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Errant

I have got to be missing something with attack craft.

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 My players have acquired Battlefleet Koronus and hit upon the wonder of attack craft. One of the more minmaxy types realised that by deploying 3 bombers and a fighter in a squadron, you stand a decent chance of completely annihilating any ship. Unfortunately, the rules for handling these damned things are scattered right through the attack craft section. Any chance of a flowchart or rundown on the stages of attack craft? So far as I can tell it's

  1. Launch the first wave, with your distribution of craft assigned as you will.
  2. They can then move up to the Speed of the slowest craft in the wing. (Can they launch and move in the same turn? Can they move then attack then move again?)
  3. Are the vessels in range of other fighters? If yes, proceed to a *********** of +5s to everyone! "Both sides gain a +5 bonus for every squadron of friendly fighters after the first. Both sides also gain a +5 bonus for an additional squadron of bombers or assault craft after the first(I assume this is supposed to be fighers?), plus an additional +5 for each additional two squadrons of bombers or assault craft (as neither bombers nor assault craft are as good at dogfighting as fighters, but are armed and dangerous in numbers)." Say you have 3 bombers and a fighter wing fighting off a wing of four fighters. The four fighters get... +15, the others get +10? Is that correct?
  4. Count degrees of success. That many squadrons are destroyed on each side, unless one side gets 4 more degrees than the other, in which case the entire squadron is wiped out. Seems simple enough, I guess?
  5. If the bomber wing has not been destroyed, move onwards! Defensive turrets, go! Ballistics test + Turret Rating*5 (Can a player use his BS for this, or is it ONLY the crew rating?). Success knocks out one, +1 for every two degrees of success. So taking out an undamaged wing of craft, assuming there are no fighters mucking up the works, requires six(!) degrees of success. This is the part that really sticks in my craw, with there being no practical way to defend against bombers unless you outfit every ship with landing bays.
  6. Bombing time! An undamaged wing will do up to 6d10+24 that ignores void shields and targets the weakest armour. That... I... What. Were these rules written with people that were solely roleplayers and had never noticed the ability to get up to 61 Fellowship, +20 Command and the absurd team-stacking bonuses available from Extended Actions?

What am I not seeing?

 

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Errant said:

 

 My players have acquired Battlefleet Koronus and hit upon the wonder of attack craft. One of the more minmaxy types realised that by deploying 3 bombers and a fighter in a squadron, you stand a decent chance of completely annihilating any ship. Unfortunately, the rules for handling these damned things are scattered right through the attack craft section. Any chance of a flowchart or rundown on the stages of attack craft? So far as I can tell it's

  1. Launch the first wave, with your distribution of craft assigned as you will.
  2. They can then move up to the Speed of the slowest craft in the wing. (Can they launch and move in the same turn? Can they move then attack then move again?)
  3. Are the vessels in range of other fighters? If yes, proceed to a *********** of +5s to everyone! "Both sides gain a +5 bonus for every squadron of friendly fighters after the first. Both sides also gain a +5 bonus for an additional squadron of bombers or assault craft after the first(I assume this is supposed to be fighers?), plus an additional +5 for each additional two squadrons of bombers or assault craft (as neither bombers nor assault craft are as good at dogfighting as fighters, but are armed and dangerous in numbers)." Say you have 3 bombers and a fighter wing fighting off a wing of four fighters. The four fighters get... +15, the others get +10? Is that correct?
  4. Count degrees of success. That many squadrons are destroyed on each side, unless one side gets 4 more degrees than the other, in which case the entire squadron is wiped out. Seems simple enough, I guess?
  5. If the bomber wing has not been destroyed, move onwards! Defensive turrets, go! Ballistics test + Turret Rating*5 (Can a player use his BS for this, or is it ONLY the crew rating?). Success knocks out one, +1 for every two degrees of success. So taking out an undamaged wing of craft, assuming there are no fighters mucking up the works, requires six(!) degrees of success. This is the part that really sticks in my craw, with there being no practical way to defend against bombers unless you outfit every ship with landing bays.
  6. Bombing time! An undamaged wing will do up to 6d10+24 that ignores void shields and targets the weakest armour. That... I... What. Were these rules written with people that were solely roleplayers and had never noticed the ability to get up to 61 Fellowship, +20 Command and the absurd team-stacking bonuses available from Extended Actions?

What am I not seeing?

 

 

 

2. Yes they can move when launched (there's nothing saying they can't and it says they can move that value once per turn so I would assume this as "flying out of the ship and towards the target") I might consider when they are placed next to the ship as their first point of movement however to represent "leaving" the hanger (and thus square/hex the player ship is occupying).

3. Not sure I'd have to look this up, don't have access to my book right now.

4. Pretty much

5. The crew uses their BS unless a player is in the squadren and leading it in which case they use the players.

6. Another thing I'd have to double check in the books. However this is a good reason to have fighters around you doing protective actions or simply avoiding the slower moving bombers. They are after all expensive as you can permanently loose them and have to spend limited acquisition checks restocking (assuming you're using the better expanded aquisition rules in into the storm that is).

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Dark Bunny Lord said:

 

Errant said:

 

 My players have acquired Battlefleet Koronus and hit upon the wonder of attack craft. One of the more minmaxy types realised that by deploying 3 bombers and a fighter in a squadron, you stand a decent chance of completely annihilating any ship. Unfortunately, the rules for handling these damned things are scattered right through the attack craft section. Any chance of a flowchart or rundown on the stages of attack craft? So far as I can tell it's

  1. Launch the first wave, with your distribution of craft assigned as you will.
  2. They can then move up to the Speed of the slowest craft in the wing. (Can they launch and move in the same turn? Can they move then attack then move again?)
  3. Are the vessels in range of other fighters? If yes, proceed to a *********** of +5s to everyone! "Both sides gain a +5 bonus for every squadron of friendly fighters after the first. Both sides also gain a +5 bonus for an additional squadron of bombers or assault craft after the first(I assume this is supposed to be fighers?), plus an additional +5 for each additional two squadrons of bombers or assault craft (as neither bombers nor assault craft are as good at dogfighting as fighters, but are armed and dangerous in numbers)." Say you have 3 bombers and a fighter wing fighting off a wing of four fighters. The four fighters get... +15, the others get +10? Is that correct?
  4. Count degrees of success. That many squadrons are destroyed on each side, unless one side gets 4 more degrees than the other, in which case the entire squadron is wiped out. Seems simple enough, I guess?
  5. If the bomber wing has not been destroyed, move onwards! Defensive turrets, go! Ballistics test + Turret Rating*5 (Can a player use his BS for this, or is it ONLY the crew rating?). Success knocks out one, +1 for every two degrees of success. So taking out an undamaged wing of craft, assuming there are no fighters mucking up the works, requires six(!) degrees of success. This is the part that really sticks in my craw, with there being no practical way to defend against bombers unless you outfit every ship with landing bays.
  6. Bombing time! An undamaged wing will do up to 6d10+24 that ignores void shields and targets the weakest armour. That... I... What. Were these rules written with people that were solely roleplayers and had never noticed the ability to get up to 61 Fellowship, +20 Command and the absurd team-stacking bonuses available from Extended Actions?

What am I not seeing?

 

 

 

2. Yes they can move when launched (there's nothing saying they can't and it says they can move that value once per turn so I would assume this as "flying out of the ship and towards the target") I might consider when they are placed next to the ship as their first point of movement however to represent "leaving" the hanger (and thus square/hex the player ship is occupying).

3. Not sure I'd have to look this up, don't have access to my book right now.

4. Pretty much

5. The crew uses their BS unless a player is in the squadren and leading it in which case they use the players.

6. Another thing I'd have to double check in the books. However this is a good reason to have fighters around you doing protective actions or simply avoiding the slower moving bombers. They are after all expensive as you can permanently loose them and have to spend limited acquisition checks restocking (assuming you're using the better expanded aquisition rules in into the storm that is).

 

 

2) Dark is right, but they should start on the same square as the ship that launched them.

3) +5 for every extra fighter squadron, +5 per 2 bombers/assault boat squadrons. This is only for attacking other fighter groups or torpedoes in space. So in your example, 1 fighter squad, 3 bombers it's only +5. Think of it as building the +5s, start with 1 fighter squadron, the minimum to actually do the action, then build +5s in after that. The lines about "after the first" is to make sure you're committing a minimum amount of resources to get that +5. it's 1 Fighter sq. (+5 for every other fighter sq.) and 2 bomber/assault sq / +5. Not that the two different types of larger craft don't stack, so if it's 1 bomber and 1 assault boat sq., there is no +5 bonus.

4) You've got the description backwards. If you get 4 deg suc over your opponent, none of your squadrons are eliminated. Granted getting that much of a lead will generally wipe out the other force, it's an important distinction.

5) Yep you're right here. I think Dark misunderstood as this is the defending ship's roll to knock out fighter with some turrets. If you're having a problem with your players insta-gibbing important ships go ahead and add turrets as needed. Flak Turrets stack. The worst part about this step is the -10 to the turrets BS check per squadron of escorting fighters.

6) Yes, with a command specialized character this step means a dead ship, or at least a severely damaged one. The bonus is built the same way as the fighter one above, 1 required, then +5/ex sq. Then it's 1 hit per suc, up to 3 + 1/ex sq. Each hit is 1d10+4, for your wing it would max out at 5d10+20. Minimum 25 damage, maximum 70. It's quite a bit of damage, and with a high command score (my RT has it starting at 104 :- ) you generally get all the hits.

My take on all this is that it's pretty balanced. Why? A grand cruiser (which represents the highest concentration of firepower available currently) can slag 2 ships a round with it's guns, reliably. In order to make the fighters and bombers really worth it, you do have to group them all up, which will slag 1 ship a round at max. (usually 1 every 2 rounds) and it represents a really high investment. If you get lucky on one defense roll out of every combat, it won't take very long to whittle the Explorers resources down.

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Imo it all balances out for the players, same as torpedoes.  First time i saw they moved 10 in the round they were fired i nearly banned them on the spot, it was like having an extra and more powerful set of lances available.

The point is for fighters and Torpedoes both is...Upkeep.  Unless your players have an insane profit factor they are going to be stretching themselves keeping a decent stock of fighters/bombers/torps.  Sure they can slag most any ship by throwing enough bombers w/fighter escorts at it but those losses are going to need to be replaced in time and one ship with a few squadrons of fighters for defense will tear apart bombers like tissue paper, thats a lot of profit going up in flames...

I think expendable ordanance is more unbalanced in the hands of NPC antagonists seeing as when you throw them at the explorers ship they wont be quite so constrained.

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Aye, you really have to use upkeep to balance it.

Also, I vaguely remember the devs answering a question about whether the squadrons could move as soon as they launched - I don't think they can, I think they have to wait until the turn after they launch.

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I don't have this book, yet (ordered Battlefleet Koronous yesterday), but I would think that turrets are what's supposed to deal with such craft. Rather than having every NPC craft have bays filled with their own fighters. I would think that a fighter should have some trouble maiming a cruiser, which has armor enough to fight another ship of its own class, and shields, too, so fighters should have some difficulty wrecking my day (again, I don't have said book, so I can't say this from experience). No sane Imperial Captain ever needs to fear a squadron of X-wings will destroy his Star Destroyer, even if he doesn't launch TIE fighters. Their shorter range should require them to come closer, where defense turrets should begin to open fire back (assuming they use a modified Hit and Run mechanic). If they work like stand-alone ships, making their own attacks, then defensive weapons should, too. Flak blisters could also come into fashion, since fighters are spendy to replace, but everyone has spare shrapnel debris to load into the blisters. Could hinder passing fighters or boarding craft greatly.

Also, it makes sense for fighter craft to wait a turn, after deployment. In Star Wars Saga Edition, it's a full-round action to Pilot check out of a hanger, so you can dodge the ship's infrastructure (while the ship is moving, possibly in a different direction than you), your fellow fighters, and squad/position up to do stuff your next turn. If this game is at all similar, the attack craft would move out, reconnoiter, and then begin doing actual stuff the next turn. So close to their mothership, they should be safe from any attacks, except from enemy fighters (a good reason to make sure you launch first).

I look very much forward to getting this book, though, so I can see how they make ships even more interesting.

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 Turrets help, yes, but most ships only have a TR of one, maybe two, and if the attacking wave has fighters in it then they can run SEAD operations (or simply absorb casualties first), leaving the bombers/assault boats to make their run more or less unimpeded.

And it's true that no starship is in danger of being beaten up by fighters, but they are crucial in defending against bombers, torpedoes and assault boats.

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It's possible to get ships with Turret Ratings of 4 easilly enough (Flak Turrets on a base of three) or 6 if you allow Xenostech. There are a few anti-craft  things out there if you equip your vessels for it, without needing to get your own fighter screen, such as Mineleyer Bays (admittedly it's space intensive). Also, remember whilst they're not as versatile, taking an extra turn to launch, ships can potentially carry a few small craft per point of hull space with a few more per hold. No reason these shouldn't include Aquilla and Guncutters or other general purpose craft that can double as fighters to provide a screen (not ideal but very good in defense).

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