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Old 03-27-2020, 10:30 PM   #1
Aman
 
Join Date: May 2008
Default Triplanetary Combat Question

Let's say I have a dreadnought, combat 15.
It attacks 3 Corsairs together, combat 4 so 12 Total.
This is a 1:1 attack. I roll a '6' [yay!] for D4 Damage.
How do I allocate damage to the Corsairs?

Is it D4 to each one?
Is it D1 to each plus one randomly gets D2?
Something else?

I can think of plenty of ways to do it that are fair, but is there a rule?
Thanks!
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Old 03-28-2020, 04:03 AM   #2
RogerBW
 
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Location: near London, UK
Default Re: Triplanetary Combat Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aman View Post
Let's say I have a dreadnought, combat 15.
It attacks 3 Corsairs together, combat 4 so 12 Total.
This is a 1:1 attack. I roll a '6' [yay!] for D4 Damage.
How do I allocate damage to the Corsairs?

Is it D4 to each one?
Is it D1 to each plus one randomly gets D2?
Something else?

I can think of plenty of ways to do it that are fair, but is there a rule?
Thanks!
I can't see anything in either the 2018 or the 1981 rules that makes this explicit, but I think it would probably be D4 to each.
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Old 03-30-2020, 06:44 PM   #3
penneyft
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Default Re: Triplanetary Combat Question

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Originally Posted by RogerBW View Post
I can't see anything in either the 2018 or the 1981 rules that makes this explicit, but I think it would probably be D4 to each.
Applying logic, this is the only approach that makes sense. If you only apply D4 collectively to the entire group (e.g. D1 to each + 1, or D4 to a single ship), then you would have been better off attacking each corsair individually at much better combat odds (15:4 instead of 15:12), instead of lowering your odds, but still applying the damage to a single ship. And given that 15:4 odds would allow a 1-in-6 chance of eliminating the target outright, that would be a better approach. Instead, the dreadnaught has a 50:50 chance of disabling the corsairs for at least 2 turns, which gives it additional time to try to destroy them.

Since the rules allow attacking multiple ships, this would be logical way to make use of the combat table.

Conversely, since an attacker can combine multiple attacking ships, the same approach would apply -- the damage obtained would be applied once as the collective damage from all attackers, not as the damage per attacking ship. (e.g. 3 corsairs attacking the dreadnaught at 12:15 and rolling a 6 would result in D3 being applied to the dreadnaught, not D9 (D3 + D3 + D3).)
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Old 03-31-2020, 11:44 AM   #4
Aman
 
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Default Re: Triplanetary Combat Question

I dunno - firepower is a fixed asset. If you spread it around and take on several targets, you should get dispersed results. All modern warfare orients around firepower superiority, which is only gained by a concentration of firepower [based upon our physics - which Triplanetary seems to use] on one target instead of spreading it around several.

This is also a classic naval theory problem - is it better to spread our your gunnery on multiple targets, or concentrate it on one target in hopes of devastating it, rendering it combat ineffective, then move on to the next target and repeat the process.

So I'd say that the logical result if you combine against defenders [and disperse your firepower effectiveness] would be to spread out the damage evenly - after all, you are trying to bite a bigger apple.

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Originally Posted by penneyft View Post
Applying logic, this is the only approach that makes sense. If you only apply D4 collectively to the entire group (e.g. D1 to each + 1, or D4 to a single ship), then you would have been better off attacking each corsair individually at much better combat odds (15:4 instead of 15:12), instead of lowering your odds, but still applying the damage to a single ship. And given that 15:4 odds would allow a 1-in-6 chance of eliminating the target outright, that would be a better approach. Instead, the dreadnaught has a 50:50 chance of disabling the corsairs for at least 2 turns, which gives it additional time to try to destroy them.

Since the rules allow attacking multiple ships, this would be logical way to make use of the combat table.

Conversely, since an attacker can combine multiple attacking ships, the same approach would apply -- the damage obtained would be applied once as the collective damage from all attackers, not as the damage per attacking ship. (e.g. 3 corsairs attacking the dreadnaught at 12:15 and rolling a 6 would result in D3 being applied to the dreadnaught, not D9 (D3 + D3 + D3).)
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Old 03-31-2020, 04:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Triplanetary Combat Question

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Originally Posted by Aman View Post
So I'd say that the logical result if you combine against defenders [and disperse your firepower effectiveness] would be to spread out the damage evenly - after all, you are trying to bite a bigger apple.
As penneyft points out, though, it renders the rule useless - there would be no point in attacking multiple targets simultaneously.

I think it's an error to assume much sophistication in the combat system, which is after all a fairly typical late-1970s ratio-d6-CRT that shouldn't be asked to do a great deal.
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Old 03-31-2020, 06:18 PM   #6
Aman
 
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Default Re: Triplanetary Combat Question

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As penneyft points out, though, it renders the rule useless - there would be no point in attacking multiple targets simultaneously.
Actually, there's an excellent point to attacking 3 ships at 1:1 instead of 1 ship at 3:1. If you get a D3 result, and all three ships are D1, that means they can't fight for a full turn, and next turn you can hit them again singly and possibly destroy one, or collectively and keep pounding them into submission with multiple Dx's. Even rendering 2 of the 3 ships D1 is still beneficial - they are out of the fight for a turn, so next turn you hit the lone fighter at 3:1, then return to the other ships.

The reverse logic doesn't apply, btw, there's no problem with multiple ships shooting at one ship - ganging up when you can only attack a target once a turn is obviously the best thing to do.

In any event, I was hoping there was a rule, but there's lots of ways to do it that are fair and make sense, so no big deal.
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Old 04-01-2020, 07:36 AM   #7
penneyft
 
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Default Re: Triplanetary Combat Question

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Originally Posted by Aman View Post
I dunno - firepower is a fixed asset. If you spread it around and take on several targets, you should get dispersed results.
Agreed. And that is already accounted for by changing the combat odds, which reduces the maximum possible damage per ship (from outright elimination for 15:4, to D4 for 15:12), as well as by reducing the average amount of damage per attack (5 of 6 odds of at least D2 for 15:4, down to 50:50 chance of no damage for 15:12.)

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Originally Posted by Aman View Post
Actually, there's an excellent point to attacking 3 ships at 1:1 instead of 1 ship at 3:1.
This is a completely separate question, which again, I agree is worth consideration. But from the way the rules are structured, that seems to be a decision made at the time of choosing your attack. Do I want higher odds of doing more damage to a single ship, knowing that the other two will be free to continue to attack? Or do I want to lower my chances of success and the maximum impact per target, in order to have the opportunity to disable all of my opponents for several turns?

My prior comment was about attacking multiple targets simultaneously, but then choosing to lump all the damage on a single target. Given the way the math works, that doesn't make sense, since you are reducing your likelihood of success, and reducing how effective success will be, without any offsetting benefit.

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Originally Posted by Aman View Post
In any event, I was hoping there was a rule, but there's lots of ways to do it that are fair and make sense, so no big deal.
I don't see any ambiguity here. You do. That's fine.

There is a rule that allows attacking multiple opponents at a reduced likelihood of success, and at reduced effective damage to each ship - I see that as resolving the issues you raise. But the beauty of it is that while playing, it's *your* game. So if you want to do it a different way, nobody is stopping you. Really all you are doing is further exaggerating the tradeoff that allows you to do less damage to more targets. Under your version of the rules, you simply do *even* less damage to more targets. I would have to simulate how this would play out in more complex situations, but it seems like it would reduce the effectiveness of large warships like dreadnoughts as compared to smaller fighters. But that is a guess.

... but I would suggest that if you are going to attack multiple opponents, knowing that you then have to divide the damage shown on the results table across all of your opponents, and you then choose to apply that damage to a single opponent (which will be less damage than had you attacked a single opponent to begin with), then you need to rethink your strategy... ;)
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