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Joker Two

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  1. Since it's actually 133 points, the difference between that and 150 is at most two squadrons, and likely only one. While a single squadron could certainly make the difference in a battle, so could the shipboard upgrades or initiative bid you might otherwise have spent those points on, and that extra squadron probably won't change the feel of the game overall since your squadron complement is probably in the double-digits anyway. I don't think we need to worry about squadrons losing effectiveness in larger games. If anything, they will probably become more popular for a number of reasons: - Large ships will have a greater footprint and be even more likely to overlap squadrons when they maneuver. - Large ships will be able to make fewer attacks than an equal point value of small or medium ships, and their larger battery armaments means these attacks are more likely to be directed at other ships. - Ships and upgrades that support squadrons can be included for a smaller proportion of your total fleet. - Squadrons offer a very cost-efficient source of damage to deal with tougher targets. - New options released in Wave 2 will offer different ways to use squadrons in your fleet.
  2. As a matter of fact it is, on occasion. It's the core of a Marg Sabl, a naval combat maneuver. Whenever it comes up, though, it's something that's pretty explicitly depicted as dangerous and foolhardy. It tends to result in the catastrophic loss of both the ship and her complement before they can deploy, which is pretty true to the real-life events that were the inspiration for Star Wars space combat as well.
  3. In both cases I'd say since you're attacking an individual NPC in an unarmored vehicle, you'd build the difficulty pool based on Range and add a Setback to the first example because of the cover of the speeder truck (if you think it's sturdy enough to deserve it). I'd also add a Setback to both pools for (and any other attacks) because of the high speed of the chase, unless the target was right alongside or the firer had some sort of weapon mounting. If you were firing at the engine or something, you'd build the difficulty pool based on Silhouette (an easier task against the speeder truck) and add two Setbacks for targeting a component (which makes it close to even for the truck, but pretty hard against the bike). Not based on Order 66 or anything, just how I'd play it.
  4. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's one of the weapon blisters on the fore section of a Nebulon-B. That's what XI7s were mounted on, after all. And frankly, if we get a Clone Wars-era version of any of FFG's Star Wars games, it'll be this one.
  5. Yep. It offers a way to stack command effects on a single ship, at the cost of not having them on the Tantive IV. Raymus Antilles is the obvious combo (reveal dial, gain token, pass token to ally while keeping dial) but Leia Organa is even more supporting (reveal dial, change ally's dial, spend dial for token, pass token to ally) although she leaves her own ship without any command. Veteran Captain could work too, but Bel Iblis wouldn't since all of your ships are maxing out tokens anyway.
  6. I think this is the crux of the problem with both Deathwatch and Only War. Hack-and-slash is an easy trap to slip into in any RPG, but the martial emphasis in 40k even further encourages it, as do the rules. Furthermore, as a GM it's quite easy to determine the results of a combat encounter and how to proceed, the same cannot be said of other types of encounters. A friend recently started running a World of Warcraft RPG that highlighted several similar issues. We had agreed to play a combat-focused campaign, but the sessions boiled down to a series of encounters with martial enemies in which we would simply trade attacks until either they died or we were about to; at which point more powerful NPCs intervened on our behalf. There were a handful of investigative skill checks between encounters, but they served only to provide us with background fluff and had no effect on the actual plot. Now, a lot of my frustration can certainly be chalked up to a novice GM and my own high expectations, but I found it interesting that the Deathwatch campaigns my friends ran several years ago had similar results while their Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader campaigns were much more enjoyable. Both Warhammer 40k and Warcraft originate from wargames, and the vast majority of their background material focuses on combat, usually at a larger scale than RPGs are really meant to handle. This is combined with both the intention to play a military-themed game and mechanics that heavily emphasize combat even within the system's capabilities; the Warcraft RPG rules used the D&D 3.5 engine but had been altered to match abilities from the computer game, resulting in far more martial abilities than usual; while social and intellectual abilities are almost nonexistent in Deathwatch despite their presence in Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader. Simply put, everything about the game is pushing for as much combat as possible, which also means dice results will matter more than character actions. I'm not saying creativity is impossible, either with characters or actions; but the emphasis is on the tactical rather than the personal, so where variety shows up it tends to be in method rather than motivation. There are fewer relevant stats for the majority of rolls, so characters are going to have similar characteristics and be more defined by weapon usage than anything else, as that will determine how they act in most situations. Frankly, I think Deathwatch needs less Deathwatch in it. I know that sounds weird, but hear me out. The campaign you proposed about Librarian Sartorn is hands-down the best idea for a Deathwatch plot I have ever heard, the only thing that even comes close is running a game within a single Chapter about Neophytes being inducted and following their rise through the ranks. Even then, though, to actually resolve the major elements of your suggested campaign I'd find myself leaning heavily on Dark Heresy Ascension for the higher-level interactions within the Imperium; Rogue Trader certainly wouldn't be out of place either. The mechanics (especially the class-based character progression and discrete "missions") of Deathwatch discourage the kind of campaign you describe, and so those other games and house-rules would be filling in the gaps. Even if the GM was really good about including valuable non-combat encounters and the characters were engaged in the story, they'd still be fighting the mechanics of the game every step of the way. In this regard, at least, Only War is far better. The Aptitude system differentiates between character roles while still giving them the flexibility to develop in a more comprehensive campaign like what you describe; many Deathwatch classes have essentially no access to non-combat abilities whatsoever. There's also more mechanical support for how the PCs might interact with superiors or the Imperium at large. With the inherent mechanical compatibility of the various 40k RPGs, you could probably use Only War mechanics to run an Astartes-based campaign; only using Deathwatch for its Astartes character and equipment profiles. Now, to be fair, Deathwatch is perfectly functional at its intended purpose; gaming the combat missions of well-equipped superhuman special forces teams against incredibly dangerous foes in an episodic fashion. I find that enjoyable, but not particularly compelling. I'm not going to look to it for engaging roleplaying any more than I'm going to look to war movies for engaging character development; it may be there, but that's not exactly the point of the genre. I dunno, hope that helps. It's an interesting topic, and as my SWRPG group is approaching the beginning of the Galactic Civil War, I'm seriously contemplating how to best transition to a greater military emphasis. If you're interested in GMing resources, Age of Rebellion has plenty of information about how to incorporate non-combat aspects in a military campaign, and if you're willing to try switching systems I transitioned a Dark Heresy campaign to AoR (staying in the 40k setting, just changing the mechanics halfway through) last year with great success.
  7. Yep. Pick out of 4 for the first, then pick out of 4 for the second. Technically the cards are discarded, though. not put on the bottom of the deck.
  8. Yeah, I'd disagree with all of those examples as well. You're never allowed to measure anything until it happens. N'dru Suh'lak's ability gives you an extra attack die when you roll attack dice; when you're attempting to declare a target you don't even have any attack dice yet. Lone Wolf, "Howlrunner", and Etahn A'baht trigger in the "attacker modifies attack dice" and/or "defender modifies defense dice" steps, and Airen Cracken doesn't even trigger until after you have performed an attack.
  9. In the EU novels some Jedi could stop the bolts from smaller vehicular weapons (starfighter cannons and the like), but the blast still tossed them around like ragdolls unless they were using the Force as an anchor. In the new Clone Wars show they're shown batting away cannonfire with ease, even fire from the main weapons of heavy tanks and emplaced guns. Mechanically, yeah, you could wait to convert to personal scale until the damage is actually applied. I use a 5-to-1 ration for conversion, rather than the official 10-to-1, which at least gives individuals a chance while still keeping vehicles intimidating. I haven't worked with the new Force powers in F&D yet, but factoring in Protect might help too (Vader used a similar ability to absorb Han's blaster bolts on Bespin). Personally, though, I'm disappointed with the Deflect talent now that we know about what F&D is going to look like. The defensive upgrade from Sense combined with a player wielding a lightsaber spending his opponent's Despairs to deflect attacks back always seemed like a really thematic representation. Deflect being basically just damage reduction is pretty bland by comparison, especially in a system with lots of tools to integrate mechanics with the narrative.
  10. No, they can only do so (and must do so) on their odd-numbered turns, and they must deploy all of their ships before any of their squadrons. Deployment should look like this: 1st player ship in ambush zone 2nd player ship in deployment zone 1st player ship in deployment zone 2nd player ship in deployment zone 1st player ship in ambush zone 2nd player ship in deploment zone 1st player ship in deployment zone, etc. Squadrons only deploying after all of that player's ships have, but may be within distance 2 of any of that player's ships. All of your squadrons could deploy forward or hang back, and you could even deploy them engaged with enemy squadrons since they don't have to be in the ambush zone, only the setup area.
  11. Vallejo Stone Grey is an exact match for the X-Wing hulls in X-Wing, so I use that. Vallejo Dark Blue Grey is pretty close for the TIEs.
  12. It's as much about the strategy and the maneuvering as the list, really. Nebulon-B Escort Frigates have a lot of strengths, but they're difficult to all use at once. The more strengths you can put into play at a time, the more efficient a Nebulon-B becomes. Careful maneuvering can put enemy ships in your fore shield zone when they activate and fire, but then let them straddle your fore/side firing arcs for your answering salvo before you turn to protect your flanks again. Keeping your fighters close draws enemy squadrons into your side arcs for anti-squadron fire, and if you're careful with your activation order a tight formation can put several overlapping barrages into the squadron engagement without obstructing or overlapping itself. A well thought-out (and flexible) activation order also helps alter your opponent's target priority, which lets you get the most use out of Engineering commands and squadron activations. The important thing is to use each of their abilities in a way that emphasize the others' strengths and covers their weaknesses. The same is true for upgrades; they should focus on making the fleet stronger rather than the individual ship. That's why I like Redemption as a flagship, her ability isn't as intimidating, so you can put more points on her while keeping her a lower priority target. Garm Bel Iblis and Engineering Teams mean that tokens can hold you together so you can issue more Squadron commands to increase the effectiveness of your fighters. Adar Tallon then repeatedly sets up double-taps for Yavaris while Salvation Navigates to keep her fore battery in play, and so all three ships are making good use of their abilities.
  13. Why not all three!?! Redemption and a saved Engineering token keeps the other two in fighting trim, and her lower target priority in terms of raw damage output makes her a good flagship. I took 1st out of 16 last week with triple Nebulon-Bs; the only player there without a medium ship, to boot!
  14. It goes even farther than that. To many beings (especially humans in the Core Worlds) Emperor Palpatine is a hero. An obscure senator whose homeworld suffered at the hands of the megacorporations, who upon his election to chancellor began to cut away the excesses of the bureaucracy, who as commander-and-chief won the most terrible war in living memory, who was crippled in a coup attempt by the theocrats who betrayed the Republic, and who (with popular support) established the new empire that would ensure peace and order. Darth Sidious's control over both sides of the Clone Wars allowed him to orchestrate events to create so much devastation so that many people would prefer security to freedom, given the choice. Once entrenched, his control over propaganda and the mechanisms of civil discourse allowed him to continue to shape the narrative. And many of the places which were most important were the ones favored by the Empire, at least initially. The major shipyard systems were rolling in government contracts to build fleets, while military academies and universities swelled with new cadets and students to crew and design them. Many of the old Separatist megacorporations were nationalised or subsumed by those that had been Loyalist, and the most influential regional political leaders were given seats as sector Moffs. As for the Force, even during the height of the Republic the Jedi were a rare sight. While Coruscanti might pass the Temple on occasion, and planetary leaders could meet one amongst a diplomatic delegation, there weren't that many of them compared to the size of the Republic, much less the galaxy. Think about what Anakin says to Qui-Gon when he sees his lightsaber.
  15. I'm sorry to hear that, Draco. As to your questions; 1: That really depends on the dynamic between you, the player who quit, and the others involved. I know I can get frustrated with players who have a different approach to gaming than me. I'm a pretty quiet thinker, while one of my oldest friends processes the game verbally to the point of narrating what (he thinks) my choices are as I am about to reveal them; this comes across as either condescending (when he's winning) or whiny (when I am). We've known each other for ages, so I get it, but if I didn't know him so well it would really piss me off. It's about being aware of how you might be perceived, and deciding whether you're okay with that; I try to show my enjoyment a little more visibly to offset my quiet demeanour during games, which probably makes me seem cold and calculating to him. 2: You're totally within the game mechanics, and there are even times in standard games where it is tactically better to not attack at all. It's along the same lines as choosing whether to spend tokens or trigger "once per round" abilities, or hold them against a possible future attack. Although in a casual environment it might not necessarily be the most entertaining thing to do if those were your only possible attacks each round, a multiplayer furball is a social game almost as much as it is a tactical one, so everyone should expect, be prepared for, and even look forward to a certain amount of skulduggery and backstabbing. Is it acceptable in that play group to gang up on each other in a furball, or do pilots issue challenges and duel each other without interference? 3: It really depends on what caused this, which we can't answer for you. Asking what the other players thought of your play might help you figure that out, but then again it might not. Other than that, the only thing I can really think of is asking a group about the gaming etiquette in certain situations. "Are you guys okay with X? Do you mind if I Y?" You can even make this part of the fun, pretending to plead with the the Fringer player to spare you if you hold your fire in return. And if he doesn't, then the players can all have a good laugh at the next furball where your fictional deceased pilot's enraged cousin swears to claim his revenge! 4: As others have said, this sounds more like a private gaming group than a LGS, and their friendliness is in question at the moment. If you're asking about your actions, I'd either compliment your cunning or joke about your pilot's timidity, and then concoct a convoluted argument, shrewd negotiation, and/or heartfelt plea to the players controlling the Lambda and YT-2400 as to why they should target you anyways! If you're asking about the host's actions, I'd probably leave too; unless you're leaving out (intentionally or otherwise) a lot of other context, he's being incredibly disrespectful and petty, and that's not someone I'd like to game with. Plus, I find the idea of ragequitting in general (which I understand as refusing to continue a game in progress because of one's emotional reaction to an opponent's tactical play) extremely distasteful. I hope you find other places or opportunities to play soon.
  16. I feel the same way on the Rebel side, I started running Nebulon-Bs for the challenge and haven't looked back. Also, if the fighter doom combo that was circuitously discussed is what I think it is, then it's not nearly as unbeatable as it's been made out to be.
  17. It isn't exactly efficient in an XP sense, but it is certainly thematic, especially in a long-running game that has transitioned between themes (and thus core books). I won't allow my players to use AoR specs until they're involved with a formal military organization, or F&D unless they're receiving formal training, so that's likely what my one Force-Sensitive will eventually do. Jedi Wookiees...off the top of my head I can only think of Lowbacca, Chewbacca's nephew and Jaina Solo's friend. I feel like there was a Wookiee Jedi Master as a background character in the Republic pre-Clone Wars, but the name escapes me. Maybe one or two others in the New Jedi Order era, but that's it.
  18. There is nothing in Most Wanted that you are required to have to play Scum & Villainy. If you buy ships individually, however, you would need enough individual Scum & Villainy ships to field a complete list. S&V are not "mercenaries", they cannot be taken as part of an otherwise Rebel or Imperial squadron and can only be fielded with other S&V pilots. Most Wanted is a very cost-effective way to get those pilots, especially if you have an existing collection.
  19. I have found that Morality from the F&D beta works perfectly well in Edge and Age as kind of a "mental check" on PC's actions. Yeah, they won't be gaining Conflict from Force power usage, but then again they don't need to follow the same moral standards as a Jedi does when the voices in his head start whispering. And if you give it a try and it doesn't work for you, you can toss it without having to alter anything else along the way.
  20. This is more-or-less the Legends line too, if you take into account that stories about quiet and hardworking homesteaders on a galactic backwater don't sell as well as stories about die-hard mercenaries and bounty hunters from that same planet, and stories about idealists trying to overcome their destructive cultural heritage need that cultural heritage to be firmly established first. Even with the wealth of Legends material, you're only going to see the most interesting and prominent stuff about each planet and culture. So I go with "failed interstellar military power that has collapsed into a diaspora of nomads and homesteaders, but whose mercenaries and armorsmiths still maintain the skills and traditions of their predecessors".
  21. When playing with the full rules and Wave 1 (which you'd need for two Victories) the setup area is only the center 4'x3' of the full 6'x3' play area. In other words, you can't actually set-up in the corner of the play area, and trying to replicate that formation inside the setup area leaves a full foot of table for the opponent to swing around behind you and avoid both fore firing arcs altogether!
  22. A ready (green) defense token that is spent against an attack is exhausted (flipped to it's red side). An exhausted (red) defense token can still be spent against an attack, but it will be discarded only if it is spent. At the end of the round, all remaining exhausted defense tokens are readied (flipped to their green side). Discarded defense tokens are gone for good. Note: a defense token that is already exhausted (red) cannot be exhausted again by cards like Overload Pulse, and so is unaffected. Edit: the limit is that you can only spend one token of each type once per attack, not once per round.
  23. I really don't have a whole lot to add beyond putting these quotes in order. A match-up against Gladiators (especially when you're fielding Nebulon-B's) just requires a different approach and mentality than most other ships. Acknowledge that you're going to take a drubbing, but set yourself up to pile on the damage in return. In particular, holding Bomber squadrons back on the more vulnerable flank of your fleet is a good counter (but they're not a deterrent yet; Gladiator commanders are very aggressive and squadrons are still being underestimated).
  24. This. Naboobo, you are required to include a Commander upgrade card, Admiral Chiraneau is an Officer. Commanders are blue-tinted and do not have an upgrade icon on the front, and the icon on the back looks more like a moff. The only options available to the Empire thus far are Grand Moff Tarkin, Admiral Motti, and Admiral Screed.
  25. That was a great clip! Some of the most interesting scenarios are the ones you can't win through combat (or at least, combat alone). Make sure it makes sense for what the group is supposed to be though, crack stormcommandos probably won't be the ones responding to domestic disturbances on the edge of the Dune Sea, or conducting traffic stops looking for Jawa droidjackers...
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