Full name:  
It is currently Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:31 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours

Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 1 post ] 
  Print view Previous topic | Next topic 
Author Message
 Post subject: Final Discus postings and link to Discus archive
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 5:30 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:13 pm
Posts: 41

Jamie Coleman
Junior Member
Username: Vooodoomonkey

Post Number: 28
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, May 10, 2004 - 05:55 pm:

20 Rafiks, organized into 5 squadrons of 4 ships each, vs 1 DiGleria + 14 Wasps, organized into 5 squadrons of 3 ships each. Without a ship with a Flag bridge, the 20 Rafiks started out with a distinct disadvantage in the C2 department because only two squadrons were guaranteed full command control. For simplicity, the units were numbered and the ships were lettered, so Olympian unit #1 consisted of DiGleria A, Wasp A, and Wasp B, unit #2 had Wasps C, D, and E, etc.

The Rafiks all started in the D/E corner of the map, with vector B5, C1. The Wasps were up in the A/B corner of the map with vectors E4, D2. Initial range was, IIRC, about 24 hexes. (In AV:T scale that would be about 48 hexes with a crossing vector of about 22, slightly off-line). For the initial vectors, d5 were rolled twice for each side, using the larger result as the vector most directly towards the opponents and the lesser being player choice for which adjacent direction.)

Turn 1: All 5 of the Rafik units stayed in formation, started to swing up towards the Olympian forces. The Digleria's unit and the other two forward Wasp units (Olympian units #1, 2, & 3)pivoted towards the Rafiks, but didn't apply any thrust. The two rear guard Wasp units (#4, #5) pivoted more sharply and thrust to bring them more straightishly (I'm allowed to make up words here, right?) down the map. The DiGleria considered popping off a big gun or two at a range of 17, but decided against the high power expenditure.

Turn 2: The Rafiks continued to maneuver pretty much up through the center of the map. One of the squadrons (#4) was feeling a bit more aggressive than the others and kicked up more thrust (contrary to the fleet commander's wishes). The DiGleria's unit swung around to keep its nose presented and started applying thrust. The two Wasp squadrons which had been following it pivoted a bit more aggressively and applied more thrust, starting to bring them a bit more down the throats of the Rafiks. The trailing two Wasp units had cut their vectors more towards the C/D corner, which would bring them around the opposite flank of the Rafik's from the DiGleria's position. This left the more forward one of them as a popular target for the Rafik's. Several of the Rafik squadrons fired at that unit, spreading their fire amongst its ships. I think one Rafik unit targeted the DiGleria's unit and concentrated all their fire on the DiGleria. The Wasps' fire wasn't particularly effective this turn. The DiGleria was the only ship able to fire coilguns with it's 3CGs able to compensate for the crossing vector, but its salvo was ineffective.

One of the Wasps in the heavily targeted unit was hurting, but still combat worthy. The other two were battered a bit. There had been 12 Rafiks which teed off on those 3 Wasps, with the lead Wasp taking double the punishment. But the range (~10 hexes) was long enough that they weren't punishing them too badly.

Turn 3: The Digleria's unit continued to pass down the one side of the Rafik formation, while the other four Wasp units all swung more to the opposite side. The two Wasp units which had begun heading that way earlier passed the Rafiks but swung to bear on them in passing. Two of the Rafik units were diverging a bit from orders and they were thrusting to break formation which is going to really hurt them in the near future. One of them, #4, was the one which had been thrusting more heavily the previous turn, so it was already out of position. Being in the middle, the Rafiks attention was split with several focusing on the DiGleria, and the other's lining up on one of the trailing Wasp units which had an exposed flank and rear. Unfortunately (for the Rafiks), the reason for it's exposed sides was because it along with its 3 fellow squadrons had all managed to get one of the Rafik units in a cross-fire at ranges of 1 to 3 hexes (<=6 hexes AV:T). What made this situation worse was that this particular unit (unbeknownst to the Olympian forces) happened to be the one with the Rafik command ship in it.

There was a lot more shooting this turn. The Rafik's command ship was destroyed through structure hits, and two of the others in that squadron have lost their bridges and electronics, as well as the majority of their reactors, hyperdrives, etc. The three ships in the Wasp unit attacked from behind by two Rafik units were torn up pretty badly. The DiGleria blew one Rafik apart, pummeled another with CGs, and it's escorting Wasps inflicted significant damage on the other two Rafiks in their targeted unit with their lasers and CGs. The Range was too close for anyone to dodge much and everyone had pretty much burnt up their Flex points in getting attacks off. (Oh, yeah, that was the other whammy on the Rafik's--the lower Flex points!). The Rafiks of that unit and another one slightly farther off all focused on the DiGleria, hoping to cripple it. The closest Rafik unit was able to fire it's CGs all at the DiGleria, the other was speeding away too fast (one of the errant units). Fortunately for the DiGleria, one of its escorting Wasps was able to help in the zone defense. The DiGleria took some damage to the Bridge as well as the Flag Bridge, but not nearly enough to help the Rafiks. It took some other damage, like a few weapons gone, battery hit, I think a reactor was hit, but it's still very much alive and in control of all its forces. The higher internal armor was showing there, too.

That's where the battle was put on pause. It took about 3.5 hours so far. The battle is feeling like it's pretty decisive at this point because a couple of the Rafik squadrons have built up vectors taking them way out of formation and with their lead ship gone all of the ships will be "out of control." Their current situation is only partly due to their C2 resources being insufficient to keep them all under tight control. That will make what's coming up hurt even more, I think, but primarily it was just a bad tactical decision on their part to run up the middle rather than trying to swoop around the outside and snipe a bit more. Plus bad tactical placement of their command ship which exposed it while executing the bad tactical plan. The Wasps were able to concentrate their fire very effectively in that one turn, and the DiGleria showed that it really didn't need much help in concentrating fire. I While they suffered more firekill

I'll post some more rule related comments in the Rules section in a little bit

Ken Burnside
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 687
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 11:54 am:

At PentaCon, Jamie and I got to do a walkthrough of AV:F.

The good:

He's managed to distill down the AV:T damage model to something that suits the lower resolution scale. I proposed some tweaks to him, but they're fairly minor.

He's got a good set of algorithms to distill the AV:T ships (from their initial spreadsheet design) into his quarter-page SSDs. We're probably going to make the larger ships half page SSDs to contain more information at a larger point size.

He's managed to get a decent way of abstracting vector adjustsments on a whole turn basis; displacement is still part of it, though handled differently.

The Basics:

One hex is 40 km, one turn is still 128 seconds. In this scale, your maximum thrust puts the cap on the number of hexes per turn you can change your velocity by. It runs into an acceptable granularity issue with thrust ratings ending in 0.5. It also halves the fuel dots on the ships.

At the start of the turn, you select how many hexes/turn you want to change vectors by, and if you want to change them in multiple directions, there's a table lookup that cross references your pivot mode with your chosen vector change to tell you how many hexes you gained in each intermediate direction.

The Problem:

Movement is broken down into two phases, with fire happening in the middle of the turn. The result that we had with the Wasp and Rafik was a Rafik at range 7 in front of the Wasp at the start of the turn, followed by the Rafik being at range 3 in front of the Wasp at the midpoint, and then at range 3 behind the Wasp at the end of the turn. The Rafik's optimum shot comes at range 5 on this scale. The Wasp's comes at range 2.

On this pass, the Rafik fired three times -- once at range 7, once at range 3 in front of the Wasp, and once at range 3 behind the Wasp.

In spite of having my vector track run directly over the Wasp's -- closest approach was range 1! -- the granularity of the movement, combined with the Wasp's short ranges, meant that the Wasp didn't get a shot in at all.

Normally, a death-ride by a Rafik on a Wasp at a high rate of closure results in the Rafik getting a shot off that injures the Wasp, the Wasp hitting with a sledgehammer that mauls the Rafik.

Now, I'm willing to concede that this may be a survivable glitch. I think, on the new scale, that I overthrusted. It may well have been a bloody fortuitous set of vectors here as well, but it really disturbed me to have the Rafik get three shots off while teleporting through the Wasp's position.

My immediate solution was to divvy the turn up into thirds, with a fire phase before each movement segment. (Lord knows, we have the extra counters to burn on a box mini sheet...) Jamie is thinking on another way to poke at this that doesn't involve the extra step each turn.

Future Stuff:

There is a command and control system that I didn't delve into - if you read the rules in C6.0 in the AV:T rulebook, you'll see some of the basis for it -- I asked Jamie what he had in mind and then moved it to AV:T, so they should be compatable. Short form is that there are serious benefits to command grouping your ships to make sure they do what you want. Each nation gets a different "out of command" table to show differences in doctrine and training; units that are out of command roll on the table; they may follow the last orders given, they may do something unexpected... Units in command groups have (appreciably) the same vectors as a simplification.

Jamie and I brainstormed how to handle 3-D in 60 degree increments while there -- it's bugged him that this game isn't in 3-D. I'm not sure this game needs to be 3-D, but I'm willing to brainstorm on it.

We are considering doing a decision matrix for orders, with trade offs in both avoiding seeking weapons and aggressiveness of engagement giving your opponent some control over where your next turn vector changes take you. Going defensively means that you don't get as much damage, but do get more control over your vectors.

Right now, I don't see a way to use seekers to break up squadrons, something that's trivially easy in AV:T - two ships with identical vectors get seeker swarms set at them, with "holes" in opposite directions. Very soon, you get two ships thrusting with vectors between 120 and 180 degrees apart. This may come in later, but it's part of my thinking on the aggressiveness trade off.

Ethan McKinney
Senior Member
Username: Emckinney

Post Number: 374
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 12:12 pm:

Did you do just a one-on-one battle? What was playing time like?

Ken Burnside
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 690
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 12:51 pm:

Ehtan, it was just a one-on-one familiarization for me; I was a under the weather and trying to get a feel for the movement.

It looks like the playing speed would be pretty quick -- turns in 5 minutes, and it aggregates at a less than linear rate with multiple ships, since you're really giving orders for squadrons.

Kirk Spencer
New member
Username: Kspencer

Post Number: 6
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 01:43 pm:


- on ranges... Instead of a snapshot, work from a blur. That is, in the third timeframe, the range blurred from 3 to 1 to 3. I'd recommend that each player select their optimum range from that blur. heh - make it a 'secret' selection, and you can figure who shoots first (or simultaneous) if that's desired.

- On cutting from fleets... a declaration? That is, if I declare I'm trying to split a ship or two from the squadron, I declare x points at target 1 and y points at target two (and potentially none at the rest), pick directions for 1 and 2, and let the other guy decide if he's going to eat the specified damage to 1 or 2 or go ahead and split the fleet. Or maybe it's even simpler - haven't played it, can't say.

James Sterrett & Corinne Mahaffey
Advanced Member
Username: Jamessterrett

Post Number: 237
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 08:48 pm:

I like the blur idea - especially with the secret selection of when to fire.

Kirk Spencer
New member
Username: Kspencer

Post Number: 9
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 10:55 am:

A thought on "tracking the blur", particularly in 3D. Note this is a brainstorm idea, not finished product.

Each player maintains a "squadron targetting AVID". Unlike AV:T AVIDs, this one's fixed to the board for direction, but "moves" with the squadron.

One step of the turn is each player marking the window(s) containing enemy squadron(s), then drawing a line from the previous such mark to the current one.

I can picture the next step for firing, and will try to work it out as well. Basically you have a nomograph that is a series of columns. Left and Right side columns are ranges at start and end of turn. The remaining columns are the number of windows changed. The numbers in those columns are the closest range during the move.

Now, I see one problem right up front - basically, the "edges". Example: you 6 hexes up and 2 right, putting you in (nominal) "A" window. At the end of the move you are 6 up and 2 right relative to me, now putting you in the "D" window. The nomograph for a 180 should give you a "zero" range, but there's good reason to believe that "two" would be as accurate in this situation. Still, I can't help thinking this might be a nudge toward the (or a) solution.

Ethan McKinney
Senior Member
Username: Emckinney

Post Number: 380
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 12:31 pm:

Kirk, it won't work. The resolution of the 30-degree AVID isn't good enough for this; it really, really doesn't work for a 60-degree AVID. Including rules for using two different AVIDs is just such horribleness that I can't even contemplate it.

Versions of this problem pre-date the AVID. The ancient BoP 10-degree "snowflake" was fine enough to use within AV:F weapons ranges, but it was a nightmare.

The only reasonable graphical aid is a circular slide rule or a set of nomographs that take at least six inputs. I'd been examining the trig for solving the "nearest approach" problem in order to write a AV:T tactics piece on making intercepts and the math is just ugly. First you have to solve a bunch of matrices, then solve what is, I believe, essentially a quadratic.

The math is here.
(note to everyone posting long URLs: please use the "link" formatting command (found here) to post them. Posting the raw text prevents line breaking and comlpletely messes up the formatting of the BBS, forcing people to scroll horizontally)

Claudio Bertinetto
New member
Username: Claudio

Post Number: 14
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 25, 2004 - 08:33 am:

Just a thought: in "the Battle", the cut prelude to Niven and Pournelle's "Mote", Mac Arthur would definitely be using the "blur" rule you're proposing: her captain is basically flying the ship manually, with computer assist. Defiant, by contrast, is flown via a computer that got its basic orders from her captain. If a TW fleet uses this specific C2 system, it would very likely always shoot at optimal ranges and ROC. It would also be predictable.

 Profile E-mail  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 1 post ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
mile200 v1.0 desgined by CodeMiles Team (msi_333)