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Old 08-11-2013, 02:33 PM   #1
JP42
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Default [Spaceships] Combat Examples?

I'm curious if anyone has done up any detailed combat examples using the Spaceships rules that they could point me to? I'm warming to the system as I read through it, and intend to - when time allows - run some mock combats myself, but thought I'd see if the ground had already been covered.

Even any anecdotal, not-so-detailed summaries of space combats using these rules would be great to hear about.

So, basically, tell me a story?
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:34 PM   #2
ericthered
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Combat Examples?

I like this request! I've never run a spaceships combat though. I'd be willing to set up and record a spaceship pbp battle if no one has any examples.
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Combat Examples?

Well, I did have some hopes that someone would have something to share. I did some very early test runs, pre-errata, but they were just enough off to be off-putting at the time.

I'd like to set up some basic ship to ship, fighter actions with carriers, missile ships versus point defense, that sort of thing.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Combat Examples?

What books do you have?
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Combat Examples?

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
What books do you have?
Oh, I'd be using Spaceships 1-5.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Combat Examples?

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Originally Posted by JP42 View Post
Even any anecdotal, not-so-detailed summaries of space combats using these rules would be great to hear about.

So, basically, tell me a story?
I did a few during the playtests.

The first was quite early during the first playtest. It involved a couple of Sathar destroyers moving to attack a UPF space station and a pair of Assualt Scouts being sent out to stop them. Al set at about TL10^

It turned out to e very brief as the Sathar could not stop the missiles launched at the them by the scouts. Total one-hit wipeouts due to high relative velocities.

Lessons learned: Matching fictional ships wasn't really that hard. In many possible conflict scenarios there is o realistic-looking way to end up with units maneuvering against each other. This lead to aspects of the Fast Pass rules. Also, missiles rule and rule all under many possible mixes of arms and armor.

Second was a test of a design that was cut from Spaceships 1 called the Ares. It's floating around in the Designer's notes......

http://www.sjgames.com/pyramid/sample.html?id=6603

.......here. I thought I'd test the blurb about it being vulnerable to missile -based ships at long range.

So I pulled the Ares beam weapons and substituted missile launchers and called it the Hydra-class.

Lesson: Spaceships makes it very easy to introduce variants.

There turned out not to be such a horrible vulnerability to missile barrages between equal-sized units with equal amounts of slots given to missiles and point defense.

The original Ares was also built with nothing heavier than Secondary batteries. Possibly so it would look like certain historical wet-navy ships and fictional vessels with lots of smallish guns.

Turned out it couldn't even properly annoy a Hydra-class with the same armor allotments as the Ares. I discovered this in the first round of combat and started over with a re-built Ares that replaced the Secondary with a Main. The one in the notes looks more like that one.

Lesson: Spaceships is sensitive to mixes of weapon size and armor.

The third trial was at TL11^ with a Star Wars like Imperial Dreadnought of SM+15 facing 10 Rebel Cruisers of SM+13. These were actually the same ships except for the SMs. The had X-ray Laser Spinal Mounts and variable Force Screens. This was a repeat of the lesson about producing variants.

This was an even match of tonnage and $. Spaceships works like that. +2 SMs is 10x everything.

It turned out that the single Imperial couldn't do anything in the maneuver department to neutralize the Rebel's advantage in numbers. Some of this was probably because of the laser's great range. The Impies couldn't take advantage of their Force screens' variable capability while the rebels could..

Also that 2 SMs was the absolute limit where a Spinal Mount could pierce 1 layer of Force Screen and 1 layer of Armor at +2Ms.

The result was that the 10 Rebels killed the 1 Imperial without any ships of their own disabled. If they'd been 3 SMS apart they couldn't have scratched it even if they had 30 SM+12 ships.

My magnum opus was the struggle of the Greater League of United Earth (GLUE) v. the revolt of the Free Libertarians of the Outer Solar System (Floss). This was done during the test of the tactical/mapped system in book 3 and was conducted with whatever more or less Hard Science ships I could find there and n Book 4 of TL10 or less. Books 3 and 4 were tested simultaneously.

There'd been a rebellion in the occupation fleet of GLUE that led to the creation of FLOSS so the sides were mostly mirror images of each other.

First came matching fleets of Victory-class cruisers and Deimos-class Frigates approaching each other at cruise speed i.e. costing to conseve the limited delta-v of their fusion pulse drives.

I'd tried hard but perhaps due to a mismatch of speed and weapons range there was essentially no maneuvering. The fleets coasted into range and opened up on each other.

There was also a mismatch of weapon penetration and armor. I have no idea what the Particle Beams of the Victorys were intended to shoot at. the Medium batteries of the Deimos' were penetrating the armor of the Victorys at beyond 1/2D.

It was even more of a ghastly slaughter than I has anticipated and after Admirals Able and Baker of GLUE blew up with their fleets Admiral Charles negotiated a cease-fire. Both decimated fleets drifted back out of range while Adm. Charlie started making notes about rebuilding his remaining Victorys with UV lasers that would outrange his enemies rather than those over-powered but under-ranging P-beams.

Then came a flight of Nova-class Carriers using their slower but longer-lasting fusion drives to do continuous accel from Mars to Earth.

Everyone at GLUEFLEETHQ fouled their spacesuit's waste relief systems when the Nova's never started turnover. They were just going to scream past Earth at 70 miles per second.

GLUEFLEETINTEL decided that the Novas were going to deploy their usual load of assault boats and fighters who would then launch missiles at pretty much everything in Earth orbit. Sort of like the Doolittle raid in WWII, not bringing decisive victory in materiel terms but scaring the hell out of all the brass and the civilians.

GLUEFLEET's own Novas and their fighters were then deployed defensively all over Earth orbit.

To give GLUEFLEETINTEL their due, such an assault plan probably would have worked on a psychological basis at the minimum..

Unfortunately for them what FLOSSCOM had actually come up with was to fill the Novas' hanger bays with homemade TL8 ASATs and attack the SM+14 Gibralter-class Battlestations that were the foundation of GLUE's dominance of near-Earth space.

It worked out to 100 ASATS per Nova with 1 Nova per Gibralter. The ASATS were of course robot kamikazes but they also launched 3 sub-missiles of their own before impact.

So when the Gibralter's detectors each lit up with 400 targets apiece at 70 miles per second what looked like a ridiculous amount of firepower during peacetime turned out to be utterly inadequate during a real alpha strike in war. Also not even the whole battlestation much less the armor could not withstand a single hit from a single sub-missile without suffering an auto-kill.

It probably helped the other stations orbiting earth that he Gibralters were blown into so many tiny pieces

If you wonder, the Novas started turnover after they passed Earth and rendezvoused with supply ships with more fuel on the other side of the Sun.

As I determined things after that Adm. Charlie was the senior officer in space for all of GLUEFLEET but whel he was trying to figure out what to do the separate nations of Earth rebelled since they no longer had the Gibralter's missiles aimed at them and FLOSS achieved a political victory.

So again, maneuver battles are hard to set up. Offense and defense can be hard to balance and you really need to watch out for those high velocity missiles.

Some of this may have led to notes in alter books about hardening all classes of armor and force screens. Also perhaps to some notes about pseudovelocity.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Combat Examples?

I tried to work some up, in the past, but ultimately the missile/PD hairball was too much for me to actually go to the dice.
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Combat Examples?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
I tried to work some up, in the past, but ultimately the missile/PD hairball was too much for me to actually go to the dice.
This is always the issue...if anyone figures out how to game out the Honorverse, let me know.
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Combat Examples?

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Originally Posted by apoc527 View Post
This is always the issue...if anyone figures out how to game out the Honorverse, let me know.
With huge numbers of missiles it makes sense to do it by percentages rather than dice rolls.

Each missile has effective skill 16.
Point defense has effective skill 12.
There are 100 missiles.

Totals hits = 100*.98*.26 =

If you still want to be rolling dice make it a Quick Contest and vary that number based on the results.
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Old 08-12-2013, 03:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Combat Examples?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lexington View Post
With huge numbers of missiles it makes sense to do it by percentages rather than dice rolls.

Each missile has effective skill 16.
Point defense has effective skill 12.
There are 100 missiles.

Totals hits = 100*.98*.26 =

If you still want to be rolling dice make it a Quick Contest and vary that number based on the results.
Point defense can't be modeled reasonably as just an effective skill level. Even in theory, probably, because you need more resolution than 3d6 provides to support some levels of defense you'd want! Also, determining the 'effective skill' is decidedly non-trivial, because it depends on the numbers of weapons and missiles involved in addition to the usual factors that modify attack rolls.

And since getting hit by 25 GURPS Spaceships missiles will typically reduce a ship to confetti, in any 'survivable' engagement for the as-written weapons you're likely to wind up in the pinch of needing to dice out whether an expected 0.1 hits actually means getting hit on this volley or not getting hit.
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