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Talkie Toaster

Alternate Starship Combat

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As starship combat is a bit iffy, I've tried writing a summary sheet and some homebrew alternate rules for it. My group haven't had the chance to try them out yet though, so I'd like to get some extra eyes on them before trialling them out. There's some alterations to attack difficulties, the 'Extra actions' you can perform in combat, and a new mechanic for squadrons/massed capital ship fire:

 

PDF File, J8FRScVs.png Page 1, jlQXXLls.png Page 2

 

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The main change is setting the attack difficulty to the target's speed. This seems to work pretty well when looking at the stats on the EotE dice roller: against a fighter going speed 5, a 22 attack (fairly standard for a PC) only has a ~50% chance of landing. However, at speed 5 even a TIE piloted with a 223 pool only has a ~50% chance of passing a 32 difficult terrain test. So it's easy to lose a fast foe in an asteroid field, unless they slow down (and thus give you a better chance of hitting them).

 

The tweaks to Evasive Maneuvers make it more effective on maneuverable ships like TIEs. When piloted by chumps, they can't really make the most of their maneuverability without missing, but it makes a talented pilot actually hard to hit; TIEs actually have strengths and should feel like modern, agile ships rather than flimsy fodder. It also makes Gain the Advantage much more worthwhile. If you can GtA and evade, if both at speed 5 you could be firing at 5 whilst your opponent fires back at 41 (at whatever facing you choose, so add a few extra black dice for angled shields to that). Equally, perhaps GtA still needs a mechanic to make it harder to trade it back and forth?

 

The other massive change is switching to an X-Wing style 'Buffs last til the end of the round' rather than 'Buffs last til your next turn' format. That reduces tracking of minutiae and makes getting the initiative far more valuable. For multi-seat ships it provides you with an interesting tradeoff (do we take buffing actions first *then* attack? Or attack first?). Not sure about it though.

 

The expanded/altered range of ship actions is intended to make assisting a bit more interactive. The deferred advantage on checks like Scan & Fire Discipline allow non-combat PCs to still get the opportunity to trigger interesting effects and crits.

 

The wing rules are intended to allow non-pilot PCs to actually do interesting things in combat by leading a wing, effectively getting to use 3-4 ranks of Piloting/Gunnery/whatever by making combined skill checks with the minion group they're leading. The tradeoffs are not being able to benefit from a modified/superior personal ship, and not being able to perform anything that requires Strain unless they have decent Leadership.

 

The capital ship battery rules should make it muuuuuch easier to run cap ship fights. The existing concentrated fire rules are a bit... iffy. They don't give anything like the same damage as firing as individual minion groups (past ~10 guns, light turbolasers massively out-DPS heavy ones simply because the lower base damage & pen is irrelevant and they can fire more often). The battery rules are almost entirely equivalent to firing individually, but much faster; and also mean that caps trading salvos with each other will tend to negate each other's Massive rule.

 

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Anyway, that's my wall of text. Any questions/comments? Please do read the rules first though; my summary isn't really enough to go on by itself.

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The capital ship battery rules should make it muuuuuch easier to run cap ship fights. The existing concentrated fire rules are a bit... iffy. They don't give anything like the same damage as firing as individual minion groups (past ~10 guns, light turbolasers massively out-DPS heavy ones simply because the lower base damage & pen is irrelevant and they can fire more often). The battery rules are almost entirely equivalent to firing individually, but much faster; and also mean that caps trading salvos with each other will tend to negate each other's Massive rule.

 

Yeah I was thinking of this the other day actually of making up 'Battery' rules for the really big ships like Destroyers and some of the larger cruisers that have 10-20 guns in an arc so there's an easier way of macro-managing that sort of stuff.

 

Admittedly, you can lump them into minion groups- but when you've got 5-6 grouped up and blazing away with 4-5 Yellow dice, then do that 2-3 times in a row... it gets pants on head stupid and will utterly murder everything in range. So for things like the heavy turbolasers I'd lump 4-5 into a Battery and then give it Linked qualities and probably remove the slow-firing.

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The reason Buffs last until the end of your next turn is so that you can actually take advantage of some of them. If you go at the end of the turn and do a buff you get no benefit. They did it the way they did so you actually get the benefit no matter where in the initiative order you go. 

So I would switch that one back so as to not screw over players

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Yeah I was thinking of this the other day actually of making up 'Battery' rules for the really big ships like Destroyers and some of the larger cruisers that have 10-20 guns in an arc so there's an easier way of macro-managing that sort of stuff.

 

Admittedly, you can lump them into minion groups- but when you've got 5-6 grouped up and blazing away with 4-5 Yellow dice, then do that 2-3 times in a row... it gets pants on head stupid and will utterly murder everything in range. So for things like the heavy turbolasers I'd lump 4-5 into a Battery and then give it Linked qualities and probably remove the slow-firing.

I considered using Linked or Auto-fire but that means there's no benefit to battery-firing dual/quad turbolasers.

 

Also, most crew have at best Agility 3, so a battery of 6 guns will be firing at 23 or 32, which isn't a crazy terrible dicepool to manage. It also means that you can't really activate Linked more than a few times. The alternative is to do something like 'Add A for every gun after the first in the battery' so you've got a higher chance of activating Linked, but that essentially means regardless of the crew quality, every 2nd gun hits.

 

Did you read my take on battery rules?

Silhouette 5+ ships can have hundreds of crew and dozens of weapons. Rather than fire each individually, minion groups of gunners can combine fire into a bank of weapons, gaining 1 rank of Gunnery for each weapon after the first. For example, a bank of 6 minion-fired guns would make a single attack at Gunnery 5.

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Concentrated Fire: Select any number of identical banks of weapons, which count as firing this round, and make an attack with one. If you would score a hit from succeeding, or from activating the Auto-fire or Linked qualities, score 1 hit per bank of weapons participating in the attack. In addition, reduce the A cost to score a critical hit by on this attack by A per bank of weapons.

Basically the only complication it adds over a regular attack is a single multiplication.

 

 

The reason Buffs last until the end of your next turn is so that you can actually take advantage of some of them. If you go at the end of the turn and do a buff you get no benefit. They did it the way they did so you actually get the benefit no matter where in the initiative order you go. 

So I would switch that one back so as to not screw over players

Well, that was kind of the point. It adds a mechanical difference between slow, considered action (e.g. Fire Discipline, Scan Target, then attack) and reckless action (Attack, then the other PCs have to do something else). It was mainly made with capships in mind, but even for fighters it means high-init pilots get to land hits on people before they start Evasive Maneuvers for the round which is characterful.

It doesn't 'screw over players' as PCs tend to have higher initiative than NPCs, so on average they see the most benefit from it.

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OK, I like a lot of this, and I have a few questions, comments, and suggestions.

 

1) I think that small craft should only be able to target the opponent's defense zone of choice at Close range. A fighter approaching an ISD from short range doesn't really have the same freedom to choose the target aspect as one dancing along it's hull.

 

2) Banks create some weirdness if they can be reassigned on the fly. Consider ten twin turbolasers. If unskilled NPCs are operating them then it's likely best to go with two banks of five weapons for a Gunnery 4. OTOH, with a skilled gunner leading them in Concentrated Fire, five banks of two weapons so that even a basic hit inflicts 5(!) hits. I haven't run the numbers entirely, but this seems potentially abusive.

 

3) Delegate seems to suggest that larger ships always have more skilled crews (or, rather larger minion hordes to effect a higher skill level). It seems like alternate rules for crew quality might be better than just linking this to Silhouette.

 

4) There really needs to be a way for Sil 5+ ships to use Accelerate/Decelerate along with Fly in the same turn. I really with A/D was eliminated as a separate maneuver and Speed could simply be adjusted +/- 1 before or after (but not both) any Pilot Only maneuver.

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Well, that was kind of the point. It adds a mechanical difference between slow, considered action (e.g. Fire Discipline, Scan Target, then attack) and reckless action (Attack, then the other PCs have to do something else). It was mainly made with capships in mind, but even for fighters it means high-init pilots get to land hits on people before they start Evasive Maneuvers for the round which is characterful.

The reason Buffs last until the end of your next turn is so that you can actually take advantage of some of them. If you go at the end of the turn and do a buff you get no benefit. They did it the way they did so you actually get the benefit no matter where in the initiative order you go. 

So I would switch that one back so as to not screw over players

It doesn't 'screw over players' as PCs tend to have higher initiative than NPCs, so on average they see the most benefit from it.

 

The Problem is Say I am at the end of the round and decide to do evasive maneuvers. Why does the guy immediately following my action get to shoot me with out penalty? Why do my evasive maneuvers not count for ****? Did my being evasive end at the end of the round? I would think not. I would think I would continue to be evasive till my turn comes up again rather than stopping being evasive at the end of the round and being a sitting duck till I act again. 

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OK, I like a lot of this, and I have a few questions, comments, and suggestions.

 

1) I think that small craft should only be able to target the opponent's defense zone of choice at Close range. A fighter approaching an ISD from short range doesn't really have the same freedom to choose the target aspect as one dancing along it's hull.

 

2) Banks create some weirdness if they can be reassigned on the fly. Consider ten twin turbolasers. If unskilled NPCs are operating them then it's likely best to go with two banks of five weapons for a Gunnery 4. OTOH, with a skilled gunner leading them in Concentrated Fire, five banks of two weapons so that even a basic hit inflicts 5(!) hits. I haven't run the numbers entirely, but this seems potentially abusive.

 

3) Delegate seems to suggest that larger ships always have more skilled crews (or, rather larger minion hordes to effect a higher skill level). It seems like alternate rules for crew quality might be better than just linking this to Silhouette.

 

4) There really needs to be a way for Sil 5+ ships to use Accelerate/Decelerate along with Fly in the same turn. I really with A/D was eliminated as a separate maneuver and Speed could simply be adjusted +/- 1 before or after (but not both) any Pilot Only maneuver.

1) True, but the problem there is what if the PCs specifically want to fly behind the ship? Gain the Advantage could be used to select the facing, but then the fighter will almost certainly win anyway.

 

2) I really hadn't considered that, thanks. I'd just sort of assumed everyone would minimise (Banks + Remainder). I should probably add that in a GM note sidebox, as barring rearrangement on the fly won't stop PCs just flying in with their guns in pairs, but it'd be hard to put rules text in to prevent that that doesn't either say "Minimise f(B, R)" or prevent PCs from arranging guns in smaller batteries when it makes for neater numbers (e.g. 4x4 rather than 2x6 + 1x4).

 

3) Delegate is intended to model minion group size, yeah. Adding crew quality rules would involve creating an entire new subsystem. It'd certainly be a useful one (Rogue Trader has one and lets ship crew take multiple simplified NPC actions per round which is also very handy for NPC ships), but it's bit beyond the scope of this short rework.

 

4) Yeah, I can see that. How does this sound?

Maneuver - All Ahead Full/Full Stop: The ship/vehicle suffers system strain equal to its silhouette, then may perform both an Accelerate/Decelerate and Fly/Drive maneuver. All checks made onboard the ship have their difficulty upgraded once until the end of the round (including any Difficult Terrain checks made as part of the Fly/Drive maneuver).

 

The Problem is Say I am at the end of the round and decide to do evasive maneuvers. Why does the guy immediately following my action get to shoot me with out penalty? Why do my evasive maneuvers not count for ****? Did my being evasive end at the end of the round? I would think not. I would think I would continue to be evasive till my turn comes up again rather than stopping being evasive at the end of the round and being a sitting duck till I act again. 

Right, except I've explained why I think buffs should only last until the end of the round for gameplay reasons. Could you provide a clear gameplay reason why you don't think it's a good idea?

 

Statements like "Did my being evasive end at the end of the round" are sort of meaningless, as the round is an arbitrary construct; things start and end as we choose. I can just as easily say "Why should a pilot have as hard a time hitting an evading drunk hutt (initiative 0) as an evading TIE Ace (initiative 4+) after round 1?".

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OK, I like a lot of this, and I have a few questions, comments, and suggestions.

 

1) I think that small craft should only be able to target the opponent's defense zone of choice at Close range. A fighter approaching an ISD from short range doesn't really have the same freedom to choose the target aspect as one dancing along it's hull.

 

2) Banks create some weirdness if they can be reassigned on the fly. Consider ten twin turbolasers. If unskilled NPCs are operating them then it's likely best to go with two banks of five weapons for a Gunnery 4. OTOH, with a skilled gunner leading them in Concentrated Fire, five banks of two weapons so that even a basic hit inflicts 5(!) hits. I haven't run the numbers entirely, but this seems potentially abusive.

 

3) Delegate seems to suggest that larger ships always have more skilled crews (or, rather larger minion hordes to effect a higher skill level). It seems like alternate rules for crew quality might be better than just linking this to Silhouette.

 

4) There really needs to be a way for Sil 5+ ships to use Accelerate/Decelerate along with Fly in the same turn. I really with A/D was eliminated as a separate maneuver and Speed could simply be adjusted +/- 1 before or after (but not both) any Pilot Only maneuver.

1) True, but the problem there is what if the PCs specifically want to fly behind the ship? Gain the Advantage could be used to select the facing, but then the fighter will almost certainly win anyway.

 

2) I really hadn't considered that, thanks. I'd just sort of assumed everyone would minimise (Banks + Remainder). I should probably add that in a GM note sidebox, as barring rearrangement on the fly won't stop PCs just flying in with their guns in pairs, but it'd be hard to put rules text in to prevent that that doesn't either say "Minimise f(B, R)" or prevent PCs from arranging guns in smaller batteries when it makes for neater numbers (e.g. 4x4 rather than 2x6 + 1x4).

 

3) Delegate is intended to model minion group size, yeah. Adding crew quality rules would involve creating an entire new subsystem. It'd certainly be a useful one (Rogue Trader has one and lets ship crew take multiple simplified NPC actions per round which is also very handy for NPC ships), but it's bit beyond the scope of this short rework.

 

4) Yeah, I can see that. How does this sound?

Maneuver - All Ahead Full/Full Stop: The ship/vehicle suffers system strain equal to its silhouette, then may perform both an Accelerate/Decelerate and Fly/Drive maneuver. All checks made onboard the ship have their difficulty upgraded once until the end of the round (including any Difficult Terrain checks made as part of the Fly/Drive maneuver).

 

The Problem is Say I am at the end of the round and decide to do evasive maneuvers. Why does the guy immediately following my action get to shoot me with out penalty? Why do my evasive maneuvers not count for ****? Did my being evasive end at the end of the round? I would think not. I would think I would continue to be evasive till my turn comes up again rather than stopping being evasive at the end of the round and being a sitting duck till I act again. 

Right, except I've explained why I think buffs should only last until the end of the round for gameplay reasons. Could you provide a clear gameplay reason why you don't think it's a good idea?

 

Statements like "Did my being evasive end at the end of the round" are sort of meaningless, as the round is an arbitrary construct; things start and end as we choose. I can just as easily say "Why should a pilot have as hard a time hitting an evading drunk hutt (initiative 0) as an evading TIE Ace (initiative 4+) after round 1?".

 

Yes I as a player would consider it a **** move for you the GM so nullify my action just because I went last.  IE I chose to go evasive and you cancelled it by having it no longer be in effect at the end of the turn immediately after I went. That is being a ****** and nullifying the action my character just made.  Just because somebody is faster than you and acts before you does not mean that your evasive maneuvers are completely useless. It just means you get to shoot first possibly destroying my ship. it should not however mean my actions have no effect on how easily they can hit me.  A character does not switch to flying straight and level just because the turn ended and then become an easy target until they get to act. 

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Agree with Daeglan. As a GM I won't want one of my players having a wasted action. I think the middle ground is that it lasts to the BEGINING of the players next turn, that way so the players turn isn't wasted but they aren't getting the added benefit you don't like.

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Agree with Daeglan. As a GM I won't want one of my players having a wasted action. I think the middle ground is that it lasts to the BEGINING of the players next turn, that way so the players turn isn't wasted but they aren't getting the added benefit you don't like.

Problem is with things like Gain the Advantage it need to last to the end of the players next turn. Otherwise that action also would also become useless. FFG set it up to go to the end of your next turn for a reason. 

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Problem is with things like Gain the Advantage it need to last to the end of the players next turn. Otherwise that action also would also become useless. FFG set it up to go to the end of your next turn for a reason. 

 

Agree with Daeglan. As a GM I won't want one of my players having a wasted action. I think the middle ground is that it lasts to the BEGINING of the players next turn, that way so the players turn isn't wasted but they aren't getting the added benefit you don't like.

Er, you're not really approaching this in a way that makes any sense. You don't waste your action if you evade at low initiative; you pick a different action. I'm open to criticism of this change, but it has to be properly thought out- the tack you're taking is "If I played exactly the same way in the new system as the old one then it wouldn't work" and that is exactly the point. You are supposed to play differently.

(Also GtA lasts until you lose the Advantage, even in the FFG version)

 

Also Daeglan you seem quite aggrieved by the very concept of changing initiative & round structure. I appreciate some people might be very wedded to the current way it's done (as it's broadly the same way as D&D et al back into antiquity) but seriously man, relax.

Edited by Talkie Toaster

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Well your method is screwing players. It is a bad idea. The fact that you can't see why it is a bad idea to make it so that things only last until the end of the turn I don't know what to tell you. But you are basically saying that any defensive actions a person takes are only effective until the end of the turn. As if for some reason that action stops occurring, It would be like you telling a person who jumped into cover that their cover bonus disappears at the end of the turn. People who fly evasively do so until they change their action at their turn. otherwise everyone at the lower end of the initiative is punished more than anyone else. That is not fair to those players. 

If you choose to evade because that is the best option for you you should not take that action away from the player just because they are low in the initiative order. And telling me i should choose a different action highlights the problem with your idea. 

My problem is by making your change you are screwing a bunch of your players. Don't do that. All actions should be equally valid at the top of the initiative as at the bottom of the initiative. If they are not there is something seriously wrong with your system. 

In D&D things carried over to the next turn till you acted again. Not the way you are doing it. 

Edited by Daeglan

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...you haven't outlined why it is a bad idea beyond "It doesn't fit into the current paradigm". You haven't approached this from any angle other than "As a player I think it would be unfair if I had to change how I played", rather than considering the systematic effects of the change.

 

Currently: If you have invested a ton in buffing your initiative, that only matters for the very first shot of combat. After that, you evade -> opponents evade -> you evade -> etc. Getting the alpha strike is the only benefit of having high initiative. Initiative runs off of Cunning/Vigilance or Presence/Cool, stats & skills that are generally less valued than say Agility/Gunnery. My change would make these stats more useful, so that evasive maneuvers are less useful against pilots who have better reactions than you. If you want a 'physical' example, consider trying to evade someone who has faster reactions than you; it's ineffective as they can adjust faster than you can. Of course, this is just one interpretation of initiative; like all mechanics it is inherently an abstraction. You can abstract the same thing in multiple different ways.

 

The idea that when you make a decision you act the same way until your next round where you 'refresh' your decision is not the only interpretation that makes sense; many systems point out that as a round is a single (1 minute in this case) time window, everything within that round occurs simultaneously- otherwise you're running into the problem that if Character A at the end of initiative in round 1 decides to run across the room, then really he's still going to be in the process of running across the room when Character B at the top of initiative acts in round 2. The typical interpretation is that everything within a round happens simultaneously, but you resolve what happens in order of initiative. Apart from buffs/debuffs. This isn't a natural thing that's an inherent part of the system, it's a conscious choice on the part of the game designers to run buffs this way.

 

 

If you choose to evade because that is the best option for you you should not take that action away from the player just because they are low in the initiative order. And telling me i should choose a different action highlights the problem with your idea.

This indicates that you have not understood any of my arguments. Under the new system, evade is not the best option. I am not taking away an option, I am creating a different set of rules. This is like complaining that rugby is obviously a terrible game because in football kicking is usually the best option and in rugby it isn't and saying "if you can't see why that is terrible I don't know what to tell you".


 

 

All actions should be equally valid at the top of the initiative as at the bottom of the initiative. If they are not there is something seriously wrong with your system.

Why. Why is this the case. It is not the case in X-Wing, and X-Wing is an excellent, successful, well-balanced game. Again, your objection is "This is not how these other games do it therefore it is wrong" and this is not a valid argument. Argument from tradition is no argument at all.

 

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Anyway, would you like to engage any of the other ideas in the document? I really don't want to have this thread just be a discussion of different interpretations of how a round works and the basic structure of game design and arguments.

Edited by Talkie Toaster

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Yes I have. You don't seem te get making options a character might take irrelevant based on where they happen to go in the initiative order is bad. I should be able to take evasive maneuvers and have them matter whether I take them at the top of the initiative order or at the bottom. When you cancel those defensive bonuses at the end of the turn that means you have negated a characters action. They may as well have taken no action at all. The reason games ALWAYS have things like this be in effect from their turn to their next turn is specifically because of not wanting to make a players action irrelevant. 

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Yes I have. You don't seem te get making options a character might take irrelevant based on where they happen to go in the initiative order is bad. I should be able to take evasive maneuvers and have them matter whether I take them at the top of the initiative order or at the bottom. When you cancel those defensive bonuses at the end of the turn that means you have negated a characters action. They may as well have taken no action at all. The reason games ALWAYS have things like this be in effect from their turn to their next turn is specifically because of not wanting to make a players action irrelevant. 

His system is suggesting that, at certain times, those actions are irrelevant and you would do well to take a different action. If you want those actions to be more relevant, you need to go earlier in the turn. This creates new (not necessarily better or worse) tactical options, and some groups will love this while others do not.

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Yes I have. You don't seem te get making options a character might take irrelevant based on where they happen to go in the initiative order is bad. I should be able to take evasive maneuvers and have them matter whether I take them at the top of the initiative order or at the bottom. When you cancel those defensive bonuses at the end of the turn that means you have negated a characters action. They may as well have taken no action at all. The reason games ALWAYS have things like this be in effect from their turn to their next turn is specifically because of not wanting to make a players action irrelevant. 

His system is suggesting that, at certain times, those actions are irrelevant and you would do well to take a different action. If you want those actions to be more relevant, you need to go earlier in the turn. This creates new (not necessarily better or worse) tactical options, and some groups will love this while others do not.

 

Which is wrong. Some times the correct action is to take is to take evasive action or whatever. It makes ABSOLUTELY no sense that if you take an action that action it suddenly has no effect because of an arbitrary time slice. That is the height of stupid and most game designers get that. What he is describing is someone turning and burning and making themselves a hard target then suddenly flying straight and level at the end of the turn. Does that make any sense at all to run things like that? Why should the guy at the top of the initiative order be the only guy that can benefit?

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Getting to shoot first is very very powerful. And in this system no one really wins initiative. You are just deciding where the pc slots are going to be. But making choices invalid just because of where the PCs action take place in the order is bad.


I am still waiting for someone to explain why if someone takes evasive maneuvers they are suddenly flying straight and level when the arbitrary moment of the end of the turn happens. Explain that.

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I am still waiting for someone to explain why if someone takes evasive maneuvers they are suddenly flying straight and level when the arbitrary moment of the end of the turn happens. Explain that.

Relative to the frame of reference of your ship, you are always flying straight and level — it’s the Universe that moves around you. And at the beginning of the next turn, maybe the pilots with higher initiative have caught up to the frame of reference of your ship, before they take their action.

The proposed system does make it a lot easier to deal with large numbers of ships in a mass combat scenario, because there is much less record keeping that you have to do from one round to the next. It gives up some things to get those advantages, however.

Daeglan — I have yet to see you make a single constructive comment in this thread.

Perhaps you want to work on that issue, instead of just moaning and complaining like someone is maliciously trying to steal your milk and cookies?

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i am still waiting for them to address the issue of making a characters actions irrelevant. That to me is a VERY serious issue. A GM should never effectively completely nullify a characters action. And talling a character to just take a different action is not a solution. Just because you take a later initiative slot should not preclude you from taking an action. And your response is not really a helpful one either. This is a problem many players are going to have with the system. And I guaranty many would be pissed about it if you pulled it on them. 

Making aBS explanation about it is not solving the issue. Costantly saying it is not an issue is not solving the issue. And it is about taking away a players agency. Which is poor game design. Evasive manuevers might not be the best option. But one should never just by fiat render the option irrelevant. and if you think about it doing it this way basically makes that manuever completely useless unless you are the first guy. If you are the 3rd initiative slot everyone gets free shots on you because you have made it so the defensive bonus does not carry over to your next turn. If you make something into a "Why would you ever do that option?" there is something seriously wrong with what you have done.  

If you want to make starship combat easier. Why not use the squad rules? You can make all the tie fighters flying with your ace a minion squad attached to the ace. Now the PCs can shoot at the ace and he just has his squadmates take it up to 12 times and the ACE gets a boost die. Poof your starship is much easier as you are only handling a couple ships. And you big bad ace is going to last a fairly long time as he can ignore effectively 12 shots without worry. And no need to track anything about those squadmates. 

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Under the RAW, if an enemy has used Gain the Advantage against you, you can still use Evasive Maneuvers even though they are pretty much useless against that opponent. His system says that using Evasive Maneuvers on a slower initiative slot than the guy(s) firing at you is using is pretty much useless. Neither removes player agency as you can still take other actions (or maneuvers).

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i am still waiting for them to address the issue of making a characters actions irrelevant. That to me is a VERY serious issue. A GM should never effectively completely nullify a characters action. And talling a character to just take a different action is not a solution. Just because you take a later initiative slot should not preclude you from taking an action. And your response is not really a helpful one either. This is a problem many players are going to have with the system. And I guaranty many would be pissed about it if you pulled it on them. 

Your actions are never rendered irrelevant, or nullified. You know before you take them whether or not evading will do anything. There are plenty of other actions and maneuvers you can take. This is not a thing the GM arbitrarily 'pulls' on the PCs, this is a rules change that effects everyone (including NPCs who, as I pointed out, tend to have lower initiative).

 

Making aBS explanation about it is not solving the issue. Costantly saying it is not an issue is not solving the issue. And it is about taking away a players agency. Which is poor game design. Evasive manuevers might not be the best option. But one should never just by fiat render the option irrelevant. and if you think about it doing it this way basically makes that manuever completely useless unless you are the first guy. If you are the 3rd initiative slot everyone gets free shots on you because you have made it so the defensive bonus does not carry over to your next turn. If you make something into a "Why would you ever do that option?" there is something seriously wrong with what you have done. 

...but it's not useless. If you have 4 enemies, and 4 PCs, even if initiative goes PC->NPC->PC->NPC->Etc. then the 3rd PC still benefits from evading against half the shots they take. They still have a range of meaningful actions they can take, so their agency isn't reduced.

 

If you want to make starship combat easier. Why not use the squad rules?

Could I ask, have you read any of the *other* rules I've written?

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Yes. Most of them I have no issue with. This one is seriously broken. It takes away and makes actions not worth using. Limiting choice needlessly. And makes me think you are not fully thinking through the ramification from a players point of view. You are making certain actions that should be the same effectiveness no matter when the player takes their action and making it irrelevant a significant amount t of the time. As unless the player is going early in the initiative it won't matter for most of the shots fired at them. Which makes it a why would I ever take an action that is severely gimped like this? That is bad game design. Pretty much every game I have ever seen specifically says till the players next action for this very reason.

You should not make player action less relevant just because of placement in initiative order. Which this change does. If my ship is seriously damaged and the best course of action is to go evasive and flee and this rule is in effect. You may have just killed a player because their best course of action does not actually do anything to help them. And the attitude well just take a different action is a poor response. Going first already has plenty of benefit with out you making it even better. Going last is its own penalty with out you making it even less desirable

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Yes. Most of them I have no issue with. This one is seriously broken. It takes away and makes actions not worth using. Limiting choice needlessly. And makes me think you are not fully thinking through the ramification from a players point of view. You are making certain actions that should be the same effectiveness no matter when the player takes their action and making it irrelevant a significant amount t of the time. As unless the player is going early in the initiative it won't matter for most of the shots fired at them. Which makes it a why would I ever take an action that is severely gimped like this? That is bad game design. Pretty much every game I have ever seen specifically says till the players next action for this very reason.

I've already pointed out why it's not limiting choice 'needlessly', that it's for a purpose. You are just stating as a fact that actions should always be the same effectiveness regardless of initiative position which is at best an argument from tradition. PCs tend to go earlier in initiative than NPCs, so this change is not punishing players; they come out better from it.

 

You should not make player action less relevant just because of placement in initiative order.

You keep stating this as if it's self-evident fact. It's not. Different actions are more or less relevant in different contexts; I don't see why how fast your reflexes are compared to the other pilots in the combat is a context that is off-limits, other than that it's not one that's traditionally used.

 

If my ship is seriously damaged and the best course of action is to go evasive and flee and this rule is in effect. You may have just killed a player because their best course of action does not actually do anything to help them. And the attitude well just take a different action is a poor response. Going first already has plenty of benefit with out you making it even better. Going last is its own penalty with out you making it even less desirable

If your ship is severely damaged then now your best course of action is Fly/Drive twice. If you really need to evade, then take the highest initiative PC slot. If the enemy has faster reflexes, the same speed, and is a Nemesis with an equal or larger pool of free Strain & System Strain to double-move with and is intent on chasing a fleeing PC down to kill them then I don't think it's a problem that my rules make it ~10-20% easier to do so (the problem there lies with your GM).

As I've repeatedly pointed out, going first is only a benefit in round 1; after that, you alternate. The other rules changes are intended to make starfighters less glass-cannony, reducing the benefit of getting the first shot.

 

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Annoyingly this is the least interesting change and the one I'm least attached to; I even put that in the OP. I'd really appreciate comments from anyone (even Daeglan!) on the other content.

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