Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

The Universal Game of Starship Combat
KDLadage
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Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Postby KDLadage » Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:35 pm

Does all of this mean that the adjustment for Expendable is, perhaps, not costed properly? I know Dan is exceptional when it comes to these things, but even he is human. Mostly. As far as I know.

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Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Postby mj12games » Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:51 pm

I do not believe a case has been made that Expendable is unbalanced or "wrong". (That could happen, but it hasn't happened yet. :)) Reasons why I believe the point value is fine as-is:

1) The same numbers have been in use (more or less) since 2008.

2) The discount (in terms of ORAT) progresses from 50% to 90%, with an average of around 75%. Most ships have the opportunity to fire their weapons at least four times per game, so charging a quarter of what an unlimited weapon would cost seems reasonable.

The problem, as I see it, is that the flat 80% discount on space means you can mount a metric crap-ton of cheap weapons on a middling-sized hull. But this has ALWAYS been the case, yet no one has ever done it. Why? Because (a) it's not fun and (2) you won't win that way.

That being said, with the introduction of seeking weapons, I believe Expendable (and Ammo) will become more and more desirable as a way of modeling specific universes. So I'm not opposed to coming up with simple methods to discourage their abuse.

Regardless, the conversation so far has been nothing but theoretical. I don't want to consider modifications to point costs until some models have hit the table.
Daniel Kast
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KDLadage
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Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Postby KDLadage » Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:55 pm

As stated: you are exceptional with the numeric balancing of this game -- so, if upon reflection you think it is right, then I am not in any position (without a lot of evidence) to disagree. :D

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Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Postby Marauder » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:39 pm

I agree, I don't think the "cost" of the expendable/ammo weapons is incorrect. The abuse is a huge amount of them, especially as seeking weapons. Not so much fun to play against. Doesn't really matter if you brought something to shoot them down when there is that many.

Philosophically, expendable/limited ammo should be a disadvantage, and right now it almost feels like its a loop hole to get an advantage, not just save a few points on a ship.

I think space is the issue. Most seeking weapons that have limited ammo would have a "launcher" component and an ammo "magazine". Could hold true for non-seeking limited ammo weapons too. I think the Launcher part should make up a large amount of the "space" the weapon requires say 50% of a weapon without limited ammo - then the reminder is ammo (maybe assume each volley needs 5-10% space, compared to a weapon with no ammo limit).

Anyway, just an idea. I'm not a big fan of just hard restrictions (e.g. no more than X% can be spent on ammo limited weapons), but I do like it when there are construction rules that push you in that direction.

-Tim

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Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Postby jygro » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:43 pm

mj12games wrote:I have been wondering if it's not worth stipulating that at least 50% of a ship's ORAT must come from non-expendable sources.


Having this kind of limitation in an universal setting is an issue in my opinion. I would leave it for the specific settings/ universes and/or 'tournament' play

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Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Postby KDLadage » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:56 pm

Agreed. An arbitrary limit is not all that desirable (to me anyway). Something that limits it indirectly would be better -- again, just my opinion. :)

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Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Postby godsgopher » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:49 pm

When it comes to point cost I honestly don't see an issue. When discussing space issues its going to boil down to how "accessible" those weapons are. If I have a thousand seekers on board my ship and I can only launch them one at a time there use is extremely limited. If however I can launch them all at once as independent self guided spacecraft there usefulness and value increases exponentially.

As I said before I found it very interesting that this is exactly what ends up happening in the "Honor Harrington" universe. Ships become little more than hollow missile packs due to technology allowing ships to depart from using "traditional" launchers. Naval warfare simply shifts to who can launch the most missiles, from the greatest distance, first. ...in my personal opinion kind of boring.

Seeing as I started this mess I should at the very least offer some solutions.

1. Make non-launcher seekers externally mounted. They are literally attached to the hull and so may be launched in any number desired. However you can then only mount say twice or three times the hull value to limit the number of seekers carried in this way. So a hull 10 ship could carry and launch 20 or 30 external seeking weapons. Remember the space of a ship takes into count its internal volume, if seekers have an unlimited launch rate we must assume they are open to space otherwise they would need a mechanism to move them from internal storage to a launching point, a.k.a they need a launcher. There is only so much surface area on a ship.

2. Require seeking weapons to be under the launching ships control. Modern weapons for all their guidance capability are still for the most part under human control even when they are moving to their target. There remain serious moral implications for removing the human component from the attack equation. So an easy solution is to simply set a launch limit on the number of seekers that may be controlled at one time by a single ship. This keeps players from simply turning there ships into giant missile packs for a single launch strike.

Additional options here could be for ships to hand off responsibility for controlling seekers to other friendly ships in their battle-group. Or even mounting special equipment to increase seeker control limits. Could also be interesting if you could kill the controlling ship and your opponent would then lose his launched seekers, something like what used to happen in Vietman when Intruders flew "Iron Hand" and allowed themselves to be missile targets to kill the launching radar system. This would discourage people from building hollow shells to quickly launch seekers.

3. Require seekers to be launched from a magazine, and the number of mounted launchers then controls the seeker limit.

Or do all three.

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Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Postby mj12games » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:28 pm

godsgopher wrote:When it comes to point cost I honestly don't see an issue.

Point cost is the ONLY issue. The game couldn't care less whether you are allowed to mount 10 weapons or 1000 weapons on a given hull, so long as the cost of bringing either ship to the table is balanced. Space units are a distant second in terms of importance.

1. Make non-launcher seekers externally mounted.

2. Require seeking weapons to be under the launching ships control.

3. Require seekers to be launched from a magazine, and the number of mounted launchers then controls the seeker limit.

You need to remember the issue at hand isn't "Seekers", but "weapons with the Expendable trait." I know for the purposes of the universes you are wanting to simulate they are one and the same, but in game terms, they are not. You can have unlimited-use seeking weapons, and you can have expendable direct-fire weapons.
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Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Postby Marauder » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:59 pm

I think the situation is just more exacerbated with seekers - because they are inherently cheaper than their direct fire equivalents, and don't require the ship to maneuver into range to use them.

Seeking weapons are of course cheaper because they can be shot down or out maneuvered - however when they are either fast enough or come in a vast wave, those disadvantages are mitigated.

If you want to focus only on cost, I'd increase the cost. If most weapons only get 4 chances to fire in a game - and slow (x0.7) reduces that to 2, maybe make expendable be like 0.35? There are games that will be shorter, and expendable will be a boon - other games will go longer and make people think twice about having boring ships that just alpha strike on first contact and then have to run home.

-Tim


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