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The Fleet Ship designs, strategies, and tactics.

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Old June 17th, 2017, 12:16 PM
kilemall kilemall is offline
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Default Scale, the Battle Experience and the D-limit

The railgun thread brought a lot of people out of the woodwork who clearly feel that sensor, heat handling, targeting and/or power/attenuation issues favors the MgT 1000s of kms approach to ranges rather then CT/Plus LS+ type ranges.

Independent of what one can support/live with, at the end of the day the issue of scale our ships move to is dependent on the battle experience we want to provide.

CT/Mayday/BL type movement highlights the inertial movement and fight, but ultimately has more of a wargamer/mini fighting scale rather then character drama.

MgT fighting is more on the RPG scale in terms of time and character interaction with the various abstract movement/ranges.

Both approaches have merit, both ignore how greatly power generation and weapon/sensor ranges would increase across TLs, and all are ultimately game choices for the sort of entertainment one wants.

The one aspect I wanted to highlight by branching off into a separate thread is the battlespace/sensor issue.

CT had the sensor and engagement limits IMO defined by the 100D limit- maximum sensor detection still allowed for some margin for ships traveling from planets to that limit or vice versa.

Mayday and BL were not tied to those limits per se, but something like them and certainly a degraded to-hit/accurate fire solution/attenuation issue baked in.

MgT on the other hand has everything down to 1000s of kms and at a time scale that is at least personally playable, rather then assuming our characters are blazing away for 1000 seconds.

This is fine, except the CT-derived rules regarding the 100D limit are still in play.

With the meaningful engagement/detection range at 50,000km+ (I'm assuming MgT2E is largely like 1E this way), all anyone has at ranges exceeding that is an IR and visual dot, possibly IFF transponders with all the hanky-panky that may bring.

That is a LOT of territory to cover, even with increases to 8-10 Gs, asuming one interprets that 50,000km+ extreme range to light seconds to cover 100D distances.

If it's more like 100,000 km maximum detection range, any ship that wants to remain safely anonymous can just avoid any obvious watering hole places. Piracy is more possible, but has just as much targeting/interception problems as navies without inside intel/help.

That's a lot of ships passing in the fog without seeing each other.

If one assumes something like light second or even AU detection of IR traces, it still involves a whole lot of travel not on the Mongoose player time scale.

So here is the crux of my thread- if you want to play at Mongoose-type scales for player drama and/or weapon reality concerns with actual distances or at least abstracted to 100D limits, you need to consider either

  • tripling the G-accel,
  • increasing the sensor ranges to generate encounters (possibly a LOT of sensor drones),
  • have a fierce IFF regimen (anything that doesn't have a transponder sending is automatically a pirate),
  • and/or reduce the D-limit to 10D.

Of the above, I would tend to go with the 10D limit- that would reduce the battlespace down to where the 50,000 km+ detection range makes sense, 150,000 km or less in most cases, and the movement-to-player action phasing stays in the same scale throughout encounters.

Bottom line, the entire action biome has to be considered and scaled correctly for the intended entertainment effect whenever one aspect of a system is changed.
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