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Keeping the fleet together.


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#1 HappyDaze

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:37 AM

Under the starship rules, a vessel must move either half (rounding up?) or full speed each turn. Seems easy enough, but I wonder if a vessel can intentionally lower it's base Speed to remain close to other friendly vessels. This came up with a frigae (Speed 8) attempting to act as an escort for a transport (Speed 3). Even at half speed, the frigate would be continually pulling away from the transport. Sure, it could keep circling back, but that seems a wee bit nonsensical to me. I would especially like to have the option of matvhing speeds for vessels of different speeds that are acting as a squadron.


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#2 susanbrindle

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:08 AM

You can make a Pilot check to increase or decrease your speed.



#3 van Riebeeck

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:42 AM

I am at the moment pondering on how to adapt the rules for ship movement and ship combat too a less 'player heavy' model (PC frigates blowing NPC Grand Cruisers to the smithereens just got a bit too annoying) and one of the ideas is simplifying movement. In my opinion, a ship should be able to gradually decrease its speed without needing any specific tests, so I decided to change the movement rules into: "A ship should move at least half the speed of its previous turn." and "A ship can increase its speed in VU's up to its acceleration in gravities each turn." Obviously, there will be special player actions that will be able to influence this, but this house rule would allow a Sword to easily tone down its speed from 8/4/2/1/0 or increase it by 5 VU's a turn if it wished to pick up speed, all without one dice rolled. In this way, all the ships can easily adjust their speed to a common level.

 

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#4 HappyDaze

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:26 PM

susanbrindle said:

You can make a Pilot check to increase or decrease your speed.

It just seems off to require a skill check to ride the brakes.

How do vessels come to a stop/pull alongside a drifting object (like a station)? Does this require constant attention from a helmsman? I sure hope not…


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#5 Fresnel

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 03:00 AM

Actually keeping formation between orbiting spacecraft isn't trivial. Docking is a bugger too.

However, as a houserule I would allow a battlegroup to synchronise base speeds to the slowest vessel - for the duration of the combat. Perhaps a Tech-Use test to set/release the throttled drive.



#6 Cryhavok

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:37 AM

The squadron rules on pages 113-114 of battlefleet kronus cover ships moving together at the same speeds. Simply have your escorts form a squadron with the escortees.



#7 HappyDaze

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 08:15 PM

Cryhavok said:

The squadron rules on pages 113-114 of battlefleet kronus cover ships moving together at the same speeds. Simply have your escorts form a squadron with the escortees.

The squadron rules typically only intend for vessels of similar type to be in squadrons together. Frigates and raiders can squadron together, but transports can generally only be in squadrons with other transports.

The squadron rules do mention the squadron moving together, but they don't specifically mention if this overrides the usual rules on moving either half or full speed and how that would work if the vessels in a squadron have very different speeds.


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#8 Fresnel

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:16 AM

P113 says every ship must move the same distance and turn in the same direction. One maneouvre test is taken for the squadron, so they all pass or fail together.

You can reasonably infer from this that the base speed of the squadron is harmonised - only then would the mechanics work within the game. Ships should only drop out of formation if they take the 'Thrusters damaged' or 'Engine Crippled' results (or worse…).

I would rule that the base speed must be the lowest of the squadron - as I cannot see this clarified in the text. Normally squadrons are made up of the same hull type, but you can still have speed differences, so this should have been resolved in the text.

 

 

 



#9 Cryhavok

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:21 AM

The section called sqaudron composition explains this to my satisfaction. It essentially says that while squadrons are made up of ships of the same hull types, this is not always the case. The last paragraph tells the hull types that can form a squadron. Transports are one of these types. The last line says use your gms discretion for it. If it makes sense for routine escorts to match speeds with yhe ships they are escorting, then do it.

#10 HappyDaze

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:13 PM

Cryhavok said:

The section called sqaudron composition explains this to my satisfaction. It essentially says that while squadrons are made up of ships of the same hull types, this is not always the case. The last paragraph tells the hull types that can form a squadron. Transports are one of these types. The last line says use your gms discretion for it. If it makes sense for routine escorts to match speeds with yhe ships they are escorting, then do it.

Typically, squadrons may be compiled of transports,raiders and frigates, light cruisers, cruisers, and battlecruisers,or grand cruisers. However, at the GM’s discretion, different hull types can be mixed in squadrons.

I read this as following the rules from the old BFG line on squadron composition since much of the spacecraft stuff for this game comes from it. In such a case, it would be read as:

Transports

OR

Raiders and Frigates

OR

Light Cruisers, Cruisers, and Battlecruisers

OR

Grand Cruisers (and, per BFG, Battleships)

 


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#11 Larkin

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:01 PM

RE: The lack of breaks.

I explianed this as the engines working at full capacity during battle, so the plasma is running hot. The Enginarium can only really set it to half power and still keep everything else on the ship rolling over efficiently, any less than that and other systems might lose power, and thats why it take a piloting check to "hold back" the ship the same as "spurring it on."

They gave me looks that said "that makes too much sense for 40k" and I then reinforced that the space combat is just Age of Sail in Space, and we got back to playing.



#12 Cryhavok

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:25 AM

HappyDaze said:

 

Cryhavok said:

The section called sqaudron composition explains this to my satisfaction. It essentially says that while squadrons are made up of ships of the same hull types, this is not always the case. The last paragraph tells the hull types that can form a squadron. Transports are one of these types. The last line says use your gms discretion for it. If it makes sense for routine escorts to match speeds with yhe ships they are escorting, then do it.

 

Typically, squadrons may be compiled of transports,raiders and frigates, light cruisers, cruisers, and battlecruisers,or grand cruisers. However, at the GM’s discretion, different hull types can be mixed in squadrons.

I read this as following the rules from the old BFG line on squadron composition since much of the spacecraft stuff for this game comes from it. In such a case, it would be read as:

Transports

OR

Raiders and Frigates

OR

Light Cruisers, Cruisers, and Battlecruisers

OR

Grand Cruisers (and, per BFG, Battleships)

 

 

 

Read that last line again. "However, at the GM’s discretion, different hull types can be mixed in squadrons."

The OP was specifically looking for a way to have his escorts form a squadron with his transports. Assuming he is the GM, his solution, at his own discretion, is right there. If it were truely impossible to do such a thing I would ask you to explain such things as docking and landing on a planet or entering an atmosphere (which ships do actually do in 40k).

That being said, once combat starts, I would advise breaking such a squadron as the reduced speed of the transports would cripple the combat capabilities of the escorts and practically ensure both's demise. Infact During combat, I would personally rule that the coordination required to maintain such a squadron would not be possible while the crew was actually manning battlestations.

If he, or his GM if he isnt, decides that his own discretion is not good enough to do what he wants, and what the book gives him permission to do, he has one of two options:

A-get a slower escort. One with a speed of 6 could match speeds with his transports with no rolls involved and no need to form a squadron.

B-use his current escort, but put excess void armor on it from lure of the expanse, which makes it tougher through increased armor, and reduces his speed from 8 to 6… allowing him to match speeds without any rolls or the need to form a sqadron.



#13 Fresnel

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 02:23 AM

 

As you point out a spacecraft that cannot finely control it's thrust is ridiculous. IMO any group of craft should be able to maintain a formation.

Imo the movement mechanics should only be viewed as simplified for the purpose  of gameplay. The key point of a squadron is 'Massed Fire' . This allows a squadron of raiders to punch through a cruisers double shields and 20+ armour. Where individually they couldn't scratch it. Maintaining a slow squadron may not be so daft.

Also I could imagine frigates staying close to a transport to provide Turret cover against bomber attacks. Or even physical cover against enemy main guns - but this might be a hellish pilot test.

Imo if a faster, more agile ship wishes to form a squadron with a set of slower ones, let them. Whether it is wise to do so is not an issue for the GM.

 






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