Neutron Blasters vs TR Beams


My notes on the NB Damage Charts are incomplete, compiled from SFB notes taken in 1988-1994 with data gaps filled in. Using this conjectural chart:

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 ranges (0,1,2,3,4-5,6,7-8,9,10-12,13-16,17-25)

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

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.

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….

Combat Log SD 11501.31

Lessons In Darkness

Another afternoon meeting, wherein most of the internet problems happened during the warm-up talk than during the games themselves. A software update on Belkov’s side allowed us some time to discuss trans-dimensional happenings and review the little Cabot story Montel had written. Belkov paid me the highest compliment in saying that I write Cabot better than he does, a distinction I would disagree with strongly (I was instantly captivated by the nugget of a story Belkov had about Cabot and a Lyran diplomat) but I will accept the compliment proudly

Meeting duration 2:38

  1. Free4All Late 333. Duration: 11:29  Victor = Montel
    Fed NCLM Akagi, Kli D5K  vs R-Sunhawk, Seahawk-D

    Belkov’s lower-end fighters dies swiftly under ADD fire. Both Colonial ships managed to escape.

  2. Free4All Late 611. Duration: 10:48  Victor  = Belkov
    F-BCF, CC+, NAC  vs R-Omnihawkp, 2xSabrehawk HDWs

    The curse of AI wingman: although I had turned on negative tractor on the BCF, when I handed control
    over to the AI it turned it off, allowing it to be anchored. (I self-destructed it to try to teach it a lesson).
    The NAC decided on it’s own to tractor the OMH, which didn’t turn out too well for it either.

    Feds gather

    Feds gather

  3. Free4All, Middle, 450-600 range. Duration: 9:38  Victor = Montel
    ISC-CCY, CSP, CLW  vs.  R-BSGW1, KD4R

    Another attempt to test drive this ship. As with it’s last appearance, Belkov had fewer choices of fighters
    than he should have, mostly phaser-armed Asps. Once again, they were lost to ADD fire, and, eventually,
    the Battlestar and it’s escort.

    There's Klingons on the starboard bow,starboard bow..

    There’s Klingons on the starboard bow,starboard bow..

We spent some time reviewing this battlestar and it’s issues. Mainly, Belkov felt that the ship was well-armed, if a little underpowered (although all ships can feel that way at times). We discussed the merits of adding power versus lowering the movement cost as a way to achieve the same. We both felt that it would be nice to maintain the historical aspects of the battlestars flown back in 1986 while still improving on the ships in SFC. Ultimately, the best thing would be to “fix” the problem with the fighters, both in  their availability to Belkov, and maybe improving the fighters of that era.


We did have two game crashes, both early after starting. In both cases, the ships I flew had “unusual” fighters of Montel’s creation. One was the “MRS fighter” that were deployed on Federation ships, and the second was a set of “UFO” fighters on Hydran units to re-create the System War opponents for the early Battlestar. SInce i know I have test-flown these fighters successfully before, there may be an issue between the versions of the shiplist & ftrlist on Montel’s and Belkov’s battle computers. More research to follow.

Assessment of Impact of OP2013/14 Upgrade

Brief synopsis, details to follow:


I began reviewing the data on how the new upgrade has been working, mostly by assessing victory conditions at this point, since I felt that a clear shift in one direction or another might be easily identified this way. Basing my data on the fact that we initiated using the OP13 upgrade on 11307.13, and the OP14  update that followed, that as of 11410.01:

  • 45 Free4All battles have been played
  • victories are Montel = 19, Belkov = 24, N/A = 2
    • of 45 Belkov victories/defeats – as race “R” =  20 victories/16 defeat
      not as race “R”, 4/4
  • in 23 of 45 battles, Belkov used ships from OP13/14, winning 14 to 9 losses

More data analysis to follow, comparing these stats to Montel results and against previous years


Further analysis of the data from this time period, as well as from more recently, indicate that there is some imbalance in favor of the Colonial ships. When using “new” units, Belkov wins 14 times with 9 losses, and Montel, when also using new units against Belkov’s new units, only won 7 times with 12 losses. in this time period, Belkov used the OmniHawk on six occasions, winning 4 times with 2 losses, and tusd the FireHawk-K (D refit) five times with four victories. When Belkov’s new units had PFs the wins versus losses were more even (3:2), when Belkov used fighters, he won 4 out of 5 times, whereas when Montel used fighters it was a split (3:3). Montel’s PFs, it should be noted, only won once out of four uses.

While there is some variability involved, these ratios are enough to indicate some  bias. I will continue to compare this data as we prepare for the OP2015 version, some initial ideas to change include:

  • increasing the BPV on the OmniHawk and FireHawk units. Since both units have multiple plasma-D racks, it might be there were an adjustment is needed
  • increasing the BPV of fighters, mostly in the plasma-F armed ones (Viper-4, Hawk-C). The “discount” I included on carriers to offset the cost of fighters may be in error.
  • It may be that plasma-F fighters are a problem in SFC – they work, but too well. It seems most other fighter weapons (other than phasers) do less damage than their ship-bourne counterparts, even when  one (i.e. a photon torpedo) is added in the same way the plasma-Fs are.

More research to follow. I may commit to some of these changes to OP15, keeping in mind which ones I do, in cse they need to be again revised.