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DaverWattra

House rule for more survivable space/vehicle combat?

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How about this as a way of making ships more survivable:

 

When you're hit in vehicle combat, you may make a (difficulty Average?) Pilot roll (modified as usual by Handling).  For every success, you may turn one point of hull damage from the attack into a point of strain for the pilot (not strain to the ship).  Probably disallow minion pilots from using this rule.

 

Just throwing this out there... does it sound like it would work?

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Someone made an Incidental that has a similar effect to Parry/Reflect; suffer 3 system strain to reduce HT suffered by 2 + ranks in Piloting. At lest I think that was the idea.

But in general any rule that allows you to reduce the amount of HT suffered will have the desired effect

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Someone made an Incidental that has a similar effect to Parry/Reflect; suffer 3 system strain to reduce HT suffered by 2 + ranks in Piloting. At lest I think that was the idea.

But in general any rule that allows you to reduce the amount of HT suffered will have the desired effect

I like this... What about pilot ranks plus handling? I like the idea of bringing handling into it.

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Define more survivable?  How long would you want a combat encounter to take because what's good for the goose...

 

 

I don't have any particular number of turns in mind, but it would be nice to reduce the amount of randomness that comes with the "first one to hit wins" nature of starfighter combat in the current system, and reduce the advantage that big slow ships with high HT have over small fast ships with low HT.

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honestly nearly anything would be better then raw I am not holding my breath for an offical update but almost every gaming group I have played with has had to vastly house rule both vehicle combat and vehicle vs person combat

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Define more survivable?  How long would you want a combat encounter to take because what's good for the goose...

 

 

I don't have any particular number of turns in mind, but it would be nice to reduce the amount of randomness that comes with the "first one to hit wins" nature of starfighter combat in the current system, and reduce the advantage that big slow ships with high HT have over small fast ships with low HT.

 

Boost to armor or HT might be as easy.  A sort of extra layer of ablation.

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Another thought I had was maybe let the PCs instead of adding a Setback to opponents for Defensive Driving they can just impose a failure on attack rolls against  them.  That certainly takes some of the randomness away and boosts the value of Defensive Driving considerably.  You're also still essentially using the stats as is, you're just not rolling those Setbacks.

 

Seems like if you do a Reflect thing with SS you'll just be wounding yourself out as opposed to the bad guys.

Edited by 2P51

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I've drafted up some, the simple version:

  • Shields: No longer add defence. You can convert damage up to your shield rating from each hit to System Strain.
  • Evasive Maneuvers: Gives you defence equal to your maneuverability (if >0).
  • Guided: Rewritten completely as it was a faff to use. Guided is now the weapon's speed. Increase/reduce the difficulty of attacks with Guided weapons by the difference between the target's Speed and the Guided rating.

The upshot is 

  • TIE Fighters: Still crap in the hands of minions, now a threat when piloted by aces who can take 2nd maneuvers.
  • Rebel Fighters: Tougher, more likely to be disabled by running out of System Strain and shutting down temporarily, rather than being wrecked and requiring recovery.
  • Astromechs: Can give a ship limited regen by performing Damage Control. X-Wing TMG has Rebel Regen lists, after all...
  • Proton Torpedoes: Now a good anti-capital weapon, naff against fighters.

Adding extra rolls (i.e. your piloting roll) will just slow things down. I've used handling, rather than piloting, for defence as it makes for a meaningful difference between high-agility interceptor-style ships and high shield tank-style ships. Piloting is still useful for Gain the Advantage, which now also relevant for turreted ships as it ignores the defence from handling.

 

I think the Linked quality could probably do with some changes too, as it's what makes a lot of starfighter combat so swingy. Get even a little lucky on the advantage and you can double or triple your damage, which makes for really inconsistent combat. Letting you reroll dice equal to your Linked rating is probably the easiest change...?

 

Define more survivable?  How long would you want a combat encounter to take because what's good for the goose...

 

Most RPGs typically aim for around 4-5 rounds per combat, as that gives each player a reasonable number of choices to make. If combat is only 1-3 rounds long, making a single wrong choice is far too punishing, and a lot of non-attack options don't see play as their return needs to be huge given the opportunity cost and the high likelihood that the character will be KOed next round before benefiting from the setup.

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With Defensive Driving, why not just lift the 4-point cap on ship defense?  Say 4 is the maximum defense you can get from shields, but Defensive Driving can stack on top of that.

 

Could become annoying if you like to roll physical dice rather than use a dice app, but that's already a problem with the game, this would just be a drop in the bucket.

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The majority of battles in the movies took place in empty space, so it's a little silly to just resign ourselves to the rules breaking down when trying to run that sort of battle.

 

What if the story you want to tell demands that a PC fight alone in a single ship?  Again, it happens several times in the films.

 

I agree that the squadron rules are a great help with this problem in the situations where they apply, but they only apply to some types of space battle.

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Well a think for the most part people way over complicate the rules. It is not like the rules are all that different from personal scale combat. Ships with PCs on them do not blow up nearly as easily as people think.

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When were there battles in empty space? Can you enumerate them?

If there was a fleet battle, then there was terrain — the other ships.

What non-fleet battles were there?

The primary one that leaps to my mind is the Millenium Falcon escaping the Death Star, so that it could lead them to the rebel base at Yavin IV. But then that one was especially staged by Darth Vader so as to happen that way, and it seems to have played out pretty much exactly as I would expect for a small fight in empty space.

So, what other non-fleet empty space battles were there?

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The majority of battles in the movies took place in empty space, so it's a little silly to just resign ourselves to the rules breaking down when trying to run that sort of battle.

 

What if the story you want to tell demands that a PC fight alone in a single ship?  Again, it happens several times in the films.

 

I agree that the squadron rules are a great help with this problem in the situations where they apply, but they only apply to some types of space battle.

What majority?  Star Wars had the rebels attacking the DS, where the amount of 'ground' fire from turbo lasers would surely represent at least Setbacks for everyone including TIEs biting it to fratricide.  Once you fire that bullet it's on its own..

 

In Empire it's one big Chase sequence.

 

In Return, you've got the same scenario as Star Wars, TIE everywhere, fire coming from all directions, more than enough excuse for Setbacks and upgrades all around.

 

The prequels more of the same, either tons of ships, weapon fire, guided munitions.  Asteroids, sonic charges, etc.

 

That continues in the new movies.  

 

Every battle I've seen in the Star Wars movies I can think of is replete with environmental and break neck circumstances where all manner of Setbacks and Challenges should be applied to everyone involved.

 

The wing man rules, the astromech NPC rules were added for some of the very survivability issues.

 

I know I fell victim to the table top tactical simulator mind set myself and didn't focus on the point on the back end of ship fights.  I'm reminded of the thread about speed and acceleration for capital ships and the wonky way it works in the rules and when I asked why the ships weren't already moving when it starts I know there was the 'oh yah' moment like I had. I was thinking of ship combat as mostly about get away until the next planet, and then the story starts again.  

 

I've had to pinch myself repeatedly to remember to focus on other things beside ship's shooting at one another going on in ship fights.  Like maybe your Slicer is trying to maintain a link with a spy on an Imperial world where they have plans and upload the signal.....

Edited by 2P51

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Well OK, maybe not the majority, but there are several.

 

--Vader's star destroyer capturing Tantive IV

--The star destroyers chasing the Millennium Falcon before they entered the asteroids in ESB

--Obviously the four TIEs attacking the Falcon in ANH

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The majority of battles in the movies took place in empty space, so it's a little silly to just resign ourselves to the rules breaking down when trying to run that sort of battle.

 

What if the story you want to tell demands that a PC fight alone in a single ship?  Again, it happens several times in the films.

 

I agree that the squadron rules are a great help with this problem in the situations where they apply, but they only apply to some types of space battle.

 

Others addressed the "Empty Space" misconception pretty well. Wars and battles aren't death matches, they are for over stuff.

 

As for the "one ship" issue... It's called encounter design.

 

You don't just throw opponents at the player like spaghetti at a wall. If you want the player in a lone fighter, you have to build the opposition to match and provide options for predictable outcomes. If you expect the player to win, you need to provide an opponent he has a chance of defeating. If you expect him to lose, you need to account for  what happens afterward.

 

This is also one of those things a GM may have to improvise on the fly a little. If the player wants to fly a lone starfighter into a secret imperial base, you'll have to have a legit explanation as to why the only defenses he had to face were three or four ungrouped TIEs spaced widely apart...

 

 

 

This also kinda gets into the devil in the details of spacecraft. I've noticed that people tend to use the expectations from other games. Rogue Squadron is fun, but it's also designed to make blasting dozens of TIEs a thing. In this game the TIE actually makes some sense, and it's fighters like the Z-95 that can feel like flying garbage. That can be a rude awakening for a player raised on the "TIEs are Trash" sentiment of a lot of EU.

 

But this also brings up that you can make new craft that fit the need. Remember how threatening a fighter is is relative to the target. A simple Speed 4 chassis with a light blaster cannon is scary enough if you're on an unarmed Sil 5 speed 1 hauler. So when the player needs to protect against pirates or something, don't feel the pirates have to fly Y-wings or something. They can fly home brew garbage that's no match for the player's Z-95 but still threatening enough to a civilian hauler...

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The capture of the Tantive IV was 1 round of combat imo.  There is an exchange of fire and the CR-90 is disabled.

 

The Empire scene the SDs and TIEs are firing so there would def be Challenges applied to the SDs imo for not hitting their TIEs and Setbacks to the TIEs for the fire coming from the SDs behind them, pretty distracting having turbo laser shots flying by you from behind.

 

The TIE fleeing the DS was a few rounds of combat, but against a highly modified ship with a very experienced pair of owners, so not a big deal for them.

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Well OK, maybe not the majority, but there are several.

 

--Vader's star destroyer capturing Tantive IV

--The star destroyers chasing the Millennium Falcon before they entered the asteroids in ESB

--Obviously the four TIEs attacking the Falcon in ANH

1) That's a Chase, not a battle...

2) Also a chase...

 

3) A fight... but not much of one. That's what? 4 TIEs? The falcon was more than a match and didn't really do anything but fly in a straight line while Han and Luke shot... It even looks like the TIES were all ungrouped and taking evasive action...

 

But his goes back to my other post. Encounter design is a thing you may need to look at either way.

 

A Star Destroyer shooting at a Sil 4 freighter taking evasive action is probably going to Threat itself out of a fight before it kills the freighter. So having a chase where it fires a couple wild shots s no big thing. Likewise 4 ungrouped TIEs taking evasive action are going to have trouble hitting the broad side of a dyson sphere...

 

The idea isn't to have a fair and balanced fight. The idea is to have a relatively predictable one that still contains some danger.... that's all.

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I just had my group fend off 6 fighters that were far more powerful than them. They had to do it for 4 rounds, then the pilot had to "PUNCH IT CHEWIE!!!" And they were gone. I was pretty sure they wouldn't die, but they lost over half their health on a brand new ship (well new to them) and they only got one of the fighters. That is really demoralizing. But now they have something to keep them hungry. The damage will be what a large part of their money from the adventure gets spent on. 

And they took 3 concussion missile hits. the guided quality was neat but it didn't really help the fighters too much. I felt the combat was plenty survivable.

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I just had my group fend off 6 fighters that were far more powerful than them. They had to do it for 4 rounds, then the pilot had to "PUNCH IT CHEWIE!!!" And they were gone. I was pretty sure they wouldn't die, but they lost over half their health on a brand new ship (well new to them) and they only got one of the fighters. That is really demoralizing. But now they have something to keep them hungry. The damage will be what a large part of their money from the adventure gets spent on. 

And they took 3 concussion missile hits. the guided quality was neat but it didn't really help the fighters too much. I felt the combat was plenty survivable.

I honestly think this illustrates part of the problem.

 

EotE being the first, put a lot of emphasis on multi-crew Freighters as the player option. While true, it's also not universal. So while the Starfighters relative weakness makes sense form a certain point of view, it also seems a poor decision since each one can be HTed pretty easy especially considering how common the Linked quality is.

 

There's a lot of details to work out, but the point is the system building in the early days looked really closely at one way to play, and not the other....

Edited by Ghostofman

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