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Borders of Madness Decision #1: which scout?
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Which scout ships should be in BoM #1?
Scouts based on war cruisers
11%
 11%  [ 5 ]
Scouts based on war destroyers
29%
 29%  [ 13 ]
Scouts based on a wide variety of ships
59%
 59%  [ 26 ]
Total Votes : 44

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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, the Fed DD-SC is one of the best scouts in the game. If everybody else gets a DWS, then the feds win every battle that includes a scout on each side.
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Dal Downing
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a opinion but why limit the choice to just pure scouts? Since it is BOM cards why not look at giving every one a Survey Cruiser. This would add the required Scout plus many of the Survey Ships were multipurposed to other roles like light carriers or commando ships. Since cards are so rare this seems like the most bang for the Buck.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Cole wrote:
Actually, the Fed DD-SC is one of the best scouts in the game. If everybody else gets a DWS, then the feds win every battle that includes a scout on each side.


Assuming a FedCom game then I doubt it, as I keep reiterating, in most games large numbers of channels are just not that significant. Of course they also pay for that 'uber' scout, other empires may be seeing 20-30 points extra that will be spent on other ships in points based games. Add in that Feds are arguably amongst the worst affected empire in games with scouts - photons are hurt quite bad by a +1 shift.

Assuming new BoM sensor rules, the one area I can certainly see making extra sensor boxes useful is if it includes counter jamming. At the moment you need a small handful of sensors for jamming pretty much all enemy firepower, and anything else is probably drone swatting (if there are drones to swat). Add counter jamming and you may well find the extra sensors really useful - as it allows you jam and counter jam, whilst ships with fewer sensors may be forced to choose one or the other.

I'm actually surprised counter jamming wasn't in the FC sensor rules (having decided to put sensors in at all), target a friendly ship, spend a sensor and 1 power to counter any jamming it encounters that turn.
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pinecone
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
Steve Cole wrote:
Actually, the Fed DD-SC is one of the best scouts in the game. If everybody else gets a DWS, then the feds win every battle that includes a scout on each side.

I'm actually surprised counter jamming wasn't in the FC sensor rules (having decided to put sensors in at all), target a friendly ship, spend a sensor and 1 power to counter any jamming it encounters that turn.


Counter-Jamming IS already in the game system. And it will continue to be.

To SVC: Yes, but as mentioned photons ar hurt badly by the +1 shift and once the SC goes down (or runs out of energy) the other side has the advantage. Plus, in the real universe, if the feds had a better scout then they just had a better scout. But this is BoM, and there are some things the feds don't have very good ships in (Gunboats for example), so it would all balance out and be no worse (and probably not as bad) as SFB.

Thr frigate/destroyer (not DW) scouts are needed as historically significant ships. The others are secondary, perhaps for BoM 2. And besides, the CWSs were'nt really very common, but a FFS (or DWS, the next most important scout for similar reasons) could show up in any fleet engagement
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if the FFS/DDS ships are that historically significant. Apart from the Fed Scout, which has already been published. Trouble with putting an FF or DD sized ship in most FedCom games is that it will be facing off against fully-refitted late war ships. That is to say it will blow up relatively easily. Sure, you can put it behind your main ships but on a fixed map, that may not be practical (no room), or the enemy may decide it's small enough and valuable enough to shoot at from long distance despite the range.

Light-cruiser-scouts will be durable.
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few points.

Using the rules in the RRB (and HA), there is no counter jamming. There is friendly jamming, self-defense jamming, and offensive jamming, but no counter jamming. This is primarily because of how jamming works in these rules. However, in the older, more detailed rules, there was counter jamming.

The number of channels can be important, depending on various factors. In the case of the RRB (and HA) rules, any instance of jamming only works for a single impulse. So, more channels available allows for more chances to jam and influence fire. Eight is a lot. However only having two or three can be limiting, even if they are only covering two or three ships.

I am not following this whole "historically important" thing. Frigate scouts are an interesting historical footnote, but they were fairly irrelevant in stand-up fleet battles (like most pick-a-point battles). They are just too fragile to stand up and play with the fleet. Destroyer scouts were important in the early part of the General War, but war destroyer scouts replaced both as the War continued. And war cruiser scouts were frequently used in large fleet battles because they had more channels available, and could stand up to enemy fire.

The reason that war destroyer scouts and war cruiser scouts are the primary classes mentioned is because they are actually the most common type of scouts that were used over the General War as a whole. Those were the most common hull types, and therefore, they were the most common type of scouts that were made.

The most likely reason Steve leans toward the war cruiser scouts is because they were common, can take damage well, and were very useful as scouts. If you can only get one type, then they seem to provide the most flexibility. Plus, if more complex rules than those in the RRB/HA are used, then the increased power in that class will be extremely useful, too. War destroyers are a good back-off position, but generally just are not as capable as war cruiser scouts. That said, the war destroyer scouts polled better than war cruiser scouts. Maybe they should be used instead.

Finally, survey cruisers are not being considered because they would need to be considered as survey cruisers, not scouts.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:

The number of channels can be important, depending on various factors. In the case of the RRB (and HA) rules, any instance of jamming only works for a single impulse. So, more channels available allows for more chances to jam and influence fire. Eight is a lot. However only having two or three can be limiting, even if they are only covering two or three ships.


I can only go by what I've seen from the games we have played with sensors in them. Eight fire oppotunities is not that much, and 2-4 sensors will often be plenty good enough. Though there are scenarios where large number of sensors are useful (e.g. fighting Kzinti)

Remember, there are 4 possible moves between fire chances, in that time there is a good chance that you will either find your self facing a new shield; having weapons go out of arc; or having to manouver your self into a bad position to keep your firing position. Staggering fire like you might have done in SFB, where very little happened between fire chances, is no where near as useful. If the only thing a scout does is force someone to do that then it has already achieved a huge amount - possibly more than just providing a jamming shift would have done. Indeed the more sensors you have the less likely it is the enemy will have those decisions to wory about.

Also bear in mind that in a good number of those games with just 2 or 3 ships you will often hit a close range decisive point where one side unloads and the other needs to me-to, and that you cannot realistically delay firing without being at a noticebale disadvantage. The presence of even a single sensor that might be thrown in after you have declared is significant in such cases. If you don't hit hard he keeps back the sensor having already achieved a siginifcant reduction in incoming fire, if you do fully unload he sensors it.

(I don't know how scouts worked in SFB, nor am I that bothered, but if it followed the usual SFB approach of pre-planning everything then it may be that it is the me-to/timing of sensors that makes just a small number much more adavantageous than it may have been in SFB, as you don't have to worry about guessing when to use them).

Splitting fire in order to hit more ships, and hence spread the sensors amongst more things to defend can be potentuially useful. Indeed in large games you may be doing that anyway regardless of sensors. However, and again i'm still talking current FedCom, the fact that sensors are used when they are allows the scout to choose the appropiate targets to defend, and again, unless the attacker is going to stagger his fire over multiple impulses (often tactically bad), can still be handled with just 2-4 sensors in most battles.

As I noted before, it is the much larger games you need to be playing to find good use of more sensors, precisely because of the likelyhood of the enemy targeting multi enemies, and the likeyhood of there being fire naturally coming in over multi impulses in such larger games.

Quote:
Counter-Jamming IS already in the game system.
FedCom doesn't have counter jamming. I expect a BoM version would have.

Given that scout rules are already in FedCom the scout product is likely to be in a haflway house, being useful to FedCom players and not just BoM fans. Idealy all major scouts woud be provided via an attack product and 3 boosters. Given that more than 1 scout is not really needed the boosters could be pretty much all new ships and not just duplicates.


PS - I'm not saying that more sensors doesn't provide that extra flexibility, clearly it provides redundancy and flexibility to just throw them around on all sorts of stuff. But in most cases that is overkill, and probably makes the points spent on such a ship (in point based games) less beneficial in all but the largest games.
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The_Rock
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In SFB scout channels were very expensive if used to gain die-roll shifts. As you note, they were also all allocated and revealed before fire was plotted.

In short, a ship could spend 1-6 points of power to gain an ECM shift (1 at +1-3, 2 at +4-8, 3 at +9-15, etc.). A scout channel could lend up to an additional 6 to any one ship. The cost was 1 power for the channel to be active and then 1 for each power lent.

Thus, in SFB, massive numbers of sensor channels were not so important as ships with power. The exception is in dealing with drones, where a single sensor channel still only costs 1 power to remove up to three drones.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that.

It does enlighten me a bit a to why some people may be saying what they are, as it sounds like power was an issue (which small ships would probably lack) but that is not the case in FC, where sensors are incredibly cheap on ships with much more spare powe than they had in SFB.

It also sounds like more sensors were more useful to help mitigate the pre-plan guessing when (or on whom) to use them, which again is not an issue in FC with its 'me-to' aspect to timing their use.

I have a feeling some people may be guessing as to how they play in FC rather than based on actual playtesting.


PS it also sounds like sensor functions are not as significant in FC, a +3 shift is pretty nasty. A +1 shift is nice but for the firepower sacrificed in having the scout means it is of much more dubious value, which is why I'd rather see the smaller (cheaper) scouts first.


Last edited by storeylf on Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
I have a feeling some people may be guessing as to how they play in FC rather than based on actual playtesting.

Nope, I am guessing something completely different. I am guessing on what the BoM special sensor rules will look like.

But that is just a guess. It could be that the RRB/HA rules are simply adopted as the definitive rules for both FC and BoM. In that case, the parameters we are working under would indeed change.

BTW, I have been paying attention. Your explanation of the real-game experiences is good and helpful.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mjwest wrote:

Nope, I am guessing something completely different. I am guessing on what the BoM special sensor rules will look like.


Fair point. I suppose that goes to what I said earlier - scouts are not really a pure BoM thing anymore. This product coud be usefully released as a pure FC attack product without any new rules.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Survey ships won't be in Bom1. There are just too many needed ships. By the time you give every empire one scout, one carrier, and one escort, and give three empires a mauler, you're done. You need scouts far more than survey ships as there were a lot more of them and they're a lot more likely to show up in point battles.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought that the Communique Scout rules were going to be the BoM ones, and they did include counter-jamming.

If we're not gonna get the frigate scouts, I'd like the DW ones first.
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Capt Jack
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the matter is to many ships as Steve has said. Then there is a way around it.

Why not treat scouts the same as Q-ships. (i.e standard ship with options per race)

Then you could easly produce a Small, medium and Large scout. This is only an Idea .

This would mean less ships and if demand is there then production of empire/race specific might be done at a later date.

p.s As long as my brave Orions get a scout ship then I'm happy Very Happy
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Savedfromwhat
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

orions can take special sensors in option mounts...
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