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Millennium Falsehood

How do I make Star Destroyers intimidating?

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Currently I'm facing a dilemma of how to make Star Destroyers actually intimidating. Even the Interdictor wasn't much of a challenge when I threw it at my characters. The weapons barely ever scored any hits, and when they did the engineer patched them up fairly easily. There was just too great of a difference in the size class between the freighter and the ISD for the monster's weapons to be much of a threat, even if the damage incurred would be disastrous.

 

Is this how it's supposed to be? Am I playing the ISD wrong? Because it seems like it should be like the scenes in TESB when the ISDs were chasing after the Millennium Falcon.

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Are you freaking kidding me? Anyone not intimidated by the appearance of an ISD is either stupid, insane or dead. Those things are space-going horrors.

 

First of all they have a bajillion weapons emplacements. You group these together like minions in, say, groups of 5. Next you take a typical Imperial Gunner minion with his Agility 3. This gives you some 4-6 dice pools with 3Y and 1G each. Then you can realistically assume that the gunnery crews of an ISD (a front-line, best-equipment-available type warship) are equipped with some equivalent of the targeting goggles from Stay on Target, upgrading the attack check once. Next, they spend a manoeuvre aiming, and since most weapons are slow-firing they spend a manoeuvre aiming int the downtime round as well. That's two boost dice. And finally there's bound to be a gunnery sergeant-type person who uses the Fire Discipline action, which adds another boost die. I'd treat each minion group as a single gunner for purposes of this action. So, you're left with 4Y and 3B vs. 5 purples, multiplied by 4-6 checks in a single round or spread over 2-3 rounds. At least one of those should land a hit, and that's going to hurt.

 

Second, there's the 72 TIE fighters an ISD carries. A single squadron of 12 TIEs is going to inflict serious punishment on any PC ship, even if you give your players the soft option and treat them as 2-3 minion groups. 12 rival pilots in TIEs will blow anyone out of the air in one round flat.

 

And that's not even considering the various other vessels (Skipray Blastboats, assault gunboats, boarding shuttles filled with 40 stormtroopers and so on) or the ISD's tractor beams with a strength of 6.

 

Oh, and remember your group's engineer (or anyone else) can only make a single combat repairs check per ship per encounter. Anything he can't fix with that check can only be fixed with talents like Hold Together, signature abilities or by setting down in port for repairs.

Edited by Krieger22

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I'm thinking you did something wrong. Besides what others have mentioned:

The weapons barely ever scored any hits, and when they did the engineer patched them up fairly easily.

That sounds super fishy. The to-hit thing, yeah, that sounds ok. Assuming a skill of 2:3 the SSD will hit only about 1/4 to 1/6 of the time, and usually generate a pile o Threat for the trouble, and that's about how it's supposed to work. But the "patched them up fairly easily" sounds off. Just off hand, assuming a YT-1300...

A single hit from a light turbolaser will do a minimum 10 damage, with a breach of 3. YT has a stock armor of 4, so still minimum of 9 points of damage. YT has a HT of only 22. So a YT-1300 can only take (at best) two hits from a light turbo laser. Hit 3 and it's out of commission...

So Repairs... you can make only 1 repair check per encounter (you knew that right?). So even a good mechanic (say skill 3:3), repairing on an easy check with no setbacks after that first hit is still only going to be able to fix somewhere around 3-5 HT per roll. That's not really "easily" to me.... that's more "Ok, if we're lucky we can survive hit no 3 now, but by 4 we are toast."

Also something you may have missed: Note the range on the players ship, and the range on those turbolasers. So yeah, the Star Destroyer is gonna have a heck of a time landing a hit, but it can keep trying for a while.

Is this how it's supposed to be? Am I playing the ISD wrong? Because it seems like it should be like the scenes in TESB when the ISDs were chasing after the Millennium Falcon.

Well lets review:

First off, it's a chase. So just keep in mind that the movement rules will be a little different, but the short end of it is in open space the players may have trouble keeping the lead.

As a chase the players will typically be beyond close range, so they probably won't be shooting back. The Star Destroyer will be unaffected...

so now the SSD can shoot. Assuming it's using Battery rules, and the players are in front of the SSD, and the SSD isn't feeling Ioncannony today, the SSD can shoot 3 times.

Using the highly unscientific "just roll the dice a few times" and assuming a Gunners skill of 3:2, and a shield rating on the target of 2 (angled deflectors), I am able to land 4 hits over the course of 5 turns, though I do regularly generate both Triumphs and noteworthy amounts of threat...

Sounds ok to me...

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Add the fact that an ISD is crewed by over 30.000+ people, they have groups of technicians that spend their rounds slicing the system of your group (several times), boost shields and spoofing missiles, officers that use Fire Discipline to boost the damage and accuracy of their minion groups, ...

Then there is the sheer number of Turbolasers in various configurations, ion canons and tractor beams. 

Theoretically there are up to 12 5-man/tower-groups of Turoblasers alone. Depending on arc only 3-6 can shoot at you.

Just roll 3 times 4Y3B vs 5P?B every round (up until long range). How many rounds are they going to last?

 

 

Want to really stack the odds?

Captain with Inspiring Rethoric (Improved) +1B

Leutnant who uses Fire Discipline +1B

Minion Group of 5 with 1 rank of True Aim 4Y

Modified Turoblasers with modified Advanced Targeting Array for 2 upgrades

Aim for 1 round and 1 action: +2B

You now roll 5Y4B against 5P and ?B.

Statistically you hit minimum50% of the time.

Edit: If i got something wrong please point it out.

 

My group saw a traitor commanding a Dreadnought-class heavy cruiser attacking an imperial convoy. Not fans of the Empire they rooted for him. Till a Victory I-class SD showed up to put an end to this pirate. I rolled rather well and obliterated the Dreadnought in 2 rounds.

My group has no desire to go up against anytig bigger that their corvette.

Edited by segara82

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I'm thinking you did something wrong. 

 

This is probably the core of the issue.

 

I started with the Edge rulebook, not the AoR starter, so I was already kind of at a disadvantage already. The main reason I did this was that, well, I'm a poor college student, and when I saw that there were two, a beginner's roleplaying game and the full version, I chose the full version. Buying 2 books vs. buying 1? No brainer. I figured that since I already had plenty of experience as both a GM and a player, as well as a ton of experience running Star Wars games, that I didn't need the starter kit, assuming that it was some sort of intro to roleplaying in general.

 

After wrestling with the rulebook, trying to understand it all with the help of a friend, we're still not entirely sure how to play the game, so it's unsurprising that I had issues with Imperials being easier to defeat than they should be.

 

But now... now it's going to have the feel I'm after. :) I'm going to test this out with an encounter with an Imperial Customs Corvette. Last time, I was WAY under-powering the rolls (like, 1Y2G at best for their rolls), and it was moving too slowly. This time I'll give the gunners some actual teeth, and between the two groups of three turbolasers and some coordination from the gunnery officer, the CC should give them a REAL taste of how tough Imperial ships are.

Edited by Millennium Falsehood

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I started with the Edge rulebook, not the AoR starter, so I was already kind of at a disadvantage already. The main reason I did this was that, well, I'm a poor college student, and when I saw that there were two, a beginner's roleplaying game and the full version, I chose the full version. Buying 2 books vs. buying 1? No brainer. I figured that since I already had plenty of experience as both a GM and a player, as well as a ton of experience running Star Wars games, that I didn't need the starter kit, assuming that it was some sort of intro to roleplaying in general.

 

After wrestling with the rulebook, trying to understand it all with the help of a friend, we're still not entirely sure how to play the game, so it's unsurprising that I had issues with Imperials being easier to defeat than they should be.

 

 

There are a lot of fan made supplements that can help with learning the game, but another really great one is the order 66 podcasts.  Yes, you have to wade through the chatter in the beginning of each episode but they have some really good ideas and ways for beginners to learn the system.  And absolutely listen to Skill Monkey.  

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Turbolasers are designed for combat against large emplacements and capital ships.  It's perfectly reasonable that a freighter could outmaneuver and dodge them with relative ease (see all Star Wars movies ever made).

 

However, the TIE's, on the other hand, are going to be much more lethal and, with 72 of them in assorted varieties -- from standard to bomber to advanced to defender -- they're going to be able to make quick work of a freighter; especially if they're operating in wings.

 

As a GM, stress the importance of running away and have a clock that's counting down on the party.  Sure, they might be able to destroy the first wave of 3-6 TIEs, but make sure that they notice the other dozen that the ISD just launched.  Once they realize that they're eventually going to be overwhelmed, they should get the idea that these are not fun things to mess with.

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Dont forget that light anti starfighter weapons on capatoal ships count their silhouette as one less when determinign dificulty. I dont have the book right now but that is found on a side bar in the edge of the empire book. That can be a big deal with the sil 5 capital ships.

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But now... now it's going to have the feel I'm after. :) I'm going to test this out with an encounter with an Imperial Customs Corvette. Last time, I was WAY under-powering the rolls (like, 1Y2G at best for their rolls), and it was moving too slowly. This time I'll give the gunners some actual teeth, and between the two groups of three turbolasers and some coordination from the gunnery officer, the CC should give them a REAL taste of how tough Imperial ships are.

Don't be afraid to dummy up the players ship and just do some roll offs by yourself. While a Star Destroyer should have teeth, murdering the players isn't as fun as it sounds, even if they totally deserve it.

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RULE 1

Your a GM... Your ISD Does what it needs to do for your encounter barring Rolls.

AN ISD is a MASSIVE ... READ MASSIVE capital ship, Forget rolling dice.

 

This is how I'd do it.

 

I don't think I've had any players that were SO invested in the idea of turning an RPG into a tactical wargame that they'd consider an actual Star Destroyer anything more than a plot element to be handled narratively.

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But now... now it's going to have the feel I'm after. :) I'm going to test this out with an encounter with an Imperial Customs Corvette. Last time, I was WAY under-powering the rolls (like, 1Y2G at best for their rolls), and it was moving too slowly. This time I'll give the gunners some actual teeth, and between the two groups of three turbolasers and some coordination from the gunnery officer, the CC should give them a REAL taste of how tough Imperial ships are.

Don't be afraid to dummy up the players ship and just do some roll offs by yourself. While a Star Destroyer should have teeth, murdering the players isn't as fun as it sounds, even if they totally deserve it.

 

Remember that just because their ship goes above its hull trauma threshold it doesn't mean that the people on board are killed. The ship is just disabled, floating helplessly in space. The PCs are free to await rescue/capture or leave in the escape pods to come back and salvage it later.

 

 

Well, in my career as a player, I've destroyed 2 Star Destroyers, 1 Keldabe battle cruiser and captured a third Star Destroyer...  All without a capital ship of my own.

If that is really the case then you're either playing a crazy high-level campaign or your GM isn't doing his job.

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sure you could take out an ISD with a single ship

 

If your GM lets you.

 

 i should fire up my Copy of X-wing alliance and show a video of me taking down a ISD with just a single TIE fighter.

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Who said anything about attacking it in a ship?  The first one, we sabotaged essential engine parts that were on a transport we had hijacked to get aboard the ISD in the first place.  3 months later, one of them failed and caused a catastrophic core breech.  The second one we had a party on board another derelict ISD when another one jumped into system.  It established a secure Imperial computer link between the two to assess the damage and prepare for their boarding action.  We hijacked that signal and piggybacked a virus to their life support system that caused it to vent all sections to space over the course of the next 3 days.

 

On the Keldabe, we were escaping and freeing the thousands of slaves on board the ship.  While the security forces dealt with the slave revolt, we high-tailed it to engineering and set the core to blow.  Then we told the bridge and tried to convince them to abandon ship.  I had originally planned to stop the meltdown, but couldn't and the ship started to blow up as we were leaving via escape pods (that didn't work out as well as I'd hoped).

 

We captured the ISD after commandeering half a dozen Imperial Transports and loading them up with troops.  While 90% of the ships ground troops were engaged in a search for us on the surface of the planet and using stolen authentication credentials, we landed our invasion force in the hanger bay.  Once we secured the landing site and locked the docking bay behind us, we made for the bridge and engineering, securing the key areas of the ship -- which we then forced the bridge crew to jump to hyperspace as the ground forces were scrambled to fly back.

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Who said anything about attacking it in a ship?  The first one, we sabotaged essential engine parts that were on a transport we had hijacked to get aboard the ISD in the first place.  3 months later, one of them failed and caused a catastrophic core breech.  The second one we had a party on board another derelict ISD when another one jumped into system.  It established a secure Imperial computer link between the two to assess the damage and prepare for their boarding action.  We hijacked that signal and piggybacked a virus to their life support system that caused it to vent all sections to space over the course of the next 3 days.

 

On the Keldabe, we were escaping and freeing the thousands of slaves on board the ship.  While the security forces dealt with the slave revolt, we high-tailed it to engineering and set the core to blow.  Then we told the bridge and tried to convince them to abandon ship.  I had originally planned to stop the meltdown, but couldn't and the ship started to blow up as we were leaving via escape pods (that didn't work out as well as I'd hoped).

 

We captured the ISD after commandeering half a dozen Imperial Transports and loading them up with troops.  While 90% of the ships ground troops were engaged in a search for us on the surface of the planet and using stolen authentication credentials, we landed our invasion force in the hanger bay.  Once we secured the landing site and locked the docking bay behind us, we made for the bridge and engineering, securing the key areas of the ship -- which we then forced the bridge crew to jump to hyperspace as the ground forces were scrambled to fly back.

 

See, now that makes sense.

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Well, an ImpStar can glass a planet in 24 hours with sustained turbolaser fire, and I would straight out love to see the facial expressions of a party when the ISD disgorges 72 TIE fighters after their freighter...

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