Neutron Blasters vs TR Beams

NB_v_TR_charts

My notes on the NB Damage Charts are incomplete, compiled from SFB notes taken in 1988-1994 with data gaps filled in using my best guess. Using that conjectural chart and comparing NBs to TR Beams I found that:

range 0 NB = TRL

range 1-3 TRL slightly higher avg

range 1 NB rolls 1 & 2 higher damage

range 2 NB rolls 1 & 2 = damage

range 3 TRL rolls 1 & 2 average higher than NB

range 4-5 TRL averages slightly higher >NB

range 4-5 NB minimum damage higher >TRL

range 6-8 roll 1 TRL higher damage >NB

Range 6 NB average higher >TRL

range 7-8 NB average higher >TRL

range 9-12 NB average higher > TRL by 1+

range 9-12 NB minimum higher >TRL

range 13-16 NB average almost double TRL

range 13-16 TRH average slightly higher > NB (.16)

range 17-25 NB average more than double TRH

range 17-25 NB maximum double TRH (6)

NB has 11 range brackets (0,1,2,3,4-5,6,7-8,9,10-12,13-16,17-25)

SFC TR Beams can only have 6 range brackets (0-3,4-5,6-8,9-12,13-18,19-25), but the ranges can be changed now.

In terms of damage, NB are very similar to TRL beams, with a slightly higher close-up punch and much better mid- to long-range. At long range NBs equal TRH in damage and are twice as powerful at sniping range, indicating that the NB is powerful heacy weapon. There is a noticeable difference when compared by damage per arming power however. Neutron Blasters (in SFB) required 6 points of power (3+3) plus a point for “flare shields” when firing; TRH beams cost the same (3+3) minus the flare shield cost, and TRL are less at 4 points each (2+2). Using this metric, NBs are half as efficient as TRH out to range 8 and about equal to TRH in ranges 13-25, and somewhat less efficient than TRL to range 8, about the same as TRL in range 9-12, and more efficient out to range 25. Some of this disparity will be improve when the flare shield cost is eliminated. There was an overload function available for NBs in SFB, something that TR Beams do not have.

Moving forward in SFC, there are several possibilities. The damage chart to TRLs could easily be modified to match the NBs, leaving the TRHs for Andromedans. The overall arming cost for NBs could be changed, perhaps to 5. The cost per “turn” can be modified to make it a 1, 2, or even 3 turn arming cycle (longer cycle means lower cost per turn, leaving more power per turn for other uses). Another, and more radical, idea would be to rebuild the weapon in one of the 5 Disruptor slots. This could restore the overload function, and disruptors have 9 range brackets, 3 more than TR Beams (0, 1, 2, 3-4, 5-8, 9-15, 16-22, 23-30, 31-40). The man problem with this is that the arming cost & cycles for all disruptors are controlled by the same function, so any changes would affect all disruptors equally. We could make this nuNB a single turn weapon like disruptors, essentially halving the current damage chart but this would be a significant change to the NBs as we have seen them. Experimentation and testing will no doubt be helpful in deciding which method might be best.

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A dramatic shift

One reason for the relative quietness in gaming terms is the dramatic news that came from the SFC community on Dynaverse. By using a hexadecimal editor, it is possible to change anything in CE/OP/SFC3 that relates to what might be a chart in SFB – weapon damage abilities, ranges, power costs. I have already begun experimenting with a few things, including ships moving faster than 31, slower plasmas, more powerful drones. More details to follow….