Some ideas on activation and command...
I wanted to encourage players to group their ships into divisions without requiring it, so I turned to ARES for a possible solution.
Each ship has a C3 rating (which is based on the size of the ship, but not necessarily tied to it... so you could have an Fclass "command" ship). These ratings are then added together to give a division C3 rating.
When a division is activated, roll 2d6; if the result is equal to or less than the division C3 rating, then the appropriate order is enacted. If not, then the division may only execute a "Steady as She Goes" order, with a 1 to all attack rolls. A roll of 11 or 12 automatically fails, regardless of the division's C3 rating.
For example, a division of 4 ships with C3 ratings of 3 each would pass its activation roll on any roll of 10 or less. When one ship is lost, this will drop to a 9 or less; after two ships are lost, the division will only pass on a 6 or less.
SFOTCS revisited

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Construction
So that you can build your own ships...
First, select the size class and hull size:
F: 13 hull, 10 SUs/hull
D: 35 hull, 12 SUs/hull
C: 57 hull, 14 SUs/hull
B: 79 hull, 17 SUs/hull
For example, the Sycamore is 6 [C], meaning it has 84 SUs (6 x 14).
Then, decide on the thrust and defense ratings. The base numbers depend on the size class:
F: Thrust 8, Defense 0
D: Thrust 7, Defense 1
C: Thrust 6, Defense 2
B: Thrust 5, Defense 3
Each change in thrust adds or subtracts 10% to the total number of SUs, while each change in defense adds or subtracts 20%.
The Sycamore has thrust 4 (20%) and defense 3 (+20%), so the SU total remains at 84.
Next, choose a C3 rating. This takes a number of SUs equal to the square of this rating.
The Sycamore's C3 rating is 4, taking 16 SUs. There are 68 remaining.
Then the Attack value is chosen. The SU cost is the number of dice times the range.
Sycamore's attack value is 6d/6, meaning that its weapons take up 36 SUs. There are 32 left.
Finally, determine the SU cost of the special weapons. Each weapon takes up a number of SUs equal to its range times its damage value, divided by 2.
Sycamore has three Pulsar Cannons, which are 12/x2  taking up 36 SUs. The final total is 4 (this is okay, see below).
COMBAT RATING
As always, the combat rating is the square root of the product of the offensive rating and the defensive rating.
Defensive Rating = hull size x defensive modifier x C3 rating / 10
Defense 0 = 1.0
Defense 1 = 1.2
Defense 2 = 1.5
Defense 3 = 2.0
Defense 4 = 3.0
Defense 5 = 6.0
Sycamore has 6 hull points, a defense of 3, and C3 of 4. Therefore, its Defensive Rating is 6 x 2.0 x 4 / 10 = 4.8.
Offensive Rating = attack dice x (thrust + range)
Sycamore's thrust is 4, with 6 attack dice and a range of 6. This yields an offensive rating of 6 x (4 + 6) = 60.
Special Weapons Offensive Rating = number x (thrust + range) x damage / 2
Sycamore's 3 pulsar cannons have a range of 12 and damage of 2. This means their offensive rating is 3 x (4 + 12) x 2 / 2 = 48. Added to the base offensive rating, this yields a total of 108.
The combat rating is therefore the square root of 108 x 4.8, or 22.77. However, there is one more step...
Because we took more space than we had available, there is a "surcharge" equal to the actual number of SUs divided by the available number, or 88/84. This changes the value to 23.85, rounded up to 24.
First, select the size class and hull size:
F: 13 hull, 10 SUs/hull
D: 35 hull, 12 SUs/hull
C: 57 hull, 14 SUs/hull
B: 79 hull, 17 SUs/hull
For example, the Sycamore is 6 [C], meaning it has 84 SUs (6 x 14).
Then, decide on the thrust and defense ratings. The base numbers depend on the size class:
F: Thrust 8, Defense 0
D: Thrust 7, Defense 1
C: Thrust 6, Defense 2
B: Thrust 5, Defense 3
Each change in thrust adds or subtracts 10% to the total number of SUs, while each change in defense adds or subtracts 20%.
The Sycamore has thrust 4 (20%) and defense 3 (+20%), so the SU total remains at 84.
Next, choose a C3 rating. This takes a number of SUs equal to the square of this rating.
The Sycamore's C3 rating is 4, taking 16 SUs. There are 68 remaining.
Then the Attack value is chosen. The SU cost is the number of dice times the range.
Sycamore's attack value is 6d/6, meaning that its weapons take up 36 SUs. There are 32 left.
Finally, determine the SU cost of the special weapons. Each weapon takes up a number of SUs equal to its range times its damage value, divided by 2.
Sycamore has three Pulsar Cannons, which are 12/x2  taking up 36 SUs. The final total is 4 (this is okay, see below).
COMBAT RATING
As always, the combat rating is the square root of the product of the offensive rating and the defensive rating.
Defensive Rating = hull size x defensive modifier x C3 rating / 10
Defense 0 = 1.0
Defense 1 = 1.2
Defense 2 = 1.5
Defense 3 = 2.0
Defense 4 = 3.0
Defense 5 = 6.0
Sycamore has 6 hull points, a defense of 3, and C3 of 4. Therefore, its Defensive Rating is 6 x 2.0 x 4 / 10 = 4.8.
Offensive Rating = attack dice x (thrust + range)
Sycamore's thrust is 4, with 6 attack dice and a range of 6. This yields an offensive rating of 6 x (4 + 6) = 60.
Special Weapons Offensive Rating = number x (thrust + range) x damage / 2
Sycamore's 3 pulsar cannons have a range of 12 and damage of 2. This means their offensive rating is 3 x (4 + 12) x 2 / 2 = 48. Added to the base offensive rating, this yields a total of 108.
The combat rating is therefore the square root of 108 x 4.8, or 22.77. However, there is one more step...
Because we took more space than we had available, there is a "surcharge" equal to the actual number of SUs divided by the available number, or 88/84. This changes the value to 23.85, rounded up to 24.

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