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Author Topic: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project  (Read 2849 times)

Online Commander Roj

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #45 on: June 02, 2020, 08:15:26 PM »
I think that is worth a look. Thanks.

Offline Easy E

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #46 on: June 03, 2020, 02:07:55 PM »
The hardest part of subwarfare from a design aspect is the detection components.  Tabletop games just do not have a great way to handle detection in an authentic way.  For true stealth situations, the opponent should have no idea where the enemy is until they attack or give away their position.

Obviously, this can be difficult in a tabletop wargame where models represent the enemy and players have a god's eye view.  There are only a handful of ways I have thought of to deal with this problem:

1. The easiest is, you don't.  You assume that by the time the battle breaks out everyone knows about where everyone is and stealth is discarded in order to fight.  A somewhat unsatisfying soultion to the issue. 

2. Use Blips/Blinds.  These represent the approximate location of various vessels and the blips are revealed by various actions such as shooting, active sonar pings, etc.  Better, but players still have a relative idea of where an enemy is and can be fiddly in execution.   

3. Non-detected units are placed in reserve and enter the board when they are "detected" at any depth or board edge they wish.  However, it feels more like the non-detected craft is just late to the party.   

4. Deployment nodes where once a vessel is detected they can be deployed within X distance of the node. Allows players to get an idea of where the enemy will appear and plan for it, but not the precise location.   

5. Detection checks, where you can not fire until you pass a detection check. However, it does not "solve" the issue of a player having a God's eye view.

6. Allow vessels to ultimately "deep strike" anywhere onto the board if undetected.  However, this means they WILL get to Alpha Strike.  Players hate when they get Alpha Striked.   

7. Double Blinds where each player has their own "board" that is identical and only moves vessels on their own board until they are detected and then they go onto the opponent's board too.  Very cumbersome and fiddly, but probably the most realistic.  Best if used on a board game.

How you handle stealth is up to you as the designer, but there is no right or wrong answer as it depends on what you want to emphasize in the rules.  Submarine games and Aerial games both have similar yet unique challenges for a designer.  Read lots of these types of rules as I suppose their are other solutions I missed out on above, but a good solid understanding of aerial and sub games will only benefit you in creating what you wish.   
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Offline Bravo Six

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #47 on: June 03, 2020, 04:35:52 PM »
Thanks for all the excellent points Easy. Much appreciated and yes I agree.... detection components can be tricky to get it "right". That said, sometimes in our hobby, realism has to make way for simplicity and just plain fun.

Quote
7. Double Blinds where each player has their own "board" that is identical and only moves vessels on their own board until they are detected and then they go onto the opponent's board too

Hey, kinda like Battleship the game!  :D
« Last Edit: June 03, 2020, 05:46:56 PM by Bravo Six »
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Online Commander Roj

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #48 on: June 03, 2020, 05:02:29 PM »
Or more recently, and right on topic, Matagotís Captain Sonar/Sonar games. (In my house we love this game, but I am not sure we could glean much from it for a game like this, before I send people off after a red herring.)

Offline Bravo Six

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #49 on: June 03, 2020, 05:49:33 PM »
This one? https://www.matagot.com/en/catalog/details/expert-games/1/captain-sonar/808

Sounds alot like the old FASA Star Trek Starship Combat Tactical Simulator game I used to play constantly with my friends back in the 80's.

Online Commander Roj

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #50 on: June 03, 2020, 07:43:43 PM »
I donít know if it is similar to the FASA game, but that is the one, although we have the Sonar version (requires less people, I wondered how often we would get eight...). It is elegantly simple though, you can play with a ten year old (and get beaten :-[). I am not sure that is a hallmark of FASA games.

Offline BeneathALeadMountain

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #51 on: June 03, 2020, 09:06:24 PM »
I have and have played a fair bit of  Hind Commander and it is a good game that (if I remember correctly) provided a really enjoyable experience. Somehow my favourite opponent and I managed to break it (but I canít remember how - maybe just too much on the table) but for smaller engagements it was great so if there is a sci-fi version it might be worth a look (although converting the original may be fine). The author is an odd chap, my friend and I offered him a computer program for building forces and providing a play sheet and force list in a nice layout (All my friends work I was just there for my charm and wit ;) ) and he just stared at us and said no. We didnít want anything we just wanted more people to discover HC and this weird interaction kind of ruined our enthusiasm for it which was a shame.

CmdrRoj - The BALM affection was for practicalities sake as the full title is the name of my blog (which I donít advertise, oddly) and most of my forum tags and I only realised afterwards how much hassle my whole title was for me and respondents to type out. Also my hobby is the last one I can still really physically do and is a balm for my soul  :)

BALM.

Offline Cypher226

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #52 on: June 03, 2020, 09:46:03 PM »
I hear good things about the Dropfleet Commander rules - basically each ship can only be targeted if its electronic signature can be detected, so shooting, accelerated movement, hard maneuvering etc all push up the distance ships can be targeted from.

Offline Bravo Six

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #53 on: June 03, 2020, 09:53:14 PM »
Quote
...and is a balm for my soul 

Love it! Well said.  :D

The hallmark of the FASA game, Commander Roj, was definitely not simplicity. And I think at one time we had a bridge crew of 5 or 6. Captain, Science Officer, Tactical, Engineer, Helm and Communications officer all manning a station. Was loads of fun.

Offline BeneathALeadMountain

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #54 on: June 03, 2020, 10:30:58 PM »
BravoSix what is your ideal miniature size for the fighter subs and bigger multi person gunboats? (probably not the correct term but thatís what Silent Death calls them). Iíve had some ideas and if I can drag myself away from the newly acquired Red Dead 2 and re-heading and re-sculpting Peter Pig cowboys Iíll start to knock some prototypes up.

BALM

Offline Bravo Six

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #55 on: June 03, 2020, 10:34:46 PM »
Do you mean scale wise? Right now I'm starting with larger vessels (Ravenstar's Cold Navy) and work my way smaller later on. I guess due to "whatever's out there" it's going to be mix and match visually.


Offline Macrossmartin

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #56 on: June 04, 2020, 12:25:55 PM »
Cypher makes a good point about DFC; it has a mechanic at its heart which ensures that stealth is front and centre of everything.

In truth, there is little to support it in a space combat game; vacuum is notoriously difficult to conceal things in. But, the principle applies, and is something I incorporated into my alpha rules for Glory Deep. Its essence is:

  • More actions by a unit = Unit's vulnerability increases
  • Less actions by a unit = Unit's vulnerability decreases
  • No actions by a unit = Unit's vulnerability minimised

This gets to the heart of how sonar works; things make noise when they do something. That sound radiates, is detected, amplified, and betrays the origin of that something. Do nothing - 'run silent' - and you decrease the risk of being heard, because you're doing nothing. Nuclear boats have a big disadvantage here compared to diesel electrics, because they cannot be completely silent; they need to constantly pump water to cool their reactors.

In part, this is why foreign SSK's keep sinking US carriers in exercises. US Navy sonar personnel are used to practicing their craft with their navy's SSN's, so lack experience 'painting' diesel electrics.

Keep that in mind while we look a few decades into our future. Pretty soon, big data computing and stupidly sensitive receivers will combine to effectively strip away the concealment of the depths. General Electric and Naval Group are already investing in this. It will lead to the biggest naval revolution since USS Nautilus.

Within a certain range, submarines will lose all hope of remaining undetected. These sensors can distinguish between the sounds of thermal fluid dynamics as temperatures ebb and flow through the water. That's bad for a submarine, because its hull is a big, solid thing that doesn't ebb and flow! Also, the ocean is actually alive with sounds; microbubbles pop, shrimp snap, temperature layers 'rub' and create friction. It's all there, if you have the ears to hear. Therefore, if you find a stable volume of temperature that is suspiciously silent - you've found a submarine.

If what I've researched isn't just advertising spin, this data can be combined into a picture - literally - of the surrounding volume of water in all directions. It can be translated into an actual on-screen representation of the water, sea floor, surface, and everything in between. It's called Sonar Visual Reconstruction Environment (SVRE). When you match this to the new sensors and some seriously expensive computers, you can actually visualise a submarine on your screen, with sufficient resolution to match its form to a database, and identify it.

If all this proves to be true (and the US Navy thinks so - they were putting out for tenders for this 7 years ago - https://www.sbir.gov/node/592541 ), then the undersea battlespace will look more like the air battlespace does now: You can run, but you can't hide. Unless you have some damn serious EW package onboard.

This evidence suggests we're all being a little too 'Hollywood' in our thinking about submarine warfare. It's not Sean Connery and "one ping only" but Pat Stewart and "on screen, Mr Worf!"

I think this means Dropfleet Commander has its setting all wrong; it's not a fight in space, it's all 5 fathoms down!  lol

Operating from an abandoned US spy base somewhere in the Australian outback, Miniature Martin produces games and scale miniatures set in parallel worlds, past and future. He is NOT trying to take over the Earth. This time.

Offline Easy E

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #57 on: June 04, 2020, 01:55:55 PM »
Cypher makes a good point about DFC; it has a mechanic at its heart which ensures that stealth is front and centre of everything.

In truth, there is little to support it in a space combat game; vacuum is notoriously difficult to conceal things in. But, the principle applies, and is something I incorporated into my alpha rules for Glory Deep. Its essence is:

  • More actions by a unit = Unit's vulnerability increases
  • Less actions by a unit = Unit's vulnerability decreases
  • No actions by a unit = Unit's vulnerability minimised


I did something similar, and what it did in practice was make people not want to move.  Only the balancing of inflicting damage/accomplishing the mission vs. getting blown up created the desire to act.  Their were opposed Detection vs. Evasion rolls to work out the issues.   

Perhaps, instead of detection being impacted the Line-of-sight could be impacted.  I think we talked about this a bit on Dakka, but instead of inaction impacting their ability to e detected, it reduced the "spotting distance" to/from enemy subs? 

Just a thought. 

Online Commander Roj

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #58 on: June 04, 2020, 04:50:33 PM »

Perhaps, instead of detection being impacted the Line-of-sight could be impacted.  I think we talked about this a bit on Dakka, but instead of inaction impacting their ability to e detected, it reduced the "spotting distance" to/from enemy subs? 

Just a thought.

Not sure what this means. You can detect but you perhaps canít get a shot?

So far I agree on movement/detection corollary above, and I believe turn limited scenarios can solve the issue, especially if you throw cheap drone/fighters into the mix to flush out the bigger fish...but if a case to the contrary is compelling...
« Last Edit: June 04, 2020, 04:52:52 PM by Commander Roj »

Offline Easy E

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Re: Futuristic Sub Warfare Project
« Reply #59 on: June 04, 2020, 05:46:37 PM »
I guess I mean an easier way to do detection might be the more stuff they do, the further away they can be targeted at.  Essentially, the 'target" controls the range instead of the firer. 

So, a Sub not doing anything could be shot at by another vessel that gets within 4 Movement Units base.  However, if it also moves, dives, and shoots itself, that could increase its bubble to 16 Movement Units?  There is no opposed rolling or detection roll needed, but using your actions appropriately still has consequences. 

I think it would require some work on the table to test out..... 

 

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