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knasserII

Fighter combat is so confusing! Questions!

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I'm preparing for my group's first ship to ship combat next session and I'm struggling to get my head around it all. It's a weird mix of too simple and too complicated all at the same time. Are there any worked examples anywhere for this?

Also, a specific question (I'm sure I'll have more): How can something at Speed 3 ever catch up to anything? Looking at the description of the Fly/Drive manoeuvre, if the fastest your ship can go is Speed 4 or less, then you can only ever move between Close and Short range (costing one manoeuvre) and between Short and Medium range (costing two manoeuvres). Unless you can get up to Speed 5 you can never move between Long and Medium range. Is that right? The Millenium Falcon will never, ever catch up with that Speederbike on the other side of the forest. Did Xeno write this rule book? ;) What am I missing here.

Also, are there any common gotchas or things I need to look out for? Or simple house rules that are popular for this?

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You can spend moving maneuvers over multiple rounds, it doesn't have to be all at once.  Note that if one vehicle is constantly trying to leave, and another to close, you really should jump over to the Chase rules, rather than the standard combat rules.

 

I know people do have house rules for this, but I find the system works just fine unless you're doing a lot of starfighter combat with skilled people in fighters on both sides.

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Yeah, the range bands are always relative to your position. So if you are at Long Range from something, you take your maneuvers and move to Medium Range.

 

NOTE: If someone is running from you, then it's a chase and you should use the chase rules (competitive Piloting skill checks, results modified by any difference in current speed).

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Everything Ghostofman said. 

 

Also, just because you can only use 2 vehicle maneuvers in a round (and thus only 2 Fly/Drive manuevers) doesn't mean you can only move twice in a round. The Begginner Game has an example for a speeder chase of using your action to make an Opposed Piloting Check to move as if it had taken a Fly/Drive maneuver, but only to close in on an opponent (You could probably have an inverse action using Deception vs Discipline/Perception where a feint increases the range band between a player and the target opponent.)

 

Remember, the rules should be more of a foundation less than a limit. If your players come up with a quirky way of equaling the odds, let the dice decide with setback or boost equal to how much you want/don't want them to succe-I mean, how difficult or easy you think their action would be given the context of the combat I.E: A furball with over 3 dozen fighters zipping around or obscuring terrain on the field, would make it easy to shake off enemy fighters. Not so much if you're the only prey in close range and out in the open.

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Interesting to bring up.

I was assuming he engines are always on and propulsion is forward. Your in space. So otherwise stated by your players-- just floating idle or just casually flying between their speed bands (0-3 if speed 3). Even in most space movies or shows they are always moving...in firefly even if the engines died the life support died.

That being said a ship will be constantly moving forward. If you take a maneuver action your are moving range bands as per the rule. Now that forces another ship to make a maneuver to pull away that range band if they want to avoid fire.

Little more perspective. Initiative: So mark imaginary or physically where the ships are in space. One will move let's say- 4 inches forward if it is maxed out at 4 inches. If the other ship is Max 3 inches it goes three. In between the ships normal propulsion the character can take that maneuver to close bands. If the slow ship is smart it will move because the other ship will always be slightly ahead unless it doesn't make maneuvers to move a range band. A fast ship should do so as well to make sure they are always close enough to fire.

Now I don't know the rules by heart-- but if the shop can take system strain to pull another maneuver it can try to push the ship to the limits to out run a fast ship but at the cost of scifi Sparks exploding out of random consoles and having people run around repairing the strain-- which makes for an awesome scene anyway as they try and escape the fast ship, scrambling around yelling at others to repair the new conduit that just exploded off the wall.

R2!!! Spray that fire!!! Ahhhh move faster! I'm giving her all she's got captain! I'm a leaf on the wind etc etc...

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I don't like Order 66, nor the devs responses.  I think a really good job was done recently in the Tales from the Hydian Way podcast:

 

http://www.madadventurers.com/category/field-recordings/tales-from-the-hydian-way/

 

Episodes 23 and 24.  No fluff, right to the topic.  23 does suffer from some sound issues, but it's the first time I've felt inspired enough to work up an extended space combat instead of a simple 4 turn chase.

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Interesting to bring up.

I was assuming he engines are always on and propulsion is forward. Your in space. So otherwise stated by your players-- just floating idle or just casually flying between their speed bands (0-3 if speed 3). Even in most space movies or shows they are always moving...in firefly even if the engines died the life support died.

That being said a ship will be constantly moving forward. If you take a maneuver action your are moving range bands as per the rule. Now that forces another ship to make a maneuver to pull away that range band if they want to avoid fire.

Little more perspective. Initiative: So mark imaginary or physically where the ships are in space. One will move let's say- 4 inches forward if it is maxed out at 4 inches. If the other ship is Max 3 inches it goes three. In between the ships normal propulsion the character can take that maneuver to close bands. If the slow ship is smart it will move because the other ship will always be slightly ahead unless it doesn't make maneuvers to move a range band. A fast ship should do so as well to make sure they are always close enough to fire.

Now I don't know the rules by heart-- but if the shop can take system strain to pull another maneuver it can try to push the ship to the limits to out run a fast ship but at the cost of scifi Sparks exploding out of random consoles and having people run around repairing the strain-- which makes for an awesome scene anyway as they try and escape the fast ship, scrambling around yelling at others to repair the new conduit that just exploded off the wall.

R2!!! Spray that fire!!! Ahhhh move faster! I'm giving her all she's got captain! I'm a leaf on the wind etc etc...

 

 

Not quite clear on what you're saying, but I can say:

Per RAW, if you aren't doing a "Chase" or Fly/Drive action, no range bands change. Doesn't matter how fast or slow you're going that's just how it is.

 

The FFG vehicle movement system works a little different. A vehicles speed has less to do with actual forward momentum and velocity and more to do with it's ability to leverage that momentum and velocity when it needs to.

 

Word Problem:

You have a TIE interceptor going Speed 6, a YT-1300 going Speed 4, and a fixed turbolaser tower going speed 0 all at Close range to each other. The YT-1300 angles his deflectors (non-pilot maneuver) and Takes evasive action (pilot maneuver). The TIE does a sensor sweep (non-pilot maneuver) and Gain the Advantage (pilot maneuver). The turbolaser tower Aims at the YT-1300 and fires.

1)At the end of the turn, what range band is TIE/I from the tower and why?

2)What was the difficulty of the TIE/I's Gain the Advantage check and why?

Answer:

1) Close. Neither the TIE/I or the Tower made a fly/drive maneuver this turn. Narratively all the action took place as teh fighters flew around the tower.

2)Easy. The TIE/I has better engines and can better leverage it's speed advantage over the YT-1300

 

Word Problem 2:

A Jedi master leaves Corascant in a starfighter with a x1 hyperdrive and flies to Kamino. There he mobilizes 102,000 soldiers along with all support equipment and vehicles and loads them onto 20 Acclamator Assault ships with x.6 hyperdrives, and orders them to fly to Geonosis. How much time passes between the Jedi master leaving corascant and the soldiers arriving on geonosis? Why?

Answer:

Exactly the amount of time that needs to, because the GM said so.

What? you don't like it? I can always send em back! Fine, the troopers don't arrive. The Geonosians eventually tire of your shenanigans in the arena and just open fire with a turbolaser. You all die, the end. You know the campaign notes had you staying on Tatooine, getting called back to Corascant and leading the clone army, but no, when given the option of going back to Corascant and getting an army, and going to Geonosis alone and wandering aimlessly through a factory full of killer droids, you chose the factory...so really you brought this on yourselves.

Edited by Ghostofman

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Word Problem:

You have a TIE interceptor going Speed 6, a YT-1300 going Speed 4, and a fixed turbolaser tower going speed 0 all at Close range to each other. The YT-1300 angles his deflectors (non-pilot maneuver) and Takes evasive action (pilot maneuver). The TIE does a sensor sweep (non-pilot maneuver) and Gain the Advantage (pilot maneuver). The turbolaser tower Aims at the YT-1300 and fires.

1)At the end of the turn, what range band is TIE/I from the tower and why?

2)What was the difficulty of the TIE/I's Gain the Advantage check and why?

Answer:

1) Close. Neither the TIE/I or the Tower made a fly/drive maneuver this turn. Narratively all the action took place as teh fighters flew around the tower.

2)Easy. The TIE/I has better engines and can better leverage it's speed advantage over the YT-1300

 

Word Problem 2:

A Jedi master leaves Corascant in a starfighter with a x1 hyperdrive and flies to Kamino. There he mobilizes 102,000 soldiers along with all support equipment and vehicles and loads them onto 20 Acclamator Assault ships with x.6 hyperdrives, and orders them to fly to Geonosis. How much time passes between the Jedi master leaving corascant and the soldiers arriving on geonosis? Why?

Answer:

Exactly the amount of time that needs to, because the GM said so.

What? you don't like it? I can always send em back! Fine, the troopers don't arrive. The Geonosians eventually tire of your shenanigans in the arena and just open fire with a turbolaser. You all die, the end. You know the campaign notes had you staying on Tatooine, getting called back to Corascant and leading the clone army, but no, when given the option of going back to Corascant and getting an army, and going to Geonosis alone and wandering aimlessly through a factory full of killer droids, you chose the factory...so really you brought this on yourselves.

 

 

Yay!  I passed the pop quiz!  :D

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  • You don't need to roll piloting every turn to "not crash" it's assumed the pilot isn't a moron and can change the radio station without careening off the road.

 

I like this one. Even in the narrow canyons in the Arda adventure, they only make you roll piloting when the conditions change and once for when combat starts. Makes it so that flying in canyons or asteroids isn't a death trap.

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  • You don't need to roll piloting every turn to "not crash" it's assumed the pilot isn't a moron and can change the radio station without careening off the road.

I like this one. Even in the narrow canyons in the Arda adventure, they only make you roll piloting when the conditions change and once for when combat starts. Makes it so that flying in canyons or asteroids isn't a death trap.

But isn't combat much better when it's like this?

(Note: if you find the continuing panels tedious after a while, just read the last frame to get the jist)

(Edit: for Haley's benefit, if you're reading this, it's a "bonus strip" from the Darths & Droids comic wherein there is an incredibly long "sub-round" of grappling between Padme and a Geonosian on the conveyor belt in Attack of the Clones, right before she falls into that big smelting crucible. The "grapple" in the movie takes like a couple seconds, but the scene in the comic is composed of dozens of dice rolls and lengthy adjudications in a ridiculously long comic strip, with each comic panel being approximately a frame-by-frame accounting from the film itself. Because in some games the idea is present that there is a roll for every single minute detail)

Edited by awayputurwpn

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if you're like me and just had a fundamental disconnect with vehicle combat, this might help a bit.  It took me awhile to get an "ah hah" moment, when I figured out that, essentially, vehicle combat runs the same as personal combat.  There are differences, of course, and vehicle combat has a bunch more maneuvers than personal combat.  But they're essentially the same.  Here's some of the differences, which are really just different takes on the same concepts:

 

  • For personal combat, moving between range bands is pretty straightforward.  It costs one maneuver to move from engaged to short, and short to medium, while it takes 2 maneuvers to move from medium to long and long to extreme.  Basically, personal combat assumes that everyone can move at roughly the same speed (for comparison purposes, everyone moves the same as a speed 2 vehicle would in vehicle combat).  Vehicle combat has the same concept, but the number of bands you can move, and how many maneuvers it costs, is based on speed, which, as I said, doesn't really exist in personal combat.  I finally got that when I designed my range band meter and added text to the various bands to tell you how many maneuvers it would take to move to a particular band, based on speed.  I, personally, haven't memorized this yet :) but it helped clarify some things for me.
  • Even though you're technically "moving" in space all the time, it doesn't matter as far as mechanics go.  Just like in personal combat, you only move when you spend maneuvers to do so (Fly/Drive), and range from different opponents can be different, just like it is in personal combat.  You can treat speed 0 as if you're immobilized :) and can't spend maneuvers to move.
  • You don't have to roll piloting every time you do a Fly/Drive, just like you don't have to perform a check when you move in personal scale (there's no Move or Run skill :) ).  Think of piloting in vehicle combat like Athletics or Coordination in personal combat.  You only have to make the roll if there's some obstacle or overcome, or if the action you're performing requires it.
  • The difficulty to hit with a vehicle weapon isn't based on range like it is in personal combat, but rather silhouette differences.  Note that the same actually applies in personal combat as well, it just doesn't come up much (unless you're fighting a rancor).  In this instance, firing vehicle weapons is more like melee in personal combat, rather than ranged attacks.  If the two ships are within 1 silhouette of each other, difficulty is 2, period.  The reasoning they give is that targeting computers make range irrelevant.  The only time range comes into play in vehicle combat is to determine the maximum range that they can be fired.

 

Once you get these basics, it makes vehicle combat a lot simpler to conceptualize.  Note that I'm not going to get into all the various actions and maneuvers you can perform, mainly because I'm not an expert at vehicle combat by any stretch of the imagination.  These actions are a lot more involved than personal combat, and can be limited by vehicle silhouette, speed, and whether or not you're the pilot.  But if you get the basics (i.e., it's essentially the same as personal combat with a few variations), it'll make the rest fall into place.  At least it did for me :)

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Hi guys, I have a question about ship defense. I understand that the system is very narrative when it comes to ship combat. When two ships are locked in combat at short range they are constantly jockeying for position for a good shot. My question is if I were to angle the ship shields to the forward position would the enemy ship only shoot at my front side, because that's where I want to keep the enemy at all times. Would it require the enemy ship to perform a Gain the Advantage action to shoot at my expose back side. Or is it a more narrative thing with the game as the GM just says where the attack is coming from.
 

Edited by Typath

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