Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blah Blah High Guard Blah Blah

So I'm pretty much settled: I'm bringing in High Guard, definitely for combat. For most of what I do, which is solitaire, and most of which is most likely for me to do, which is via email, HG combat is superior to LBB2. I think that I'll be dispensing with LBB2's computer programming rules, as well. I might just hand-wave that the standard design streamlined types (S, A, R, T) all automatically have purification systems whereas the unstreamlined craft (C, M, Y) don't.

In terms of ship building, I'm either going to

A) retain LBB2's shipbuilding (and power plant fuel performance) as an option for off-the-shelf ships, as suggested in LBB5
B) dispense with LBB2 ship designs and go with HG builds altogether. (Actually, may try this my next round of solitaire)

I'm leaning towards A; if only because a high-guard built Scout or Free Trader is so much more expensive to buy, and so much cheaper to run.

I'm not decided whether I want to allow LBB2 designed ships pack a full complement of LBB2 weaponry, or whether they'll stay restricted to LBB5 energy point constraints. Can a Free Trader with an A power plant pack two triple pulse laser turrets, while the comparable LBB5- built ship can only use a pair of lasers? Can your scout pack a triple turret full of lasers?

And HG sucks up a wonderful amount of whatever defense budget you imagine your planets have. LBB2 ships are cheap, lending themselves to vast, sky-darkening hordes. HG absorbs that into five huge battlecruisers. I've been away from HG long enough that I don't really remember how the cost/benefit thing works with ship sizes, and whether, for example, a small fleet of colossal meson ships built around the biggest weapons is at an advantage or disadvantage to a fleet of ships built around less huge spinal mounts.

When the planet a jump away can afford fifty thousand patrol cruisers, you can't sneeze without running into one. Having the big bullies concentrated in one place seems a good idea to me.

I do think that in terms of regular patrolling, a small ship like a type T still makes sense: they're relatively cheap, they pack punch, and - far better than a SDB -  they can get word to The Fleet that something's coming. Even so, your spacefaring world with tens of billions funding a navy - even at cr50 a head - can buy an awful lot of those, so a higher-performance ship (a 2000 ton picket ship, built around a 100 ton bay) might well be suitable, if overkill.

Most ships of the Adventurer's league are still going to be small ships, just in terms of budget.

Most self-sufficient worlds with a population 7 or more within a jump of another will have major commercial linkages, and those will sometimes involve much larger ships than the Free Traders and Subbies. They'll be on routes. They'll virtually never go anywhere without a high port, so commercially C and D ports remain small-ship, almost exclusively.


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