CSCR Complexity

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CSCR Complexity

Post by Gareth_Perkins »

Not sure how contentious this will be but... ;)

Some of what you've said in other threads implies that the level of complexity inherent to the CSCR is going up with this revision,

Is this the case or am I just reading to much into what has been said?

If so, is there any chance of seeing something simpler as well, as an alternate resolution system?
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Charles Lewis
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Post by Charles Lewis »

We're not intentionally planning on making the CSCR more complex. We are doing our utmost to make it work better and smoother. Ideally, that will actually lower complexity.

One thing is for sure - more and better examples!!!
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Tyrel Lohr
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Post by Tyrel Lohr »

The base CSCR complexity should not be going up too much -- mostly it will just be a few extra steps, or a few more options. There will be the *potential* for massive scope creep depending on what kinds of technologies you allow in your campaign (and why we are reserving the whackier ones for the Engineering Manual), but for the most part it should not take long for two players to sit down and resolve a battle.

The general flew of the new CSCR should work like this:

1) Assignments Phase
Each player issues assignment orders to his forces. This takes the form of giving attack orders to squadrons and strikegroups, ordering retreats or ramming attempts, allocating special abilities (like ECCM), etc. However, in most cases, the only thing that will occur during the Assignments Phase is a player issuing attack orders.

2) Electronic Warfare Phase
Task forces with available Electronic Warfare Rating (total EW Rating minus enemy Jammer Rating) allocate their points against enemy squadrons and strikegroups.

3) Formations Phase
Formation Point totals are calculated and applied to units in order to establish their current Formation Level.

Technically, these three phases could be joined into one; however, it makes more logical sense for them to be treated separately in order to remove questions as to what happens when, or prevent duplication of effort in case of confusion or mixup.

4) Weapons Fire Phase
Weapons fire is resolved, with AS and AF fire taking place at Long, Medium, and Short Range (if applicable -- some rounds fire may only take place at one or two of these ranges). A single roll is made for each player's forces in each firing step; you aren't rolling separately for each squadron or strikegroup, or separately for Starship and Flights. That means there can be at most 6 attack rolls made during any combat round. This is a 50% increase over the existing CSCR, which had 4 discrete firing steps.

AS and AF totals are not added up until the point of fire, which means that units destroyed during Long Range Fire won't be around to fire at Medium or Short Range.

5) Special Effects Phase
This phase is more or less left over for any special tech effects that don't translate into other areas of play, but should happen before end of round actions are resolved.

6) Ramming Phase
Units ordered to ram make their attempts.

7) Boarding Phase
Each side makes Boarding attempts using their available Boarding Rating.

8 ) Retreating Phase
Squadrons and strikegroups ordered to retreat make their attempt during this phase.

9) End of Round Phase
Any administrative updates take place here, preparing the forces for the next round of combat.


That is a good overview, I think, of how CSCR 2 is going to be structured. A CM would simplify the system by eliminating several technology options, notably Electronic Warfare/Jammer, Ramming, Boarding, and Retreating combined with limiting fire resolution to Medium Range only. That would trim down the combat sequence to about half its current size. The downside is that units will become much more homogeneous, but if you don't like the options being eliminated it certainly won't make you sad.

I would wager that most campaigns will not have to worry about a lot of these specialty phases. If a player focuses on Boarding tech, then yeah you probably will need to make the roll during the Boarding Phase because they probably will have ships with Boarding Rating in a battle. But if no one researches or deploys a technology, then you will never have to deal with that aspect of the combat sequence.

EDIT: Here is a quick example of how CSCR combat might look:

A Civil War is going on, and two identical task forces are fighting one another. Each contains the following units:

1 @ Zeus DN (SIZ 4, CC 4, Defense 9, Command 8, Engine 1, Anti-Ship 8, Anti-Fighter 2, Carrier 2)
1 @ Hera CVA (SIZ 3, CC 3, Defense 8, Command 6, Engine 2, Anti-Ship 2, Anti-Fighter 4, Carrier 10)
4 @ Athena FF (SIZ 1, CC 1, Defense 2, Command 2, Engine 3, Anti-Ship 1, Anti-Fighter 2)
10 @ Gladius Fighters (Defense 1, Engine 1, Anti-Ship 1, Anti-Fighter 1)

During the Assignments Phase, Player A and B must assign firing orders to their task force. Each task forces contains one squadron and one strikegroup, each of which may be given separate firing orders. For example, Player A could order his strikegroup of Gladius fighters to attack at Long Range and his ship squadron to fire at Medium Range, while Player B could just opt to have both fire at Medium Range.

There is no Electronic Warfare units present, so that phase is skipped.

During the Formations Phase, we calculate available Formation Points and use them to increase Formation Levels. Each ship squadron has a Formation Point total of 15. The fighter strikegroup provides an additional 10 Formation Points, which can be spent to either increase Flight formations or else improve those of its basing squadron.

In order to keep things simple, I am going to allocate formations the same for both squadrons. The Formation Level of the DN will be increased to 4 (costing 3x4x1=12 FPs); the Formation Level of the CVA will be increased to 3 (costing 2x3x1=6 FPs); the Formation Level of the FFs will be increased to 2 (costing 1x1x4=4 FPs); and, finally, the Formation Level of 3 Flights will be increased to 2 (costing 1x1x3=3). We have now spent all of our Formation Points.

(It is important to note that Formations will likely only change as units are damaged, so once they are set at the beginning of the battle you probably won't be doing much to adjust them later on).

During the firing phase, we start with Long Range fire. Player A's flights are firing during this phase. Their AS total is 10, which we divide by 2 because this is Long Range fire; then we multiply the result times a D6 roll [5], divide by 10, and round up. The fighters scored 3 Hits. Scoring the damage, the defender opts to score 1 Damage against his Hera CVA using all 3 Hits; otherwise, he would have to score 1 Damage to an Athena using 2 Hits, and the remaining Hit would force him to apply another 1 Damage to another Athena. No thanks!

The fighters now fire AF at Long Range, using the same method as above. I am going to spare you the rest of the firing phase, as you should get the gist of how fire would progress.

There's no Ramming, Boarding, or Retreating this battle, so those phases are likewise skipped.

All told, our actions for this turn amounted to:

1) Assigning attack orders during the Assignments Phase
2) Assigning/adjusting formations during the Formations Phase
3) Resolving weapons fire in the Weapons Fire Phase (a total of 4 attack rolls were made, the same as in the existing CSCR).

[i]"Touch not the pylons, for they are the messengers!"[/i]