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Lorns Fan DFC Patch (german space magic in space)

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Lordprinceps

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Re: Lorns Fan DFC Patch (german space magic in space)

PostMon Mar 05, 2018 7:38 pm

As for the rest of the changes:

General

I said it in Scoundrel's thread, and I'll say it here, but giving a weapon that literally cannot miss the ability to do guaranteed damage is a bad, bad idea. Giving Torpedoes particle means they WILL do 6 damage; maybe not this turn, maybe not the next, but they will at some point. The chance of them missing on their own for three or more turns in a row is less than half a percent, and the chance of them being delayed for three or more turns in a row is only 12.5%. I heavily disagree with particle on Torpedoes, as there should always be a chance, no matter how minute, that an attack completely fails.

Good change for debris fields.

Interesting idea for Beast; since we don't have any ships with the rule yet, I'm a bit curious why you decided to change it, but we'll see how it plays out when the rule is actually used.

I'm a bit wary of this one; yeah, the Shaltari have a lot of voidgates, but they shouldn't be completely useless.

Another interesting idea for debris fields; perhaps have them have 3 attacks when moving through them, but only 2 attacks when station keeping?

Vectored is a very nice change, since it'd allow for layer change / turns even on max thrust, weapons free, and active scan. Pulling a 135 degree turn on course change also sounds pretty damn impressive.

Agreed on the Centurion price increase, but I'd personally make them heavy for both factions, but keep the G 1-2; the Bellerophon needs some competition for its slots, after all.

On a quick note; I see that you've changed the points costs for most everything, and I can't quite wrap my head around how these points would balance out into relation to each other (at least not right now), so I'll only respond to non-points changes.

UCM
Why not sig 9? It'd fit nicely in the pattern that we've already got, and leave 12" sig base open for dreadnoughts.

I'm sure you already know how I feel about Siphon Power, so I'll not repeat myself; 3 attacks is definitely more interesting than increased beam capacity, though.

The plus two hull on the San Fran I'll have to disagree with; the PHR troopships are obviously supposed to be heavy cruisers with troop capacity, so it makes sense for them, but the San Fran is a regular cruiser sized ship. It's fine where it is, maybe with a slight points decrease.

The change to the Santiago doesn't actually help it; it's exactly as effective against strike carriers as it was before (that is to say, not all that much), but now it's even worse against non-frigates (which it wasn't actually all that good at before, either). It's a nerf that doesn't improve its intended function.

Scourge
Sig 11" to go with the UCM (and PHR).

The wide-focus for the battleship furnace cannon is interesting and, after running the numbers, pretty decent! It clocks in a good bit less than the Viper laser, but is more powerful than the battleship's narrow-focus, maintaining the tradeoff between damage and flash.

Same for Chimera as for the San Fran, they were fine as they were. The Chimera in particular needed a point decrease due to how vulnerable its signature makes it (and imo it should have been a light cruiser base, rather than a normal cruiser), but more hull just doesn't sit right.

Good change on the Charybdis; if I played Scourge, I'd definitely consider taking some if they could bomb while safely in atmos.

Same for the Nickar as the Santiago; the change to its weapon doesn't actually help it against strike carriers, which it was already somewhat ineffective against in terms of pure cost (even in the best case reasonable scenario, it's always better to take more strike carriers rather than corvettes in terms of overall ground advantage over the course of the game). Good change on giving it outlier though, no idea why it didn't have it from the start.

PHR
See massive wall of text above :lol:

While I personally don't think the PHR need more hull, I appreciate that you've made it standardized, but I'd personally think that 10/12/14/16 for their light cruisers/cruisers/heavy cruisers/battlecruisers would be better than the 10/12/15/17 you have for them currently.

As for the Santiago and Nickar, same for the Echo; the change to the weapons don't actually help it (and it massively nerfs it because of the medium caliber turret). Why the removal of Stealth? It's a pretty useless ability on a corvette, but it did add some neat flavor at the least.

Shaltari
Agreed with the hull decrease on their battleships.

Good change on the particle lances being 2+, there's really nothing more to say about it beyond that they really, really needed it.

Another interesting change to the voidgate, but I'd personally say make it one or the other. Either have it a flat 5+ against all targets as beam CAW, so at least a group of them can defend against a weakened cruiser, or keep it as a regular weapon but with 6+ lock and Caliber(L)
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Lorn

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Re: Lorns Fan DFC Patch (german space magic in space)

PostMon Mar 05, 2018 10:52 pm

@Lordprinceps

Regarding PHR Hull Points I attempt to be true to the Hawk Design Philosophy regarding them. They are supposed to be "tougher" then the other factions. And for the most part I disagree with you that they significantly are. We agree however that the root issue for the faction is the bad performance of broadsides, however instead of making them another faction with strong fire power. I would rather preserve the character and make them "tanky" to compensate for the lower fire power.

Let´s compare the "vanilla" hull points for a moment, first number is the "normal" UCM/Scourge value and the second PHR:

Corvettes 2/2
Frigates 4/5
L. Cruiser 8/9
Cruister 10/11
H. Cruister (and PHR Troopships) 12/13
Battlecruiser 14/15
Battleships 18/22


As we see for PHR from Frigates to Battlecruisers they get +1 Hull, regardless of the total Hull point value. While I would agree that this means a lot for frigates (for example preventing chain explosions) it decreases quite significantly for bigger ships 15 Hull compared to 14 don`t make a ship that much tougher. In percentages it starts as a 25% increase, and goes down to 12,5%-7% only to rise for Battleships to 18%. In regards to armour only the Corvettes, Frigates and the light Cruiser have any advantage in regards to armour compared to the UCM. For bigger ships only the +1 Hull remains of this faction feature. Let´s compare with my changes:

Corvettes 2/2
Frigates 4/5
L. Cruiser 8/10
Cruister 10/12
H. Cruister (and PHR Troopships) 12/15
Battlecruiser 14/17
Battleships 18/22

Before the middle section had a 12,5-7% increase in Hull know this is 25-21%. So the "advantage" still slowly decreases with bigger tonnage but not at the same rapid rate. Thus the ships actually can sustain more fire (in particular across the fleet) instead of merely pretending to do so. Which helps them to reach the Broadside firing position.



Your suggestion in regards of Broadsides still don´t fix the application issues, meaning getting proper shots with them, "just" their damage if they do. The medium Broadside is pretty close to a Cobra Laser in damage in your variant. It is essentially a Centurion Turret, which deals +50% fire power on non WF order then most other ships at a wide arc.
The light Caliber is nearly unchanged as you state do you consider it to be of use? Because I am sceptical.
While I find it weird that heavies are worse against most targets but their preferred ones there the damage is doubled. Makes them rather situational.

In short it is mainly an improvement to medium broadsides that I find highly questionable in as it does not hinge on the suggested play style of using broadside in both directions but making them akin to the front focused factions in fire power. Also you provide no evidence that the 1 Hull point for Cruisers makes them significantly tougher all my experience suggest the opposite and the numbers don´t show us a huge increase either. So I remain unconvinced of that in regards to Cuisers of all classes.

German space magic for PHR would you like to know more?
http://www.hawkforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=7017

German space magic for all and this time it is in Space!
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=10506
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Lorn

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Re: Lorns Fan DFC Patch (german space magic in space)

PostMon Mar 05, 2018 11:40 pm

Regarding the rest.


Torpedoes:
They replace a weapon system system on any ship that has them, why should they have a chance to completely miss? On top of only dealing damage once (except the New York)? And frankly they sort of already have a mechanic that prevents them from doing damage. The target can simply die before it hits.
If I want to destroy an enemy ship I generally want to do it quickly before it can destroy mine or unload troops etc. the damage delay torpedoes suffer is countering that goal meaning I have to let the ship at very least conduct one action in the best case scenario.
A one turn delay is already a catastrophe as I know either try to quickly kill the target with other weapons wasting the Torpedo or I let the enemy take another turn.
They completely become a joke against shields as those cut their damage down immensely and you can always raise shields before a torpedo hits. But even against armour a 2 or 3 will mean that most targets will ignore 50-67% of the damage drastically reducing the performance in 40% of the cases in which it deals damage. That makes it quite a moody weapon system that needs a lot of build up to deliver but has a high chance to fall flat without delivering any adequate pay off.

Over the course of a game most weapon systems can easily deliver me 6 (or 4 in case of Scourge Torpedoes) points of damage if they survive 2-3 turns some perform even better (in particular with Scourge) as such a Torpedo should be adequate compensation for loosing such a weapon system. Which it currently is not.

Out of interest how would you change them?


Beast
That is mostly there to make the Scourge Command card less pointless. Currently it rarely is worth using it as the Beast mechanic has severe disadvantages.


Centurion
The groupe size decrease serves to make it a bit more rare. Currently you can have 4 in a clash sized game with is not really rare for a Cruiser sized ship. Also all heavies have G 1 feel free to correct me if I overlooked one.


Point Changes
As they are the most common change this affects quite a lot of changes to not consider them and some changes do make little sense without the point decrease namely the Corvette change.


UCM

Sig 9 is also fine will change it to that, they still have an unfavourable Sig/Scan ratio. Same goes for Scourge and PHR.
Liked the Siphon Power change to that is why it is in.

With the Troopships I wanted to buff them and the increase in Hull was a reason they somewhat worked for PHR. Visually I see little indication that they are that different (aside from the Troop compartment) then either the Heavy or normal PHR Cruisers. However a beefy point break might also achieve the desired result. So I think both methods work equally but I preferred not to lower more UCM point costs.

The Santiago change (as most Corvettes) only makes sense with their point break. Effectively they nearly halve their damage against non L ships, preventing roaming Corvette swarms from becoming an issue but keep all their firepower against L targets. While getting these rather major point breaks 23% for UCM/Scourge, 27% for PHR and 17% for Shaltari (and the special rule).
So the point effectiveness of their fire power per point increased rather drastically, making them more point effective Frigate killers. Also the G size change makes including them in your list more convenient.


Scourge

Glad you like the change to the Charybdis I found that more sensible then to drastically cut points. With more Corvettes around they are also not too hard to destroy if hard pressed.


PHR

Aside from the post above I wanted an extra step in the ascending hull points, I might change it to your scheme if it ever turns out to much for Heavy Cruisers and Battlecruisers so far I don´t think it did. Alternatively I might just reduce the Heavy Cruisers.

Stealth went away from the Echo as it nearly does nothing and I dislike nearly useless special rules on models. It is even more useless with my changes.


Shaltari

Yeah it is odd that the Shaltari battleships are as durable (even more so I would argue thanks to shields) then UCM and Scourge ones. This is supposed to mitigate this.
The Lance change is for consistency and improving their usefulness.

In regards to Gates I fear I might have been unclear, this is not supposed to affect their weapon but their shooting down of landing ground assets. I will reword that segment to make this clear.

German space magic for PHR would you like to know more?
http://www.hawkforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=7017

German space magic for all and this time it is in Space!
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=10506
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Gauntlet

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Re: Lorns Fan DFC Patch (german space magic in space)

PostTue Mar 06, 2018 2:18 am

I definitely think bombardment being "solved" not simply decosted, will result in a balancing of the currently imbalance of ground game vs space control.

It will also put less pressure on Corvettes to be super effective anti strike carriers.

I'm regards to hit points, regardless of PHR durability should be increased across the board... But! Is increased HP the answer?

Personally, I feel a lot of things could be streamlined and improved simply by changing the critical chart. A little less damage on that chart would have a similar effect as adding hit points, but without additional bookkeeping and easier to play test since the ship stats don't change.

Are you purposely restraining yourself to stat changes?
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Lordprinceps

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Re: Lorns Fan DFC Patch (german space magic in space)

PostTue Mar 06, 2018 4:55 am

@Lorn

Regarding the PHR hull points, I agree, which is why Hawk initially gave them a +1 across the board (except battleships, which got +4) in order to raise their crippled threshold by 1.

On the baseline, Frigates/Light/Cruisers/Heavy/Battlecruiser/Battleships have 4/8/10/12/14/18 hull. Currently, the PHR have 5/9/11/13/15/22. Your solution works, even if I feel it would be better served by being 5/10/12/14/16/22, but I think it comes down to two major things:

The PHR troopships are called assault troopships, but they have two major advantages over regular troopships; both cruiser-level firepower, as well as heavy-cruiser level toughness. Their model implies they're heavy cruisers, what with how the prow is, while the UCM and Scourge troopships are implied to be regular cruisers.

Personally, I see three options for the PHR troopships:
1) Leave them as they are, but increase their cost to actually heavy cruiser levels; around 150 or so.
2) Contradict their model and reduce their toughness to be in line with PHR cruisers.
And most controversially;
3) make them Heavy tonnage, potentially with outlier or open if need be.

1 is a safe and secure change for them, 2 I find distasteful for the fact that I'd prefer stats to be based on the model and not arbitrary, but otherwise abstracted (such as a weapons number of attacks), so long as its consistent across all models.
3, however, comes with multiple advantages and disadvantages.
Disadvantages, obviously, are that PHR no longer have access to troopships in their medium slots, and must now rely entirely on medeas.
Both a disadvantage and advantage is that now the heavy slot, which is previously owned entirely by the Bellerophon, now has immensely efficient troopships to compete with. On the downside, it pushes the Hector and Achilles out even more.
Advantages include quite neatly cutting away the troop spam issue PHR tends to have, far more than even giving them rare would have done. And on a personal level, I feel it fits their fluff very well; the PHR having a very small amount of troops compared to the UCM and Scourge obviously wouldn't make much use of massive troopships.

Where I'm going with this is that the PHR troopships should not be taken as the baseline for troopships; they are far too good for what they are, and should be nerfed, rather than the UCM and Scourge being pulled up to approach their level.

As for your concern of the PHR being a "heavy firepower faction", they already were, in a sense. Out of all factions, the PHR were only behind the Scourge in overall maximum average damage output, but were held back by decreased single target firepower. That's an intrinsic quality of broadsides; it's a lot easier to stuff a number of guns in the side of a ship than it is to put them on a bunch of turrets in the front, but you won't be able to get all those guns off.

As for the application, I both agree and disagree. It's exactly as difficult as it was before to bring broadsides to bare, but now they can do more damage (in the case of heavies and mediums) when they do fire; all buffs and nerfs boil down to two types each, respectively: increase the reward or decrease the risk, and decrease the reward or increase the risk. High risk high reward mechanics, such as powerful broadsides, necessarily lead to a more interesting and varied game than low risk low reward mechanics, such as F/S arc, moderately powerful turrets.
On a side note, that's why I'm against the Siphon Power rule for the Saint Pete; it reduces the risk of using it because it's able to do increased damage on standard orders, but dose nothing to make its main reward appealing, that being a massive amount of damage on weapons free, even in excess of the Perth.
Continuing this, broadsides are intriniscally a high risk, high reward or low risk, low reward mechanic. You can either "Cross the T" and go sideways across the field to get targets in arc, and to stay out of range of guns, but not be able to approach objectives, or you can go into the enemy line to get to objectives and potentially get a double broadside off, at the cost of not being able to attack on approach. Because of this, I'm of the opinion that the broadsides should be more rewarding to use, rather than easier to use.

As for the specifics of the broadside changes, I'm just going off the baseline set by the light broadsides.
Light Broadsides: They were already perfectly effective against their primary targets, if a bit overkill, but also had the unfortunate externality of being excellent jury-rigged anti-atmo; since everything non-bombardment shooting into atmo became 6+, the 12 shots they were capable actually became the most effective non-bombardment weapon against targets in atmo. With this change, however, they no longer have that benefit against ground targets; due to how shooting mechanics actually work, though, they're still as effective against atmospheric frigates as they were before, to a degree.
Against 3+, 4+, and 5+ armor non-light targets, this was their average damage:
1.33/2.00/2.67
Against light targets:
3.33/4.00/4.66
Now against not-light targets:
1.67/2.00/2.33
Against light targets:
3.33/4.00/4.66

Basically, against non-light targets, they're now more effective against 3+ armor (a lot of things), equally effective against 4+ (most things), and less effective against 5+ (Scourge light cruisers and pretty much all Shaltari). Against light targets, they're equally effective in all respects.

Medium Broadsides: Just a plain increase in power; they're straight up 50% more powerful than other faction's main weapons and actually have a non-negligible chance to cripple a light cruiser in a single volley; only about 1/3 of the time, but that's much better than before.

Heavy Broadsides: Standardized to match up with light broadsides, just all around better, but without their little extra where their attacks critical on one less than normal.

(continued)
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Lordprinceps

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Re: Lorns Fan DFC Patch (german space magic in space)

PostTue Mar 06, 2018 5:15 am

As for why the torpedoes should be able to miss, same reason any weapon can miss. No action by the player that affects the opponent should have a guaranteed outcome. Even with limited, there should still be a chance that the target gets out of the attack unscathed.

As for what I'd have the Torpedoes do, there's too main issues with them; their damage, and their range.

In regards to damage, we can assume that there's about 4 turns of shooting in the game; turn 1 has almost nothing happen, and a ship won't always be able to shoot on every turn it can, so about 4 turns of shooting from a ship is fair too assume.
For most ships, their average output over these three turns is around 8 points of damage on standard orders, and 12 points of damage from battleships and other ships.
In particular for the UCM, their torpedo replaces a cobra, which would do about 12 damage over the course of 4 turns. This implies that, to be equivalent, a torpedo should do at least 6 points of damage each to make the system break even.
Additionally, Torpedoes have one major advantage and one major disadvantage; they have excellent alpha-potential, with the ability to outright cripple smaller ships early on, but they lack in overall range and speed.

For the changes I'd make:
1) Increase the damage to 8 or even 9; 8 does a little bit less than 6 damage on the average, but still pretty up there.
2) Increase thrust to 12"
3) Allow for the Torpedo to immediately hit if it's within 1x thrust range, as per other launch asset rules, but allow for the target to make a single "Emergency Evasion" roll if the opponent chooses to do so; the Torpedo is shook off until next turn on a roll of 5+, but at the cost of a minor spike; the ship gets none of the benefits of max thrust or course change.

For the Centurion, I suppose it doesn't really matter, but I personally think it'd be interesting to have a multi-ship group for a heavy unit.

As for the corvettes, I personally think they didn't need a nerf against bigger ships, but rather a buff against strike carriers. The points decrease does help a lot, and if my napkin math is correct does make them efficient (or nearly so) against strike carriers, but it just seems like changing a LOT of stuff at once, rather than just doing a simple buff to their weapons for the sake of efficiency against strike carriers. In my experience, corvettes were really never an issue against anything bigger than a light cruiser, and even then you needed to have like 4 or 5+ of them to make a threat.
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Re: Lorns Fan DFC Patch (german space magic in space)

PostTue Mar 06, 2018 6:13 am

Hrm, the price drop and sig drop on the UCM battleships does make them somewhat more enticing.

The big question is if it's enough...were these changes playtested yet, and if so how'd the battleships do?
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Lorn

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Re: Lorns Fan DFC Patch (german space magic in space)

PostTue Mar 06, 2018 9:22 am

@Nobody

We played some games with the changes, all of them including Scourge however none with Shaltari. With UCM I took the New York as I wanted to test the torpedoes same for PHR with the Minos. Overall it felt like less of a clutch to take a battleship, The New York was kind of average in performance, though I used it as bait. The Minos was even really devastating (as it survived for some time) but they both still died. :lol:

PHR against Scourge was quite satisfactory, the PHR ships could take quite a beating while not even coming close to the Scourge fire power. Which was exactly what I wanted to accomplish.
UCM benefited from the fact that my opponent wanted to try Scourge ships they never took before like Harpies.

What I haven´t done sufficiently so far is trying to break the neck of the "new" balance. As long as it is harder then before I consider the changes a success. I first wanted to see if less streamlined lists perform at least better then before.


@Gauntlet

Part of the solution to making bombardment useful is not using the terrible optional tournament rule that prevents total cluster destruction (at least in terms of scoring). As it makes the strategy of destroying a Cluster impossible.

I think shooting at sectors occupied by both sides is only sufficient for PHR though, I will add a general rule though as it makes it possible to change those.
Regarding Corvettes I actually want them to be pressed into a anti small ship role. First to give people that dislike Strike Carriers an opportunity to destroy the enemies if they bring big numbers, secondly as a countermeasure to Scourge Frigates as some perform a bit too well with the absence of Corvettes (namely Djinns).

Regarding the critical chart I hate that thing since the start. In particular in close games it has decided the outcome as least as much as player skill in my experience (in particular if there is not huge gap in it) which I disliked whether I won or not. Also it can take a lot of time an dice rolling. When giving Demo games at conventions more then once people questioned the number of dice roles required (in particular paired with catastrophic damage). So frankly I would rather brutally simplify the chart which leads to far more predictable but slightly higher average damage.
We played it once so far with d3 damage which speed up the game a lot and lead to a decrease in frustration. Though I know that some like their charts so I would make that change optional for those like me that dislike the randomness of the chart.

Are you purposely restraining yourself to stat changes?


I try to mostly change stats and points as I find those changes easier to judge rather then to tinker to much with the fundamental game concepts.

German space magic for PHR would you like to know more?
http://www.hawkforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=7017

German space magic for all and this time it is in Space!
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=10506
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Lorn

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Re: Lorns Fan DFC Patch (german space magic in space)

PostTue Mar 06, 2018 11:00 am

@Lordprinceps

As far as I understand you, you think the PHR Troopships (or only the Orpheus?) are too powerful in both the "vanilla" version and in mine. Correct?

In regards to the "vanilla" version I am quite confident that this is not case if all missions are played. But there are two possible factor that shift the balance, namely the more limited selection of missions for tournaments and the option to omit ground combat. I think both changes shift the ground game considerably in favour of Troopships and against Shaltari as their drop works more akin to Strike Carriers.

So far I have not run into issues with them in testing. I fear increasing the points by 15-20 would be far to much.


Regarding Torpedoes, I fear this is mostly a difference in design concepts. I personally prefer more reliable mechanics, over those that depend more on chance. I also find them easier to balance as the outcomes are more predictable. Though I think it is mostly a matter of taste. I think your versions of Torpedoes are better suited for players that like to more "chancy" mechanics which can surprise you and turn the game rather then more reliable but possibly less exiting ones that I prefer.


For Corvettes I don´t think in the original form there is an issue with them hunting medium ships, however with my huge point breaks on them there might be without a nerf to their fire power against bigger ships. Part of the reason for the massive point decrease is that I want a low entry cost to at least take a few Corvettes.

German space magic for PHR would you like to know more?
http://www.hawkforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=7017

German space magic for all and this time it is in Space!
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=10506
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samspace

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Re: Lorns Fan DFC Patch (german space magic in space)

PostFri Mar 09, 2018 5:29 pm

I tried hard to make the New York work, to some success. My opinion overall was not that the battleships signature was too big but that the battlecruisers signatures were too small comparatively. That seems like the biggest advantage to pick a UCM battlecruiser (or any battlecruiser) over their battleship. Battleship-like firepower but with a cruiser level signature.

You can drop the points even more, drop the BB signature, the smaller signature on the battlecruiser is still more tempting.
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