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Midnight_X2

Ramming Enemy Vessels

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Hello Fellow Gamers,

 

I've run into a bit of a snag with my long going Edge of the Empire campaign. My group's pilot has come up with the ridiculous tactic or purposefully ramming the hero's silhouette 5 Wayfarer-Class Medium Freighter into enemy silhouette 3 fighters.

 

First, I need help with the results of a successful collision. Using EotE page 252 collision damage is listed simply as a critical hit roll factoring the ship's defense relative to the severity of collision (in these cases a major collision). Because these rules were never intended for purposefully trying to ram a bulk freighter through smaller ships it only calls for a critical roll with no damage or system strain involved. I hate house rules, but how can I enhance this to make the results of ramming more detrimental (damaging to both parties involved)?

 

Second, there's the act of actually performing the collision. This is occurring against smaller, typically faster, starships. I was shooting out difficulty ranges on the fly during our session but I think I've settled on using the Gain the Advantage maneuver. This should make it much harder for the hero's slow moving transport to make contact with a starfighter. What do you think of my solution?

 

I appreciate your insights into how to adjudicate this outlier (oh the things players will come up with). I don't want to dismiss an ingenuitive idea out of hand; however, clearly there's a more structured system needed to handle this before it gets out of hand.

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There's some more on this, I believe, in Stay on Target for AoR, there's even a ramming attachment there I believe :ph34r:

 

EDIT:

To hit? In short: use Gain the Advantage difficulty to hit target vehicle and resolve as normal collision as per collision rules (i.e. roll for critical hit). As I see you've already settled on, as it makes a lot of sense, now it's also kind of RAW (it's in a sidebar, so I guess some would call it optional..). Page 65 SoT.

 

Now should that be a minor or major critical hit? And which for who? I guess that depends on advantages and/or threat :ph34r: but arguably, and SoT doesn't go into detail on this at all, you could of course let speed difference mean something (higher speed decreases crit hit), silhouette also arguably (higher silhouette ramming increases crit hit, higher silhouette rammed decreases crit hit), to either modify the crit up or down (haven't checked if RAW already does this) in addition to the normal defence modifications... It depends on how detailed you want to go and what Cumbersome rating you want to deal with.

Edited by Jegergryte

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I haven't thought about intentional collisions yet. On the fly, my solution might be something like this:

 

To hit another ship with a Piloting check the difficulty is based on relative size, just as with weapon fire, but then upgraded by half the enemy's Speed; their defense is going to count, as well. The base damage would be your Speed x your Silhouette (for both, of course), Armour applying. For each Success you can either increase the opponent's or decrease your own damage. Advantages/Threats do System Strain, respectively. Triumphs/Despairs can go into crits.

 

Edit: Double Silhouette x Speed is more realistic, possibly.

Edited by Grimmerling

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a bigger, less maneuverable starship wants to ram a much smaller, more maneuverable and probably much faster one? seems simple enough to adjucate. it's impossible at almost all times. ;)

 

the collision rules in ffg star wars are... "cinematic" at best.

 

2 spaceships of similar size head on-ramming each other would usually destroy both of them. a bigger one will never be able to "hit" a smaller one (unless the smaller one is already seriously damaged or can't move for some reason). if it can hit the smaller one the target will be destroyed. if the smaller one wants to "kamikaze a-wing" into the bigger one, you can use the rules as written. the smaller ship is kaputt of course.

 

i simply don't see a spaceship intentionally ramming another one. it's really silly, considering the range they usually are to each other and the result this would have in reality. orc ramships are fun in battlefleet gothic, but i think the collison rules for ffg star wars are only really suited to stuff like the falcon losing it's sensor dish while flying through the death star and not much else.

 

this question made me think of an article i read ages ago in dragon magazine. the marvels of internet technology enable me to share this gem with you as well:

 

http://annarchive.com/files/Drmg196.pdf (i hope this is legal... :ph34r:)

 

read the editorial and don't forget to get to the second part on page 16. :blink:

Edited by shlominus

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As mentioned, this is officially covered in the Stay on Target supplement.  The official rule is, as was said, the same as the Gain the Advantage action:  Make a Piloting check with a difficulty based on relative speed (Table 7-3).  If you succeed, both ships suffer a collision as per the standard rules (which also means that the GM decides whether it is a major or minor collision).

 

And yes, there is also an official "Ram" attachment for ships, which grants a ship the equivalent of bonus shields for purposes of mitigating critical hits in collisions.

 

However, as shlominus said, the official rule is very "cinematic" at best, and incredibly unrealistic even by Star Wars standards.  Deliberately ramming one starship with another should be very difficult if the other pilot is (as one would assume) trying not to be rammed.  And ramming a faster, nimbler ship with a slower, clumsier ship would literally be almost impossible.

 

If I had to adjudicate a deliberate attempt to ram another ship, and didn't want to make it so "realistic" that it could never be done, I would do something like the following:

 

1. The attacker must be within Close range of the target ship to begin the ram attempt.

2. As an action, the attacker makes an opposed Piloting check against the pilot of the target ship.  Remember to factor in each ship's Handling.

3. Upgrade or downgrade the difficulty by the difference in the ships' current speeds.  i.e. Upgrade the difficulty once for each point of speed that the target is traveling faster than the attacker, or downgrade the difficulty once for each point of speed that the attacker is traveling faster than the target.

4. Upgrade or downgrade the attacker's check by the difference in the ships' relative sizes.  i.e. If the attacker's ship is smaller, upgrade his check once for each point that the target ship's silhouette exceeds his own.  If the attacker's ship is larger, downgrade his check once for each point that his ship's silhouette exceeds that of the target.

 

So better pilots in faster, smaller ships can fairly easily ram worse pilots in slower, larger ships.  Worse pilots in slower, larger ships will have a very hard time successfully ramming better pilots in faster, smaller ships.

 

If a Wayfarer attempts to ram a Z-95, for instance, the check would be as follows:

1. Set up a dice pool of the opposing piloting skills.  The Wayfarer's Handling of -2 adds 2 setback dice to the check.  The Z-95's Handling of +1 adds an additional setback die (since the pool is being constructed from the attacker's perspective).

2. Assuming the ships are traveling at full speed, the Wayfarer is moving at speed 3 and the Z-95 at 4.  Since the target is 1 faster than the attacker, upgrade the difficulty once.

3. The Wayfarer is silhouette 5 and the Z-95 is silhouette 3.  Since the target is 2 smaller than the attacker, downgrade the attacker's check twice.

 

So it is by no means impossible to complete the ramming attack; but it will be quite difficult.  The pilot of the big, bulky freighter has everything working against him (as he should).

 

If the attacker scores a net success on the opposed check, he successfully rams the target.  If he fails, the target evades him.

 

As to how to calculate the effects of a ramming attack, that's less clear.  But I would probably do something like the following (and this is very much open to revision):

 

1. Multiply the silhouettes of the two ships.  That is the base damage of the collision.

2. Subtract the speed of the target from the speed of the attacker (to a minimum of 1).  Multiply the difference by the result from step 1 (i.e. Silhouette X Silhouette X Relative Speed of Attacker).

3. The target suffers hull trauma equal to the result from step 2.  This is reduced by Armor as normal.  The attacker suffers half this amount of hull trauma (rounded up).  If the attacker happens to have a Ram attachment on his ship, he suffers only one-quarter hull trauma (rounded up).

4. Ramming attacks have a Crit value of 2.  i.e. 2 advantage on the attack roll can be used to trigger a critical hit.  Modify the critical hit roll by -5% per point of the target's shields.

5. Ramming attacks also have what you might call a "reverse-Crit" value of 3.  This means that 3 threat on the attack roll can (and usually should) be used to trigger a critical hit against the attacker.  Modify the critical hit roll by -5% per point of the attacker's shields.  If the attacker has a Ram attachment, this provides an additional -20% modifier.

6. With the GM's permission, a Triumph might be used to obliterate a smaller ship (destroying it instantly), especially if the damage caused by the ramming attack exceeds the target's hull trauma threshold.

 

So if the Wayfarer successfully rams the Z-95, the effects would be as follows:

1. The attacker is silhouette 5 and the target is silhouette 3.  5 X 3 = 15.

2. The attacker is moving at speed 3 and the target at 4.  3 - 4 = -1, which is rounded up to a minimum of 1.  15 x 1 = 15.

3. The Z-95 therefore suffers 15 damage.  The Wayfarer suffers half of this, or 8 damage.  If the Wayfarer had a Ram, it would suffer one-quarter, or 4 damage. Both numbers are reduced by Armor as normal.

4. Critical hits could be triggered against the Z-95 for 2 advantage.  It would reduce critical hit results by -5% for its shields of 1.

5. A critical hit would be suffered by the Wayfarer on a roll of 3 threat.  It would reduce critical hit results by -5% per point of shields assigned to the relevant zone at the time.  If it had a Ram, it would further reduce the results by -20%.

6. If a Triumph were rolled, this might be used to declare the Z-95 obliterated (nothing but space roadkill) since the damage had exceeded its hull trauma threshold.

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I think rewarding ramming without the attachment AT ALL is not a benefit. The whole tradeoff of the HWK ships is they start with no weapons, and you are effectively trying to give every ship "unarmed".

 

At my table I would stick to raw with having it automatically critical both ships so as to be a deterring factor for my Players.

 

I can fully see in planetary vehicles it is cannon to do this, like with podracing, but in starships it doesn't make logical sense.

 

Keep in mind this is Star Wars and not Star Trek where the universal ideals are different and they (Star Trek) seem to like to ram ships nearly all the time.

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Well every ship, by definition, already has "unarmed" - they don't need us to give it to them.  There's no way to prevent people from ramming their ships into things if they wish (other than taking a hardline stance of realism and just declaring, "You can't even try, he's too fast for you," or whatever).

 

And as Midnight pointed out by asking the question, the official rules regarding such things are very mild and extremely abstract.  Each side suffers one critical hit, period.  Things can't be worse or better than that, the attacker can't have any advantage over his target, and literally ramming the ships together doesn't even inflict a single point of hull trauma.

 

So if ramming is something your players will actually be attempting on a regular basis (and not just on one freak occasion per campaign, or something), then I would definitely think that more elaborate rules are called for.

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I agree that ramming another ship is a bad idea. But if it feels necessary to the players and is done I would use the Gain the Advantage rules like this:

 

Attacker rolls to Gain the Advantage (no minimum speed requirement for this) and if succeeds can ram the opposing ship on the NEXT round, provided the opponent doesn't Gain the Advantage back and cancel out the attacker on their turn.

 

For the damage I'm wondering would it be too little to simply inflict twice the level of critical hit as Hull Trauma? For example, if a Hard (3 purple ice) to fix Critical was inflicted then that ship would suffer 6 HT? This may or may not able to be soaked with armor. Or maybe 3x instead of 2? I'll have to mull this one over and hope my players don't try it soon.

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Ramming as a valid tactic? I give you 1 very valid reason...minion rules. Minions suffer a crit, -1 minion.

Happened in one my games a few weeks back. Characters had tie wings (4 ties) closing in on fore and aft in tight formation. The pilot, knowing he'd get shot up pretty bad decided he'd take a cue from his crazy Corellian freind and teacher. He decided to ram the tie group headeing right at them figuring they'd never expect it (ya think?). The crew angled and boosted the front shields and after an awesome roll he successfully took out 1 tie, and narratively described his double triumph as bothgroups loose their shot fr this round as the wing he crashed through was trying too hard to get out of the way, and with the debris and all, the group behind was maneuvering to avoid it. His crit was everyone on board took strain. It was well described, the very unlikely roll was fantastic and everybody laughed about it for hours. Needless to say, they got away with a bit of damade and a couple more crits (he was really cursing the added 10% afte his first crit almost immediately), but with an epic story to tell at the cantina now. In this case it was Sil 4 vs Sil 3, but still.

Normal tactic? Probably not, but under the right circumstaces....

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Just use the normal ramming rules, use the results on the GtA check something like this: uncancelled successes = Hull trauma to both ships, advantages = strain to rammed ship (and crew), threat = strain to ramming ship (and crew). Triumph modifies crit roll or ignores some or all of the armour of the rammed ship, Despair does the same, but to the ramming ship... or something along those lines.

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Ramming as a valid tactic? I give you 1 very valid reason...minion rules. Minions suffer a crit, -1 minion.

Happened in one my games a few weeks back. Characters had tie wings (4 ties) closing in on fore and aft in tight formation. The pilot, knowing he'd get shot up pretty bad decided he'd take a cue from his crazy Corellian freind and teacher. He decided to ram the tie group headeing right at them figuring they'd never expect it (ya think?). The crew angled and boosted the front shields and after an awesome roll he successfully took out 1 tie, and narratively described his double triumph as bothgroups loose their shot fr this round as the wing he crashed through was trying too hard to get out of the way, and with the debris and all, the group behind was maneuvering to avoid it. His crit was everyone on board took strain. It was well described, the very unlikely roll was fantastic and everybody laughed about it for hours. Needless to say, they got away with a bit of damade and a couple more crits (he was really cursing the added 10% afte his first crit almost immediately), but with an epic story to tell at the cantina now. In this case it was Sil 4 vs Sil 3, but still.

Normal tactic? Probably not, but under the right circumstaces....

 

The issue I see in allowing it is the same that I see of people with Force Move using the "lift them up really high and then letting them fall to their death"... technically it is in the rules, but that is not Star Wars or that is not the Star Wars I want at my table.

 

The moment they can "easy button" their way out of things the GM has lost control in my opinion.

 

Thankfully a Wayfarer can't ever "gain the Advantage" anyway so technically being that RAW requires ramming to use the gain the advantage rules, a Sil 5 ship could never ram. Though that is going 100% RAW, it is likely that is not RAI though.

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Strictly speaking SoT only advices to use those difficulties for the Piloting check, not that it's the same action, it's a Ramming action, not a Gain the Advantage action, the difficulties are determined the same way, but the actions are obviously different.

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Strictly speaking SoT only advices to use those difficulties for the Piloting check, not that it's the same action, it's a Ramming action, not a Gain the Advantage action, the difficulties are determined the same way, but the actions are obviously different.

 

Right but from a difficulty perspective per RAW the GTA states for a sil 5 ship the difficulty is "cannot be accomplished".

 

As I stated it is not RAI, and it is likely intended to use the rest of the action information and to ignore the silhouette limit, but unless it states "ignore this part of the rule" per RAW you don't "ignore this part of the rule". RAI (Rules as Intended) is not always RAW (Rules as Written). 

 

To the "actions are obviously different" part, that is one interpretation, yes. It would not be a wrong interpretation to say they ARE the same and it does have the limit. It is the fuzzy area that is left to the GM.

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Ok. So I take it you don't have Stay on Target? Fair enough.

 

RAW on ramming other starship from SoT (page 65): "... The difficulty of this piloting check is determined the same way as the difficulty of Gain the Advantage action ..." That only implies how to determine difficulty, not silhouette limitations (it only supplies a limitation on range, you have to be within close range to ram another ship). The RAW of ramming presents no silhouette limitation. To interpret such a limitation to ramming is not RAW, it's confusing one action for another. The Gain the Advantage action is surely limited by silhouette and speed, but this is not. It is borrowing an equation to determine difficulty on a Piloting check, that does not mean that limitations for a completely different action carry over.

 

I mean, if you look at GtA you see that the action, has its own effects, has its own limitations, but the difficulty equation doesn't automatically imply any of these limitations, its an equation to determine difficulty of a piloting check. Nothing more. Ramming has its own effects, its own limitations. This shouldn't be so difficult ... :ph34r:

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Ok. So I take it you don't have Stay on Target? Fair enough.

 

RAW on ramming other starship from SoT (page 65): "... The difficulty of this piloting check is determined the same way as the difficulty of Gain the Advantage action ..." That only implies how to determine difficulty, not silhouette limitations (it only supplies a limitation on range, you have to be within close range to ram another ship). The RAW of ramming presents no silhouette limitation. To interpret such a limitation to ramming is not RAW, it's confusing one action for another. The Gain the Advantage action is surely limited by silhouette and speed, but this is not. It is borrowing an equation to determine difficulty on a Piloting check, that does not mean that limitations for a completely different action carry over.

 

I mean, if you look at GtA you see that the action, has its own effects, has its own limitations, but the difficulty equation doesn't automatically imply any of these limitations, its an equation to determine difficulty of a piloting check. Nothing more. Ramming has its own effects, its own limitations. This shouldn't be so difficult ... :ph34r:

 

I am sure you have an issue with what I typed and interpreting it is making you mad for some reason.

 

The method for determining the difficulty is first eligibility. If it fails those 2 checks the difficulty is literally "this cannot be done".

You are listing the intent, which I 100% agree with.

 

Beyond that your anger issues are your problem. =)

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Ok. So I take it you don't have Stay on Target? Fair enough.

 

RAW on ramming other starship from SoT (page 65): "... The difficulty of this piloting check is determined the same way as the difficulty of Gain the Advantage action ..." That only implies how to determine difficulty, not silhouette limitations (it only supplies a limitation on range, you have to be within close range to ram another ship). The RAW of ramming presents no silhouette limitation. To interpret such a limitation to ramming is not RAW, it's confusing one action for another. The Gain the Advantage action is surely limited by silhouette and speed, but this is not. It is borrowing an equation to determine difficulty on a Piloting check, that does not mean that limitations for a completely different action carry over.

 

I mean, if you look at GtA you see that the action, has its own effects, has its own limitations, but the difficulty equation doesn't automatically imply any of these limitations, its an equation to determine difficulty of a piloting check. Nothing more. Ramming has its own effects, its own limitations. This shouldn't be so difficult ... :ph34r:

 

I am sure you have an issue with what I typed and interpreting it is making you mad for some reason.

 

The method for determining the difficulty is first eligibility. If it fails those 2 checks the difficulty is literally "this cannot be done".

You are listing the intent, which I 100% agree with.

 

Beyond that your anger issues are your problem. =)

 

I think he was pointing out you made made an assumption I initially made as well, that to Ram you need to be able to perform GtA. Which I had to look up, and saw that, you don't. Ramming merely uses Speed to determine the base difficulty, just like GtA. 

 

So there's no limit beyond the actual constraints of the encounter.  As Happy points out, this allows everything from a jetpack to a super star destroyer to Ram....

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I think he was pointing out you made made an assumption I initially made as well, that to Ram you need to be able to perform GtA. Which I had to look up, and saw that, you don't. Ramming merely uses Speed to determine the base difficulty, just like GtA. 

 

 

So there's no limit beyond the actual constraints of the encounter.  As Happy points out, this allows everything from a jetpack to a super star destroyer to Ram....

 

Or even better, a Super Star Destroyer to ram a guy with a jetpack. :)

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Yes, as Jegergryte said, the pilot is performing a "Ram action" not a "Gain the Advantage" action.  The Ram action simply requires that the pilot perform a piloting check with a difficulty calculated by the same rules used to determine the difficulty when using Gain the Advantage.

 

The actions are not the same thing and, by the rules as written, any ship can attempt the Ram action regardless of its silhouette or capabilities.

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I am sure you have an issue with what I typed and interpreting it is making you mad for some reason.

 

The method for determining the difficulty is first eligibility. If it fails those 2 checks the difficulty is literally "this cannot be done".

You are listing the intent, which I 100% agree with.

 

Beyond that your anger issues are your problem. =)

 

Your pre-adolescent remarks aside, you still don't grasp it do you. Wow.

 

I'm not listening to intent, I'm reading the rules. You're being rude, and about as useful as a bike is for a fish in this conversation.

 

To be clear: to eligible to perform a ramming action you have to be within close range and operating a vehicle. That's all. That's RAW.

 

I find it difficult to understand why you cling to this misguided notion that it's the same as Gain the Advantage just because the difficulty is determined by relative speed... it's like you can't separate Action from the method of determining difficulty for some reason... why?

 

Other factors not explicitly stated, but of course intended would include: you need to have a speed of 1+, a conscious pilot that can perform the action, some sensory organ(s) that can help you navigate a starship in three-dimensional space, a steering wheel or stick to manoeuvre the starship, self-awareness, a combination of over-confidence, lacking a fear of death, a desire to die, a really really strong hatred against the target (and his/her/its starship) and so on ad nauseam...

Edited by Jegergryte

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Jeger

 

pretty much your whole rant is "your opinion is different therefore you are a child"

 

My comment was reading exact words and typing them. You got mad, and apparently that makes it 100% appropriate to be rude.

 

Nothing is better than "You are different therefore I should mock you"

 

Sad part is 50% of the threads here go that way. Very toxic community.

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Jeger

 

pretty much your whole rant is "your opinion is different therefore you are a child"

 

My comment was reading exact words and typing them. You got mad, and apparently that makes it 100% appropriate to be rude.

 

Nothing is better than "You are different therefore I should mock you"

 

Sad part is 50% of the threads here go that way. Very toxic community.

 

:huh:

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Jeger

 

1) pretty much your whole rant is "your opinion is different therefore you are a child"

 

2) My comment was reading exact words and typing them. You got mad, and apparently that makes it 100% appropriate to be rude.

 

3) Nothing is better than "You are different therefore I should mock you"

 

4) Sad part is 50% of the threads here go that way. Very toxic community.

1) No. It isn't. But I guess you're free to interpret it that way. What I'm saying is: you're wrong, because the rules says otherwise than your loose interpretation of something you haven't read.

 

2) I'm not mad. I just don't like rude people. Please don't think you understand my emotional state. You obviously don't.

 

3) Yes, obviously.

 

4) Yes. That is a problem, more so the last year or two than before. It's not a discussion for this thread though. At least we agree on that.

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1) No. It isn't. But I guess you're free to interpret it that way. What I'm saying is: you're wrong, because the rules says otherwise than your loose interpretation of something you haven't read.

 

.

 

2) I'm not mad. I just don't like rude people. Please don't think you understand my emotional state. You obviously don't.

 

3) Yes, obviously.

 

4) Yes. That is a problem, more so the last year or two than before. It's not a discussion for this thread though. At least we agree on that.

 

 

1, Incorrect. You were rude, I stated quotes from the text, and then purposely took a devil's advocate view which the thread when violently against and you most violently.

 

2, typing you are not mad and your actions/words don't match up. Say whatever you want, you are mad.

 

3, I appreciate you agreeing with me

 

4, I appreciate you agreeing with me again. The irony is you are part of that. And the "it is not a discussion for this thread" you gave up on that 2 or 3 posts ago so why bother going back on track now?

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