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Fighters in Borders of Madness
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
No drones. All direct fire.

What about plasma?
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Mike
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They would be the exception. Plasma-Ds. Or to carry the same theme, only bolted plasmas (Fs and Ds).

I had a post about all of this earlier. Maybe it was overlooked or maybe it was deemed not a good idea.

Give two fighter choices in BoM:
1) Standard fighters just as they are in SFB, or
2) Fighters armed with only DF weapons with the exception of plasma-armed fighters (and even then with the option of bolt-only or leave it to the player to decide how to fire them).

To change a drone-carrying fighter from SFB into a DF fighter, replace its drone launcher(s) with the appropriate heavy weapon(s). That heavy weapon would be exactly like the same heavy weapon carried on a ship except it could not be overloaded and it would hit with only half the damage. A range limitation could be imposed if desired (8, 10, 12, 15 hexes?).
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just finished another game involving carriers and DF fighters, which ended with a discussion on the DF fighters. As usual it was my opponent who had the carrier and me who didn't, again it was a campaign game. A lack of interest in a ship's fate in one off games may mean that what we are seeing plays differently.

Had a re-read of what I had said before, and would make the following comments.

The presence of fighters does slow things down a bit, but now that we are more used to them it is not that bad. I think the DF rules are working in the sense that the game is still flowing at a reasonble pace with less counter clutter.

However, I now believe that fighter DF drones/plasma-D (Rom/ISC carriers) are really weak, too weak for the points invested (carrier + fighters is 250-300 pts). Previoulsy I had said that they seemed balanced, being harder to get a launch in return for the guaranteed hits. However, I have just not seen those hits, the limited launch range is simply too crippling. Range 8 and the turn sequence allows ships to move to within range 8 and fire direct fire weapons at the fighters before the launch phase, it isn't hard stopping fighters from launching. If it is drone fighters (rather than plasma) then it is even worse as you can kill the fighter the impluse after launch when ships are even closer and drone control is lost pre-impact.


We played this last game with this rule that was mooted at one point, it allows the target to 'outrun' the seeker:

mwest wrote:

Mike,

The easiest way to solve the problem you see is to only check the range at the last sub-pulse of the following impulse.

So, record the target and hex of launch in the launch phase of Impulse X. During the end of the last movement sub-pulse of Impulse X+1, if the target is four hexes or closer, the drone strikes the shield currently facing the hex of launch. If at range 5 or greater, then wait. During the end of the last movement sub-pulse of Impulse X+2, if the target is eight hexes or closer, the drone strikes the shield currently facing the hex of launch. If at range 9 or greater the drone misses.

That gets you everything (target can move a new shield, target can get away with speed, is not an auto-hit, influences target movement, keeps basic rules from CL37). The only negative is needing to keep records for a potential two impulses.


This just made the DF plasma even weaker. You can nip in under range 8, shoot and bug out again should any survivers actually get to launch.


I'm currently thinking that the launch range needs extending to 10 (0-5 is 1 impulse impact or 6-10 is 2 impulse impact) and will probably recommend that we play our next carrier game with that to see how it goes. This would potentially allow the fighter to launch before ships get into range 8 - an important range bracket. It also happens to be nicely consistent with the max range of stinger fusions.

Whilst we haven't played with anything other than DF rules, I can't see range 8 working for normal drone rules either - it doesn't matter how the drones are tracked, if you can't launch cos you are crippled/dead then DF or not is a meaningless question.

I have still seen no evidence that fighters with more than 2 drones will be of any use, they just don't survive long enough to worry about that extra ammo.


Last edited by storeylf on Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Monty
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did I read somewhere that Borders of Madness is being reevaluated because of possible fragmentation concerns?

If fighter ops is ever added I'm in the camp of ditching seeking weapons and adding fighter specific heavies including bolts.

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Kang
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
Range 8 and the turn sequence allows ships to move to within range 8 and fire direct fire weapons at the fighters before the launch phase, it isn't hard stopping fighters from launching. If it is drone fighters (rather than plasma) then it is even worse as you can be killed the impluse after launch when ships are even closer and drone control is lost pre-impact..

How's about this for an idea - allow fighters to 'me, too' launch in response to a DF attack. Doesn't help the drone guys much, I know, but it's an idea....
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't remember if fighter drones have self-tracking mode or not, but if not, then killing the fighter essentially kills the drones it launches no matter when it launches them.

Now if you're referring to DF drones (CL37, 5QM3c), that would be a little different.

As a matter for consideration, it might have some merit. Two ideas:

1. Consider and test how things would work out if "DF drones" were fired during the Direct Fire Phase instead of being launched during the Launch Phase.

2. "DF drones" would be "fire and forget" self-tracking drones that do not require the survival of the launching ship (in this case, a fighter) to home on their target.

The other rules about determining which shield is impacted and when the target is impacted would still apply. This would mean the target ship would still have a chance to evade by speed and separation. What it would not allow would be for fighters to be destroyed at a range of 8 hexes or less before they had a chance to launch their drones.

This would probably lead to fighters turning into massive drone launching platforms. They would dip within the 8 hex range, "fire" their DF drones, then turn-tail and get away as fast as they could. Isn't there some major nation today that has a similar fighter tactical doctrine?
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Kang
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
2. "DF drones" would be "fire and forget" self-tracking drones that do not require the survival of the launching ship (in this case, a fighter) to home on their target.

That was going to be my next suggestion; however, I refrained from posting it because: a) it would give the fighters an ability that even a mighty starship does not have; and b) I seem to remember there was some resistance to the idea a bit back because the defender would no longer be able to use the 'kill the guidance platform' tactic. However, given that Mike has made the suggestion in the context of DF drones, it becomes a somewhat more viable idea.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have been concerned over fragmentation since FC was printed.

I think it can be managed, but there is always going to be that letter that starts "Dear ADB. Please publish something that requires my opponent to use the rules I want to use."
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't come up with a rationale for why DF drones would have that technology and regular drones would not. We'll let someone else do the "hand-wavium."
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Hod K'el
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am now playing as if all drones have ATG.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How's this for an idea: If using drone-launching fighters in BoM (only) then change the drone guidance rules so it's as if they all have ATG as Hod K'el is doing. It's BoM; it doesn't have to reflect the entire ruleset of 'proper' FedCom.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hod K'el wrote:
I am now playing as if all drones have ATG.


I have no idea what you mean. Is that some SFBism?
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
Hod K'el wrote:
I am now playing as if all drones have ATG.

I have no idea what you mean. Is that some SFBism?

Yes, that is an SFBism. In SFB, ATG is an enhancement drones may have that will allow them to self-guide once they are eight hexes or closer to their target.

Fundamentally, he wants fighter drones to be self-guiding so that the inevitable destruction of the fighter does not make the drones go away. Since he can't justify fighter drones having that, but ship drones not, he is giving it to ship drones, too.

The only question is if he is using the eight hex range, or if he is just flat out making all drones self-guiding at any range.
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Hod K'el
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fighter locks occurr at range 8. The target lock info downloads to the missile. Missile launches and ATG takes over.

Ships lock at range 25. The target lock info downloads to the drone. Drone launches and ATG takes over.

I consider ship control channels to be my backup system.

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mjwest
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, then you are saying that all drones are self-guiding. That means there is no such thing as drone control limits. You could get picky and use that as the limit of what can be launched at once, but there is no problem with a Kzinti BC having all 12 of its theoretical maximum drones on the board at a single time. A C10 could pump out 16 drones over a turn break!
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