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 Post subject: Gun Boats
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:09 am 
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The long docking times for Gunboats hint at another issue: GB-reliant fleets cannot retreat easily when pursued. This usually entails the sacrifice of their parasite craft, to allow the tender to escape. This is what happened with the Lu Han, and another reason for XC to move awway from GBs.


I know that the setting is trying to move away from GB since in game terms it's easier to control one ship than a flottila of gun boats and normal GB weapons can't do enough damge to seriously hurt a warship, but what if the mother of all wars break out and all of the participants start to use nukes?

Wouldn't GB will be an ideal platform to soak up the enemy before the rest of the fleet engage?

Iyar


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:23 am 
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Wouldn't dousing the map with kerosene and lighting it on fire be more fun to play? :)

It is VERY easy to justify space combat tactics as nothing but pure attrition.

Indeed, one of the Standard Positions on SFCONSIM-L is that the best weapon is a freighter drive. Build a gunboat sized remote controlled vessel, make sure it has 80-100 fuel units, and let it run on cruise mode at 5 milligees for a month.

Viola, kinetic weapons at 100 km/sec. Each 50 kg shell does damage measured in academics - RoC of 80 is 20,000 damage.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:55 am 
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So, which of the following is more the case in the setting:

    * The various space forces all thought gunboats would be a good idea, so they built a bunch, but they never really saw much action, and now the realization is dawning that they aren't all that great.
    * The various space forces built a bunch of gunboats, and they were an effective fighting unit for quite a while, but now technical developments are rendering them less so.


If #2, that implies a future Ship Book could have a bunch of designs and scenarios from the Golden Age of Gunboats.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:19 am 
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Erich Schneider wrote:
So, which of the following is more the case in the setting:

    * The various space forces all thought gunboats would be a good idea, so they built a bunch, but they never really saw much action, and now the realization is dawning that they aren't all that great.
    * The various space forces built a bunch of gunboats, and they were an effective fighting unit for quite a while, but now technical developments are rendering them less so.

If #2, that implies a future Ship Book could have a bunch of designs and scenarios from the Golden Age of Gunboats.


More number 2 than number 1. We are limited on gunboats for two reasons:

1) Box mini dies.
2) They aren't as fun to fly as a real ship for most people; they're great kinetic weapons strike platforms, but those tend to be very dull battles if executed with "perfect knowledge". "My gunboats bid fuel to have a CV of 64, launch kinetics, break 90 degrees to that vector and never reach the map."

(Mind, the way to solve this is to use nukes as area defense weapons, or the equivalent of a payload bay full of ZDCM shots).

Ultimately, you end up with this "Mine is bigger than yours" series of measure/countermeasure games and very little actual maneuver. This might be fun from writing novels; it's very bad for writing games.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:48 am 
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Ken Burnside wrote:
Erich Schneider wrote:
If #2, that implies a future Ship Book could have a bunch of designs and scenarios from the Golden Age of Gunboats.


More number 2 than number 1. We are limited on gunboats for two reasons:


The bigger and longer-ranged the lasers get, the less effective missiles are. The less effective missiles are, the less effective gunboats are. Try getting missiles in against a Mansur ... Those LRLS suck the fun from them :)

Ken Burnside wrote:
2) They aren't as fun to fly as a real ship for most people; they're great kinetic weapons strike platforms, but those tend to be very dull battles if executed with "perfect knowledge". "My gunboats bid fuel to have a CV of 64, launch kinetics, break 90 degrees to that vector and never reach the map."


The secret fuel bidding really doesn't make sense. You see the gunboats coming with an ever-building vector and you just thrust away from them to keep the vector down to reasonable levels.

Ken Burnside wrote:
(Mind, the way to solve this is to use nukes as area defense weapons, or the equivalent of a payload bay full of ZDCM shots).


EMP warheads, baby. One justification for Tri-Missiles.

Ken Burnside wrote:
Ultimately, you end up with this "Mine is bigger than yours" series of measure/countermeasure games and very little actual maneuver. This might be fun from writing novels; it's very bad for writing games.


With some countermeasures, you do get maneuver. Well, some. You try to shoot from several directions as once, so as to prevent the defenders from having enough EMPs to kill all of your incoming projectiles and to complicate the evasion situation.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:04 pm 
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Location: Illinois
We've tried gunboats in our local gaming group. I'm not so fond of 'em just because they die so easily, the wife doesn't care for kinetics that much so doesn't use them often. We do have one regular gamer of the 5 though that uses them fairly effectively if infrequently. We've found that gunboats can get quite nasty when trying to simulate contested orbit or station, then the vector start of some of the frigates is to low to stop a good hulling from a few gunboats. Their like patrol boats in modern warfare, not always usable but still intersting sometimes. That is our group opinion overall.


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