Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

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Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby Da Boss » Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:24 pm

So there is alot of talk about how "Tech Slosh" is bad (despite all Empires using the same phasers) but also confused about some Empires get unique weapons for them and others don't and still others - well mainly the Federation - get both.

Soo looking at the Empires

Federation
Unique Weapon: Photons
Sloshed weapons: Drones, Plasma Torps, Phasers

Klingons:
Unique Weapon: none
Sloshed Weapons: Drones, Phasers

Romulans:
Unique Weapons: none
Sloshed Weapons: Phasers

Gorn
Unique Weapons: none
Sloshed Weapons: Phasers

Kzinti
Unique Weapons: none (should be drones)
Sloshed Weapons: Disruptors, Phasers

All seems a bit odd to me if tech sloshing is actaully of any importance?
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby Nerroth » Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:44 pm

There are a few things worth bearing in mind here.

For one, the empires you see in the first ACtA:SF release are those with the oldest design lineage in the SFU; the weapons they use are among the very first ones to be designed and fielded in SFB (and FC and the Starmada adaptations). The range of empires, weapons and systems has expanded dramatically in the 30-odd years since, but there are still certain building blocks in place, and certain empires which had been originally designed to field them.

For another, much of the way in which the ships operate has been affected by the placing of the Main Era in the time of the General War. When many of these ships were first published, they were in their "Middle Years" incarnations; Star Fleet hardly ever used drones (which were much slower anyway) and had no access to plasma torps (save for the ones being launched at them by the Romulans), the Kzintis had less disruptors, no-one ever heard of a plasma-S launcher or a plasma carronade, etc. The spread of drones to more widespread use in the Federation, the beefing up of the Kzintis' disruptor suite, and the heavier plasma throw-weight of the Main Era Gorns and Romulans was all in the context of the military buildup before and during the General War.

Also, usually weapons systems are graded in slightly finer degrees. Instead of lumping all plasmas together, it's a bit fairer to note that while the Feds have limited access to plasma-Fs, they have no G, S or R-torps; and that the Gorns have less R-torps to hand than the Romulans do. (Once the ISC show up, their plasma torps will only go as high as the -S, since their alternative to the R-torp is the direct-fire Plasmatic Pulsar Device.)


Ultimately, there is a lot more variety out there yet to be mined; but when there is only sixty-odd new minis that can be created in each wave, there is only so much room for each new option to be properly integrated into the system.

(Which is probably why I'll most likely have to wait another five years or so before I can really start getting into things, but how and ever...)
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby Rambler » Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:13 pm

Da Boss wrote:So there is a lot of talk about how "Tech Slosh" is bad (despite all Empires using the same phasers) but also confused about some Empires get unique weapons for them and others don't and still others - well mainly the Federation - get both.
You have a couple of things you are missing because well frankly you missed 30 years of setting development. As far as Phaser being Tech Slosh that is because of bad (or lazy) writing on the part of TV writers and Movie Script writers. If they had developed a wider range of weapons from the start things in the SFU would have evolved differently but they didn't. It Seems Phaser Development and Warp development are tied on some basic level so it is not any more tech slosh than every one in the setting using warp drives.

The next big thing you have to look at is the actually Geographical Maps. That is what controls Technological Development more than any thing else in the SFU.

When you look at the Alpha Sector, Octet, whatever you want to call it. The Easter Side of the map (Gorn, Romulans, and ISC) uses Plasma Based Devices as their primary weapon. It is also believed that the some of the early federation members on the eastern side also developed Plasma Weapons but they were discarded to focus on the Photon Torpedo as the Standard Weapon for the new Federation Fleet. Early on all these races actually used missiles and lasers but they eventually scrapped "drone" use to concentrate on the faster (compared to sublight missiles) and more powerful Plasma Torpedoes.

Where as the Western half of the Map concentrated on improving and countering sub light missiles systems. But even then that was driven by the Kzinti use of drones. Klingons and started retrofitting ships to allow for drones more as a way to counter drones and to have a cheap weapon to drop on rebellious planets. Orions picked the weapon up because it is cheaper and easier to build expendable missiles than to find away to gather all the rare components and materials need to make energy based Heavy Weapons. To make a drone all you need is to build a crude delivery system and suck some Antimatter out of the Warp Core. And lets be brutally honest here, if a pirate ever had to fight a true navy ship instead of a civilian he screwed up badly some place anyway.
Da Boss wrote:Soo looking at the Empires

Federation
Unique Weapon: Photons
Sloshed weapons: Drones, Plasma Torps, Phasers
Once again the Tech Slosh is Geographic based here. Two of the Feds main antagonist use Drones so the Feds had to develop systems to counter that. That system was the Type G Drone Rack. This system allowed the Feds to add a Anti Drone System to their ships but still be able to load heavier drones for Bombardment Missions or in the case of a ship on the "Eastern Front" so to speak to deploy their own nuisance weapons and still have the ability to use them against Attack Shuttles. Plasma F Torpedo were mainly bought as first a experiment to see how effective Plasma could be but really it was to help Fed Fleets hunt Cloaked Vessels. In Historical use you never saw a Plasma Armed Ship on the Western Border, They just did not build that many of them and the ones they had fought the Romulans.

Both of these suppose Slosh effects were actually counters to the fact that the Federation faced more different weapon systems than any other Empire in the Alpha Sector.
Da Boss wrote:Klingons:
Unique Weapon: none
Sloshed Weapons: Drones, Phasers
Yeah the Klingons never really developed a truly unique weapon what they were were master of the Saber Dance. And Saber Dancing is a lost art in a fleet setting. The Klingon were traditional the first ones to develop improvements in Disruptor Tech finding ways to improve both range and accuracy. But in a fleet setting that was watered down and everyone got the same standard disruptor system.
Da Boss wrote:Romulans:
Unique Weapons: none
Sloshed Weapons: Phasers
The Romulan Unique Weapon System is the Cloaking Device. Fair enough it is a difficult system to master but it is what defines a Romulan ship in the setting. When cloaking is deployed correctly it tends to be a devastating development.
Da Boss wrote:Gorn
Unique Weapons: none
Sloshed Weapons: Phasers
Of all the Empires the one fleet truly lacking a Unique Racial Weapon is the Gorn. On the Strategical Weapon the Gorns actually gain a advantage by being able to field Marine Regiments with out specially built troop ships because they carried more troops and shuttles than anyone else. In SFB some of those Shuttles on every Gorn Ship are actually specially built Ground Assault Shuttles. When 3 or more Cruisers were present the Gorns actually gain a free Marine Attack above and beyond any provided by having a Troop Ship present.
Da Boss wrote:Kzinti
Unique Weapons: none (should be drones)
Sloshed Weapons: Disruptors, Phasers
Much like the Klingons losing any advantage they had in Disruptors the Kziniti lost their advantage in Faster, Bigger, and more Heavily Arormed drones. This is a symptom of the simplified rules and fleet setting more than a lack of a Unique Weapon.
Da Boss wrote:All seems a bit odd to me if tech sloshing is actually of any importance?
To each his own. I thing it is the differences that made the setting survive more than 30 years. If you want to go off and give your Klingons Photons and Cloaking Devices in your own house and own games more power to you. Just realize that if ADB or Mongoose published such a ship I am 100% positive that Paramount will have something to say on the subject.

Also who really wants to play a game where the only fleet available is the Federation and that's it.
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby Da Boss » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:57 pm

"To each his own. I thing it is the differences that made the setting survive more than 30 years. If you want to go off and give your Klingons Photons and Cloaking Devices in your own house and own games more power to you. Just realize that if ADB or Mongoose published such a ship I am 100% positive that Paramount will have something to say on the subject."

Wait a sec -who said anything about that - its not really neccesary to for people have such a dramatic knee jerk reactions every time someone asks why things don't seem to make any sense or suggest any time in desing, looks or weapons sheesh........

My main point is that so called no tech slosh seems to be ignored as much as it adhered to.

"As far as Phaser being Tech Slosh that is because of bad (or lazy) writing on the part of TV writers and Movie Script writers. If they had developed a wider range of weapons from the start things in the SFU would have evolved differently but they didn't"

Why does this imply the "bad /lazy writing" is the tv writters rather thas game designers............the former were just writing a show for people to watch - they usually have very little interest in making everying totally coherent. Its usually game designers that have to try and make things make sense and fill in the gaps.

"Plasma F Torpedo were mainly bought as first a experiment to see how effective Plasma could be but really it was to help Fed Fleets hunt Cloaked Vessels"

So you can use them against cloaked vessels in the other SFU games?

The Romulans "unique" system is also used by the Orions - but apparently no one else can - which has to be a game balance thing as it makes no sense otherwise.

So the Gorns get nothing back from giving the Federation plasmas - drones would seem a sensible additon to "slow lumbering ships" as they are often described.

As I have said before - The Kzinti in ACTA could (and I think should off) have had better drones than eveyone else - the system would have coped with it easily - longer ranage or better damage per ad - whater - same with Klingon disruptors in the same was as there are short range versions. Its not the ACTA system's fault it was not put in.
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby TJHairball » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:23 pm

Rambler wrote:To each his own. I thing it is the differences that made the setting survive more than 30 years. If you want to go off and give your Klingons Photons and Cloaking Devices in your own house and own games more power to you. Just realize that if ADB or Mongoose published such a ship I am 100% positive that Paramount will have something to say on the subject.
The SFB license covers tech displayed in TOS and TAS, doesn't it?

They could easily have decided to have Klingons using cloaks and photon torpedoes back then. Torpedo SFX were commonly seen being lobbed from D7s ("Errand of Mercy," "More Trouble, More Tribbles" (whose script actually labels them photon torpedoes), "Time Trap," et cetera). "Time Trap" also implies that Klingons have cloaking technology. Observe this line, uttered very early in the animated series episode:

SPOCK: I can offer none at this time. However, the Klingon ship was not destroyed by our phaser fire. Its shields clearly deflected the phasers. Nor was its disappearance the type that would have been affected if it were using its cloaking device.

Heck, even the Federation got their hands on a cloaking device during TOS. I think that the reason that SFB doesn't give Klingons cloaks or photon torpedoes has more to do with design decisions by the folks writing SFB than intellectual property considerations, in the end - having Klingons using photon torpedoes and cloaks would have been a perfectly logical decision.

It is actually very weird that the plasma torpedo that is considered so shocking and startling in "Balance of Terror" is as common as dirt in the SFB universe, while the much less secretive Federation seems to have kept a tight hold on photon torpedoes. Especially since photon torpedoes seem quite remarkably effective.
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby Rambler » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:55 pm

Da Boss wrote: "To each his own. I thing it is the differences that made the setting survive more than 30 years. If you want to go off and give your Klingons Photons and Cloaking Devices in your own house and own games more power to you. Just realize that if ADB or Mongoose published such a ship I am 100% positive that Paramount will have something to say on the subject."

Wait a sec -who said anything about that - its not really neccesary to for people have such a dramatic knee jerk reactions every time someone asks why things don't seem to make any sense or suggest any time in desing, looks or weapons sheesh........
There is no knee jerk venom or rancor in that comment. I stated I happen to hate a cookie cutter approach to fleet building. If you want to scrap every other fleet in the game and let everyone play some variation of a Fed Fleet. More power to you is all I am saying. You are going to love the Orions I think.
Da Boss wrote:My main point is that so called no tech slosh seems to be ignored as much as it adhered to.

"As far as Phaser being Tech Slosh that is because of bad (or lazy) writing on the part of TV writers and Movie Script writers. If they had developed a wider range of weapons from the start things in the SFU would have evolved differently but they didn't"

Why does this imply the "bad /lazy writing" is the tv writters rather thas game designers............the former were just writing a show for people to watch - they usually have very little interest in making everying totally coherent. Its usually game designers that have to try and make things make sense and fill in the gaps.
Because in the scripts and even the blueprints released showed pretty much the same weapons from Empire to Empire except with their main Heavy Weapon. And yes on the original Deckplans for the D7 there is no Cloaking Device thus Klingons do not have one. But that whole lazy approach and lack of continuity in the story raised its ugly head again as TJHairball is pointing to a obscure line in the Animated Series that Klingons may have had cloaking device which was not previously supported by then cannon sources.

On a side not when the Andros get introduced you will see their ships carry Phaser-2s. The fluff states that those are actually not phasers but a weapon with almost identical operations and effects so instead of creating another wepon identical to a Phaser-2 they just made all Andro phaser type weapons Phaser-2s.
Da Boss wrote:"Plasma F Torpedo were mainly bought as first a experiment to see how effective Plasma could be but really it was to help Fed Fleets hunt Cloaked Vessels"

So you can use them against cloaked vessels in the other SFU games?
Yes. Plasma Fs, the only plasma weapon the Feds use, can fire Carronades which is the primary way of hunting cloaked ships in SFB. Carronades are also the only weapon system that can hit a cloaked ship in SFB. When it does hit a cloaking field you flash the target to give every thing else something to attempt to lock on to so they can try to fire.
Da Boss wrote:The Romulans "unique" system is also used by the Orions - but apparently no one else can - which has to be a game balance thing as it makes no sense otherwise.
Once again you are dealing with the nature of a Pirate. Less than 25% of the ships in a Orion Fleet can be equiped with a cloaking device. That is only a a max of 1 in 4 units. Also not that when the romulans retrofitted Klingon Ships to use Cloaking device they paid a hefty point cost and a large cost in power to run it because they were not buit from the get go to use cloaking devices.
Da Boss wrote:So the Gorns get nothing back from giving the Federation plasmas - drones would seem a sensible additon to "slow lumbering ships" as they are often described.
Gorns got Strike Fighters modified to use Plasma Ds and Skollian Mercinaries to fly them.
Da Boss wrote:As I have said before - The Kzinti in ACTA could (and I think should off) have had better drones than eveyone else - the system would have coped with it easily - longer ranage or better damage per ad - whater - same with Klingon disruptors in the same was as there are short range versions. Its not the ACTA system's fault it was not put in.
Actually it is just as much fault of the ACTA system as it is of FedCom that these were dropped. Thats what happens when you pair a 4 inch rulebook down to what 20 Pages?
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby Greg Smith » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:11 am

Rambler wrote: And yes on the original Deckplans for the D7 there is no Cloaking Device thus Klingons do not have one.
These keep getting mentioned. Which plans were these? Are they the Michael McMaster ones seen here?
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby Rambler » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:27 am

Greg Smith wrote:
Rambler wrote: And yes on the original Deckplans for the D7 there is no Cloaking Device thus Klingons do not have one.
These keep getting mentioned. Which plans were these? Are they the Michael McMaster ones seen here?
I am pretty sure those are the ones.
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby TJHairball » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:47 am

Rambler wrote:Because in the scripts and even the blueprints released showed pretty much the same weapons from Empire to Empire except with their main Heavy Weapon. And yes on the original Deckplans for the D7 there is no Cloaking Device thus Klingons do not have one. But that whole lazy approach and lack of continuity in the story raised its ugly head again as TJHairball is pointing to a obscure line in the Animated Series that Klingons may have had cloaking device which was not previously supported by then cannon sources.
Well, it all depends on what you meant by "then-canon."

"Some random obscure TAS episode" is the source for the introduction of the Kzinti [Kzin] into the intellectual property, who, rather similarly to Klingon cloaking devices, were only alluded to a couple of times in pre-movie Star Trek. Kzinti are nearly entirely absent in the Star Trek property, only showing up onscreen in one episode that Niven himself wrote. Whether the designers of SFB accidentally overlooked Klingon cloaking devices or made a deliberate decision not to give Klingons cloaking technology is unknown to me, but they pretty clearly had the option and inclination to scoop fairly obscure bits of the intellectual property, and pretty clearly were familiar with the animated series.

As to why it wasn't included on deck plans for the D7 ... I don't know which deck plans you're referring to, but cloaking technology seemed new in when the Enterprise ran into it in "Balance of Terror," while the D7 was a familiar and extant battlecruiser. It's clear that cloaking devices wouldn't have been standard on D7s, but were refit or retrofitted onto either D7s or D7-like hulls (the K'tinga and D5 classes in Star Trek, or in SFU the D6, D5, and C7).

In the Paramount property, this was actually elaborated on later - DS9 "Once More Onto the Breach" says that the IKS Klothos, the ship that showed up in "The Time Trap," was a D5, and part of the first wave of Klingon ships fitted with cloaking devices. This, oddly enough, fits with SFU, in which the D5 is a wartime successor to the D7; and doesn't in the Paramount property, as later Star Trek episodes released (in Enterprise) establish the D5 as a predecessor to the D7.

I will say it's very odd that disruptors are considered a "heavy weapon" by SFU standards, but seem, in ACTA, less valuable, AD for AD, than drones (perhaps even after the incoming drone nerf) or phaser-1s (which have a lot of defensive utility).
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby Jean » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:12 am

Ok, on the TOS/TAS cloaking --- when the contract with Paramount was signed, IF and ONLY if ADB had included the information already, then it was fine. At that point, there were no cloaked Klingon ships. Therefore there will not be cloaked Klingon ships now.

Phasers as sloshing: Phasers may operate slightly differently among the empires, but they have the same game effect. Rather than having to remember that a phaser = a fhdjas = eyruif = k'fdsa = a q4324p85 = a whatever, they are all called phasers. That makes life a lot simpler (and much easier to pronounce!)

Our D7 deckplans are here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/documents/D7File.pdf :) I remember them because the story referenced was the first story I proofread for ADB.

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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby Greg Smith » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:04 am

Rambler wrote:
Greg Smith wrote:
Rambler wrote: And yes on the original Deckplans for the D7 there is no Cloaking Device thus Klingons do not have one.
These keep getting mentioned. Which plans were these? Are they the Michael McMaster ones seen here?
I am pretty sure those are the ones.
Thanks. To further murky the waters, that has a 'Cloaking Device Room'. :?: :)
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby billclo » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:02 pm

Romulans:
Unique Weapons: none
Sloshed Weapons: Phasers
I would contend that the Rom's unique weapon is the Mauler Cannon (which they sold to the Klingons and Lyrans, who didn't invent it on their own). Now we don't see the Mauler in ACTA:SF YET, but I hope to at some point.
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby Reynard » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:15 pm

I actually have many of those deck plans:
Constitution class heavy cruiser
Enterprise class from the original motion picture
Saladin class destroyer/scout
Avenger class heavy frigate - the Reliant
Federation class dreadnought
Ingram class space control ship - The Excelsior
K-7 space station
Regula 1 space laboratory
Hornet class fighter carrier
Romulan Bird of Prey cruiser
Klingon scout vessel - known as the Klingon bird of prey
D7 class Klingon battle cruiser

I looked over the D7 plans and there is a note: "Cloaking Device Room (In Romulan ships only. Use of this room by Klingons is unknown).
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby Nomad » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:20 pm

It's worth remembering that ST developed on an episode-by-episode, film-by-film basis. It has the internal consistency of a can of spaghetti.

Star Trek 'tech-slosh'? That will be how the Klingons ended up with the 'Romulan' Cloaking Device and ships called 'Bird of Prey' and the Romulans got Klingon 'D' series hulls and lost their Plasma weapon in favour of originally Klingon Disruptors.

And as for the Ferengi and the Borg turning up on the Enterprise TV series :roll:

The SFU is a good deal more consistent.
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby Greg Smith » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:40 pm

Rambler wrote:
Da Boss wrote:The Romulans "unique" system is also used by the Orions - but apparently no one else can - which has to be a game balance thing as it makes no sense otherwise.
Once again you are dealing with the nature of a Pirate. Less than 25% of the ships in a Orion Fleet can be equiped with a cloaking device.
Why don't the Orions sell the technology to the major powers?
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby Iron Domokun » Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:30 pm

It is actually very weird that the plasma torpedo that is considered so shocking and startling in "Balance of Terror" is as common as dirt in the SFB universe
It was shocking and startling because the Federation had never seen it before. This was before the Federation had encountered the Gorns, and it was the first contact that the Feds had had with the Romulans in a long time (a hundred years, according to the show). The data in the "source tapes" the SFU is based on comes from a time period ~75 years after the Original Series, so what you know is very different from what Captain Kirk knew.
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby Rambler » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:51 pm

Greg Smith wrote:
Rambler wrote:
Da Boss wrote:The Romulans "unique" system is also used by the Orions - but apparently no one else can - which has to be a game balance thing as it makes no sense otherwise.
Once again you are dealing with the nature of a Pirate. Less than 25% of the ships in a Orion Fleet can be equiped with a cloaking device.
Why don't the Orions sell the technology to the major powers?

Think like a Pirate. I have stolen this valuable device that allows me to mask my present and easily avoid naval patrols. Further more by using this device I can actually sneek right into the middle of a big convoy and literally pop up on a unprepared escort and disable it with very little risk to my own ship in return. Being in the middle of that convoy means instead of chasing down one frieghter when they scatter I might be able to grab or disable 4 or 5 of them as well. Making my profit margin much higher.

There is also the little problem of my Cartel Lord finding out I sold this tech that he used on his personal enforcer unit. What do you think he is going to do to me? If a small time independent contractor got his hands on a Cloaking device and didn't use it himself he would take it to his Cartel Lord and exchange it for the rights to a better raiding territory or a better ship or even both.

So I ask you why would a pirate sell cloaking technology to anybodies navy. It would be like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby archon96 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:32 pm

more likely taken from a captured raider who overplayed his hand.
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby Greg Smith » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:32 pm

Do the Orions build the cloaking devices themselves? Or are they all stolen from Romulans? Are no Orion ships with cloaks ever captured by the Federation/Klingons/Kzininti...

In fact are no Romulan ships ever captured? Even if the races don't use cloaks, wouldn't they develop effective countermeasures?

What happened to the cloak stolen in the Enterprise Incident? Is that not considered canon in the SF universe?
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Re: Tech Slosh and Empire based weapon systems

Postby Da Boss » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:43 pm

Why would not the Cartel Lord sell it and make enough money to furnish an entire fleet of ships - any sensible military is goiung to pay obscene amounts of money to obtain one, if a pirate uses one - again any sensible military is going to spend vast resources going after them to have that technology. A Cartel Lord with this technology is either going to be a pwoer broker for the fate of the galaxy or dead - perhaps both.

If a mere pirate has technology a military superpower wants amnd which coudl chnage the balance of power in the galaxy - how many days wouldd his or her life be measured in.........unless he has the protection of one or more of the enemies of the other power.

it may be a very legitimate balance issue to stop cloaking being in many fleets but it does not make much sense to me I am afriad when its so much a part of the background that technology across the Empires is about equal.

To go back to the WWII analogy that is prefered by many SFU experts - what would the Allies or Axis powers have done to get hold of a device that made their ships / aircraft invsiable to enemy craft...........If some pirates had been running around in that period with that technology they would have had to join one side or the other to stay alive.......

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