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WKValade

Turn Length in real time?

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Hello,

I have a somewhat unorthodox question regarding turn length in Armada. I am wondering what length of real time passes per turn in a theoretical manner.

For instance, does a turn take 10 minutes? 5?

I'm asking since I run a RPG and have been running encounters with approx. 10 minutes of player action per Armada turn. This gives the players 10 turns to interact and respond to the changing conditions as well as change physical positions within their respective ships. I want to incorporate my X Wing tabletop miniatures in to the mix as this year I have a player starting that is all about dog fights. It wouldn't be as much fun being a pilot of a snub fighter in Armada. At least not as thematic as being on the bridge of an Assault Frigate. That being the case I want to nail down a solid time frame in order to get the rules tight enough to transfer systems of play without losing track of what turn it is so that both Armada and X Wing can interact on different game boards.

 

Armada is particularly easy to incorporate in to  the RPG, as is X Wing for that matter, doing both at the same time might be a stretch. Still, I am going to give it a shot as my players are quite comfortable with my homebrew rules that take Armada and X Wing in to the RPG system and won't mind a few mistakes along the way.

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Armada does not have a set time per turn limit. For tournaments a game is timed to 2 hours and 15 minutes, with players either finishing all 6 rounds, or playing out the round when timer is called.
Generally rounds 1-3 will take the longest as things move and shoot, with rounds 4-6 taking shorter as things explode or move out of range. 

Edited by Karneck

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Interesting question.  Unfortunately, I don't think there's an easy answer.  Armada plays fast and loose with scale for the sake of gameplay, and I think it's similar with time.  Squadron engagements might only last minutes, while larger ships might trade fire for hours.

Your guess of 5-10 minutes per round sounds like a good ballpark figure.  A six round battle would last an hour, which sounds plausible at least, if a bit on the short side for a capital ship engagement.

I know pretty much nothing about X-Wing, but maybe one game of X-Wing is 1 or 2 rounds of Armada time? 

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19 minutes ago, Karneck said:

Armada does not have a set time per turn limit. For tournaments a game is timed to 2 hours and 15 minutes, with players either finishing all 6 rounds, or playing out the round when timer is called.
Generally rounds 1-3 will take the longest as things move and shoot, with rounds 4-6 taking shorter as things explode or move out of range. 

He ment an in-universe time that occurs per turn.

 

I would recommend using some, IMTERMEDIATE MATHMATICS... sorry, don't know how that happened. If you take a standard ship size, measure how far it travels, then apply its max speed as its armada max speed, you could roughly, determine time taken to travel and use that.

Or you could apply a movie time logic. Take how long a turbolaser battery takes to cycle, apply a few seconds for orders to be shouted across a bridge and be relayed to weapon teams, and you could take, I dunno... 30secs total? Movement and squadron actions would realistically be done at the same time.

 

The best question is... how is that game working for you? I wanna know cause I wanna try.

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Given the space battle in 'Rogue One' is theoretically scaled to be playable in Armada (if on the outside limit of it), and the entire thing takes 25 minutes from the Rebel fleet jumping in until Vader's...uhhh…finale....

I'd say about 4-5 minutes a turn feels roughly right.

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I would say that a single round in armada would total about 10 minutes, my logic is that naval battles take a very long time in atmosphere and in space and it would make sense that after one hour of fighting ( or six rounds ) would decide the battle which is why after the end of the sixth round commanders would retreat. All of this takes place simultaneously so that is why star destroyers are able to lose half their shields to a cr90, because they focus on the large ships. And they can't waste 5 minutes destroying a dinky little corvette while being blasted by a mon cal cruiser.

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Some material has stated that an ISD and a MC80 dueling broadsides would require about an hour for one or the other's shields to fail and the ship to take serious hull damage. Considering this, I usually put a single round as being around 15-20 minutes. After about 3 rounds of constant firing, both vessels would end up with some serious damage, with one possibly being destroyed.

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27 minutes ago, RyonOlson said:

Some material has stated that an ISD and a MC80 dueling broadsides would require about an hour for one or the other's shields to fail and the ship to take serious hull damage. Considering this, I usually put a single round as being around 15-20 minutes. After about 3 rounds of constant firing, both vessels would end up with some serious damage, with one possibly being destroyed.

Ive read this as well but a few things...

In our on screen encounters (which have to be the truest canon) a Star Destroyer trashes corvettes and disables an MC75 in about a minute?  Likewise in RotS over coruscant hundreds of ships are fighting and some ships die very quick while others pound away so you could say 5-20 minutes max to beat down a Venator.

 

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13 minutes ago, Syleh Forge said:

Ive read this as well but a few things...

In our on screen encounters (which have to be the truest canon) a Star Destroyer trashes corvettes and disables an MC75 in about a minute?  Likewise in RotS over coruscant hundreds of ships are fighting and some ships die very quick while others pound away so you could say 5-20 minutes max to beat down a Venator.

 

The problem is this is a comparison of completely unequal ships. The scene from Rogue One was the Devastator coming in, fully prepared for battle, and firing on already wounded ships. Obviously it would be a quick fight. Also, in RotS due to the hundreds of ships ships will die easier. Plus, a Venator is nothing like an ISD or an MC80, two peak warships that would be in service 20 years later. A Venator is a carrier, and is not truly fit for direct combat. It was fighting vessels designed to be battleships first. Also, those ships had been in combat for quite awhile when Anakin and Obi-Wan showed up, so it was another case like Rogue One.

Let's look at Endor. The Rebel fleet, after engaging the Imperial fleet, only lost capital ships due to the Death Star. These were two fleets, completely fresh and ready to fight. The space battle lasted for nearly an hour, and only a handful of ships were destroyed, along with the Executor, which was crippled due by a chance collision taking out its entire senior command staff.

I completely accept the figures I stated about combat time, due to them being extrapolated directly from canon sources.

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Posted (edited)

I think this question should be answered more from a point of view of a rpg game master than a star wars lore expert. Does it matter how long it takes in canon to bring down the shields of an ISD? It's more about what feels right, when mixing game mechanics.

Do you remember the opening scene of ANH? It's the scene that gave me a deep impression as a 12 year old sitting in the cinema. The ISD chasing the CR90 took came into view and than needed for ever to flow by because it was such a huge vessel! In real time the Star Destroyer needs 10-12 sec to fly over the heads of the spectators. Is 10 sec. a good time for a Armada maneuver or game round? Don't think so. A maneuver of a capital ship must be slow to be impressive!

In film it takes about 2 min. from hearing the noises of docking until we see stormtroopers guarding surrendered rebel fleet troopers. That seems to be a "Boarding Troopers" action. Is two minutes enough for a stormtrooper squad to overwhelm the crew of a CR90? That's really fast! For that film time is not real time and real time is not rpg time.

In my opinion as a game master you shouldn't make a decision like "1 Armada game round is X minutes" but think more in a cineastic sort of way. You could regret this quite soon. In which situation do you want to give your players a lot of time to react and when do you want them to feel really pressed to take action!

10 minutes can be a lot of time, when there's not much to do but a vast amount of time if things should be dramatic. I imagine players at a capital ship at the first round of an Armada round. Is this a battle or a raid? A well prepared plan or a trap? Scene: A bunch of rebels sitting in the cantina when the alarm rings. A sudden announcement "Imperial Star Destroyer sighted -- man your stations immediatly -- this is not a drill -- I repeat: this is not a drill!" How much time do you want to give your players to be ready? 10 minutes? Is this a MC80 or a Hammerhead Corvette?

Think of the boarding action. The ISD sends his Armed Transports packed with Stormtroopers to kill your crew. Maybe one of your players is a gunner? How many actions do you want him to give shooting at the vessels to weaken the impact of the boarding action? Is there a starfighter pilot out there to attack them? (Three vessels there. If you kill one, there will be only two points where invaders will break in ...) Are the players fleet troopers? How many game rounds to fight the storm troopers back? Or is there a princess who wants to hide some really important plans from a merceless Sith Lord? How much time should she get? 10 minutes?

I know that I ask more questions than I provide answers. But in a dramatic role playing game "time" should be more a matter of your story telling kit but a technical guideline to give actions an order. In my eyes a game round should be more of a time span of maybe 5-15 minutes you can work with.

Edited by Triangular

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12 hours ago, RyonOlson said:

The scene from Rogue One was the Devastator coming in, fully prepared for battle, and firing on already wounded ships. Obviously it would be a quick fight. 

Not sure why you'd pick out that one instance from the movie - after all, we did see the entire Battle of Scarif from beginning (Rebel fleet jumps in and begins attack on two fresh Star Destroyers and the gate) to end, and it took 25 minutes.

That's an Armada-ish scale battle - it works out to about 500-600 pts on the Rebel side, and how the Imperial side tracks out depends if you count this whole thing as one game or two (and FWIW, I could see a good argument that this was two distinct Armada games - the 500-pt-ish Rebel fleet wins the initial 'Contested Outpost' battle vs two Star Destroyers, then the remnants of that fleet are immediately dropped into a 'Hyperspace Assault' where the Empire is somehow allowed to jump in a Large ship).

Quote

Let's look at Endor. The Rebel fleet, after engaging the Imperial fleet, only lost capital ships due to the Death Star. These were two fleets, completely fresh and ready to fight. The space battle lasted for nearly an hour, and only a handful of ships were destroyed, along with the Executor, which was crippled due by a chance collision taking out its entire senior command staff.

Also not correct - we see various ships exploding in the background of the scenes quite unrelated to Death Star shots, and obviously you recall some of the Star Destroyers that popped (including the Executor).

And the Battle of Endor isn't even that long - Ackbar's "It's a trap!" shows up at 1:35:09 in the movie (special edition RotJ), with the Death Star exploding and the battle ended at 2:03:06 ...although several scenes before that show there is no fighting between the fleets anymore.  So even the entire Battle of Endor ends up only taking about 25 minutes.  (FWIW, it's surprising how close the two battles are in overall length, which makes me unexpectedly appreciate the 6-turn limit in Armada.  Maybe that's just how battles go in this setting? If they always take 25 minutes, and that maps out to 6 turns, before resolving one way or the other... 😎 )

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If it is any help: I played a bit of rogue trader, which was kind of all about including capital ships into an pen & paper RPG. IIRC a ship turn was 20 (or 30?) minutes with a normal turn length around 10 seconds. The deal was that all actions relevant for the space battle were "space combat actions" which took a single space turn. This could be stuff like steering, firing or even boarding actions (resolved as a single "complex" skill check). Of course the scale of battles in WH40k and star wars is completely different but I still think that the concept could be used.

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I don't think either Rotj  or R1 were presented in realtime. There are jumps of time between cuts so we can't say for certain how long the battles were. 

I think triangular is right. The gm should play it by ear. A general target of 5 to 10 min seems ok tho. Maybe the bigger the scale, the longer the time. 

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According to the EU, the battle for Coruscant lasted for 3 days before Anakin/Obi-wan showed up. Of course, that was a huge battle with capital ships constantly arriving from many areas. I imagine 400 point games to be an abstract representation of an hour-long skirmish. So, 10 minutes per turn, yes.

Of course, that mainly applies to Imperial Vs Imperial. When Rebels are involved, I'm thinking more along the lines of a 15 minutes lightning raid, so 150 seconds per turn.

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10 hours ago, homedrone said:

I don't think either Rotj  or R1 were presented in realtime. There are jumps of time between cuts so we can't say for certain how long the battles were.

Homedrone is right. A film never presents its story in real time. That would be boring. Think of war films you've seen. Was there any war that only took 95 minutes? 😉

30 minutes ago, Astech said:

 I imagine 400 point games to be an abstract representation of an hour-long skirmish. So, 10 minutes per turn, yes.

Of course, that mainly applies to Imperial Vs Imperial. When Rebels are involved, I'm thinking more along the lines of a 15 minutes lightning raid, so 150 seconds per turn.

That's exactly what I was talking about when I wrote that the GM must think about what time he wants to give the PCs. Is this a part of a large and long enduring battle or just a fast raid and skirmish action? 2-3 minutes per turn can be right if a CR90 fights a Raider Corvette. But it's wrong if a SSD against MC80s.

Bigger ships need more time. More ships need more time. Not because they tend to slow down, but because if feels right. If you want to give your gamers a feeling for seeing a big ship, then it needs a long time to pass by. If you want them to give a feeling to be in a large ship, then it should take time to reach your quarters, it should take time between command and reaction of the ship, and it should take time to do other things that effect this ship.

Now you can say, what if I mix big ships and small ships in my scenario? Than a GM has to do what a director for a action film would do. Decide what is the action you focus at now. What is the pace you need for the dramatic effect you want to achieve?

Never forget: A rpg is story telling. And if you tell a Star Wars story, it should feel like a Star Wars movie. (That sort of Star Wars movie you like ... 😋)

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My instinct would be to apply 10 minutes of RPG 'real time' to each round of Armada. However I think it depends on the set of RPG rules you are using. In AD&D, each round is 1 minute. In 5th edition D&D, each round is 6 seconds. (Yet just as much or more can occur in each round of 5th edition!) For this reason I think that you should also take into account your RPG's round length.

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Posted (edited)
On 12/31/2018 at 10:35 PM, Karneck said:

Armada does not have a set time per turn limit. For tournaments a game is timed to 2 hours and 15 minutes, with players either finishing all 6 rounds, or playing out the round when timer is called.
Generally rounds 1-3 will take the longest as things move and shoot, with rounds 4-6 taking shorter as things explode or move out of range. 

this does not answer the question. do you want the question explained to you?

lets turn it around- the rebel armada shows up at endor, breaks off their vector towards  DS2 gets shot at by DS2, goes into close range with star destroyer.

how long did it take the rebel fleet to do this, and how many turns is this in armada

Edited by Geressen

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Hello everyone, thank you all for the interest! This was the first post I have put up on the forum and I was really blown away by the responses/interest in the topic. Thank you all for the feedback. I have a lot to consider.

Just to clarify for everyone, my RPG is using Edge of the Empire/Age of Rebellion rules and stats (my players love the dice mechanics). I ran my players through the Traveller character creation (which is the most in depth and fun builder I have ever ran across for character creation but can get OP unless constrained), I then divided their stats by two for the final result. So the characters can start out with 6s in some stats but will generally have 2s or even a 1 as well from age. This is in order to allow them to start as admirals or renowned captains etc. or maybe even a grizzled combat marine for boarding action goodness. I usually run low power games with the players scraping for credits and just having enough to get their modified freighter turned privateer with spotty lasers and a rickety hyperdrive in to space for another spice run. After getting shot down by the Empire time and again, literally never standing a chance against an ISD, I decided to go very high power and run a campaign that pits the players against the Empire in a direct power match. I always ran X-Wing for the player characters, allowing them to dogfight Imperial forces until an ISD or other powerful force arrived and caused them to punch the hyperdrives out of there. This time, I wanted to go big!

The setting of this campaign, however, is a touch unorthodox as I played with the lore and had a separate Galaxy accessible by a wormhole that the Rebels found and began extracting their forces to. They started building up a sizable chain of colonies and shipyards well ahead of the Empire ever even finding out about the wormhole. When they do finally realize it exists they follow the Rebels with pioneer fleets to explore the new galaxy, coming in to contact with the Rebels and/or the local civilizations that exist. The wormhole only allows for spotty use and it jumps around the Galaxy, each point leading from and to a different location. The Empire is working on tech that can stabilized it and hold it in place, thus would they have pure control over travel to and from the new Galaxy. The project is on par with the building of a death star in terms of resources and it is a major effort by the rebels to disrupt this new development.

Enter the player characters. They are in charge of a Rebel cell. Outfitted with ship shares from the Traveller character creation, and plenty of credits to fund their very own rebel cell, they lead expansion efforts in the new Galaxy. They can focus on military or industrial potential, or become a harbor of outcasts and primarily concern themselves with the retention of culture and diverse thought from the old Galaxy. They could also go rogue for all I know. Whatever they choose to do is up to them, but the primary focus of the campaign is to either stop the Empire from completing its wormhole stabilization efforts, or wrest control of it from them and secret it away to Rebel stewardship. If the Empire is able to complete the project it would essentially be game over, as it would only be a matter of time until Star Destroyers hung over every planetary system in the new Galaxy. This being the case the players are encouraged or even forced to take the fight to the enemy, whether attacking the facility with an armada of ships after a huge build up, or covert action on the ground, sabotaging efforts and supply lines in the traditional Rebel way. Its entirely up to them. They will have to take it in to consideration in their plans, all while dealing with Imperial incursions and maneuvering in the new Galaxy.

The Armada game comes in when playing out those large scale battles. Objectives and results will have far reaching consequences to the long term potential of establishing a safe haven far from Imperial dictatorship. The Rebels themselves will aid in certain battles, adding in points or ships when convinced of the greater good that can be achieved through RPG interaction by the players. The characters will eventually find themselves at the head of a fleet encompassing MC ships of the line and dozens of fighter squadrons etc. Tasked with fighting for a new lease on life, they will have to build up enough force to challenge the Empire for control over homeworlds and long cherished places of importance back in the Prime Galaxy. This will play out with ships getting damaged and upgraded, repurposed or mothballed, the crews becoming veterans of combat and being transferred to newer and better ships or fine tuning their abilities on their cherished and long used battle ready ships.

This is all ignoring the denizens of the new galaxy itself, but this post is getting rather long. So I digress. I don't mind sharing with everyone about it, as I said I was very surprised by the amount of interest and thoughtful responses that I have gotten so far. I checked the forum after a long week at work and found it really pleasant to read through the various posts. So, thank you all for that.

 

This has been WKVALADE

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