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Can We Simplify for Large Scale Combats?


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#1 DB Draft

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 09:33 PM

What I would like to tinker with is ways that players can use the most number of ships to fight larger scale battles.  Obviously the current rules can deal with large numbers but could we simplify some of the activities to speed up the game?  Would it be possible to activate ships not individually but as elements and have a flight leader be an important role? 

Something like a flight of 3 ships of the same type flying in a classic V or echelon formation.  The lead ship (leader) is the only one that you use a dial for and plot according to the standard rules.  The others are then moved to remain within the formation (say range 1 of the leader's base).  The leader could use a special action to "change formation" that would allow the others to adopt another formation (astern, abreast etc...)  The flight leader then selects one action which will be used by all the ships in the formation.  In essence only the position of the leader is important, if he ends up touching an enemy ship and losing his action then the other ships in the formation are also affected regardless of their position.  Formations then target enemy formations as designated by the flight leader.  If a ship cannot target the designated enemy formation then it will not attack.

All ships in the same formation should ideally have the same PS.  The flight leader is just a regular pilot used to control the flight.  Let's face it, most combat is fought by the grunts and teamwork is essential to all combat tactics.  Having flights of ships act together is tactically more realistic as well.   

 

Special characters certainly have there place but could be limited in numbers and act as "independents" or leaders of their own flights.

 

Are there other simplifications that could be observed without detracting too much from the game?  Maybe treating all criticals as "Direct Hits"?

 

Mostly this is to try and keep the book-keeping and "token juggling" to a minimum.

 

These are merely ideas at this stage but I would be interested in hearing if anyone has tried something similar.


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#2 KILODEN

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 09:48 PM

I have been thinking about this as well. My thoughts are that you build your force with elements as you mentioned. Also having 1 dial for each element. Move all ships in the element using dial. But a special squadron rule that allows them to make actions if they contact another ship within their element.(they are use to flying close togethr)

Then they would all perform the same action

I would also do criticals as direct hits except for unique pilots. Treat them as normal.

I also thought about. To keep things moving faster. Rolling all the attack dice of 1 group against the normal attack dice of target group and creating huge casualties. But that is extreme. But if your game is going to have over 50 ships on the table it might work

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#3 Joker Two

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 09:54 PM

Honestly, you might as well just scale up everything mentally.  Since your formations are already multiples of the same ship maneuvering together, taking actions together, attacking together, and defending together, just play a standard game, but with a single ship representing a wing pair, flight, squadron, or even wing.

 

Luke Skywalker represents him leading a couple other Red or Rogue Squadron pilots.  Vader is actually him and a pair of wingmen.  Han Solo's got some smuggler buddies from Renegade Squadron in their own souped-up light freighters tagging along.

 

I know this isn't what you're looking for, but it's by far the easiest way to represent multiple-ship formations in a larger game, especially if a capital ship scale ever does come out.  Like you said, the individual becomes insignificant, so just ignore the individual.  It's far less trouble mechanically than forcing shared maneuvers across separate ship bases.  For example, what happens as far as ship placement if one ship bumps but not the other two?

 

If you followed the same squadron building rules for a large scaled standard game that you propose for formations (identical pilot/ship in multiples, with identical upgrades), and played it with standard rules, it really wouldn't be very difficult at all, as ships would still move in batches with those of similar Pilot Skill.


Edited by Joker Two, 20 February 2014 - 09:54 PM.


#4 Eltnot

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:19 PM

Here's a simple and easy one:

Ships can be assigned to a flight of the same ship type at the beginning of the battle.  A flight consists of three to four ships.  Whilst the flight is within range 1 of another member of the flight they can choose to use the same dial for movement.  Assuming no ships in the flight have to move through an obstacle or are forced to shorten their movement due to another ship, then all members of the flight benefit from a free focus token.  If the flight contains members of different pilot skill, the movement and actions of the entire flight are done at the lowest Pilot Skill member of the flight.

 

So get a bonus for flying as a flight at the expensive of limited movement and predictability.


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#5 oneway

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:39 PM

I guess I always envision any game as a small window of a larger battle. Somewhere in the outer area is an ISD, or a Victory class ISD and then a few rebel ships as well duking it out, while the fighter do their part.

It's part of the big picture in my imagination, unless it's a scenario with specific goal or something similar.
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#6 Rakky Wistol

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 12:58 AM

3 ships all moving and actions true same is probably good. Staggered deployment/reinforcements should also cut clutter (and the need for 50 ships...each.

#7 DB Draft

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 03:00 AM

Those are all good suggestions and interpretations.  Yes it would be nice to visually see a larger number of ships in formation, that is certainly the appeal.  Certainly no need to have huge numbers but at least a dozen or so per side is what most players could field between them.  If only the flight leaders are directly plotted by the maneuver dial then the wingmen do not need to be plotted with the same template but rather are just placed in formation relative to the flight leader that they were before the move.  This will obviously mean some will move more or less than others but not significantly.  The flight leader is basically the place keeper for the formation which can arrange itself around it with some flexibility.  Therefore only the position of the flight leader is fixed for "bumping" purposes.  The other ships can be more flexibly placed to minimize collisions, therefore more actions and shooting can occur.  Basically the motto is "all for one and one for all".

 

I like the idea of a "free focus token" for a formation that is not stressed.  This could represent co-operative attack or defense.  If the flight suffers a loss then the formation could lose this ability.  If the flight leader is lost then one of the others takes over.

 

Here are some ways the formations could be arranged.  The flight leader being the central ship and the templates acting as guides for the placement of the other ships.  This would be similar to doing a barrel roll, you can place the template along the edge of the ship.

 

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This does raise the question on how the official cinematic rules will play and if this does have a way of involving larger number of ships but at the moment this is only speculation.  Basically some "fast play" rules are what would be desirable.  Something that feels different to a regular game that is slightly "zoomed out".

 

PS: This is really just to give me a reason to field a flight of 3 TIE Advanced.... :P


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#8 Millennium Falsehood

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 03:04 AM

There's already a great token that can help with this idea, even if the types of ship which can use it are limited: http://www.momirfaro...rsquadrons1.pdf

 

You print them out and then every time a ship in the squad is defeated you turn back the dial by one. There are a maximum of four ships in a squad, and this way you can represent multiple ships with one miniature. :)


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