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Chance to hit (Heavy) minefields much lower than documented? Sun, 12 August 2018 10:22 Go to previous message
mrvan is currently offline mrvan

Officer Cadet 1st Year

Messages: 220
Registered: May 2014
There seems to be something wrong with the documentation, or mine fields don't work like I think they do.

Scenario: there's an SD heavy mine field, 200 mines (14ly radius). I'm sending 50 scouts (split-all) through the field at warp 9 (PRT=HE, shouldn't affect minefield travel?)

Warp 9 is 3 above safe, so chance to hit should be 3% per ly, or 97% chance to miss and travelling 28 ly through the field should give a hit rate of 1 - (.97^28) = 57.4% (which is also what the STARS!.XLS mine fields tab gives)

So, I'd expect at least initially to lose about 1 in 2 scouts until the field is significantly smaller. The Chaff Sweep helper program also says that 47 chaff at W9 should clear the field with 19 hits.
This indeed works out if I place the mine field such that I can calculate a line straight through the center, e.g. exactly W or SW: I lose about 20 scouts and the field is cleared.

What is strange, however, is that if I put the mine field in a more or less random location WSW of the scouts, and point the waypoint through the middle as good as I can, I lose only 10 scouts and 8-10ly radius remains. I've repeated this 50 times, I lose mean=10.3 scouts (sd=2.4), so it's certainly not an RNG accident. I could imagine that I just missed the center, but that shouldn't leave an 8ly field.

I also placed the field at a different location about SSW of the scouts, this lead to losing mean=15 scouts, still leaving a significant field alive.

Pictures: https://imgur.com/a/vYlN4ph

So, it seems that the chance to hit a (heavy) mine field is much lower than I would expect based on the documentation... Did anyone notice this before? Any clue why this would happen? Or am I doing something wrong?

And a related question: does anyone know exactly how the engine checks the amount of light-years in a field? I wrote a little chaff sweeper simulation (so I can simulate more complex setups, e.g. hitting two fields in a row, sweeping overlapping fields, etc.) by solving the quadratic equation for the intersection line - circle and calculating the length of the intersection. It works more or less as expected after rounding some things up, but gets slightly different results than running it in stars! itself.

[I thought it might be the case that it travels on whole integer points, so diagonal travel might "skip" some points, but traveling fully diagonally (straight SW) goes as expected. ]
[Edit: I thought that maybe the discrepancy was caused somehow because the game would check whether integer rounded-locations after each ly would be in the field, but that doesn't really matter]

[Updated on: Mon, 13 August 2018 05:25]

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