An idea borrowed from the 4x game Sword of the Stars. Play it. Seriously. Have weapon mounts of different sizes. Heavier weapons require bigger hardpoints, but small weapons can be mounted on a larger hardpoint as batteries of multiple weapons.
It allows a lot more variety in ship designs Want a fighter-defense cruiser? Just drop a defensive laser on one of the big hardpoints. It also stops people loading a ship entirely with the heaviest weapon they can (heavy plasma boats, anyone?) It also makes for interesting choices. Do you really want that heavy plasma, or do you want an array of smaller, more accurate weapons? With the weapons for which it would make sense, you could, rather than having an array, have the weapon simply scale up depending on what kind of hardpoint its mounted on. Cruisers could carry frigate-grade weapons (like, for example, anti-fighter missiles, thankyouverymuch)
It would, of course, require a lot of rebalancing. Defining what exactly qualifies as small, medium, big, and heavy weapons, and making sure their stats scale accordingly.
It would allow very odd things like, say, a cruiser covered in extremely light weapons.
Sword of the Stars is a brilliant game and I second the recommendation for anyone and everyone.
I also like the idea of mixing up the weapons in GSB. An alternative implementation to fitting small weapons in big holes could be to add hulls that combine multiple sizes of hardpoint. A frigate built around a single cruiser hardpoint (shamelessly ripped off from SOTS “spinal mount” destroyers), or a cruiser with a number of frigate hardpoints instead of all cruiser-level points.
Spinal mount weapons were in the traveller High Guard and Trillion Credit Squadron rules too
I was about two days late for the “Ask Cliffski” thread. I want to know what boardgame space battles you’d played. I think I see a certain amount of "Full Thrust"iness in GSB. I assume “Star Fleet Battles” must be in there, too.
Spinal Mounts require the whole ship to be aimed, which would require more sprightly cruisers. That’s also true of many fighter weapons, as well as some fast torpedo or missile boats.
I think high guard introduced the term… though it’s possible it was ripped from fiction.
SotS is just the latest to use them you can find spinal mounts in full thrust, car wars, leviathan … lots of places.
Well wherever they came from, they’re still a good idea.
They dont necessarily have to be fixed directional mounts and the higher power requirements of a cruiser weapon running in hull with only a frigate generator would help balance it by requiring any other frigate hardpoints are occupied by the less powerful, secondary weapons.
Alternatively, a cruiser hull bristling with frigate hardpoints would be able to carry some of the heftier frigate firepower but wouldnt have as many cruiser hardpoints available.
Its just another level of flexibility for the ship designs.