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HappyDaze

Capital Ships need some help.

12 posts in this topic

Capital Ships do not appear to be able to stand up to smaller ships very well. Sure, they can deploy fighters of their own, but they have a massive vulnerability due to the Silhouette differences being used for base difficulty and further their defenses seem based on Armor - which weapons like Proton Torpedoes can punch right through and cause Criticals. Critical Hits will thus kill an ISD way before it hits its HTT. I'm thinking that there needs to be a base Critical Hit modifier for larger ships. Perhaps -10 or even -20 per point of Silhouette above 5? This way it will take several critical hits before massive ships start to fall apart. As it now stands, a dozen X-Wings lining up a shot with proton torpedoes can kill just about any capital ship as long as they can get the two advantages needed for a Critical Hit (and since the shot is only difficulty 1...).

 

As an alternate, I'd rather see a "Structural Reinforcement" rating for large capital ships. Have this rated like weapon qualities (level 1, level 2, etc.). The rating increases how many Advantages are required to activate a critical hit. So if the ISD had Structural Reinforcement 3, it would take 5 advantages for a proton torpedo to activate a critical hit (assuming it hasn't exceeded the ISD's HTT).
.

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I think it's probably intentional that capital ships are vulnerable to smaller ships.

 

After all, which side of the equation will the PCs find themselves on?  Almost every time, they'll be the ones operating the smaller craft going up against Imperial behemoths.  And unlike EotE, where the best idea for the PCs is to flee, sometimes as Rebels the PCs' very mission may be "take out or at least disable this heavy cruiser."  And the best option they have of that is causing serious system issues via critical hits.  Now a real pro of a fighter pilot (Agility 4, Gunnery 2) might not have much of an issue generating the necessary amount of Advantage needed for that critical hit (seeing as how they're rolling against 1 difficulty), but I would suspect most PCs are getting by with Agility 3 and at best 1 rank in Gunnery.

 

There's also the matter of enemy fighter screens (which is a standing tactic of WW2-era combat, something that informed how Star Wars starship battles work in the films), and even with the X-Wing currently being as beefy as it is, all it takes is a couple of shots (or just one really good shot) from an enemy fighter to take out the PC's starfighter.  So while a lone Star Destroyer might be a vulnerable target for a group of PCs flying Y-wings, X-wings, B-wings or some combination due to the potential of critical hits, the problem is there's rarely any such thing as a "lone" Star Destroyer given they all carry at least some amount of TIE fighters.

 

Now all that said, I'm thinking the easiest method might be to assign those large capital ships ranks of Adversary in relation to how major of a threat it's meant to be.  The Executor would be Adversary 3 for certain, but even a regular Imperial-class Star Destroyer would merit at least Adversary 1, which would help cut into the number of successes and advantages that the PCs are getting on their attack rolls.  I'd think that between ranks in Adversary and usage of support fighters, those two elements should make things a little less uneven for the large capital ship.

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I can't get the Age of Rebellion beta where I am, but from what I've been able to glean the simplest thing would be to make the largest capital ships (Star Destroyers and their equivalents) tougher. In-universe, one of the advantages of larger ships is that they can simply carry more (I'm fairly certain volume relative to surface area increases as an object gets larger, but I can't be sure). That means heavier armour, more shields, more hull integrity and system strain, etc. HappyDaze's idea of a critical hit modifier makes sense, since a large warship will have dedicated repair teams and probably be heavily compartmentalised in a way that smaller ships can't manage. An ISD is supposed to be a beast: too powerful for a typical Rebel group to defeat head on, so they either have to avoid it while mounting hit-and-fade attacks on softer targets (the biggest stand-up fight before Endor is Hoth, where the Rebels get stomped), conserve their forces for a climactic battle (a "boss fight" near the end of a campaign), or come up with a sneaky way to disable it (an infiltration mission to cripple a critical system, or some other long-shot mission that can be the basis for a challenging few sessions). Anyway, if you've managed to get through my rambling so far, here's my own "first cut" at an ISD:

 

Silhouette: 8 (1600 meters long stem to stern)

Speed: 2

Maneuverability: -3

Hull Integrity: 250

System Strain: 300

Defense (Shields): 4 all

Armour: 13

Starfighter complement: 6 squadrons (72 ships), plus troop landing craft and shuttles

Crew (based on EU canon): approx. 37 000, plus 10 000+ soldiers and Stormtroopers, 20 AT-ATs and 30 AT-STs

Weapons: 10 6-gun Medium Turbolaser batteries, Fire Arcs (Forward and Port) or (Forward and Starboard), Linked 5, Accurate 2 (from fire control computers linking the batteries to the bridge, as well as dedicated gunnery officers)

10 6-gun Heavy Ion Cannon batteries, Fire Arcs (Forward and Port) or (Forward and Starboard), Linked 5, Accurate 2

4 5-launcher Proton Torpedo batteries, same Fire Arcs, Linked 4, Accurate 2

5 4-gun Heavy Laser Cannon batteries, same Fire Arcs, Linked 4, Accurate 3 (to partially compensate for the huge silhouette discrepancy between ISDs and starfighters).

10 Heavy Tractor Beam projectors, same Fire Arcs

 

Fairly nasty, but the poor handling and lack of rear-facing weapons would let smaller, more nimble ships move into its blind spots and do some damage, or at least keep clear. Also, spacemanship would have a huge impact on its effectiveness, so smaller ships or fleets with better crews would have a fighting chance. Still, in-universe it is expected to take on entire enemy fleets by itself, and the stats here try to reflect that.

Edited by PalpatinesValet

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I've posted this in the thread in the Edge of the Empire section, but I feel that the biggest problem with capitol ships is we don't have any examples of HOW to run them.  What I mean is, are the turbolasers operated by 1 minion and I'm supposed to group them?  Should there be an overall Crew skill rating?  If the there are minions operating the guns, is it 1 person or is it a team of 3-5 for each gun? 

 

A little detail would go a long way to improving the power of a capitol ship, while making it easier for players and GM's alike to operate one.  As it is, it seems that if I run a game, and the players fight a star destroyer, I could possibly make 30+ dice rolls for 1 turn.  Let alone, should I be rolling initiative for each gun? 

 

A section, sidebar even, of HOW to run a star destroyer (or any capitol ship) is necessary.

Edited by That Blasted Samophlange

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Fairly nasty, but the poor handling and lack of rear-facing weapons would let smaller, more nimble ships move into its blind spots and do some damage, or at least keep clear. Also, spacemanship would have a huge impact on its effectiveness, so smaller ships or fleets with better crews would have a fighting chance. Still, in-universe it is expected to take on entire enemy fleets by itself, and the stats here try to reflect that.

 

Right... cause that is where you want  to go, BEHIND an ISD. Right into the fires of its engines and the heavily armored and structurally reinforced rear engineering sections that provide all the thrust to make that 1600m behemoth move.

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I transport my opinion on weapons and silhouette from the EotE thread.

 

I think that the mechanics for the difficulty to hit a vehicle (or a target in general) depending on its silhouette is a good idea. Yet, what I don't find such a good idea is that the difficulty of hitting a vehicle depends on the silhouette difference between the two involved vehicles (attacker vs target). This mechanic brings strange issues like a turbolaser mounted on a starship of silhouette 6 is more effective than a turbolaser mounteded on a ISD of silhouette 8. Similarly, a proton torpedo fired from a Y-wing is much more accurate than a proton torpedo fired from a capitol ship.

 

In my opinion it would be a more neat mechanic if each weapon has its own "silhouette" value, and the difficulty for a combat check is calculated by comparing the target vehicle silhouette against the weapons silhouette.

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That's a fair point. I have been somewhat annoyed at the same thoughts, even if it can be rationalised to some degree. Larger and slower vessels will have more difficulty bringing weapons to bear and trying to hit smaller and more agile (I'm using agile very open ended) ships, there is more to be synchronised both by gunners and computers, and the physical cannons themselves need to move, align and aim, they would also, I guess, be spread over a larger area to cover each arc better, which in turn would make things take more time when laying up shots on smaller and more agile vehicles/silhouettes.

 

So in the case of batteries and cannons it's not that bad (although your point is still more than valid, the above rationale isn't in any way foolproof). Your point about the torpedoes and missiles on the other hand I have more trouble rationalising. Anyone?

 

Additionally I'm uncertain about using only silhouette for check difficulty, but I have no thoughts as to what else it should be. With targeting computers range has little effect I guess.

 

One idea, for a quick house rule (based on Yepe's comments) is to pick the appropriate silhouette in each weapons silhouette range as attack silhouette, although some modification could be warranted in some cases? perhaps?

  • I mean, for instance light turbolasers could always have silhouette 5 attack silhouette, whereas each increment up adds +1 attack silhouette.
  • I guess light laser cannons are 3+ silhouette, so could be light 3, medium 4 and heavy 5?
  • I think the vehicle silhouette could come into play, but now I'm making it more complex. Perhaps for each silhouette above 5 you add 1 to the weapon's attack silhouette? If not Any capitol ship with torpedoes are going to kill you straight away. This is only going to add +3 to the torpedo attack silhouette, which I assume (afb) is 3, so it's still "only" 6 attack silhouette, but that is a lot better than 8. I'd think.
    • The reason I'd still take some of the starships own silhouette into account is, for one, the Empire's chase of the Millennium Falcon in ESB. Granted they wanted to catch the Falcon, but they still have ion cannons, if I'm not mistaken, and even these missed (yeah yeah, plot story, yadayada). It's cinematic basically. And I guess that argument is what they're basing the whole notion on, really.
  • Of course this house-rule would not change the silhouette requirements of the weapons themselves.
    • Although I am working on a house-rule/home brewed starship attachment allowing a ship to add higher silhouette weapons, and now I got an idea of how to handle that.

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I think the easiest way to make the Star Destroyers better is to up their armor value until even with Breach they would only take damage (and thus be able to be critically hit) on a very lucky hit.  The rule is there that if you do not do any hull or system strain damage you cannot crit.

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Your point about the torpedoes and missiles on the other hand I have more trouble rationalising. Anyone?

 

Keep in mind that both concussion missiles and proton torpedoes both have the Guided quality. So yes, initially, a missile/torpedo shot from a larger silhouette ship at a smaller silhouette ship will follow the guidelines put forth in Table 7-4. But after that, if the Guided property is activated, it goes by its own silhouette which is 0 for future attacks. So there is, somewhat, a reference to the silhouette of the weapon in the case of those two.

 

For lasers and blasters I think there should be an additional weapon quality.

 

Point Defense: For each rank of Point Defense reduce the silhouette of the ship that this weapon is fired from. For example, point defense laser cannons fired from a silhouette 8 capitol ship with Point Defense 3 are considered to be fired from a silhouette 5 ship.

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As an alternate, I'd rather see a "Structural Reinforcement" rating for large capital ships. Have this rated like weapon qualities (level 1, level 2, etc.). The rating increases how many Advantages are required to activate a critical hit. So if the ISD had Structural Reinforcement 3, it would take 5 advantages for a proton torpedo to activate a critical hit (assuming it hasn't exceeded the ISD's HTT).
.

OK, so they decided to call it "Massive" but I'm happy to have had a hand in getting this addressed.

EldritchFire and Jegergryte like this

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