countercheck wrote:I wouldn't mind if colonies started with Tech Level of Sector Capital-1, frankly. New colonies might have better tech than old colonies, but they probably aren't going to be cutting edge. Possibly allow for that tech level to be bought up at colonization?
There is a good point that can be argued here, but the problem comes with Pre-Interstellar empires as the -1 TL modifier would force their colonies to be even quite a bit more primitive. Again, there's a very good argument in favor of that position, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the net effect in most cases is just going to be forcing players to spend extra money to upgrade the colony after its put in place, at which point you might as well just increase the colonization cost to build the upgrade cost into the initial colony cost.
countercheck wrote:I love the new intel missions. Love. But all the calculations seem a bit complex. They also imply that defensive missions only fail on a 1.
The calculations aren't meant to be too complex. The one for success/failure is just offensive intel divided by defensive intel. The attacking player assigns offensive intel to the mission, and the defender just takes the target system's base defensive intel and adds the mission difficulty plus the mission range.
If we use this star map as an example, let's say that Sol has 6 Intel and they want to attempt an Espionage: System against Sirius. The shortest route between the system is 2 jumps, and the mission has a difficulty level of 1. If Sirius just has 1 defensive intel, its effective defensive intel becomes 1 + 1 + 2 = 4. Sol could allocate 4 offensive intel from the 6 it has available at Sol to get a 99% chance of success (as missions autofail on a roll of '100').
The problem with using the full 4 offensive intel is that it increases the mission's chance of detection. Using 4 offensive intel gives the mission a 5% x (4 Offensive + 4 Defensive) = 40% chance of detection, whereas only using 1 offensive intel gives the mission a 5% x (1 Offensive + 4 Defensive) = 25% chance of detection. The 1 offensive intel also only gives you a 25% chance of the mission succeeding.
I'm also noticing a rule that got deleted at some point, but that I'll probably add back in: you can spend offensive intel when you perform a mission to negate your own offensive intel for purposes of detection. In this case, Sol could allocate 6 offensive intel towards the mission but only put 3 offensive intel towards mission success and the other 3 towards reducing its effective offensive intel to 0 for purposes of detection. That would give it a 75% chance of success and a 20% chance of detection. The tradeoff is that you're using 6 offensive intel to support the mission that turn.
Anti-subversion missions are ridiculously cheap given the expense of inserting moles, and it's going to be an odd empire that doesn't counterinsurgency any system that dips below max morale.
I put Anti-Subversion missions cheap because there is already a pretty high cost to ferret them out. I have a feeling those missions won't get used very often, and I have considered moving them to another supplement (or a free rules release for testing prior to inclusion in a future product) just to keep them together as an optional rule. But it would be nice to be able to place moles in enemy forces and get the information back.
It's expected that most empires will run Counter-Insurgency missions against their own systems pretty much continually when their Morale starts to sneak lower than the maximum. I was really tempted to increase the difficulty/cost of the Insurgency/Counter-Insurgency missions for that reason, but I ended up going with 3 just to keep them average.
I would love extra ideas for intel missions, especially Propaganda missions, that anyone might have. I would prefer to have a nice range of missions of each type ranging from Very Easy (1) to Very Hard (5), but I had a hard time trying to come up with ideas for missions at the high ends of the spectrum for Espionage and Propaganda.
Is it possible to use a Counterintelligence mission on a hostile system to prevent the target from performing missions on his own people?
I noticed that I had left out a note that systems always have 1 defensive intel effective when they are targeted by intel missions that their owners perform. Given that, the answer is that no, you couldn't use Espionage: Counter-Intel for that purpose... but that would make a good intel mission! How about this:
Difficulty Level: 1
This mission uses compromised enemy intelligence assets to interfere with their own internal intelligence operations. The target system's effective defensive intel is increased by 1 for intel missions that the system's owner performs against it this turn. Additionally, all intel missions the system performed this turn have their detection chances increased by +5%.
That creates a mission that hampers the opponent's ability to perform intel missions against it (especially helpful for making enemy Counter-Insurgency missions fail) and also makes it more likely that the intel missions the target performs will get found out. It's pretty much a "maximum troll" against the opponent's intel resources. "Oh, I see you have a system with low Morale. Let me help you out by spamming 3-4 of these missions at the colony to make it more or less impossible for you to run a successful Counter-Insurgency mission." You could also spam a homeworld with these just to make the detection chances for their missions that much higher.
Propaganda: Subversion is better than Espionage: Infiltration in all ways.
They serve two different purposes. Subversion wants to take control of enemy units while Infiltration is attempting to place operatives at colonies for free offensive intel. Infiltration can be pretty effective if you're setting up for some major intel initiatives and want a better chance of success, especially if the target system is some distance from your staging point.
You might want missions that must target capitals to be able to target Core Worlds too.
The idea is that those missions are targeting diplomatic centers, and capitals are the best representation of that. You could conceivably have a heavily populated system that really doesn't have any major political influence or representation due to its remote location.
I also feel like half the defensive assets of any hostile system the mission is staged through should contribute too, to prevent intel missions from too easily striking the soft underbelly. I know I said it was complex already. Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
That's a possibility, but it would have to replace the current mission range modifier that already adds a bonus to mission difficulty. That would be fairly easy to implement from a mechanical perspective, as each system would have 1 defensive intel regardless of Census in addition to its +1 per 3 Census modifier (round down). The downside of course is that it would make attacking an enemy core system all but impossible if there were multiple core worlds separating the systems. A 6 Census core world would add +3 defensive intel in that event. I'll have to play with that and see how it works.
And possibly just add the number of jumps to the difficulty. Should it not be harder to deploy missions even to neighboring systems than your own?
That's already included in the base rules
When multple systems co-operate on an intel mission, do the increased number of intel points required to meet the difficulty count towards offensive intel points for the purposes of overcoming defensive intel?
Yes, offensive intel from multiple systems can be combined for a single mission, and the total offensive intel assigned to a mission is used to calculate its chances of success and detection during the Intel Phase.