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Sebastian Yorke

Pilot's Chambers

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Things I've suggested to my group in addition to the +5:

1) Each squadron's first attack in a combat gains one extra degree of success. 

2) Re-roll first miss per combat.

3) +2 VUs of movement.

4) In combination with the Small Craft Repair Deck, every degree of success on the Tech Use test restores 3 craft to highlight their eliteness.

Eventually, we chose just the +5 and the #4. However, we chose not to install the Chambers. 

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They're a chamber where you store your elite hotshot pilots who go around playing card games while they get drunk and surly, while making increasingly nihlistic one-liners until the battle klaxon sounds at which point they all go racing towards their ships and jet off into the void. Modifying the ships themselves doesn't make a whole lot of sense, nor does actually increasing the bonus that much because you're giving the pilots something nice, but it's not as nice as retrofitting their ships with the latest discovered STC specs.

 

Give them a small bonus like in the first round of combat, any small craft launch automatically succeeds. You do not need to declare beforehand which ships are currently ready to launch.

 

It's something that rewards having the piloting chamber without overshadowing the Flight Command Bridge, and is a more realistic bonus for giving your pilots a place to hang out.

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I'm not sure I agree with that. It's a matter of actually having the attack craft physically loaded and ready in the bays after all, the rest are in storage.

 

It's also more than a rec-room. "Launch bays equipped with ready rooms allow them to maintain constant readiness for the next mission. Training sensoria systems allow them to constantly hone their skills and Ministorum chapels allow them to ready their souls, all making them into relentless and deadly weapons."

 

The first sentence can support the "any squadron can launch" idea, but there's still the physical floor space of the craft actually being ready. I'd probably view it as the pilots are ready to launch at a moment's notice, so automatically succeeding any launches in the first round of combat is a great idea.

 

But they're also supposed to be better at what they do. They're constantly training and psyching themselves for their mission, so there needs to be some improvement in combat too and +2 or even +5 isn't really that noticeable.

 

 

EDIT:

 

Also, it removes a bit of tension if you can launch anything you want. We've loaded up four bomber squadrons against the Orks before, hoping the GM didn't throw fighta-bommas against us.

 

Being able to launch immediately what you need at that very moment seems to be a really big deal.

 

But I get that it seems like the options above were more equipment bonuses than morale/skill bonuses.

Edited by Marwynn
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Pilots chambers should include better briefing conditions, ready rooms, and better training facilities- at least, as I imagine them. They should improve esprit d'corp, tighten bonds, help each other watch one another's backs, and improve the squadron's preparation for missions undertaken.

 

To that end, in addition to the +5 bonus, reduce all losses to squadrons by one and improve any successful flight by one DoS.

 

As an alternative, I'd suggest doubling the effect of grouping squadrons for missions for the purposes of the roll for success.

 

This might make the Pilot's Chamber especially powerful, but it also might make fleet carrier builds viable.  Thoughts?

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As an alternative, I'd suggest doubling the effect of grouping squadrons for missions for the purposes of the roll for success.

 

This might make the Pilot's Chamber especially powerful, but it also might make fleet carrier builds viable.  Thoughts?

Could you give an example of this please?

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Perhaps you could do something a bit simpler with it and have it add 50 achievement points to military based encounters.  This is justified by having more efficient military forces.

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As an alternative, I'd suggest doubling the effect of grouping squadrons for missions for the purposes of the roll for success.

 

This might make the Pilot's Chamber especially powerful, but it also might make fleet carrier builds viable.  Thoughts?

Could you give an example of this please?

 

Okay- I'll give it a shot.  The following build will be RAW- although Mathhammer would reduce the effectiveness of enemy macrocannon, improving this vessels relative power.

 

I'll assume a dedicated "pocket carrier," based on the Star Galleon hull.  For my purposes, the only components with which we need be concerned are four Jovian launch bays, a converted Hold Bay and a Pilot's Chambers.

 

This gives the cruiser 10 strength of craft- we'll assume 10 squadrons each of Fighters, Bombers and Assault Craft.

 

If the Pilot Chamber doubles the effect of additional squadrons, then any "full compliment" missions will get an effective +45 from the component (as each mission type nominally gives a +5 for each add'l squadron, the component grants an additional +5 per sqdn), while "half compliment" missions will get an effective +20.

 

If we use bombing runs as the basis (as the primary offensive weapon of this vessel), that means that two 5 sqdn flights of Starhawk bombers will each result in a Command+40 test, where each DoS deals 1d10+4 damage up to 7 DoS, all ignoring void shields.  If the person making the roll has a +10 in Command with a Fel of 40, odds are very good that one of those two flights will do quite well.  These rolls would be instead of Command+20 tests- still good, but not amazing.

 

If you order "full compliment" alpha strike of all ten bomber squadrons, the roll becomes Command+90, where each DoS deals 1d10+4 damage up to 12 DoS, again ignoring Voids.  Let's assume Command base skill of 50- so looking at a target number of 140.  Assume a fate point gets spent to make sure the roll doesn't suck goat testicles, and a perfectly mediocre roll of 50 is the final result.  That's nine hits, for roughly 85 damage on average counting armour once and ignoring voids, and includes an automatic extra bonus critical hit.

 

Compare and contrast a broadside of two RAW Sunsear macrocannon batteries (this assumes another star galleon. sp two in each broadside), with a munitorium benefiting them.  If every macrocannon hits at max strength (this requires better than average rolls), that will deal 6d10+18 damage after reduction by two void shields for an average of... 51 damage and one extra bonus crit.

 

In the final analysis, the pocket carrier has much higher burst damage in this case, although the traditional cruisers ability to sustain fire means that it will probably have a higher sustained damage output.  If Mathhammer is in effect, the macrocannon cruiser becomes significantly less effective, and the massed bombers from the pocket carrier become that much nastier.

 

A wealthy Rogue Trader (or the Imperial Navy) might field an Exorcist-class Grand Cruiser with six launch bays for a strength of 12.  This would be a slightly nastier, tougher vessel, but if compared to an Avenger class Grand Cruiser's broadsides, the flights of bombers become less effective in relative terms- but still maintain a higher burst damage than a Sunsear macrocannon armed Avenger.

 

This was all done more-or-less off the cuff, but it would seem that my suggested pilot chamber mod dramatically improves dedicated carriers, but only slightly improves pocket carriers (the Defiant light cruiser comes to mind).  If coupled with a Fleet command bridge, I'd expect nasty things to happen- I'd probably try to included a "small craft munitorium," which would improve bomber damage the same way a Munitorium improves macrocannon damage, and might also improve fighter craft rating for intercept missions and the like.

 

After all, if you're going to pretend to be a Nimitz-class supercarrier, you might as well bring all of the hate with you. :)

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I'll assume a dedicated "pocket carrier," based on the Star Galleon hull.  For my purposes, the only components with which we need be concerned are four Jovian launch bays, a converted Hold Bay and a Pilot's Chambers.

 

This gives the cruiser 10 strength of craft- we'll assume 10 squadrons each of Fighters, Bombers and Assault Craft.

 

If the Pilot Chamber doubles the effect of additional squadrons, then any "full compliment" missions will get an effective +45 from the component (as each mission type nominally gives a +5 for each add'l squadron, the component grants an additional +5 per sqdn), while "half compliment" missions will get an effective +20.

My apologies for making you type out all that by (clearly) phrasing my question badly.

The above is what I was asking for.

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Anyone else feel that maybe this thing shouldn't be a Component but rather a Ship Upgrade with varying qualities? 

 

Poor: Your attack craft do not benefit from the bonus.

Common: Your attack craft benefit from the bonus (+2) and may launch without a test as the first launch of a Combat Session

Good: Your attack craft now benefit from a +5 bonus instead and may launch without a test as the first launch of a Combat Session

Best: I dunno. 

 

Does it really deserve to be a Component? 

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Honestly most of the smaller components are weird like that, they seem like they should be too small to justify the use of an entire point of space.

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Maybe the solution is to use half-spaces? Things like this component could then be squeezed into a ship build more readily and allow for better synergy.

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I like the Ship Upgrade option.  If the component takes up space, then it should take up space for every Landing Bay the ship is equipped with.  At that rate it's going to have to give a terrific bonus to be worth it.  BC Crew Improvements already give a +5, so I think this should do the same thing (on top of crew improvements).  At the same time, I love the idea of the Small Craft Munitorium.  Attack craft carry ordnance and the standard munitorium carries ordnance for the macrocannon.  It makes sense.  In fact, I'd make it the same size and give it the same effects, if it was my players asking for it.

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Yeah, looking back at this I feel as though the Small Craft Munitorium makes more sense as the component equivalent, while the Pilot's Chambers makes more sense as an upgrade to already existing landing bays.

 

I still like my Supercarrier build though.  It's pretty nasty for a thought experiment.

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Your concept, Annaamarth, brings a whole new depth to carriers, which might be needed, but as I recall there are many Imperial Navy officers that don't like carriers.  This places the thought processes or theoretical evolution of the Imperial Navy in a similar vein as the officers in Earth's navies of the 1920's and 1930's.  This suggests to me that while the carriers are the wave of the future that currently the weapons are not entirely reliable.  Heck, I'd like better torpedo bomber rules.  The current ones kinda suck, though the house rules I was passed yesterday do a good job.

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I would have put that attitude in the early 40's as well.  As far as I know, it wasn't until the US had it's pacific battleship fleet annihilated that anyone took the idea of using carriers as an offensive tool (rather than a scouting and support tool) seriously- necessity was the mother of invention, as far as I know.

 

Nevertheless, I tend to agree.

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Even after Pearl, many Japanese admirals still thought that the decisive battle would be fought by the battlewagons.  The Americans simply didn't have that luxury, but I think they'd already chaged their mind before Pearl.  For evidence consider the following:  warships aren't built in a year.  Even conversions take longer than that.  During WWII the United States launched what, 10 battleships and 136 carriers (of which 29 were fleet carriers)?  It seems to me that the US admirals knew what the future was bringing before the attack on Pearl.

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Well argued.  I'm still going to say that the perception continued into the '40s, because Japan counts!

 

But yeah, that perception was probably changing well be before Pearl, then.  I'll have to do some research.

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I certainly think carrier-style ships need more attention, but very careful attention.  Carriers are already very powerful, albeit expensive.  An influential Dynasty invested heavily in carriers would pose a threat to the status quo, and strong PCs with just one of these ships can seriously tip game balance.

 

A dedicated carrier has little need of a Voidmaster.  It doesn't require someone with good gunnery skill because the weapon slots could all be landing bays.  It doesn't require good piloting skill because you won't worry about bringing the non-existent guns to bear.  Instead, the attack rolls are relying on (probably) the Rogue Trader's awesome Command skill, which is probably better than the Voidmaster's BS (though all those nifty components that give BS bonuses would not be applicable).

 

With a party of 4 (RT, Explorator, Navigator, Astropath) this vessel could be a beast.  Most parties really need a Voidmaster, and usually you can't have too many of that class.

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Is that a role?  I don't recall that, plus roles came out in Into the Storm, before Battlefleet Koronus.  I remember that voidmasters (usually) can add to the command check by leading the attack.  Is that what you're talking about?  Yes, that adds to the devastation.

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I think he's talking about one of the void-master special abilities, the one that allows you re-roll failed pilot tests with small craft.

Edited by Notch

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