Flights

Blue? Green? Red? Refuse? It's time to talk about rules for a new community edition of the VBAM rules!
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Tyrel Lohr
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Flights

Post by Tyrel Lohr »

As I continue working on the rules in the background, one thing that I've started contemplating is whether or not we want to slot flights into the rules in a slightly different way.

Up to this point, I've been maintaining the split of increased construction costs for flights from light to superheavy (1-4 EP, right now). However, something that I wanted to throw out there is the possibility of maybe keeping the flights standardized at a cost of 1 EP a piece and instead rely on maintenance costs as the long-term balancing factor?

I really don't want to go back to fractional costs for obvious reasons, but at the same time I'm not sure I want a flight of superheavy fighters to cost as much as a destroyer. Maybe it's not really a problem? Have any of you had a lot of experience with that yet?

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The other thing I've been contemplating is whether or not the Light Fighter needs increased to 5-6 CP from 4 CP. That would make it easier to design an interesting low tech Light Fighter design, which is admittedly a problem right now. Bumping them up to even 5 CP, and increasing everyone else by a CP along the way possibly, would seem to be fairly interesting.

On that track, if all flights were 1 EP with variable maintenance costs, we could have 5 CP for a light fighter and just +1 CP per step above that. So an Era I heavy fighter would have 7 CP, but be more expensive to maintain. That would be similar to have 2E handled fighter advancement.

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Finally, the question of whether or not flights should cripple. If we wanted to, we could keep the 1E/2E "flights don't cripple" rule, and then just increase flight CP values by 25-50% to compensate. That way their firepower would effectively stay the same as if they were crippled, you're just adding that to their base combat values.

This works mathematically if you consider that a 1 EP ship would have 4 CP of stats. 150% of 4 CP is 6 CP, which would be enough points to design a decent light fighter. At that point, we'd be seeing a +2 CP bonus per fighter level, so 8 CP for medium, 10 CP for heavy, and 12 CP for superheavy.

The downside to that is that flights would become extremely effective combat platforms, with an immense amount of firepower. It may also mean that it would be better to keep the higher unit costs because a Heavy Fighter could be DV 4, AS 3, AF 3 which is a significant amount of combat strength.
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BroAdso
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Re: Flights

Post by BroAdso »

All the runs I've done with the current Galaxies flights - at 1/2/3/4 EP and 4/6/8/10 CP respectively, with flight crippling allowed - has seemed pretty balanced. Unfortunately, because they're not in the context of a campaign, it's hard to speak to their maintenance cost balance.

Perhaps most importantly, allowing flights to cripple prevents the syndrome in the games of 2E I encountered in which it appeared that fighters were basically chaff, dying en masse in every battle only to be replaced with the six or eight squadrons I had to build and ship across the free supply lines in 2E almost every turn.

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Emiricol
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Re: Flights

Post by Emiricol »

So far I haven't seen an issue with crippling flights. It makes them more interesting and the rules more consistent, which I like.

It would seem that raising Flights by +1 EP/category could be useful to make light flights a more attractive option. Right now there's little point to having them, IMO. It just has to balance with the per-EP value of ships so that flight-heavy fleets aren't the only viable strategy.

I'm not liking the 1 CP with increased MNT idea. It makes it cheap to front-load on Heavy Fighters at a whim and there are a lot of strategic implications. I'd love to see more commentary from the other (mostly more experienced than me) players before digging in my heels though :)

So, I'm a fan of keeping your crippled flights, the +1 EP to flights seems like it would make flights more interesting, and I like the current EP cost breakdown.

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