Fighters

Check here for updates and discussion about the new edition of the Victory by Any Means Campaign System.
User avatar
Tyrel Lohr
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Posts: 1440
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:48 am
Location: Lusk, WY
Contact:

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:05 pm

Feralkoala wrote:Well, I have to say I am dismayed by this; if I want to haul individual flights around (or keep track of individual missile loads), I'll play Starfire. I was hoping you'd move in a direction toward having an empire-wide replenishment pool. If I am going to track anything, I'd prefer to track pilot training.


I understand where you are coming from. The kind of detailed tracking in Starfire always put me off of that system, and we don't want to fall into that trap. However, a large part of the "fighter problem" in 1E is the ability to quickly and easily replenish losses, something that is not possible with starships and other units.

It is important to stress that a lot of these ideas will probably be changed or dropped altogether during playtest. Some hybrid possibilities may also come into play, such as allowing Flights to be deployed automatically up to a certain distance, based on the building colony's supply route length. That is a possibility for something that we could try, and would be a half-way point between mandatory manual Flight transport and the empire-wide replenishment pool.

Another intermediate option would be to have Flights to deployed to any unit in a friendly Controlled system, but not to units that are in Contested, Claimed or Neutral systems. That would restrict where Flights could be deployed to instantaneously, and still force some manual transport in order to get them to the carriers that just lost their fighters (the carriers would either have to fall back to the system to replenish their Flights, or else send a military transport out to deliver them).

-Tyrel
"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"

User avatar
Bandit
Lieutanant Commander
Lieutanant Commander
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 3:50 pm
Location: Columbia, SC
Contact:

Postby Bandit » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:41 pm

Back in Starlight I had the mobile fighter defense unit; 64 fighters UI would ship along the supply lines to which ever colony I thought might be hit. It was great ... and incredibly silly.

I welcome this change.
-Sean Martinez

"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

User avatar
Tyrel Lohr
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Posts: 1440
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:48 am
Location: Lusk, WY
Contact:

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:17 am

Bandit wrote:Back in Starlight I had the mobile fighter defense unit; 64 fighters UI would ship along the supply lines to which ever colony I thought might be hit. It was great ... and incredibly silly.

I welcome this change.


I would be lying if I said the Cardassian/Ixian uber-alliance didn't lead to my current position on fighters. You could lose 100+ flights in a single battle, and within a few turns they would be completely replenished, and you would be ready to steamroll over the next enemy fleet.

The best compromise might be that option I posted of only allowing flights to be automatically moved between friendly Controlled systems, as that would prevent you from moving them into enemy star systems, or any system where the enemy currently has forces. It wouldn't stop the "oops, look at those magic defense forces I moved in last turn!" when someone moves into a new system, but it would force you to manually transfer fighters to the front lines during a major conflict.

-Tyrel
"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"

User avatar
Rainer
Commander
Commander
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:48 am

Postby Rainer » Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:12 am

Getting rid of the fighter death-star could also be possible by limiting fighter basing on colonies. I have no problem with a homeworld housing lots of flights but any random minor colony should not be able to do so at short notice.

The other thing would be to redesign the AS damage fighters do. I have no problem with flights wasting enemy capital ships but they should not be able to do so every turn. Forcing bombers to spend a (CSCR) turn or two rearming would do wonders. Also light fighters typically should have no AS value at all.

Finally CAP should be made more efficient. Having to guess each turn in which squadron the bombers will show up is not fun in larger battles.

User avatar
murtalianconfederacy
Captain
Captain
Posts: 363
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 9:17 am
Location: Aboard the MCS Bavoralkin

Postby murtalianconfederacy » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:31 am

Easy defence for fighters, I've found, is to deploy two escort squadrons. Make escort cruisers (no AS stat or very little AS) then build enough for two squadrons. Then each turn deploy them as ded. AF platforms. Silly, but it can either:

1) force the opposing player to try to knock out the escort squadrons before moving on to the more valuable targets

2) support the valuable targets with a really potent AF barrage that whittles fighters down and losses of valuable fleet units to more manageable levels.

Not very gentlemanly, I must admit
Not every laser dot has a loaded gun at the end of it

User avatar
Charles Lewis
Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
Posts: 937
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:58 am
Location: Des Moines, IA
Contact:

Postby Charles Lewis » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:56 am

Bandit wrote:Back in Starlight I had the mobile fighter defense unit; 64 fighters UI would ship along the supply lines to which ever colony I thought might be hit. It was great ... and incredibly silly.

I welcome this change.


Another element of the new CSCR that we're playing around with is shift in the reinforcment rules -rather than having a pool of stuff floating just out of reach to pump into the battle, you have a bunch of stuff that's not going to fight very well because your command and control is overwhelmed trying to coordinate everything.
'Fear God and dread nought'
Coat of Arms motto of Baron Fisher, of Kilverstone

Feralkoala
Ensign
Ensign
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:45 pm

Postby Feralkoala » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:18 pm

There has to be a more elegant way to handle fighter replenishment than shipping individual flights; heck, just making carriers return to a base to take on new flights might do it. Imposing a combat penalty to a ship that replenishes flights (to represent raw flight crews) is another.

Another problem with adding this kind of detail is that VBAM has never come with dedicated spreadsheet or computer support. There have been wonderfully talented people who have done some sheets for individual campaigns--but these are not necessarily useful in a general sense. As details of this sort accumulate, there has to be a better way to track it--or the game will be one that people look at longingly but never play because the work that goes into it is too daunting.

Lest I be all doom and gloom, I *am* looking forward to second edition, particularly the addition of tech. I have already started thinking of running a game and my reaction to the fighter replenishment is to some extent a mirror of what my players' reactions are likely to be--although they'd likely end up disliking "instant" replenishment with no penalty, as well. Which I suppose shows there isn't an easy solution. :wink:

Gareth_Perkins
Captain
Captain
Posts: 242
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:39 am
Location: Exeter; UK

Postby Gareth_Perkins » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:39 pm

Charles Lewis wrote:Another element of the new CSCR that we're playing around with is shift in the reinforcment rules -rather than having a pool of stuff floating just out of reach to pump into the battle, you have a bunch of stuff that's not going to fight very well because your command and control is overwhelmed trying to coordinate everything.

Good change - the current reinforcement rules especially break down when you're trying to protect specific units (by selecting low a CR commander and less than optimal squadrons you can "defend" your troopships by keeping them completely out of a fight),
Gareth Lazelle

nimrodd
Commander
Commander
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 1:59 am
Location: DFW, TX

Postby nimrodd » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:49 pm

One way that flight replenishment might be handled is to use a modified Convoy system. As you move beyond your last settled system, you have to put into place a supply convoy of units in each system that you are beyond the last system. Each convoy unit can move 1 wing of fighters (4 flights) per turn (or whatever amount is settled upon) for an economic cost of 1 EP per turn.

For example, system A is your last settled system and you are 3 systems out at system D. You have a basing capacity of 24 fighters and want to be able to get at least half resupplied in a single turn, so you need three (12 / 4 = 3) convoys per system in B & C systems (chain being A -> B -> C -> D) for a cost of 6 EP per turn to insure resupply.

As you pull back to C, your cost would go down to 3 EP per turn, or if you extended out to E, your cost would now be 9 EP per turn.
Jimmy Simpson

User avatar
Tyrel Lohr
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Posts: 1440
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:48 am
Location: Lusk, WY
Contact:

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:31 pm

The more I think about it, I think the hybrid option I mentioned earlier should work the best. This would allow you to insta-move Flights (and officers, for that matter) between Controlled colonies, and then it is just up to the player to get them "the last mile" to their destination. This can take the form of either manually loading them aboard transports (whether military supply ships or civilian fleets) and moving them, or else forcing a carrier to move back to their colony to embark them from there.

A lot of this will depend on how survivable individual Flight units end up in 2E. With the possibility of Flights receiving Formation Levels combined with the fact that they will be able to Cripple like Starships, I have a feeling they should be survivable enough to not need constant replacing.

More replies soon.

-Tyrel
"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"

User avatar
Charles Lewis
Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
Posts: 937
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:58 am
Location: Des Moines, IA
Contact:

Postby Charles Lewis » Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:45 pm

Gareth_Perkins wrote:Good change - the current reinforcement rules especially break down when you're trying to protect specific units (by selecting low a CR commander and less than optimal squadrons you can "defend" your troopships by keeping them completely out of a fight),


That's precisely one of the situations we're trying to address.
'Fear God and dread nought'

Coat of Arms motto of Baron Fisher, of Kilverstone

User avatar
Tyrel Lohr
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Posts: 1440
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:48 am
Location: Lusk, WY
Contact:

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:46 pm

Rainer wrote:Getting rid of the fighter death-star could also be possible by limiting fighter basing on colonies. I have no problem with a homeworld housing lots of flights but any random minor colony should not be able to do so at short notice.


Planetary basing is something that we still have to revisit. As an off-the-cuff response, I would be tempted to say that the total SIZ of Flights that can be based off of a colony should be tied to its Supply infrastructure statistic. I am not sure what the best formula for this would be, but a straight Supply x 10 = Total SIZ might work. That would allow a homeworld to base quite a few Flights itself.

Rainer wrote:The other thing would be to redesign the AS damage fighters do. I have no problem with flights wasting enemy capital ships but they should not be able to do so every turn. Forcing bombers to spend a (CSCR) turn or two rearming would do wonders. Also light fighters typically should have no AS value at all.


Given the scope of the CSCR, I don't see forcing Flights to only perform certain fire at certain times making much sense. If tied to specific unit abilities or setting rules, then I could see it, but the length of a scenario is not defined well enough to say definitively that a unit does or does not have the time or ability to fire on capital ships every single turn.

That all being said, Flights should end up with considerably fewer points to spend on abilities, so your smaller and easier to maintain Flights will by definition have very limited abilities, and will have to make sacrifices in one area or another. A low tech Light Fighter (SIZ 1) might only have enough points to purchase 1 Defense and either 1 Anti-Ship or 1 Anti-Fighter, but not both. Or it could forego weaponry altogether and just shove some better Engines onboard so that it can provide Formation Points to support its squadron or strikegroup.

Rainer wrote:Finally CAP should be made more efficient. Having to guess each turn in which squadron the bombers will show up is not fun in larger battles.


CSCR 2 eliminates Flight assignments; both squadrons and strikegroups are simply assigned attack orders during the Assignments Phase stipulating during which point in the Weapons Fire Phase they will be participating in combat (Long Range, Medium Range, or Short Range). All AS/AF fire is then polled from friendly units firing during the same Fire Phase, and scored appropriately. Thus fighter CAPs no longer need to be declared.

It is hoped that this change, even with the integration of three separate firing phases, will vastly speed up CSCR resolution. There is some slowdown if either side has a lot of specialized equipment to be calculated prior to firing, but most of these are straightforward, and don't take long to assign during their appropriate Phase.

-Tyrel
"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"

User avatar
Tyrel Lohr
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Posts: 1440
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:48 am
Location: Lusk, WY
Contact:

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:52 pm

Feralkoala wrote:Another problem with adding this kind of detail is that VBAM has never come with dedicated spreadsheet or computer support. There have been wonderfully talented people who have done some sheets for individual campaigns--but these are not necessarily useful in a general sense. As details of this sort accumulate, there has to be a better way to track it--or the game will be one that people look at longingly but never play because the work that goes into it is too daunting.


We are going to endeavor to get some decent tracking forms put together to accompany 2E, but your point is a very good one. There has been a slow but steady march towards ever-increasing detail in the campaign system over the last few years, and that is part of the reason we wanted to undertake Second Edition: to eliminate some of the more onerous rules creep, and simplify, simplify, simplify.

As you point out, however, we have to be careful of introducing bothersome rules in 2E unless we absolutely have to. In the case of flight movement, I agree that there has to be a better way of doing it, but I know just how easily the existing rules can be abused, having seen it happen in several campaigns. It is just finding that balance between tracking and effect that we will have to strive for.

Feralkoala wrote:Lest I be all doom and gloom, I *am* looking forward to second edition, particularly the addition of tech. I have already started thinking of running a game and my reaction to the fighter replenishment is to some extent a mirror of what my players' reactions are likely to be--although they'd likely end up disliking "instant" replenishment with no penalty, as well. Which I suppose shows there isn't an easy solution. :wink:


It is all about finding a balancing point. As I said, I think the hybrid option that came into my mind when you raised your concerns should be a good middle ground, and at least gives us a starting point for playtesting and seeing just how annoying it is having to load fighters on transports to move them into the warzone. It may not end up being worth it, but just being able to keep players from instantly resupplying carriers in the field would be a great achievement.

-Tyrel
"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"

User avatar
Bandit
Lieutanant Commander
Lieutanant Commander
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 3:50 pm
Location: Columbia, SC
Contact:

Postby Bandit » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:49 pm

Tyrel Lohr wrote:I would be lying if I said the Cardassian/Ixian uber-alliance didn't lead to my current position on fighters. You could lose 100+ flights in a single battle, and within a few turns they would be completely replenished, and you would be ready to steamroll over the next enemy fleet.


Muahahahahahaha! We had to do something to protect ourselves from the Old republic fighters and the sillyness of the Usuuth breaching pods. Ah good times.

Speaking of which, will breaching pods to crtailed in power?
-Sean Martinez



"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

User avatar
Bandit
Lieutanant Commander
Lieutanant Commander
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 3:50 pm
Location: Columbia, SC
Contact:

Postby Bandit » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:53 pm

Rainer wrote:Getting rid of the fighter death-star could also be possible by limiting fighter basing on colonies. I have no problem with a homeworld housing lots of flights but any random minor colony should not be able to do so at short notice.

The other thing would be to redesign the AS damage fighters do. I have no problem with flights wasting enemy capital ships but they should not be able to do so every turn. Forcing bombers to spend a (CSCR) turn or two rearming would do wonders. Also light fighters typically should have no AS value at all.

Finally CAP should be made more efficient. Having to guess each turn in which squadron the bombers will show up is not fun in larger battles.


wow you hit a lot of my thoughts on fighters!

My problem with fighters has always been that in the CSCR there was not reason not to allocate all fighters towards a single target as you had no way of knowing where the enemy would allocate his fighters to strike or defend. So in essence you had this crazy game of starship whack-a-mole which involved hundreds of fighters.

Fighters were always too efficient of a way to defend to system. Jump capable fighters ... ugh
-Sean Martinez



"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."


Return to “Second Edition Development”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest