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Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:29 pm
by BeowulfJB
Hello everyone, my friends & I have been wrestling with how to make seekers less overpowering. Open to suggestions.
We have been playing Starmada here in Jacksonville twice a week. The last two games we played involved large amounts of seekers, speed 12, 1x3+/1/5. They are nasty. On Wednesday 1/31, we played a game with c5,000 points a side. My opponent was able to fire 110 of these drones each turn. It was impossible to shoot all of these down. His "C-G" has a PV=320 and fires 80 of these each turn. On my side, two ships survived but managed to destroy the cruiser, the only loss my opponent had. Our other five ships were obliterated. We can think of no way to limit these very powerful weapons, so we are going to prohibit them unless a reasonable solution is found. These seekers do not come from expendables, but fire Every Turn.
Any seekers on the book ships will still be allowed so these will be the only seekers in our games for now...
Does anyone have any idea on how to balance or limit these seemingly over-powerful weapons. They are Brutal....
PS: Here is my design to counter my friends ship before we decided on a seeker-ban:

Volcano-class BCG (500) -Tech: Weapons +2

Hull: 16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
Engines: 4-4-3-3-2-2-1-1
Weapons: 46-41-35-29-23-18-12-6

X-ray Laser Missiles (MA 12) 2×3+/1/3 (Mdl)
CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐ // (3)

X-ray Laser Missiles (MA 12) 2×3+/1/3 (Mdl)
CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐ // (3)

X-ray Laser Missiles (MA 12) 2×3+/1/3 (Mdl)
CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐ // (3)

X-ray Laser Missiles (MA 12) 2×3+/1/3 (Mdl)
CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐ // (3)

X-ray Laser Missiles (MA 12) 2×3+/1/3 (Mdl)
CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐| CD ☐ // (3)

AA PlasmaGuns (2-4-6) 1×3+/1/1 (Dfn; Rpt)
360° ☐| 360° ☐| 360° ☐| 360° ☐| 360° ☐| 360° ☐ // (3)

Equipment: Hyperdrive ☐| Overthrusters ☐| Tractor Beam ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ // (5)
Traits: Cargo (6)
I have not used this ship yet, but imagine that it would be devastating because it fires 30 seekers each turn that ignore shields...
S.O.S. <LOL>

Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:54 pm
by Blacklancer99
Have you considered lowering the weapon TL? I have personally found that keeping everything at TL 0 as a baseline makes pretty much every version of Starmada for the last 10 years less subject to things like this, fighter swarms, etc...I know that everyone plays differently and has different philosophies & points matching should mean things have a balance, but lower TL does seem to mitigate things like this imho.

Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:50 pm
by BeowulfJB
That is an interesting idea. :idea:
I will see what my gaming friends think.

Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:00 pm
by GamingGlen
But the game should be balanced at all TLs.

How about this for a defense against massive seeker barrage:

Wave Burst (1-2-*) 3x3+/*/1 (Crn; Dfn; Pnp; Prx; Sct)

You fire it 2 hexes away. You could fire it in the same hex of the seekers so you don't suffer the -1, if you don't mind taking damage as well. Does Countermeasures work against your own weapons?

Does Scatter increase the IMP if an adjacent hex is one range band closer? In this case, at range 2 (medium) IMP is 2, does IMP become 3 at the adjacent targets now at close range?

I suppose one cannot fire into your own hex? So you would need pairs, one to fire in either direction, if seekers are coming in all direction. If not, that's more to fire in one direction.

edit: hadn't looked at Scatter option until after first post.

Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:09 pm
by GamingGlen
Do seekers have their own targeting, or can they use the Fire Controls of their launching ship?

If they cannot, then Countermeasures is a way to lessen the effectiveness of seekers.

Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:18 am
by BeowulfJB
Hi Glen, good to see you here on the forum again. I like what you have suggested. We have just agreed to stop using seekers.
Now we are experimenting with using Modulating as a trait. I have 700 point version of my USS Arizona design with Mdl on the main battery... :ugeek:

Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:42 pm
by GamingGlen
You could limit the number of seeker flights launched, equivalent to the maximum of fighter flights launched (sqrt of ship hull, drop fractions). It still can be a lot of seekers, but at least anti-seeker defenses might be able to handle it some.

I've seen your Arizona designs. Here's one of my Klingon designs, but now obsolete if you're going with Mdl. (that's expensive). I put the damage limits in front of the weapons/categories. IMO, seems more intuitive than at the end.

(700) Klingon D10-class Attack Cruiser
Tech: Engines +2; Shields +1; Weapons +2

Shields: 4 4 3 2 2 1
Screens: 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Hull: 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Engines: 5 5 4 3 2 1
Weapons: 22 19 15 11 8 4

Disruptor 6-12-18 1×3+/2/2 Pr1
(1) GHIJ ☐| GHIK ☐
Phaser-1 6-12-18 1×3+/1/3
(3) GHIJK ☐☐| GHJ ☐☐| GIK ☐☐
Phaser-2 6-12-18 1×3+/1/2
(1) JKL ☐☐
Gatling Phaser 3-6-9 4×3+/1/1 Dfn; Pnp
(1) 360 ° ☐
Defense Array 1-2-* 2×3+/1/1 Crn; Dfn; Pnp
(3) 360 ° ☐☐☐☐☐

Hyperdrive ☐| Tractor Beam ☐☐☐☐☐

Marines : 4 3 2 1

Traits: Cargo (1); Science (2)

Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Posted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:55 pm
by BeowulfJB
I like the idea of limiting the number of seeker flights based on the ship's hull size. We may try that. Perhaps we should use this when we plan down in S.Fla.
The USS Arizona design with the Mdl only has this trait on the main 14"PlasmaGuns, but otherwise is the same design. It raises the ship's cost to (700).

Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:45 am
by GamingGlen
Never mind my suggestion on limited shots. That's already been discussed and I had forgotten.

This is the weapon I came up with to counter that Volcano, I put 2 on a ship:
Seeker Killer 1-2-* 5×2+/4/1 Crn; Dfn; Pnp; Prx
(1) 360 ° ☐☐

This weapon is expensive. It could be made cheaper by reducing it's arc.
On average, 1 seeker out of 2 flights of 6 should survive to make it's attack. With 10 flights the Volcano can launch, every turn, that still is 5 seekers attacking at 3+, so 3 hit doing 3 damage each. Still going to hurt and there's probably a second wave coming in next turn.

Guess I should put 3 on the ship.

Re: Unity: Seeking Weapons deployment Limits?

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:55 pm
by GamingGlen
mj12games wrote:All of this is true. While I haven't gone to the extent of 1000 missiles, this design is simple enough:

Code: Select all

Munchkin MIGHTY MITE-class Uber-Frigate (278)
Hull: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
Engines: 5-4-3-2-1
Weapons: 323-259-194-130-65
Shields: 3-3-2-2-1
Mini Missile (MA 6) 1×6+/1/1 (Exp)
323x ABCDEF // (162)

This may seem impressive, but consider:

On average...

323 will be fired, but only 54 of those will hit (not counting defensive fire).
Of those, 27 will be blocked by an average shield rating (3).
Of those, only 14 will cause hull damage.

So, this design can be reasonably confident of eliminating one CA-sized target in a single volley; after which, it is useless.

So you took one lousy example, show that it's not all that effective, and say the game is good.

I took your example, which I cost out to 242 but that's not important for this discussion, and I changed the missile to have a 3+ ACC, launching 162 missiles for 242 cost. 108 missiles will hit, 54 will penetrate average shields, 27 do hull damage, and killing just about anything on the field. With a speed of 6 several seekers could be shot down before reaching their target, but that is too subjective to judge and you avoided that issue as well. By the way, very few book ships have a chance to shoot down the seekers at striking time since few book point defense weapons have Dfn. Pnp by itself is nearly worthless as a point defense option.

Just to show I've looked at it more than once.
Target: Commonwealth Republic-class Dreadnought. With 5 shields only 18 seekers get through doing 9 hull damage which is half of its hull.. Survivable, but it is wounded by a frigate less than half its cost.
With 69 Mdl seekers: 46 hit, 23 hull damage. Dead dreadnought.

Target: Arcturian Thunderbolt-class Advanced Cruiser. With 4 shields only 36 seekers get through doing 12 hull (18 but 1/3 negated by Ionized Hull. It has 13 hull points. It will not be in good shape, and all other systems will get hit 6 times out of the 7 boxes each has.
With 69 Mdl seekers: 46 hit, 15 hull damage. Dead cruiser.

Target: Arcturian Cromwell-class: 18 seekers, 6 hull damage (Ionized). Half of its hits.
With 69 Mdl seekers: 46 hit, 15 hull damage, another dead cruiser.

Target: Kalaedinese Heavy Cruiser, with AFB and Countermeasures this seemed interesting. Seekers now have 5+ to hit, so 36 hit, 18 penetrate shields, doing 9 hull damage out of the 11 it has. Each system takes 6 hits, which is all they have, so the ship is mission killed.
With 69 Mdl seekers: 23 hit, 11 hull hits (favoring the defender), no matter, dead cruiser.

Target: Korath Dreadnought. Oh, a toughie, that one will put up a fight. Too bad all those point defense don't have Dfn. Fire at its support ships, let the rest of the fleet deal with this one. But here goes... tell ya what, I want to save this post I've spent a lot of time making this so I'll follow up with another post later. Besides, I want to redesign it with Dfn on its point defense system.

Broken? Maybe. But given a game or two, I'm sure any competent opponent can find a way of countering it.

I'm working hard at this, but so far I've only come up with an expensive solution.

Fun to play? Not really. And that, frankly, is the ultimate answer to any attempt to min-max the game; "Is it fun to play and/or play against?"

That's not how a lot of the real gaming world works. Min-maxing is part of competitive play and miniatures gaming is very competitive. This is not some mamby-pamby Euro-trash board game (said with tongue in cheek since my game store sells lots of those).