Warmaster Picklehauber said:
So, I ran my first starship combat (2 rounds before we had to quit for the day) during my last session and a couple of things came up.
Maybe my explorers had especially poor luck with die rolls or maybe they just aren't the shooting type, but their BS skill checks often produced only 1 and 2 hits with the broadsides. They were battling 2 Wolfpack ships, so the WP ships had decent defenses; Armor of 15 and 1 void shield. The best the explorers mustered were 3 successes to hit with their Ryza Pattern Plasma Macrocannons. A single voidshield knocked that down to 2 hits and with a damage roll of 16, they did but 1 point of hull integrity and crew population.
Is that common?
It can be, but remember, you can buff to hit chance: Get in close range, use target lock on, or put your back into it special orders (which give other PCs a chance to do something).
Warmaster Picklehauber said:
Common that a single round of starship combat routinely inflicts only 1-2 points of damage between ships? with 30 hullpoints that's going to be an extremely long fight. They then scrambled boarders at the enemy and managed successfully to destroy 2 components and damage the third. The ease with which they accomplished task, comparatively, got me thinking "Why does anyone ever bother to shoot, ever? If they tried to do that with ship-class weapons it would take 9-10 rounds at least to do that much damage to their adversaries."
Was I missing something? Is there a buff to checks akin to the ship's Maneuvorability rating that I was failing to add to attack rolls on both sides? When adding Maneuvorability to moving actions, it's not uncommon to see checks of 60-70% netting 4-5 sucesses. There is a Void-master explorer in the group, but she is dedicated to ship's movement and not gunnery. Her special ability has no effect on damage in combat. I was expecting starship fights to be very deadly, with lots of damage continually inflicted by each side.
Aight, this is why you need lances. See, lances are able to IGNORE armor completely. So, you use macros to strip down void shields, then a lance to really hammer at the bastard. It's dreadfully fun. Now, boarding…
There are two forms of "boarding". There's hit and run - which is what I think you were using - which requires you to be within 5 void units (VU) before you can do it, then you must roll a Pilot test with a -10 for every turret rating the enemy has. If they fail, they have to run. If they fail by 3 or more degrees, they're SHOT DOWN, which can be quite bad (spinning off into space a'la Darth Vader, or crashing into the enemy ship and being held for ransom)
Now, once they get there, they make a +10 command check versus the enemie's +0 commnad check. If they win, they do 1 damage per DOS, and roll two 1d5s on the critical hit table. You can only pick ONE critical hit! JUST ONE. So, you can only disable ONE component per hit and run.
Now boarding ACTIONS are way more fun! They're when you ram the fucker and swing over with cutlasses and las pistols and take the ship by throwing your crew against their crew. This is more fun because, while rammed together, you roll comand tests (modified by how much health, crew and turrets a ship has) and if you win, you slowly grind their crew and moral down until they wave a white flag and you get a free ship.
These two abilities are SO USEFUL. Hit and Run lets you selectively disable components, taking down void shields or weapon systems, while boarding actions give you free ships, to then sell. Also, boarding actions let small, fast ships overpower large, more deadly ships if they have an insane enough commander. I suggest you read about Thomas Cocraine, who was the real life version of Jack Aubry of Master and Commander fame. Cocraine, using a tiny little ship called the HMS Speedy regularly captured whole god-*******-damned galleons. By boarding them. I think he captured hundreds of ships!
Boarding actions are fun.
Warmaster Picklehauber said:
My final issue; when equipping starships weapons points are often listed, for example, as prow 1, dorsal 1, and sometimes another, prow, yielding prow 2.. If a ship shows only prow 1; does this mean that there is only 1 crop of cannon on a single side of the ship? If the enemy maneuvors to the other side of the vessel are there no weapons thereby which to attack. Or are we to presume that if there are cannons of 1 type on each (that is to say both) side(s)? Likewise, if there prow 2, such as with the explorers' ship, does that mean if they purchase Mars Pattern Macrocannon and Ryza Patter Plasma Macrocannons, that 1 side of the ship must be all Mars and the other Ryza? Or is it true that there is 1 cluster of each cannon type on each side? Yielding something like a bunch of Plasma Cannons above a row of macro cannons on both the port and starboard sides of the ship.
I couldn't find the answers to my questions in the core rules. I though to reference this elsewhere, but my copy of BF Koronus is currently not in the same city as I.
Aight, there are 5 slots.
Prow: The nose
Dorsal: The upper spine
Port/Starboard: Left/right (right/left?)
And Keel: The bottom
Raiders, Transports and Frigates can only fire forward with prow weapons, everything larger can fire forward, left and right (as they have a larger prow, which can mount turrets)
Dorsal can always fire left, right and forward, making it very flexible
Port/Starboard only fire left and right
Keel is unique in that it can fire in ANY direction, including aft.
Now, macrocannons can be slotted anywhere, but for lances, it has to go into the prow (if you're a frigate, raider or transport). For light crusiers and up, you can stick lances on the dorsal or port/starboard regions.
So, if your ship has Prow 2, that means it can have 2 prow weapons. But, uh, I don't think any ship has 2 prow slots…are you sure that it isn't 2 Dorsal? I think the number comes first, not second, but I'd need to check that.
Hope this helps!