Analysis of Starship Types

General discussion of the Victory by Any Means campaign system
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japridemor
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Analysis of Starship Types

Postby japridemor » Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:10 pm

The current Ship and Base Template Table (CG 5.4.3.3) used to construct starships in VBAM 2.0 heavily favor low cost platforms. Analyzing the merits of each platform in three categories conclusively demonstrates the superior cost benefit of the smallest platforms and poses any builder of a fleet a difficult question, “Why build larger platforms?”

The following analysis focuses on basic starships at ISD 3000 with no special abilities. Construction Points (CP) per platform are divided by 3.5, rounding down, with one part going to DV, CR and AS with the half part going to AF. Remaining CP are allocated in the same order; DV, CR then AS. That generates the following standard designs:

Cost Maint DV AS AF CR CC
1 1/12 2 1 1 1 0.5
2 1/8 2 2 1 2 1
3 1/6 3 2 1 3 1
4 2/6 4 4 2 4 2
5 2/4 5 5 2 5 2
6 2/3 6 6 3 6 3
8 2/2 8 7 3 8 4
10 3/2 10 9 4 9 5
12 4/2 11 11 5 11 6
14 5/2 13 12 6 13 7

This analysis looks at each platform with an eye to three main ratios; Cost Effectiveness as measured by Cost per Construction Point (Cost/CP), Combat Density as measured by Construction Points per Command Cost (CP/CC) and finally, Sustainability as measured by Construction Points maintained by 60 EP (CP/60).

The first ratio, Cost Effectiveness, reveals the cost of each CP for each platform. By dividing the Cost by the CP we get the following results and rankings:

Cost CP Cost/CP Rank
1 5 0.2 1
2 7 0.285714 2
3 9 0.333333 10
4 14 0.285714 2
5 17 0.294118 5
6 21 0.285714 2
8 26 0.307692 6
10 32 0.3125 7
12 38 0.315789 8
14 44 0.318182 9

As seen above, the lowly GB provides the most CP per EP spent. The surprise is the FF with only 9 CP at a cost of 3 yielding the least favorable cost per CP. So, for any given amount of EP spent you can field more CP by building GB than with any other platform. Of course Combat Density will suffer with no large command ships and specialized Guardians to defend the valuable command platforms.

The second ratio used to measure the platform choices is Combat Density. This is Combat Density per design not the overall Fleet and Task Force density that is measured by having the highest Command Rating possible but individual ship based density. How many CP can a fleet designer get into combat for each Command Point? Dividing the Construction Points by the Command Cost yields the following results and rankings:

Cost CP CC CP/CC Rank
1 5 0.5 10 1
2 7 1 7 4
3 9 1 9 2
4 14 2 7 4
5 17 2 8.5 3
6 21 3 7 4
8 26 4 6.5 7
10 32 5 6.4 8
12 38 6 6.333333 9
14 44 7 6.285714 10

Here again, the lowly GB comes out as the best choice by far. The CT comes in with a weak rank of 4 while the CL gives a better ranking than both the CT and DD platforms. So with a good command ship a fleet designer can get far more CP into a battle by deploying large numbers of GB as opposed to any other platform.

The final ratio used to evaluate the merits of the various platforms is Sustainability or how many CP can be maintained for a given EP cost. By dividing 60 EP, chosen as a least common denominator, by the maintenance cost and multiplying by the Construction Points (CP/60) we get the following results and rankings:

Cost CP Maint maint CP/60 Rank
1 5 1/12 3600 1
2 7 1/8 3360 2
3 9 1/6 3240 3
4 14 2/6 2520 4
5 17 2/4 2040 5
6 21 2/3 1890 6
8 26 2/2 1560 7
10 32 3/2 1280 8
12 38 4/2 1140 9
14 44 5/2 1056 10

No surprise that many more CP can be fielded by going with the smallest platforms, again specifically the GB.

Totaling up all of the rankings and finding their average, assuming that the three ratios are equally pertinent with no weighting, yields the following grand rating:

Cost Rank Rank Rank Average
1 1 1 1 1
2 2 4 2 2.666667
3 10 2 3 5
4 2 4 4 3.333333
5 5 3 5 4.333333
6 2 4 6 4
8 6 7 7 6.666667
10 7 8 8 7.666667
12 8 9 9 8.666667
14 9 10 10 9.666667

The GB is the best platform for getting and sustaining CP into a fleet. Larger platforms are further handicapped by extended construction times and construction berths capable of building large platforms may be limited. As mentioned above this assumes that there are still the best command ships available and allowances are made to protect those valuable command ships. Command ships should be the largest platform available and to optimize their role all CP possible should be ploughed into CR and DV. Defensive Guardian equipped platforms, AF heavy designs and escorting Fighters are necessary to ensure the survival of these invaluable starships.

Special Ability equipped ships will vary from the above conclusions. Each Special Ability should be evaluated separately to determine the optimal platform depending on whether the ability increases cost, maintenance or uses up CP. Those analysis should be in a separate paper and are outside the scope of this analysis.

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