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Old 02-09-2019, 08:12 PM   #41
Rupert
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
The Rapid Fire rules are on p. 373 and expanded on p. 408 and that is what I meant. Please note that attacks in Spaceships are given Recoil stats. You use that with the Rapid Fire rules.

It may seem somewhat "Meta" that you use Rapid Fire when the same _Player_ is making multiple identical attacks rather than just the same _Character_ but it seemed obvious to me that you do not roll 30 times for a Tertiary Battery. Apparently it was obvious to David and everyone else in the playtest too.
It's how I've always assumed you'd do things. However, the rules do only say that this is done for identical fixed weapons in a single system.
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I know that the Rapid Fire rules nerf all examples of very ROF attacks and they do it contrary to reality too. Modern Gatlings don't just put more rounds on target than single barrelled machine guns. They put a higher percentage on target too. The numbers I have read were that where a single barrel would put 7% of rounds on target a Gatling would put 9%. So that would be 70% chance of 1 hit with a ROF 10 gun but 9 solid hits with a ROF 100 Gatling.
An increase in percentage hits seems odd, and suggests not comparing like with like.
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This of course is totally opposite of what the Gurps Rapid fire rules would predict but I believe it to be the result of a deliberate meta-game decision by the creators to promote their ideas of playability.
It represents automatic fire with small arms fairly well in 'general use'.

While I was a strong advocate, in the day, for using rapid fire rules for massed volleys and salvoes from ships, etc., in retrospect using them for this, while consistent and apparently elegant, doesn't give great results.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:18 PM   #42
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

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<shrug> I don't know what it would do for Utzgoroth's faith but if something had been done to "fix" the above passage it almost certainly would have been to remove the words "fixed mount". It certainly wouldn't have been to roll 30 times for every turret in a Tertiary battery.
Frankly, that would be abominable. I very possibly wouldn't have bought another Spaceships book (which might be a positive result). But I would at least have the comfort of knowing that they cared about whether the rules published were the rules 'tested'.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:18 PM   #43
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

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Let's grant all this. There's still the question of how you handle point-defense in formations, which is not a problem confined to massive space battles no one wants to actually roll the dice for. N PCs in N identical fighters flying in formation seems like a very likely thing to actually come up at the gaming table, and point-defense could be important if, say, they're on escort duty. Were situations like that playtested, and if so do you remember how they were run?
I know what I'd have argued for - averaging their skill and rolling it as a single attack/PD attempt.

Yes, I know it does work that well, but it's consistent with the rest of the basic combat rules. I might not if it came up today, though I don't have a good fix that doesn't require a silly number of rolls.

My first stage in fixing things would be to make proximity attacks vs military ships less or not useful. Say giving them a (0.5) penetration modifier. This also makes hardening military ships actually do something other than make proximity attacks the only worthwhile ones.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:21 PM   #44
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

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My first stage in fixing things would be to make proximity attacks vs military ships less or not useful. Say giving them a (0.5) penetration modifier. This also makes hardening military ships actually do something other than make proximity attacks the only worthwhile ones.
Could you clarify? I don't see how that would make hardened armor do anything more than it does now. (It would make non-proximity missile attacks have something going for them, which would be all to the good)
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:20 PM   #45
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

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Could you clarify? I don't see how that would make hardened armor do anything more than it does now. (It would make non-proximity missile attacks have something going for them, which would be all to the good)
Under the current rules, because hardening negates the (2) that contact hits have, and doesn't affect proximity attacks in the slightest, all hardening does is make proximity attacks strictly better.

If proximity attacks have a (0.5), then even hardened armour is penetrated better with a contact attack.

So, what I was saying is what you are saying. I just said it in a way that was possibly confusing.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:44 PM   #46
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

FWIW my take on GURPS Spaceships is less harsh than Ulzgoroth's. If you care about realism Spaceships gives you options far superior to the vast majority of sci-fi RPGs. Ken Burnside's games exist, but those are more wargames, and leave a lot to be desired in terms of the ship design system. (Attack Vector: Tactical forces you to use pre-designed ships, while Squadron Strike's system requires a big spreadsheet and is not remotely straightforward.) Unfortunately, "ability to replicate a wide variety of sci-fi settings" seems to have taken precedence over coherence. The wide variety of scale choices, for example, seems to have been necessary to accommodate drives ranging from miligees to hundreds of gees, but they give wildly inconsistent results.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:18 AM   #47
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

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Yes, I know it does work that well, but it's consistent with the rest of the basic combat rules. I might not if it came up today, though I don't have a good fix that doesn't require a silly number of rolls.
Why not just use the average number of hits you would have gotten if you rolled for it? For really large number of attacks, that will almost certainly give a result close to what you would have gotten.
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:52 AM   #48
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

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Why not just use the average number of hits you would have gotten if you rolled for it? For really large number of attacks, that will almost certainly give a result close to what you would have gotten.
That's a possibility, but it removes a lot of player interaction with the rules, because they're no longer rolling.

I was thinking that maybe averaged results, based on Skill-10, and then having a single roll per massed attack with the margin of success shifting the number of hits by a percentage. The larger the number of attacks, the smaller the percentage shift.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:03 AM   #49
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

Skill-10 per turret without a roll would probably make mass combat more manageable. In that case, a spacecraft with gunners/gunner program with an average skill 12 and RoF 2,000 (TL10 VRF Improved Lasers over a 3-minute turn) would have an effective point-defense skill of 20+(target SM), allowing them to neutralize an average of thirteen missiles per turret over a 3-minute turn. In the case of the drone screen in 3-minute turns, the 900 drones would be effective against 46,800 SM+0 missiles. A slightly less generous scenario would be skill-12 per turret, meaning that the drone screen would only annihilate 39,600 SM+0 missiles.

With the velocities given for missiles and shells, this is actually realistic for point defense using laser weapons. Point-defense range is 100 miles and, since lasers travel at the speed of light, a point defense gunner/gunner program could change targets every four seconds as they confirmed target destruction. With a 20-second turn, they could potentially have five separate targets. With a 3-minute turn, forty-five separate targets.

In any case, there is an argument to be made that point defense with laser weapons makes larger kinetic weapons useless. In that case, combat doctrines would evolve away from large missiles. Capital spacecraft would have a couple of major batteries, a hanger full of point defense drones, and a hanger full of missile drones. A wing of 300 missile drones could launch 6,000 16cm missiles during a 3-minute turn. A wing of 300 point defense drones can kill 12,000 16cm missiles per 3-minute turn. The capital ships would either focus on killing their opponent's point defense drones until enough of their opponent's point defense drones die to allow the missile barrage to work or focus on beating each other to scrap from long distance.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:36 AM   #50
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] How does large-scale space warfare play out (without superscience)?

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Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
L Were situations like that playtested, and if so do you remember how they were run?
I can not say what other people did in any detail. I do not recall any other posts that went over what other people did in detail.

There was a significant amount of "We played Spaceships last Friday and everybody had a great time and the rules seemed to work fine!'. Posts like that are why I don't care so much about putting the "play" in playtesting.

I didn't try anything with massed combatants myself. The closest I came was 10 TL11^ SM+13 "Rebel Cruisers" v. 1 SM+15 "Imperial Dreadnaught." and that was mostly about testing what differences in SM were still viable.

There was very little in the way of maneuvering due to the relative balances of weapon range and damage (X-ray lasers) v. accelerations (single Gs of reactionless thrusters). Once they came into range the units invovled could kill each other much more quickly than they could achieve singificant changes in their relative positions.

If you were going to use masses of small fighters you'd have to group them together somehow just as a matter of practicality. Gurps ahs one mechnic for lumping multiple shots into one die roll. I'm not hugely fond of it myself but it's canonical.
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