc. Of course this will only really work if its a big minefield area to cross, this won't work for any one single mine.

Of course the alternative is just to pick an arbutrary chance to run in to a mine if traveling at speed 0+1. 1-2 of 6, or even 1-3 of 6. Speeds 8, 16, 24 will automatically set off the mine.
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junior
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sbartholome wrote:
How about just increasing the chance to run in a mine the more times you move during the turn. So at 0+1, Impulse 1, 1 of 6. Impulse 2, 2 of 6, Impulse 3 3 of 6, etc. Of course this will only really work if its a big minefield area to cross, this won't work for any one single mine.


I touched on this option and the problems with it in one of my earlier posts.

The second option is a possibility as well, though I think that it would be nice to preserve the option to move adjacent to a mine with only a 1 in 6 chance of setting it off. It makes sweeping a minefield slightly safer (though it's still a very time consuming task).
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sbartholome wrote:
Of course the alternative is just to pick an arbutrary chance to run in to a mine if traveling at speed 0+1. 1-2 of 6, or even 1-3 of 6. Speeds 8, 16, 24 will automatically set off the mine.

That is acceptable, too. I imagine playtest would provide a good indicator of what that number needs to be.

But, no, it will not exactly match SFB. That is because the movement and impulse systems are so different. The key is to find what works well in Federation Commander, not perfectly mimic SFB.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the whole concept of mines in FC is moot. If an entire starship explodes with an matter-antimatter reaction and doesn't do any damage whatsoever to ships even in the same hex, what could a nuclear bomb do if it was several thousand kilometers away?

And the business of faster moving objects being more likely to trigger a sensing device than slower moving objects... that's another topic altogether. It isn't water these things are moving through...

I kind of liked the idea someone stated earlier about using DefSats instead of mines. The type of DefSats used now is the set of five that are in high orbit around a planet or perhaps a deep space base. How about another system of DefSats that would have less weaponry and that would be distributed in a network farther from an installation or planet?

New BoM suggestion: Networked Perimeter Satellites (NPSs). Each would have a pair of Ph-2s and a couple of drone launchers (use direct-fire drones from the BoM rules if you don't want to clutter the map with oodles of drones). A typical network would consist of 12 NPSs. If the base or installation was in hex 0807, the NetSats would be placed in hexes 0803, 0604, 0405, 0407, 0409, 0610, 0811, 1010, 1209, 1207, 1205, and 1004. They make a ring with each NPS 4 hexes from the installation and with a gap of 1 empty hex between any two NPSs.

A single ring like this still could be fairly easily penetrated in one location because the fire coming from the satellites would potentially hitting 3 different shields of an invading ship. Beefing this up with another ring of satellites two hexes even further out would help.

Or, just use mines with phasers instead of explosive strength.

Just some ideas to throw out there...
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djdood
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
I think the whole concept of mines in FC is moot. If an entire starship explodes with an matter-antimatter reaction and doesn't do any damage whatsoever to ships even in the same hex, what could a nuclear bomb do if it was several thousand kilometers away?


I think a little 'handwavium' about mines being a bomb that "drops the explosion into sub-space" would solve that problem.
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