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Defense caps at 4, on Page 228, "The maximum amount of defense a ship or vehicle can have in any of its defense zones is four points, regardless of its size.”

On page 134, Defensive Driving "Any vehicle the character pilots has its defense rating on all zones increased by one per rank of Defensive Driving.".

The fact that they increase zoned defense instead of regular defence means they intended the zone defence limits to apply. There is no other reason to include the "on all zones" text.
Alternative reason to specify "on all zones":

Because this feature applies to all zones, and not just one.

As opposed to "Reinforced Shield Generator," for example, which specifies "to one defense zone of choice."

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Attributes cap at 6, on page 92 "During the course of play, no characteristic can be increased higher than 6."

On page 134, Dedication "Each rank permanently increases a single characteristic of the player's choice by one point. This cannot bring a characteristic above six." <~ Example of a talent that adheres to an existing limit

Defense caps at 4, on Page 228, "The maximum amount of defense a ship or vehicle can have in any of its defense zones is four points, regardless of its size.”

On page 134, Defensive Driving "Any vehicle the character pilots has its defense rating on all zones increased by one per rank of Defensive Driving." <~ Example of a talent that ignores an existing limit

The fact that they increase zoned defense instead of regular defense means they intended the zone defense limits to apply. There is no other reason to include the "on all zones" text.

 

No, The fact that it does not say "This cannot bring the vehicle's defense rating above four." means they intended the talent to allow you to exceed the zone defense limits.

The reason that is says "on all zones" is to get across the understanding that you don't have to apply each rank of Defensive Driving to a different zone, like you have to when installing a reinforced shield generator, which specifies "to one defense zone of choice."

 

It is a ranked skill, you may purchase it as many times as you wish (currently up to 5).

It automatically applies a defense rating increase to all zones, just because you are behind the controls.

Therefore, there is no limit to the number of times that you may increase the defense rating of the vehicle that you are piloting. 

 

As long as you have the hard points and want to spend them, you can apply multiple reinforced shield generators, but technologically the vehicle has a defense zone limit of 4 to just sit there.

With a defense driver at the controls the defense zone limit is 4 plus the number of ranks of defensive driving that the pilot possesses.

 

If you want your starfighter ace to survive against multiple dogfight opponents, the way to do it is multiple ranks of Defensive Driving.

 

When I GM'd for both D&D and Saga Edition I would keep track of what the Party's Defenses where both in armor and out.

When a blow missed them based on their unarmored Defense the narrative I described it as the blow missed entirely. When it missed them based on the Armored Defense I described as either striking their armor and glancing off, or them imposing their shield or weapon just in time.

In this case of starfighters, missing because of the basic difficulty and the setback dice from Defensive Driving represents a complete miss, either the shot went wide or you banked at the right moment. Missing because of the additional set back dice from the "factory shield settings" and or reinforced shield generators is represents the shots actually striking the  vehicle's shields, but failing to penetrate them.

 

Your player's characters are the heroes.

Their talents are what set them apart from (most of) their enemies.

Talents are what allows the heroes to survive a confrontation that would have claimed a minion or rival, because they are limited by the technological limits of their craft because they have little or no "talent".

 

When a talent has a limit, it lets you know that in its description. See examples above. /\

Edited by Dakkar98

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Angle Deflector Shields (page 233) does not state that it is subject to the Defense 4 cap.

 

Boost Shields (page 237) does not state that is subject to the Defense 4 cap.

 

Reinforced Shield Generator (page 270) does not state that it is subject to the Defense 4 cap.

 

Defensive Driving (page 134) does not state that it is subject to the Defense 4 cap.

 

So NOTHING says that they are limited to the Defense 4 cap, because they ALL are required to follow the cap as set on page 226.

 

Also, Sam has stated that, aside from Upgraded Weapons, no attachment can be duplicated. This means that multiple instances of Upgraded Shield Generator are not legal.

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I disagree. Its "NPCs as ablative armor". Yeah, the player characters are important because its their story, but I kind of draw the line at PCs using NPC lives as an HP stat. Unless you want to run a game that is 99% the players roleplaying writing letters back to the families of the pilots they got killed. If I play a game that has the characters with a squadron, I would want that squadron to be NPCs they can interact with, not ones they expect to die so why bother.

 

Also, it takes away from being a super badass fighter pilot if you NEED squad rules to even survive. We can make characters that could take out a dozen stormtroopers alone with enough XP. The same for starfighters is just not really true.

I can't agree with you hard enough.

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Actually, 'near death' happens quite a lot. Most dogfights I've played, one hit is not quite enough to bring down a fighter.

 

Will definitely be sticking with the starter set version of the TIE interceptor - which has defense 1 in one zone only instead of 2 points of armour, to try and tempt players to use gain the advantage.

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OK childrens, I submitted a formal Q.

 

Rule Question:

Vehicle defenses (typically provided by shields) are limited to 4 points in any given zone. (EotE CRB pg 228)

Talents like Defensive Driving increase a vehicles defenses in all zones.

Is Defensive Driving intended to allow you to exceed the 4 point cap or is 4 intended to be a hard cap?

Thanks

and got an A:

The limit of 4 is intended to be a hard cap.

Hope this helps!

Sam Stewart

Senior RPG Producer

Fantasy Flight Games

So there you have it.

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That's not good. Vehicle defense is abysmal. We have been allowing dodge and sidestep to apply since they work against ranged attacks and don't specify non vehicle like barrage. But prepping for the age game we noticed that the defenses available to all the age careers are fewer and farther between than in edge and so gives no relief to ace pilots. As it's stands initiative and gunnery are almost more important than piloting.

Good ideas on this thread though. Gain the advantage denying arcs to the target . And leaning heavier on pilot checks and narrative to deny shooting attempts, for sure will be used.

maybe some combo of maneuver dice speed and size giving the base defense as well. Or just having defensive driving upgrade difficulty instead.

We don't care that ships die easy' but having no reliable defense upgrades based on skill, talents, craft or what not is weak.

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  • Hold her Together. That talent is probably the most important one in space combat.
  • Manage your system strain.
  • Disorient enemy fighters if you can. You want them to have those setback dice. (You can also spend two advantage to get one setback die)

But yeah, I think those HT/SS numbers are a bit low compared to sil 4 freighters. I wouldn't like to board a starfighter with less than 10/10...

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My big issue on this front is that piloting skill (and to a lesser extent handing and speed) has no impact on how easy it is for you tag a target. It's just as easy to vape a Darth Vader/Han Solo/Wedge Antilles tier pilot (so, piloting and gunnery at 5, and presumably up their to eyeballs in talents, plus 4-6 agility) than it is to fry a rookie or even a guy with zero training relying on his agility. This doesn't seem right.

 

Now for NPCs (and this applies to ground targets as well) the Adversary talent helps mitigate that; but for highly skilled player aces the rules as written leave them just as vulnerable as any Rebel or Imperial grunt in a stand up fight. Starfighter combat is soulless, coming down to who wins the Cool/Vigilance check and gets off a single decent gunnery check.

 

Most starfighters are about as strong as they should be, it should just be a good deal harder to actually hit them. Cause from a mechanical standpoint, any PC with a sense of self-preservation is better off getting a decent corvette (CR90s can be a very early Duty reward) and loading it with a few quadlasers or something for anti-starfighter work.

 

I want to fix the problem but I have no idea how to house rule it; some of the ideas in this thread are help but...I really hope Stay on Target gives us better dogfighting mechanics. But I have my doubts.

Edited by Rationalinsanity

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My big issue on this front is that piloting skill (and to a lesser extent handing and speed) has no impact on how easy it is for you tag a target. It's just as easy to vape a Darth Vader/Han Solo/Wedge Antilles tier pilot (so, piloting and gunnery at 5, and presumably up their to eyeballs in talents, plus 4-6 agility) than it is to fry a rookie or even a guy with zero training relying on his agility. This doesn't seem right.

Actually, those Talents are where all the defenses are found.

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Actually, those Talents are where all the defenses are found.

Brilliant Evasion is the only one that makes a real difference though. The only other one that does anything in Fighter vs Fighter combat is Defensive driving, which add defense. And getting enough setback to actually matter isn't easy and requires multiple trees. And that is if you ignore the 4 defense max rule.

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Hold Together is limited to Commodores and Mechanics in AoR, not the usual starfighter jockey trees (Aces and Squadron Leaders); so (at best) a pilot is going to need to wait until they are ready to take a second tree and then begin to work on talents. It seems to be intended for larger ships, with one crewmember (the chief engineer or an officer on board) working to mitigate a hit; considering what tree it's in.

 

Useful for fighter pilots but they need to jump into specializations they otherwise might not need just to get it. And this talent is near the bottom of either specialization. For something so vital to basic survival, it's rather out of the way.

Edited by Rationalinsanity

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Don't be put off too much. I've had three missions for my player's squads so far, two of which have featured reasonable amounts of starfighter combat, and it's gone okay.

 

Yes, their fighters have come back dented a bit, but despite the fact they're in Z-95s and taking on TIEs, they're doing okay.

 

Liberal uses of trusting the force, using your fighter's strain advantage to pull extra manouvres (exasive manouvres then aim to claw back some of the difference), and extra setbacks from advantage do give a good pilot an edge.

 

Unless, you know, you manage to blankface all your difficulty dice and fly into a turbolaser shot, which did the Headhunter in question no good whatsoever. The pilot managed a "good landing", even so.

 

They're going to get promoted into X-wings next session, complete with astromechs for damage and strain control, so I expect them to get a whole lot nastier all round...

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Hold Together is limited to Commodores and Mechanics in AoR, not the usual starfighter jockey trees (Aces and Squadron Leaders); so (at best) a pilot is going to need to wait until they are ready to take a second tree and then begin to work on talents. It seems to be intended for larger ships, with one crewmember (the chief engineer or an officer on board) working to mitigate a hit; considering what tree it's in.

 

Useful for fighter pilots but they need to jump into specializations they otherwise might not need just to get it. And this talent is near the bottom of either specialization. For something so vital to basic survival, it's rather out of the way.

 

The Y-Wing has two meatbags and an astromech droid. Any of these could be a Mechanic. But personally I think a Mechanic would do just fine in the cockpit of a starfighter. (Also, don't overlook the Scout with Disorient and Shortcut, the latter should apply to Gain the Advantage.)

 

The majority of encounters should be against Minion groups of 3 TIE/ln fighters. GMs, don't overdo it with the Gunnery ranks, and the PCs will be fine.

 

Edit: By the way, the ECM suite attachment stacks with Tricky Target. Having a starfighter with the silhouette of a torpedo helps out a lot. People shouldn't undervalue Evasive Maneuvers either. If that TIE minion rolls Despair when he's trying to shoot you, he's basically toast.

Edited by GranSolo

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With the high technology available for escape (EVA suits, escape pods, ejection seats), coupled with the various medical technology/magic (bacta), hero death isn't a real issue.  Succeeding the in encounter is.  As mouthymerc said, defeat does not necessarily mean death.  Having the heroes have a front row seat- their disabled starfighter- while they watch that passenger freighter they were trying to save transforms into a fiery ball of shrapnel can be a great tool.  Having the heroes survive their starfighter's destruction is also a great way to introduce cybernetics, scars, and phobias.

 

The 'fragile fighter' syndrome matches what one sees in the movies.  I also never saw one (starfighter) pilot taking on 4 TIE fighters at once.   I did read about that in a few of the novels I managed to struggle through, but that's the EU and I'm not a fan of them (Han Solo being regulated to a secondary character, you-ain't-nuttin'-without-the-force-itis, and the Emperor returning from the dead 60,000 times being examples of why that is so).  I wouldn't sweat too much over the dangers; just have the beginnings of a side mission to escape from an imperial prison (or hospital) ship (or base) ready for next week.

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Maybe if you are worried about the PCs fragility you can avoid putting minions in groups. Make them attack individually.

Spamming four GGG attacks is probably going to be more deadly than one YYY attack unless the opposing target is very hard to hit. The problem we've identified is that fighters generally are not all that hard to hit.

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Depends. Sure, they might have more potential damage, but they're much less likely to succeed in the first place.

 

Your average TIE jockey gets a GGGPP (with one or two setback dice for shields) against a rebel fighter. That's still more likely to hit than miss and almost certainly to hit if three or four pools are rolled. The second (or third if the target is a B-Wing and the TIE rolls poorly) attack will likely cripple the starfighter, and if Linked is ever triggered it's basically over.

 

The problem is that there are few ways for even exceptionally skilled pilots to prevent themselves from being hit in the first place.

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I have been searching through some of the forums looking for some info on this topic but I haven't seen it discussed too much.  Why are starships...fighters in particular so fragile???  

 

Not only are they very easy to hit (unless I am missing something) one or two hits and the character is possibly dead or completely out of the fight.  

 

I have tried to come up with a house rule to at least give the ship itself a toughness score, maybe based on class of ship, but haven't found the solution.

 

A character gets a Toughness score based on Brawn then adds Armor, ships just get a Soak. In the case of an A-Wing its a 2 Soak and 6 Hull.  I love the game and narrative aspect of the dice, etc.  People will argue that "its a narrative game" so don't worry so much about the points.  But the weakest part of the Star Wars games is the narrative space combat system.  So much of Star Wars is the ships and they are almost unplayable IMHO.

 

Has anyone tried anything yet? Am I missing something in the rules?

I wouldn't fidget with starship values. I think they are a little weak too but not enough for wholesale changes.

Where I do think there is a problem is that it's too easy to hit in this game. There are a few defenses but I don't think they bring in pilot skill rank enough and one of the best ones any PC can do. We house ruled that basically there's a simple way to add defense/setback to attacks against you based on your ranks in pilot. That way hits still mean the same thing they just don't happen as often.

Spend gunnery results defensively.

Manufacture pilot checks and spend those defensively.

Ask your GM if you can use Evasive Maneuvers twice if you need full defense/are slower and have good gunners. The rules are not clear on this.

Depending on the relative speeds sometimes it's a good idea to use system strain to move twice against minions or enemies with one crew like a TIE. Let an R2 fix your system strain. Minions can only move twice if they sacrifice an action (attack) and usually do not have the means to recover system strain. Boring but effective in some situations, like an A-Wing and no skill or talents needed.

Edited by usgrandprix

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