Tales from CSCR 2

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Tyrel Lohr
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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sat May 09, 2009 1:49 am

MarkG88 wrote:Defenders should always have an opportunity to retreat before combat. Under "ideal conditions" (where you see the attacker coming) you should be able to retreat before a battle takes place. This can be modified by surprise (when you don't see the attacker coming) and perhaps terrain (if using warp points/jump gates etc and the attacker is between you and the exit point, you're not going anywhere without some sort of fight).


As written, and I think it makes sense, you have two opportunities to retreat. The first is when you have Initiative; at that point you can Retreat and there is nothing anyone can say about it. The second is in combat, when you order your forces to retreat as a Command Action.

The reason why a player cannot just summarily say "I retreat from the scenario" when one is generated against them is because there are situations where you just can't avoid battle, and this has to be accounted for in the rules. The Colonials couldn't just retreat when the Cylons demanded Defensive Scenarios at the Twelve Colonies; they had to retreat during the scenario, and most of them didn't make it.

Fleets with superior Engine tech can reduce the length of a scenario that way (or increase it, too). FTL tech will also provide a bonus to retreating from combat. By combining these techs, units have a better chance of making it out of a battle alive.
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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sat May 09, 2009 1:55 am

MarkG88 wrote:I like the idea of this. Using a small group of EW ships to broadcast themselves as BCs or BBs squadrons would be nice and keeping with the various hide and seek games that get played out in our favorite sci-fi novels. The reverse is true as well where you want your larger ships/fleet too look smaller to entice your foe to stay and engage in battle.


That was the intent. It gives you another possible technology to develop and exploit to your own advantage. It also makes the campaign environment more interesting, as you can't know for sure that your enemy hasn't developed good enough Deception capabilities to have slapped a few units into some old DDs and are running around masquerading as a BC squadron. You can take the chance that they are really DDs, but you just can't know for sure.

mriddle wrote:How do the various multipliers apply to the same Squadron/Strikegroup ?
ie
if a squadron with an AS of 20 is given a Dedicated Long Range attack, does it have a final AS of 20*1.25*.5 or 20*.5 + 20*.25 ?
in one case it is 15 and in the other it is 13 (12.5 rounded up)


The modifiers are cumulative, so the correct order is 20*1.25*.5 (RU), or 13 AS. I will add a note about this in the weapons fire section.
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Postby MarkG88 » Sat May 09, 2009 4:14 am

Things are shaping up nicely for 2.0, thanks for all the clarifications Tyrel.

:D

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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sat May 09, 2009 5:21 am

MarkG88 wrote:Things are shaping up nicely for 2.0, thanks for all the clarifications Tyrel.

:D


I hope any of it makes sense, and that we can find a happy medium on most of the more contentious elements.

I know it is a lot to take in all at once, and there are obvious issues (more than just being incomplete in spots). I just wanted to get the core skeleton out there for people to look at and comment on before we get much further in and these changes become semi-permanent.

I think I am personally getting close to being able to run a solo test campaign to see what all breaks, and so that I can write up the notes that we have been bandying around back and for the last six months into a working document that we can then use to write the proper rules. As everyone can tell from this CSCR 2 draft document, there are bits and pieces that have been rearranged, cobbled together, and simply not finished. A lot of that owes to the continual circuit of alterations that we have been making to the rules as we have worked on this internally.

If and when I do start a solo playtest campaign, I will post a thread detailing it here in this forum so that people can follow along, comment on things that seem weird, etc. Rules will likely be shifting constantly, so it might make it very interesting.
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Postby jygro » Sat May 09, 2009 5:30 am

Tyrel Lohr wrote:
Those values are not playtested, and are just in there as filler waiting to be tweaked. A 3 Census colony would be relatively easy to detect (thus 50%), and the Sensor Rating would also help in this regard. If that is to be tweaked, I would say that it would only be by +10-15% base. Any Fleet with some Sensors aboard would increase the chances.

If the base detection chances were increased to 10/20/30/40, that would put the detection chance for a 3 Census colony to 70%, while just 50% for a 1 Census colony or 40% for a 0 Census colony. 5/10/20/30 might work better, too, as it is a little more middle-of-the-road.


I noticed this when I was rereading the rules and I really thought that the detection numbers were a bit low. I guess I always assumed that a census 3 planet was a 'too' big to hide, but that might be my prejudice. My other prejudice is that I would hope the first thing that a fleet is going to look for is signs of planetary population centers. You don't get to automatic success in the current rules until census 8 (pending no bonuses/penalties).

I like the 10/20/30/40 change. I mean, I would assume that earth would light up like a beacon for any ships entering sol (I mean look at the amount of space junk we got out there and we aren't even interstellar yet)

-Bren

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Postby murtalianconfederacy » Sat May 09, 2009 9:08 am

Tyrel Lohr wrote:
murtalianconfederacy wrote:I'm a bit worried. I think it might work, but it might seem too complicated for new players.


Given the general reaction thus far, I think we will end up making an ultra-simplified version of the new CSCR 2 available for download on the website alongside 2E. That simplified version may also be included in the planned Academy release (which will be a stripped down starter/lite version of the 2E rules).

To be honest, however, the only real addition to the old rules here is the Detection rules and Scenario Intensity model. The Detection rules were an attempt to codify some of what Jay had done for Federation Admiral, which is also where Scenario Intensity comes from. It isn't a direct port, mainly because I felt the need to provide a stricter rule structure to make things easier to resolve.

Most of the extra "cruft" in the CSCR 2 can easily be handwaved away using home rules. If you don't want range-based fire or techs, you can eliminate them from your campaign. The same goes for ECM/ECCM, Stealth/Sensors, etc.


My main concern is the Scenario Intensity. It means that instead of organising your fleet into easy to track squadrons, you've got to group all ships together, and with my record-keeping thats a recipe for letting a maintenance division of heavy cruisers that would have won a battle for me being left out of the battle keeping an eye out for ghostly re-inforcements. Detection is a great thing--its something that I try to remember to use whenever I have cloaked warships in a campaign.
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Postby mriddle » Sat May 09, 2009 12:55 pm

Sorry for all the picky detailed questions.. But I am trying to get the battle resolver rewritten ..

Are these the STATS that are halved when crippled ?
AS, AF, CC, ENG, ECM, ECCM, Stealth, Deception, Sensors

leaving these as those that are not ?
DV, CC, Basing, SIZ

When are formation levels calculated ?
only in the Formations Phase ?
in each Weapons sub-phase ?

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Postby mriddle » Sat May 09, 2009 1:44 pm

I expect that ships are going to fight at close range unless overall AS is greater than DV, accepting losses first is well worth it to get the +50% (you would need to lose 1/3 of your AS /AF in a single round not to make it worth while)

That may be too terse.. more verbose comment..
As a side I want maximum AS and AF, the close range option gives me a +50% bonus, but I fire second. The other side would have to kill more than 33% of my AS by firing first to offset the +50%. Only when total AS is greater than total DV* average formation level is the other side going to kill 33% of your AS. Just how much the total has to be bigger is dependent on exactly how the damage would be distributed. since a player can allocate damage over a lot of ships without crippling one hence without affecting his AS.

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Retreats/pursuits

Postby mriddle » Sat May 09, 2009 2:07 pm

If Squadrons are made up ad-hoc per scenario, and a squadron that retreats in a scenario can only be included in pursuit scenarios, I am assuming that a retreat would mean the ships in the retreated squadron can only be targets of pursuit scenarios.

Given side A has 100 size fleet that has a 10 size squadron retreat, if side B declares a Normal Pursuit. what ships does side A use?

any 20% he chooses (possibly including some of the retreaters)? (representing a covering force) (this is my GUESS)

the 10 that retreated and 10% he chooses (the retreaters and a covering force)

just the 10 that retreated

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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sat May 09, 2009 4:15 pm

jygro wrote:I like the 10/20/30/40 change. I mean, I would assume that earth would light up like a beacon for any ships entering sol (I mean look at the amount of space junk we got out there and we aren't even interstellar yet)


The intent of the colony detection chance spread is that an Interstellar power could potentially hide the presence of a small colony or outpost from the enemy, or so that a fleet might not find a colony during a mad dash through the system and be caught off-guard later on when they realize that there was really an enemy base in the system and they just couldn't detect it.

The trick might be to decrease the base detection chances to 0/10/20/30 and then increase the Census multiplier to 15 from 10. That would ensure that a colony of any real size would be detected right away, and that it would be extremely difficult (if not almost impossible) to hide a homeworld like Sol from prying enemy eyes. Now, a player that invests heavily in Planetary Cloaking tech might be able to build enough planetary cloaks to make their colony invisible, but that would represent a lot of material investment.

If we assumed our current Industrial civilization had 8 Census, our detection chance under these manipulated numbers would be 10 + 15 x 8 = 130% -- there would be no way that anyone that entered the Sol system wouldn't know we were here.
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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sat May 09, 2009 4:29 pm

mriddle wrote:Sorry for all the picky detailed questions.. But I am trying to get the battle resolver rewritten ..


And we are still writing the rules, so it is good to get the details hammered out.


mriddle wrote:Are these the STATS that are halved when crippled ?
AS, AF, CC, ENG, ECM, ECCM, Stealth, Deception, Sensors


At present, all ship statistics other than Defense Rating are halved (rounding up) when a unit is Crippled. This includes Anti-Ship, Anti-Fighter, Command, Engines, ECM, ECCM, Stealth, Deception, Sensors, Carrier, Tender, etc.


mriddle wrote:leaving these as those that are not ?
DV, CC, Basing, SIZ


Command Cost and SIZ are "attributes" and are not halved. They are typically equal to one another, but there may be rare instances where a unit may have a higher or lower Command Cost based on modifiers or tech.


mriddle wrote:When are formation levels calculated ?
only in the Formations Phase ?
in each Weapons sub-phase ?


Formations Levels are calculated only in the Formations Phase. That was front loaded so that players wouldn't have to recalculate them later in the turn.


mriddle wrote:I expect that ships are going to fight at close range unless overall AS is greater than DV, accepting losses first is well worth it to get the +50% (you would need to lose 1/3 of your AS /AF in a single round not to make it worth while)


That is a good point. I will have to keep my eye on that and see what kind of Defense/Anti-Ship ratios ships end up with so I can see how often total Anti-Ship Ratings exceed Defense Ratings. In my tests thus far, using existing force lists, I think AS did usually exceed DEF. I know that the tests where forces held for Short Range Fire it was a chancy move, as the enemy could do enough damage to vaporize enough ships to negate the +50% fire bonus.


mriddle wrote:If Squadrons are made up ad-hoc per scenario, and a squadron that retreats in a scenario can only be included in pursuit scenarios, I am assuming that a retreat would mean the ships in the retreated squadron can only be targets of pursuit scenarios.


Good catch. I will add a clarification to the Command Limit rules stating that any units that retreat from a scenario can only be included in Pursuit Scenarios and do not otherwise count against a Fleet's Size unless a Pursuit Scenario is generated.

In your example, if you have 10 SIZ of retreating units and 90 SIZ of remaining units, a Normal Pursuit Scenario should still draw from the total 100 SIZ, as you can be pursuing the retreating units plus the rest of the battle line as they run away from whatever scenario was just generated. However, if you were doing a Normal Deep Space Scenario instead, then the fleet would draw forces only from its 90 SIZ grouping and the 10 SIZ would be omitted.
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Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sat May 09, 2009 4:40 pm

murtalianconfederacy wrote:My main concern is the Scenario Intensity. It means that instead of organising your fleet into easy to track squadrons, you've got to group all ships together, and with my record-keeping thats a recipe for letting a maintenance division of heavy cruisers that would have won a battle for me being left out of the battle keeping an eye out for ghostly re-inforcements. Detection is a great thing--its something that I try to remember to use whenever I have cloaked warships in a campaign.


I had originally wanted to keep Squadrons pre-built and tie Command Limits to the # of Squadrons that could be included in a battle. However, after writing the rules up in that fashion, I realized that the Munchkin Brigade (TM) would have a field day with those rules, as they could field one-ship Squadrons to fill their quota and just thumb their nose at the other player in any scenario where the Command Limit wasn't 100%.

As for tracking units now, the one advantage to just tracking Fleets is that you don't have to worry about assembling them into Squadrons first. You just have to write down the type and number of units in the Fleet and keep track of that, then create your Squadrons when a scenario is actually generated. There is also nothing stopping you from keeping your Squadrons pre-built, and then just dropping them into a Task Force when needed, adding or removing units to meet your Command Limit for that scenario.
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Whack a command ship..

Postby mriddle » Sat May 09, 2009 9:39 pm

I think that the problem I have with the Whack-A-Command Ship (WACS) strategy (why it works..) is because as the fleet size goes up, the percentage amount of damage required to kill the fleet flag goes down and the percentage loss on the other side stays the same.. ie as fleet size goes up, the cost for WACS goes down and the effectiveness is the same.

Currently the formation bonus of a squadron is calculated based on ENG, ECM, and ECCM (and the flag ship gets a flat +1)

From a game point (and suspension of disbelief) I think the flag squadron's Formation bonus (currently a flat +1) should be based on the total Formation bonus of the fleet (possibly 20% of the total) to represent the more ships in the way the harder to get through..

This way as fleet size (and damage /rnd) goes up, the cost to damage the flag goes up.

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Out of command vs no orders

Postby mriddle » Sat May 09, 2009 9:44 pm

I suggest that the CR vs number of squadrons be dropped and the out of command rules apply to any squadron not given orders for the round.

ie if the flag ship does not tell you what to do, you are "out of command"

and provides a penalty for ignoring a squadron..

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Postby jygro » Sun May 10, 2009 8:28 am

Tyrel Lohr wrote:The trick might be to decrease the base detection chances to 0/10/20/30 and then increase the Census multiplier to 15 from 10. That would ensure that a colony of any real size would be detected right away, and that it would be extremely difficult (if not almost impossible) to hide a homeworld like Sol from prying enemy eyes. Now, a player that invests heavily in Planetary Cloaking tech might be able to build enough planetary cloaks to make their colony invisible, but that would represent a lot of material investment.

If we assumed our current Industrial civilization had 8 Census, our detection chance under these manipulated numbers would be 10 + 15 x 8 = 130% -- there would be no way that anyone that entered the Sol system wouldn't know we were here.


I think the modifier for census should be higher and 15 or even 20% is a better start. I've always thought that census was non-linear (which is way productivity was so expensive to raise in 1E). In my mind, I feel that a census 3 colony is too 'big' to miss without some cloak technology, but that my bias!

Tyrel Lohr wrote:
mriddle wrote:I expect that ships are going to fight at close range unless overall AS is greater than DV, accepting losses first is well worth it to get the +50% (you would need to lose 1/3 of your AS /AF in a single round not to make it worth while)


That is a good point. I will have to keep my eye on that and see what kind of Defense/Anti-Ship ratios ships end up with so I can see how often total Anti-Ship Ratings exceed Defense Ratings. In my tests thus far, using existing force lists, I think AS did usually exceed DEF. I know that the tests where forces held for Short Range Fire it was a chancy move, as the enemy could do enough damage to vaporize enough ships to negate the +50% fire bonus.


My thought for this is two fold. The first is to change it to be a plus to the die roll in determining damage instead of a flat +25% AS/AF. This gives a bonus to wait for short range, but the commander/player won't know the exact help (ie the die roll) until they get there.

The second is to have all weapons have an optimal firing range and the ship gets a bonus if those weapons are in their range.

For example: Lets say that a ship is armed with 3 shotguns worth 3AS-short, 2 Long range missile batteries 1AS-Long and 2 Lasers 2AS-Med. Assuming that if the weapon is in its optimal range band, it doubles its AS. So at short range, its AS:9, but for medium, its AS:8 and long range, its only AS:7. The AS could then be written as AS:9/8/7. Of course these weapons will have different technological advances and different amounts of space in the ship, but it gives a player more options in which band one should fire.

Now that I wrote this, perhaps giving a +1 die roll bonus to short range and a -1 penalty to long range and having optimal firing ranges for all weapons might be an interesting mechanic, but perhaps too much for the main rules. I think it would be interesting for a later book.

-Bren


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