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BillHimclaw

Reactive commands house rule

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Posted (edited)

Hello again!

Along with the destroyed ship debris house rule, my friend and I started developing another house rule we thought added flavor to the game.  Like the former house rule topic, we know this goes into the convoluted rules field, but it can be a fun thing to do on casual games.  The rules are as follows:

  • After an enemy ship reveals a command dial, before that ship resolves the command dial, you may REACT with one of your ships.  If the reacting ship is unactivated, it may do so by revealing its top command dial and/or spending a matching command token.  If the reacting ship had been activated earlier this round, it may spend a command token assigned to it.  A reacting ship cannot spend any other dials or tokens but the ones used to trigger its reaction.
    • NAVIGATE:
      • DIAL: Before the ship you reacted to performs its maneuver, you may perform a maneuver with yours at your current speed.  After that ship moves, you may perform an attack against it from one of your hull zones, without resolving any critical effects or spending any accuracy results.  This ship is now considered activated.
      • TOKEN: You may change your current speed by 1.
    • ENGINEERING:
      • DIAL: Before the ship you reacted to begins its attack step, you gain engineering points equal to your engineering value.  You may spend them as usual.  When you actívate this ship, you will skip its "reveal command dial" step.
      • TOKEN:  Same as before, but you gain engineering points equal to half your engineering value, rounded up.
    • CONCENTRATE FIRE
      • DIAL:  Before the ship you reacted to begins its maneuvering step, you may attack it from up to two different hull zones, even if you are destroyed during its activation.  Then, after that ship performs its maneuver, you must perform yours at your current speed.  This ship is now considered activated.
      • TOKEN:  If the ship you reacted to attacks any of your hull zones, you may perform an attack against that ship from that hull zone, if possible.  For this attack you will only use dice of one color and you cannot modify those dice in any way (except to resolve objective card effects).
    • FIGHTERS
      • DIAL:  Before the ship you're reacting to resolves its command, you may perform an attack against all enemy fighters in range one of your hull zones, ignorning your accuracy results.  You cannot modify these dice in any way (except to resolve objective card effects).  When you actívate this ship, you will skip its "reveal command dial" step.
      • TOKEN:  You may perform an attack against a single squadron in range of your anti-squadron batteries.

That's about it.  Test it out if you feel like adding an additional layer of strategy to your games.  You now can pursue escaping ships, respond to enemy fire, defend against squadrons or prepare your ship to resist an incoming attack.  The only issue we have is that, since these rules give the second player a lot of power, objectives may become unbalanced.

Edited by BillHimclaw
Added some clarifications to the rules after feedback

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I hope you cannot react to a react, otherwise all the command dials go off in a big chain reaction as soon as the first ship activates.

I don't think you should allow a reaction command to go off before a regular command otherwise you tip on its head the whole initiative, activation order, Initiative bid aspect of the game.

There seems little reason to keep your command until the regular reveal step. Perhaps make reaction command dials only work at the power level of a token and ban reaction tokens altogether. The CF reaction seems overly powerful too, like Demolisher on steroids. 

You could make the reaction limited to once per turn or even once per game so players preserve their ability to do a reaction dial until the crucial moment. 

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Side question could a ship spend more than one token during it's react?

Also as Mad Cat pointed out there can be aagood bit of activation screwage. IMO it looks like it could be abused by MSU pretty well.

Lastly it looks like a lot of these reactions are more powerful than their on turn counterparts. Even with Leia cant turn a navigate command into Demo. Also I don't know any way to can a concentrate fire command into Rieekan. It looks like you could shoot twice, than ram with a dead ship. 

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@Mad Cat, about your questions:

1.- No, you can't react to a react.  A reaction can only happen as a response to an actual activation.

2.- Reactions are intended to be powerful, but as activation screwage more than anything else.  Since a reaction is not an activation per se, no command fixing works with them, so you need to measure them properly.  However, what reactions do is allow you to perform a toned-down versión of a command during your opponent's activation.  The command is not enhanced in any way, if anything it is toned down. (Exception to this is the CF command.  It ensures that a dying ship will fire its shots.  We're working on it, but we liked it this way).  In addition, the timing is restricted so the activating ship gets to do part of its thing before the reaction happens:

  • With Navigating the enemy ship fires first, but you move before it does.  If you're destroyed you don't get to move.  Also, you're sacrificing one of your attacks, plus your activation.
  • Concentrate fire sacrifices Advanced Gunnery (if you had it) and does not prevent the enemy from firing.  It just guarantees you will, even if you're destroyed.  If you are, however, you don't get to move.

3.- I do agree our CF reaction might be too powerful.  We're experimenting on a "you can only choose one dice color for these attacks" addon that might just tone it down enough.  The token would still work as a single counter attack or, if used along with the dial, allow you to use two dice colours for one of those attacks.

4.- One reaction per round sounds neat.  We're going to test that one out, but I think it should be an auto-include on these reaction rules.

 

@Ling27, your distance idea is great.  You shouldn't be able to react to something that's beyond long range, and that makes sense.

 

And regarding @Grathew:

1.- A reaction is not an activation.  Therefore, you can't use any other tokens but the one you used to react.

2.- MSU does abuse this in awesome ways, but it also makes them more vulnerable.  As awesome as it is to see a CR90 react to an ISD's activation with a NAVIGATE to block its path before it moves, it also means escaping death wont' be easy as both navigate and CF reactions may kill them before they can effectively last-first.  It also makes choosing commands a difficult errand for bigger ships, but their reactions will always be way stronger if done at the right time.

4.- Reactions allow you to fake-activate a ship during an enemy ship's activation.  You spend the enhancing power of a regularly used dial to perform a lesser version of what you would do in regular circumstances.  NAVIGATE does turn you into Demo, but at the cost of a one attack (two for the SSD) and by toning down the one attack you do get.  Demo does it better.  CONCENTRATE FIRE does turn you into a zombie shooter if you get killed during that activation, but you die after those attacks (that was unclear on the explanation, sorry), so you don't get to ram.  Rieekan does it better still.

 

These rules have not been as tested as the Debris ones, so take them with a grain of salt.  I'm liking your balancing ideas, however, and we will consider and test them to see how that goes.

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This house rule makes First Player a huge disadvantage. Imagine the following situation: Begin of roud: Small ship (S) sits in front arc of Large ship (L). First player advantage would mean...

A) S is First Player: S can flee out of the front arc.

B) L is First Player: L attacks S before it can run away.

With reaction rule:

A) S is First Player: L reveals a CF-dial and shoots before S can move.

B) L is First Player: S reveals a Nav-dial and gets away.


I liked your idea for debris. But to give the second player the benefit from his/hers objectives AND the advantage of reacting first ... that's too much!

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@Triangular, true.  We did not test it with objectives.  Contrary to the debris house rules, which we did test quite a lot before settling for what I posted, this one we're still tweaking.  Maybe I should have waited before sharing this one, but honestly, the feedback is great to flesh it out faster.

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I'd be more okay if it was just a "spend a token" sort of reaction, and perhaps some sort of upgrade slot could be used for that?

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I like these rules and the thinking you have here. 

 

My one caveat is that I'd never want them to be introduced into the core rules, as learning the game is already quite the daunting task for new players. 

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