Unit Size (SIZ)

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Tyrel Lohr
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Unit Size (SIZ)

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:12 am

One of the big "eureka!" moments early in 2E pre-development was the introduction of a Unit Size (SIZ) attribute to describe the relative size of a unit when compared to other units. The SIZ attribute can range from 1 to 10, with 1 being the smallest unit of a type, and 10 being the biggest.

When considering Starships, this means that a SIZ 1 unit will be a small corvette or frigate, while SIZ 10 would be the equivalent of a Death Star or other enormous mobile unit.

A Starship's Command Cost is, by default, equal to its SIZ. Ground units will also likely receive a Command Cost attribute, and it will similarly be equal to its SIZ. Some special techs might adjust Command Cost, so it isn't an absolute, but for purposes of this discussion you might as well assume SIZ = Command Cost.

As planned, SIZ will be tied to shipyard limits, Formation Level purchases, # of elite officers, etc. It will be a fairly important attribute, and one that fixes a lot of issues that I was having with a ship construction system prior to coming up with it.

-Tyrel

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Postby MarkG88 » Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:29 am

*high fives* I LIKE the sounds of this! It will definitely clear up some muddy waters and add to the VBAM modular ability for various star empire settings. 8)

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Postby mwaschak » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:57 pm

In practice it fixes a lot of issues with construction and technology. This was one of those things that snapped, and then we decided exactly how 2E needed to come together. It also gives us a world of things to work with in a managable fashion in the new Engineering Manual.

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Postby nimrodd » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:52 pm

One thing I think you need to do is a unified SIZ attribute. You are talking about using a SIZ attribute in the Fighters topic and then over here with 1 being corvette to frigate size. This could lead to confusion. If you had a unified SIZ attribute, your Fighter Flights might go from 1-10 and your ships might be 10-200, with Carrier Ratings being a SIZ rating, for example, a 100 SIZ Carrier has a Carrier Rating of 25 and could carry 1 flight of super heavies (SIZ 10) & 3 flights of Mediums (SIZ 5). The other 75 SIZ points are engines, jump drives, sensors & weapons.
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Postby Chyll » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:00 pm

Would I assume correctly that there is some sort of shipyard update in terms of a SIZ attribute also?
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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:53 pm

nimrodd wrote:One thing I think you need to do is a unified SIZ attribute. You are talking about using a SIZ attribute in the Fighters topic and then over here with 1 being corvette to frigate size. This could lead to confusion. If you had a unified SIZ attribute, your Fighter Flights might go from 1-10 and your ships might be 10-200, with Carrier Ratings being a SIZ rating, for example, a 100 SIZ Carrier has a Carrier Rating of 25 and could carry 1 flight of super heavies (SIZ 10) & 3 flights of Mediums (SIZ 5). The other 75 SIZ points are engines, jump drives, sensors & weapons.


I had attempted something similar to this once before, but it didn't work out as intended. There is also the issue that the campaign system itself works well with numbers between 1-10, and below that things start to get kind of wonky. That being said, we will make sure to impress that the SIZ is relative to unit type, and not a fixed statistic, just to head off some of the potential confusion.

As an additional aside, my rough notes for storing Starships as cargo essentially applies a multiplier to SIZ, so in that aspect you do see a more accurate representation of how SIZ relates between different unit types.

One thing to point out is that SIZ roughly lines up with the stowage rules from 1E, where Basing Capacity allowed 1 Flight unit to be based (SIZ 1 Flight), and Ground units required a 10 Cargo transport fleet to be moved (SIZ 10 Ground). The only difference is now Flights can be built bigger and Troops can be built smaller than in 1E.

Also, SIZ will not directly equal the number of points (I am thinking of calling them Mass, or something like that -- need a good name) you have to spend, though it will factor heavily into the formula. Thinking about it more last night, I am contemplating a formula of:

Maximum Mass = SQRT(Construction Cost x SIZ) x Construction TL + SIZ

I need to run the numbers to see if this works better or worse than the other formula candidates. The formula would certainly allow for larger ships to be built, but the stat bloat would be massive unless you divided SIZ by 10 for most units, which leads to even more confusion...

As I said, you make a good point, but I think the comparison in SIZ should probably be made as part of the discussion on SIZ just so we can keep the attribute's implementation as simple as possible.

-Tyrel

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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:00 pm

Chyll wrote:Would I assume correctly that there is some sort of shipyard update in terms of a SIZ attribute also?


We are still hammering that out, but the current thought (at least in my mind) is to do away with the megalithic shipyard construct of 1E and replace it with smaller shipyards, each of which can accommodate at most one ship at a time. The maximum SIZ of unit a shipyard can handle would then be equal to its colony's Productivity statistic (or 1, whichever is highest). Multiple shipyards can be combined to allow the construction (or repair) of larger units, however, so a colony with 3 Productivity and 2 Shipyards could combine both shipyards to build/repair a ship up to SIZ 6.

Construction Capacity limits are going away for shipyards, and will be replaced instead with an overall "Production Output" limit at colonies, equal to Productivity times Census. Using the colony example from the preceding paragraph, if the colony has 4 Census, then its Production Output would be 3 x 4 = 12. That means the player could spend up to 12 EP per turn on purchases at that colony.

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Postby Charles Lewis » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:28 pm

You know if you keep this up, Tyrel, I won't have anything to write about in the weekly Dev Report. :lol:
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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:31 pm

Charles Lewis wrote:You know if you keep this up, Tyrel, I won't have anything to write about in the weekly Dev Report. :lol:


Oh, you'll have things to write about! I am just writing what *I* think is going to be happening, which doesn't necessarily translate into how the rules will actually be ;)

Not to mention that I tend to ramble, and only talk about specific sections of the rules at a time. The weekly updates should end up being more cohesive than my fevered forum postings!

On the plus side, I think I should be ready to send an updated outline to the development team later this week, after I get our corporate filing into the state. We are getting close to the point of doing some initial live-fire testing and rule writing now, I think!

-Tyrel
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Postby japridemor » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:12 pm

This looks similar to what my friends and I had implemented in a local campaign. We used size to determine the number of SU (space units) available for a given hull. Very similar (read: exactly) as in starmada. We then used those SU to buy the various numbers for a VBAM CSCR design as in the Wall of Text below. The idea is that TL will further modify the SU needed to buy say DV of 2, etc. Special equipment would be costed as well such as scout functions, disruptor ability, etc.

Pasted Wall of Text wrote:UNIT SIZE ◀ 0.3.1
All spacecraft and bases in the Imperial Stars milieu have an additional statistic known as size (SZ). This is a relative measure of the craft’s mass. This number, usually ranging from 1 to 10, determines how many space units (SU) are available to add additional statistics: Defense Value, Anti-Ship Value, Anti-Fighter Value, etc., to the design. The number of SU available to a design is calculated by the following equation:

Number of SU = Size ^ 1.2 x 100, round fractions up

Example: A size 5 cruiser would have 690 SU ( 5 ^ 1.2 = 6.898, x 100 = 689.8 ) available.

This has the effect of giving larger units more SU than a mere multiple of the smaller unit’s SU. While a size 1 design would have 100 SU available to use, a huge size 10 battleship would have 1,585 SU available.

ADDING UNIT STATISTICS ◀ 0.3.2
Each statistic requires a number of SU to add to the design. Some statistics are a flat number and some are based on the size of the design. Several statistics have an initial value, based off of the size of the design and the other statistics begin at level zero (0).

Defense Value (DV):
This statistic begins at one (1) for all sizes of designs. Additional levels cost a number of SU equal to:

Number of SU = Size ^ 0.5 x 10, round fractions up.

Example: Adding seven (7) additional levels of DV to the size 5 cruiser from above would cost 23 SU each ( 5 ^ 0.5 = 2.236 x 10 = 22.36 ) or a total of 161 SU. The cruiser now has a DV of eight ( 8 ) with 529 SU remaining to be used from its original 690.

In effect, this makes DV proportionally cheaper for larger units, reflecting the shear durability of the more massive units.

Anti-Ship Value (AS):
This statistic begins at zero (0) for all sizes of designs. Additional levels cost 10 SU.

Example: Adding eight ( 8 ) levels of AS to the size 5 cruiser from above would cost 10 SU each or a total of 80 SU. The cruiser now has a AS of eight ( 8 ) with 449 SU remaining after adding the AS and DV.

Anti-Fighter Value (AF):
This statistic begins at zero (0) for all sizes of designs. Additional levels cost 15 SU.

Example: Adding four (4) levels of AF to the size 5 cruiser from above would cost 15 SU each or a total of 60 SU. The cruiser now has a AF of four (4) with 389 SU remaining after adding the AF, AS and DV.

Command Rating (CR):
This statistic starts at one (1) for all sizes of designs. Additional levels cost 15 SU.

Command Cost (CC):
This statistic begins at a level based on the size of the design using the following equation:

Number of SU = Size ^ 0.7, round fractions up.

This has the effect of making the CC proportionally cheaper for larger units, reflecting the greater combat density found in these larger units.

Basing (BS):
This statistic starts at zero (0) for all sizes of designs. Additional levels cost 15 SU.

Speed (SPD):
This statistic begins at zero (0) for all sizes of designs. Additional levels are based on the size of the design using the following equation:

Number of SU = Size ^ 1.1 x 5, round fractions up.

This has the effect of making larger units use proportionally more for each point of speed as compared to smaller units.
Last edited by japridemor on Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby japridemor » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:20 pm

I have a spreadsheet template that implements all of our construction rules if you are interested. It has size implemented for Ships (bases are just ships that don't move), fighters and ground units...all based off of TL as well. Our TLs went to 30 and kinda matched what was presented in CMC in that INT-1 had a TL of 6 and so on.

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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:34 pm

japridemor wrote:I have a spreadsheet template that implements all of our construction rules if you are interested. It has size implemented for Ships (bases are just ships that don't move), fighters and ground units...all based off of TL as well. Our TLs went to 30 and kinda matched what was presented in CMC in that INT-1 had a TL of 6 and so on.


Sure, send it on over to us. I will PM you my email address, but you probably already have it already. We can test that ship design option along with our own to see which works better, and add the best elements of both into the final version of the rules.

Just at a glance, it looks like this option takes more math but might offer a more graceful range of values. I know I am definitely interested in taking a look at it!

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Re: Unit Size (SIZ)

Postby MarkG88 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:57 pm

Tyrel Lohr wrote:One of the big "eureka!" moments early in 2E pre-development was the introduction of a Unit Size (SIZ) attribute to describe the relative size of a unit when compared to other units. The SIZ attribute can range from 1 to 10, with 1 being the smallest unit of a type, and 10 being the biggest.

When considering Starships, this means that a SIZ 1 unit will be a small corvette or frigate, while SIZ 10 would be the equivalent of a Death Star or other enormous mobile unit.

A Starship's Command Cost is, by default, equal to its SIZ. Ground units will also likely receive a Command Cost attribute, and it will similarly be equal to its SIZ. Some special techs might adjust Command Cost, so it isn't an absolute, but for purposes of this discussion you might as well assume SIZ = Command Cost.

As planned, SIZ will be tied to shipyard limits, Formation Level purchases, # of elite officers, etc. It will be a fairly important attribute, and one that fixes a lot of issues that I was having with a ship construction system prior to coming up with it.

-Tyrel


Now then, ground units will also have a SIZ rating correct? If so will this be tied into census for build/recruit purposes? A census 4 planet/system can build one SIZ 4 ground unit, or 4 x SIZ 1 units per turn/build phase for example.

I'm keying on census here and will do a post in the 2.0 edition section on that topic specifically (aka "wish list" stuff).

-Mark

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Re: Unit Size (SIZ)

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:31 pm

MarkG88 wrote:Now then, ground units will also have a SIZ rating correct? If so will this be tied into census for build/recruit purposes? A census 4 planet/system can build one SIZ 4 ground unit, or 4 x SIZ 1 units per turn/build phase for example.

I'm keying on census here and will do a post in the 2.0 edition section on that topic specifically (aka "wish list" stuff).


Correct, ground units will receive SIZ values, too. This allows us to have some range in values between small special forces groups (SIZ 1) and your "classic" standard SIZ 10 ground forces from 1E. How well this will work in practice, admittedly, will come out during the first round of playtesting. I am hopeful that the sliding scale should work out.

Also, although I don't think I mentioned it, the total SIZ of ground units a ship can base is equal to its Assault Rating, so you could feasibly build a small frigate with the one point of the Assault ability, and it would then be able to run around with a single SIZ 1 ground unit aboard.

Now, one potential problem with that (which I think Charlie brought up originally) is that it could make depositing small, cheap ground troops at enemy colonies too easy. However, I think in 2E we need to make sure that Militia units are always present, probably with a number of Militias equal to Census. That would help make it very unlikely that a single small ground unit could conquer an entire colony world unless that colony was very small.

As for tying ground unit activation to Census, I think we plan on doing that somehow, but I don't think we have clearly defined what that connection would be. I would be inclined to set the limitation so that the maximum number (instead of SIZ) of ground units that can be purchased at a colony would be equal to the Census. That would allow smaller empires that might not have much Census at any one world to still potentially field larger ground units. It would also help to prevent a player from spamming out hordes of small SIZ 1-2 units simply because they could.

My hope is that having ground units of differing sizes will allow us to end up seeing a more natural split between the previous special forces, marines, and regular troop divisions of 1E. Large ground units will be harder to move, but will have more staying power and be more capable overall, so there should still be a reason for players to field such units.

It is really fun reading all of these reactions and ideas. We are at that stage of development where a lot of concepts are solidifying for us, but this input gives us ideas for other approaches that might even be a bit better.

-Tyrel
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Postby MarkG88 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:43 pm

Tyrel,

This sounds good. See my comments on new Census topic I started as well and I'll just keep my thoughts flowing as well. :wink:

-Mark


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