• Thomas Ruschak's Ship Construction System

    From starshipgamingengineer@gmail.com@21:1/5 to All on Mon Feb 10 19:37:24 2020
    From: ts@pc.ecn.purdue.edu (Thomas Ruschak)
    Newsgroups: rec.games.board
    Subject: Star Fleet Battles Ship Design System (Long)
    Date: 3 May 88 08:49 GMT
    Organization: Purdue University Engineering Computer Network
    Well, enough people have asked for the design system I made, so I guess I'll post it...

    The basic philosophy of the system affects it in a large variety of ways, so I think I'll explain it a bit first. I learned to play SFB from the 3 small rule books. A lot of the later munchkin ships and rules I don't really like a lot.

    For example, I positively dislike the war cruisers, since they are simply cruisers with less hull and power, but the same weapons. In fact, ALL their later ships have more weapons stuffed into them, without any regard for how the systems fit into the
    ship. The worst part is that it makes the very ship names meaningless. For example, look at the Federation Battle Frigate. When you see the word 'BATTLE' in the name, you are immediately alerted to the fact that this is not REALLY a FF. In fact, it has
    almost as many weapons as a HEAVY CRUISER, for god's sake! It also has almost as much power, as well as only slightly worse shielding. It is easily a light cruiser, maybe mor e. And yet, they call it a frigate! For more examples of such mis-naming see
    any of the ships with any of the following words in their names: Leader, Command, Battle, Heavy.

    Also, the later small ships are crammed with weapons that they really can't arm very easily. They are expected to come in at weapon status 3, fire them, and then be destroyed in the large fleet battle.

    Another gripe I have is with the later weapons. The Hellbore is very powerful, but I could live with it. The PPD is a God-Weapon. Ok, I don't mind the fact that it is a big, powerful weapon. I really object to the design philosophy behind these two
    weapons. They are designed to produce a large number of internals in SMALL packets, to take advantage of the Mizia Concept. (For those unfamiliar, the Mizia concept means taking advantage of the hit- once items in the first column of the Damage
    Allocation Chart. 5 volleys of 4 internals each will take ou t many times more weapons and power systems than one large volley of 20.) I find specifically designing weapons to take advantage of the quirks in the game system repugnant munchkinism.

    Another problem (for those still here after all the ranting :-) are the plasma rules. These have been hacked and re-hacked so many times that I find them almost totally silly. At first plasma's are pretty simple. You fire them at the beginning of the
    turn, they chase their target s, and either hit, or not. Not mega enough. So they allow you to launch them on impulse. Too mega. Ok, fine, we'll put in wild weasels, so you can get rid of them. Not mega enough. Ok, we'll add lots and lots of F-torps, so
    you can kill the WW shuttles, and then get some through. Still not mega enough. The damn things NEVER hit. OK, say the designers, tell you what, we'll let you fire them as direct fire weapons! EUREKA the plasma races shout. They then happily ignor e the
    plasma torpedo, and use the plasma bolt. Why not simply give them photons?

    Problem #3. Photons & Disruptors. One disruptor is NOT the equal of one photon. One can only conclude that the Klingons are brain-damaged as a race. Yes, they do the same damage, but obviously no one told them about the big advantages of CONCENTRATION.
    Diffuse damage allows the defender to use twice as much reinforcement. Concentration = Internals = Weapon Kills = Less damage. Once half your disruptors are gone, try to equal the photon damage. Overloads only make the imbalance more obvious, as the
    Feddies get the best overloads in the game...

    Problem #4. Overloads. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't the word overload sound a little dangerous to you? "Cap'n I'm not sure the engines'll stand the overload!" Right? Why is it then, that in Starfleet Battles, the overload is just putting
    more power into the weapon? "Captain, our weapon have hit, but I estimate 15.864 minutes before we break through. No problem, Spock, just turn up the power, silly!" Admittedly, this is just a quibble, but I don't like it.

    Another quibble. Scatter packs. Why can't I make the giant flying plate, with 1000000000 drones on the front of it, and a mountain of controlling electronic on the back of it? Why can't you just stick 100 or so drones to the side of your ship and make a
    scatter-ship? (or should it be scat ter-brain?) Again, a quibble, but this isn't even explainable in game terms.

    Electronic warfare sucks. Too slow, too cumbersome. Scouts become the main sine-qua-non of warfare. If you don't have scouts, you won't win.

    Free movement is also bad. It takes all the skill out of the game, in my opinion, although this can be argued. (And has been, at length!) The best feature of free movement is that it speeds up fleet battles. Since I don't like battles larger than 10
    ships on a side, that's not good enough :-)

    Anyway, this stuff is all to explain the type of system I am using. If you don't agree (Likely, if not certain :-) simply change some of the constants. The method is probably good.

    The changes I make are: No two turn F-torps. Overloads stand a 1 in 6 chance of destroying the weapon. (Except photon overloads. 2x photon overloads are 2 in 6 to destroy the weapon. Any photon overload less that 2x is a 1 in When an overloaded weapon is
    destroyed in firing, the ship also suffers a random internal. No prox photons. No narrow salvos. No flywheel. No Plasma bolts. No wild-weasels. Phasers do 1 for 1 versus plasmas. F & G-torps shotgun as 2 d-torps, S-torps shotgun as 3, R-torps as 5.
    Shotgunning is otherwise as book, but takes no extra power. No Andromedans (too silly to even think about! I love the Andromedan Python DD, which can take a lot of BC's. Honest, it is a dest royer!) No type F drone racks. No Electronic warfare. No scout
    functions. No large fleet battles :-)

    The system below is simple. To use it, choose a ship-size, and fill it up, making sure to keep within the min & max hull, and the maximum number of heavy weapons. Also, be sure to obey all the NOTE's. All ships must be always be symmetrical.

    Note that armor must be repaired at a Starbase or equivalent, which is why it is cheap. PF's cannot move strategicall y, which is why they get more heavy weapons. I use special sensors for campaign exploration. They also allow you to see the SSD of an
    opponents ship at a range of 5x the number of sensors you have. Otherwise, you have to wait until you knock a shield down. Probes are used to find warp points for jumping (strategic movement) No probe, no jump.

    Ship class PF PC FF DD CL CA BC DN
    Max Hull 4 6 10 14 18 24 30 36
    Min Hull 2 2 3 4 5 6 10 15 Spaces 54 72 90 108 135 162 198 234 Max Heavy Weapons 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 8
    Max Drones H/2 H/2 H/2 H/3 H/3 H/4 H/4 H/4 Movement cost 1/5 1/4 1/3 1/2 2/3 1 1 1/4 1 1/2
    H = total hull.
    System Max Min Space

    F Hull Class Max Hull 0 1
    A Hull Class Max Hull 0 1
    Hull Class Max Hull 0 1.1
    Armor No Maximum 0 .5
    Shields None, but see #XX 2*Hull 1/6
    Warp** 2*Hull 1/2*Hull 1
    Impulse** Hull/4 1 1
    Boom Impulse Hull/8 0 1
    Boom Warp Hull/8 0 1
    Apr** Hull/4 0 1
    Shuttle** Hull/5 1 1.25
    Battery** Hull/5 1 1/2
    Lab** Hull/5 Hull/8 1/4
    Cargo** No Limit 0 1
    Tractors** Hull/4 1 1/2 Transporters** Hull/4 1 1/4
    Probe** Hull/8 1 (Except PF's) 1/4
    Special Sensor Hull/4 0 3
    Bridge Hull/12 1 1
    Flag Bridge Hull/12 (CA or larger) 0 1
    Aux Con Hull/12 1 (CL or larger only) 1/2
    Emer Bridge Hull/12 1 (CL or larger only) 1/2
    Security Hull/8 0 1/2

    Excess damage = Hull/4.
    Flag bridges may only be put on CA or larger hulls. Aux con and Emergency bridges are not required on PF's, PC's, FF's or DD's.

    NOTE 1: You can exceed the maxes, but you pay 2x the space.
    NOTE 2: For each shuttle bay desired over 1, add .5 spaces.
    NOTE 3: If a maximum turns out to be equal to 0, make it 1.
    NOTE 4: You must have at least 1 shield box per shield.
    Heavy Weapon Space
    2 Plasma-R (Only on CL or larger) 13 1/3
    1 Plasma-S (Only on DD or l
    arger) 8
    1 Plasma-G 6
    1/2 Plasma-F 5 1/3
    1/2 Plasma-D 5 1/3
    1/2 Fusion Beam 4
    2 TR (Only on CL or larger) 11.2
    1 1/2 PPD (Only on CL or larger) 10
    1 Hellbore 8
    1 Photon 7
    1 Disruptor 5.6
    1 ESG 6 2/3
    Phaser-I 4
    Phaser-II 2 2/3
    Phaser-III 2
    Phaser-G 3 1/3
    Drone Rack (A) 4
    Drone Rack (B, C, G) 4
    ADD 2 2/3
    Cloak 8

    Heavy Weapon is the number of heavy weapons the system counts as.
    Note: Max of 1 R-Torp for CA or smaller, Max 2 R-Torp for BC or DN
    Note: Max of 2 TR for CA or smaller, Max 3 for BC, 4 for DN. I do use TR's,
    though I don't use Andromedans.
    Note: Max of 2 PPD for CA or smaller, Max 3 for BC, 4 for DN

    Arc Modifiers for direct fire & plasma weapons:
    LF, RF = .5 Multiply the spaces required times the modifier
    L, R = .1 for the arc that is desired.
    LR, RR = .25
    360 Degrees = 1.6 *** SPECIAL !! ***

    The following values are computed by adding the values above together in interesting ways. For instance, LS = LF + L + LR = .5 + .1 + .25 = .85. The only one NOT computed in this way is the 360 firing arc.

    LS, RS = .85
    FA = 1.0
    RA = .5
    FH = 1.1 (the top half of r & l = .05, bottom half = .05) LS, RS = .85
    LF L, RF R = .6
    FX = 1.2
    RX = .7
    L LR, R RR = .35
    LF L RR, RF R LR = .85 (Klingon wing phasers)

    NOTE: Heavy weapons may not include either LR or RR in their arcs. Plasma-D's
    and Plasma-F's are exempted from this rule, with the restriction used on
    the ISC rear-firing F-torps.
    NOTE: No more than 1/3 of the weapon spaces on a ship may be 360 degree,
    and only phasers may have 360 degree mountings. No more than 4 weapons

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