Maneuverability Rating

The Universal Game of Starship Combat
Blacklancer99
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Maneuverability Rating

Postby Blacklancer99 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:15 pm

Am I the only one that feels like Nova needs rules for maneuverability? It just feels wrong if a massive ship with a powerful Thrust rating can out-turn a smaller ship with more modest engine power. I have played around with a simple A,B,C rating along the lines of what Star Fleet Battles does, and that seems to work pretty well. I really got to thinking about this converting pre-dreadnought warships to Nova. Some of the really big cruisers could pile on the speed but took half an ocean to turn, while some smaller ships could never outrun or catch them, but could easily outmaneuver the bigger ships. Want a Science Fiction equivilent? The Imperial Star Destroyers are supposed to be fast, but evidence would suggest they aren't particularly nimble.
Thoughts?
Erik
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mj12games
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Re: Maneuverability Rating

Postby mj12games » Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:15 pm

The reason there is no "maneuverability rating" is that a ship's ability to turn is based solely on how much thrust it takes to shift a ship's heading from one direction to another; i.e. if you're moving 5 hexes/turn, it takes 5 thrust points to change so that you are now moving 5 hexes/turn in a new heading 60* off of the previous course (the old vector, new vector, and thrust applied form an equilateral triangle).

(It's not truly accurate, as the thrust is applied over the course of the turn, instead of all at once, but more precision would require a lot more math.)

That being said, I'm not opposed to the idea of a maneuverability rating; I'm just not sure how it would work. Give me some idea of what you're thinking...
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murtalianconfederacy
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Re: Maneuverability Rating

Postby murtalianconfederacy » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:05 am

(just throwing ideas out there)

Maybe you could add a penalty to larger ships and a bonus to small ships--something like {[SQUAREROOT](hull/3)} - X

Where X is a predefined number--I'm thinking 2 or 3. The result is the number to add (or subtract) to it's current speed. If we take X to be 2, then a hull 75 ship would end up adding 3 to its current speed, making it much more likely it can only barrel straight ahead, but a hull 27 ship would add 1, and a hull 12 would add nothing, a hull 6 would subtract 1 and a hull 3 would subtract 2, making it much more likely to be able to come about or reverse course.

That would mean a large ship might be massive engines, but it's going to turn like a swan on a frozen lake, whereas smaller ships can turn like a hummingbird.
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Re: Maneuverability Rating

Postby mj12games » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:01 pm

Not a bad start. I think it would be best to match the bonus/penalty to the existing "size categories" (as seen in optional rules like Lauching/Recovering Fighters). For example, in the Admiralty Edition:

Hull 1-3 = -2
Hull 4-8 = -1
Hull 9-15 = no change
Hull 16-24 = +1
Hull 25+ = +2

In addition, making the change directly to the speed would affect the ship's ability to accelerate/decelerate; i.e. a ship with hull size 7 and an engine rating 4, moving speed 5, could normally move between 1 and 9 hexes (disregarding turns). With the above adjustment to speed (-1) it could move between 0 and 8 hexes. Not quite the effect we want.

So I suggest applying the modifier to the thrust requirement, provided the ship is making at least one turn.

For example, a hull size 16 ship with an engine rating of 4, moving speed 3, plots the following move: "U1". Normally, this would have a thrust requirement of 4 (3+1). However, due to the effects of limited maneuverability, the thrust requirement is increased by +1, making the plot illegal. The ship may plot "U" instead.
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Blacklancer99
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Re: Maneuverability Rating

Postby Blacklancer99 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:00 pm

Of course it is all a matter of taste, but I like to differentiate between speed and agility to a greater degree than the Thrust Rating feels like to me. As I said in my first post when I was looking at historical ships there were VERY large cruisers that were faster than some destroyers, so I was trying to come up with a way that the cruiser could never turn with the smaller ship, even if it could outrun or chase it down with ease. There is also a lot of precedent in science fiction where there is a gulf between pure acceleration and the ability to turn. The simplest idea I had was to slightly alter the REVERSE COURSE orders only as this would alter the turning radius of different ships. Ships Rated A can complete the Reverse Course as described in the rules. Ships rated B must move one hex between each hexside turn after the first, ships rated C must move one hex before each hexside turn (this means it must move one hex forward before its first course change), ships rated D must move 1 hex before the first turn and 2 hexes before another turn, Ships rated F may not make a REVERSE COURSE movement.
A Thrust 5 Destroyer with A Maneuverability moving at 3 could turn, turn, turn, move ahead while a Thrust 6 Armored Cruiser with Maneuverability D moving at 3 would have to move ahead 1 hex, turn, move ahead 2 hexes, then turn.
If I am playing this right it would look like this:
Setup.PNG
Setup.PNG (26.14 KiB) Viewed 1033 times

Reverse.PNG
Reverse.PNG (57.63 KiB) Viewed 1033 times

If the big cruiser wants to make a "tighter" turn it had to slow down and use COME ABOUT orders rather than REVERSE COURSE. It will take several game turns to come around 180 degrees but she would still have the same ability to accelerate at a very high level.
Anyway that was my thought on it. I could see where coupling it to the existing size categories would work.
Erik
Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.
Mark Twain.

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Re: Maneuverability Rating

Postby Garydee » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:44 pm

mj12games wrote:Not a bad start. I think it would be best to match the bonus/penalty to the existing "size categories" (as seen in optional rules like Lauching/Recovering Fighters). For example, in the Admiralty Edition:

Hull 1-3 = -2
Hull 4-8 = -1
Hull 9-15 = no change
Hull 16-24 = +1
Hull 25+ = +2

In addition, making the change directly to the speed would affect the ship's ability to accelerate/decelerate; i.e. a ship with hull size 7 and an engine rating 4, moving speed 5, could normally move between 1 and 9 hexes (disregarding turns). With the above adjustment to speed (-1) it could move between 0 and 8 hexes. Not quite the effect we want.

So I suggest applying the modifier to the thrust requirement, provided the ship is making at least one turn.

For example, a hull size 16 ship with an engine rating of 4, moving speed 3, plots the following move: "U1". Normally, this would have a thrust requirement of 4 (3+1). However, due to the effects of limited maneuverability, the thrust requirement is increased by +1, making the plot illegal. The ship may plot "U" instead.


Speaking of maneuverability, giving a -1 bonus to the thrust requirement for all Kilngon ships would be a good way to emulate them for Star Fleet Armada. Only problem is that it'd make their ships more valuable and you'd have to up their combat rating. Hard to do for a cool optional rule.


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